Archive for June, 2014

Forty Maps That Explain World War I

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Interesting stuff.

One hundred years ago, on June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by Serbian terrorists. The murder set off a chain reaction that plunged much of the world into war. The Great War killed 10 million people, redrew the map of Europe, and marked the rise of the United States as a global power. Here are 40 maps that explain the conflict — why it started, how the Allies won, and why the world has never been the same.
Germany’s surface fleet was largely unable to to stand in battle against the vastly superior British Royal Navy. But the new technology of the submarine gave Germany the means to harass Allied shipping despite its weakness on the surface. In 1915, they initiated a kind of underwater blockade — attacking ships bound for Britain as a countermeasure to the near-total Allied knockout of Germany’s transatlantic trade. But Germany didn’t have nearly sufficient submarine strength to cut off all Allied shipping. What’s more, unlike surface ships, submarines couldn’t really threaten ships and board them. They could only attack with stealth. That led to the sinking of several ships with Americans aboard, which badly damaged US-German relations. Seeking to appease President Wilson, Germany halted unrestricted submarine warfare. But in February 1917, the Germans changed their minds again — setting themselves on a course that would drag the United States into the war.

The Double-Hate Standard

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Liberal Logic 101.


Saturday, June 28th, 2014

From Bulldog at Maggie’s Farm.

Brawl Breaks Out at the Welfare Office

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Language warning…

Obama’s America?

Anna Looks Good on the Tarzan Ride

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

“Greg, stay appropriate.” “Just trying to keep Greg in check.”

It’s kinda funny because the bikini-lady would have been off the set so much quicker if the “frowning-at-me” lady said nothing at all.

So let’s see, a recap of the rules we understand so far. There’s a power-and-pulchritude thing; we’re not about to let the women just run off and do whatever they want, here. They can look good if they’re not too influential, and they can have influence if they don’t look good. By the time they get to be Secretary of State, it has to be unthinkable that any sane straight man would ever want to see her naked.

Speaking of which, the unwritten rules insist, there are no sane straight men. There is nothing good you can say about a straight man, especially if he admires a woman in a bikini, thereby providing evidence of his straightness. And we already know there is nothing bad you can say about a gay man. In fact, you can never ever heap enough approving platitudes onto a gay man, or enough snotty derision on a straight man…

Does it go so far as gay men feeling up Scarlett Johansson’s tits, in public, with no consequences at all? You’d better believe it (video auto-plays).

Regarding the women who do not have influence, they can strip down, or not, but if they do strip down to display the busts-backs-shoulders-bellies-hips-gams, as we see here nobody is allowed to notice, let alone say anything about it. You can’t send them home from school to change out of their skimpy shorts. News reporter, I’m guessing, is on the same side of the barrier as schoolgirl here: Not enough real power for anyone to worry, so they can be beautiful. Women aren’t threatened by that. Paradoxically though, if you are selling the pulchritudinous but powerless female the skimpy shorts or bathing suit, or hair products, or makeup, or nail treatment, you can charge her through the roof — and you probably will — because she will pay it. So there is a very high commercial value in grabbing male attention, which then, the males are not allowed to give.

Oh well wait a minute. Then there’s this thing that came my way, via IM from CylarZ, perhaps it can shed some light on things:

Yeah, I think now we’re coming to the heart of the matter. It reminds me of something a young lady said about the “all men are the same” myth: “Let’s be honest girls, all the men we like are the same.” Take a second & third look at a girl’s cleavage, or calves, a good-looking guy is one thing, an ugly guy is another thing. This is a new thing. See, pre-feminism it was the girl’s capital-dee Dad who decided what the ogler was, and what should be done about that. Now, that’s all changed — so, the truth of it is that we first need to know if the leering “gentleman” looks more like Jude Law or Steve Buscemi. And when we find that out, so we can figure out what to think about it, what we’re really doing is anticipating her reaction. So, the sexy guys get away with a bit more.

Actually, a lot more. I’m in a position to say. I’ve been both.

Most guys who possess any sophistication and/or experience at all, know this on some level. Furthermore, we should absolutely expect them to. Our modern society places immense pressure on guys to learn as much as they can throughout their lives, about how to get along with women. We remain lonely if we don’t go far enough, and there are huge penalties to pay if we go too far. We have to cope with this pretty much womb-to-tomb, so it stands to reason, whether society wants to admit it or not, that guys are the experts here.

And what we notice is that the line cannot be drawn until it’s first established whether we ourselves are among the sexy specimens. If we are, it’s over here, if we’re not then it’s over there.

So can you look at a chick in a bikini? It all comes down to whether or not you’re making her feel uncomfortable. Seems to make perfect sense! But, two problems with that. In the news segment, the bikini-reporter didn’t seem to have a problem at all with the leering, it was the jealous co-anchor who was making trouble. That is, we see, the default configuration. One woman speaks for another, and for some reason we all just accept this.

And then there is the question of: Can you look at a picture of her?

The billboard, promoting a tanning salon company, went up Tuesday. By Thursday, it was vandalized when someone covered it with a black tarp and spray painted the words “no porn in our town” on it…

“There is nothing pornographic about the image at all. It shows a beautiful tan on a confident women. It’s a very classy image,” Jeremy McCain, media director for California Sun, the company behind the advertisement, told the Sacramento Bee.

“If you go out to the lake or the beach, women wear bikinis all the time. It’s a very conservative bikini,” he added.

But apparently not everyone agrees. Not only is the vandal obviously upset, but his message must have resonated with others. Thursday afternoon the ad was taken down and replaced with an animal adoption sign…

According to Fox40 in Sacramento, the sign sits near an elementary school.

“My goodness, we are a very conservative family with two daughters and a young son,” California Sun owner Mike Blore told the station.

Now that the ad has been taken down, he’s upset. According to him, it wasn’t his decision to remove it.

“Here’s a company that doesn’t hesitate to put a Viagra ad in a children’s show,” said Blore, referring to CBS Outdoor, the company that owns the billboard. It didn’t return e-mails from FOX40 about why the image was replaced.

What the picture-of-woman-in-bikini story has in common with the news-clip-about-woman-in-bikini story, apart from the beautiful women in bikinis, is this: Sanity would have prevailed, if nobody had said anything at all.

Which just goes to show. We’re turning upside-down. Completely losing our cool and freaking out when gorgeous women display their supple skin and appealing appendages, where they ought to be able to, and enforcing a strict “don’t ask don’t tell” code when they do it in places like schools, where they ought not be able to. We are getting it exactly backward, and pretty much everywhere. Thanks Feminism!

Update: The best example of judgmental commentary on this segment, at least the best that’s come to my attention, is here. Holy smokes. It’s like he’s writing for people who can’t watch the video for themselves, trying to put together a protest of the ignorant.

Jeez, dude. She looks good, he said so. The whole thing was probably scripted anyway.

We Need a Speaker of the House Who Likes Mexican Food

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Fascinating. So many take-aways from this thing. The one that impresses me the most is that, through this subtle wording that we actually hear so much, “should we tolerate” — firing the whoever-it-is becomes the default proposition. It becomes ordinary to eject the S.O.B., and extraordinary to keep him. Before that’s done, it is the other way around.

File it under first-world-problems. If we all had to work fifteen-to-eighteen-hour days in order to harvest and slaughter enough food to feed our families, maybe we’d find it a bit easier to separate the real problems from the phony ones.

“There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.” — Nigil Powers.

“It’s Not so Cut and Dried”

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Just not black and white (video at link). Carol Costello “really wanted legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to say President Obama won” when His recess appointments went before the Supreme Court, which struck them down this week nine-zip.

And it got awkward really, really fast.

The decision wholly invalidates President Obama’s argument that he can move around Senate blocks on judicial and other appointments as long as the legislative body is idle — but not in recess — when he makes his move.

But Costello couldn’t accept the defeat. “So as usual, Jeffrey Toobin, this is a more complicated decision,” she said. “It’s just not black and white. Cause I guess you could say the president lost . . . but did he?”

“Yeah, he lost,” Toobin replied quickly. “There’s no doubt.”

“Well he lost in this particular case,” she admitted plaintively. “But overall, right?”

“Well . . . no, he lost overall,” Toobin insisted. “I mean, there’s no question this is a win for Congress and a defeat for President Obama.”

“There cannot be an intermediate between contradictories, but of one subject we must either affirm or deny any one predicate.” — Aristotle.

Perhaps it was on noticing Costello’s modern post-Aristotle-era confusion, Gerard was inspired to dig up this old article from The Onion.

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide

More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

There’s a serious side to this: More and more, among those who make their living displaying, and in so doing defining and re-defining, some sort of brand name by way of printing or broadcasting messages…we see this rejection of the Law of Excluded Middle as a way of opting out of reality, without taking responsibility for the opting-out. So many sentences out there of the form “Yeah sure, [blank]…but you know, it’s not so cut-and-dried…what if…[blank]?” Yeah sure, two and two make four. Yeah sure, a rational number multiplied by or divided by another rational number will be yet another rational number. Sure A squared plus B squared is C squared. But it’s not so cut and dried…insert some sort of nonsensical mish-mash here…and Shazzadazzaduzzit, we have a whole new “answer.”

But it’s not so cut and dried.

Ann Coulter on Soccer

Friday, June 27th, 2014

She’s not happy with it.

When baseball players strike out, they’re standing alone at the plate. But there’s also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks.

In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child’s fragile self-esteem is bruised. There’s a reason perpetually alarmed women are called “soccer moms,” not “football moms.”

The name of the German player who scored the goal against the U.S., by the way, was Thomas Mueller. Some reports actually say so. The jungle-telegraph news blurb that came at us from all directions yesterday, however — water-cooler, teevee, radio, IM, phone — was “Germany against U.S. 1-0.”

Some of her statements, like “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay,” could be faulted for over-stating the problem in my opinion. But there certainly is a problem. Soccer represents a culture different from football and baseball, more-or-less in the way she describes, and the broad and sweaty fashion-event that surrounds us today is more “pull” than “push.” I agree entirely with this part:

I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO’s “Girls,” light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating.

I note that we don’t have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.

But we do have to be told that about soccer. Controlling the narrative is important when you’re selling a bad idea.

Gary Oldman’s New Commercial

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Via Instapundit.

Being a Liberal Means Looking Down on Non-Liberals

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

A dose of smiley-faced fascism, full of rosy prose and one-apology-per-paragraph, from a smiley-positive-person writing under the moniker of “One Pissed-Off Liberal“:

I think of myself as being part of the humanitarian left. That’s not a formal thing (afaik). I’m not an ideologue, a dedicated Marxist or committed socialist (though I do lean that way). I just come down on the left side of things because that’s where one finds compassion, charity, kindness, altruism, etc.- all those things that I perceive to be the best of which we are capable. I define myself as a leftist in opposition to what one finds on the right: selfishness, greed, profits over people, authoritarian meanness, police-state regulation of the powerless and lawlessness for the rich and powerful. It’s easy to be selfish and mean, perhaps that’s why so many people are. It’s much harder, and more laudatory in my view, to be a humanitarian. After all, what does the world need more of? Mean, selfish, greedy assholes? Or humanitarians? I think the answer is obvious.

And there ya go. In just a few sentences, he gets to “everyone who doesn’t share my ideology is a ‘mean, selfish, greedy asshole’.” Which I suspect was the point all along.

“Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned, but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people.” — Larry Elder.

As to his question, “What does the world need more of?” More people who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure a preposition is something they never end sentences with. After that, more people working, to produce goods and services that other people need, that reliably and economically do the things they’re supposed to do. In order for that to happen on a large scale, we need a lot more than to just “be massively creative,” as he says. We have to put that creativity to work, and we require freedom to profit from this to the fullest extent possible. We need to get worry out of the way. Minimize the taxes, minimize the regulatory stranglehold on our efforts. Make business plans, and then act on them, without worrying about silly artificial things like “If that puts us up to fifty people then we have to worry about ObamaCare.” Get worry out of the way of helping each other.

Liberals are such a funny lot. They write their tomes about the challenges humanity faces and how it’s time to dig in and really mean business — but once they’re done running things a little while, nobody’s digging in or meaning business because it’s like running through a thicket. Suddenly, everyone is dodging little-laws. Or breaking them. And the place doesn’t look like utopia; it looks like Detroit. You look around and there isn’t anybody acting on the values the liberal was discussing; nobody helping each other, nobody being grown-up or compassionate, beginning with the end in mind, looking down the road, thinking ahead, building a better world. Just litter in the sidewalks, abandoned factories, rotting houses and people awaiting in long lines talking about “foostamps.”

I’ve got a better idea for a title for his piece: “I’m running low on ways I can not be a mean asshole, and I’m down to just this. How am I doing?”

Everything is Racism

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

No, really.

“When a black liberal is criticized, he cries racism. When liberalism fails, liberals cry racism. When the Democrat Party gets in trouble, liberals cry racism. It has become the ever present background noise of politics, like birds chirping in the forest.” — John Hawkins.

Via American Digest.

How did Taranto put it…

The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else. The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog. [bold emphasis added]

Our modern color-blind society has a real peculiar idea of what color-blindness is, I think.


Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Neo-neocon noticed something.

I was at the beach the other day and I noticed that about half the people walking around seemed to be tattooed. Highly unattractive, IMHO.

I generally agree, although I must allow for exceptions. I actually married a tattoo. Two of ’em, really, both drawn and located very tastefully. But Mrs. Freeberg is stopping there. Taylor, our favorite waitress over at Toby Keith’s, has gone all-out on her torso with flowers & cursive & such. Which makes it more important to properly treat the stretch marks during her pregnancy. The conversation last night went off in that direction, and I sort of tuned out because it was starting to orbit Girl Planet, and my yummy beef steak was calling me.

So I can’t be too hard on the inked folk, I happen to like some of them. But on the other hand, the comments section under Neo’s post is lit up with all sorts of gems:

TattooI find it interesting that tatoos have gone, over the last thirty or forty years, from being a rare and daring defiance of societal norms to a commonplace. Once a tatoo told the world that you were someone out of the ordinary: a United States Marine, a Hell’s Angel or someone with sexual tastes that could get you arrested in most states. Nowadays, a tatoo most often indicates that you were able to nag your mom into driving you down to the mall, taking you to Tats R Us and putting the charge on her Visa.

++gigglesnort++ C’mon tattooed people, admit it. That’s funny. And it’s true.

One of the ways we might assess that a society has become soft and spoiled, is the observation that its demands have begun to take on the profile of the supplies. In other words, lots of people “need” something simply because it’s there to be had. What’s been going on with tattoos would be an apt illustration of this. The tattoo ink artist paying the rent by swiping the credit cards held by guilted and bullied small-em moms, ultimately, is a solution in search of a problem. Kids want the tattoos because the tattoos are there. And all the other kids have them. Because they’re there.

I wonder how the early-adventurers in this tattoo-fad wave feel about it, having endured not only real physical pain before it was cool to go in and feel it, but the exclusivity of having been inked which has, since then, deteriorated into something that no longer involves exclusivity. No point asking Mrs. Freeberg. If she excels at anything, it’s at figuring out what she wants put where, and why, all by herself, without regard to what others will think about it. Makes things very easy on the husband, especially during our upcoming move, I think. We don’t have some henpecked boob spending all afternoon sliding a couch around with a bubbly airhead chirping away about “No, maybe over here, no maybe over there…”

I digress. I thought this was good too:

Generally, the bigger the tats the less interesting the person.

Generally yes. Works in my wife’s case. Not in Taylor’s.

This one is the clear winner:

A tattoo is a permanent response to a temporary situation.

The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

The year is still young, but thus far, this may emerge as the greatest piece of proposed legislation unless there’s something I’ve forgotten that’s even better — which I don’t consider to be too likely:

A week after the IRS announced they could not produce emails from former Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner and six others because of a computer crash, Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) introduced “The Dog Ate My Tax Receipts Act.”

The language of the bill take a humorous approach to a serious issue.

The bill states, “All taxpayers shall be given the benefit of the doubt when not producing critical documentation, so long as the taxpayer’s excuse therefore falls into one of the following categories:

1. The dog ate my tax receipts
2. Convenient, unexplained, miscellaneous computer malfunction
3. Traded documents for five terrorists
4. Burned for warmth while lost in the Yukon
5. Left on table in Hillary’s Book Room
6. Received water damage in the trunk of Ted Kennedy’s car
7. Forgot in gun case sold to Mexican drug lords
8. Forced to recycle by municipal Green Czar
9. Was short on toilet paper while camping
10. At this point, what difference does it make?”

“The United States was founded on the belief government is subservient and accountable to the people. Taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to follow laws the Obama administration refuses to follow themselves,” Stockman said. “Taxpayers should be allowed to offer the same flimsy, obviously made-up excuses the Obama administration uses.”

For the uninitiated, Lois Lerner, the high-ranking bureaucrat who to all appearances is at the top of the conspiracy to deny tax-exempt status to Tea Party groups — well, let’s just write about this honestly, shall we? She ranks high enough that a narrative has already been scripted that, guilty as she may very well be, gosh darn it they just can’t find the evidence so it looks like she’s gonna get away with it. The narrative persists throughout all requests made by Congress that might result in shedding some light on the situation, and now it persists through their demands for Lois Lerner’s e-mails.

So the narrative demands that the e-mails have been irretrievably lost.

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightning rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.

“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a brief hallway interview.

What makes this story fascinating is that, clearly, whoever contrived the narrative — or more precisely, whoever dictated that it should persist through the e-mail request — doesn’t know jack-diddly-squat about how electronic messaging works in an organization of any size or complexity. The excuse is not technologically feasible.

I believe the government uses Microsoft Exchange for their email servers. They have built-in exchange mail database redundancy. So, unless they did not follow Microsofts recommendations they are telling a falsehood. You can see by the diagram below that if you have three servers in a DAG you have three copies of the database.
If they are talking about her local PC, then it’s a simple matter of going to the servers which have the email and getting them from the servers. If the servers have removed the data you can still get them by using the backups of the servers to recover the emails.

But I remember where I saw it before: The Bellesiles scandal.

One of the fascinating subplots in the controversy over whether Michael Bellesiles committed scholarly fraud in his book, Arming America, is what he claims happened to some of his research notes. Bellesiles asserts that water damage from a broken sprinkler pipe in Bowden Hall, where the Emory University History Department`s offices are housed, flooded the building and “pulped” and “destroyed” the yellow legal pads on which he says he recorded in penciled “tick marks” the 11,170 probates he says he researched.

That one has a fascinating backstory too. It’s always fascinating when liars get caught. It’s always worth inspecting just how much power of persuasion they managed to achieve before their fall from grace.

I guess, from what I’m reading up above, I’m not the only one who remembers the mushy-paper-pad excuse. But yellow legal pads are not e-mails which, by their very nature, are messages from one person to another. You don’t get to say “they were on a hard drive and golly gee, it crashed, so we can’t comply with your subpoena.” At least, you and I would not be able to say that.

So now a question has emerged about whether justice will endure in America. If you’re going to get away with it just because you’re supposed to get away with it, even if the explanation doesn’t make any sense at all, then we can all turn in America’s card that says “nation of laws, not of men,” along with the one that says “no one is above the law.” Because that would prove, plainly, that the law first needs to figure out who you are before it can attend to the question of whether any evidence can be found to convict you.

Update: Yeah Paul, go get ’em. People need to understand how out-of-control this situation really is.

An Endpoint Worthy of Discussion

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Because, just as sure as the sun is going to rise tomorrow, a liberal is going to insist that anyone reading this and taking it seriously is exaggerating, failing to see shades of gray, living in a “conservative echo chamber,” et cetera.

Want to know how America would look if liberals like Barack Obama had complete control of the country?

1) Abortion would be the only “choice.” Almost everything else including light bulbs, TVs, health care plans, cars, and the schools your child goes to would be chosen for you by people in D.C.

2) You could be sued for failing to warn people that you are about to say something that could conceivably be offensive to women, gays, transsexuals, or minorities.

3) Every sports fan of teams like the Redskins, Braves, Chiefs, Indians, Blackhawks, and Seminoles would be branded as a bigot and all of those teams would be forced to change their names.

Silly right winger!, they’ll say. That’s not what we want to do!

Alright then, the question that must then come up is one of: Where, then, would you all stop? And under what rationale would you be stopping at that point?

We’re at quite a few of them already, like #16:

16) Merit and even basic competence would be secondary in importance to hiring people who are the right race or sex for a job.

And #19 is coming up real quick:

19) It would be illegal to oppose gay marriage.

Here in California, we have a saying: Whatever our hard-lefty-liberal state legislature hasn’t outlawed, it merely hasn’t outlawed yet. I remember the frustration I had when I first moved here before I made my first meaningful cultural discovery. If you can imagine a law against it, rest assured that there is one. The second meaningful discovery was, just because they have all these laws on the books does not mean in any way you should expect people to actually follow them. It’s the land of a million little laws that nobody ever takes the time to actually read, much less follow.

Liberals care nothing about the past, nothing at all about the fact that what they want to do might have been tried elsewhere, with dismal or hurtful results. They reserve all their attention for the future — but, it’s so odd that they don’t care much about the future either. How far are we going to take this? Where does it stop? It’s not on their radar.

When you’re engaged in a glorious crusade, I guess you just don’t need to ask such things. Like it’s betraying the movement or something. Oh sure, there are limits when you want to shout down a conservative who has conjectured that liberals will never stop until X; at that point, they’ll always insist that they will, that the conservative is dreaming, living in a fantasy world or “bubble of unreality” or some such. But, they don’t define such limits for themselves. They don’t practice them. They’re not about stopping.


It is an ideology that is extremist by its very nature. It always has been. Since the Reign of Terror, liberalism has always been like this. Constantly ready to feed on their own.

“I Bet You Don’t Have One of These”

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

From the Crime section of The Blaze:

A suspected robber in Jackson, Mississippi, had to be hospitalized after his would-be victim called his bluff in a big way.

The suspect first approached the man at a Motel 6 and asked for cigarettes, according to the Jackson Police Department. When the man, a hotel guest, said he didn’t have any cigarettes, he figured that was the end of the interaction.

Instead, the suspected robber turned around and pulled out a gun.

“I bet you don’t have one of these,” he reportedly said.

After hearing the man’s “bet,” the would-be victim then “pulled out his weapon and began firing shots,” officer Colendula Green told WLBT.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was hospitalized and may face robbery-related charges. His condition was unknown on Friday. The man who shot him is not being charged by police.

The story isn’t written the way I would have preferred; not written for the benefit of someone considering personal defense equipment and supplies, to carry concealed through questionable areas. It mentions that “Right now the man who shot him…is not being charged. He was protected under Mississippi’s castle law.” How strong is the ground upon which this guy is standing, in Mississippi? How strong would it be elsewhere?

What kind of gun was he carrying? A revolver or an automatic? Did he have a round chambered already? And how many did he discharge? The story uses plural in describing the reports, “pulled out his weapon and began firing shots,” but singular in describing the injury: “A man with a gunshot wound was reported…”

In my opinion, it was written for ninnies. Gun grabbing ninnies. I’ve picked up that the “news” in the story, from the perspective of the people editing it and from the perspective of the news consumers toward which it is directed, is that violence resulted from, as Michael Moore so eloquently put it so many times, “all these guns lying around.” In my world, the story is that a robbery was prevented — except, as is so often the case, we don’t have enough information to determine that. The story could be that one chucklehead was carrying a gun who should not have been carrying one, using it in a manner for which guns should not be used. The story could be that two such chuckleheads were doing exactly that. Because there’s so little useful information in the story, from the perspective of those of us who look at guns in an intelligent and proper way, we are left wondering which one is the case.

I’m in favor of gun control for dumbasses, by the way — I don’t think chuckleheads and dumbasses should carry, I don’t think they should even be in the same breathing space as a gun. Who could possibly disagree with that? They are devices capable of causing serious, life-changing injury, up to and including death. But, the possibility exists that in this situation, the defensive sidearm was used knowledgeably and for its intended purpose, and prevented something bad from happening. I just wish more reporters looked at the gun control issue in a proper and correct way, because then, maybe we’d know.

Body Complex

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Blog-sister Cassy, now hitting top-gear in the Mommy-phase of her existence, has not made the cut in the hottest conservative blogger ladies ranking this year. And she’s cool with that.

I don’t regret, not for a second, having my children, and my body is a reminder of that. I can marvel over the fact that I created three beautiful lives, grew them and nurtured them and birthed them. That doesn’t mean that I can look at, say, Miss Indiana with the “normal” body and not think, man, I would kill for a stomach like hers. But that’s why I work. That’s why I’ve started running. And I know, I may never have a flat stomach again, the stretch marks will never completely fade. That’s OK. I just also think it’s fake to act as if I’m always 100% happy with that reality. Wouldn’t it be exhausting, to every day have to put up this façade? Or I don’t know, maybe for some lucky people it’s not a façade. But for me, it would be, and I’d rather be honest. I don’t love the way I look every day. I don’t hate it either. My body is what it is, and my feelings towards it are as nuanced and complicated as my feelings about most things are. And I think that we, as moms struggling with our post-baby bodies, are allowed to feel those nuanced, complicated feelings.

A lot of other women would be smart to follow her lead. There is, “It is what it is, and I’m okay with that” and then there is, “Who’s to say four hundred pounds at five-foot-nothing isn’t sexy?” The former is healthy. The latter is the opposite, and stark raving nuts.

There’s something going on here on Planet Man that a lot of women will never figure out; something about the way the fellas do things that is good and right. With us, it’s not so much the stomach — although in some cases, like mine, perhaps it should be. No, the stuff that is gone forever, that we know isn’t coming back no matter what, that everybody sees coming a mile and a half away is: the hair on the front of the dome. Not only is it a permanent change, it just screams masculinity-in-retreat.

But men don’t sweat it. Some do, of course. Mostly actors and public figures, who could make the convincing case that their wigs and hair plugs are more about safeguarding a firm and vital financial asset than soothing their tender egos. Most dudes, though, do pretty much what I do and take the Cassy approach. There’s fantasy, there’s reality, whatever’s going on with the scalp is what’s going on. It is what it is.

Dudes are lucky. We have always lived in that world. In childhood, they draw up comic books for us and make cartoons for us about muscle-dudes with enormous biceps and huge pectorals, comforting the afflicted and defending the defenseless; it partially works on us, but for the most part, doesn’t. Even if we get into the cartoon, to the point of wanting to dress up like the guy on Halloween, the rest of the year we go about our business in our torn jeans and tee shirts with spindly arms sticking out. Here and there some boy will get body-conscious, work out, and show results. But those guys tend to do that because they need to, they’re athletes, or want to show off — either way, they’re doing it for them. Even they, are happy in their skins. Superman and Captain Marvel aren’t making them feel inadequate, or I sure hope they’re not because you can take it to the bank nobody’s making a fuss about it.

It’s the separation between fantasy and reality. It’s the healthy lack of apprehension when another visual specimen, clearly superior, makes an appearance. Which is gonna happen. Girls could learn a lot about what boys know about this.

Blue BootsOur wives and girlfriends take a second look at Antonio Banderas or Daniel-Day Lewis or Hugh Grant or James Marsden, we laugh it off. Why wouldn’t we? It means more sex for us. We don’t weep and wail and gnash our teeth, wishing we were James Marsden. Who wants to be that guy? In the movies, his girlfriends are always cheating on him.

Speaking of comic books, looks like Wonder Woman’s costume is going to be the motorcycle-jacket and clown-tights thing, which cuts down by quite a bit my budget for seeing it. Not so much because Gal Gadot won’t be showing leg, although there is that. But this makes it a three-fer: Superman, f00ked-with for no reason identifiable. I’ve seen the Cavill film, own it, don’t undrestand why a reboot was needed. Ditto Batman. As one Facebook friend said about her costume, “…it needs to stop at the tops of her thighs. Or it’s not Wonder Woman.” Feminists won’t ever come around on this, but it’s really true. Wonder Woman in a catsuit looks like a zillion other butt-kicking females, some with superpowers and some just martial-arts experts. Putting her in pants is a sure sign that someone has had influence, who doesn’t know or care enough to be able to tell you anything about braclets, an invisible plane or a lasso. And her presence is going to be a crushing bore. It’s the “You find sexy what we tell you to find sexy” thing. And, with or without bare legs, it doesn’t make for fun movies. Remember those, movies that were supposed to be fun? When we were inspired to find heroes and heroines inspiring, not bullied into finding them that way?

What’s going on here, lately, is guilt. And control. It’s hard to control people who aren’t feeling guilty. It really all comes down to that: If we feel guilty, we are easily controlled. Guilt for having a flat stomach. Or, not having one. Or, appreciating one on someone else. Biceps. Hair. Thighs. Guilt-free people wear swimsuits to the beach this time of year, no matter how it looks, knowing full well that we’re all built to deteriorate and eventually dangle some appendages that will look as bad as they’re ever gonna look, because that’s the effect time has on all of us.

And they don’t tell total strangers what they are & are not supposed to find sexy. When they’re the ones being told, they ignore it. That’s how grown-ups behave. It was not that long ago that this was all obvious, to pretty much everyone. Somewhere along the line, sometime around forty years ago, it became very fashionable to single out people and condescendingly intone something to the effect of “[blank] has a thought in his/her head that he should not be having,” and we started to shame each other’s minds as well as bodies. There’s nothing modern or sophisticated about this. It comes off like a sort of never-ending witch-trial, actually.

Update 6/22/14: And, on the “20 hottest conservative men” side of things, I didn’t make the cut again. I’m fine with that.

“Then She Spilled the Milk, So to Speak”

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Michael Hausam, IJReview, writes a fascinating column titled “Michelle Obama Neatly Summarizes the Entire Progressive Agenda During a Nutrition Interview”:

In an interview with MSN’s Healthy Living, she made two particular statements that deserve further comment.

Before coming to the White House, I struggled, as a working parent with a traveling, busy husband, to figure out how to feed my kids healthy, and I didn’t get it right.

Our pediatrician had to pull me aside and point out some things that were going wrong.

I thought to myself, if a Princeton and Harvard educated professional woman doesn’t know how to adequately feed her kids, then what are other parents going through who don\u2019t have access to the information I have?

Is it really that hard?

As a parent of five, it didn’t take a pediatrician consult for me to figure out what to put on my kids’ plates. It may surprise the Obamas to discover that many parents have successfully fed their offspring without Princeton and Harvard degrees, in addition to not needing “access to information.”

Lastly, as many “working” moms don’t earn $316,912 a year, in addition to a husband who was earning $162,100 as a Senator, perhaps the First Lady protesteth a tad too much.

Then she spilled the milk, so to speak:

It’s so important for our schools to make the hard calls for our kids, because parents are struggling enough at home.

Excuse me, who should be making the hard calls for “our” kids? Our schools, who admittedly have a tough job to do, are not and should not be given the right to make “hard calls” in our place…the progressive assumption, that they know what is best and are going to decide for us, is condescending and arrogant. And isn’t the liberal mantra all about “equality”?

So much to ponder here. Why can’t our progressive betters be honest about it, and say yes, we’re going to keep going no matter what, we are never going to stop until some central authority far removed from you is deciding everything and you’re left deciding nothing. Why are they always going through this phony charade of “Just this one more rule, or just this one more piece of micro-managing apparatus, and life will be perfect”?

Two: From where do they get their obviously sincere and complete confidence that these unnamed-betters are going to make better decisions? Those of us who live in the real world understand it isn’t too likely, since distant people can’t have a command of the facts “on the ground,” pertaining to the actual situation. Not only that, but if they knew about the domain of knowledge in general, and it has something to do with making a profit, wouldn’t they be actually doing it rather than telling others how to do it? To say nothing of the fact that the proggies have no idea who these betters are, or will be, any more than the rest of us do. One day they might actually be…perish the thought…Republicans. How come the progressives among us never seem to give that any serious thought even though time after time it has come true?

And three: Yes, what about that equality thing. We can envision an equal-society as a lot of things, reasonably. What isn’t reasonable is to envision it as a place where these people over here, have to do what they’re told by those people over there, because of class membership. That would be part of the definition.

I have my theories about this. One of the ways conservatives and liberals can be distinguished in a way most people can understand, is that conservatives believe in equality at the starting line and liberals believe in equality at the finish line. Inequality, therefore, on Planet-Liberal is a situation brought about by our attending to our own affairs with our varying degrees & quality of confidence, competence, liquid assets, friends, drive, determination and L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E. — Leadership, Initiative, Creativity, Ownership of our own problems, Resourcefulness, Ingenuity, Courage/Conviction and Energy. Nevermind that most of these, and arguably all of them, are ultimately decisional; people are perfectly capable of deciding “I haven’t been getting up off my ass lately, I should do that more & better.” If we’re all managed, and involuntarily, by some committee nearby or far away, then we’re all made equal. And it doesn’t matter if the decisions handed down by the committee are good ones that help us, or bad ones that hurt us. That would explain why they don’t seem to care about that part. It would also explain why they have no concern at all for who is on the committee, except for those occasions on which someone has just been appointed, by a liberal, and the talking-point has been circulated that the new appointee should be lionized as if he or she has done something remarkable (when, usually, we’re talking about nothing more than some well-connected liberal commie-academic or lawyer, with a track record of very few original thoughts, or none at all, about anything).

I don’t know if that explains everything — it seems to — or that this is the explanation. I do know there is something in the agenda opposed to the idea that the “little people,” so to speak, should be making their own decisions. That much seems to be beyond any reasonable disagreement, and I’m not sure even ardent liberals would disagree. I suppose a few of them would object to me being free to write it down where others can read it, ++chuckle++ without running the remarks by a committee for approval first. They have a phobia, I think, against autonomous decisions.

In that sense, they are not alone. And in that sense, they are not so much a cause of what’s going wrong in our society, but a symptom of it. You see it in business every now and then. Every once in a great while it will become disastrously clear that the larger, more distant layer of management really, really botched this thing up and the latest debacle could have been avoided if the smaller, more local and more knowledgeable layer could have made the call instead, and someone will chirp away with the Dangerous IdeaTM: Maybe, going forward, that’s where this sort of decision should be made, smaller-is-better? It’s really, super-awkward, since it becomes obligatory for the chairman-of-the-meeting to shoot the idea down right away, nip it in the bud before it gains life, and yet there’s no rationale for doing so. That’s okay though. The bureaucracy will usually find some way to kill the Dangerous Idea.

Probably by way of something that has to do with the environment.

Point is, there is something happening here that doesn’t have to do with conservatives or liberals. It has to do with excellence and mediocrity. This world of equality in which they place their hopes, never comes any closer to that goal than this: to create an environment in which mediocrity is never called out because there is no excellence against which it can be contrasted, and thus identified. There are no little-laboratories; some commission or some guy far away says how it’s going to be done, and the little people way out here, just do it. That kind of equality. So what they seek to eliminate is not quite so much inequality, since the people on that commission certainly would not be equal — but, innovation. Equality amongst the “proles.” The little people. The dangerous people, who are genuinely likely to come up with effective new ways of doing things. The fear is not that they might make the big, removed, mediocre commission-people without any original thoughts look bad; the fear is one of motion. A new idea, conceived where the action is all taking place, is a new idea likely to work, and a new idea that is likely to work might make it necessary to move around a bit, as it’s implemented on a grander and grander scale.

They don’t want anything new built. It frightens them. That’s my theory, anyway. Mediocrity, as we are reminded so often, is not quite so much a level of outcome or of effort, but a way of life. It is, in its own way, a passion.

Man Shoots Burglar After 911 Call Goes to Voice Mail

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Sarah Jean Seman writes in

Here is a discomforting fact: 911 has voicemail. Florida resident John Breau discovered this the hard way, in the middle of an armed robbery when his child, wife and stepmother were in the house.

At what exact point the attacked man called the police is unclear, however, local news station Fox 13 reported that the call went to voicemail as the robbers returned to the house:

A man called 911 after four robbers with guns broke into his home, demanded money and prescription drugs.

The dispatcher tried to transfer the call from the fire department to law enforcement side of things – but he got a voicemail just as the crooks returned to the home.

Chaos ensues. The man takes matters into his own hands and shoot one of the robbers.

He then tells the dispatcher that he’s been robbed, and two women in the home were physically hurt.

Breau used a shotgun to protect himself and his family while the call went to voicemail not once, but twice. It took 3 minutes and 41 seconds for the station to dispatch emergency aid, according to WTSP. Even then, the deputies were “sent to the wrong address while a gunfight was in progress.”

This is a jarring reminder that systems are flawed, humans (such as the person operating Breau’s call) make mistakes, and owning a gun just might be your best option for protecting yourself and your family.

That MyFoxTampaBay story is just weird. Splotchy editing. Looks almost like blogging or something.

Anyhow…yeah. The gun-versus-nine-one-one debate is, and has always been, a culture clash between those who prefer to rely on a system and those who prefer to rely on themselves. We who are not in the immediate throes of a home-invasion robbery, and are not finding ourselves confronting a burglar, have that luxury. We get to choose which option we would like to have.

There’s another point to be made here: Assembly-line systems are, by their very nature, thoughtless. Our grasp on the finer details of this story seems to be a bit fuzzy, but you can probably presume safely that the fellow with the gun put a lot more thought into whether to pull the trigger, than the 911 operator put into whether or not to take the call.

Lying When There’s No Benefit to Lying

Monday, June 16th, 2014

…and…no possibility whatsoever of actually getting away with it. I recall wondering about this two decades ago, give-or-take, with Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. Maybe it was the being named after Sir Edmund Hillary thing. It could’ve been something else, there are more than a couple of examples.

It’s been rattling around in my head ever since, bugging me, so I appreciated reading this (from Linkiest).

They lie when the truth would suffice, and they hold on to that lie, even doubling down on it, regardless of what evidence to the contrary comes to light.

When President Obama’s “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” lie was finally and irrefutably exposed, he didn’t apologize or explain why he’d lied. He just said he was sorry people got the wrong impression from his words, which, of course, could not have been clearer.
Why put out obvious untruths when the truth would have sufficed? Are they sociopaths? Are they so insulated from contrary opinions in their sycophantic inner circles that they believe these lies? Or are they just so used to getting away with it that they throw caution to the wind knowing they will ultimately be given a pass because they have the media in their back pocket? Your guess is as good as mine. Whatever the answer, Republicans need to prepare themselves now for boxing a shadow in 2016 because whoever the Democrat nominee is it’s pretty clear he or she won’t be bound by past deeds, words, or even reality.

I hope a lot more people start reflecting on this. A “national dialogue” on this would do some good. The behavior is just weird.

It’s like they have to go to a liar’s-meeting every week or so…and get threatened with public spankings with a big wooden paddle, or perhaps expulsion, if they don’t have any stories to share about big lies they told lately.

Which ++chuckle++ when you think about it, I suppose those would have to be documented.

Why Does Hillary Clinton Have Fans?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

anywhere, outside of an institution for the mentally unfit? Perhaps the institution still exists but the walls have come down. They walk among us…

Hat tip to Gerard.

I’ve mulled over the question in the title of this post many times…a few months ago I highlighted the mystery more directly, and now I guess the time has come to just straight-out-ask.

Not that I’m lacking in ideas. I guess my real question is: How conscious are they of the fact that they have no logical reason to hire this woman to pick up their dog’s deposits in the city park, let alone elect her to anything? Do they understand that their exuberance is rooted in some kind of anger? And how many different kinds of anger are there in this fan base? Several? Just one? Is there a Pareto Principle at work here, with eighty percent of the angry-people motivated by twenty percent of the reasons-for-anger?

I’m genuinely worried about this, and my worry is not about the prospect of her winning. Win or lose, she makes me worry, a lot. I’d worry about it even if I agreed with every ridiculous position and lie and outburst that came out of that uncultured wrinkly cake-hole of hers: How should we ever expect anything to get better, when so much of what’s screwed up is due to the actions of our government, and those who rally around candidates for positions in this government don’t impose any kind of performance standard on them? How do we expect good things to be done, when nobody is expecting those who might be responsible for doing those good things, to do anything good?

So yeah, watch the Hillary fans mumble and stutter and stammer and wonder how to answer the question of what she’s accomplished; year by year, decade by decade. And never learning anything, but pontificating away about how it’s her turn, how she’s suffered, kept Bill in line, worked so hard. We’ve got to get our yuks where we can.

Twenty-Five Signs You’re Succeeding at Life Even if it Doesn’t Feel Like it

Monday, June 16th, 2014

This is good. Maybe I’m just saying that because most apply to me.

Haven’t gone through and counted them; more do than don’t. Among the ones I like best:

1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they use to be.
5. You’ve raised your standards.

6. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good.
9. You’ve learned that setbacks and failure are part of self-growth.
13. You don’t complain much, but instead focus on solutions.
15. You stopped caring about what others think of you.

A common theme I’m seeing to it all is, abandoning this pursuit of coming out on top in any given confrontation. That’s a definitional attribute in redneck-ness, along with annoying-urban-liberal-hipster-ness, this whole “me right you wrong” thing. Life, it turns out, is a bit more like Chess than Checkers; there can be long-term benefits, not visible in the moment, to losing — in the moment.

There’s a little joke about that.

A big-city lawyer from London went grouse shooting in the Scottish highlands. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a crofter’s field on the other side of a fence.

As the lawyer was climbing over the fence, an elderly crofter drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing. The lawyer responded, “I shot a grouse and it fell in this field, and now I’m going in to retrieve it.”

The old crofter replied, “This is ma property, and you’ve nae right tae come o’er here.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial advocates in the country, and if you don’t let me get my grouse, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”

The old crofter smiled and said, “Ach, sonny! Keep yer heid oan! Apparently, ye dinna ken hoo we dae things in the Highlands. Up here we settle wee argy-bargys like this wi’ the ‘Three-Kick Rule’.”

The lawyer asked, “Just what IS the Three-Kick Rule?”

The farmer replied. “Well, first I kick ye three times, an’ then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until wan o’ us gives up.”

The lawyer quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old crofter slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city fellow. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick nearly ripped the lawyer’s nose off his face. The lawyer was flat on his belly when the farmer’s third kick to the kidney area nearly caused him to give up. After over ten minutes, the lawyer summoned every bit of his will, struggled to his feet, and said,

“Okay, you old coot, now it’s MY turn.”

The old crofter smiled sweetly and replied, “Naw, I give up. Ye can hiv the wee birdy.”

The Morgan Rule Number One is based on this ancient wisdom, in a way. “If I’m going to be accused, I want to be guilty.”


Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Or: The problem with white belly dancing women.

From Salon, and where else? Well, in any case, we shouldn’t be too surprised:

White BellydancersGoogle the term “belly dance” and the first images the search engine offers are of white women in flowing, diaphanous skirts, playing at brownness. How did this become acceptable?
One of the most awkward occurrences for me when I go out to an Arabic restaurant is the portion of the evening when the white belly dancer comes out. This usually happens on weekends, and I’ve learned to avoid those spaces then, but sometimes I forget. The last time I forgot, a white woman came out in Arab drag — because that’s what that is, when a person who’s not Arab wears genie pants and a bra and heavy eye makeup and Arabic jewelry, or jewelry that is meant to read as “Arabic” because it’s metallic and shiny and has squiggles of some kind — and began to belly-dance. She was not a terrible belly dancer. But she was incredibly thin…
These women are more interested in their investment in belly dancing than in questioning and examining how their appropriation of the art causes others harm. To them, I can only say, I’m sure there are people who have been unwittingly racist for 15 years. It’s not too late. Find another form of self-expression. Make sure you’re not appropriating someone else’s.


Robert Tracisnki commented just a little while later:

Now that is an interesting principle if we were to apply it consistently. The mind reels. Enormous parts of our culture have been influenced by and therefore “appropriated” from someone else. Much of contemporary American popular music was “appropriated” in one way or another from Southern blacks, as are whole styles of dance. Tap dance was appropriated by whites from blacks, who appropriated it from the Irish. Or maybe the other way around, or both. Parts of the American Arts and Crafts style were “appropriated” from traditional Japanese homebuilding. Franz Liszt encouraged his contemporaries to “appropriate” melodies from the Hungarians like all get-out. Classical architecture was “appropriated” from the Romans by the descendants of the very barbarians who sacked the empire. And so on.

What Jarrar condemns as “appropriation” is actually “learning”…

This thing we today call “liberalism” isn’t anything of the kind. As this little dust-up vividly illustrates, it is a fascination with categorizing people: You go there, you go there, you other people go there. White women shouldn’t belly-dance, and such.

Whatever “liberalism” and “conservatism” might have meant in years past, this is a distinction that works reasonably well today: The idea that people of certain races & classes belong in certain places, is exclusively scare-quote “liberal.”

“How did this become acceptable?” That should be a slogan, emblazoned on the coat-of-arms of scare-quote “liberal”-ism. These-people shouldn’t be doing this. Those-people shouldn’t be doing that.

“When [You] Make Victimhood a Coveted Status That Confers Privileges, Victims Proliferate”

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I try to see similarities between myself and Margot Magowan; we’re both parents who are very concerned about the messages being presented to our children by a modern apparatus of commercialization and “news” and political agendas, which is not responsible for the impressions it leaves behind after it tires of one hot “new” craze and moves on to the next one. But, I haven’t commented on her pages for awhile by now, I’ve come to understand my opinions are just not welcome. I’ve found she’s willing to acknowledge that boys are being damaged too, but then again, she’s just not interested in that side of it.

We also don’t see eye-to-eye on victimhood in general. When George Will made the salient point that appears in the title of this post, she flipped out.

These particular words of his appeared in the Washington Post where he’s a regular columnist. That’s right, in 2014, an educated and “brilliant” man is informing the public that women covet rape.
I am so disgusted. It seems to me like George Will is getting nervous that women are going to start talking and that people might finally be listening.

Women covet rape? Well hey, some do. If there’s a rape hoax, how can you conclude differently? And there have been some; so, that settles that.

But it isn’t a fair characterization, anyway, is it? Will wasn’t singling out any particular woman or group of women. He was describing human nature, if I’m reading it correctly, and I’m pretty sure I am.

Will goes on to say:

Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity. This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a “safe,” “supportive,” “unthreatening” environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.

It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

And see, I think this gets to the heart of it. The honest way to debate this issue is not: “Women covet rape” versus “no they don’t.” But rather: “What we need is more victims” versus “no we don’t.”

Changing definitions over time can serve beneficial ends. One example might be, oh, let’s say, the scene early on in Patton where the General informs the cook that the mess hall will no longer be open after 6 a.m., and any soldier in this unit not wearing proper uniform is going to be skinned. Obviously, the intent was not just to make the men wake up earlier and dress sharper; it was all about discipline. This would lead to other disciplines, which would culminate in the ultimate objective of creating a superior fighting force. It is a vision not uniquely Patton’s. It is what the D.I. does for a living, year after year. The standards change, the goal of the moment changes, these things all change as the progress changes, just like in any teacher-student relationship.

With progressivism, though, the “progress” is downward, as definition of “victim” changes, loosens up, includes things it previously would not have included. They keep wanting to cast a wider net. But the effect is not to make a better, faster, stronger, brighter student. Nor is that the intent. The “progress” of progressives is toward chaos. Dysfunction, disorder, temptation, weakness, trouble. Victimology.

Margot, incidentally, went on to say this:

When will we learn to honor rape survivors as the heroes that they are instead of shaming them into silence?


I’m sure there is a legitimate purpose to saying such a thing. Probably has to do with saying something, effecting change, so that a serial abuser is not free to inflict suffering on more people. I can certainly grasp that. The problem is, just a few paragraphs earlier she ridiculed George Will for daring to insinuate there might be some desirable cachet involved in being a victim. And here she is providing it, not even indirectly.

So George Will was right, when you make victimhood a coveted status you will see more victims. According to human nature…and by design. There certainly is a political agenda behind all this, there’s been one for a very long time, and if it somehow isn’t fair for us to discuss it while it’s happening right under our noses then this is going to lead to problems.

“Check Your Manners”

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Sill liberals. They think the quick and easy way to a non-judgmental color-blind society, is to judge white people by their color and then “guilt” them into shutting up, that’s an accurate summary is it not? If it is — just repeat it a few times, what’s wrong with it becomes undeniable and obvious. But they won’t make the effort. Of course, if it isn’t an accurate summary, then they need to learn to communicate a bit better, which means embiggenning the discussion to something more complicated than three words.

From here.

Prelutsky Never Called Himself a Liberal

Friday, June 13th, 2014

At least, that’s what he says, and there’s some interesting commentary that goes with that:

It’s true that for a long time, an inexcusably long time, I was a registered Democrat. But even then, I never called myself a liberal. Because I came of age in the 1960s, I associated liberals with the punks I knew who called cops “pigs,” called soldiers “baby killers” and used any and all means to dodge the draft, and then had the hypocrisy to announce they did so because they were avowed pacifists.

Being in my 20s myself, I knew these people and I knew it was fear of battle or being bossed around by top sergeants, typically tough guys from the South, that motivated them to head off either to Canada or to one of the many left-wing shrinks who were willing to lie about their mental disorders and or verify they were homosexuals.

Fifty years later, they’re still hypocrites, but instead of being college students, they’re running colleges, TV networks, movie studios, solar panel companies and the New York Times. And, what’s more, they continue to lie. Most recently, a sample of journalists lied to a pollster about their political affiliation, a mere 28% admitting to being Democrats and 50% claiming to be registered Independents.

Inasmuch as we already know that at least 90% of those in the news game always vote for liberals and that their campaign contributions are even more lopsided than that, you have to wonder why they even bother lying about something as transparent as their political bias. All you really have to do is turn on the network news or pick up a daily newspaper, Time magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair or any of the slick glossies devoted to fashion and cosmetics, to realize that they should, by all rights, be paid directly by the DNC for their propaganda efforts.

He’s talking about this, I think (via Hot Air):

In 2013, about half of all journalists (50.2 percent) said they were political independents, up about 18 percentage points from 2002.

I think Burt’s on to something here. Whatever change has taken place since 2002 isn’t about forsaking the democrat party to turn independent; it’s about lying and getting away with it. Also, we have a somewhat more subtle problem with the liberals of yesteryear no longer being twenty-somethings. Youngsters are still relatively powerless. We expect big areas of responsibility to be run by someone in their fifties or sixties. What is changed in the here-and-now is that yesteryear’s hippies are in that bracket, running things. And they’re not too keen on cause-and-effect, they don’t necessarily “feel” that one thing results from another thing.

As a consequence of that, you see all sorts of laws that don’t really count for anything because they aren’t enforced. And, you see other scare-quote “laws” that nobody has taken the time to legislate, or even to write down, laws that would violate disputably sacrosanct rights if they did exist in writing; nevertheless, being enforced.

The Mrs. and I were looking at more potential new home-sites last night, and once again I was allowed to witness the same indefinite and indeterminate round of speculation, in response to “can we barbeque here?” Here in the Golden State, the answer to any & all such questions is really one of “nobody-knows.” I wish people would start replying with it, when it is the correct answer and nothing else is. It is, after all, what we expect to hear now when we ask the question. Not just about barbeques, but about anything.

What’s really happening? I’m reminded of a third-of-a-century-old movie.

MARCUS: This concludes our proposal. Thank you for your attention.
SPOCK: It literally is Genesis.
KIRK: The power of creation.
SPOCK: Have they proceeded with their experiment?
KIRK: Well, the tape was made about a year ago. I can only assume they’ve reached Stage Two by now.
McCOY: But, dear Lord, do you think we’re intelligent enough to… Suppose, what if this thing were used where life already exists?
SPOCK: It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.
McCOY: It’s new matrix? …Do you have you any idea what you’re saying?
SPOCK: I was not attempting to evaluate its moral implications, Doctor. As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.
McCOY: Not anymore! Now we can do both at the same time! According to myth, the Earth was created in six days. Now, watch out! Here comes Genesis, we’ll do it for you in six minutes.
SPOCK: Really, Doctor McCoy, you must learn to govern your passions. They will be your undoing.

“It would destroy such life in favor of its new matrix.” Prelutsky’s pals from the sixties were intent on creating something new. “This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” Key to this vision of creating something new, was demolishing the old.
Me, in the comments:

The proprietor should be able to control what goes on in his business. It’s like being Captain of the ship. The authority goes with the responsibility; the restaurant-owner has a responsibility, for which he will be held to account, to ensure that his patrons do not have to endure an unpleasant dining experience. I agree, to throw someone out because of what he is, as opposed to because of what he does, is wrong. Most conservatives would agree with that; it’s part of what conservatism is, people should prosper and suffer according to their behavior and not according to their class membership. Who is the final arbiter over whether business is being turned away because of actions, or because of what a person is? The proprietor, the Captain of the ship. It simply isn’t effective for the decision to be made by anyone else.

It’s part of what makes society go. So it is to be expected that liberals want to destroy it.

Look at anything liberals are trying to build, and you’ll invariably find — whether they want to discuss it or not — there’s something else being destroyed. Identify any social custom that has leveraged some responsibility for preserving our society and allowing it to continue functioning, and you’ll invariably find — whether liberals want to discuss it or not — there is an effort of theirs to destroy whatever that thing is.

Their movement is a “Genesis” device destroying whatever existed before, “in favor of its new matrix.”

“Illegal Immigration and Eric Cantor”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Victor Davis Hanson, putting into words what has long been writhing around out there, waiting for someone to come along and say (via The News Junkie at Maggies’s Farm):

Supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform” never really divulge the details of their various amnesty plans: How many DUIs or felonies get one deported? Exactly how long do you have to reside in the U.S. to be eligible for a pathway to citizenship? Can you receive amnesty if your history of residency in the U.S. is largely one of dependency on public assistance? How exactly is the border to be declared secured before amnesties are offered, to prevent the sort of rush to the border we see now? Is Mexico really a “partner” or a cynical manipulator that wants a safety-valve for its own failures, many of them driven by racist policies toward indigenous peoples, a continuance of billions of dollars in remittances, and a soapbox for lambasting the U.S. that deflects attention from its own nativist and restrictionist immigration policies.

As for new legal immigration reform, was it really going to be largely ethnically blind and based on meritocratic criteria, in which, say, a Nigerian with an electrical-engineering degree who has been waiting five years to enter the U.S. legally would be given preference over someone from Latin America without a high-school diploma but with a long history of crossing the border illegally? Voters doubt that.
Voters in Virginia finally had enough with the big lie of illegal immigration: Those who want open borders are largely either ethnic activists and chauvinists who wish open borders on the south, but would never extend such laxity to other ethnic groups (e.g., La Raza activists would oppose 1 million Chinese, Nigerians, or Ukrainian nationals trying to cross illegally into the American Southwest), or want access to cheap labor, with employers pocketing the profits while the state and thus the taxpayer pick up the inevitable social costs of their exploitation of labor.

Yesterday, we saw that voters don’t like being called names by those who are both hypocrites and nakedly self-interested in putting their own selfish agendas over the concerns of the less well-off.

It’s natural for a produce buyer to start a new regimen of picking up & feeling the fruit more carefully before the purchase, after a long streak of hauling home rotten goods. I’ve long been hoping the word “reform” becomes a dirty word in politics, in immigration, welfare, health care, torts — everything. If you’re a politician running for re-election and your idea for “reform” is so great, it should be in your interests to go skipping straight past the glittering-generality R-word and go straight to the heart of the matter, of what your reform would actually do. I’ve become deeply suspicious of this word, after years and years of hauling home rotten cabbages. I doubt like the dickens that I’m the only one.

Maybe the word has lost enough luster over this upset, that its fall from grace is final and complete. I doubt that very much, but hope springs eternal. Either way, Virginia is showing us how it’s done; their voters are essentially saying, “begone with the mile-wide inch-deep boring bromides, instead give us information so we can decide.” Agree or disagree with the ultimate outcome, that’s a healthy sentiment for any constituency.

“Learning to Think Like a Progressive”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Goddard. Can’t think of anything to add.

I was listening to NPR the other morning, and they had a former Obama transportation secretary blaming poor transportation infrastructure on Republicans refusal to increase gasoline taxes. So why don’t they use the existing gasoline taxes? Obama’s smallest budget is 30% larger than Bush’s largest budget. Where is that money going?

Democrats see the solution to all problems as raising taxes, because their constituency depends on them stealing money from other people, and giving it away to Democratic voters. They use a small portion of it for something useful, so they have an excuse to raise taxes even further.

Well — there is this. There are two motivations going on here, which must be the case with any ideology that relies on deceit: That which motivates the deceivers and that which motivates the deceived. “I want to get hold of that money so I can give it away to my constituents and get re-elected” is deceptive, but not deceived; “I want that guy to win his election so I can get money” does not, in & of itself, involve deception. Some proggies are very up-front about this. Of course, they may be victims of deception. But their problem isn’t quite so much with not-knowing, as with not-caring. They tend to live for today, maybe for tomorrow if they’re feeling extra diligent about planning ahead, but usually just for today. They want money. How can society continue to function? It isn’t even on their radar; no really, go talk to them sometime, you’ll see my point…

To these two subclasses of proggie, we can add a third, since there are many among them who do not rely on social services, yet aren’t independently wealthy and are not running for public office. They just want more liberalism, for a variety of reasons that have to do with unproductive base human impulses. From inspecting these reasons, we can divide this third subclass down further. A lot of them think of politics as a football game: Root for the home team, and that’s all that matters. Others, I suspect, know deep down that conservatives are correct in pointing out that society cannot continue to function this way — you can tell by the way they get unhinged when they lose arguments. They’re not just repeating hype about the beneficial effects of liberal programs, or Hillary has worked so hard, or you-didn’t-build-that.

They have genuine passion, and it isn’t about helping the less fortunate, it is in the last of those. You didn’t build that. An individual, or group of investors and other contributors, separated from everything else outside by a wall, gave up these huge pantloads of time, money, blood, sweat and tears that were not contributed by anyone outside that wall. They made something happen that improved life for many others, perhaps for everyone, and got filthy stinking rich. Or, at least, deserved to. The you-didn’t-build-that proggies have a burning, white-hot, visceral phobia against this thought. Can’t hold it in their heads. There’s something about it that makes them uncomfortable.

Others want to help the less fortunate, but they’re not sufficiently interested in doing that to donate their own time or money to charity. Perhaps it is fair to intermingle them with the ones described in the paragraph above; if something good must be done, we individuals are not capable of doing it and shouldn’t even think of such a thing, it all has to go through government. Perhaps they suffer from the common phobia. Like they think people, taking the initiative, and acting without forcibly collected tax dollars or appointed oversight authority, are not capable of doing good. We can only break things and hurt each other. “It is the not-idle hands that are the devil’s workshop,” you might say. They seem, to me, to be laboring long and hard to tear down one status system in order to replace it with another: You shouldn’t enjoy any special abilities or privileges from working hard to build something and making a profit off it, status instead should come from working for the government. They talk a lot about making everything equal for everyone; but, I think, if they lived in a society of their own making, in which everyone was equal all of the time, they’d never successfully adapt to it, ever. It might eventually kill them. They’ve got to find a way to be better than the average, and they’re frustrated because it is they and their peers who are constantly working against anyone having any way to establish or maintain such distinction.

Other than the foregoing, I really don’t have much of an opinion about it.

Dean Esmay on Fox News 2 Detroit

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Fox 2 News Headlines

From here, via A Voice For Men.

What a fascinating clip. I was surprised that the womyns-studies-babe was surprisingly reasonable, in demeanor if not in her rhetoric. The anchorette in the short skirt, on the other hand, was something else. Maybe she was planted there, to show what institutional anti-male bias looks like?

Dean Esmay has much better self-control than I do.

Baker Must Take Sensitivity Training

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The New American:

A Colorado baker found guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple must go through sensitivity training as part of his penance and rehabilitation. In December of last year, Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer found Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, guilty of discriminating against same-sex couple Dave Mullin and Charlie Craig when he told them in July 2012 that he couldn’t bake them a wedding cake because homosexual behavior conflicted with his Christian beliefs.

Phillips appealed the verdict to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which stood by Spencer’s decision and ordered May 30 that Phillips be required to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples in conflict with his moral Christian convictions. Additionally, Phillips and his staff will have to submit to a regimen of state-sanctioned sensitivity training to make sure they are in line with Colorado’s non-discrimination statute.

Liberals are supposed to be all about liberty, but they have a fondness for bureaucracies that encroach upon it, restrict it, diminish it, remove it entirely if left to their own devices.

Over the next two years Phillips will also be required to submit quarterly reports to Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission concerning his business practices, informing the commission whether he has turned any business away, most importantly homosexual customers. “So if his shop is closed or he’s out of flour, he needs to report to the commission,” explained Nicolle Martin of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the conservative Christian legal advocacy group that represented Phillips in the case, to Fox News on June 5.

As far as the sensitivity schooling, Phillips will have to “prove that he has sufficiently trained his employees and staff to comply with the Colorado anti-discrimination act,” added Martin.

The plaintiff-side said something about this that I found interesting:

Attorney Amanda Goad of the ACLU’s Colorado franchise, which filed the discrimination complaint against Phillips on behalf of the same-sex couple, said that while “religious freedom is undoubtedly an important American value … so is the right to be treated equally under the law free from discrimination.”

That’s the endlessly-repeating litany of those who have sought to take our freedoms away, for quite a few years now: “While such-and-such a right is very important, freedom from discrimination is MORE important.” This is why liberals shouldn’t be allowed to make rules, at all: They simply do not comprehend making a dent in something, they have to do-away-with it. Everything is a smallpox virus. End war, end hunger, end illiteracy, end bigotry, end ignorance, end sensible skepticism against the global-warming bromides, end end end end end. Their “end-“ing methods fail to work, every time they target something that, evidently unknown to them, happens to be the default state.

People discriminate. If we have to keep losing more and more of our ability to manage our own lives as long as discrimination exists, we will never stop losing it until this ability is all-the-way gone, nevermind whether discrimination is present or absent by that time. And you know, maybe that’s the whole point.

Would a liberal support a global ban on these forced sensitivity-training regimens, in the public sector as well as private? That would be a good test-case question to put to a new recruit to the liberal movement; if liberty really is the inspiring motive, the subject shouldn’t hesitate to answer in the affirmative, since nobody who truly champions the cause of liberty would be interested in forcing strangers to think a certain way.

The Moral Clouding of Comic Books

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Fascinating column in (the pay section of) the Wall Street Journal, by comic book industry insiders Chuck Dixon and Paul Rivoche:

In the 1950s, the great publishers, including DC and what later become Marvel, created the Comics Code Authority, a guild regulator that issued rules such as: “Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal.” The idea behind the CCA, which had a stamp of approval on the cover of all comics, was to protect the industry’s main audience—kids—from story lines that might glorify violent crime, drug use or other illicit behavior.

In the 1970s, our first years in the trade, nobody really altered the superhero formula. The CCA did change its code to allow for “sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . . . [and] corruption among public officials” but only “as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished.” In other words, there were still good guys and bad guys. Nobody cared what an artist’s politics were if you could draw or write and hand work in on schedule. Comics were a brotherhood beyond politics.

The 1990s brought a change. The industry weakened and eventually threw out the CCA, and editors began to resist hiring conservative artists. One of us, Chuck, expressed the opinion that a frank story line about AIDS was not right for comics marketed to children. His editors rejected the idea and asked him to apologize to colleagues for even expressing it. Soon enough, Chuck got less work.

The superheroes also changed. Batman became dark and ambiguous, a kind of brooding monster. Superman became less patriotic, culminating in his decision to renounce his citizenship so he wouldn’t be seen as an extension of U.S. foreign policy. A new code, less explicit but far stronger, replaced the old: a code of political correctness and moral ambiguity. If you disagreed with mostly left-leaning editors, you stayed silent.

In the post immediately previous I recall making reference to the First Conquest Rule, that people are conservative about what they know best (or whatever is closest to them). This thing may have to do with the Second: “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.” It is the way of large, entrenched, layered bureaucracies, because it is the way of image over substance. Everyone wants to look enlightened, everyone wants to appear forward-thinking, everyone wants to get something for nothing. So once people pool up into large organizations and start to worry about reputation more than mission, they just love to put out an image of their group that attracts maximum attention but involves minimal commitment to the stated ideals.

The gay-friendly thing doesn’t bother me so much, other than the introduction of adult themes into a medium that is supposed to be for children. That, the way I see it, is a rating-problem: Comic books are much more popular with older kids than they used to be. This introduces challenges with mixing up the age groups that the industry has not adequately addressed, which in turn causes some social commentary to be put in that doesn’t really belong there. But what worries me far more is this thing about moral ambiguity. Superman doesn’t want to “be seen as an extension of U.S. foreign policy.” Excuse me, but doesn’t this get to the very core of word “hero”? Doesn’t it at least interfere with the ideals? How is this supposed to work — Superman defends the defenseless but only up until such point as it starts to cramp his style?

What we saw in the 1990’s, in comic books and elsewhere — and it has yet to lose momentum, even this late — is a cultural phobia against true heroism. This could always use more & better inspection, even if the inspection results in unflattering things being noticed about the phobia, which I think for the most part is the case. Let’s see, what are the reasons heroism might be a pain in the ass. There are some: 1) A hero who rights wrongs, might come after you if you’re the guy doing something wrong; 2) Heroes raise the standard, since it isn’t really the physical capability to do what’s right that makes the hero, it’s the resolve. So they pose a threat to the active evil-doer, and the passive bystander alike. May I suggest that our two-decades-old or so beef with yesteryear’s simpler and cleaner brand of heroism, is advocacy for the benefit of the passive and not so much for the active. It is a shadowy crusade for sake of the lazy.

It is, I think, a fulfillment of success by way of defining success downward to meet status quo. Here’s an evil thing being done, and here’s a rationale for not doing anything about it: If true heroism is nothing more than recognizing that we shouldn’t do anything about it, then we can all be heroes by continuing to sit on our asses, playing Angry Birds on our phones. And therein lies a complete inversion that didn’t take too many years to come about; since when Superman got started it wasn’t his superpowers that made him a hero, it was his recognition that something was amiss and something had to be done about it. “This looks like a job for,” remember that?

The Kryptonite that poisoned Superman, here, is the nihilistic aspect of modern liberalism. The perpetual search for reasons not to do things, not to give a damn, not to see anything as worth doing. To leave a tinier “footprint,” or something. The more environmentally-conscious Superman wouldn’t dash off to stop a bank robbery or save a woman from being mugged, since such actions might actually change the outcome of a situation, which is the one single ignition point of this phobia. Ideally, such a modernized Superman would do what any other adherent to modern nihilistic liberalism would do: Make a hole, as tiny as possible, jump into it and pull it in after himself. It’s all about not having an impact on anything. Don’t, don’t, don’t: Don’t do anything about Iraq, don’t do anything that creates carbon, don’t even get up to wash dishes or take out the trash.

As a child of the “Star Wars” generation, I am truly perplexed by this because I understand the enormous revenue-generating potential of restoring “good guy versus bad guy” western heroism. It stirs passions in the soul, and it should. In my lifetime, as this good-versus-evil clarity has been proven out as the high octane story-telling fuel that it is & should be, our modern society has shown this resistance against it as we seek to placate the hero-phobes. These are people living among us who have been somehow warped, I don’t completely understand how, but probably in childhood. They somehow have been “educated” that there is no evil in the world, other than a higher standard. Apart from whatever passes as “bigotry” in the moment, nothing should be resisted, ever — except the calling, to do what plainly ought to be done, and get up off your ass. There’s nothing for any of us to do, except resist bigotry, play up our sense of group-victim-hood now & then, and keep playing games on our phones.

We’re living in their time, the time of the nihilist. I’m not entirely sure why that is. Perhaps boredom?