Archive for May, 2012

Tripping the Fuse

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

A little while ago I noted that a lot of states in Europe provide for a fuse to be tripped whereas America does not, and maybe Europe’s got the right idea. I’m referring to the tradition of the “no confidence vote”; you saw it in Phantom Menace, with the plot events rushed along in a futile attempt to help tease out some coherent story. They don’t wait around for elections, if the consensus arises that a change has to be made. They get it done. Maybe, I opined, we should look at this.

My wise and patriotic readers really spoke up, and put me in my place. I’m left thinking that’s probably right, as a general rule when the states and Europe do things differently, we here have our reasons and we should be proud of not borrowing ideas that are bad ones. Perhaps I should correct my course, and in the spirit of avoiding the horrors that are attendant to pure democracy, we should stick with our regular election system.

At least, that’s what I thought right up until this latest blow-up about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the soda ban.

I dunno. Europe’s solution still seems heavy-handed; it’s the kind of thing you put in place — as is the case with a lot of what Europe does — when you invest enthused but unwarranted trust in the prevailing consensus.

But Bloomberg seems to have an actual mental disorder here. Somewhere I saw a YouTube comment about this, someone made the point that if you just repeat this a few times…we’re simply forcing you, we’re simply forcing you, we’re simply forcing you. It becomes clear what is going on. At the very, very least, it is cockeyed screwed up priorities. Got everything else solved over there Mike?

Also, I had said something about a test to be applied to these public officials — when you see their face on the teevee with the sound turned off, do you lunge for the remote with this sickly feeling in your gut, of “What’s s/he up to NOW??” I’m a good distance away from New York City, in fact I’ve never been there, but based on what I’m seeing & hearing it seems to me that Bloomey is just about at that point. I’m certainly ready to find alternatives to doing things the European way…I’m ready to look good & hard before going that route…but I’m not ready to let go of this part of my comments, because there’s something wrong about living in fear of your so-called “leaders” day to day. In fact, that part of my earlier commentary is about as American as apple pie.

And I’m sad to say, this is what’s happening. It’s going on in quite a few places. It isn’t just Mike Bloomberg. Senators, mayors, governors, the President, His Holy Executive Branch, all of ‘em really…they’ve become freakin’ Swords of Damoclese, hanging by fragile hairs over our necks, and we have little idea what they’re going to be doing next, or when.

The only thing of which we have any real confidence is, the next idea they have that will actually affect us in some way, will be stupid and bad. I guess it’s really all coming down to: My proposed solution is anti-American, true, but the nature of the problem is just as anti-American…so…my question then becomes, where & when do we realize the benefits of not doing it? There he is, the European-style jackass, smugly telling his subjects, er, constituency what they can & can’t eat. He is referred to, with not just a little bit of justification, as a “Napoleon.” And he fails the teevee-no-sound-test. You don’t have much idea what he’s going to do next. But you know the idea will be stupid, and bad…and he’s just one of many.

With no external force acting upon the object, it will continue on its present course. He does not see himself as a mere ordinary citizen serving a limited length of time in an office of humble public service. He’s just addicted to the adrenaline rush of ordering things, and getting them, and the novelty/rush has worn off so now he wants to do it for everybody else. It makes just as much sense to tell everyone how to tie their shoes, where their car radios should be set, and what their favorite color is supposed to be for this week. It’s not supposed to be like this.

So what do we do? My original solution was far from ideal, and may be unworkable. By its very nature, yes, it is un-American. But so is leaving the problem unattended. These narcissistic pricks are completely out of control.

“I Don’t Want to See Obama on ‘The View’”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The Blaze. Another actor is turned off.

It’s hard to believe in the presidency anymore. I voted for Obama, I love Obama, but I don’t want to see Obama on “The View,” I don’t want to see him playing Frisbee, I don‘t want to know that it’s $40,000 a plate at George Clooney’s house, and I adore George Clooney. Hey man, I‘ve got a friend of mine who’s got a $7 an hour job at Dunkin Donuts and he can’t get a $9 an hour job over at the country club because there are so many people in front of him. I believe that the president should be his desk all day. I don’t want to see him on vacation, I don‘t want to see him at Martha’s Vineyard, I don’t want to see Mrs. Obama in Spain. No, no, I do not want to see that because everybody’s struggling. These CEOs shouldn’t be taking all this money. No Rolls Royces. No private planes.

The “don’t want to see” stuff really says a mouthful; that’s the whole deal right there.

Because if Obamandias is re-elected, and this is just a matter of simple common sense, you can tap dance around it all day if you like but it’s still true: He can’t spend the next four years killing Osama bin Laden a few more times.

But He can spend that block of time re-appearing on daytime talk shows. Which is precisely what He’ll do. Fly around, play golf, make the most Super Awesome Mega Wonderful Speech Ever, play more golf, crack some jokes about how Michelle won’t let him do something…and, when the country’s pain becomes even more severe, remind us that He inherited this mess. In front of microphones. And teleprompters.

And then He’ll appear on some more shows.

The killer knockout punch against the idea of re-electing Obama? If He loses…the list of things He will be doing, will be no different. Not even a tiny bit. You take out the impact of all the executive decisions that Romney & O would decide differently…and we can argue awhile about whether there’s something considerable there or not…what we’re left with is, who is going to pay for Obama’s jet fuel between 2013 and 2017. That’s about it. You should vote for the President if you want more pug-ugly liberal spinster women being nominated to the Supreme Court, and if you want the taxpayers to pay for Michelle’s vacations and Barack’s speeches. Those are the two big gains. Barack Obama having stature and profile…people listening to Barack Obama…Barack Obama flying around the country, having teleprompters and adoring fans…that isn’t part of the choice, if these factors don’t change between the choices. We’re essentially voting on where the bill is sent.

Oh yeah, the actor is Steve Guttenberg, from Three Men and a Baby, Short Circuit and Police Academy.

Bill Whittle Goes After Chris Hayes

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Some people do much better on radio than on video, because of their looks.

Whittle’s not a bad lookin’ guy, he’s got something else going on. Not sure what. But while his videos are alright, and occasionally very good, on radio he’s in a completely different mode. He just comes alive. He’s in his groove.

Yeah, that’s gonna leave a mark.

“You Wish to Know What I Am?”

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

This impressed me when I first saw it. And, perhaps to my shame, I think back on it now & then…so if that is all it takes for a movie scene to possess philosophical weight, then, ludicrous as it may seem to say so, this has got it. Even if it’s a Sam Raimi movie.

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Job?

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Boortz:

It is generally accepted that it costs somewhere in the range of $120,000 to $150,000 for the private sector – that’s the evil capitalist, free enterprise sector – to create one job. This covers not only the salary that will be paid to the new worker, but to investments in space, materials, equipment, marketing efforts and other costs associated with job creation.

OK … that’s the private sector. But since we have a president – for now, at least – who thinks that it is the government’s responsibility to create jobs, let’s look into THOSE numbers for a few minutes…
:
Under Obama’s stimulus bill – actually written by Nancy Pelosi – it cost anywhere from $540,000 to $4,100,000 for each job created. The private sector does this for $120,000 to $150,000 … but for government the cost is, at best, four times that … and up …. Way up. If you just go for the median you’re spending over $3 million for each job produced.

Awkward

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Hehe.

Talk about awkward.

When President Obama hosts former President George W. Bush at the White House on Thursday to unveil his predecessor’s official portrait, he’ll pay tribute to the man whom he has blamed lately for everything short of an outbreak of the flesh-eating virus.

The war in Iraq? An unnecessary and costly diversion that was Mr. Bush’s fault, according to Mr. Obama.

The worst recession since World War II? The president says Mr. Bush and the GOP are to blame.

Soaring deficits? Mr. Obama’s mantra is that he inherited the red ink from the Republican.

The Wall Street collapse? See “Bush, George W.”

Loss of America’s prestige in the eyes of the world? Mr. Obama has laid that allegation on Mr. Bush’s doorstep, too.

At a fundraiser in California last week, Mr. Obama used Mr. Bush as his foil to raise more money for his re-election campaign. The president began by criticizing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for planning “bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans,” deep cuts in funding for education and Medicare, and deregulation of the banking and insurance industries.

“But that’s not new,” Mr. Obama told the crowd. “That was tried, remember? The last guy did all this.”

Alexandra Gekas is Infuriated…

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

…by the chastity of Lolo Jones.

In a recent interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” 29-year-old American hurdler Lolo Jones told Mary Carillo that Olympic qualifying is nowhere near as difficult as her struggle to remain a virgin until marriage. Jones said she publicized her vow of chastity because she wants other girls who have made the same decision to know that they are not alone and that it’s not easy.

Gekas, the columnist, became “irked” when Jones used the phrase, “gift I want to give my husband.”

With this archaic notion of “value” placed on a woman’s virginity comes the belief that exclusive rights to her womb should be saved for the highest bidder; that it is a commodity to be bought (in most cases by her husband) and sold (usually by her father). And if she gives it away or, God forbid, it is taken from her, she loses value as a woman and as a human being.

If Jones had said “I want to share my first experience with a man who loves me and is committed to me; and who I love and am committed to,” I would’ve tipped my hat to her and been on my merrily unchaste way. If she had said, “I’m doing this for myself, because I only want to be with one man,” I would’ve thought, “Do your thing, sister.”

Instead, she perpetuated the vulgar notion that a woman’s virginity is proprietary. And she did it in the spirit of setting a good example.

Virginity is not an object, it is not a possession and it is not a gift you can give someone. It is a state of being, and the transformation from that state to the state of not being a virgin isn’t something that can be owned by anyone except the person to whom it applies, and even then it is less possessive and more existential.

I’m sure Jones and I would agree that at its best, sex is one of the deepest, most profound ways two human beings can connect. And I’m sure that is one of the reasons why she has chosen to wait until marriage. But to “give” it to a man is to suggest that it is about him more than it is about her and that’s what irks me.

Oh, boy. Did Gekas notice, each and every time she got twisted-off here, she needed to justify her anger with this little “sounds like” game she’s playing…can’t get angry at what Jones actually said, so she has to use these glue-phrases like “suggest that it is” and “with this belief comes this other belief.” Were she to engage in an actual back-and-forth, two-directional debate about this, in which each side enjoys equal opportunity to respond to the other, which is doubtful — I’m sure she’d cry foul if she found retorts coming back her way based on things she almost said.

Heck, I’ll do it right now. Her peevish rant has the look & feel of a big ol’ feminist monsoon, inspired by nothing more and nothing less than someone female doing something nice for someone male. Her thundering screed suggests that this is the true ignition point of the fireball, the actual epicenter of the quake. No, she didn’t come out and say it, I’m just playing the Alexandra Gekas “sounds like” game, just filling in some gaps here.

And more accurately than any time she did it, I’ll bet.

We’re seeing this a lot with the thirty-something crowd…the Manhattan-purple-shirt-and-skinny-necktie, “I wanna be a guest on the Daily Show” crowd. The American Castrati. They favor left-wing politics generally, but will admit to this only when it is convenient to them to do so…but you can pick them out when they use phrases like “archaic notion” and make references to people owning other people, when it doesn’t apply logically. And, if they’re women, if they see something nice being done for a man a hundred times, they’re pissed off & bent out of shape a hundred times.

I made a reference to the Architect and Medicator split last time I saw this take place, which I think was correct then and I think it is correct now. Back then, the chestless male actually used the phrase rhetorical proximity.

It’s a good phrase, a good way of describing it. And a bad way to decide things. People who need to make decisions that are correct — earn their daily bread by doing that thing, how do the carpenters say it, “measure twice, cut once.” — they can’t do this. It is purely a Medicator thought process. Just look at the mindset, will you: “I’ve made this decision to loathe A, because I already loathe B, and I have perceived this connection of equivalence between A and B…even though I know it is unsustainable since A and B are not the same…I feel that they share enough similarities, or are sufficiently ‘proximate,’ that I can ignore the differences.”

That is the common error between the two. They could both be geniuses, and their reasoning skills would still be below par…because reasoning is not what they’re doing. In both cases, they’re forming opinions by pretending two things they know darn good & well are not the same, are the same.

And you can’t arrive at reliably correct answers that way.

Is Obama Really a President?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Seems like a silly question, I suppose it is one, but it is becoming the question of the hour:

The left has a decision to make: Is it going to try to repackage the starry-eyed romance and dreamy magic of Barack Obama from four years ago or build a rationale for his reelection based on lessons learned and a plausible critique of the president’s performance in office. Perhaps it will need to acknowledge that the idolization of Obama was a one-time phenomena and that voters, desperate for some results, will be impatient with proselytizing from the Obama camp.

A good test is approaching. Next Monday, June 4, will be the four-year anniversary of the speech candidate Obama gave celebrating his delegate count, which would make him the certain Democrat nominee. He took the occasion to state what he thought his presidency foretold. Of his own nomination victory, Obama said, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” He let others really lay it on thick. You would think the retrospective absurdity of this quote would make liberals a little cautious, if not embarrassed, and cause them to rethink how they enabled Obama. We will see how this is hidden or celebrated in the next few days.
:
Many on the left have lost any insight into their own bias; nothing Obama says is over the top, and nothing he has done lacks significance or inspiration. Likewise, nothing Romney says or has done amounts to much. By forcing a halo upon Obama, suggesting dark hearts among any who don’t see it and follow, and ignoring the virtues of a decent man like Romney, does not serve the president well. It stirs resentment among voters who chafe at being told to love him or else.

Hat tip to Ace of Spades, by way of Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.

The Washington Post item links to a Frank Bruni column called “The Emotional Tug of Obama”…which I don’t know how to excerpt…well…ah, here’s a suitable nugget of silliness:

He still personifies the hope, to borrow a noun that he has used, that we really might evolve into the colorblind, fair-minded country that many of us want. His own saga taps into the larger story of this country’s fitful, unfinished progress toward its stated ideal of equal opportunity.

And that gives many voters an emotional connection to him that they simply don’t have to most other politicians, including Romney, a privileged and intensely private man whose strengths don’t include the easy ability to humanize himself…

Some people never learn, I suppose.

As far as the strategic question about how to sell President Obama, it’s purely a cost/benefit decision and they probably did not make the wrong one. It’s self-evident that the product did have this much sizzle, four years ago, to get itself sold; question is, does it retain it. All stupid fads have a shelf-life. But there’s never any logical predicting, it seems, about how long the shelf life is going to be, now is there?

Who knows, maybe the country will double down too. We’ll round it out to a full eight years of being starry-eyed…we’re just not that interested in things that work, we just want to feel inspired. Be seen swearing slavish devotion to the right things…abdicating our own responsibilities to make the right decisions…and do a lot of mooching.

Well on the upside, it gives us an excuse to watch this again:

“Theological Responsibility”

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Legal?

Weasel Zippers doesn’t think so (hat tip to Boortz).

Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election — which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama’s campaign.

I have my own doubts, I must say…nevermind the baloney about “not supporting any particular candidate” and how that supposedly passes muster with the IRS tax exemption business.

How is it, I wonder, that this “wall of separation” continues to breach open at these convenient times? These government officials have determined Judeo-Christian religions teach this “theological responsibility” so they’re taking the initiative to tell the pastors how to do their pastoring.

Where’s the ACLU? How come they’re not filing suit? Are they that busy with the prayer banners that they have no time for this?

“Did They Die in Vain?”

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

America: Her Finest Hour is Yet to Come.

Besides shutting down productivity entirely, in some cases, regulation makes everything cost more than it would otherwise, from our labor to real estate, and from automobiles to the price of milk, bread, and gasoline. For several decades, debt was a relief valve for the rising cost of regulation, which eats away at the value of what we earn with productive work. Now the regime of debt has largely shut down.

But Americans aren’t rioting in the streets over this. We are tightening our belts, in order to get ourselves right with the future. Don’t overlook the significance of this. For every kid in the Occupy movement, there are hundreds his age finding whatever jobs are available and working hard, learning to be reliable employees and team players – and paying bills, saving money, and looking to what they can do about their own futures. These young people, alongside their elders, are holding society together, with discipline and quiet, unheralded daily courage.

Don’t give up on Americans. And don’t give up on liberty.
:
The good news is that America is the world’s example of what can be achieved by people who are not beholden to a god-like government. America is not paralyzed today by the character of our people, the scarceness of our resources, or the terrors of our future. America is paralyzed because our once-small government has grown on principles that are unworthy of us: invidious principles of despair, anger, resentment, and fear.
:
Do not fear that Americans can’t do well with less government. Something military officers learn early, if they are wise, is that you don’t control men: you believe in them. And when you do, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. The heroes who lie in our cemeteries, with the small flags waving bravely over them on Memorial Day, knew that.

“Oh, the Rhetorical Proximity!”

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

From Newsbusters.

…[I]t is very difficult to talk about the war dead and the fallen without invoking valor, without invoking the words “heroes.” Um, and, ah, ah, why do I feel so comfortable [sic] about the word “hero”? I feel comfortable, ah, uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen…

++blink++

Well okay. First impression: I need to update the Architect and Medicator thing, if only to help along my own understanding of the split, because this is an important characteristic I’ve missed. Medicators live in a whole different universe, in which the answer you give to a question is no more important than how you got to the answer. Which leads to all sorts of problems. In this case, the correct answer to “Is the dead solder a hero?” is yes…just as it is on Planet Architect…but it’s important to do a lot of hemming and hawing about it first, lots of hesitation, clearly communicating the reluctance. Just like President Obama taking a whole year to figure out what to do about Afghanistan.

Which brings us to my second impression: Someone needs to come up with a new word to describe this. “Liberal” doesn’t do it, “progressive” doesn’t do it, “spoiled media brat” doesn’t do it and “American Castrati chinless chestless pusscake” doesn’t do it.

A new word demands a precise definition. Here it is: What I seek to describe is this not-so-recent errant mindset, that arrives at a logically untenable and unsustainable conclusion. Which is — the likelihood that the next war will actually happen tomorrow, is somehow linked to to the reaction we show to the concept of war today. Carried to its extreme, it is a thought pattern that says we can, by working together, banish war forever merely by not liking it, and communicating within some subtle window of opportunity the fact that we don’t like it.

Their dysfunction, their inability to cope with life, is demonstrated easily: “Yes they are heroes” is a meaningfully different answer from “Yes they are heroes, although I hesitate to say so because it is rhetorically proximate to justifying war.” So the hesitation and the legalese disclaimers change the character of the person answering, and the concern is over the justification of war…what conclusion can be drawn, other than, we have a great shot at banishing war from the human condition if only we show a properly consistent distaste for it? But this says nothing, other than the well understood fact that the war hater doesn’t understand the sentiments of the non-hesitant ones. He perceives that he possesses a moral monopoly, where none exists. What sane man or woman loves war?

And what does a soldier have to say, about sending himself or herself into one? Once the planes are in the air and the boots are on the ground, it is what it is. They’re heroes, one & all.

These pussy beta males are going to get us killed.

What do we call this misguided sense that we can end war, which has persisted since the day Cain struck down Abel, merely by displaying the fact that it makes us unhappy? What do we say about people who apparently were raised from infancy, laboring under the delusion that they can have this kind of effect on current events, through some theatrical, grandiose and bumptious brandishing of their individual tastes?

What do we say about their mothers? Once we’re talking about motherhood, I’d like to stick to positive remarks and leave all the rest unsaid. But it seems undeniable that something in the raising was, tragically, left undone here. You’re that much of a stranger to bad things, that are bound to come raining down upon you and upon others, regardless of the reaction you show toward them? You think the universe cares that much about the approval you choose to offer, or choose to withhold? You think you’re that important? Really?

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. — John Stuart Mill

Update:Educated beyond one’s hat size.” Very apt description. We’ve got a lot of that goin’ around lately…

I Read a Very Bad Sentence Lately

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

Hat tip to Chamblee, who is not, so far as I know, the author of this very bad sentence.

Also, as a runner-up…

Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like”Second Tall Man.”

You Have to Pay For That

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

One Lieutenant, one Sergeant, one officer and one reserve officer.

From here.

Yeah, I’d hate to see this kind of thing turn into a partisan my-turn-your-turn tit-for-tat spat. I think this has already happened to the impeachment process…and that isn’t good. But, on the other hand, it certainly can’t be a bad thing to attach some consequence and deeper thought to this “fly off in Air Force One and be seen someplace” thing…

Our First Holy And Gay President, for awhile now, seems to envision this as the solution to every little problem. Re-create the “Xerxes descending from the throne platform” scene in 300…and that’ll do it. Even if “it” is too much carbon in the atmosphere from all these planes flying around, the solution doesn’t change. Fly somewhere and give the most awesome wonderful speech ever.

Mixed feelings about the gleeful attitude. Seems like something we shouldn’t be wanting. But on the other hand, if there is a corrective course that’s possible, that is bound to be the start of it…and, there’s a reason I find it hard not to relish it. I share in the sentiment. Sometimes, the rational, reasoned response does feel kinda good.

In fact I’m not sure it would be a bad thing if the bill went unpaid, and it turned into a big ugly stinky (re-election year) mess.

I don’t like having a Xerxes in charge. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.

Can’t Retire

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Again, with no patriarch of the household…must be the anti-Julia. Still, it’s a powerful message.

Hat tip to Bruce Kesler at Maggie’s Farm.

How to Make Obama’s Spending Look Small

Friday, May 25th, 2012

…all in one easy chart. Which is big, so I’ll save it for last…

But this was a good sign-off, I thought:

Congrats to REX NUTTING of MarketWatch for following every one of these rules

http://bit.ly/KpUFug

Like they say: Heh.

“Will MSM Report on Obama Membership in Socialist New Party?”

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Good question.

The mainstream media thought that the membership of Todd Palin, who is not a candidate for any office, in the Alaska Independence Party important enough to report in such outlets as the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and the New York Times, among others.

So now that Barack Obama’s membership in the far left New Party has been unearthed, will they report his membership in that Socialist organization?

Proof of Obama’s membership in the New Party was discovered by the Politically Drunk On Power blog:

In June sources released information that during his campaign for the State Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama was endorsed by an organization known as the Chicago “New Party”. The ‘New Party’ was a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America (the DSA) to push forth the socialist principles of the DSA by focusing on winnable elections at a local level and spreading the Socialist movement upwards. The admittedly Socialist Organization experienced a moderate rise in numbers between 1995 and 1999. By 1999, however, the Socialist ‘New Party’ was essentially defunct after losing a supreme court challenge that ruled the organizations “fusion” reform platform as unconstitutional.

After allegations surfaced in early summer over the ‘New Party’s’ endorsement of Obama, the Obama campaign along with the remnants of the New Party and Democratic Socialists of America claimed that Obama was never a member of either organization. The DSA and ‘New Party’ then systematically attempted to cover up any ties between Obama and the Socialist Organizations. However, it now appears that Barack Obama was indeed a certified and acknowledged member of the DSA’s New Party. [emphasis in original]

So we can call Him a socialist now, right?

Is Facebook Contributing to the Divorce Rate?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Yeah, probably.

A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Divorce lawyer Marian Rosen, who practices in Houston, said she’s increasingly seen social media cited in divorce proceedings and child custody battles.

“We’ve had instances where they pull up Facebook in the course of a deposition,” Rosen told ABC News, adding that in addition to proving infidelity, she’s seen cases in which children’s profiles are cited as evidence to suggest bad parenting. “Once it’s out there for the world, it’s very difficult … to erase from the past. There are going to be trails that can be followed.”

Ugh. Poor kids.

The dissenting theory sez, if your spouse’s level of dedication is such that he’s finding the profile of his old sweetie and hooking up the first time it’s convenient, then the problem is there, and Facebook is simply providing the mechanism…which effectively amounts to nothing. There is a lot of truth in this. But it ignores the demography of very weak marriages held together with paper clips and duct tape, out there, which are limping along only because there is no Facebook. Or, the marriages that were so limping-along, before Facebook entered the picture.

I do think there is a problem that predates the social media, certainly. There’s a rather unsettling column in Huffington Post, nine months old now, about thirty percent of marriages being obvious failures — at least from the bride’s point of view — before they ever take place. And this jives with something I’ve been noticing. We do seem to have an issue with people “trying on” marriages, wading in just to see where they go.

So both sides have merit, I think. Social media is a wrecking ball, but there was dry rot in the house before it made contact.

Value Them Because They’re Not Beautiful

Friday, May 25th, 2012

So I was thinking back on this post, which I was actually requested to put together & blog so that a discussion would ensue, about this recent forced cultural disdain against women who happen to have man-appeal. It is clearly a resentment against cosmetics; it has little or nothing to do with substance. But it arouses my ire because, for forty years now, I’ve heard feminists tell me that everyone needs to think and live the way the feminists tell them to, because their way is the right way; over those forty years, they’ve gone from insisting women can have everything and don’t need to choose anything, nor should they have to — to, you can’t be invested with real authority, as a woman, if you happen to look good. So the inconsistency bothers me a lot. But also, it leads to an elite layer of female leaders, one that is somewhat detached from the rest of society and yet, in many cases, making highly influential decisions about how the rest of society should live. The decisions they make, then, are consistently wrong.

And, I’ll just say it, okay? Men can get offended by things too; yeah that’s shocking, to some, I know. And no matter how you cut it, it’s offensive to say there must be something wrong in a candidate for one of these positions of real power, just because you and people of your sex might happen to like her, that all by itself makes her unqualified. We need to keep looking until we find someone you wouldn’t want to be around. Yes, that is offensive, breathtakingly so. Just because nobody strings the words together in sequence, doesn’t mean that isn’t the intent, or that that isn’t the message that comes across.

Gorgeous WomenBut my primary objection is to the second of those three; that is where the damage is being done. The women selected are making bad decisions. And I hasten to add, as I always must, that I don’t mean to suggest by this that only beautiful women are capable of making good ones. What I mean to suggest is that when a woman or a man arrives from a culture which displays this hostility toward good-looking women, and they manage to hijack some selection process and steer it toward a homelier candidate…the aftermath is bad. It ends up being just another portal through which real authority can be seized, and wielded, by someone who shouldn’t have it. When a decision process that works by random selection can beat them by several points of probability, time after time, something’s hosed. And that’s what we’ve seen go down. My prior challenge continues to go unmet: Kagan. Sotomayor. Secretary of State Clinton. Name one good decision. Just one.

It occurs to me that phrases like “it’s always the ugly girl’s turn in the limelight” might be good for drawing attention to the matter — and this is overdue — but, apart from the undesirable consequences of alienating a few people who might otherwise by sympathetic to the observation, it misstates the true nature of the problem. The problem doesn’t really have to do with genetic blessings, or lack thereof. Or intellect, or lack thereof. It’s cultural. We have this culture that starts off with a good message: You shouldn’t value a woman’s leadership abilities based on her appearances. And then it imposes this viewpoint, at these crucial junctions where it might matter, in overly simplistic terms. Pretty, bad. Ugly, good.

But the cultural push is not to accept ugly women, or to reject beautiful ones. The desire has to do with intent. The hostility is against women who have made a priority out of their looks. It doesn’t have to do with the achievement, it has to do with the effort; the achievement is just a symptom.

But it’s unhealthy, because say what you want about beautiful women, an achievement is an achievement. Achievements should be rewarded, not punished.

Blogger friend Teri has a post up which links to a report about a study, which in turn reveals more about this than I think might have been intended. The study is not about ugly women, it’s about parental investment, reproductive strategy, and the traits that men might find to be attractive in available women. Thought this was telling:

To figure out which sorts of women might be deemed most receptive to a sexual advance or most vulnerable to male pressure or coercion, they asked a large group of students (103 men and 91 women) to nominate some “specific actions, cues, body postures, attitudes, and personality characteristics” that might indicate receptivity or vulnerability. These could be psychological in nature (e.g., signs of low self-esteem, low intelligence, or recklessness), or they might be more contextual (e.g., fatigue, intoxication, separation from family and friends). A third category includes signs that the woman is physically weak, and thus more easily overpowered by a male (e.g., she’s slow-footed or small in stature). According to the authors, rape constitutes one extreme end of the “exploitation” spectrum—cheesy pickup lines the other.

By asking students for the relevant cues, the experimenters reasoned, they’d keep their own ideas about what makes a woman “exploitable” from coloring their study. When all was said and done, the regular folks in the lab had come up with a list of 88 signs that—in their expert undergraduate opinions—a woman might be an especially good target for a man who wanted to score. Here’s a sampling of what they came up with: “lip lick/bite,” “over-shoulder look,” “sleepy,” “intoxicated,” “tight clothing,” “fat,” “short,” “unintelligent,” “punk,” “attention-seeking,” and “touching breast.” [bold emphasis mine]

The experimenters were concerned about keeping their own ideas from coloring the study…and yet…they had no problem coming up with categories for these cosmetic attributes. Psychological, contextual, and signs that the woman is physically weak.

Hmmm. I don’t know. I have seen the comments from many women, and heard them in face-to-face conversations, that there are a lot of men who crave weakness in their women, including physical weakness. I suppose I shouldn’t judge this perception if I haven’t actually been a woman trying to find a suitable male mate. Many among those complaining, have certainly come out and said so. But then again, it seems to me the people who harbor this preconception don’t spend a lot of time trying to get the male perspective on it. Frankly, it comes off looking like there’s another side to the story that’s being left out. Guys abandoned you because you’re strong? You didn’t, maybe, chase them off?

I’m a guy with some stories to tell about finding the right woman; I’ve talked to other guys who have stories to tell about finding the right woman; weakness, including physical weakness, doesn’t rate very highly on the list of things we started out trying to find, or that we ended up trying to find. As a practical matter, I’m having a tough time trying to think how that could enter into it unless the man plans to force yourself on your companion. And, you know, I’m skeptical on the idea that this would be representative of the typical male.

But I think we’re looking, here, at a post-mortem on the selection of women who don’t look good to men. If I were so privileged as to see a line-up of photographs of these women who made the cut, I could be more sure about it. But the researchers made a list of these 88 signs…taking these steps to keep their own ideas out of it, but you know, I’m gonna take it as a given that there was very little mind-blowing change in direction or perception here. They asked students. Students in colleges…with, probably, a wide assortment of curriculum offerings that end in the word “studies.” They asked a group of 194 students with a very slight male majority, in a college, what a strong, capable woman who can take care of herself, looks like.

I previously had mentioned Megyn Kelly as one of the gorgeous ones, who I think comes off as strong and able to handle things. I’m gonna take it as a given that the strong and capable women-pictures, ultimately selected, didn’t look much like Megyn Kelly.

“Incredible Devotion to our Constitution”

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Oh, well that‘s certainly good to hear.

Actress Ashley Judd had some high praise for President Barack Obama during a recent appearance on NBC’s “Press Pass”, a mid-week online “Meet the Press” segment hosted by David Gregory.
:
“To a certain extent, I was [disappointed] for the first couple of years,” she said. “But I also know that President Obama came in inheriting an extraordinary mess and did his absolute best to do triage. And initially his presidency was about triage, and he started by saving the auto industry and, you know, all the jobs that were associated with that.”

“And now I’m pretty fired up again,” she continued. “And I think that he is a powerful leader. I think he’s a brilliant man. I think that he has an incredible devotion to our constitution, and that he is now able to flower more as the president I knew he could be. And I was extremely proud of his statement about gay marriage, for example, because he didn’t need to do that. He was just displaying his values and his belief in equality. And that moved me to tears.”

Memo For File CLVIII

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Europe makes a lot of mistakes with their government and their economies…but a lot of those countries, you have to give them this much, they can vote no-confidence and call for elections. Not sure how this works out for them, but the concept seems to have a lot to do with what we’re lacking here in the states: A fuse to be tripped. They’ve got this way of saying “We’re not getting a good hit rate with the decisions being made lately, and they seem to be consistently, systematically, bad/corrupt/stupid/wrong decisions. Let’s fix this.”

In the States, we make these two-to-four year commitments to stick with the elected leadership through thick or thin. Such a commitment, bringing nothing to the governed save for the obligation and nothing to the governors save for the benefits, is supposed to be a testament to how well our system works, being a key component to this “bloodless revolution” concept. I like bloodless revolutions; but this part of it needs a re-think. America has no constitutional answer for the situation in which their leaders have “jumped the shark,” as it were. Thrown a rod, slipped a cog — it’s like machinery. Sometimes the gears aren’t meshing, and you can’t just hope things will slip back in place after you’ve had a good night’s sleep and cranked the starter one more time. An overhaul is needed.

This is something I’ve written about many times before: The official, committee or system that turns out good, wise decisions, less often than a system of decision-making that would rely on random chance. This is an extraordinary and profound insult I’m laying down, and unfortunately, I mean it to be. A stupid person would not qualify for such an insult because he would generate decisions that are good decisions, roughly half the time; the people I’m singling out for attack, make the right decisions a great deal less often than this theoretical stupid person.

How did McCarthy put it? “if [Sec. of State George C.] Marshall were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that part of his decisions would serve this country’s interest.” Say what you want about Sen. McCarthy’s actions, but these are wise, prophetic words. It’s become a national nightmare: The so-called “leader” who morphs into a nearly perfect reverse-compass. It begins to look like a better and better idea, every day, to simply find out what this guy wants to do and do the opposite.

One thing we should think about, though, is that a lot of European states have become socialistic, and it’s easy to see a lot of their socialistic programs start off with these leaders trying to prove what wonderful people they are. This is why Europe is going broke. The pension programs have to keep inflating every year so the leaders can prove their charitable nature. And more and more laws have to be passed to make sure nobody is ever in danger of anything bad happening. Perhaps this all starts with the leaders trying to head off these no-confidence votes. The connection is there. So maybe they have a device in place to prevent this sad situation of a steady, non-stop progression of bad dumb decisions — and the device is not quite working for them.

But our device is not working for us, either. Our Founding Fathers, perhaps anticipating Europe’s problem, did not provide for this no-confidence fuse-tripping…except at regular intervals…and what’ve we got. I see President Obama on the television, speaking, with the sound turned off, and I have the same reaction every time: Oh shit, what’s He doing this time. Find a slobbering Obama fan somewhere…get them drunk…eventually, they’ll admit they’ve got the same reaction. Have a few more drinks together, the alcohol will do its work and the two of you might have the idea you’ve done a better job solving the problem at your drinking table, than our elected leaders. But the tragedy here is, once you’re sober again you’ll still think that’s the case, and you’ll probably be right about this.

This is not good. We should do something to change it, or at least, try to.

Do People Matter?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Burt Folsom:

Keynesian economist Robert Thomas once said, “Individual entrepreneurs, whether alone or as archetypes, don’t matter!” Thomas elaborated, “And indeed if they don’t matter, the reason, I suggest, is that the supply of entrepreneurs throughout American history, combined with the institutions that permitted–indeed fostered–intense competition, was sufficiently elastic to reduce the importance of any particular individual.”

In other words, if Henry Ford hadn’t come along and popularized the automobile, someone else right behind him would have done so in roughly the same way. Entrepreneurs are not particularly valuable, according to Robert Thomas. Without Ford, another mechanic would have “put a car in every garage.” Ford was merely in the right place at the right time.

If you believe that, then it logically follows that tax rates should be high. Why reward an entrepreneur for doing something now that someone else will do just as well very soon? In this view, government should be actively involved; bureaucrats can easily substitute for entrepreneurs, and the reward will go to the state, which can redistribute it perhaps more equally.

But let’s examine history to tell the real story…

This is an important discussion to have. As Folsom notes, there is a certain crazy but respectable logic bolting it all together; if you believe A, then B is a natural conclusion to draw. If the economy is a zero-sum game, then of course it is in society’s interest to make sure no individual or small consortium can hoard too much of the wealth, and if success is a lottery, then the winners have to put something back. Kinda like a roast beef sandwich, badly made with cheap meat: Take one bite and you’ll find yourself swallowing the whole thing, willingly or otherwise, in one gulp.

Well, I can’t even nibble at the damn thing because I know better. Innovative new things are built by eccentric (and egocentric) individuals, because they can be built by nobody else. It’s just a fact. Now, most innovative new things don’t work. When that happens, the eccentric individual risks ridicule…which won’t be forthcoming, unless people like to ridicule eccentric individuals. Which they do, actually, and not just a little bit. But if the thing works? Then a committee takes it over. Sooner or later.

So, to the untrained eye, to the bystander who’s never been close to any of the real details, it seems like the committee built the thing. That’s a tip-off newbie mistake. Every time I hear someone say “the government built the Internet” I immediately understand I’m hearing from someone who doesn’t know anything about anything. No…I didn’t build the Internet either. But I did make machines talk to each other through software…build packets to hold all the application-relevant data, come up with crude protocols for pings and acks and integrity checks and so forth…modeled it after what I knew about XMODEM at the time. No, a committee is not building something like that. It isn’t the right forum.

If the technology is “bleeding-edge” enough, as we used to call it, you could apply a decent litmus test to that term by first asking if there is some question about whether it will work at all. Yes, that is as good a definition as any. If there isn’t any such question, then you aren’t really innovating. If there is, then an evolutionary loop is going to have to be set up. Methods cobbled together, tried out, discarded like Edison’s light bulb designs, resurrected, refined, tried again. This is an essential element to true innovation. It cannot co-exist with a spirit of consensus. Consensus has to be abandoned, because the lodestar has to be “does it serve the purpose” and this cannot share its authority with any other goal. The innovator cannot serve two masters.

But this is all just obvious to anyone who’s built anything. Why does anyone believe otherwise? And with such zeal, such drive and determination to have the last word. Well, my observations are that they want the last word because they need to have it; their arguments are not convincing otherwise. And they believe committees and governments actually build things that work on new ideas, because they want to — it all has to do with hostility against the individual.

“…sufficiently elastic to reduce the importance of any particular individual.” Mull that one over a few times. Why would anyone say such a thing? Why work so hard to trivialize the good work of a man? You’d never in a million years say, if that firefighter didn’t put out the house fire, some other firefighter surely would’ve, and he was just in the right place at the right time. Why say such a thing with inventing a car?

This is another thing you can pick up only by being close to the action: No, it is not all pre-destined and pre-determined. Any mature and complex software project, for example, has all these modules that “need” to be re-factored. Maybe five percent, and that’s being generous, will eventually be blessed with an effort to so re-factor. And of those, maybe a third or so, and that’s also being generous, will ultimately succeed and not be recalled later as some kind of a boondoggle. “Great concept…nice idea…but, nobody understands it, we gotta meet our deadlines, so…” and then that’s that.

But one percent or so, are indeed refactored with the refactoring being a success. You naturally have to wonder if the refactoring projects were selected right. It’s the height of hubris to suppose the selection process was perfect, and opportunity was not lost somewhere. It’s a crap-shoot.

So no, if this guy wouldn’t have invented this thing, it’s not a fait accompli that the next guy standing behind him would’ve. That has never been assured at all. Invention is a chancy, haphazard thing. It is also a vertical thing, with new things built on top of other new things. Can’t have your Internet or your client-server connection without some way to form, direct, acknowledge and integrity-check the packets; can’t have that if you can’t have voltage differentials, and ways to modulate them and regulate them to transmit digital information; can’t have a system for processing digital information if someone doesn’t invent transistors and come up with several generations of ways to shrink them down. And cool them. And then someone has to buy it. Giant, mind-boggling strides in technology…think about it, I’ve got a cell phone, a money clip and a 250GB external hard drive sitting in front of me, they’re all the same size. When I was born, a system that held five hundredths of a percent of that data, would have filled a room. Leaps of that magnitude, rest on much smaller leaps, that are not nearly so impressive, nor as easily understood, to the layman. Nor, even, to the qualified engineer. Over and over again we see, things that are mind-blowing and easy to explain, rely on other things not so impressive, and nearly as easy to explain. Such smaller building blocks very often look like wastes of time.

So to kick it all off, someone has to risk wasted time. And not have to bother himself with explaining to a committee what he’s doing. Whether you can see it or not, it all starts with some dweeb in an isolated, forgotten room somewhere, playing Doctor Frankenstein. A Nikolai Tesla fiddling around with something in a Wardenclyffe. Wasting his time. That is the egg from which the new, good stuff is hatched.

Why does the contrary vision hold such enduring appeal? Because the forgotten room is isolated, by its very definition; so we never see this stuff actually happen. And, if you accept that Henry Ford could easily have been replaced for the benefit of society, by whoever happened to be standing behind him — it reduces people to mere cattle. And if we’re all cattle, milling about, chewing our grass and cud and every now and then some lucky bull goes through the motions of “inventing” something, well then that would mean…we’re all in desperate need of just a few capable cattlemen. Who are glorious and foreward thinking and wise, but never have to actually prove themselves to be in possession of such glittering qualities — and so opportunities will open to whoever can put on a good show, whoever can do the best job of pretending.

That’s the split, right there. It’s an enduring conflict between those who build amazing things that really work, and those who merely pretend to.

Keynesian theory is simply the detritus, the footprints if you will, left in the dirt by that latter group.

World’s Tiniest V12

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Thanks to Tweedledee, and his magical Facebook-interfacing text-messaging smartphone.

The Booker Flap

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

I like this a lot. Not just because it’s a solid shove in a good direction, but it highlights a subtle but meaningful split between the narrow band of elites with the loudest voices and who seem to be perched, everlastingly, on the tallest soapboxes…and…well, y’know, real people.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

I’m looking for the split to widen, which I think it will. The loud-chattering-soapbox people will keep on doubling down. Did you pick this up from the linked article?

As for the criticism that the Team Obama’s Bain attack is part of “nauseating” political discourse with which [Cory] Booker has become “very uncomfortable,” [David] Axelrod said, “on this particular instance he was just wrong.”

Axelrod shows what’s wrong with the whole mindset here. Truth and falsehood…and feelings. They’ve all been lazily dumped in the same bin, like refuse that hasn’t been sorted into the right receptacle in some ecology-minded burough. Booker is wrong…to feel nauseated about what’s happening? Oh, so that’s the platform, is it. We’re going to vote for these wise leaders and then their attack dogs are going to tell us how to feel about the things they do. Oh, that’s a winner right there, fer sure.

In addition to which, the whole debacle a sign that the “real” people are finally getting it:

Booker is not the only Democrat to question the aggressive, negative portrayal of Romney’s work in private equity. Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr. said today he agreed with “the substance” of Booker’s comments and “would not have backed out.”

“I agree with him, private equity is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, private equity is a good thing in many, many instances,” the Democrat said in a separate appearance on MSNBC earlier in the day.

Former Obama administration economic adviser Steven Rattner made similar comments last week, calling a new Obama campaign TV ad attacking Romney’s role in the bankruptcy of a Bain-owned steel company “unfair.”

“Bain Capital’s responsibility was not to create 100,000 jobs or some other number. It was to create profits for its investors,” Rattner said. ”‘It did it superbly well, acting within the rules, acting very responsibly. … This is part of capitalism, this is part of life. I don’t think there’s anything Bain Capital did that they need to be embarrassed about.”

Team Obama looks bad here, because they should. Their message, willingly selected by them, is: “Come on! You don’t want those job-making business people to actually be running anything, do you??”

And I like it because this, above all other things, is what we need our 2012 election to be addressing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Unproductive people giving orders to productive people about how to do their producing. It’s been given a perfectly fair shot here, and it’s a fail.

It is not a partisan position at all, really, or at least it shouldn’t be one; nor is it a model of responsible government. It is simply an ancient hatred against those who create things, nurtured by those who do not and cannot. When you can’t create anything, all there is for you to do, is destroy. Destroy and lie. Get embarrased about your lying, get beaten up about it…and learn nothing from it, just keep right on doing it.

Four years ago, Obama was on His way to being elected President because His campaign successfully pulled off the appearance that His side had all the positive energy and the other side had all the negative energy. “Hope won, fear lost”; remember that? Looks like the shoe’s on the other foot now. But this is a public perception that is going to be very tough to turn around. Hard to correct it, if it’s already true. We’re seeing an election between those who channel creative energies and those who operate off of destructive ones.

A lot can happen, but I’m very pleased with what’s going on so far. Looking like 1980 all over again.

Now after we get this fixed, let’s stop the stupid-go-round and shut down the experiment. That would necessarily mean, educating our youth properly. People who act on destructive impulses, and that includes communists, don’t build things…not after you discount the machinery and the institutions that exist to destroy other things. They don’t eradicate hunger or poverty, they don’t end war, they don’t cure diseases. They’re very charismatic and so forth, they’re good at herding around large crowds of idiots, but that isn’t what it takes to build a well-functioning society.

So stop it already. That’s the message we have to get across. If we could just make our young people as afraid of electing communists as they are of catching AIDS, we could prevent a whole lot of misery.

“Stop, No…There’s No Comparison”

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Hmmm…this is not sounding like any of the classroom conversations we had back in my day.

“As a teacher, I’m not supposed to allow you to disrespect the President.”

This is just one example of a troubling trend: We’ve got a lot of these people running around, offering this argument that someone won an election in 2008 and this somehow means we aren’t allowed to say certain things or think certain things.

They don’t seem to have thought this out very well at all, and their definition of “disrespect” seems to be expanding to include anything not flattering. You know…somehow, I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

I’m also rather put off by how these classroom conversations are going nowadays. Teacher wants to make a big show out of things she cannot and will not allow to be said in her classroom — I’m hearing a lot of other things over which such an issue could be made in this recording, that don’t even seem to be registering as blips on the ol’ radar. I’d have gotten detention and my folks would have heard about it, if I called someone a “son-of-a-bitch.” Looks like those rules have fallen by the wayside.

But you can’t talk your smack about Barry O.

Hate Them Because They’re Beautiful

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of American life.” — Rush Limbaugh, Truth #24 of the 35 Undeniable Truths of Life.

One of the most superficial complaints against Fox News, does find a shred of sympathy with me, if only just a shred: “Real women don’t look like that.” It isn’t true, in the purest technical sense. Women can be occasionally readings-off-the-charts beautiful. But the complaint resonates because it isn’t a complaint only about beauty, and it isn’t only about one or two women. The complaint is that they all look the same and, collectively, this achieves an effect that isn’t natural-looking. Breasts more-or-less the same size, hair all the same color of bleach-blond, glossy glistening lips…it’s an attack of the clones. Just a bit of height variance but not too much.

It makes you wonder who got passed over.

However, even though there’s some merit to this it still ends up being rather silly. The job is to appear on television. Looking good, within this group, should therefore be something like being able to fly when you’re in the Super Friends. Now, there could also be a legitimate charge about sexism, since the men also must meet this requirement of looking good but they all have their identifiable and unique appearances. You aren’t going to mix up Sean Hannity with Bill O’Reilly any time soon…but one can see there is some policy in place, be it soft or hard we do not know, instructing the women to resemble some ideal as closely as possible. Five-foot seven, moist glistening rosy lips, medium-large breasts, nothing at all wrong with a short skirt, turtleneck, and either some sharply spiked heels or dressy knee boots. It does look more incriminating on a whole gaggle of them than on any one of them.

When Jealousy Burns...But again…the baseline requirement is to look good. That has a bearing on the situation, because it means something.

With that in mind, then, now consider my complaint about women who have real power — women who can argue with others about what is to happen to my health care, my taxes, and the products I require, from bullet cartridges to light bulbs. It is a close-cousin complaint of “Real women don’t look like that,” with two important differences: One, rather than being beautiful, they’re all ugly. Opposite direction, but equal distance. Even greater distance, really. I can go out on a weekend, shopping, meeting random people — I’m very, very sure I will catch a glimpse of some women who look like Megyn Kelly before I meet even one that looks like Donna Shalala, Janet Reno, Sonia Sotomayor, Geraldine Ferarro, Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Madeleine Albright.

Second difference: These ugly broads have real power. Gretchen Carlson can’t make me do a damn thing, other than occasionally wish some centerpiece on the coffee table would be moved slightly out of the way. Can’t stop me from doing anything. Can’t make anything I buy any harder to get, or more expensive…she can’t even start to do any of these things.

The similarity between the two complaints? Both have what credibility they have, because of aggregates. It would be just as laughable to point at Elena Kagan and say, “something is wrong with appointing a woman to the bench who looks like that,” as it would be to single out Laurie Dhue and say “news shouldn’t be delivered by someone who looks like that.” The complaints are about long-standing hiring practices. Trends. Probability theory. The lack of exceptions when & where one would & should be able to expect to find some, or one.

My complaint makes more sense than their complaint. Beauty is a good thing. And, let us state it for the third time since it’s important: In the case of ravishing Fox News anchors, it directly pertains to the job. And really, my complaint has much, much more going for it than mere personal appearance — it calls out a larger issue. It isn’t even confined to women. Ever since the baby-boom generation has reached an age which might “fit” the occupations in our business world and our government invested with real power, like say, back in ’92 when Bill Clinton was elected President, our society seems to have become consumed with a passion for pretending mediocre people are excellent in ways that cannot & should not actually be defined. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Joe Biden being an “experienced elder statesman,” although there are several others. That, I suppose, is the real passion behind my complaint. I’m sick to the point of nausea, of this soft cultural expectation that I should be ooh-ing and aah-ing over the wisdom and perspicacity of these lifelong public-trough-gobbling paper-pushing bureaucrats, boasting of entirely lackluster accomplishments, or none at all. Public sector zombies who don’t actually have any good ideas.

This crushing avalanche of butter-faced women being appointed to powerful positions, is simply a vessel through which this sickening product is delivered.

But my quibble is really with the selection process. Discussing the issue over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging, I was challenged repeatedly over this yesterday morning…accused of wanting to lock up the ugly women and keep them out of the way. Interesting, isn’t it? People who object to the pulchritudinous females on Fox News, never seem to be accused of wanting to lock up pretty people and keep them out of the way — even though, in that case, it really is true. But anyway, my opposition and I both came to the agreement that Maggie Thatcher would not have been too likely to win any beauty contests, nor would Jeanne Kirkpatrick. But they do not find disfavor with me by any means, because they’re not part of the complaint. Again, the selection process; in both cases, its purpose was to find someone with specific qualifications. Read that as, rock-hard balls. In both examples, the best man for the job turned out to be a humdrum-looking female. And in both cases the funny-looking female served with distinction. “What’s excellent about Margaret Thatcher?” is a question that can be easily answered. “What’s unique about Jeanne Kirkpatrick?” is also a question that can be answered.

Contrasted with that: Point to one single wise decision made by wise-Latina Sotomayor, or Obamacare Solicitor General Kagan. Just one.

What started it was a fundraising letter sent out by Sarah Jessica Parker, who is hosting an Obama bash at her home. Just like, ah…dimpleface George Clooney. You see the soft sexism at work in this subtle cultural push coming from the left: The men, should they be so genetically blessed, get to be cutie-pies. That’s perfectly alright. Women are required to be bow-wows. And, throughout the years and decades of seeing the Janet Renos and the Donna Shalalas, you and I are required not to say a single word about it. We’re trying to lock up the ugly people and keep ‘em out of the way, you know.

Well, maybe good manners would call for keeping my silence about it, but there’s a problem with that: Bad things have been happening from that. I suppose I should repeat the tired, obligatory litany yet again…no, I’m not saying ugly people make dumb decisions or that good looking people make wise ones. It’s the selection process. William F. Buckley famously delivered a line, the exact wording of which it seems no one can definitively pin down, about his preference for being governed by the first thousand names out of the phone book instead of by the Harvard faculty. Well, I’d rather have the decisions that apply to me, decided by a Magic-8 ball than by this menagerie of ugly people appointed by these progressives who seem to think, although they won’t say out loud, that real power should be reserved for women who would be sexually rejected by any straight man with standards. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s obvious they’re trying to send a message about women, beauty and power. In fact, they’re spending a lot of energy on it. Wouldn’t good manners counsel us to try to figure out what that message is, just as much as to keep our silence about it? These are people who make decisions that actually matter. Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out what it is they want to do with our women? It’s clear that “leave them alone” is not the right answer.

Eva Longoria is drop-dead gorgeous. She’s also a silly slobbering Obama-fan airhead. How come, I wanted to know, she isn’t hosting an Obama bash in her home, and sending out a fund-raising letter? Sarah Jessica man-hands Parker? Not wanting to be unkind, but…come on…has she even done anything lately?

After awhile, if the scales haven’t already fallen from your eyes, you gotta let ‘em fall. There certainly is a no-pretty-people thing taking place here. It’s being more-or-less ‘fessed up with all the bitching about Fox News.

Power & PulchritudeI’ve written before about how this works, how there is this reverse-sloping effect; Hollywood whores can find favor with the modern left-wing chattering class, so long as they mind their place. If you go along with the idea that Sarah Jessica Parker was selected in some way and Eva Longoria might have been blocked, and this wasn’t all about volunteering, then there must be a hierarchy within even that. Good on you for having the proper lefty opinions, Hollywood whore, now go make your YouTube videos and stay out of the way of our official functions…it’s always the ugly girl’s turn in the limelight because that’s just how we roll.

And then, as you move out of show business and up the power ladder, the requirement is more and more strict. Just grabbing that coffee mug and circling around the table on The View — you don’t have to talk to the progressives too long at all, to find out Elisabeth Hasselbeck is causing offense where her three co-hosts are not, and it isn’t just a problem with opinions, it’s an issue that has something to do with loveliness. Darn that Hasselbeck girl; sane straight men would actually want to sleep with her. How dare she.

And by the time you get to Congress, or the President’s Cabinet, all bets are off. Bow wow.

George W. Bush was going to make an exception to this. Remember that? He looked for a Labor Secretary capable of making good decisions, one who had some balls. He found gorgeous Linda Chavez. The nomination withered and died on the vine, because of something about giving money to an illegal immigrant. You really think it was about that? Really? Timmy Geither is Secretary of the Treasury and he had an embarrassing tax problem resulting from — well, just plain deciding he didn’t want to pay, when you get down to it. No problem there at all. He serves today with the same “distinction” we’ve come to expect from these humdrum mediocre liberals who’ve never actually made any good decisions about anything. So bollucks on the illegal-alien story. Chavez was blocked because she’s beautiful. President Bush somehow, thank goodness, got around this with Condoleeza Rice. How that happened, I don’t know.

We may as well just admit what this is really all about: “Having it all” is dead, done, gone, buried…it may never have been a reality in the first place. Back when I was just beginning to be aware of what was happening, feminism was called “Womens’ Lib,” short for “liberation,” and a key focus of it was that women should be able to make choices, but not sacrifices. The stated goal was to reform society in such a way that if a woman had a family life, and wanted to advance in her career, she should not have to give up the former for the latter, or vice-versa. Nowadays, something’s flipped. Rather drastically. Like a semi-conscious Rip van Winkle, I’m awakening in a new age and I see women are supposed to make such exchanges, almost like a ritual exchange in a marketplace. They should be ready to give up power for beauty, and beauty for power, they should never aspire to acquire, or retain, both; and, most strange of all, the enforcers of this protocol are our women.

Women do not appreciate the idea of other women being both powerful and beautiful.

Famous legal blogger Ann Althouse (who seems to be quite fetching, herself, when she’s facing the camera) highlights a longstanding theme in the so-called “comedy” of loathed unfunny-man Bill Maher: “Our whole society is based on making women nod.” Like many others, I’m repulsed by the very thought of it, but I have to admit he’s right.

We do dumb things to gain female approval, over and over again. It is what makes our society go. And that is to our detriment.

In fact, I pause here to notice something: Women in our society, on average, are not bad at making decisions. I see women making good decisions pretty much every day…or every week, anyhow. We don’t have a lot of women where I work, but I do get to live with one. She’s pretty good at picking things, deciding things. Better than some men, maybe even, on occasion, me. Okay, not that often, but still. Women can make good decisions. So there is something curious afoot when these bonehead decisions are made by others, who are not women, to serve the purpose (and none other) of gaining this female approval. We’re back to Bill Buckley’s phone book again — the institutionalized selection method is compared to a purely-random selection method, and found to be inferior. A pair of dice will come to the right decision more often than one of these pussy beta males trying to Make Women Nod.

Two Supreme Court vacancies have opened up since Barack Obama became President. Both times, the vacancy was filled with an ugly white woman — one not known for making decisions any better than that rolled dice, but whom we’re supposed to perceive, against the evidence, is somehow sagely and wise. Two out of two is outside the probability norm. Simple inductive reasoning suggests, rather forcefully, an affirmative action program for ugly people is in place.

In fact, we’re long past the point at which a reasonable and honest observer can avoid noticing such a thing by one way, and one way only: By consciously deciding not to notice.

So, no. I don’t want the ugly people to be caged up and kept out of the way. Being beautiful has nothing to do with the job…but, because of that very thing, I don’t want the pretty people to be caged up and kept out of the way either. It’s not an either-or situation, that’s my point. Does our ultra-sophisticated, ultra-evolved, ultra-sensible society have the “nuance” to think in these terms? To understand that cosmetic attributes may be entirely unrelated to the desired selection method? Some barnyard animals can do that; can we? These positions of real power don’t have to be reserved for the gorgeous people or for the homelies.

It is possible to simply — ignore the issue of personal appearance altogether, and just pick the right person for the job. Yeah, crazy idea, I know. When you dare to dream, dream big.

How People Become Mere Objects

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Nightfly gives it a good think:

[T]here are so many more approaches to right and wrong. You can be on the right track but not quite there, or wrong on principle, or hopelessly muddled, or etc. etc. You can reach the right conclusion stupidly. You can outsmart yourself and be completely wrong despite years of training and experience. And everyone else around you can be in similar states of approach or withdrawl, their voices can carry more or less weight in the discussion…None of those things is possible in “us vs. them.” There are only three categories, and the only one of them that’s RIGHT is US. If you’re not an us, you are either a them, or raw material. A THEM is always wrong because it’s not US, and the undecideds have to be gathered up into RIGHT/US, quickly, before they are “misled” by THEM.
:
It’s putting “us vs. them” and “right vs. wrong” in front of “good vs. evil” that tends to lead to outrageous abuses and tyrannies in the name of “progress.” That’s the process in use when freedoms are set aside in favor of “it’s for your own good.” It’s how people who forward a critique based on behavior or policy are told that they really only oppose or question things due to personal animosity, or mental impairment, or moral defect. Ultimately, it’s how people themselves become objects. By making all things personal, persons themselves are squeezed out, lose their personality. Mere things are the thing, and no thing is innocent or inoffensive, and no thought or behavior is private.

Opening Beer with a Chainsaw

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Eye protection, guy…should use eye protection.

“A Fact Checking Error By Me”

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Problem.

Solution.

I don’t think my eyeballs can roll as much as is called for…but…current theory: Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawaii. But, being a lifelong left-wing hacktivist just like Professor Elizabeth Warren, He’s had a habit of doing the Elizabeth Warren thing which is to boast of diversity credentials He doesn’t really have.

And, if certain college transcripts and other papers were to be made available to the public, we’d see a whole lot of other professors, editors and clerks ‘fessing up to “fact checking error[s] by me.”

We have the “home country” thing…

We have “Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate” — and now we have this.

Somewhere around the 2005 to 2007 timeframe, Obama, just like Prof. Warren, stopped checking the box. And that’s where my thinking is: This is a box that should never have been checked. She’s a white girl without a drop of Cherokee blood in her, and He was born in Honolulu.

But they both did check the boxes. In Obama’s case, there’s just a lot more effort involved in hiding the evidence of what He was saying about Himself…no, I don’t think He was born in Kenya. But I’m not going to presume people are crazy for thinking He was, when it looks like He Himself was insisting on exactly that just a few years ago. It isn’t just one thing. It’s now up to three things. And, it looks like it would be up to a whole lot more than that, were Obama’s life not so thoroughly shrouded in secrecy.

And frankly, people who are trying to perpetuate that stigma, whether they’re being compensated for doing so for not, should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Who the heck are you to call them these dirty names? Were you there, in Honolulu, back in ’61?

Much of this is damage being done to Obama by Obama Himself. He’s got this habit going — and it’s bigger than a personal habit, it’s like a whole culture that surrounds all of the people, who in turn surround Him: “We’re too good to ever directly answer any questions” I guess you’d call it. Why did it take so long to produce the birth certificate? I’ve heard the various litanies about how nutty it is to be asking for it and He shouldn’t have to show us anything…but the problem is, we get that with every little thing we ask. About anything. Still no bin Laden death photo. And, other than the stonewalling, that’s a completely unrelated subject. But the stonewalling is still there. It’s present with every little thing He does, any question He doesn’t want to answer, you get back some snotty monologue about all the things that are wrong with whoever asked. Just answering the incredibly simple question, or presenting the paperwork that was requested, is ruled out from the get-go.

Dude — that’s weird.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wanna know what happens when Barack Obama is driving a car, and gets pulled over by a cop. License, registration, insurance. What happens next? I have no idea how that goes down. I’d love to find out.

This is essentially a philosophical issue. We’re dealing with the relativism of our left-wingers, with the pliable notion of “truth” that is the spongy building block of their special stretchy universe, on steroids. Their brand of truth is whatever it takes to move the agenda…what’s the word…forward, and since that changes from one year to the next, truth, also, changes from one year to the next.

So Barack Obama can start being born in Kenya, and then stop again. Just like Elizabeth Warren can start being part Cherokee. And then stop again.

Hillary Clinton has been specializing in this sort of thing for awhile now. Her accent changes to suit the occasion…

…and, now and then, she’s named after the famous mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary. Except when she’s not. She’s been shot at by snipers, except for when she’s not been.

It’s important to understand that this isn’t actually “lying.” When an agenda is present and it is held to a higher level of importance than facts, the facts essentially cease to exist. The agenda becomes the new truth. Try this simple experiment: Find a fact that is objectively measurable and therefore undeniable, one that is unfriendly to the progressive agenda. It’s not hard. There are plenty, if you just look. Odds are, if you’re not a proggie, you have more than a few that are among your favorites. The fact doesn’t have to completely shatter their precious agenda, it just has to make some difficulty for it. A failed global-warming prediction will do nicely. Now find a progressive, and try to get him to acknowledge the undeniable, measurable fact. Try it on a weekend so you can make a day-long project out of it, like building a fence or a birdfeeder, if you have the time. Give it a good honest effort.

Seems like it should be do-able. It’s not. Facts don’t mean the same thing to liberals, as they do to normal people.

See how it works? If Professor Warren feels like she’s part-Indian, she must be. If Obama feels like running for President, then He must have been born in Hawaii. Otherwise, if He’s struggling with His ethnic identity crisis that’s been so thoroughly documented by His ghostwriter…maybe, for today, He was born in Kenya. Feel, feel, feel. That’s the lodestar.

Update: One more video…because Boortz is having some fun:

Burt’s Policies

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Every now and then a so-called “moderate,” or alternatively, a hardcore progressive who’s willing to drop the charade and admit to being a proggie, will pose the following (forceful) question: All fine and good that you, you unsophisticated slope-foreheaded right-winger, don’t like what’s being done, but what would you do instead? I’m pretty sure a review of all the times this has been asked, would reveal that it isn’t being asked honestly; or, if it is, the question would show the proggie hasn’t been paying attention. Because their ideas are so bad, that pointing out how bad they are should be enough. You don’t fight a house fire with gasoline, and if you do, and someone walks up to you and says “stop pouring gasoline on that house fire,” you don’t say “well I get how it’s a bad thing I’m doing over here, but what would you suggest as an alternative?” That would be silly. That’s what this question is. Silly.

I suspect this is a coordinated effort. Somewhere in some boiler room, the advice is given…or maybe it’s printed on a newsletter…”demand that they tell you what they’d do instead.” I’ve noticed the people asking these questions don’t pay much attention to the answers, and this says something since they plow more than the average level of effort and adrenaline into asking the questions. They say “I’m wondering what” when they show by their actions they aren’t really wondering much of anything at all.

Burt Prelutsky has been through the same experience and, for what it’s worth, he has answers.

A while back, one of my readers, whom we’ll call Cosmo, sent me an angry challenge. He wrote: “I watch Fox, I listen to Rush and I read you. I do this because I’m trying to understand conservatives. I see them and you bashing liberal policies, but I don’t see any of you coming up with alternative policies.”

To be totally honest, I never really thought it was my mission to come up with alternative policies. I figured it was enough that I pointed out how awful the policies of this current administration are…Still, I am not one to shirk a challenge. So I sent Cosmo the following message: “I can’t speak for Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, but this would be my platform if I were the Republican candidate running against Obama. First off, I would cut spending drastically. That would mean that we all face up to the fact that Social Security and Medicare cannot continue as they are. If that requires raising retirement age or even reducing payments across the board by, say, 5%, so be it. Either we act like mature adults or we slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs.
:
“We quit behaving like America is a third world country where people would starve on the streets if 50 million of them weren’t provided with food stamps and if school kids weren’t given tax-subsidized breakfasts, lunches and dinners. If parents couldn’t provide their kids with three meals a day, they would be charged with child abuse, and the kids would be placed in foster homes or up for adoption.

“Single mothers would have to come up with the name of the sperm donor, who, in turn, would be made responsible for child support. Welfare for unwed mothers would be but a vague and unpleasant memory.

“Abortions would be outlawed. If in 2012, with all the birth control pills and devices available, people are still getting pregnant, it should be a criminal offense. Such people would be better off in jail anyway because they are simply too dumb to be allowed to walk around.
:
We do away with the current system of “higher education.” High school graduates would go to the trade school of their choice, be it for plumbing, car repair, architecture, accounting, law, dentistry, carpentry or nursing. No more of these four year vacationlands that force parents to mortgage their homes and youngsters to mortgage their futures just so bureaucrats will have well-landscaped principalities. Moreover, professors who work 10 hours a week will no longer pull down six-figure salaries, and various football and basketball coaches will no longer pull down seven-figure salaries.

“So now, Cosmo, you not only know my policies, but, aside from my reluctance to move to Washington, D.C., because of the weather and having to spend most of my waking hours with politicians, you know why I have never run for president. In order for my master plan to become a reality, I’d have to be a dictator, and not merely the commander-in-chief. Regards, Burt”

I’m afraid I can’t back the one about people getting pregnant being “simply too dumb to be allowed to walk around.” I would have to assume that applies to the guys who are making the pregnancies happen…der…hey. But we certainly do have an Idiocracy problem with the dummies being the ones who breed the most. With some of these households sweating nickels trying to make ends meet, and others making a constant lifestyle out of being pregnant or making someone pregnant, the gene pool is getting thick, smelly and slimy. We’re already at the point where there’s a distinct inversely-proportional relationship between a household’s productivity and the size of its living room television set. And that’s a problem. Maybe this makes me a hardass, but the dependency class shouldn’t be watching bigger televisions than those watched by the ones who pay for their benefits.

Thing I Know #87. In the past few years I notice the people with the largest television sets are the ones we are supposed to call “poor”.

But all of this is really just talking around the real issue, which is: Are the unproductive to be rewarded with encouragement to continue their ways, and the productive to be shown that what they’re doing is not working — or should we be trying for the reverse of this? And you’ll notice something a little spooky: Very few among us break the many complex issues down to that base essential. But the people who answer a certain way, so reliably, with our domestic policies, answer in exactly the same way with our foreign-relations policies. By which I mean, if they want hard productive work to be punished, and dysfunctional, or even criminal, lifestyles to be rewarded here at home; then, as sure as the thunder following the lightning, they will want our allies to be punished and our enemies to be rewarded in our foreign policy.

This is a very clean break. There isn’t much variance to it, if any at all, on either side. And so this all looks to me like it’s off-topic from the real disagreement or disagreements…nevertheless, it’s useful to see the platform all fleshed out here. It’s useful to see how far our current policies have migrated, from something that might actually have worked.

My answer to “Cosmo” would have been much shorter: First, answer me a question if you could be so kind, what exactly is it we’re trying to do? What’s the goal? You answer that, first, then I’ll tell you what the policies should be. I can’t prove it, but I have a notion that the whole exchange would break down right there. One of the more functional definitions of being a lefty, in this day & age, is that you can’t really say what it is you’re trying to do. You have to keep hiding it.

DJEver Notice? LXXVI

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Just making a note about this:

The president is using his “handy little to-do list” to portray Republicans in Congress as standing in the way of his economic agenda. “Just saying no to ideas that we know will help our economy isn’t an option. There’s too much at stake,” he said. “So even if Republicans are still saying no to some of the bigger proposals… there are some additional ideas that could help people get to work right now and that they haven’t said no to yet. So I’m hoping they say yes.”

Flanked by screens broadcasting an image of his checklist on a Post-it note, the president seemed to mock gridlocked lawmakers. “Every member of Congress should have time to read it and they can glance at it every so often. And hopefully we’ll just be checking off the list, just like when Michelle gives me a list, I check it off,” he said to laughter from the audience. [emphasis mine]

Two theories: One, this whole “Michelle tells Me to jump, and I say ‘how high?’” thing is a response to a sense within the White House, that the whole “sort of God” thing is hurting more than it’s helping, and the henpecked-hubby act is a graceful — and safe — way of winding it down.

Two, if my fuzzy distant memory would be backed up by the record, somewhere in the archives is a challenge against Theory One: I think the “Michelle tells Me what to do, and I do it” thing might have reverberated during the 2008 election campaign; it’s been with us from the very beginning. Which means, Theory Two says that Barack Obama has always put on a show of being ordered around by Michelle. This is part of the “change” that His constituency has always been demanding.

The theories are not necessarily mutually-exclusive, except in the generalized, compete-with-each-other sense of theories about causes of singular effects. Whichever one does apply — I like Theory One much better, but I think Theory Two is more likely — there is something going on out there, and it worries me.

I’ve been noticing for awhile that, every now and then, work & home & other pursuits will throw some time management challenges at me, uncoordinated with each other but all arriving, inconveniently, at the same time. And then I just have to suck it up and make sure the essentials are delivered. This happens to other people as well, and they say something about it…the thing is, and it’s taken me a long time to notice this…the way these other people manage this situation, is very different from the way I manage such a situation.

For one thing, I find I can read about this challenge of theirs, “so many things to do, so little time” — on Facebook. I can see something about “Hubby’s gone for six hours, I don’t have to work, I’m gonna go through this place wish me luck” followed by a six-hour blackout. Or, updating Facebook while something is compiling in the background. But that’s not what’s going on here at all. The uncertainty about being able to get everything done on time, from what I see, must be exaggerated; or else, the importance of getting it done, is over-stated.

But another thing I see happening is the Michelle Obama list-making point-and-click thing. If I’m going through a stretch where lots of things are being demanded out of me and I’m truly unsure about whether I’ll be able to get it all done, certainly I’ll appreciate it if I can delegate some of this. But only if the person to whom I’m delegating it, can do it, reliably enough that I’m not off doing something else worrying my fool head off about it. In which case, I’d say something positive. I wouldn’t talk them down, reduce their dignity by saying things to imply that’s their station in life, to get their lists from me and check them off. I’d be respectful and thankful. I’d act like I owed something to them. Because I would.

But that’s for the vitals. My observation here is, when I’m stressed out about having to do lots of things within timeframes I’m not entirely sure can be managed, it does nothing to reduce my stress to have something fetched for me at McDonalds or Starbucks or what-not. A fancy lunch at a nice restaurant wouldn’t do it for me, either. Maybe after we’re done-done.

My observation boils down to this: We seem to have a lot of our fellow citizens running around, on the loose, placing a very high premium on this ritual of saying what needs to be done and then having someone else do it. And not for sake of getting things done that need to get done, but just as a pleasant diversion, sort of a stress-reliever. Like cat-fishing with a ball of yarn. You can see this when you see the tasks being “delegated” are entirely non-essential tasks, and the person delegating doesn’t take any of the time saved from so delegating to plow into something else; she hovers over the non-essential task, instead, spending just as much time critiquing and supervising as she would just doing it herself.

And from President Obama’s behavior, particularly with this recurring meme of His in which, maybe He’s sort-of-God but Michelle’s back there pulling God’s strings — I’m gathering there is a constituency out there of people who’d like to be able to order other people around and tell them what to do, but they don’t know anybody who’s agreeable to it or can be relied-on to do the more important things…so they vote for someone who will get those results.

And they’re lining up to vote for Michelle Obama.

There’s a history of this in the democrat party. The democrat male politicians who are married, happily or otherwise, seem to delight in reminding their audiences that they’re married; and, their idea of being “married” seems to rely overly much on the ritual of the wife telling the husband what to do, and then the husband going off and doing it. Bill Clinton used to do this a lot. Actually, he still does it. And it’s been deemed impolite to inquire as to whether or not he’s even still married.

Remember when Obama resigned as President and put Bill Clinton back in charge? They exchanged a few words about how awful it would be to keep Michelle waiting. Yeah, yeah…a humorous quip, it’s a joke, it doesn’t count.

Except it does count when you keep seeing it over and over again, even after one presidential administration has gone away and another one has been started in its place. It means something.

I keep hearing about “is America ready for a female president.” If the country is not ready for such a thing, the reason might not have to do so much with a reluctance against female authority; it might have to do with too many among us having accepted the female authority, but in an unorthodox, subtle, surreal way. The vision seems to be, there’s this empty figurehead behind a desk who’s a guy, and then his wife is making the real decisions. For the woman to be the one behind the desk actually signing the papers that matter, says the mindset, would for some reason be uncouth. Women aren’t supposed to sign things; they’re supposed to point and say “I want that.”

Now, I can’t go out and find someone who will ‘fess up to actually believing in that. I certainly don’t believe that. But — this is just like that situation with the tabloids with the gaudy stories about Brad and Angelina splitting up, and Dick Clark’s brave last days, et al…everybody says it must be someone else buying them, because they only look at the covers while they’re waiting in line at the checkstand. If everyone is telling the truth about it, nobody is buying the magazines, but somebody must be buying the magazines because they’re still making them. Well. They’re putting out a lot of effort and energy to appeal to the “wives say what they want and then they get it” vote…the softly sexist mindset that says it’s a woman’s place to point at things and make lists, and a man’s place is to go get things and bring them. Women are in charge, all the time; but their fingernail polish is always wet, so be a dear, and go pick these things up. I’ve made you a little list, sweetie.

I don’t mind seeing it as long as the Commander in Chief of the military has nothing to do with it. Mister “I Won”‘s habit of campaigning on it is having a slow, cumulative effect on me. I’m at the point now where I’m more nauseated by it every time He uses it. Frankly, I liked Him better when He relied more on this pretend-deity thing. I wouldn’t have thought it possible for another act to wear out its welcome even more quickly than that, but the Obama The Henpecked Hubby routine managed to get it done.