Archive for the ‘Salt o’ The Earth Types’ Category

This Is Good LX

Monday, March 30th, 2009


Future Present
Posted on March 29th, 2009 by Scipio

Our archeologist, while rummaging among the ruins of our fallen civilization, met a ghost from the long dead race of Americans. The wraith boasted much about what we had been as a people.

We died in the hundreds of thousands to end slavery here and around the world.

We invented Jazz.

We wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg address.

We went to the moon to see how far we could hit a golf ball.

We lifted a telescope into orbit that could see to the edge of the universe.

When people snuck into the country against our laws, we made parking lots and food stands off to the side of the road so they wouldn’t get hurt, and we let them use our hospitals for free, and we made their children citizens.

We didn’t care what God you worshipped as long as we could worship ours.

We let the People arm themselves at will. Just to make sure.

We gave everybody the vote.

We built Disneyworld. Just for fun.

We had a revolution so successful it was still going strong two and a quarter centuries later.

We had so many heroes, even at the end, that we felt free to hate them and burn them in effigy.

We electrified the guitar.

We invented a music so compelling that it rocked the world.

The archeologist asked, “If you accomplished all of this, then why did your nation collapse?” The ghost answered, “Because we went insane.”

“Please explain.”

The ghost took a breath and said, “We traded beauty for ugliness, truth for lies, liberty for comfort, love for indifference, responsibility for frivolity, duty for entertainment, history for sound bites, and children for pleasure. We had gold, but we tossed it aside and replaced it with cleverly designed dross. We turned men into women and women into men and marveled at our new creative power. We stopped looking up to Heaven and began to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the ground. We abandoned the old God for a host of hip, cool and slick new ones.”


“Those new gods turned on us. At first they granted us our every wish. They laughed with us. They danced with us. We all ate, drank and made all sorts of merry. All of us exulted in our power. And then…” Here the ghost stopped for a moment. His mouth was half open as if trying to speak. His body shuddered as it remembered an ancient terror. “But there were some among us who felt something was wrong, dreadfully wrong.”

“How so?”

There’s more…much more. What’re you still doing here?

R and R-Lite Instead of D and D-Lite

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Cylarz has a challenge in the comments section that really makes you think. His intent is to show how absurd is the notion that Rush Limbaugh is running much of anything, along with the idea that anyone, anywhere, is somehow forced to listen to him:

Imagine what life in this nation would be like if our parties were Republican and Republican-lite…instead of Democrat and Democrat-lite. The former is what the political scene would look like if everyone were listening to Rush.

It is my conviction that American consensus-politics are revolving on the rim of a large wheel. It is a merry-go-round that spins into & out of, not so much conservatism and liberalism, but fantasy and reality. Right now we’re on the 1976-77 sector of the wheel, wherein we just installed a hopey-changey youthful-charismatic guy who’s gonna solve all our problems. This is an exceptionally narrow pie-slice of the wheel’s orbit. It’s over in the blink of an eye. We see life’s problems are ours to solve and it’s not realistic to elect some savior-champion to deal with them on our behalf…we see it some more…we see it some more…lesson learned. For a few more years.

This dream Cylarz has, is at the opposite side…and is perhaps a little bit wider. It’s the 1969-1973, 1980-1986 side of the wheel.

So it’ll happen. It’ll happen, and we’ll get tired of it. All this stuff is inevitable, as the wheel keeps on turning. That’s my point. We kick the democrats out of power when we get tired of fantasy; when we notice, that to keep liberal ideas even looking good, there’s this never-ending pressure on to pretend simple things are complicated, and complicated things are simple. After awhile we get tired of that and we kick ’em out. We fire the Republicans when we notice, gee, it’s been awhile since we engaged the government to solve a problem and watched the problem disappear before our very eyes, wouldn’t that be neat? (The conservative platform is constructed around the paradigm that this isn’t really the purpose of government; in that way, the Founding Fathers worked under well-defined conservative bias.) People will listen to Rush, to learn what they should’ve learned before they went to vote. It’s already started to happen. It’s that human instinct to think and think and think some more about “did I turn off the stove?” when the car is zipping on down the freeway and it’s way too late to do anything about it.

But imagine if things were that way, and they stayed that way? I notice when we’re in the fantasy zone, we really are D and D-Lite. Oooh, look at me, I’m a compassionate conservative, I can blow money away on bullshit projects just as fast as my democrat “friends”; vote for me. When Republicans are in power the liberals don’t engage in some contest to see who can be the most-moderate lib. They just get all pissy and mumble the word “fascism” a lot.

So lessee…what would happen…

That last election would have been between Fred Thompson & Sarah Palin…and…Joe Lieberman and Ron Paul. Dr. Paul would be considerably more hawkish, his concerns about the constitutionality of the War on Terror ejected from his platform. Gen. David Petraeus would now have a fifth star. We would have pulled out of the United Nations.

A massive stimulus bill would have injected trillions of dollars into the U.S. economy over the next decade-and-a-half…in the form of a tax cut.

Barack Obama’s formidable oratory skills would be deployed where they would do the most good: On a radio or television program, trying to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

The front page of my local newspaper, and yours, wouldn’t speak very often to the plight of: state legislators pretending to care about balancing the budget, homeless people, unionized workers, ignorant addle-brained students who can’t graduate high school because they haven’t learned anything, prison guards, single moms, troubled youth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. They’d live in a larger, better-informed world. Their headlines would very seldom deploy words like “BUDGET” and “DEFICIT” and “PROGRAM” and “NEED”…instead, you’d see proud, hopeful words in those daily headlines like “FREEDOM” and “OPPORTUNITY” and “LIBERTY.”

Your television “news” program wouldn’t talk too much about liberal programs are going to do. They’d be better-anchored to reality; they’d talk about what tax cuts have done, versus what liberal programs have done.

When some big major mega-city that’s been run by democrats for generation after generation, runs into a predictable budget deficit…you’d hear about it that way. An important part of the news report would be an editorial analysis of some rival city, floating along free of the concern of ever-enlarging social programs, without the deficits and without the liberals running everything. The news report would go through the budgets, line by equivalent line. After all, it isn’t useful news unless we explain why the problem occurred, is it?

Kids can pray in the classroom. Every classroom. If they don’t know English yet, they’re sent to remedial classes to learn it, before they learn another thing. Kids know how to fire guns, shoot arrows, build fires, tie knots. Intelligent Design? It’s recognized as precisely what it is: Just an idea that the universe, particularly the bits of it that make life possible, is here because of non-random activity as opposed to random activity. And then it’s debated. As science. Which it is.

Oh, and before I forget: This asshole is locked up for good, and/or fried crispy.

A convicted sex offender due to be released Saturday from prison after serving 11 months warned in letters that if set free, he would reoffend, even against children. In the letters, Michael McGill begged authorities to keep him locked up for life.

“Please throw the book at me … I’m harmful to others I should be locked up for life,” he wrote in block letters that resemble a child’s writing. “I will sexual abuse men. Do this for the safe (sic) of others then I be able not to hurt anyone else. Judge I’m begging you to put me away.”

In another place he wrote that he had told his two 7-year-old male victims, “I will do more sex crimes with boys 4 to 14. I will molest with boys 15 to 18.”

Neither the Polk County attorney’s office, which prosecuted McGill and distributed his letters to other agencies, nor the Iowa Board of Parole, nor the attorney general’s office, which handles civil commitments for sexually violent predators, says it can do anything to prevent McGill’s release.

Feminists are about as powerful…oh…as they are right now. See, we still have that going for us. People have only partially lost their minds. They’re still not ready to trust feminists again just yet. Feminists get together in their little clubs, isolated from everyone else, sharing notes with each other along with instructions to help-me-hate-this-thing-over-here. That’s the form in which they want to exist. Everyone else, walled off from them, gets work done, makes money, and has fun doing it.

At work, you can still be sent to sensitivity training — if you’ve somehow demonstrated this is necessary. Departments of people are not sent to mandatory sensitivity training. People are not randomly sent to sensitivity training. You can’t unilaterally decide you were harassed; it really does depend on the will and intent of the alleged harasser. And nobody makes any money off of the sexual-harassment racket. If they’re in some position that is created to deal with this in some way, they do it as volunteers, because the issue is supposed to be so important to them…which only makes sense. In other words: Lawyers don’t run things.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit CalendarIn your work cubicle, or in your office, you can put up a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. If anyone comes by to mutter so much as a peep of protest, that is the one treading on thin ice…not you. The phrases “objectification of women” and “unrealistic unhealthy body images” are about as socially acceptable in that world, as a racial epithet is in this one.

Family comedies do not conclude with a feel-good comedy-tragedy ending with the dad whacking himself in the head realizing he’s been a jerk, or an asshole, or a killjoy, or a workaholic. If anything, they end with the kid whacking himself in the forehead, belatedly realizing he should’ve been listening to his Dad.

Neighbors talk to each other. They have block parties. You don’t need to drive 40, 50, 60 miles into the county to discharge a pellet gun or a firearm. Once the shooting-range is set up, you can do it right in front of City Hall. On weekends, the whole town gets together for target shooting. Somewhere else, they have a beer garden. (You can’t go to the target shooting after you go to the beer festival, because alcohol and firearms don’t mix…yes, Republicans and conservatives do get that. Most of us bathe daily and have all our teeth. Really!)

Men do not stand by, brain-dead, clutching a purse outside the womens’ toilet, awaiting their next orders. They talk to other men. They get together and compare notes. They each express admiration for the sidearm the other fella has purchased to defend his lady and his children, should any bad guys be stupid enough to enter uninvited in the dark of some terrible night. They brag about who achieved the tightest grouping on the targets. And they fantasize, together, like giddy little boys, about muscle cars. Women get together and compare notes too. They don’t brag about whose boyfriend bought them the largest engagement ring, or who took charge of the family menu or what they told the hubby to start eating, or how they keep him from hogging the remote. Their rivalry is engaged, instead, in terms of who does the best job bringing her husband beer. “Oh yeah? I’d never think of handing it to him without the cap already popped off…and it’s always ice cold.”

Vice President Palin is even more influential in her new role, than Dick Cheney was in his. She’s a true role model. Women suddenly want their hair made up into her ‘do, just like they wanted to emulate Hillary’s back in the 1990’s. Palin’s face, in this universe, is everyplace Obama’s face is in this one. Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, USA Today…et al. (Obama’s face, in turn, could be on a milk carton somewhere.) Everything female is Palin, Palin, Palin. Women want to learn to fly airplanes, to fire shotguns, to ride ATVs, to clean rifles and pistols, to drive a dogsled…and to field dress a moose. The fashionable cliche, assuming there is one, is “Yoo betcha!”

Tenth Amendment, all the way. Some states and counties allow gay marriage and others don’t; some states and counties allow pot, and others don’t. Some states and counties are officially Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Scientologist, if they can get the votes. Nothing is singled out for social stigma, be it positive or negative. So a married gay man just might be an abuser and a generally bad husband, just like a married straight man — “loving” is no longer a euphemism for “same-sex.” And if you smoke pot, you just might have an addiction problem…just like someone who drinks, might have an addiction problem. That means, friends and family might be inclined to intervene if the signs are there. And anyone can be a religious fundamentalist whacko; not just the Christians. If your child needs medical care but you think his sickness is Gods’ will, the nanny-state might eventually interfere — if you’re showing signs of possibly lopping off your daughter’s head because she’d dating the wrong fella, the nanny-state just might interfere with that too. True equality.

When kids get into fights on the playground, all the trouble is reserved for the kid who threw the first punch. The kid who threw the last one, assuming that’s someone else, hasn’t got a single thing to worry about. And that’s precisely the way the world politics work, too.

You may say I’m a dreamer…but I’m not the only one.

Best Sentence LVIII

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The fifty-eighth Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes out to a fourteen-year-old film, Braveheart. Mel Gibson once again reserves the best lines for himself, time index 1:35:20.

There’s a difference between us; you think the people of this country exist to provide you with position — I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.

Rahm Emmanuel, I’m lookin’ at you. Straight at you. So is Sir William Wallace.

The award is split with something I received from an older relative through the e-mail. It’s on an entirely unrelated subject, and it comes from that most mysterious of places, Planet Woemyn. Mysterious as it may be, it explains, for the most part, every single conflict I’ve had from a native of that strange, surreal, exotic quadrant of the galaxy.

The only thing worse than a man you can’t control is a man you can.

Margo Kaufman.

Doesn’t that just sum it all up?

How the Veep Debate Went Down

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

1. I’m glad she brought up the nasty things Biden said about Obama before he was considered as part of the ticket. I wonder why she just whacked that nail once and then left it alone. Doesn’t seem to me Sen. Biden holds any cards there. He looks, on this topic, like exactly what he is: A lifetime beltway fixture who befriends whoever and whatever is good for him at any given moment.

2. The McCain campaign has been listening to us, I think. Gov. Palin was liberated from her talking points. She wasn’t excellent, but she was much better than people thought she would have been.

3. I was right when I said this was a rehash of the Galloway/Hitchens debate. Biden possesses a lot of momentum Palin doesn’t have. She stutters, she stammers, she barely manages to eek a few syllables out, without ever quite hitting her stride. But — what she says, makes a lot more sense. Yin and Yang. People who looked for a reason to support Obama/Biden, found it, and people who looked for a reason to support Palin/McCain, found that. I mean…wait…which one comes first, again?

4. She should’ve used the word “populist.” This is the true weakness of Obama/Biden. The ticket seems to be bound by a consistent philosophical underpinning that if something has a certain effect on nine out of ten of us, then it might as well have that same effect on us all. This talking point about the tax cut for 95% of us, for example. It’s a dinosaur. It’s lumbered on long past the asteroid already. It isn’t even true.

5. Assuming science is all about voting — which it isn’t — when did we lose this vote on cutting carbon emissions? Obama/Biden is for it, McCain/Palin is for it. Doesn’t Sarah Palin understand how this undercuts all her other pro-capitalism positions?

Palin Underworld6. I loved it when she made that comment about being for things before you’re against ’em, and how hard it is for her to understand how things work in the beltway. That’s a true Mister Smith Goes To Washington moment right there. If it was some big ol’ Paul Bunyan lookin’ guy in a plaid shirt with a big blue ox and a giant axe in his hand saying that, he’d get voted in in a landslide. Well, that’s exactly what Sarah Palin is. In a skirt.

7. I have to criticize Gov. Palin here. I don’t think she understands how it sounds when she mispronounces “nuclear.” She’d fix that, toot-sweet, if she did.

8. I don’t think Sen. Biden understands how it sounds when he repeatedly uses the name “Bush.” He’d stop.

9. Four years ago John Kerry lost the election by asking us to believe in a dichotomy. He said, I’m brilliant so I can think in nuanced terms, unlike that dolt George Bush who sees the whole world in black-and-white. But I have a serious case of confirmation-bias because George Bush is my perfect reverse-barometer about what to do. If he did something — it must be wrong. Biden left himself wide open by subscribing to this same confirmation-bias: If George Bush did something, it must have been the wrong thing to do. Palin should have struck right there. Stick a javelin right where the armor leaves that gaping hole, and shove it in to the hilt. It would have been a fatal blow to the Obama/Biden campaign, I think. Most Americans understand: If you strive to oppose something at every turn, on some level, you are trying to emulate it. Obama/Biden is failing to deliver something, here, in the very moment it is promising it.

10. Palin was at her best when she quoted Reagan. Americans are glorious and wonderful and deserve everything good that any other country deserves. Credit for being decent, when we are — and we are, quite often — the right and privilege to defend ourselves, to conduct ourselves as a civilized nation as we see fit, and to emit the hell out of everything with our pollution. Okay, that last one I’m just kind of pulling out of my butt. But the point is…fer God’s sake quit apologizing for existing! If you sympathize with that, your choice on Nov. 4 is quite clear, and the An Idea Bomb guys don’t have a lot to do with it.

Update: Ah, I had this one rattling around in my cranium and it leaked out my ears before I hit the “Publish” button. Dang it. It’s probably the most important one out of everything.

11. Comes under the heading of “potentially fatal blows to the Obama/Biden campaign” — another opportunity not taken. It happened when Biden was yelling over and over again, emphatically, and I think (?) pounding his hand on the podium “Obama and I will end this war, we will end it, we will end it.”

His jugular was exposed in that moment. Gov. Palin could have drawn a razor-sharp blade right across it, simply by taking advantage of a dramatic pause and then saying, “You and Barack Obama wouldn’t be able to decide that, Senator. Not unilaterally.”

It’s a critical point to make. That’s really what the election, insofar as foreign affairs go, is all about. When two forces are at war, does one side get to decide unilaterally that the fighting is going to end even though the other side doesn’t have its mind made up to behave-n-play-nice? This year, our liberal democrats insist that the answer is yes. One side can say “Okeedoke! It’s time for some peace!” and all the fighting will come to a stop.

Palin seems insistent on repeating talking points over and over again that help substantiate John McCain is the only decent choice for our nation’s President next year. In this respect, it’s really true. Our democrats think you can end a war just by wishing for it to end. We can’t afford for them to run anything. Not a flower cart, not a veterinary hospital, not a football team, and most certainly, not the country.

Update: Michelle Malkin liveblogged. Enjoy.

Update: Cassy too. And Melissa. And Sister Toldjah. Andrew Sullivan has his contribution, here. Wonkette. Althouse. Stop The ACLU.

Yes, I’m mixing you all up, in no particular order. No offense intended.

Truck Carrying Rocket Overturns in North Dakota

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Yes, I’ve been to North Dakota, and no I’m not surprised by the local reaction either.

“We talked about the oil boom, weddings – everything under the sun,” Arlene Zacher said Saturday. “But nobody ever mentioned that missile. I guess that shows that people aren’t worried about it – I’m certainly not.”

The money quote is near the end — this is what got it on the big scroll at FARK.

In Makoti, a farming community of about 145 people, Darwin Quandt said he wasn’t worried.

“They’re moving them things around all the time, so we’re used to it,” Quandt said.

“As long as it ain’t going off, we’re OK,” he said. “And if it did, it wouldn’t matter anyway.”

Hehehehe, I love it. Save the adrenaline rush for when it might change the outcome.

Sometimes things that don’t sound profound, in fact, are. Like…

“Mornin’ Tom.” “Mornin’, Pastor.” “Tom, I was curious…I didn’t see you & yours at church services yesterday. Everything alright?” “Oh yeah, Pastor. See, the thing of it is, we weren’t out of milk.

“You weren’t out of milk?” “That’s right.” “What’s that got to do with not coming to church on Sunday?” “Well, Pastor, I figure one excuse is just as good as the next.”

Profound. Deep. When you think about it.

Oh, and by the way in case you were wondering — it was the first question that popped into my head — your first reference to Lex Luthor is at 8:34:58 AM EDT by skinink. I just knew that had to be in there somewhere.

I wonder if the Air Force makes a point of routing these things through red states, near towns like “Parshall, a town of about 1,000 people, [which] trust[s] the Air Force.” It’s a big contrast with, for example, that New Yorker who wrote that weird letter. One has to wonder how she would react to a 75,000 pound rocket falling off a truck and lying in a ditch half a mile away from her. Gah, she’d probably explode. I think I like Darwin Quandt’s outlook on things a whole lot better.