Archive for the ‘Europeans’ Category

Sally Field Doctrine

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Neo-Neocon notices some things about some of her friends who are Obama supporters, and they’re very much the same thing I’ve been noticing about my own Obama supporter friends (presuming they’re still talking to me) —

The basic idea is this: they feel a sense of blessed relief that Obama is President.

This not only contrasts sharply with my own feelings on the subject, but it is puzzling because in some cases they simultaneously confess to being disturbed by some of his actual policies, particularly on the economy. In general, they admit they’re not paying attention to the details (understandable; most people are very busy). But although some of the details of which they are aware make them quite uneasy, they paradoxically retain a tremendous faith and trust in the man. Lest you think my friends unusual, this coincides with the results of many recent polls that place Obama’s favorability very high at the same time respondents disagree with many specifics of his proposals.

What’s going on here? When I question my friends more closely, or just listen to them speak amongst themselves, two things seem especially important in shaping their positive feelings about Obama: they are drawn to his personal style (especially in contrast to predecessor Bush, whom they uniformly detest), and they are happy that the world now likes us better.

I’ve long harbored a deep suspicion, since at least 2004 when John Kerry was droning on about it at length, inspired by the realization that these nations that are supposed to like-us-better are seldom to ever listed. If an idea is worth having, it’s worth crediting to the mind that carries it around; how come there are so few names associated with this one? There seems to be a tacit, unspoken agreement that these are historical allies from sometime after the Cold War era…so the list would include Germany, Russia and Japan, along with France, Spain and England. And perhaps some other places not so Euro-centric.

My issue with the identity is that without it, we can’t discuss the motivation behind this liking-or-not-liking. And the motivation is plenty worthy of deliberation. I see it in our gun laws: Other nations are not quite so enamored of the concept of personal defense as is the United States. I see it in this “goodwill” we were supposed to have “squandered after 9/11” — it got “squandered” after the United States did something active about the assault we suffered, besides sit around & cry about it…right?

I wonder how popular this idea would be, if those who promote it were forced to admit: Our love is reserved for the weak and injured…for those who are put into a crippled state of some kind, and never do anything about it.

But they cravenly sidestep the issue. Because, like I said: If we don’t discuss who’s carrying around this love-and-hate, we can’t discuss what exactly is the motivation.

Neo-Neocon continues:

It’s interesting to observe, as I did when I looked up that Sally Field quote, that what she really said was [emphasis mine], “You like me; right now, you like me!” The temporal and transitory nature of popularity that even Ms. Field managed to place in her sentence in the midst of her euphoria at winning an Oscar is a realistic and sobering note. This is at least as true in the world of geopolitics as in Oscar competitions.

How much does such a thing as popularity actually matter in the course of world affairs? And what does it really mean to be liked in such a way? What does it mean to be liked in countries that have their own interests in mind, when those interests conflict with ours? Could “optimism about the US” sometimes mean “optimism that we will now be able to control/exploit people instead of them?” And does the opinion of the average person have anything whatsoever to do with what the leaders of his/her country are likely to do, or with the power struggles of those leaders and countries on the world stage?

There follows a fascinating exchange, for her readers and commenters are interested, and plunge headlong into a multi-logue about why exactly we’re so impassioned about getting these nameless faceless busybodies to like us, and whether or not that’s a good idea. Machiavelli is quoted. It’s a healthy discussion, one we’ve not too often had up until now…about whether this word “like” has to do with the kind of liking that a hungry wolf has for a tasty, tasty sheep.

We’re thinking. Right now, we’re really, really thinking.

Krauthammer Nails It

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Hat tip: Rick.

What I Know About People Minus What I Was Told When I Was A Child, Item #21: People who won’t take the initiative to see what needs doing and do it, don’t want anyone else to take the initiative either.

That’s a more decent summary of European peevishness toward the United States, than anything you’ll ever hear out of the current administration.

Best Sentence LIX

Monday, April 6th, 2009

This morning’s award for the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes out to Mark Steyn…for this nugget

The G20 wants international regulation that will export their mistakes to the entire planet.

And as I skim over the first few paragraphs of Steyn’s piece, regarding this misadventure with wrong telephone numbers given out — I can’t help but wonder.

Would we be talking about it too much if Sarah Palin accidentally handed out a telephone number to a sex-chat line?

Unconstrained Manner

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Across the pond, pretty soon you’ll have to get a Mother-May-I from Her Majesty’s governmental nanny-state goo-gooders to buy an airline ticket or whatever they call it over there…

The UK’s so-called “environment czar” last week raised the possibility of rationing air travel, limiting UK citizens to just a few vacation trips abroad by air per year in order to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions.

Adair Turner, chairman of the independent Committee on Climate Change that advises UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, made the proposal before Parliament’s Environmental Audit Select Committee on Feb. 5. In remarks widely reported by UK media, Turner said, “We will have to constrain demand in an absolute sense with people not allowed to make as many journeys as they could in an unconstrained manner.”

Neal Boortz is wondering how long we have to wait until the same policies swim up over here.

Probably not too long.

Ships. Tea. Crates. Boston Harbor. Ker-SPLOOSH.


Sunday, February 1st, 2009

One Revolution AwayTime to get out the banner again.

His Holiness’ loyal followers are ticked off at Him, because He signed an executive order that appears to preserve the legitimacy of renditions, a controversial procedure in which scumbags are shipped off from countries that prohibit torture, whatever that is, to other countries that do not.

The CIA’s secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that the rendition program might be poised to play an expanded role going forward because it was the main remaining mechanism — aside from Predator missile strikes — for taking suspected terrorists off the street.

You catch that last bit?

Counter-terrorism efforts are contending with an ever-diminishing inventory of “mechanisms” they can use to take “terrorists off the street.” Pre-Obama, the problem has become so incapacitating that shipping the scumbags off to other countries is now “the main remaining mechanism.”

But the big news here, is that the banner is correct. Liberals are never quite happy with the status quo. You put ’em in charge of freakin’ everything…and oh dear, we’re still not quite good people just yet. Need another revolution.

And the profound irony is that it’s all about making us decent. But to most people, including quite a few Obama voters, allowing a terrorist attack to go ahead and make a smoking crater out of an American city filled with old people, women and children, just so you can go on the next day and brag about what an exquisitely-refined set of faux-European human-rights “values” you have — doesn’t make you decent.

It makes you an asshole.

Slashee Slashee

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Poor Britons. Looks like this is my day to pick on ’em. I don’t mean for things to be that way…I didn’t make ’em that way…they did.

Life in Britain:

A teenager was repeatedly stabbed in front of his 13-year-old brother before dying in his sister’s arms.

Stephen Lewis, 15, was attacked by a gang of youths as he left a charity event aimed at campaigning against youth violence.

The irony… It is KILLING us. Fortunately for us, only in a figurative sense. Poor Stephen was not so lucky. He died as a victim of “sensible gun laws” etc. etc. etc., all aimed at rendering the subjects of the socialist nanny state utterly helpless in the face of vicious predators. And we’re not just talking about their own government here.

That link goes to Rachel Lucas, who has two other stories to go with this one. Equally disgusting.

Tea. Crates. Ships. Boston Harbor. Ker-SPLOOSH.

Merkel on Global Warming

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

The worst thing you can do to a flimsy, ramshackle idea, is to take it seriously. And on January 20, we’re going to take the idea that liberalism is the solution to all of life’s problems, very, very seriously.

Europeans are runnin’ scared. Starting with Germany’s Chancellor:

with the last grownups scheduled to leave Washington next month, Europeans have been forced to drop the sanctimonious posturing and defend sanity.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has been keen to promote herself as a tough actor on climate change, but with a new EU climate deal in the making, she’s issued a new caveat: It must not jeopardize German jobs.

Merkel used to exploit the hoax with the worst of them, even traveling to Greenland to pose with melting ice. But it’s becoming clear that moonbattery has a price.

According to an unpublished report by the economy ministry, Germany risks losing more than 100,000 jobs if the EU were to force industries to pay for pollution rights that are currently free.

Another study by the Muenster-based EEFA research institute pointed to increased costs stemming from reforming pollution rights, making Germany’s key industrial sector less competitive and threatening up to 300,000 jobs by 2020.

Infuriating environmentalists who couldn’t care less about human suffering, Merkel now says of the impending EU climate deal,

It must not take decisions that would endanger jobs or investments in Germany.

Merkel is showing a common human failing here…especially among bosses of things. People in charge tend to be very much in favor of bad ideas, provided they have that all-important protection of virtual anonymity later on. When it all turns to crap. That’s the mediocre boss’ happy-zone right there: It’s kinda-sorta my idea, kinda-sorta not.

That means I get to take all the credit if it succeeds, none of the blame if it turns all soft and brown, and regardless of what happens, I don’t have to do any work.

Well, now that Chosen One is going to be in charge of the United States, a lot of this stuff that wasn’t gonna happen, now has a much more likely chance of happening.

That strips anonymity off. It’s a pretty safe thing to be the Grand Marshal of a parade that isn’t really going anywhere. Now the balloon are going up, the floats are moving…and wow. Some ceremonial positions that weren’t scary before, suddenly are.

So the mediocre bosses are scrambling. Like rats on a sinking ship. Or like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton after Move On Dot Org told ’em what to think about invading Iraq.



It’s a good time to keep your eyes and ears open, and learn some interesting things about politicians.

Best Sentence XLVII

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The 47th Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes out tonight to FrankJ…who clinches this, actually, with four sentences. Plus a headline too. It’s a glitch we’ll have to learn to tolerate, as we learn to tolerate something else far less tolerable, so that should make it easy.

Hey, Europe!
Posted by Frank J. on November 4, 2008 at 9:44 pm

So how many black leaders have you elected?

Yeah, I thought so. So shut up.

Racist crackers.

This Is Good LIV

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Seven paragraphs of solid win from Alex, commenter at Rachel’s blog.

Not much to the setup. It’s another Euro-weenie screed about how when America elects a President this year, we have to keep the “world opinion” in mind…read that as, do what people tell us to do, those who purport to represent the world opinion, but who in reality haven’t even begun to go door-to-door finding out what the world opinion is. Just a bunch of control freaks. Or one control freak. Who wrote a Euro-weenie column.

Link here.

Alex’s response below.


Howdy there — just one of your provincial American readers weighing in on your latest missive, which was so full of Wrong that it’s hard to figure out where to begin to rebut it, and which I can’t hope to rebut in full without devoting much more time to composing an e-mail than you really deserve, so I’ll just touch on a few high (low) points, and maybe mock you a bit while I’m at it.

First off, you mention the prospect of “A generation of young Americans – who back Obama in big numbers – [turning] cynical [and] concluding that politics doesn’t work after all,” in a manner that suggests you think that would be a /bad/ thing. That figures. Those of us who still value freedom, however, and want less socialism and for the government to meddle less in our lives, would like nothing more than for the young generation to wake up and realize that politics is for suckers. Maybe, in their new-found cynicism, they’ll go out and get real jobs, in which they can actually create things and generate wealth and prosperity — rather than seek out new ways to leech off taxpayers, curtail freedoms, and serve as a drag on the economy. Waking these kids up sooner rather than later is as good a reason to reject Obama as any.

As far as what the rest of the world thinks about whom America should elect, I recall this isn’t the first time you’ve trotted out the idea that Americans need to take the rest of the world’s opinion into consideration. In fact, didn’t you suggest four years ago that since the American president affects the rest of the world that everyone in the world should get to vote? That column gave all of us a big laugh over here. Well, OK, not all of us; just the few of us who read it. But in case I didn’t write you then to give you my opinion, I’ll tell you now: that sounds like a capital idea, and we’ll get right on it — just as soon as the rest of the world gives us full reciprocity in voting in /their/ countries’ elections too. After all, the leadership of those other countries affects Americans too, such as when we rely on purported allies to help us out in putting diplomatic and economic pressure on regimes that threaten us and our allies without undercutting our efforts behind our backs. And let’s face it — it would really be safer and cheaper for us if we could just vote the leaders of hostile countries out of office instead of having to deal with them through diplomacy, economic sanctions, and threats of military action. Actually, I really like this idea: let me know when I get to vote in the next UK parliamentary election, won’t you?

But for the time being, it might baffle you, but we Americans are still going to elect a leader that we think is going to act in the best interests of America. That doesn’t mean participating in some global popularity contest. While some people think it may be sort of nice for America to be liked by European bureaucrats and effete poncy patronizing Pommy columnists, the rest of us don’t really care whether you like us or not, and we’re not about to elect a transnational socialist in order to gain your admiration. In fact, those of us Americans who still value individualism and freedom wear the derision of your type as feathers in our caps. You don’t have to wait until November for the American finger — you can have it right now if you want.

And as for your speculation on whether Obama’s defeat will be “deemed to have been about race” … well, of /course/ it will be so “deemed” — because that’s the spin everyone who supports him will put on it, whether true or not. Even if we clearly reject Obama because of his socialism; his adherence to the discredited McGovern/Carter/Brzezinsky/Vance/Christopher/Albright school of pacifist-internationalist appeasenik foreign policy; his hostility to economic liberty; his close ties with the Blame-America-First contingent of the Left; his scheme to nationalize the health care and energy industries, along with whatever else he and his ilk can get away with nationalizing; and his insufferable Ivy League prick (translation to UK-speak: “posh git”) personality … everyone who wanted him to be elected will already have their minds made up and will scream loudly that it was about race. You know what, though? We’re not about to be mau-maued into voting for this turkey just to avoid accusations of racism, because we know that even if we elect him, we’re /still/ going to be accused of it whenever we don’t do exactly what our self-professed betters and racialist/multiculturalist would-be commisars want us to do: we can’t win with them, and we can’t break even either. Which is why we’re going to invite them to kindly pound sand up their asses while we reject Obama anyway, for our own reasons, and let the chips fall where they may.

And finally, if the rest of the world wants Obama as a leader, they can have him. Once he’s defeated here, the UN is welcome to him. We’ll have a great time watching him bask in the world’s adulation while aiding and abetting the world’s various kleptocracies, thugocracies, socialist bureacracies, and tyrannical regimes in trying to undermine American interests while leeching off its foreign aid largesse. Seriously — take Barack Obama. Please.

I guess that’s it for now. Cheerio, old boy — looking forward to your next humo(u)r column.

Alex Xxxxx
San Francisco, CA

More on the same subject. Some will like this one even better. It comes to our attention via Boortz, and it provides an up-to-date complete electoral map of The Chosen One’s expected fortunes on Election Day. Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Ilkka nails it:

Do You Speak ItI have mentioned a few times that since I already speak English, I really don’t see any value in learning other languages, since the time and effort needed would be much better spent on other things. There is so much opinion, information and knowledge available in English that I can only ever read an infinitesimal portion of it. Besides, in this petabyte word that we live in, the problematic part is not acquiring the information but filtering the signal from noise. If somebody has something important to tell me, he can do that in English, and if he doesn’t want to do this, then that something probably wasn’t that important in the first place, simple as that. The English language is perhaps the most underrated bozo filter currently in existence, silently blocking out tons of idiocy. Of course you could argue that I must learn some language so that I could understand and relate to the people who speak it. Very well, tell me then which language A I ought to learn, instead of any one of the other languages B, C, D, … Also, please tell, why is this duty unidirectional the same way that all multiculturalism always seems to be? Couldn’t the speakers of other languages just as well learn to speak English? Why do I have a moral duty to learn their language, when they clearly don’t have the reciprocal duty to learn mine?

I’ve been hearing a very long time now that the simple act of learning any non-native tongue has a “broadening” effect upon the mind. Back when I was in high school this made perfect sense to me, although looking back on it I should have paid better attention to the evidence I was seeing. I’m referring here, mostly, to those fellow students in high school who were members of the “Esperanto Club.” Indeed, their communication skills in English did seem to go up as they learned second-languages, and of course they were on the fast-track for other accolades, positions held, class President, et al. One problem: When I talked with them one-on-one about deeper matters, computer programming, trigonometry, etc., they didn’t know a whole lot. But never mind, because all the teachers acted as if they were little geniuses.

I just don’t find any evidence to support that this truly broadens the mind. Quite to the contrary: People who learn multiple languages tend to become pretentious. Not all of them. There are those who use it as a tool — I need to know this other language, so I learn it, I don’t brag about it. Like that. The folks who learn multiple languages as a social signal, as in ooh look at me, I’m so smart, I know more than one language…they’re a bunch of freakin’ pinheads. Always have been.

And no, that’s not jealousy talking. If I wanted to learn another language, I’d have done it by now. But it comes down to — Ilkka’s right. You invest the time, you get a benefit. If you already know the English language you’re not going to get much of a benefit unless you’re about to spend more than a few days in some country that speaks a different language.

And there are all the problems with logic, for which the polyglots fall, again and again. Like this one: English-only is racist. No, it’s NOT. English is not a color.

Sen. Obama made an issue out of this. He says our children need to learn more than one language — specifically, Spanish — but Obama hasn’t done this himself. Millions of people are falling for it. Some of them know more than one language…in which they help prove my point, multiple-language people falling for crap…and some of them don’t, in which case they’re no better than he is.

And here’s something else peculiar I’ve been noticing. Languages I’m supposed to learn in order to become a “better” individual, it seems, are languages from Europe. People don’t say you’re better if you learn Swahili. They say you should learn one of those high school fad-and-fashion languages…French…Italian…Spanish. And Europe is historically mostly white. Listen to the rhetoric sometime — how does the politically-correct crowd protest a school exam that has not been sufficiently “diversified”? They call it euro-centric. How does that help keep me from being a racist if I learn languages from a continent whose name is virtually synonymous with whiteness?

What is it about Europe, anyway? I don’t see anyone saying people from Chad are ticked at Americans for not having passports. I don’t see anyone saying people from Ghana are opining away about our isolationism…or people from Tibet…or people from Madagascar. It’s always Europe. Europe, which from what I’m told, has been made into a tourist trap. Hmmm…guilt for dollars.

Here’s some irony. English is the official aviation language as of January 1, 2008. Internationally. There ya go. You want to identify with other countries, the first step is to speak English.

I like the point about the bozo filter. Gathering information for yourself is always useful, but I think it’s high time the point was made that an ability to filter things out is far more useful. Once you’ve given it a fair hearing, I mean. Someone says “A big problem we have with kids today is they’re traumatized when their parents are overly competitive” and you say “Oh really? Like who?” and the other person says “Well, I saw it in a whole bunch of movies…” (Thing I Doubt #18). One eyeball-roll later, that should be the end of the discussion. And we have a great many more people walking around lacking an ability to filter out stupid things, than lacking the ability to gather the raw material. They see things in movies, and they think those things are true. Does learning multiple languages help stop people from doing this, indulging in this confusion between reality and fantasy? The opposite seems to be the case.

There is also a point to be made about differentiating between learning something, and learning something well. From listening to people, and observing things for myself, I have come to gradually notice that people in foreign lands who are addressed by tourists in their native tongues, don’t seem to appreciate the gesture unless some high degree of proficiency has been attained. Maybe not even then. I still think, if you’re going there, you should learn the language of where you’re going to some utilitarian level. I’m just saying, don’t count on people showing an appreciation for it. Why should they? Isn’t it rather conceited to assume some guy over in France, minding his own business, will appreciate the opportunity to tell you where the damn bathroom is just because you know how to say S’il Vous Plaît? How insulting.

One other thing I keep getting told is that people in foreign countries — again, Europe — don’t like Americans because Americans are rude. Maybe our multi-culturalists are the problem. Shouldn’t someone be asking them about it? I mean, if you’re the kind of person who’s going to get a passport and travel to Europe just so you can say you’re so much better than another American who will stay home, it just makes sense that you’re probably the kind of person who’s going to bug people over there for directions and then act like you’re the one doing them a favor. And if I happen to be that foreign guy, you’re probably going to piss me off pretty well. Next guy who asks me about Americans, I’m going to say they’re rude and full o’ themselves. Anyway, that’s my theory. Makes pretty good sense from where I’m standing. And as Ilkka points out in a more recent post, don’t forget all the carbon you’re blowing out your rear end by flying there in the first place.

But above all, that parting-shot question has to stand. And it seems to me unanswerable. How come I have to learn your language, but you don’t have to learn mine?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Why Do Europeans Love Obama?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

By Victor Davis Hanson.

Let us count the ways:

1) Obama’s tax code, support of big government programs and redistribution of income, and subservience to UN directives…

Monoglot2) He offers Euros a sort of cheap assuagement of guilt—in classic liberal style…

3) Europe is weak militarily and won’t invest in its own defense. But with Obama, they believe the US will subject its enormous military strength to international organizations—usually run by utopian Europeans. So they will play a thinking-man’s Athens to our muscular Rome…

4) Style, style, style…Instead of a strutting, Bible-quoting Texan, replete with southern accent and ‘smoke-em’ out lingo, they get an athletic, young, JFK-ish metrosexual…

5) Obama reassures Europeans that they, not American right-wingers, “won” the classical debates of the 1990s over economics, foreign policy, and government. He is a world citizen, who buys into human-created massive global warming, wind and solar over nuclear and clean coal, high taxes, and cradle-to-grave entitlements, and resentments of the rich…

The final irony?

The hated George Bush is still around; Chirac, Schroeder, Villapin et al. are history. Iraq is secure. Iran is becoming isolated. North Korea supposedly is denuked. And America is reassuring a jittery Europe that we will stick by them in a world of bullying Russians and Chinese.

A Modest Prediction

In 5 years, Europeans will prefer George Bush to a “We are right behind you” Obama.

This is me again. I have been taking a particularly keen interest in the variety of ways in which teenagers are raised by their parents. I notice that in some households, if there are any chores to be done at all in the upkeep on those households, the teenagers are spared all of it. For them, life becomes a never-ending procession of leisure activities, get-togethers with their friends, while mommy and daddy do all the work. Other teenagers are expected to help out. If there is manual labor to be done, some of them are expected to do their share before they are allowed to eat.

I also see some teenagers hate their parents and don’t seem to be able to articulately state, exactly, why that is.

Overall, I notice the teenagers who are afforded these existences of all-play-and-no-work, seem to be the ones with all these resentments toward their parents, and can’t say why.

Europe has earned a reputation, over several generations, of not having to fight her own wars. That continent acts very much, to my perception, like these teenagers who are spared all of the work, and are allowed to cast it off onto someone else. They don’t like us for our “cowboy mentality” and our “go-it-alone attitude”; it would make much more sense to dislike us for the ultimate effects of those attitudes we are supposed to have, than to dislike us for the attitudes themselves. But every European or European sympathizer who sets out to explain the cause-and-effect chain reaction set off by our cowboy attitude, ends up delivering some rambling, sloppy thesis of nonsense.

Methinks VDH has put into words what the European intelligentsia cannot. They’re motivated by style, and they have pubescent, simmering resentments toward us because they know our country has been doing their work.

I could be wrong about that. I may read a little bit more about this than the average bear, but other folks have been to Europe, and my little Europe-virgin feet have never touched it’s soil. So I think it is important to remember what it is I do not know. BUT — I have seen a lot of years roll by, during which time I’ve seen a lot of Europeans condemn the U.S. for trying to get things done, and occasionally lavish upon us praise for being idle. There seems to be a certain consistency in their wishes for things to be left the same way throughout the world with our presence, as those things would exist in our complete absence.

I dunno. Perhaps it is possible some academic types over in Rome, Lisbon, London, Paris, et al, nurse a simmering desire that our country remains completely ineffectual on the world’s stage — and it would still somehow remain seemly to call them “friends.” But I don’t see how. I don’t think, with friends like those, we have too much of a need for enemies. And far from bragging rights, their adoration of Mr. Obama seems to me to leave him with something for which he needs to apologize. I certainly would think about it, if I were him.

Fifty-Eight Percent

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Yesterday morning in his program notes, Neal Boortz wrote,

Not too many months ago the Pew Research Center – and these are people with great expertise in European polling – said that 58% of all Europeans want to see the United States weakened. Now think about that for a minute. Do you want the United States to be weakened? It’s not surprising that Europeans might want that. After all, a weaker United States might well mean a stronger Europe in international affairs and economic influence. That might be great for Europe, and we can understand Europeans wanting to bring this about. But when these Europeans start falling all over themselves during the Obama 2008 tour, try to remember what their goals really are. Are they slobbering all over Obama because they think he will be a wonderful and powerful world leader, or because they think that Barack Obama is the means to their desired end … a weakened America.

As of now, the Google Gods offer me nothing about this Pew Research item whatsoever, besides other bloggers quoting this thing. I’ll not be joining them for the moment. “Pics or it didn’t happen,” as they say.

But then again — it should be noted that I’m abstaining out of ritual, not out of real skepticism. If the figure isn’t fifty-eight percent, then what am I supposed to think it is? Thirty-five percent? Forty?

I’ve been beaten up one side and down the other, since the ’04 elections and well before then, that we should do this-or-that thing — usually, get rid of George W. Bush — because “our allies” want us to. Few-to-none take the time or effort to inspect what our allies want to see happen. Nobody has stepped forward and said these things our “allies” want us to do, would be good for us…except in vague, nebulous terms, having to do with said allies being satisfied.

This is what the Parable of Bob’s Dollar is all about: Children are supposed to do what they’re told, without asking questions. When you grow up, you should understand you aren’t really synchronizing with anyone on a plan just because they tell you to do something and you do it; you’re supposed to understand what the intent is. And if you don’t take the time to do that, then you aren’t living your life as a grown-up.

The Parable of Bob’s Dollar, as it appeared on Father’s Day ’06:

Just like a Democrat disseminator of talking-points talking down to his constituents, saying “President Bush needs to be impeached,” I tell you to give a dollar to Bob. Never mind why. Just do it. What could it be that I have in mind? The sheer number of possibilities runs high enough to make the whole exercise unworkable.

The most likely possibility is that Bob needs a dollar, or an additional dollar, to buy something. Wouldn’t you like to know what that thing is?

Perhaps, though, it’s something else. Perhaps I caught you saying a dirty word and Bob is the treasurer. Again, the exercise is unworkable. If there’s a dollar-per-dirty-word rule, shouldn’t you know what that rule is, in order for it to work? And what if someone else said the dirty word, and I’m wrong in thinking you said it?

Maybe I have gathered the impression that you have two dollars more in your pocket than Bob has in his pocket, and I want both of you to have the same amount. Again, unworkable. How do I know how much money you have? What business is it of mine? And come to think of it, what about the money in my pocket?

Maybe Bob told me he hasn’t eaten in a long time. Who is to say Bob is any hungrier than you are?

Maybe Bob likes the smell of money. Maybe Bob likes to eat it. Why can’t I be the one who gives him the dollar?

Or perhaps it doesn’t have anything to do with actually giving Bob money. Maybe Bob has twenty nickels or ten dimes, and wants to use a vending machine that only takes quarters and dollars. If that’s the case, shouldn’t I be saying that?

There are two points to be made here. The first is that it is wholly unworkable to communicate anything meaningful to you in this circumstance, and the second is that it is wholly unworkable for any one of these strategies to realize some measure of potential for real success. I have only pointed out the most obvious possibilities of what I may mind in exhorting you to fork a dollar over to Bob; if we were to give it some real thought, we could come up with a list virtually endless. In all cases, our joint venture has foundered on the rocks before we have even set sail. There is no meeting of the minds on priorities, on contingencies, on prerequisites, or any of a number of other vital things. There cannot be. By telling you what to do, and not why, and not what the expected result is to be, I have failed to treat you with the minimum respect you deserve as a thinking adult.

And every time we are told to “do things more like Europe does them” or “do this thing because Europe wants us to do it” — that’s exactly the situation. So if the 58% is not accurate, it makes sense to ponder it as if there’s a grain of truth to it, or more than a grain…because there probably is, for one thing, and for another thing, Europe’s interests are not the same as ours.

And then there’s that other parable about the frog ferrying the scorpion across the river. Well, I don’t think that one fits quite as well. Europeans may have their own interests, which are not our interests, but they aren’t mean people.

But their interests are different. They love Obama. And if you can put your finger on someone, European or otherwise, explaining exactly why — you’re a much better researcher on the innernets than I am.

Prosecuted For Owning a Stick

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Via Rachel, we learn about Great Britain’s version of Joe Horn.

WTF?Yes, yankee liberals, by all means…we need to elect some leaders that will make us more like Europe. Tell me another. I’m more inclined to fly to Boston and throw a few more crates of tea in their harbor.

For more than two years, Sydney Davis’s house has been under siege from youths throwing stones. After two hours of bombardment in the latest attack and no sign of the police, the 65-year-old retired builder decided enough was enough.

As a particularly large missile landed in his kitchen, he grabbed a plank of wood from the garden and ran towards the gang to scare them away. The police arrived just in time – to arrest Mr Davis for possession of an offensive weapon. He now faces up to six months in prison.

Hey Great Britain — this American is ready to turn the tables on you. You need to realise how you look to the world community, understand that you are not civilised, and make some plans to apologise.

I’m awfully fond of a lot of the people I’ve met who have grown up in your fine country, and of some who still live there. But as far as walking that balance between civil liberties and prosecuting evil, you wouldn’t know how to do it if real civilization itself ran up and kicked you square in the ass.

Mr Davis’s 42-year- old wife Pauline dialled 999 when their home came under attack yet again last week, but two and a half hours later officers had failed to arrive.

The couple’s two sons, five and seven, were cowering behind the sofa when their father ran at the gang.

He recalled: ‘My wife called the police at 6 o’clock. But [the youths] just kept on throwing stones.

‘I have two kids and if one of those stones hit them it could have caused some really nasty damage.

‘I left the back door open to stop them smashing it.’

When officers arrived outside his home in Swindon, Wiltshire, Mr Davis was handcuffed and led away to the cells, where he was later charged.

The youths ran off. ‘What in the world is this country coming to that the police arrest people like me for protecting their own property?’ he said yesterday.

‘The police say they want to reduce crime, yet they let evil little toe-rags like this off. Then they prosecute hard-working, upstanding residents like me.

The law is, quite simply, a colossal ass.’

This American is all done being embarrassed for how you look at his country…for any reason.

Tea. Crate. Boston Harbor. Ker-SPLOOSH.

Rule For Truly Civilized Society #23. A civilized society acquits from all penalty, those who are found to have committed violence in self-defense.

If Your Child Doesn’t Like Spicy Food He’ll Become a Racist

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008


The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

FacepalmThis could include a child of as young as three who says “yuk” in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

The guidance by the NCB is designed to draw attention to potentially-racist attitudes in youngsters from a young age.

It alerts playgroup leaders that even babies can not be ignored in the drive to root out prejudice as they can “recognise different people in their lives”.

I’m just loving what comes next…

Warning that failing to pick children up on their racist attitudes could instil prejudice, the NCB adds that if children “reveal negative attitudes, the lack of censure may indicate to the child that there is nothing unacceptable about such attitudes”.

Nurseries are encouraged to report as many incidents as possible to their local council. The guide added: “Some people think that if a large number of racist incidents are reported, this will reflect badly on the institution. In fact, the opposite is the case.”

File this one under “everyone deserves tolerance, respect, understanding and acceptance, and we’ll oppose at every turn anyone who dares to disagree.”

There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures… and the Dutch. — Nigel Powers, Goldmember (2002)

H/T: Debbie Schlussel.

Violated My Birthday Party Invitation Rights

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Wah, wah, wah; yes, let’s become a lot more like Europe and get them to like us more.

An eight-year-old boy has sparked an unlikely outcry in Sweden after failing to invite two of his classmates to his birthday party.

The boy’s school says he has violated the children’s rights and has complained to the Swedish Parliament.

The school, in Lund, southern Sweden, argues that if invitations are handed out on school premises then it must ensure there is no discrimination.

The boy’s father has lodged a complaint with the parliamentary ombudsman.

He says the two children were left out because one did not invite his son to his own party and he had fallen out with the other one.

The boy handed out his birthday invitations during class-time and when the teacher spotted that two children had not received one the invitations were confiscated.

H/T: Kate.

Meister on Those Scolding Europeans and Will Smith

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

3. Accept all criticism, even when it makes absolutely no sense. Become less of what you are, until people decide you’re okay, even though they never will.
4. Even as you accept unreasonable criticism, avoid criticizing anything anybody else does, unless someone else is already criticizing it.

Those are two of my tips about how to earn a eulogy full of awkward, empty bromides. Agree with everything negative ever said about you even though it makes no sense, and don’t say anything negative about anything else — unless that’s become “The Thing To Do,” in which case you should dish out scoldings by the bushel. In short, let the bandwagon be your “something’s-wrong-with-that” compass.

So is Will Smith earning a eulogy full of awkward, empty bromides? He certainly seems to be trying to, I can see by Pam Meister’s expose in Pajamas Media today. The lad is younger than me, stronger than me, looks much better than most of us and who wouldn’t love to have a house and a bank account like his?

But whatever eulogy I have coming my way, I’ll keep it warts-and-all, thankewverymuch. Mr. Smith can hang on to his. I’m sure there’ll be a few non-awkward sprinklings in the nice things said about him when it’s time, his charities, his movies, funny things he did, etc. But by-and-large, he represents exactly what I was describing.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to wading in the Hollywood cesspool, another witless celebrity decides to trash America.

Will Smith is the latest overpaid navel-gazer to join the “Embarrassed to Be a Rich American Celebrity Tour.” On a recent Today Show appearance to hawk his upcoming movie Hancock — which, if this report is correct, is likely to be a box office disaster — Smith had this to say about his recent travels abroad:

You know I just, I just came back from Moscow, Berlin, London, and Paris and it’s the first, I’ve been there quite a few times in the past five to 10 years. And it just hasn’t been a good thing to be American. And this is the first time, since Barack has gotten the nomination, that it, it was a good thing.

How incredibly popular this has become; how many Will Smiths there are. You complain about George Bush, so I’m going to complain about George Bush. If it’s nonsensical to complain about X but you’re doing it anyway, I’ll help you complain about it. If it makes lots of sense to complain about Z but nobody else is complaining about Z, I’ll keep my silence on it. The bandwagon is the compass.

Pam Meister continues to opine, raising the fascinating rhetorical question of just who, exactly, died and made the Europeans boss:

It does surprise me that Smith refers to being relieved of his embarrassment in Berlin, considering that country has moved to ban Scientology, something Smith has been dabbling in for some time now. Is the German government’s move to ban a, er, religion — in light of Germany’s history of religious tolerance — something the Germans should be embarrassed about when they travel abroad? Perhaps the next time I see a German tourist I’ll ask in somber tones, “What do you think about your government banning Scientology?” in the same manner so many Europeans like to ask Americans, “What do you think about your president?” and if you reply in a positive manner they stare at you as though you have just sprouted a second nose.

Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.

Mr. Smith is only among the most entertaining and appealing elite of what has become a majority, a vocal majority if no other kind, of bullying nonsense-peddlers. They insist the rest of us accept their judgment as a lodestar, while proffering that sense of judgment only as a proxy. None of ’em take responsibility for anything. They criticize, not what it makes sense to criticize, but instead what lots of folks among them are already criticizing. This has become painfully obvious as it has become later into George W. Bush’s second and final term: We can debate into all hours of the night whether or not President Bush deserves criticism, but we can’t debate whether it makes sense to criticize him. It doesn’t. What’s the other guy going to say when you make your criticism stick? “Oh that does it then, I’m not gonna re-elect him“?

So what do you say at Will Smith’s eulogy? He had the courage to criticize some things it made no sense to criticize, when a bunch of other people were already doing it. That’s an awkward, empty bromide if ever there was one.

How much company does he have? Consider the contract made by people like him: LET ME INTO THE CLUB. I will voice my opinion courageously, after others have already done it…and there is no residual question remaining about whether it is the voice of the majority or not. I will add my energy and my charisma, but never my judgment for my judgment will simply be a clone of what others have judged.

I will lean on the oar. My hand will stay off the tiller. I am propulsion; I am not direction. I change the vector but not the bearing.

I will not change the outcome. In anything. But it will be lots of fun to look at me.

What do you say about someone like that when their time comes? You say you will miss them — and then what? The thing that floats just under the surface, the elephant in the room that makes the eulogy truly awkward and unbearable, is that all fun things come & go and we adapt just fine. We will learn to get along without ’em. After we so learn, we will be better people than we were before.

That isn’t the case with people who have the courage to change an outcome — stamping their individual identities under the changes. In the middle of droning out their eulogies, you wonder what in the world is going to happen now. You wonder how things would have been different. It’s a different eulogy. Trust me, I know; I’ve delivered them. It’s a tough one to do, but I’d much rather deliver that kind, than the kind of eulogy you give for someone who has no memory worth cherishing, no outcome changed because of his presence, the guy who criticizes only that which others are already criticizing. Human cattle.

Well, maybe the fact that no eulogy can be comfortably delivered, is the point. Green burials are becoming increasingly popular in the Europe from where Will Smith takes his marching orders, and some of these are lacking in a headstone or even a ceremony. So it’s not as if these folks have failed at anything by passing through their entire lifespans without making a real difference in things. Except — Will Smith actually does good things for charity. Good for him, but I wonder how he reconciles this?

When you’re trying to avoid upsetting the status quo in looking for things to criticize…avoiding any decisions for yourself, avoiding making any disruption in what has already been decided by others…but then you want to “make a difference” in things other people will think are nice and wonderful — the common thread devolves to a singularity. And that is earning the approval of strangers. Once that becomes what life is all about, it makes for a very awkward eulogy indeed.

Goldfish Rights

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Via Gerard:

Government control over the citizens does not come about just through the legislation of the large issues a la the Canadian Hate Speech Tribunals. It also happens — and much more frequently — by the assumption of the government by fiat of the right to control all manner of little things. The recent best seller, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” has it exactly backwards. The small stuff is what has to be sweated. All the time.

If you are of a certain age you’ll remember the arguments against seat belt laws and motorcycle helmets mandates. In general it ran, “If they can do this to these things, they can do it to bigger things and everything.”

Nonsense, was the rejoinder, this is simply “for your own good.” An extension of this rationale was, “It is for the good of the children.” Fast forward a few decades and take a searching and fearless inventory of all the things you simply cannot do that are just things that involve you own personal behavior. You’ll find that they are numerous and growing. The new argument for laws and regulations that diminish your freedoms and liberty centers around “saving the planet.” This one is perfect since, simply by being alive, there are many things you do — such as exhaling carbon dioxide — that threaten the planet.

What inspires this tirade?

What indeed

Under a new Swiss law enshrining rights for animals, dog owners will require a qualification, anglers will take lessons in compassion and horses will go only in twos.

From guinea-pigs to budgerigars, any animal classified as a “social species” will be a victim of abuse if it does not cohabit, or at least have contact, with others of its own kind.

The new regulation stipulates that aquariums for pet fish should not be transparent on all sides and that owners must make sure that the natural cycle of day and night is maintained in terms of light. Goldfish are considered social animals, or Gruppentiere in German.

Good ol’ Europe; yeah liberals, let’s become exactly like them. Must! Ought! Should! Have to! Got to! Gotta gotta gotta! Must! Your dreams are coming true — we haven’t that far to go. Makes me want to put a brand new wreath on the tomb of the gentlemen who chucked the first crates of tea into Boston Harbor, or toss in a bag or two all over again.

Or as Gerard elegantly and expertly summarizes in the money quote…

In a way, it is a symptom of a civilization that has just ground to a halt. The Swiss have simply run out of rational things to regulate and so they move on to the world of compassionate bullshit.

Guns and God? Hell, Yes

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008


Tolerance and Intolerance II

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Once again it is shown: Tolerance and intolerance are mutually-exclusive things. It is an act of intolerance, to tolerate intolerance.

Let all who doubt that, feast their eyes:

This morning, my son asked to go swimming at 10 am. As he was going to play with a friend at 11.30, I agreed to take him early. I checked the pool programme online… and the opening times. Apparently, the pool was open, and no special programmes were being run. So, off we trundled. When I arrived at the pool, I was told that we could not swim in it until 10.45. The reason is that it was being used for ‘Muslim Male Swimming’. This is apparently so every Sunday morning. I couldn’t quite believe that a swimming pool was really institutionalising both gender and religious segregation… Apparently, this is a policy insisted on by Hackney Council, which sets the policy for all Hackney pools.

Or, as I said at the early part of last year:

Whenever someone in a position of authority uses those four words in sequence, “aimed at promoting tolerance,” something that had previously been tolerated, no longer will be, and it is soon to be subjected to intolerance.

The Dark Age

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

In our relatively recent memory, there is a micro-era just 76 months long that shook the world. That this tiny epoch exists in our past, says a great deal about how we live with each other, how we’re slaves to fad and fashion, and how we’re not nearly as independent as we like to think we are.

My son’s been having this interest in cultural events that immediately preceded his birth, which was in ’97. This could be a sign of genius, if he knows what he’s doing…something that is always open to question. It could be hereditary. In my case, back in my childhood I had an interest in what was going on in the sixties and seventies, barely conscious of the fact that “big things” were going on, and I didn’t quite understand what they were. But they were bigger than me. My similar interest was decidedly a case of not knowing what I was doing. If I had my childhood to live all over again, knowing back then what I know now about post-modern feminism and the effect it’s had on our culture and on our public policy, I would have read every single newspaper I possibly could have gotten my hands on.

There are cycles, waves, and other such patterns involved in the way we value things across time. We’ve always had this tendency to elevate one demographic onto a pedestal, and bury another one shoulders-deep into the ground for a vicious virtual-stoning. We take turns doing this, and throughout it all we have this self-deceptive way of telling ourselves we’re treating everyone “equally” when we all know it isn’t true. It’s a delicious and intriguing piece of human hypocrisy, something woven deeply into us inseparable from our body chemistries.

Maybe we picked it up when we bit that damned apple. Who knows.

And we exercise it as individuals. In a couple of years, my son will be a teenager and the “My Dad Knows Everything” phase will come to a bitter end. I’ll be the clueless dolt who doesn’t know a damn thing.

James BondIn the meantime, my son likes James Bond movies. He seems to be in search of the elusive James Bond question that his father can’t answer. And always, always, we keep coming back to the above-mentioned chapter. He’s figured out that the history of the movie franchise is inseparable from the history of modern America…double-oh seven’s adopted parental country. How it is connected, he’s not quite completely sure. But he understands there is a connection.

Always, we come back to the elephant in the room. The one thing about the superspy that cannot be ignored…but defies explanation because it defies definition. The one things in Bond’s timeline that is absolutely intermingled with and inseparable from ours. I’ve made several casual references to it, but have never thoroughly explored it before in these pages.

The Dark Age.

The time when the Knight of the Cold War underwent a timeless and decidedly female fantasy — the story of Persephone, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. He was taken away. He slept. The world tried, and arguably failed, to get along without him.

This has been an educational experience for me; the one facet to this Dark Age that fascinates me, above all else, is that it is a classic case of the few dictating the tastes of the many. We recall it — when we do — as a grassroots event, a natural consequence of the everyday folks getting fed up with an over-saturation of machismo. It simply isn’t true. It wasn’t bottom-up; it was top-down. Our elders decided they knew what was best for us, and they decided we were tired of James Bond. It was part of a much larger thing. Manhood was out of style. Masculinity, it was thought…although nobody came out and said straight-out, for it made far too little sense…was something that enshrouded us in the age of warfare, and now that the Cold War was over manhood no longer had a home. Anywhere. It was time for it to go away.

And so it became obligatory for the Lords and Vicounts and High Priests to instruct the peasants not to like James Bond. Or cigars, or martinis, or…well…anything you might’ve seen your “daddy” doing, be it Yankee or Anglican.

Working on cars on a summer day in an old greasy tee shirt. Drinking beer. Knowing best. Peeing on a tree. Opening jars for the wife. Telling dirty jokes. Growing facial hair. We were “above” all that, as we explored this new chapter in which 007 would be 86’d.

James Bond’s long slumber, the span between the sixteenth and seventeenth film installments, neatly bookends a small era in which we wanted none of these things…because we were told we should want no such things. And this year, as my son teeters on the brink of teenagerhood and is about to lose his curiosity about the Dark Age, and as Senator Hillary Clinton repeatedly struggles and fails to bring the Dark Age back again, perhaps it would be fruitful to re-inspect exactly what happened to us.

Supposedly, what happened was that Ian Fleming’s creation stalled out with the always-crescendoing legal troubles that arose from ownership disputes. There is certainly some truth to this; the evidence seems to suggest, on the question of Fleming taking indecent liberties with Kevin McClory’s contribution of the storyline in Thunderball, that Fleming is actually guilty. But it doesn’t really matter, does it. The very thing that makes this explanation plausible, is the thing that makes this explanation all bollywonkers and gunnybags. James Bond, at least in film form, has always been in legal trouble over this McClory issue. It is the reason there were two James Bonds in 1983. It is the reason that, in For Your Eyes Only two years previous, there was that surreal “Blofeld” appearance nobody can explain completely — the one with the smokestack, the wheelchair, the helicopter, and the delicatessen in stainless steel. Yeah, that.

Personally, I’ve never completely bought into this line that James Bond went away because of legal problems. He went away because he was out of style. Our feminists didn’t want us watching him. They told us what to do, and we obeyed our feminists. Starting with Hollywood, which made the regrettable decision — and today, looking back, the most ludicrous one — that the most profitable years of double-oh seven were in the past.

When one inspects what James Bond really is, one can easily see why our feminists have always hated him so much. He isn’t really a British spy, you know. He is the very apex of male fantasy. Let’s face it, international espionage doesn’t really have a great deal to do with saving the world from a madman with a laser orbiting the planet. It certainly doesn’t have to do with Aston-Martin automobiles, or sleeping with a lot of women. Or wearing a two thousand dollar suit and a three thousand dollar watch, when a couple hundred bucks divided among the two of those acquisitions will do quite nicely.

No, what those things have in common is that they typify male fantasy. They define manhood. Being entrusted with an important job, going about it, noticing something is about to happen that will injure millions of people you don’t even want to ever meet, preventing an enormous disaster and then retreating back into the shadows to go about your more mundane daily duties. Huh. I’ve just described the typical Superman episode. I’ve also just described a day in the life of any knight sitting at King Arthur’s round table. This is male fantasy that goes back a good stretch before Ian Fleming’s parents ever met.

And as frosting on the cake of feminist hatred toward the British superspy…once these male fantasies solidify into a newest James Bond movie installment, and the knuckledragging males like myself move heaven and earth to go see it…we don’t go alone. No, we bring our women along. Yes, women following men into the theater to watch a man’s movie. And we don’t jam our “honey do jars” full of bits of paper promising to do this or that pain-in-the-ass thing in compromise. We don’t have to. Our women want to go. Our women want to see the next James Bond movie more than we do.

This is what earns James Bond a fatwa from the feminist movement. He reminds us that men are noble creatures, and that women are complicated. Our feminists tend to hunger for the exact opposite, you know…they like men to be disposable and they like women to be simple. But with not a single sign of Meg Ryan crying, or Hugh Grant acting like a dork, the simple woman isn’t supposed to be having any fun. And she wouldn’t be. Yet the latest Bond flick comes out, and our women are practically jumping in the car, warming up the engine for us, offering to buy the popcorn.

James Bond is a sign that feminists may have more to learn about women, than anybody else.

And so, during the Dark Age, they killed him. They did what feminists desire to do: Shape our culture and define the values we exercise therein. Glittering recruiting-buzzwords like “power” and “freedom” and “choice” really have very little to do with any of it.

But…when angry women want us to do things, we find it hard to tell them no.

For the two thousand three hundred and thirteen days that began in the summer of 1989, James Bond slept.

The world went un-saved.

And when the experiment was over, it turned out — maybe the world doesn’t need saving after all — but it certainly does need James Bond. That male fantasy that he’s really all about. We depend on it; that’s just the way it is, and the feminists can get as grouchy about that as they want to get, but it’s true and will always remain such.

The feminist edict that James Bond should go away, began the way all cultural impulses do: With a tailwind, and on a downward slope. It caught on because resistance was at a low ebb. Certain external events created a climate in which it was handy and convenient to suggest a retirement from MI6 and from Hollywood. The AIDS crisis had reached a plateau, and some would say it was still on a sharp upswing. The baby boom generation, always numerous, always powerful, and always hostile to anything that might have been identified with the generation previous to them, had reached middle age and they started to occupy positions that were powerful, positions in which “real” decisions were made about things. And with Russia’s troubles, anything even remotely connected to a “cold war” seemed naturally headed to the trash heap.

It was Timothy Dalton’s second venture in this role. It is sometimes said that his style, notable in fidelity to the book version of Agent 007, grated on the movie audiences and there may be some truth to this as well. But another thing about Dalton that doesn’t get a lot of mention is that he was the first “Fountain of Youth” James Bond. Fans were expected to believe this was the same guy who outwitted Dr. No in 1962 and wrecked that railroad car on the Orient Express with Red Grant the following year; here he was, maybe seventy years old, wrestling control of an airplane in mid-flight after waterskiing behind it in his bare feet. The storyline was original enough, involving Bond’s defection from the British Secret Service and carrying out a personal vendetta on behalf of his friend Felix Leiter. And Robert Davi had all kinds of things going for him as the bad guy. He was dark, sinister, bloodthirsty, cruel and charming.

But — and looking back on it, this was probably the nail in the coffin — the bad guy was also a drug lord. In the previous film, The Living Daylights, it turned out that bad guy was also a drug lord. James Bond fighting the war on drugs. Nothing says “past the prime” quite like that.

The only sense of continuity was that Dalton had signed up to do three movies, and this was the second. Other than that, there was no momentum at all.

The death knell also came from bad returns, and the bad returns undoubtedly resulted from bad promotion. The film competed with Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Lethal Weapon 2 and many others. Bond had been a summer phenomenon with every film appearance since The Spy Who Loved Me, but evidently the time had come to re-think that, and perhaps it was re-thought a bit too late.

When the thumping came from the dismal revenues, feminists, and others invested against Bond’s success, trumpeted that we were tired of men saving the world from disaster, conveniently ignoring the success of Die Hard just a year ago. The talking point stuck. They talked it up and talked it up. Meanwhile, MGM/UA sued Danjaq, the parent holding company of Bond-related trademarks and copyrights…another outgrowth of the McClory mess.

That winter, in a dark omen about the times in which we were about to live, carefully sanitized of any male heroism or derring-do or respect for same, Marc Lepine murdered 14 women at the University of Montreal. The Montreal Massacre has come to epitomize what’s wrong with feminism, why it is the very last mindset that should have anything, whatsoever, with the formation of public policy.

Let us summarize it here: Feminists talked down male heroism. They opposed it at every turn. They poured vast sums of money and energy into sneering at it, indoctrinating entire generations of people to the idea that the Real Man is a myth, and if he is indeed real he serves no purpose, in fact is something toxic and ugly. And Mark Steyn, quoting himself after the Virginia Tech shooting, fills us in on what happened next:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

The conclusion is inescapable. Masculinity was killed, and soon after it the real women it had been defending.

Well, Mark Steyn has his opinion about what it all means, but the prevailing viewpoint has another take on it…

Since the attack, Canadians have debated various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine’s motives. Many feminist groups and public officials have characterized the massacre as an anti-feminist attack that is representative of wider societal violence against women. Consequently, the anniversary of the massacre has since been commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Other interpretations emphasize Lépine’s abuse as a child or suggest that the massacre was simply the isolated act of a madman, unrelated to larger social issues. Still other commentators have blamed violence in the media and increasing poverty, isolation, and alienation in society, particularly in immigrant communities.
The massacre was a major spur for the Canadian gun control movement. One of the survivors, Heidi Rathjen, who was in one of the classrooms Lépine did not enter during the shooting, organized the Coalition for Gun Control with Wendy Cukier. Susan and Jim Edwards, the parents of one of the victims, were also deeply involved. Their activities, along with others, led to the passage of Bill C-68, or the Firearms Act, in 1995, ushering in stricter gun control regulations. These new regulations included new requirements on the training of gun owners, screening of firearm applicants, new rules concerning gun and ammunition storage and the registration of all firearms. The gun registry in particular has been a controversial and partisan issue, with critics charging that it was a political move by the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien that has been expensive and impractical to enforce.

Who’s right? Form whatever opinion you wish to form; I’ve formed mine. This culture conflict between male-friendly and male-hostile forces had been going on for awhile, and ultimately it culminated in the death of James Bond, the greatest family-friendly male fantasy material ever put to the big screen. And then the Montreal Massacre showed us the horrific consequences in store for us if we eradicate masculinity…and in response to that…our neighbors to the North, in their infinite wisdom, eradicated masculinity some more. Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women — as if deranged gunmen pay attention to such things, before making the fateful decision to go charging through a college campus shooting people.

Little things began to happen in popular culture about this time, poisoning the well just a little bit further. The Simpsons premiered — the madcap adventures of a little poorly-drawn cartoon boy named Bart. It turned out his doofus dad Homer had special resonance with our now thoroughly-vaginized audience, and in the years to come the family patriarch would steal center stage. Homer Simpson, in this way, continued the trend set by Al Bundy in Married…With Children — albeit as a less sympathetic character — and the Age of the Doofus Dad began in earnest.

On the big screen and the little screen, things started popping up “geared toward” girls and women…which means deliberately excluding men. The studios discovered women were feeling a special attraction toward things that not only entertained them, but were assured to provide little-to-no entertainment for anybody else. They called it “tailoring” or “customizing” or “specially targeted” or whatever. The meaning was all the same: Men wouldn’t like it.

Makes sense. Guys, when you take your sweeties to the movies, it should hurt. Makes as much sense as that ring that should cost a lot. Sacrifice is the point.

So we were buried in an avalanche of things men wouldn’t like. The Little Mermaid marked the beginning of what became an annual pilgrimage — Disney would market the hell out of their next big feature cartoon, full of strange people and animals with eyes the size of dinner plates, with obscene volumes of merchandising tie-ins. Next year, they’d go back, Jack, and do it again. All of it “tailored.” Cleansed of anything that might be interpreted as even residual masculine appeal. All of it calculated to make Dad barf.

Steel Magnolias. That spring, Pretty Woman. Ghost. Feelings, feelings, feelings…bits of fluff to make you cry, tossed up there for the purpose of pulling in the little gold statues of the man who has no face.

Ryan White died of AIDS. Such poignant deaths tugged at our heartstrings, and helped to remind us that the era of feelings could not have crested out just yet. It was just getting started. After all, if you resolved to confront the AIDS crisis with your brain instead of with your heart, what in the world would you do? There was nothing to do in the Realm of Thought except throw a little bit more money at the disease. And then a lot more money. Well, when people can’t form a plan that seems complete, they like to feel their way through things so with every AIDS-related news event we did some more feeling.

Manhood being coupled with stoic, rational thinking, it was buried a little further in the ground as we continued to bury our brains. We had to be more sensitive. People were dying of AIDS. Nobody ever explained how being more sensitive would stop AIDS deaths, but that’s the beauty of feeling your way through things — no explanation necessary. Just think happy thoughts. Or sad ones. Whatever fits the occasion. Just be compatible. Doing constructive things, that was out of style now.

The era of James Bond continued to slip into the past. In August of 1990, movie producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli parted company with screenwriter Richard Maibaum, and John Glen, director of the previous five films. Half a year after this unfortunate event, Maibaum would be dead.

The environment took center stage, now that we were being extra-feminized and sensitive. We had a new Earth Day, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1970 event, and that summer Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered on TBS.

Men were understood to be inherently bad and women were understood to be inherently good. We began an endless fascination in women doing those heroic male things, like catching the bad guy. This is the year in which Clarice Starling became famous, as portrayed by Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs. And then there was Thelma and Louise. Of course, the Tailhook scandal helped out a lot. Women were heroes — and hero status was incomplete if it was even suggested that maybe, just maybe, there might be some things men could do that women could not…that wouldn’t do. We pretended otherwise. And if anybody dared to get tired of it, we’d simply explore how women were victims — and that would return them to “hero” status.

The dysfunction that took hold in our society, wasn’t so much that we saw good things in women. The most “patriarchal” societies, contrary to popular belief, have it in common that they have seen women as innately good and worthy of protection — hence the necessity of strong men. No, in the 76 months of this Dark Age, the real damage was irony. Things seemed, to us, to be the opposite of what they really were…starting with strength and weakness. Weakness was now the new strength. In the news as well as in fiction, people were shown to be strong through a ritual of showcasing their frailties. Rodney King was worthy of our attention because he got beaten up. The beating was worth talking about. His leading the police on a high speed chase through a densely populated suburban neighborhood…wasn’t worth talking about, because this didn’t service the goal of portraying King as a victim. Starling was strong because she was a victim. Thelma and Louise were strong because they were victims. The Tailhook ladies were strong because they were victims.

Strong didn’t have anything to do with being ready, willing or able to defend someone in need of a defense. That would be too patriarchal.

In July of 1991, Patricia Ireland succeeded Molly Yard as the head of the National Organization of Women. This was a pivotal event because it was a generational hand-off; Ireland is a baby-boomer, and Yard came from the generation previous. Three months after this, Susan Faludi published her book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. Strength-through-victimhood continued.

Feminists, during this time, could be as nasty as they wanted to be. If anyone called it out they’d just call it a “backlash” and do some more complaining about dark and sinister undercurrents in our society, working against them. Meanwhile, James Bond was dead…along with countless other “patriarchal” trinkets, involving far less meaning to us item-by-item than they meant collectively. The feminists were being exactly what they called others. Rodney King’s famous query was “can’t we all just get along?” The irony was, those who worked day and night to make sure everybody heard the question, also labored with equal gusto to make sure the answer was a resounding “Hell, no!”

Jeffry Dahmer was arrested. For eating people. The police got in trouble when it was discovered Dahmer fooled them into returning a bleeding, naked little boy to his care…who he later had for dinner. He ate lots of other people, but the police got in trouble because of this one boy. Don’t worry about Dahmer, he’s probably the last cannibal we’ll see for awhile, but we’d better fix the police because they’re feeding little boys to cannibals!

So the pattern continued. Those who did harm, were presented to us as nothing more than a curiosity…maybe even something deserving of our sympathy. Those whose job it is to protect us from the harm, are presented as part of the real problem. Ostensibly, this is done to make sure our protection is worth something. But every crime needs a protagonist, doesn’t it? If I’m a cop I can’t very well feed someone to a cannibal if there’s no cannibal around, can I? The police were a danger, the protagonist was not.

In November, Freddy Mercury died of AIDS. The feeling-over-thought continued. Bohemian Rhamsody, that winter, blared from every loudspeaker on every radio and every television.

Disorder was the new order. Justice was dispensed, not from the courtroom in which Stacy Koon and his colleagues were acquitted for the Rodney King incident, but in the riots that followed in downtown LA. Again…it was all about solving problems with feeling instead of with thought. Justice becomes a myth when you do that; just a glorified system of might-makes-right. More irony: People who want to disclaim masculinity, manhood, “patriarchal oppression” and so forth claim that as their goal — to elevate themselves and society above an anarchy in which might-makes-right. But that’s exactly what they cause to happen.

Meanwhile, nobody noticed that the Maastricht Treaty had been signed. This was the beginning of the European Union. Just like any other union, it was constructed to “level the playing field” against someone who had an “unfair advantage” — which means to attack that someone. In this case, it was the United States.

The importance of the Maastricht event cannot be overstated. Sixteen years later, we have been dutifully fed our talking points that the United States is seen by our “allies” as an oppressor. Most people who believe this uncritically, fail to comprehend how intricate and robust is the organization that is really responsible for all this “seeing.” It is an international union formed for the purpose of gaining more power…against the United States. With a little bit of a longer memory, one can see there is more to that story than just President George W. Bush. The hostility against America has roots in it, that go all the way back to this event. This quiet event.

Then came the Year of the Woman. It was part of a global fashion trend. That year, Betty Boothroyd had been elected as the first woman Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, and Stella Rimington became the first woman head of MI5, the domestic counterpart to Agent 007’s MI6 international espionage branch. The movie industry continued to assault us with their feeling-over-thought anti-man pap: A League of Their Own; Lorenzo’s Oil; Prelude to a Kiss.

Dan Quayle, technically correct, perhaps even prophetic, but hopelessly tone-deaf, gave a speech on the harm Murphy Brown was doing to our society. It was something we needed to have pointed out, but we weren’t ready for it at the time. Our sense of direction was utterly destroyed by now. Chaos looked like order, women looked like men, cops looked like robbers and robbers looked like cops. When cowardliness led to piles of womens’ dead bodies, we thought the best way to protect our women was to embrace more cowardliness. Murphy Brown’s dysfunction? It looked like function.

As Quayle’s boss faced re-election that fall, the worst debate-question ever was asked by pony-tail guy at the debate in Richmond, VA: “How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you—the three of you—to meet our needs?” Rush Limbaugh provided more context for the quote here (link requires registration with Rush 24/7):

RUSH: Shall we go back to March 30th, 1993, from my Television Show, I played this sound bite from October 15th of 1992. This was the presidential debate, Perot, Clinton and Bush 41 in Richmond, Virginia.

THE PONYTAILED GUY: The focus of my work is domestic mediation, is meeting the needs of the children that I work with by way of their parents and not the wants of their parents, and I ask the three of you, how can we as symbolically the children of the future president expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs?

RUSH: That’s the famous Ponytail Guy from the Richmond debate in 1992. These presidential candidates are our fathers, the president’s going to be our father, and what can we expect from our father, you, to meet our needs?

The irony continued. Dependence was independence.

As the Danjaq/MGM case wound its way through the courts, The Crying Game was released…continuing the irony, women were men. Superman, the defender of Truth, Justice, The American Way, died. Just as well. We had some significant questions about what exactly all three of those were…and at the time we didn’t even realize we had those questions. But Superman just plum ran out of ways to save the day — without offending insecure women with his masculine oppression and what-not. So down he went.

Clinton appointed a whole bunch of women to his cabinet. Had he been seeking the best and the brightest for these important positions, he might have accidentally picked some pretty ones, and that would have been threatening. So he made sure they were all physically unappealing. Reno. Shalala. Albright would come later…and of course later that year Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be nominated and confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don’t wish to be unkind, but these ladies are homely. To doubt that there was an agenda in place to select them that way, is to doubt the evidence of our senses. If you sent me out to find some that look like this, I’d be out there all day long…probably finding none at all, or no more than one. In one of his first acts of office, not quite content with his retroactive tax increase, he passed the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Because as anybody knows, the first step to making the economy stronger is to make it godawful expensive to hire people. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Country music didn’t escape the Age of Dysfunction either. Eilleen Regina Edwards, better known as Shania Twain, released her debut CD. Country Music purists became apoplectic, and the schism helped to channel this seemingly limitless supply of anti-tradition anti-male energy into lifting the nascent career of the gorgeous Shania…whom, apart from that, had no shortage of assets appealing to the male psyche. There was little or no animosity involved in her lyrics, but a darker culture arose to consume her. No bitter, angry single-mom was complete without a cheap little CD player belting out one Shania Twain cut after another. It was all just so fresh…which sounds deceptively positive. Under the roots of it all, was a underlayer of raw, naked animosity toward anything that was traditional, and/or not yet quite as feminized as it might possibly be.

The Supreme Court decided Wisconsin v. Mitchell, signaling the readiness of our modern culture to consider hate-crime legislation. Who exactly is ready for it, nobody is willing to say; for a judicial-branch decision to drive what the legislative-branch is supposed to do, isn’t quite the way things are supposed to work. But work that way it did, as the Supreme Court decided states have latitude in considering motive for a crime in enhancing the penalties for it.

What’s been mostly forgotten is that the Wisconsin decision concerned an assault on a white fourteen-year-old boy, Gregory Reddick, by a gang of black individuals in Kenosha, who had just seen Mississippi Burning. Todd Mitchell asked the group “Do you all feel hyped up to move on some white people?” — Reddick was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the rest is history.

Todd Mitchell’s penalty was enhanced due to thoughts in his head. The Wisconsin Supreme Court had determined there was something wrong with that, that such an enhancement would have a “chilling effect” on free speech. The Supreme Court overruled, finding “no merit in this contention.” Those are unfortunate words. Penalty enhancements due to thoughts-in-the-head may, with a little bit of trickery, be shoehorned into some functional compatibility with the spirit of our Constitution, or at least with the letter. But “no merit” is a little on the strong side. To say penalties can be enhanced because of free speech exercised, might have a chilling effect on free speech…it does, at the very least, have some merit.

In an act that symbolized exactly what was going on, Lorena Bobbit cut off her husband’s penis and flung it at a stop sign, to fall into a field where it was later retrieved and reattached. Good thing she picked the summer of 1993 as the best time to do it. She was hailed as a feminist hero. The jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity, and after a court-ordered 45-day psychiatric evaluation, she was released.

She got away with it.

And the feminists said she was exactly what they wanted to be. Good for them. I wonder if, in 2008, they have the decency to be embarrassed by that. But it might be a good idea for the rest of us to remember what exactly “feminism” meant fifteen years ago: Cutting off dicks, or wishing you had the guts to do it.

Kim Campbell was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

President Clinton passed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, then went out to the Rose Garden for a photo op as Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands in a sham peace ceremony. The age of fakery, of built-in irony, of feeling-over-thought, of pretending things weren’t what the cognitive lobes understood them to be…staggered on. Meanwhile, John Wayne Bobbit flirted with porn. It seems he was restored to his potency much more quickly than we were restored to ours.

Sleepless in Seattle assailed our senses, followed closely afterward by the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Jocelyn Elders was confirmed as our Surgeon General, and the Maastricht Treaty came into effect, forming the European Union.

As Madonna slipped into her Dominatrix outfit, Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, then sent his wife down Pennsylvania Avenue to babble some kind of nonsense at Congress about socialized medicine.

On November 13, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called Force of Nature that nearly killed Star Trek. It was about environmentalism. It turns out, when you take a starship above Warp 5 you do some incremental damage to the fabric of the space-time continuum. At the conclusion of this episode, Starfleet, in its infinite wisdom, imposed a galactic speed limit on all starships, bringing the fictitious age of exploring the “final frontier” to a virtual end.

Another metaphorical event of profound poignancy: Ripping apart the fabric of a space-time continuum, was exactly what was taking place in real life. With manhood, our spirit of exploration was dying. And with that, our fastening to logic and truth. We wanted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We wanted the thoughts in our heads to be regulated, while we were told no such thing was happening. With all the exploring done, we just wanted things extra safe…we wanted our Hillarycare universal health plan.

Lani Guinier, the “quota queen,” was nominated as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Colin Ferguson, accused of killing six passengers and wounding nineteen on the Long Island railroad, employed the black rage defense. His attorneys tried their best to retroactively declare open season on people, but to no avail. He received six life terms. Hey, at least they tried.

Black rage was first proposed by black psychologists William Grier and Price Cobbs in their book Black Rage (ISBN 1579103499). Grier and Cobbs argue that black people living in a racist, white supremacist society are psychologically damaged by the effects of racist oppression. This damage causes black people to act abnormally in certain situations.

Irony continues. The victim has strength, and is to be respected. Inequality is equality.

Since everybody was instantly good and wonderful if they would just let women do things they previously couldn’t, the Church of England began to ordain female priests. Hugh Grant typified his perpetual role as the hapless clumsy “git” in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Timothy Dalton went on record, announcing his official abdication from the role of James Bond.

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley. The World Series was canceled, and the FIFA World Cup began in the United States. Enter soccer, exit baseball. But the real insult to the United States was just around the corner: Michael Fay used his American origin as an excuse for spray painting cars in Singapore. You see, we Americans are meek and mild and we’re just not tough enough for that caning punishment they have over there. The skin on our buttocks is especially thin, I suppose. So, you should just let us get away with it. I have a social disease, Officer Krupke! Grasping for the chance to show that chaos is really order and strength is really weakness, President Clinton intervened and bargained the ritual six strokes of the cane down to four.

With our national identity confused, lost, given away, we went through our summer ritual of being buried in annoying, glurgy, anti-male, feeling-over-thought movies. When A Man Loves A Woman. Natural Born Killers. Bad Girls. Blue Sky. Exit to Eden.

Woodstock ’94 commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of something that wasn’t really worth the trouble. Hippies smoking dope listening to music having sex in the mud. It was kind of a bust. The hippies had grown up, gotten jobs, mortgages, heads full of gray hair…and some nice suits that couldn’t get muddy.

ER premiered.

Hillarycare was quietly abandoned. We just weren’t going for it…yet.

A new Star Trek movie came out in which Kirk and Picard would appear together. This started lots of Kirk/Picard comparisons…wonderfully entertaining, all of them…but again, metaphorical toward the confusion and dysfunction we felt during these 76 months. The overall trend was that Kirk was more dependable and effective when confronted with a crisis, but Picard was more desirable…for reasons left unstated, or stated only vaguely. His propensity to surrender was thought to be an asset. Again, weakness is strength.

Disclosure came out, asking us to imagine an event in which a woman is guilty of sexual harassment (including an unfortunately ludicrous and silly scene in which Michael Douglas is given a blow job against his will).

We showed some signs of an early bloom in this 330-week winter. We voted in a Republican Congress, and Dr. Elders was finally forced to resign. Peter Jennings said we were having a “temper tantrum.”

When the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City was blown up, they blamed talk radio and angry white men.

Bryant Gumbel, then co-host on the NBC News Today show, reported that “The bombing in Oklahoma City has focused renewed attention on the rhetoric that’s been coming from the right and those who cater to angry white men. While no one’s suggesting right-wing radio jocks approve of violence, the extent to which their approach fosters violence is being questioned by many observers, including the president…”

We were being told what to think and what not to think. But dependence was independence.

Women continued to take on male roles in fiction. One expensive production after another failed, either in the short term or over the long haul, but the producers insisted on believing women could look appealing just by doing manly things. Real entertainment is expensive, after all. And so Hercules had an episode called “The Warrior Princess” which spun off into its own show; “Star Trek: Voyager” premiered. Of the latter, the only draw was that the Captain of the vessel was a woman. Who acted a lot like a man. It was rather painful and boring to watch, but it did endure for seven seasons, the Warrior Princess for six.

In those early days, success was sure to be had so long as the personalities showcased were not straight, white and male. And so 1995 brought in the now-ritual summer of glurgy anti-male-ness and anti-family-ness and anti-thought-ness…Babe, Pocahontas, Boys on the Side, Bridges of Madison County. Copycat, Scarlet Letter. And, let us not forget the Macarena being released. Looking silly is serious business.

Sandra Bullock, in the first movie appearance since she lit up the screen in Speed, embarked on a new rejuvenated career dedicated to chick flicks — with While You Were Sleeping. Funny. Thirteen years later, I have yet to remain awake all the way through that movie.

Nearly three years after Barbara Boxer began her vendetta against him, Sen. Bob Packwood was forced to resign. A few years later, she’d circle the wagons around President Clinton for doing something much worse…I guess inconsistency is consistency. But with Packwood gone, we could talk about women being victims again, especially with Shannon Faulker’s adventures at The Citadel. Victims are strong because weakness is strength.

On November 13, 1995, the 2,313 day winter was finally brought to a thaw as Goldeneye was released. It received two BAFTA nominations and earned $26 million during its opening, the most successful Bond movie since Moonraker.


It should be obvious by now. We had been starved. We had been denied what we, men and women, really want: That old story, the knight-of-the-round-table story. Disaster prevented. Good thing that strong smart resourceful guy was where he was.

Women, somewhere, may be capable of doing what men can do. But there is no fantasy there. Nor do we have any inner lust toward this phony irony, wherein victimhood is strength, femininity is masculinity, unfairness is justice, thought control is freedom, chaos is order, dependence is independence. We know, deep down, all of us, that that’s all crap — we can only snack on it for so long before we get sick of it. Three hundred thirty weeks…it’s far too much to ask of us. Can’t keep it up.

Eventually, we have to return to our programming and our programming has to do with truth, logic, and order. That is what our programming is all about, for our programming has to be consistent with nature. If it were not, we would not be here. And so we like to see a strong masculine figure preventing disaster, for the benefit of people he has never met and never will meet. A man…defusing a bomb. A man…lifting a concrete slab off a baby who is miraculously unharmed. A man…fishing a kitten out of a tree…or shooting a terrorist who was about to wear a dynamite belt to a pizzeria. Men see that, and they feel better about themselves because they want to be that guy; women see that, and they feel better because they understand someone somewhere believes they are worth defending.

What was this long winter, the Dark Age in which James Bond slumbered away, really about?

It was about abjuring reason…for the sole purpose of feeling good…and failing. Once it was over, we felt better than we’d ever felt since it began. Let that be a lesson to us: To plagiarize Franklin, those who disclaim logic, reason and masculine symbiosis for a good feeling and “self esteem,” deserve none of these things and shall ultimately have none of these things.

Anti-Danger, Anti-Achievement, Anti-Defense, Anti-Life

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

This morning I was rubbing my hands together in giddy glee over the finding that the Nintendo Wii is not environmentally friendly, or at least, is not perceived to be that (Nintendo’s crime against the environment seems to be mostly related to a failure to divulge information about being clean, which is different from a substantiation of evidence about being dirty). My comment was,

The anti-corporate pro-enviro hippies, are hopefully going to be locked in a huge fracas with the video-gamers and therefore with the kid-dumbing-down people. I hope. It’s always fun to watch the anti-achievement types feast on their own.

Hundreds of thousands of e-mails have poured in and called my attention to…

…alright, nobody’s uttered a peep about it. But it nevertheless occurs to me, even though this is The Blog That Nobody Reads, that I should expound.

Surely you’ve noticed, haven’t you. The people here stateside as well as across the pond in Europe, who are so quick to rap us across the knuckles for taking out Saddam Hussein — offer little or no alternatives for us to defend ourselves in any other way from the threat of worldwide terror. Oh yes, I know, many among them will say we were “distracted” from the “hunt for Osama bin Laden” when he was “in Afghanistan.” They imply in a bullying way, but usually do not come out and say word-for-word in any true sense of commitment, that had we focused on Afghanistan they’d be behind our defensive efforts a hundred percent.

These are the very same folks who are all gung-ho about going after the globular-wormening ManBearPig, insisting that the climate of the earth is changing, we homo sapiens are the cause, it’s a done deal, the “science is settled,” and hey even if this turns out not to be the case it’s just as well that we act as if it is.

You can see where I’m going with this now. They insist that the benefit of the doubt be awarded to the course-of-action that involves doing…on this issue over here…and the option that involves not doing on that issue over there.

People like me, on the other hand, are “inconsistent” in the opposite way; I think we should not do, here, and do, there.

Who is more properly inconsistent? Well, the most jarring empirical evidence, which is people-gettin’-killed, it seems to me is on my side. This thing over here hasn’t killed anyone. That issue over there has killed thousands…oh yeah, oh yeah, I know, no solid evidence connecting Saddam to the terrorist attacks, but that’s kind of my point. These people, in addition to being inconsistent, are nuts. The “no evidence” is just as good as “close my eyes and yell la-la-la-la I can’t hear you.” The people who say we should act even though we don’t know anything, about ManBearPig, are the same ones who say we should not act because we don’t know anything on a different threat that really has killed people.

Chicks with GunsSo my point is this: Since there are so many of these people, and they all agree with each other in near-lock-step about both Iraq and globular-wormening ManBearPig…two issues on which their mindsets conform to completely opposite philosophies about how we should behave on important issues when certainty is not forthcoming and doubt is rampant. In fact, we can toss in a third issue without upsetting this solidarity one bit, I notice: Guns and self-defense. People who are pro-global-warming-curtailing, are anti-Iraq, and pro-gun-control. The consistency from one pair of ears to the next, is just amazing. It’s north of 99 percent. So I say, let us look for consistencies in the arguments. Let us look for common threads that are sustained among these three issues, in the way all these people perceive them and grapple with them. Are there some?

I see one.

Before I get to that, though, let’s inject a fourth issue in a round-about way…and let us do this, by exploring one of my favorite web sites:, where you can learn how to thwart, obstruct, derail and generally bollux-up the efforts of your neighboring human beings to…well…to move their asses from one place to the next. Which means, now, just about anything else anyone would be able to do once they get there.

This deepens, but does not broaden, our chore of looking for common threads. If you think it’s settled RIGHT NOW that we should do something about globular wormening, but we need to shut down the War on Terror, but we need to grab everybody’s guns and lock ’em up — you probably think traffic calming is a wonderful thing. If you roll your eyes at it like I do, you probably think ManBearPig is a big ol’ scam, you probably think Saddam Hussein was just as much a dangerous spoiler jackass in 2003 as he was in 1993 & it’s a good thing he’s gone, and you think the Second Amendment actually means what it says: Right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

So traffic calming, you see, fits right into the mold.

Traffic calming consists of operational measures such as enhanced police enforcement, speed displays, and a community speed watch program, as well as such physical measures as edgelines, chokers, chicanes, traffic circles, and (for the past four years) speed humps and raised crosswalks.



Chicanes, traffic circles, speed bumps and raised crosswalks.

What are these things? Well, they are devices that make traffic safe by making assumptions about you, the driver, which in turn cannot be borne out as legitimate or truthful unless they are analyzed in a purely statistical venue. If you go faster than X speed, you must be dangerous. If you can be bullied and cudgeled and coerced into going slower than X speed, you must be safe. If it’s three thirty in the morning and nobody’s around, why, that don’ matter none. You have to go slower than twenty-five miles per hour, and once we make you drive that slowly, surely some lives will be saved.

It sounds like it came from…from…could it be? Why, yes it is!

European traffic calming began as a grassroots movement in the late 1960s. Angry residents of the Dutch City of Delft fought cut-through traffic by turning their streets into woonerven, or “living yards.” This was followed by the development of European slow streets (designed for 30 kph or 20 mph) in the late 1970s; the application of traffic calming principles to intercity highways through small Danish and German towns in the 1980s; and the treatment of urban arterials in areawide schemes, principally in Germany and France, also in the 1980s. [emphasis mine]

Gotta hand it to those Europeans. The European ego isn’t one bit bruised by the fact that we yankees came up with the telephone…the car…the airplane…the innernets. They’ve got their claim to fame East of Greenwich. When you’re a busy guy trying to get things done, relying on all this American technology to beat the deadline so that that other guy can beat his deadline so that the people depending on him can meet their deadlines…here come the Europeans to mess everything up for you!

Thought you were getting to Point B by two-thirty this afternoon did you? Not after our roundabouts and raised crosswalks get done. Now feel the wrath of the residents of Delft!

The really interesting thing about traffic calming, is its effectiveness is measured in traffic retardation on a miles/kilometers-per-hour basis, and a percentage basis — not on the basis of lives saved. I have to look at that a little bit funny. I have no choice but to do so.

I live in Folsom. We have our own “traffic calming” in terms of poorly-designed controlled intersections. Traffic lights that turn red just as you get to them, should you fail to exceed the speed limit by less than twenty miles an hour, and all that. You think that “calms” traffic, everybody in their shiny BMW’s having to stop constantly when they shouldn’t have to? Hell no. It turns them all into raging jackasses.

Sorry, fellow Folsom residents. You know it’s true. You know it damn good and well.

So on the notion that this makes traffic safer…I have to call bull poo. Even if you can pump out hundreds of studies showing the rate of speed has slowed. That’s a point in my favor, isn’t it? All the jackasses are spending more time inside city limits, after having been offered increased motivation for going all jackass?

There is a lesson here about human psychology. It is what ties together all these “let’s go ahead and stop global warming even though there’s no solid evidence we have to” types…in with the “naughty naughty naughty shame on you for taking out Saddam Hussein” types. It is what makes these two camps come together, even though their respective doctrines are 180 degrees opposed from each other. It is what makes them all such loud, bossy sunzabiches.

It is this:

Poor Widdle BabumsWhen you’ve made the decision that the stuff you do in your life doesn’t matter and shouldn’t be given much priority, you rankle at the idea of the stuff anybody else does with their lives being given any more priority than your stuff. The traffic-calming measures, with all the phony egghead studies “proving” that things must be safer because the traffic moves slower — they are metaphorical, of something much deeper and much more meaningful. When you’re in this boat, you want everybody to stop whatever it is they’re doing. To slow way down…until they stop. And sit. There’s really nothing rational about it. It’s a primal urge.

You don’t want anybody to make it anywhere on time to be able to do anything. Because you know you aren’t doing anything.

You don’t want anybody’s kids to grow up with a feeling of self worth, since your own kids aren’t growing up that way.

You don’t want anybody to consume anything, because you can’t justify consuming anything yourself. You can pretend you’re disturbed about the prospect of the whatever-it-is being depleted…but the truth of the matter is, you just want all motion around you to stop. Because you yourself aren’t moving.

That’s why the people who want to take your guns away are the same ones waggling their fingers at you about “emitting carbon” and those are the same people who prattle on about an “illegal and unjust war” — we should presume action is warranted in the face of doubt on one issue, and not on another issue. And those are the same people who think traffic is automatically safer if the drivers are frustrated in the efforts to get where they want to go. And those people, in turn, are the same ones getting all peevish if you buy your nephew a toy gun for his birthday. And those are the same people insisting that if said nephew is acting a little bit weird, he should be doped up on drugs and put in a special program.

And that once you’ve eventually triumphed over the round-abouts and traffic circles and gotten where you wanted to go, and made some money from doing it…you should be taxed up the ass. It’s human potential. It offends them.

This is easily substantiated. Because once you open your mind to the evidence involved — it’s really a little bit silly to try to argue Saddam Hussein was harmless. So people aren’t angry about the fact that Hussein was taken down, because he was a harmless guy. They’re angry Hussein was taken down because taking him down was a worthwhile thing that some brave, but ordinary, people did. That really gets in the craw of some among us. And that’s the truth.

Now, if you’re one among those “googooders” as Mike Royko used to call them, here, via Boortz, are some places where you can raise your kid. Notice how eager these googooders are to share notes on this stuff. Again: When you aren’t doing anything with your life, you don’t want anybody else to do anything with theirs, and when you aren’t raising your kid to grow up to be someone with guts and courage and resourcefulness, you don’t want anybody else’s kid growing up that way either.

To give you a quick idea of how much location matters, consider this: Kids are six times more likely to die from a violence-related injury in Alaska than they are in Massachusetts. In California, public playgrounds must meet all federal government safety recommendations, but 34 states offer no standards for where your kids climb, jump and swing. Connecticut and 20 other states have made big improvements in school-bus crossings, while 13, including Nebraska and Arizona, are way behind.

Location, location
1. Connecticut
2. Rhode Island
3. New Jersey
4. New York
5. California
6. Maine
7. Pennsylvania
8. Mass.
9. Maryland
10. Oregon

Oh, joy! Enough rules to crumple into a big ball and choke a horse to death! Or at least you could…if it wasn’t a federal crime to choke horses to death on things. And my Golden State is number five!

Of course, as any knuckle-dragging red-state real-man daddy like me knows, there’s a lot more to raising a boy into a man than just making sure he reaches Age Eighteen healthy and alive and whole. Us guys know that…but unfortunately, some eighty-eight years ago we went and gave them womyns the right to vote, and wouldn’t you know it the uppity females done gone out and started doing it. Now we have taxes up the ass…and rules rules rules, you can’t drive anywhere over thirty miles an hour because of those damn roundabouts, and in a few years you won’t be able to buy a car that can go that fast because we’ll have used the “carbon emissions” excuse to yank real cars off the road.

But our pwecious babums is going to be all safe. Won’t know how to do a God damn thing, but they’ll be safe.

Now you know the common thread. The common thread is — that people are cattle, and really aren’t worth anything. They shouldn’t be taught anything, they shouldn’t be raised to deal with danger, they aren’t worth defending, they can’t achieve anything and if they can, they should never be given the opportunity to do it. Might as well seal the damn things up in a great big jar and poke some holes in the lid.

This explains why when you face off against someone who insists we never should have taken down Saddam Hussein, and you ask well what should we have done instead — you don’t get anything. Just a deer in the headlights look, maybe a few stammering statements about George Bush being a really bad guy and his grandfather was connected to Nazis. Nothing about what to do. These people don’t come from the Land Of Do. They’re all about being, not doing…being…uh…well, happy. There’s nothing more in their lives than just that. So they don’t want anything more in your life than just that.

Funny thing is, though, when it comes to the anti-defense plank — they do think some folks are worth defending. Just the bosses. The kingpins of society. And you probably thought they were egalitarians, didn’t you?

I beg to differ. They’re aristocrats through and through. Earls Lords and Dukes are worth defending…Vicounts, Barons and anyone lower than that, are not.

Mr. Heller, the good guy in DC v. Heller, delivered one of the best slapdowns we’ve ever read when asked about the “safe streets” of DC:

At that point, a reporter interjected: “The Mayor (DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty) says the handgun ban and his initiatives have significantly lowered violent crime in the District. How do you answer that, Mr. Heller?”

The initial answer certainly wasn’t expected – Dick Heller laughed. Ruefully.

Pointing at the Mayor who was making his way across the plaza, surrounded by at least six DC police officers, Heller said, “The Mayor doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t walk on the street like an average citizen. Look at him; he travels with an army of police officers as bodyguards—to keep him safe. But he says that I don’t have the right to be a force of one to protect myself. Does he look like he thinks the streets are safe?”

There was no follow-up question.

We bet there weren’t.

The anti-achievement anti-defense subjects have that in common too. The Wizened Elders who run our Bottle City are worthy of protection…we low-life scum, are not. They don’t think they’re worth it, and so they don’t think anybody else is worth it either.

Not unless you have six bodyguards or more guarding your pampered ass.

So you see, opposing the right to defend oneself and one’s family, opposing the privilege of driving to get somewhere in time, opposing the natural exigencies of life…ends up being, quicker than anyone imagines, opposing life.

These are the same blue-state numb-nuts who want good-lookin’ women to wear short hair and be fully clothed all the time. Like wearing a bunch of damned burqas. Hey, nuts to you. Here, choke on this:

Self-reliance. Achievement. Self-defense. Supporting what makes life possible, and makes life worth living. And, good-lookin’ girls with long hair in skimpy clothes. Stuff that real men like. That’s what America is all about. It is the American way.

This ultra-pasteurized version of lowercase-l “life”…this continent called “Europe” seems to be cultivating a rich culture in supporting that. Seems to be something like growing sea monkeys in bleach, but if that’s what toots the horn of my fellow lowercase-a “americans,” I suggest they move the hell there. Stop trying to turn this place into that place.

And take your stinking round-abouts with you.

Thing I Know #168. People with limited attention spans get peevish when they see other people doing a better job of paying attention; people who consistently champion peace over justice, get downright pernicious when they see someone else uphold justice.

Sweden: Men Are Bad

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Let’s work up this headline the way they’d do it on FARK:

Bad ManToday’s phony egghead study about women being good and men being bad, brought to you from Sweden.

Men are worse for the environment than women, spending more on petrol and eating more meat, both of which create greenhouse gas emissions. These are the conclusions of a new report by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.

“Three out of four cars in Sweden are today driven by men. Around ten percent of all drivers, mainly main, account for 60 percent of car journeys,” report author Gerd Johnsson-Latham told Svenska Dagbladet.

Huh. I’m a man, and I’m probably in the ten percent that accounts for 60 percent of all car journeys.

I’d guess out of the hundreds of thousands of miles I’ve driven, perhaps fifty-five to sixty-five percent of them were miles I drove because a woman sent me there. Oh, but wait we’re counting journeys, not miles, and I can understand why: My car pollutes much more badly in the first three minutes after I’ve started it up, just like any car. Well…trips to the grocery store tend to be pretty short, mostly within those three minutes — so by journey instead of by mile, it might be closer to seventy-five percent. At some times in my life, such a quotient would slink up toward ninety.

What do the Swedish propeller-beanie wearing eggheads have to say about men causing global warming by driving around in their cars after women have asked them to? Gosh…I just don’t know.

I’ll keep an eye out for any Americans touting this study, with little or no reservations about doing so. I’m reluctant to seriously imagine I’ll come across too many examples of this. For all our faults, Americans are a little bit better at sniffing out phony egghead studies that were churned out from some pre-existing agenda. Some of us lag way behind in that department, but it seems we’re overall better than some places in Europe, notably the Scandinavian ones…in spite of what we’re constantly told.

And this one’s just so blatant. Wow, they managed to kill three birds with one stone: men; the internal combustion engine; the consumption of red meat. Ooh, we gots a study that says all three are bad, bad, bad. No ax to grind here!

Sounds like a high-level overview of a Saturday Night Live skit. But no, it’s real.

You Didn’t See Nuthin’

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Woman Honor Thyself has a post up about the French Constitutional Council slapping a ban on…uh, well…

The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
Senators and members of the National Assembly had asked the council to rule on the constitutionality of six articles of the Law relating to the prevention of delinquency. The articles dealt with information sharing by social workers, and reduced sentences for minors. The council recommended one minor change, to reconcile conflicting amendments voted in parliament. The law, proposed by Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, is intended to clamp down on a wide range of public order offenses. During parliamentary debate of the law, government representatives said the offense of filming or distributing films of acts of violence targets the practice of “happy slapping,” in which a violent attack is filmed by an accomplice, typically with a camera phone, for the amusement of the attacker’s friends.

The broad drafting of the law so as to criminalize the activities of citizen journalists unrelated to the perpetrators of violent acts is no accident, but rather a deliberate decision by the authorities, said Cohet. He is concerned that the law, and others still being debated, will lead to the creation of a parallel judicial system controlling the publication of information on the Internet.

Well, no kiddin’. What a patently absurd explanation — what are these acts of violence down upon which the French government wishes to crack? Ah…what does it matter. French government wishes to crack down on them, so they criminalize the filming of the acts.

I’d hate to be the P.R. guy tasked with convincing people to believe that. I wonder if anyone anywhere is falling for it.