Archive for December, 2021

Seven Checkmarks

Monday, December 20th, 2021

Before giving me your latest so called “public health order” first answer these questions:

[ ] Do you have the authority? I mean, really? You won’t have to play these games of “take things away from you until you do it”? You can enforce because it’s really under your jurisdiction?

[ ] Are you taking ownership of the end results, like a Captain obliged to go down with his ship?

[ ] Does the current science support it?

[ ] Is it free of adverse/side effects?

[ ] Is it free of risk?

[ ] Is it clean of conflicts of interest, in appearance as well as in substance?

[ ] Are you doing this yourself?

I need to see seven check marks, otherwise stick a cork in it. That’s really the way everyone should be doing it; everyone else should be insisting on the same. Things have gone this far out of kilter because people haven’t been asking these questions. They just comply.

Like Zuby says

Intellectual Acumen

Friday, December 10th, 2021

I’m noticing with AOC and Jen Psaki running around, and Placeholder Joe in charge…or holding the place at least…this left-wing drumbeat of “Our guy is so smart that only a tiny portion of the populace can understand him” is in remission. Barack and Michelle are out of the spotlight. No one is taking their place. It’s weird because liberals are still swaggering around with their monotone about “You’re stupid if you don’t agree with us.”

But if you say “Like AOC?” they’ll go…”Who?” Their champions stop being their champions whenever it’s no longer convenient for them to be that. Until their profile is suddenly lowered in this way, they’re representing lots of things but intellectual horsepower is not one of those things, either in substance or in packaging. They don’t even try to pretend. I’m not entirely sure what this means. But it’s new. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, it’s in motion.

I’m thinking back and I see this idea of having an intellectual representative has been like a faulty flashlight, flickering on and off. It seems to have started off as a way to explain their losses, beginning maybe with Adlai Stevenson. “He’s too smart, the public didn’t get it.” Carter and Mondale used this excuse against Reagan, to lick their wounds after the “likeable dunce” decisively defeated them.

And then Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar. In the aftermath, we remember Clinton for just one thing, and it wasn’t that, but at the time we got that Rhodes thing rubbed in our faces over and over again. You must be dumber if you don’t agree with Bill, he’s a Rhodes Scholar.

John Kerry had “nuance” and could “see things in shades of gray.” This was an unusually well defined critique against the evil others; implication being, if you weren’t on their side, you were like a Sith, dealing in absolutes. But it was projection, of course, because read that sentence again. If you’re not with them, you’re terrible. An absolute.

After Kerry there was Obama…the Lightworker. Obama often applied the Kerry pattern, speaking often of “false choices.” The guiding narrative had something to do with a splendid, capable mind dealing with delicate things, and until He came along we were struggling in the darkness coping with 21st century challenges with 12th century techniques or something. Lightworker was constantly intoning His higher wisdom to us about what we could and could not do, blowing our minds with His newfound wisdom that had never dawned on us before…usually followed by lots of “uh” sounds to make sure He got it absolutely, positively, right. It became quite tiresome, I think even to the people on His side, although they’d never admit it.

Hillary Clinton, of course, was the smartest woman on the planet.

Things are not now the way they were before. Since 2016, the democrats are just…not Donald Trump. That’s it. They don’t have to be smart. People used to make fun of John Kerry for not being George W. Bush, but you know, in addition to that he had to be this nuanced deep-thinker guy. Now the “not Donald Trump” guy is…Placeholder Joe. Kneepads Kamala. Gray Goose Nancy. “The Squad.” You can plausibly accuse these weirdos of lots of unsavory things, but overthinking something is not one of those things.

It may be the manifestation of a new generation with a bad attitude. Many’s the journeyman or master who took on an apprentice from this new “Apple Ear Buds” crowd, and come away with the observation that it’s so hard to tell them anything. They seem to have the attitude of, If it’s really worth knowing, they must know it already. Their hero is Rey from Star Wars, who instinctively knows all about everything in the galaxy, both technological and spiritual. People wonder why she doesn’t capture the imagination like her predecessor, Luke Skywalker. The obvious answer is that we got to see Luke learn. He made mistakes, sulked like a loser, banged his head against things. Then he learned. Rey just knows everything, so she’s learned nothing. She’s failed as a successor-character who captures passions, but never forget she’s also supposed to be an emblem of this new generation. And there, evidently, she’s a success. They generally don’t value the process of learning.

Of course, as the democrats market themselves to this crowd with this mantra of “Who cares if I think on anything deeply, I’m not that other guy” — they have yet to find real success. They had to cheat to get Joe in there, and their rebuttal against anyone who noticed the cheating is to forbid us from talking about it. The discussion seems to be limited to “Who cares what you say, we’ll just remove your post.”

This is not good. Are they resorting to censorship because of what they’re able to do? Or…because of what they’re not able to do? They want to be thought of as intellectual titans, but their champion is the bug-eyed Brooklyn bartender, and others like her…and whether they realize it or not, the rest of us get to form whatever opinions about it we like, nevermind whether our posts can survive any length of time on Facebook or YouTube.

I have to predict the youngsters are in for a series of unpleasant surprises. Not any great variety of them. Just a lengthy series of similar, unpleasant surprises. It’s just not realistic to force people to respect your intellectual acumen, by clamping down on, obfuscating and altogether prohibiting any discussion of your intellectual shortcomings. That doesn’t make people respect you as some kind of a genius. It’s not how it works.

Wrong-Person’s Rage

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Everybody likes to be on “the right side of history.” A lot of times in life though, you can be very sure of your position going into a situation, but then when it’s all over you find out you were wrong. What do you do then? Some people try to deny it, but when that’s no longer an available option, they get angry, and they focus this anger on the people who weren’t wrong.

There is rage and resentment against people like me, who supported Trump’s re-election, and lost that bid. I’ve noticed this antipathy is more intense, and more widespread, now that we’ve been proven to be right, than it would be if we weren’t proven right.

There is rage and resentment against people like me, who opined that the pandemic was a “plandemic” or “scamdemic,” a naked power grab by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. Here, too, we’ve been proven right, and the antipathy is more widespread and intense than it would be if it had yet to emerge how right we were.

The antipathy against those of us who correctly perceived “Black Lives Matter” as a Marxist organization that doesn’t care about black lives, is more widespread and intense now that we’ve been proven right, than it would be if we had yet to be proven right.

People who were snookered by all this stuff are avoiding us, regardless of how cheerful, pleasant, courteous, trustworthy, thrifty brave clean & reverent we may be. It’s as if they feel obliged to admit they were wrong next time we see each other, and cannot bear the thought of it. But we wouldn’t even insist on bringing up these topics. Not like they did, back when it had yet to be established we were right and they were wrong, and they were so sure they were the ones who were right. Back then, they were in our faces, all the time, chanting their mantras and their talking points. Now their positions have become indefensible and so they’ve scattered. Maybe they think this looks stoic, wise, or macho. It looks petulant and childish. Cockroach-like and cowardly.

They’re making one error into two.

It isn’t right, or just, but it’s the way people operate. So often you have to choose between being in the in-crowd, versus having the right ideas.

The real tragedy is that they think they’re alone in enduring these stinging, unpleasant learning experiences. Not so. “I Told You So” situations like these, are painful for both sides, not just the side that’s on the business end. We’ve all been learning. It’s a good time to do some learning, even if you were right about the important things. I’m learning too, and it’s not fun.

My trust in authority figures has cratered now. My respect for organizational hierarchies at this point is subterranean.

I no longer believe in flawed humans who have “the best” ideas. Best I can manage, post-pandemic, is a grudging acknowledgment that someone might be least-wrong. And if I’m looking at whoever’s managed to draw in the highest esteem from others, most votes, etc…he’s probably not the guy.

The Chinese Bioweapon has taught me some things about how people behave, when they make important decisions in groups while they worry about social uplift and altitude, that I will never forget if I live to be a thousand. My confidence in group-think and committee decisions was already lower than a rattlesnake’s belly before this started. Now it’s tunneled into the bedrock.

I think I’m not alone.

But What Is the Process?

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Here and there I have blogged and Facebook’d about “Process People” and “Outcome People.” Like my late Uncle Wally told me (somewhere), quoting one of his editors from the olden days: The world is divided into two groups of people, the kind that go around dividing everyone into two groups, and everyone else…

Point is, although we all want credit for showing fidelity to the proper process and generating good results from it, we distinguish ourselves from one another when the time comes for us to make a choice. Which we inevitably have to do, because no process is perfect. There comes a time where you realize you have to blaze a new trail, even on an unnoticed, low-altitude micro level, to get things to come out right. Do you want good results? Or do you want to follow the process? Which?

Biden’s President, Kamala is in the second spot and Grey Goose Nancy is House Speaker. No one is proud of any of this. Their ascendancies do not speak well for the process we’re following. They are a blight upon the system. Parts of it may be good, but the detritus that’s rising to the top definitively proves there must be flaws in the rule book, because we followed it and here we are.

Liberals run everything. They have no good results to offer anywhere and they don’t care. That’s because they’re “Process People”; you can tell because when the time comes for them to list their achievements, they talk about the steps they’ve taken which are supposed to be above reproach. MASK UP REGARDLESS OF YOUR VACCINATION STATUS!! I’m running out of patience! Black Lives Matter! Woman’s Right to Choose! WE’RE GONNA FOLLOW THE SCIENCE!! But the results stink on ice. Unemployment up, stock prices down, prices up, production down, plywood in the windows, smash-n-grab, etc…you notice any of this stuff, they just stop speaking to you, as you’ve selected yourself out of their intended audience. “Process People” don’t give a shit about results, they just worry about following the “right” steps. After that, everything should fall into place. If it doesn’t it doesn’t matter, because they’re not paying attention, and they expect you shouldn’t pay attention either. I’ve gone over all this before.

Today though, I’m thinking more about how they see things. Process People neglect the outcome because they’re focused on the process. But what’s the process? It’s not like they’re following some intricate detail-saturated flow chart that covers a wall, full of decision-boxes. No…

Process People neglect the result to focus on the process — and the process, very quickly, degrades into a bunch of nothing.

Nothing but an endless series of empty, genuflecting gestures. Such gestures, by the lower classes, continually reassure the upper classes that their subordinates are still paying attention to what they have to say. The lowers have to constantly reassure the uppers that the uppers are still in charge. That’s all that really happens, and the job of reassurance is never quite all the way done. That could be because, deep down, the uppers know they’re not really where they should be, that there’s a bunch of post turtles. And so both the lowers and the uppers repeat circular laps on a silly-go-round. Wear your mask. Take your vax. Salute properly. Use “Dr.” when referring to First Lady Jill. No leather jacket for you. No deadnaming. Tune in to listen to Mr. Thompson’s speech as he addresses the crisis…

This is, I think, why after a hundred years we’re still waiting for communism to take over the world. It’s not going to happen. Throughout that century it has always been the same: Process People selecting process over outcome, neglecting ramifications, neglecting results, sacrificing everything else to follow the process, and the process devolves like a melting snowman, into just obeisance, supplication and pandering. Eventually that’s all that’s left, and no one anywhere appreciates it because they’re starving.

Guardrailing Me Into the Right Opinions

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

I don’t like being manipulated. I’m old enough to remember when that was true of most people. Nowadays it seems that’s a fringe-kooky desire, and the more mainstream desire is to just love love love being manipulated.

Twitter has a new boss and he’s going to be the same, or worse, than the old one. Here is a key difference between conservatives and liberals: If a powerful and influential conservative stepped down from his position, the liberal narrative would be “ding dong the witch is dead” and it would reverberate before we even knew who his replacement was. Jack Dorsey steps down, his replacement is worse than he was, and conservatives are unfazed. By & large, they were pessimistic from the get-go. And realistic.

Silicon Valley won’t ever change, unless it is forced to change by some larger event. I’m still waiting to see how that ultimately goes. History doesn’t guide me. Henry Ford had political opinions, many of them quite unsavory, but political opinions did not altogether guide the modern industrial revolution. In 2021, we have a left-wing truth and a right-wing truth. It’s gotten philosophical, piercing the fabric of “truth,” as we perceive it, itself. One cannot help but wonder what cars would look like today if the earlier revolution had been like this. Powered by hamsters, maybe.

People aren’t saying this because to a lot of us, it’s self evident. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear a lot of other people can’t see it so someone’s gotta say it.

When you monopolize mass communication and then start “fact checking” things, it doesn’t look like real fact checking. It looks like what it really is: A last resort. That is to say, the persons responsible would prefer the matter not come up at all. Their preference would be to keep the statement away from me entirely. I don’t know what they’re successfully keeping from me, because if they’re succeeding at it, I’m not finding out about it. And so I have to wonder what else they’re keeping from me.

I know they think my opinion is important enough to be manipulated. But I also know they don’t trust me to form it on my own. I know they think it proper and fitting to “guardrail” me into having the opinion they want me to have, like a dumb cow being guided within the lines on a cattle drive. It comes back to that ancient question, how much do you trust someone who doesn’t trust you?

Furthermore: Because this all has to be explained to them, or if it is explained it has no impact upon their decisions, I know they must exist and work within an echo chamber populated by others upon whom it has no impact. The whole overlaying/guardrailing value system exists within a cloister of limited thinkers, who can’t be trusted because they don’t trust others. They’re a bunch of Ernst Stavro Blofelds, a bunch of puppetmasters. They have made this decision because it makes sense to them, because they’ve reached their decision without conversing seriously with anyone outside their bubble.

That means they likely make all other decisions the same way.

And this gels with common sense. Am I really supposed to believe they were in Hawaii in August 1961 watching Barack Obama being born, when they tell me He was born there? Am I really supposed to believe they personally watched the vote counting in Georgia, when they tell me the vote counting in Georgia was on the up-and-up? No. They might be making the right decision about things, but they’re making it the wrong way, by passing on what someone else has told them, and then strutting around, peacock-like, as if they personally know it, when they don’t. I mean, look at all the other judgment calls they made, that turned out to be wrong. They were surprised Jussie Smollet turned out to be lying. They were surprised there was “vaccine hesitancy.” They were surprised Dan Rather’s Texas Air National Guard memos turned out to be a fraud. They were surprised Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self defense, and that the “mostly peaceful protests” weren’t peaceful. They were surprised Joe Biden is a bad President. They were surprised the Mueller Report turned out to be a boondoggle. But none of these things surprised anyone who had a working brain and chose to actually use it.

I’m better off following the counsel of a Magic 8-ball than following the counsel of these limited thinkers.

History isn’t going to remember any of this fondly.