Archive for September, 2016

“It Was a Rare Example of a ‘Fact Check’ That Simply Checked a Fact”

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Debates, debates, debates…

Master Debaters

How’s this for obvious: Your reaction to the debate says a lot more about you and your priorities than it does about the debate…
The best thing about debates, in my opinion, is how they’re by liberals, for liberals, so you can conduct some psychological research on the fly…
Just as in generic extruded fantasy product novels, the humble dorky awkward farmboy is always the Savior of the Universe, so the Gamma / Liberal is the real hero of whatever situation he’s in, because he has some secret untapped power. The difference between GEFP and real life, of course, is that in real life the liberal believes he has found and activated his secret untapped power: Words!

Observe liberals for any length of time — particularly on the internet — and you can’t help but conclude that they really think they’re winning by being snarky and dismissive. They act as if coming up with a really great comeback 20 minutes after getting stuffed into a locker by the quarterback is the same thing as — no, better than! — beating him up in the parking lot.
Part of this was W. specifically — they’d cling to their precious “he’s the dumbest idiot evar!” narrative even if he trounced Einstein in a calculus contest — but a lot of it is their own insecurities. Which leads them to vastly overrate the importance of specifics, details, and especially “debate” performances.

Figuring out these liberals is just like fighting the Hydra: Resolve a single unanswered question by lopping off a head, two more questions/heads grow back on the stump, and immediately. Hillary is supposedly the better choice, even though her policies are wretched and the results of her meddling, wherever she’s been allowed to meddle, are even worse — because of The Power Of Words. Good ol’ style-over-substance, from the nineties when her husband was boss. She’s the better leader because she’s got the spiffy comeback.

How come it is, then, that she needs help from the “fact checkers”?

“Fact checking” doesn’t pretend to be straight news exactly, but something more authoritative. The conceit of the “fact checker” is that he has some sort of heightened level of objectivity qualifying him to render verdicts in matters of public controversy.

Lately the “fact checkers” have been waging a campaign to portray Donald Trump as a contemporaneous supporter of the Iraq war, contrary to his assertions that he was an opponent. In Monday’s debate, Hillary Clinton pleaded for their help: “I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard. Donald supported the invasion of Iraq.” Moderator Lester Holt obliged, basing a question to Trump on the premise that the matter was settled: “You supported the war in Iraq before the invasion.”

So, it isn’t clear to me that Hillary is winning any sort of war-of-words here; certainly, not that she’s capable of doing so on her own. Nor is it clear to me that the “fact checkers” are actually checking facts. This looks to me more like opinion-checking. As in, I am to think of Donald Trump as a supporter of the invasion of Iraq. Hmmm. Guess I’m outside of the intended audience, once again, since I can recall with clarity what happened. Seems like last Tuesday or thereabouts. I wonder, is this what it’s like to grow old?

But, sometimes fact checkers act like real fact-checkers. It happens occasionally. The WSJ article linked above, brings the example of Donald Trump blatantly misrepresenting one of his prior statements, noted by “I didn’t say lie. I said he may have lied. I don’t know.” That was balderdash:

You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction; there were none. And they knew there were none.

Which reflects well, and much more uniquely than it should, on FactCheck. WSJ hits the nail on the head when it remarks: “It was a rare example of a ‘fact check’ that simply checked a fact.”

Regarding who won, Severian concludes in his write-up,

We’ll see. If poll numbers drift Hillary-ward in the next week, she won. But I bet they continue their Trumpward momentum with hardly a pause.

Well…that has yet to be seen. Starting to look like Hillary did win. Guess the “fact checkers” managed to help her!

Where Trump goes from here: He can continue to play it nice like in this first debate — the phrase “Crooked Hillary” didn’t make even a single appearance. Trump, instead, tended to make each squabble about him, which is most easily noted in Hillary’s ambush move involving that plus-sized Playboy model. Trump took the bait. This has a decidedly negative impact over the short term…results I would describe as “mixed” over the longer term.

He could go scorched-earth, like Larry Elder seems to me to be recommending, when you boil his advice down to its bare essentials. There is at least justice in that, since it is generally true that whenever Hillary points a finger, three more curl around and point back at her.

In his position, I think I’d shrug. There is justice in that too. “Miss Universe says you called her ‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained sixty pounds and it made her feel bad.” ++Raspy sigh++ Hillary, is that really the best you can do? Really? Can we get back to businesses, tax policy, jobs, and what are we doing to defeat ISIS?

The President of the United States doesn’t get to decide for the rest of us whether we should think fat porkers are sexy. Article II of the U.S. Constitution does not list that authority.

The Comparatives and the Superlatives

Monday, September 19th, 2016

More violence. And it will translate into more reasons to vote for Tr– I mean, more reasons to vote against Hillary, at least.

Now her team is going to be unfairly saddled with the assignment of selling her. Selling the idea that it somehow makes sense, for a nation under attack, to elect as its leader a woman who can’t even stay on her feet and give speeches anymore, when giving speeches is her whole deal. Why put ourselves under the iron-fisted rule of the Wicked Witch of the West, after she’s been doused with the water and is melting into a loathsome puddle? And, in a sad way, I already understand how they’re going to go about doing this. They’re going to declare anybody who believes the nation is under attack, and anybody who believes Hillary has real health problems, to be outside the periphery of the audience they’re trying to reach. And proceed to ridicule them.

Awhile ago, struggling to understand, I noted that the movement of what we today call “liberalism” seems to be split into two halves, which I called the “scheming elites” and the “ignorant commons”. The thing that separates the two, described from a 38,000 foot level, is that the former is accumulating a useful skill by way of evolving strategies that continue to find measurable success, whereas the latter isn’t accumulating skills at all, useful or otherwise. The former sells things to the latter. It is debatable how useful this skill is, because the skill is in communicating with people who don’t learn anything with either success or failure, because they don’t try to do anything. So one half maintains a tethering to reality, by way of refining the art and technique of aggravating passions in the other half, which has altogether lost its tethering to reality quite aways back and isn’t on any road that leads to regaining it.

As a result, both are nuts in some way. I wouldn’t hire either one of them to do anything practical, even something mundane, like trimming the hedge I forgot to trim this weekend. I would expect all of them to lose my sheers, snip off a finger or two, sue me for everything I’m worth, own my house, and then blame George W. Bush for the mutilation. Maybe they’ll find some excuses for new taxes in the meantime. Manage the country’s response to all of the mass shootings and terrorist attacks this weekend & before? Forget it. But…the competence thing with the scheming elites. They did get Barack Obama reelected. I’m still concerned they could get Hillary in there. I have to be. They do know their own people; they know how to communicate with the insane ones. I guess it’s a question of whether that is the challenge that arises to confront them. And if the challenge is something more demanding than that, like learning how to communicate with sane people who actually do constructive things, can they recognize that and meet the challenge. I suppose that’s the question.

One sign that looks bad for them is their own proclivity to argue in superlatives. Last time anyone talked about polls, Trump had closed the gap and there had to begun to appear some local polls in battleground states, that had him squeaking past her. I am sure the scheming-elites are insane, nevermind what victories they may have in the past that they can chalk up to genuine cleverness, because they have continued to do what they did before; they have failed to adapt. “Hillary is the best qualified candidate EVAR!!” This is not the way the so-called “Trump supporters” have pushed their candidate. The #NeverTrump crowd continues to holler that he’s Barack Obama redux, the leader of a cult consumed by a messianic-complex fervor. I haven’t seen it. The argument in favor of Trump was, and continues to be, “alright yes there is something to be desired in both candidates, but here is why you should vote for this one over that one.”

With Trump running neck-and-neck with her, how much sense would it make for Hillary to be sold that way? Lots. Whoever is undecided in the last half of September, is still undecided for a reason. They’re the ones that have to be reached. We’re talking about the coveted “undecided voter,” which the liberal strategists, the “scheming elites,” are supposed to know how to reach. Well the evidence says they don’t know. They may never have. And they can’t learn how. They must have the capacity to embiggen the intellectual frustum, to achieve Aristotle’s “mark of the educated mind,” the ability to entertain a thought without accepting it. Without that, there would be nothing separating them from the ignorant-commons, and we do know they have that mark that separates them. We know this by their achievements selling liberalism. Maybe they’re capable of making the argument but are afraid of ticking off their base.

So it seems the movement, as a whole, is not capable of channeling that paradigm of “she’s bad, but not as bad as he is.” Because they just can’t process the viewpoint intellectually. And, I suppose, we should expect this. Maturity has a lot to do with the ability to choose from among a plurality of options that all suck; if these people had maturity, they wouldn’t be liberals. And when you step back a few paces and look at other matters besides elections, or look at elections in years gone by, you see this continues to be true. Conservatives think in comparatives, liberals think in superlatives. The issue is one of maturity. Grown-ups compare, because that’s what decision-making is.

The “She’s the best qualified candidate EVAR!!” thing has been subtle, but it has definitely been there. I started discussing this on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, and more than one friend chimed in with: Yeah I’ve noticed this…I thought it was just me.

I think they’re going to keep pushing that, and it’s going to continue to hurt them. Liberals, if you watch how they behave for awhile, seldom to never actually argue anything. Have you noticed this? They put together the narrative, as if re-stating it one more time, and/or in greater detail, will somehow convince those who have yet to be convinced. They may do it a couple times in a row, after which they’ll say something like “I can see there’s no point discussing this with you because you’ll never be convinced.” Seems to be lost on them that you have to actually bring something persuasive before you can play that card. When your storm-out-of-room, slam-door-behind-you sign-off statement is “If this doesn’t convince you then nothing ever will,” there’s supposed to be something of substance behind the “this.”

Also, superlatives just don’t fit this case. If Hillary Clinton is the BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE EVAR!!!, then what’s up with all that time that got wasted on Obama, Biden, Kerry…Edwards…Gore…Lieberman…? What happened there? Sexism?

Thirty-Six Questions Feminists Have for Men

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Some words not suitable for a workplace or for a general audience:

Listen for the whole ten minutes, because it just gets better and better…

Via Steven Crowder.

I Don’t Give a Flying F*ck Who Pays for the Wall

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

This house has been good to us. It has become a sad staple of Americana, the story of two starry-eyed spouses falling in love with a “fixer upper” and making the leap, imagining themselves in a charming, quaint, occasionally madcap lifestyle of mending a toilet seat here, replacing a busted doorknob there…and then, in the ensuing frustrations, discovering themselves neck-deep in a nightmare that comes right up to or crosses the line of divorce. We went in on this with a bit of healthy paranoia, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst at each turn. Did some homework. As a happy consequence, we’ve held our head above water. We haven’t had any floors cave in under our feet or anything like that.

We have been very fortunate. I can’t attribute much of this to anything formulaic, that I could pass on to the next couple in terms of advice; except, we have prospered from buying maybe half as much house as we could’ve afforded. That might be some of it. The rest of it is luck. Well…knock on wood, as they say! At least I can knock wherever I want, with confidence. My fist won’t go flying through anything. But now comes the big deal: The fence.

We have a neighbor who seems to be a responsible and up-front fellow, and the layout determines that he & we are going to have to go in 50/50 on this. That is true of the “good neighbor” section that divides our lots from one another, as well as the exterior portion that is the far more serious matter. This is the full-height arrangement, over six feet, fully opaque, a piece of security equipment first. The street on the other side is a bit rough. This is not an aesthetic ornament by any means. What’s there now has been there since the neighborhood went in, twenty years ago, and it wasn’t built or treated properly. We went in half-n-half with the neighbor already, on a patch job to hold it together until “someday,” after the winter winds blew down a fifteen-foot section. Well, someday is coming up pretty quick, and the time’s come to do it right. It’s looking like, from the blanched expression on my neighbor’s face when we got back some quotes, “who pays for the fence” may become an item of pressing concern in the months ahead.

Or, “who fronts the cash.”

And this brings me to my point: I don’t give a flying fuck. As a responsible homeowner, my first & foremost concern is to get the damn thing built. If we have to front the costs, then that’s what it takes. If we have to handle more than our share when it’s all said & done — which I doubt, I think we’re talking about a man of good character — then, that is what we are going to have to do, and we’ll do it without a moment of additional hesitation and we’ll do it cheerfully. We will do it, knowing that the money we’re spending is equivalent to but a tiny portion of the worth of what the fence is protecting. We place importance on that.

Which brings me to Trump’s visit to Mexico…and the news, mostly on the teevee, about it.

For whose benefit are these stories being produced and aired? Not mine. Not any responsible homeowner, who looks on his duties as an American citizen the same way he looks on his duties as resident of the home. All I’m seeing is implications of Trump’s backpedaling, on the question of who pays for the wall. Nothing about the five positions from Trump’s speech, which is the real story, the real platform of fact from which one would need to make a decision, if one were still in the process of deciding. Or maybe that’s the problem, nobody is left still undecided about whether to support or oppose Trump? Is that it? Then why are we having polls, still?

My fence is going to be the most expensive home repair we’ve done, since we moved into the place. It will also be exquisitely aggravating, since we’ve been enjoying a year of seeing the debts associated with buying it two years ago, finally, and quickly, subsiding…dropping, lawn-dart like, not all the way to zero but headed in that direction. The fence we’ve got planned would reverse a lot of that progress. Or rather, will. The project is coming, the money is as good as spent already. I really couldn’t give two shits about whether our neighbor will pay fifty percent, or twenty-five, or zero. It isn’t on my radar.

With regard to America’s fence, people are getting hurt and killed. It has become de riguer for our governments, at all levels, to respond to the crisis by plying us with a bunch of misleading statistics about the illegal aliens’ propensity to commit crime versus equivalent statistics for the native population — as if that mattered even a tiny bit. Rather than fulfilling their obligation to defend the homeland from invasion, and solving the problem.

Opposition to illegal immigration is not opposition to all immigration. There’s nothing racist about it; what color is “don’t trespass”?

A fence is no more bigoted or xenophobic, than a front door on your house that locks.

And “who pays for the wall” is a peripheral concern at best. That question is nothing more than campaign rhetoric. Put out by those who are running the campaign of don’t-do-anything.