Archive for February, 2017

The Twilight of the Age of Aquarius… III

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

This is easily the most fascinating story of the week. The Hill, by way of Hot Air:

Crazy Old AuntieSenate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is dismissing the GOP’s efforts to make Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) the face of the Democratic Party.

“It’s not going to work,” Schumer said of the strategy, according to Politico.
…Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said that the notion that Warren is the face of the Democratic Party is “ridiculous, especially when you look at voting records and where we’ve been.”

“They need a boogeyman, and they’re trying to turn Elizabeth into a boogeyman,” she said. “And I think maybe what they should worry about more is actually doing America’s work.”
Other Democrats also dismissed the strategy.

But Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), a former chairman of the NRSC, said he thinks Warren could be a liability.

“In the states that Trump won that Democrats are running in, I can’t imagine that she helps them. I think she hurts them,” he said.

It’s kinda funny because these politicians, and other outspoken types, are trying to give the impression they’ve got the final word. Since it’s the voters who get to decide that, these amount to nothing more than predictions, and we know from last year’s events how much value to place on those…

Actually it’s funny for another reason. The democrats are scrambling to get the word out to people what opinions they should have, that this is never gonna work, that Warren “has her own brand. And I think I have my own brand…” according to one democrat quoted in the Politico story. She’s not the face of the democrat party.

Whereas, ThinkProgress was, just weeks ago, selling tee shirts and buttons to cash in on Sen. Warren’s…? Something. Not courage. “Outspokenness” might fit, if Warren had something constructive to say. “Not stopping talking” wouldn’t fit either, because she eventually did stop, once she was forced to do so and had no other choice. Her…immaturity and childishness?

Overbearing femaleThis treatment of uncivilized behavior as if it’s something desirable, just because it happens to be coming from females, is another part of this decades-long shift in our cultural milieu that I’m happy to see reversed; happy to see it die. So Elizabeth Warren has stopped being an emblem of where the democrats want to go, and that’s according to democrats. Good. That would have to mean she’s stopped being a lodestar of female behavior. That’s a change that should’ve happened long ago, back before we ever heard about her. Real women don’t act like this.

I’ve never understood this fascination with the specter of the sinister, authoritarian, unpleasant scolding female. Oh, I think I do get the basics of it: People, boys especially, have long been conditioned to defer to the petulant female if she displays the correct mannerisms. Perhaps it’s a product of evolution, and it’s certainly something inspired on the elementary school playground. We see it later on right before some really bad decisions get made. A female who finds herself supporting the wrong argument, and lacks the wisdom to self-correct, breaks out what you might call the nuclear-option of “I’m an aggravated female, and I’m about to get even more aggravated so you better do what I say.” Hey, if something has worked before, you keep using it until experience teaches you it’s time to stop using it, and the scolding seacow has yet to have that experience. I suppose we’d all do the same thing in her situation…ugly a thought as that is.

Funny, innit? We’ve been told all this time men run everything…but there was no revolution that led to this custom of females “pulling rank.” We haven’t been upsetting any tradition acting out that ritual. We’ve been following it; we do it because that’s the way it’s always been.

Well, you’ll notice from the tee shirt site that TP claims to be sold out of the product, and I don’t doubt it. This is, or at least has been, a national crisis — large numbers of people laboring under the mistaken belief that this is how things are supposed to be. That a woman’s place is to scold, and to keep talking even when she has nothing of substance to say, if only just to be unpleasant and give people headaches with her audible nonsense. Who likes this? Someone does. Or has.

It’s a terrible thing we’ve been doing to young girls. This, too, gets a jump-start way back, in elementary school. The female who is perhaps concealing her own confidence crisis, maybe struggling with body issues, discovers she’s thought by her teachers to be a “strong leader” when she simply snaps at people. And so a long arc of behavioral self-modification begins. This is awful. It borders on an actual crime. Public school often has the same effect on a “bossy” girl, that Tequila has on the over-served, except the person imbibing to excess is guilty of making an informed choice. Both practitioners then misspend long portions of their limited time upon the planet, hours in the case of the Tequila drinker, years in the case of the bossy girl — thinking everyone wants to hear everything they’ve got to say, that all their commentary is brilliant, that all their jokes are funny. No one is helped by this.

So we have a generation of teachers, who think they’ve managed to accomplish their virtue signaling, by feeding some atta-girls to the bossy-girls with manufactured self-confidence and double chins. This has given us a younger generation of females who, as they went through their formative years essentially discovering who they’re supposed to be, settled on the idea that their purpose in life is to give other people headaches. Over the decades, we have come to accept this as normal. You know, there’s really no excuse for this. The pathway to maturity could have been corrected at any time. A teacher might have taken aside one of these BITs, or Bitches In Training, and shared with them the observation that their obnoxious mannerism and overbearing voice failed to convince the opposition this time, so let’s look into the structure of an argument, learn some new things about how to persuade. This would have capitalized on what went wrong, and course-corrected toward the vision of wise, informed, clear-thinking female leadership. Well, if it was done, it wasn’t done often enough was it? Because today we have Elizabeth Warren.

TermagantWho has, certainly, been the symbol of democrats and what they want to do. Schumer, Heitkamp, et al know this. They’re making deceptive arguments, arguments crafted for consumption by an audience that knows some but remembers nothing. People who look at it through a straw.

And it’s not just Senator Warren. Patty Murray, Kamala Harris, Sheila Jackson Lee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Maxine Waters…

Celebrities: Oprah Winfrey, “Queen Bey,” most of the women on The View, all sorts of female “comediennes” making vulgar “jokes” that aren’t funny about their own intimate body parts. This is one of those things where you see how society’s going off in the wrong direction, how many people are being hurt by the errant decisions being made, only after a cultural fad has worn thin. Some of us have been in the “right” place, or more accurately the opportune place, for this to have worn thin on us from the very beginning. Now, I guess, is the time where others are just starting to get it: Being an obnoxious, overbearing jerk is not a desirable quality in a man, so the same thing in a woman…right. Now you get it. It’s no more helpful than that, and NEVER should have been any more appealing. To anybody.

See, our first instincts are to ignore people who are unpleasant by choice. This is correct. Overall, you’re going to find they’re being that way because they don’t have your interests at heart, and in fact, aren’t the least bit shy about showing it. And, they’re putting a lot of weight on how they say something, because they themselves know they haven’t got much of substance to say. They are wounded, incomplete people and the right way to treat them is to help them grow out of it, try to repair the wound, fill in what’s missing, if that’s possible. And if it isn’t possible, then the next best thing is to ignore them.

Don’t marry them. Good Lord no. And don’t elect them. What, are you on crack or something? But it’s been so popular up until now. Glad to see the change.

The Twilight of the Age of Aquarius… II

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

It’s a good time to put some diligent, scrutinizing thought into a subject we’ve revisited often in these pages, namely what the heck is/was this stuff described in today’s day & age with the word “liberalism.” It’s not a simple question. And no, we can’t rely on the textbooks. In this era of the Trump administration honeymoon, liberals are more-or-less identical to the textbook definition of conservative. They respond to incentives, material & otherwise, to cling to the last vestiges of a power structure that has outlived both its usefulness to us, and, God willing, its own naturally sustained life span. This is a subtly different question from what exactly was the Obama era, a challenge I imposed on myself soon after the elections.

I lately came across a graphic I think captures it rather nicely…

Pictured is the California State Senate President Pro Tem, who had some interesting things to say a few days ago about illegal immigration and why we’re obliged to put up with it and pretend it isn’t happening. He seemed to be confessing to a great number of his relatives being in the country illegally, with his full knowledge and maybe even with his full support. We can debate the propriety of that elsewhere, but the fixation of the instant is the other aspect of the image: While all this is going on, our friends the liberals are passing all sorts of very questionable gun control laws and those are to be taken heart-attack seriously, by everyone, everywhere. And all of the time. Law-of-the-land, and all that.

This inconsistency supports some of the primary ingredients I’ve gleaned from the modern-liberal stew over the years: Maturity problems; a failure or unwillingness to define things; the elevation of emotion above reason in critical decision-making. The first of those three refers to — let’s just go ahead and admit it — poor parenting. Liberals, and centrists who are seriously considering becoming liberals, simply weren’t parented the right way and they didn’t learn the virtue of delayed gratification. We see them “protesting,” which more often than not means rioting, because they want something. Just like with a wild animal, that’s all there is. What they want, what they have already, and the difference between those two. That’s on their minds. Nothing else. They want illegal immigration to be legal, or at least, unrestricted; they want guns to be illegal, or more to the point, gone. Having control over only a part of the question of what becomes a law and what does not, they’re left deciding autocratically from one moment to the next what laws should count, and what ones should not. Just like your spoiled rotten and borderline-retarded cousin deciding moment to moment when it’s okay for players’ tokens to collect $200 for passing Go. Wait, that’s no exaggeration, is it? Failure to accept the results of a presidential election are a THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY…until, whoops, it turns out Trump won and Hillary’s fans are the ones who have to accept defeat. Time to riot. Say hello to your spoiled retarded cousin…

It’s said that any derogatory observation made against liberals can be fairly made against at least one conservative, somewhere, and I’m sure that applies here. At least, at first blush. Mr. De Léon’s counterpart on the conservative side would be someone who thinks the new gun laws are stupid, and these would not be hard to find, but that’s not good enough. We’d need to go further and find someone who’s willing to break these laws…and, I suppose, be proud of doing so. This would thin the field somewhat, but I’m sure we can fill the bill. Even after that, though, differences remain. These differences help to illustrate what exactly a liberal is, and why it’s so important to the country that we make sure their best days are in the rear view mirror.

This conservative who regards the duly ratified gun control law as a waste of his time and stupid, and decides to play pick-and-choose about which laws he’s going to bother to follow — it isn’t quite the same attitude as the Sanctuary City liberal. Is it? The disrespect for the rule of law is not quite so pure. In fact, if we look into it we’re likely to find there’s no disrespect for the rule of law at all. We’re far more apt to find a considered sequencing in effect. Something rather like a motorist stuck behind a red light in the backwoods at 2:30 in the morning, that remains bright cherry red minute after minute, with no other traffic around, eventually deciding to run it to make a red-eye flight. Here in the Golden State, a lot of these “common sense regulations” directly contradict the effective use of a sidearm for home defense. So what you should expect to find, is someone who fancied themselves to be put in the position of choosing between the safety of his family, and the law. And came to a conscious decision that the whole point of the law is to protect the innocent, therefore a law that puts the innocent in jeopardy is an unjust law.

This is not the same as your no-borders liberal who simply selects against the law he doesn’t like, as a child would select against vanilla ice cream because he prefers chocolate. Conservatism is occasionally clarified as the “law and order” ideology, but this is an oversimplification. It’s more like this: We have laws to preserve civilization. Conservatism itself, also, is there to preserve civilization, as I said before:

What exactly does conservatism seek to conserve? Civilization, the blessings that come from having it, and the definitions that make civilization possible. From what does liberalism seek to liberate us? Those things — starting with the definitions.

These people we today call “liberals” have not had a new idea in, depending on your specific topical focus, between a half- and a full-century or more. And it is they who are clinging with bloody fingertips to a receding entrenched legacy power structure. But they remain revolutionaries, and the one thing that unites all sorts of revolutionary movements is this idea of creating a whole new kind of civilization by way of destroying the civilization they find today. They are destroyers. Somewhere, in the middle of that short, straight, slippery pathway between reasonable open-minded moderate and ideologically crystallized liberal, there is some moment of embrace of the impulse of destruction. Perhaps it’s that inability to come to terms with delayed gratification. One nice thing about destruction is that it’s quick and easy.

But there’s more to it than that. I remember a year ago I paid a gardener to dig up the hump in my front yard and level the whole spread, so I could repeat the year-plus of backbreaking labor from the year before on the plain dirt that remained, work which was now nullified. We do this in software development a lot, certainly more often than we’d like. We put a stop to good money being thrown in after bad. “Everything on top of & therefore after this level down here, has been a waste, we are only just now admitting it. Let us dismantle down to this level, and repeat all the blood sweat & tears invested above & after that moment, so we can get it done right.” So I guess twenty layers of evolved civilization must be like twenty digits of an irrational number computed after the decimal point; mess up the third-or-fourth position, everything you did afterward is garbage. The choice that confronts you at Position 20, today, is anguish or more anguish. Admit to this unpalatable thought sooner, you waste less energy. In its own way, it makes a lot of sense.

But the liberal does not seek to conserve expenses or labor by admitting to historical mistakes more quickly. Oh no. Not even close.

The liberal who chooses to break our immigration laws, is distinguished from the conservative who chooses to break our gun control laws, by the lack of any sense of trade-off. The conservative believes in civilization, which means among other things protecting the innocent from those who would do them harm, by way of negligence or malicious intent. Civilization has, unfortunately, embraced a bad law. So just like me paying good money to have a huge ugly hump, along with the fruits of my year of wasted labor, carted off in a truck…and just like the mathematician who has to swallow his pride and re-compute the sixteen digits after the fourth one all over again…he sacrifices.

The liberal doesn’t sacrifice. Whether his identification of these surface garbage-layers constitutes sound reasoning, or is an empty rationalization, or anything in between — he tolerates no sacrifice in arguing for their destruction. This flensing serves his ultimate goal, even though it’s only a fractional approach. It diminishes that which the liberal seeks diminish, which is civilization as we have defined it up to this point.

They really aren’t liberals at all. They aren’t “progressives,” either. They’re destroyers, plain and simple. They were destroyers back in the early days after JFK’s assassination when they found new acceptance and power on our national stage…they are destroyers in this very moment, as I type this sentence. Every single minute in between, they have been destroyers. Whether they’ve realized it or not.