Archive for the ‘Poisoning Strength’ Category

Freeberg Paradox of Political Tempests

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Posted to the Hello Kitty of Blogging tonight:

The Freeberg Paradox of Political Tempests: If you possess some superlative personal attributes that enable you to enter one, or be engulfed by one, and emerge as the last man standing, you’re probably not the sort I can personally trust with much of anything.

I’m thinking of a lot of things with that. I’m thinking of the character of Wesley Mouch; I’m thinking of some bosses I’ve had (some real, some pretend assholes who just wanted to be my boss). I’m thinking of that jackass Steny, the political party to which he belongs, and their general attitude right now. Which I would sum up as: Oh dear, we got our butt cheeks handed to us on a plate, those other guys are in charge now, so that must mean it’s oh so important to meet in the middle of the road and compromise. Yeah, right. That’s exactly what they were saying two years ago. Pffffft.

Also, those Pentagon dickheads coming after the Navy Captain for a video he made four years ago. Just wanting to make his guts into window dressing & confetti for the brand new DADT repeal.

Makes me want to barf. And you know why, if you have a brain: In such an organization where you can get sacked for making a video, if much later on down the line there’s some politically-charged change in policy and some scheming opportunists come sniffing around for blood to help highlight it…what sort of official manages to scurry to the top of such a heap? Someone honest? Sensitive? Respectful? A modern George S. Patton? Brilliant commander of logistics? Of tactics? Someone who loves diversity? Someone laboring tirelessly to make a new perfect world in which everybody enjoys mutual respect and tolerance?

Again: Pfffft. I’ll tell you who scurries to the top of such a heap. Lizards. Reptilian, cold-blooded creatures. Scavengers. Create the challenge, provide the vacuum, and the creepy-crawlies will scamper in to fill it.

And the more mature our society becomes, the more we’re providing this challenge. We’re rapidly approaching the point, assuming we haven’t reached it already, where everybody who has some weighty opinion to deliver on anything is some kind of cowardly scavenging reptile. Possessing no useful “superlative personal attribute” whatsoever, save for knowing when to stick the beady-eyed, scaly head out into the light, and when to pull it back in again.

Patton isn’t going to survive something like this. His head would be the first to be affixed to a pike. George Washington would be the next to go. And where does this leave us, in terms of providing a solid, robust, deadly defense for the country? It’s a serious matter.

Thing I Know #106. Making sure no one is offended, virtuous as it is, seems to be antithetical to real achievement.

I Made a New Word XLI

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Pres • ley (v.)

1. To kill an organism slowly, by means of poisoning, which in turn is achieved by denying it the ability to purge itself of impurities.
2. In politics, to bring an entity to a slow demise by stigmatizing against its autonomy in declaring what it is; specifically, declaring what is incompatible with it.
3. To deploy political resistance against a group’s ability to jettison something, with an intent to make it more ludicrous over time and thus to bring it to an end.
4. To declare that someone should never part with something, as if you have their best interests at heart, when you really don’t.

We’ve seen a lot of this lately haven’t we? Ann Rice lashes out against Christianity even as she insists she still believes in Christ; Meghan McCain tries to destroy the Republican party over the same issue, homosexuality, denying it the opportunity to declare and exercise a fidelity to its own principles.

The Republicans responded to a number of other moves like this one, late last year, by coming up with a “Purity Test.” Oh boy, after that, the process just started to get going. The purity test was watered down, by the folks who supposedly had the party’s best interests at heart. And after just a couple months, because of all the artificial heat involved, the purity test was dropped.

Now get your puke bucket ready — if someone isn’t Presley-ing you, you’re gonna be needing it. New York Daily News wants to call out the Republicans for getting rid of Bob Inglis.

The current Republican Party, one hijacked by hustlers and extremists, not only looks to destroy President Obama. It even starts to kill its own.

Rep. Bob Inglis, a voice of reason at a dumb, unreasonable time in American politics, is one of them. Inglis (R-S.C.) will be out of a job soon for not hating Barack Obama nearly enough. The irony, he says, is that he disagrees with Obama on almost everything.

Sounds pretty dumb and unreasonable, doesn’t it? Stupid Republicans! We need a new rule, requiring them to keep the candidate 71% of the voters did not want. For their own good!

But wait. Inglis says…

“I’d get asked a question and they’d all wait to see if I’d use the word – socialist – they were throwing around. I wouldn’t. Because I don’t think that’s what he is. To call him a socialist is to demean the office and stir up a passion that we need to be calming, rather than constantly stirring up.”

Now, that’s a problem. As we’ve pointed out before, it’s pretty hard to come up with something a socialist is supposed to do, that the President has not in fact already done. Inglis is effectively saying if you’re a socialist, once you manage to get yourself elected President, it becomes an obligation of all the citizens to pretend you aren’t one so that the office is not demeaned.

Sorry, Bob. Words mean things, as they saying goes. And since when do we elect our officials to calm ourselves down? Seems to me that’s not what your job is supposed to be. How’d this country get started in the first place, anyway? Was that a “calm” revolution? I missed that part of my history, please enlighten me.

But wait! At paragraph number thirteen (!!!), the reader is finally given the information needed to decide the paramount question: Is the Republican party cuckoo-burgers? Maybe they are, but if so, this might not be the decision that manage to demonstrates it. They purged sensibly. Not that this is evident to you if you stopped reading two-thirds of the way through.

Inglis is smart enough to know it wasn’t just his refusal to call the President names that turned him into one more unemployed American. He voted for TARP and against the surge in Iraq and even called out Glenn Beck, a rough, tough media guy who thinks ad hominem attacks are great until he’s the hominem.

In the primary runoff, Inglis’ opponent got 71% of the vote. It’s never just one thing when you get carried out of the ring like that.

“I was at a breakfast and somebody said the President wasn’t patriotic,” Inglis says. “I knew I was supposed to go along. Instead, I got up and said, ‘That’s simply not true. I disagree with this President most of the time, but he loves his country.’ Afterward a big Republican operative in our state grabbed me and said, ‘Don’t give him that.’ I said, ‘Give him what?’ And the guy said, ‘That he’s patriotic.’

“Why do I have to see Democrats as my enemies? I’ve got Al Qaeda. I’ve got the Taliban. I’ve got enough enemies. I’m supposed to call this President despicable? The people who are despicable are the ones who constantly mislead the public in the interest of selling books. Or themselves. And always cloaking themselves in patriotism. Shame on them.”

He laughs softly.

“But then what do I know?” Bob Inglis says. “I lost.”

His district did. His state did. His party did. He did not.

Yes, his party lost. It lost something it needed to lose, something toxic to it. If you are never allowed to reject anything, then there’s no definition to you and you’re never allowed to become anything.

Inglis did lose. He lost the confidence of his party, that he possessed the mettle required to effectively resist bad policy. He went on the record seeing things that were not actually there. He imagined a “love” of country, where the evidence doesn’t indicate any love actually exists. Like I’ve said before: If you love me like today’s democrats love America, then please stay the hell away.

But if the GOP is to show this dreamer the door, they are to pay as high a political price as is possible, for doing so.

In 2010, it seems that is a popular tactic of the left. Among the people who, strangely, inexplicably, are enamored of some frenzied fondness for higher taxes. Even though most of the people so intoxicated have no direct interest in such a policy, and stand to improve their lot in life not one bit through such a policy.

You know what? They could use a good purging, too.

Update: Oh look, there goes one of them right now. Raising money for Charlie Crist. It doesn’t even justify a separate post.

This is a word we’ve been needing for awhile. It’s an important concept, and we’re seeing examples of it more and more often lately.

If you’re never allowed to get rid of anything, you can’t keep anything.

Perfect Mike

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Blogger MarkyMark received a note. I’ll just excerpt the entire thing.


I’m writing this to tell you of an old friend of mine, a man I greatly respected and the tale of his life. What makes this man special is the that by all accounts his life, his married life, working life, and family life, was a “success” by the standards laid down by modern society. I’ll call him Michael (not is real name) and he was a true blue worker, very intelligent, and raised to provide by two parents who stayed together and raised their son with strict Baptist values. He wasn’t all that handsome but invested his younger years diligently, pursuing an engineering degree at Duke University back when grade inflation didn’t exist (early 1960’s). The girls he dated, well, he didn’t date much as he was a nerd and being the 60’s the girls with the new freedom used that freedom to ride the cock train of football players and players in general. The new age of sexual emancipation left Mike at the station. Years after college Mike met a girl who had gotten her fill of the bad boys, and they started dating. True she was no virgin while Mike was, she’d had several relationships and relations before but she recognized the value of Mike in that he had a new job with an up and coming career track – computers! Misinterpretation of his prior religious teaching ordered him to forgive this girl’s past and instead focus only on the future. It was his duty after all. He married her and worked, hard. His father worked for the railroad and the company had taken care of him so Mike knew that this was the way to a good life. Work hard, and the company would reward and take care of you. Then the 1970’s hit with the Carter recession and all that loyalty and hard work amounted to nothing. Still he tried again, found another job (that forced him to move frequently) and this one wanted even more hours than the prior job. I remember him saying “It’s Friday do you know what that means? It’s only two more working days until Monday!” and off he’d go. Everyday. For 43 years. He had two children, a boy then a girl, and worked while his wife stayed at home. Later on after the children were out of high school Mikes wife dabbled a little here and there and worked part time occasionally for a convenience store. The extra money was nice but not enough so she pecked Mike continuously to make extra money. It was never enough. “Go tell your boss you need more! You should show him your value! A real man would provide for his children!” and on it went. Mike was getting older now, and had always had diabetes, a life long condition he had to treat with regular insulin injections. The shots were painful but he needed them to think straight. Of course there was the time he was laid off in 1980 with no insurance and the daughter needed braces. A real man knows when to put others first after all. And of course when the mother in law needed a new roof, and he really had promised his wife that new washing machine, and oh she needed to go see her mother for Christmas as well and airfare was so expensive. So the medicine(s) waited, more than once.

His children were boomerang types, his daughter slutted it up with a guy and moved in with him but later on came back home until she was able to snag a younger version of Mike. His son dropped out of college a few times and then came home to be a bum for 2 years after deciding that work was too nerve wracking. Mike would never throw his children out so they stayed for several more years. Several more. Finally when his son hit 28 he found a slut with a child from another guy and got her pregnant. The girl wanted a lavish wedding but his son was only working at a book store and couldn’t afford it – no big wedding so it seemed. Mike’s wife knew better of course, and argued with him for months about paying for the big day. She’d gotten a lavish wedding (thank you Mike) and didn’t Mike know how important a wedding is to his future daughter? Yes this was his vacation money, yes after so many years of hard work he was finally going to get to go do something he always wanted (to see the Northern lights in Alaska). Yes he was going to finally get that Harley Davidson and ride up there after 35 years of no vacations at all. BUT This was going to be his daughter according to his wife and his kids HAD to come first…. So the girl got her wedding. Then his real daughter needed help with a house. Her new husband turned out not to be a copy of Mike after all but a thug with a criminal record who had just lost his job. Why did his daughter lie about this guy to Mike? Her wedding was very expensive too. Oh well it was too late now and his daughter did need a place to live and she just found out she was pregnant! He didn’t have the money but his wife researched it and 2nd mortgages were so easy to get back then. True, his house after so many years of work was almost paid off but his grandchild needed a real home and there was no way his new son in law could afford it and Mike was told he could now work up to 10 hours more overtime if he wanted. 60 hours wasn’t too much of a sacrifice and he’d at least get a leg up on that promotion, maybe.

Another decade passed and after scrimping and saving and even more hard work the mortgages were paid off. In a rare perfect storm both children (now well into there 30’s with kids of their own) didn’t need something. The mother in law didn’t need a new appliance, or home repair, or another new car being long past her driving years. Yes, now, this was the time. Mike now 64, proudly strode into the Harley dealership and filled out a custom order sheet. In 8 weeks a shiny new Harley would arrive and he would get to ride it. He would finally take a vacation, his first real vacation since college. Sure his wife and kids had gone on many many vacations over the years but he always had stayed behind – to work. Something always came up. One time it was that there just wasn’t money or neighbors to take care of – of all things – the dogs! 3 Lassa’s that Mike never wanted yipping and shitting all over the place. Ugh… still at least his wife would get a vacation – she deserved it after all didn’t she? There was even that one time (he hoped it was just the one time) where he found out his wife had hooked up with an old boyfriend when she said she was going to visit her mother. He forgave her of course a divorce would have devastated his kids (he knew they were his – or at least he hoped) and of course he’d have lost everything with the divorce laws – besides wasn’t he a Christian? Shouldn’t he just forgive and forget? What does his pride or even himself matter? He had never cheated on her or even been with another woman – not even once – but that was normal and he knew that she appreciated that didn’t she?

The last big push before new years came at work and Mike was tired. His wife as always spent Christmas and new years with her mother – and he knew this time she really was with her mother – she was too old to cheat on him now wasn’t she? When she got back he would be free of dog sitting and he would take his new Harley on the road for the first time. Shiny and red, he hadn’t even ridden it yet. He read the owner’s manual 100 times and knew everything about it, he couldn’t wait and it was all he talked about at work! It was brand new and kept in the garage but he stripped the engine and cleaned and oiled everything just to make sure! It was polished, waxed, and hospital clean. All was ready. His first ride on his HIS!! brand new Harley to see the Northern lights. It was the culmination of his life’s work and now it was really going to happen. Mike was so excited.

On December 29th his daughter called and left an angry message on the tape machine. She wanted to visit but the snow was blocking the drive-way and she had her daughter and no snow shovel! Why the f**k hadn’t Mike shoveled the driveway? He knew she was coming to visit that lazy good for nothing piece of crap. NOTE: the words she used were in reality more caustic than this – I have lightened them considerably.

On January 3rd his son came to visit and found his father cold and lifeless surrounded by a ring of dog shit. He’d had a massive stroke, likely from the diabetes, and the paramedics said they thought that he didn’t suffer for long – but it was hard to tell. When Mike’s wife returned later on she immediately made plans to sell the house. She raged that Mike hadn’t left her enough life insurance and no instructions on what to do – what a irresponsible man what the hell was he thinking? He should have provided better for her especially since he knew she was too old to work! She was 62!!! Insurance was so expensive for someone in his condition but if he hadn’t squandered *their* money on that stupid bike he could have afforded it. Her old boyfriend George was so much more successful – oh how she regretted not marrying him! The bike was listed on Ebay that week. “Never ridden Harley – brand new! $17,000 or best offer”.

By every PC measure Mike’s life was a success. He worked his whole life for someone else and doubtless made millions for his bosses over the course of his career. He took care of 3 people and two grandchildren that would have been on the dole if not for his efforts, and paid punitive taxes to take care of many more along the way. He never collected a dime of social security or unemployment even when he was laid off – he was just too proud to file. He never took Medicare and he made lots of profit for 2 large banks, 2 colleges, and never once thought of himself. He died cold and alone, surrounded by shit, never once having done anything for himself. His epitaph was a bike on Ebay – his life’s dream – sold to a dealer for $15,500 – the best offer his widow could get several years ago. She took a cruise with the money. America thanks you Mike. You were a real success, and moreover a blueprint for what we expect a modern man to be. R.I.P.

“Why Would Anyone Want to Preside Over Our Nation’s Decline?”

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

“Hangdog Presidency”:

After 4 years of Jimmy Carters’ down in the mouth, hangdog,… we might as well get used to decline Presidency; voters confidence in Ronald Reagan’s enthusiasm and his self-assurance in ourselves as a nation resulted in a landslide victory in 1980.

Reagan’s election stalled leftist, counterculture onslaughts against traditional American Judea-Christian values. Like a new day, the very concept that anyone could achieve success through hard work was revived by Reagan’s inspired pride in our nations greatness, a satisfaction that we are a great nation that had been given to us as a gift from our CREATOR for a purpose: to honor the Almighty and be a shining city on the hill.

The 40th President summoned America to an “era of national renewal”. “It’s time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams”, Reagan declared in his inaugural address. “We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline”.

A man of great distinction, Ronald Reagan’s love for this country set the tone for this nation and he showed proper respect for the office of the President of the United States; he was a man of great cheer and good character,…soon enough we would remember why we need leaders with good moral and ethical traits. [emphasis in original]

Update 7/11/10: Preside away…decline away…

If You’re a Goof-Off, You Can Afford to Bully People

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Go back and read that headline again. Think about informal, small-group human politics. Imagine you’re in a group of people, perhaps a work/office environment, and you want to bully everyone else into doing things your way.

If you’re the work-a-holic, it isn’t going to work out. You’ll be seen as what you are, which is a buttinski meanie-cow.

But the goof-offs, as you’ll see in the video below, manage to make this work for them just fine. They get to point their goof-off fingers in the air, make some kind of proclamation, and start waggling that lazy finger in the faces of people who’ve managed to get a whole lot more work done, and tell them what to do.

In fact, how many little kids movies have you seen in which the moral of the parable, realized in the last fifteen minutes of the film, has something to do with not working so hard. How many doofus-dad movies have you seen that are doofus-dad movies because doofus-dad barely manages to figure out “Hey! I spend too many hours at the office! I need to spend more of my life trying to figure out what my (step)kids want, and making sure they get it!”

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Know what I think? I think the desire to boss around total strangers comes first. The desire for more vacation time is simply an outgrowth of that, because you can afford to be a control-freak if you’re for more leisure but you can’t afford to be one if you want more work to get done.

Most of the “revolutions” arriving in our sterilized, pasteurized, overly-mature, overripe, metastasizing society lately adhere to this central theme: Things aren’t cushy enough, and we gots ta have a new law. And the motivation? Very rarely does anyone say now that I see things work a certain way from my experience building something, we’ve got to do x x and x. No, as you can see in the video above, it so often comes from consensus. The “aw gee Ma, everybody else is doing it” argument.

This is the kind of thing that achieves momentum with people, when they’re bored. How is it that we’re so stressed out about our economic situation, and at the same time, we’re bored? That’s the other problem. We don’t see our economic wherewithal, or lack thereof, as a consequence of our actions. Here’s this differential between the way things are and the way we want them to be, and — nobody grabs a hammer & nails. Nobody goes looking for firewood. Nobody talks to anybody else about bartering something, or “Where’s the best place to buy a (fill in the blank).” Our national character has changed; now, the energy is immediately, automatically, channeled into that new law we need to have.

And then everything will really be perfect.

But since only goof-offs can get away with such bullying, the new law never, ever, ever has to do with getting more work done or more business transacted. That won’t happen. And yet this frenzied, chaotic construction of the out-of-control nanny state, will continue.

Hat tip to Boortz.

“The Wussification of the Workplace”

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Anchoress, hat tip to Gerard:

A man I know began working 20 years ago at a large corporation that he deemed it a pleasure to work for. The CEO and founder was (gasp!) a commoner, an ordinary engineer who had an idea and ran with it. Perhaps because he had worked for a living, and had not simply stepped out of a “good” school with an MBA, he knew how to treat the people who worked for him; compensation was generous; enthusiasm and imagination brought perks, and morale was high. People worked late because they were excited; they wanted to keep working.

Then the CEO sold his enormously successful company to a corporate giant. Out went the upper management that had been honed “from the ranks,” as it were. In came the suits; the “sophisticated” men and women, “from the right schools,” who could talk about what wine went with what entree, or their walking holiday in Burma, but had no understanding of the dreamers (and engineers are dreamers, before they are anything) whose knowledge and imaginations they needed to ensnare and encourage, and whose intelligence and dignity deserved respect.

Not just respect, but inclusion.

Morale quickly went down. Working for suits who knew all the “theory” of business, and how to read numbers, but had not the least understanding of what made a “human resource” so resourceful, the engineers and developers and testers and marketers and admins began to rush out the door as soon as the clock struck five. The fun was gone, the energy sapped; enthusiasm was no longer on the radar.
These suited MBA’s can’t seem to get it. Huddled in their enclaves, they have difficulty understanding that a hard-working engineer with excellent problem-solving skills, a positive outlook and a knack for team-building needs more than an official performance review that ends with a condescendingly vague note about his being “a valuable member” of the collective whole.
The men who built the Empire State Building stood on bare planks to work in the sky; paradoxically, they were grounded in reality, not theory. They did not have to concern themselves with tones and timbres; nor did the educated architects who dreamed up skyscrapers. One suspects that if either the man on the beam or the one with the blueprints had been approached by a tanning-booth-bronzed-and-manicured corporate bureaucrat, and asked to enumerate their “goals” as part of their “performance review” they both would have hooted at him in derision. “My goal,” the first would say, “is to not fall. It’s to stay alive so I can pick up my pay, have a beer with the wife, raise the kids and get into heaven a half-hour before the devil knows I’m dead.”

Anchoress the latest to discover the Architect-and-Medicator paradigm. I must say, every year that I see roll on by, instills in me a tiny bit more reluctance to refer to this divide in male-female terms. I keep running into these tough-as-steel Dagny Taggarts, along with their opposite pussy beta males, who upset the trend. It isn’t boy-girl. It is a way of doing one’s daily problem-solving.

Architects think.

Medicators feel.

The Architect yearns to make a difference as an individual.

Medicators long to join a collective.

Architects draw a perimeter around what they do, and enforce the perimeter, as well as the rules inside it.

Medicators seek and destroy. They become aware of something within earshot or line-of-sight that isn’t adhering to protocol, and go all control-freakish all over it.

Architects see the world as a confluence of autonomously-working objects, which come into contact with each other, and in so doing create cause-and-effect relationships with each other. This is how the Architect learns how to do things. He doesn’t see it as “grab your pencil this way, and draw the line.” He sees it as “When you drag the pencil across the paper, it makes a line.” There’s a big difference between those two statements.

The Medicator is unlikely to come up with new ways of doing things, because he learns step-by-step. What he knows how to do is all scripted, and he is therefore doomed to always learn, at most, just a piece of how to do it. Which suits him just fine. Push this button. The light will come on. But what if the light doesn’t come on?

The Architect labors toward a state of things which has not been seen before. If it has been seen before, he can’t wait to get off this project and onto a “real” one.

The Medicator labors toward a state of things that was seen exactly this time last year. He prepares reports. They are not excellent reports; the best they can be is identical to last year’s. The fabric of his very innermost mind is clerical.

The very best outcome the Architect can envision for his work, is something that ends with “er.” Taller. Bigger. Faster. More powerful. Stronger. Farther.

The very best outcome the Medicator can envision for his work, is the word “compliant.”

The world needs both to spin properly. But if both work together and conflict is entirely avoided, the Medicators will get rid of all the Architects because they care more about what everybody else is doing, and it’s in their nature to get rid of whatever doesn’t conform.

And so a civilized society will hang onto its own cajones only when its Architects become Architects with teeth. When the Architects become fearsome-when-cornered. When they are ready, willing, able — and permitted — to utter those all important words, “Begone From Here, You Medicator, And Go Do Your Medicating Someplace Else!” When the project perimeter can be enforced again.

Because every wonder-machine-of-tomorrow, needs a garage in which to get built. With big ol’ heavy wooden doors that can be locked shut.

Gitmo Detainee Released

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Wall Street Journal:

A suspected al Qaeda organizer once called “the highest value detainee” held at Guantanamo Bay was ordered released by a federal judge Monday.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was accused in the 9/11 Commission report of helping recruit Mohammed Atta and other members of the al Qaeda cell in Hamburg, Germany, who took part in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Military prosecutors suspected Mr. Slahi of links to other al Qaeda operations, and considered seeking the death penalty against him while preparing possible charges in 2003 and 2004.

Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted Mr. Slahi’s petition for habeas corpus, effectively finding that the government lacked legal grounds to hold him. The order was classified, although the court said it planned to release a redacted public version in coming weeks.
Brig. Gen. John Furlow, who helped lead a Pentagon-ordered probe of detainee abuse at Guantánamo Bay, has testified that at one point Mr. Slahi was “the highest value detainee” at the site and “the key orchestrator of the al Qaeda cell in Europe.”

Plans to try him by military commission were derailed after prosecutors learned Mr. Slahi had been subjected to a “special interrogation plan” involving weeks of physical and mental torment, including a death threat and a threat to bring Mr. Slahi’s mother to Guantanamo Bay where she could be gang-raped, officials said.

Although the treatment apparently induced Mr. Slahi’s compliance, the military prosecutor, Marine Lt. Col. V. Stuart Couch, determined that it constituted torture and that evidence it produced couldn’t lawfully be used against Mr. Slahi.

The Constitution: Strong enough to stop us from defending ourselves, but far too weak to suggest there may be shenanigans going down when Congress orders us to buy health insurance.

Elections have consequences.

Memo For File CVII

Monday, February 15th, 2010

I’ve decided the time has come to honor the advice of The Bastidge, and follow it. There is certainly a valid point to be made that the world, and therefore the populace that inhabits it, straddles a chasmatic divide separating two unacknowledged communities, and that each of these communities in perfect isolation would enjoy a harmony that must elude us as we co-exist with each other as a monolith. The divide has something to do with order versus chaos, clarity versus obfuscation, substance versus packaging, individual rights versus community obligations, opportunity versus security, pulling your weight versus fitting-in, logic versus emotion.

We’re seeing it right now with the health care debate. And it substantiates the point all the more when we observe that much of the controversy and dissention swirls around this ramshackle, oxymoronic thing called a “public option.”

I called this “Yin and Yang” out of a desire to get to the bottom of what causes people to pursue, throughout their entire lives, one way of thinking over another. The Yin work within boundaries; the Yang do not. The concept is centuries old, and dates back to periods in different world cultures in which femininity itself was a concept synonymous with the stewardship of quiet, contemplative female chores. In societies like this, it naturally follows that men think of things the way women do in ours, and women must think of things the way men do in ours. Here’s a litmus test: Friend of a friend buys a new car. Or, gets carjacked. It’s a great story to tell for sure, but who is to spend time talking about it?

In an agricultural setting, what happens to one has at least the likelihood of impacting everybody else. And so it makes good sense for people to get together somewhere and swap stories. But these are “Shut Your Girl Mouth Men Are Talking” societies. To whatever extent checking-this-out evolves to become a necessary household chore, it is a manly chore. A railroad’s coming to town, maybe (how does this change things?). Farmer Brown’s crops got wiped out by the cold weather (are ours next?). Who goes down to the saloon to find out about this stuff. It’s not the Mama; there are meals to be cooked, a floor to be swept.

Now, we have the automobile. The printing press. The Internet. Womens’ Lib. And when the time comes to swap tidbits of useful news, who does that? Here is what a lot of people are missing: This is a perfect reversal. We do not have mead halls where the men go to drink beer out of steins and compare prices of bushels of corn. It would be awesome if we did, for sure. But it’s not happening, because the gender roles in our society have flipped around in a perfect one-eighty. Men retreat into their own little worlds, not unlike the kitchens that enveloped their great-grandmothers. Their “kitchens” may be just about anything: A computer with a stubborn virus on it; a classic car that’s being rebuilt; a ham radio or a model train set down in the basement; but there is always a project, it always has a border around it, and that’s what men do.

This awesome Art of Manliness article offers a chronicling of what happened to our mead halls. It began, irony of ironies, with us guys being decent and kind enough to give the ladies the right to vote. Prohibition followed that, and…

For centuries, a man could visit a bar and be in the exclusive presence of other men. Because drinking was seen as a corrupting influence on the “purity and innocence” of women, bars were completely off limits to ladies (exceptions were made for prostitutes, of course). Out of the presence of women and children, men could open up more and revel in their masculinity over a mug of cold ale. However, the bar as a men’s only hangout would quickly see its demise during the dry years of Prohibition.

By banning alcohol, Prohibition forced drinking underground. Speakeasy owners, desperate to make a buck, accepted all drinkers into their establishments, regardless of gender. Moreover, the economic and political empowerment women experienced during the 1920s and 30s made drinking by women more acceptable. By the time Prohibition was repealed, the female presence at the local watering hole had become a common appearance.

World War II only further eroded the male exclusivity of bars and pubs. As more women entered the workforce, it became acceptable to socialize with their male co-workers in taverns and lounges after work.

Today, there aren’t many bars around that cater only to men (gay bars being an obvious exception). Instead, bars have become a place where the sexes come together to mingle and look for a special someone.

Note the article’s title: “The Decline of Male Space.” Men used to own the world. Now, we don’t. We have relinquished the privilege and obligation of socializing, turned it over to the gals, and toddled off to the basement to go play with our train sets. The women do what we used to do — they hold court and they compare their notes with each other, try to see if there’s some hidden meaning of everyday events that might affect the family.

This is precisely what their great-great-grandfathers did. The very same thing.

And so I grow weary of having to explain this. Yes, “Yin” is traditionally female, although I use it to describe a personality attribute that predominantly is to be found in our males. Yang, likewise, is traditionally male, although it describes things our women usually do and that our men, typically, don’t. The concept didn’t flip around, the gender roles did. And so, I have to concede that The Bastidge is accurate in his critique:

Your theory’s alright, if a bit vague and rambling. But Yin and Yang have a specific meaning, and you’re using them more or less backwards.

Yin is a concept roughly aligned with the female, but the concepts covered in your theory- group consciousness, socializing, consensus, softness, weakness, emotion, passivity, are all associated with it.

Yang is roughly male, but also strong, factual, direct, resolute, hard, aggresiive, etc.

In their crudest, most basic form, yin and yang refer to the female and male sexual organs.

My use of these names was arbitrary anyway, and that was on purpose. For the last five years I have seen these as placeholders for something more descriptive that would, and should, come later. After I’d given it another think. Well, with this morass of a health care “debate” that has been taking place, and will surely flare up again later this year, I’ve been forced to give it another think. Besides of which, I’ve met lots and lots of manly-male guys who do their thinking in a much “Yangy-er” way than a lot of the females…so the genders don’t fit well in any case.

And I think the terms are these:

Architects and Medicators.

The word “Architect” is chosen with care. Way back in our history, when written language was a novel idea, architects were “master builders” (which is the etymology of the term). These things they labored to construct, with every little piece of it not put in place properly, could very likely collapse and wipe out an entire family in a heartbeat. And so laws were passed condemning failed architects to a death by stoning (Code of Hammurabi, Law 229). That’s a little gruesome, but it had the effect of galvanizing their chosen profession into a noble discipline.

In their own little community, a “Climategate” e-mail scandal would not, could not, have been tolerated even for an instant. Things were the way they were — period. An angle was ninety degrees, or it wasn’t — period. Up was up and down was down — period. There was no room for bastardizing the peer review process into some mutation of what it was intended to be, to ostracize and excoriate colleagues who spoke measurable truth. The architect, hundreds of years before Christ, lived in an object-oriented world and thought about that world in an object-oriented way.

Okay, now let’s look at what I’ve set up as the polar opposite.

“Medicator,” similarly, is chosen with deliberate thought and intent. “Physician” doesn’t work because physicians are supposed to adhere to the Hypocratic Oath and First Do No Harm. The verb “medicate” is applied to addictions, primary among those being mind-altering substances. It speaks to a process of adjusting one’s emotional response to reality as a first priority, with recognizing that reality as a distinctly second-place priority. Medicators do not heal. Nor do they seek to do harm. The long-term welfare of the body is simply outside of their concern. It isn’t that they don’t care, it’s that there is an emotional well-being that they prize more highly.

To recognize reality as it really is, and to adjust one’s emotional profile in response to the reality so that it is unconditionally cheery, are two mutually-exclusive goals. It may not seem to be the case when reality happens to be pleasant. But when reality is unpleasant you can choose to wrestle with it to whatever extent is required to fix a problem, or you can choose to ignore it in order to keep your emotions on a high and even keel. The sacrifice of long-term satisfaction in order to achieve a short-term high is, of course, a defining hallmark of medicating.

One Revolution AwayNow, these people trying to shove this fustercluck of a health care bill down our throats: It’s no mystery at all where they come down. They are medicators. It is not a primary goal of theirs to actually treat illnesses, heal the sick, bring “healthcare” or “access to healthcare” to “the uninsured.” Nor are they trying — architect-style — to solve any kind of a problem, President Obama’s unceasing speechifying notwithstanding. Think on it: When is the last time you heard anyone in Washington use those phrases above? Been awhile, hasn’t it? No, lately it’s about “getting this done.” Beating the opposition. Winning. Make things the way they/we want them to be. But wait just a second…we’re half way through an election cycle, one that began with their decisive victory. They already beat the opposition. Their victory is forgotten, however, just like a druggie’s high, and they find themselves incomplete, hungry, after-buzzed, struck with a raging case of Delerium Tremens if they don’t score another victory. And after they get that done, of course, they’ll need another and another and another. They live out their lives on a hairpin turn, just like a druggie. Time loses all meaning for them. Bliss is constantly one hit away.

It’s not about health care, of course. It’s about how we think about the world around us. The medicator lives in a gilded cage, waiting passively for someone to come along and fix the latest problem. He does not solve real problems, he does not support anyone who would solve real problems, he does not live in reality. He considers reality itself to be an inimical force. This, ironically, provides a liberating effect. Of course it’s all about the way one does one’s thinking to perceive the world around him, and with someone else assuming the burden of actually fixing the problem, the thinker enjoys the luxury of thinking about things as a non-architect. In a non-object-oriented way. With every little thing on God’s creation, melted together into a sloppy mess. And this overly-medicated “thinker” does not think, in turn, about the resulting mess; instead, he picks up an emotional vibe from it, and shares it with other self-medicated thinkers. That’s the model of reality as perceived by the medicator: A great big ball of warm, gooey wax that’s all melted together, and is now giving off vibes. Hopefully good ones, but if they’re bad ones then someone else needs to fix something — or it’s time for another “hit” of something via one-more-revolution.

Disciplining a child provides a similar contrast. To the architect, everything is cause and effect: The child engaged in undesirable behavior, therefore something needs to be modified about what the child perceives as proper or improper. The solution is to teach the child a new taboo. This can be done through direct communication if the child shares the desire that his behavior should be proper, or through punishment if he does not. First of all the transgression has to be properly categorized — bad attitude, or simple misunderstanding? Then we assess what the child understands about etiquette and go from there. In the Architect’s world, that’s what we do.

In the Medicator’s world, the exercise really is one of medication! Concentrating on something is not a task that was, for one reason or another, failed in this case; it is an ability that has gone missing because the child’s “brain isn’t wired quite right.” Of course the solution is to put the child on a prescription for some goop that will alter his emotional state, and make the process “easier for him.” (It’s nearly always a him.)

Another acid test is when a complex system of any kind starts producing the wrong output, because some unit within it starts to go all wonky — with all the other units in good order. To the Architect and Medicator alike, this is a no-brainer, but they come up with polar-opposite solutions. The Medicator wants to chuck the whole thing and start from scratch, whereas the Architect sees a puzzle to be solved in separating what’s good from what’s busted. Think of Blondie and Dagwood getting in one of their matrimonial melees about whether to call the plumber.

I commented last month that I had finally expunged the malware from my HP Mini notebook. My victory announcement was premature, it turned out. The beastie lived on, downloading other crap onto my platform. It shames me to say it, but if I were to act purely on logic and reasonable cost-benefit analyses, I would have taken the “scorched earth” approach much, much earlier than I did, and lost a lot less time. It became an Ahab/whale thing; I lost sight of fixing the problem, and concentrated instead on figuring out entirely useless trivia about it. Where’d I pick up this thing? What exactly does it contaminate? How come these packages over here can detect it and fool themselves into thinking they’re cleaning it, when they’re not? How come that package over there seems to have “wounded” it (toward the end, it locked up the netbook instead of popping up an ad, which is what it was clearly trying to do)…but can’t quite get all of it?

See, neither Architects or Medicators enjoy a monopoly on always having the right idea. Medicators throw things away in bulk — they are much more inclined to announce “this entire thing is bolluxed!” That is often the right approach, and I have to make a confession…my second one, now…that I’ve often missed out on this advantage when it comes up. Medicators seem to think life has no puzzles in it, none whatsoever. And they probably think this because, in the world they construct around themselves by accepting some responsibilities and simply walking away from some other ones, they’re absolutely right. Choices confront them — choices in which the wrong answer results in some kind of personal suffering — and they become petulant, unpleasant, and then someone else swoops in and solves it for them.

In their world, the question of who gets the “rep” as a problem solver, is completely isolated from the record of who did or didn’t actually solve problems. At no time has this been more evident, than this first year of watching our new President struggle with the demands of His new job. He is a dedicated Medicator. He fixes nothing. The only responsibility He takes is to refine the emotional buzz that comes from this thing or that one…and having failed even at that, He has a ready finger-of-blame to point somewhere else so He can give Himself a good report card. Which He did, actually. That one single act speaks volumes not only to how He thinks about the world and the challenges within it; it is a tip-off to how medicators think as well. You’ll notice this about them if you know some really dedicated ones personally. They enter into conflict with others, because they tend to demand the final word about their own work. It was up to par, the other guy just has a mistaken interpretation of “par.” They followed the instructions they were given, it’s the other guy’s fault for not giving them the right ones.

Running a meeting is yet another good litmus test. Some meeting chairs do it right: Agenda item, question, answer, does anyone have any objections, next agenda item — boom, boom, boom. Others engage in this ludicrous and time-consuming practice of using the forum to adjust the emotional tenor of the participants, as if it’s a high school pep rally. Buying a car: Any salesman will tell you, some people turn their thoughts to the TCO with considerations such as gas mileage, service records, availability of parts. Others worry overly much about how they look when they’re tooling around in the car, what strangers will think of them.

Homeowners’ Association bylaws can be written to accommodate one of these halves of humanity, or the other, or both. This is a rather interesting situation, because the bylaws represent an attempt to “architect” a successful neighborhood, through the “medication” of the emotions of the people who observe it. Here and there, though, we see stories in the news surrounding HOA bylaws that are, to turn a rustic phrase, just plain stupid. They don’t do anything to make people feel good and it seems extravagant and far-fetched to suppose they could have anything to do with preserving the value of the property. Banning the American flag is the one example that springs immediately to mind, since those stories have a way of jumping onto the front page.

The last time we linked one of these, the story in question showcased a persistent trait among the Medicators: proxy offense.

[M]anagement told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.

The controlling curmudgeon lays down the curmudgeonly rule, and the curmudgeon is silent on whether he or she personally finds the emblem, the e-mail, the cologne, the pin-up calendar, et al, offensive. It’s much more often proxy: Some third party is offended. Or some third party could be offended. The impossible-to-meet “Could Be Interpreted As” standard of cleanliness. It is conceivably possible, therefore the contraband has to go. The curmudgeon will oversee the removal. But it’s business and not personal, see? Just like something out of The Godfather: “Tell Michael I always liked him, it was business, not personal.” Some nameless faceless anonymous person complained, or could complain.

This dedicated Architect says — Medicators really shouldn’t be running anything. They don’t want to. They don’t want the responsibility. This is why these columns are now coming out, some serious and some satirical, that speculate openly that President Obama is perhaps bored and disenchanted with His own job. I no longer consider it to be commentary outside my sphere of knowledge, to proffer that President Obama had some serious misgivings the first time He made a decision about something that had little-or-nothing to do with winning an election, saw that His decision had a direct bearing upon the outcome, and emotionally recoiled. I have seen this happen too many times, up close. In the months since then, the country has been buried in this “awkward stage” in which He tries to confront each and every single challenge with a vision that, as this-or-that chapter reaches the final page, the emotional buzz of those watching has been fine-tuned and frothed up into a desirable state of bliss. This is, I’m sure, why we’ve seen so many speeches out of Him during His first year, and will doubtless see about that many out of Him during His second.

We live in a society in which our every want and need is met, with resistance or inconvenience that is at best negligible. It may not seem like that to us at the time because we’re spoiled; we tend to mistake a temporary slow-down, or wrong turn, or setback, for a real possibility of failure in acquiring what we’re trying to acquire. Deep down, we all know we’re not really being challenged by much of anything; we will get what we are trying to get, one way or the other, so long as some minimal quantity of our peers are also trying to get the same thing. If all else fails we’ll band together and our populist rage will force someone to give it to us. We’re supposed to be so worried about “the economy” but we have our beer, our coffee, our big teevee screens. The only things that are really in jeopardy are the self-respect and dignity that come from having a job, and the same for our children. All other things are guaranteed, in one way or another. They don’t face any real jeopardy.

This state of hyper-safe hyper-civilization has aggravated the divide between — whate’er you wanna callzem, Yin and Yang, or Architects and Medicators — as I’ve pointed out before. It creates a bigger divide on such fundamental questions as: What is a good speech, anyway? What is a convincing argument? Is it thinky-thinky or feelie-feelie? In other words, do you progress systematically among the first three pillars, basing your opinions/inferences upon available fact and things-to-do upong the opinions/inferences. Or, do you just stir up a whole lot of motivating emotions in your audience, get them all outraged against some straw-man Snidely Whiplash, anti-logical exuberance for your “ideas,” Obama-style?

And the fact is, Architects have a definite idea in mind about the answer to such rudimentary questions.

Another fact is, Medicators have a definite idea about the answer as well. These ideas are not the same. They are opposites.

Another fact is, neither side is willing to budge on such issues. If you have a pulse, and a brain, and you’ve been using your brain to solve problems that confront you here and there…each day you stay alive further enmeshes you in the answer you chose, way back, before you were five years old.

And the least inconvenient fact of all is that if we cannot agree on questions like those, we aren’t going to agree on anything else.

We are engaged in a discourse between people who understand how to make real decisions, and those who do not understand this and do not seek to understand this. They don’t see the need. But since they’ve “won,” for the time being it is their job…even if they continue to find ways to weasel out of it, and blame others when the job goes undone.

My 42 Definitions of a Strong Society

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Yes, once again it is time to dig into the obsessive-compulsive-list-making “what’s been ripening in the innards of the smartphone” file. And nobody disagrees with me about any of it.

At least, when talking-out-loud most people don’t disagree with much of it. Being a liberal, lately, seems to involve saying something to the effect of “Oh in a perfect world I wish (insert some of what follows here)…BUT…we have all these problems, so therefore we must ‘invest’ in my program.” And being a “moderate” liberal versus an “extreme” liberal, seems more than anything else to have to do with how quickly the liberal gets to that “but.”

Regarding what makes a society free, strong and healthy, there does not appear to be a lot of disagreement. Except for craven disagreement, the disagreement that must cower out of sight, hiding behind red herrings.

Some of these things can be measured, in service of producing an actual number. Where that is possible, and the number is found to be in a decline, that place is coming off the rails. So you can probably form a guess about my thoughts regarding the direction our country has been heading for the last year.

1. Taboo versus Law. There is a vast, yawning gap between laws that are written down, and unenforced cultural taboos that are universally observed as a sign of respect the individual pays to the sensibilities of the community. There is an abundance of little things that are frowned-upon, and because they are frowned-upon they are very seldom done. They carry absolutely no penalty whatsoever. In fact, making any kind of “hard” law against some of these things, is one of the taboos.
2. Stigma is firm but soft. Rule #1 notwithstanding, nobody ever has to profess a false belief, or keep their silence about a genuine belief, to keep from losing their property, their business, their kids, their spouse, their house, their job, their stature in the community, or anything else. Hey let’s face it: If thinking a certain thing is evidence that you’re a wonderful person, and then you get penalized for thinking something else, then thinking that thing is no longer evidence of your wonderfulness, now is it?
3. Men do things. Able-bodied men, of all ages, are knights. They defend women, children, old and handicapped people, from trifling inconvenience as well as danger and bodily harm. They never, ever remain sitting when a lady approaches.
4. Failure. Universally available, and free. No person, enterprise or industry is “Too Big To Fail” — ever. Failure is regarded as something that is always possible, to be avoided at all costs, but never to be ignored or sidestepped once it is earned. Depriving a man of the failure he has justly earned, is rightfully seen as just as deplorable as depriving him of wages he has justly earned.
5. The high wall. Coarse humor and other material are kept away from children, as well as adults who might not prefer it. The girly mags kept behind the clerk, rather than at knee height out front; the blogger who takes the effort to write “not safe work work language in this video”; the curtain in front of that special room in the back, at your video store; South Park scheduled on the cable teevee for 10pm or later. These are fundamental building blocks of any civilized society. The spicy stuff is freely available, but walled off.
6. Promote strength and not weakness. If an individual falls short of a physical or mental challenge, he is encouraged to try again, and discouraged from developing the one-time failure into a lasting disability.
7. Keeping and bearing arms. There really isn’t any telling who does & doesn’t have a gun, but it’s probably not too far from the truth to suppose everyone is carrying something.
8. Egalitarianism. A penalty for a crime is constant, regardless of the class, economic status or birthright of the convict.
9. Take your place. Children wait for grown-ups; grown-ups make sure the women go first; the women see to it that, among them, the elderly and infirm go first.
Nucular10. Say it. At work, rest or play, nobody ever mumbles; misspellings are exceedingly rare; if an idea is worth expressing, it’s worth expressing properly.
11. Earn your pay. The employee sees his employer as a partner in the business — nobody ever does half-ass work, or less work, to avoid making his co-workers look bad. He does what the boss says, not what the union boss says.
12. Non-Discrimination is a taboo and not a law. Opportunities are not awarded to, or withheld from, people because of their religion, race or gender (unless applicable).
13. Getting rich by watching the rich. People don’t pay greater attention to indigents and ask “Who is at fault?” They pay attention to those who are better off, and ask “What wise things did he do that put him in this position?”
14. Independent thinking. It starts early on. Teachers teach and grade children to produce a good outcome, not to follow a certain sequence of steps.
15. Children wait. Children are afraid to interrupt adults. When they play or are otherwise too distracted to move out of the way of someone else, they do their playing in low-traffic areas, where they aren’t likely to obstruct.
16. Faceless kingmakers. There are no anonymous panels of experts artificially creating other experts. When men carry great respect and authority, the people who show them this respect are ready to list the wonderful things those men have done, not the titles, awards and other gimmicks bestowed on them by anonymous commissions or third-parties.
17. Faceless kingmakers, continued. With regard to #16, nobody can earn respect, authority, titles, awards or other gimmicks by talking a certain way; they have to accomplish something, and it has to be something measurable.
18. Rehabilitation and Recidivism. If a man continues to prove himself unable to live safely among others, he is ultimately put to death.
19. Ownership. People ask “Is it my place to pass judgment?” before asking “Would I have done it the way he did it?”
20. Individuality vs. Groupthink. Groups just aren’t very important. The individual is the de facto master of any given task, challenge or situation. Very few things in life are decided by a vote anywhere, or for that matter by passages out of some kind of rulebook. Committees, where they exist, exist only for brief periods of time and decide practically nothing at all.
21. Mind-altering substances. No one ever uses hallucinogenic drugs. They see their fortunes in life as being linked to their ability to think things out capably, so they just don’t want to mess with that.
22. Nobility of labor. People spend time doing their own manual chores; many of them possess an abundance of tools that they have designed and constructed themselves. It is impossible to do any of this when you engage in the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late; and, I suppose, it is perhaps not possible to avoid the sloppy ramshackle thinking I see of late, if you haven’t done something like this in awhile.
23. Keeping up with the Joneses. Nobody ever wants to buy something just because someone else they know bought the same thing.
24. Headwear. Men and boys never wear hats indoors. Ever. Headgear above…or a roof…never, ever both. Simply not done.
25. Strong and silent. The more powerful the leader is, the shorter his speeches are, the greater the passage of time before he gives one, and the less likely it is that he’s ever heard to blame his predecessor for anything.
26. Family first. Nobody who lives in a household ever tolerates disparaging comments about anybody else who lives in that household.
27. As the ladies go, so goes civilization. Girls give their attention to boys who are serious about what they’re trying to do, and show some drive when they’re trying to do it; not to whoever “makes me laugh.”
28. School. In school, when one child picks on another child and the other child tolerates it, the officials see to it the weaker child “mans up” and that the stronger child is punished — BOTH of those, not one or the other. The lazy school official who turns a blind eye, or enforces discipline only upon children who’ve shown the intelligence and civility to respond positively to it, and in so doing allows this adolescent boy-coming-of-age juice to pickle, like improperly-fermented homemade beer — he is universally regarded as the lowest and most detestable form of bureaucrat, something toxic to natural human development, inimical toward manhood. And that goes double for erring in the opposite direction…handing down some ill-thought-out “hard rule” (see #1) trying to make bullying into a relic from the past. Not gonna happen. Bullying is not something to be expurgated, it is something to be handled.
29. School, continued. With regard to #28, children who can communicate with other children but not do the work, are seen as needing improvement; children who can do the work but who lack “communication skills,” are seen as successful and worthy of emulation.
30. Husbands. Women and men mate for life; all of her children are biologically his.
31. Charity. When any member of the community is enduring urgent need, nobody is condemned with such disdain as the other member who could help and refuses to — except for whoever else wants to force him to. Nobody seeks to make himself, or anybody else, “better” by passing some obligatory law requiring charity. (Again, refer back to #1.)
32. Charity, continued. With regard to #31, to receive such charity and then gripe about it in quality or quantity, is regarded as one of the lowest possible transgressions.
33. World travel. The most respected community members are the ones who have traveled to other countries. But before they traveled they personally worked to earn the solvency needed for their traveling. Traveling is not used as a bully pulpit to promote some sick vision of hyper-internationalism, or to promote materialism and extravagance as if luxuries should be prioritized as staples of life.
34. Central, unifying language. There is one and only one dominant spoken and written language, and whoever isn’t functional in it, does the best they can to learn that one before any other.
35. Immigrants speak the language of the community. With regard to #34, whoever immigrates to this place, speaks that one dominant language before their mother tongue — even at home.
36. Children speak the language of the community. With regard to #34 and #35, children of immigrants are taught to speak the language of the community before their mother tongue — at home.
37. Parents don’t raise boys and girls, they raise men and women. Parenting is seen as a process of making kids capable first, and “safe” second. A parent who delivers a child to adulthood, happy healthy and whole but not capable, is seen as a failure at parenting (see #4).
38. Taxes pay for things, where they are unavoidable. Taxes are never levied, increased or exempted to reward or punish classes of people. Social experimentation by tax code is an unknown thing. Taxes are collected for the purpose of funding vital government activities, and for no other reason.
39. There is a(n unwritten) Hays Code. The fiction that people enjoy, has heroic characters who do good things, villainous characters who do bad things, and nobody ends up prosperous at the end by avoiding honest work or by breaking the law.
40. People acknowledge each other. The everyday greeting is not only desirable, not only obligatory, but sacred. Men who once fought over a woman, take the time to do it with each other, friendly or not. Very few tasks justify withholding a handshake, eye contact and a decent Hello. And for this reason, people don’t spend much time at all with their “personal tunes.”
41. Weaknesses are not coveted. Nobody ever brags about, or connects an identity to, an inability to do something other people can do. People do not greet new acquaintances with that most odious of self-introductions, “I don’t know anything about computers.” People don’t form relationships around weakness. People don’t say “That’s my friend Carol, she doesn’t know how to cook.” They say “That’s my friend Carol, she’s the best interior designer around.”
42. Armageddon is not breathlessly anticipated. Very rarely does anyone talk about the entire world ending, for any reason.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Culture of Losers

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Ah, bingo.

LoservilleIn an important book, A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character, which appeared in 1992, Charles Sykes speaks of “victim chic” and deplores its “catalog of immanent grievance and infinite self-assertion.” Sykes quotes former Assistant Education Secretary Chester Finn, who had it exactly right: “In our no-fault society, it is acceptable to be a victim but not to be held responsible for one’s own situation or for that of one’s children.” We have, Sykes argues, torn up the moral contract underwriting “shared middle-class values” and installed a “victimist” ideology in its place, eliminating social distinctions “based on individual success.” We all experience unfairness and injustice, he concludes, “but that does not mean we need to turn them into all-purpose alibis.”

The confirmation of Sykes’ thesis is all around us. It seems as if we now live in societies filled mainly with victims: victims of mainstream culture, victims of exclusionary daycare policies, victims of transfats, victims of the schoolyard game of tag where some poor child is made to feel “it,” victims of secondhand smoke, victims of the tax system, victims of anti-terror laws, victims of those who pose as victims, victims of state lotteries, victims of potentially lethal glass mugs in British pubs, victims of our genes, victims of “puritanism” (i.e., moral propriety), victims of this and victims of that — those who make up what Bruce Thornton in Plagues of the Mind has aptly called “the conga line of victimhood,” to which the nanny state materially contributes.

And this new class of victims is abundantly complemented by an army of “survivors,” cashing in on what they regard as the prestige of those who have experienced real, historical calamities. Once we were content to say, as in the title of a famous poetry collection by D.H. Lawrence, “Look! We have come through,” and leave it at that. Now we are driven to proclaim our newfound status. We are survivors of this phobia or that phobia, survivors of one or another disease, survivors of tenement life, survivors of reality TV shows, survivors of the free market and corporate industry viewed as a great and oppressive structure of domination, survivors of brutal parents, survivors of feral children, survivors of workplace humiliation, survivors of scalding cups of McDonald’s coffee, survivors of what-have-you, all clamoring for attention, recognition, sympathy, and compensation.
It gets worse. Everyone is innocent, it seems, except those who are prepared to assume responsibility not only for themselves but for their cultural patrimony as well. Despite the superficial differences, it is really the same quivering mindset, the same passion for submission, that governs our behavior in both the domestic and international realms. In the former we regard ourselves as victims of social circumstances before which we protest our helplessness, demanding that the state pay welfare retribution to those who come bandaged with grievances. In the latter, we suffer for the sins of our precursors and implore forgiveness for their evident transgressions, pleading to be shriven by our enemies. For both we and our enemies are regarded as victims of the same tainted past.
We have lulled ourselves to sleep with the fashionable tranquillizers of the day, the “facile formulations” of current social and political nonthinking which we use to absolve ourselves of personal responsibility, cultural dignity, and historical conviction. To extend Honig’s Michael Jackson analogy, we are moonwalking backward as an unforgiving future advances with determined tread.

Moonwalking backward. That’s perfect.

Going through the motions of walking forward, in reality engaged in a full retreat and damn well knowing it. And all the time, oh so much fun to watch. But not getting anywhere near where we’re supposed to be getting.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself… XXIV

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Atomic Nerds:

…I don’t expect every freshly-minted 18-year-old to posses the full gamut of wisdom and experience a middle-aged person, let’s be clear. Experience and wisdom take time to acquire, and often painful lessons, and often times the only way to gain anything is by doing something spectacularly stupid and learning from it. To continue to classify these adults as kids, however, imparts a sense that the spectacularly stupid mistakes don’t count, or aren’t really that severe, and are just products of youthful high spirits. The latter sentiment may be perfectly accurate, but the former gives tacit license to the adults who should be learning from these fuckups to keep on fucking up for longer.

There is absolutely no good reason for this practice. The idiots don’t benefit from it, as they get to continue doing stupid things until they’re “really” adults, whenever that might finally trickle around, and then just start figuring things out when they should have a pretty good working grasp already, and the rest of us don’t benefit from it because fucking idiots are doing stupid things around us, deluded into thinking it’s somehow all right because they’re too young for it to count. Less than a hundred years ago, adolescence stopped sharply around fifteen or sixteen, especially during the Great Depression, when your options were either bust your ass and scrabble to keep you and yours on the right side of the dirt, or get trampled by those who were trying. Fifty to sixty years ago, you finished high school, and then you got right after figuring how to not be a fuckup, glad you got the extra time the depression folks didn’t. Now it’s something of a minor miracle if someone doesn’t move back in with his or her parents after college. I know the expression is “you’re never too old to play” or “always be young at heart,” but at some point it’s a good idea to at least pick a new game, or if keeping a young heart, at least try to get a wise head to go with it, and every Officer Sparky lumping an adult, albeit it a young one, in as “just kids” is doing every last one of us a disservice by dragging this problem out.

Hat tip to The Bastidge.

Update: I’m doing some more thinking about this…drawing on the long term memory. This has been in the works for a very long time, you know, and it hasn’t been put into effect simply to enable eighteen-year-olds to keep acting like eleven-year-olds until they’re thirty-five-year-olds. The author makes reference to the sink-or-swim climate of the Great Depression, and of a century ago when “kids” were unceremoniously slammed into adulthood at fifteen.

Item #2 on the list of Ways To Motivate Large Numbers of People to Do a Dumb Thing Without Anyone Associating the Dumb Thing with Your Name Later On — is — socially stigmatize the opposite of what you want done. What is going through my long-term memory is how this was everywhere. I do mean everywhere. If it was possible for a process of growing-up to take X many years, it had to take that many years. I remember a teevee commercial about extra-extra big training pants for an extra-extra-old kid, so he could learn “on his terms.” Only the most wizened doc fully understood the benefits of this, and only the cruel and heartless would sound any kind of alarm about it.

Soccer parents during the 1990’s…they were not obnoxious until such time as they yelled at their kids to play harder and better. Then they were in the way. Now who in the world came up with that?? There are many things about the soccer phenomenon that are tough to take, and the effort and achievement involved in winning is pretty far down the list.

The Doofus Dad in the movies. What makes him? He’s a repentant small-dee dad who’s spent ninety minutes doing things wrong, who right before the closing credits resolves to do better so the family can live Happily Ever After. Wife, kids, in-laws, after all — each one of them as witty and downright repulsive as a Monday is long — have been doing everything perfectly. But what are these principal sins that so distress all others? The desire for the kids to do well ranks high on the list. Try harder. Do better. Do more. Small-dee dad shouldn’t be “pressuring” you to do that, kiddies. Huh. In my day we were told to “do your best and don’t worry about winning”; but there was, at least, an important emphasis placed on the do-your-best part. Oh, and give a hundred and ten percent, remember that one? Am I showing my age?

There is an agenda here, and the agenda provides mystery. An agenda can be deliberate; and it can also be not-so-much. Now, who in the world would harbor a deliberate agenda to make our young people sluggish, weak, incapable and dull? I’m tempted to dismiss it outright. Does it even matter. A more subconscious, jealous urge — to deny, derail, inhibit, dissuade achievement in others — is well within the capacity of the flawed human genome. This is what we’ve been seeing these past few decades? Occam’s razor, I think, smiles upon it.

Occam’s razor is not always right, of course. But when we think the razor might be wrong, there are some “regardlesses” that emerge. As in…regardless…is it really that much of a traumatic experience for a child to be in the position of potentially scoring a goal, or simply making a goal more likely, and hearing his parents up in the stands cheering him on to make it happen? How about another experience…drifting on past age four, five, six still pissing his pants, with a chorus of parents and grandparents giving him the message that’s perfectly all right and he should pick up his training on his own timeline?

What, exactly, is wholesome about that? How does that make the child happier over the long term, more emotionally balanced, capable, robust? How’s that work exactly?

VDH: On the Horizon

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Victor Davis Hanson’s predictions for 2010. I’m particularly fond of items #2 and #3:

2) Either shortly or soon next year, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano will resign. I don’t see how the nation’s point woman on domestic terrorism can claim that the system worked like “clockwork,” when the Nigerian terrorist’s own father contacted American authorities long ago to warn us about the proclivities of his own son, who came within seconds of blowing apart a transcontinental jet. The system worked only at the 11th hour thanks to a courageous Dutch tourist who took matters into his hands.

3) I think the overseas bowing, apologizing, and kowtowing will stop in 2010—it brought no tangible results. Indeed, Obama is one bow away from global caricature and humiliation. And when one examines the recent behavior of Iran, Russia, Venezuela, or Syria, one concludes that they all think they can make favorable readjustments in regional landscapes and power relationships in 2010. Obama’s advisors will try to stop his natural inclinations to apologize, and I think will be successful—given the gathering storm clouds of 2010.

Lessons learned? Let us hope so.

Memo For File CV

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

One of the very first things covered by President Obama during His inaugural speech was the “fact,” if you call it that, that forty-four Americans have now taken the Presidential oath of office. He got that one wrong, but the fact-checkers didn’t catch it because they were too busy screening Saturday Night Live skits. But His observation does raise an interesting point: We’ve had quite a few Presidents. Some have been good, some have been bad, and with a whole lot of them it depends on who you ask.

When we argue about the people who may or may not become President in the near future, that’s when we really go at it, and this makes sense too. One arrives rather quickly at the realization that we don’t seem to disagree too much about what qualities the candidates do & do not have; our disagreement seems to be about what is important to the office. This part, it seems to me, doesn’t make that much sense. We haven’t had forty-four men take the oath of office quite yet, but we have had something very close to that. Wouldn’t it be wise to look back and see what history has taught us?

When I look back on what history has taught us, I see — once again — the prevailing sentiment has things about 180 degrees off course, more-or-less.

The prevailing sentiment smiles, first and foremost, on boldness, daring, “trying something new.” Creativity, vision, hope, change…perhaps Robert Kennedy, not one of the 44 guys, said it best. “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why; I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Inspiration. New ideas. Thinking outside of that ol’ box!

History is pretty clear about this. It’s led to multi-generational new social entitlement program bullshit, and the feeling of dependency and crushing debt that go along with those. Not much else.

Next up is jut-jawed determination, grit, resolve, integrity. This is not an ability or willingness to make good decisions; this is the quality of sticking to them once they are made. We have good reason to insist on this. If you’re President, and you make a decision I kinda don’t like but it doesn’t completely offend the hell out of me…let’s say there are other options I would have preferred, but there are others I detest much more, so I could learn to live with it. It’s important that as you meet all these other power-players that a President meets, I know you’re going to stick to your guns.

I would have to say in my lifetime, the one President who had more of this than any other was our 43rd, George W. Bush. Well, frankly that didn’t work out too well for him. He left office on a steep downslide in his approval ratings…but with no one willing to step forward and say he was missing even so much of a smidgen of this quality. And I would infer it was this quality that was instrumental in bringing those approval ratings down. His predecessor was much more popular, and I would say that predecessor had less of this than any other President in our lifetime. Bill Clinton would say something on Monday, and by Tuesday…who knows what would happen. So this is something we say we like. But I think it’s a fair assessment to comment the public is demanding this quality in its Presidents, but it isn’t willing to show much of it itself. It sees an annoyingly broad latitude in changing its mind about it.

The next quality is unnamed. Barack Obama has oodles and oodles of this, but nobody is quite sure what it is. You heard this much discussed throughout the 2008 campaign, especially when He was locked in a fierce battle with Hillary Clinton for the nomination. “There’s just something about Him!” Some people call it leadership because when He says something, like “grab a mop” for example, there arises within you this primal instinct to get it done. The marrow of your bones seem to just want to start mopping. Authority, confidence, blah blah blah. He never stutters or stammers…says “uh” quite a lot, but always with dignity and flair.

What’s this done for us over the course of the previous 43 administrations?

Well, it’s helped to sell us a lot of crap. Salesmen learn how to do this; if it is their trade to deal with bad product. Hey let’s face it, if your product is compatible with the interests of the buyer, your “charisma” isn’t going to help the sale a whole lot. An average-Joe can get just as much sold. You need excellent salesmen if you’re trying to move a shitty product. So this “I don’t know why I want to do what he says, it’s just the way I feel!” thing is a distinguishing characteristic of flim-flam men and liars. And indeed, our history is seasoned with quite a few Presidents who were superior in all kinds of ways, whose voices were awkward, squeaky, meandering…interestingly, most of them existed in the days before it was possible to make any kind of audible document. We have to read the written word of their contemporaries, to get a feel for what their voices sounded like. But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hopey-changey charisma-or-whatever back there.

Believing in peace? That’s been an enormous bust, probably the biggest one. If I have to come up with a list to illustrate the point, you’re never going to get the point. The Presidents who believed in war have done a lot more good for our nation. Note that I didn’t say “who loved war”; I said believe in war. I can think, right off the top of my head, of four Presidents who believed in war but properly despised it as any decent human being must. Perhaps the quote attributed to Reagan, supposedly uttered during the PATCO strike, sums up the vision and the sentiment of an effective U.S. President: “If there’s going to be a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.” I know of no phrase in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers or any correspondence among they who founded the nation, that contradicts this. Our nation’s Chief Executive is a ripper-offer of band-aids. Get it over with.

Honesty? That goes without saying.

Loyalty? That goes without saying as well. But of course loyalty is a tricky thing. You have to prioritize it. If it was possible to be loyal to everyone all the time, it would be an easy, simple job to be President. And of course it isn’t.

Does wisdom play a role? That, too, goes without saying. The President must be able to look down the road, consider the effects of his decisions over the short term as well as the longer one. How good of a job do we do on insisting on this? The argument that George W. Bush failed to consider the more distant implications of his decisions, seems to hold water at first. But when one thinks back to the events of early 2003 and recalls them with honesty, one sees this is a crock. The matter was deliberated over and over and over again; the pro-peace people were granted one fair hearing after another, after another, and then they took to the streets all over the world to riot just to make sure the point got across. It got across. But the problem was, we were dealing with an asshole who needed to be taken down. France, later revealed to be on-the-take via the Oil For Food program, used their veto power on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and that’s when George Bush went around the process. The debacles that came afterward made this seem unwise. But real wisdom is recognizing all the available options, and when each and every single one of those options suck, maintaining an ability to select the least-sucky out of all of them.

So I would say our prevailing viewpoint is that wisdom is important, and the prevailing viewpoint is correct about this.

Reviewing the events of the past decade, I would further observe the prevailing viewpoint measures wisdom as the ability to “conjure up” a non-sucky option that does not necessarily exist. And I would comment that the prevailing viewpoing is wrong about that.

Once an option is chosen, wisdom stands behind the notion that it was the best one. It does not stand behind the notion that it was a good option. You have to play the cards you’re dealt.

How about a willingness to go out and seek the wisdom? Does a good President have the patience and courage to listen to the wisdom of our children?

Nope. Children don’t have wisdom. They’re too young. Next question.

How about knowing where the bodies are buried, like Lyndon Baines Johnson did? Does that make for an effective President? What does history say about that?

History says this is a useful thing for getting things passed the President wants passed; especially when the President is trying to overcome stiff opposition to get it passed. And can improve his odds in this effort, by sidestepping logical, rational debate. And legitimate criticism. So if the President is trying to sell a crock of bullshit, knowing where the bodies are buried can be very helpful…to him. It tends to be injurious to everybody else. You can’t depend on such men to have a decent internal working understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong. Probably won’t happen. After all, this guy knows where bodies are buried! How does he know?

President Johnson’s legacy is about as tattered as anybody else’s, Nixon included. Johnson was an asshole, perhaps a sociopath, and may not even have been sane. He conducted conferences in the shitter, while he was defecating. All in all, I’m gonna have to go with no. Were it possible to have some kind of Constitutional amendment that says “No citizen shall serve as President if he knows where the bodies are buried,” I’d favor passage of that. History, it seems, would favor passage of this as well. This hasn’t helped our country one bit.

Belief in freedom? That goes on the “Yes” side. Actually, that’s the first thing we’re supposed to be trying to find. Our Presidents haven’t failed us here. We have been failing our country, by failing to support this and vote for it.

Telling us what you’re going to do, before you’re elected to get it done? Again — huge “yes.” It’s the Presidents who keep this a closely-guarded secret who have been the big fails. That includes our current one. He’s making history with the speed of erosion of His approval ratings, and there’s a reason for it: His election was less concerned with policy decisions, compared to any other Presidential election in my lifetime, easily. We didn’t talk about what He’d do, we just talked about how wonderful He is. That’s our fault. But then He saw that as an easy road to victory, and He made the most of it. That’s His fault. Now He’s reaping the whirlwind. Mega-fail.

Looking like you have it all together when you get interviewed? I hope that’s not very important. If it is, that means our teevee reporters are kingmakers, and frankly I don’t trust them. As for how big of a factor it is, it’s up to Sarah Palin to decide if we’re going to conduct an experiment on that…since I don’t think anyone’s flubbed it worse than she has. But on the other hand: The second-place prize goes to President Obama, for his “President Gigglepuss” interview in which Steve Kroft had to ask Him if He was “punch drunk.” That was an enormous bomb, but it didn’t hurt the President’s ability to preside, not in the least. So those who say this hurt Palin, need to find a way to explain why it’s damaging to her and not to Him. Perhaps they’re still correct…public reaction can be a fickle, nonsensical thing. But overall, does it have much to do with presidential qualifications, after I chew on it for awhile I don’t think so.

Knowing who the Minister of (fill in the blank) is for the country of (fill in the blank), and knowing how to pronounce the name. We place a lot of importance on this, and this is an awful mistake. It means debate moderators and interviewers — who I don’t trust — can all-but-eject promising candidates from the running, simply by coming up with challenging questions. And you’ll notice they never ask the same question of all the candidates, or even many of the candidates. It’s targeted. They don’t deserve to wield this kind of power, nor are they worthy of wielding it. And being the President of the United States is not the same thing as playing a game of Trivial Pursuit. This is bone-headed stupid and we have to stop it.

Knowing how to field dress a moose. No.

Knowing how to use a Blackberry. No.

Knowing how to type. No.

Knowing some dance moves. No.

Looking good shirtless. No.

Looking good on the cover of Runner’s World in short shorts. No.

Being a beltway insider. No.

Being a newcomer to the beltway. No.

Having five kids. No.

Planting a vegetable garden. No.

Knowing how to fire a gun. No.

Believing in the right to have a gun: HELL yes!

Having a law degree. I wonder how the country would look after fifty years of Presidents who do NOT have law degrees. A whole lot better, I’ll bet. Inch by inch, as lawyers get more things they want, our nation has become the poorer for it. So no.

Being sensitive, contemplative, mulling over a decision, changing it thoughtfully with the arrival of new evidence: Absolutely not. Overall, people make much better decisions when they say to themselves “In thirty seconds, or ten, or five, I’m going to have this thing decided and there’ll be no looking back.” When they use the latitude to mull it over endlessly, their sense of judgment gets shot to hell, and as a consequence of this, their ultimate decision ends up being not that good. We just saw it with Obama’s decision on Afghanistan; is there anyone, anywhere, who says this was a good show of decision-making? Even among those who somehow agree with it? No, and there’s a lesson there. Besides, when you’re negotiating with an antagonistic force, and you take the Jean-Luc Picard approach of “I’m open to anything and my decision-making process is an endless and timeless Hoover-vac type of activity that sucks in and makes use of all kinds of of information” — this makes new strategies available to your enemy. The other extreme at the opposite end of the spectrum, would be a tornado. Nobody tries to win concessions out of a tornado. You either get the hell out of the way or you’re dead. We don’t elect our President to be a Captain Picard. We elect our President to be a tornado. At least, we should.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Violence Actually Solves a Lot

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

That last scene seems to have been lifted straight out of my living room. Wonder if Crowder’s been spying on me.

Anthony’s Snow

Friday, October 30th, 2009

For reasons I’d rather not list, I’ve been forced to think lately about this messy thing that invades our lives whether we invite it or not, called “other people”…where people go wrong, and why. How they make it tough to get along with ’em. The deleterious effects they have on one another. The mistakes they seem to make, apparently with innocence, but then the mistakes have been made so many times before. I’ve thought about this before, and I’ve written about it a few times.

The taxonomy known as Ten Terraces of Liberalism shies away from the specifics of cause, opting instead to focus its inspecting lens upon levels of severity. It leaves much ground uncovered, for this reason. The ground it does cover has to do with specific methods of initial recruitment. And the Seven Steps to Insanity is another taxonomy of levels, more vertical than horizontal; the former traces how people become more and more liberal, the latter traces how they become just-plain-nuts.

So let’s look into what’s been left flapping in the wind, untied, so we can get it tied down.

First, there are Pie People. Pie People are easy to define. Their area of special interest is economics, and their fundamental error is an unsubstantiated belief in wealth’s fungible nature. A dollar in my pocket is proof-positive you can’t ever have it in yours for however long it remains in mine. Any billionaire you see, therefore, is ipso facto evidence of deprivation, and perhaps extortion, of hundreds of thousands of innocents who should be wealthier than they really are.

The Pie People believe in an economic “pie” that is of a fixed diameter and mass, although the size of the slices out of that pie may vary by size. That’s why when my slice is bigger, the net of all the other slices must be diminished — including yours. Naturally, the only fair thing to do is to make all the slices equal.

Elimination-of-Risk people are closely related to this. Both of these types of people, are associated with obsessive-compulsive behavior. The more they get of something they wanted, the more they want — again. It never stops. Pie People want everyone to have the same amount of stuff, and elimination-of-risk people want life to be safer and safer until there is no risk at all. They have it in common that they fail to see that they just got everything they wanted. They constantly feel like they’re being had. And so when they get what they want, and as a direct result everything turns to crap, they naturally fail to see that too. They want more more more. And they get it.

This weekend I scrambled under a deadline to put together a document that is of a private nature, and I’ll not elaborate too much on what is in there…but there is one section that is worthy of reproducing here.

This is a schism that has been opened wide under the foundation of every single culture, I suspect, that has achieved any semblance of “civilization” since the beginning of history. …Humanity has been struggling, since its inception, to figure out if it’s worth the hassle of trying to drive any & all risk of failure out of the day-to-day challenge of living life.

Behind that question, a second question emerges: Could there be danger involved in trying to eradicate any and all risk? To those who assert that it’s worthwhile to drive risk of failure from our existence, or at the very least that getting rid of all risk is relatively harmless, the recent history that is the bailout boondoggle intrudes as an inconvenient lesson. It has been ill-advised, reckless, certainly very expensive, and toxic. Even people who don’t typically believe in the free market, are now perhaps more worried than they’re willing to admit about the loose soil under our economy that is the ongoing survival of firms that — according to conventional market signals, that were overruled in an exceptional case — shouldn’t continue to exist. Such a situation is, indeed, the primary cause of the bursting of the housing bubble that took place a year ago.
Lots of good, sound, logical points are made why we shouldn’t do it. We do it anyway. It turns out to be a huge mistake. Entities that should be successful, fail; entities that should fail, because of artificial “bowling bumpers” put in place, succeed.

When it’s over, anybody who honestly inspects the situation and puts some quality thought into thinking about what it is they’ve seen, has to admit this was a huge mistake and we shouldn’t have done it. And yet — the next time the same situation comes up, we look seriously at doing it yet again, and more often than not we do try to eliminate risk all over again.
I should add that, as I write this, there are murmurs from Washington that since the “Stimulus Plan” didn’t lower the unemployment rate and might have even raised it, what we need is a “Stimulus II” or “Son of Stimulus.” I rest my case. We think we are evaluating the results of the things we are doing, with some honesty. We’re wrong.

Now, here’s a heady question: Do the Pie People morph over time into the Elimination-of-Risk people? Or is it the other way around?

So far, it seems to me the faction most opposed to common sense and rational thinking is the E.O.R. people. They have shown themselves capable, as I pointed out above, of looking upon the wreckage of their flawed ideas and in that very moment solemnly pledging to do it all over again…to fix the wreckage. If sanity is something that can be casually expunged, so it can never ever be retrieved again — they are very close.

But in this same document, I continued to describe another modern people-problem…one that might be even worse still. The “parade people”:

I’m writing here about those poor wretched souls who seem to go through life disbelieving in, or doubting, or failing to observe, any connection that might possibly exist between the things they do and the positive or negative consequences that are visited upon them. These people seem to see life as some sort of parade, an endless and meanering tapestry of surprises, hopefully pleasant ones but at other times unpleasant ones; these things just seem to “happen.”

Passive voice is the rule. I didn’t fuck up at my job; I got fired. Mean ol’ boss came in one day and laid the smack down. Poor me. Got my car taken away by that man who works for the cruel, heartless bank. Don’t talk to me about failing to make the payments. What good does that do? What happened was that I got my car taken away. I lost it. Poor me.

It’s often done by proxy, which is to say by one person on behalf of another; this is classic enabling. He has a learning disability. Her weight problem is genetic. His private life is separate from his performance in public office. They’re sending their children into Israel with dynamite belts because they have no other way of defending themselves. There wouldn’t be any crime if the economy was just a little bit better. They didn’t get divorced because they got married too young and grew apart; HE changed, and in so doing drove her into another man’s arms. He made her do it.

These people aren’t known for taking extra steps to stop bad things from happening, in fact they are known for reacting with acrimony and resentment if it’s ever pointed out something could be done to stop bad things from happening. Their view of life becomes limited, and necessarily their view of their own role in life also must become limited. They extend this limited view to others they know, after awhile. If you know them, you feel the weight bearing down on you that you shouldn’t be working too hard. Why do you have to go to work today? Why don’t you call in sick? How come you never call in sick, unless you’re really sick?

That’s why I call them “Parade People”; the assignment seems to be to sit or stand…and watch. That is all that is expected from any of us. Except, that is, for the people who make it happen. These people are elitists, embracing the social contract that we should get along with each other and recognize each other as human beings — but they only feel the obligation of honoring that among their own kind. Should you ever go out to lunch with them, you’ll find they don’t treat the “help” the same way they treat their friends, who are “real people,” who in turn are cooler because they have fewer things to do. Together, they’re all supposed to wait for the next surprise to come along, and display the appropriate and expected emotional reaction to it. That’s it. Then wait for the next surprise. Apart from that, it seems nobody is really supposed to be doing anything. Except for those stupid grunts who somehow have the “job” of putting the parade together.

The slightest suggestion that someone, somewhere…anyone…has what it takes to perhaps impose an effect on what the next thing is that comes down the road…gets these people angry. Think about this for a minute or two. Recall your own experiences with people like this. They don’t mildly, simply, coolly, dispassionately disagree. They get mad. Like they’re involved in some kind of a civil war.

That’s because they are.

And so perhaps they have a tendency to evolve into the cornfield people.

Earlier this week, blogger friend Rick chose to challenge a left-wing Christian blogger who said she was “sick of war.” I joined in, and together we courteously made the point that war does have its purposes. Trouble is, you can’t be courteous to the cornfield people. After she declared she “had enough” I decided to test the boundaries here and try to figure out just how hypersensitive the cornfield people are. Answer: Very…although I was left with the distinct impression that if my opinions on the issues were more to her liking, the eggshells upon which I was walking would suddenly be made of cast iron, and I’d have much greater latitude.

All of the points she had to make — each and every single one — had to do with some wish that she had, that someone or something would cease to exist. Not much thought about what was to become of the wretched things. They should just stop…being. That’s why I call people like her “cornfield people.” The reference is to the six-year-old boy in the Twilight Zone episode who wishes people out to the cornfield. It’s an ingenious little tale (Physics Geek was kind enough to write in and provide a link to the story from which the TZ episode was made).

This behavior remained consistent, and continued until the very end when she announced that she had to unexpectedly put down her dog of eight years, and really, really couldn’t stand this anymore. Comments closed.

Back at Rick’s place, I noted that not only could her entire argument be distilled down to a singular wish that this-thing or that-thing be made to disappear…and she never once had anything else of substance to say…but she maintained through it all a narcissistic “It’s All About Me Me Me” unidirectional sensitivity about what she found offensive. In whatever. Had she put a moment’s thought into the idea that perhaps she can say things that sound offensive to others, she’d have her own answer about why she was being oh so picked on in this rough-and-tumble world we call the blogosphere…in which, for reasons unknown, she thought her hypersensitive ego could be safely ensconced. But she couldn’t even read accurately. She hallucinated some kind of awful things I said about her family that I never once said. This is a good lesson for us all, I think. These people are out there. Some of them are capable of getting jobs. If they disagree with you it’s all your fault. They’re walking claymore mines.

If their thirst for drama ends up doing you harm, they’ll not be sorry. They’re elitists, and they’re cornfield people.

They go around finding things offensive. It’s not a two-way street with these folks, just like Anthony’s reading minds in “It’s A Good Life” was not a two-way street.

I love that story because although it’s primarily concerned with the life the grown-ups are forced to live, “if Anthony would let them,” a subtle side-plot is Anthony’s gradual development of a strange, dysfunctional personality — a personality that isn’t good for anything. He’s building it every day he lives (presumably, in both the book and the TV episode, everyone starves to death)…because he coasts on through his childhood never being told no.

You can tell, as I draw my little arrows in oh-so-light-pencil from one type to the next type, that I think there’s a connection amongst all these, a connection of cause and effect. But I’m really not terribly sure what it is; what pupates into what. I do know, be that as it may, what it is they all have in common. All these folk, for whatever reason, are living out only a piece of the gift we call “life.” Perhaps they’re simply afraid to embrace all of it. They cannot compromise on too many things. They want everything done their way. But if everything really is done their way, the rest of us only live out a piece of life as well. We end up watching snow fall on our crops in midsummer, just like the grown-ups at the end of the TZ episode. In fact, you could make a perfectly acceptable argument that Atlas Shrugged is the same story, with a few more pages and a more meandering plot. The primary sequence of events, and the characters & motivation, are all the same.

All of this may be taken as a lead-up to a wonderful essay Neo-Neocon has put together called “My Friends The Liberals.” You’ve made it this far through my own scribblings; in for a penny, in for a pound. You should stop whatever it is you’ve been waiting to get to, click open her post and read every single word, including the comments. Highlights:

I mentioned that my liberal friends often diss America. This happens so often that it is almost a verbal tic. Often, their fellow countrymen/women are contrasted to those wonderful Europeans, who are (take your pick): cultured, sophisticated, linguistically diverse, international, pacifist, non-imperialist (now, anyway—since history began post-WWII). Americans? The opposite.
If someone tries to point out certain things that are unequivocally and more conventionally “good” about America, such as the fact that the US was in the forefront of international relief after the tsunami, it is brushed off as a very small and insignificant matter compared to the manifest wrongs we’ve committed. Their belief in the general evil perpetrated by the US around the world is not built on a single event, nor can it be eradicated by pointing out a single fact, or even a few. It is a huge edifice built on thousands of smaller bits of supposed knowledge, and to mount an assault on it would take several courses and piles of reading matter, and might not be successful even then.

Are you beginning to see the depth of the tragedy here? All this effort is put into being positive. To think happy thoughts. To see the other side of those who might casually be categorized as the least worthy among us. To find reasons why such-and-such a guy is stealing liquor from a drugstore…maybe he’s trying to scrape together a few bucks to get his dying daughter the chemotherapy she needs, et cetera.

That’s supposed to be the redeeming quality. The ability to see the other side, to recognize beneficial attributes that would go otherwise unnoticed.

And yet I think all sane people, occupying any position along the ideological spectrum, would ‘fess up that “[M]y liberal friends often diss America…it is almost a verbal tic” has nothing positive going for it whatsoever. There is some dark alchemy at work that metastasizes this drive to do good, to think those happy thoughts, to “dream of things that never were, and ask ‘why not?'” — into something acrid, caustic, and trenchant.

No, worse than that.

Something that, by its very nature, is antithetical to the living of life. Something parasitic. Salt sown into the soil where our crops are supposed to grow. Something that stops us from living some of life today, and all of life tomorrow.

Anthony’s snow, perhaps.

Update: Seeing lots of parallels between this lamentation, and what Peggy Noonan is noticing. Perhaps we’re seeing exactly the same thing, and making our comments in different ways?

Best Sentence LXXI

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Who would have thought an atheist would ever win the seventy-first Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award. More surprising yet, an atheist nailing down exactly who & what we have become. Small-tee tim the godless heathen weighs in:

An overreaching, self hatred, self flogging, white guilt, we’re global citizens no better than impoverished soon to be jihadis, using all the worlds resources, war is bad, Bush lied, spread the wealth, capitalism left us behind, post racial mental breakdown coupled with an overabundance of psychoactive drugs meant to “calm” us down because we’re all “too stressed”, let’s be happy and text each other while driving what we just ate for lunch on our way home to watch the latest Youtube video of some dumbass who makes us fe[e]l smarter in comparison.

You never know when one of these godless heathens is about to say something that makes sense. Usually, I’ve noticed, it’s when small-tee is the one doing the talking. He’s giving them better representation than they deserve, or they’re giving him poorer representation than he deserves. Not sure which.

Well done, godless heathen dude. You’re right, we’re being medicated and shamed — and unshamed — into oblivion. A nation of veal calves.

Why Does Fatherhood Make Men More Conservative?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

If you’re like me, you hear that question and a whole bunch of ideas start bubbling up in your cranium and you’re all ready to volunteer them.

And then you see what the author has to say about it, the background to his question, what he thinks about it, what holes are left in the arrangement that he’d like someone to fill in…and then you decide, based on that, this is not productive. It’s just a whole lot of liberal bitching and belly-aching about the usual targeted and deplored demographics, the hated straight-white-men, I’m just going to watch until right before the part where I start vomiting, then go off to another part of the party and start participating in some other conversation. Hey! What do you call this wine? White Zinfandel? It is tasty, yessiree!

This guy would never, ever agree to my Ten Commandments For Liberals Who Want To Argue About Politics; he isn’t nearly as curious about things as he pretends to be. Just let him stew in his juices. It is what he wants to do.

…we learn that “Parenthood makes moms more liberal, dads more conservative.”
The mom part is obvious. Since even in these supposedly progressive times, moms end up doing m[o]st of the child-rearing, they have an instant, intuitive grasp of the necessity of a strong welfare state. They naturally appreciate the advantages provided by state-funded day care and education, because without government, they’d be doing all of it…They also know that leaving kids alone to organize their own anarcho-syndicalist communes where they can do whatever they want is a recipe for smashed crockery and peanut butter stains on the Persian carpets…

But dads? Why do dads get more conservative?

This is something of a puzzler. But I have a couple of theories.

* Parenthood forces men to stop being children. They resent this, and project their resentment onto anything or anyone that tells them what to do. Therefore, they resent activist government.
* Since, as noted earlier, moms still do most of the child-rearing, dads don’t understand why government needs to step in to help people who can’t take care of themselves. Don’t those people have their own moms?
* Dads learn pretty quickly that kids often don’t do what you tell them to. Therefore they feel justified in adopting that same attitude of truculence towards the overbearing state.

What else?

I think the most damning part of Andrew Leonard’s screed is that it typifies all the reasons why I cast a jaundiced eye toward Salon lately. It isn’t just the obnoxious pop-up ads, although yes they have a lot to do with it. It’s the New-York-Times-ish-ness of the whole thing. It’s as if nobody in the marketing arm of Salon has bothered to crack open a Salon article in a very long time. Time comes for Salon to say what Salon is all about, and you get all this fantasy stuff about educating yourself on what’s going on in the world, making yourself more well-rounded, appreciating things, and enjoying the benefits of an elucidated, richer life.

And then you actually read the contents and it’s all just a shitload of anger, resentment and bile, coated with a paper-thin veneer of pretending to be curious about something.

Kind of like a lot of colleges.

This is not to say I dislike Mr. Leonard’s candor, though. I appreciate it very, very much. I think it would be much healthier to run the next couple of elections on what he has to say, as opposed to a couple of buzzwords and “John McCain is uncool because he can’t type.”

So get the word out.

Liberals think people have absolutely no potential, and governing them is all about cleaning up after their messes and bringing them things. And if you happen to be a male, they have absolutely nothing whatsoever to say about you that’s good.

It’s the message Andrew Leonard, himself, wants to get out. Look at all the effort he’s putting in to pretending to be curious about something, just so he can talk about it.

Update: On the other hand, if Mr. Leonard really wants to know, he might want to take a glimmer at a post put up by The Western Chauvinist, about a week prior to his own. Strongly recommended to you, Mr. Leonard, if you plan to have sons later on but don’t have them yet.

If you do already have them though, boy do I ever feel sorry for them. I’m hoping you learn a whole lot, and learn it quick.

Speaking of Centrists…

Monday, September 7th, 2009

…that being a reference to the previous post

…our friend down in New Mexico who frequently takes issue with us about our extremist positions, versus his middle-of-the-road ones. He had an opportunity to expound at length on how he thinks people should spend Labor Day. He had, count ’em, one-two-three perfectly decent opportunities to disagree with us about things.

And he ended up three-for-three. We, with our extremist viewpoints, could have authored every single word he wrote. Especially these:

I will resist the temptation to turn this post into an anti-union screed, and said temptation is strong indeed, Gentle Reader. But let me just say this about that… I’m of the opinion that labor unions are the root of all most evil in our post-industrial society. I’ll grant you labor unions have a glorious history and were responsible for righting numerous wrongs in the early 20th century. But like the buggy whip, their time has passed. What we get from our unions today are things like “card check” —a decidedly UN-American renunciation of free elections in the workplace— and outright political intimidation. I’m not seeing much good in that… and neither are most other Americans, as Ed Morrissey notes in this Hot Air post. But let us not digress further; I’m sure you get my point.

I have redacted much there, because our friend down south places much in the clamshells () and as I’ve said before, I consider parenthetical material to be entirely expendable. But within the clamshells and outside of ’em, there is much linky goodness peppered throughout Buck’s Labor Day post, and it’s all well worth reading. Go read it all, every single word. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.

Nevertheless, this “centrist” thing brings up a concern that weighs somewhat heavily on my mind whenever our so-called “moderate” acquaintance takes issue with our “extremist” ramblings. We are, in recent years, strangely unified on our definitions…extremist…moderate…fringe-kook…centrist. There is very little disagreement lately on what opinion falls into what category. And this unification does not work along lines of common sense. This, in my mind, is a bad thing. It is almost a public mental health issue. Something just shy of a crisis.

I don’t like the way “centrist” is defined lately.

Let us say we do something that common sense, as well as history itself, counsels as being reprehensibly unwise. Passing gas into a campfire — after painting one’s hind end with gasoline. Kidnapping baby bear cubs in line-of-sight of their mothers. Telling Hells’ Angels riders something like “Hey, are you faggots going to move your fucking bikes so I can park here?” Flesh out that list of mine in whatever manner most effectively entertains you…

…it seems to me that lately, what defines a “centrist” is the following: We’ve done this stupid thing, whatever it is, ten times. It’s put us in the emergency ward ten times. Let’s go for an eleventh, just for the hell of it!

The guy who says “Let’s not, and say we did” is characterized as the extremist.

Am I right or am I right? We’re tinkering around with the idea of passing nationalized health care — which hasn’t been written into a unified body of legislation yet, let alone passed through committee. Every time some “conservative firebrand” comes up with a word of caution for us…think of Sarah Palin’s “death panels”…we are cautioned that this is a “falsehood,” that it is “bearing false witness,” that it is an “urban legend.” And that she is an “extremist.” But primarily, that the stuff she’s saying is not true.

Of course it isn’t! The legislation hasn’t been written yet. But if you want to go by the history of other countries that have this kind of health care plan in place, what she said is absolutely one hundred percent true. Death panels, death courts, death quorums, death committees, call ’em what you will. It’s bureaucrats deciding who’s gonna live and who’s gonna die…and “death panel” is just as good a name as any.

My point is not that what Palin said, in the final analysis, is true. Although it is.

My point is that her comments have been characterized as extremist in nature, and those who contradict her have been characterized as moderates. In a sane universe, it would be the other way around. The evidence is overwhelmingly on her side. I say again: overwhelmingly. Start, if it suits your druthers, with all the countries that have instituted nationalized health care plans, similar or identical to the one we are now considering — who are now rejecting those plans, or in some other way regretting them. They have bureaucrats sitting down to decide who does & doesn’t “deserve” coverage…empowered with decision-making over life-and-death…just like Palin said.

Palin one, Obama zip.

And that leads into this other article of “must-not-miss” stuff straight from the archives of that extremist Libertarian crackpot Neal Boortz: Four Problems That Could Sink America. Briefly summarized here:

1. We don’t like to work. Sure, now that jobs are scarce, everybody’s willing to put in a few extra hours to stay ahead of the ax. But look around: We still expect easy money, hope to retire early, and embrace the oversimplistic message of bestsellers like The One Minute Millionaire and The 4-Hour Workweek. Unfortunately, the rest of the world isn’t sending as much money our way as it used to, which makes it harder to do less with more.
2. Nobody wants to sacrifice. Why should we? The government is standing by with stimulus money, banker bailouts, homeowner aid, cash for clunkers, expanded healthcare, and maybe more stimulus money. And most Americans will never have to pay an extra dime for any of this. Somehow, $9 trillion worth of government debt will just become somebody else’s problem.

3. We’re uninformed.
People who lack the sense to question Big Lies always end up in deep trouble. Being well informed takes work, even with the Internet. In a democracy, that’s simply a civic burden. If we’re too foolish or lazy to educate ourselves on healthcare, global warming, financial reform, and other complicated issues, then we’re signing ourselves over to special interests who see nothing wrong with plundering our national–and personal–wealth.
4. iCulture. We may be chastened by the recession, but Americans still believe they deserve the best of everything–the best job, the best healthcare, the best education for our kids. And we want it at a discount–or better yet, free–which brings us back to the usual disconnect between what we want and what we’re willing to pay for.

Do you see a common thread amongst those four? I do. I call it the “ant and grasshopper milkshake.”

People who are willing to endure the dilemma of delayed gratification, for a late reward, are intermingled in their personal fortunes and prospects with lazier people who just want to fuck around. The result: The standard of living for hard-working people who choose to educate themselves and then act on that education, is deprecated; the standard of living for jag-offs, conversely, is artificially enhanced.

To stand in opposition to this, is not extreme. To lend your voice in support of it, is not moderate.

Our friend in New Mexico does not suffer from a lack of brains, or balls, or judgment. He simply misunderstands the debate — some of the time. And he doesn’t even misunderstand the debate quite so much; he misunderstands the enemy.

His values on the other hand, are right where they should be. And his idea is an awesome one — I know this to be true, because it’s an idea we’ve had here many a time. People need to pull their heads out of their asses with regard to old-fashioned honest hard work, and listen to what Mike Rowe has to say. For whatever other disagreements he & I may have, we are abso-freakin-lutely on the same page there. I swear, if people gave up watching American Idol, and spend just five minutes out of that time out of every hour that was spent previously, watching Dirty Jobs — a lot of this nation’s problems would disappear overnight.

A Sad, Sad Speech and a Sad, Sad Letter

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Both from people who don’t really exist. But do…

Boortz’ imaginary car-company President first. He calls all his employees to the local hotel, and says:

I would like to start by thanking you for attending this meeting, though it’s not like you had much of a choice. After all, attendance was mandatory. I’m also glad many of you accepted my invitation to your family members to be here as well. I have a few remarks to make to all of you, and then we’ll retire to the ballroom for a great lunch and some employee awards.

I felt that this meeting was important enough to close all 12 of our tire and automotive shops today so that you could be here. To reassure you, everybody is being paid for the day — except me. Since our stores are closed we’re making no money. That economic loss is mine to sustain. Carrington Automotive has 157 full time employees and around 30 additional part-timers. All of you are here. I thank you for that.

When you walked into this auditorium you were handed a rather thick 78-page document. Many of you have already taken a peek. You were probably surprised to see that it’s my personal tax return for 2008. Those of you who are adept at reading these tax returns will see that last year my taxable income was $534,000.00. Now I’m sure this seems rather high to many of you. So … let’s talk about this tax return.

Carrington Automotive Enterprises is what we call a Sub-S – a Subchapter S corporation. The name comes from a particular part of our tax code. Sub-S status means that the income from all 12 of our stores is reported on my personal tax return. Businesses that report their income on the owner’s personal tax return are referred to as “small businesses.” So, you see now that this $534,000 is really the total taxable income – the total combined profit from all 12 of our stores. That works out to an average of a bit over $44,000 per store.

Why did I feel it important for you to see my actual 2008 tax return? Well, there’s a lot of rhetoric being thrown around today about taxes, small businesses and rich people. To the people in charge in Washington right now I’m a wealthy American making over a half-million dollars a year. Most Americans would agree: I’m just another rich guy; after all … I had over a half-million in income last year, right? In this room we know that the reality is that I’m a small business owner who runs 12 retail establishments and employs 187 people. Now here’s something that shouldn’t surprise you, but it will: Just under 100 percent … make that 99.7 percent of all employers in this countries are small businesses, just like ours. Every one of these businesses reports their income on a personal income tax return. You need to understand that small businesses like ours are responsible for about 80 percent of all private sector jobs in this country, and about 70 percent of all jobs that have been created over the past year. You also need to know that when you hear some politician talking about rich people who earn over $200,000 or $500,000 a year, they’re talking about the people who create the jobs.

The people who are now running the show in Washington have been talking for months about raising taxes on wealthy Americans. I already know that in two years my federal income taxes are going to go up by about 4.5 percent. That happens when Obama and the Democrats allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. When my taxes climb by 4.5 percent the Democrats will be on television saying that this really isn’t a tax increase. They’ll explain that the Bush tax cuts have expired .. nothing more. Here at Carrington we’ll know that almost 5% has been taken right off of our bottom line. And that means it will be coming off your bottom line.

Numbers are boring, I know … but let’s talk a bit more about that $534,000. That’s the money that was left last year from company revenues after I paid all of the salaries and expenses of running this business. Now I could have kept every penny of that for myself, but that would have left us with nothing to grow our business, to attract new customers and to hire new employees. You’re aware that we’ve been talking about opening new stores in Virginia Beach and Newport News. To do that I will have to buy or lease property, construct a building and purchase inventory. I also have to hire additional people to work in those stores. These people wouldn’t immediately be earning their pay. So, where do you think the money for all of this comes from? Right out of our profits .. right out of that $534,000. I need to advertise to bring customers in, especially in these tough times. Where do you think that money comes from? Oh sure, I can count it as an expense when I file my next income tax return .. but for right now that comes from either current revenues or last year’s profits. Revenues right now aren’t all that hot … so do the math. A good effective advertising campaign might cost us more than $300,000.

Is this all starting to come together for you now?

Right now the Democrats are pushing a nationalized health care plan that, depending on who’s doing the talking, will add anywhere from another two percent to an additional 4.6 percent to my taxes. If I add a few more stores, which I would like to do, and if the economy improves, my taxable income … our business income … could go over one million dollars! If that happens the Democrats have yet another tax waiting, another five percent plus! I’ve really lost tract of all of the new government programs the Democrats and President Obama are proposing that they claim they will be able to finance with new taxes on what they call “wealthy Americans.”

And while we’re talking about health care, let me explain something else to you. I understand that possibly your biggest complaint with our company is that we don’t provide you with health insurance. That is because as your employer I believe that it is my responsibility to provide you with a safe workplace and a fair wage and to do all that I can to preserve and grow this company that provides us all with income. I no more have a responsibility to provide you with health insurance than I do with life, auto or homeowner’s insurance. As you know, I have periodically invited agents for health insurance companies here to provide you with information on private health insurance plans. The Democrats are proposing to levy yet another tax against Carrington in the amount of 8 percent of my payroll as a penalty for not providing you with health insurance. You should know that if they do this I will be reducing every person’s salary or hourly wage by that same 8 percent. This will not be done to put any more money in my pocket. It will be done to make sure that I don’t suffer financially from the Democrat’s efforts to place our healthcare under the control of the federal government. It is your health, not mine. It is your healthcare, not mine. These are your expenses, not mine. If you think I’m wrong about all this, I would sure love to hear your reasoning.

Try to understand what I’m telling you here. Those people that Obama and the Democrats call “wealthy Americans” are, in very large part, America’s small business owners. I’m one of them. You have the evidence, and surely you don’t think that the owner of a bunch of tire stores is anything special. That $534,000 figure on my income tax return puts me squarely in Democrat crosshairs when it comes to tax increases.

Let’s be clear about this … crystal clear. Any federal tax increase on me is going to cost you money, not me. Any new taxes on Carrington Automotive will be new taxes that you, or the people I don’t hire to staff the new stores I won’t be building, will be paying. Do you understand what I’m telling you? You’ve heard about things rolling downhill, right? Fine .. then you need to know that taxes, like that other stuff, roll downhill. Now you and I may understand that you are not among those that the Democrats call “wealthy Americans,” but when this “tax the rich” thing comes down you are going to be standing at the bottom of the mud slide, if you get my drift. That’s life in the big city, my friends … where elections have consequences.

You know our economy is very weak right now. I’ve pledged to get us through this without layoffs or cuts in your wages and benefits. It’s too bad the politicians can’t get us through this without attacking our profits. To insure our survival I have to take a substantial portion of that $534,000 and set it aside for unexpected expenses and a worsening economy. Trouble is, the government is eyeing that money too … and they have the guns. If they want it, they can take it.

I don’t want to make this too long. There’s a great lunch waiting for us all. But you need to understand what’s happening here. I’ve worked hard for 23 years to create this business. There were many years where I couldn’t take a penny in income because every dollar was being dedicated to expanding the business. There were tough times when it took every dollar of revenues to replenish our inventory and cover your paychecks. During those times I earned nothing. If you want to see those tax returns, just let me know.

OK .. I know I’m repeating myself here. I don’t hire stupid people, and you are probably getting it now. So let me just ramble for a few more minutes.

Most Americans don’t realize that when the Democrats talk about raising taxes on people making more than $250 thousand a year, they’re talking about raising taxes on small businesses. The U.S. Treasury Department says that six out of every ten individuals in this country with incomes of more than $280,000 are actually small business owners. About one-half of the income in this country that would be subject to these increased taxes is from small businesses like ours. Depending on how many of these wonderful new taxes the Democrats manage to pass, this company could see its tax burden increase by as much as $60,000. Perhaps more.

I know a lot of you voted for President Obama. A lot of you voted for Democrats across the board. Whether you voted out of support for some specific policies, or because you liked his slogans, you need to learn one very valuable lesson from this election. Elections have consequences. You might have thought it would be cool to have a president who looks like you; or a president who is young, has a buff bod, and speaks eloquently when there’s a teleprompter in the neighborhood. Maybe you liked his promises to tax the rich. Maybe you believed his promise not to raise taxes on people earning less than a certain amount. Maybe you actually bought into his promise to cut taxes on millions of Americans who actually don’t pay income taxes in the first place. Whatever the reason .. your vote had consequences; and here they are.

Bottom line? I’m not taking this hit alone. As soon as the Democrats manage to get their tax increases on the books, I’m going to take steps to make sure that my family isn’t affected. When you own the business, that is what you’re allowed to do. I built this business over a period of 23 years, and I’m not going to see my family suffer because we have a president and a congress who think that wealth is distributed rather than earned. Any additional taxes, of whatever description, that President Obama and the Democrats inflict on this business will come straight out of any funds I have set aside for expansion or pay and benefit increases. Any plans I might have had to hire additional employees for new stores will be put aside. Any plans for raises for the people I now have working for me will be shelved. Year-end bonuses might well be eliminated. That may sound rough, but that’s the reality.

You’re going to continue to hear a lot of anti-wealth rhetoric out there from the media and from the left. You can chose to believe what you wish .. .but when it comes to Carrington Automotive you will know the truth. The books are open to any of you at any time. I have nothing to hide. I would hope that other small business owners out there would hold meetings like this one, but I know it won’t happen that often. One of the lessons to be learned here is that taxes … all taxes … and all regulatory costs that are placed on businesses anywhere in this country, will eventually be passed right on down to individuals; individuals such as yourself. This hasn’t been about admonishing anyone and it hasn’t been about issuing threats. This is part of the education you should have received in the government schools, but didn’t. Class is now dismissed.

Let’s eat.

Ashley’s grandfather has similar words, courtesy of Roger Kimball, hat tip to Ace:


I received your request for assistance. Ashley, you know I love you dearly and I’m sympathetic to your financial plight. Unfortunately, times have changed. With the election of President Obama, your grandmother and I have had to set forth a bold new economic plan of our own…”The Ashley Economic Empowerment Plan.” Let me explain.

Your grandmother and I are life-long, wage-earning tax payers. We have lived a comfortable life, as you know, but we have never had the fancier things like European vacations, luxury cars, etc. We have worked hard and were looking forward to retiring soon. But the plan has changed. Your president is raising our personal and business taxes significantly.. He says it is so he can give our hard earned money to other people. Do you know what this means, Ashley? It means less for us, and we must cut back on many business and personal expenses.

You know the wonderful receptionist who worked in my office for more than 23 years? The one who always gave you candy when came over to visit? I had to let her go last week. I can’t afford to pay her salary and all of the government mandated taxes that go with having employees. Your grandmother will now work 4 days a week to answer phones, take orders and handle the books. We will be closed on Fridays and will lose even more income to the Wal-Mart.

I’m also very sorry to report that your cousin Frank will no longer be working summers in the warehouse. I called him at school this morning. He already knows about it and he’s upset because he will have to give up skydiving and his yearly trip to Greenland to survey the polar bears.

That’s just the business side of things. Some personal economic effects of Obama’s new taxation policies include none other than you. You know very well that over the years your grandmother and I have given you thousands of dollars in cash, tuition assistance, food, housing, clothing, gifts, etc., etc. But by your vote, you have chosen to help others — not at your expense — but at our expense.

If you need money now sweetheart, I recommend you call 202-456-1111. That is the direct phone number for the White House. You yourself told me how foolish it is to vote Republican. You said Mr. Obama is going to be the People’s President, and is going to help every American live a better life. Based on everything you’ve told me, along with all the promises we heard during the campaign, I’m sure Mr. Obama will be happy to transfer some stimulus money into your bank account. Have him call me for the account number which I memorized years ago.

Perhaps you can now understand what I’ve been saying all my life: those who vote for a president should consider the impact on the nation as a whole, and not be just concerned with what they can get for themselves. What Obama supporters don’t seem to realize is all of the money he is redistributing to illegal aliens and non-taxpaying Americans (the so-called “less fortunate”) comes from tax-paying families.

Remember how you told me, “Only the richest of the rich will be affected”? Well guess what, honey? Because we own a business, your grandmother and I are now considered to be the richest of the rich. On paper, it might look that way, but in the real world, we are far from it.

As you said while campaigning for Obama, some people will have to carry more of the burden so all of America can prosper. You understand what that means, right? It means that raising taxes on productive people results in them having less money; less money for everything, including granddaughters.

I’m sorry, Ashley, but the well has run dry. The free lunches are over. I have no money to give you now.

So, congratulations on your choice for “change.” For future reference, I encourage you to try and add up the total value of the gifts and cash you have received from us, just since you went off to college, and compare it to what you expect to get from Mr. Obama over the next 4 (or 8 ) years. I have not kept track of it, Ashley. It has all truly been the gift of our hearts.

Remember, we love you dearly….but from now on you’ll need to call the number mentioned above.. Your “Savior” has the money we would have given to you. Just try and get it from him.

Good luck, sweetheart.



A case of great minds thinking alike. But really, what more is there to be said? Someone — a bunch of someones — going through life in a state of perpetual being-oppressed…has caught an inexplicable case of hatred and hostility toward the goose who’s laid the golden egg.

No good can come from this.

Airborne Laser Scores a Hit as its Budget is Cut

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Wall Street Journal:

Never has Ronald Reagan’s dream of layered missile defenses—Star Wars, for short—been as politically out of favor as in the Age of Obama. Nor as close, at least technologically, to becoming realized.

The latest encouraging news came Thursday courtesy of the Misssile Defense Agency. The Airborne Laser prototype aircraft this week found, tracked, engaged and simulated an intercept with a missile seconds after liftoff. It was the first time the Agency used an “instrumented” missile to confirm the laser works as expected. Next up this fall will be the first live attempt to bring down a ballistic missile, but this test confirms how far along this innovative effort has come.

Along with space-based weapons, the Airborne Laser is the next defense frontier. The modified Boeing 747 is supposed to send an intense beam of light over hundreds of miles to destroy missiles in the “boost phase,” before they can release decoys and at a point in their trajectory when they would fall back down on enemy territory. It’s a pioneering use of directed energy in defense. The laser complements the sea- and ground-based missile defenses that keep proving themselves in tests.

Yet the Obama Administration isn’t buying it. Funding for missile defense was cut in the 2010 budget by some 15%—$1.2 billion to $1.6 billion, depending on how you calculate it. The number of ground-based interceptors was reduced. The Missile Defense Agency’s budget for the Airborne Laser is to be slashed in half, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pulled the plug on buying a second plane. The Pentagon says the program will have three tries to hit a live missile, or be killed altogether.

And the stimulus money went to ACORN, illegal aliens, et cetera.

In my own summer daydream, there is a public law authorizing the Pentagon to seek assistance for promising but endangered programs like this, from this year’s stimulus program as well as any other stimulus programs in the future. That would be a sweet short-circuiting — liberal contempt for the military and for victory, defeated by the waste, graft and corruption that is inherent to liberalism itself. Make the dragon eat its own tail.

But real life doesn’t work that way. We have to waste money just for the sake of wasting money, and we have to do it with a, ahem, laser-like focus only on the programs liberals think are worth the wasted money.

D’JEver Notice? XXIV

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Neo-Neocon aptly dissects Camille Paglia, who in turn represents many Obama supporters that are beginning to wake up to the fact that He is slightly different from what He was pretending to be…but still want to cling to some part of last year’s dream, and therefore remain partially clueless.

Obama is a savior for the democrat party, that much cannot be in question. The conundrum that confronts our nation, as it sheds on a massive scale the support it used to have for passage of some kind of health care “reform” this year, is this: What are the democrats all about? Do they want to elevate our standard of living, or are they out to erode our sense of independence? As one analyzes their behavior and confines one’s inspection to pressing issues that would arguably do both of these things, such as HillaryCare and ObamaCare, it is impossible to say.

And so the flaccid mind does what it is told, and assists in the circulation of meaningless platitudes in support of the agendas of strangers. Paglia does not possess a flaccid mind…at least, I don’t think she does…but thus far, she has chosen to go this route, which betrays a failing against the yardstick of potential. Her treatise consumes three sizable “pages” out in the innerwebs, because she indulges in bunny-trails of excoriation against George W. Bush. Makes her feel good, I guess. But it’s still off topic.

The more resilient and capable mind pondering what has distressed Ms. Paglia, continues to evaluate the question and inspects other issues. Concentrating, of course, on new ideas that would increase our standard of living and our sense of independence. Can we think of any?

We can enable people to use firearms to defend their homes from intruders.

We can allow parents to extract their children from failing school districts, to home-school them if that’s the best option for them.

We can make sure “workers” are able to vote on union membership in secrecy, so they can vote no if they want to without being harassed, bullied and intimidated.

Come to think of it, we can stop calling them “workers.”

We can lower their taxes.

We can support their country’s bid to define English as its official language…just as other countries have done.

We can raise the bar on litigation, so that frivolous lawsuits against businesses that pass expenses on to the rest of us, are tossed out earlier in the process.

We can let them inherit money and property from their deceased parents who willed it to them.

How does the typical democrat feel about these things that would elevate the American’s sense of financial security simultaneously with his sense of independence?

And if the resilient mind continues to come up with a consistent answer, what would it then conclude about the primary motivational agent for the democrat party? Is it looking out for us and our well-being? And this rush to pass ObamaCare — did our exercise succeed in soothing our concerns about the motives behind it? And about where such a program might be headed in the years to come, if it should pass? Are we all breathing a sigh of relief now?

End Game

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Mark Steyn takes stock of the formerly rabid Obama fan base, such as it is…an eclectic mix of the ones frantically scraping the “Obama Biden” stickers off their bumpers, and their counterparts who are leaving ’em affixed…

The New York Times’ David Brooks stuck it out longer than most: Only a few backs, he was giddy with excitement over the President’s “education” “reforms” (whatever they were). But now he says we’re in “the early stages of the liberal suicide march”. For a famously moderate moderate, Mr Brooks seems to have gone from irrational optimism over the Democrats’ victory to irrational optimism over the Democrats’ impending downfall without the intervening stage of rational pessimism.

The end-game is very obvious. If you expand the bureaucratic class and you expand the dependent class, you can put together a permanent electoral majority.

Cap and Trade Capsizing?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Ace is cautiously optimistic.

Cap and Trade off the Agenda, Now, Too?

Sounds that way.

Obama wasn’t crazy when he tried to rush socialism on us in one package. Cap and tax was his funding scheme for health care (and expanding the government generally). He was counting on those billions levied on evil energy producer (and then passed on to citizens, but in a hidden, plausible-deniability manner) to fund his spending initiatives.

Without all those sweet, sweet not-well-hidden taxes on the middle class, he is left with the options of either 1) exploding the deficit still further or 2) reneging on that pledge that is oh so important to him, to not tax the middle class further.

Ace points to Hot Air, which in turn points to Politico.

A handful of key senators on climate change are almost guaranteed to be tied up well into the fall on health care. Democrats from the Midwest and the South are resistant to a cap-and-trade proposal. And few if any Republicans are jumping in to help push a global warming and energy initiative.

As a result, many Democrats fear the lack of political will and the congressional calendar will conspire to punt climate change into next year.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that all their initiatives have to do with making life more expensive and making the people who live that life more dependent. Every little thing they propose has to do with lowering the standard of living — save for the giveaways from the government coffers. That, to the best I can determine, is what makes it all worthwhile. All these hidden costs for being thick and stupid enough to bring things to the marketplace the legal way…the minimum wage, the social security taxes for hiring legal citizens instead of cheap illegal labor, the cap-n-trade scam “contributions”…and the decrease in our standard of living is measurable, for anyone who takes the time to do the math.

Here, let’s try it.

Two generations ago a house cost $8,000 and a skilled machinist got $4.50 an hour. He could buy that house with 1,778 hours. Can you buy a house with 1,778 hours of your time? Milk — three dollars a gallon now. Cap-and-Trade is exactly the kind of nonsense that could push it up to seven. Gasoline — three-fifty. How would you like to pay twelve? And then of course there’s health care…we all *LUV* to bitch and whine and piss and moan about the high cost of health care. That’s why we need ObamaCare! Because then it’ll all be free, right? Hey how about making it cheap instead of free? That’s what I asked at Cassy’s place, citing this article to support the idea that maybe that would be our most meaningful “reform” — tort reform, as opposed to Euroweenie single-payer health care plans. And my opposition tucks his tail under his skirt and cries wee, wee, wee, wee, wee all the way home. Not a single word comes my way in response. I opened up a taboo topic.

How come it’s always like this? Nobody wants to make anything more efficient or economical…at least nobody on the dem side of the house does. It’s always “free.” Way more expensive, and maybe paid-fer by someone else but always way more expensive…

I can’t answer this. But I think, here, we do have an irrefutable argument that liberalism is for people who lack a long-term memory. It is an argument sufficiently durable to be accepted, one piece at a time if not in total, by the most passionate democrat. Step through it with me, one step at a time, and have a liberal-dem you know validate each one —

The plan is, for any given commodity exchanged, that the transactions be conducted more sluggishly and awkwardly and therefore the price will go up, but that’s quite alright because it will be subsidized, offset, or entirely funded by the government…in other words, “free.” (The dem guy agrees.)

This puts the government in charge of things that weren’t under government control before. (The dem guy agrees.)

So benevolent and wise decisions are made, by a government run by decent people we can trust…provided we find them trustworthy… (The dem guy agrees.)

We all tend to trust people more if they share our position on the ideological spectrum. (The dem guy agrees.)

The government has been run by Republicans 28 years out of the last 41. (The dem guy…uh…starts to see where you’re going with this, and probably tries to change the subject.)

There you have it. Liberal-democrat politics are all about placing your most important life decisions in the hands of people you not only mistrust, but loathe down to the very marrow of your bones — 68% of the time. Or else, I was right when I said it’s all about sustaining a stunning ignorance about time, and the passage of it.

Maybe both.

I hope Ace is right, I really do. I hope this is one of those things where the proposed action hits a little bump in the road, and because of that one bump is pushed out of sight for generations and generations and generations. Or, to quote Ace’s commenter #1, lorien1973 — “I’m glad He’s failing.”

Stupidly Drinking Beer

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Pure self-inflicted political damage, from The One who is supposed to be the nation’s premier political genius.

Much discussion about a sit-down taking place. Not a single word about what was supposed to be said, what in fact was said, what came of it, who feels all warm and fuzzy about it who didn’t feel warm & fuzzy before. All symbolism. No substance whatsoever. I’ve kibitzed before about this strange, strange, strange preoccupation our modern liberals have with the act of “sitting down to discuss our differences.” I’ve listened to decades of this bullshit, and I’ve yet to hear a syllable about what this — let us call it what it really is — ceremony is actually supposed to do.

Yet another “teachable moment” with no actual learning taking place.

The one person who did everything right from beginning to end was not invited, apparently because she’s just a chick. This is a day for healing racial division, not gender division.

Biden, who has nothing to do with anything, got a seat at the table…he’s got such a steady track record of saying the right thing, dontcha know.

Sgt. Crowley deserved exoneration, and through this event, he lost every shred of dignity he had.

Prof. Gates needed people to take him more seriously, and ended up looking sillier than before.

President Obama desperately needed to save face from this public relations setback He suffered — probably for the very first time in His life! — and made an ass out of Himself.

The one single word that was used so unwisely, to blow this thing way out of proportion? It’s an adverb. “Stupidly.”

And what an able word for this attempted closure. Stupidly. Four men stupidly partaking in a photo op, which is failed even before it begins.

FacepalmIf you were to have jotted these events down in manuscript form before they actually occurred, no publisher of fiction would accept it. It’s all too surreal, too absurd, too astonishing, too preposterous. It would never happen in real life. This is a new low nadir. This takes the cake. It descends beneath “[illegal aliens] are doing the work Americans won’t do.” It descends beneath Howard Dean yelling “YEEEEAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!” It descends beneath John McCain suspending his campaign to fix the mortgage crisis. It descends beneath John Edwards screwing around on his cancer-stricken wife, and Gov. Sanford hiking in the Appalachians.

Our national Absurdity Engine has burst a gasket and thrown a rod. Too much gas, too many revs, and that premium grade of bullshit fuel burned way too fast.

If this is a typical “teaching” moment, kindly leave me un-taught thankyewverymuch. Just lend me a Sharpy so I can make a new hash mark on the door jamb, and hopefully we have to wait awhile before this newest record of extraordinary depth is broken yet again.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

I Made a New Word XXX

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

For the thirtieth time, I have come up with a brand new word.

Autonopia (n.), a portmanteau of autonomy and Utopia.

1: the quality or state of being self-governing ; especially : the right of self-government
2: self-directing freedom and especially moral independence
3: a self-governing state

Autonomy, it goes without saying, can extend to individuals. And it damn well should.

But…for the immediate future, you’re going to see no such tomfoolery taking place, not in Obama’s New Society we have going.

As I was pointing out earlier this morning in an update, Obama owes His presidency to the fact that some among us dream of Autonopia, and among us, some of us are sufficiently deluded to think we live in it. It is an asset to be guarded jealously, at least, when it is present: This quality a culture has in which one individual can be a dumbass, and the injury that results is inflicted on him, and him alone. So many of you were out there ready to go voting for the Chosen One, and so many others instinctively thought to themselves “that’s pretty stupid, but at least nobody else will be harmed by it.” This led to a decision, in too many cases, to stay home on Election Day and watch the teevee. There was no intellectual support for the idea that an election would be inconsequential; especially a Presidential election. Especially that one. But it had to do with how they were raised. Anti-activism. You do something dumb, that means you should be left alone to do your dumb thing and eventually you’ll learn not to do it. That took over, so they stayed home and let everyone else pick their leaders for them.

Who’s stupid now?

I was alerted to the immediate necessity of coming up with this new word when I read about this Executive Pay Bill that managed to pop out of committee in the House of Representatives, and now goes sailing on to the floor for a vote:

Legislation that would slap new limits on U.S. executive pay won approval on Tuesday by a congressional committee, advancing a component of the Obama administration’s broad plan to tighten financial regulation.

The bill was expected to go to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote on Friday, aides said.

Drafted by House Democrats, the bill would give shareholders the right to cast non-binding, annual votes on executive pay and on special pay packages, such as “golden parachutes, in instances of changes in corporate control.

Nanny StateIt would also empower regulators to ban pay structures that encourage “inappropriate risks by financial institutions … that could threaten the safety and soundness of covered financial institutions, or could have serious adverse effects on economic conditions or financial stability.”

Yeah, you pay your executives too much money, and you just might start another economic crash that’ll impact everybody. Better stop you before you start!

See what I mean by an asset to be guarded jealously? We don’t have it anymore. And we are conditioned to think that’s no great tragedy, because what has left us is a cynical personal isolationism that breeds resentment and jealousy. You dumbasses; I can see Charlton Heston pounding his fist into the sand, damning you straight to hell. That was freedom that left you. Now we’re “all connected, all in this together”…and so the statists get to leap to the microphones and intone to the rest of us that hey…we gots to have more rules. That dumb thing that guy over there can do, could result in an injury to that perfectly innocent fellow over here. So every business decision, personal decision, personal choice, is on the table. We’re all in this together. We have no Autonopia.

Hat tip to Boortz for the article, and he has much more to say about it.

Government officials never, ever call for a restoration of this autonopia, you’ll notice. They never call for a bubble-wrap arrangement in which one bubble can be popped and the other bubbles stay intact. Nope, it’s always we’re-all-in-this-together, and one-rule-away-from-complete-bliss. The idea that one guy can do something dumb and injure himself, and no one else, is always cast as an idea that someone else can do him harm. That’s the big lie from Washington. And we see nobody standing up to challenge it.

So. Government bureaucrats get to decide how much people in corporations make. But don’t worry, there’s a scope defined so it isn’t universal: “Covered institutions.” Aint’ that swell? The law doesn’t take effect unless the institution is covered. So who decides what’s covered.

So it’s settled. We can’t count on politicians, especially now, to say “I see there’s a possibility that one guy can do a dumb thing and bring harm to others, but nevertheless let’s leave this part of life unregulated.” They can’t be trusted to think such a thing or to say such a thing. Not now, not ever. Freedom, therefore, is synonymous with this new word I invented, and the concept it describes. Or to be more accurate about it freedom is dependent — completely — on it. It is a national treasure. We need to look at ways to preserve it, assuming such a possibility exists for us.

And if no such possibility exists, and autonopia is gone for good, then let’s just stop the charade. Every little thing we do is either regulated, or is about to be. We are “free” only to such an extent that the legislators haven’t quite gotten around to making us otherwise, which means we are not. In all aspects of life. Because we have lost that most precious of rights, the right to do stupid idiotic harmful things to ourselves with a realistic expectation that our stupidity will bring harm to absolutely nobody else. Lose that, and you lose everything.

Cap and Trade, Explained

Friday, July 17th, 2009

By Six Meat Buffet.

Girl, Texting, Falls Into Manhole

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

It takes two to make a situation like this. The dimwit who left the hole unattended, and the dimwit who fell into it.

I’m reasonably sure the dimwit who fell in will see things fifty-percent my way. She’s the one with the microphone shoved into her face, so it’s not exactly a mind-reading exercise:

It was an accident waiting to happen — an open sewer and a 15-year-old girl who was texting while she walked.

Alexa Longueira, a high school sophomore, was walking along Victory Boulevard near Travis Avenue on Staten Island Wednesday evening when she felt the earth move and was plunged into smelly darkness.

She said the manhole she fell in to was left open and unattended with no warning signs or orange cones. She said two workers with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection failed to secure the area as they prepared to flush the sewer.

“It was just really gross and it was shocking and scary,” she said. “Because of their careless mistake I got hurt.”

Yeah, sweet-pea…their careless mistake, and something else.

Are you paying attention? We’re in the process of building a world tailor-made for twits like this. You think that’s going to be some kind of paradise? Seriously?

These Pussy Betas Are Killing the Country

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Ding ding ding! Blogsister Daphne takes the prize among all the blogger friends, for updating her sidebar link to our new location first…assuming there’s nobody out there who made the change even quicker, someone I haven’t found quite yet. Thanks Daph! You get a double-dose of linky love, and tonight you’re well worth it.

She’s thinking about eugenics, not from out of your history books, but in the very near future:

It’s too hot do anything more demanding than drink ice cold beer and wonder at the mind bending folly of liberals. I’ve attempted to understand their worldview, mark some sane tatter of rationale for the thought processes that would endorse one John Holdren as our president’s Science Czar. This man has some seriously disturbing views on population control. The whole czar thing is creepy to begin with, populating these pet posts with people of this weird caliber is more than a little troubling.

“If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.”

Obama’s okay with this viewpoint? How about this ripe nugget;

“Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”

I’m assuming liberals are fine with this scunty prick’s historical opinion, which just so happens to stomp all over the inviolate rights of women’s bodies and reproductive choices…I will never comprehend an individual’s willing subservience to the state. Never. We have too many grown men pining for the safety of momma’s tit and a handful who’d love to control the milk.

I believe women need to start raising more alpha males, these pussy betas are going kill the country.

Time to bring out our favorite Robert A. Heinlein quote. With my custom dessert topping to go with it:

Heinlein’s Observation: The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Freeberg’s Corollary: Those who want to control tend to want, on some subconscious level, to be controlled; those who lack the desire to be controlled, are similarly disinterested in any opportunity to control others.

What can be more controlling than forcing people to languish away into obscurity and the grave, without benefit of reproduction, because you think there are too many of them?

Daphne continues with this theme

Do you read Roissy? I do. He’s a scandalous piece of work, spilling unwelcome truths about men, women and sex. He’s got a raw style of dealing with a topic that most handle with kid gloves. He calls it as he sees it and, from my jaded viewpoint, he’s usually right. He weighs on politics with this post;

In short, women are voting more Democrat because the Democrat Party is the prime force for turning the government into the world’s biggest provider beta. From the time of the “sexual revolution” (which was really a “sexual devolution” back towards pre-agricultural mating norms when 80% of the women and 40% of the highest testosterone men reproduced) women have been more free to choose mating opportunities based on their gina tingles and the economic and social empowerment granted, respectively, by their pointless humanities degrees and the disintegration of traditional slut shaming mechanisms. The life of serial monogamy and alpha cock hopping has never been more attainable for the average American woman, and the result has been predictable: Women are substituting the beta males they no longer want or need for marriage with a Big Brother Daddy government to help them foot the child-raising bills that their PUA, drug running and serial killer lovers won’t.

Ring any bells?

Yer goddamn right it does. It’s the Morgan Freeberg Theory of the Charismatic Wrecking Ball.

See, here’s what’s going on with these airhead women. They aren’t looking for men who will inject a stronger base of genetic material into their bloodline. Perhaps if they were exposed to danger as frequently as their ancestors from thousands of years ago, they would. But hey. It’s 2009, they’re one debit card swipe away from their next tank of gas, their next pint of Haagen Dazs, their next iced-mocha coffee drink that takes ten minutes just to order, their next feminine hygiene product…there are no snakes underfoot, they were all killed before the swamps were drained before the landscape was prepped before the foundation was laid before the building was built. No saber-tooth tigers. They, like the rest of us, are safe. Not perfectly so, but relatively so. Humankind suffers from a paucity of natural predators.

Boyfriend ShirtHow far into the depths of dumbth can our young Clinton/Obama Sex-in-the-City girl-women descend? Blogger friend Gerard brings us tales, tall tales but verifiable tales, of bored young strumpets forking out North of $200 for a “boyfriend shirt.” Gerard points out the obvious: “Or you can just get a boyfriend and steal it like women with standards since time out of mind. If you take it the morning after, he won’t mind at all.” Stellar advice, but only in an Idiocracy age devoid of natural threats or predators and liberated from Darwin’s purifying spirit, could any humans be in need of it.

And so their priorities change. They need that Bill Clinton charisma…in the next President, in the guy that repairs the copier machine after they sat on it, in the UPS guy. They select the guy who’s going to fix their car based on his charisma. And then bitch about having to pay five times as much as they think they should have.

Charisma, charisma, charisma. Don’t you blame the idiot-girls in my presence; our idiot-boys are just as susceptible, every bit as intoxicated on the elixir, every bit as disoriented and senseless. The charisma that was of such inconsequential value back when someone had to pump the water and churn the butter, and is such a central agent of “survival” now. The nectar of all people who’ve gone too long without really worrying about anything — and because they aren’t truly sane, their thirst for it is never quenched. They don’t really know how much they need or want of anything, for they have never been left for want of anything.

But let’s return to the central theme — now that I’ve qualified exactly how much we’ve robbed ourselves of our own common sense, in this world run by assholes whose hands have never known callouses, and women who’ve adored nobody save for the soft-handed assholes. Let’s inspect this Wrecking Ball theory. Just who, in this atrophied, stultified age, has this charisma? We are divided, fundamentally, into those who want to build things and those who want to destroy things. These two factions of person, do not think of things the same way. They do not live life the same way, so they don’t look at life the same way. Building things is infinitely tougher than destroying things, because things have to fit together with other things — you have to build them just right and line them up just right. You have to measure every step, and you have to adhere to a design. The design has to have taken everything into account that might become a factor during the building process, and this does mean everything. Temperature. Humidity. Slope. PH level. Altitude. Wind speed. Drag coefficient. If it matters, then the design must have taken it into account, and if anything is missing then this is all just a big waste of time.

Builders just aren’t very much fun to watch. They don’t build until they have a line inked in; they don’t ink the line in until they’ve penciled it; they don’t pencil it until they measure it, and measure it again, and again, and pencil it in ever-so-lightly, measure yet one more time, curse heavily, erase…I tell you, watching these people is like water torture.

Wrecking Ball of ChangeWrecking balls are fun to watch. Their mission is far, far simpler, and so they enjoy the benefit of moving in a straight line…to such an extent as they don’t want to move that direction anymore, then they swing back again. With sufficient inertia as to overpower everything else. A wrecking ball can afford to move that way — because it is concerned only with destruction, not with creation.

That’s how people are. If you’re out to destroy things and not build things, you get to move in a straight line just as long as you want. Your actions are utterly predictable, since it’s a physical impossibility for you to abruptly change course or speed. And yet you’re so much fun to watch.

And so our destroyers…our hardcore liberals, our eugenicists, our shrinks, our lawyers, our politicians, our hopey changey “There’s Just Something About Him!!” Christ-replacement iPresidents, they’re just so much fun to watch. Because they’re charismatic. Their movements are unalterable. Their mission is one of destruction.

They come off looking like alpha males, but that’s only because they enjoy the luxury of moving like a wrecking ball. Being fun to watch. They aren’t really alpha males though; alpha males are nerds. Alpha males build things.

These are destroyers. They are pussy betas, and Daphne’s right, they’ll kill the whole damn country if we let them. They don’t know how to do anything else. They cannot design, they cannot build, they cannot preserve…all they know how to do is go through the motions of doing those things, for campaigning purposes.

Their real passions always have to do with destroying things. That’s all they know how to do.

Update 7/14/09: Ah, I was afraid this would happen. Blogger friend Phil got his link updated at about the same time and probably deserves to split the first-place spot, but I shorted the poor guy. Ah well. We’ll wait to see who else climbs aboard and then figure out what to do.

Small Dead Animals…and Juxtaposition

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Let’s just read this one in letter-for-letter link-for-link, shall we?

Associated Press, February ’09 – “President Barack Obama promised a nation shuddering in economic crisis Tuesday night that he would lead it from a dire “day of reckoning” to a brighter future, summoning politicians and public alike to shoulder responsibility for hard choices and shared sacrifice.”

Accuracy in Media, July ’09 – Barack Obama’s White House is spending more than $80,000 a week to staff its old and new media offices. Add the price of speechwriters and the White House communications tab reaches nearly $100,000 a week, or nearly $5 million a year-and that is for salaries alone.

(Via The Virginian)

I Need Forgiveness From God, Not From You

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It all comes down to apologies for being. Not apologies for doing, but apologies for being.

Surely you’ve noticed, haven’t you. Anytime an issue comes up that has something to do with belief in a Capital-C Creator — it happens just as simultaneously and just as suddenly as if someone yelled “Go.” We line up left versus right. Crisply. There’s absolutely no question about who should go on which side, and it is purely a piety-versus-secularism schism. It absolutely, positively, has to do with whether you believe or whether you don’t. The disagreement is absolutely irreconcilable. And nobody, anywhere, no matter how weak and vacillating they may be, is wondering where they belong.

Do you know why that is? It’s because we’re debating something without really debating it. Do members of our modern aristocracy…our Hollywood celebs, our Obama-class demigods, our Household Names, our Congressmen, our Senators, our talk show hosts, our published authors, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera — possess the power, prestige, authority and privilege to demand apologies out of the hoi polloi simply for being? Not for barging into the elevator car before the passengers have had a chance to get off. Not for changing lanes without signaling. Not for taking a cell phone call in the middle of a movie. But simply for…existing? Taking up space on the globe? Breathing oxygen and turning it into that awful…dirty…toxic…polluting…carbon?

That is what today’s vote in the House of Representatives was really all about.

Just imagine. A tax on anything that consumes energy…which means…a tax on anything that requires energy in order for it to be manufactured, transported, used or discarded. Which means everything. A tax — read that as, apology — for being, carefully disguised as a tax on/apology for doing.

People on the “left” side of American politics, by the way, are to be congratulated for their laudable consistency. Everything that has to do with apologizing for being, they have been utterly consistent for the last two generations in saying — yes, we can! Yes, we should…apologize. Apologize for being, as if we should be apologizing for doing. The record is stunning and spellbinding. Abortion…minimum wage…gun control…carbon tax…cigarette tax…liquor tax…death tax. Any time we can express our profound regret for taking up space in this godless cosmos, through our taxes, yes we should absolutely express it. Not that we’ll recoup any salvation for doing so. Nothing can be done anymore according to the classical definition of “liberty.” Nothing except — getting married if you’re gay; joining the Boy Scouts when you’re an atheist; getting an abortion without your parents finding out when you’re fourteen. Freedom, it seems, is only championed on the left side of the aisle when it has to do with eroding a previously-existing definition of something. Our leftists are regular Bravehearts on the freedom issue, when it comes time to play Pretend — when children want to pretend to be grownups, when men want to pretend to be women, when Barack Obama wants to pretend to be humble, when women who despise their husbands pretend to “love” them so they can head on in to divorce court when the timing is most beneficial.

Meanwhile, Republicans are supposed to be scrambling around in vain, looking high and low for an identity? It’s simple. Nobody owes an apology to anybody else — not for simply existing, anyway — save for those substandard scoundrels who demand apologies from others for simply being. They, and they alone, reveal by their actions exactly what they are.

They are walking, living, breathing offenses to God. For it is only God’s place to demand apologies out of us…just for being. Mortal man has to wait for us to do something offensive or deplorable, to enjoy the slightest bit of justification in demanding apologies out of us. It’s a narrow distinction, but an all-important one.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.