Archive for October, 2014

The Era of “You Can’t Tell Me What to Do”

Friday, October 31st, 2014

I saw a connection with the Maine nurse who’s defying the quarantine order, as I was listening to yet another anecdote of some small-em mom conspiring to score lots and lots of money, right before loading up a car with all the whelps and moving off somewhere. The litany has lost most or all of its shock value, along with its scare-factor and luster of tragedy; we’ve entered an era in which it has become tedious. “I do what I want, and you can’t tell me what to do.” It isn’t just the chicks, it’s dudes too. We’ve got a lot of people walking around among us who seem to have perceived there is some sort of Great Separation coming, a wedge about to be driven through & amongst us all, dividing those who are immune from being told what to do, from those who can & must constantly be told what to do. And they want to make sure they’re on the immune side of the wedge.

They’re causing a lot of damage, but they’re also causing a lot of conflict which they appear to be genuinely and sincerely convinced is the fault of someone else. And yet with their Weltanschauung in place, conflict with others is quite unavoidable: They wish to carry influence, well beyond the perimeter of their own affairs, but are upset over the prospect of being told what they can or cannot do; indeed, in many cases are spoiling for a fight over exactly this. What they seek is an impossible imbalance. They insist on power, up to and past the boundary at which they can screw up what someone else is trying to do. And yet they chafe at anything that feels like a limit, or accountability.

It is the imbalance that brings about the conflict. Either one of the wishes, by itself, is eminently reasonable. Leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone — that is the very essence of reason, the very keystone of civilization. Or power, but with checks and balances — our republic was founded on exactly that. It is the pairing that bridges the positive with the negative, with zero ohms of resistance, overloading the circuitry and without any fuses.

Then, they want to blame it on whoever is nearby. I’m sure that must look reasonable from their vantage point: If nobody was around to complain, everything would have been all wonderful and there would not have been any problems.

Update: Thinking about this some more, with regard to the political class, which (as noted above) seems to be going through the same “growing pains” as the commoner class. Except, of course, they’re capable of doing much more damage at one time. I suppose it is good that the commoner errors are connected with the elite errors: It shows that elections do have an effect, after all, they just aren’t filtering our imperfections out of the process. But then again, whoever said they were supposed to do that?

The crisis with the “You can’t tell me what to do” elites is that there’s very little appetite right now for judiciary review. I’m not talking about the Supreme Court sitting in judgment of the constitutionality of some executive or legislative action. That’s just a formality that applies the principle. I’m writing, more broadly, of someone speaking about whether or not someone else did what they were supposed to do. The crisis is that the implementers feel entitled to be the adjudicators.

It isn’t just the Executive Branch — although they are certainly a part of it, in fact, a great example of it. Is ObamaCare good? The implementers of ObamaCare want the final word. Is it constitutional? The judiciary got the final word, but only because it sided with the implementers, in a maneuver that was something of a throwback to the West Coast Hotel v. Parrish decision of 1937. Had they gone the other way, there would have been turmoil, just as there would have been three quarters of a century previous. In both cases, SCOTUS acted to avoid the turmoil, and in so doing both manifested and sustained the movement society is making.

It takes a certain testicular fortitude to perform under the eye of some adjudicating authority who is deciding on your performance according to a process kept truly independent from your desires. What seems to be happening at all echelons right now, high & low, is that we are losing that fortitude. Which is unfortunate. But then, our society is re-forming itself to accommodate that shortage in testicular fortitude, which is even more unfortunate: The adjudicators are gelding themselves to match the gelded state of the implementers. The implementers are demanding a monopoly on the ability to adjudicate themselves, and we/they are getting exactly that, no questions asked. Performance, as a direct consequence of this, is taking on the trajectory of a lawn dart, and at all levels.

But it is worse than unsatisfactory performance. This is unsatisfactory performance being cloaked as satisfactory, and it’s cloaked by an epidemic hallucination. The natural course of things would be, as I have written for years now, that if we unfasten ourselves from reality, we will start to lose opportunity AND security, and as our discomfort increases we will receive an incentive to reaffirm our deteriorated connection to reality. There could be a delay in that if we have become addicted to the deteriorated connection to reality in some way — and, this is one way in which we could become addicted, if nobody has the balls to perform and then ask someone sitting in judgment, “How did I do?”

So when’s the last time we saw someone do that, who wasn’t on some mind-numbing “reality” show like this? When is the last time we saw someone do that, whose “performance” had a real effect on somebody else? I can think of one thing: Restaurants. Really, really good restaurants. Maybe some good hotels. Even in those industries, though, the testicular fortitude is on the wane. It is a vanishing commodity, and you have to pay a premium price to make a claim on the minuscule and residual quantities that remain. That’s private sector; in the public sector, there’s none of it. It isn’t supposed to be that way.

Ten Hours Edited Down to Two Minutes

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

A nice-looking lady with big boobs walking the streets of New York City…

Donate! Because this must be a real drag or something.

How much shock value should this really have, though. A densely-packed metropolitan area governed by liberals, has some loutish people in it. My goodness, I’m so surprised. Some of the behavior is over the top, like the guy walking briskly alongside for five minutes. Other guys are in hot water for merely acknowledging her presence.

Which raises two questions about the clip, here. First, what is the goal? I tend to wonder that, anyway, when someone asks me to donate. The tendency is heightened when the requester for donations calls it out as a problem that men are (politely) acknowledging a woman’s presence. What is this, “don’t speak to her unless she speaks to you”? Two classes of people? I’m not the first to wonder this about modern militant feminism and I won’t be the last.

The other question is about the thing the video is supposed to answer: What were the ten hours like? As the commentary on Hot Air put it,

To get two minutes of guys catcalling, they had to shoot ten hours of walking. It’s not likely that the other 9 hours 58 minutes contained a lot of really objectionable behavior since some of what made it into the video was fairly benign.

When Hot Air went back to comment on it some more, they managed to bring back this gem:


++snort++ No…they won’t. It isn’t about protecting women, it’s about electing, protecting, empowering and emboldening democrats. Bill Clinton proved that.

Mark Udall Tells the Truth: Content of Their Color

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Breitbart:

“In 2008 and 2012, we showed that Dr. Martin Luther King had it right,” Udall began, “which is that in America, at our best, we judge people by the content of their color…” he began, before acknowledging that he had messed up, and correcting it.

I’ll go way out on a limb and assume “2008 and 2012” is referring to Our First Holy Emperor President Barack Obama. Which makes this doubly embarrassing, since the entire country saw His supporters judging Him, approvingly, solely because the content of His color and not because of the content of His character.

I’m not the first to say so and I shall not be the last: Chalk it up to Freudian Slip.

The Power of Narratives

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Jonah Goldberg writes in Town Hall:

For much of the summer, large numbers of Americans insisted that the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, was one kind of story. It was a tale of institutional racism in which the police are the villains and young African-American men the innocent victims. This was the storyline many in the media wanted, and it was one they were determined to get.

Now, as a grand jury goes about prying fact from fiction, the story is falling apart as a matter of legal reality. But you can be sure the story will live on for decades to come. That’s in no small part because many decent Americans have locked themselves into the belief that the heroic chapter of the civil rights movement can never end. The story must go on so they can continue to cast themselves as the heroes.
:
Modern-day environmentalism is full of talk about data and “settled science.” But science is never settled, because science is the craft of unsettling what we know at any given moment. If science could settle, man would never learn to fly or read by electric light. Meanwhile, inconvenient data is left on the cutting-room floor as an ancient story is retold in modern terms.

“If you look carefully,” Michael Crichton once observed, “you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.”
:
I understand that the difference between narratives and ideas can be a subtle one. But if you keep the distinction in mind, the arguments tearing apart America become more comprehensible. It is a conflict of visions driven by adherents of two versions of the story of America. And whichever side wins, the victors will determine the story taught to the next generation.

That’s why controlling the narrative is important when you’re selling a bad idea.

Promulgate

Monday, October 27th, 2014

I’m way behind on my e-mails, yet again. It’s part of a curve with a very large arc to it, as we slowly stagger back toward sanity following this wild, crazy summer with the house and so forth.

During these wild spates of sorting dozens and dozens of pages of e-mail, as I question whether I’m going about it the most efficient way, I’m also noticing things I otherwise would not notice. Great volumes of news articles, opinion columns, blog comments, marketing communiques, et al, flow past me, days’ or weeks’ worth in a matter of minutes, and I start to see trends.

My observation is that when liberals disagree with everybody else, I perceive that the liberals, and everybody else, are talking past each other. They live in a different world. That’s not news, of course; my observation lately is how that world of theirs is separated from everybody else’s.

This mystifies people, myself included, especially when liberals take positions on things that are so readily refuted by easily observed facts. Like Michael Moore’s famous “There is no terrorist threat,” for example. Here on Planet Earth, real people like you and me hear that, and we interpret it to mean:

“I’m putting my credibility on the line here, there is no terrorist threat.” Or, “I can support the position, with facts and logic, that there is no terrorist threat.”

That is not what liberals mean to say at all. What they mean to say, in this instance, is: “We wish to promulgate the notion that there is no terrorist threat.” Or, “It benefits our political objectives to promulgate the notion that there is no terrorist threat.”

This is what Reagan was observing, although perhaps he didn’t consciously realize it, when he said: “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” (Yes, really.) It’s got to do with this bit about “knowing.” It doesn’t mean the same thing to liberals that it means to normal people. What they “know,” is what they wish for others, as many other people as possible, to also “know.”

But as to whether or not it “is so”? They couldn’t possibly care less. That goes for things like:

The border is secure.

We are more free, when we start throwing people in jail for refusing to officiate gay weddings.

There is no need for voter ID because there is no such thing as voter fraud.

That doesn’t sound like something George Washington would have said.

ObamaCare is working great.

Muslims, as an identifiable religious sect, are no more dangerous than Christians.

Global warming, on the other hand, will kill us all.

…whereas, a global warming tax of some kind will surely save the planet.

Iraq was never a threat to us.

With things like this, proggies live on a sort of “Promulgation Planet” — they do not live on Earth, with the rest of us, because when they say “X” they don’t mean to say “We stake our reputation and our credibility on X.” What they’re doing is showing us the moves to a sort of dance. Put your left foot here, put your right foot there, ObamaCare is working great, the Washington quote is spurious, the border is secure. It is the message itself, not the content of it or the support for it, that matters.

It is the kind of warped thinking that arises, in a naturally consequential way, from valuing consensus as proof. The next step in the fallacious thinking is to try to shape reality by shaping the consensus.

Update 10/28/14: I’m sure I could add to those examples all day, but it’s hard to see how I could have missed this (via Hot Air): “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs…they always say that…Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs”.

Clinton’s comment will likely be used frequently to attack her as another big-government Democrat as she begins her widely assumed presidential bid.

Gee, ya think? How unfair that would be, like, golly.

What makes more sense: “I’m putting my credibility on the line, we have the proof that businesses do not create jobs.” Or — “It benefits our political objectives to promulgate the notion that it isn’t businesses that create the jobs.” You go on down through the daisy-chain of risible lefty statements, and each one may at first sound like it’s supposed to be an expression of defensible and verifiable truth. Many of the promulgators certainly do seem to feel that way about it.

But, in each case, you’ll find it makes a great deal more sense to evaluate the expression as a set of instructions, to be exercised and then relayed to more who will likewise relay and exercise: How to minimize the damage to a failed political ideology that does not, and cannot, deliver on its promises.

Moron Messaging

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

The headline is harsh. In the specific example discussed below, I’m one of the morons, so I suppose I should be charitable.

We live on a corner lot. Actually, our new house faces three streets, not just two. This has created a problem for us, since I notice I have a sprinkler-head replacement job to commission every time a head fails to retract, and a careless driver subsequently cuts across our lawn. Regretfully, neither of these is a remote possibility.

I say I am one of the morons. The first stab at this had to do with a shin-high picket fence, which I abandoned after some jackass destroyed it pulling out of our driveway. I’m the jackass. This is the second proposed solution, it went in this morning.

This one has more of the makings of a successful project: Minimal “rebound” visits BTFHD (Back To Fucking Home Depot), economical price tag at the end of it, structurally stable, successful messaging. Ah yes, the messaging. Hence the point of this post.

What is the messaging? It is not one of “You’ll screw up your car if you careen onto my damn lawn”; it’s more of a veiled threat. “You don’t know what’s here, but something is.” Or more precisely: “Your damn tires will stay intact, if you keep my damn lawn intact.” Or more bluntly: “Keep the fuck off.”

I should explain for those who don’t live in California. It seems when you learn to drive here (I didn’t move here until I was 26), the test of your driving competence has something to do with you having a pulse. And, not much else. Also, California motorists seems to be disgracefully ignorant of exactly why it is they think they’re in some kind of a hurry. They’re constantly driving like they have to reach a bomb they need to defuse, across town. That means “California stops” all the time, and cutting across corners.

Like, corners on lawns. Like mine.

I shall not abide it. Every busted sprinkler head is money out of my pocket, with a zillion scheduled appointments with my only semi-reliable sprinkler-head guy. Who charges by the hour. Before I figured this out, I wasted a lot of resources routing precious (rationed) water through these busted sprinkler heads, and making a bunch of failed appointments with the semi-reliable sprinkler-head guy.

Then, this morning, I finally nailed the problem at the source. Which brings me to the subject of this post:

My sprinkler-head problem, and my solution for it, aptly illustrate metaphorically the peculiarities of the times in which we live. I can summarize it in eleven words: You can’t get anything done unless you first message the morons.

Being one of the morons, I should further qualify “moron”: It doesn’t mean idiot. It means clueless person. The idiosyncrasy identified has to do with the fact that this doesn’t apply to messaging geniuses. You can waste time doing that, or not bothering, it doesn’t affect the outcome. But the idiots have a lot of influence. So much, in fact, that if you think you got something done, you are gravely mistaken about that until such time as you take the time to message the morons. It’s a “tax” that applies to just about everything we do. You haven’t got the job done until you get jiggy with the idiots.

It wasn’t always like this. Which brings about the question, what changed? I think Craig Ferguson came closer than anyone else to identifying the pivotal event:

In sum: People who don’t know what’s going on, have influence on what’s going on, that is not shared by people who do know what’s going on.

There is simply no way that can be a good thing, indeed, no way it can be anything but a very, very bad thing.

And: If what you are doing is worthwhile, you’re never done doing it until you take the extra time for those extra tasks. To message the morons. To make some sort of pact with them. Like I just did.

Meta-Sloth

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Thought exercise: You’re in a mediocre-to-awful Star Trek episode, or bad movie. The key plot point here is the one that has been central to the worst ST episodes, and movies, which is: Some wise, advanced, all-powerful alien race calls humanity to account for being yucky. Explain yourselves, you primitive warlike humans! How say you?

In 2014, seems to me our “crime” is not being excessively warlike — not here in America, anyway. If anything, we have been committing a crime by way of our explosive fuse being too long, rather than too short. But we sure are contentious. Right wing! Left wing! Conservative! Liberal! Republicans! democrats! Tea Party! Radical Progressive! I could not blame a super-advanced race for “beaming” us up to their landing pad, and calling us to account, or to contribute some helpful information so they could understand it better. I’d be a bit curious about it myself in their shoes, or whatever. How come it is, I imagine they’d want to know…you puny humans say such innocuous, non-threatening things to each other, like “Merry Christmas” — and just like that, it leads to a controversy?

Mulling over how I would explain all of this, I have come to realize something I’ve realized before about many other things: To explain what I know about it, in an adequate way, we would need to invent a new word of some kind. There is an important concept here, worthy of description with a single word, that has not been so named. This oversight could be causing our failure to inspect that which should be inspected; or, it could be a symptom of this failure. That, I think, is more likely. We are not devoting adequate thought to some concepts that should take center-stage in our thinking, and because we are not devoting adequate thought to these things, we are not naming that which should be named.

Because we do not name that which should be named, we are not discussing that which should be discussed.

So let us discuss.

Starting with the “twenty non-partisan things,” to which I sometimes refer as “twenty things that are non-partisan, or darn well ought to be.” Our concern here is with the first four of the twenty:

1. My values are [blank].
2. My vision is in harmony with my values, and it is [blank].
3. My objective is consistent with my vision, and it is that [blank].
4. My objective depends on [blank] being accomplished (or prevented from happening).

I submit that our “race” or species or planet or society is contentious, and needlessly so, because: These are not non-partisan things after all. They certainly are not universal, within our culture.

We need the new word, because what I seek to describe is not adequately defined as mere sloth:

Sloth can entail different vices. While sloth is sometimes defined as physical laziness, spiritual laziness is emphasized. Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth. In the Christian faith, sloth rejects grace and God.

Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act.

Edmund Burke wrote in Present Discontents “No man, who is not inflamed by vain-glory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours are of power to defeat the subtle designs and united Cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Yeah. That’s…not quite it. What I have in mind is somewhat different. But not a rarity. You’ve probably encountered it yourself. Think back to the last time you traversed those four stepping stones: A value system leads to a vision, a vision leads to an objective, an objective leads to tasks. You probably discussed this in a group environment. If you discussed it in a group environment, someone probably disagreed. If someone disagreed, it was probably over something that was stupid. If they disagreed over something stupid, they were probably an example of Thing I Know #43:

When people ask me a question that begins with “Why did you…” they almost never want any information out of me.

Right. You see? It’s more like: There goes someone translating a value system into action — let us stop him!!

Eight Pack AbsThese people may be, or may not be, physically lazy. In fact, since the definition of their class has to do with observing something about to be done, and then taking measures to stop it, statistically they’ll probably end up being un-lazy compared to the average. But there is some unconventional sort of laziness happening here. You see it in the question: “Why did you…?” concluded with a meta question-mark. I say “meta” because the conventional question-mark is the termination point of an interrogative statement, which is expected to be met with an answer or a rebuttal. The askers of the why-did-you inquiry, on the other hand, do not expect a rebuttal or an answer. What they expect is a cessation of the activity that inspired their meta-question.

And they’ll do it every time. Any time someone translates an unconventional vision into an unconventional series of actions, particularly unexpected actions, there they go. “Why are you doing this?” They do not seek information. They seek an injunction against action, even action directed in fulfillment of a goal that would find harmony with their sympathies. It is the idea that humble commoners can bring the desired state about, that arouses their ire. They can’t hack it.

They are the meta-lazy. Perhaps they work hard. Perhaps they have eight-pack abs. But they can’t quite grasp the idea of ordinary people doing significant things. To the meta-slothful, if it’s a significant accomplishment, then it must be something left for the famous people to get done. Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, perhaps both of them — they’ll pick it up from here. The rest of us shouldn’t aspire to anything greater than merely sitting on the sidelines, watching them.

And that is why, in Anno Domini Twenty Fourteen, we have conflict. For the most part anyway, it comes down to that. One side represents the people who are trying to take matters into their own hands, to get something done, and therefore require something to be defined, while the other side insists on avoiding definitions. In their world, it is the definitions that cause the conflict. The job of us “little people,” down here, after we’ve studiously avoided all those big-brain thoughts that are too heavy for us, is simply to agree with each other. Consensus equals truth.

Liberals Are in Favor of Restricting Government

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

…from interfering with individual freedoms and individual choice.

That is, for members of the dependency class:

From IJ Review…which links to a Washington Post story about 47 million Americans being on food stamps.

There must be a principle behind this. It would be hard to oppose the proposal based on practical considerations, wouldn’t it? People who rely on food stamps have some cash here or there; and, junk is cheap. Oreos are cheap. If there is a principle involved, it somehow applies to the dependency class but not to the school kids. What is it, that it’s appropriate to tell kids what to do but not appropriate to tell grown-ups what to do?

Then how come these are the people telling me what light bulbs I can & can’t buy?

It seems, from what I can glean out of this, that there is a rule in place that says something like: “‘Freedom’ is for democrats” or “‘Freedom’ is for people who don’t work.” People who pay, aren’t supposed to choose, and people who don’t pay, get to choose.

Yet more strange, surreal “rights” being imagined and cobbled-together, but never ever defined, by our political party of graft, dependency, obfuscation and “Fuck you I want my num nums.”

The E-Word and the F-Word

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Possible recurring headline, albeit perhaps an unwieldy one. Wisdom from my Hello Kitty of Blogging account, with regard to this:

One of these days, we’re gonna learn: “Equality” doesn’t mean “Freedom.” In fact, you really don’t have long to wait before you see government officials and advocates using the E-word as a cover-euphemism for TAKING AWAY big honkin’ spoonfuls of the F-word. It just happened, just now, as a lot of you were babbling away with a bunch of foolish nonsense about “allowing people to love each other.”

FTA:

City officials told Donald Knapp that he and his wife Evelyn, both ordained ministers who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel, are required to perform such [same-sex wedding] ceremonies or face months in jail and/or thousands of dollars in fines. The city claims its “non-discrimination” ordinance requires the Knapps to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies now that the courts have overridden Idaho’s voter-approved constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

I dream of a day we can discuss, not so much whether or not these marriages should be recognized, but what is the proper scenario under which a court can make such a ruling. Yeah, that’s not a voting thing, I know; but then again, the non-discrimination thing itself also is not a voting thing either, is it? That’s been made abundantly clear.

But even viewing it through the lens that colors such an overruling proper, the deciding factor is, or is at least based on, cultural values. It’s all about reflecting the values that make us a better people. Or is it? Maybe it’s more about forcing us to be better people. I’ve lost track. Got a feeling the folks who favor such decisions lost track, too, and long before I ever did. Does the court decision reflect the fact that we’re good people, or does it make us that way? Given that it is contrary to a popularly and duly voted-upon constitutional amendment, neither premise benefits from structural flawlessness.

The article makes clear that real people are being hurt by this. Like the Knapps; and then there is a mutilated female at Wellesley who’s being hurt too.

A student who was born female felt perfectly comfortable identifying as a man at Wellesley College — until people said he shouldn’t be class diversity officer because he is now a white male.

Timothy Boatwright was born a girl, and checked off the “female” box when applying to the Massachusetts all-women’s school, according to an article in the New York Times. But when he got there, he introduced himself as a “masculine-of-center genderqueer” person named “Timothy” (the name he picked for himself) and asked them to use male pronouns when referring to him.

And, by all accounts, Boatwright felt welcome on campus — until the day he announced that he wanted to run for the school’s office of multicultural affairs coordinator, whose job is to promote a “culture of diversity” on campus.

But some students thought that allowing Boatwright to have the position would just perpetuate patriarchy. They were so opposed, in fact, that when the other three candidates (all women of color) dropped out, they started an anonymous Facebook campaign encouraging people not to vote at all to keep him from winning the position.

“I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there,” the student behind the so-called “Campaign to Abstain” said.

Glenn Reynolds has something to say about this that I wish fit onto a tee shirt or bumper sticker. It doesn’t. So I’ll just lift it and put it in here:

When students go on about social justice, the proper response is to tell them you don’t care what they think, because they don’t know enough to have an intelligent opinion yet. If universities were run on this principle, the 3% of students responsible for 98% of the idiocy would no longer have their destructive impact. Also, it’s true: They don’t know enough to have an intelligent opinion, as demonstrated by the opinions they do have.

As one goes through life solving problems, and one’s Weltanschauung becomes more robust and in-tune with the world & how it works as one becomes more mature, there is a certain simplicity that emerges. This cute thing the young-opinionated types do, with embracing contradictions, starts to fall away. Values and objectives take on the characteristics of compass points. Think of the directions that apply to a jet taking off: When it’s on the ground, it’s something like “taxi to this runway, take a left until you get to the main strip,” etc. At 15,000 feet, it’s bearings. Bearings with relationships to one another, like, a heading of 90 is opposite from a heading of 270. You can’t head in both those directions at the same time.

This is what Reynolds’ 3% has been doing to us all. Biggest lie told over the last fifty years is, if one of us isn’t “free” then none of us are. That’s actually quite possible; that’s what the problem has been. Second-biggest lie, as I pointed out up top, is that freedom has something to do with equality.

Equality can have a galvanizing and protecting effect upon freedom. Like, the people who make the rules being forced to live under them, for example; it’s easy to lose freedom if we don’t enforce that. But somehow, I don’t think that’s what they have in mind when they’re protesting this “white male” being the diversity officer. That’s just all about preening. We’re losing freedom to this preening, at a great hurried clip, and the sooner we figure that out, the better.

Update: Related: Roosh (hat tip to Captain Capitalism) defines “Social Justice Warrior.”

The true definition of SJW is up for debate, but most generally it has become a catch-all term that describes feminists and liberals who actively try to solve the perceived social injustices of modern society by organizing in online communities to disseminate propaganda, censor speech, and punish individuals by getting them terminated from their employment. They have also been successful at positioning themselves in the upper echelons of universities, media organizations, and tech companies.

If there’s a dictionary, encyclopedia, or some other authoritative reference that defines it in a way remarkably different from this — then, that resource is wrong. In fact, are there any examples to offer, anywhere, of SJ being applied without something being destroyed as a direct result, either partially or wholly, in intent if not effect? I can’t think of one.

That’s a Majority

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Ben Shapiro takes on Ben Affleck and the “minority” myth:

He utterly destroyed the statement, simply by taking it seriously.

From Young Conservatives.

Modern Feminism: So Negative, So Toxic, it’s Just Exhausting

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Margot is upset with this visual, opting to headline it “If you don’t see the sexism in this ad, imagine a boy in it.”

Well, I don’t; I did; and, still, I see nothing out of place. I can very easily see the same advertisement with a boy. What am I missing.

If I still commented there, that’s about all I’d have to say about it. But someone else piped in with,

When I showed this to a real existing female friend of mine, a mother of two (one boy, one girl), she noted that the superwoman in your Reel Girl logo is rather sexy and should perhaps instead be overweight, have short hair, and no make up to avoid promoting gender stereotypes.

Another female friend said that she’s fine with dancey pants for all people and that you should perhaps get over your own white privileged self, and if this was your definition of sexism, you might need a cold hard look at the real world. She added: “I’m a feminist , a single mom of a mixed boy, and we are fine with dancey pants. It’s not like the girl in the ad was wearing an apron and holding a spatula. #getoverit”. Her beautiful boy wears dancey pants and pink – regularly.

RealGirlI will add that I regularly see an approx. 5 year old boy in my street playing in dresses and that I see no harm in that, nor would I if he were to be featured in an advert for children’s health. Quite the contrary. What I personally don’t like is that your title seems to suggest that if one doesn’t subscribe to your idea of sexism, one is a sexist.

Margot replied coolly and cheerfully, as she is wont to do with things like this. She’s had ample opportunity to demonstrate this over the years, you can see that mil-fems do a lot of bickering. The woman in the graphic is gorgeous looking because her face is made up of the features of Margot’s three beautiful daughters.

Which raises an — ahem — ugly question of sorts: How far do we want to take this? “Overweight, have short hair, and no make up to avoid promoting gender stereotypes”? Can it be said that a political movement, or a social movement, is good for us when it insists that beauty, once inserted into something, must be mutated into something it is not? Is it okay for us to admit it’s a destructive force, when it stops nothing short of putrefying fruit on the vine and souring the milk in its vessels…consciously and on purpose? Isn’t that what the witch trial prosecutors were accusing the “witches” of doing? And here we are in modern times, watching the mil-fems actually doing it, deliberately and all the time.

And what’s up with this remark about “you should perhaps get over your own white privileged self.” Why all the hate? I just don’t see a call for it. Other than, perhaps, you could make the case that Margot is finding a lot of negativity after she went out looking for it, and perhaps it’s the writer’s intent to fling a little bit of that back in her direction. But if that’s the intent, it was not artfully done. Before the reply, the matter under discussion is sexism, and after it’s posted we’re talking about race as well. That can only mean the commenter is bringing in new grudges, no longer limiting himself to discussing what’s already there.

I just find this all so exhausting. There are some misguided souls out there who say all blogging is like this; everybody is minding everybody else’s business, which causes yet more bloggers to start minding everybody else’s business instead of their own. They say if we all went back to keeping our own houses in order, everything would be all wonderful and perfect or some such. How I wish their opinions were as verifiable in correctness as they are stout and eminent in their confidence.

But they dream of a simpler world, one that may have existed before many events we’ve seen, in which we as a society have lost our innocence. Like Henry Rearden in Atlas Shrugged, we’re slowly discovering, and far too late, that “minding your own business” in this day & age has taken on a new layer of complexity. Keeping your own house in order before worrying about the houses of others, means noticing, calling attention to, and acting on the fact that there are a lot of other people out there minding your house, who aren’t tending to theirs. It’s the price we pay for all living together, I suppose. We’ve got these militant feminist ninnies out there, some of them men, who are bound and determined to do more and more complaining until they get what they want, which starts with having an effect. We’ve already tried ignoring them. What happens is, they don’t achieve everything they want, but they do disrupt the lives of everybody else with their negativity. It isn’t even that hard for them to do it, it seems. Now they want more ugly-woman superheroes, and to get rid of good-looking women in comic books, blogger mastheads, and everywhere else.

What a terrible thing to do to a civilized society: Get rid of all the beautiful women. It’s as if they’re carving out a special, isolated existence, custom-designed, feature by feature, experience by experience, and attribute by attribute, to be not very enjoyable. Like a special aquarium in which one would keep frogs and lizards, when one doesn’t like the frogs and lizards and wants to punish them. For what? Simply being frogs and lizards?

What sort of people think this way? Who has the tolerance for such negativity, to crave it so much? They want to say how we should live together, and can’t even get along with each other. And who has the time?

Mutable

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

An adjective that means

1 : prone to change
2a : capable of change or of being changed
2b : capable of or liable to mutation

…or: Inconsistent in one’s affections.

James Madison, writing in Federalist Paper #62:

To trace the mischievous effects of a mutable government would fill a volume. I will hint a few only, each of which will be perceived to be a source of innumerable others.

In the first place, it forfeits the respect and confidence of other nations, and all the advantages connected with national character. An individual who is observed to be inconstant to his plans, or perhaps to carry on his affairs without any plan at all, is marked at once, by all prudent people, as a speedy victim to his own unsteadiness and folly. His more friendly neighbors may pity him, but all will decline to connect their fortunes with his; and not a few will seize the opportunity of making their fortunes out of his. One nation is to another what one individual is to another; with this melancholy distinction perhaps, that the former, with fewer of the benevolent emotions than the latter, are under fewer restraints also from taking undue advantage from the indiscretions of each other. Every nation, consequently, whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability, may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of their wiser neighbors. But the best instruction on this subject is unhappily conveyed to America by the example of her own situation. She finds that she is held in no respect by her friends; that she is the derision of her enemies; and that she is a prey to every nation which has an interest in speculating on her fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs.

The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens.

His objective was to explore the purpose of a Senate, but his achievement was to prophesy the future. Rather chillingly.

“Over-Qualified…and the Problem Is???”

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Seems you need to have a LinkedIn account in order to read it, but it’s pretty interesting.

Those of us who have this problem, have a problem with time. Our work history is trouble, because the work history, when you get right down to it, is what it looks like when you’re building something that actually works. There are many pieces to it and all of them have to be serviced by someone who either knows what he’s doing, or at least knows how to figure out what he’s doing.

We’re tapped to do what is necessary because we’ve earned trust here. At the end of it all, hopefully some deadlines are met and things get shipped…but, we’re not “C# guys” or “SQL guys,” any more than the guy who pilots a sailboat from Seattle to San Francisco is any sort of a “rope guy.”

Tailoring the resume to the position makes a lot of sense in theory, but in practice it feels like lying. And it looks like it too, that’s where the problem with time comes in. Because we have to get something actually working so that some bigger thing gets fixed and becomes operational, we’re not just heading down a bunny trail for an hour or two one isolated summer afternoon; we keep at it, as long as the pay is right and as long as it remains our optimal direction of positive contribution to the organization. That’s many years at a time.

It’s frustrating talking to recruiters who tell us to filter the resume. They’d end up getting back a resume chock full of holes, then of course they’d complain about the holes. From skimming over the comments, I see it isn’t just me.

Thirteen an Hour for a Web Developer

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

…for an organization pushing for a minimum wage of twenty. Twenty for everybody.

There must be a special sense of job satisfaction, knowing your employer values your time 35% less than everybody else’s. Wonder if the guy who can’t spell “compensation” gets more than $13 an hour.

From Kate at Small Dead Animals. From her comments page:

But it takes skill to flip a hamburger. To develop a webpage, why, anyone could do it!

(sarcasm function disabled)

Canadian Infanticide Society

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

That’s a joke. Good parody, about a very unfunny thing, but in the end it’s completely obvious it’s a joke.

I mean, it is…right?

From Behind Their Walls, Liberals Tell Us Walls Don’t Work

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Ann Coulter:

There had never been a case of Ebola in the U.S. until a few months ago. Since then, thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa, and millions upon millions of dollars have been spent treating Ebola patients in the U.S. who acquired it there, one of whom has died.

But the Obama administration refuses to impose a travel ban.

This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement. But we can’t put a travel restriction on countries where a contagious disease is raging.

It’s becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed — by our government, not the United Nations — as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.

Dr. Tom FriedenMaybe we should give them the vote, too! If Ebola was concentrated in Finland and Norway — certainly Israel! — we’d have had a travel ban on Day One.

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, justifies Obama’s refusal to prohibit flights originating in Ebola-plagued countries, saying, “A travel ban is not the right answer. It’s simply not feasible to build a wall — virtual or real — around a community, city or country.”

What is it with liberals living in gated communities always telling us that fences don’t work? THAT’S WHAT A QUARANTINE IS.

There’s something peculiar going on here with the modern American left, and separating people. They take their sharpest and quickest departures off the plane of reality, when common sense says there is a partition in place, or if there isn’t one then there ought to be one. In these situations, they pretend all kinds of things even when they’re repeatedly reminded that pretending is all they’re doing.

Coulter continues:

At the congressional hearing on Ebola last week, Republicans repeatedly pressed the CDC representative, Dr. Toby Merlin, to explain why Obama refuses to impose a travel ban.

In about 17 tries, Merlin came up with no plausible answer. Like Frieden, Merlin kept insisting that “the only way to protect Americans” is to end the epidemic in Africa.

Why, precisely, must we attack Ebola in Africa? Research on a cure doesn’t require cuddling victims in their huts. Scientists who discovered the AIDS cocktail didn’t spend their nights at Studio 54 in order to “fight the disease at its source.”

Until there’s a treatment, we can’t put out the disease there, or here. The only thing Americans will be doing in Liberia is changing the bedpans of victims, getting infected and bringing Ebola back to America. When there’s a vaccine, we can mail it.

I am most impressed by the news-cycle around this Ebola thing. As recently as Tuesday morning, the experts looked almost competent. They even almost had me sucked in to the “I’m sure one way or another they’ve got it under control” thing. Hope can be a powerful hallucinogen, when there’s only one hope.

But what a downslide. By the time Emperor Obama appointed the Ebola Czar yesterday, the whole thing was a complete laughing stock already. Uh by the way, what’s that do? I mean even politically, what’s it do? Was there anyone, anywhere — outside of the nation’s capitol, I mean — clinging desperately to the hope that the government, in order to save us all, would invent a new piggy-at-the-public-trough position and give it to a party insider & lawyer? Frankly, it comes off as an apt illustration of Washington’s complete inability to solve problems, almost like parody.

The crisis won’t go away, so: Day 1, think about maybe interrupting golf game. Day 2, give a speech blaming Republicans. Day 3, in response to the simplest and most sensible solution, murmur a bunch of nonsensical homilies about why it’s completely out of the question. Day 4, invent a fancy title and give it to a lawyer. It doesn’t even matter what the problem is, that’s the Obama road map for all of it.

Had a lefty-leaning Facebook friend explain to me “dude someone has to do it… andidont care about your tea party”. My response to which was, simply:

Do what?

Never got an answer back on that. Hey, how do czars get paid, anyway?

PalinBack to the walls, though. Liberals do believe in them. The “ninety-nine percent” are in the right, and the one-percenters are wrong. But of course, if someone in Obama’s inner circle says something and someone outside the ring of power says the opposite, we need to go with the elitist position and that other guy should become more and more of a pariah, the longer it takes him to reverse course. Got that? Having power means you’re always right, having money means you’re always wrong. It takes nothing more to upset this apple cart, than to notice that power tends to follow money and money tends to follow power. They’ll reconcile that the way they reconcile everything else, by elevating theory above practice. Reality, sheesh, what does IT know, pffft. Stupid right-wing redneck reality. It probably agrees with Sarah Palin!

It has long puzzled me that the feudalism-libs never seem to get into any sort of conflict with the one-worlder libs. I really don’t know why that is; if I take all of what they say seriously, I have to expect them to start mixing it up like two cats in a bag. It’s just not happening. Why? The only explanation I have is that the two camps are advancing a common agenda, which is helped along sometimes with a people-sorted-into-shoe-bins viewpoint and at other times with a no-such-thing-as-borders viewpoint. It makes sense to presume they’re all being dishonest about their true goals, so many of them have been nailed on exactly this and so many times. But, others among them are not known for being dishonest, just misinformed and under-informed. And they all seem so passionate. But liberals don’t get into conflicts with other liberals about this. They get into conflicts with each other over whether “the time has come” for a woman or a black guy to be our next President. And identity politics, when you get right down to the heart of the matter, are really nothing more than yet another way of separating people. To win elections.

Could it be that the shoe-bin types are the ones who’ve thought through the consequences better, and the one-worlders simply haven’t gone through the exercise? I cannot fathom what it must be like, thinking in that crooked of a line. What if every little item you had within a vast and rich repository of factual information, was verified, and beyond doubt? It wouldn’t very much matter if you’re thinking like a loon, would it? I made this point before: You’d be much better off knowing nothing at all, or even relying on a trove of pure nonsense — as long as you can think like a sane person. How do those people get up and get dressed in the morning?

President of the United States Rides in Limo with Illegal Aliens, Brags About It

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

From Young Conservatives.

Because in a nation of laws, the first step to enforcing the law is to pretend legal things are illegal, and that illegal things are legal.

“She Paid For”

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Creative Minority Report, by way of Blogger Friend Rick:

She Paid ForSo far the debate has been whether or not the lesbian couple is racist. I will not address that issue because I believe there is something much larger at stake here. I want to instead highlight the legacy that decades of artificial reproductive technologies has left us: a society that sees children as products…

There follows a small sampling of comments defending the lawsuit by the Lesbians against the fertility clinic, that stands accused of having given them the wrong color baby.

Including, but not limited to, the following:

And my personal favorite:

If you order a cheese burger at the drive thru and you end up getting McNuggets,. That doesn’t mean that you hate chicken,it means you ordered a freaking cheese burger!

Structurally, these arguments all take a form of arguments based on sex-preference-neutrality: That the suit should go forward, not because we’re watching an “oppressed victim class” contest between alternate sexual preferences vs. alternate skin color, but because of basic rights enjoyed by all of us dealing with civil protections. It’s all about the contract, in other words.

It’s a dishonest argument, at least it probably is dishonest, because it’s difficult to envision those advancing it displaying the quality of consistency under a different scenario: Straights litigating over the same thing. If course, if they were to continue defending it if that were the case, then it wouldn’t be a gay issue. But common sense says that wouldn’t happen. Happily married, affluent, Romney-voting husband-and-wife, white as copier paper and entrenched deeply in the “one percent” — suing a fertility clinic because they got a black baby? They’d have all these defenders? I’m gonna stick my neck out, and opine that it’s a gay issue.

And if I’m right, then this is not just anti-people but anti-freedom. We’re not enjoying genuine “freedom” unless it applies to everyone; we don’t “take turns,” class by oppressed class, enjoying some time in the limelight as the fashion-wheel slowly turns, “fighting for,” or being “given,” our freedoms. Year by year, we all have them. It’s “actually pretty boring,” as I pointed out in Thing I Know #196.

Also you can put me down as concerned over this other matter, about people being turned into things. As I wrote over six years ago,

And so “comfort” has evolved to a state of being like some model…not achieving something, but resembling something. Being, not doing. Because if people accept you as a peer, you won’t be left to starve no matter what — but if they don’t, then who knows? More guarantees in life are always good. And so we try to be like everybody else.

And this leads to…other problems…
:
Look what we have going on here: The baby itself…is not enough. The baby is incomplete without a bauble coming with it. But is the baby not an representative agent of all of humanity? And so humanity is now reduced to an incomplete thing. Humans are just bagel without the spread, car without the air conditioning, house without swimming pool. We’re incomplete by nature. How can it possibly be suggested otherwise? That’s exactly what our babies are, now…to their very own mothers.

And it’s worth mentioning one more time — this is a severe injury dealt to what, now, is supposed to be our primary achievement. We are failing to be, and to be is supposed to be our primary mission — doing is a trivial matter. You’re hired into a job, you are hired to be and not to do. If you’re fired, you’re fired for your failure to be and not to do. If not — when you get another executive in charge of the company, if you open your company’s web site and read his biography, you’ll probably read a great deal about what he is…not so much anymore about what he has done.

Regrettably, I’ve not been given much reason to change my viewpoint in the years since I wrote that. In fact, in all that time I haven’t heard too much under a broad communication enclave about people doing, really, much of anything at all. I hear about the action-verbs locally: Morgan fixed the fence, the cable company sent us a refund, my wife painted the downstairs bathroom, house alarm people changed our console password, Internet guy installed a new router, the sprinkler guy failed to show up again, etc. But move away from the locality, look at it from a higher level, and no one seems to actually do much of anything anymore; they don’t engage efforts that directly change states of objects. The closest they come to that, has to do with getting someone else’s hands dirty. They run for office, they litigate, they organize communities, they give a lot of speeches. They spread awareness. They “do” things that have to do with changing the opinions inside the skulls of other people, total strangers. That, and introducing some change to the money inside those strangers’ purses and billfolds. Oh, and they choose. I hear a lot of noise about people choosing things, the point of which seems to be to remind me that it’s nobody’s business; which is odd, given that I usually had never asked, nor heard of anyone else asking, and this is one of the very few things I hear about people actually doing anymore.

Hey, anybody making any noise about what that little girl is going to do with her life? We’ve all sure heard a lot about her skin color. But that’s being, not doing.

ObjectifiedSo, yeah. After umptyfratz-many-years of listening to feminists complain about “women/girls being objectified,” we find out — very late, perhaps far too late — this was a thing after all, but not a woman/girl thing by any means. And appreciating the sight of a nice-looking stripper, or female teevee show character, was not the problem. The problem boils down to, as real problems often do boil down to, one of too much sitting-around and not enough achievement. We’ve become just like spoiled teenagers coming up with excuses for not taking out the garbage.

Here, I’ll prove it. Are we going back to the moon sometime soon? Why or why not? Oh yeah…bigger fish to fry. Not enough time and resources given ALL that other stuff we’re doing. What’s that, exactly? Muslim outreach and so forth.

It’s just like garbage-duty. You hear these excuses about not enough time; the truth is, if the achievement were to happen, it would start with someone doing something that isn’t much fun. And they don’t want to do it.

I cite the moon thing only because it is unique in its contrast against the backdrop of history; humanity is actually retreating, throughout several generations and with no turnaround in sight, from a frontier. It is having a discouraging effect on us all, because it is discouraging by nature. It should be. We weren’t built to be treated the way we’ve been treating ourselves.

Things will get much better as soon as we treat each other like human beings.

States With Immature Men

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Estately, via Captain Capitalism.

A recent Pew Research report that shows the continued decline of marriage rates has opened a debate about the decline in men who are worthy of marrying. Why are men increasingly undesirable? Experts point to a high unemployment rate among men, lower college enrollment, and an increase in the number of adult males living at home with their parents (20 percent of men ages 25-31 live at home, while just 12% of women do).

However, it’s also possible this is the result of the growing number of men basking in a prolonged state of adolescent immaturity? Could it be that people are simply not interested in cohabitating with men do little more than drink with their buddies, play video games, and watch porn? If this is the case, where are these types of guys most plentiful and where are they least common? Estately set out to determine which states have a higher percentage of adult males still sleeping between their childhood Star Wars sheets by using these (typically male) immaturity measurements…

1. No Job (unemployment rate for each state)
2. Fantasy Football Enthusiasm (expressed interest for fantasy football by male Facebook users ages 25-65 in each state)
3. Beer Pong Enthusiasm (expressed interest for beer pong by male Facebook users ages 25-65 in each state)
4. Video Game Enthusiasm (expressed interest for video games by male Facebook users ages 25-65 in each state)
5. Enthusiasm for watching The Family Guy (expressed interest for The Family Guy by male Facebook users ages 25-65 in each state)
6. Porn Viewership (number of porn downloads per capita in each state)

In the end we discovered the country’s most immature men are congregated in the Midwest, Great Lakes, Southwest, and Appalachia. The most mature were in the Northwest, Mountain West, and South.

Well, I’m flattered (Washington State: #48) but, at the same time, skeptical (California: #40; New York: #35; Ohio: #5). All states watch more porn than California? The questions that are asked, don’t seem useful to me. And I notice the states that achieved a certain spectacular spectrum-endpoint position in response to one question, generally, seem to have achieved a similar position in response to all the others. I think they managed to put together some meticulous and reliable research showing which states are inhabited by males who are good at lying to pollsters.

There is, of course, yet another way to read it. From the comments:

These men aren’t immature, they are simply responding to incentives, like any rational human does. And there is little incentive to get married to high-confidence, high-maintenance, high-weight, high-price, low-femininity, “empowered” American woman.

And…

Looks like a good map for finding states with sane family courts.

Just look at the bottom of the list.

And…

Part of it is women becoming overwhelmingly unattractive. Where are the feminine, classy women? Nowhere to be seen. Where are the slutty, brassy women? Puking in the gutters every Thursday through Saturday night.

I agree that had the survey actually achieved what it was trying to do, we might be able to draw those complementary assumptions. To say that that is what happened here, though, is to say that California must have sane family courts. I haven’t heard anyone who’s been through those courts, say any such thing, except for some militant-feminists maybe. But somehow I don’t think that’s what the commenter had in mind.

Looks like a first-cut prototype of something that might prove to be useful, if it’s allowed to evolve throughout some more stages. The “Beer Pong” question, I think, is just dumb. Not sure I even know what that is. And, I know of quite a few hard-working, responsibilities-embracing manly-men who enjoy Family Guy. Not here, of course. But that’s because we worked our way through all the episodes on Netflix.

I think the next cut, what they need to do is ask questions about the characteristics of men and women; then, plot the response, or some mathematically-achieved numeric score representing them, on a scatter diagram. This would verify that some correlation has been defined between how women behave, and how men behave. It would be an indicator that the right questions are being asked.

The puking in gutters Thursday through Saturday night: That should stay in. Also, ask the ladies about their role models. Why not? It would provide clear, crisp definition, and it wouldn’t even be hard. We seem to be living in a time in which people can’t wait to talk about this stuff. Taylor Swift? Paris Hilton? Michelle O or Hillary? Lindsay Lohan?

Sensible Dress on ZooeyFashion. Here’s a pic of Zooey Deschanel wearing something very sensible. Could the lady taking the survey see herself in the same item? Or would she rather go for the standby of no-makeup, hair-in-a-bun, ratty tee shirt, and workout pants that haven’t seen a workout. Or maybe something that nice, but with a hefty serving of slut-culture thrown in? With some male sucker paying for it, as long as the price-tag is really high? With twelve-inch spiked fuck-me heels to make Paris Hilton proud?

Females, I perceive, are currently divided on such questions; and, I further perceive, the fellas are modifying their behavior to match the mods in the female behavior.

Questions for the guys: Ask not quite so much about clothes, ask more about abilities. The survey, after all, is supposed to be about male maturity, and male wherewithal. Can you change oil. Tie knots. Build furniture. Cut grass. Drive a moving van. Rent a moving van. Build a suite of software regression tests. And, how do you react if your girlfriend said you remind her of the famous actor, [blank]. John Wayne. Clark Gable. Leonardo DiCaprio. Gary Cooper. Hugh Grant. Clint Eastwood. Tyrone Power. Russell Brand. Errol Flynn.

Justin Bieber.

Hypothesis: The questions are going to be very important in determining the answers; even a slight modification in the former will result in an exponentially pronounced change in the latter. It may therefore seem like a contaminating and therefore unscientific exercise to meddle with these questions, especially when the changes are based on the answers in the previous go-round. But, as I hypothesize some more, eventually you would make a discovery — eventually you would discover a break, a fissure, a diagonal line on the scatter diagram, that is cleaner and more pronounced than randomness would offer.

I think you’d find such a break originating in the female half, and propagating, by way of the males’ desire to earn female approval, to the male half. You’d discover there are some capable ladies, not adequately represented by the cultural buzz because they do not often participate in it, who simply take care of things themselves if they can’t find a man to do it. But, being capable ladies, they eventually do find a man who can do stuff. Then, you have the incapables, the gutter-pukes. They think the way to get anything done, all begins with “Step 1. Find a man who will do it.” They provide the commercial impetus behind sick teevee spots like this one:

They also provide all the complaining and caterwauling that inspired the survey in the first place: They cannot find a man who is able, and willing, to do these things for them. Being incapable, they do not adapt to the situation, they keep doing what they did before: Wear ratty tee shirts and unused workout pants all week, then come Thursday-Friday-Saturday put on something slutty with twelve-inch fuck-me spike shoes, get drunk, and puke in gutters. The results don’t improve, so they do a lot of bitching while the stuff they want done doesn’t get done.

Then, someone eventually listens and takes a survey.

Plot it on a scatter diagram with how sane or insane the family courts are. I’d be interested to see those results. But, not entirely undecided on what they would be.

Update: This just seems to fit in with the rest of it, rather well. Yay, Tony S.

The Bigger the Rock, the Shorter the Marriage

Friday, October 10th, 2014

That’s what researchers found after they crunched the data.

“‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration,” a new study from Andrew M. Francis and Hugo M. Mialon, isn’t just one of the first looks at how wedding spending correlates with marriage duration — it’s also an indictment of the persuasive powers of the wedding industry.

The pair surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults who had once been married to a member of the opposite sex and discovered you should…

Alright, and from then on the article reads like a tome put together for the benefit of people who like to be told what to do. Not much about how the data was crunched, how it might be misinterpreted, how the researchers might have had an ulterior motive for formulating the study.

Not that I need it (you can get it here anyway). My personal experience supports the thesis. Which made it a bit awkward when I learned about this, by way of a Facebook FOAF I don’t know myself, who put up a post making use of the militant-feminist cadence of “Oh how much I hate this thing, come gather around and help me hate it.” Does that mean the FOAF is a mil-fem? Probably not; knowing what I do know about our mutual friend, I count that as unlikely, albeit possible. But regardless, I don’t think my participation was any more welcome in that circle, than it is in a typical mil-fem round-table.

Huge RingThe point I had arrived to contribute is about the “lurking variable.” Big rings do not directly cause divorces; they do not even impose a debt on the household, which is then crushed under it, resulting in a divorce. Perhaps the story actually is that simple, here & there, but it takes a lot more than five grand to cause the kind of financial stress that results in a divorce. It’s the mindset that is the problem. They call this “champagne taste on a beer budget,” and unfortunately, that phrase is used more commonly in planning the wedding than it’s used afterward, when it starts to cause the real damage.

I eventually bowed out. It didn’t result in the horseshoe-arrangement of “everyone against Morgan” this time, but it was mostly women who, in sum, didn’t manage to accumulate too much curiosity about the male point of view — and outside of that, I had nothing to contribute. It was just a hen-fest full of hens interested in the hen-fest and nothing else. And, the hen-fest was pockmarked silly with comments that could best be summarized as: “This is the way it worked in my particular case, so logically that can only mean that’s the way it works for everybody else.” That may have been the second-most popular type of comment, giving way to the unquestioned champion which was: “Naff off, it’s none of your goddamn business how much ‘our’ rings cost ‘us’.”

Which leads me to my observation: Over on Planet Woman, “How big is your engagement/wedding ring” seems to draw exactly the same response as “How much do you make” inspires over here, on Planet Man. Hmmmm…fuck off.

In both cases though, it’s a selective fuck-off. In both cases, we want to know where the inquiring party is going with this. This is easily proven: If the size of the ring is nobody’s business and they need to just go stick it, then why have a big one? If the narrative is different, the fuck-off falls away. Ooh, you’re getting married? How much does he care? SHOW ME THAT RING! That changes everything. It’s still none of your business, but she’ll show the ring — holy smokes, you’d better get out of the way as she shows the ring. No “none of your business” here. Just as, if you’re crafting a narrative that a man must be very hard-working and have good judgment and know how to delegate…so how much does he make again? He’ll probably tell you. You get told to MYOB when the narrative you’re crafting is “I want to make sure you’re giving enough back.” There, too, all of a sudden it’s none of your business; even though, on the same question in a different context, you’re perfectly welcome to ask, and to know.

In spite of the popular fuck-off, women must be consciously aware that something else has to be sacrificed to make the ring big. The first Mrs. Freeberg certainly was aware. She was very keenly tuned in to how much it cost. Not that it cost that much, unless you compare it to how much I made at the time. But that’s what really mattered. She correlated it, kinda like the tax-man. And that example is unimportant, next to what it represents: There are a lot of prospective brides doing the same thing. How much does he make, and how much does the ring cost compared to what he makes.

I couldn’t make a marriage last under such a mindset. Or, rather, I “didn’t”; it wasn’t too long before I lost interest, and I doubt a higher level of interest would have changed the outcome.

The mindset at work has to do with the making of a household. The question that is being asked is “How much is he spending,” meaning, “By how much is he diminishing himself to give me this ring”; but the pragmatic ramifications of it are, “By how much is my household diminishing itself so I can have this ring.” The comment that would be truly unwelcome in the hen-fest, although it is probably closer to the truth than anything else said, is that this is really all about self-destructive behavior. The women, wisely, whether or not they know what they want, know exactly what it is they seek to avoid: A man who does not care. They seek to avoid apathy.

As I learned all those years ago, if there is anything a prospective groom needs to avoid in a chosen bride, with equal consciousness and zeal, it is: Self-destructive behavior.

So, yeah. Smaller, less expensive rings. It is no guarantee of a long and happy marriage, just as a more gaudy bauble is a guarantee of a shorter or more tumultuous one. But, the correlation is there. And the reason for the correlation, is there.

“Death of a Mindless Slogan”

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Arnold Ahlert, writing in FrontPage Magazine, by way of EBD at Small Dead Animals:

If oil were a major factor for prosecuting war in Iraq, it stands to reason the United States would be getting substantial amounts of it. It may come as a shock to Greenwald as well as a number of other Americans, but with regard to importing oil, the overwhelming percentage of our imported oil does not come from the Middle East. Canada and Latin America provide the United States with 34.7 percent of our imported oil. Africa provides another 10.3 percent. The entire Persian Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia at 8.1 percent, provides us with a total of 12.9 percent of our imported oil.

As recently as December 2012, Iraq provided the United States with approximately 14.3 million barrels of oil out of a total of about 298 million barrels imported, or 4.8 percent of our total imports. And as this chart indicates, we were importing the highest amount of oil from Iraq before we went to war to oust Saddam Hussein.
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As for oil, if getting it was one of the primary reasons we liberated Iraq, subsequent developments have demonstrated that effort was a colossal failure. What we did get is something too many Americans conveniently forget: in the twelve years we’ve aggressively pursued terror, nothing remotely approaching a repeat of 9/11 has happened here. That so many Americans have forgotten the genuine context that precipitated war in both Afghanistan and Iraq is staggering.

Maybe the slogan is not really dying.

Because yes, it is staggering how much forgetting has been done, and by how many Americans, about the old Iraq. What we’re seeing here is a revolution in the strategies, tactics and methodologies for whipping up passion among a vast multitude, fooling large numbers of people into thinking centralized ideas were actually theirs, that they share an interest with the ones who really did come up with the ideas. Look at what has happened to gay marriage in such a short time, for example. A revolution exploding so quickly in transportation would look something like: Year N, we figure out how to float chunks of wood on water, with people on them; Year N+3, a successful moonshot. In medicine, it would look like: Monday, we build something called a “microscope” and use it to look at tiny things; by that Friday we cure Cancer. In computer science, it would be: transistor invented at 7:30 in the morning, by the evening-news hour we have iTunes. Like that.

It is worrisome that someone, somewhere — we are not entirely sure of who, although they’re probably democrats — has learned so much in so short a time about how to fool stranger-idiots into thinking they had ideas, and then learned how to say all the right things to externally inflame their passions. The ugliness, craziness and injustice that is inherent to all wars, helps a bit I suppose. But it doesn’t put the rest of us in a good light, that this is where the innovation goes, that this is where “we” have made the greatest strides in the quickest time.

Ben Affleck Destroyed Liberalism

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Or, dealt it a serious blow, anyway; by advocating it, trying to defend it, and getting his ass handed to him on Bill Maher’s show.

Sam Harris writes:

I admit that I was a little thrown by Affleck’s animosity. I don’t know where it came from, because we hadn’t met before I joined the panel. And it was clear from our conversation after the show that he is totally unfamiliar with my work. I suspect that among his handlers there is a fan of Glenn Greenwald who prepared him for his appearance by simply telling him that I am a racist and a warmonger.

Whatever the reason, if you watch the full video of our exchange, you will see that Affleck was gunning for me from the start. What many viewers probably don’t realize is that the mid-show interview is supposed be a protected five-to-seven-minute conversation between Maher and the new guest—and all the panelists know this. To ignore this structure and encroach on this space is a little rude; to jump in with criticism, as Affleck did, is pretty hostile. He tried to land his first blow a mere 90 seconds after I took my seat, before the topic of Islam even came up.

See, part of this thing we today call “liberalism” is a belief that there are these bad thoughts out there that we have to eradicate, completely, like a disease. There’s not much distinction made there between the bad thoughts and the people who think them. That’s just political correctness, and we’ve had plenty enough time to become acclimated to it and see it for what it is. (As Steve Sailer said, it’s a “war on noticing.”)

Multiculturalism is the next higher gear in the acceleration. It labors under an inherent contradiction, namely that all cultures are equally valuable and yet certain cultures must be targeted while others are protected. We can noodle this out a bit further, but any more than that and we’re departing the narrow orbit of the Affleck satellite. As Rich Lowry explains it:

Affleck simply couldn’t handle the truth. He kept on insisting it is just a few bad apples who think this way. At one point, he tried to wave Maher and Harris off with a condemnation of the Iraq War, positing an implicit moral equivalence between an overly idealistic war of liberation and the stoning of apostates.

Affleck obviously isn’t a public official or a public intellectual. But he represents a dominant tendency within liberalism. Imagine a State Department staffed by less-glamorous Ben Afflecks. Imagine a president of the United States who shares his instincts. This is the Obama administration. It’s why, in part, it has always been so reluctant to speak of Islamic terrorism and extremism. It’s why the president says the Islamic State is not Islamic.

The nation is truly in peril if Bill Maher, of all people, is more clear-eyed than those running our government.

If recognizing truth relies on seeing things for what they really are, recognizing truth when dealing with people must begin with seeing what those people do. This is why P.C. is so dangerous. We have people who talk of these lone wolf terrorists, exhorting the rest of us not to read too much in and start showing ugly biases against Islam and so forth, some even going so far as to stage phony hate crimes. But what they really mean is: The actual terrorist attack didn’t happen. I mean, shucks, yeah it did of course, it just doesn’t mean anything. It should have no bearing on any decision made, no consequence. Kind of a “you didn’t build that” thing.

They don’t mean you should pretend that what happened, didn’t happen — but they’d be pleased as punch if you did pretend that. Get it yet? They’re so busy telling us what to think and what to do, that they’re effectively manufacturing their own reality. That’s the real problem with these less-glamorous Afflecks, and it seems we have quite a few of them walking among us.

So it’s good that the Number One Affleck give us such a clear perspective on how it all works, and let us see how poorly it comes off when presented with hard facts.

She Thought it Was a Softball Question

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Yes or no?

Independent Journal Review.

I find the second half of the video more entertaining than the first. It seems there’s no softball soft enough, when you’re asking a proggy to evaluate the results of something (unless it’s a policy or administration he opposed).

“An Astoundingly Idea-Free Presidency”

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

John Podheretz writing in the NY Post, by way of Instapundit:

Just before Labor Day, controversy erupted over President Obama’s garb at a presidential press conference — should he or should he not have worn a light tan summer suit when talking about ISIS? That was beside the point.

The issue isn’t the weight or color of his suit. The issue is that the suit is empty.

With almost six years of the Obama administration under our collective belts, the time has come to acknowledge a painful truth: This is an astoundingly idea-free presidency.

At that press conference, Obama stunned the world by saying, out loud and openly, that “we don’t have a strategy yet” on how to deal with ISIS. No president before him had ever said such a thing out loud, and for good reason: Having a strategy is the president’s job.
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This inconstancy is the result of the administration’s elevation of cool and calm above all other qualities — leadership qualities like urgency, firmness, focus and determination.

The hard truth is that the Harvard Law Review editor and University of Chicago professor with two bestselling books to his name can’t formulate a policy to save his life, can’t oversee the implementation of the policies his administration has put in place and can’t adapt or rejigger them in a convincing way to take account of changing conditions.
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We can all name the ideas of presidencies, from the New Deal to Reaganomics to the Bush Doctrine. Obama’s self-described strategy for world affairs is “don’t do stupid s – – -.”

His economic strategy is “print money.” These aren’t ideas. They aren’t even ideology. They’re voting “present.”

What matters most to this administration is surface. It’s why Obama made such a spectacular subject for a “HOPE” poster and why his choice of suit provoked so much discussion. As a two-dimensional object, he’s endlessly fascinating. Add the third dimension and he’s lost.

I have some dread for the day President Obama is out office. As much time as He spends golfing, I can’t see Him as the type of ex-President who keeps His mouth shut. Even now, every time Obama gets the feeling He’s starting to become irrelevant, that means the rest of us have to listen to yet another greatest-in-human-history speech. Once He’s out, He’s going to be feeling like that all the time. Uff da…

Biden Adds Three Zeroes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Math is hard when you’re a lib.

Who is this Joe Biden character, anyway?

Some people do happen to know Joe Biden is our Vice President. Some people are even big fans of his, or at least, would like others to be…whether or not they have a livelihood that depends on that in some way. But if you asked even them “What is remarkable and extraordinary about Joe Biden?” you’d get the same befuddled nonsense answers.

Which really says something. There are ways to work longer at, uh…public service, let us charitably call it, than Joe Biden has. But not many. He’s a pimple on the ass of Washington that’s been there since its adolescence and has never been lanced. Leaping in front of cameras the entire time, and yet, so few recognize who he is.

To coin a phrase, that’s a storybook, man. A big fucking deal.

The Jenneke Essay

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Matt Forney, Why Men Love Michelle Jenneke

Jenneke’s not that hot: she’s cute yes, but not stunning. Her “sexy” dancing is barely PG rated. In a world where videos of superhot, plastic-titted bimbos getting triple-fisted while gagging on horse cocks are just a click away, why would men rather watch an Australian 7 jumping up and down while fully clothed…
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Her youthful beauty, her exuberance, her aura: these aren’t things that can be faked. Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution have honed men’s tastes for sweet, submissive, complimentary women.
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I’m going to keep harping on it until I’m blue in the face, but what most women think is confidence is actually cuntiness. The standoffish, arrogant attitude common to “strong” and “independent” women is a pose they adopt to hide their insecurities…Michelle Jenneke, in contrast, looks at ease in her own skin…She smiles like a normal person, radiating joy and happiness.
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Before feminism, just about every woman was Michelle Jenneke, or at least aspired to be.

“What most women think is confidence is actually cuntiness,” that one’s just too true for words. Every man who’s done some amount of dating, or just gone to public school, knows about this. In fact I’d say maybe there’s even a bit more going on: What most people think is comedy, from a female, is actually cuntiness.

A lot of women aren’t mean shrikes, but unfortunately, have never been taught how to behave like a lady.

What a lot of people seem to miss about this — aside from the fact that Ms. Jenneke, as an added bonus, can run fast and win races — is the simplicity of it. She isn’t actually rejecting hardcore militant ball-busting feminism, she’s just leaving it untouched. Whether she’s worldly and wise, or childish and naive, likewise is just not part of the picture because these things are not within scope of the effort. She’s not a world-champion beauty queen. Among the young and athletic, she barely registers above-average. Yet you hear things associated with her like “sexiest hurdler alive,” and it actually does fit well. Now how come that is?

The thing to be observed is not within her, it’s within us. Someone just getting out there and doing something, leaving the obligatory nastiness behind because she doesn’t have time for it. She’s just about the athletic pursuits, and having a blast while she goes about them.

People doing things they’re good at doing, and having fun. We’re supposed to have been obsessed with that, for years and years now, but oddly it makes an impression on us when we actually see it. It’s an impression that can only be made by the unfamiliar.

“Their Hate for Her Just Eats Away at Them”

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

A pattern.

Hey, it’s their show — they can say whatever they want. But it is ridiculous how much they focus on somebody that they insinuate shouldn’t be taken seriously…

She left politics like, what, five years ago? And “We still hate her” is a weekly thing, even now?

PalinJust amazing.

It’s a bigger thing than The View, or Sarah Palin. We have quite a few people walking around among us nowadays, as free to live, work and vote as you and me, who are quick to identify problems but altogether lacking in cognitive thought when it comes to recognizing what a solution looks like. They seem to confuse “solution” with “consensus”; if we “all” agree on something, that’s as good as solving the problem, nevermind if the consensus has something to do with the stated problem.

The consensus, in fact, can be as disconnected from the problem as all-agreeing-to-hate-so-and-so. From there, they go literally years waking up each morning to find the problem the same as it was before, in fact, deteriorated. And their solution to that is to go back to the hatey-hate thing. I just don’t entirely understand it, although I suspect it starts with not seeing themselves as possessing any influence — the deteriorating conditions have to be someone else’s fault, maybe the fault of the object of their hatey-hate.

I guess.

But that doesn’t explain the adrenaline rush. It’s more than a buzz, there’s a sense of moral imperative about it. They behave as if some problem is going unsolved if they fail to indulge. So they must have some sense, at least, of ownership. They certainly have the sense of urgency.

Fewer Men Are Working, and Marriage is Dying

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Dalrock:

Conventional wisdom is that the decline in men’s labor force participation and the weakening of marriage as an institution are linked, but only in one direction. The standard narrative is that as men have (for whatever reason) worked less, marriage has been weakened because men are no longer filling the role of breadwinner. There is certainly some logic here, and this must be a least part of the explanation. However, in asserting that the connection works in only one direction the standard narrative requires a series of incredible assumptions.

The first assumption conventional wisdom requires is that a marriage based culture doesn’t create powerful incentives for married men to work hard and maximize their earnings. Denying the incentive marriage provides to men to work harder has left a cottage industry of sociologists and economists scratching their heads trying to figure out why marriage makes men more productive and doesn’t do the same for women. This incentive is denied despite the fact that we implicitly recognize that it is a powerful motivating force in other contexts. Every family court judge in the land knows that marriage creates strong incentives for men to work harder, which is why courts feel the need to assign income quotas (imputed income) to divorced men in order to keep them working as hard after the divorce as they did while married.

The second assumption is that the desire to marry in a marriage based culture doesn’t create an incentive for young men to work hard to signal breadwinner capability or at least breadwinner potential. To believe this, one would have to assume that young men aren’t aware that women place a high value on a man’s employment and earnings status when selecting a prospective husband. This is absurd. The reality is that sex is a powerful motivator for men (young and old); just ask any marketer.

The third assumption is that feminism and the sexual revolution never happened, or at least that they didn’t fundamentally change marriage patterns. Under this assumption, the only reason women are delaying or forgoing marriage is because women simply can’t find men with jobs. Yet we know this isn’t true. Feminists have completed a long and wildly successful march through all of our institutions, and young women are quite open about their plans to maximize their period of casual sex and only marry once they start to see their window of fertility close. The reality is that women are delaying marriage not because marriagable men are scarce, but because they perceive them as so abundant they don’t feel the need to hurry and lock one down.
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No matter how you view it, we are paying a huge price for our decision to move from a marriage based family structure to a child support family model. Moreover, this price is going to continue to increase as the inertia left over from the former model fades away.

By way of Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.

From the earlier post linked above:

Through a combination of legal and social “reforms”, the US now has what appears on the surface to be a dual family structure but is in legal reality a single family structure organized around the concept of child support. Where in the past a woman needed to secure a formal promise from a man in the form of marriage before she could expect him to support her and the children she bore, in this new structure the law declares that any man she has children by are bound to support her and her children whether she marries or not, and whether or not she honors her own marriage vows.

While men were motivated under the old family structure, they absolutely detest the new child support system of family formation. Under the old system a man who married before fathering children could reasonably expect access to his children and the opportunity to direct their upbringing (in concert with his wife). Under the new system the children are de facto considered the property of the mother, whom the state compels him to pay so she can direct their upbringing generally as she sees fit. Since the new system has removed the incentive for men to work hard to provide for their families, it has to rely instead on threats of imprisonment to coerce men into earning “enough” income. Where men used to take pride in the birth of their children and celebrate with cigars, large numbers of men now fear fatherhood more than anything.

Progressives have done the same thing with fatherhood that they’ve done with charity: Taken the spirit out of it, made it into a system of obligatory payments to some agent that may or may not have the trust of the person making the payments; but, they’re obligatory so what does it matter.

In both cases, it matters because if the sense of trust is no longer there, there may very well be a reason. Are our nation’s taxes really in concert with the goals of someone who wants to help the poor? Is child support really in concert with the goals of a father who wants to be a good one? The people pushing the hardest for higher taxes and more child support, don’t know, and don’t care to learn; but, they still get to brag about helping the poor, and the children, by obligating someone else’s money.

The problem is in there, somewhere, I think. We’ve allowed our entire culture to be reformed by people who really don’t give a fig about what it takes to make it strong, and keep going.

Inequality Explained

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

John C. Goodman, writing at Townhall.com, with a thing that makes you go “Hmmmm”…

As I have written before, although the left seems obsessed by the existence of inequality, the most interesting analyses of the phenomenon are on the right. For the most part, all the left does is deplore.

There are other interesting things in the more recent column, such as examples to be offered to support the conclusion. But I’m interested in the “how” and “why,” so I click on the earlier article and find:

If I were to reduce to a bumper sticker the way the left thinks about the world these days, it would read:

Inequality happens

If I were to reduce to a bumper sticker the way the right thinks about the same subject, it would read:

Inequality happens for a reason

This is not a small distinction. For President Obama, inequality is the public policy issue du jour. And like lemmings, left wing editorial writers and bloggers can think of nothing else to write about. But here is something that may surprise you. The most interesting analyses of the problem are on the right, not the left. For the most part, all the left does is deplore. They seem to have no interest in understanding why we have a problem. (I have a theory on that below.)

Below, we find:

…[F]or know-nothings on the left there has always been the belief that the reason there is poverty is because there is wealth. That the high income earned by some is the cause of the low income earned by others. I’ve never seen Krugman say that. He’s too good of an economist to go that far.

But his columns give aid and comfort to people who harbor those beliefs. A Krugman column the other day entitled “The Undeserving Rich” had not one word to say about how a single billionaire had undeserved income. It made not a single connection between one person’s wealth and another person’s poverty. But it would be easy for an uncareful reader (especially a non-economist) to finish the column with the impression that there is a connection.

If your goal is class warfare — to inflame the passions of those who have less by making them angry at those who have more — writing about the behavioral causes of poverty does not advance your cause.

Who wants class warfare?

Obviously, democrats want it; the motivation for people to vote for them is dissipated, if feelings of jealousy are not dominant. But I’ve had my own theory that arouses more conflict than even that. Think about how much a newspaper costs in a city with crime, blight, corruption, dysfunction, employment problems, poverty, an education crisis, etc. Now think about how much a newspaper costs in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry USA.

We want news — need news — when there is a feeling that things are out of control, and we have to watch our backs. If everything is humming along, and the protection is good enough with Barney Fife roaming the quiet streets with his one bullet, well…newspapers are for auto trading and not much else. So say whatever else you want about this thing called “journalism,” but they have a vested interest.

Part of what’s gotten all screwy over the past couple generations is that they have consciously woken up to this. And so they have an unholy alliance with democrats now: They’ve figured out how to program us, and the programming now has to be all about this concern over “inequality.” And yet those who make the most noise about it, refuse to discuss cause and effect, in fact silence and shame others when they ask too many “HowCumThatIz” types of questions.

But we don’t need to be worried about inequality. What we need to worry about is lost and wasted human potential, which is a slightly but meaningfully different thing.

Happy Birthday ObamaCare Website

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

It’s the most brilliant illustration of the left wing’s disconnection from reality, and bureaucratic incompetence, in this generation, and it’s closing out its first year. How is it doing?

Both HHS and the Government Accountability Office have published reports confirming that the site continues to suffer from major security flaws and vulnerabilities that could give hackers access to private health data or even let them take control of the system. This problem persists a full year after healthcare.gov was launched, and after hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent fixing it.

Even if users’ data is not stolen, the system’s structural problems will prove annoying. For example, the system is set to auto-renew current customers who do nothing. But in an incredible oversight, it was not set up to recalculate Obamacare’s premium subsidies for the new coverage year unless an enrollee logs in and re-applies.
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These might seem like minor annoyances compared to the price increases and forced cancellations (more of which are coming) that already have Americans so upset over Obamacare. But the fact that such problems persist a year later demonstrates how little thought went into this system.

Thanks to the government’s priority of keeping up appearances, healthcare.gov will probably not be impossible to use on the front-end this year, but the back-end remains a mess of shoestrings and band-aids, which means security threats and hassles for consumers will continue.