Archive for August, 2014

Progressives Are On the Wrong Side of History

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Burt Folsom:

On taxes, President Woodrow Wilson gave us the first progressive income tax. He and his progressive friends said raising tax rates would not hinder investments. But the year President Woodrow Wilson left office, the U.S. had a top tax rate of 73% and unemployment had skyrocketed to 12%. Because of high taxes, entrepreneurs refused to invest, the national debt spiraled upward, and the number of Americans reporting $300,000 in income declined from almost 1,300 in 1916 to fewer than 250 in 1921.

If you want more of something, subsidize it, and if you want less of something, tax it.

The American Left has been supporting, for a very long time now, higher taxes on the things that would make a civilized society go, and subsidies for the things that would bring it to a stop.

Update: Apropos.

The thirteen states that saw minimum wage increases on January 1 have kept a combined 129,200 workers out of employment opportunities since the beginning of the year…

“Justice,” or Chaos?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

You get the government you deserve.


Sunday, August 31st, 2014

I experienced a brain-pop during my morning commute, I think it was Thursday but it could’ve been Wednesday. What with moving all our stuff into the house and so forth, there’s been a lot of mental stimulation over this & that, seven days a week, and you know what Scott Adams said about how we require & crave boredom even though we maybe don’t realize it.

My moment of inspiration was with turning off the radio, and the inspiration itself was about bad ideas. I turned off the radio because the show had been interrupted by an advertisement, the advertisement was for some kind of new car dealership. And then the legal guy came on with the disclaimers, and you know how that goes. It sounds like a dachshund on crank chasing a cheeseburger across a sheet of thin plastic. Like they sped up the audio artificially, except legal-guy wasn’t talking like a chipmunk or anything. Makes me wonder if they recorded it in a very low but calculated pitch at normal speed, then sped up the playback so the narration is in a normal pitch but at 3x or 4x so they manage to cram all the words into that tiny space. But the other thing that was going on was that the consonants had an unusually high impact quality to them, an odd percussion suggesting strongly that hurting the listener was of paramount importance to the exercise.

Whether this is real or imagined, and it’s probably imagined, it always makes me indescribably angry. Here I am tuning in, being part of the audience, the reason for this all happening — and they try to give me a headache?

So off went the radio, and my creative lobe, like a man dying of thirst in the desert finally chancing upon an oasis, went nuts. Not very productively I must say. My self-tasking creative exercise was to imagine myself searching for the jackass who thought it was a good idea to air the legal disclaimers that way.

Well, this has been a busy summer for dealing with bureaucracies so this didn’t take a lot of imagination. The idea is as awful as an idea can be: Put all these syllables into the ad, nobody will be listening to them, nobody will make any decision any differently because of them, they might as well not be there, and it’s annoying. It probably has the opposite effect from what “advertising” is supposed to do; people will tune out. Some might even take note of the dealership’s name and say to themselves, I will never, ever, ever buy a car there no matter what. So I would be coming across people willing to defend the awful idea, and/or making a living according to some process that involves implementing the awful idea. And we know without experimenting exactly what I’d get told: It’s necessary. We have to do it. We’re required to. If we don’t, bad things will happen. That other guy, over there, he’s making us do it. Because of this, we know someone can point out over and over again “this is a bad idea” and it will never have any effect, the most attention he will ever attract is when people look at him and say something to the effect of, “Well, isn’t that adorable.”

At this point, we veer away from the subject of legal disclaimers in radio commercials. We veer into the realm of the generic. How many awful, rotten, terrible ideas have we been doing, that we will continue to do, no matter what, no matter how many times it’s pointed out to us that the idea is bad, and why; bad, awful, terrible, rotten ideas, that we know for a fact will continue to be applied tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.

Nobody actually defends them, because they aren’t defensible. When they’re defended, they’re defended in passive voice. I touched on this in the Candy Crowley rant:

…conclusions drawn, with the weight of authority thrust behind them, and within that weight of authority a busy patchwork of functionally anonymous busybodies, pointing to each other, nobody ever burdened with the chore of crisply explaining a justification or rationale. Candy Crowley’s great, because this guy says she’s great, because that other guy says so, because those people say so. No one explaining why, and meanwhile, she sucks.

A legal disclaimer during a car commercial giving me a morning-commute migraine, is not going to pose any threat to our society. But the phenomenon itself does. A society becoming more and more technologically advanced, and as a consequence busier, speedier, hyperactive, manic — more and more addicted to the passive voice statement, since the active voice takes too much time. And the ideas becoming systematically more and more execrable, the actions becoming systematically more and more indefensible.

The point is, we start to worship the ideas as being inevitable, and frown upon any attack upon them as examples of the very lowest depths of what our busy, sophisticated society can tolerate the least, wastes of time. I’d applaud that last one, if after we were done chastising each other for wasting time, we made a point of turning our own resources toward something constructive. But that is not what our sophisticated society has been doing lately. Instead, it has become our way to upload trollish comments like “Guess you must have WAY too much time on your hands,” then we go back to playing Angry Birds or whatever.

Or, record assaultive legal disclaimers for car commercials.

We check the direction in which we move, not by observing the landmarks we are passing, but by defining what the direction is — and, where it’s going. Without any change in course, it’s leading toward a more and more militant approach toward optimizing how we’re spending our time, for the benefit of less and less practical purpose. Accountability is the first, and arguably the only, casualty. We still have time for just about everything else we can imagine, except for the questioning of these bad ideas. Questioning bad ideas is often the first step toward forming a good idea, so this all but eliminates the possibility that we’re doing all this optimization of time management toward the objective of coming up with more good ideas. That isn’t what we’re doing, if we continue to tolerate bad ones.

I got a feeling our economic climate is going to improve mightily, if & when the time ever comes that we start to obsess over doing things that actually make life better for one another. Maybe I’m reading too much into a few inconvenient syllables I allowed to pound away at my eardrums during a morning commute, but it seems to me we’re not quite there yet.

This Is Good CXIII

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

severian comments in the threads:

Discovering that things don’t mean what they plainly say is how liberals demonstrate they’re smart.

Divining the Will and Intent of the VoterIf you’re good at it, you can win debate tournaments in high school.

If you’re really good at it, you’ll get As in those college classes taught by cat ladies with PhDs.

If you’re really, really good at it, you can become one of those PhD-wielding cat ladies yourself.

If you’re really, really, really good at it, you can be President.

If you suck at it, but think you’re good at it, you’ve got a bright future in journalism.

It is a sub-genre of teevee “Drama”; in fact, it is drama. It is the basis of any good murder mystery. At first blush, it is emphatically and obviously true that this guy must be the killer — b-u-u-u-t, this obscure little piece of evidence came out, and now we see it’s that other guy we never would’ve suspected. Which makes the piece of evidence a MacGuffin of sorts, in the sense that it is a game-changer and it creates an implicit comment about the character of the person who finds it. As well as, the person who accepts it, and the many many people who reject it. It turns out to be true, and some people look like smarty pants and other people look like dumbasses.

Out here in real life, some people haven’t managed to extricate themselves from the drama to go about the business of living real life. They can’t grasp the notion that sometimes a cigar is a cigar and nothing more.

There are two things going on here, I think. Consider the case of a red-stater blue-collar guy who might be interviewed on Dirty Jobs. He’s not as likely to engage in this phony-snowglobe-reality as his counterpart taking a college class taught by a cat lady with a Ph.D.; he’s apt to recognize that a cigar is a cigar. Even though his income potential is probably far less, which will make the snowglobe-reality grad student guy feel very smart.

The dirt-clod-picking-guy from Dirty Jobs isn’t going to lunge for the pretend made-up MacGuffin until some evidence comes along that would compel him to do so; there are two reasons for this and they both have to do with this gratuitous drama offered by the MacGuffin. He can’t afford the drama — a lot of these jobs are genuinely dangerous. In his vocation, he needs to know that the snake really is too slow and stupid to bite him, or that the platform really is thick and strong enough to support him. The other reason has to do with need. He doesn’t need the drama. Crawling through a sewer pipe is an experience that packs plenty enough.

The grad student in the crazy-cat-lady class, on the other hand…

He’s still feeling really super-smart. His income potential is much higher than the dirt-clod picker guy’s, and as I said above that makes him feel smart. But that’s not enough. He has this psychological need for that game-changer MacGuffin nugget of evidence that turns everything around, that “pregnant chad” almost-undervote for Al Gore. Even after monologuing about that over and over again, though, he still isn’t going to feel complete, he’s going to have to join some protests to “spread awareness,” maybe log on to some conservative blogs and do some trolling. The hole is never filled in his life. We know this from watching those sad people who’ve been “hippies” for half a century non-stop.

Why is the hole never filled? Is it because they see the results and recognize that they leave something to be proven still? I know it can’t be that. They don’t think about the results. I say something like “So that’s why the launch went the way it did,” and that’s a true paradigm shift for them; they weren’t thinking about it. So this seems to me to be a case of journey being more important than destination. They’re living out their lives this way, looking for their “Aha, but what about this” moment with every little subject that comes up.

But a majority of these situations don’t have one. Some ninety percent of them or so, I’d estimate, are like the original Bush v. Gore — looks the very first time the question comes up, that George W. Bush won Florida, and at the end of it it turns out that’s exactly what happened. This is something they simply can’t handle, and not just because Bill Clinton’s presidency was disgraced once & for all and a Republican ended up being President. They can’t handle it because when all’s said & done, the mini-drama is missing the drama, missing that 180-degree hairpin turn. They never could wrap their minds around it.

Things meaning what they plainly say, nothing more and nothing less? They can’t comprehend. It’s like explaining depth to a creature from a two-dimensional cartoon universe.

“It Is Better For Obama to Have His Eye Off Something Than On It”

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

From VDH, an unflattering summary that was just waiting to be written:

Everything that Barack Obama touches seems to turn to dross. Think of it for a minute. He inherited a quiet Iraq. Joe Biden bragged of the calm that it would be the administration’s “greatest achievement.” But by pulling out all U.S. peacekeepers — mostly for a 2012 reelection talking point — Obama ensured an ISIS wasteland. He put his promised eye on Afghanistan at last, and we have lost more soldiers there than during the Bush administration and a Taliban victory seems likely after more than a decade of lost American blood and treasure. The message seems to be that it is better for Obama to have his eye off something than on it.

Remember those threats to Syria? After the U.S. threatened and backed off, the violence only escalated and spilled into Iraq.

Libya was no paradise under Gadhafi, but it is now Mogadishu on the Mediterranean. Not even the president’s supporters believe that he told the truth about Benghazi. Reset with Russia green-lighted Putin, as he sized up Barack Obama as a lamb waiting to be eaten. The Bowe Bergdahl-for-five-terrorists swap is not headline news only because dozens of scandals since have eclipsed it, and the likely deserter is apparently still kept incommunicado, lest he speak in the fashion of his father at the earlier White House press conference. I don’t think Bergdahl is a model for future negotiations with the Taliban.

Israel? We never have been more estranged from the Jewish state. Open mic outbursts against Netanyahu define our true policies. The terrorist state run by Hamas is now a partner for peace – tunnels, missiles, syringes, handcuffs and all. Did outreach to Hamas lessen or spike violence?

Did the “special relationship” with the Islamist Recep Erdogan lead to regional calm, and does it still exist?

The war on terror? Obama has derided most anti-terrorism protocols, even as he kept some Bush-Cheney policies — to the incoherent point that no one has any idea what the U.S. is doing. Jihad a personal odyssey? Muslim Brotherhood largely secular? Major Hasan’s murdering mere workplace violence? Outreach to Islam NASA’s primary mission? Remember overseas contingency operations and man-caused disasters? In the Obama war on terror, waterboarding three architects of 9/11 is our “folks” torturing their “folks”; but judge/jury/executioner drone strikes that blow up 2,000-plus suspected (not confessed) terrorists — and anyone in the general vicinity when the missile hits — are far more moral. Out of sight, out of mind.

It is a problem that predates Barack Obama’s presidency, and even His presence in the public eye. Our friends the liberals, who claim to be for progress, and are weirdly fascinated with concepts overlapping with natural selection and evolution, ironically, don’t learn from failure. That would depend on their valuing the good results as much as they say they do, and the fact of the matter is they don’t. What they truly value is looking good to other liberals.

The rest of us aren’t supposed to notice, because that would be getting political or something. What exactly is it we’re supposed to get out of this not-being-political, someone please tell me? Is it worth a few more Iraqs and Afghanistans? How many more cities in America are supposed to look like Chicago and Detroit while we turn a blind eye to what liberals ruin?

The problem is not that liberals want to ruin things, or that they want to be reverse-Midas types, with everything they touch “turn[ing] to dross.” That is not the problem. The problem is that they don’t care. There’s no improvement to the policies over time because there’s no cycle of self-remedy. The concern that would be driving such a cycle, is altogether missing.

They care a lot more about renaming college campuses, football teams and fish.

Recline Rant

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

From Sonic Charmer. A beautiful analogy:

Next time you buy an airplane ticket check the fine print. What you probably won’t find: language to the effect of, ‘the purchase of this ticket fully and without restraint entitles the ticketholder to the recline function of his seat for the duration of the flight’. That doesn’t mean one can’t recline. (It also doesn’t say you can breathe while on the flight…) It does mean however that claims like “I paid for the right to recline!” are made-up. No, you paid for an airplane ticket. There are some things explicit (we’ll take you from point A to point B, at such-and-such time, we kinda-sorta promise) and many things implicit. It didn’t specify a ‘right’ to recline just like it didn’t specify a ‘right’ to occupy such-and-such volumetric cylinder of space extending from the tip of your seat up to the ceiling, and along the bisecting midpoints of the armrests on either side of you. Not all things are ‘rights’ and not all of those are spelled out. When it comes to reclining, the simple fact is that reclining reduces the space available to the person behind you, touches them, involves their personal space and body. Whether that is ok involves at minimum you and that person, it’s not something you can just assert is ‘my right!’ and ignore the effect on others. “But if the airplanes don’t want us reclining why do the seats have that function.” Well maybe they shouldn’t but that’s beside the point. Some seats still have old ashtrays from the days before smoking was banned. Again, beside the point, if you want to ‘recline’ maybe that’s ok but you still need to confront & justify the fact that you’re affecting the person behind you, and how, and have good solid reasons for being ok with that effect. Do you? By the way I use the word ‘recline’ advisedly here because it is barely anything resembling ‘reclining’ that we are even talking about and continues to strike me as utterly bizarre that anyone from any walk of life would ever value that physically-imperceptible 4-degree difference so much they will defend their ‘right’ to it to the death. If no one were able to ‘recline’ starting tomorrow what would be lost, utility-wise? Nothing measurable. The supposed gigantic comfort gain you get from such a tiny ‘recline’ is all in your head, if you thought about this rationally you’d acknowledge I’m right, and you should let yourself be convinced to stop wanting it. Meanwhile the bruises on the knees of the person behind you is not in his head, I promise. Oh, but bruising some other person is ‘your right’ because you ‘paid for’ that right, right? Yeah no.

This used to not be a problem. It used to be, liberals would want society to work one way, conservatives would want it to work a different way, the liberals would lie their asses off to the little kids watching it go back & forth and to the centrists who hadn’t yet made up their minds, and say things like “we and conservatives want exactly the same things, we just have different ways of going about it.” Which, if you buy that line, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Oklahoma…

After Bush v. Gore, there has been a sea-change. Not that it hadn’t happened before that, but since 2000 it has become particularly popular for the liberals to speculate about why conservatives disagree with them — badly. Very badly. There are few aspects of life on which we would be ill-advised to listen to any particular group’s ideas, compared to listening to liberals opine about what motivates conservatives. What liberal, anywhere, cares? In fact, what liberal would miss out on an opportunity to announce to everyone within earshot, that they don’t care? It is the intersection of a group with a topic, at which we find a tall edifice of ignorance, coupled with a uniquely effervescent elixir of apathy. They don’t know, they don’t care, they’re manifestly proud of not knowing or caring, yet they opine anyway…

And their favorite explanation for the “rights” thing is the distinction between implicit and explicit. Conservatives simply do not understand, you see. Ah yes, everyone who disagrees with the liberals must be missing something. How else to explain the conservatives’ most ramshackle, tattered, threadbare, lopsided, teetering, fragile and untenable position of: “Uh, it doesn’t say that.”

When your ideology blinds you to the plainer motives of those who infer that things say what they say when those things do say them, and that things don’t say what they don’t say when those things don’t say them, you are very far gone. It’s an Occam’s Razor thing: Maybe, just maybe, the opposition understands the distinction between implicit and explicit just fine. Maybe, when you play your game of “It doesn’t say it but let’s pretend that it does,” they’re simply taking the position of “Yeah, gotcha, and you go down that road without me.”

IQ Shredders

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Mangan’s, via Captain Capitalism:

Outside in writes on IQ shredders, Singapore being the classic example. It takes in very intelligent people from all over Asia, and even the world, and then lowers their fertility drastically to below replacement level. It is engaged in the process of shredding the world’s average IQ.

We have IQ shredders in this country. One of the main themes of Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve was the vacuuming up of highly talented, i.e. smart, people, from all over the country, into the megalopolises, where they assortatively mate and form their own “new class”, alienated from their origins, and leaving the towns and rural areas without their talent. They assortatively mate, but then have few children. Then we leave the border open for demonstrably lower IQ invaders who further the decline in average IQ.

Other IQ shredders include the universities, though there’s a lot of overlap between them and the big cities. It doesn’t even seem to matter whether the students are in STEM or ethnic grievance studies, the results for fertility are the same – although the results for IQ are better or worse depending on field of study, since the STEM kids are much smarter than those in the humanities. But I’d even bet that Brigham Young grads have lower fertility rates than the population from which they are drawn.

However, the factor that overrides others is that high IQ is much more strongly related to low fertility, about twice as strong, in women. Going to university undoubtedly increases the negative relation even further, since with higher income and status there are fewer men for them to mate with, given the rigors of hypergamy.

Reading this any time after watching Idiocracy, it’s impossible — for me, anyway — not to think of those excellent first four or so minutes, in which it is explained how mankind’s competency level enters into a downward plunge with imbeciles outbreeding geniuses. It’s funny because it’s credible, and it’s credible because it involves no conspiracy.

This, however, enters the territory of conspiracy. I find that unattractive; I try to avoid concluding anything is a conspiracy. People, based on my observations, simply don’t have what it takes. You have to marry up actions with objectives, which is no easy task by itself; then, you have to coordinate. Then you have to keep it all secret, and coordinate the secret-keeping.

Is there any sort of conspiracy to make humankind incompetent and stupid? If I must entertain the possibility, I’ll consider the conscious conspiracy last out of all of them, for the reasons listed above. But, there certainly can be passive conspiracies; conspiracies mobilized by base impulses shared among large numbers, who then contribute to the inertia.

From the linked Outside In article:

How does an IQ Shredder work? The basic machinery is not difficult to describe, once its profound socio-historical irony is appreciated. The model IQ Shredder is a high-performance capitalistic polity, with a strong neoreactionary bias.
(1) Its level of civilization and social order is such that it is attractive to talented and competent people.
(2) Its immigration policy is unapologetically selective (i.e. first-order eugenic).
(3) It sustains an economic structure that is remarkably effective at extracting productive activity from all available adults.
(4) It is efficiently specialized within a wider commercial network, to which it provides valuable goods and services, and from which it draws economic and demographic resources.
In sum, it skims the human genetic stock, regionally and even globally, in large part due to the exceptional opportunity it provides for the conversion of bio-privileged human capital into economic value. From a strictly capitalistic perspective, genetic quality is comparatively wasted anywhere else. Consequently, spontaneous currents of economic incentive suck in talent, to optimize its exploitation.

Hmmmm…this conjures up memories. Unpleasant for me not quite so much because of the content of the memories, but because of the implications. Places I’ve worked — more than one — with the job interviews most demanding, in which I emerged most victorious. It is, now, a familiar motif: Once it’s established I know how many bits are in a byte, and such, I’m welcomed into the fold and informed something like “Ours is not just a company, it’s a way of life.” There follows a very slowly developing conflict, as the realization gradually seeps in that I lack any desire to live in some floating city above the clouds…unless I built it myself. I just want to use my brain to make money, big piles of money. Then there follows a culture clash of sorts, usually harmless. Last time, it was disastrous. Started out innocent enough, the way they always do: “Why do you buy your own comp sci books? Use the portal!”

Seems doing things has been losing its cachet, at a horrific rate, lately. So many people who work at those places talk of working at those places, but don’t talk of what they’ve actually been building lately. Granted that they often can’t; but, I perceive, they wouldn’t. Being the-guy-who-wrote-X is out of fashion, in other words. The hot new trend is to be the-guy-who-works-at-X. I’m one of them. Inside the moat, above the clouds.

Interestingly, the vision seems to be to avoid having superior human stock wasted on some existence in which it would not make a difference, wouldn’t be appreciated. But if the mechanism really does function as an IQ Shredder, intentionally or otherwise, then that’s the ultimate outcome anyway, is it not?

What is the Appeal of Candy Crowley?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Her ugly mug is a distraction, her physique is a distraction, her weird slurring speech is a distraction, her thoughts are a confused muddled mess, her prejudices are easily discerned, she can’t keep them out of the discussion; and the audience — I would hope — is generally a few steps ahead of her in figuring out what’s going on.

I remember in that debate she ruined, all the fanfare before AND after about what a wonderful moderator Candy Crowley is. Certainly, there were people blowing the trumpets and producing the fanfare, but it always had the feeling of being forced, like enthusiasm for Soccer in the U.S. Disregarding which way she leans, and it’s obvious which way that is, it’s painful to watch her work just like it’s painful to watch anyone do a job requiring some suite of talents they don’t have. I guess the definition that’s missing, is what the job is.

If a freer exchange of information during a moderated discussion would make the liberal side look bad, which is usually the case, what’s the job of the “moderator”? To stop that from happening? It’s difficult to conclude that the Crowley “fans” have any other goal in mind. If you believe, as normal people do, that we should be learning more from a discussion moderated by this moderator than we’d learn from a similar discussion with no moderator at all, your mind draws a blank as you seek out some aspect of this role that Candy Crowley does well. She just sucks.

I don’t know why she attracts the kind of high profile she does. So, she’s won lots of awards, apparently doing things the way I’ve been seeing her do them. That just makes her part of a large and growing problem with our society lately; conclusions drawn, with the weight of authority thrust behind them, and within that weight of authority a busy patchwork of functionally anonymous busybodies, pointing to each other, nobody ever burdened with the chore of crisply explaining a justification or rationale. Candy Crowley’s great, because this guy says she’s great, because that other guy says so, because those people say so. No one explaining why, and meanwhile, she sucks.

“Rhetoric.” Pffft.

Dad Destroys Games

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Real, or staged? I don’t suppose it matters much…the problem is certainly a real one. Language warning.

From here.

“How Are Our Kids Supposed to Grow Up When We’re Out Here Acting Stupid?”

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

A question for the ages. Or, for the age…Language warning.

Boy, is he ever mad. Can’t say I blame him that much. The looters and rioters and schmactivists are out there trying to have as big an influence on our evolving culture as they possibly can, and they are succeeding.

It isn’t a one-race issue, either. Humanity now, as it probably always has been, is divided into two halves; the half that says “If one among us can’t get along somewhere, then none of us can get along anywhere” and the other half, that says the opposite: “If one guy can manage somewhere, than any of us can, and everywhere.” It’s got to do with learning from other people’s failures, versus learning from other people’s successes.

Liberals Shoot Guns For the Very First Time

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

From The Federalist Papers.

We’re having a debate over in the Demilitarizing thread about how equipment being held changes one’s outlook on the world & the things in it. Well…I can see how the other side gets confused about this. It’s pretty obvious these little darlings have become liberals, not quite so much because of experience maintaining and using the equipment, but because of the lack of it. They want to seem so worldly, wise, and informed about the subject.

Lacking that knowledge, they perhaps still would not have become liberals but for the desire to seem more informed than they are. Liberalism, at their age, is largely a defense mechanism. The truth is so unappealing in a crowd-think situation: “Actually, I’m one of the few people present who hasn’t given that a lot of thought.” No, one’s social stature is more likely on the upswing when one says ooh, look what I just figured out. The second amendment is “antiquated.” They might have needed the guns back then, they don’t need them now. Look how sophisticated I am.

After the expansion of the horizons, they speak of “adrenaline rush.” I’m sure it feels that way. But, if you take a little tow-head half their age to the gun range, and keep bringing him back, as that child grows he or she will experience a powerful pull away from the allure of liberalism, and this pull will strengthen long after the adrenaline rush has worn off. It’s a benefit of experience.

A gun, one will notice when one fires it at a range, has to be engineered. It has a chamber that has to withstand great pressure from within. It has a barrel that has to guide the projectile accurately, and a magazine to feed, all this stuff has to weigh in at something reasonable. You can’t figure out how to put all that together thinking like a liberal — thinking, for example, “That is not an argument because I and my friends find it to be ‘incoherent’.” Guns, like any other things that actually function, do not work that way.

And so yes, I can certainly see how the experience of using a certain tool or machinery can alter one’s worldview. Or rather, the lack of experience can.


Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Joe Piscopo can’t call himself a democrat anymore:

I was a Democrat because while it was clear to me that the Republican politicians were out of touch and cared for only the upper class, Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt cared for the masses and helping the working man…By and large, none of these values are represented in the Democratic Party today.

From where I’m standing, the party has largely abandoned its commitment to civil rights and instead allows race-baiters to be national power brokers. As spokesman for the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey, I am hurt that there is not one Democrat in Washington who cares enough about the great inner cities of this country to help those in dire distress from poverty and crime. These cities are in worse shape than those countries from which all those illegal ‘children’ crossing our borders daily are coming…

Most disheartening, though, is the Democrats’ weak commitment to a strong defense and maintaining America’s place in the world as the only superpower. All I see is an American foreign policy led by a Democratic administration that is floundering when it comes to things like dealing with Iraq, Russia and Syria, inept when it comes to crises like Benghazi, and weak at the knees when it comes to protecting our strongest Middle Eastern ally, Israel.

It’s a fool’s-errand to go searching for a political party that “cares more.” The great tragedy of our times is the story of the “independent,” like Piscopo, who embarks on such an endless and fruitless errand and, dissatisfied with the results, eventually announces his new wisdom that “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties” and counsels everyone within earshot to systematically vote out whoever the incumbents are, now until the sun goes nova, or until there is some major reform in the system, whichever comes first.

That’s where this is going, and it’s sad because the message never gets sent of — no, we are rejecting personality politics, cult politics, faction politics. Even when the electorate is thoroughly ready to send such a message. And, that’s where the split is; “Should the resources and the authority of the state be used to target classes of people, and burden them with special obligations, elevating other targeted classes with special immunities and privileges.” The question is something like that. Which side “cares more”? Pffft. They’re politicians. Neither one cares more, neither one is supposed to care more, so don’t go acting like you’ve achieved some special epiphany when you figure that one out.

But, leaving the democrat party is a great first step to the growing-up that needs to happen.


Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Recently interviewed. Front-and-center in the topics discussed, was this video she made two years ago:

Yeah the interview goes pretty much like that. Such-and-such will definitely happen, it’s a matter of fact, as if it’s happened already.

How she says this stuff, is more interesting to me than what she says. Things like “I’ve had the work reviewed by people who are experts — or at least extremely knowledgeable — in biology and genetics, and I’ve received confirmation that it all works out.” It’s like you can make certain things happen just by writing a manifesto or two about it, maybe shooting a YouTube video, and being really, really, really, super-duper sure about it.

But of course, if it’s all going to happen for sure, there wouldn’t be any need to do anything.

Militant leftism has so many identifiable attributes to it that aren’t found in the dictionaries. Manifesto-writing, conclusion-first-and-learning-last, the idea of guiding reality by being super-sure of one thing and absolutely rejecting some other thing. The identification of these special, loathed classes — men, in this case — and targeting them for reduction, breeding-out, loss of influence, or just good old-fashioned extinction.


Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Eh, sorry, can’t quite get on board with this one just yet. I’m not seeing an actual plan here. If I’m forced to glean one from the rhetoric I’ve heard from the “demilitarize the police” loud-crowd, it would be: The police are a bunch of racists, so make them carry smaller and more-civilian-ish weaponry and that will somehow strip them of their racism or something. Is there a more fair and accurate way to summarize the point being made? Lay it on me.

Meanwhile, this just reeks of rhetoric. Irresponsible, poorly-thought-out rhetoric, the kind that hasn’t given us any good results; put together by the sort of people who care about the rhetoric more than the results. We have lately been in some kind of shortage of this?

Carrying military-type-stuff doesn’t make you a bigot. Being forced to trade it in for something less military, maybe smaller caliber, smoother finish, more pleasing colors on the barrel and the pistol grips, doesn’t make you less of a bigot. Equipment has nothing to do with motive. In fact, it hasn’t got that much to do with results. The guy shot with a pink hello-kitty rifle is just as dead.

Fact is, if we could channel just a fraction of the passion we so often pour into Meathead-versus-Archie culture conflicts, into concerns about causes and effects, most of our problems would never have happened in the first place. That includes race relations, foreign policy, economics, health care coverage, all of it. We are the producers of our own misfortune with this stuff, and have been for a long time.

When you find yourself doing something that ultimately brings you misery, you stop doing it.

A Million Hits

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

That’s actually a million Site Meter hits. I don’t know how many hits the ten-year-old blog has actually taken, we didn’t go on to Site Meter until we were about a year and a half into this, and in that time the service has occasionally been down. Doesn’t matter, we didn’t have access to the Internet when the actual millionth hit came in — 349 hits shy last night, 174 over when we woke up this morning. So I don’t have a screencap of the magic millionth hit, can’t offer a free tee shirt or coffee mug. Oh well…

And why were we offline? Well, that’s the other thing; this post doubles as the announcement that we’re online again, after moving to an actual House of Eratosthenes, as in, house-house. Two-story, quiet neighborhood, corner lot. Yes, we’ve stopped being late-forties apartment rats, decided to start being respectable and take care of a lawn. Swearing at toilets and fuse boxes in the middle of the night, taking down blinds, putting ’em back up again…

Kid goes back to his Mom’s today. Yup, the wireless comes online on his last day here. What a mean old Dad. Well, I think he enjoyed the adventure of helping move all those boxes around, packing, unpacking, etc…

Me? Sick of cardboard boxes. Don’t want to see them anymore. I have no idea how many there have been. Like snowflakes on a damn hillside in the wintertime, counting would be pointless. Have to count like a wild animal, there is done, there is not done, the number is really, really, really high.

We relinquish the old place once & for all on the 20th. I’m starting to think we’re going to make it.

Update: I’ve noticed some blogs commemorate a million page views. We would have missed that awhile ago, page views happen about 50 to 60 percent more often than visits, or “hits,” in our case. You “hit” a blog, look at two pages, then go elsewhere — that registers as one visit and two views. Page views are 1,537,099. This is a million visits. We go sit with the big kids now.

Free Tampons

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Chicks on the Right:

When I read this column by Jessica Valenti, whom we’ve tangled with before (see here), I laughed SO HARD, because she’s making the case for tampons to be free, you guys. We actually predicted this would be the next liberal feminist cause du jour (you’ll see that when our book comes out this October), and it’s something I was trying to get a read on from liberals when I asked these questions several weeks ago. (Just look at the first question!)

Liberal feminists are so freaking predictable.

In her column, Jessica makes her case for taxpayer funded tampons by suggesting that “…too many governments don’t recognize feminine hygiene as a health issue. We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month” – women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.”

By that logic, why isn’t toilet paper free? EVERYONE POOPS, you guys. We need to recognize pooping as a health issue. Never mind the fact that it’s normal and natural and not indicative of any sort of problem whatsoever. And guys need razors. Why is Jessica being so sexist? And we all need soap and toothpaste. And hey – what about disposable diapers for babies? BABIES NEED THEM. Why is Jessica being so baby-ist?

Am I the only one noticing — whenever lefties talk about removing a “stigma,” seems by the very next sentence they’re always hard at work starting a brand new one? So, womyns is too weak and helpless to attend to their womynly body issues without us men earning some money and giving it to them; incapable of independence by their very nature, because of the very body parts that make them womyns. Well that explains my ex-wife, said every guy who’s ever been divorced.

I wouldn’t care about Ms. Valenti one bit, except that she’s in with a big crowd. And look how far-gone she is: There’s this stigma, we need to remove it by making some material product free. And, the big loud crowd agrees with her. How does that work? Has it ever worked? In fact, what is this stigma? Paying for the thing yourself, is that the stigma? At her echelon of dedication to doctrinaire extremist leftism, is the allure of the dependency class so dazzling to them that they think charging for something is an insult, and opening your billfold to pay for it is accepting the insult, is that how it works? I mean, i don’t want to read too much into it, but I can’t interpret “remove the stigma, make tampons free” any other way.

Well, maybe there’s something to that; it would explain why these people have so little respect for taxpayers.

“Unfortunately, These Useful Idiots Are Still Ruining Lives”

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Gavin McInnes at Taki’s Magazine, by way of Gerard at American Digest:

A Deadly Strain of PMS

You know that one time a month when you’re arguing with a lady friend and she says something that makes your neck recoil in confusion? You’ll stop the fight for a second and think to yourself, “That doesn’t make any sense. What’s this argument really about?” If you’re very brave, you’ll ask her if she’s started bleeding yet, and if you’re really lucky, she’ll shut up because you just hit the nail on the head.

The liberal left has PMS. They don’t mean what they say and they’re just yelling for yelling’s sake. We now realize this because every time we solve one of their crises they pshaw the solution and continue the attack from another angle. Their crusade isn’t about getting to the truth. It’s about winning. The whole thing is just sports to them. We are the Yankees fans, they are the Mets fans, and it doesn’t matter which team plays a better game.

If you point out that Obama completely ignored Russia’s attack on a civilian jetliner, they’ll come back with, “Oh, you don’t think George W. Bush made mistakes when it came to Russia?” I’m not a Republican or a W. fan so I don’t understand why we have to jump back six years. I don’t care who wins. I just don’t like the idea of planes being shot down with no accountability whatsoever. We can’t even see the black box.

Once you realize the left is bluffing, they become a great source for comedy. There are so many fake Salon Twitter accounts, it’s gotten hard to tell which one is real. They recently said Guardians of the Galaxy “fails women” and I couldn’t tell if it was a joke or not. Feminism is over, P.C. is dead, and racism is a myth. Arguing with today’s liberals makes you feel like a cat toying with a mouse before he eats it. Unfortunately, these useful idiots are still ruining lives. Their hysteria still gets people fired and their programs still crush the people they’re trying to help. It’s hard to laugh when you see the havoc they wreak.

My favorite recent example of their total disregard for their own ideology is the #DearFeministMen meme. It was started by feminists to criticize men for participating in the women’s movement. When women claim they make less money than men or get raped more often, these beta males say “Damn straight, sister” and they still get told to fuck off. Isn’t that proof feminism has nothing to do with their belief system and is all about hating men?

Yes, and I say, bring ’em on. The hilarious spectacles, that is. Dear Feminist Men, Ban Bossy, Everyone who disagrees with Obama is racist, all of it. Wear it out. Stein Rule: Anything that can’t last forever, won’t. Liberal foolishness doesn’t fall under that, and neither does the liberal lust for destruction. But the willingness of those around the liberals to believe the liberals are for something, just because the liberals say so, while the liberals’ actions wreak havoc — that cannot go on forever. Sooner or later, the masses have to come together and say, “So what exactly is this great grand thing you’re building? And what exactly was that business about me keeping my health care plan if I liked it?” Sooner or later people have to start noticing that liberals destroy all that they touch, and aren’t terribly interested in liberating anybody from anything.

And that’s a segue into another link over at Gerard’s, a quote from Ludwig von Mises about our friends, the liberals. It was true then and it’s as true as ever now:

The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.

Useful idiots ruining lives? I have to question the usefulness.

Sarah Palin Responds to Elizabeth Warren

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Two talkative females, either one can boast of a large following. One believes in the goodness and potential of humanity, the other one believes in looting and mooching.

As is almost always the case, the one who believes in liberty is much better looking. Funny how often it works out that way.

“We conservatives believe, as Ronald Reagan said, that you can’t be for big taxes, big government, big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy,” she concluded. “We stand with the little guy, who is being bullied and beaten down by the progressive left’s failed policies — of yours, Elizabeth Warren.

“We stand for free men and free markets — the twin ideals that made this nation strong, peaceful, and prosperous. We say, God Bless America. We hope you say the same, Senator Warren.”

Memo For File CLXXXVII

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Mrs. Freeberg let loose with a tirade on the Hello Kitty of Blogging about people behaving, in general, like complete idiots, and crossed that point reached by so many where she’s wondering what’s brought us to this point, and whether there’s a curvilinear acceleration going on. And, if so, what has caused it. Think everyone paying attention has been there lately.

Having (partially) noodled it out, I did my husbandly duty — and blogged on Facebook, underneath her inquiry, whatever there is that I know about it.

Our history is one in which your survival has been connected to your consciousness of what’s going on around you, and your “expertise” in cause-and-effect. Now, it isn’t. Put in simpler terms, it is now possible to remain alive, in fact comfortable, while being a complete idiot.

That’s got to do with possibilities. Then there is the matter of social pressures. Socially, there is no longer any up-side to knowing what you’re doing. Fix someone’s computer for them, you get a thank-you here & there but at the same time, from then on anything that computer does contrary to the wishes or expectations of its owner will be ALL your fault, and, when people don’t know how to fix their computers themselves they brag about it now. So this raises the question of what do they say about the person who knows how to fix one? Not much that’s positive, it turns out.

In short, knowing what you’re doing doesn’t bring you much unless you can find a way to manipulate or “game” the system — and most of the people who know what they’re doing are too busy getting something done to bother with that. More typically, what it brings you is the stigma and ridicule that used to be reserved for clueless people. It’s the dummies who are in style right now. But, this stuff is cyclical. We’ll learn again the value of knowing what you’re doing, but only after we’ve been dragged through some lessons about why it’s valuable. It’s gonna hurt…

This all fits in with physics. Simple physics, like for example, seasons. The days are longest two thirds of the way through June, they’ll never get any longer than that and the sun will never get any higher from the horizon. From that point, the sun will “travel” southward, toward the celestial equator, and as it crosses that equator during the autumnal equinox it will be “traveling” as fast as it ever will. Then it will slow in its travel as it reaches the Tropic of Capricorn, at which time the days will have been getting shorter, and right before Christmas will be as short as they’ll ever be.

What connects this, to that, is: We get stupider as I noted above, and as I have said many times, when we feel like we can afford to be. Just as, after summer has started, the paradox is that the days are getting shorter. Stupidity brings suffering, think of that as the temperatures dipping as the harvest season winds up and winter approaches. Then, we gradually figure out that actions do indeed have consequences, causes do indeed have effect, and that we are in charge of our own destiny but need to show some resourcefulness and intelligence about it. This brings the sun up North again. Learning will bring rewards, which will encourage more learning, but remember there is a summer solstice involved as well. With the improved lifestyle, there will set in a feeling that we can afford to be fat, lazy, drunk and stupid again, and show up to work without pants.

Right now, it is not the Vernal Equinox, but it’s coming. It’s not even Valentine’s Day. I’d put us, on this calendar, somewhere around Boxing Day. Or, just after New Year’s, when there’s nothing to do but pay credit cards from Christmas, eat, sleep and work. Back in aught-five, that must have been our June 21; I noticed this at the time. I think I pegged that one right. But I had no idea the “Obama winter” would involve such brittle cold temperatures, or that the days would be so short.

This too shall pass. There will be some first blossoms, and soon. They’ll bring hope to those who take the time to notice them. And they’ll be a pleasant shock to the system, just as the real blossoms are a pleasant shock after all the weeks and months of looking at “dead” trees, slipping on icy sidewalks and scraping snow off windshields.

Enjoy the Spring once it’s here. None of this lasts forever, it’s all cyclical.

MATH “Creates an ‘Us Against Them’ Mentality”

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Over on Planet Liberal, simple arithmetic is greedy, unfair, right-wing-extremist

Minnesota’s Democratic legislature recently voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8 an hour, 75 cents more than the federal level. Naturally, that increase is leading to higher prices:

A small cafe in Stillwater has thrown itself into the big battle over Minnesota’s minimum wage increases, inundating the cafe with dozens of phone calls and online comments this week after it tacked on a 35-cent fee to meal tabs.

Oasis Cafe owner Craig Beemer said the fee is needed to offset the 75-cent wage hike that took effect Aug. 1, the first time Minnesota’s minimum wage has increased in a decade. Even with only half a dozen servers, Beemer says it will cost him $10,000 more a year to pay servers $8 an hour instead of the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

Minimum Wage FeeWhat is unique about the Oasis is that the cafe wants its patrons to know where the higher prices are coming from…

In the Democratic Party, where magical thinking reigns, this is regarded as dirty pool:

“We believe that the industry is overreacting,” Wade Luneburg of the MN State Council of UNITE HERE Unions told the Star Tribune this week. “Putting [minimum wage] fees on tickets and passing the cost on to consumers directly is strange at best, and creates an ‘us against them’ mentality while ordering dinner.”

It is “strange” for businesses to pass costs on to their customers? Who, exactly, does Mr. Luneburg think pays those costs? No doubt he has no clue why low-wage workers are being laid off in Minnesota, either. That’s what happens when costs can’t be passed on. Every now and then, it is good to be reminded how dumb liberalism is.

Looks like they’re going to be needing some receipt-control laws or something. After all, controlling the narrative is important when you’re selling a bad idea, and letting the restaurant have the last word would be losing control of the narrative.

Number the Cease Fires

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Serially, from back at the very beginning, or include the year in the numbering and serialize it from 1 on January 1. Or, use names. Cartoon characters, zodiac signs, flowers, colors, hurricane-names, I don’t care which.

But it occurs to me that news breathlessly telling me about what’s going to happen with the cease fire, which is most of the news I hear lately, isn’t truly trying to inform me of anything. Oh the cease fire is set to expire? Which cease fire is that? And what do you mean, set to expire? Doesn’t the end of a cease fire nullify the purpose of having the cease fire in the first place, unless something is being done to get someone out of the way? And doesn’t that remain true regardless of the circumstances under which the cease fire ends? What good does it do to have a cease fire last throughout a Thursday, if it ends on Friday?

Just stating the obvious here, but if the sincere intent on one side or on the other is to keep fighting until the sun burns out, or until the enemy is obliterated whichever comes first, then a “cease fire” is nothing more than an exercise in dishonesty. That, and perhaps some cynical maneuvering in public relations; which means an exercise in dishonesty. The point is, we have people involved in the stopping of the fighting who aren’t trying to stop any fighting. They’re trying to put on a show, through the news, to get an audience agitated.

The same is true of so many of our seemingly-unsolvable problems that go on & on unsolved. The first step toward achievement is honest effort, and that’s what seems to be in short supply these days.

We number the Super Bowl. We number the Olympic Games. We number Fast and Furious sequels. Why don’t we use numbers where we need to be using them, to figure out what’s going on?

Redistribute the Work Ethic, Not the Income

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The American, hat tip to Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm:

One factor that is often overlooked in the debate over causes of income inequality is a shift in the distribution of working hours. The rich now work more than the poor.

The United States and most other industrialized countries have experienced a rapid increase in inequality since around the 1970s. Unsurprisingly, the discussion of inequality has become politicized. Some deny the increase in inequality entirely, in spite of overwhelming evidence. Others exaggerate the magnitude of inequality, for example by claiming that all income gains have gone to the rich.

The estimates of income distribution by the Congressional Budget Office avoids several common methodological problems. The CBO adjusts for declining household size and uses a broader definition of income that includes pension and health care contributions by employers. Between 1979 and 2010 in the United States, the top 1 percent’s share of pre-tax income increased from an already high 9 percent to 15 percent. It is an overstatement that the middle class did not witness any gains, but it is certainly true that gains were slower than in the past. Real median income increased by a disappointing 36 percent between 1979 and 2010. During the same period, real earnings of the 1 percent of highest earners grew by an astonishing 280 percent. One-quarter of income growth in the United States from 1979 to 2010 flowed to the top 1 percent alone.

This rise of income inequality is intensely debated, but its causes are not well understood. Potential explanations include skill-biased technological change, globalization, tax cuts, the expansion of the financial industry, low-skill immigration, and measurement problems that exaggerate inequality. Many of these explanations have merit, and it is unlikely that one factor alone explains the phenomenon. It has, however, proven difficult to determine the relative importance of the various theories, with multiple causes competing to explain a single phenomenon.

Some of this is questionable, at least. “Some deny the increase in inequality entirely”? Who? On what basis? Other parts of it are somewhat laughable: “its causes are not well understood.” A good example of manufactured confusion. In order to be completely baffled by this, you’d have to be completely baffled about how to generate an income, and most of us can noodle that one out effectively and quickly: You figure out what work pays the most, on a basis of per-hour, per-effort, how much you like doing it, whatever — and then you invest your time in doing that thing. If some of us are making more than others, then some of us must be doing more of that than others.

Which is not necessarily the same as saying we work harder. Although that would be the default assumption, and if some semblance of confirming evidence is all we want to see, the article itself provides us that much. Other people may be struggling on the lean end of the inequality curve even though they’re working very hard. But it isn’t showing them a benefit where it counts, in their billfold. They may need to be getting into another line of work. Is it so awful to say that? People say that to professionals in the technology industry, pretty much non-stop. Sometimes with justification, other times not so much.

But in the years mentioned, 1970’s-to-now, we have taken unprecedented cultural steps to rearrange our stigmas. Not, I hasten to say, entirely repeal them, just rearrange them. Tobacco bad, pot good, men bad, women good, straight bad, gay good, white bad, non-white good, private sector bad, public sector good…two lifestyles that have found renewed acceptance through this loud-but-quiet revolution, are 1) single motherhood and 2) sloth. Laziness doesn’t earn you the local scorn that it used to. Technology has made us sufficiently comfortable that we feel like we can afford it.

Because of that, the ownership of material goods has evolved, or devolved, into a matter of personal preference. It’s no longer a matter of survival, but more a matter of taste. Oh, so you like money; well, there’s more to life than making money you know! People lose track of what the cliché advertises even as they repeat it incessantly: I/we don’t like money. And, optionally: That makes me/us better than you.

Well, okay then. Unless we’re all forced to work as hard as we can, with our diverse desires made irrelevant by fiat, there is going to be inequality. Lots and lots of it. By design and by intent, albeit perhaps not conscious intent.

So why is anyone confused? Who are these people who are having trouble understanding?

Bill Clinton Acted on a TVTrope

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Observation #1 about this:

Just hours before the 9/11 terror attacks, Bill Clinton told a group of Australian businessmen that he passed on a chance to kill Osama Bin Laden, according to a revelation by an Australian media outlet.

Only 10 hours before the first plane struck the World Trade Center, Clinton explained at a conference in Melbourne that when he was President, he let the chance to kill Bin Laden pass because the operation would have also killed hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, according to a Sky News Australia report.

“I’m just saying, you know, if I were Osama Bin Laden — he’s a very smart guy, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about him — and I nearly got him once,” Clinton says on the recording of his speech. “I nearly got him. And I could have killed him, but I would have to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him.”

“And so I didn’t do it,” the former commander-in-chief adds.

How come it is that we’re only finding out about it now? They were public comments, were they not?

Observation #2. It is a well-worn TVTrope that has ruined many movies that might have otherwise had some great potential. It ruins the movies because the sentiment is completely pointless. Kill bin Laden and you’ll be no better than him? Hours after the comments were made, bin Laden succeeded in killing ten times as many people as President Clinton mentioned as living in Kandahar. I don’t expect U.S. Presidents to predict the future, but I do expect them to learn from mistakes. The trope just doesn’t work in real life. It was given a more than fair shot here.

Observation #3. Leaving aside the thoroughly-worn-out trope and looking at the broader issue, I notice liberals consistently speak in this cadence, there’s almost a rhythm to it, like iambic pentameter. “Oh yes of course [insert common sense conclusion here], BUT the thing is, there is this [insert some dazzling road-flare distraction here] and so we must [insert silly thing to do here, which they end up doing].” The road-flare distraction is usually something based more on emotion than on reason, like so-and-so “felt the sting of race/sex discrimination” — and so, we need to pretend that person is an authority on some subject, when he or she actually isn’t. Or, income inequality. In Clinton’s example, at least, there is some connection between that final silly-thing-to-do, and the emotional-distracting-road-flare thing: Because he chose to do nothing, the people in Kandahar did presumably live. That redeeming linkage is more the exception than the rule with these lefty “Oh yes of course X but we have to consider Y and so we must Z” statements.

But then again, how’d that work out.

This is much worse than being merely mistaken; it is a methodology inclined to systematically select wrong conclusions, and produce bad outcomes. It’s like the difference between a liar and a bullshitter — the liar has to maintain a conscious knowledge of what truth is, whereas the bullshitter doesn’t care. This is more like lying. It identifies the conclusion common sense would dictate, and then it gravitates toward something that is not that, so that the super-sophistication of the deciding authority can be advertised — look at me, I decided on this opposite thing rather than the common sense thing, that proves I saw the road flare. Because, heck, I sure wouldn’t do that odd thing for any ol’ reason, would I?

We’d be much better off just doing the common-sense thing, swatting the fly. That was proven true in this case. Most of the time, it’s going to be like that. Liberals have a wonderful methodology here for producing wretched results.

“They Wish to Retain Their Power by Keeping the Masses Ignorant About Economics”

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Captain Capitalism on Keynesian economics:

Let us say that Paul Krugman is 100% correct.
Barack Obama is 100% correct.
Janet Yellen is 100% correct.
And John Maynard Keynes himself was 100% correct.

My question is simply – so what?
It forces the will of a few government bureaucrats and politicians on the masses because “they know better.” It dares to suggest some people know what’s best for you AND GRANTS THEM THE AUTHORITY to intervene.
They are nothing more and nothing better than the modern day Catholic church killing people for reading the bible or being literate. They wish to retain their power by keeping the masses ignorant about economics. But unlike Europeans during the Dark Ages, most Americans are willing to be fattened and satiated watching The Bachelorette and getting some “great apps” at Applebee’s. Just remember come next fourth of July our founding fathers aren’t rolling in their graves as much as you’re merely pissing on them.

I notice Keynesians and non-Keynesians often talk past each other; the message of the non-Keynesians is not quite so much one of, “your compass is wrong and the bearing of our port-of-call is thataway,” but rather, “to get to our port of call we need to be able to steer the ship.” Or to put it more precisely, “you are not the Captain of this ship.” It isn’t so much a question of what policies, but who should decide them. Moment-to-moment, not decade by decade.

Keynesians, generally, are liberals; and in our modern times we know of no ignorance with any greater depth or darkness than the ignorance liberals have about the motives of their opposition. They take pride in knowing nothing about it, and maintaining a determined apathy as well as the ignorance.

As an economic theory, it robs itself of credibility by showing a persistent lack of interest in results. And what exactly is economics, if it doesn’t have something to do with results? And yet when a Keynesian strategy fails, its proponents will insist it was the execution that was at fault and not the plan. Either way — where is the change before it’s executed again? How much does the ship, directed from some office hundreds of “nautical miles” away, really change direction? The learning just isn’t there. The course change can’t even be measured in degrees. They just keep on cruising.

Or rather, commanding someone else to cruise. In a ship they didn’t build, and they won’t be going down with it when it sinks.

Conservatism: Loud, Fast and Alive

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Well, that is an interesting way of looking at it (hat tip to Weird and Pissed Off)…

There’s no energy left in liberalism, no excitement, just more rules, more controls, everything the punks hated. You can’t say this, you can’t think that, everybody read the memo – today we’re scheduled to be angry at people don’t want to subsidize our birth control!
What’s hilarious is that it’s us hidebound, repressed, sex-hating conservatives who are the ones trying to liberate liberalism’s victims from its fascisty clutches, but its greatest victims are the ones doing the most resisting.
Liberalism never tries anything new. It’s a greatest hits album from a crappy band. It’s like the latest incarnation of Styx when whoever the lead singer is announces, “Hey, here’s something off our new album” to the widespread groans of the fans. They just want to hear the classics – more regulations, more taxes, more dough for public employee unions, more stifling of innovation.

What exactly does conservatism seek to conserve? Civilization, the blessings that come from having it, and the definitions that make civilization possible.

From what does liberalism seek to liberate us? Those things — starting with the definitions. Marriage is not marriage. Illegal isn’t. The nation’s border isn’t here, and maybe the nation isn’t either. “Working families” often don’t. And often aren’t.

For what? A bunch of stuff that’s been tried before already. Their response to that is everything they can do to discourage everyone from remembering what happened before; and that’s their idea of looking forward, forgetting the past. Even the accumulation of knowledge must be re-defined. They think they’re learning new things, and teaching new things, when they proliferate ignorance.

It is the ideology of darkness and despair. It can’t be anything else. Wherever liberals have won, those among us who produce useful things toil under a new cumulative layer of influence wielded by those among us who do not produce.

Congressman King Sets Them Straight

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Tries to, anyway. The ditz doesn’t stop talking.

It’s really hard to tell leftists things. If it came naturally to them to take in new information and evaluate arguments that weren’t already comfortable to them, they wouldn’t be leftists.

We’re really dealing with two laws here, from two different worlds, a world of reason and a rule of emotion. Just like the posters under one of the comment threads here who can’t answer a simple question like “is 2 equal to 3?,” she can’t answer a simple question like “Do you come from a lawless country?” (6:19). In the world of emotion over reason, everything that comes out has to be a speech. And you can’t learn anything while giving speeches.

It is dangerous to live under two sets of laws like this. But right now, we are. It’s illegal to enter this country without going through the proper process — but, ya know, not really. It’s allowable, in fact protected, for a city to name a street after a cop — but not really. Smoking tobacco in the privacy of your own home…legal, but not really. Smoking pot…illegal, but not really.

The President of the United States making up new laws as He goes along?

Decidedly unconstitutional and cannot be permitted…but…not really.

The trouble is, we’ve got an entire generation that can’t seem to ever stop rebelling against authority; and now it’s “matured” to the age where the people within it are expected to run things. And so we have a whole proliferation of enforcement problems, not just legislation problems. It’s a bigger problem than just illegal immigration.


Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Mickey Kaus:

Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into a press conference, but Obama certainly seems to be groping for a formal argument here that would set out the circumstances in which he is justified in bypassing the legislature described in the Constitution — Congress — and acting on his own. The argument would be: “Where the key interest groups of society — business, labor, religious organizations and the MSM (who else is going to anoint a bill “common sense … legislation”?) — are lined up behind a policy, then if Congress doesn’t act, the President can.

In short, it’s an argument for bypassing archaic elected legacy institutions when they stand in the way of modern government by interest group elites.

Via Instapundit.

The Competent Teevee Dad

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Yeah, I can deal with that.

From here.

Five Ways Muslims Contributed to the Fabric

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

I like #3 the best. Hey Hollywood, how about a docu-pic about #3? Maybe release it in time for the Corps’ birthday on November 10?

Please Don’t Call Law Enforcement About Facebook Being Down

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014