Archive for October, 2019

My Favorite Die Hard Movie Line

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

It’s not “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker” and it isn’t “Welcome to the party, pal.”

It’s “Oh, you’re in charge? Well, I got some bad news for you Dwayne, from up here it doesn’t look like you’re in charge of jack shit.” There is deep meaning here. There is social commentary here that is important.

Putting the Breakfast Club guy here was brilliant casting. He was born for this.

How many Deputy Police Chief Robinsons do we know in real life…you run into them pretty much constantly. They’re “in charge” in the sense that they have an official title and they’re ready to take credit for anything that happens to go right. But they’re not at all attached to the moment-by-moment condition of the overall situation. They aren’t committed. If something goes wrong, they’ll just blame someone else. They are Seagull Managers. They are Grenade People.

My state has a new governor who’s trying to be the anti-Donald-Trump. It is tragic watching this contrast play out every week. He hasn’t got a clue. He’s got the “I never apologize for or regret anything ever” thing down cold…he thinks that’s all there is to it. But Trump is not a grenade-person. He’s a salesman, which is about as annoying…but if you find something wrong with the situation under Trump’s control, and get in an argument with him about it, sure he’s going to insist on having the last word like a little kid. But he’ll still remain attached to, and committed to, the situation. He has plans. If the plans go wrong, he adjusts. Quietly, maybe. He probably won’t admit to it. But he doesn’t abandon. He doesn’t take large fast strides away from it, like a man who just lobbed a grenade, retreating behind some rehearsed lines about “Well you’ll just have to go talk to those other guys, it’s all their fault” or socially browbeat you to change the subject to something else. If he doesn’t like your opinion, he’ll just call you a loser. But he’ll continue to work the problem.

Watching my Governor try to be the democrats’ answer to Trump, is like watching Dwayne Robinson try to be John McClane. It’s just a pathetic sight to see.

Gov. Newsom, from down here it doesn’t look like you’re in charge of jack shit.

I Made a New Word LXXVII

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Grenade Person (n.)

A grenade is the furthest you can get from any kind of precision instrument. There’s no scope-sighting, no aiming, no plan to adjust for wind, downgrade, muzzle velocity, bullet weight in grains…just an explosive projectile lobbed in at an approximate Grenadelocation. Such people demand and require uncontested control over whatever is happening. Everything in earshot or line-of-site has to be exposed and subject to their frag. They are the last to compromise on anything and the first to ostracize any dissenters who show too much recalcitrance or hesitation to “get with the program.” If you continue with your not-getting-on-board bad behavior, you will find yourself subject to some passionate gossip while your back is turned, sure as the sun rises in the East.

But they take no responsibility whatsoever for the ultimate outcome. Just like the grenade tosser. In fact, after they’ve run things for awhile there is a perceptible similarity between the aftermath, and the wreckage left by a live grenade. That’s what they do, they just pull the pin and walk away. Power and responsibility; they want all of the former, none of the latter.

You run into them at work, you want to go home as soon as you can. You run into them at home, you want to go on a long vacation. Maybe fake your own death and move to another continent. They make life short, but seem long.

Take Your “Investigating His Political Opponents” and Cram It

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

The overall thrust of the piece by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel is anti-impeachment, which is the correct opinion. But even the obligatory disclaimer that makes up the first paragraph, with its status as essentially throwaway, get-this-out-of-the-way ballast, is too much for me to take.

Donald Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea. Like a lot of things Trump does, it was pretty over-the-top. Our leaders’ official actions should not be about politics. Those two things need to remain separate. Once those in control of our government use it to advance their political goals, we become just another of the world’s many corrupt countries. America is better than that.

I cut it off after those last five words, they were enough to make me reach for a bucket. This is propaganda of the enemy. I know that for sure; I get their fund-raising and petition-soliciting e-mails. The communication from the democrats, to the lightly-informed, is that we have to have impeachment because of foreign interference in our elections. Trump, supposedly, was “digging up dirt on his political opponents.” It’s a good sound bite because it sounds like Watergate Part II. There’s just one problem. It’s poppycock.

Biden is a very odd case. Common sense, only a dash of it, will confirm he’s not going to be President. I realize the Hollywood A-listers were saying that about Trump 3 years ago and that didn’t age well, but in Biden’s case it’s really true. He can’t even be nominated. And yet the polls have been putting him out in front, by a large margin, so to those who are eager to have opinions but are OmgWayTooBusy to actually follow the news, Trump must have hatched a plan to clear the playing field of Joe-Freakin’-Biden, after that his second term would be assured. Yeah. Um…it’s actually not possible for it to have happened that way.

The polls might be reporting correct raw data about Biden’s double-digit leads, but it’s only raw data. He’s not really a front-runner. He’s not even a contender. Trump doesn’t need a plan to deal with him, and if ever he does need a plan to deal with him it will be something far, far simpler, something along the lines of “just let him talk.” So spare me, please, your hyperventilating about how this must be Trump dealing with political opponents the only way he knows how. Anybody who knows anything knows that’s not what is happening here, and if you don’t know that, you don’t know anything so why should I care what you say?

But there’s an impeachment inquiry, so he must have done something wrong! Well, the first fifty percent of that is true. And you’ll note the “inquiry” is not really what it is being made out to be. It’s all packaging, no substance. But understand this: The packaging has to be there.

It’s important to the beltway crowd that impeachment, or something that looks like it, happens for five reasons:

1. It doesn’t protect Biden. If anything, it pushes his misdeeds out into the limelight which makes it easier to get rid of him. And by the way, this is working just fine so far. Obviously a lot of people want that, and not because of any likelihood he has to win. The man’s a constant embarrassment.

2. The democrats don’t have anything else. Unemployment is at an historic low now. The picture is crystal clear that if we want some actual positive results they shouldn’t run anything, exactly what I’ve been saying for years and years.

3. The democrats’ base will eat them alive if they don’t get something that at least resembles impeachment.

4. They need to establish a precedent that looking into these kinds of transactions potentially carries repercussions, since Biden is far from the only one who’s been playing this game.

5. Rightly or wrongly, they see Vice-President Pence as another Romney. They can withstand a bloodless revolution every four years and they can tolerate these unwelcome opinions about lower taxes and strong defense and abortion-is-murder, but they cannot abide this “punch back twice as hard” thing and they hate being mocked. They want their lose-with-a-smile Republicans back, the ones who look good in a suit and babble away about this thing or that thing being “deeply troubling” before they disappear.

But the go-along-to-get-along, know-nothing, “Please give me an opinion for me to have at the Thanksgiving table” voters think it’s all about Trump going after his political enemies, starting with the most threatening one: Joe Biden.

Bull squeeze. Biden’s filthy-dirty and guilty as hell. Our government has three branches, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Now, which one investigates? Who manages that? This is Civics 101 stuff.

So with all due respect: Cram it. Take your deeply-troubling, your spooky Watergate-redux language about digging up dirt on political opponents, wad it up into a little ball with your “we’re better than that,” and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Seriously, in what universe does that make sense? You run for President one time, and from that point until whenever the sun burns out you’re a “political opponent” and so you’re immune, no one can ever speak of starting an investigation on you? We want that precedent set? That’s what it takes to make us better than something? Better noodle that one over a bit more there, Tex.

It would be funny if it weren’t dangerous and sad.

The White, Middle-Age Males Calling Out the Swedish Brat

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Isn’t this a rather odd headline?

White, middle-aged Christian private school principal slams climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, as a ‘little girl with mental problems’ – and urges students not to believe her ‘doomsday waffle talk’

A Christian private school principal has savaged 16-year-old climate campaigner Greta Thunb[e]rg and called her a ‘little girl with mental problems’.

Rodney Lynn, head of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, wrote a letter to pupils and parents on September 26.

He did not mention Greta by name but told pupils not to pay attention to her impassioned speech at the UN which went viral last week.

In the speech, the Swedish activist tearfully urged politicians to take action on climate change to stop the planet from being destroyed.

But Mr Lynn dismissed her as ‘a little girl from Scandinavia’ who was full of ‘doomsday waffle talk’.

In the letter seen by the ABC, he said she was a ‘little girl with self declared various emotional and mental problems that she thinks give her a special insight into a pending doom’.

‘My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters.’

In a message to his pupils, he added: ‘Do not be afraid. Your world’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets.’

It seems like this isn’t anything to worry about over on that side of the Atlantic, and I know I’m not one to talk, but that headline seems really…bloated. It looks like there might have been a prior version with just-the-facts, and an editor looked at it and said “That’s not going to make our readers angry enough at this guy, you need to put in his quotes so they get properly ticked.” And don’t forget to mention you…know…what.

Speaking at the United nations last Monday Greta broke down in tears while furiously scolding international delegates for not taking responsibility for fixing the planet’s warming climate.

A host of Australian celebrities lined up to criticise Greta after her speech. Her supporters said most of the criticism came from white, middle-aged men. [emphasis mine]

Hmmm…I’ve seen this somewhere before. Where? Ah…here.

Jeremy Clarkson’s daughter has slammed middle-aged men for criticising Greta Thunberg – as the Grand Tour star branded the climate change activist a ‘spoilt brat’. Emily Clarkson made her feelings known on Twitter, referring to a tweet by John Bishop in which the comedian praised the 16-year-old for being an inspiration and ‘breathing life’ into the debate surrounding climate change.’ Quoting his post, she wrote: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if all middle aged blokes could talk to and about Greta, the ballsy af teenager out there changing the world, like this.’ She makes a good point…

++blink++ She does? And what would that be? That looks to this “middle aged bloke” like nothing more than emotional reasoning and lusting.

Hey do you people even know what “a good point” is? I could try to explain, but I’m sure I’ll be kinder to your own workload and time allocation, along with my own, if I just provide an example.

How dare we? No. How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15million, that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention.

I’m sorry Ms Thunberg, but if you’re going to lay into my generation, you must accept it when I lay into you and yours.

What about the pills you take when you have a headache?

What about the clean water that comes out of your tap? What about the food you can buy at any time of the day and night?

No 16-year-old was responsible for any of that.

What about the aid missions currently being run in some of the poorest countries of the world, or the drugs that help keep Aids at bay?

Think about all the movies you’ve enjoyed. Movies made by grown-ups. And all those comedians who’ve made you laugh.

And then pause for a moment to consider how soundly you sleep at night, knowing that adults are building and servicing and flying Sweden’s fighter planes. To keep you safe.

We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet. We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all.

So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.

And yes, you are spoilt because when you told your mum and dad to stop using planes and give up meat, they didn’t behave like sane parents and ignore you. They actually said, “Yes, dear.” And did.

It’s the difference between emotional reasoning and logical reasoning. The difference between closing one’s eyes to things, versus opening them, looking, and pondering what things mean. Emily Clarkson does it one way, her father does it the other way. His way is better.

But back to this “white, middle-aged men” thing. I thought it was a bit odd when I myself was on the receiving end of some criticism after setting my phone ringtone to Ms Thunberg’s polished-thespian professional-warbling “How Dare You!” — which makes me very happy, by the way. My critic called me a white middle-aged male, which is something I can’t change, but also he happens to be one of those guilty-white-liberal males who actually has half a year on me. Still, I thought little of it at the time. Just liberals pigeonholing people by race and sex, which is what they do.

But with these three examples, and some others, we have an established pattern. It is clear a talking-point has been circulated from some central point somewhere, to marginalize anybody who has objections to the spoiled child’s rantings and make sure, should they qualify, to call them out as a “white, middle-aged male.”

Seems like a fragile public relations strategy. It’s not the optimal time. White is negotiable now, right? We’re still debating whether Elizabeth Warren is or isn’t, even after she had that expensive DNA test done. Middle-age is always open for discussion. And although science says otherwise, our culture has decided “male” is an open question too.

Still & all, there’s something to their observation. With their implication that this means an opinion should be bulldozed to the gutter just because of the demographic of those who hold it, those who promulgate the talking point have branded themselves as racists, sexists and ageists. But they’re not wrong, even a blind squirrel can find a nut. How come so few people are identifying a problem with the world accepting orders and scoldings from a mentally ill teenager? And how come we’re almost all “middle-aged white males”? Is it because, as they imply, there’s something about us that is inherently indecent?

I can dismiss that as a possibility with my own limited experience. I know lots of minorities who can see what’s wrong with exploiting this girl; young people see what’s wrong with it, old people see what’s wrong with it, women see what’s wrong with it. This kind of common sense is not exclusively a white middle-age male thing. The not-white not-male old-n-young just aren’t as vocal, they don’t say it out loud. It seems speaking out about it is the thing.

Well isn’t it obvious?

White middle-age males have nothing to lose. This new-world-order of sorts rejects us by default; we can be accepted if we say a bunch of woke-stuff some of us aren’t willing to say. We already threw out our Gillette crap after that dumb ad, so we’re not going to go chasing our maze-cheese by signaling away with “I hate 4x4s!“. Non-white non-middle-age non-male people, not subject to the verdict of guilty-til-proven-innocent, can achieve this level of acceptance merely by being quiet. Therefore they have something to lose. So because our liberals are sexist and racist, and they’ve had influence in forming and reforming this new culture, the playing field is a bit uneven. We white middle-aged male our liberals detest, even though many among them are themselves white middle-aged males of the self-loathing sort, are left to ponder opting in to The Morgan Rule: “If I’m gonna be accused, I wanna be guilty.” For the better and more desirable demographic segments, the conundrum doesn’t even emerge.

White middle age males are not worse than everybody else. We’re not better either. What’s happened is that your blatant discrimination against us as had the exact opposite effect on us from what it was supposed to have: It’s liberated us. To say the obvious things everybody else is thinking. In fact, in a funny kind of way, it has obliged this segment of the population to point out what we, uniquely, can say without losing anything we haven’t already lost:

To throw her into the public eye is unforgivable. It’s clear she is not pretending to be terrified about an eco-Armageddon, an emotion likely compounded by her conditions. Has anyone who supposedly cares about her thought this through? She really believes this garbage. She thinks we’re all going to die, horribly and soon. She doesn’t get that this is a grift, a scam, a political ploy…But when faced with the reality that people aren’t willing to surrender their money and freedom simply because she demands it, she may lose hope. What happens if this precious child hurts herself?

That’s obvious. Her backers would cynically morph her from living demigod to martyr and blame you for what happened, you awful, selfish people who refused to submit to the emotional blackmail that underlies the whole Greta of Arc campaign.

Let go of this kid, you creeps.

Yes racist-sexist-ageist liberals, you’re seeing different behaviors from different demographic portions. That’s because you’ve constructed the dynamic that confronts those different portions with different situations and different ramifications for speaking out on true-but-forbidden things, like the above.

But you know, that might be changing. Basic human decency is not an exclusively white-male middle-age thing either, and exploiting children for your climate-change scare-mongering, for the reasons Colonel Schlichter offers, is a truly low blow. So you’ve got a strategy to marginalize anyone who objects based on our race? Well enjoy that clean simple breakdown while you still can, and maintain awareness of the passage of time; the battleground will shift, as it always does. Women, in particular, don’t like seeing children thrust into situations inappropriate for them.

Your racist, sexist, ageist talking point is milk. Note the sell-by date carefully, it’s bound to curdle quickly.