Archive for June, 2012

A Rich Guy Criticizing a Rich Guy for Being a Rich Guy

Monday, June 18th, 2012

From The Daily Caller:

The 49-year-old [Jon] Stewart, born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, makes more than 300 times the median American salary, owns three luxury homes and sometimes doesn’t pay his taxes.

In January Stewart exploded on-air over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s income level. “That’s almost — that’s almost $57,000 a day!” he gushed.

But Stewart’s own income level brings him and his wife Tracey approximately $41,000 a day. The celebrity income-handicapping website Celebrity Net Worth lists his annual salary as $15 million and estimates his net worth at $80 million.
When Arizona Sen. John McCain ran for president in 2008, he was criticized for not knowing how many houses he owned. (The answer: seven.) Stewart is well on his way to McCain country, with three opulent mansions whose combined value is $12.8 million.

He doesn’t technically own those homes: Using a trick mastered by countless one-percenters, the properties were purchased by private trusts. Stewart’s trusts are named after his pets.


Father’s Day 2012

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

“It’s a Dad Life.”

Thanks to GS (Girlfriend’s Sister).

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

The Argument-Winner-In-Chief

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Okay…let’s do the run-down with links, maybe we can save some space…

Our first National Pharoah is “heckled”…as He announces that He’s going to change the rules by Executive Order in a way He couldn’t, by doing it the right way, which would be going through Congress.

Tucker Carlson defends the heckler, pointing out — hey, actually, that’s a reporter, Neil Munro, doing what reporters are supposed to be doing, getting answers to the questions.

Money quote:

I don’t remember Diane Sawyer scolding her colleague Sam Donaldson for heckling President Reagan. And she shouldn’t have. A reporter’s job is to ask questions and get answers…

Mr. Donaldson is still among us, and he has something to say about the comparison:

Never once did I interrupt a president in any way while he was making a formal statement, a speech, honoring awardees or in any other way holding the floor.

Oh, okay. Bad comparison then. Point made, Mr. Donaldson.

But then he continued…

Yes, almost always when he was finished in the Rose Garden or in the Briefing Room or at a photo opportunity with other world leaders I tried to question him (only rarely was it a shout on the rope line, more often a more normal tone of voice) and other reporters of course did the same thing along with me.

Oh, okay…so you shouted at him in what you thought was a normal tone of voice…the tone of voice is what invalidates the comparison? Or it was that Reagan was nice enough to allocate some time for you to do this, something He Who Argues With The Dictionaries pointedly refused to do on Friday. That’s what makes it a bad comparison? Now I’m a bit confused. Maybe you should’ve stopped at the “formal statement” thing.

Then he continued some more…

What this man did yesterday is something new, to me wrong and unusual. I think it is probably the result of the growing incivility of the times, the competition among reporters and news organizations to be noticed not only for the work product but for the theatrics of the gathering…

*sigh* I do have to say I grow weary of these “Old Jedi” news people lamenting the passage of “a more civilized age” with more elegant weapons and so forth…you know what, it all comes down to this Sam. If I want to educate some youngsters on proper decorum around dignitaries and how to behave in public, in spite of your noble efforts, footage of 1980’s encounters between the Press Corps and President Reagan, don’t rank real high on the list. I’m sure every pit bull gnawing on a bloody rag thinks he’s doing it more daintily than all the other pit bulls, but a lot changes with perspective, y’know?

Then we get to the heart of the matter: Because Mister Civility spoke some more!

…and there is one more factor, let’s face it: Many on the political right believe this president ought not to be there – they oppose him not for his polices [sic] and political view but for who he is, an African American!

Would it be racist of me to say “Whoomp! There it is!”?

Alright, my first reaction is a raspy sigh, and so is my second & third. But I’m all raspy-sighed out by now, so let’s do Sam the favor of taking his complaint seriously and see how well it holds up under the pressure.

Donaldson delivers nothing to provide any foundation of support for this. None at all. The continuation of his remarks is

These people and perhaps even certain news organizations (certainly the right wing talkers like Limbaugh) encourage disrespect for this president. That is both regrettable and adds, in this case, to the general dislike of the press on the part of the general public.

…right. They disagree with the President and do the best they can to proliferate their sentiments and influence others…up to and beyond the point where they inflame the irritation of those whose sympathies the President has found. That’s called dissent. It’s supposed to be allowable. As Carlson pointed out in the first place, you should understand this before all others Mr. Donaldson.

But where do we get to the part where this has something to do with the President’s skin color? I remember the litany that America “might not be ready for a black President”…when that was proven not to be the case, myself and others were called upon to join in on the celebrations whether we approved of Obama’s vision & policies or not, because “He’s still your President” and besides, “Republican or democrat, it’s still a great day that the ceiling has been broken” or some such. I never quite followed this, because to me it looked like an iron-clad rebuttal of an ugly “truth” in which I never believed in the first place. America wasn’t ready? America had only see one black candidate from a major political party for that office, ever, and that was Jesse Jackson…seriously, a crackpot like Jesse Jackson didn’t come out on top back in ’84, so that means America wasn’t ready? I never followed the logic. No, sorry, I don’t think anything changed in November of 2008. Nothing got fixed that was actually broken. Certainly, no racial division was healed.

Thanks to airhead twits like Donaldson and their inflammatory rhetoric, that’s becoming more and more clear by the day. We who didn’t like Obama, at least had some hopes for that much; some complaining, classifying, human-layering would stop. Our expectations were bargain-basement low, and we’ve been disappointed nevertheless.

Professor William Jacobson, under cover of a marinade of sarcasm, presents a tasty question — he is far more thought-provoking than the dinosaur Donaldson:

I agree that the President should be allowed to finish reading statements without being interrupted, even when thumbing us in the eye. After all, it’s not like he works for us.

We must respect the Office of the Thumber in the Eye in Chief.

What I don’t understand is why reporters show up at statement readings where they can’t ask questions.

Exactly why were the reporters there?

Here we come to the real problem, and regrettably, it is bigger than Barack Obama, who is merely a symbol of it. Since our balanced, objective, unbiased free press has begun to become chummy with the progressive side, generations ago, there has been an steepening uphill incline of a situation which is now reaching some kind of a crest. The Jacobson question highlights this apex, I think. The reporters gather around the President — to offer support. To create an appearance that the policies the President is handing down (unilaterally, in this case) have been met with some purifying scrutiny of some kind. Even when, in fact, that isn’t happening in the slightest.

This whole thing about President Obama’s skin color? That’s the issue, true, but it is only a minor variant of it. Obama’s darker skin is nothing more than a gimmick. It is a pre-meditated, pre-calculated way of dealing with the dissenters — “Ah HA! You don’t agree with Him because He’s black!” Foundation for this observation you’ve made? Justification? Support? Research? Facts? Logic? Who needs those. It is that way because we say it is that way. It’s the cow-catcher device on the front of the locomotive, now…the big heavy metal thing that shoves obstructions aside.

Hillary Clinton is not black; but, she would be part of the problem too…dissenters of President Hillary Clinton would be told “You don’t like what she did just because she’s a WOMAN!”

President Kerry is too nuanced for your simplistic thinking. President Gore is just too smart for you. You’re jealous of President John Edwards because he’s better looking and bags more women.

See, we’re supposed to be living in a place that does not make gods out of its leaders, a place that respects this dissent. Why, just yesterday, it seems that Texas dimbulb was in there and I was being instructed to believe that dissent was equal to patriotism, in fact, was the highest form of it. Donaldson says “let’s face it” people don’t like President Obama because He’s black…well…I’ve got another “let’s face it” for him. It’s rather embarrassingly obvious: Dissent is being “strobed,” methodically, now-it’s-good, now-it’s-bad, to make sure progressive ideas are always more fashionable. They have to be in style, you see. They can’t win any other way. They dehumanize people, they don’t make sense and they’re just plain bad! So if they’re not more “chic,” then how do we get large numbers of idiots to support them?

President Obama’s skin color? It’s nothing more than a gimmick, a way for the left wing to win more arguments, when the facts are not on their side. This is why He was chosen as their representative four years ago. Everyone who was paying attention, knows this. The democrat party was having a huge knock-down drag-out fight four years ago, trying to figure out if it should be Obama, the black guy, or Hillary the girl. The fight was all about who had the best gimmick. Their positions on the issues were not noticeably different. It was all about who had the best weapon.

…to become our nation’s “Argument Winner In Chief.” Obama won, and hey, maybe we’re finding out that wasn’t a bad outcome at all. For the democrats, anyway.

Meanwhile, the economy is going to continue sucking ass, until such time as we get some politicians in charge who win arguments by having wise and good ideas. Yeah, yeah, that’s just crazy talk, I know…you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

“I’m a Sexy Woman, So Stop Objectifying Me!”

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what it looks like when one advocate of a point-of-view completely thinks circles around another. She’s got the radical feminists figured out, pegged, nailed to the wall, and they wouldn’t even understand the first thing about any of it.

Naughty language warning.

Thanks to Dean Esmay for finding this, in response to our previous comments, upon which we had since expounded…and this is an example of great minds thinking alike…

It seems the social code we’ve been trying to prop up for a few years now, and we show no signs of slowing down at all, is one of: Shopping around for good genes in a mate, looking for a carrier of decent genetic stock to pass on to the children, is a privilege to be reserved exclusively for the women. They’re inclined to window-shop, you know; men don’t have the same instinct, or if they do, they darn well shouldn’t.

It is the visual assessment of quality of genetic stock for the purpose of potential mating. Gals can do it and guys cannot.

The feminist movement we know and understand, seeks to redefine our cultural codes to uphold what they think of as “justice,” which they then interpret according to feeling instead of according to thought. It becomes a loser’s mentality when they encounter someone who reached a different conclusion by thinking instead of by feeling, and still want to win all the time; that is when they become tyrants, and agents of injustice. This is the point where “Owning Your Shit”‘s lecture starts in, because their feelings are subservient to their natural instincts, and their natural instincts weigh the situation according to the likely ramifications to a marriageable female living thousands of years ago, should her supple form & figure find visual appreciation in a mediocre, sub-par, un-vetted, undesirable male.

That is when some women, not all of them self-identifying as feminists, start to become very silly. When they start to try to re-program the male libido, and other desires, by social bludgeoning. We should find Michelle Obama pretty and we should be attracted to Hillary Clinton’s obvious smartness. We should find the Hooters waitress absolutely revolting. Our favorite actress should be a toss-up between Jane Seymour and Meryl Streep. Sadly, this late in the game, there really aren’t too many women around who are willing to say “He likes what he likes, he watches what he watches, and that’s the way it is.” You know…the way men are expected to react to the things women value and desire. It is what it is? Like the tides? No…no way can we allow that to happen, men are here to be re-programmed.

Transcript here.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Proxy Embarrassment

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

We Don’t Need More Scientists or Engineers!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Derek Lowe writes in Discover Magazine under an article headline that makes you go “huh, wha??”:

Slate recently published one of those assume-the-conclusions articles up on science and technology education in the U.S. It’s right there in the title: “America Needs More Scientists and Engineers.”

Now, I can generally agree that America (and the world) needs more science and engineering.

Ooh. Yeah, baby…like having an itch under the cast finally scratched.

To sum up: our problems are not caused by a shortage of scientists and engineers, and they will not be fixed by cranking out a lot more mediocre ones. It’s harder than that—isn’t it always?

Thanks to Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.

Downward Dreams

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Posted this on the Hello Kitty of Blogging…which is where I tend to go when I’m interested in “harvesting” some sentiments and opinions out of the not-like-minded, to try and figure out what’s going on. That situation certainly applies to this. But, maybe the blog is a better place for it after all.

So let’s say you have a young son and a young daughter who both like to watch cartoons. If the daughter watches anything besides PowerPuff girls, of course she’ll get an eyefull of this “unrealistic body image” which will give her a raging case of bulimia along with low self-esteem.

Your son, meanwhile, will see Superman strutting around with shoulders & arms the size of small cars, and think nothing of it. Not until he gets older and his own arms thicken out a little bit, his reaction to which will be “Whoah! Hey! Cool!”

First rational question: Why does your daughter not think of unrealistic body images, in the same positive and productive way that your son does?

Second rational question: How come parents who really do have young sons & daughters, don’t ask themselves that first rational question?

Third rational question: How come feminists don’t…oh…wait, I already know the answer to this one. That would involve admitting something male is doing something positive and right. And we know they aren’t capable of that.

I have a son who’s dwelling a bit too long in the “too fussy to eat my veggies and starches” phase, as a result of which his arms are too skinny and his chest is too flat. The very last thing I would do about this, and by that I mean, wouldn’t dream of it in a million years…is what parents of daughters, along with the militant feminists, seem to be doing all the time. “Oh no! That cartoon figure is unrealistic! Remove it from view, it might make the delicate flower feel bad!”

Men and WomenNow, one thing I do pick up right away in terms of flaws with the comparison, is: A good male body bulks up and becomes more capable, and a good female body is thin. So, the boy who wants to look like Superman, isn’t likely to do too much damage to himself…whereas the girl who’s trying to look like Barbie, has to do all kinds of unhealthy things. Okay, so there’s that. But that by itself does not explain the difference. After all, the boy could hurt himself lifting weights. And I’m picking up, even this late in the game, a rather Victorian-England type of feeling that it is unladylike to try certain things. Looks like Disney/Pixar have put out another movie that’s reigniting an old debate about female roles, this on the heels of Hunger Games…so we have females on screen doing things that require some strength and skill, from what I hear of these movies they’re pretty good and enjoyable, and the feminists are being placated. Those are all good things. But a lazy mindset is taking form that girls use pointy weapons and are particularly fond of archery. Today’s smug satisfied feminist is always tomorrow’s screeching and highly offended/indignant one, so trouble looms on the horizon. How come chicks can’t have guns?

All right…I think we all know why that is.

Here is the paradox. Our society is offended, right down to the quick, by any notion anywhere that someone female should not be allowed to do…whatever. We’re offended by anyone trying to stop it from happening, we’re offended by the implication that she might not be able to do it. And the “whatever” can be anything at all. Fill in the blank with the most masculine exercise you would care to entertain. Yeah, that stuff too, the things that have something to do with peeing…it becomes obligatory for all sorts of strangers to engage in these mad daydreams about women somehow managing to get it done. Better than a man, too. But come up with a super-heroine who exists for that very purpose…well, how do people react to Wonder Woman, for example? Oh, horrors, she’s wearing little blue-and-white hot pants and showing her legs. So offensive. Must do something. A thought straight out of London, England, 1884 or so…they forget, Wonder Woman is supposed to be able to throw javelins and shoot arrows and swordfight and shoot a gun if she has to and leap over walls and and and and and… So here she is, antedating the supposedly so-oppressive 1950’s by a good stretch, and now we’ve been through the sexual revolution and we’re just so tolerant and mature, but we can’t handle her. Girls are supposed to be covered up so you can’t see what kind of body type they have. Gee, just like the Taliban, huh? And then for tacticals, they should be limited to just crossbows, arrows and Xena’s spinny choppy thing.

The irony here, though, is: We are being subtly oppressive, in a way we don’t want to be, by insisting on exerting this artificial limitation over young female ambition. We’re very big on saying “she should grow up to do whatever she wants to do”…we don’t even say that about our sons, certainly not with the same gusto. Discourage a boy from doing something, that’s probably for the best, you’re the grown-up after all so you must know what you’re talking about. Discourage a girl, and you should be publicly flogged. But when the rubber actually meets the road, things get all turned around in the opposite direction. Male underwear model with a perfect body — oh, that picture can go anywhere. Certainly it isn’t going to hurt anyone. What if a smaller boy sees it and thinks “something is wrong with me I should be looking like that”…no prob. Might even help out our obesity epidemic, if that happens.

Of course, a swimsuit babe with a flat belly and big tits, that’s completely different. All of a sudden, it’s all about feel, feel, feel. How is your wife going to feel about it. How is your daughter going to feel. So that has to be removed from public view, and stigmatized constantly.

Let’s remember why this is: There is something harmful about revealing, to a female, the possibility that a personal metric of any kind could be improved. It has very little to do with physical body attributes, or the sexual aspects. A man or boy, inspired by some external messages to find a way to improve personally — we think of that as a good thing. If a girl or woman is similarly inspired, we think of it as good only if we are reassured that there is a genuine desire coming out to meet it, from within. “Is this what she really wants to do?” seems to be the test. Without that, we suspect the worst. The girls aren’t allowed to be pragmatic about it, they can’t say “Whoa, a new standard, I’ll have to up my game.” In our zeal to make sure the little princesses are never pressured, we end up subjecting them to constant pressure to chase their dreams all of the time.

PalinAnd we want to censor those dreams. This is understandable, of course. If your daughter’s dream is to dance on a pole, most parents would see a necessity for some kind of intervention. Now, the same is true for the boys, and it is in fact quite fashionable to encourage girls to become more and more enthusiastic about things they find they can do particularly well. But as far as the ideas they are given, we’ve allowed the militant feminists to shape and mold our culture into a place where we’re very restrictive about it. Katniss and Merida, with all their archery talents, are in; Wonder Woman is out, and who can possibly list what else is. Not just the overly sexualized stuff, there’s much, much more. Far easier to define the white list than the black list, there isn’t too much that won’t piss off someone, somewhere.

And why are grown-ups passing judgment on other grown-ups, about what messages & lessons can be received by their female children? Where do they get off thinking it’s any of their business?

They aren’t even allowed to be genuinely pretty anymore. Recall the unprecedented intensity of hatred directed at Sarah Palin. And, you aren’t allowed to notice they aren’t allowed to be pretty; last week I had a supposedly conservative housewife completely twist off on me, through the social media, insisting that the anger directed at Palin was all about carrying Trig to term. Yeah, that was the hill she wanted to die on, and she’s not alone.

It seems to have come down to this: Women who are at the age where they’re defining themselves, what they are and what they do, have to adhere to a very restrictive social code — put in place by the feminist movement. They can dare to dream, and they can dare to dream of purely individual achievements. Being the first woman President, curing Cancer someday, those are high on the list. But there’s a lot of resistance involved if there’s anything sexual about it, or even if it’s something just tenuously connected to sexuality…like, just being attractive to men. Healthy men, I mean, men who are interested in meeting women who are pretty.

It seems the social code we’ve been trying to prop up for a few years now, and we show no signs of slowing down at all, is one of: Shopping around for good genes in a mate, looking for a carrier of decent genetic stock to pass on to the children, is a privilege to be reserved exclusively for the women. They’re inclined to window-shop, you know; men don’t have the same instinct, or if they do, they darn well shouldn’t. That, and: It’s okay for a woman to seek to distinguish herself, as long as she only does it in the expected ways.

This hurts the women, because it restricts their dreams. In a very subtle way, it does. It isn’t commonplace for a girl to actually be told “no” when she dreams outside of the box, in fact we do have a very thick social stigma against exactly that. But it conditions the younger girls, who are still trying to figure out what those dreams should be, to point them only in certain directions that will limit options later on. Must not be pretty, must not shoot guns, must not show skin, must not do any of the things Sarah Palin has done…like haul fish into a boat, run for office as a Republican, carry a Downs Syndrome child to term, et cetera et cetera. The thicket of “musts” runs fairly thick, while the boys — relatively neglected — can do as they like.

Video Game Logic

Friday, June 15th, 2012


This Is Good CI

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Nightfly serves up a big plate of solid, healthy, hot lean mental meat as he points back to us.

In their [progressives’] world, nuance means verbiage and jargon and contextualization and all that other post-modern buzz. To make things plain is to be “black and white,” and so they are not only disinclined to say what they’re really on about, they are incapable. Their brains short-circuit when called upon to try it, but their mouths keep going all the while, and you get a gigantic pile of words that seem spilled out of a dictionary, waiting assembly. Anything deeper than a slogan, protest sign, or bumper sticker – say, the philosophy behind them – is going to be indecipherable if you don’t have the mental decoder ring.

That one might make plain a complicated topic, or a subtle difference between two thoughts, has perhaps never occur[r]ed to them. Nuance is clearer in broad daylight.

It’s really counterproductive to try to do all of this work to understand what a hardcore leftist actually means, when by the time you’re finished with the latest manifesto, they’ll have shifted ground again and your mental map will be out-of-date. To save time, we should just write “HERE BE DRAGONS” across the top and be done with it.
The thing is, by constantly shifting ground like this, a dishonest person will often carry the day – they want to make it too tiring to keep up with them, so they can be free to do whatever they please. When it comes to social institutions, however, they please primarily to act like parasites. They feed off the life of the group without any contribution and rot them from within; when notice is finally paid and action is finally taken, they complain loudly that this is their home, now, and it’s mean to cast them adrift, and they’re the true genuine organism. So might a cancer speak when the doctor comes to cut it out.

The Five Annoying Types of Republicans

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Hawkins hits another bulls-eye.

1) The Sell Outs
2) The Purists
3) The Appropriators
4) The Bubbleheads
5) The Compromise Fetishists

I’m especially pleased that the sell-outs made #1. In which, I would include this guy along with some others…


Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Anakin, my allegiance is to the Republic, to democracy. — Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

What is democracy, anyway?

Wisconsin Crying Man Mike seems to believe it is dead & done, whenever his fellow Wisconsinites participate in an election and a majority of them vote for something he doesn’t like? That would tend to indicate “democracy” is…um…well…Mike getting his way, contrary to the wishes of a majority of his peers. Funny, I thought that was something else.

But E.J. Dionne (hat tip to Terri) evidently is on Boo Hoo Mike’s side on this thing. “It’s called democracy,” says Dionne, finishing strong after going three garrulous and creepy paragraphs, describing in intricate detail how our elections are to be run to Dionne’s liking.

…so here is a modest proposal: A small group of billionaires, aided perhaps by a few super-millionaires, should form an alliance to offset the spending of the other billionaires and super-millionaires. They might call themselves Billionaires Against Billionaire Politics. These public-spirited citizens would announce that they will match every penny raised by the various super PACs on the other side.

In principle, they could commit themselves to balancing off whichever side — conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat — is dominating the airwaves and the fundraising. The idea would be to destroy the incentives for the very rich to buy the election. If shrewd wealthy people realized that every $10 million they put up would be met immediately by $10 million from the other side, they might lose interest in the exercise.

As a practical matter, it’s conservative dollars that need to be offset, so this balancing act would likely be financed by non-conservatives. George Soros, Warren Buffett and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg come to mind. But there may be other, less high-profile wealthy folks who want to do their patriotic bit. The hope is that this would be a one-shot deal. After one nuclear winter of an election, rich partisans could agree to mutual disarmament.

“Should form…might call…would announce…could commit…the idea would be…would likely be financed by.” Reminds me of that sock-puppet group-identity “person” who was on here, insisting over and over again, “best estimates are 3.5 to 5.0 C increase” in the global temperature over the next century. Things got weird when I started to focus on what exactly that word “best” meant, in that context; did it really mean “most likely”? Or something else?

Progressives have a strange relationship with the time stream, just as they have a strange relationship with that word “democracy.” Just as they seem to define “democracy” as “everyone does everything my way, whether they want to or not” — they speak of future events as if they have occurred in the past. More specifically, they speak of them as if it is entirely responsible & safe to forget all about probability.

And the idea of a bunch of billionaires gathered around a big table, led by the erstwhile George Soros, as if re-enacting the famous Thunderball scene, cracks me up. Especially the part where “Number One Soros” announces his displeasure and uncertainty about whether the group is headed in the right direction or not, and the time has come for a quick conference call to E.J. Dionne to make sure they’re doing everything the right way.

My goodness…proggies do so love to hand out these commands about what other people should do with their money. And their votes. And they’re always absolutely certain about what is going to happen — occasionally, in very impressive detail. The question naturally emerges: Is Dionne predicting what is going to happen, or simply communicating his wishes? I am absolutely certain that if I were to critique and attack his rambling missive based on one of those premises, he or his apologists would insist that he really meant the other (and I’m an overly simplistic dolt for not immediately recognizing it). If you read his words carefully, you’ll see he describes both wish (“the hope is that this would be a one-shot deal”) and likelihood (“it’s highly unlikely that any of this will happen before November, so…”). So which of those two purposes emerges as the primary one? I don’t think E.J. himself knows. He’s just indulging a lazy midsummer fantasy. Hey, if you could make a living at it, you’d do it too!

The more I learn about the left-wing set, the more I think there is a part of the brain missing, damaged, or under-developed. Think about it: What is your reaction when you hear someone say “Hold it, let’s settle this democratically and put it to a vote”? What is the first thought in your head? Normal people hear that and think “Oh great…I’m gonna get screwed here.” Second thought, more sober and more sluggish: “Well, I should trust in the judgment of my peers if we’re going to be living in proximity to each other, and if my position is correct, I should be able to present it in a compelling way.” But your first thought is: Darn it, I’ve taken the time to figure out the right answer, I know it’s right…why are we opening it up to a decent chance that the wrong answer might carry the day, just to make everyone feel like they’re participating, when they might not even care. In sum: Normal people with fully working brains, see “democracy” as what it really is. It’s an exchange. We’re all going to give up a lot of control, now, so that later on we can say “right or wrong, this was the decision of those who took the time to participate.” It does not make the final outcome more correct, or even more virtuous, nor is it supposed to. It solves no problem at all, other than the complaints that might properly be aired, later on, that so-and-so was not consulted.

In fact, democracy is like money that way. Somewhere I read a quote from someone about money: If you happen to receive a whole lot of it, whatever problems you have that are money-related, will be helped, and whatever other problems you have, won’t. Seems so simple — why even bother to say such a thing? Later on, when I had some personal experience with this, I got a whole new perspective. That’s what it takes, you have to live it yourself to see what’s really being said here. Well, democracy is like that. Whatever problems you have that are related to resentments about this person or that person not having a say, will be addressed, and all the other problems will not be. All this is self-evident to those of us who see democracy as what it really is; those of us who are not brain damaged.

On the left, people are missing that. Maybe they’re conditioned to bypass that circuit altogether — or, they’re accustomed to this word “democracy” referring to something other than what it really is supposed to mean. They never seem to think anybody, who counts for anything or has a bearing on the outcome, will ever disagree with them. Perhaps they have a plan in place to make sure of it…putting the deceased on the registration rolls, stuffing ballot boxes, et al.

They want things put to a vote, but it is contrary to their way of living & perceiving life, ever to be prepared to lose.

“Why I Gave Up On Being a Republican”

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Some guy named Michael Stafford:

I’m a life-long Republican. My political affiliation has been woven intrinsically into the very fabric of my being.

When I was young, Ronald Reagan bestrode the world like a colossus. I grew up watching the Cold War end-game play out as Reagan faced down the Soviet Union- which really was evil- and helped break the long night of communist repression in Eastern Europe. He was my hero.

Indeed, my first political act was passionately lobbying my fourth-grade classmates…blah blah blah…
Today, however, I am a registered Republican no longer.

I came to the decision to leave the GOP not with a heavy heart, but with a broken one.

I reached this point through a long series of awakenings and realizations…

And what are those?

…the Republican Party has come unhinged. Its fevered hallucinations involve threats from imaginary communists and socialists who, seemingly, lurk around every corner. Climate change – a reality recognized by every single significant scientific body and academy in the world…

Okay, I think I’m done here. Fuck off, Moby.


An insidious and specialized type of left-wing troll who visits blogs and impersonates a conservative for the purpose of either spreading false rumors intended to sow dissension among conservative voters, or who purposely posts inflammatory and offensive comments for the purpose of discrediting the blog in question.

The term is derived from the name of the liberal musician Moby, who famously suggested in February of 2004 that left-wing activists engage in this type of subterfuge: “For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion. Then you go to an anti-immigration Web site chat room and ask, ‘What’s all this about George Bush proposing amnesty for illegal aliens?’”

The strategy has been frequently attempted on conservative blogs, but has not been nearly as effective as Moby envisioned, since false rumors are easily debunked by fact-checking minions, and cartoonishly extreme commenters often get immediately identified as mobys and banned.

“While I agree that it is vital to monitor incoming international phone calls from terrorists, President Bush has gone too far.

By secret executive order, he has instructed the NSA to place hidden cameras in the girls’ locker rooms of Washington D.C. (Dirt bag City) Islamic schools. His desire to find out ‘what is under all those burqas’ is beyond the pale.

Maybe the Dhimmicrats are right. If he would do this, what else is he capable of? Let your voice be heard! I for one will never send the RNC money ever again. And, no, I am not a moby.”

Not sure what really prompted the article. I doubt that it’s hostility to socialism, and socialism’s new ruse of undermining the free market by way of the “climate change” scam; that’s been going on for quite awhile, or at least, it’s supposed to have…

Much more likely this is an emboldening-effect from Jeb Bush’s poorly-informed comments.

Can’t Process Fractions

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Over at Kingjester’s blog, a decent round-up of liberals showing their true colors on the “tolerance” issue. I was just poring through that, and then re-reading the many linked comments and columns and various other epistles involved in Ace’s critique of Sandra Fluke’s latest bit of chicanery. And I have this observation to make…

Well wait, let’s get this out of the way first: Who is the brain-dead idiot who suggested to Ms. Fluke she should include a sentence such as “It is hard to believe we are having this conversation today, the 47th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut…”? Whose idea was this? Hers? What’s the up-side?

Is there someone rising out of bed to greet each new day, thinking, “Oh, this is the whatever-anniversary of such-and-such a Supreme Court decision”? If so, then is this not a rather tricky bunch of balls to be juggling in early June, when SCOTUS tends to decide things? That’s the way it works, isn’t it…dads, grads and Supreme Court decisions. How, exactly, does this change the thought process? Oh, it’s the 47th anniversary of Griswold, so now I am especially offended…

Why do proggies do that? What is that, some kind of social-status thing? Ooh, look at me, I’m extra smart, I know this is the 47th anniversary of…gah. Okay, enough of that. Back to the primary thing here.

My observation is this: I have written before of this perception, occurring to myself and to many others, that seems undeniable — people and institutions self-identifying as “liberal” or “progressive” participate in a certain mindset, one not existing harmoniously with the classical definition of “liberal,” which is moving and rounding a rather sharp corner in recent years. Being a political movement, this mindset seeks approval, but since it is dysfunctional, self-destructive and illogical, it must conceal what it really is in order to gain this approval. As Ace has noted, Sandra Fluke herself has demonstrated this ably by repeatedly using the word “access” to describe a fully-funded entitlement. “Advocates” such as Ms. Fluke, therefore, are trying to secure this “access” which is the fully-funded entitlement; and if the fully-funded entitlement is not fully-funded, then “women” have lost their “access.”

We can gauge the priority of this bit of subterfuge, as appreciated by this late left-wing mindset, by observing the mindset’s behavior when the subterfuge starts to cost it something — namely, the approval of the ideologically non-identifiable, the “moderates.” And I don’t mean by that, the phony-baloney green-party types who say “I’m neither conservative nor liberal” and then line up to vote for democrats. I mean the real ones. The ones who actually decide elections.

It seems, within that camp, there is an emerging consensus driving toward: Heck ya, women should have this “access to contraceptives” but only in the classical sense, not what it means on Planet Sandra Fluke. Simply put, I/we don’t want to have to pay for it. And, no, Gov. Jan Brewer is right, sorry Sandra but there is a religious freedom thing going on here that ought to count for something.

What does the modern hardcore left-wing proggy mindset do? Does it start to split hairs and say “Oh no, we never said that, we said this other thing…” as it has done with other issues? No. It does not. It doubles down. That’s my point; you can learn a lot about how a thinking individual or group values something, by observing what it is willing to sacrifice for it. So, on the issue of “access to contraceptives” translating into full-funding, and genuine old-fashioned oppression against the religious beliefs of individuals and their organizations, we see the proggy mindset digging in and doubling down, even at the expense of the cherished loyalty of the true moderates. They willingly sacrifice the latter for the former…so the former must be important to them. It doesn’t matter if they’re willing to admit it or not. Their actions speak loudly.

What’s the motivation? Hostility toward religion? A desire to weaken the nation and its culture, through a lowering of the birth rate? A pre-meditated attack on personal responsibility and financial solvency of the individuals, through the forceful imposition of a fiat economy? I believe it is a combination of all three. But I’m most interested in the last of the three. Can we just all admit it: They aren’t very much interested in “access,” as in, the contraceptives still cost a nominal amount of money, but the economy is doing so well that you can’t find a woman anywhere who is truly unable to get hold of them when she wants them. That scenario doesn’t interest them at all. They’re looking for a wedge to drive between birth control and trade. Stop this business of products-and-services-for-legal-tender, let’s replace it with our fantasy, the lining up at a kiosk somewhere, receiving a ration, if & only if all the papers are in order. Free stuff good, free trade bad. That is the real agenda.

Now, turning back to Kingjester’s assortment of anecdotes, it occurs to me that to this mindset we just got done studying on the birth control issue, “free speech” has a particular and peculiar test: Their exercise of it, seems to have a lot to do with denying it to others. The “others” are, of course, dissenters and not allies.

The thought that occurs to me is this: Since we should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, I am reluctant to conclude that we’re seeing a premeditated effort to muzzle the non-liberals. That is only the ultimate effect, not the intent. I think the thought process in place is as follows, and this is my observation: If you have some (free speech), that has to mean they are missing some. After all, that is how they look at money, is it not? It’s okay for you to have, oh, one or two hundred dollars in your bank account…maybe four digits in the balance instead of three, if you’re about to sit down and pay your bills. But if you are “two-comma” wealthy, that’s bad, because that has to mean someone else is missing something.

Well, my observation is, that is how they look at free speech. They have it — a monopoly on it — or else, they do not have it. It’s true binary thinking, they can process the number 1 or the number 0. They can’t process fractions.

Just like Ms. Fluke, et al, on the birth control issue. “Access” means nothing short of Aladdin-and-the-Genie access: I want it, ++poof++ there it is. If that objective is not fulfilled — 1 or 0, not fractions — then there is nothing but vast emptiness of space, and “access” has been denied.

I’m old enough to remember two presidential elections ago, when they were making a big deal out of “nuanced” thinking. Senator and candidate John F. Kerry, so went the litany, was capable of seeing the world and the issues in it, in “shades of gray”; this was to be contrasted with “cowboy,” black-and-white thinking, personified by that undignified and unsophisticated Texas rube President George W. Bush.

Somewhere, in the intellectual plane, sometime in the last eight years, a philosophical pancake appears to have been flipped. And I find the national discourse has become extraordinarily contentious about issues that were not even on the radar eight years ago — my observations tell me this is due, in no small part, to the fact that progressives are missing this capability of “nuanced thinking” they once touted so highly. They have all the world’s accumulation of something — no one else, anywhere, can produce so much as a morsel of it — or else they’ve been unfairly denied any of something. They can’t & won’t share their toys…even though, ironically, that is exactly what they’re supposed to be making other people do. It is an ultimatum that exists in their minds and not in reality. And, someday soon, someone really ought to let them know. If that’s possible, that is…

Maybe that should be a voting-eligibility test. You have something; this other person over here, who is not you, also has some of it. Maybe he even has more. But you still have what you have, and he doesn’t have what he has because he took it from you, he just has his and you’ve got yours. Are you capable of comprehending this? If your mind is limited in such a way that you have to mish-mash that into something else before you can engage it, well then sorry. Some of the issues on this ballot you can’t have, demand a level of mental acumen that, for whatever reason, you’re not bringin’. Thanks for making the trip.

“Now Meet Emily”

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Bad Week for Paul Krugman

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Smacked down by the President of Estonia, in public. Via Twitter.

And then, his moment in the limelight, giving a speech on Obama’s Recession…to an empty room.

Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

Also, I don’t recall seeing another wretchedly mediocre & predictable Paul Krugman column ratcheted up to the tippy-top of the Memeorandum page with a big bold headline lately. It’s unusual for a week to pass by without that happening…whenever that happens, after I’m done reading it I wonder if Krugman’s Mom isn’t the Memeorandum editor. Maybe she resigned the position, or got sick, or something.

Or, maybe someone who used to like him, no longer does. That can happen, you know.

From Coney Island, Another Tale of Proxy Offense…

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

…and proxy outrage. Someone with power bowdlerizing something from public display, so that some undefined and yet-to-materialize someone else will be spared offense. Once again, the thing being ripped away and buried is a beloved, cherished thing, and the strutting martinet seems to have little grasp of the simple idea that telling people “I have found offense in this thing you value, as an extension of yourself” is, in itself, more than a little bit offensive…so if the object of the exercise is to avoid offense, it must be a fail.

Greta Hawkins, principal of PS 90, the Edna Cohen School, won’t allow kindergartners to belt out the beloved Lee Greenwood ballad, also known as “Proud to be an American,” at their moving-up ceremony.

Five classes spent months learning the patriotic song, which skyrocketed in popularity after the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
But Hawkins marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said.

She told the teachers to drop the song from the program.

“We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.
Department of Education spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti gave The Post an explanation staffers said they never heard — that Hawkins found the lyrics “too grown up” for 5-year-olds.

The song starts: “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life. And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife, I’d thank my lucky stars, to be livin’ here today.”

Scaperotti said the department supports the principal’s decision. “The lyrics are not age-appropriate,” she said.

But Justin Bieber’s flirty song about teen romance, “Baby,” was deemed a fine selection for the show. Hawkins had no problem with 5-year-olds singing lines such as, “Are we an item? Girl, quit playing.”

The other songs: “We’re All Together Again,” popular at Scout campfires; “The World is a Rainbow,” which celebrates diversity; “Shake Your Sillies Out” by Raffi; and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story.”

Hat tip to blogger friend Rick.

The Bieber ditty has since been similarly ejected. New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, true to form, has doubled-down on stupid on the God Bless The USA matter…and songwriter Lee Greenwood holds the distinction of making, by far, the most sensible remarks with regard to this.

“The principal has decided she’s not going to sing that song. It’s the principal’s decision, and we support the principals,” Bloomberg said during a press conference at the Bushwick HS campus.

[Schools Chancellor Dennis] Walcott said, “Now as far as Justin Bieber, I understand some of the issues people raised. It’s my understanding that song will not be part of the ‘moving up’ ceremony as well…I support our principals along that line.

But “God Bless the USA” was not put back in the program — drawing a rebuke from singer Greenwood and political leaders.

“I’ve been singing my song for 30 years. I sing it everywhere — Carnegie Hall, grammar schools,” Greenwood told The Post yesterday.
“I think [Principal Hawkins is] confused between allegiance and worship. I don’t think it’s a religious issue to salute the flag. You always respect the flag. That’s just simple for me. A religion that says you can’t do that is out of place,” he said.

“I’m just disappointed. I’ve sung it at many elementary schools myself. It’s always a wonderful moment,” he said, adding that the students get “wide eyed.”

I recall a little while ago when Rush Limbaugh was compelled to apologize for calling a slut a slut. The apology he issued was, specifically, about having “created a national stir.”

And it is with interest that I note the low standards imposed on this slithery, spectral, complaining thing…which asserts and re-asserts its cultural existence by bitching and belly-aching about American-identified and America-centric traditions, and yet you are not allowed to call it anti-American. It wriggles through our public ceremonies and our public discourse, or waddles, or ambles, pick your verb — it “creates national stir” all over the place, offending many, with good reason, and it seems those best-of-the-best among us who are elected and appointed to uphold our evolving notions of decency, consistently fail to call upon this vile slithery thing to apologize for the stirs. If there’s some reason why a radio talk show host should be held to higher standards, it is lost on me. Can it not be said that this vile slithering waddling thing seeks to alter our culture? Accumulate power? Eliminate choices? Shape and mold our children? And yet, the beatdown is never lowered upon the thing; because, with strategic shrewdness, it refuses to take shape.

Someone wants to discuss private sexual activities in front of a congressional panel, and you call them out on it — well, you’d better do it without creating a national stir, or you shall be shunned, whoever does not shun you shall be shunned, he who does not shun he who did not shun you, likewise shall be shunned…

We toil away under the legendary Chinese curse — we live in interesting times.

The Fine Zone

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I’m pleased as punch that President Obama’s idiotic remark about the private sector “doing fine” is getting so much play and so much attention. But, truth be told, the enormous damage this is bound to do Him in the upcoming election, is not the true source of my pleasure, or at least, not the primary one; rather, I am gratified to see a mask ripped off a vicious monster, a monster much bigger than Barack Obama, one that has been on the political scene much longer.

To understand what I’m talking about, think about these conversations you & others have had with a dedicated, hardcore lefty type…the part where you start to figure out this is a lefty type. You know, where they start to defend the indefensible; from Palestinians dressing up their kids in explosive belts and sending them into crowds of Israeli civilians, to able-bodied people here at home, making a lifestyle out of our social services, womb to tomb and generation after generation. Or start to wax lyrically of the “qualifications” of people who really don’t have any qualifications at all…Hillary Clinton, for example. Note how little has to be done by these people & groups who receive and benefit from the progressive sympathies, to receive said sympathies. Suffering. Oppressed. Worked very hard. Discriminated against.

The cognitive dissonance that says, when Al Gore has a larger carbon footprint than the average American, somehow, at the same time, he really doesn’t.

The truth that emerges, is that being a modern lefty has a lot to do with re-writing social protocols. And an important part of that, is declaring who is & is not to receive public sympathy. Distressingly, it seems they have it all figured out who is to be denied this public sympathy, and why, before they have a good understanding of who is to become the focus of it, and why.

It was in this context that President Barack Obama said the private sector is doing fine. What He really meant to say is, alright, okay, the private sector isn’t doing well at all, but let’s concentrate our attention and energies on the other thing, which is the public sector.

So Barack Obama thinks the private sector is “doing fine” the same way radical feminists think men and boys are doing fine. The same way a hip Hollywood lefty might think Sarah Palin is doing fine. The same way Cindy Sheehan thinks George W. Bush is doing fine.

Kind of a “wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire, and neither should you” sort of doing-fine.

It’s an important part of the modern progressive movement. This is a particularly execrable type of slithery fanged creature under the big rock just overturned; when otherwise-decent friends and neighbors start turning all dogmatic-lefty, this is where their humanity starts to drain out of them. When they start to pick up the battle cry, and pass it around, that this person or group, over here, should receive more sympathy from the public-at-large no matter what he, she, or they have done…and that other person or group, over there, should never receive any of this sympathy no matter what is done to them. When they start to get the idea that ideology is bigger than justice.

That is the point where they start to become political vampires. It’s when they start to declare that, when an undeniable wrong has been done to someone they have declared to be a target — or have declared some antithesis of it, to be an object of this desired grokking and social feeling of support — their passions are poured into some meandering and senseless monologue, the primary thrust of which is that justice can take a holiday on this one.

Certain undesirables cannot ever have grievances worth being addressed. Ever. They’re “doing fine.”

This is an important part of what being a modern liberal is all about. This is where they stop being nice, decent compassionate people, and start to become…what’s the word…jerks. Destructive, unbalanced jerks.

We do owe a debt to our current President for shining a light on it. Not every day some dark slithery nasty thing, through its ineptitude, kicks over its own big rock. We should make the most of it by learning as much as we can, while we can.

Dodging the “Doing Fine” Question

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Three times.

He’s an insufferable scumbag. And that’s being kind.

Perhaps the most thoughtful deliberation about this latest Obama gaffe, is over here.

Second, here.

“You Are Not Special”

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

It’s become an “Everyone Else Is Blogging It, I Might As Well Do It Too” thing. But, yes, I agree with this and I like it…it’s worth capturing & keeping captive throughout the ages.

If everyone’s special, then no one is.

Think we’ll have a “The Incredibles” movie watching party tonight.

The Fifty-Second Percent Problem

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Going back through my archives, I see I first noticed this pre-Obama. There would have been value in describing the problem succinctly, but this was not within my efforts, nor within my achievements. Since then, I’ve made some references to it, on my way to noticing something else, but I’ve not been giving it the attention it truly deserves.

Now, it seems we are on our way a post-Obama age; whether future events show that to be overly optimistic or not, we will have to ponder the “big takeaway” from the slow-motion train wreck we’ve been watching. And, the more I think on it, the more the Fifty-Second Percent problem is the big takeaway.

Here it is, phrased as concisely and precisely as I can manage:

Visionaries within our political class can be sorted out into two groups. Not conservatives vs. liberals, but rather, leaders versus dictators. Our ability to recognize the difference between them, is invested in our opportunity to watch how they conduct their election and re-election campaigns. Leaders value the inspiration within the constituency, the collective will, to become a part of the vision. A dictator cares only about his power to compel the constituency to come along, regardless of, in that moment, whether or not they would choose to. The leader therefore wishes the virtues of his plan to become evident to as many people as possible; a dictator only concerns himself with securing the allegiance, at some critical moment, of a majority.

New paragraph. Tying it all together. Litmus test: A dictator cares a great deal more about capturing the votes of the fifty-first percent, than of the fifty-second. He couldn’t give a rat’s rear end about the fifty-second percent.

End definition.

Now, to swivel back around and observe the events in the manner to which we are more accustomed, to shift the paradigm back to the conservative/liberal divide…we notice something. The divide doesn’t move very much. That’s why my earlier piece is called “What is a Liberal?” A consultant on the conservative side might come up with an idea to win eighty percent of the votes, as opposed to fifty-one — if the idea is good, he’ll get attention. From all we’ve been seeing and hearing, the same is not true of the liberal side. For an example, I can point to nothing better than ObamaCare. From beginning to end, it was all about ramming through as much brittle, uncompromising, hardcore proggy-lefty-liberal goodness as could possibly be rammed, into the already ballooning billowing body of regulatory work, during a closing window of opportunity during which Congress was dominated by democrats. With such a saturation, that everyone involved understood damn good and well things wouldn’t be staying that way indefinitely.

PoliticiansNow, I’m sure there are exceptions — conservatives who seek to exert their will on the entire constituency after securing simple-majority approval, and moderate liberals who would fail the test, caring too much about building a genuine consensus. But, once you observe them for awhile, watching what they do & ignoring what they say — not many. (My description of a real leader, above, matches up well with what Obama was pretending to be.) Part of this has to do with the nature of liberalism & conservatism in the twenty-first century. This thing we call “liberalism” is more like “statism.” Really, it is. Come up with an idea for those in government, to tell those outside of government, how to do something…to exert power over them. You can bet money, the liberal will like the idea and the conservative will not. To hear the libs talk about it, theirs is the mindset of “new ideas,” and there is some truth to this. But the new ideas, are all new ideas about expanding the role of government. They only pretend to have anything to do with much of anything else…

So we should expect the so-called liberals to have become infected with this Fifty-Second Percent disease…burrowing, like a pig after truffles, for some time-window of opportunity during which extremist, government-expanding, bureaucrat-emboldening legislation can be rammed through. Theirs is the side of extremism. “Hey, how about we pass a law to…[expand the power of government some more].” Forgetting entirely that, down the road, here & there, government just might be run by those other guys. Conservative says, let’s not & say we did. That, essentially, is a moderate position. The conservative, after all, is not saying “the people who make the decisions now, without your legislation, the ones who are outside of government — they are perfect and infinitely wise.” That is not his position at all. His point is all about proper ownership of problems. Yes, mistakes can be made, and they will be made, but let them be made by those who can learn, and have a real personal stake in the outcome. Keep people free.

Liberal says: Because you are resisting my plan, I shall cast you in an ugly light, and convince lots of other people you are evil, wrong, prejudiced and dumb. That is an extremist position (it’s also pretty consistent, you’ll notice, as well). And so — yes. The liberal advocates extremist positions. It makes sense that he is going to pursue extremist tactics. “Pass the bill so we can see what’s in it,” you might say.

It is easy to see they are extremists, because all of their campaigning interest is invested in going after the fifty-first percent. They don’t care about the fifty-second.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Grandpa Ejected From Children’s Section

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

…of a bookstore, solely on the basis of one woman complaining.

Make sure you aren’t alone in the children’s section of your local bookstore if male (thanks to the reader who sent this):

Barnes & Noble has apologized after a senior citizen said staff at one of the retail giant’s Arizona stores ejected him because he was on his own in the children’s area.

Omar Amin claimed a store worker told him a female shopper had complained he was in the children’s area in the store in Scottsdale, The Arizona Republic reported.

The 73-year-old, who was alone at the time, said he was in the store to buy books for his two grandchildren, who live in Wisconsin.

He told the newspaper, “Men alone cannot be by themselves in the children’s area.

At least they apologized, though this is a sad state of affairs. Notice that just a woman telling the store that a man alone was in the aisle was enough to get this man ejected from the store. Have you noticed that a female voice telling an “authority” that a man is a possible threat is enough to convict him of ill-doing without any real proof? Pretty soon, men will not be allowed out in public unescorted by a woman or some authority. It’s pretty pathetic.

The story to which Dr. Helen links, expounds somewhat on the bookstore’s apology:

Mark Bottini, Barnes & Noble vice president and director of stores, issued a statement Monday apologizing to Amin.

“We want to apologize to Dr. Amin for a situation in which Dr. Amin was asked to leave the children’s section of our Scottsdale, Arizona store,” Bottini said.

“We should not have done so. It is not our policy to ask customers to leave any section of our stores without justification. We value Dr. Amin as a customer and look forward to welcoming him in any of our stores.”

Dr. H calls this a “war on men.” I wish the term applied better than it does; most wars are declared, they are fought, and hopefully one side or the other will prevail within a short time and it will all become part of history.

Where a real war is somewhat akin to an explosion, this is more like a slow-burn. The problem is with the drawing of lines. Good manners, and the desire to live in and help buttress a strong, well-functioning society, these all demand a certain deference to the fairer sex. It takes a certain sophistication to be able to maintain that without treating the male as a second-class citizen.

What we’ve done in some quarters is, somehow, to eject all the things that really are part of this code of chivalry, while retaining all the things that are not. Offering your umbrella to a lady during a downpour, opening the door for her, removing your hat, these are thought to be antiquated notions. But losing arguments to her, even when the facts are not on her side, is like a minimal, baseline obligation; as is, on occasion, ejecting people from retail establishments and other environments when they haven’t done anything wrong.

Wondering if I’d consider going back, were I in Dr. Amin’s shoes. Seems like a drastic measure to hold the entire franchise accountable for the actions of one delusional female shopper, plus a power-mad clerk with poor judgment. On the other hand, accepting the apology with a “no harm, no foul” attitude seems almost like acquiescing to a caste system. The problem, as I see it through this situation and with some others, is that once a woman’s feelings enter into conflict with a man’s interests and truth & fact are not squaring with her beliefs, some sort of injustice becomes an inevitability. We seem to have developed this impulse to declare reality subordinate to good manners, and then go further, looking for the earliest & easiest opportunity to display our hostility toward the reality.

All this, while you stand a good chance of being mocked and ridiculed, maybe even scolded, if you pursue the more traditional & sensible notions of Vive la Difference. Stand and offer her your seat on the bus? What’re you tryin’ to say? How dare you.

D-Day Plus Sixty-Eight

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

From the U.S. Army.

The Polls Are Suspect

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

…and in a good way. Roger L. Simon:

…[T]he Bradley Effect has resurfaced dramatically in a different manner in the Wisconsin recall vote. The polls — and, yes, the exit polls as well – were showing Scott Walker in a narrow victory. But he won beyond anyone’s prediction.

Apparently, the silent majority of Wisconsin voters didn’t want to admit to nosy pollsters and anyone else that might be listening that they were opposed to runaway unions, runaway spending, or the Democratic administration. They just wanted to cast their votes. And they did.

This Bradley Effect, then, is not like the Bradley Effect of yore. It’s about race to some degree, but I suspect there are much larger components of being fed up with elites of all sorts, interest groups, media groups, union groups, all sorts of groups telling the average citizen what he should and shouldn’t think, openly or covertly threatening to ostracize him or her for not going along with the pervasive liberal status quo.
And needless to say, the mainstream media are going to be doing mental cartwheels, trying to think of ways to spin this. It’s not going to be easy. The sons and daughters of Grub Street are going to have to explain away a horrendous economy. They invented Barack Obama (quite literally); now they are going to have to live with him.

It has been said that an election is the only poll that matters. We sure are fascinated with all the other ones, when the elections aren’t happening…one has to wonder if it isn’t due to the innate subconscious understanding that the polls are almost certain to make fools out of everyone who pays attention to them.

Perhaps, when all’s said & done, the economy is a better crystal ball. Once the misery has set in and the suffering becomes personal, it’s a tough row to hoe for any tax-n-spend incumbent to survive. People who have struggled, I think, get it. It’s like breathing. If you can’t pay for your power and your food and your hot water, nothing else matters. Certainly you don’t care about vaguely and dubiously “constitutional” marriage privileges for some small minority of the population.

I’m thinking there’s a “Bradley Effect” with empty cupboards & gas tanks. The 2008 Obama voter who’s now out of work and doesn’t see anything getting any better anywhere, while the public sector employees retire with fat and exorbitant pensions and his leaders lecture him about turning his resentment toward something called “Wall Street,” is being asked to sustain the status quo out of a sense of obligation to some four-year-old-pledge to be a more highly-evolved and more highly-aware good-person. That would be a tough sell even if the pledge was panning out.

Memo For File CLIX

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Was refreshing my memory about the plot events in Bartleby, the Scrivener which we were tasked to read back in tenth grade by mean ol’ English lit teacher Mr. Andersen, who hated his job and it showed a lot. This was not as onerous a task as it seemed at the time, since it weighs in at a svelte forty-five pages or so. Researchers have picked up on the idea that Melville had a hidden message here, but there’s always some question as to what exactly it might be…at least, to those establishment types who seem to always be having the final word on things, the ones who more ordinarily get to do the writing.

It is also possible that the story is unconnected to any of the speculations above and simply a piece of fiction about an unusual character who sprung from Melville’s rich artistic imagination.

Since high school, I had occasion to read The Fountainhead…before which, I was inspired to do so. Fountainhead is not “svelte” and it doesn’t exactly flow along, so I imagine the same is true of just about everyone who’s read it. Minus, the ones who are forced to do so by their mean ol’ teachers…

But, no, what Melville was trying to communicate, was & is not a mystery at all. In fact, the two stories are the same, if compared only along the periphery of the central message being so communicated. Whatever ambiguity is built into the Melville side of the comparison, is simply an elegant nuance. It is the right way to embed commentary into fiction: “Whoever is receptive will get it, and whoever doesn’t get it likely never will.”

Bartleby is unique in that the types who are in positions to comment on what it could mean, as a general rule, are the ones who aren’t going to be receptive to it. I mentioned that Fountainhead has the same message; it is, therefore, for all intents and purposes, the same story. Howard Roark would prefer not to…

Both men disliked Roark. He was usually disliked, from the first sight of his face, anywhere he went. His face was closed like the door of a safety vault; things locked away in safety vaults are valuable; men did not care to feel that. He was a cold, disquieting presence in the room; his presence had a strange quality; it made itself felt and yet it made them feel that he was not there; or perhaps that he was and they weren’t.
“You’re fired,” said Cameron.

Roark stood, halfway across the long room, his weight on one leg, his arms hanging by his sides, one shoulder raised.

“Am I?” he asked quietly, without moving.

“Come here,” said Cameron. “Sit down.”

Roark obeyed.

“You’re too good,” said Cameron. “You’re too good for what you want to do with yourself. It’s no use, Roark. Better now than later.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s no use wasting what you’ve got on an ideal that you’ll never reach, that they’ll never let you reach…”

It impresses me that you see exactly the same complaint coming from people who are not “scriveners” and are not building architects…people who can make an even sturdier claim that their occupation is to be original and creative. Movie script writers, that would probably be the most extraordinary example available in our times…although that could be an outsider’s mistaken perception, since the same complaint continues to emerge from the most talented within that vocation, repeatedly.

How does Stephen King feel about Kubrick’s adaptation of his book? [“The Shining”]
Initially King was flattered that Kubrick was going to do something of his. Later he expressed disappointment in the film. “There’s a lot to like about it. But it’s a great big beautiful Cadillac with no motor inside, you can sit in it and you can enjoy the smell of the leather upholstery – the only thing you can’t do is drive it anywhere. So I would do every thing different. The real problem is that Kubrick set out to make a horror picture with no apparent understanding of the genre. Everything about it screams that from beginning to end, from plot decision to the final scene – which has been used before on the Twilight Zone”

Sometimes, the creative differences are highlighted at the beginning rather than at the end. Maybe that sounds like an opportunity to avoid lots of grief, but, in an irony, that’s when things really get messy.

Writing is a business and as the old saying implies, business is the opposite of personal. Recently, however, I’ve written something that’s extremely personal and that I want to be made into a movie. It’s semi-autobiographical, so how could I not be deeply attached to it? So even though I am practically hackish, I’m emotionally on the other side of the spectrum regarding this work. The problem is that I wrote this screenplay knowing that it would require successfully making the longest long shot in the world – above and beyond the normal entertainment industry walls that keep would-be talent corralled in obscurity. My screenplay is based on my experiences with a real life performer. I wrote her into the movie and it’s named after her, so she would have to sign off on it before it got made.

I’ll spare you the emoting and just let you know that it didn’t get past her manager. Basically, his client isn’t interested in acting right now. And that’s a real shame because this story is amazing. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a pretty cynical guy – I call it being realistic, but whatever. Knowing that, I have so much faith in the quality of this story that I foresaw nothing but success for this script. Granted, the script wasn’t rejected per se – I don’t think the manager even read it – so this rejection isn’t a referendum on my talent, but the fact the script isn’t going anywhere is heartbreaking.

This kind of thing is all over the trivia sections in more than a few of your favorite films, if you take the time to look.

It says something that this hostility to creativity endures across the centuries. I think we perceive it through a very fractured prism because, for any installment in this saga that makes its way to our conscious recollection, the installment is narrated by one side or the other; the iconoclast who is at war with the establishment, or the establishment itself. We very rarely enjoy a “stereo” view of any one part of it. When one side of the conflict wins in the contest determining who gets to tell the tale, that side wins big. Like they said at the beginning of Braveheart, “Historians…will say I am a liar, but history is written by those who have hanged heroes.” That’s the way history works. Each chapter is told by one side or the other, and we seldom to never manage to get hold of the perspective.

Most times, the establishment wins. This is by definition. Establishments are built to prevail, and their internal workings have to do with settling conflict, on the inside, behind opaque walls, by process of elimination. In Bartleby’s case, Melville, the iconoclast, emerged victorious because his legacy benefits from a brighter luster of immortality, than any picayune play or script review. The “We’re not completely sure what he meant to say here” thing, is the establishment’s attempt to get even. At least, that’s how I see it.

Twenty-Nine Thirty-One

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Potty-mouth not-work-safe language warning in effect.

Gerard always manages to find the good stuff.

Feminism is just like any other progressive discipline. It’s all about little self-appointed Sun Kings telling you what to do, to manage all of life’s more trivial challenges…and, for the bigger challenges — well, do you really wish to know what it is?


Friday, June 1st, 2012

She knows it because she knows it because she knows it…because she knows the Constitution. Six-three it will be.

[House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi, in reference to how the nine-judge court will rule, said, “6-3. That’s it. 6-3.”

She was then asked why she was so confident about her prediction, “Do you have a crystal ball or what is your confidence — you wrote the bill but why do you have this confidence?”

Pelosi said: “Because I know the Constitution. This bill is ironclad. It is ironclad.”

“Nobody was frivolous with the Constitution and the health of the American people in writing the bill,” she said. “So, that’s where my confidence springs from, the merit of the bill and the nature of the Constitution.”

Well…it’s not exactly a remote possibility. If I understand her correctly, she’s predicting Anthony Kennedy will do what she wants and so will Chief Justice Roberts. It’s the way she’s concluding it that is objectionable. Progressives have a way of doing this, they pick out the scenario that is preferred, and just repeat it over and over again. By “preferred” I do not mean “optimistic.” The Earth becoming a dry, burned out, uninhabitable husk due to human activity, with yet-to-be-born young people crying out in anguished indignation to the oldsters who are around today, “Why did you let this happen??” and the oldsters reflecting sadly on how much they suck, as humanity flickers out of existence like an oxygen-starved candle flame…that is one of their preferred outcomes. Which they “make” true, simply by repeating it with great flourishing confidence. It’s really how they “know” just about every little thing they think they know, all the way down the line…

…The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.Ronald Reagan (link goes to page that automatically plays a sound clip).

But the vote is going to be six-three. That is what will happen…also, your kitty cat has a good feeling, today’s the day she will catch the red dot. She can feel it in her whiskers.