Archive for August, 2012

“…And They Do Let People Down”

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Hanna Rosin of Slate explores why Republicans can’t reach single women, particularly young single women (H/T to Maggie’s Farm).

The question is not whether something can be done about it, but more like whether this is productive thinking at all. The conclusion doesn’t allow for the observations to be translated into any kind of useful advice, even if every single fact is verified and every single realization is validated. I mean, seriously, how could it?

What t’heck can you do with this? Where can you go with it?

Ann Romney took pains to present her marriage as a real marriage, not a storybook authored by rich Mormons who like to weave ribbons into their horse’s tails. She mentioned the basement apartment, and her illnesses, and lonely afternoons at home with squabbling boys. But it’s not her particular marriage that gets in the way of reaching certain women, it’s her entire worldview. In Ann Romney’s world, high-school sweethearts are to be trusted, and women should give in and trust them. They do not fail women and they do not let women down, as she said of Mitt. It’s a little bit like Paul Ryan’s imaginary world where men trek off to the tire plant every day and come home and fix the screen door.

But this is not a world that Obama negated with his economic policies; it’s a world that has been slowly disappearing for decades. Most children born to women under 30 now are born to single mothers and in their world, the men are not really to be trusted and they do let people down.

I suppose, what we would be looking at is a lifestyle dedicated to doing things for oneself. The single mother squishes the spider herself, or opens her own jar, or approaches a kindly male neighbor to do such things. Women are people and people can be smart; they adapt. But, question: How does that adaptation translate into an attitude taken into the voting booth? Once such an attitude does emerge, is it a positive one? How could it be?

I’m sure there is polling data to back up Ms. Rosin’s uh…concerns. That’s a real shame. Are none of these women, who’ve been let down by men, ready to welcome the idea that other women are more fortunate? No? They aren’t capable of it, or they don’t want to allow for it? Do they have any idea how catty that makes them look? They wish to represent their entire gender with this acrimonious sentiment…do they understand how much that would discredit the female sex? “I can’t depend on men so I don’t want anyone else to be able to”?

We come here to an unpleasant truth about America: Due to the country’s history, and its unique record of economic success, it is home to a broad range of lifestyles and backgrounds. Our impulse has been to mutter some bromide about “Well, that’s what makes us stronger” and think on it no more. We-ell, not so fast there…it takes a certain level of maturity to say to oneself “There are lots of people in the country who don’t live life the way I do, and that is just fine.” Many among our fellow citizens lack this level of maturity. And it is an unfortunate reality that it will always be the people who can’t make things work, or won’t, who are missing the maturity. That matters because it is an act of acquiescence…

Where I’m going with it is: If we have a pattern in which the dysfunctional people enjoy this luxury of standing rigid, with an attitude of “everyone living in this country must live the way I do,” and it is the functional people who must yield, then ultimately the entire country has to become dysfunctional. The mass communication is killing us. It’s making the dysfunctional people aware that there are others who are doing better, succeeding where they have failed, and giving those dysfunctional people the tools needed to cut everyone else down to size.

So Ann Romney is alienating the crazy cat ladies. Eh, I shouldn’t say that…the problem applies to single women who were stuck with a kid, through no fault of their own, and the spinsters who simply might not have found the right fella. And the widows and the rape victims who got pregnant and the — well, let’s face it, this is part of the crowd too — the girls who never were taught any of the good things about having or being a man, and have made a lifestyle out of dating vegan ferret-faced trench coat wearing skinny losers, who can’t change oil and can’t tie knots, but who, scare quotes intentional, “makes me laugh.”

Every demographic listed above offers an entirely valid claim to our sympathies, even the ones that can’t think straight. But it does not necessarily follow that Ms. Romney, or the Republican party for that matter, should do anything for them. Even if that means losing elections; it’s not a matter of winning elections, it’s a matter of “you aren’t saying anything if you aren’t rejecting anything.” And the message is a simple one. The message is that people are good. People are worthy. Women are people…so are men.

Your observations are all entirely valid, Ms. Rosin; I’ve met the very people you are describing and what you have said about them, and their reactions, is spot-on.

But, swing-and-a-miss, nevertheless. The problem isn’t what you’ve been noticing, it’s what you haven’t been noticing.

Bob is a Racist

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Memo For File CLXVII

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Yep I’m absolutely cracking up here…because it seems to me it’s the same people who were criticizing the Republicans four years ago for having way too many white male faces in front of the camera, are criticizing them this year for exposing the brown and female faces. The criticism is about prejudice being revealed by some kind of consistency, and the criticism itself is consistent, yet the observations on which it’s based are diametrically opposed from each other.

I was corrected in my use of the phrase “left-wing,” read that word “corrected” as “put on notice that someone with access to the Internet disagrees.” There followed a bit of silliness: Left-wing has to do with a search for equality, right-wing with an acceptance of or even laudatory praise for situations involving inequality. Adolf Hitler, furthermore, was right-wing because with that whole Final Solution thing, he clearly had no problems with inequality…

It doesn’t work because actually, Hitler was just as obsessed with equality as any other left-wing dictator in the twentieth century — once the undesirables had been culled from the herd. And it also turns out that the other dictators commonly accepted to be left-wing, also had their own plans in place to trim the gristle from the steak before leveling out what remained. So with those observations, the distinction is largely erased, which effectively nullifies the definition because it no longer defines, and defining things is something definitions are supposed to do. But there’s more: If you’re enchanted with the idea of forcing or upholding or establishing or preserving some notion of “equality,” but only within a scope you get to define by eliminating everything that doesn’t fit in it, then you really aren’t about equality when all’s said & done. In fact, it could be said that what you mean by that word is actually: “I don’t have the attention to detail to differentiate statuses within this block of people, which I have separated out from that other block of people over there.” That isn’t a belief in equality, that’s actually a belief in inequality basted in a micro-management neurosis and served up with a generous side dish of laziness.

And that in itself might be a suitable definition of “left-wing”: Trim and tenderize. Get rid of the undesirables and even out whatever is…well…left.

Does it work in 2012? Well, we made reference to that joke told by Jodi Miller: “…President Obama said he doesn’t think anyone would suggest He’s tried to divide the country; at least, not anyone from the half of the country that matters.” Bingo. That is precisely what we’ve been seeing for the past four years, a so-called “leader” who might be big enough to be President of some of us, but nowhere near big enough to preside over all of us, since He doesn’t think in those terms. There are just people who are supposed to count, and people who are not supposed to count. So this definition would work today…it would work during the Storming of the Bastille, or shortly afterward when Napoleon took over…unfortunately, it would include Hitler among the “left wing” and it would include the southern democrat slaveholders from the Civil War era in that crowd as well.

But that’s probably fair, because it would include the pro-choice crowd with precisely the same logical justification: “We are actually supportive of basic human rights, we simply object to them being applied to those people, over there, because we don’t recognize that they’re actually people.” Um, who am I talking about, the slave-owners or the pro-choice crowd? I seem to have lost track, since this summary could apply equally to each. That’s kind of the point. And this continues to apply, albeit in a softer way, to those friends of ours on the “left” with whom we discuss politics…in the office, during family reunions, over the Thanksgiving table, and so on: They love to engage in this “free and open exchange of ideas” but it isn’t too long before you hear one among their number indulging in a familiar monologue of there’s-no-point-discussing-this-with-someone-who. In the post-Reagan era, this has become almost a signature.

The policy proposal must be carried out, it must apply to everyone, involuntarily, it cannot be tested in a sandbox anywhere, it has to be deployed “in production.” There cannot be any way of getting away from it. But, those who are privileged to debate and discuss the details, must be confined to a crowd of elites. Especially when we’re talking about having some actual influence! Can’t leave those important decisions up to just anyone…just because they’ll be, y’know, impacted in their everyday lives by the new plan. Price caps. Wage controls. Health care plans. New taxes. Carbon exchanges. None of this can be opt-in…and yet…”there’s no point discussing this with someone who…’

Friend of a Facebook friend (FOAFBF?) made her opinions known because she actually works at a non-profit that “advises” ladies who are in need of family-planning services. She was adamant that she and the rest of the staff do not “pressure,” they merely advise. And she was equally adamant that pro-choice does not, repeat not, mean pro-abortion. Mkay then, nothing we could do but take her word for it…

However I could not resist a question: As long as we’re parsing out these fine and nuanced differences…since she had had some harsh words for Rep. Paul Ryan for voting against VAWA, and “pro-choice doesn’t mean pro-abortion,” it should probably be stressed that voting against the funding for a program does not necessarily indicate a desire for more of whatever social ill the program was intended to address. Would she agree with that? NO, she replied, in no uncertain terms…public servants needed to be held accountable for their votes, and the impact these votes had on people’s lives. Hmmm.

I was just talking about lefties being hyper-sensitive to the “there’s no point discussing this with someone who” situation, their way of being smaller, softer lefty tinpot dictators, their way of drawing the perimeter around the elite crowd that gets to talk out the details of the plan, to sift the wheat from the chaff. Well the right wing has problems with this — odd, since the right wing is supposed to be more eager to embrace the realities of inequality. The premise on the right seems to be, if the spiffy new policy has merely the potential of impacting you, nevermind those spiffy policies that provide solid assurance that they will impact you…then, in those cases, you should have a right to participate in what’s going on.

But, in situations where the opposition says “Our argument must be teased out down to the tiniest, ultra-nuanced details, and even then I reserve the right to pixelate it even further, during such occasions as your annoying logical thinking has exposed something ugly about it, just so I can generate some confusing noise” and then whiplashes away from this viewpoint in evaluating the argument of the opposition — “you said such-and-such, so that must be ‘dog-whistle language’ for such-and-such-some-other-thing” — then the whole discussion devolves into nothing more than an exchange of personal prejudices. Paul Ryan is pushing old ladies off cliffs in their wheelchairs but don’t you dare insinuate that I’m trying to make more abortions happen when I “counsel” these girls.

At that point, the right wing needs to play the game of “there’s no point having this conversation with someone who.” Now if the right-wing is really about embracing inequalities, that should come naturally. But, in my case, it does not, and I predict most people who identify themselves as “right wing” will have a tough time with this.

“Five Reasons Women Will Rule the Future”

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Cracked, from four months ago.

#5 doesn’t impress me much. Whatever’s plentiful as sand in the Sahara will be as precious, and ditto for whatever is like an albino moose. #3 is scary as hell…and ya know what…not just for the men.

These days, major breakthroughs, at least in the realm of science, require many years of specialized knowledge and schooling in the fundamentals of your particular field. Which, if you’ll recall, is what the women have over us…many years of specialized knowledge and schooling.

You know what men are great at? Any single thing. Since we’re often more focused and goal-oriented, men are just stellar at hunting a lion, or climbing a mountain, or writing a column, or killing the guy who killed our brother, or putting a thousand little widgets on a car part better and faster than the lady next to us on the assembly line…

You know what computers and machines are good at? The same stuff.

Well, that last part is a bit more complicated. To whatever extent that factor really does apply, it’s been applying since the early 1800’s and maybe even before that.

But, the “major breakthroughs” thing. That’s a real problem. If you could plot the entrepreneur’s cost involved in achieving a genuine major-breakthrough, across time year by year, this curve would be extremely scary. Today, for a solid-state computer component you’re talking something approaching a billion dollars. Contrast that with five hundred bucks a mere third of a century ago and no, that wasn’t just because Jimmy Carter screwed up the economy.

Regulation represents a hidden cost in this, less overt than the exponentially complicating technology, but no less significant. After all, the technology was already getting complicated in the eighties. By the close of that decade it was turning into a real mess, with processor models and memory models being torn apart and glued back together again. So the platform was not merely increasing in complexity, it was shifting. The ground rules were changing insofar as how one accessed memory, executed instructions, et al…but the stuff got built, on shoestring budgets. And companies got started. And gobbled up, and destroyed, and started again.

Anyway, enough about that since it’s just one item on the list. My point is that women are not going to realize a genuine advantage here. This is an Idiocracy situation in which every piece of technology worth using, “was invented by some really smart guy who lived a long time ago and nobody knows how to maintain it” as the well-worn litany goes…and our cumulative experience has taught us something here. It appears to indicate that technology being carted around in all these different heads, each specializing in only a piece of it, the knowledge of which is then gelled with that person’s unique background and conceptual understanding — has an illusory property to it. It isn’t entirely fictional, but it is certainly fraught with problems. It lacks mobility. No one person can answer a question about an existing system “So if this thing over here changes in such-and-such-a-way…how can we expect the system to behave in that situation, over there?” So…we don’t really have revolutions, and what revolutions we do have are not in bedrooms or garages. And nothing on the scale of Hey look, a spreadsheet…or Hey look, a new sort algorithm…or Hey look, a voice-activated recipe database file.

Item #1 is worrisome too. “Women seem to love funny men, and another study showed that they like men with prideful, brooding expressions and a strong sense of shame.” Ah, just like that ditzy airhead was saying in that advice column, “Everything that needs inventing has already been invented boys, learn to rap and do your crunches.”

I’d be less worried about an emerging matriarchy, frankly. Some chicks can be pretty smart. This is more like a long, slow, society-wide self-destruction: No thinking is worth anything, save for the thinking that makes it possible for us to be good neighbors for each other.

I foresee — or, at least, I portend with some concern and alarm — a wave of destruction. Because people cannot be static; if they reject creativity, they must ultimately embrace destruction. We can’t stand still. We must lose.

“Hulk Hogan Bodyslams Obama”

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Former Obama supporter.

From here.

“What Have We Learned from the Failure of Socialism?”

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Maggie Thatcher, appearing on Firing Line with William F. Buckley in 1977.

“We have stopped creating wealth.” An observation that fits these times. This point goes over liberals’ heads, I’ve noticed. They react with indignation and some measure of rancor to the idea that the Obama Stimulus has failed, accuse the critics of being fact-challenge, and start duly reciting their “facts.” Jobs created or saved. It doesn’t seem to register with them that their examples are almost entirely concerned with overhead, with teaching and construction jobs making up the bulk of what they have to discuss here.

To make their ideas look good, I’ve said many times before, it is necessary to make similar things look entirely different, and different things look identical to one another. This is a distinction they are not allowed to recognize nor will they allow anyone else to recognize it: There is creating wealth that did not exist before, and there is creating some kind of resource or conduit that will enable the wealth to be created. The latter counts, but only if the former clocks in. If the road is built but nobody uses it for anything, save to buy some more malt liquor and smokes and tattoos and lottery tickets, the economy isn’t going to be helped much.

Ed Driscoll, who headlines it as “And now, a Few Words from Margaret Thatcher on the Failure of Obamanomics.” By way of Instapundit.

Paul Ryan’s Speech

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Well a few hours before, I had some errands to run and so I was listening to another speech, by Rush Limbaugh. Rush, in turn, was making a reference to Chris Christie’s speech:

Those people — the undecideds, the swing voters, the independents, whatever you want to call ’em — are the target. And it’s clear. It is clear. We suspected this and we got confirmation of it the day before the convention, and people told me I was wrong, that they didn’t really say that.

But it’s clear that this convention is not going to criticize Obama. This convention so far. Now there’s still two nights to go. But last night there was not a recitation of Obama’s record. There was not one effort. I’m gonna tell you: I had high hopes when Christie started with his “what we believe and what they believe” stuff. I had really high hopes for that. I thought, “Okay, now we’re gonna get into telling the country that’s watching this who the Democrats are; what their policies are.”

We didn’t do that. And the prevailing reason is, “Well, everybody knows, so we don’t need to say that.” Let’s go to the audio sound bites and start here at number seven. This is Ed Rollins this morning on America’s Newsroom on Fox. Bill Hemmer said, “Ann Romney didn’t mention Obama by name; Chris Christie didn’t mention him by name. He just said ‘the president’ one time.”

ROLLINS: Not hitting on Obama was a perfect way to go. We all know the Obama record and don’t need to have it reinforced.

RUSH: “Perfect way to go,” not to mention Obama. “Not hitting on Obama was a perfect way to go.” Clearly what we’ve known for years is true. The Republican hierarchy, from its consultants on down, truly believes that mentioning Obama by name and then criticizing will cause these swing voters that Luntz had that I told you about to run straight back to the Democrats. It is clear they believe it.

Naturally, I profoundly disagree.

But I think also it’s obvious that these people don’t see this as a turning point election. They see it as just another one in the cycle. Here’s Joe Trippi. Joe Trippi is a Democrat consultant. Trippi ran Howard Dean’s ill-fated campaign in 2004 when John Kerry (who served in Vietnam, by the way) ended up being the nominee. He was also on the Fox show this morning. After Ed Rollins said, “Yep, yep! Not hitting Obama was the perfect way to go,” Joe Trippi said…

TRIPPI: Christie last night, there’s been some disappointment he didn’t go after Obama enough. But what he did was talk to the undecideds out there. If he had pounded on Obama in that way, I think it woulda turned those people off.

RUSH: Folks, I’m literally going insane hearing this. I want to know why these independents don’t get turned off when Obama calls Romney a murderer and a felon. Why is it that independents only get turned off? Why is it that our guys are agreeing with a Democrat consultant? Why is it that the independents only get turned off when we’re critical? And we’re not even being “critical” when we tell the truth!

And I thought that’s what Christie’s speech was about. “Tell the truth! We’re gonna tell the American people hard truths.” We didn’t tell the people hard truths about Obama. We’re not telling people the hard truths about where this country is headed. We’re afraid if we do that, that the independents won’t want to hear that, and they’ll go running back to Obama. And yet Christie said in his speech, “They can handle the truth. They want the truth.

“The American people, they’ll gut it up every time when they know the stakes, just like the Greatest Generation, or World War II generation.” Well, somehow what Christie believes hasn’t been adopted by the rest of the party, because we’re afraid of telling the American people the truth about Obama. You’re hearing the Republican consultants say it. It’s good not to do that! Why, it’s gonna send these independents running back to Obama. But they never run from Obama when Obama calls us murderers.

The independents don’t get upset when the hear this media guy, David Chalian of Yahoo say, “Oh, yeah, Republicans, Romney? They love having a party when black people are drowning and brown people are drowning in New Orleans!” No, independents don’t mind that. You notice how the Democrats don’t have one ounce of these fears that we have? Yes, I know the reason; I know the answer. It’s all psychological. We’re buying a bill of goods, and we have for a long time.

It’s a good question, “why these independents don’t get turned off” when democrats lash out with their venom. I think the answer is that this has to do with the way a left-wing regime works: “First order of business is we have to stop all this fighting and all this conflict, so everybody just do what we say.” And people are generally obedient and amenable to demands. The more progress the left makes, the easier it becomes for them to make further progress from then on, for as the political landscape changes more toward something hospitable to their efforts, independent thinking erodes. This way of thinking takes hold, and then grows, and it says that the measure of a man is how eager he is to take orders.

I think that’s the problem with these so-called independents. I thought Rush said something about how democrats can actually kill a woman and then claim the Republicans have declared a “war on women,” referencing Chappaquiddick.

I’m looking forward to his next show in another four hours. To see what he has to say about the next Vice President’s speech:

President Barack Obama, came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those are very tough days. And any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My own state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it. Especially in Janesville where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that G.M. plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said, “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.”

That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns where the recovery that was promised is no where in sight. Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. 23 million people unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life.

Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all. So here’s the question, without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?


The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy. At a time when he got everything he wanted under one party rule. It cost $831 billion. The largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.

It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare anachronism at their worst.


You — you the American people of this country were cut out of the deal. What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted.


Maybe the greatest waste of all, was time. Here we were faced with a massive job crisis so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent.

You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation and nothing else his first order of economic business, but this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all or nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.


Obama Care comes to more than 2,000 pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines that have no place in a free country.


That’s right. That’s right.

You know what? The president has declared that the debate over government controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of American who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obama Care.


And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obama Care came at the expense of the elderly. You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with the new law and new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money; they needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.


An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for.


The greatest threat to Medicare is Obama Care and we’re going to stop it.


In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and the wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and she moved in with mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved. We had help from Medicare and it was there, just like it’s there for my mom today. Medicare is a promise and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan Administration with protect and strengthen Medicare for my mom’s generation, for my generation and for my kids and yours.


So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue , the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate, we want this debate, we will win in this debate.


Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close. It began with a financial crisis. It ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause. It ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.


It began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States. It ends with the downgraded America . It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired., grasping at the moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.


You know, President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, “Well, I haven’t communicated enough.”


He said his job is to, quote, “tell a story to the American people”. As if that is the whole problem here? He needs to talk more and we need to be better listeners?


Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years, we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House.


What is missing is leadership in the White House.


And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago. Isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?


In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt unpatriotic. Serious talk from what looked like a serious reformer. By his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him.

And more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanks them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.


RYAN: Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing — nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.


Very simple. Not that hard.

And then…the zing.

President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.


But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy that Barack Obama inherited, not the economy as he envisions, but this economy that we are living.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.

I wonder if it was planned from the very beginning to leave Obama’s name unmentioned until the middle of the week? Or is someone listening to Rush, and typing really fast?

Mayor Mia Love

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

“You Want a Stranglehold on Your Men by Means of the Jobs Which I Give Them”

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Atlas Shrugged, pp. 216-217:

“Well, it’s like this, Miss Taggart,” said the delegate of the Union of Locomotive Engineers. “I don’t think we’re going to allow you to run that train.”

Dagny sat at her battered desk, against the blotched wall of her office. She said, without moving, “Get out of here.”

It was a sentence the man had never heard in the polished offices of railroad executives. He looked bewildered. “I came to tell you –”

“If you have anything to say to me, start over again.”


“Don’t tell me what you’re going to allow me to do.”

“Well, I meant we’re not going to allow our men to run your train.”

“That’s different.”

“Well, that’s what we’ve decided.”

“Who’s decided it?”

“The committee. What you’re doing is a violation of human rights. You can’t force men to go out to get killed — when that bridge collapses just to make money for you.”

She searched for a sheet of blank paper and handed it to him. “Put it down in writing,” she said, “and we’ll sign a contract to that effect.”

“What contract?”

“That no member of your union will ever be employed to run an engine on the John Galt Line.”

“Why…wait a minute…I haven’t said –”

“You don’t want to sign such a contract?”

“No, I–”

“Why not, since you know that the bridge is going to collapse?”

“I only want–”

“I know what you want. You want a stranglehold on your men by means of the jobs which I give them — and on me, by means of my men. You want me to provide the jobs, and you want to make it impossible for me to have any jobs to provide. Now I’ll give you a choice. That train is going to be run. You have no choice about that. But you can choose whether it’s going to be run by one of your men or not. If you choose not to let them, the train will still run, if I have to drive the engine myself. Then, if the bridge collapses, there won’t be any railroad left in existence, anyway. But if it doesn’t collapse, no member of your union will ever get a job on the John Galt Line. If you think that I need your men more than they need me, choose accordingly. If you know that I can run an engine, but they can’t build a railroad, choose according to that. Now are you going to forbid your men to run that train?”

“I didn’t say we’d forbid it. I haven’t said anything about forbidding. But…but you can’t force men to risk their lives on something nobody’s ever tried before.”

“I’m not going to force anyone to take that run.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to ask for a volunteer.”

“And if none of them volunteers?”

“Then it will be my problem, not yours.”

“Well, let me tell you that I’m going to advise them to refuse.”

“Go ahead. Advise them anything you wish. Tell them whatever you like. But leave the choice to them. Don’t try to forbid it.”

This is one of my favorite scenes. It made it into the movie, in some form…which didn’t quite do it justice, but it still emerges as one of the most impressive scenes in the film. It illustrates the culture-clash, vividly: Process versus outcome. Instructing versus thinking. Committees versus individuals.

It seems humans have always had this gut-level instinct to impose themselves as gatekeepers, arbitrating what others can and cannot do, think, say — when & how they can work. There is, unhappily, a companion gut-level instinct that people have, to do as they are told.

I think we make a mistake when we see people sort themselves out this way, and presume it’s a process of a team sensibly shaping itself into leaders and followers. In many cases it’s a lot more like wolves and sheep. As this scene suggests, perhaps a good test by which the difference can be told, is the quality of leadership; is any responsibility being taken there? One of the themes permeating through Part I of the book that didn’t quite make it into the film, is that from beginning to end it is a stinking fustercluck of these “committees” deciding absurd things that are not up to committees to decide. Like, for example, the metal is unstable or the bridge is going to collapse.

I blame schools, personally. Not all of them, just the routine, and not all of the routine. Just the thing where the teacher says “Who can…” or “who has…” and these hands start shooting up. The swivel-heads start swiveling their heads, trying to see what everybody else is doing with their hands, so they know what to do with theirs. I think all of us who were in public school have been swivel-heads at some time or another. And I think that’s where it starts. Ooh, ooh, I’ll know the answer to this question just as soon as I know what everybody else thinks about it…

Update: Reminds me of this

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to barbeque at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as “the Conservative movement.”

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly barbeques and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlymen.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.

This has bothered me for an exceptionally long time, I have to admit…I recall it from the schoolyard playground. Those four words, “all right you guys” as some pipsqueak would go through the motions of taking-charge. At age eight I hadn’t put too much thought into this at all, but it always bothered me that the four words were always, always, always sequenced that way. It was suggestive of mindless ritual, and I didn’t much cotton to the idea of being organized into a hierarchy, subservient to some other level that was driven by mindless ritual.

Yes, “history of politics” is obviously a joke, with some passages in it that are clearly not meant to be any kind of reflection of real events. But this particular one, with the first liberals attending a beer-meat-barbeque for which they themselves provided absolutely nothing, and taking charge with the stone-age version of “all right you guys” — hell yes, that happened. I’m convinced of it. It started, then, and it hasn’t stopped. Useful as a bucket with no bottom, because the “committee” drives everything, but takes no responsibility for the outcome of any sequence of events. None whatsoever.

Individual makes a knuckleheaded decision and it turns to crap, there’s only one thing to do: Admit “That was a mistake I made, right there” and…if there’s a sincere desire to keep it from happening again…do some learning. After swallowing hard and taking responsibility.

Committee makes boneheaded decisions and it turns to crap, the thing to do is deflect blame. Never accept it, under any conditions whatsoever. Worst-case scenario, everyone involved will have been found to have followed policy and the policies were flawed. In which case, nine times out of ten nothing will be fixed, the rest of the time a task force will be formed to revisit the policy.

Nobody, but nobody, feels any kind of real reassurance that things are about to get better when a committee takes charge. There’s a reason for that. They are jokes, symbols of the weightiest authority in any given matter being seized by those who know and learn the least. They are devices for avoiding blame and avoiding responsibility, and in service of that purpose, they work exceptionally well.

Reading This Right?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Oh, my…

Looks like a case of “illustrating absurdity by being absurd.” The expression on her face would support this…

Girl’s got some stones.

Thanks to Little Miss Attila.

Update: The Facebook post where it was uploaded, provides no clues to the source within the thread underneath…that I can see, anyway. I’m seeing some lefties leap to the conclusion that the redhead is an empty-headed righty who lacks the proper sympathy and concern for real assault victims, this seems to me a bit reckless. It could be that she’s a lefty who is mocking the GOP. Or that it’s ‘shopped. I suppose the subtlety of the elephant-logo pin on her shirt, would tend to indicate it is the left, and the Obama campaign, that she’s mocking.

Either way, it highlights — to those receptive to the idea — that the myth of the “GOP’s war on women” is ridiculous.

Clean Sterile Movies

Monday, August 27th, 2012

We’re having some mixed results with A Better Queue. Overall it is a very worthy resource, and I admire the way an innovative new service is added, useful to so many, by means of a simple database cross-referencing operation. And when the rubber hits the road, it’s a big improvement. Without it, the Lord of the Manor (me) just plugs up the Netflix instant queue with “creature features.” Variety suffers. Even more than you might initially expect, variety suffers. A young couple will go out to the lake/river/ocean and start fornicating, the creature will immediately take care of the fella, there will be some long tortured scene where the female fornicator thrashes around trying to save herself, to no avail, the credits will roll, another woman will emerge and say something to show how tough she is, there will be another guy who’s a big jerk, and then the star of the film will emerge and show how likable and tough he is…there will be a mad scientist who’s responsible for having made the creature with some kind of brain implant, hormone or cross-breeding…the Colonel or General with a full head of hair, who doesn’t look like he’s been in the military for a single hour his whole life, who has secretly commissioned the mad scientist to make this beast for the military…jerk will get killed…mad scientist will get killed…then there will be some long drawn-out scene full of “swimmers” serving themselves up as hors d’oeuvres for the beast, then the tough dude and tough girl will break out some kind of explosive device…

Well, anyway. We get better variety with A Better Queue. It lives up to its name.

But there is an interesting side effect: When we make use of the service, we are more likely to watch older movies. And, this leads to some inspired thinking taking place when we see scenes that could not be put into movies now. These scenes all have something in common, which is more than a little bit disconcerting: They would clearly be bad things to put in movies if, and only if, one proceeds from the assumption that movie scenes will be acted out in real life.

Now, I personally find the “Porky’s” type of scene where a cute funny guy peeks into the girl’s showers to be stupid and annoying. To say nothing of, for the era, way overdone. It isn’t funny unless you’re high on some kind of a drug, and that’s what was going on in the early eighties. Kids were going to movies baked. Yes it’s a good thing they stopped doing that, in no small part because in real life, the guy peeking in the girl’s shower would surely be caught and then he’d have to spend the next several years of his life being required to register in every new neighborhood. That all by itself makes it unfunny. But, at the same time, let’s be real: Movies didn’t stop having this scene because it’s unfunny, or in bad taste, they stopped putting it in because the wall between fiction & reality was torn down.

“Don’t put X in the movie, because when people see it they’ll start doing it.”

That’s why there’s no smoking in movies now. Liquor is next; imbibing it on-screen is discouraged.

With the Peeping Tom thing, the whole point of the joke, as I understood it, was that teenage boys are hormone-crazed pervs. Which they are. So there’s actually a lot more going on here than “Don’t put it in the movie because then people will really start doing it”; the message that accompanies it is, “teenage boys don’t want to see a naked girl anyway, and if they do want to, they shouldn’t.”

We have here, locally, two stories in the past year, of some “gentlemen” uh, bringing-themselves-out in public places. It is as if heterosexuality is being repressed and driven underground. And perhaps that is exactly what is happening: Our society has lost the middle ground on good manners. For the boys and the men, there is whacking off in the middle of a coffee shop without a care in the world and spying on naked teenage girls in their bathrooms, then there is keeping it a complete secret from the world at large that you have any romantic leanings in the world whatsoever — other than the fact that you might have a wife. Nothing in between those two extremes.

We see it in the legendary intergenerational movie icon, James Bond. Let’s see, what was the first Bond movie in which, when we see England’s super-spy for the very first time in the film, he is intertwined or in some other way associated with a pretty girl. Well, that would be the very first one, Dr. No. And this was a staple Bond-introduction method through On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when his wife got killed…leading to Sean Connery’s return in Diamonds Are Forever, in which he kicked off the film interrogating a bunch of bad guys to find out where Blofeld is. Okay, so there was a disruption, after what…seven Bond films over nine years. (And, for what it’s worth, Connery’s spy character threatened to strangle a woman with her own bikini top, so maybe this isn’t even a disruption.) Then in the second installment of the Roger Moore era, something funny happened: It was the bad guy who was introduced with a half-naked pretty girl sharing his opening scene. Bond, on the other hand, was introduced with the standard banter with Moneypenny outside M’s office.

Didn’t seem like much of a change at the time.

Nor does it seem noticeable that, since Tomorrow Never Dies, you have to wait a good long time before James Bond has anything to do with pretty girls in skimpy clothes. Seems like just yesterday, but actually that was fourteen years ago. The villain, on the other hand, is surrounded with them. It’s just the natural order of things; the man-to-woman sex drive is associated with evil, and not alluring “James Dean bad-boy” type of evil, but genuine, toxic undesirability. No, we’re not coaching growing young boys to turn into homosexuals. But we’re doing all we can to keep them from being straight. Is it still alright to approach a young lady and tell her she’s pretty? I dunno. Probably not. Kids certainly aren’t going to be sure. They won’t ask older male authority figures, like me; if they did, I wouldn’t know what to tell ’em; if I did, it probably wouldn’t be okay for me to comment one way or the other.

How about non-threatening, innocent small talk? Sure, just as soon as she takes off her headphones! Yikes. Glad I’m not on the singles market nowadays.

So let’s see what we’ve got here. There are things you absolutely cannot put in movies and then there are things that are highly discouraged and probably are not going to be green-lit by the producers. Spying on naked girls is no longer cute — that’s good — if it were, it would still be a no-go because it is presumed, irrationally, that people in real life will start emulating what they see in movies — that’s bad. We haven’t talked yet about ethnicities of bad guys; we see from this undervalued Cameron/Schwarzenegger entry that it used to be alright to have actual Arab-descent terrorists trying to blow things up and kill people. Bizarrely, it would seem this stopped being okay the day it actually happened. Smoking is prohibited, alcohol consumption is discouraged. The good guy cannot be conspicuously associated with pretty girls but the bad guy can. Gay is fashionable, straight is not, and heterosexual urges in all forms are to be severely muted down, unless they’re urges from the female toward the male. But we mostly see that in “romantic comedies” full of drama about: How can she get him to notice her, or some such thing…

This is all something we tend to overlook, because we don’t like thinking about how society is morphing when we spend money on entertainment. But, as Pericles said, just because you don’t take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you…and the people who make the movies, it becomes evident from time to time, are concerned about this constantly. They’ve allowed this dividing-barrier between fiction and reality to break down, which means we all have, and there’s this feeling in the air like we’re going in the right direction because there is a value system in our movies. That feeling is wrong, because this is a value system that has a powerful and lasting effect within our kids, and it isn’t inspected much. The old-school James Bond, who saved the world from Hugo Drax’s necklace of death satellites that would’ve wiped out the entire world’s population with the deadly Orchid nerve gas, would now be a pedophile and a stalker and a perv, licensed to kill but nevertheless required to register in his London locale as a sex offender. But it’s alright to cheat on your wife, or rob a “money train,” or a bank if the bad guy has kidnapped your daughter and is forcing you to.

We’re supposed to be so concerned when we find out about these stories in which witnesses to horrifying crimes and accidents clearly see something is wrong, and yet do nothing. It seems silly to suppose that society is moving in any particular direction, for are people not essentially static? But if we accept there is some rapid deterioration in effect, it seems even sillier to go looking at our entertainment media as a possible cause. Might I suggest that neither one of these are silly, perhaps both suppositions make perfectly good sense.

The good-guy chancing to notice something amiss, following a trail of leads, figuring out the bad guy was involved in some plan to blow up the world and then using his ingenuity and resourcefulness to stop it, saving the lives of thousands or millions of strangers — that used to be a staple. Now, it is a rarity. In fact it seems to be something approaching contraband.

“Undecided Moderate” Posers

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Got a lot of “undecided centrist/indy/moderate” posers out there trying to make up their minds whether Romney/Ryan scares them more than Obama/Biden. They do not behave with the genuine curiosity one expects from people who are truly in a process of “trying to make up their minds” about something, though, and it’s heartbreaking watching the informed rightward-leaning trying to sway them. Many times I see the interaction break down into a spectacle of the supposedly-undecided trying to recruit the decided…which, of course, isn’t going to work any better than the other.

This gets a little bit into the “little people” post. It has always been a truism in American politics, going back at least to the 1960’s, that those who lean left are much more concerned, in a schoolkid kinda way, about deciding things the way the mythical “everybody else” has already decided them. And so it seems they’ve launched this recruitment effort: Act out this “play,” among family & friends, in which you’re supposed to behave like you don’t know what to do, and then start “noticing” all these “facts” about how Obama and crew will save America and you saw Paul Ryan push a little old lady off a cliff the other day.

One of my favorite Monty Python sketches becomes applicable. Substitute “undecided moderate” in place of “burglar,” and “Obamazombie” in place of “encyclopedia salesman.”

This is likely a much bigger thing in the human condition than mere politics: People pretending to be “undecided,” when they know darn good and well that they don’t have much deciding to do. The gratifying and immediately-rewarding choice to make, versus the right one.

Caveman and the Calculator

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

A brief and crude distillation of all arguments between liberals and conservatives. It would have to be revised for most issues that have something to do with foreign policy, or oppressed-minorities and their rights-rights-rights, but I submit that it works for most issues that have to do with social spending:

Liberal: Meet Winifred Skinner or whoever, one of [umtyfratz-many] Americans who, like her, would have no idea in the world how to pay for their [stuff] without the wonderful, wonderful [program]. Without this benefit, Winifred would have to pay one, two, three thousand dollars every year…or month. But thanks to us liberals, for her it is free, free, free! Furthermore, with that two thousand dollars in Winifred’s purse, she ends up spending it, which creates jobs, which helps the economy…

Conservative: Yeah, as opposed to what those taxpayers would have done with it if they could’ve hung onto it, stick the two thousand dollars in a Cuisinart and hit puree, I suppose. Look, your help-the-economy argument is bolluxed, flat-out, because you’re dealing with a law of averages and the law of averages is very clear: People do not spend money with as much discretion when it is given to them, as they do when they earn it. Think how you drive your own car compared to how you drive a rental; think how homeowners maintain their homes, compared to residents in public housing. It’s no contest. As for the benefit, sure it works out well for Winifred, and in the here and now. But programs such as these have shown a distinct pattern across time, of creating dependency classes who end up achieving far less over a lifetime than they otherwise would’ve. So there is the side effect of creating a dependency culture, and then there is the displacement problem in that, whether we can see it or not, the economy is missing the dollars that have gone into paying for this program, which in the very best case scenario are simply replenished when Winifred spends them…but the very best case scenario is not likely to apply…

Liberal, with theatrical exasperation: Look, I don’t know how to make it any simpler. Winifred is benefiting to the tune of two thousand dollars. Without the program, she’s two thousand dollars behind. Why can my conservative colleague not recognize the value of two thousand dollars??

Free Healthcare!It is that last, paraphrased, comment that piques my interest here, specifically the very last raspy inquiry that I placed in the italics. I remember my lifelong-democrat-voting Uncle Wally, rest his soul, demanding of me, visibly frustrated with his face growing flush, “What is the matter with your Dad?? Doesn’t he know he’s poor??” Obviously, the answer could not be “No, he has no idea, he thinks he’s a gazilionaire.” But here we have a problem with the whole lib mindset, and it must go back aways because Wally was more of an FDR-era kind of lib: If you don’t come to the same conclusion, you must lack comprehension. And here is the part that baffles me, I have to say: As genuinely agitated as the liberal is with the observation that everyone & his dog isn’t leaping onto the bandwagon — genuinely irritated, the complement deserves special emphasis because you can’t fake this — somehow, there is not too much thought that has to be applied to where the point of dispute might be. The first theory is the best theory. Oh, you must not understand that you aren’t a millionaire. Oh, you must not be able to comprehend the number “two thousand.”

Always, always, always always always: It comes down to something the liberal understands that the other side doesn’t. Even when the liberal would concede, and in short order, that his or her frustration comes from a lack of understanding. There never has been a shorter-lived mystery. Oh, I get it, the person who doesn’t agree with us must have lost sight of some basic, basic thing. Comprehension of four-digit numbers, that must be it.

In the example above, the conservative is measuring the proposal according to both sides of it, whereas the liberal is measuring only the one side which is the benefit. I think most liberals would admit to that much…at least, right up until the time came to admit they were failing to factor in something, relevant, that the other side was taking into account. At that point they might stop admitting it. But either way, no matter how you carve it or look at it, the conservative is looking at a net whereas the liberal is looking at a gross. That would mean the conservative is in monopoly of the more useful viewpoint, the more sophisticated one, the one that can be used to assess whether this is a good idea or not. This is a matter of simple accounting definitions. When’s the last time you heard of an accountant, or the businessman for whom he works, lauding the fact that an operation has realized a “gross profit” or bemoaning its “gross loss?” It isn’t going to happen, because that isn’t how you make that kind of an assessment.

But our liberal friends think, with politics and social services programs, that’s how it’s done. Look at only one side, and that’s good enough. Winifred gets her stash! Yay, Winifred!

It is exactly like — I have used this analogy many times, might as well get it blogged — handing a caveman a calculator. After you’ve thawed him out from a block of ice, or roused him from a good long nap, or whatever. Without the education in the many fundamentals, of course the caveman cannot use the calculator, but something else will happen. As sure as you’re reading these words on a computer screen, or I’m typing ’em into one, the caveman is going to come to the conclusion that the calculator is stupid. Seldom, if ever, will any living breathing being have ever been more sure of something. The calculator is stupid, the guy who built it is stupid, the guy who invented it is stupid, and anybody anywhere who sees anything good about the calculator, will likewise be stupid. That is precisely how liberals see conservatives; they must be stupid, stupid, stupid.

Calklater not heavy. Hit animal in head with it, animal not fall down. Can’t kill food with caklater, what good it? Me use rock instead.

Calklater, meet rock. Boom. Me try this many times, calklater lose every time. Calklater dumb. We-ell…that is what the caveman would say. This isn’t a lesson that applies exclusively to cavemen, or liberals, it’s really human nature. We have trouble recognizing opportunities to learn things. It might be the biggest human flaw. We take the trouble to familiarize ourselves with something, and if something else comes along that is different, we leap to the conclusion that the new thing must be lacking. We only recognize worthy things in what’s familiar, which means we only recognize sophistication in what is familiar.

Our friends, the libs, have become superlative illustrations of this flaw. They have become caricatures of it.

It is often pointed out by conservatives, who see just as many of the flaws in liberal thinking as I do — that means, many — that not all liberals are stupid, some of them in fact are quite bright. This is true. I’ve met quite a few intelligent liberals. Trouble is, though, they fall into that trap of thinking, any & all who disagree with something, must necessarily be the ones missing the information. They prematurely dismiss the possibility that they might be the ones missing it, that maybe it is their opposition drawing from multiple perspectives, and they are the ones making use of only the one.

I can’t criticize them for failing to conclude this, even when it turns out to be correct. I do criticize them for dismissing it out-of-hand, though.

When you’re just so stinkin’ smart that there’s no need for you to ever consider the possibility that you need to learn something, there’s a trolley that’s come off the tracks somewhere. How do you do that? I can’t even relate. Every morning when I get out of bed, it’s: Resolve the biological issues, get that damn coffee going, and get on the Internet to find out what the hell happened. Isn’t that what everybody does? Bathroom, coffee, and read-up? In whatever way it’s managed, whether by teevee or newspaper or computer; you roll out of bed thinking, there’s a gulf between what I know and what I need to know. That, and I gotta go to the bathroom and I need coffee. Our friends the liberals seem to be missing one-third of that basic, basic formula. What is it like to go through life that way? I honestly don’t understand it. Which makes me curious.

And, when a lack of understanding automatically leads to curiosity, right off the bat that makes me different from the subjects I seek to study. They can surpass milestone after milestone in the spectrum of mounting frustration, and from what I’ve been able to see, entirely fail to realize even the slightest ambition to try to find out more than they already know. Calklater lose against rock, calklater stupid.

And they call usslope-foreheaded“!

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

“Why We Need to Primary Guys Like This…”

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

“Primary,” the verb, meaning to “cull.” Datechguy on Charlie Crist’s none-too-surprising endorsement of Barack Obama for a second term:

If we had listened to this crowd Charlie Crist would have been Barack Obama’s Goto republican in the senate. The “goto” Republican on every MSM TV show when they needed to paint the party as the problem in DC, he would have been the Arlen Specter of the south, the “goto” republican who could be counted on to appear on any network to hit the party until Pat Toomey beat him.

If you want to know why we need to primary guys like this, even if it occasionally costs us a seat, this is it.

As for Crist himself. Democrats backed him over their own candidate in a last ditch bid to stop Marco Rubio and like the useful idiot he is, Charlie is paying them back in the only coin he has left. He will get one more round on the Morning Talk shows before he fades, only to be pulled out when they need an “ex-republican” on a panel with an occasional appearance on liberal talk radio.

I’m wondering: What’s the most extremist Republican position anybody could name? Crist calls out the Akin amendment, saying “look no further.” Well, it turns out there is actually more than one view on that.

So Republicans are the extremists on abortion? Not so fast.

If you’re like most Americans, you believe that abortion is morally wrong. You oppose abortion on demand. You think abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances. Even then you favor restrictions on its use, including 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent in the case of a minor, and requiring a married woman to notify her husband before she gets an abortion. You want late-term abortions to be prohibited, and you reject using public funds to pay for any abortions. (These are all majority opinions, reflected in numerous polls. A broad compilation of decades of polling data, “Attitudes About Abortion,” is updated regularly by Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute.)

Does the Democratic Party uphold these mainstream positions? On the contrary: It rejects every one of them.

Though one-third of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life, the Democratic Party platform is strident in its defense of abortion on demand. The party “strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade,” the platform avows, and abortion must be made available “regardless of ability to pay” — that is, at public expense. The 2012 platform, in language recycled from 2008, vows to “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine” the availability of abortion. While solid majorities of Democrats back some limitations on abortion — 59 percent would ban partial-birth abortions, for example, and 60 percent endorse a mandatory waiting period — the official position of their party is that even common-sense restrictions are unthinkable.

In both cases, it’s just a situation of a political party doing what political parties do, crystallizing the existing bias into something more brittle and uncompromising. In both cases. So Crist’s argument is phony. And that’s the only one he’s offering, since he says “look no further.” As for the plus side of supporting President Obama, the word “invest” is sprinkled throughout, well, liberally. Everyone with a brain knows what that means: The taxpayers pay for something, against their will, and a politician takes a bow for whatever the money buys as if it was his blood, sweat and tears making the money that paid for it.

Crist is a flim-flam man. Which is his rep; but this is something good to keep in mind next time someone proposes sweeping aside an “extreme” candidate in favor of another who has “mainstream/crossover appeal.” Republicans need guys like this, like a hole in the head.

“Every Major’s Terrible”

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

From Geeks Are Sexy, bringing to life the notorious xkcd comic.

“Hot Girls in the Middle of Nowhere”

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

From The Chive.

“‘Issues’ or America?”

Sunday, August 26th, 2012


The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.
When a President can ignore the plain language of duly passed laws, and substitute his own executive orders, then we no longer have “a government of laws, and not of men” but a President ruling by decree, like the dictator in some banana republic.
ObamaCare imposes huge costs on some institutions, while the President’s arbitrary waivers exempt other institutions from having to pay those same costs. That is hardly the “equal protection of the laws,” promised by the 14th Amendment.

John Stuart Mill explained the dangers in that kind of government long ago: “A government with all this mass of favours to give or to withhold, however free in name, wields a power of bribery scarcely surpassed by an avowed autocracy, rendering it master of the elections in almost any circumstances but those of rare and extraordinary public excitement.”

I’m afraid that’s the vision: Vote in the guy who likes “us,” and “win,” over those other people who are trying to take our “rights” away…it’s rather ironic when you think about it. For generations, the rule of good manners has been, don’t discuss politics or religion, talk about sports instead. Here, after all the water has flowed under the bridge, we find our politics have been taken over by little people who seem to see all of life as some kind of a football game. Win. Beat. Rout. Trounce.

They babble away with incoherent but obligatory bromides about “level playing field” and “building a society that works for everybody.” But when pressed to give reasons why everyone else should do what they say, it always leads to some lecture about some hated person, or hated group, or class, which should rightfully not be deciding things…in any way at all…and has to be neutralized. The irony.

So I suppose it should not be surprising that these people vote for laws, the same way they vote for people — they do not come from a world in which one thing counts for as much as another. They’re voting on weights. If so-and-so won, then these people become more important than those people…and these laws become more important than those laws. And they are prisoners of such thinking, because if the other guy wins then, from out of nowhere, they conjure up this thought that they, and theirs, have been somehow diminished, and may be on the way toward extinction. “We offered our ideas and the electorate said no” is a thought that never penetrates the ol’ cranium.

Would a return to high school civics class fix this? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We will always have the ignorant. But the politician who panders to this, seems to me to be an avoidable pestilence; perhaps, therefore, a curable one.

Update: Jodi Miller gets it: At 0:54, “In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, President Obama said he doesn’t think anyone would suggest He’s tried to divide the country; at least, not anyone from the half of the country that matters.”

That’s a good way of summing it up.

Little Lies For Little People

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

The big thing that happened yesterday, apart from Commander Armstrong leaving Earth for the last time, was the Obamapologist democrats getting caught in another lie. But this one is not just another cash-versus-accrual-basis-accounting, could-be-construed-as lie, this is a forehead-smacking, “how did they ever think they could get away with that” lie.

Much has been said already about the “Republican woman voting for Obama” who turned out to be a posing die-hard lefty activist. After the info had a chance to come out, it emerged that another so-called “Republican woman” had a similar background. At this point there is very little to be added, except one thing…

First, watch, for context…

For me to make my observation, I must zoom out, use my recollection, think back; it will likewise be necessary to think back in order to get it. But review recent history about the lies coming out of the defenders of the current President. Think about the subject matter. Notice a pattern?

They all have to do with two things: What’s-everyone-else-doing, and what’s in the bargain for me, me, me. They’re all lies that wouldn’t work on real Americans. As statements, they are all statements that would have negligible-to-nonexistent effect on people who actually build stuff. Free stuff from the government? How’s everybody else voting? What the hell do I care?

But, the little people are all worried about their free shit…that, and how do I have to vote to fit in, like they’re still in middle school or something. And, of course, it is offensive in the extreme to ponder seriously what the Obama democrats think about women. And infuriating. Odd reactions to elicit in people, when the core concern is supposed to be about not-offending-someone. There are maybe two seconds — out of 156 — that have to do with “equal pay,” the rest of it is all birth control, abortions and Roe v. Wade. And, tellingly, the ad signs off, finishing strong, with one of the “Republican women for Obama” saying “If we don’t look out for our interests, how do we expect someone else to?”

Priorities!The entire perspective is diseased. There’s no other word for it. This is all an election is ever about, just groups of people getting together and then whoever is outnumbered is forced to do things to suit the other people who did the outnumbering? That’s the whole point, really? Election time…let’s raid that billfold.

This is the attitude that made America a superpower, huh?

Invented the telephone and the light bulb.

Defeated the Nazis and the Communists, secured “last man standing” status after the Cold War.

Put a man on the moon and launched the space shuttles.

I don’t think so…and I don’t think the America I know, appreciates this kind of message too much…

I think there’s a Republican mole in Barack Obama’s campaign. It keeps doing dumb, stupid things, putting out this stuff that makes me think “Whoever did this should be fired before sundown…no, wait…now that I think on it, I hope that doesn’t happen.”

Our current President is telling lies. They are lies a technologically savvy president, even feeling somehow inclined to tell such lies, would not tell, because it is only too obvious how the liar would be caught. But the lies are not even directed toward Americans who want to be part of the American legacy, Americans who are interested in building great things. That’s my observation: Just like His statements that actually have some truth to them, His lies are only addressed to a part of America. To the little people with little hearts and little brains, who just want to do what they think everybody else is already doing. And pocket lots of free stuff, with the bill sent to strangers.

The “How Dare You Not Believe Blah Blah Blah” Thing…

Friday, August 24th, 2012


Earlier Friday, we reported that Mitt Romney upset many in the so-called “mainstream media” when he joked that no one has “ever asked to see” his birth certificate while speaking at a rally in Commerce, Michigan. MSNBC hosts, however, went ballistic on Friday, calling his joke “racist” and bigoted, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Host Alex Wagner explained that Romney was clearly ‘scraping the very bottom of this sort of racist other-ist narrative,’” Charlie Spiering wrote.

Michael Eric Dyson amplified that remark, claiming that Romney was appealing to the “base bigotry” of the GOP.

“In this he’s revealing for us, I think that we should be grateful for this but it’s pretty scary to think that a political figure at that high a level is resorting to some of the basest, most despicable bigotry we can imagine,” he said.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes called Romney’s remark “hipster racism.”

“I don’t even know what to do with that joke, it’s like a lasagna of metaphor. I don’t know what, it’s like so piled up, somebody, Adam Serwer at Mother Jones referred to as ‘ironic post-birtherism,’ it’s like hipster racism basically,” he said.

One demerit for using the word “basically,” and an additional demerit for using it in precisely the way I described earlier. Chris Hayes, born in 1979, wishes to lecture us about “hipster racism.” Basically.

I’m getting so sick and tired of seeing people vilified as monsters, for merely suggesting a sluggishness about believing…whatever. Skepticism, mere questions, the faintest whiff of hesitation or doubt. Or, the mere lack of certainty. Or something that might be interpreted as lack of certainty.

Quicker than Obama blaming George Bush for something, and just as predictable, there’s a butt-hurtey two-minute-hatey-hatey.


It’ll be nice when Obama’s gone. I’m not gonna miss this. Just fucking childish as all get-out.

Breeding Like Bovines

Friday, August 24th, 2012

So over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, this image appeared…

…and under the name of a male. One who is by no means left of wing, in general. So I’m assuming the sentiment behind it is one of true libertarianism, a “woman’s right to choose” being not an expression of modern liberalism, but a true desire for greater personal liberty across the board.

Nevertheless, even granting that and overlooking all the attendant contradictions, there is some passion behind it, and it is male passion. Which is part of a phenomenon I have been noticing: Men who are extremely opinionated that men…shouldn’t have opinions about this thing. I just don’t understand how that is managed. How do you do that?

Favorite question to ask the libs: If voter ID is an impermissible encroachment on one of our most sacred liberties, The Right To Vote…and abortion restriction, in any form, is an impermissible encroachment on one of our most sacred liberties, The Right To Choose…do I then enjoy a sacred right to vote yes on a law that will restrict abortion? Oh, my. What a crowbar to toss in the ol’ sawblade. The stammering, stuttering, bumbling incoherence you get back, the deer-in-the-headlights look you get. You can see “Do I get to phone a friend?” right in their big, wide, bulging eyes.

There is a pattern with modern liberalism, in which they elevate personal liberty above the policing and regulatory authority of the state when, and only when, it’s got something to do with sex. The deviant practices of sex, and the consequences that follow.

However, I’ve long picked up the vibe here that what we’re really talking about with the “men shouldn’t express opinions about abortion” issue is: How do humans breed. And the problem I call out is, if the decision to carry the child or to abort it belongs entirely to the woman, it isn’t such a great leap from there to say that raising the kid is also entirely the responsibility of the woman. And I fear there is the school of thought out there that says, yeah that’s exactly how it’s done. Men just kinda run around spreading, the women “get” pregnant and “have” children and raise them. Like cows raising calves. Humans are supposed to breed just like bovines.

Once again, we see nobody who believes that actually puts that together word-for-word and writes it, or speaks it. It would be too evident in its destructive energy and destructive intent. But that does seem to be the rule. And, we see at school when kids are hurt, or get in trouble, are accused of something…it has become part of the bureaucratic normalcy to make sure the mother is notified and once that’s done, well, mission accomplished.

It is clear how we got here. Feminism has become very powerful over the last several decades, and it has never been too fond of what it calls “the patriarchy.” And we all know what the patriarchy means: The poppa meets the momma, he provides a house which then remains his, and together they raise his family then he makes sure his sons can do big he-manly things so that they can start their households with their new wives who will raise their kids…so feminism comes along and says, more credit for the momma. More credit, more ownership, more responsibility, more privileges, more rights. Let’s be fair, it is the bureaucrats, actually applying the rules, who come to the conclusion that fatherhood doesn’t matter anymore. And they reached that by just thinking narrowly. The feminists just gave them a push in the general direction, then the pinheads did what pinheads will always do: Minimalist thinking. Kids have moms. They don’t have dads, not unless all kids have dads, for if all can’t have something then none of them can…and not all of them have dads. Next problem.

Question, then: If feminism is all about equal rights, and it doesn’t have anything to do with eroding the glory and the potential of the human equation, then how come it has never put too much energy behind a drive to carry surnames down the female line? I’m not talking about hyphenated names; that’s just a softly bubbling angry cauldron sitting on the back burner of our society, muttering away “look out lefty and feminist I am.” I’m talking about a complete reversal. They marry, his name gets lost, the kids get her name and carry it on. Carter spent all that energy trying to move us to the metric system…and in the middle of an energy crisis too, might I add. Lefties just love to flip society over like a pancake in other matters, why not here?

This has to do with personal ambition, desire to become a better person. Fathers are supposed to have this talk with their sons, are they not? I had it with mine: “There is a reason you have two names, and your job is to keep them both good.”

Perhaps the answer is as simple as: The feminism we know, has always been quicker about erasing inequalities that have to do with these “rights,” than about confronting other inequalities that have to do with responsibility. This one is obviously the latter. But if equality is the goal, and the family is to be re-wired and re-configured to prepare for a new matriarchy to displace the patriarchy, it nevertheless seems like this should be a natural next-step. Well, it hasn’t been. The energy hasn’t been directed here. It’s been directed toward making it easier to sue men in the workplace, for feelings of whatever in potentially unstable females that those men never even noticed were there. Followed closely behind by, left-wing male politicians whose policies are just a big hot mess on their local economies, getting re-elected by way of feminist-buzzword-gimmickry so they can do some more damage. Those two things, abortion and gay marriage, that’s where feminist excitement is directed and has been directed.

At any rate, I would offer that this has been the source of some of our societal decline: The desire for a decent personal reputation has been identified as one of the bits of baggage that are supposed to be tossed in the bonfire, with the rest of the hated patriarchy, and reduced to ash.

The cows raise the calves. But the calves do not share the cow’s last name. So they don’t serve the purpose of carrying any kind of reputation into the future. With that change made, children cease to function in their unique role of preserving any kind of immortality. The desirable attributes of youth, itself, are entirely lost. Kids become nothing more than a pain-in-the-neck, a bunch of curtain-climbers, trouble-making whelps who have to be constantly told put-that-down, don’t-touch-that.

Much like the calves. No place for them except maybe between the vegetables and the mashed potatoes.

But if the kids aren’t worth any more than just that, then neither are the rest of us. Uh yeah, that includes all classes of us, male and female, gay and straight, all colors. Two ninety-nine a pound with your Safeway club card, that’s all we’re worth.

“Sixty-Six Years of Us Would Take the Starch Out of Any Nation”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Tough to come up with a headline/post for this one…not so tough to excerpt. P. J. O’ Rourke, at his finest (hat tip to Maggie’s Farm):

When did America quit bragging? When did we stop punching hardest, kicking highest, roaring loudest, beating the devil, and leaving everybody else in the dust?

We’re the richest country on earth—four and a half percent of the world’s people producing more than twenty percent of the world’s wealth. But you wouldn’t know from the cheapjack spending squabbles in Congress. We possess more military power than the rest of the planet combined. Though you couldn’t tell by the way we’re treated by everyone from the impotent Kremlin to the raggedy councils of the Taliban. The earth is ours. We have the might and means to achieve the spectacular—and no intention of doing so.
For fifty years, from 1931 to 1981, the US had the longest suspension bridge spans, first with the George Washington Bridge, then the Golden Gate, then the Verrazano-Narrows. Now even Hull, England, has a more spectacular place to make a bungee jump. Although we are in the lead with that. The elasticized drop from Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge is 1,053 feet long, showing that whatever America has lost in technological superiority we’ve made up for in sheer idiotic behavior.

Speaking of which, there’s our space program, which has basically ceased to exist. We have a NASA that might as well have been dreamed up by Alger Hiss. In order for Americans to get to the International Space Station, they have to go to Russia.

And in order for Americans to get to the bottom of how the universe works, they have to go to Switzerland. We were planning to build a high-energy particle collider in Texas that would have had a circumference of fifty-four miles—three times the size and power of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. But Congress canceled the project in 1993.

America has had plenty of reasons to abdicate the crown of accomplishment and marry the Wallis Simpson of homely domestic concerns. Received wisdom tells us that, in the matter of great works and vast mechanisms, all is vanity. The Nurek Dam probably endangers some species of Nurek newt and will one day come crashing down in a manner that will make the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima tsunami look like an overwatered lawn. And we have better things to spend our country’s money on, like putting a Starbucks on every city block. But I suspect there’s a sadder reason for America’s post-eminence in things tremendous, overwhelming, and awesome.

My sad generation of baby boomers can be blamed. We were born into an America where material needs were fulfilled to a degree unprecedented in history. We were a demographic benison, cherished and taught to be self-cherishing. We were cosseted by a lush economy and spoiled by a society grown permissive in its fatigue with the strictures of depression and war. The child being father to the man, and necessity being the mother of invention, we wound up as the orphans of effort and ingenuity. And pleased to be so. Sixty-six years of us would be enough to take the starch out of any nation.


America once valued the high-skilled. Now we value the high-minded. We used to admire bold ideas. Now we admire benign idealism. This doesn’t make us good, it makes us wrong. The bold can be achieved. Of the ideal, there is none in this life.

Trudging toward infinity versus trudging toward zero. The zero always seems easier because it’s closer, but the irony is that we destroy ourselves getting there because we have to abandon our creative energies. What do you do, the day after you’ve succeeded in approaching the zero? You become an embodiment of silliness, much like the dog that can catch the car. Seriously, what do you do? Nail it again?

So I would not put all the blame on the baby-boomers. How many Gen-X slackers do we have who want to fly to Mars? How many Millennials? This isn’t a problem with a generation, it’s a problem with an event.

Blogger friend Gerard linked earlier this month to some other, topical commentary:

Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined

I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.

This may sound bizarre or just plain false, but the argument is simple. That landing of men on the moon and bringing them back alive was the supreme achievement of human capability, the most difficult problem ever solved by humans. 40 years ago we could do it – repeatedly – but since then we have *not* been to the moon, and I suggest the real reason we have not been to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it. Humans have lost the capability.

Now, how did we get here exactly? Travel back to the early seventies by whatever time-travel vehicle is at your disposal: Books, retro DVDs ordered over the Internet, Netflix Instant. You have to wonder how we made it through the decade. It certainly doesn’t look like the apex of hundreds of thousands of years of human achievement, by any stretch.

Think about a baseball reaching its very peak in the trajectory after it has been thrown. Once it reaches that point, it plunges to Earth again — but not because it hit something, right? No, it runs out of kinetic energy after a cumulative depreciation. The net effect has been applied since it left your fingertips, about a second or two previous, and it is achieving relevance at the peak now that it has succeeded in changing the vertical direction from an up to a down. In fact, at the apex there is no meaningful event taking place at all, other than that change from an up to a down, and that change is merely a manifestation.

Point being: As we look for an event, even accepting the idea that the zenith was around the time of the moon landings, we need to look for something prior to that. Possibly preceding it by several years. We landed on the moon in spite of something that already had a good head start gnawing away at us. Since then, all this destructive force has done, is grow some more.

This doesn’t take too much careful thought. But it does take some.

I see lately we are very interested in changing paradigms. Coming up with a new transistor that is half as big as the one that came before; that is not a realistic vision for the pie-eyed dreamy kid building things in his garage. Such an achievement would be measured on the scale of nanometers now, manufactured in a million-dollar clean room owned and maintained by a giant public or private organization. Creating a whole new way of doing the switching, that might capture some imagination but not enough for actual implementation because, again, resources. Part of what has left us, seems to be the standing-on-shoulders-of-giants thing: I’m going to take what this other guy did, and make it look like nothin’. But when I accept my award I’ll be sure to call him out. That’s gone. Nobody wants to head down the same direction a further distance, they just want to head down a whole new direction.

By itself, that is harmless. In fact, by itself, that is the stuff from which big, bold dreams are made: Why fly over the Atlantic? Why not build a tunnel under the whole damn ocean? But there’s another problem. Heading off in a whole new direction is a productive exercise only when there’s a sense of purpose to it. A constructive sense of purpose.

Look at all the superheroes in comic books being rebooted right now. We could do another rant about Wonder Woman being put in long pants again, but now it’s a lot more characters than just her (although, since she’s always been lacking in definition vis a vis super-powers, secret identity, is she bullet proof, et al, she’s by far the best example of the problem). Superman is being rebooted in both the comic books and in the movie. To what end? He was rebooted just a few years ago. Ditto for Batman. Ditto for The Avengers over in the Marvel universe. And Star Trek. Reboot, reboot, reboot, reboot. Everybody wants to be bold. Well, boldness is good. But when you’re working from a blank slate just to avoid the research that would become obligatory if you were to build on top of what was there before, it isn’t bold anymore. It’s just lazy.

The litmus test is: Was the boldness built on top of a definable purpose. Of course, every artist and every one of their sympathizers is going to answer in the affirmative. No exceptions. But what is the purpose? Does it have any real passion behind it? “To create a Green Lantern that is in harmony with the values and concerns of the new generation”…that’s a cop-out. Fiction, by its very definition, is an inconsequential quibble of course. But it does carry the potential to say something about us, as it morphs to suit our evolving tastes. And what this says, here, is: We don’t want our parents’ superheroes. We’ll accept their names and their logos and their rough, general appearances, but we want new substance. We demand an imprinting of modern times. Aquaman using a cell phone, Invisible Girl using an iPad, not a soul on the bridge of the Enterprise over twenty-eight.

In a nutshell: Our culture borrows from what came before, only when it spares us work. Not when it challenges us.

We are still excited about building new things, but the new things we build are emblematic. They are signatures. They exist to say, primarily, “so-and-so was here.” They do not exist to make new things possible for others who will come along later. Quite to the contrary, being signatures, there will necessarily be some resistance to a wave of successors building on top of them. So look for more superhero-rebooting in the generations ahead. Our creativity is being channeled into distinguishing ourselves, from others, and not to expand the capacity of the human potential.

And here we come to the crux of the matter: The desire to distinguish ourselves from others necessarily must carry a hostility toward those others. Any remnants left in your project that are identifiable with what someone else has done, or is doing, become undesirable. So you need to purge it of the residue of not only your predecessors, but also of your rivals.

Besides of which, it’s lazy. The two toughest parts of building something that actually works, like a good economy, or computer hardware or software component, are: Recognizing that similar things are similar, and recognizing that different things are different. That takes some careful mental discipline when you work way down in the details. With this business of building uniquely identifying insignias, in which we all become Ozymandias, the job distills down into one step: Make your thing different. Job done. Who cares if it works or not. In the case of movies, there’s supposed to be some pressure on that the producer should make a profit; I’m sure that pressure is present in some sense, but it doesn’t have much of an instantly devastating effect when this bar isn’t reached.

We have this urban legend kicking around about the head of the Patent Office writing a letter to President McKinley, or Roosevelt, that this office should be closed down because “everything that could be invented, has been.” Perhaps, if it were true, the mistake would have been limited to merely writing prematurely. A century and some change onward, the electronic circuits are evolving still but much of this evolution has to do with integration, shrinkage, and some tricky particulars involved in 3D rendering; as far as the basic building-block science is concerned, people are more-or-less satisfied with it. The databases have been built, and indexed, and now they’re used to service these boiler room operators who so regularly violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the Do Not Call registry. The flat screen teevees, whether they are LCD or LED or plasma, work great. We use them to watch commercials that let us know how easy it is to sue somebody. Of course, we can skip past these with the DVR, but it takes some doing because this part is essentially an “arms race” between two technology consumers that are motivated by competing interests. You don’t want to watch the commercial even if the advertiser wants you to, and the advertiser wants you to be forced to watch the commercial even though you’d rather not. So there’s a lot of inventiveness going on there, but it’s essentially going in a circle.

Oh, and we don’t want to pay for anything — whether you have the ability to skip past these commercials or not, it’s pretty hard to spend any block of time absorbing electronic media information, without hearing the phrase “find out if you qualify.”

We still like to build things. But we like to build things that say something about us, we’re not interested in building things so the other guy can build something. That makes us destroyers. Lazy destroyers.

And it is the laziest and most destructive among the lazy destroyers, who pack the biggest wallop of influence. This means that the greatest abundance of “creative” energy, is spent passing judgment on each other. This is supposed to be God’s job, and we see what a mess is made when man passes judgment on man. Four years ago, how often did we hear the upcoming Obama vote justified with the phrase, “there still is some racism out there.” Yeah…and? So? Four years later, the President is black, has racism ended? Anybody think so? Where are our bragging rights? Who likes us better? There’s a lesson there.

If we want to know where the racism is, we only need to ask Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton; they’ve made lifelong livelihoods out of pointing it out. Do you want your sons to turn out like them?

If we want to know where the sexism is, I guess we ask Sandra Fluke, or Hillary Clinton. You want your daughters to turn out like them?

We aren’t changing for the better, because too much of our effort toward this “change” involves placing authority in people we do not see as role models, people we do not want to become. See, there’s the big problem. When Bruce Charlton says:

50 years ago we would have the smartest, best trained, most experienced and most creative people we could find (given human imperfections) in position to take responsibility, make decisions and act upon them in pursuit of a positive goal.

Now we have dull and docile committee members chosen partly with an eye to affirmative action and to generate positive media coverage, whose major priority is not to do the job but to avoid personal responsibility and prevent side-effects; pestered at every turn by an irresponsible and aggressive media and grandstanding politicians out to score popularity points; all of whom are hemmed-about by regulations such that – whatever they do do, or do not do – they will be in breach of some rule or another.

…what he is talking about is a delicate formula involving man, name, hat, move. The man would become elected, or appointed, or perhaps move himself into, the position. The man would wear the hat. He already would’ve had the name, and he would have worked his whole life, before that time, to keep his name good. But he couldn’t make the move until he wore the hat, because the authority for such a decision belonged to the hat, not to him. So, the man with the name would put on the hat, and make the move. Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower launched Operation Overlord. Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company. Person did thing. Subject-verb-object.

These “dull and docile committee members” of whom the essayist writes, avoid doing things. They make their decisions with an eye toward, if someone in a greater position of authority asks which ass to kick, it won’t be theirs.

They are motivated by the destructive force which is currently acting as a cement to our building-block society. We’re looking for ways to distinguish ourselves without building anything. Got our eyes and ears out, keeping each other in line. Looking for a botched decision somewhere, some rule that wasn’t followed or interpreted correctly, or some “ism.”

That is how today’s man makes his name. That is the hat he wears, and he wears it from birth. Not “guy in charge of…” but, instead, passive tattle-tale. Use the hat to make the name, by tattling the right tale at the right time, as opposed to using the good name to earn the hat. And don’t make a move, whatever you do.

Which translates to: Build nothing. At least, build nothing but fashion. And don’t go destroying all the time, necessarily…but, by all means, keep your eye open for the opportunity.

“As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.”

Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Special Place in Hell for Ronald Reagan

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Oh my, how inclusive…how tolerant…

“Ronald Reagan deserves a special place in hell for his role in the war on drugs.”

The above comment was made by Democratic President of the Cook County Board of Commissioner’s, Toni Preckwinkle. There was no backlash, even from Republicans.

She was given a free pass by all.

Before becoming President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Toni Preckwinkle was a Chicago alderman. Chicago aldermen are famous for the disproportionate number of them who go to prison.

Preckwinkle is high-ranking member of the Chicago Democratic Machine, the political crime family that rules Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Government payrolls there are disproportionately loaded with friends and families of the politicians.

Contrary to popular belief, Preckwinkle is not a reformer or good-government type. She would could not get elected as County Board President if she were.

Toni Preckwinkle made the above comment about former president Ronald Reagan while speaking at a luncheon, “The Opportunities and Responsibilities of Public Service.”

When the audience gasped at her remark, she retorted and doubled down, “What? You didn’t like that?” There was no backlash. Preckwinkle is immune.

She retracted her “inflammatory remark” hours later.

The retraction was insincere hot air, that nasty carbon stuff. Chicago politicians’ apologies and retractions are meaningless gasbaggery.

Wow, it’s Reagan-Hate. Kinda like stepping back in a time machine.

Cook County, IL. So that’s Chicago, right? 15.2 Murder-Death-Kills per 100,000 population…democrat Mayor since 1931. Oh now I remember, that’s the airport whose signs were all wrong and nobody could do anything about it because the unions ran everything. How come it is these megalopolis cities with democrat leadership and high crime rates, can’t ever keep their big yaps shut? It’s at the point where there’s hardly any use pinpointing the location anymore, the profile is always the same: Zillions of people, scads and scads of rapes and aggravated assaults and property crimes, ranking high up on the list of violent/miserable cities, democrat politicians in charge for most of a century.

But they need a big bad conservative, for which they can blame all their problems.

Voter Fraud is Real, and It Gave Us ObamaCare

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Received from blogger friend Phil in a message over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging:

Vote Obama 2012, Abort the Economy

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Ye Gods, this does get tiresome. It would have been an accurate — and effective, from the looks of things — campaign slogan across my entire mortal existence now, or much of it anyway, and I’m no spring chicken: “Who cares if our policies are like rust on the wrought-iron of the economy, you have to vote for us for womens’ right to choooooooose!

I like Instapundit‘s headline: “Democratic Convention To Become Celebration of Abortion Rights.”

Dem Convention becomes anti-Akin affair

With an eye on Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and the GOP’s mad dash away from the sinking Missouri Senate candidate, the Democrats are turning their upcoming presidential convention into a pro-choice assault on the Republicans with the help of major abortion supporters.

Just as the Akin crisis was reaching a crescendo, the Democrats on Wednesday announced that three starlets of the pro-choice movement will be featured at the convention, an event that will now drive the liberal charge that the Republicans are anti-women.

Democrats said that they will feature Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of the NARAL Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whose plea for federal birth control funding drew the ire–and a subsequent apology–from Rush Limbaugh.

What’s more, the Democrats are expanding their list of women ready to assail the GOP on women’s issue, adding Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and actress Eva Longoria to the list that already includes Sen. John Kerry and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

Well, it is good to have this periodically tested: “Oh, you done stepped in it now you Republicans, just done pissed off the girls! We’re gonna make you pay for that!” Well, we shall see; honey and vinegar, you know. There are two problems with the vinegar approach: One, it doesn’t work as well, and two, the practitioner of the vinegar approach is the last one to realize it doesn’t work as well. Well, there’s a third: The women, apart from Longoria, are pug-ugly. I doubt that they will be speaking in dulcet, soothing tones to make up for this.

This was all the rage in the 1980’s, after the Equal Rights Amendment went down in defeat: Nasty women taking center stage and saying nasty things into powerful microphones with nasty nasal tones. Lest it be forgotten: Sandra Fluke is not an advocate for the right to abortion, she is an advocate for entitlements to contraceptive supplies free of charge. There is a very wide gulf between an entitlement advocacy and a rights advocacy. This is an important distinction to recognize in mainstream America, but the providers of the vinegar are the last to know.

I predict success is possible for them here, but only if they take great care to discuss only the things they want to discuss. After all, their true position is “Every single abortion that might happen, absolutely has to happen.” Their true constituency is: People who, for one reason or another, have made it their business to desire that other people should not have children. Either because they’re spinsters who don’t like to see other women getting married and starting families, or they’re part of VHEMT or similar silliness, or they want the United States to look more like Europe, or they’re profiteering from the abortion industry. Either way, their real beef isn’t with the availability of abortion, but with the abundance of its practice.

Speaking of abundance of practice: This “legitimate rape” thing continues to be discussed with great frequency. I thought nothing of it at first; it is, after all, the most incomprehensible part of the gibberish Akin was spouting on that show. But I’m on some lefty mailing lists, and I couldn’t help but notice when this bulletin rolled on in:

“Rape is rape.” The fact that President Obama needed to explain this to the Republican Party earlier this week says so much about how extreme the other side has become.

It’s only Wednesday, and we already have a lot to report this week.

Take a look at the items below, and share them with your friends and family:

The e-mail then includes a link to President Obama’s comments about the matter, which includes the “rape is rape” line.

The curious thing about this particular tempest is that there is a whole lot of anger being expressed, repeatedly, with very little information being exchanged. You’d think that if the matter was important enough to re-write the whole platform of one of the major political parties, every now and then you might see someone sorta break it down, and say why they think Akin’s comments were offensive. Which Obama, to His credit, did. But I don’t think He’s correct: “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, and qualifying, and…uh…slicing…uh…what types of rape we’re talking about, uh, doesn’t make sense to the American people.” We know it makes perfect sense to Whoopi Goldberg. But of course that isn’t mainstream-America; when she stepped in it, it was revealed that there is more than a grain of truth to what Obama was talking about. “Statutory” is a very important qualifier to the guy who’s been accused of this kind of rape, when he thought she was of age and it turned out she wasn’t; but then the girl’s parents are going to bring an entirely different perspective to the matter.

But, key point here: This issue is not that issue. Not unless you think, when Akin said “legitimate,” his intended meaning was “not statutory.” Yeah…didn’t sound that way to me. And I don’t think that’s what democrats have in mind when they send me these e-mails telling me that Akin’s values are Republican values. I think what we’re really arguing about here is the notion that the Tawana Brawley and Duke LaCrosse incidents never happened, where there’s smoke there’s always fire.

I think there are a lot of people incensed about Akin’s comments because “legitimate rape” makes it sound like there’s another kind. It would be hard to pick this up through the cloud of frustration one must feel after having been the victim of a legitimate rape, having gotten actually pregnant from it, and then suffered through listening to this blowhard spew away that it doesn’t happen that way. But it’s one thing to acknowledge that, and quite a different thing to surmise that there’s no such thing as a false rape allegation. Such a thought would be every bit as ignorant as what Akin said.

And the democrats get to run on that, without having to absorb the flak they’d be taking if they were to spell it out word for word — “women don’t lie about this stuff, there’s no such thing as a false rape allegation.” Rape, abortion, contraceptives…run the whole campaign inside the uterus, to distract from Obama’s failed economic record. What happened? I thought the whole push was to get “government out of my uterus” or something. I’ve read Sandra Fluke’s e-mail from top to bottom and it isn’t clear to me what her testimony has to do with Akin’s comments or vice-versa, all they have in common is the gestation process, and some vague and undefined notion of “rights.” Fluke was not testifying about legitimate and illegitimate rape; she was testifying about her and her friends getting free stuff.

Oh well, I get it I get it, support all of what we support or else you’re anti-woman.

It seems lately everything the democrats have to say to anybody, is of the form: “Support/vote for [thing] or else you’re anti-[some other thing].” And, always, there has to be a loss of some liberty somewhere, some freedom. In this case, everybody accused is supposed to enjoy a constitutional right to presumption of innocence. That’s anti-woman now? Because talking about “legitimate rape” is offensive.

Well, bring it on. I’m interested in seeing the consequences of the entire convention being run this way. Obama was supposed to fix everything. And now He’s doing what failed (male) democrats always do, which is to run on the “re-elect me or women will be reduced to womb-slave status”…

I’m not so enthused about the return of the “I believe you Anita!” era. That was a very silly time. Still gives me a headache thinking about it.

Atheists Are Vampires??

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

WorldNet Daily, by way of Fox News:

The group contends the placement of the 17-foot-tall symbol at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is making some atheists unbearably sick.

“The plaintiffs, and each of them, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross,” the lawsuit American Atheists v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey states. “Named plaintiffs have suffered …. dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack.”


Dyspepsia (indigestion) is best described as a functional disease. (Sometimes, it is called functional dyspepsia.) The concept of functional disease is particularly useful when discussing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The concept applies to the muscular organs of the gastrointestinal tract-esophagus, stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, and colon. What is meant by the term, functional, is that either the muscles of the organs or the nerves that control the organs are not working normally, and, as a result, the organs do not function normally, and the dysfunction causes the symptoms. The nerves that control the organs include not only the nerves that lie within the muscles of the organs but also the nerves of the spinal cord and brain.

So their esophagi, stomachs, small intestines, gallbladders and/or colons are not working right…because they’re looking at a cross.

Well maybe we could interpret it more charitably and flexibly, to say they are upset — because they’re looking around, across and toward land that is not under their ownership or control, and on that land they are seeing a reminder that there are other people who do not believe as they do.

They’re being intolerant. I submit that any other definition of the word, that doesn’t apply in this case, is not a workable definition.

Intolerant vampires.


Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

There’s a shark rule in place. If the sharks are not that hungry, and you somehow know this, it’s okay to look a little bit like a seal. But if they haven’t eaten all year long, which is the case with our lefty media here, then merely casting a shadow under the waves, is good enough to ask for trouble.

Phil lives in the state, and has some thoughts.

Interesting point made by Kingjester:

…unfortunately, while Democrats tend to shore up their ranks and defend their own, like a lioness defends her cub, Republicans tend to banish our wounded, like a leper to a Leper Colony.

Joe Getty, on the radio, made another good point: Everyone wants to talk about how outraged they are. Nobody ever talks the science about this stuff, as in, “by the way, that isn’t true.” Which strikes me as a bit odd, now that you mention it; Akin’s claim sounds to me, credibility-wise, a notch or three under the chestnut that your dotty old aunt sends you in the e-mail about gang initiation rituals involving driving around with the headlights off.

Well, if he’s to drop out, today’s the day to do it, and I hear he isn’t planning to.

I really can’t think of any substantial difference between “You can’t get pregnant from a legitimate rape” and “If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” Neither is true, and to the extent that either might be just partially true, the information would be so useless that it’s a daunting exercise to figure out what the point could possibly be; they’re both blisteringly offensive to whoever might be in the situation under discussion. Both statements imply someone let their mouth get ahead of their brain a little. But one has to do with the economy, which would, in a rational world, take center stage morning, noon and night; the other one was spoken by a Republican. And so we are to be obsessed with the Republican.

No policy differentials under discussion here. None at all. We’re just having an argument about how these politicians feel. That, right there, is the thing we have to get away from — that is the big lie. The people who think this is really important, and must somehow be acted-upon, are the people who are trying to put together a country in which “everybody” has a place, a role to play…and yet, how exactly is this to be acted-upon?

Search-and-destroy, that’s how. Oh look, a politician who has spoken some politically-incorrect thoughts about rape and pregnancy. Abracadabra! He should go away…

Update: Looks like it worked

b>Update: No, it didn’t

My Monday

Monday, August 20th, 2012

How’s yours?

Plastic Bag Bans Are Silly

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Nothing to add…

Sarah Palin Has a Suggestion for the President

Friday, August 17th, 2012

…and she had a lot of fun giving it, I think…

It’s the Weekly Standard… conspicuously promoted by Drudge.

It would be a great “game change” — to use the term applied 4 years ago to Sarah Palin.

And — amusingly — it would be Obama taking advice from Sarah Palin, who just a couple days ago said:

[T]he strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary. And I don’t want to throw out that suggestion and have them actually accept the suggestion because then an Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would have a darn good chance of winning.

Don’t you love the role of Sarah Palin in American politics? On the sidelines… looming…

She’s completely unqualified, if by “unqualified” you mean saying things as they really are without a bunch of bullshit euphemisms. Which, let’s face it, that is what that word seems to mean in this day & age. “He really does drag down that ticket” — that’s “unqualified.”

After all, it was the “qualified” people who were lecturing us during the campaign four years ago, and soon after Emperor Barry’s inauguration, that we had some kind of “senior dignified elder statesman” in our nation’s second-highest office. How’d that work out?

It may give some people ulcers to read it in black and white, but it’s probably wearing on ’em a lot quicker having the knowledge slowly gnaw away at them without anybody assuming center stage and actually spelling it out…so I’ll spell it out…

Sarah Palin is smarter than Barack Obama. It has been proven, multiple times.

She’s more intelligent and she knows more than he does. There is His area of expertise, which is to give large audiences an impression of what’s going on that may or may not be at odds with the truth, to drive a pre-selected interest forward…there is her area of expertise, which is to really fix things, haul in catches of fish on a boat, build stuff, hunt wild animals and so forth…there is the overlap between the two, like having reality shows. She has consistently outperformed Him in all these areas. And, she calls her shots, too. After her enemies score some kind of victory, she comes up with some kind of a plan, defines the steps, executes them and reaches her goal, as opposed to President Soetoro just scooting along like a giant cow-catcher, hogging credit and deflecting blame…yeah, I, uh, made the “gutsy call” to take out bin Laden.

Watching Sarah Palin and President Obama interact, in any given situation, has always been a little like watching a coyote and roadrunner cartoon. And the President is not the roadrunner.

Meep meep!

Biden Turned Down by Virginia Bakery

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

From Brietbart.

I was a bit taken aback by that thing with the Secret Service at about 2:30. Wow. If that’s really true…

Very pleased, though, that this issue in particular is finding currency. It’s not just a remark taken out of context, it has to do with how the American Left sees the world and the things in it.

It’s all about indulgences. Western civilization has generally aligned itself, for the present time and the foreseeable future, along an axis of: Right-wingers assert power of the individual over (or in spite of) the institutions, left-wingers assert power of the institutions over the individual. That is why this has emerged as the first of the four things upon which this election — hopefully — will turn.

The big super-issue is emerging, having to do with this viewpoint held by the leftists, how they see “the world and the things in it” as I said above…that is good. It is not helping the left at all. That is also good.