Archive for November, 2020

Home Stretch

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Five weeks left to the year. Plenty of time for people to apologize to me, others like me, they criticized in years past for “paying too much attention to politics.”

You can do it in a Zoom call. Wear your mask. Observe social distancing. Don’t go anywhere. Use proper pronouns. Don’t say “Chinese Virus.” And be sure to buy enough vouchers to offset your carbon emissions!

Seriously, though. It’s obvious we are deeply polarized and it’s been getting worse and worse. How come? It’s because of the Voldemort Virus and our response to it; made up “learning disabilities” in our kids; “global warming” or “climate change,” whatever it’s called today. Plastic or paper grocery bags. Plastic or paper straws. American exceptionalism. Nuclear power, fossil fuels, alternatives.

We are polarized because we are surrounded by a message of “Stop doing anything or else you’ll die and take everyone with you.”

Therefore there is a deep division between those who have been waiting for just such a message so they can stop doing anything, and those who would be enslaved for their maintenance. Between those who can, and cannot, afford to stop doing things. Between those are free to do as they please because they haven’t acquired the necessary skills for anyone to rely on them, and the ones upon whose efforts others depend. Between those who think they already know everything worth knowing, and those who regard it hellish and unthinkable to ever go a day without learning something new.

All of the scolding comes from that. Haven’t you noticed? From one hemisphere it’s all “How dare you” and “Listen to the experts.” From the other hemisphere it’s an eyeball roll, a protest of incredulity…and a job that has to get done, that the first one can’t bring itself to comprehend. All of the arguing ends with “Yeah but you’re going to get Grandma killed.” (So I win.)

It’s not just the virus. It’s this way with everything. It’s all Don’t versus Do.

Our Passive-Voice Society

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

I have been saying for years now, in so many words, that anonymity has a dazzling effect on us. If we hear a commission has decided such-and-such a thing, it’s in our programming to accept this and even elevate it, like to Ten Commandments status, just because we don’t know who is on the commission. This is extremely dangerous because it makes us into a passive-voice society.

What a great time it is to demonstrate the truth of what I’ve been saying.

The election has been called for Joe Biden!” carries gravitas.

“Such-and-such a thing has called the election for Biden” doesn’t carry as much.

Bob my next door neighbor has called it for Biden” carries far less…and arguably should. But look what’s going on at the other end of the spectrum. Go passive-voice and lop off the subject of the sentence, conceal the identity of the persons making the call, and you give extra weight to the call. The exact opposite of the way it should work.

There is a word for this fastening of an identity to the content of an idea, to give weight to the content: imprimatur. It’s a word rarely used, and when it’s used it’s usually for sake of criticism: “You have placed this silly idea above your imprimatur.” The symptom of our mental disease is that we have forgotten how to manage imprimaturs. We think the 800-pound gorilla imprimatur that cannot be defeated, or even subjected to challenge, is the one that doesn’t exist. We don’t know who’s saying it? Then we cannot appeal it. And we’d better accept it.

Not good!

Veteran’s Day 2020

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

Shopping list for my day off is getting kind of long. I should be sure and take some extra cash, I suppose, for the guy (real vet I hope?) handing out poppies. I’m sure this year is not being kind toward that particular effort.

The difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day:

Memorial Day is, as the name implies, a time to pay respect and honor those who have died either while serving their country, as a result of military service, or after they have finished serving as a retired or separated veteran.

Veterans Day honors those who have served in the past, present, and even pays tribute to those who will serve in the future.

Memo For File CCXV

Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

One week.

All of my discussions with liberals have been started at the behest of the liberal, although I’m sure in most cases the liberal doesn’t remember it that way. They tag me in a post on social media, or they call me on the phone, or whatever. The script in their head says they’re supposed to be jubilant and I’m supposed to be sullen and twitchy. They’re genuinely curious about whether I’m holding out unrealistic hopes, or have sunk into a catatonic state, or both. Instead they discover I’m in good spirits; the Trump era may be coming to an end, but all good things must come to an end, and in this case we have a near certain shot that Trump is going to uncover just a few more things. Just a few more flies in the ointment, clumps of crap in the air hose, skulduggery, shenanigans. Maybe some malicious intent, or at the very least, hard evidence that the reforms made so hastily earlier in the year constituted nothing more than a regrettable mistake. I give Placeholder Joe the odds but only just barely. Gun to head, I put my betting money on him and Proud-of-Rapists Gigglepuss…as little as I can. Nothing more than what I can afford to lose. Trump has a one-in-four chance, I think. And that’s climbing. And as the days tick on by with no concession out of him, I’m enjoying watching people around him reveal their true selves — yet again. Munching my popcorn. Having a good time.

Our roles unexpectedly reversed, the liberal rings off with “Well, I don’t wanna get into it” or some variation of that, forgetting that the discussion began in the first place because of their inquiry.

They’re not well.

I do have one frustration burning away right now. I’m all about learning the true nature of our polarization. It’s become something of a lifelong goal, one I am sure I’ll never completely finish. This is a big split. It’s bigger than our country, of that much I’m sure. My frustration now is that it’s been the key factor in all of our distress, all year long. The Chinese Virus, and all its attendant hardships, isn’t responsible for our problems; it is revealing our problems. Now it’s too late to do anything with what we’re learning, but this is where we’re gaining yet more insight on what is really dividing us.

We are having, it seems to me, a difference of opinion. It’s international, sprawling beyond the borders of the United States, but it falls short of global. It’s a First World schism.

Common ground: Life is short. Stay away from assholes.

Follow up question: What, exactly, is an asshole?

Their answer: He goes on Twitter and calls people “losers”!

My answer is a longer one, and this is the schism. If it were just me saying this, there would be no division. But millions upon millions see it the way I do.

Whitmer“Loser” is not a figment of anybody’s imagination. There really are losers out there. They’re energy sucks. If you’re worried about staying away from a certain kind of person because life is short and you want to make the most of it, these are them. And, far from laboring under some sort of asshole-pollution in which we have way too many people calling out the losers, we’re really struggling with something of a shortage. We have been coping with a sort of toxic mythology that good manners have something to do with pretending losers aren’t losers, and in so doing, we have spent generations and generations handing unearned influence over the most intimate aspects of our lives, to people who don’t even rightfully deserve to have influence over their own.

They’re losers!

Kind looks like I hate them, doesn’t it?

See, that’s also part of our toxic conditioning. If you see someone for what they really are, you’re hateful. The only way not to be hateful is to pretend what is so obviously true, cannot be. Meanwhile…if you’re feeling sad or depressed or angry about something, it’s important that all negative emotions are expressed. If you bottle up those bad emotions they’re going to come back on you, cause health problems, drive you nuts, etc. Have you heard that one? Of course you have. For half a century or more. “Don’t bottle up your feelings”…but…don’t say anything that might make someone feel bad about someone else, or themselves. We are therefore at liberty to — in fact, encouraged to — go around identifying any and all “problems” as long as they’re properly confined to our feelings, so that they are lacking in actionable solutions. Which multiplies the assholes, since we end up drowning in people moping about how sad or “triggered” they are and how they need help and can’t do anything…

No one can count on me to [Thing] until someone brings me a [Thing].

It’s healthy! Another person not bottling up their feelings! But once again, we have one more person pulling the wagon, one fewer person pulling it…

Meanwhile we have these problems with actionable solutions, usually because some “public servant” has been elevated to deity status — almost always a democrat — and is just screwing around, playing with their “toy.” Making judgment calls that have consequences, as the Owner of the ship not the Captain of the ship. We’re not allowed to notice that. Someone obviously has to be defrocked of their high position, everyone understands it, but to say so out loud is something we’ve identified as “hate.” The asshole is the person who says what we all know to be true.

I do not like the notion of small children looking up at the President of the United States, and learning it’s appropriate to say “Gretchen Whitmer has been doing a horrible job in Michigan” or “Hillary did a very, very bad job” or “Hunter Biden is a loser!” I’m displeased with these anecdotes of kids running out on the playground and calling each other losers. I suppose I should question the verity of such claims, but I don’t. I’m sure it’s happened.

But I have a unique take on it. Your children shouldn’t be watching the President that closely. That’s not his purpose. Article II of the Constitution doesn’t mention anything about the nation’s executive being a role model for children.

We have losers among us. Real assholes.

Our common ground is the notion that a life well-lived, has something to do with staying away from them.

We know — from repeated, and repeatable, experience — that if we do not define what asshole-ism is, not only will we fail to properly isolate it, but we will elevate it. Every. Single. Time. It is our ancient, timeless, common frailty. It is burned into our wiring. It is the way we are. Asshole-isolation is just yet another important thing that has to be done, that we can’t do without establishing, maintaining, validating and reinforcing strong definitions.

It’s impossible to get this idea across to the #NeverTrump crowd. They’ll misunderstand and think you’re talking about The Donald…or they’ll willfully misunderstand…and translate this wisdom to their own joke, at everybody else’s expense. There will follow the forced, non-jocular, horse laugh — HAR HAR HAR — and, the point will be lost. But they’re nuts. They seriously do agree with people who have more sense, that it’s important to call out the assholes. And here they are, defining the “asshole” in the room, as the guy who’s actually calling out the real assholes for being them. They want more of the same, more of the mistake we’ve all been making: It’s very important to stay away from a certain kind of person, but “good manners” means you’re not allowed to notice who they are, and you’re certainly not allowed to notice it audibly where others might hear.

I started my own adult living. I left my hometown for a bigger one, with the support of exactly nobody. I was full of enthusiasm, maybe a bit of youthful rebellion, but I had no guidance. Millions upon millions of us begin our adult living that way, and I think it’s common for us to learn the real secret to happy living the hard way. Maybe my story is so common, that it is the source of this real-split? Because at the beginning of my adult life, I ended up getting eaten alive. I will never forget. If I live to be a thousand years old, I will not forget. Stay away from assholes. If you choose your friends wisely and resolve to do right by them, you still have to work hard but others have had to work much harder before you came along, and things will pretty much fall into place. If you do not stay away from assholes, nothing else you do is going to matter very much. You will become one yourself. Or you will lose everything and live a life devoid of purpose. Probably, both of those things will happen, but definitely the one or the other.

But you can’t stay away from them if you don’t define what they are. And you have to call out people who’ve been elevated to positions of high authority, who aren’t doing any good there. The #NeverTrump crowd thinks they’re doing exactly that. They’ll say so on cue. But deep down, they know we don’t have any problems today — not a single one, not even the Wu Flu — that doesn’t predate Bad Orange Man. Deep down, they know he’s been revealing the problems, not creating them.

If they didn’t understand that, they’d be the happy ones. Things the way they are, they’re apprehensive and miserable. They agree with me: We’re still learning about what’s really broken, and we’re almost sure to learn a few more things, no matter what happens with this election’s outcome. They’re “winning,” in theory, but all of the genuine confidence is eluding them. All of it is on our side of the net. They can see this is so, but they don’t understand why. They’re not savoring this.

Happy 245th Birthday Marines

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

This annual wishing of a happy birthday to The Corps is a family thing, not a professional thing. I’ve actually been working around Army and Air Force guys. No leathernecks where I work. But we put up our shout-out to the jarheads every November 10th, because they’re our oldest branch, and Mom would’ve wanted me to do it.

This year things are a bit different. It is, just like with lots of other things, full of suck. So now we all get on the same side, and we fight. But fighting is what Marines do. They’re the first to do it. You know that old saying: If I can’t shoot, I’ll load, if I can’t load I’ll help with the wounded…etc. That’s where my family is right now.

We can’t make the trip for Thanksgiving, so our thoughts are with our warrior. Get well. Kick some ass.

We’ll Be Fine

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

At least, I think so.

I’ve lived through…let’s see. Carter was the big education for me. I was actually for Carter at first. How much wisdom can a ten-year-old have? I’ve said before many times that I owe a huge debt to Carter. He did more to get me voting Republican, than any Republican ever did. And he forced me, before my 14th birthday, to endure the most hideous experience imaginable for a young teenager: I had to admit my parents were right about something and I had been wrong. What a priceless head start and at such a tender age.

I was breathing air throughout the last two and a half years of Johnson’s presidency, so I suppose that doesn’t count. Of course I don’t remember it. Those thirty months, from what I’ve read, were pretty much a big flame-out. It takes some digging, historians don’t like to write about it. There was “unrest” due to the Viet Nam war, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King got shot, and at the end of it the democrats lost pretty much everything.

I was very much politically engaged when Mondale challenged Reagan. In the aftermath, I could see everyone else understood what I understood because Mondale lost everything except Minnesota.
Adult responsibilities and relationships with wounded, incomplete unstable women had distracted me from politics and lured me into the “don’t care zone.” I became one of those casual-living casual-thinking types, the “Not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties so what’s the point” types. Bill Clinton cured me of that. I remember after the Gennifer Flowers scandal had started to die down a bit, and Bill Clinton made an appearance in a Kindergarten class I suddenly realized: That’s our next President, no doubt. It made me sick to my stomach. Not because he was a democrat, but because he looked and talked like a computer software salesman and at the time, people in this vocation had made my life miserable. My adult responsibilities had grown to include developing and testing the products they were promising people…

Clinton’s presidency resulted in the 9/11 attacks. Hoping we don’t get another one of those.

Then there was Barack Obama. Too soon to say, we’re still anesthetized against the damage He did around the world, although we did get a front-and-center view of the War On Cops that He promoted nonstop. Our media blames all the fighting and distress on Trump, which just goes to show we can’t rely on them. I think the worst thing about the Obama era, among the travesties upon which we can rely for a new Biden era, is the fawning press. Questions they asked of Obama were not the same as the questions they asked of Trump. We never would have heard “Obama suggests, without evidence, that blah blah blah…” The running joke is that the harshest question Emperor Obama was ever asked was “What’s it like to be so awesome??” It’s not completely a joke.

Now before I came along, what sort of damage did democrats do? JFK shut down the loonie bins and to this day our streets are crowded with mentally challenged people who can’t get access to the services they need. Truman flooded our federal agencies with communists, and from what I understand we have yet to figure out if he knew what he was doing or was in denial. The historians are covering for all that. FDR failed to pack the Supreme Court, but succeeded in making the judicial branch into his lapdog, which in turn created misery for all sorts of Japanese-Americans who were wrongfully imprisoned…including George “Sulu” Takei, who somehow blames Republicans for it. FDR also created a whole new chapter in American liberalism, in which we’re supposed to sit on our asses and wait for the government to feed us. Lots of things are wrong with this. The worst is the mental abuse, since this romantic vision of the bold young revolutionary is supposed to remain in place. So we’re supposed to sing our revolutionary songs and join unions and march in the streets and show our strength and really stick it to The Man…but then cry like little birdies waiting for the momma-bird which is the government, to spew some pre-chewed food into our little beaks. We’re the resistance but we’re also the obedience. That cognitive dissonance started with Roosevelt.

Woodrow Wilson? Do I even need to go there. Racist. Segregationist. Eugenicist.

So…dunno…the damage democrats have been doing, is evidently on the wane, but nowadays there is a lag-factor and it’s hard to remain conscious in the moment of the consequences of the damage they’re doing. They, of course, would like to blame it on whichever Republican comes into office after them, and with a willing and complicit press, they tend to succeed at this.

But overall I think we’ll be okay. You’ll notice the revolution is never complete. And they keep losing. People figure out the effect they have is not good, and so they require young children who are idiots like I used to be, to come to voting age still being idiots so they can maybe win elections again.

Supposedly they’re representing the “poor” who would be helped by progressive taxes and redistribution schemes, with their opponents representing the “rich,” the very few who would be taxed to pay for this sumptuous buffet of social services for the poor. Should be a cakewalk for them. Obviously it isn’t. That’s what gives me hope. People are learning, like I did back at age 10, and they’re doing this learning pretty reliably.

I’ve already asked if Clarence Thomas has another four years left in him. I’ve been assured he does…these people wouldn’t know for sure. But I got to hear him when he swore in ACB, and he sounded alright. We’ll be alright. I can’t promise it for sure, but I’m betting on our good health for the long term. And as far as election shenanigans? We just rewarded them so for the short term they’ll get worse. But we’re going through a learning experience and over the longer term of time, we’ll come out of it wiser.


Saturday, November 7th, 2020

We’ve got a lot of people walking around out there, who have actually voted and are free to vote again, saying “Trump supporters need to give it up because the math is insurmountable” even as they admit the process of counting votes has been shady as hell and there likely has been some shenanigans taking place.

This is looks to me like some kind of mental enfeeblement. This is why I say things like “thinking like a grown-up” versus “thinking like a little kid.” Math is derivative of the counting process. Do I even have to say it?

Let Us Steal The Election!I noticed earlier this week CNN was putting up graphics of the electoral vote totals, things like “BIDEN 247 TRUMP 213” …without having put Alaska in Trump’s total for some reason…counting Michigan and Arizona for Biden, after both states had spent the night swinging back & forth…Trump within one percentage point in AZ, WI, NV, PA, NC…were they, perhaps, not looking at that and just fixated on the deceptive electoral vote totals the whole time? I’ve noticed we have a problem with widespread ignorance about the Electoral College’s purpose. Stands to reason we must have a lot of ignorance about how it works.

It takes a tiny bit of fraud to produce an enormous change in the Electoral College result.

What you’re getting here is a good look at what liberalism really is. You have millions upon millions of people who are reaching the same erroneous conclusions about things because they don’t understand the basics, don’t think in terms of cause and effect. And they’re hooked on the feeling of “I know something nobody else knows”…can’t stand that healthy humble inversion of it, “Everyone else seems to know something I don’t, I need to shut up and listen.” So, fresh after uttering something that reveals their ignorance, they strut, pose and preen. Oh yeah yeah yeah I know how the Electoral College works, I’m like an expert on the Electoral College. But you red-hats need to totally give it up, the math is insurmountable.

Related:Glitches” in Michigan gave thousands of votes to Biden.