Archive for January, 2014

Bad News Should Travel Fast

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

“Thank you for the dinner and a very pleasant evening. Have your car take me to the airport. Mr Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.” — Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen, The Godfather (1972)

Bill Gates says

An essential quality of a good manager is the desire to seek bad news rather than deny it. An effective manager wants to hear about what’s going wrong before he or she hears about what’s going right. You can’t react appropriately to disappointing news if it doesn’t reach you soon enough.

Of all the bosses I’ve known who failed at this, a common theme that surfaces in my recollections is the desire to set a certain tone. The tone being, everything is going okay, all of the time. The workplace should be a happy-place. Other bosses were not quite so much into that, they were more into something like: You broke it, if it’s broken at all — each employee should feel accountable, therefore, as the sole author of any & all screw-ups, with everyone around him or her doing everything all wonderful & perfect. The latter deal with negative vibes, the former with positive ones. Both types of boss are guilty of retarding the crucial travel-path of bad news.

My experience within the managerial circle is very light, and it all has to do with the PM-level. That means I have no experience at all actually supervising staff, and what little I’ve done there has to do with tracking status. However, this melds seamlessly with the much greater experience I’ve had outside of management; status-tracking and problem-predicting is a baseline chore, one that’s never all the way done. All of these life-lessons, and the sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious events that have popped up from time to time, persuade me to believe the following: Setting the tone is overrated. A good argument can be made that it is not entirely out of the scope of a manager’s job. But it is mostly that.

The boss sees a potential for entirely losing-out on the ability to do the job of bossing, if the tone of the workplace gets out of hand; so the boss sets this tone, and in so doing, obstructs the flow of bad news.

It is true that you can’t fulfill the job of bossing if the office tone gets out of hand. But three other things are also true: One, that people are going to be happy or frowny-face pretty much no-matter-what, you can’t order them to be one or the other. Two, that if a central concern among everybody is the timely and appropriate handling of bad news, the tone will pretty much take care of itself.

Three: A lot of jobs cannot be done well, by someone who’s dreading moment-to-moment that he’ll fail entirely if one little thing gets out of hand. There are some notable exceptions, like brain surgeon, customer service rep, airplane pilot, soldier throwing a hand grenade, most of the time a construction-dude. Boss-of-the-office is different. That job cannot be done timidly; and it has to do with instilling a vision. Not a tone.

Looking in from the outside, I’ve come to see it as a very simple flow chart. Is the goddamn thing done yet? If no, keep plugging away. If so, then what’s the next thing? Find the next thing. It’s done, or it isn’t done. Either way, instill the vision, and not the tone.

I suppose after the really huge things are done, a few minutes of exception can be made for celebration. That’s a good top-down tone. Beats a Christmas party anytime. Make sure the victory is well-won, then order pizza. Pizza’s cheap.

Real Equality

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Burt Folsom:

What the free-market view means in policy terms is no tariffs for business, no subsidies for farmers, and no racism written into law. Also, successful businessmen will not be subject to special taxes or the seizure of property.

In America this view of equality is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Much of America’s first century as a nation was devoted to ending slavery, extending voting rights, and securing property and inheritance rights for women–fulfilling the Founders’ goal of equal opportunity for all citizens.

Progressives and modern critics of equality of opportunity have launched two significant criticisms against the Founders’ view. First, that equality of opportunity is impossible to achieve. Second, to the extent that equality of opportunity has been tried, it has resulted in a gigantic inequality of outcomes. Equality of outcome, in the Progressive view, is desirable and can only be achieved by massive government intervention.

To some extent, of course, the Progressives have a valid point–equality of opportunity is, at an individual level (as opposed to an institutional level) hard to achieve. We are all born with different family advantages, with different abilities, and in different neighborhoods with varying levels of opportunity. As socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “Give your son a fountain pen and a ream of paper and tell him that he now has an equal opportunity with me of writing plays and see what he says to you.”

What the Progressives miss is that their cure is worse than the illness. When government, for example, tries to correct imbalances in family, ability, and neighborhood, government intervention produces other inequalities that maybe worse than the original ones.

It’s a fundamental difference in outlook on life. The conservative says “If one guy managed to do it anywhere, then that means anyone can aspire toward it, and that applies everywhere.” The liberal says “If one guy fails at it somewhere, then nobody else can hope to do it anywhere…or, should be stopped from trying. And everywhere.”

“Understanding Climate Feedback”

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Goddard nails it:

1. Obama tells government scientists that they have to agree with him, or lose their jobs.
2. Government scientists then agree with him.
3. Obama then says “100% of government scientists agree with me”
4. Kook and Nuttercelli then write a paper about the 97% consensus.

Still not sure why President Obama went and did that (video behind link auto-plays). It isn’t smart politically, in the sense that it exposes the catechism-science as what it really is: Something masquerading under the label of “science” that doesn’t involve experience or experimentation. Phony-science that is molded into shape by politicians who talk too much.

And that is a fact. Say what you want about a process, but when it involves an inherent confusion between what’s certain and what is not, in fact comes to rely on that, it isn’t scientific.

Update: Ah, so that is where I saw it (hat tip Gerard again).

In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour. Trading reputational capital for short-term political gain isn’t the most sensible way of going about things.

Behind Every Annoying Woman

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Someone was researching the origin of the quote “Behind every great man stands a great woman” and they came away with…

The first printed citation I can find is from the Texas newspaper The Port Arthur News, from February 1946. This was headed – “Meryll Frost – ‘Most courageous athlete of 1945′” “As he received his trophy, the plucky quarterback unfolded the story of how he ‘came back’. He said ‘They say behind every great man there’s a woman. While I’m not a great man, there’s a great woman behind me.'”

It’s a great quote, no matter who said it, because it is a quote that believes in greatness. Not only greatness, but genuine gratitude. Post-1945, though, I guess we just can’t leave something like that alone

Behind every great man is no one. The woman is 3 steps ahead.

Behind every great man is a great woman. And behind them both is a queue of children looking forward to their inheritance.

Behind every great man is a great woman who gives him all that false confidence.

Behind every great man there’s a great woman…behind every great woman there’s envy.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Men aren’t supposed to be great anymore, apparently. That’s just not modern-thinking enough for us.

The Wendy Davis scandal makes me wonder if we’re seeing a reversal of that now. I’m wondering if it compels others to wonder about the same thing? “Behind every great woman there’s a man she dumped right after he paid for her education.”

“It was ironic,” Jeff recalls…”I made the last payment [on her Harvard Law loan], and it was the next day she left.”

The scandal has legs for two reasons: First, as a feminist icon, Davis’ credentials must be put to serious question since it’s hard to envision her as any sort of “independent” modern career-minded woman; she comes off looking more like a blood-sucking parasite. Second, no matter which way your political affiliations lean, I think we all should be able to get behind the idea that the people we admire should be good. We should be wanting our children to be more like those people. No one wants their children to go through life just using friends, relatives, spouses, and then tossing them away like empty eggshells.


New light is being shed, I fear, on a recent phenomenon:

Frankly, I don’t know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I’m not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we’re number one. There’s no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on “Macbeth”.

Boxer Feinstein and Pelosi, if I recall correctly, are all financial partners with their respective husbands, as is Hillary Clinton who also fits the profile and whose political agenda is in lock-step with the others. Pro-gun-control, pro-big-government, higher taxes, and always surrounded by this bullying, domineering aura of greatness. The rest of us are all supposed to think of them as great, accomplished women. But none of their admirers can offer any specific details as to why. This often happens with super-rich people, and all of them fit that. But they’re all rich because of their husbands.

The left has other caterwauling pantsuit-wearing female superstars who have had no husbands at all, and therefore could boast of being truly independent. This is where things start to get strange: The left does not promote them that way. The best they can manage to achieve is their patented feigned-theatrical-shock when the bachelorette’s sexuality is called into question. That whole thing doesn’t interest me too much, although maybe I should take the time to inspect it; it’s a glaring double standard, when you think about it a bit. How many “jokes” do we see in the modern era, politically-charged and otherwise, that are nothing more than references to male homosexuality? So it’s funny to think of male figures as gay, but shocking and intolerable to think of famous females that way? I don’t understand.

But the immediately relevant observation is: The left does not seem to appreciate independence, even when they’re bragging about it. They don’t seem to get what it is. They seem genuinely ignorant of the concept.

Which is remarkable, when you consider that their overall agenda — viewed from a very high, thirty-thousand foot level — all has to do with making all of us, not-that-way. Our health care, the education of our children, our defense from bad people breaking into our houses, our sources of energy, even the thoughts in our head are to come to us by way of centrally-administered and centrally-managed services monopolized by the state. Their sales pitch often has to do with principles of “tolerance” and “diversity” which they do not practice, and personal sophistication which they define only nebulously, clumsily. There’s a certain logic to that, you can’t really sell slavish dependence.

The profile of their dependency-salesman is shaping up much more crisply and clearly than the pitch the salesman is practicing. “He” is a female, who may or may not be married, but if there ever was a husband in the picture he’s mentioned very rarely, or not at all. She’s in the public eye a whole lot. But she doesn’t smile, unless it’s a Pelosi-grin that makes you wonder about her sanity. You never hear of her actually having a dialogue with anybody, although you haven’t long to wait for a sound clip of her droning on wisely about something, perhaps scolding someone who isn’t supposed to answer back, like an indignant schoolmarm talking down to her most sluggish third-grader. Wendy Davis aside, they’re all far, far less appealing to the male ideals of pulchritude than the average female you might see pulling up to a gas pump, or shopping on a weekend. One has the impression that the power-brokers are applying a standard of “no sane straight man would ever want to see her naked,” although trust me on this, you’re not allowed to point that out in mixed company. And yet so much energy goes into sustaining that standard, it seems almost impolite to indefinitely ignore the effort.

They wear pantsuits. Or stirrup pants. Which I suppose is fine now and then…but they do it all of the time. A woman wearing a pantsuit is like a stranger walking around at night; now-and-then doesn’t mean much of anything at all, but when it’s an all the time thing, no exceptions at all even across months and years, you have to start wondering about vampires.

But finally there is the voice. Oh, Lord in Heaven, the voice. Screech! Hey, we all send representatives to the capitol to win arguments, right? That’s the job. We should be expecting some people to show up there who are experienced, and therefore skilled, at winning arguments. We should expect them to have picked out and refined some tactics for doing this. But some politicians drone on in dulcet tones. To a fault; many’s the time I’ve wondered how their assistants manage to stay awake, listening to them talk like Charlie Brown’s teacher fifteen hours or more every day. Wa-waaa-wa-wa-wum-waaah-wum. Not so with MacBeth’s pantsuit-wearing pro-abort witches.

The glass shatters with every damn syllable. What’s it like to have dinner with contentious broads like these? You have to cover your eardrums every time you ask for the mashed potatoes?

Wendy Davis, for now, is remarkable as an exception to the “no sane straight man would ever wanna see her naked” rule — even though she fits the profile in all other respects. Most perplexing is the bullying overtone, emanating from somewhere, no one seems too sure about the source, commanding us to think of her as some sort of great person even though there’s no clear definition of her greatness. Lately, though, she’s begun to look a bit haggard, and perhaps the Dark Side of the Force has begun its aging process on her.

Point to all this is: If I were a left-wing power broker, I would be seriously second-guessing this idea of putting Ms. Davis out into the limelight as some rising political superstar. She has the potential to get people thinking and talking, about things I don’t think the left-wing power machine wants discussed. Questions just sort of naturally arise, like: What is the liberal-democrat vision for our daughters, anyway? We hear so much about what conservative Republicans want girls to do with their lives, and we’re supposed to think the worst of it, although most of us don’t find the idea of lifetime financial and emotional stability, with happy and healthy children and a loving husband, to be too dreadful. If you have an infant girl, how do the lefties want her to spend her life, if not that way? That’s the question I think people should start asking — better late than never.

Should she achieve financial solvency at all? If so, should it come from actually producing something? Or should she life off the efforts of others? Maybe sit on Harvard’s faculty, or go to Congress in a pantsuit and do a lot of screeching? A supply-and-demand problem emerges. There are lots of baby girls being born, and only so many slots there; no society can endure with too many non-producers, regardless of whether the non-producers can shatter glassware with their screechy voices.

I imagine the lefties want every girl to go to college; they say so. What kind of degree does she earn? A useful one? Who pays for it? Should she latch on to some dimwitted but high-earning husband, use him and then toss him away like Jeff Davis? Is it okay, on Planet Liberal, to be a shameless, blood-sucking people-using parasite when you’re a female?

The Wendy Davis mess compels us to ask the question. And keep asking, until we get an answer. A good answer, that doesn’t avoid the subject by smearing the opposition.

Hillary Clinton Further Adds to the Mystery of Why She Has Fans Anywhere

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

NBC Politics:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the “biggest regret” from her time as the nation’s top diplomat was the 2012 attack on Americans in Benghazi.

During a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Clinton called the loss of four Americans in the attacks “a terrible tragedy” and a “great personal loss.”

She blew it, big-time. Yay!! Or something…

n her remarks to the auto dealers group, Clinton waxed eloquent about her own family’s love of cars, but conceded that she hasn’t been behind the wheel since she was first lady.

“The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996, and I remember it very well,” she said. “Unfortunately, so does Secret Service, which is why I haven’t driven since then.”

++blink++ What?

CBS looked into this further (warning, video autoplays).

Speaking before a conference of car dealers on Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday confessed that she hasn’t driven a car in nearly two decades.

“One of the regrets I have about public life is that I can’t drive anymore,” Clinton said in a speech at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) meeting in New Orleans. “The last time I actually drove a car myself was 1996.”

She joked, “My husband thinks that’s a blessing, but he’s the one who should talk.”

Former presidents and first ladies receive lifetime Secret Service protection, so Clinton’s admission isn’t that surprising. Former President Bill Clinton has similarly lamented the fact that he doesn’t drive. President Obama, meanwhile, told a group of auto workers in 2012 that he intends to buy a Chevy Volt and drive it himself when he leaves the White House.

Wow! Good thing they’re democrats, so that when ordinary people find out they don’t share the common-man’s everyday struggles, they’re not hurt by it or anything. Of course, in the case of the dems, we’re talking about the political party that wants to make more rules about what cars we should buy.

They’re not doing what we have to do, yet they want to make rules about how we should do these things so that it’s harder for us to do them. And everyone seems to know all about this, including their allies as well as their opposition. So why do they have allies?

A dog would never vote for a politician that would make it harder for the dog to go outside and water the bushes. A cat would never vote for a politician that would make it harder for the cat to catch mice. A bird would never vote for a politician that would make it harder to build a nest.

But humans……….

Laughing At It Makes It Untrue

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Five examples just lately…

1. Any inconvenient fact or statistic about Obama wrecking the economy
2. Any inconvenient fact or statistic about family law being biased against men
3. Just about anything Sarah Palin says, including that last thing that found agreement from everyone with a brain
4. Mike Huckabee’s comment about womens’ libidos
5. Tom Perkins’ comparison of the 1% to Jews in Nazi Germany

The ole ‘I laugh, so it is defacto untrue’ argument…” It means the laughing-guy wants to participate, but has nothing.

Eight False Things That Too Many People Accept Unquestioningly

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

1. If someone gets into trouble by being an idiot, we all need to lose a privilege
2. If someone works hard and produces more, he needs to share
3. Whoever is most fun to watch, is most likely to fix a problem
4. Being offended on behalf of others, who may not even exist, is a noble pursuit
5. Society’s advances were achieved by those who found new ways to be offended
6. Raw emotions do, and should, pull rank over rational thoughts
7. Inequality of wealth must precede some economic calamity
8. If you laugh, or snort derisively, at true things — you can magically make them untrue

MSNBC Interrupts Congresswoman for Report on Justin Bieber

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

From Kate at Small Dead Animals.

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever…”

“I Can’t Believe We Made It”

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

I can’t believe we made it. from Bart Mitchum on Vimeo.


Thanks to the Brother-in-Law.

“Not Going to Get Into That Right Now”

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

From Townhall.

At 1:33, with the “We’re not gonna get into that right now” my interest is piqued. Especially since the host got back a very polite smile, and very polite question, “Why not?” No answer was forthcoming.

Kinda gets back to the subject of the post earlier this morning. And, the one before that. When we’re all obliged to leave certain things undiscussed to make your idea look like a good one, the question just naturally comes up whether that’s necessary to make your idea look like a good one.

What a Feminist Looks Like

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

From Chicks on the Right.

Winning by Forfeiting

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Something is going on lately in our culture and I’m not entirely sure what it is. My best guess at this time is that it’s not one single causative event, but measurable metrics moving along, each in one direction over time, failing to course-correct or to check the speed. The attention span is steadily declining while the feral-hunger drive to WinWinWinWinWin all the time, is riding a vicious cycle and being carried upward.

That’s just a theory. There may be some other explanation, perhaps many other explanations. But the effect is something like this:

It’s certainly not a female trait, or at least, it isn’t that anymore. Of the five examples I’ve seen just since Friday morning, two of them are from males. One is embroiled in an entirely unnecessary legal fight because he thought the amount being demanded by a collection agency was so off-the-beaten-path, that their communications were unworthy of any response out of him. Last month, in the episode that probably got me to start thinking about all this, the woman who’d been using the in-house-built computer application the longest was explaining to me why it was throwing an exception. I knew it couldn’t be happening the way she was speculating on it because I’d been maintaining the source code on it, and I knew it didn’t process things in that order. I offered to bring up the project so we could look through it together and she said “Oh no, I don’t look at source code” — and insist that her theory of what was happening, was the right one.

Happened again last night. I shared a picture that had been put up on the Hello Kitty of Blogging by a buddy of mine, a picture of a woman’s gorgeous rack which was made (technically) work-safe because the lady in question had just finished immersing her appendages in some delicious, and reassuringly opaque, ice cream. One of Mrs. Freeberg’s friends accused me of objectifying women and I replied something like, oh good, maybe this is the part where someone can FINALLY explain it to me: Admiring a woman’s boobs, somehow, since womens’-lib and all that nonsense, reduces her to boobs and nothing more. How does that happen? It doesn’t work like that with a woman’s brain, or associated talents. Come to think of it, doesn’t work that way with a guy’s eyes, face, abs or butt. Why are we so easily controlled with this cultural-agitprop about “objectifying women”?

Some of my other Facebook peeps, equally curious, began to participate with similar questions and observations. Once the complainant saw she was outnumbered, she declared the discussion over. And, herself to be the victor.


For the better part of an hour.

Another acquaintance from work, years ago, resolves to hide — and announce to everybody that she is hiding — any and all posts with images of the likeness of Emperor Barack The First. She hates His policies so much, has personally suffered from their effects so much, she says she’s sick of looking at His face. This has been going on for quite some time, and since the “win all arguments by hiding from them” thing has lately piqued my curiosity, I asked for some clarification about this. He Who Argues With The Dictionaries is still our President, therefore remaining a real problem, regardless of who accepts and who refuses opportunities to look at His graven-image. Her response to this was that she just refuses to tolerate His regime. To that, I said something like: “Hiding is a form of tolerance,” and she came back with “No, it isn’t.” Now there, I think, may be the source of our cultural confusion; we’re having a disagreement about that question. And the harmony with which this issue integrates into military metaphors, sheds some light on how this came to be a male-female thing (to whatever extent it is one). Can an army declare victory on the battlefield, while retreating from that battlefield. It could have been a fascinating conversation, but while I was at work some other acquaintance accused the female of being a racist, the conversation got nasty, and by the time I was back at home it no longer existed anywhere but in recollection.

I have many other examples, but going through them one by one will just alienate people unnecessarily, which I suppose is something I might have done already.

So perhaps it is a gender thing. I have trouble seeing it that way because I’m noticing a lot of males doing it. It has gender origins, certainly. The retrograde man, the lowbrow, the paramilitary thought process, will get it immediately: The enemy appears, the enemy must be confronted and stopped or else the enemy will win turf. It’s one or the other. Go or stop. Can’t win the battle if you don’t prevail on the battlefield.

We’re moving out of that, rejecting the “cage match” two-go-in-one-comes-out mentality. However, in doing so we are not becoming more civilized. We’re becoming less so. You don’t reject things by running away from them; it may look like that within your limited sphere of perception, but whatever problem you don’t confront today will surely come back to confront you tomorrow. I remember when that was the very basis of what kids were supposed to be taught while they were still kids. Seems nowadays the parental wisdom is something different: If you feel like you should’ve won, that’s good enough, and if you feel like you did win, you did. Or…something.

It fascinates me that the very people who drone on incessantly about “sitting down with our enemies and talking out our differences with them,” are the very ones who don’t really do that. They’re the ones who seem to be most frequently relying on this “win it by running away” thing.

Run away!!

This isn’t making us more civilized, though. And it isn’t eradicating conflict, making us any less contentious. What it’s making us is unsure of reality, insecure, weak and bossy. And it is further supporting another theory I’ve had for quite some time now, of which I’ve written before: Barack Obama and His weird, corrupt regime do not represent the source of any particular problem. They are merely a symptom. The problem is cultural, it has been building for a very long time now, although the recent events it has been bringing about loom large on the nation’s landscape. Our continuing survival as a superpower, and our way of life, is being threatened by the savage impulses of the immediate-gratification generation(s). They talk of acceptance, but they don’t practice it because they don’t realize any power from accepting things. They only see how they can wield more power through rejection — they see rejection as the first step toward achieving a dictatorship. Not quite so much reject…perhaps the better word to use is dismiss. They achieve power, or something that feels like power, by way of dismissing. That’s why all these charges of “racism” are floating around, all day, every day. The ObamaBots are gulping big gulps from this Koolaid. They don’t know, or care to learn, how to properly argue the point they want to make, so the answer is to stretch out the perimeter of definition for this “racism” word, to include whatever has upset them most recently.

They just want what they want when they want it; they want to WinWinWinWinWin. That explaining-why stuff is just too hard. They’d rather skip that. It’s boring.

The very crucial distinction between victory and defeat is entirely lost on them. Run away!! And…We win.

What the Rules Are

Friday, January 24th, 2014

A society can survive rules against speech. That’s been proven.

But can a society survive rules against speech about what the rules are. There’s a question.

The Thing About Abortion

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Wisdom from my Hello Kitty of Blogging account:

The thing about abortion as a political movement, in America, is: It’s fair to connect it with other issues. Far too many people who claim to support choice but not abortion, have been revealed to support abortions, as in, more abortions. They want every abortion that might happen, to happen.

And for every 100 of those, there are 99 atheists, probably more. Which makes sense…but you’ll also find 99 people who believe in the global warming scam. Which also makes a certain amount of sense. You’ll find 99 people who support ObamaCare, which makes much less sense. I mean, think it out: You do not have a right to life if your mom wants to kill you, but if you DO make it out of there, you have a “right” to health care. How is that reconciled?

Abortion exposes liberalism for what it really is. Liberalism makes absolutely no sense at all, as it’s explained by liberals. You do not exist at all unless your mom chooses to carry you to term, but once you do make it you have a right to — health care, an ever-increasing minimum wage, lawsuits against restaurants that don’t built ramps to accommodate your wheelchair, special bathrooms for your transgender situation, lawsuits against wedding cake decorators who won’t accommodate your gay wedding, however much vacation time your union rep thinks you should have, public school education, etc….this doesn’t make any sense at all. You get more and more “rights” but only if you make it? Until you go through the breach you don’t even exist? If there’s nothing sacred about you, why do you deserve rights.

Liberalism makes much more sense if we perceive it the way conservatives perceive it: Your mom should be able to terminate you if she wants to, and she should be ENCOURAGED to do so, but if you somehow make it through then YOU should be encouraged to be a nothing. Public school should kill your sense of individuality, if you’re lucky enough to land a job you should be terrified of being sued by a bitter angry woman, or transgender, who thought you looked at her the wrong way. You shouldn’t emit any carbon, and if you do then you should be taxed until you can’t afford anything else. What the rest of us need to do with you, once you do make it through and are able to begin a life, is to make sure you spend all of that life in fear. Fear of saying, or doing, anything remarkable at all besides going to Washington and helping to ram through some “landmark [liberal] legislation.”

Liberalism is not about hope, it is about fear. It is not about the expansion of human potential, it is about the eradication of human potential. Abortion makes this all the more evident, to anyone who’s willing to pay attention.

Kirk is Better Than Picard

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

A mysterious entity is chasing the USS Enterprise. Kirk orders more speed. Scotty gives ‘er all he can. But the distance is still closing. Spock estimates they will be overtaken within the next two minutes. Everyone is now wondering: What is Captain Kirk going to do?

A mysterious entity is chasing the USS Enterprise-D. Picard orders more speed. La Forge gives it all he can. But the distance is still closing. Lt. Cmdr. Data estimates they will be overtaken within the next two minutes. Everyone is now wondering: How does this make the crew feel?

Disregarding the other obvious fact, that Alexander Courage music beats the hell out of the boring-trombone background music that seems to be blaring all the time, no matter what’s going on in Next Generation: This is something bigger than Star Trek. It’s everywhere. A scene can show 1) how characters react to things, 2) how situations change so that the story can be advanced, 3) both of those or 4) neither of those. The writers, directors and editors aren’t doing their jobs if they leave any of #4 in, and they should be going very, very lightly on #1.

One of the things that has been going awry in our culture since somewhere around the 1970’s is a subtle shift in cinematic drama, involving greater emphasis on how people feel. Before that there were a lot of problems, of course. The feminists had a point, a lot of the women weren’t being given proper respect. And, the fact is you can’t make a man go unconscious for an hour or two by karate-chopping him. But emotions were for pussies. If emotion was being shown on the old Star Trek, by and large it was one of two things: Spock was reacting to a germ or virus invading his Vulcan body, or Kirk was getting all pissed off because his crew was in imminent danger, or one of his strange-looking nameless skinny never-before-mentioned red-shirt guys got killed and he wasn’t getting the answers he wanted. Those, both, had to do with changing situations so the story could be advanced. The emotional display was an embellishment for other things that were happening in the scene, they were not the sole justifying purpose of the scenes themselves.

Dudes’ and Dudettes’ Brains Wired Differently

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

BBC News Health:

A US team at the University of Pennsylvania scanned the brains of nearly 1,000 men, women, boys and girls and found striking differences.

Like Bird Dog says: Duh.

Male brains appeared to be wired front to back, with few connections bridging the two hemispheres.

In females, the pathways criss-crossed between left and right.

These differences might explain why men, in general, tend to be better at learning and performing a single task, like cycling or navigating, whereas women are more equipped for multitasking, say the researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Part I thought was most worthy as an overall take-away, though, was right here:

Prof Heidi Johansen-Berg, a UK expert in neuroscience at the University of Oxford, said the brain was too complex an organ to be able to make broad generalisations.

“We know that there is no such thing as ‘hard wiring’ when it comes to brain connections. Connections can change throughout life, in response to experience and learning…”



Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Read the remarks of a left-winger, who I assume is a self-identifying out-and-proud left-winger, who used the word “enlightened” to refer to states that allow gay marriage.

Hmmmm…this made me think. You have God saying what a marriage is. We have some states that contradict this, embarking on this experiment of allowing same-sex marriages. By-and-large, the history of this is not: The people of the state voted to allow gay marriages. Rather, it’s more like this. A bunch of pushy people put it on the ballot and then the people of that state voted the measure down. In some states, the people actually approved measures that said the opposite, that the jurisdiction would not allow gay marriages. Then, the pushy people put the matter before the court, because the “Will of the People” was plenty good enough to overrule God when they thought the people would go the “right” way, but since it went the other way, they started filing motions. Then the court ruled it was “unconstitutional” to define marriage the way God defined it, and that is how the state came to recognize same-sex marriages and/or civil unions.

So. You have mortals seeking to pull rank on God. You have them investing all this faith, that they should be investing in God, on the Will of the People, then they show all the faithfulness of an alley cat when it turns out the Will of the People is not on their side after all. Then they file motions to force the issue after they find out they’re in the minority.

Next up, start suing cake decorators to do it your way. Now then. Putting aside the questionable wisdom of consuming a food product prepared by someone who did not want to prepare it, and was forced to…

Looking at it all put together like that, with all the arrogance, the shiftiness, the control-freakishness, the pushiness, the manipulation, the lack of foresight…it seems to me to be a festering stew of un-enlightenment. I struggle in vain to imagine any human deed, historical or imagined, less enlightened. I’d have to go into teevee-land and think about cartoon characters, like one who was lopping off the limb of a tree while sitting on it. Something like that.

They Wanted More Young People to Sign Up

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

From here.

Imagine if news outlets other than conservative ones explained that young people were also going to be required to buy something they didn’t need so that Medicaid could be expanded offering “free” healthcare to more lower income people.

Negative Nine

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The top earners are not only paying their fair share — they’re paying everyone’s share.

From here.

The Purple Problem

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

The Purple Problem is…simply stated…that they’re not doing this.

It really doesn’t take much to trash a place once you can manage to define, influence and eventually monopolize the prevailing viewpoint. It’s inevitable when people start to see self-improvement as a futile effort. Of course, that’s exactly the viewpoint liberalism keeps pushing…unless you count “be more liberal” as self-improvement. Education? They’re for it as long as it means being more liberal. If it means what it used to mean, if it has something to do with earning a more respectable living and making yourself more self-sufficient, they’re not for it anymore. Employment? They like the kind of employment that doesn’t actually produce anything. Service and sacrifice? Only if they get to choose. The soldier doesn’t have their respect. Freedom and personal choice? Again, the choice is for them.

It’s particularly depressing in California. Most other states, the folks in charge drone on and on about how each new year is going to be the best one ever for that state. Our folks only talk about the slim chance we have at maybe surviving this “crisis,” digging ourselves out of the hole. There’s no vision for actually winning at this thing. But that’s not to say there isn’t a stated answer. It’s always there, and it’s always more liberalism. We have the crime, we have the problems with our schools, we have the high taxes. And we have people leaving. Are they all conservatives? No. Just like the graphic says, the liberals vote in the nonsense and they get sick and tired of the messes they create, so they leave. They go someplace red, that’s missing the nonsense, and then they vote in more of it over there.

Most perplexing of all, they don’t seem to know what they want. Received this e-mail yesterday:

Morgan —

I’ve been working at the Democratic National Committee for two weeks, and I’m already picking up some pretty important details. I’m not just talking about where to get the best cup of coffee or how to find the printer (though those are important things to know).

I’ve been looking through staffing plans and strategy memos, I’ve been sitting down with department heads, and poring through the budget.

Here’s what I learned: This is an organization that’s ready to win.

Now I’m asking you: How do you want to build a successful Democratic Party not just for today, but for the next generation?

What are your priorities for 2014 and beyond?

[ ] Making sure we’re doing everything we can to hold Republicans accountable
[ ] Getting out the word about President Obama’s agenda on social networks like Facebook and Twitter
[ ] Supporting local Democrat candidates in my hometown

I’ve worked on campaigns ever since my dad ran for school board when I was eight, and I’ve always loved it. But I also know how easy it is to get tunnel vision — there’s always the temptation to focus on the immediate and forget to plan ahead for our future. At the DNC in particular, that would be a huge mistake.

Most campaigns and committees don’t get to play the long game, but we do. We’re building a bench of future leaders now, so that we have strong candidates to run for office — from president to Congress to city council — in two years and 20 years down the line.

They’re playing the long game. But “hold Republicans accountable” is not an end-goal, nor is “supporting local democrat candidates in my hometown.” Those have to do with making sure one party wins and one party loses. For the personal passion, those things are supposed to be a means toward an end; what’s the end? Getting the word out about President Obama’s agenda on social networks? Again, that’s a means toward an end…what are these people trying to do? “Not just for today, but for the next generation”?

Absolute TruthIt’s creepy. If I received an e-mail from a conservative organization, they’d say they’re trying to thwart President Obama’s agenda. And then they’d smear that agenda…which a lot of liberals would say is unfair, but hey, at least there would be some specifics. I get e-mails from the DNC and Organizing For Action all the time, they’re all like this. Win, win, win…they very rarely, almost never, say what exactly it is they’re trying to do.

Here and there I see something about womens’ choice, and making health care affordable for everyone. I think we all should be able to agree, now, that democrats don’t care about making health care affordable. As for womens’ choice, that means abortion, which means treating pregnancy as a disease. That would make babies diseases, which means making humans a disease, and there I think that pretty much bulls-eyes it. That brings us back to the beginning, where self-improvement is seen as an exercise in futility.

A Californian heads for Colorado, studies and works to turn the place blue like California. Meanwhile, back in California, the state he left does not turn red. Too many rules locking in the liberalism. Oh, eventually it might happen, the way the grass cut in the wake of a mower might eventually grow tall again, or the fence boards just painted by a paint brush might eventually need another paint job. But — that’s what they’re doing. Mowing, painting. They transform a place, pull up stakes, head to the next territory and transform that.

From where does the passion come? Their vision is toward darkness, incompetence, fear. On Planet Liberal, next to every nugget of information that could be learned so that some exciting new thing may become possible, there’s a rule saying you’re not allowed to repeat it, or write it down, or learn it in the first place. What drives this sense of commitment toward that, toward defeating human potential? Why this war against productivity?

Crabs in a bucket, I suppose?

Talk to the Duped

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Me, about a month ago:

Liberalism is a bad sales job, and therefore will always have a division in its midst between those who are being duped and those who are doing the duping. Just like an ass will always have a crack.

I was expounding on this point last night on my Hello Kitty of Blogging account.

Left-wing policies hurt the very people they’re supposed to help; right-wingers know this, by-n-large, but do the lefties? The answer to THAT question is key to understanding the left-wing movement in modern America.

It is the Pareto Principle in action. Eighty percent of this knowledge that left-wing policies are bad, is monopolized by twenty percent of the left-wingers, with the remaining eighty percent of them doe-eyed, innocent, mostly well-intentioned. And there’s some selfishness in there too: They figure if we have some sort of wealth-redistribution scheme underway that isn’t underway already, they stand to benefit.

This mixture of good intentions and soft selfishness, is worthy of discussion. At the very heart of this thought process, this “bigger half of the ass,” the duped-people subscribe to a number of articles of faith:

1. Capitalism — and there is remarkably little confusion about what exactly that word means — doesn’t work. It is a sucker’s game.
2. It is like multi-level marketing. It will pay off, for those who are in early and out early; the ones who fail to bail out will be left holding the bag.
3. HOWEVER…individuals cannot make the decision to bail out, it takes a certain number of people to pool their resources and bail out together, stiffing everyone else.
4. So, fuck everyone else and let’s get ours! Are you with me?

So these eighty percent of the liberals who possess no more than twenty percent of the understanding, seek to form a community. It is greater in size than a single individual, but it is less than everyone, because someone has to be left holding the bag. They feel like they’re in the Prisoner’s Dilemma: “If A betrays B but B remains silent, A will be set free and B will serve 3 years in prison…” That’s the plan, A is going to betray B, they figure they’re A, except there is some antecedent action in the story — B has already stuck it to A in some fashion, so B has it comin’. That would explain all this chatter we’ve been hearing for the last couple of years about “the ninety-nine percent,” “one percent,” et al. One percent of the people have 99 percent of the wealth and vice versa…massive inequality…they seem to inwardly sense that these stats are made-up and can’t be trusted, but it doesn’t matter because there is some inequality there, of which the homily is only tangentially representative, the way an ancient fable might be only figuratively connected to something that actually happened. The inequality directly translates to injustice. You have more than me, that somehow can’t possibly mean you did something to earn the loot that I didn’t do — that is, in some way, preemptively eliminated as a possibility. If you have something I don’t have, there must have been an equal allotment of whatever it is, and then when I wasn’t looking you must have stolen my share.

So they’re in the prisoner’s dilemma, but it isn’t a dilemma for them at all, because, payback. The only “dilemma” is to do the getting-out, right now, and screw that other guy before he figures out what’s up. And they can’t do it alone. They need to do it as part of a group.

The dupers — well, they’re easier to study, even though they’re deeper thinkers. They’ve simply found a way to provide this temptation and take their cut. The more the dupees are duped, the easier it is to dupe them some more, so you have to ask yourself: Why would the dupers ever stop? Of course they wouldn’t and they won’t. There’s no incentive to make an honest living here. We can’t make them listen to reason. The way to save the country is to ram something up that ass, split it in half. Separate the duped from the dupers who are duping them.

There’s a trick there. Clearly, if what’s motivating them is “fuck everyone else and let’s get ours” then they aren’t entirely well-intentioned. Nor can it be said they’re entirely missing the capacity for good intentions, either. What they’re missing is maturity. They don’t trust capitalism. Maybe they feel they’ve been given the shaft by it. And they probably have. Capitalism does give a lot of people the shaft. The case could be made that it gives everyone the shaft. Look into the lives of the people who win at it all the time; look closely, and you’ll find they haven’t always won. They lost here and there, it’s just nobody ever talks about it. As you gather more and more information, you see a pattern emerge strongly suggesting that that’s the real secret to success. You just get up after you’ve been knocked down. Acquire new relationships, get rid of others, after you find out some people are going to do right by you and others aren’t.

But you find this all out after you have paid attention. Our modern society’s current infatuation with hardcore liberalism, the extremist techno-liberalism that pretends to be building great and grand new things while it does nothing but wreck the wonderful things that were already there…it is rooted firmly in a case of cultural ADD. Few-to-no people can pay attention to anything for too long. Liberalism is an easy sell in this landscape, because “get that guy before he gets you” is such a short and seductive message. The rebuttal against it is considerably longer, lacking that adrenaline surge associated with sweet, sweet revenge. It’s boring. And it consists mostly of unanswerable questions, like “If you’re building something great and grand, then what exactly is it? And how well does it work?” That doesn’t excite the attention-span-deprived, and it doesn’t draw in the selfish, because it doesn’t offer them anything.

To save the country, we need statements.

And we have to aim them at the early-recruits. The ones who are not quite yet at the stage of “fuck that other guy before he fucks with us.” That’s too late.

The target audience has to be the “centrist” who has just read some sad-sack story. Gay guys who can’t get married, single mom with breast cancer losing her health insurance, young dude who can’t get a job, Yale law school slut who has to pay for her own contraceptives

I’m coming to be aware of a lot of this fresh-recruit propaganda has to do with economic classes. That’s been going on since at least the 1930’s, but with a hardcore liberal President we’re living under a renewed push. So-and-so works really, really, super duper hard, and yet he only makes one eight-hundredth as much as the boss. Or one ten-thousandth. So unfair!

How do you talk to people who are falling for this? After all, we all know how it plays out: If it isn’t fair, we need some external influence to make it fair, involving student subsidies, minimum wages, more regulations, and higher taxes. By the time someone asks the obvious question of “Waitaminnit, how do these things actually improve anything for anybody, long-term?” everybody’s lost interest and moved on to something else. What a short path it is between sympathetic murmurs and destructive impulses. Actually building something is pretty tedious. Takes a year to build the barn and a day to knock it down.

I went on to suggest the following…

Here’s how you talk to the ignorant, mostly-innocent, mostly-well-intentioned majority:

“I notice, Republicans [conservatives] do not seem to want to hurt poor people, nearly as much as democrats [liberals] want to hurt rich people…”

“Yes, they want fewer poor people the same way democrats want fewer rich people, but they don’t want the poor people to go away the way democrats want rich people to go away. They seem to want the poor people to stop being poor, which, I think, for the most part, those poor people would be just fine with that…democrats, on the other hand, appear to want to bring ACTUAL harm to rich people.” And discuss from there.

Of course, we don’t know any of this for sure. It’s an easy thing to target a class and say there’s something wrong with it being there. Much more difficult to say what exactly you want to have happen to the people who are in it. Adolf Hitler did manage to get that done, eventually, but what about the rest of us. I think if we can all agree on anything, we can all agree that’s not a good model for us to follow.

The right-wing has a ready solution for this, and quite a lot of distance between them and Hitler’s final solution, because our poor people don’t want to be poor. Well, by-n-large they don’t. Lots of people who can’t get jobs, want to be able to get a job. It’s not so easy to say the same thing about rich people. Isn’t this just obvious? Rich people would rather be rich than poor…poor people would rather be rich than poor…

While we’re still in “no duh” territory, it becomes obvious that the lefties want to do something destructive to the rich people, while they’re observing worriedly that there, ya know, are some rich people. More rich people than they’d like. How do they intend to thin the ranks? Load them up in boxcars? Banish them? Vaporize them? Make them poor? Does it really matter which one it is? It’s all destructive.

A right-winger wanting poor people to be rich, is not similarly destructive. That’s, like, uh…the way it’s supposed to work. Remember that?

“Overdiagnosing in Shrinkland”

Monday, January 13th, 2014

From Dr. Joy Bliss at Maggie’s Farm.

Twenty percent taking psychotropic medication, six percent addicted to the stuff. Nice.

At 4:19: “ADD tripled. And the drug sales increased by a hundred fold. Autism has increased by 40 times since DSM-IV. Childhood bipolar disorder in the U.S. has increased by 40 times, in spite of the fact that we had rejected it. Shows how impotent the system can be.”

“False Hope, False Messiah”

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

From Robert at Small Dead Animals.

“Defense Needs To Be More Physical, Reports Man Slumped On Couch”

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

The Onion:

Defense Needs To Be More Physical, Reports Man Slumped On Couch For Past 5 Hours

Slumped On CouchINDIANAPOLIS — While watching the NFL playoffs Saturday, local man Steve Gordon, who barely moved for five straight hours as he slouched on his couch, reportedly announced that the defense needed to be more physical and deliver punishing hits. “Come on, get up, move—just smack ’em,” said the man who hadn’t even gotten up to use the bathroom since the early game. “They should be flying around out there and slamming into the ball carrier at full speed. Let’s see a little effort. The linebacker just has to shove blockers out of his way, rush up the field, grab the quarterback, and whip him to the turf.” According to living room sources, Gordon expressed frustration with the lack of hustle by defenders and with the excruciating pain in his back, which he twisted awkwardly at halftime while attempting to adjust a cushion.

Turning All Human Desires Into Rights

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Harrison Dietzman writing in From The News Junkie at Maggie’s Farm.

But because people in the West are not threatened by concentration camps and are free to say and write what they want, the more the fight for human rights gains in popularity, the more it loses any concrete content, becoming a kind of universal stance of everyone toward everything, a kind of energy that turns all human desires into rights. – Milan Kundera

I would like to propose a short thesis on the American Left. The primary goal of the contemporary American Left is the destruction and refocusing of human desire. The root of this project is the Left’s perennial project to remake the human.

Vulgar Marxists proposed that the human was an inherently economic animal, and, because of that, placed their hope in economic revolution. History proved them wrong; the human could not be reduced to economic motivation. The proletariat failed to unite against their oppressors, and violent revolution failed to sustain itself.

Waking up in 1968 with a bad Soviet hangover, the post-Marx Left sought to find the true site of revolution. The proletariat must be replaced by a more reliable revolutionary class, one based on something other than economics. The New Left proposed that the human, rather than a fundamentally economic animal, was a fundamentally desiring animal, and, rather than a slave to capitalist production, was a slave to capitalist desire. Capitalism monopolizes and controls human desires in order to perpetuate its existence.
The Left relies on human selfishness to remake desire…Human desires are frequently cited, accurately or not, as the basis for human rights. Want publically [sic] funded birth control? Then argue that it’s a human right. The same goes for SSM or assisted suicide. If you love someone, then it’s your human right to marry them; if you no longer want to live, then it’s your right to die. If you don’t want a child, then abort it. But if that same baby dies in a car accident on the way to the abortion clinic, the death becomes homicide. By making human desires indistinguishable from human rights, the Left fundamentally recreates the historic Western category of the human.

That’s a big-thought, that “I should have it because it’s my right” is an agenda-item, as opposed to a flailing-about brain fart from someone who never matured and has run out of arguments.

I have often heard of leftists insisting on as much, that their political movement is truly “progressive,” a linear-trajectory unidirectional perpetual expansion of human rights so that people could do more and more things. I’ve never thought of this as rational, since they seem to acknowledge that these rights are attached to expenses; they want the expenses to be absorbed by “The Rich,” who are uniquely capable of so absorbing; but they must understand the wealth of The Rich is still a finite resource. And rational people should understand that an infinite depletion from a finite resource must end in exhaustion, with all the devastation that would be attendant to such exhaustion, no other outcome possible. They must understand this.

Could it be that they actually get this, and figure something like “What do I care, I’ll be dead by then so let my grandkids deal with it”? What a sorry lot of sick sons-of-bitches…

People Not in Labor Force

Friday, January 10th, 2014

From Zero Hedge, by way of Maggie’s Farm.

The output, the activity, the incentives, they’re all flowing toward Barack Obama’s vision: People shouldn’t work. They shouldn’t help each other. They shouldn’t even be born. People are nothing more or less than a contaminant, a pox upon the planet.

Update 1/11/14: Someone took the time to use the BLS figures and plot where the unemployment rate would be if the labor participation rate stayed the same:

More at The Federalist, by way of TPNN.

She Would Be Eighty Now

Friday, January 10th, 2014

My mother.

Just a note for the files…

I Made a New Word LXVII

Friday, January 10th, 2014

A new term, actually…two words…

Catechism-Science (n.)

Bearing in mind that experience and experiment come from a common Latin root, catechism-science is anything toiling away under the label of “science” that exists entirely outside of that. Its persuasive strength comes from being repeated over and over, verbatim, by people who call themselves “scientists” but who do not do science.

It’s important to separate this out from the real stuff, for a number of reasons. One of the most important of these reasons is that science relies a great deal on deductive reasoning, and while deductive reasoning is most persuasive when it is carried out properly, people lose track of how easy it is to do it improperly. It doesn’t work at all, in fact, unless 1) the range of possible causes has been exhaustively listed, and 2) each item within that list was eliminated conservatively. If the producer of the conclusion succeeds at #1 and fails at #2, the final conclusion is only as strong as the weakest elimination. If he fails at #1 then the whole thing is just a waste of time. Or, to be more precise about it and maybe a bit more tactful, it is a (questionably) valid exercise of what might be real scientific thinking, within an arbitrarily restricted scope of possibilities, thus rendered at least partially useless.

This is done all the time nowadays. Super Bowl Sunday is an awful day for spousal abuse; this-kid or that-kid has Autism; this-or-that climate-change model is 95% certain.

This is not the same as anti-science, which works toward a desired conclusion by paring information away that doesn’t fit. Although there is certainly a relationship between catechism-science and anti-science, in the sense that they both start with the desired findings already identified. They both contain an awful lot of passive-voice statements, like “these symptoms are thought to be classic traits of Asperger’s” or “the science is settled on global warming.” Statements formed within these sciences, involve a consistent situation in which the speaker is pointing to someone else, and nobody really knows much of anything except how to repeat things that someone else has said.

Therefore — if you ask fairly innocuous questions, questions you ought to be able to ask of real science, such as, “how do we know that?” or “just how sure are we of that?” you get back a whole lot of nothing, veiled threats hinting toward your imminent ostracism if you don’t straighten up and fly right, or pure nonsense. “Oh, very sure! Very, very, very sure! Extreeeeemely sure!”

If you let it play out, now and then you find out that’s actually correct. About as often as a roll of the dice comes up double-sixes, and for the same reason. In other words, it might occasionally bump into real and verified truth, but isn’t real science.


Friday, January 10th, 2014

Was listening to Tom Sullivan in the car yesterday, and I’m not sure what brought this up. Had to be the Chris Christie bridge thing. Was anybody talking about anything else, anywhere, yesterday? But anyway, a caller called in and compared the Republicans today to the way they were back in Reagan’s time, coming out of it with an unfavorable view of the current ones. The word she used, that caught the host’s attention, applied more to the modern image than to the modern substance, was “sleazy.”

There’s a lesson here for everybody, Republican or otherwise. Today’s Republicans have an image problem; they project an image of sleaze, because they project an image of nothing else. Think about it: Someone may say to you “I’m going to vote for [insert name here] (who happens to be a Republican” and it may be clear from that what they want to do, what their vision is, what their hopes and fears may be. But what if they say, “I’m going to vote solid Republican,” what would that tell you today? You wouldn’t know where to begin. Not that you can’t argue about it. But the argument would be short; one side would slander the Republicans, the other side might try to defend them, but not for too long and not too vigorously. And it wouldn’t be that interesting of an argument. Neither wide would have any real confidence in whether they captured the true meaning of the speaker’s intention when he said he would vote Republican.

And that’s, if it ever happened.

What’s interesting about this is that the Tea Party does not have a similar problem. Everyone’s got a good solid idea of Tea Party priorities. That is not to say everyone is correct about this. The Tea Party is at the center of a determined and motivated attempt at political slander; it is an energized and driven effort, because it is an effort that is needed. They are a threat.

As Michelle Malkin has been pointing out for years, and continues to point out now, you just can’t count on a Republican to be much of anything anymore. Not even a non-democrat.

One clue we have on what might be going on, is the number of times I hear the name “Barack Obama” as I take phone calls from conservative fund-raising groups. Well, that Barack Obama person has fund-raising groups working for Him, who also contact me often. They write to me in the e-mail and say: Barack Obama just made such-and-such happen. Kick in five dollars, three dollars, whatever you can afford, and we’ll make some more stuff happen. The conservative groups say: Barack Obama just made such-and-such happen. Donate today, or else we won’t be able to stop His agenda…and He’ll make more stuff happen. See the difference?

I’ll state it more plainly: Evidently, from my experiences if from nobody else’s, everyone who’s been sent to Washington to stop Barack Obama, has made a livelihood out of failing to do so.

It’s a bit odd that the guy whose approval rating looks like this…

…enjoys such “support” from both sides of the aisle. President Obama certainly has had a unifying effect on the country. People of all sorts of different ideological persuasions agree He’s doing an awful job and His policies are wretched. They also agree that we shouldn’t do anything to actually stop Him, or even slow Him down…unless assurances can be provided that whatever we’re doing to stop Him, will have little to no actual effect.

There’s something cultural happening here. Something huge, beneath the surface, and something new. It seems our society lately is losing the ability to carry out a vision; to evaluate results. How did Clint Eastwood put it: “When somebody does not do the job, we got to let him go[.]” That sentiment did not prevail in the last election. And yet Obama’s supporters were not saying, in large measure, “He is doing the job.” Their message was more like: He’s trying really, really, super hard, and it’s taking a long time because things are so, so, so very messed up. That is what carried the day.

Americans are becoming less and less results-oriented. We’re becoming more & more like the dog chasing the car; more interested in the chase than in its possible conclusion. In reality, there’s no reason for Obama to still be messing around with improving the economy five years into His regime, anymore than there was any reason for FDR to be similarly struggling eight years into his. That’s all just a lot of pablum to be fed to the masses. And the Republicans, sorry to say, have bought into this wholesale. Worse than that, they’re selling it retail.

As is the case with anything else, things are only going to get better after we form a vision for actually solving the problem, and start carrying it out.

Does Paying People Not to Work Create Jobs?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Rush Limbaugh takes down President Obama, along with every other pie-eyed lib who indulged this fantasy about unemployment benefits spurring economic growth.

The president’s been speaking for the last 20 minutes, 25, 30, whatever on the morality and the economics of extending emergency unemployment benefits, anything to get Obamacare off the front page and get Obamacare off the radar. Now we’ve got to extend unemployment benefits. It’s nothing more than the news agenda being recycled. It’s just flat-out amazing. If what he just said is true, we ought to just stop anybody working and put everybody on unemployment, and that’s how to get a recovery.
The president just said that unemployment benefits actually create new jobs. Now, stop and think about that for a second. Unemployment benefits create new jobs. What is unemployment insurance? It is paying people not to work.

Let’s change the term. Let’s get rid of “unemployment insurance” and let’s call it “paying people not to work.” The president of the United States just said to resounding applause — well, I’m not sure that got applause. The only thing that’s really gotten any applause in the White House, he’s got all kinds of people standing behind him, is when he said we can’t dare have another government shutdown. That got a standing ovation. So it tells you the kind of people in the room.

Money quote:

“Voting for extending unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs,” Obama said. “Voting against it doesn’t.”

It’s clear we’re having a difference of opinion about what a “job” is. President Obama, along with a lot of the vocal libs, are pursuing a definition that may be technically correct…to a fault. They’re being very short-sighted, I think, associating the concept of a job with some sort of activity. I suppose when you don’t have a job, that’s very appealing: You either have a job or you don’t. Who cares what the job does if you don’t have one.

But if no one’s producing anything, the people who do have jobs aren’t going to have them for long.

What sort of “jobs” does President Obama have in mind? Are these jobs that produce products and services that other people can use? If not, then I think He should present this honestly and ‘fess up that His vision is not quite so much about economic growth, but rather a flurry of activity which is not quite as useful to our own long-term prospects. And then the rest of us could make an issue out of it and discuss it. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

My general experience with arguing-with-libs-on-the-Internet is: Good luck getting them to engage this as an issue. Usually, they’ll just start over at the beginning and explain it all to you how it’s supposed to work: “See, when people receive their benefits, they use them to buy things they otherwise would not buy, and that creates activity…”

But how do we go about growing the economy, making everyone more prosperous? Isn’t it obvious that for that to happen, someone, somewhere, has to actually make a useful product? You know…do work? Product-ive work?

It’s looking more and more like we’re getting a history-playback, along with all the education that entails if we just open our eyes and pay attention to the lessons.

We’re seeing first-hand how FDR made the Great Depression drag on, and on, and on.