Archive for May, 2014

Bill Clinton Shows Us Why It Doesn’t Work

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The 42nd President came out of the shadows earlier this week, to defend a woman who was once married to him and whom, according to some, still may be. It’s a mystery.

Former President Bill Clinton was interviewed in Washington D.C. today, and took the opportunity to defend his wife Hillary’s actions during the Benghazi crisis:

“In my opinion, Hillary did what she should have done.

She impaneled a very high-level review committee with the immediate-past Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

In other words, Hillary chatted with some people before disappearing to who-knows-where without taking any swift and serious action. A few critically important facts that Bill didn’t address:

• Hillary continued to blame an internet video, even after the administration knew it was a terrorist attack.
• The State Department’s actions were self-investigated; this is akin to a high school student “grading his own homework.”
• Hillary was exempted from the investigation.
• She did not convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, and did not dispatch the in extremis rescue team, though the siege lasted hours.

Every time Bill Clinton opens his cakehole to oppose common sense, which is pretty much every time Bill Clinton opens his cakehole, I’m just amazed and saddened that he ever picked up a following. The persuasive power of his words, which is always considerable, is sharply deteriorated when the words are recorded in print. They’re built for the audible forum. They require the famous Clinton charisma to achieve the full effect, because as the written language reveals, they don’t really make much sense. Hillary convened a committee? Yay. Let’s hear it for committees. Golf clap.

The democrats’ idea of “leadership” must look like a fine thing to anyone who can be assured it’ll always be some other person who’s in trouble. Oh yeah, we’re on the job. Most assuredly, if you get killed, we’ll convene a committee to study your cold dead corpse. It’ll be a real blue-ribbon panel. Vote for us!

When seconds count, the cops are only minutes away…

Update: Not directly Bill-Clinton related, but this cartoon does an absolutely brilliant job of capturing the problem:

Climate Alarmist Fatwa

Friday, May 16th, 2014

James Delingpole’s column appears in Breitbart:

Professor Lennart Bengtsson – the leading scientist who three weeks ago signalled his defection to the climate sceptic camp by joining the board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation – has now dramatically been forced to resign from his position.

His views on the weakness of the “consensus” haven’t changed. But as he admits in his resignation letter, he has been so badly bullied by his alarmist former colleagues that he is worried his health and career will suffer.

Bengtsson’s recruitment by the GWPF (the London-based think tank set up by former Chancellor Lord Lawson) represented a huge coup for the climate realist cause. The Swedish climatologist, meteorologist, former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and winner, in 2006, of the 51st IMO Prize of the World Meteorological Organization for his pioneering work in numerical weather prediction – was by some margin the most distinguished scientist to change sides.

But this, of course, is why he has been singled out for especial vitriol by the climate alarmist establishment – as he describes in his resignation letter.

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen.

Aristotle…paging Mr. Aristotle, please pick up the white courtesy phone…

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Looks like we need more “education.”

Seth Rogen’s Wife Saved the Script

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Rogen describes what’s wrong with movie marriages:

Seth Rogen admits that in early drafts of the script for “Neighbors,” Rose Byrne’s character was basically just another humorless, nagging wife. That’s when Rogen’s real-life wife, actress and writer Lauren Miller, pointed out how unrealistic that was. What if the married couple in “Neighbors” — who get into a prank war with a next-door fraternity — were actually like them?

“My wife read the script,” Rogen told Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen. “She’s a writer. She’s one of the people who was like, ‘This isn’t how it would be. We get along, I want to have fun too…’

“And then as we started talking about it, that actually became the most exciting idea of the movie to us,” Rogen continued. “That we could portray a couple where the wife is just as fun-loving and irresponsible as the guy, and they get along really well. In a comedy, that’s almost non-existent. An actual healthy couple that really likes each other.”

Mrs. Freeberg and I saw it on Sunday. It would have to say our review is a bit mixed, because the movie still does have some problems. The writers sort of lost track of what kind of a villain Zach Efron’s character was supposed to be. At one point, toward the end, he comes over and taunts the married couple about how his frat house is going to hang around so long, and there’s nothing they can do to ever get rid of them, that they’ll make the baby daughter into a frat-princess or something. The couple has already looked into selling & leaving, and found that to be a dead end. Evil, evil, evil. Would a plan like that work? Probably not. But, from just making the threat, a bad-guy’s character doesn’t recover from that; you don’t get to redeem and reform into this happy-go-lucky guy who’s your good buddy by the time the closing credits roll, and boy the two of you are just really sorry about the madcap hijinks that got way out of hand…

It’s like slaughtering a Jedi Temple full of “younglings” with your lightsaber, or killing Peter Parker’s gentle Uncle Ben. There’s “tragic misunderstood villain with a heart of gold” stuff, and there’s dark, pitchy, evil, rotten-to-the-core bad guy stuff.

Other than that one thing, though, and an over-saturation of dildo jokes, the movie was enjoyable and generally funny. We did learn to care somewhat about what would happen to the characters and what would happen next, and didn’t look at our watches. It was alright. And yeah, the change Mrs. Rogen presented probably saved it, because Lord knows, I’ve just about had it with the nagging wife with the crease between her eyebrows and the migraine from chasing around her grown-up other-kid husband…it’s just not funny anymore, it’s been worn out. Probably would’ve ruined this movie.

Perhaps the Dumbest Thing Ever Said About the American Revolution

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Attention proggies like Chris Matthews: “All men are created equal” is the exact opposite of giving special privileges to targeted classes of people. Thought you’d like to know.

From Newsbusters, where IamnottellingYou points out:.

The gay marriage fight is not designed to give gays marriage. It is designed to destroy marriage as an institution. When marriage is destroyed, the children that result from sexual couplings will not belong with their parents, but with the state. Note what Melissa Harris-Perry said: “Kids belong to their communities.”

Hundred Percent Chance of More Nonsense About Global Warming

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

…or climate change, or whatever.

I guess it must be an even-numbered year. And democrats must be expecting to lose an election. “Income inequality” is sure to become some pressing, urgent problem all of a sudden too, right?

The Myth of the Switching Parties

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Crudo, at Misfit Politics:

We hear this party-switching myth so often, but nobody ever has a clear point or example in history for where it occurs. Ever since the birth of the Republican party in 1854, Republicans were strong supporters of abolition. Meanwhile, Democrats had KKK members in Congress, and Al Gore’s father not only voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but gave quite a lengthy filibuster. Republicans championed the Constitutional amendments ending slavery, giving African-Americans the right to vote, as well as securing that right. Civil Rights legislation as well as anti-lynching laws, and anti-poll taxes were pushed through by Republicans to ensure this, while Democrats fought them tooth and nail.

The closest I’ve gotten to an answer, in regards to the switch, was the Civil Rights “hero” Lyndon B. Johnson championing the “bi-partisan support” of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I used quotations because I’m being incredibly sarcastic.

“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”-LBJ

Once African-Americans were free of slavery and had legitimate voting power, (both thanks to Republicans) then and only then were Democrats forced into supporting Civil Rights legislation. It was all a charade for votes. Beyond this point, what significant events happened that showcased any sort of structural attitude change in either party?

Hat tip to fellow blogger and comment-poster CylarZ.

Related: The Party of Racism is Not What Most People Think.

What’s been consistent throughout it all, is the fascination with castes. These people we nowadays call “liberals” are overly fond of pigeonholing people, and bestowing them with privileges and obligations to remain in their designated spaces: These people belong here, those people belong there. It’s a pretty consistent pattern. By the time we see conservatives accusing liberals of racism, there’s nearly always some tip-off about the way the liberal thinks about people. The quote from LBJ is a decent example, although there are many others. Contrast that to when liberals accuse conservatives of racism. The “joke” going around is that this is almost like a facial-tic, just a word they use when they know they’re losing an argument, and it isn’t really that much of a joke.

There was no “switch,” but there’s certainly been a decline, and we’re now at the point where you’re an extremist, reactionary, right-wing conservative if you’ve reached the quite natural conclusion that you’re tired of all the specialty-audience campaigning, tired of the race card, tired of the hyphenated-American nonsense and just want to see people as what they are, people. Our culture has accepted as a mainstream-moderate viewpoint, the half-century-old hamster-wheel chicanery of “Come a long way but we still have such a long way to go.” But, not permanently. The fatigue with all the people-in-boxes politicking is bound fester over time, and the hamster-wheel gullibility must have some sort of half-life. You can’t culturally oblige people to not-get-sick of something, endlessly. It falls under the Herbert Stein rule.

The Hopeful Hashtag

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014


Frowny-FaceWe’ve been treated by the image of a frowning Michelle Obama and several Liberal Hollywood Stars holding up poster boards featuring the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, as if somehow, this futile gesture would convince this Muslim Barbarians to let go of all these girls whom they are selling as slaves, and forcing under threat of death, to convert to Islam from Christianity.

It is no wonder that after Obama was first elected, the British tabloids nicknamed him “President Pantywaist”, after watching the wussy way he bowed to world leaders…something American Presidents have never done before.

And, of course, through the Obama Administration’s embrace of this emasculating philosophy, this philosophy has extended into our military, with Obama’s “Military Experts” being more concerned about performing Social Engineering Experiments on our troops, such as ending “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell”, changing the hats they wear, and relaxing female hairstyles, than they are about protecting our country and defeating our enemies.

Derek Hunter, writing at, has some fun with it:

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said he was “stunned” today by the announcement that Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau would surrender himself and all his followers to authorities after he realized he’d started a trending hashtag on Twitter that even First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted.

Shekau, a purveyor of workplace violence and kidnapper of little girls, was quoted as saying, “With progressives in Hollywood and Washington aligned against us, what choice did we have? Look, when Bradley Cooper and Michelle Obama tweet about you in a negative way it has an impact. Sure, you gain followers, but so many of them are negative. I can’t even look at my mentions column anymore. Twitter trolls are the worst. I missed an invite to a party and a picture of Miley Cyrus twerking because so many people were tweeting mean things to me. I’m done.”

Mark Steyn comments:

It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture at right is a useful contribution to rescuing 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by jihadist savages in Nigeria. Yet some pajama boy at the White House evidently felt getting the First Lady to pose with this week’s Hashtag of Western Impotence would reflect well upon the Administration. The horrible thing is they may be right: Michelle showed she cared – on social media! – and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

Just as the last floppo hashtag, #WeStandWithUkraine, didn’t actually involve standing with Ukraine, so #BringBackOurGirls doesn’t require bringing back our girls. There are only a half-dozen special forces around the planet capable of doing that without getting most or all of the hostages killed: the British, the French, the Americans, Israelis, Germans, Aussies, maybe a couple of others. So, unless something of that nature is being lined up, those schoolgirls are headed into slavery, and the wretched pleading passivity of Mrs Obama’s hashtag is just a form of moral preening.

But then what isn’t? The blogger Daniel Payne wrote this week that “modern liberalism, at its core, is an ideology of talking, not doing”. He was musing on a press release for some or other “Day of Action” that is, as usual, a day of inaction:

Diverse grassroots groups are organizing and participating in events such as walks, rallies and concerts and calling on government to reduce climate pollution, transition off fossil fuels and commit to a clean energy future.

It’s that easy! You go to a concert and someone “calls on government” to do something, and the world gets fixed.

Well…hold up, there. That’s the irony, is it not? If liberals were completely consistent in “talking, not doing,” then they wouldn’t be in charge right now. They have a tireless resolve to win-every-argument that seems to stop at the water’s edge; if only that sense of ambition, that drive, that strength could manage to swim across oceans, it might get something accomplished that would bring a victory to good in the never-ending battle against evil, and at the same time serve the country’s interests.

If Saturn Approached…

Monday, May 12th, 2014

…and, the gravitational pull didn’t destroy us.

From here.

“CNN Coverage” Makes as Much Sense as Scraping Paint off a Barn Door by Stabbing it With an Icepick

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Came up with that mouthy metaphor while typing a status update into my phone. In complete frustration. Yes, I am among CNN’s captive-audience.

“Coverage,” in this context, is an oxymoron. It’s all depth and no breadth. Not really depth either — you don’t dig deeper by just repeating crap over & over. Racist basketball team owner; gay football player kissing his boyfriend; missing Malaysian flight; uh, what else? Ukraine, that’s it, that’s the fourth one. Then, back to the racist basketball team owner.

ALL. DAY. It’s as if a bigwig sent out a memo saying “One second of on-air coverage that isn’t about one of those four things, and heads will roll. I mean it.” The result makes you want to just rip your eyes out of your skull. Who watches this willingly?

Fox News, I don’t get to see that much. I don’t know that much about it, really. But I know it doesn’t play like this.

People who bitch and bellyache about Fox News, are the biggest phonies. What’s their preference? CNN? And they watch it while it’s on endless loop like this? I doubt it. They’re watching this guy, and bragging about it. So yeah, thanks guys…I’ll take your opinion under advisement, or something.

Five Reasons Government Can’t Work the Way Liberals Say it Must

Monday, May 12th, 2014

John Hawkins writes at

Relying on big government to help you out would be like relying on the Girl Scouts to spearhead an invasion of Iran. It’s the wrong people, in the wrong place, doing the wrong job. Whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge, our government is barely functional. That’s certainly not a shocker. Anyone who has had dealings with the federal government can tell you that it’s slow, stupid, expensive, belligerent and incompetent. But, here’s the $64,000 question: WHY is the federal government so slow, stupid, expensive, belligerent and incompetent? It’s not a mystery.

The first four items on the list don’t concern me too much. I think everyone knows about them, including the liberals. When they’re pointed out, the liberals’ rebuttals all seem to be nothing but a bunch of bluster, just radio-static, “I can’t hear you la la la” as they say.

But, Reason #5 made a bigger impression on me. Especially with the last sentence:

5) There’s a lack of responsibility: The late, great Milton Friedman once said,

“When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union — like public housing in the United States — look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”

Similarly, when no one is held personally responsible for the failure of a government program, nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. Who’s responsible for Benghazi? The IRS targeting of the Tea Party? Fast and Furious? The trillion dollars we wasted on the stimulus program? The National Debt? Obamacare — oh wait, there are still people pretending Obamacare isn’t a failure.

But, that’s just it. Between the multitudes of politicians and bureaucrats tied into every decision, a biased media and raw partisanship, there’s a fog bank around every program, decision and calamity created by the government. That’s why ultimately, you’d be much more likely to be fired from a government job for saying something racist or making a nasty crack about gay marriage than wasting a billion dollars or getting people killed with your incompetence. [bold emphasis mine]

Thing I Know #408: You can’t aspire toward success if you won’t spot the fails. When everything an organization or person does is defined as success, very few things done by the organization or person will ever genuinely be one.

Ironically, this is the very same problem the Republican establishment has with winning elections. They nominate their “mainstream” candidates who often don’t stand for anything at all, or if they do, the public can’t see it. The mainstream candidate predictably loses. If you ask the power-brokers in the Republican party, in the wake of that defeat, what could & should have been done differently the answer would come back: Nothing, everybody ran a great campaign, and better-luck-next-time. That’s not the attitude democrats would’ve taken, anywhere, if Barack Obama lost His bid for re-election. It isn’t the sentiment any of them had after John Kerry lost in 2004. They blamed Republicans for fixing the Diebold machines, in public, but in private they reorganized and looked for new opportunities, new candidates who were most certain to win-every-argument. And then the knock-down-drag-out between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama happened. It was a very hot contest, because for democrats it was a contest that needed to happen.

It’s fascinating that each side is running electoral campaigns the way the other side governs, if & when it’s in power.

The Libdude

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

This lady’s date with him sounds like some of my dates with liberal woemen, back in the day. Except for the part about his paying for her dinner. Which she then took home. Alone. To eat in peace and quiet.

He asked me what my views were, so I explained that I’m an independent voter, then went on to describe some of my political views such as personal responsibility, accountability, small government, and how able bodied people who live in a perpetual state of dependency on government disgust me, and should be drug tested to qualify for benefits.

He asked me, “Well, what would you do? Take all those people off benefits and just let them starve?”

“Yes,” I said, then added, “for them to get back on benefits they must work at a job chosen for them by the government.”

This horrified him. I could tell by the look on his face. I knew my friend had punked me, and had instead set me up with a liberal. He went on for a little while longer on how views such as mine are selfish, and that its more noble to take care of those less fortunate.

I countered with facts and information. He shot back with thinly veiled personal attacks.

It was clear that Libdude’s anger was about to reach critical mass as his face turned red, and the veins in his neck started to bulge. As I sat there calmly leaning back in my chair, probably smirking, sweat accumulated on his brow. I don’t know why, but I found that really humorous. I couldn’t resist the urge to see if I could get his face to change from red to almost purple by going on and on about how ignorant, and sometimes even stupid liberals and Democrats are; that they cant debate unless they are calling names, or changing the subject. Looking right in his eyes with a serious look on my face, I leaned forward and quietly said, “I cant imagine having to spend more than a minute or two in the presence of a liberal who is talking about politics!”

From Captain Capitalism.

It’s been my general experience that where liberals implode most immediately, is where it’s revealed that they don’t live in the same universe as normal people. When you point out that the tenth amendment actually means something, that the second amendment actually means something…if we subsidize an activity we should expect to see more of it, if we raise taxes on something we should expect to see a lot less of it, that you can’t claim to be treating people equally if you’re providing advantages to targeted classes. That if the Government provides a “stimulus” then it must ultimately have a neutral effect, at the very best, since the money had to come from somewhere.

That’s when the sissy-fangs come out, when the hissing and spitting starts. That’s when they change the subject into what a terrible person you must be. And cease on the spot any discussion of what the primary topic is supposed to be. I suppose that’s because this is where they’d have to start admitting they’ve been indoctrinated, and easily, in the very moment of their bragging about what independent thinkers they are. They can’t face the truth.

Perfect Pan-Cooked Chicken

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

So there I was putting together a list of requirements for the next phase of our MS SharePoint application, and by the time I got up to #18 with explanations about how the new features would all work, I had to take a break because there was a back-and-forth going on between the resident physical-fitness-know-it-all and the office weenie, in which he was offering to tutor her for free and she was turning the offer down due to the expectation of pain.

These things are always hilarious. I suppose that’s distracting, but that can be a good thing. Every now and then you need a break.

Workout know-it-all answers her question about diet, waxes lyrically of his simplistic food intake, which is legendary. He does lots of things I should be doing. Simple things. Big into bananas, oranges, and proteins, but makes sure he works off whatever calories he puts on. As it happened, I rode my bike in to work that day. But I need to do more, and whatever else I do it needs to be less time-consuming than riding the bike.

The thing that stuck in my head was “I drink my protein shakes, I eat my chicken…” It got me thinking. Chicken and fish, I’ve heard before, are staples of the diet guy who doesn’t want to sacrifice the pleasure of eating meat for a more balanced and sensible diet. This is something I should do first. I should look for recipes for low-fat, home-cooked chicken that can be refrigerated and then packed into a lunch. That would be a good habit. Wife is already way beyond me on this. I should get going on this first step. But, of course, yelling “Honey could you cook me some chicken?” is the sissy’s way through it. What I really need, is a good recipe.

That’s yesterday. Today, I see William Teach has a post up…

I bet you didn’t know I could cook, eh? I actually started out working in local restaurants during the summer. I ran a pizza place for a couple years in college, turning cheap products into good pizzas (and calzones for me and friends). BTW, if you want to make the best pizza, use whole milk cheese, not part skim.

Anyhow, here’s an easy one I’ve been doing for 15 years, similar to this link, for pan cooking chicken breasts

Use olive oil, more virgin the better. Pour in pan till covers about 3/4ths of bottom. The reason for this is if you use too much it can start almost frying, and will be nasty as a sauce.

Add about a tablespoon of butter or substitute. I use butter if it’ll be a sauce, Country Crock lite if using a pasta sauce.

Put some pepper, salt, a bit of garlic on the breasts. Let rest in fridge for about 15 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium high. Let butter melt. Turn to medium.

Sear each side of chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, depending on thickness.

Turn to low. This would be about a 1 to 2 on stove dial. Add a bit of fresh lime squeezing and a bit of garlic powder to liquid. Can use fresh garlic, but have to spread it out.

Cover. Depending on thickness, cook for 10 minutes. Do not lift cover!

Uncover, flip, cook another 5 minutes. Cover.

Turn off heat, but leave on burner. Let sit covered another 5-10 minutes, based on tenderness.

Boom, done! And perfect.

Perfect indeed. Question on a Friday; answer on a Saturday. Like divine intervention or something.

“You’re Trying to Keep Racism Going”

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

From The Blaze:

It’s interesting that what the guy really hung his Confederate hat on, was a bill, I’m guessing this one, about police departments reporting on the race of stopped motorists. It goes without saying that a color-blind society would not be collecting such information. It’s in the definition.

We’ve strayed very far from Martin Luther King’s dream. The democrat party doesn’t seem to have ever shared it, not even for a moment.

Liberals Should NEVER Define What Conservatism Is

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

…as this video proves.

They don’t know. They don’t care.

Those are actually understatements of mine. There are very, very few open questions on the entire planet about which they know less than this.

And there are absolutely no subjects at all, about which they care less than this. This is question-asking-101, you know; wherever you don’t know something, you should be able to admit you don’t know it, at least to yourself, and couple up this knowledge that you don’t know it with a desire to learn about it.

Example: I do not know why the other Republicans didn’t get up and leave the room with Mark Callahan. I would like to know the answer to that.

Via Newsbusters.

Atheist Teevee Channel

Friday, May 9th, 2014

New York Daily News, via Kingjester:

AtheistTV will be launching this summer with big plans to reach out to atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and folks who are looking for a way out of faith.

Members of American Atheists, the organization behind the endeavor, think it’s about time.

“There’s a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials,” spokesman Dave Muscato told The News. “But there’s no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void.”


Since they’re first on the scene, American Atheists will face the challenge of defining what exactly godless programming will look like.

“We’ll have shows about philosophy, science, history,” Muscato said. “A critical examination of the facts.”

Well, I hope it’s something that brings facts to people who otherwise wouldn’t get them. Like a real documentary, of sorts. That way, people could learn about things.

But the alternative? Novel new ways of “critical” but tortured thinking, masticating over what’s already known and has already been discussed, pretending to mull over questions when the answers have already been chosen? No void there. That would be adding to another glut.

I suppose I should presume more charitably, and wish them luck. But I still have to wonder about the urgency of proselytizing lack of belief.

Muscato also hopes the channel fill encourage people who are doubting their faith to come out as atheist.

“When somebody leaves their religion, they don’t necessarily know everything about the Big Bang,” Muscato said. “This will fill in the gaps in knowledge that pastors have left behind.”

And I suppose there I have my answer: The people who insist atheism is not a religion, are simply wrong. Or at least, not talking about these particular atheists. It’s getting much more difficult to distinguish them from an actual church, is it not? They have a catechism, they have a congregation, they have a drive to spread their “word” and recruit new members. They even have high priests and evangelicals, and now a teevee show.

The Science is Settled

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Via Gerard, again.

Peace Pigs

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

This week’s comment that drew an unexpected number of “likes” over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging, was a rebuttal I made to a friend of mine who makes a big show out of despising Republicans and democrats equally. I notice whenever democrats do something that is unquestionably wrong, this person is quite consistent in bringing up some anecdote of Republican skulduggery, but he doesn’t say the same thing about democrats when it is the Republicans who are in hot water. That’s probably why my other friends think he’s a lib, when he continues to protest he isn’t one. I’ve clued him in on this cause-and-effect, but it seems he’s only sufficiently bothered by it to do a lot of complaining, not enough to modify his behavior. Which is his choice, I suppose.

Anyway. His remark was that he hates Bush and Obama equally, because they’re both war pigs.

My reply:

In my lifetime, most wars have been caused by “peace-pigs.” Negotiate and negotiate and negotiate…about what, the rest of us do not know…and when war finally breaks out, it’s much bigger than it ever had to be.

Fewer lives would’ve been lost if the fighting broke out immediately. I have no way of proving that conclusively, but the evidence that supports this is on the heavy side by now.

I dread the lives that could be lost under Obama. In the long run, there may be fewer body bags coming home as a result of His fine tutelage, if He was a real “war pig.” Wikipedia tells me the Ukranian Revolution was around the third week of February, so that means we’re up to some fifteen or sixteen weeks of President Babble-a-Lot and Secretary-of-State Jibber-Jabber grabbing podiums and drawling a lot of nonsense into banks of microphones about “must must must” and “shall not stand.” When they do that, and I have to look at them, I see Jimmy Carter. I see Neville Chamberlain. I see Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. My only son is turning seventeen soon.

If he serves, he serves. If he dies, he dies. But if he chooses to enlist, while he’s pulling the oars of the ship of state, it would be nice if here was a Captain up in the wheelhouse, whose mouth was occasionally closed and whose eyes were occasionally open. I’m just not seein’ it. And I’m as disillusioned with the citizenry as with the politicians, truth be told. We’ve been plunged into the thick of modern warfare, and thus presumably learning about it, for about a century…shouldn’t some of the most obvious and clear lessons, about the huffy puffy talky politicians in particular, have sunk in by now?

Palin’s Views on Sterling, Hillary, etc.

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

What exactly is it that conservatives conserve?


Debt destroys civilization. Treating citizens as subjects destroys civilization. Taking profits away from people who produce things that help people, hurts civilization. Treating people as if they are some kind of pollutant, some toxic agent that doesn’t belong on the planet, hurts civilization. Punitive taxes, unchecked illegal immigration, social safety nets being turned into hammocks, runaway spending, unchecked centralized police-state power, disrespect against people who actually produce goods and services that other people need; all of these hurt our ability to live together. They hurt our sense of community and they hurt our sense of brotherhood.

I agree: I hope grandparent-hood changes Hillary’s perspective a bit. I’m not yet at a stage of life where I can comment on that intelligently, although Todd and Sarah Palin already are.

Argument Clinic

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

From Captain Midnight.

“No Meaningful Public Debate Over Belief and Unbelief is Possible”

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm quotes Gods and Gopniks:

…we have reached a moment in Western history when, despite all appearances, no meaningful public debate over belief and unbelief is possible. Not only do convinced secularists no longer understand what the issue is; they are incapable of even suspecting that they do not understand, or of caring whether they do. The logical and imaginative grammars of belief, which still informed the thinking of earlier generations of atheists and skeptics, are no longer there. In their place, there is now—where questions of the divine, the supernatural, or the religious are concerned—only a kind of habitual intellectual listlessness.

I have noticed this, when discussing the big “Is God There?” issue with the secular crowd, or other things only tangentially related to that one. I notice very often my opposition is demonstrably intelligent, and accomplished — these are people who should be able to understand fundamental thinking like “We know X, because Y.” Or, “Lacking Y, X is a possibility, but not-X is also a possibility.” Many among them have done positive and productive things they would not have been able to get done if they were not capable of building-block thoughts such as these.

And yet, on the God Question, their argument fails to ascend to that level of useful complexity. “It’s a myth, because I say it is”; “It’s a ‘fairy tale,’ because I just called it one.” That seems to be the structure of the argument they want to advance. Worse yet, they keep wanting to veer into it when the discussion is supposed to be about something else.

They’re proving something, just not what they think they’re proving. Instead, they demonstrate that there are certain ingredients involved in clear, useful thinking. That, eliminating possible answers prematurely in an effort to resolve a question, one might as well leave the question entirely unresolved. And perhaps suffering is one of the ingredients; they raise the distinct possibility, in my mind if in nobody else’s, that content people are not apt to come up with useful answers to much of anything at all. They haven’t got any need to.

Perhaps there are some disciplines that can be maintained to rectify that. But if so, then this provides foundation for God’s purpose, if not for His existence. If He truly is dead or never did exist, then re-living the adventure of evolving and advancing a thousand more times, the human race would surely have no choice but to invent Him. With atheists in charge from the very beginning, we would not be exploring the universe today — we’d be living in caves, and more likely than not, without the benefit of spoken or written language.

Why Can’t Chuck Start a Business?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

“They’ll Never Stop Doing it”

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Derek Hunter writes at

To progressives, you aren’t an individual, you’re your skin. Clarence Thomas isn’t a man, he’s a black man. He isn’t an American, he’s an African American. It’s the prefix, not the person, that matters. That, at its core, is racism.

Donald Sterling never will be accepted in polite society again, and rightfully so. He may even be forced to sell his NBA team for his private racist comments. Meanwhile, Democrats will continue to exude racism publicly, and proudly, in the hope that it scares the hell out of voters, particularly minority voters, and keeps them from realizing their lives depend more on who they are and what they do than on any politician or party. Democrats will continue to convince people that even though their lives haven’t improved after decades of loyally voting for Democrats and their ever-increasing government programs, the alternative is worse, so don’t try it.

It’s divisive, cynical, cruel, un-American and racist. It’s also the path to, the reason for, and the basis of Democrats’ power. As long as it works, they’ll never stop doing it.

Explaining Income Inequality at the St. Regis

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Cave Pussies live it up, and make their plans:

Personally, I think the $200 two-ounce pour of Pappy Van Winkle is the perfect bourbon to sip on whilst discussing the evils of inequality.

Another shot, bartender, for the irony-challenged.

I Made a New Word LXIX

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Cave Pussy (n.)

1. Humankind’s very first liberals, the cavemen who never bothered to learn to hunt or to brew ale; when the cave-conservatives dragged a big carcass back to the fire to carve up and feed everybody, the cave-pussies felt the need to justify their share of the meat, and so contributed some rules about how to divide it all up. Later on, they invented claiming credit for the meat, blaming the conservatives for whatever food poisoning might have happened, and vegetarianism.

2. Any modern day successor of the original cave pussies. Any liberal who implies, directly or indirectly, successfully or otherwise, that he and his friends are the ones who acquired this meat, just because he and his friends are the ones who are making rules about how it’s to be divided.

3. More broadly, anyone who confuses the provisioning of a valued commodity, with its regulation, and erroneously credits the rule-makers with the actual production of the assets.

Memo For File CLXXXVI

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

I finally found it. Kinda-sorta. See, this comedy bit has been kicking around for many years now, about how the human species began to be split between conservatives and liberals while we were still living in caves. It’s funny because there’s no way it could all literally be true, and yet — well, it isn’t entirely false either, is it.

The version I finally found, and I knew I had read this before I just couldn’t find the link…the part that draws my attention goes like this (emphasis added):

Some men tried to conserve remnants of the old way of life (hence the term “conservative”) by spending their days in the open field in the dangerous pursuit of big game animals. At night they would roast their prey at a big barbecue, and afterwards sat around the fire drinking beer, passing wind and telling off-color jokes.

Other, more timid, souls stayed closer to home. They are responsible for the domestication of cats and the invention of group therapy. Mostly, they sat around worrying about how life wasn’t fair and concocting elaborate schemes to “liberate” themselves from inequity (thus their designation as “liberals”). From this came the concept of Democratic voting, to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

The thing that still puzzles me is, it bears a copyright date of 2012. But I know I saw it worded this way, before that other version I took the time to blog (before the link to that version was lost, evidently forever), which says

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.

As far as making-a-funny, this is a distinction without a difference. The difference is in the other mission, the more serious social commentary: Liberals love to make rules, rules about how goods should be divided up, goods that they did not capture, or harvest, or invent, or find. Others do the real work, they do the “work” of figuring out who should get what. You might say these rules are what they bring to the table — that’s their contribution. The version I found eight years ago doesn’t mention this at that key part, where the split occurs, although it does go on to say:

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to “govern” the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the Liberals remained in Europe when Conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

And that nails it very, very plainly. Just not elegantly. I think it’s important to mention that, after that first kill, there must have been an abundance of meat and an abundance of people to consume it, along with an assortment of cave pussies who

The first time man ate cooked meat, the kill was dragged to the campfire by — who else? — the first conservatives. It would have to be that way, wouldn’t it; throughout antiquity, liberals have been opposed by principle to learning any of the skills needed in a hunt. So the liberals, having contributed nothing to the feast at all, in fact having ridiculed the conservatives as they gathered their ropes and knives and spears to go out on the hunt that morning, quickly came up with some rules about how the food should be divided. And one or two of them maybe brought some hummus; but mostly, they contributed rules.

Why am I so fixated on this? Because it’s important. It was almost certainly true, in some way or another, back then; we look all around and see it’s true today. It’s been true throughout all of our lives, in all of the history we can read, and so it has to have been true every day in between. Conservatives come up with something that can help people, that they can sell and thus selfishly hoard the profits; liberals scold them and ridicule them for engaging these enterprises, and learning and teaching the skills needed; conservatives haul in the bounty, and the liberals make a bunch of rules about how that’s to be divided up. Liberals claim credit for all the results that happen to be favorable, and blame conservatives for anything that could be regretted. It’s never played out any differently.

That’s why liberals insist on absolute and final victory with anything that has to do with rhetoric. Defining things, re-telling history, getting the last word, guiding narratives. That’s their game, that’s what they do: They dictate how goods are to be divided, and tell others what to think. ALL the time. This is all necessary, because their ideas are bad and can’t survive a more reasonable but uncontrolled forum of discussion.

That’s true in general, by the way. If you have to hover over any & all discussion of an idea, guiding narratives to make the idea look like a good one, like a helicopter-mom hovering over her under-achieving whelp when he’s getting detention or a lousy report card, that’s a tip-off that the idea sucks ass. If you want to understand as much as you can about the modern liberal movement in America in just one single sentence, that’s the one. That is a key point to the lasting difference between what we call conservatives and what we call liberals: When something is failing, do we sneak a finger onto a scale and change the measurements so failure can become success; or, do we let the thing go ahead and fail (hat tip to The Barrister at Maggie’s Farm) so that the learning can take place.

A fixed mindset tends to make one not only less resilient, but also more risk-averse; the two qualities go hand-in-hand. Society, of course, benefits from both resilient and risk-taking individuals. Learning from failure is essential for developing toughness, prudence, and humility, yet Americans have developed a societal sorting mechanism that encourages precisely the opposite.

Take the putatively meritocratic system of college admissions, which (despite that college application writing prompt) has evolved to punish all evidence of failure…Those with the time and wherewithal have rationally responded to this tournament with a parental investment arms race…parents strenuously protect their children from failure, resulting in adults who are under-equipped to deal with the inevitable challenges of life. Although these kids could probably use more failure in preparation for the independence of adulthood the failure they do experience is not catastrophic, and very often it serves an instructive function.

Biggest lie about American politics over the last hundred years — or a contender for that spot, anyhow — is the claim that liberals are for “progress.” Second-biggest would be that they are somehow more accepting of, or are accepting at all of, what we are supposed to be calling “science.” Progress and real science would have to have something to do with learning, and we assess learning according to non-instinctive change in behavior. Liberals, as liberals, do not change their behavior. Not even a little tiny bit. A truly dedicated liberal who might have told you of the wonderful things President Carter was about to do back in 1976, if you were to look him up today and he hadn’t renounced the movement, would swear up & down that these were & are the correct policies. That’s all you need to measure, right there; they don’t learn. Even when the circumstances make it most necessary and urgent, they don’t modify their behavior because modifying their behavior would be intolerable apostasy.

Failure has a lot to do with learning. Barrister makes a great point about this:

As we say here, you learn little from success but much from failures. I’ve had my share. In general, I won’t blame anyone but myself for them. When a lad, when I was prone to blame failures on external circumstances, jerky teachers, annoying coaches, rejecting girls, unappreciative people in general, etc., my Yankee Mom would always say in her Yankee way “Cut out that talk, sonny boy, and look to what you mishandled.”

I blew something pretty huge about three years ago. The consequences were devastating, and humbling, since this was central not only to my successes, but to my whole reason for existing, for over twenty years previous to that. It gives me no pleasure to admit it, but I learned a great deal more over the next year or two, than I learned out of what came before or since. Today, I am succeeding. And, not learning quite as much as I learned in the wake of my failure. And although I’m ashamed of that failure, that shame is insignificant to the shame I have about learning so very, very little over that prior, vast, stretch of time — during which, I was successful. That’s just how it goes. You succeed, you get to go on to bigger and better things, but without learning too much. You get a smack-down, you admit that you don’t know something, because you have to; the alternative is to just give up altogether. That’s your clue that something you thought would work, doesn’t work. You’re not going to get it any other way. Failure is the purifying fire. It is nature’s “don’t do that” signal. Or, in my case, “You’re too cocky.” There really isn’t any other one available, not in this universe.

Liberals do have one, and only one, understanding of failure, and they’re extremely energetic and enthused about it. A meaningful failure, in their world, is the failure to show proper fidelity to their liberalism. And, being prerational by nature or by choice, they’re constantly ready to banish whoever doesn’t succeed this way. You’re not sufficiently liberal, so begone and take your fail with you. No one is safe.

That’s why Cliven Bundy is a racist now. It’s not because that one clip makes him look like one — although that’s the evidence we’re given. But see, that’s just the lightning-rod effect. What people miss is that had it not been for the “better off in slavery,” but all the other remarks in the longer commentary remained, liberals would still be condemning him as a racist. Because he pointed to a liberal plan, assessed the results, and took note that they fell short of success; how they hurt the people they were supposed to have helped. That is how you get called a racist by liberals.

It Was Canceled!
Image shamelessly swiped from American Digest

Again, the prerational thinking. When everything you know about something is based on feelings and not on thought, it’s hard to learn because the edifying stuff mentioned above has something to do with failure, and therefore with pain. They evaluate everything — with feelings. They recruit other liberals — by way of feeling. They assess the “progress” of their agenda items — by way of feeling. We just saw it with ObamaCare. It was supposed to make insurance markets more competitive and affordable, but now our friends the liberals proclaim it a huge success because of some number of signups. The law requires coverage, it invalidates existing policies; people who think their way through problems, rather than feel their way around them, immediately understand what’s wrong with evaluating the law’s success according to signup numbers. It’s like bragging about selling and installing windshields by day, while you’re going out and smashing them at night. Would the owner of such a business be able to brag about “helping” the motorists who need their windshields? Certainly yes, but not to anyone who is informed about the situation and willing to invest some quality thought about it.

But to the prerational, that’s too harsh, too critical. It doesn’t feel good to entertain such thoughts. The person embarking on such a train of thought, must therefore be a…racist. There ya go, that’s how it works. That’s our modern village-banishment. If we were living back in the olden days, our liberals would escort Cliven Bundy to the big heavy village gates, compel him to walk outside of them, and slam them shut behind him. Along with everyone else criticizing ObamaCare. But it’s not then, it’s now, we have no gates — so we’re plied with stories about yet one more person being a racist.

It’s just one more “rule about dividing up the vittles” job for them. These people are in, those people are out. More rules. Their one contribution to the feast. Across the millennia, nothing has changed.

Doing Everything Wrong

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Stephen Moore at Heritage:

What happens to an economy when you do just about everything wrong? Say you spend $830 billion on a stimulus stuffed with make-work government-jobs programs and programs to pay people to buy new cars, you borrow $6 trillion, you launch a government-run health-care system that incentivizes businesses not to hire more workers, you raise tax rates on the businesses that hire workers and on the investors that invest in the businesses that hire workers, you print $3 trillion of paper money, you shut down an entire industry (coal), and try to regulate and restrain the one industry that actually is booming (oil and gas).

We made all of these imbecilic moves, and the wonder of it all is that the U.S. economy is growing at all. It’s a tribute to the indestructible Energizer Bunny that is the entrepreneurial U.S. economy that it keeps going and going even with all the obstacles. The problem is it isn’t going very fast. That’s what the Bureau of Economic Analysis told us this week when it reported that the GDP for the first quarter of the year grew an anemic 0.1 percent on an annual basis from January to March. The more meaningful measure of growth, private-sector GDP, rose by a still-meager 0.2 percent.
Reagan cut tax rates, slashed regulations, trimmed excess money supply (with the help of Fed chairman Paul Volcker), and let the private businesses — the supply side — grow their operations less hindered by government interference.

Obama did, well, pretty much the opposite. At the time of the mighty economic recovery of 2003–09, liberals explained the ferocious burst of growth and employment by saying it was a “classic Keynesian recovery” financed by debt spending. Except if that was the case, why is it that after Obama borrowed twice as much money, this Keynesian recovery has proceeded at half that pace? I’ve never heard an answer to that one. Never.

It’s always awkward when Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy works out to the benefit of liberals; awkward for them, that is. Being adamantly opposed to definitions in pretty much anything, but always ready to “win” an argument, they put one up that takes the form of: Look, something that can be plausibly likened to our ideas, preceded something that can be plausibly likened to success. Who could possibly take issue with such an unanswerable manifesto? What more could be said?

And then along comes some wise-ass — or, perhaps, merely someone who is interested in things going well, outcome versus process and all that stuff — to ask: Okay, what did Bill Clinton do to bring about this wonderful Clinton Economy? And they have nothing to offer here. It’s like the dog catching the car. They don’t know what to do.

And that’s important. On the Internet, it really doesn’t matter who wins what argument, or how surely. That doesn’t help anyone, on the Internet or off. But a crappy economy, and disastrous results needlessly dragged out by bad policy, New-Deal-style, hurts a lot of people. Just about everyone, really.

Where Is…

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

A tip for women who share a dwelling with any sort of male: Yes, you do have an obligation to remember where you put something if you’re the one who moved it “out of the way” or whatever.

Asking “Why do you need it?” in response to “Where is” means one thing to the male mind: You don’t really live here. A home, after all, is a place you can put something down, and not have to worry about touching it every day or two (or fastening it to something) to remind the world that you’re somehow associated with it.

And in response to “Where is”: Protesting how unfair it is that you should be asked where the thing is, when heck, it’s been a whole six weeks or more since the guy even noticed it was gone…well…that’s even worse. That means “You should have rented a storage locker, or better yet got a place of your own, six weeks ago.”

It’s sad, in a humorous sort of way, that some women just don’t get this.

Kate Upton’s Butt Deserves More Attention

Friday, May 2nd, 2014


Metric System

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A thought adjoining to the final lines of the post previous: I hate the metric system.

Not that it doesn’t have its uses. If I’m calculating the accumulation of kinetic energy in an accelerating mass, and the capacity of that kinetic energy when it’s converted into something else, the metric system would be my first choice.

It is the advocacy for the metric system that cheeses me off. The idiotic arguments. “Ten is sensible”; that right there, that’s it. No, ding-dong, ten is not sensible. What is two-thirds of ten? You want to build a house that way?

See, for guys who have hammer-loops in their jeans that they use to actually hold hammers, and carry a tape measure clipped to their belts, twelve is better. It’s better for actually building things. Twelve is a composite that is the product of a low prime times the square of an even lower prime. Ten is just two primes, great for multiplying but lousy for dividing.

And why do you want a number great-for-multiplying anyway? That’s just for doing math in your head, or on a sheet of paper. There’s computers everywhere, you goth vegan Canuck black-turtleneck-wearing atheist who probably thinks the European Union is the greatest thing since the printing press. We don’t need number systems that are great for multiplying. Great-for-multiplying is for lazy students who are still in class and want an easy A without bothering to switch their iPhones out of Angry Birds. Great-for-dividing is what people need when they’re designing or building something that is actually supposed to work. And the problem you run into with that, when you’re trying to divide ten by three, is not something that will trip you up until you have invested some actual time. Real time, out in the real world, building real things.

The ten-is-easier argument is just stupid. Worse than stupid, it is a successful inversion; it is the winning of an argument based on the aesthetics of the argument, without respect to the actual substance, or its ramifications for the rest of us out here where objects actually move around and have an effect on one another. The impression left is that the English system is based on yesteryear, specifically the distance between Henry I of England’s nose and his thumb, and the tens-system is the world of tomorrow. The truth is the opposite of this. Most people don’t have much call to do math with newtons and km/sec^2. And they haven’t got a frequent need to do math in their heads merely by moving a decimal point around. We’re spending our lives in front of computers. Imposing a whole new system on oldsters who just want to buy medicine and margarine, just so kids can get their math homework done a little quicker when they’re too lazy to enter numbers into a calculator, has turned out to be a relic of the 1970’s.

“Imagine Joining an Engineering Team…”

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Some of us don’t need to imagine, we just need to remember. But we don’t like to, because we’ve worked so hard to forget…Programming sucks.

Imagine joining an engineering team. You’re excited and full of ideas, probably just out of school and a world of clean, beautiful designs, awe-inspiring in their aesthetic unity of purpose, economy, and strength. You start by meeting Mary, project leader for a bridge in a major metropolitan area. Mary introduces you to Fred, after you get through the fifteen security checks installed by Dave because Dave had his sweater stolen off his desk once and Never Again. Fred only works with wood, so you ask why he’s involved because this bridge is supposed to allow rush-hour traffic full of cars full of mortal humans to cross a 200-foot drop over rapids. Don’t worry, says Mary, Fred’s going to handle the walkways. What walkways? Well Fred made a good case for walkways and they’re going to add to the bridge’s appeal. Of course, they’ll have to be built without railings, because there’s a strict no railings rule enforced by Phil, who’s not an engineer. Nobody’s sure what Phil does, but it’s definitely full of synergy and has to do with upper management, whom none of the engineers want to deal with so they just let Phil do what he wants. Sara, meanwhile, has found several hemorrhaging-edge paving techniques, and worked them all into the bridge design, so you’ll have to build around each one as the bridge progresses, since each one means different underlying support and safety concerns. Tom and Harry have been working together for years, but have an ongoing feud over whether to use metric or imperial measurements, and it’s become a case of “whoever got to that part of the design first.” This has been such a headache for the people actually screwing things together, they’ve given up and just forced, hammered, or welded their way through the day with whatever parts were handy. Also, the bridge was designed as a suspension bridge, but nobody actually knew how to build a suspension bridge, so they got halfway through it and then just added extra support columns to keep the thing standing, but they left the suspension cables because they’re still sort of holding up parts of the bridge. Nobody knows which parts, but everybody’s pretty sure they’re important parts. After the introductions are made, you are invited to come up with some new ideas, but you don’t have any because you’re a propulsion engineer and don’t know anything about bridges.

Would you drive across this bridge?

The premise is the conclusion and the conclusion is the premise. I’m not too sure about it, because the problems mentioned are all introduced by the people. And it isn’t even rooted in the people, it’s in their associations; more beauty and order and functionality made into ugly detritus by group-think. “Tom and Harry have been working together for years, but have an ongoing feud over whether to use metric or imperial measurements, and it’s become a case of ‘whoever got to that part of the design first.'” That resonates with me, and my sad dark war-stories, more than anything else in that paragraph, but heck — Tom, working by himself, might end up doing just a dandy job, and the same is true of Harry.

People just aren’t good at looking at the designs and handiwork of other people, and saying to themselves “Right, so that’s it then; we’ll do it that way, going forward.” Teamwork, for all its blessings, is based on an axiom that people will be doing that every hour of the day, for months or years at a time. And that just isn’t how we’re wired. The problem is with the people, and the flawed assumptions about how they’ll work together, not with the programming.

This one hurt, like a shiv in the ribs:

Every programmer occasionally, when nobody’s home, turns off the lights, pours a glass of scotch, puts on some light German electronica, and opens up a file on their computer. It’s a different file for every programmer. Sometimes they wrote it, sometimes they found it and knew they had to save it. They read over the lines, and weep at their beauty, then the tears turn bitter as they remember the rest of the files and the inevitable collapse of all that is good and true in the world.

This file is Good Code. It has sensible and consistent names for functions and variables. It’s concise. It doesn’t do anything obviously stupid. It has never had to live in the wild, or answer to a sales team. It does exactly one, mundane, specific thing, and it does it well. It was written by a single person, and never touched by another. It reads like poetry written by someone over thirty.

MY GOD, IT’S TRUE. Red label, I keep it in a gravy jar in the chest freezer. But not German electronica, I watch Fargo or Club Dread. And yeah, you bet your ass it’s Good Code. The very best.

Okay, maybe not, but a damn sight better than anything that’s been tainted by the ravages of office politics. And if it was a bridge, yeah, you could drive across it.

Do you want to live in a world like this? No. This is a world of where you can smoke a pack a day and nobody even questions it. “Of course he smokes a pack a day, who wouldn’t?” Eventually every programmer wakes up and before they’re fully conscious they see their whole world and every relationship in it as chunks of code, and they trade stories about it as if sleepiness triggering acid trips is a normal thing that happens to people. This is a world where people eschew sex to write a programming language for orangutans. All programmers are forcing their brains to do things brains were never meant to do in a situation they can never make better, ten to fifteen hours a day, five to seven days a week, and every one of them is slowly going mad.

Yeah…I’m reminded of my late Uncle, who once said “Morgan, there are two kinds of people in the world…the ones like you who go around dividing everyone into two groups of people, and everyone else.” But there are two groups of people, and because of that, there are two groups of programmers: Some have passion about all the things you can do by translating an idea into a language, and some have passion about all the different languages into which one thing can be translated. Isn’t that the trouble with Common Core? It’s that second group that’s making the problem. The same is true of programming. No greater capability; no reduced maintenance; no easier comprehension of what is encoded, for the humans reviewing it; but, it is yet-another-way-to-do-the-same-thing, and that second group goes apeshit. The rest of us get more work to do, and we’d better act excited about it or we’ll be showing what slope-forehead troglodytes we are.

If a new language comes along to motivate the first group, it is one that makes something possible that had previously been written off as not-possible. There is a conflict, I think, that needs to be had-out sooner or later. Is that such a radical idea? We’re still in the first century of this new craft. It has to happen, because we’re the ones doing the brain surgery or trying to defuse the time bomb, and they’re the ones jumping on the bed.