Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Fighting Misinformation”

Friday, July 10th, 2020

I’m seeing a lot of various resources in a big hurry to tell me what they’re doing to combat the spread of misinformation about the Kung Flu.

When anyone uses this sort of verbiage…combat…fight…I notice they never really call it what it is. They don’t use the word “control.” I read it as a big fat “Nope…you can’t trust us either, they got to us.”

It doesn’t heighten my confidence. Quite the opposite. My confidence diminishes so far and so fast, in fact, I find it impossible to put into words. It tells me some people are in complete control of what other people write or say. Even worse, I have no idea who these controllers are. Even worse than that, it proves the controllers are sufficiently motivated to encourage me to think one thing and discourage me from thinking another, they picked up a phone or wrote an e-mail, and started making threats.

Which proves they couldn’t count on the truth just naturally and ultimately emerging. Someone, somewhere, requires greater and greater assurance — and is given it — that our societal Thunderdome of competing ideas will be safely defrocked of the competing ideas. They, whoever they are, have to be equipped with an ever growing arsenal of tools to ensure the dialogue remains a monologue. I suppose if everything was known that might be okay. But this issue with the Chinese Virus is full of unknowns.

This sort of phrasing erodes my confidence so much it has me believing in conspiracy theories when I’m not initially inclined to believe them. I don’t believe a true conspiracy is typically within the capabilities of the human genome. But I know it’s not appropriate to have a tightly controlled choreography, with some mid-course corrections against anyone who wanders outside the demarcated lines, when there’s still so much left to be learned and what little we have learned, we don’t really know for sure.

Shit like this is why Trump won in the first place.

Doubts

Saturday, July 4th, 2020

A third of a century into arguing with them on the Internet, I’m still struggling to figure out what the true difference is between liberals vs. normal people who think competently.

A lot of it has to do with feelings. When we grown-ups make a decision feeling a certain way, we are troubled by the possibility that deciding it at another time, with the facts remaining the same, in a different mood we might make a different call. This inspires reflection: Would we be wrong then, or are we wrong now? To a liberal, that proclivity toward emotional reasoning is a feature and not a bug. It seems like they live in a world in which all feelings have to be expressed, and making decisions about things is just another way of expressing them.

Sympathy has a lot to do with it. If you listen to a liberal’s rationalizations, you’ll quickly discover there’s some villain in the storyboard — there’s always a villain — for whom they have no sympathy, for whom they don’t want anybody else developing any sympathy. This confuses people because the liberal’s goal is to try to build a “new world” or “new society” that is “fair to everybody” and the temptation is to take them seriously when they say this. But, no. Talk to a young Marxist sometime about being fair to businesses. Talk to a young feminist sometime about being fair to men. There are certain loathed-classes, and what the liberal tries to do is emerge as an autocrat who directs the sympathies of everybody else, rather like a lawn sprinkler…and there is to be no irrigation, ever, in that particular corner. It’s the exact opposite of building a new and just society that is fair to everyone.

Change is a factor. Liberals are never going to see the potential downside of change until such time as the change has been fully defined…like, for example, if it’s change being brought by President Trump. Or, if it’s a funding cut against one of their cherished programs. In the abstract, there’s nothing wrong with change at all, it’s like a six-year-old deciding on more sugar on his cereal. Change change change!

There is a lack of consideration for consequences. It seems liberals simply don’t think in those terms. They run their liberal megalopolises for decades and decades and decades…not a Republican to be found anywhere in Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle. That doesn’t stop them from blaming Republicans when things turn to crap. The rest of us are left to wonder, at what level of consciousness do they fail to establish the linkage between what was done, and what ultimately happened? To a liberal, their noble intentions are what matter. How the souffle ultimately came out of the oven, is irrelevant.

There has to be one epicenter of chaos, some originating point where liberals start making dreadful decisions. A point where the trolley is yanked off the tracks — contributing to all these other hazards, which are really just effect flowing from this common cause. But which one? They overlap somewhat.

Doubt has much to do with it. The liberals with whom I have argued are untroubled by doubt. I suspect my experiences are far from unique. I saw it back when their guy was in charge for eight years, and I’m seeing it now. Those of us who find ourselves in conflict with the liberals, about even simple things, have doubts about things because we’re adults. We don’t like making decisions with our feelings; we try to really maintain fairness to all involved parties rather than just make a lot of noise about it; we recognize that all change is not necessarily good; and we grapple with consequences. We have doubts.

Example: Masks on the face will slow the spread of the Chinese Virus — true or false? I have come to understand that where disagreement exists about this, it isn’t argument about the “true” or the “false,” it’s about the doubt. Well, when in doubt let us win, the liberals say, and wear your mask! Grown-ups, for the most part, comply. We’re not complying because they made the demand. Let’s face it, liberals have been bumptiously demanding benefit of all residual doubts for…well, it’s difficult to say when exactly that all started. The Earl Warren Supreme Court had a lot to do with it. You didn’t tell him his rights. The evidence is fruit of the poisoned tree. It’s conceivably possible someone else might have a knife that looks just like that. Maybe he ran because a police dog was chasing him. Maybe maybe maybe, possible possible possible, you have to pretend you don’t know even though you do…my guilty-as-hell client gets to walk. Our side wins!

Once liberals figured out “We get the benefit of all residual doubt” can be used to spring bad guys everybody knows are guilty, so they can go out and hurt more people and the public will just have to accept this…seems they had a realization that anything was possible. The tactic never backfires on them because liberals don’t have doubts. But grown-ups, thinking about consequences, will wear masks when social distancing is not possible, because sooner or later we’ll come in contact with someone whose immune system is compromised and we don’t want to take chances.

When did we start having doubts about the masks, that they were being used as a political emblem, rather than as simple and reliable devices to slow the spread of the virus? From the very beginning. But in the beginning that was a fringe-kookburger idea to have, even in an election year. But now? As possibilities go, it’s unavoidable! Liberals have made it abundantly clear they want the visual of masks masks masks…it’s the only chance Biden has. And oh by the way, these “Biden buttons” worn on the face may also retard the spread of the virus…possibly. We wear our masks when they make sense, because the masks can be both. We recognize non-mutual-exclusivity; it doesn’t have to be all of one thing and none of another. We want our grandmothers to live and we comprehend functional overlap.

Choosy VirusWe have doubts about the masks themselves. We see something is wrong when “a mask” is what’s being ordered upon us — no exceptions! Don’t even think about going out bare-faced or we’ll report you! And yet…a cloth mask is the same as N95 is the same as a surgical mask. Not how it works at all. But…we have our doubts. The rebuttal is going to be that something is better than nothing, and this makes sense.

There is the difference between how things work out here in the real world, rather than how things work in the idea-land where rules are made and unicorns cavort away in the rainbow-sunshine. Yesterday I did my laundry and I forgot to put in my cloth Chinese Virus mask. I’ll try to do another load today because the thing is filthy and it’s skipped a weekend washing already…but I want to get the spare too, and I’m having trouble finding it. It’s clear to me the proper solution is more cloth masks, nevermind that I’m having trouble maintaining the inventory I have already. So how are you doing? Have you got some apparatus in the jockey box or glove compartment of your car? Mine’s a disposable mask left over from when I had to wear it on Tuesday. You’re really not supposed to do that, you know. But — my village elders have handed down the rule, facial coverings required no exceptions, when I go into a store to buy food. Sometimes I find out we have to have something and I have to go. Have to be prepared. We’ve got to eat.

Am I the only one with that terrible, disgusting habit? Everyone is subject to the new rules and we all have to eat.

So I have doubts!

I think Trump is going to win the election. But I have doubts. Liberals are sure Biden is going to win, it’s just a matter of time…even as they seemingly concede that if Biden does win, no one knows who then becomes President. It’s an interesting question, but if they noodled it over for a time they’d have to entertain some doubts. So they don’t. If you back them into a corner about it, they just pick somebody. Then hurriedly change the subject, seemingly failing to grasp that they just named the person who’s going to be President a year from now…and this would be something worth inspecting, to every diligent thinker, no matter what their feelings of it would be.

I had doubts about Trump at the very beginning. Since 1992 I have shied away from this thing about “so-and-so would be perfect because he has his own money and can’t be bought.” So I had doubts about them with Donald Trump. But, he did make it work. Then the establishment DC types came down on him like a ton of bricks, including the establishment Republicans, and so the time came to admit there was such a thing as a Deep State. Couldn’t doubt it anymore.

Liberals say the Trump rally in Tulsa spread the virus, and now people are going to die. They don’t have doubts.

Conservatives respond wondering about the George Floyd protests, wouldn’t they be responsible for spreading the virus too? The rebuttal is that there is “little evidence” of this according to “experts”, but that isn’t an honest expression because that would entail doubt. Liberals, once again, have none. They know for sure that a Trump rally in a single day spread the virus, but sustained authority-sanctioned rioting and looting across hundreds of densely packed cities over a period of several weeks, did not. That must be one smart virus!

Being repeatedly wrong doesn’t faze them. Now that he’s President, Trump is finally done, oh yes he is, those walls are finally closing in on him. Haven’t we been here before a few times? We saw it even before the election back in 2016: This will be the end of Trump’s campaign. No doubts!

So after all these years, the appearance to me is that liberals are 100% sure of absolutely everything, not quite so much because they like certainty, although there is some of that. They share in common a phobia against doubt. It terrifies them. I mean let’s face it, doubt is received negatively by all of us. None of us like to admit we were wrong about things. But it’s part of mature thinking, of becoming a grown-up. Sooner or later, we all reach that fork in the road, choose the wrong path, and then a little while later have to admit it to ourselves and start backtracking. It sucks, but usually that’s the only way to get back on track. And for those doing it the first time, they emerge from the experience better and stronger thinkers than they were beforehand. Doubt is the parent of beneficial humility, and you have to have some of that if anyone’s going to trust you to make decisions about anything that matters.

Liberals want uncontested authority to decide these things. But they don’t have the requisite humility to earn it, because they can’t, or won’t, entertain serious doubts.

That Lawyer Couple

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

For those who have not been following this, the story is here.

The stills I’ve seen could be deceptive, and chosen to give a false impression, but it looks like both of them showed carelessness in aiming their weapons. The wife is clearly not ready to absorb a recoil and her trigger finger discipline is terrible. The optics are radioactively bad no matter what your vantage point is, and the Internet has begun making fun of them mercilessly which is unfair.

Lawyer CoupleThe protestors are terrorists. Yes they’re protesting. They’re also engaging in terrorism.

the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

There were a number of different head-counts of these protestor terrorists. I have no way of knowing which ones are accurate and which ones are not. The lowest number I heard was 100 protestor terrorists, and the highest one was 300 protestor terrorists. It’s not a public street. It’s a gated community, and the protestor terrorists smashed through the gate. They had already destroyed property. So gee, I dunno…what would you do?

Half the Internet is saying “That lawyer couple looks ridiculous, I should make the time to practice with my weapon so that if I ever need to use it for that or a similar purpose, I can do a better job. Also, I’ve come around on defunding the police, it’s a terrible, awful, rancid idea and we should drop it like a hot rock.”

The other half is saying “Those two look ridiculous, I’d better never get a gun because if I do the Internet will make fun of me.”

I am deeply concerned about the priorities and the lack of wisdom in that 2nd half. I hope it’s far less than half, and that they don’t own anything worth trashing.

Some days, I am ashamed of the number of weeks, or even months, I allow to slip by without any range time. The way I see my gun, is as a machine I have purchased for an eventuality I hope never happens. It is only one part of an insurance policy and I have a responsibility to provide the other parts. Another part of this policy, just as important as the gun itself, is the practice time. I would not hold a pistol that way; I’ve at least practiced that much. That’s what she should have done. So I hope there are a lot of people in that first group who are going to buy a gun that actually works for them, make sure they have plenty of ammo, and start burning through some of it learning how to actually use the firearm. And everyone who touches a gun needs to learn the four rules of gun safety. There are lots of versions of this list, with the wording only slightly different among them.

1. All guns are always loaded
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target
4. Identify your target, and what is behind it

ThatIsAll.

The Toppling of the Statues

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Nobody actually reads this blog, but as long as it’s been in existence I have struggled to explore the real difference between liberals and normal people. It has not been an entirely fruitless exercise. I’ve noticed — although I am far from the first to do so — that liberals and normal people who seem to be taking different positions about a common thing, and arguing about it, are really arguing about two different things. This suggests that our modern, advanced society is burning off vast, untold reserves of energy essentially talking past each other. The two sides do not see the same things the same way; they don’t do their seeing the same way; they don’t even see the same things. They do not exist in the same world together.

The point of divergence is not where we envision it to be. There are fundamental rules that hold the universe together, stitching in the quilt of space-time, that the liberals do not see.

One of the fundamental concepts they fail to recognize, and perhaps the most important one, is time.

The liberals are no longer toppling just Confederate General statues or slaveholder statues, they’ve taken to toppling a statue of Ulysses Grant, who led the Union to victory over the Confederacy in 1865. I don’t think this has anything to do with slavery anymore.

Perhaps what truly offends them about statues, is time itself. Think about it: Why do we erect statues in the first place? It is so that we remember things throughout the generations; record for posterity. What is the one thing that terrifies liberals?

In their world, there is no time. There is the dark sinful past; there is the present which is no different from the past, since we’re all just so oppressed; there is the glorious revolution that’s always just around the corner. And then there is the bright shining future filled with puppies, unicorns and rainbows. The last of these frightens them more than anything. It would nullify their sense of purpose.

They live out their entire lives, as liberals, on a hairpin turn. The revolution is always tomorrow. If they happen to be doctrinaire liberals for seventy or eighty years, they spend all that time on the bend of the paper clip, constantly waiting for their chains to be unshackled, tomorrow. It must be a terrible existence.

To anyone who sees the whole world the way the Mayfly sees it, toppling a statue must seem natural. It is the ultimate flash-in-the-pan communications medium. A year from now, there won’t be anything there; will anyone remember the statue got toppled? Or that there was a statue there at all? There’s a better than 50/50 chance people will notice things are looking kind of bare in that corner, and start circulating a petition to put up a statue there. It might even be a statue very much like the one that was removed — and they might not even consciously know. Destroying a statue, unlike erecting one, earns zero points for recording for posterity. It’s a today-only thing. It’s not at all like tearing down the Berlin Wall. It simply removes an emblem, which could be restored at any time.

It also earns zero points, as far as communications mediums go, for clarity. Grant-statue destroyers insist they’re still anti-slavery, because Grant owned slaves. Or a slave, or something. We’re supposed to interpret their actions in that light. They think this because they think people observing their actions, are trapped in the same echo chamber they inhabit themselves…which is just a fancy way of noticing they’re not truly communicating. You know, I don’t think so. I think of Grant as a liberator, so I think I’ll look on the destruction of Grant’s statue as a pro-slavery act. It makes more sense to me that way, regardless of whether or not that’s what they intend. They’re doing a crappy job of communicating, why should I help them out by playing my part in the “Oh well, nudge nudge, you know what we mean” game? Uh, no. Grant won the Civil War for the Union Side. In so doing, he ended slavery…you’re destroying his statue…you’re pro-slavery, I think. You mayflies need to learn to communicate better.

I suppose we can quibble back and forth about what you think of slavery, and what I’m supposed to think you think about slavery, but we can draw some reliable inferences about what you think of clarity. You’re against it. You’ve got an agenda that wouldn’t be as popular if it were better understood, and you know this, because if it were not so then you would pick a different medium. The fact that you’re committing property crimes and getting away with it has a lot to do with that real message. I’m pretty sure I don’t like it.

Peaceful Protests, for the Most Part

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

Watching the evening news, I was impressed with the endless repetition of that hackneyed phrase, “mostly peaceful protests.” “Mostly” implies a quantitative analysis. You managed to get hold of all of whatever you are describing (the noun), tested each part of it against the descriptor (the adjective), and you found that greater than 50% of it qualified.

I’m doubting like the dickens that this happened with that hackneyed phrase, “mostly peaceful protests.” Can’t we just drop the b.s. and acknowledge the obvious: Someone in a position of influence would like me, the news consumer, to think of these protests as peaceful — in spite of the evidence in front of my eyes. Other than that, I really don’t have any idea what “peaceful protests, for the most part” actually means…and neither do you.

All we can tell for sure is that they weren’t entirely peaceful. Whoever occupies that position of influence, anticipated that if they didn’t include that word “mostly” they would be called out immediately — because this is a riot. Someone broke something, someone hurt somebody, somebody killed someone, or some combination of those three things.

Call me a bigot if you want but I’m not in favor of that.

Another thing that impressed me, was all the people claiming to be acting to soothe tensions and lower the temperature, right before doing things to aggravate tensions and increase the temperature. My favorite example is having Al Sharpton speak at George Floyd’s funeral…although there are many other examples to be noticed if one merely takes the time to notice. Someone tell me how that’s supposed to defuse tensions. What’s Al Sharpton’s track record for having this palliative effect during these incidents?

In fact, these protests have devolved into nothing more than just that. Emotions are about to blow over!! Here I am, a soothing, peaceful democrat leader or pillar of the community, to make everything peaceful again…(poke poke poke poke poke)

There’s an old saying about pissing on my shoes and then telling me it’s raining. These riots are like pissing on my shoes, expressing great dismay over my befouled shoes, loudly looking forward to a future with clean shoes, announcing “a new round of” shoe pissing, blaming Trump, then inviting some more people from across the country to ride buses in to piss on my shoes.

Then giving them unlimited free lemonade.

I don’t really know what any of this has to DO with Trump, anyway. Other than he’s against it and Biden is for it.

Here I was all set to vote for Joe Biden! Maybe. But, there’s a hitch in the giddy-up there. Even though these are democrat-run shitholes, I know there are real people living in them with hopes and dreams. I don’t like seeing them hurt and killed, their businesses destroyed after they’ve been waiting all this time to reopen from the Chinese Virus lockdowns. So sorry, Mr. Biden, I cannot support this.

City Breakers

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Obviously, America has a problem.

Our most densely-populated, most highly-populated, cities are run by people who have bought into this hooey that “protests” have some kind of soothing, palliative effect. People who think that any effort to see to it that “law and order” triumphs at the end of the day, must be racist…a thought which is, in & of itself, racist. The persistent and permeating narrative is that we may have peace and harmony again if, and only if, we “listen to” the “protesters” who are breaking the city.

Entrenched liberals acknowledge the correlation and insist it must exist because of the “prosperity” in these cities. Liberals run the cities, bringing their prosperity which brings the population density which creates problems. Hmmm…it has the whiff of truth about it. It’s as if they got beaten in an argument by a conservative who pointed out exactly that sort of thing in defense of the United States as opposed to other countries, and decided to use that as a defense of New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc….

The problem is that these densely populated, liberal-run metropolises are not on an upswing. They are not thriving. They are festering. They have it in common that their salad days did exist, once, back when conservatives were running things. And then things were comfy and cushy and liberals declared “Hey, I like comfy” and moved in and ruined it.

They are the caveman who arrives for the campfire feast, then poses & postures as if he arrived for the hunt. But you can’t hunt thinking like a lib and you can’t build a mighty city thinking like a lib. They are scavengers, not builders..

These arguments that make liberalism look good and that are most persuasive, have it in common that they confuse creation with destruction. We have all these cities in flames right now, and every single one of them is run by City Breakers, or people who are listening most intently to the City Breakers. They are not City Makers, nor are they listening to anyone who is a City Maker.

How do you go about making a city? Or a mighty, prosperous civilization. You can’t do it thinking like a lib. All the morning news I’m seeing now, even on Fox, is lib-thinking. It’s passive voice. “The city is in crisis!” “Two police officers shot!” The noun got verbed. Nobody actually did anything.

News has become the one product offering most out-of-step with consumer demand. Consumers of news are hungering for active-voice constructs and not getting them. Who is peacefully protesting? Who is rioting and breaking things? Who shot these cops?

What I Remember About 2020

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

A hundred years ago the Spanish Flu was a real problem. But this year, nobody was talking about it anywhere until the Chinese Virus made it relevant. And then a bunch of arguments erupted about Spanish Flu on social media.

Before that happened, if you said “The Year Nineteen Twenty” I would have thought about, and everyone else would have thought about: The stock market crash, flappers, prohibition, spats, white sidewall tires on Packard Clippers, shoe polish in the hair, speakeasy parlors, spittoons, shoe-shine stands, the Dust Bowl…

We remember cultural shifts. We don’t remember pandemics, even if the pandemics are what made the shifts happen.

Bossy FemaleJoe Biden is all-but-obliged to pick a Karen as his running mate. Not a “could be male Karen or could be female Karen,” but a double-ex chromosome, born-with-vagina-and-everything lady-Karen. He’s said so. And it won’t be a soothing, common-sense, quiet-strong type woman either. She’ll be a screech-wort. a scrunt. The kind whose presence you never leave without a sigh of relief. A scold. A shrew. A beeyotch.

It’s going to be 1984 all over again. I was struggling to recall if there was ever a single minute in that year, just one, in which Mondale/Ferraro was out in front, even if only in surface appearances. I can’t remember. Of course when the big event happened — not too many people remember this — it was a landslide of historic proportions.

The masses don’t like being scolded by an unpleasant woman. But someone further up the food chain never seems to get the message. I guess they’re not getting feedback from the outcome because they’re not paying attention to the outcome. They’re process people. I don’t know who they are…would love to find out…but they keep offering up these scolding fusspots for us to accept, we don’t take delivery, and then they do it again. They’re about to do it yet again when there are zip, zero, nada, nil, null, none indicators whatsoever that this is what anybody wants.

Six months into 2020, we’ve been awash in Karens. No one is in the mood for this. This is bad medicine for a campaign that’s fallen ill and is very far away from being on any kind of mend. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

I think this is it. This just may be the swan song. Maybe I’m looking at it with rose colored glasses, but no matter who Biden picks, all these viable futures unfold into a common vanishing point: The witch is gone. Not just any particular one. This whole product offering that never, ever moved off the shelves except when it got yanked back for having gathered too much dust. I think the scolding hag is going away. Think back on these cultural shifts in the past, in the US of A. Presidential elections have a lot to do with how they happened. My theory is simply that we’re seeing it happen yet again, and this is exactly how. A failing ticket drives the final nails into a coffin.

Years from now, that will be the memorable event — that our culture went in one direction in 2020, and a wholly different healthier one in 2021. After that, we still elect and appoint strong women…but they have to be genuinely strong. Not just bitchy, the way far too many of them have been up until now. I envision a future in which seventh-grade teachers will ask the class, “Can anyone tell me when irascible, mean, micro-managing, scolding women fell out of fashion?” and all the kids will yell “2020!!!” And then the teacher will say “And can anyone tell me why it happened?” and there will be near-complete silence.

Only the bookworm nerd who spends all his free time in the library will be able to answer: “I think there was a pandemic that year.”

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

The Coming Redrawing, and Re-Redrawing, of the Lines

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

My Governor, Gavin Newsom, is talking “social responsibility” which means money transfer, with him on the receiving end. Of course, people who use that phrase never have any other direction in mind…

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Sunday said approving coronavirus relief funding for state and local governments is “not charity” and that his state is facing budgetary concerns as a “direct result” of the crisis.

“It’s a social responsibility at a time when states large and small [are] facing unprecedented budgetary stress. It is incumbent upon the federal government to support the states through this difficult time,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Newsom said lawmakers have a “moral and ethical obligation” to help Americans across the country…[snip]

“I hope they’ll consider this next time they want to salute and celebrate our first responders…consider the fact that they will be the first ones laid off by cities and counties,” Newsom said.

“This is not a red issue or a blue issue. This is impacting every state in America,” Newsom added.

Hmmm. Our budget is a mess, give us money or else it’s the core essential services that will have to be cut. He says it’s not a red or blue issue, but it’s the blue states with their weird, perverse priorities that keep running into the problem.

Forty of the nation’s fifty states don’t have enough money to meet their obligations, with a total of $1.5 trillion in growing unfunded liabilities.

While most states are in hot water, the problem is worst in states with a Democrat governor alongside a Democrat controlled legislature. A new study from Truth in Accounting analyzed the fiscal health of the fifty states [and] the trend was clear.

California comes in 8th-worst, with $21,600 in unfunded liabilities per citizen. It doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’ve seen my own clear trends over the last quarter century of living here, with the law-making. It’s a busy feeding frenzy and no one takes the responsibility to find out what the law says…today. It’s just too much maintenance. You just ask yourself if a productive working law-abiding tax-paying citizen would want to do it, and if so then it’s probably illegal. Or, it’s taxed very heavily. If it’s something a parasite would want to do, it’s almost certainly allowed and there’s a good chance it’s generously subsidized.

MoneyThere is a myth out there that blue states contribute more money to the federal government, from which the red states do more than their share of the withdrawals. This says a lot more about the blue staters who are manufacturing this propaganda, than it does about the red states which make up its subject. The blue staters have their own reality. If the real-reality doesn’t co-exist harmoniously with it, they just go with the reality they like and then they start proliferating it.

Now it’s true that the average taxpayer in blue states pays a higher per capita income tax than the average taxpayer in red states. But that’s because those states — particularly Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and California — have more rich people. Don’t the Democrats want the rich paying their fair share?

As for blue states allegedly getting back less, what numbers are they looking at? It is true that red states receive 35.75 percent on average of their budgets from the federal government, while blue states receive 30.80 percent. But this is because the blue states’ budgets are far larger due to all the bloat and waste.

Of course the blue staters aren’t going to call bloat and waste, bloat and waste. To them, this is the first & best stuff government is supposed to do. What they dismiss as peripheral concerns — the “first responders” Newsom is threatening to furlough — are more in line with what normal people consider to be government’s core functions. We’re having a disagreement and it’s a cultural disagreement.

We have had this separation for a long time, but of course things have become more contentious since somewhere around the Bush v. Gore election debacle. I see the democrat Attorney General of Michigan is grabbing headlines with the highly democrat-dominant talking point where the opposition is “not welcome here.” The issue is the mask. We’re all supposed to wear masks now.

Michigan’s attorney general said President Trump is a “petulant child” who is no longer welcome in her state over his mask-wearing habits.

In a CNN interview Thursday, Dana Nessel noted that Mr. Trump did not wear a mask when in public view during a visit to a Ford plant in Ypsilanti earlier in the day.

CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer asked her “Is the president no longer welcome in Michigan?”

“Well, I would say speaking on behalf of my department and my office, that’s exactly right,” Ms. Nessel said.

This move, this sweeping gesture, has become so commonplace that it’s hard to remember how unfitting it is. “[Blank] is not welcome at [Blank]!” says…someone. Someone who has zero legitimate authority to say so, little to no relevant jurisdiction over the [Blank]. Usually it’s some petulant student “leading” a drive to keep a conservative speaker out of a university campus. Do conservative Republicans do this? I suppose our evangelicals make some pronouncements about who’s not allowed into Heaven…but that’s not exactly the same thing, is it? They’re not going through the motions of deciding the matter. They’re just echoing how the rules work, as they interpret them. It’s the loudmouths on The Left who are floating up this “so and so is not welcome here” stuff as actual trial balloons.

That’s kind of what Newsom is doing, in a way. His message is not that there is an “ethical obligation”; what he wants to get out there, is that he’s the one saying so.

It’s a style thing. You’ve heard of style over substance, as a logical fallacy. That’s not quite fair because Newsom and Nessel are not trying to convince anybody that a certain thing is or is not so. An “argument” is not the product they’re trying to sell. They’re just trying to impress, like peacocks with plumage.

I hate to sound like a broken record. I’ve been saying often, for many years, we shouldn’t allow democrats to run anything that matters. To a lot of people that just sounds like a Republican who wants democrats to lose elections, just as democrats want Republicans to lose elections. No that’s not it. I’m not saying it in that tone. What I mean by that is: Do not put democrats in the position of running anything because they don’t do it. They don’t want the job.

I remember one glowing performance review I got at a place where it took a few years for it to sink in that I was poor fit, waiting to be outcast; there was coded well-poisoning language in my first year, which ripened and pickled throughout subsequent ones. Something about my prior developmental experience happening at places where outcome of an engineering endeavor was more important, and that I was distressing some of the senior engineers who placed greater emphasis on following the correct process. Outcome…process. Process…outcome. Interesting concept. I had a little bit of concern over this, and shared it with one of my former bosses one weekend when we met at a shooting range. He mulled this one over as he unpacked his magazines, gazed off in the distance and said, “That’s not a liability, that’s an asset.” Is it really?

What’s more important? Process, or outcome?

I have learned over the years that it depends on your locale.

People like Gov. Newsom are not going to contest the raw facts that show the state is being poorly run. They’re not going to take issue with the inference that something must be way off kilter, way out of place. What they’re going to do is deflect the blame. But they’re not selling the outcome. It isn’t part of their world. They are process people.

This isn’t always apparent because a lot of process people, catching a glimmer of some statistic that might make it look like their management methods could be deserving of praise, will pounce on it. One notable example is President Obama claiming credit for a record 75-month streak of private sector job growth…for which even the NPR fact checkers concede He probably can’t claim legitimate credit. But even if He could, the streak thing is kind of weird, right? “I want a long streak of growth, the longer the better,” said…uh…pretty much nobody. I mean yeah, if you have a President who actually does make something like that happen, it’s a good thing, but it’s also the answer to a question no one asked.

My point is not that the likely outcome from democrat policies is substandard. My point is that, if we’re really going to discuss it honestly — they’re not trying to do that. That’s not the focus of their energies.

They’re about process.

Not about outcome.

This suggests there is a split coming. Attorney General Nessel’s not-welcome-here tantrum, empty as it may be, signifies an unwillingness to co-exist shared by many others besides just her. The process people don’t want to take responsibility for outcome…and they don’t want to be around outcome people. I made the mistake when I received that first-year performance review, of using it to assess my own performance. Ensuing experiences made it clear I should have taken it as a warning, that I was not where I belonged.

Trump’s election four years ago shows how widespread and how incendiary this conflict really is. People argue about Trump, for & against, and if you can pay close attention in those very few minutes before a Cheesecake Nazi lays down the edict of “Stop talking politics, there’s cheesecake” — you will then notice something. These two sides are talking past each other.

Romney betrayed us. Trump delivers.

But his tweets!

Kavanaugh. Gorsuch.

But his tweets!

It’s style versus substance. If a man runs out of a burning building with a baby in his arms, but his socks don’t match, or you find out he’s been unfaithful to his wife…would you throw the baby back in the fire? Some people would. They don’t care about the outcome. It’s not that they want the baby dead, they just don’t care. Something else has captured their focus.

Many among us have noticed the status quo seems unstable, in a way it has not been in times past, and some sort of realignment is in order. One person likened it to a divorce decree citing “irreconcilable differences,” that that’s exactly what we have here. I lost a job a decade ago due to irreconcilable differences…cultural differences…some have theorized that maybe someone in a position of authority discovered my blog. I suppose it’s possible.

CheaperI don’t know. I do know that that was the first time in my life I ever encountered the mindset, of: We would rather the bug stay unfixed. Weird stuff. I’m not going to lie, it still creeps me out today. But only because, now that I’m consciously aware of it, I’ve seen it crop up in other places. Most notably in politics — post-Trump election. We’d rather the baby cook. His socks don’t match.

The Left thinks The Right should have more humility, be less sure of itself. But if I were in Gov. Newsom’s position, with my hand out, babbling away with this codswallop about “ethical obligations” of others…but my state had huge deficits where other states have surpluses…well, it wouldn’t get that far. No one would have to ask me to stick a cork in it before I’d stick a cork in it on my own, already. Just seems like a setup for self-embarrassment. But our friends the lefties who have so much to teach us about being properly humble, are not so troubled. So there he is. And not alone.

They are not monitoring outcome, looking for deficiencies or potential areas of improvement, and revisiting their methods looking for ways to self-improve. The rest of us like to think of them as doing that, because they want us to imagine they’re doing that. And we’re inclined to oblige, because that’s what we do…when we generate wealth they get to tax away to spend on their goodies. But they’re not doing it. You can’t monitor an outcome if you don’t care about an outcome. Process people don’t do that. There’s no reason for them to do so. Anytime something goes wrong, they demonstrate their lifetime-accumulated skills at finding scapegoats for the horrid consequences of their terrible policies. Outcome isn’t their thing. They just compare what’s in front of them with their clipboards full of check boxes, making their little checks and then squawking about what’s left blank. Or about the words we’re using.

Such scolding definitely does have an appeal. Not with me. But, based on my experiences of a decade ago, and before then, and since, I know there are places where I do not fit and I know there are people with whom I’m incompatible. In fact, based on all I’ve seen I surmise there are three different types of us: The outcome people, the “Architects” as I’ve called them; the process people, or “Medicators”; and those who fancy themselves capable of living in harmony with either one of the first two. That third group, I’m afraid, just hasn’t run into the learning experience. It’s still ahead of them. They believe in an emulsification factor, or process, or condition, that simply doesn’t exist. Irreconcilable differences lurk in the pathway upon which they have not yet tread. I hope for their sake that their learning experience is a gentle one.

The process people are made up, substantially, of people who want to be managed. They just want to labor away under the expanding burden of more-and-more rules. They don’t care that the rules do, or do not, make sense. They just want them there. This is not a novel realization. It’s the subject of one of my favorite Heinlein quotes: “The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” You’ll notice this defining sentence is ambiguous: Want people to be controlled? As in, themselves? Or somebody else? This is not a lack of attention on the part of Heinlein, I’ve gradually come to conclude; the ambiguity is intentional. And ingenious. Those who fall in with the process crowd, but do not want to be controlled, want to do the controlling.

To do the controlling. Not to take responsibility for how things go. It’s not their thing. They just like to sit way up high.

I see in this age of the Rise of Karens, many of whom are male…process people…check box people…Joe Biden is said to be taking a longer and harder look at Elizabeth Warren as his possible running mate. Whether that comes to pass or not, she’s made the short list. This is another adventure unfolding in a world to which I do not belong. I simply don’t understand and I don’t think I ever will. Senator Warren was summarily bounced out of the race, rather unceremoniously, because she’s toxic and has bad character and lies pretty much all the time about everything. People don’t like her. It was a rather decisive end to her campaign, and it was a decision handed down by democrats. So why is she on the short list of anything at all, other than “most execrable presidential candidates in history”?

It means something. Whether he ends up with Cherokee Liz, or someone else, that someone is going to be a Karen.

The Democratic Party is an assembly of Karens. That’s who it attracts. So it doesn’t matter which prospect Biden chooses. He gets a Karen.

The petulant yard duty teacher who’s just about had it up to here with me, and is scolding and scolding and scolding some more…again, I just don’t understand. That product keeps getting thrown in the hopper, to be shoved down our throats. No one is actually asking for it. Forty years plus something, I’ve been watching this.

Stein’s Law says that whatever can’t last forever, won’t. This is why people look on with worried anticipation toward some near-future alignment event…a separation event. This does look like something that can’t go on too much longer.

But if the separation does occur, I have a warning of my own that there would have to be a second shockwave. A re-redrawing of the lines, after the first redrawing that is due to confront us. Process people, in spite of their bravado about “not allowed here,” can’t exist without outcome people. Some outcomes are important, and so it follows that someone is going to have to pay attention to them as they materialize. You can’t eat a check box.

There is a reason why the red states have the most solid budgets and the best infrastructure: It’s necessary. Republicans grow the food.

You can’t build things that actually work, thinking like a lib.

So if you think our present situation is unsustainable, I say just wait until you see that next one. Wait until we have everyone properly pigeonholed according to the priorities they claim they have. With the people on one side of it entirely incapable of existing without the people on the other side, and at the same time, being wholly unwilling to admit it. But also with the people on that other side, being able to get along quite well by themselves. That’s an unsustainable situation, on steroids.

I can’t say how that second shockwave is going to happen. I haven’t got a clue. It will have something to do with an “ethical obligation” to give the Karens what they need but aren’t willing to admit they need. I’m sure there will be no gratitude involved, superficial or genuine. The narrative will be pushed that the providers aren’t providing anything at all, just fulfilling this “obligation” we were supposed to be doing anyway. Other than that, I dunno how it will happen. It just will. It’s Stein’s Law.

Listening to the Experts

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

I’ve come to learn something new, again, thanks to the Kung Flu. It’s about “listening to the experts.”

People don’t believe in doing it, I’ve learned. Even the ones who make the most noise about it don’t believe in it.

I’m listening carefully to the people beating up on President Trump and I’m also listening to the people defending him. Here is the defense: Everything he could do, he’s done. He restricted flights, he locked down the border. He turned over the re-opening of the states, to the states, consistent with our constitutional framework and also a brilliant political maneuver.

Expert!The people attacking him insinuate the pandemic is just awful because of his “ineptitude,” although they don’t have good explanations of what exactly that’s supposed to be. And he’s being attacked from the right, for listening to Dr. Fauci. Did you catch that? “Listening to the experts”…here…is a liability not an asset. Is the left giving Trump credit for listening to the experts? That’s a big fat nada unless I’ve missed something. No one from either the right or the left is giving Trump credit for listening to the experts…even though, as we can see for ourselves every day, that’s what he’s been doing. I guess the narrative was already written sometime back that “Trump is getting us killed because he isn’t listening to the experts,” and when reality turns out to be exactly backward from the narrative, both the reality, and the narrative, disappear into a hole.

What if Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama were handling the Coronavirus response? Well then we know there would be praise from near & far — even though He wouldn’t be doing too much differently from what Trump’s done. He might be slower to restrict flights, might not lock down the border at all…He’d give a lot of snotty speeches blaming white people, blaming cops, blaming Republicans…and the media, and the left, would flap their hands & squee like little schoolgirls.

Obama would get credit for “listening to the experts” no matter what. He would likely calculate His latitude as so broad that He could make a big show out of ignoring the experts, what with Him being so much smarter than they are…and then that very same day, minutes later in fact, circle around the room collecting high fives for having listened to the experts. MSNBC, CNN and ABC would squee about how He listens to the experts.

I think the phrase has that little meaning. I think it has zero meaning. The meaning of the phrase has flat-lined. People say it when they mean “Think what I think.” It’s easily testable: If you find out what their cherished belief is, and can manage to produce an honest-to-God expert in good standing who supports a contrary belief, reliable as rain they’re going to insist you listen to the next expert and ignore this one. They don’t want to hear the opinions of the experts. They want to hear their own opinions, with an established and respected “expert” speaking them.

People who tell me I should listen to the experts on climate change don’t want me listening to Fred Singer, Ross McKitrick, Sallie Baliunas, Anthony Watts or Timothy Ball…who are experts. They want me to listen to an underweight Swedish teenager with learning disabilities who can’t even be bothered to go to school.

I don’t believe people believe in listening to experts. I think, based on all I have seen, that that’s a magical incantation people recite when they want to get democrats elected.

A Week in American Statistics

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

Monday, we start counting something.

Tuesday, we notice the number is getting high and someone really should step up and do something about it.

Wednesday, Congress votes to appropriate money to the people who count the numbers for each number counted.

Thursday the numbers shoot way up, and we wonder why.

Friday the numbers are higher still, and we split into two groups: Those among us who link the higher numbers to the perverse financial incentives; and, those who accuse the people in the first group of “hatching a wild conspiracy theory.”

On Saturday someone puts out an editorial lamenting that we’ve become so conflicted and contentious, and wondering how that happened.

To Disbelieve in What is Seen

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Theodore Dalrymple:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Via Z-Man.

Raising a PoliticianSomewhere in my sheaf of notes, over at Jim’s Blog, the proprietor made a similar point a few months back:

One of the many hurtful effects of a state religion that requires you to disbelieve in what is seen, rather than merely believe in what is unseen, is that it drives the adherents mad and makes them stupid.

We are required to disbelieve in things things that get right in our face, such as female misconduct in the workplace, disbelieve things that expose us and our children to substantial physical danger…to believe in things that lose buckets of money, as illustrated by the destruction of the Star Wars franchise that Disney paid four billion for.

I think software development guys who have to step into new environments now & then eventually, without being consciously aware of it, develop some ways to figure out where they’ve landed. I learned some time ago to pay particularly close attention when the issue came up about too-many-males on this team or that team. First of all, who is making an issue out of it?

Management — all layers, but most particularly the highest ones furthest removed from the actual work — might be put in the position of writhing away under the burden of believing the engineers are 95% male because of some ingrained institutionalized sexism. The only alternative explanation would be that the chicks just don’t want the job, and no one is allowed to say that. It sounds too much like saying the chicks aren’t capable. The hypersensitive “Could Be Construed As” standard of wrongdoing, that ultimately dings everybody. And so, I found, when people who had personally built the company, became obliged to advance the narrative that their company was ingrained with a plaque layer of chauvinism that had been with it from the beginning…I knew I was working in a crazy place.

It’s a great measuring device. Because in this line of work, the dudes outnumber the chicks heavily, pretty much everywhere. People try to fix it, make the girls feel more welcome…I’ll not deny there may be some value in this…but ultimately it’s self defeating. No one should be “made to feel welcome” here. You either have the personality type to struggle on an unsolvable problem until you’ve managed to get it solved, or else you don’t. Doesn’t matter what your plumbing is. And there’s nothing wrong with people who decide it’s not for them.

But anyway, yes…this thing religion has been doing throughout the centuries, asking people to believe in something unseen…this is relatively harmless. The thought exercise has done a lot of good for a lot of people. It’s a question that separates the spiritually strong from the pusillanimous: Is there a reason for me to be here?

The reverse of that though — requiring disbelief of something we can see playing out right in front of us — has a toxic effect. It drives us mad. I’d go even further, to speculate it may have a damaging effect on our cognitive abilities. The ability to noodle things out logically is a perishable skill, not unlike passing an eye exam.

Alignment

Sunday, April 26th, 2020

One month ago, staying at home and abiding by sensible “shelter-in-place” directives was an entirely non-partisan thing. That’s no longer true. There are exceptions to everything, but a sentiment of “That’s enough of this nonsense let’s get back to work” has risen up and it is a political-right thing; continuing with this “whole nation housebound” situation is a political-left thing. What happened?

Leftists would claim to have a monopoly on compassion for the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems, with everyone disagreeing with them wanting those people to die in ditches somewhere. It’s good party propaganda but I think everyone knows deep inside that that’s not what’s happening. It’s a narrative crafted for consumption by “snapshot people” who have no concept of time. If the division had to do with a callous disregard for the lives of people with weak immune systems, it would have been that way from the get-go. No, things are different. Things have moved.

The first thing we should look at is lifestyle since that’s what has changed most drastically. Republicans and conservatives evaluate this as what it really is, a trade-off; we’re getting our “social distancing” which we have to have, although we can’t afford it for too long. The democrats are looking at the same situation but they don’t register the concept of “can’t afford.” Anyone who’s watched democrats for any length of time knows this. We’ve seen it for generations. Whee!! New program!! Spend spend spend!! If we run out of money it’s the taxpayer’s fault for not coming up with his “fair share.”

But if they could process the concept of foregoing something because of lack of availability of controlled assets or offered credit, it wouldn’t apply. See, what’s this thing we can’t afford? Sit on the couch watch Netflix, wait for checks from the government, do a lot of complaining. That is literally what democrats do all the time. Nothing has really changed for them. There’s nothing to be afforded.

The Internet, the streaming services, the potato chips…all this stuff sort of magically happens. I guess they think it’s little elves or something. Little coffee-milkshake-brewing, soda-carbonating, marijuana-growing elves. Unseen between-dimension creatures who haul away our garbage, open our grocery stores, stock the refrigerated cases with the milk we want to buy, and I suppose piloting all those cargo ships all over the world so the stuff keeps arriving at its required destination. Like it Girl Farmernever occurs to them someone had to do some work to make it happen…which means someone had to leave a house. It takes a lot to keep this shelter-in-place lifestyle going.

Conservatives and liberals go through life confronting a common predicament, and constantly: You have to leave the house in order to live life, but anytime you do, something might happen. Part of growing up and living life as an adult is recognizing this, and accepting the risk. Now the more years I see come and go, and most especially with this latest Chinese Virus debacle, the more I’ve come to realize this is a conservative thing. Liberals have some other way of dealing with it. Some, perhaps, don’t. Never leave the house. How sad is that? It’s not the same as agoraphobia, since some agoraphobic people must recognize they have a neurological disorder and this isn’t a rational way to behave. And some liberals do get out and live life. We’ve heard about them for years, ridiculing the rest of us for allowing our passports to expire or never having use for one in the first place. But now we can see this is projection. “Worldly and well traveled” is how liberals like to think of other liberals who traipse around abroad, the antithesis of this being some sort of buck toothed barefoot conservative who clings to a tight radius from womb to tomb, living in fear. We see now it’s the liberals who live in fear.

Maybe…just maybe…the conservatives don’t get the passports because they have work to do. I’m not saying it’s that way all the time, but it’s interesting that the metrosexual blue-state mind can’t even consider the possibility. Someone has to grow that wheat, slaughter the pigs and move the gallon jugs of 2% milk into the dairy case.

And maybe this smugness is what motivates liberals to leave the house. Perhaps they’re shrugging off the fear of being hit by a car the first time they cross a street, much the way conservatives do, but with less of a risk-acceptance calculation and more of a “I’m too good for that to happen to me” arrogance. One thing we know for sure is that it has to be something different. It isn’t calculation and acceptance of a sensible level of residual risk. They don’t believe in that concept. That’s settled now, because they want us all hunkered down, with the national agoraphobia continuing onward indefinitely, throughout the summer and into November…so that maybe you-know-who will run into some trouble. But either way, they’ve made themselves crystal clear. No one comes out of the house until everything is completely safe.

They don’t get that in real life, nothing is ever completely safe. They don’t get the concept. They refuse to recognize it. That’s my point here. Some of us have spent literally decades trying to get that simple thought across to liberals. If we ever succeed at it, they forget it in five minutes or less because they’re liberals. And then they’re back to “If it saves just one life it’s worth it.”

The idea that liberals want the economy to tank so that Trump can be limited to one term, is not a wild-ass conspiracy theory. Bill Maher is on record talking about this wish he has…and was he speaking just for Bill Maher? Nowadays it’s a very bad look for him, and his fellow liberals would like to convince anyone & everyone that was him just going down a bunny trail all by himself, and furthermore he’s seen the error of his ways. Well…form whatever conclusions you wish about those. I’ve formed mine.

It isn’t just dedicated Trumpophile conservatives who want to get back to work and end this silliness, or at least put it up to some kind of open discussion and rigorous challenge. It’s the middle-of-the-road people too, the politically unaffiliated, who have had time to take in the information and mull over what it means. We still have very small subsets of the population being tested for the Chinese Virus, and that stands to reason because if you test negative on Wednesday you might be infected by Thursday, so what’s the point? Well there is a point. If you can test 1% from State A and State B, this doesn’t sound like much; but if 40% of those tests come out positive in State A and only 5% of them are positive in State B, this is valuable information to have. Furthermore, it works even if the populations of states A and B are markedly different, and a 1% test coverage is the best you can manage. This has helped us to track what the virus is doing.

But it’s being misused. We have our “number of active cases” metric, our mostly or entirely useless metric, being elevated almost to deity heights, as a sort of golden calf because it helps make Bad Orange Man look bad. People who couldn’t care less about Donald Trump, or about this effort to besmirch him, have figured out they can’t trust what they read. They know the death toll is being overstated and by design. The statisticians wait until they get caught before they put any effective countermeasures or corrections in place. That has to mean something. If you’re smart enough to record and process this information, you should have seen these embarrassments coming, proactively. And yet it didn’t happen. That makes an impression on people.

And they understand our so-called “leaders” are speaking out their butts. Yes, these leaders have been elected to the positions they hold…yes, in theory if they make the wrong decisions, they’ll be the first to be embarrassed and potentially defrocked from their positions of public trust…but, not really. Nothing bad will happen to these martinets, if we get sick because we reopened too early. Nothing will happen to them if we go broke from opening too late. Nothing will happen to them at all. These are people who were hand-picked, by way of their elevation from one plateau of political power to the next one to the next one, based on their lifelong skill at giving fancy speeches, hogging credit and deflecting blame. It’s a bad habit we Americans have. We pick these people who have spent their entire lives, from “No Mom I swear I was just putting the cookie back into the jar” onward, refining this talent, escaping accountability. And then we put them in charge of our most important decisions. What did Thomas Sowell say about this:

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

The weirdness of our situation is that we live in a totalitarian police state, of sorts, and yet the guy on top of it is not part of it. Just about everyone with a passionate opinion to offer about what we should do next, has formed that opinion around him, pro or con.

SandcastleThe Karen rules continue to churn out non-stop. I just went grocery shopping a few minutes ago. I bought three things. Had to be corrected about what I was doing five times.

We can’t keep doing this. For one thing, being corrected this many times about fairly innocuous movements or decisions, being this unsure of where to go next or what to do next, can’t be good for halting the spread of any communicable virus.

So the alignment that has taken place, with right-wing wanting to go back to work and get things back to the way they should be, and the left-wing carping on about “this is the new normal” and settling in to their Netflix streaming and their grass-smoking…it’s not all laziness and it’s not all about crapping on the economy so maybe Trump loses in November. It’s a whole way of looking at life. And it’s the thrill of coming up with these rules that nobody can follow so that you can scold people who don’t follow them. But mostly it’s about that bizarre viewpoint, carried aloft by many a liberal, that we’re not here to do anything. The lack of purpose conservatives and moderates feel as they waste away in their homes — liberals don’t feel it.

Recently a liberal satire site tried to mislead Trump supporters into sharing a false story that Mitt Romney endorsed Joe Biden. Did that effort go anywhere? No it did not. Did it fail because such a story is unbelievable? No…the opposite. It packed zero punch. Biden and Romney are both red-tape makers…Process people…they’re both drag and not lift. They belong together. This bores everybody. It’s not even worth discussing.

The American People are reminded every day there are people out there who don’t want anyone living life. Why is that? After many years looking closely at it I’m still struggling with it, still trying to flesh out some details, patterns, exceptions…figuring out what it all means and how it got to be this way. It seems to be a success thing. Some liberal tries at something and fails at it, he comes to conclude he doesn’t want you trying to do the same thing because you might succeed. It’s something that’s got to do with that.

That Other Virus

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Okeedokee. So what has happened in the three weeks or so since I made my observations about the lockdowns and non-compliance and so-forth…

Well we have another rapidly-spreading virus, one whose effects I fear are going to remain with us even after the “Don’t Tell Me WTF To Call The Chinese Lung Killer Virus” virus has become a part of our past, like the influenza epidemic. You can see it in all these weird little rules. Statutes, ordinances, taboos, rations, nasty notes left on doors

The surfer, or paddle-boarder, who was arrested for not socially-distancing properly. As this Facebook graphic makes clear, overall the effect of this action is to accelerate the spread of the virus, compared to just leaving the guy where he was.

I would like to know about blocking store entrances so that there’s only one narrow passageway for entrance and egress. Maybe there’s a rationale for it. But here again, the effect would be to accelerate, and not slow or stop, the spread. I suppose there could be some “Excuse Me Sir” types monitoring each customer’s use of masks and hand sanitizers, and they were on break as I passed through the archway? And so there’s only one portal to make their jobs easier or something…I dunno. Seems like rule-making for the sake of rule-making.

Speaking of grocery stores, the food rationing could use a re-think. It makes sense if you’re having trouble restocking inventory and that was a problem in the first couple of weeks. But now, if you only allow 1 or 2 packages of chicken per household, you’re just forcing people to go grocery shopping again sooner than they would have to otherwise.

The Surgeon General’s “recommendation” that we not wear masks turned out to be a Noble Lie proliferated for the benefit of health care practitioners who needed the masks, not for the public at large. This is a great model for now not to do it. Telling us half-truths and untruths erodes our sense of trust.

The plastic bag rules…oh good heavens. They change daily and there’s no point to linking to anything. Can you pick up the vibe yet that I’m not describing badly thought-out rules and lectures and scoldings, but rather mental frailties? You see, if I were a strutting authoritarian martinet and I came up with a plastic-bag rule for everybody else to follow, and by the next day it turned out to be a stupid idea, I would just yank it. I’d just say to myself, okay then that was a bad idea. Hopefully learn the lesson. I would never dream of strutting around in the opposite direction, handing down an opposite rule…and then the day after, coming up with a third variant overriding the first two. Strutting and scolding and “on penalty of whatever” the entire time. It takes a fragile and crooked mentality to do that. But that’s what the plastic bag rules have done.

The banning of church services has gotten way out of hand. The banning of seeds. Sand in the skating parks, to trip anyone who might use them. Park closures. One-way grocery aisles. Gatherings of more than ten people. A thousand dollar fine for not wearing a mask. Statutory limits on medication that could treat the virus.

Kurt Schlichter said it well:

One of the least appealing aspects of the American character is the residual Puritanism that still compels a certain percentage of our countrymen, women and others, to nag, pester, and generally annoy the rest of us by trying to make us conform to their stick-up-the-Lieu vision of propriety. These people – these obnoxious Karens, for lack of a better FCC-compliant term – are delighted by the Chinese Bat Biter grippe and the opportunity it presents for them to try to impose their arbitrary will upon the rest of us. These mewling Mussolinis need to be slapped back, verbally if not physically, but as long as we are under this lockdown, they will not stop. They live for this, the chance to dictate to and control us, and the problem is some of them have positions of power…
:
I'd Like to Speak to the ManagerThis is not to say that the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is fake or unserious, nor that we should ignore it and pretend that it’s just another flu. It is to say that there is more going on now than a respiratory ailment. There’s an economic ailment that most of us are painfully aware of, and there is a freedom ailment, where the Karens in everyday life and in the corridors or power are taking advantage of this crisis to let their fascist flag fly.

Key point to all this is:

Safety is an important thing, but not the only thing. If the standard is no life can ever be put at risk, say good-bye to cars, to steak, to swimming pools, to any kind of freedom to make choices. And to the Karens, that’s a feature, not a bug. [emphasis mine]

Here we come to a uniquely American problem. Our country has it in common with all other countries — and the people in them, you, me, just about everybody else, and our pets, most living things — that we are an exemplary model, a worthy standard which others should follow and by which they could be judged. We’re also a dire warning. Living things, by the very definition of living, are spinning stories that have yet to be all the way told. We are all exemplary models, and dire warnings, both at the same time. At least most of us. America’s unique story is that we have promoted a healthy temperance of safety concerns, balancing them with aspirations to do great things and become great people. These aspirations often take us to the far side of potentially dangerous enterprises. That is not to say that ours is the first country to do dangerous things. Far from it. But we promote the healthy exploration of this security vs. opportunity seesaw. We have become great because we have challenged our Karens and, in our history, told them to pipe down and be quiet while brave men and women did what they had to do.

Now the Karens are surfacing like earthworms after a storm. What’s really dangerous about them is that they’re not inclined toward moderation. They’re addicts; the more Karening they do, the more they want to do. They’ve even started to put up some snotty articles for us to read about how using the term “Karen” is sexist.

Remember #BanBossy? A wad of irony that could choke a horse: Bossy girls bossing us around on social media, forcing us not to ever use the word that perfectly described them and what they were doing. Now the Karens are gaslighting us as sexists for noticing what they’re doing.

I have a very dark thought about this that goes beyond even what Colonel Schlichter has noticed. Some of these pain-in-the-ass little-laws, as myself and others have noted, have a reverse effect. Not only are they unlikely to stop us from getting sick, their most reasonably anticipated ultimate effect is to make us sicker. I never did understand the rationale for banning the sale of alcoholic beverages in the self-checkout lanes. Now, with the Wuhan Flu, we’ve got no small number of people seeking to replenish their lockdown libations…which is not a good thing. But be that as it may. When their “grocery shopping trip” is for a bottle of hooch, why do they have to go through the motions of an actual grocery shopping trip? We’re making people stand six feet apart in the “real” checkout lanes, so isn’t it to everybody’s advantage if somebody’s two-minute shopping trip really is just two minutes, rather than twenty? If we couldn’t repeal the “no adult beverages in self-checkout” rule before, wouldn’t it make sense for us to suspend it now?

Karens think more-rules-less-freedom is a feature, not a bug. They are not capable of compromising in any way, it would appear. But what if they are?

What if they have what it takes to say: More people sick, more people dead, but it means I get to make a new rule. And scold people for not following it…so that makes it worth it?

Well, I don’t want to think thoughts that dark about anyone.

But I do have to say, I’m gaining a new perspective on people because of this experience. I suppose that goes for everybody. Some if it is positive: Those among us who chafe at unnecessary rules and unearned power more than I do…very few people. Dedicated “libertarian” types, their ideology borders on anarchy. But with this crisis, I have seen this crowd, in general, take the trouble to educate themselves on a communicable disease still baffling the experts, enlighten themselves with a confounding pool of knowledge still full of unknowns. And in the end, act like adults about it. They have had the same shelter-in-place rules foisted upon them that have been foisted upon all the rest of us, and they’ve complied with all the edicts, even the silly ones. And now, with the passage of a bit of time and a few knowns taking the place of the unknowns, they’re pushing back a bit and they’re going to be pushing back more. This is all correct behavior. We’re human beings not livestock. But before the pushback, there was mature, grown-up compliance. Anarchy could wait for another day. That’s been good to see.

On the negative side, I’m still learning a lot about bullying. One of the terrible things about it is that bullying encourages more bullying; a lot of bullies, both in childhood and in adulthood, are people who themselves were once bullied. The reverse is also true. We’ve got this other country, which is communist, pulling out all the stops manufacturing propaganda and manipulating discourse, as communists are wont to do. They’ve given the world this sickness and their apologists are busy chastising everyone for not fixing it fast enough. The Chinese Government, as William Jacobson so elegantly put it, “threw the world overboard, and now is claiming the world should have known how to swim better.”

This is a new kind of bully. Or a new bit of knowledge I’m only now gaining, about a strain of bully that’s always been walking among us. You see, on my third-grade playground, if you messed things up for some other kid…and I dunno how you go about doing that in the 3rd grade. Drop someone’s textbook in a mud puddle maybe? And then you castigated him as he struggled to cope with this problem you had made. Well, that’s just a wonderful plan if your goal is to leave the playground with a split lip. So what we see in Communist China, and their apologists, is a sort of “Bizarro Bully,” the reverse of the bully we more commonly know; a bully who came to be a bully because he didn’t get bullied enough. And I suppose maybe that’s what a Karen is. Spoiled brats who somehow came to exhibit terrible behavior, actions so beneath any threshold of the acceptable that the only proper rejoinder is violence. And then they didn’t get the violence, so they coasted into adulthood just keeping on keepin’-on.

You see, we have this unfounded premise to which we cling. Someone makes rules for us to follow and we presume they have our best interests at heart. It’s a flaw in our thinking. People who want to constrain your options, by default, don’t have your interests at heart unless it can somehow be established that they do. We have this tendency to think “Oh well, he’s a public official so that means he’s accountable to me at the ballot box.” No. A lot of these Karens are elected jerks who sit in safe seats, and aren’t worried about your vote. The very few who sit in unsafe seats and need to placate someone in order to have a shot at re-election, are placating someone who is not you. Either way, the notion they have your bests interests at heart, is — in general — a falsehood.

I say, we should think big on this thing. Stop hoping that maybe, if everything goes right and we behave just so, we can emerge from this with something that vaguely resembles the body of privileges and rights we had last year. That’s not thinking big. Here’s a thought: Let’s use this pandemic to embiggen that body of privileges and rights. Roll back some of the least sensible rules, the silly rules…not just the pandemic rules, but the pre-pandemic rules.

We have to figure out how to get back into “workspaces” anyway, right? May I ask why? Workspaces have become kind of like marriage, in the sense that if you’re a man and you start to apply some diligent but cynical thought to how it all works, you come away with some hard questions about why you should want to participate. Questions not so easy to answer. Let’s see…these workspaces from the viewpoint of a man…well, we have these “human resources departments” which are busying themselves with the task of making the workspace “comfortable for everyone,” but that “everyone” does not include men. You get stuck in cubicle-land with, potentially, a neurotic twatwaffle in the cubicle next to you just looking for excuses to sue or file grievances. In fact, she could be a crazy-cat-lady who makes that nonsense into her whole raison d’être. You’ve got no control over any of this, and if it happens that way then your whole career is looking down the barrel of a Russian Roulette revolver, five days a week fifty-two weeks a year. The workspace is to be made comfortable for the crazy-cat-lady. No one with a name or reputation worthy of preservation, would ever put that name or reputation under a statement that this should be comfortable for you. You are chaff. The neurotics who go around wrecking things are the wheat.

That is the truth of how a pre-pandemic “workspace” worked. We got used to it over time. We were like the frog in the boiling water in that we tolerated it because it was phased in a little bit at a time. If it hit us all at once we would have revolted against it, quite sensibly and unanswerably.

“Shelter in place” work-from-home ends up quite appealing. A lot of men had jobs before this started that absolutely, positively, in no way shape matter form or regard, would ever allow tele-working. It was unthinkable. And now it’s happening. I’m one of those people and you know…you can’t put toothpaste back in a tube.

What’s the female side of the change? As Z-Man pointed out when this all started,

Suddenly, the women taking care of their kids, taking over their schooling and being a stabilizing force are cool. Those career women sheltering in place with their box wine and social media account can no longer kid themselves about their real status in society.

There’s been a lot of wishful thinking about a baby boom coming from this lock-down, but what may follow is a marriage boom. Millions of single women now have no reason to exist, because they are stuck at home. They can’t cause drama at work and they can’t cruise the bars with their friends. Meanwhile, the women they made sport of at the office are having the time of [their lives] at home with the family. There’s some chance this panic opens some pretty young eyes to the reality of their existence.

So males and females are processing this change differently, but along both paths the end-point is the same: The “workspace” is going to take a real pummeling.

We wonder if “life” will never get back to normal and I think it will. The workspace won’t. So since it’s been bashed to pieces and has to be put back together again, I say put it together the right way.

No culture retains its health and vitality if its changes over time are guided by the dysfunctional and weak. “Make the workspace comfortable for everyone,” for far too long, has implicitly meant “Make the workspace comfortable for the quivering neurotics who have no skills and are there only to suck up paychecks and settlement checks as they sue, sue and sue some more.”

Kate UptonHumpty Dumpty has to be put back together again. So let’s fix that.

Silliest stuff first — because that’s where the enemy always makes its inroads as it attacks our freedoms. The picture of Kate Upton goes high on a cubicle wall, where everyone can see it. You may chortle at this in disgust and say, not wrongfully by any means, That’ll never happen. But the point is, Why? And you know the answer: It could be construed as a hostile work environment. That’s the correct answer. And it reveals the problem. Apart from giving me an excuse to put a Kate Upton bikini picture on my blog, which is always a plus, this is my topical conduit into where I really want to take this inspection:

The “could be construed as” standard is a false standard because it’s passive-voice. The sentence does not have a subject, because specifying a subject in that sentence would reveal that we’re pandering to the dysfunctional among us. “Crazy cat ladies ready to litigate at the drop of a hat, could construe it as a hostile work environment” would be the active-voice variant. How crazy are these crazy-cat-ladies? They don’t want anyone else to see girls in bikinis…which is the same as saying they will never, ever be happy, and if we think on things with logic and common sense, we ought to be asking what’s the point of placating people who will never be happy.

This is a bad world we have built. It is a world that was desired by lawyers, who wanted to make lots of money, and by absolutely no one else. And no one, including the lawyers, ever wanted to live in such a world.

We tend to do this a lot. We make “sensible” decisions one day, which by the next day slap us upside the head with some nightmarish existence no one ever wanted. This is our chance to fix that. We should take it because when workplaces are nightmarish hellholes in which no one would ever want to work, unless they have zero other options for their income because their skills are narrow and their work quality is low, we all suffer.

With that very silly change — not necessarily bikini pictures on cubicle walls, but a newer, friendlier, more flexible environment in which the option could be there — we could enact less silly, more meaningful changes. Who ever wanted to live in a world where you have to attend mandatory training about the correct and proper way to tell your work colleague that she’s wearing a nice sweater? Who ever wanted to live in a world where the answer that ultimately emerges is one of, “Maybe it’s better and safer for everyone if you just leave it unsaid”? Who ever wanted that? So now if I’m a man and my colleague is a woman, I can’t say anything positive to her at all except for what’s rigidly and tightly constrained to work competence…even have to pick my adjectives as if I’m traipsing through a mine field. That was very competent, Susan. Competently done. Oh you’re just the most competently competent competent person in the history of competence, like, ever.

That’s pure misery. But it’s how we’ve been living. It’s what we have made normal. The truth is, women don’t need this much protecting. They’re not that fragile. It’s just the ones we should have been ignoring who are that fragile.

So these “worksapces” of normal human beings get bored, and fed up, and have Halloween costume parties. With lots of paper guidance from HR about keeping it professional…and it’s understood this is absolutely necessary because of that most unfortunate decision made by Ariana in Accounting three years ago. And the ladies push the envelope because they’re so fed up with it. And the fellas are obliged to pretend they’re not noticing. Which, of course, is something we males can’t really do.

Well…I’m not standing by, billfold in hand, ready to pay someone’s lawsuit settlement for them so I can’t really criticize. But I know a stupid rule that doesn’t make any sense when I see one, and I see an opportunity to fix what’s long been broken when I see one. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

We live in this world, awash in Karens both with & without a pandemic, because we’re way too free and easy with allowing liberals to make rules. Liberals chirp up and say “I dunno…do we really need [blank]? We should have a new law against [blank].” It’s a familiar formula. There is something we can all agree, regardless of our ideological positioning, is a bad thing. And then the liberal fastens something liberals don’t like, to the bad thing. A great example of this is guns and school shootings. The liberal breezily bans this feature, that feature, that other feature…why do you need more than ten rounds? People living out in the boonies have an answer for that but the libs don’t want to hear it. Ban ban ban. If you mutter so much as a peep of protest then you must be in favor of school shootings.

Now, returning to work, opening up the country, has become a partisan issue. The liberals can’t say “I’m opposed to opening up the country” because that would be an election-loser. And they wouldn’t feel good about themselves saying it, so it wouldn’t proliferate among liberals. But they can say: People will die. And they’re not completely wrong about that. They’re not completely right either. What they want to do is live out this narrative they see on their teevee shows — liberals watch way too much teevee — where the star of the show knows something that’s game-changing, and everyone else is a bit player who’s just marching along, making bad decisions, wallowing in derp. It’s not all just salivating over more more more security and neglecting opportunity, although there is a lot of that. The balance of their motivation has to do with how they see the world, as a teevee show in which they’re the star. No one else, other than Barack and Michelle Obama maybe, has any speaking lines of any significance. We who disagree with them, are the “Designated Wrong Guy” you see in all the police procedurals, who’s got the job of advancing all the wrong opinions, all the theories the lazy, lazy scriptwriters have already decided are going to be falsified later. You can often tell who this individual is by the way he talks.

Sometimes this is a sympathetic character. By the fourth season of The X-Files a lot of us were wondering why Dana Scully ever bothers to say anything at all, since it was her job to come up with the normal explanations and it was Mulder’s job to come up with the paranormal ones…and in the third act of every episode Mulder would be proven right and Scully would be proven wrong. Why doesn’t she just shut her always-wrong girl mouth? Well…that’s the way liberals think. Everything is scripted. And the central character of the show is always right.

I really don’t think he did it.

There’s a bomb on that truck.

She’s not a killer, I just know it.

Maybe that paraplegic somehow did an astral projection.

That cross belongs in a museum.

I’m telling you Sheriff, you’re about to execute an innocent man.

That dog is trying to tell us something.

That’s the “script,” see? So President Trump, and those who support him, along with those who are too sluggish or are otherwise inadequate in opposing him with sufficient vitriol, we’re all teetering on the brink of making this terrible, disastrous, deadly decision…even though the President of the United States has no authority to “open the country.” This is what makes liberals liberals. They’ve got their villain all picked out, and he doesn’t have power (nevermind that he, being a big dumb-stupid, fails to realize this)…and yet he is to be blamed for everything. But here comes the noble, enlightened liberal with his nugget of game-changing knowledge. And a disaster is coming when Mayor Vaughn lures those swimmers into the waters of Amity, or when the Greeks bring that big wooden horse through the gates. How it will end remains to be seen, but for now the desired narrative has been constructed: The noble liberal knows what’s right, and is screaming and struggling to be heard.

It always comes back to that. We have to do what the liberal says or else we die. Every single day of every single year, every single issue.

It doesn’t matter if the liberal has an actual plan, or nothing more than a don’t-do-it objection to the status quo. It doesn’t matter if he’s subsequently proven wrong. Being a liberal means never having to admit you were wrong about anything.

Meanwhile, we have a current method of living that isn’t living, and is unsustainable. We have had the capacity to do just-so-many weeks of this; and, we’ve done it. As early in the game as was practical, which was the correct thing to do. Now our capacity has been exhausted. We can’t keep huddling away in lockdown, but we can learn some lessons. I cannot summarize them better than what I saw earlier this month on Instapundit:

SEEN ON FACEBOOK:

The debate over immigration is over: restriction wins.

The debate over borders is over: they are needed.

The debate over globalization is over: the era of autarky begins.

The debate over Europe is over: it is a geographic expression, not a polity.

The debate over global warming is over: it is irrelevant.

The debate over international institutions is over: only nations matter.

The debate over the People’s Republic of China is over: it is a menace to the community of nations, not a member in good standing.

Crisis is clarity.

This has been an era of clarification.

Breaking the Law

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Genius Times, which is a satire site:

Analysts were shocked that a state that encourages foreigners to break the law should have so many residents break the law.

“We let homeless people take a dump on the street in front of nice restaurants. We let people spread AIDS with impunity. We encourage immigrants to come here illegally. You’d think people would listen to my orders!” [California Gov. Gavin] Newsom said in a press conference.

Money quote: “Newsom issued a ‘shelter in place’ order directing the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home beginning March 20 to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Instead, residents have issued a ‘kiss my ass’ order for Newsom.”

Newsom is on the younger side of the “Baby Boomers” who, since roughly around Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, have been around the age where we expect people to be in charge of big things — even though, as kids, they started rebelling against authority and for the most part never really stopped. Having people in positions of authority who’ve spent their lives rebelling against authority has made things weird. That’s why this is good satire, it reflects what’s true. Newsom is representative of a whole generation of pricks who’ve aligned every fiber of their being in the direction of “Question Authority,” and now that they’re the authority they expect not to be questioned. That’s a generalization and it shouldn’t be taken as an indicator that every single one has this problem. But the ones that do have it aren’t completely sane, and yet they’re still in charge of things.

Because of this, we’ve got laws that you’re supposed to follow even though they don’t & could not ever exist; we’ve got laws that do exist, that people are expected not to follow. Like I said, it makes things weird.

Now if “Guy who has a blog that nobody reads anyway, came upon a graph someone uploaded to social media without any sources or citations, and republished it” is what turns your crank…here’s a good one…

Let’s just say I’ve spent exactly half my life, twenty-seven years, in this state and I find it entirely believable. In fact, as I’ve noted before, even at this very late date I still have a lot of trouble adjusting to it — a zillion-and-one little pain-in-the-ass laws that don’t really matter because no one enforces them and no one even knows they’re there. The concept confounds, baffles and distresses me, but that’s the reality here.

And so as I reach out and ask for sources and data for this plotting, it’s really just a formality. I already know this about Californians. They’re/we’re like cats. “Here Frisky, come here!! Come on!” (Cat: Fuck you. Feed me.)

I’m not saying I approve of that behavior. As tyrannical and anti-American as a “Shelter in Place” order might seem to be, and let’s face it, it is — it’s the right thing for us to be doing right now. This dumb virus lives on surfaces for several days, but at the end of a couple weeks it should be done. If we could somehow wave a magic wand and achieve perfect distancing throughout that period, this would be over.

But of course we can’t. Whenever someone acts out their selfishness and stupidity, they hit the reset button for the rest of us.

As far as my own situation, because I’m antisocial, I am naturally-distanced. The Powers That Be have reached out and asked if I can come to work, which I will be doing tomorrow morning. It’s that huge big office. I work in it all by myself. I really don’t even understand what you “real people” do at work that’s sociable. The traditional “water cooler talks”? Monday-morning quarterbacking? Jibber-jabbering about who got booted off Dancing With The Stars? Who got the rose on The Bachelor? I have no idea and I don’t really care. As a true twenty-first century nerd, I just go in, make myself a pot of coffee, design/implement/test/debug/document and then go home. Then I spend the evening with my lovely wife, whom if I’m going to infect I’ve already done it anyway…and in the morning I go on social media and argue with dingbat liberals before heading in to work again. So yeah I’m as low-risk as they come.

This event suggests the bureaucracy might be functional after all, contrary to my previous dismal predictions, and is going through the coarse unrefined people like me who lack social skills…therefore, at some point, will eventually get to everybody else. This is light at the end of the tunnel.

Some who remain in lock-down may take this as inspiration for a renewed effort to watch the same teevee shows, or do other things that call for being within line-of-sight of their lock-down-mates, knowing an end to this ordeal may be at hand. That would be a good thing. And so I’ve reached a decision that I should probably say something.

Please don’t hurt each other. Not yet.

This Ends

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

I don’t know when but I’ve got a pretty good idea how. It ends with

1. A bureaucrat giving the all-clear, passing down the 100% guarantee of total safety
2. People disregarding the lockdown in all its legal and cultural shapes and forms, because Screw This I Gotta Work
3. A new police state that makes #2 a physical impossibility

#1 is unicorn doots. It is never going to happen. Bureaucracies simply don’t work that way. They gather together the kind of power that goes with complete unshared responsibility, but then they refuse to take any responsibility at all, resulting in no decisions made when they would really count for something. This is why no one aspires to build a bureaucracy, and no one ever takes credit for having built one either.

Somehow, the relationship between rule-makers and rule-followers is going to get changed, forever.

My state, California, has this reputation of “leading the way” for the rest of the country and it applies here. Our ideas are, on balance, bad and not good so this isn’t cause for rejoicing by any means. One of the things that makes us unique is that we have a busy blizzard of little-laws that say very specific things, but carry no weight because no one bothers to follow them and nobody cares.

I’ve lived here half my life, by which I mean exactly 50% of the time since my umbilical cord was cut, twenty-seven years. I’m still having a bit of trouble adjusting to this idea of “ten thousand laws that don’t mean jack.” When I first showed up here in the early nineties, it was a tumultuous adjustment for me to make. Did I mention I’m still not quite finished with it?

Looks to me like we all go there. Don’t you dare step out of that house, followed by a zillion exclamation marks!! And then followed by…yeah okay, whatever.

I do not like the idea of the other 49 states copying this idea of ours, that laws mean nothing. Like all the rest of our ideas that get copied, it’s bad.

But I think that’s how it goes.

We’re Not a Toxin Upon the Planet

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

We humans, being more intellectually capable than all the other animals, unfortunately can enjoy a unique “gift” of being able to lie to ourselves. We can cobble together a phony reality of our own choosing and then select it over the one we see right in front of us, as no other species on the globe can. There are some among us who regretfully make a profession out of that, and others among us who regretfully patronize their professions, and others among us who regretfully encourage it all.

Humans have therefore been uniquely equipped to invent religion, which asks us to believe in things we can’t see; and cults, which require us to disbelieve things we’ve seen right in front of us. The former of the two helps to preserve our sanity, if we value it, and the latter of the two destroys what’s left of our sanity, if we so allow.

One of the most dangerous cults we’ve invented is also among the most widespread. It has no name, and can be identified only by way of approximations such as “radical environmentalism.” Without stringing the actual words together, it proffers a belief that humans are a toxin upon the planet, which would be far better off if we just went away. It reaches this conclusion about our uniquely intelligent species because we have used this intellect to build things that help us, which is something beavers do and birds do. “Yes,” the cultists would counter, “but beavers don’t build nuclear plants.” They’d be right. But that would be topic drift. Their movement doesn’t target human beings as the one species that doesn’t belong here, because of what we build; their movement targets human beings as the one species that doesn’t belong here, because humans are the ones who are supposed to be receiving the message. It is a message for dopes who hate their own kind, or want to be fed reasons for hating their own kind. It is a reinforcement of self hatred.

Everyone who applies some good old-fashioned common sense to what they’re hearing and seeing, knows this to be true. Some would protest, with legitimacy, that I am overstating their position unfairly. To them, I present two matters of indisputable fact. One, my state of California is in “lockdown,” as is much of the rest of the world. Two, that there are lots of outspoken, fuzzy-brained casual-thinkers who are celebrating this as a good thing. They have been programmed. They don’t know they have been programmed and they think their opinions are their own.

It seems to be so hard for so many thoughtful people to truly reckon with the ramifications of what they know to be true. The indoctrinating has been going on at least since I was a moppet, and I’m a crusty old fart now. Humans are poisoning the planet, humans are poisoning the planet, humans are poisoning the planet. The “real scientists” who prepare and vet these lists of ways humans impact the environment, are considerably younger than I am. They have been bathed, just like people my age, in this stew their whole lives. They are more activists than scientists, and they don’t know they are more activists than scientists. They have been lying to themselves. Oh yes, I’m sure in the strictest technical sense every little point they want to make is “true.” But everybody’s suspicions should be aroused when global warming, climate change and ocean acidification are listed as three separate bullets. Also, that lists like these are entirely devoid of any beneficial effects we might have on the environment. Then you know an agenda is underway. The people making such lists are pushing the agenda, or else they’re being fed their information by someone else pushing the agenda, failing to do the skeptical thinking that anyone positioned downstream is going to have to do on their behalf.

You’re better off relying on another list that might contain some overlap, wherever it’s scientifically verifiable — but contains a mix of harmful and beneficial effects we have on our ecosystem. That’s more in keeping with what we know about other living things having effects upon yet other living things. There is harm over here, there are beneficial effects over there; parasitic relationships and symbiotic relationships.

We’re not a toxin upon the planet. At the very least, we’re not a pure toxin; and we’re probably not a net toxin. I don’t think we are. I think, on balance, we are beneficial. There’s so much stuff out there trying to convince me of the opposite, and it’s just so energized and so enthusiastic, involving so many willing participants…and yet it continues to rely on leaving out so much & hoping I don’t go looking elsewhere to fill in the gaps. If your propaganda is true, on balance, then there’s no need for it to have been made into propaganda in the first place.

Am I relying on faulty logic here, or a gap in logic, or on logic that is less than solid? Eh, could very well be. I don’t intend this as a logical argument. I’m just capturing how I think of it. Zillions of dollars of money have been spent in an effort to convince my generation that humans are poisoning the planet. A lot of that came from taxpayers, which is wrong. I have yet to be convinced and that’s why; not the ethical problems with forcing taxpayers to pay for the propaganda drive, just the energetic disbursement of the propaganda drive itself. The truth shouldn’t demand so much sustained effort. Our curiosity about nature is, well, natural. If a sprawling out-of-control leviathan government has to move resources around this way to tell us what’s so, it’s likely not so.

Now comes the Wuhan Flu, or the Chinese Virus, or “COVID-19” if you want to be politically correct about it. The World Health Organization thinks it’s very important that you be kept from thinking of it as anything Asian. Now you see, that’s another thing; the politically correct argument doesn’t even make sense according to itself. Humans are a pox upon the planet — and Asian people are not. This reminds me of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, during the early days, before the blue dress, when it was still he-said she-said. “Doesn’t matter, public performance versus private, personal, secret private life. Everybody screws around on their marriage! All the politicians cheat on their wives! …And he didn’t!!”

Well in times like these, it’s very important that we know which agencies are functioning as scientific organizations, and which ones are functioning as political ones. There is no scientific value involved in programming me to think of the Wuhan Flu as something other than the Wuhan Flu — none whatsoever. So thanks for clearing that up, now I know WHO is a political organization and not a scientific one.

I truly don’t care. I don’t need a reprimand from a busybody political establishment to think of Asians as somehow exempted from the human race that is doing this damage, because I don’t think the human race is doing damage. I know Communist China has done injury to humanity as a whole, and that makes the human race the injured and not the injurer. “Communist China” is a country, not a race. Who still needs to have that spelled out for them? I mean, besides that twit at President Trump’s press conference. Who besides her?

Well, the race baiters are flailing about like hungry dogs chasing scraps, because they’re starving. It’s testable. “Chinese Virus” is a racist term, really? You wouldn’t be falling back on that if you had anything better.

Getting back to the subject at hand, though. For those who advance the narrative that humans are a poison on the planet, there is something better. Something fresh, new and topical. Good for them…bad for the rest of us.

Italy’s tourism industry took a hit as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country spiked in recent weeks. But those who remain in the city have posted heartwarming photos of dolphins, swans and ducks making their appearances in canals and ports.

“Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time,” Francesco Delrio wrote. “Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us.”

Some of this is bull squeeze, and easily debunked. The water looking cleaner in Venice is looking cleaner because of simple stillness; sediment still lies at the bottom of the canal, without any boat traffic to stir it up toward the surface. And no, the dolphins aren’t there. That’s not what interests me though.

What captures my attention is the part of it that, for now, is really true. Pollution that is connected directly to human activity, is down, since the activity is down. That much has to be true, right? Right. We do “pollute” when we go about our business, just like any other species. So the human-haters do have a point, do they not? We’re getting to see an advance preview of a post-human world, and it’s looking just as healthy and vibrant as they imagined. The people themselves, where they can be found, look happier too! Yes…I’ve seen them. Walking their dogs, jogging, etc. Singing on Instagram, etc…like the spoiled Hollywood actors singing that horrible commie song just for one example. There are others. Singing, singing, singing…all the happy people.

Haven’t you listened to the words, though? “Living for today.” Living for today…

That’s the whole problem. The intended audience for this pablum is not just people who nurture their festering hatred of other people just for being people — but also, people who lack a functional understanding of the fundamental concept of time. They’re celebrating a lifestyle that isn’t sustainable as if it’s sustainable. Now some of them may have pure intentions and simply want a cleaner Earth. But if so, and they’re still swallowing this hooey, then they’re not thinking.

This is not where we want to be. People are existing day-to-day, but they’re not thriving. For those who gravitate to sugary things, consider that socially-distanced kids can’t play together and can’t hug each other. Yes, you can dangle your feet off a balcony and play a guitar, but nobody can sit on the same balcony with you, dangling their feet next to you. But then there’s the business, the money, the working for a living. I’m more worried about that kind of stuff and everyone else should be more worried about that, too.

I don’t wish to rain on a parade that is stoking lots of good sentiment & feeling in so many strangers whom I assume are good people with good intentions. And like all sane people I consider messages of despair, even when true, to be better left unsaid. I have left this one unsaid for awhile. But I draw the line at pretending a negative is a positive. This is a whole new frontier of wrongness, and the fact that it makes lots of people feel good is no reason to allow it to careen about unchecked. Whole new frontiers of wrongness often make lots of people feel good. That’s what demons do. Evil is seductive.

This is not good. It is Pandora’s demons that have been allowed to escape a literal, physical “box.” It’s way too soon to lapse into the cloying pap about “Let’s not assign blame” when we don’t even know if the box was opened on purpose or by accident. Or if the box was built & filled on purpose, and opened by accident.

After half a century of listening to it, I’m past the limit of my patience with pretending there’s just one single species of animal living on the planet that’s bad for it. It doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. It isn’t scientific, it’s a child’s fairy tale relying overly much on Disney imagery filled with big-eyed adorable woodland creatures with cute names, every last one of them on a vegetarian (or grub) diet. It’s nonsense. The truth is that spiders kill flies painfully, lions kill gazelles painfully, species build habitats that screw things up for other species. And we’re all changing the environment, sometimes permanently sometimes not, with our daily business. That’s how an ecosystem works.

I started out noting that humans have intellectual capabilities other species do not have. I’m sure I lost a good portion of my readership with that opening…true as it is. There are ramifications to it. We have the unique ability to look, today, at the apparatus we assembled to make our living possible, yesterday, and ask ourselves what sort of impact it has on the environment. And to see if there’s a way to do the same thing more efficiently. If you accept that a unique ability may necessarily be fastened to an accompanying unique responsibility, then you must accept we have the responsibility to continually do this. To downsize to the more economical car, where it makes practical sense to do so, to swap out in favor of a more efficient light bulb where it makes sense to do so.

I will buy into just that much. Because, why not? I have no constructive statement to make by driving around in a V-8 when I can do the same thing with a four-banger. But I already drive a four-banger. I’m cheap and I don’t want to burn off that much of my lucre on gas, I’d rather blow the balance of it on beer, beef steak, ammunition or put it in savings. That is how intelligent creatures do things…naturally. We don’t need our benevolent government to push us into doing things an easier way. We gravitate toward whatever is more efficient, and we continually reassess. Which makes us, if anything, the most congenial species upon the surface of the planet — over the longer term of time. Long term, we are the best stewards because of our uniqueness as a species that acts like a steward.

We never needed a movement. We don’t need one now. We socially distance because it makes good sense. The “experts” say we can make a significant positive impact against the spread of this virus by taking these steps, now, and we don’t have to look at the history of these pandemics too long to see for ourselves that they’re right about that.

But this is not a positive development. My whole point here is that Gaea is not going to care what we do or don’t do, for a couple of weeks, or a month, or two months or more. She won’t care even a tiny bit, unless we’ve discovered some new lifestyle we can afford to maintain (and even then, only that tiny bit). We can’t afford to maintain this. The implication that we can, or that the Earth cares about it as if we can, is grossly irresponsible. At some point we’re going to have to move past this. It will be quick or it will be slow, but either way it will be wrenching. We’re going to rape Gaea like a three pecker billy goat made of rebar, when it’s time to get going again, because we’re going to be needing the things we have always been needing. Like any other species, we are toughest on the environment when we are under stress.

But our day-to-day activities, allowed to endure and evolve without scarcity or stress, don’t poison the planet. They affect the planet, just a little bit, which is fine. On balance, you are good. I am good. We all are a net good. And we need to get back to work.

Stop this nonsense.

Kung Flu

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Andrea Widburg writes in American Thinker:

Kellyanne Conway proves again she’s worth whatever Trump pays her

The mainstream media are disgusting. That sentence could open every article about the mainstream media in a time of coronavirus. The media’s hostility to Trump is so extreme that there is no lie they won’t tell to damage him – never mind that doing so might destroy the American economy or cause other unimaginable harm to the American people.

In addition to lies, the media’s other line of attack is to call everything Trump says or does “racist”…
:
On Wednesday, when Kellyanne Conway made herself available for questions from the media, the assembled press members, mostly women by the sound of their voices, didn’t want to talk about things that might matter to the American people, such as plans for stemming the tide of the Chinese Virus or helping the financial hemorrhage the virus is causing.

Pin/HaystackInstead, the media’s shrieking harpies spoke in one voice: Tell us how guilty the whole Trump administration is because an anonymous White House official allegedly made a joke that offended an Asian reporter.
:
We’ve known for a long time that the media are morally corrupt. It’s helpful to see them reveal themselves in their battle against Trump. They’re all pretty, shiny, and articulate on TV, but behind those facades lurk debased, hate-filled people…

Well that word “all” is a fragile one — only takes a single contrary example to disprove it, you know. And to be fair about it, while the media is making a gross error in establishing priorities on this thing, by doing so they’re reflecting the society we have created. Somewhere along the line we seem to have compromised our ability to mentally deal with house fires. By which I mean, any crisis that creates so much day-to-day cumulative damage that any plan for ameliorating it is going to have to involve a phased approach, with the immediate phases having something to do with accepting more damage, and time is of the essence. We used to be able to process those — as a society. Nowadays it seems we can’t. We delegate the problem-solving to whoever is elected or appointed, which is nothing new; but it’s new that we can’t or won’t just let them work, and it’s new that we can’t or won’t share the Weltanschauung that would be needed to improve things.

No, whether the “firemen” have our sympathies or not, in either case the loudest among us turn away from the actual problem and go back to rooting out impure thoughts about things. If we were back in the days where a democrat was managing the fire crews, like for example in the case of Emperor Barack The First, our Loud Crowd would again be stuck in rooting out racism. They’d just train their sites on the President’s critics rather than the President Himself. But with Obama or with Trump, it seems like any concern about actually solving the problem, or taking steps to address it, along with any sincere curiosity about the associated details, have all fallen out of fashion.

The tweet that started off all the caterwauling was written by Asian reporter Weijia Jiang (“@weijia”) and it says, “This morning a White House official referred to #Coronavirus as the ‘Kung-Flu’ to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.” As of this writing, so far as I know she has yet to name this xenophobe or to state any reason she might have for maintaining this secrecy, even after several respondents to her original claim, for that reason, have called it out as bullshit. Which strongly suggests that that’s what it is, but who am I to draw any conclusions?

Other than the most glaringly obvious one: This is why it was important to prosecute Jussie Smollett, and without any delays.

We apparently are now in a chapter in our evolving history, in which the public’s passions can be rerouted like a mighty river, deftly, efficiently and with what looks like very little effort, by anyone who’s willing to just invent…whatever. Just come out and say someone did or said something with racist or sexist overtones/undertones. Anybody who’s ever said to themselves “I wish people would talk less about this and more about that”…not an exclusive crowd, by any means…just has to concoct a story with nooses and bleach. You have to wonder how we got here but with that Smollett drama playing out so recently, and with the wheels of justice having yet to have arrived at any real consequences, you don’t have to wonder long.

Honest and diligent observers have to come away worried about several things. There is the COVID-19 crisis itself and what it’s doing to our economy, there is the problem of liars getting away with their lying. I’m more worried about the problem with house fires generally. We can’t drop the “I think I found a racist” thing, even for a moment, even now, with a problem like this one? And we can’t fixate on a house fire, even with the odor of burning buildings all around us. Too busy wondering about whether the firemen said something insufficiently polished?

You find out he used the phrase “China Virus” and you want him to drop the hose?

I remember there was a movie about this…something about a Mr. Sansweet who didn’t ask to be saved and didn’t want to be saved

Hordes of Hoarders

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Babylon Bee always makes it look easy. It can’t be.

Bernie: ‘We Must Seize The Means Of Toilet Paper Production’

BURLINGTON, VT—In a video message recorded from one of his many, many houses, Bernie Sanders has called on the workers of the world to unite and seize the means of toilet paper production.

Sanders was under quarantine because he is old and susceptible to the virus. So he delivered the message remotely, but it was just as powerful as if he had delivered it to thousands of Bernie bros in person: “Workers of the world, unite and seize the means of producing bath tissue in large quantities!”

If I wrote for them, I’d have Poe’s Law embroidered into a wall hanging and displayed prominently wherever I work, just to remind myself of the difficulty involved in satire. I wonder if they have done exactly that, in fact.

I’ve been “socially distancing” like everyone else, sometimes even voluntarily. We did what everyone else is supposed to be doing all of the time before this hit, and so we have plenty of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Mrs. Freeberg makes it a habit to keep me out of grocery stores, which is smart on her part because she knows I don’t have the patience to deal with much of anything there. And so I do not have first-hand experience with this nightmare. It must be awful, zipping around from store to store trying to find a roll or two. Oh yes, I do know it’s that bad. Facebook has been just plain boring lately. Just bitching and more bitching about toilet paper.

Restocking levels, people. That’s what businesses do. If X is your burn rate between deliveries, then 1.5-2.0X is your restocking level and after you take delivery, you have 2.5-3.0X. When it gets down to your restocking level you reorder. Don’t let it get to zero if it’s something you have to have all the time. But, a lot of people didn’t do that and so now we have a “shortage.”

Permit me a rant then. Since I haven’t personally experienced the grief, I have not had the opportunity to lay my hopeful eyes upon the empty shelves of despair, and those who have experienced this lacked the presence of mind, in their desperation, to take note on my behalf: If the coveted packages were there, how much would they have cost, hmmmm? The same? I’ll bet it’s the same. I don’t know what kind of rules apply here in the People’s Republic of California about what constitutes “price fixing” or “price gouging” or what the penalties are supposed to be…I don’t very much care. It really doesn’t matter. The cudgeling, the veiled civil-action threats, the potential headaches, they’ve all loomed large. There are no nightmares to be told about fifty-dollar packages netting four measly rolls, and if such a thing happened surely I’d be hearing about it. No, if it’s sixty cents a roll any other time, it’s sixty cents a roll in the most acute moments of our “crisis,” our “shortage.”

Normal forces of supply and demand do not apply.

Expensive Toilet PaperI’m putting “shortage” in scare quotes because my conscience demands it of me. This isn’t a real shortage. You have a shortage of something that’s a non-renewable resource, like petroleum, or gold. Every single component of this is renewable. No, this is a long and elaborate supply chain, and just like any chain it can be impeded at any link, with the effect of impeding the entire chain even with all other links fully functional. “Shortage” implies all of those links are destitute in what they need to do their deliveries, the problem being at the starting-end of the chain which is the manufacturing. No such situation exists here.

No, the problem is just ahead of those shelves that are breaking hearts with their emptiness. It’s with the restocking. And the restocking is happening hand-over-fist, seven truck deliveries in a day at one location…so the problem isn’t really there either. The problem is the consumption. If people bought something in line with what they were using, we’d be up to our ears in toilet paper.

This brings us up to what has become our conventional wisdom: The hordes of hoarders are TEH STUPID!! And furthermore are to blame for our current deplorable plight. In addition to being stupid. Yeah…well…mkay. Let me temper that just a bit.

I hold these hoarders to be guilty of emotional reasoning, which certainly does tick me off when it puts me in a bit of hot water through no action or inaction of my own. But is it really right and proper to start condemning people or calling them stupid when they succumb to it? I don’t have a perfect record of refusing the temptations when I’ve been put through an ordeal, and zipping around from place to place looking for just a roll or two certainly does seem like an ordeal. How many hops does it take me to become a quivering, angry wreck, even if my need is not acute? If I’m going to self-assess critically and accurately I have to say: Two. And not two stopping points across town from each other. Two points down the street from each other. Within minutes, not hours. For a computer part that isn’t even needed to bring the project online, and was an afterthought…two places that don’t have the item, is enough to work me into a lather, and start shooting daggers out of my eyes at anybody who stops to help me. Well okay if they’re trying to help me, because I was raised right and I know they’re trying to help me, I say the right things and I’m polite and I work at sparing them my wrath. But as long as we’re being honest, I know my ugly mood forces me to have to really work at it. Know what I mean? We’ve all been there, right?

But that’s some forty minutes or so immersed in a first-world computer-builder’s part or supply I don’t really need. Not an everyday bathroom staple that everyone with an alimentary canal absolutely needs. I should help get the hate out for someone making less than rational decisions when they’re five-hours immersed in the futile errand?

So now wait a second. You got off work at five in the afternoon, it’s nine-thirty at night you’ve hit six stores that were empty, the seventh store has some. Price controls…hard firm legislated ones, or soft-culture “We might hit you with a lawsuit that is wrong, but you’ll have to pay up anyway so do you want to chance it” ones…are in effect. I don’t care which one it is, remember? It doesn’t matter. So the last store in town has the product and it’s still sixty cents a roll. How many do you get? A sensible amount, or something along the lines of “I never did find out how much my truck can carry, it’s high time we found the answer”?

Run.

No that’s not what I’m telling you to do. That’s my nit-pick. People keep calling this a “shortage.” It’s not a shortage, it’s a run. Didn’t you see It’s a Wonderful Life? “I’ve never really seen one but that’s got all the earmarks of being a run.”

It’s an important difference for two reasons. The less important reason is that if you stock up to 2.5 or so times your burn rate like I said, but it’s an actual shortage, this likely won’t help you. The shortage just has to last 2.5 times longer and then it wins and you lose. A run, on the other hand, is just today’s activity. It’s just a ripple.

But there’s a far more important reason. We keep hearing about this “price gouging” being a problem, and the remedies, be they hard statutes or soft intimidation, must look something like the answer to the problem. The cause of the problem must be something along the lines of what the kids are being taught in those universities, about the evils of “unchecked capitalism.” We must have the suits, or the laws, or the sensible regulators running their check against these evil, greedy, greedy, evil shopkeepers who would have the unmitigated gall to charge sixty-one cents or more for a roll that must cost no more than sixty. It’s our right, gosh darn it! For economic justice!

Well…with just a little bit of common sense, and the understanding that this is a run, not a shortage…the scales fall from our eyes. Such remedies are the disease, not the cure. And the price “gouging,” if that’s what you want to call it, left to run its course would have stopped the whole problem from happening in the first place. Without these laws or such intimidation, how much were we set to be gouged, anyway? A dollar for a roll? Two dollars? Maybe five?

At five dollars a roll, do you think weary stragglers would be tempted to play the game of “let’s see how much my truck can haul?” Maybe a few of them would! So let’s try ten dollars a roll. Does that sound like a nightmare?

Well I don’t know. If you’re the one still limping from store to store to store well after dark chasing these essentials, what would you rather see? A shelf full of overpriced rolls ready for your patronage at ten bones a pop…or, an empty shelf?

So yeah, you people who were so opposed to “price gouging” until we started this glorious One Square March…as you labor away in your garage carving up old tee shirts into rectangles…maybe it’s time to reconsider things. How are you liking this trial period for your socialism? Some ideas are so good that when you actually practice them, you wonder why it took you so long. And then there are ideas like yours.

I’d rather pay a few dollars more, myself. When you gotta go you gotta go, ya know?

I Don’t Want to be Scolded by Any Mean, Nasty Women

Friday, March 6th, 2020

Okay so we have to talk about what Elizabeth Warren did yesterday. Oh no, that’s not right is it? It’s about what we did to poor, poor, perpetual-victim Elizabeth Warren. It’s sexism, right? There’s stuff on the Internet that says so, so it must be true. Male chauvinist pig conservative Republicans, somehow, stopped enlightened egalitarian progressive liberal democrats from voting for Fauxahontas.

Actually, yes it is sexism of a sort. Just not quite like that. Something else.

Someone, somewhere I know not who — could be a man, maybe? — has made the call that women have to be unpleasant and angry all the time, like Senator Warren, in order to be in charge. They didn’t ask me. It’s true in our politics, in our movies, our teevee shows, and anyplace else we come together and experience any form of art that is assembled in a central location and then distributed hither & yon. Somewhere there is a script: Women have to be mousey little types that stay in the kitchen and bake cookies, or else they have to give you a migraine. There can be no in-between.

ScoldingThe movies flop, just like the political campaigns fail. Rather predictably, because whatever remains of our national sanity, does remain. Mentally well-balanced people don’t like to be scolded, just because. We don’t like to be gaslit along the lines that there’s something wrong with us if we appreciate the sight of a beautiful woman with a smile on her face, and we deserve to have our hands broken and our motorcycles stolen because of it. Now if you surround us with said gaslighting then maybe, since we’re flawed humans with limited strength, you can get some kind of “There Are Five Lights” concession out of us. Maybe people who pay attention only casually can be lulled into thinking a lot of unpleasant female nagging is what they want…temporarily. But you’re just screwing things up for the aspiring politicians like Senator Warren.

This isn’t what strong women who make good leaders, are like. This is wrong, and it’s been going on for awhile. Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984, Geraldine Ferraro, brought scolding to the ticket and very little else. Oh, the haranguing, I remember it like it was yesterday, all throughout that year she nasally-resonated at us. It didn’t work out well.

The scolding-nag woman keeps flopping. Someone somewhere keeps lunging for it, manufacturing it yet again, like a sadistic relative with a Christmas fruitcake recipe who can’t be told no. They keep cramming it down our throats. We’ve tried every other way to get the message across that we don’t want this but it keeps happening. Someone, somewhere, isn’t getting the message.

We have yet to try the most direct approach. We must do all we can, to avoid wasting the time and resources of future innocents who seek to emulate Senator Elizabeth Perpetual-Victim “I’m still mad where are you going” Warren.

So say the words in the title of this post, to yourself, as practice. Loud and proud. We are told this is what men say when they are weak and fragile, but that’s just “five lights” nonsense. This is a powerful message.

Not for DecorationThere are only three rebuttals. You can gaslight me some more, conveying the message of “You’re just afraid of a strong/intelligent woman,” in hopes that I’ll change my position. That’s an exercise in futility, because once I make up my mind that a pounding headache isn’t what I want, I won’t reconsider and decide anything different. So you’re going to end up arguing with me about it, and you’ll just look foolish because you’ll be trying to sell me, and anyone watching, on what’s virtuous about being given a headache by a mean, unsophisticated, unenlightened, toxic nasty unpleasant woman.

You could give me what I want, and haul the nag away so I don’t have to listen to her. Win.

Or, you can give me a very firm and assertive dressing-down about how my opinion doesn’t matter. That men like me who don’t want headaches, or women who happen to like men and don’t aspire to be unpleasant banshees, are all part of the inimical demographic that you have targeted and desire to make irrelevant. And that, as an additional trophy, you want to give us these headaches to punish us. That bugs to us are features to you. That, as a proponent of this tired worn-down scolding-harridan trope, your side is the “toxic” one. That would be honest. That would show that, far from being bogged down in some sort of toxic masculinity crisis, our problem is more like one of toxic femininity. How can any attentive observer not, at the very least, consider it? Nagging, scolding women have been cartoon caricatures for generations. Maybe there is a push now to bring them into fashion, but there’s a difference between trying for something and succeeding at it. With all the throat-cramming we’ve seen just over the last twenty years, unpleasant women are as rare as sand in the Sahara and half as precious.

So no, sexism did not destroy Sen. Warren’s campaign, at least not the way she says. She failed for the same reason Hillary Clinton failed four years earlier: She offered us something we don’t want. This leaves the democrat field rather un-diverse, which is bad for them, and it leaves the field as a whole also un-diverse which may be bad for the rest of us…dunno. I’m sure somewhere out there, there are some women with strong leadership skills who are positive. But one of the characteristics of positive people is that they fix what’s broken, and when something isn’t broken, they don’t go trying to fix it because it isn’t broken.

So maybe the positive women with genuinely strong leadership skills, just aren’t running this year.

Related 3-10-20: Redundant with what I said, although as usual he probably says it better. This idea that we’re going to choose to be lectured and annoyed has really taken hold over the last several years. It used to work, but those who are committed to furthering the cause are in a real bind now because once people get tired of something, there’s no going back. Must suck to be them.

I’m not losing a wink of sleep over it. I delight in watching the carnage. With popcorn.

The Anti-Sex Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

With the democrat field narrowing, I notice they seem to be sex-obsessed…in a negative way.

Their contenders look like the very bottom section of a list of Americans that others of the opposite sex would want to see naked. With the exception of Buttigeig who has no interest in letting the opposite sex see him naked. But we men can see this although maybe we’re not allowed to discuss it — Tulsi Gabbard got chased out of there because we wouldn’t mind seeing her naked. Warren and Klobuchar, if we were ever put in a bedroom with them and they got naked, before they even open their traps and start scolding us about something — which they would — would have us running out of the bedroom, screaming. And hey let’s be honest about it, that’s their draw. If manly men like something, Warren and Klobuchar supporters are going to dislike whatever that is just because we like it. It doesn’t have to be a sexy woman’s body, it can be beer pong, Star Trek episodes, whatever. These are toxic negative people who’ve programmed themselves to dislike whatever the targets of their disdain happen to like, and their targets are straight men. That’s why the two nags are still up there and Tulsi is not. Mediocre, toxic women do not feel threatened by them.

This has been true for a long, long time. LONG time. Rising stars in the democrat party who are female, are females men do not want to see naked…who do lots and lots of scolding. Their voices are shrill, in fact, artificially so. The resonance of their always-present scolding sounds like the waves were routed through a duck’s nasal cavity. Ever since Ferraro, and then Hillary and others, they could easily shatter glassware with that scolding. They are walking blue-pill antidotes. They irritate and annoy real men, which is why democrats like them.

Ugly GuysWhat’s interesting about this year is the males are the same. If horny women made a list of the guys they’d want to see naked, these guys would never make the cut. Not that I would either…but with average random guys like me, you could embiggen the list a few notches, or yards, and eventually we’d be on it, but these garden-gnomes seem to be the male version of Warren and Klobuchar, selected for their cosmetic fail. You could build the list to include everyone on the planet, and they’d end up on the bottom or very close to it.

And I’m far from the first to notice…this is the party that’s going to save us from a plutocracy run by rich old white men…and the white men they’re offering us have never been older, or whiter, or richer. Now, what is that? Is it fair to call it “irony”? That word would imply some sort of an accident, and it’s getting harder and harder to call this an accident. An election year comes about, the democrats put together a platform of “Don’t ever trust any rich people” and then they implore us to cast our votes for…their rich people. It just keeps happening that way.

It also interests me that every now and then the democrats take the polar opposite approach. They see fit to appeal to libidinous women who — like a typical man with regard to female candidates — are inclined to vote their carnal desires. They appeal to the females who’d like to see an underwear model up there, or someone good at playing the saxophone. A wonderful date to have. JFK, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were picked for their sex appeal. This strategy has worked out very well for them in the past. This year they won’t do it, or can’t do it. No woman wants to see Bernie Sanders naked. They don’t want to see Ban-Everything Bloomie or Joe Biden naked.

I dunno if this means anything at all, since it’s become abundantly obvious the democrat party is not choosing the circumstances in which it finds itself. If they’re purely captives of poor fortune then it doesn’t mean anything. But we’re only having these elections every 4 years, things are changing very quickly, and they have increasingly become the anti-sex party.

I think — hope — maybe what we’re seeing, is the first of many, many presidential elections in a row, where this is going to work out poorly for them. I’m hoping they’re literally un-breeding themselves into non-existence, as a political party. Maybe it’s the American way to vote with our sexual desires, and this is going to end up being what saves us from the monstrosity that liberalism has become. They just keep putting up these ugly toads, throughout the 20’s and into the 30’s or 40’s…the electorate goes “Ew, yuck” and eventually the democrat party goes the way of the Whigs.

“Never Created Anything”

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Ah…it’s like music to my ears…or eyes I suppose. Fellow Webloggin alumnus Bookworm summarizes the democrat candidates for President, systematically, thoroughly, and as they say, “for reals.” This is not a puffball summary by any means. Network teevee would never do it this way. She includes all of it, warts and all.

It’s rigidly structured but surprisingly fun to read. She starts on the left with Ban-Everything-Bloomie, who arguably offers the least-weak qualifications for the office out of the six, and works her way to the right, just like reading a page.

Elizabeth Warren is a harpy and a shrew. She’s someone who’s never created anything…Congresspeople are pack animals who come up with ideas but have never had responsibility for the success or failure of those ideas. While being a shrew made her a good attack dog against Bloomberg during the debate, my feeling is that, just as no one wanted Hillary the Harridan in the White House, Warren the Shrew is not an appealing personality either.

I wish more people took a cue from this: What did the candidate build? In what way, if any at all, were they ever responsible for results?

Second pass is an examination of their policies. She starts at the left again and plods back toward the right.

Bloomberg (probably) has managerial skills and he did stand up for capitalism. On the other hand, he hates the Second Amendment, which should knock him out of the running right off the bat.

Bloomberg also hates the Constitution, the American system, and the American voters. How do I know that? Because he’s using his wealth to do a complete end-run around our democratic system. That’s not reverence for the Constitution. That’s a man who sees it as a meaningless piece of paper. And it’s not respect for American voters, it’s deep, deep cynicism.

After those two passes, there is a run-down of the five things that can happen…Coronavirus figures into it…but at the end of it all,

And in November, vote, vote, vote for Republicans, all the way down the line, from Trump right down to the county dog catcher. Democrats need to lose so soundly that it will take a generation before they again think about imposing socialism on the constitutional United States of America.

Knocking on DoorsThis is best-case scenario — which, to me, is the scariest thing. I’ll explain. I think it well established by now that this country, like all the countries around the world, is “in the mood” for socialism, or not, every election. I’m thinking long term on this stuff, a century or so at a time. What happened in the twentieth century? It was late in the industrial revolution, people were settling into their roles of selling their labor for their daily bread, some of them felt slighted and it was the salad days for Marxism. What drove that was the feeling of doom and gloom. This year we here in America don’t have that, but that’s just this year. One cycle drives another. When you have optimism, socialism is harder to sell. When you have pessimism, the sale is easier to make.

I’m not sure we can slam the door in socialism’s face for good. Wherever & whenever the economy is doing well, at some point down the road it can start sucking again. Everything in our universe that moves, moves cyclically, whether this is apparent or not. I’m given to understand the Millennials don’t share in the optimism and are beclouded by their own peculiar brand of misery, much of it economic. My observation has been that this sense of misery has been engineered by others, just as the twentieth-century globalized sense of misery that led to the popularity of Keynesian economy-tinkering, progressive taxation, and hardcore communist models, had also been engineered by others.

If we don’t have socialism, what we have instead is a society that works on trade; you can have things if you produce something valuable to others, and trade it in kind. To those among us who have never created anything and don’t care to learn how, this is not a dream, it’s a nightmare. This so-called “debate” earlier this week gave us a glimpse at the representatives of those sorts of people, who have created nothing that helps anybody at all, and require a model where you get things just because you say so and you happen to be a bossy type, or are represented by someone who’s a bossy type.

Better think twice before jumping into that stew. We need more people who build useful things. We don’t need more bossiness.

Ignorance and the Internet

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

Twice in the last week, I have seen people show what appears to be a sincere sense of frustration over what they call “ignorance” on the Internet. Neither time was it directed at me, but both times what they meant to say was “They have an opinion I don’t like.”

So supposedly they had some nugget of precious, game changing hard data…they did their thing, they supplied the link…and whaddya know. The argument continued to drag on the way arguments, with very few exceptions, always will. SHOCKA!!!!

Some talking point seems to have been disseminated from some central point somewhere: Don’t argue with people, insult them and call them ignorant. Give them these “facts,” and if they don’t bow down to your superior conclusions with the obeisance a Bronze-age civilization might show to one of their graven gods, call them the I-word.

There are three problems with this. First, ignorance is very far from being any kind of a disgrace. It is the default state, we’re all born ignorant. In fact, if you’re willing to admit your ignorance you’re deserving of some measure of praise, since that would mean you’re among the ones who can learn. There is no other way.

Not How Any Of This WorksTwo, it conflates facts with opinions….the telltale sign of someone who isn’t ready to learn anything, in fact cannot benefit in any way from the facts s/he has already. Too many people run around with one or several of these “links,” like they’re the sword pulled from a stone, thinking this puts them in charge of the whole Internet and everyone has to genuflect before their magic link and properly reverberate their opinion or suffer the slings & arrows of being called ignorant. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Three — most importantly — the timing is so bad. This is such an awful season to be making the argument of “Here is somebody saying something, so that proves I’ve got the right opinion.” We are told all sorts of garbage that turns out to be garbage, that for people to show a bit of healthy skepticism…even on those occasions where it’s the skepticism that turns out to be wrong…is difficult for a reasonable person to condemn. Only an unreasonable person would do so. My favorite example is: Should we regard the Swedish climate-scolding pigtail truant as an authority on climate change? We’re told so! But what does common sense have to say about that? How about Jussie Smollett getting mugged last year? What were we told at the time? What did common sense have to say about it? And when the truth emerged, did it align with common sense, or with what we had been told?

I can find links to the listen-to-Greta thing, the Smollett thing, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, noted libertarian Clint Eastwood is backing Ban-Everything-Bloomie, Bernie Sanders wants to tax a $29k income at 52 percent, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar really did marry her brother, Trump hired hookers to pee on a bed, that he remains to this day some kind of a Russian asset, and that Mother Russia wants him re-elected. Some of those may be true! And I’m not saying which ones, that is not the point. The point is, “Here is a link now I demand you believe it” is a game for losers. Ditto for “Here is a link, everyone else believes it and I’m going to mock you if you don’t believe it too” is also a game for losers. Grownups who think like grownups don’t play this game, and when it’s played on them, they don’t opt into it. I think deep down we already get that without me explicitly stating it, right?

So if you encounter a dissenting opinion, and you try to “solve” it with one of your magical Internet-links like opening the valve of an extinguisher upon a fire, and the argument doesn’t magically end…using the “I” word may be tempting. But it could very well be that ignorance is not the issue here, in fact it could very well be that your recalcitrant skeptic knows something you don’t. Perhaps the word that really addresses the problem begins with “H”: Humility.

The Internet is a wonderful tool for figuring out the weekend weather, what movies are playing, trading funny GIF files of cats…but it’s buried us under this enormous glut of people playing game of “I want to win all the arguments without doing any arguing.”

Harrison Ford: We Have to Start Talking Politics Again

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

Via Townhall, we learn of a famous actor saying something sensible.

This part isn’t it…

During an interview with CBS News actor Harrison Ford said Americans need to start being more open to talking about politics.

Ford has spent a great deal of time trying to convince businesses and various government agencies to get involved in the climate change debate.

“You’ve spent a lotta time working with big business on trying to get their focus,” interviewer Lee Cowan said.

“Yes – businesses, NGOs, municipalities, state governments have all stepped into the gap,” Ford explained. “I’m now seeing that I think we’re coming close to being able to really commit the resources and energy to confronting the issue, because it’s taken up on the highest level of politics. It’s taken up on the streets by young people.”

Ford sees the so-called climate change crisis as a “bottom-line crisis.”

Prince Charles, Jeff Bezos, the Swedish truant, Harrison Ford and many others…people get elevated to some kind of dais of importance, and they start to think that by massaging & kneading our tax structures and regulatory frameworks, we can change the weather. And we better do it toot-sweet, in fact it may already be too late!

It isn’t knowledge that compels people to think so. It’s fame. Something to do with the way we’re wired.

But then Ford goes on to say,

“I think it’s come to the point where we gotta start talking politics,” Ford explained. “But we gotta talk about it in a positive way. We gotta regain the middle ground. We’re in these ideological enclaves. But the truth is in the middle. Progress is made in the middle.”

“And you think we can get back there somehow?” Cowan asked

“We damn well better,” the actor replied.

It may be the right opinion to have for the wrong reasons, but it’s still the right opinion. If we start talking politics again, we have these factions jockeying and fighting each other to “regain the middle ground.” You may say this isn’t right because all these different factions want the middle ground, not all of them deserve to have it, and so there is a potential here for some wrong to be done; I would agree. In fact this climate change hysteria is a perfect example of that.

But that’s much better than don’t-talk-politics. With that implied rule in effect, this “middle ground” goes to…well, wherever. It’s accidental. People start to say “I don’t want to audibly disagree with X, I have a living to make and it’s not worth the trouble to me.” When X is something silly and absurd. If you can get people prattling away about it in the coffee shops, it wins — pure chaos. Ford may not realize it, but his favorite cause has been benefiting from this already. He thinks more people would come around to his way of thinking if it were discussed with greater cogency and clarity? I’d like to see that put to a real test. I’d like to see the Socratic Method put to work on this thing.

How much carbon are we not-emitting, approximately, as a result of our plastic straw ban?

When we allocate resources to “fight climate change,” how exactly does that work? Where does it go? What kind of oversight have we established to make sure the Earth’s mean temperature is lowered by as much as it’s supposed to be lowered by the suspense date, and what enforcement mechanisms do we have in place to make sure the money gets paid back if this doesn’t happen? Many other questions.

So Harrison Ford might not realize exactly how he’s right, but he is right. When we don’t talk about politics, probably the worst thing that happens is we all forget how to talk about politics…even if, once the family reunion is over and we’re back on the Internet, we’re talking politics! With the don’t-talk-politics rule firmly in place and firmly enforced everywhere else, it is our tendency to do it very badly. That’s why there’s so much insulting and attacking. It’s ineptness. It’s the incompetence that comes from inexperience. You’ll notice a Pareto Rule, 80/20, where eighty percent of the toxicity comes from twenty percent of the (Internet) participants. The “How Dare You!” girl is a good example of this. People don’t know how to explain what exactly their plans entail, or what exactly it is they’re trying to do, how they’ve gone about validating their most important premises, so they start play-acting like there’s something wrong with the people they’re trying to convince who aren’t being convinced fast enough.

It is in that environment that the flawed catechism of “climate change” has managed to survive. I don’t think it would manage to survive a coherent dialogue involving scrutinizing questions. Look at how hard it works to avoid that. The only time it deploys even a cursory appearance of relying on salient facts, is when it bludgeons us from one of those “Get The Facts” websites — no dissent allowed. In fact it’s even worse: Those who push it are constantly working to ostracize any & all dissent, because they know their argument can’t withstand it. It is an argument that demands a monologue because it can only endure within a monologue.

Ford is wrong about this “middle ground” stuff. A concoction half-poisoned is poisoned. This is a very popular myth that we’ve come to accept naturally as a result of our public-school indoctrination: “Share your toys!” So people think if we take some of what this guy wants to do, some of what that guy wants to do, and blend it up with what everybody else wants to do then we’ll arrive at the “right” answer that will please everybody. It’s not a good fit for our times because so much of what people want to do consists of “Make it more and more expensive, for no reason at all, for those other guys to do whatever it is they need to do.” Sorry, but when your plan is simply to screw around with other people who are just minding their own business, you don’t need to be part of the compromise.

“I Hate Arrogant Men!”

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Don’t tell the democrats but they’re miscalculating again. Steyer and Bloomberg have figured out, or are listening to someone who’s figured out, that Trump represents a sea change, a hairpin-turn so to speak, and white straight male pricks who never admit to their mistakes and can’t be told anything are in vogue right now.

Now I’m up to 32 years as a server and/or software engineer, one or the other…I’ve spent the entire time around arrogant pricks, and occasionally have been one myself. I’ll let you in on a secret here. If you win as often as Donald Trump, you aren’t really that arrogant. “Pride goeth before a fall” is a real thing. You have to admit to your mistakes. To me it’s pretty obvious Trump must do this in private. There is a consciousness, an awareness, that such-and-such a move was a mistake and it requires a course correction. Look at his various dismissals. There are people who can’t come back, like ever…Bolton, Bannon, Sessions, Tillerson…those are mistakes. There are others who can come back anytime. Hicks came back, and the door is always open to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Not mistakes. So there is a process of evaluation going on here, resulting in thumbs-down at least as often as thumbs-up.

You have to have that humility in order to win more often than a coin toss. Keeping it hidden is an option…especially for a hotelier and casino owner, or any dedicated marketing professional. But you must have it. You have to learn as you go. You have to be able to answer that question “What do you know now that you didn’t know a year ago?” To do that, you have to be able to admit you were wrong about something.

The country still hates arrogant men, and probably should. Trump’s base only appreciates his style when it comes to watching liberals get humiliated. Oh yes, that’s great stuff. But whoever is out there following Trump as part of some sort of personality cult, worshiping him as a religious figure…that’s not typical, these people do not have the numbers to put him or keep him in the White House. The people who brought Trump electoral victory had to learn to accept his personality, which is more drag than lift.

And to bring them/us around, Trump had to generate positive results more consistently than a truly arrogant man would be able to bring.

The appearance of being an “arrogant man” is very often just that, an appearance lacking supporting substance. That’s because when it comes to men, this society we’ve built for ourselves tends to think things out in crude, binary form: You either admit to mistakes or you don’t, and your admission of mistakes must be public, and frequent. This is wrong. The hero worship that comes our way for our “intelligence” or “big brains” or whatever, is as wrong as this condemnation for being arrogant — very often, I notice, coming from the same people. Somewhere along the way I came to realize that people who commented on how intelligent I was, were merely noticing that I had some and was ready, willing and able to use it. Having and using intelligence is not evidence that you have any great abundance of it, it just means you have some. So that’s a mistake. Another mistake is in requiring some sort of “quota” of I-was-wrong confessions, and if you don’t see that many out of a person then he must be arrogant.

Nobody says that out loud. But it’s very popular, I see, to make snap-decisions about a person’s level of arrogance as if that premise held true. Not only does it not work, but with greater and greater technology and a cushier and cushier lifestyle for us all, it only becomes more errant, diverging further and further away from reality as technology brings us more comfort & convenience, and changes our priorities. The day-to-day problems that confront us are really not that demanding or complex. If you do have some intellect and you are willing to use it, and the problems do not change in any meaningful way, you should make fewer mistakes with the passage of time — even if this intellect you’re applying is only average. That’s the whole point to having intelligence. Unless the problem changes meaningfully, your mistakes should dissipate and diminish after awhile. A lot of people don’t get this. I’m still rather surprised at how many.

Good luck to Ban-it-all Bloomie and Tom Steyer with their “But I’m a jackass too” campaigns. This is going to be a lot of fun to watch this year.

Related: What TF is Wrong With Putting America First??

Attorney General

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

Does the Attorney General work for the President of the United States? Or is there supposed to be an independence preserved there, such that the mere appearance of linkage or coordination in their ambitions is cause for scandal?

AGThere is a clear answer to this, although it’s not written anywhere. When the POTUS is a Republican there is to be independence. Defiance is encouraged, definitely tattling should be happening, maybe even prosecutions. When a democrat is running things though, we go back to the direct-reporting structure. It’s okay for the Attorney General to openly refer to himself as the President’s “wing-man.”

It’s been like this ever since the Saturday Night Massacre. Republican Presidents don’t have an Attorney General, they are to be overseen by the AG and Congress should look at getting a new one — for themselves — if the one who’s in there seems to be showing too much alignment with the rest of the Executive Branch…of which he is a part. Presidents from the other party get to go ahead and have one, who works for them. And that’s perfectly fine.

There’s no fixing this.

We should abolish the office permanently. Replace it with a “Secretary of the Department of Justice,” since “Attorney General” is a stupid name. And put it right in the Constitution that this official works for the President just like the other cabinet officials do, so we can stop having this open question about it and close up this hole the democrats and the liberal press have been exploiting all this time.

Yes, I’m serious. No, I realize it would be impossible to get two-thirds of both chambers and 38 states to agree. But the idea should be put out there, or at least, attention should be called to this glaring double standard. There’s no way to reasonably defend it, it’s just become the default way of dealing with this thing and it’s not acceptable.

Why We’re So Polarized

Friday, February 14th, 2020

A thought about why we’re so polarized:

Well, what do we do to not be polarized? We put our children in school with each other, we recognize that our species is hardwired for tribalism, and we fight this by teaching the children how to play & work together, and share. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves we’re going to have to admit this doesn’t work very well because we bludgeon this into kids before they

1. Get diagnosed with phony learning disabilities, if they’re boys, for acting too much like boys;

2. Figure out as they mature whether they’re more interested in delayed-gratification pursuits, or whether they must have instant gratification;

3. Figure out as they mature what time means to them, whether it’s a resource to be applied against specific goals they have in mind, or whether it’s a problem to be burned away by idle pursuits so that they can make it to their coffins without ever being bored;

4. Figure out as they mature whether they’re more concerned about outcome or about process, about thoughts versus feelings, whether they do their best work in solitude or in a group;Polarized

5. Develop potentially contentious opinions about things and are subjected to the rigors involved in defending them rhetorically.

In short. Once they enter Kindergarten, we essentially browbeat them with what is nothing more or less than a predilection to get along with each other and then we hope that holds up as they go through the various challenges involved in figuring out who they really are. With some kids, this seems to work. There are twosomes, “[BFF] and I have been besties since second grade,” and there are foursomes…these are just the tips of the icebergs though. Most of the student body is not part of this.

Consider the perfect being who knows us all, Jesus Christ, invited over to have dinner with us and get along with us. We like to think about that all the time, don’t we? WWJD? Of course Jesus would get along with us; we’d all do our best to get along with Him; and He would know all the thoughts in our heads, which of us our conservatives, which are liberals, why we’re that way…see the very best in our intentions and still get along. Clearly that is the goal. That is what the rest of us are trying to do. Why do we fall short?

I would presume, if Jesus really was opposed to Trump’s border wall, that it was not His intention to let in millions of drunk drivers and rapists so more people would be hurt. I would presume, if He were in favor of raising the minimum wage, that it was not His intention to make it harder for low-skilled people to successfully apply for entry-level jobs to weaken the economy so more democrats could get elected. And I think liberals would presume, if Jesus showed up wearing a Make America Great Again hat, that He wasn’t a homophobe or a racist. So here is a case where we mortal people have to contend with a challenge that would not confront The Lamb of God. Not unless He disguised Himself maybe. We presume the worst of each other, because out here in adult-world, let’s be honest about this — we’re taught to do this. Trump supporters are racists. Liberals remind each other of that pretty constantly. I think they have a need to do this because so many of them have real-world experiences that suggest the opposite…so they say it very often.

So conservatives presume the worst about liberals because we’re really not that concerned about intentions, we’re more invested in ultimate outcome. Which is that people get hurt by illegal aliens. And that a higher minimum wage forces a local economy to languish, exacerbates inflation, and makes it easier to elect democrats. Whereas liberals presume the worst about conservatives because they keep providing instructions to each other to so presume.

But the real problem here is that teachers aren’t going to want to get involved in people’s opinions, or for that matter any of their grown-up concerns — “We don’t teach you what to think, we teach you how to think.” They’re only interested in breaking that when the time comes to teach kids what to think, in which case they teach them how to be liberals, and slander the conservatives as homophobes and racists. Apart from that, for the most part, teachers will teach the kids how to play together up until about fourth grade…how to work together up until about sixth grade…and then, come the challenges that go along with teetering on the brink of adulthood.

By the time the kid deals with real approach-approach conflict, and deals with challenges that have to do with giving up instant gratification for the delayed…this “Get along with each other” thing has been left in the dust for a good long time.

In adulthood, the real challenge — as most conservatives understand — is this: You have given up the instant gratification for the delayed. You gave up on partying in college so you could study and ultimately get yourself a good job. Now here’s someone who did it the other way…and furthermore, he’s voting for Bernie this year so he can get your taxes raised and then transfer his student debt to you.

He’s sitting at this dinner table. Go, sit down with him, and get along with him…the guy who never gave up anything for anything, hasn’t done squat, and wants to use the force of law to take your stuff. That is something Jesus would like to see you do.

And first grade kids aren’t learning how to do that, on the playground, playing tetherball or hopscotch or whatever it is they do these days. Instead, they’re learning how to get “triggered.”

Why are we polarized?

What we do to avoid being polarized, really doesn’t amount to very much of anything at all.

That Vindman Guy

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

I see the powers-that-be are trying to whip up some kind of scandal involving the employment prospects, or lack thereof, of that Vindman guy. The issue has quickly sunk into the arcane details, on both sides, with Trump-phobes grousing away about the impropriety of firing someone with “whistle blower protections” and “retaliation,” and Trump-apologists parsing the differences between firing vs. reassignment. Meanwhile, it seems both sides agree President Trump wasn’t/isn’t able to count on this guy to carry out the Trump agenda, which to me makes all the quibbling look rather daffy although I suppose it makes sense inside the beltway.Vindman

A scandal about Vindman would necessarily depend on this weird “job-as-property” viewpoint. The idea that once you have a job, it belongs to you, kind of like land. And if you ever lose it then that means someone committed some sort of crime against you. This is the weirdness that is America. Labor unions have indoctrinated us over the course of several generations that whether you’re legitimately fired or not, is up to some “for cause” verbiage in a rule book, not your boss. We’ve accepted it as normal that if the verbiage can be twisted and teased and interpreted the right way, then like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone you become the rightful sovereign, and possessor of that ultimate coveted prize: A regular paycheck provided by someone who really doesn’t want to give it to you.

We definitely need to have some kind of conversation about this.

See, I don’t think a job is property. I think a job is an obligation that hangs over your head. Like: I was planning to cut my lawn Saturday but I didn’t do it, so come Sunday morning I have a JOB I need to do; if I did what I was supposed to do the day before, I wouldn’t have a job. Like that. That’s what a job is, a liability not an asset, a pain in the ass. The fact that there’s money coming with it and this is what you use to pay your bills…well…yeah that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

But if my boss fires me from my job? We-ell…that’s up to him. If the job doesn’t need doing, or if there’s someone else who can do it faster or cheaper than I can, well…too bad so sad. My oncoming stint at the unemployment line, which may be long or short, is a tragedy for me and I guess that’s what distracted us from what a job really is, got us to look at jobs as assets/property in the first place, started us down this errant path all those years ago. The job is not my property. If the job really is property and someone owns the job, that would be my boss.

So here we have a case where the boss is Trump…and he can no longer count on this Vindman person to carry out his policies. That much is obvious, right? So okay. If you’re Vindman, you should expect to be gone.

There’s no scandal here.

Next problem.

You Don’t Care More Than We Do

Friday, February 7th, 2020

Nick Searcy explains to those who need the explaining. It’s a good explanation, although I’m inclined to think if the ones who needed it were capable of getting it, they wouldn’t need it in the first place.

There is no brand of ignorance on the planet more pervasive, more persistent, or more obfuscating than the ignorance liberals have about what motivates their opposition. There is apathy in the ignorance; they don’t care about what they don’t know. They’re proud of not knowing. They’re proud of not caring.

Three Glorious Days of Democrat Agony

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Schlichter

So, February 3, 4, and 5, 2020 were pretty much the most miserable three days in the history of the Democratic Party. I’m not laughing, really I’m not! You know how sometimes you have a bad day when nothing goes right? Well, these super-achievers managed to triple that streak…

He’s referring to Monday, when the Iowa caucuses crashed and burned; Tuesday, when President Trump gave a great State of the Union address; and yesterday, when the Senate formally voted to acquit him of both articles, and end the impeachment silliness once and for all. It’s definitely one for the time capsule. We’re exposed to a lot of “news,” just nonsense on a daily basis that’s supposed to change our course in some meaningful way, really upset the apple cart. And so often this turns out to be lots of build-up with no pay-off, the “news” doesn’t stay news — a week later nobody remembers it. These three events over the named three days, pass the test that’s failed by so many other things on our radar, they really will leave a mark on history and they’re examples of a much longer and broader arc of significant events that are part of our evolving history.

The democrat party is in a decline. The decline may end someday. Each one of the two major political parties have had epitaphs written about it over the years, which over the long term mean exactly nothing. So in another four years, maybe two, much of what’s broken about them now may have been fixed. Much, but not all. The democrats have lost something they’re never getting back again. They lost it awhile ago. They’ve been missing it since that November night in 2016, and that flesh wound has yet to heal.

Then February 5th came along and their impeachment collapsed into rubble. We all knew it was coming, but then … poof. Gone. You tried to take out the king, and you failed. How lame.

Yeah, history will record that you managed to impeach Donald Trump. History will also record that Donald Trump beat you donkeys like rented mules.

Advantage, Trump.

I don’t know if this decline is terminal. I doubt strongly that it is. But if the democrat party as we know it is to go away for good, I’ll not shed a tear. The reason why is ably captured by this video screed from New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

“First of all, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is an extraordinarily sacred award. We’re talking about putting someone on the same level as Rosa Parks, for example, in terms of their contributions to American progress,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Rush Limbaugh is a virulent racist.”

Limbaugh stunned his 20-million member audience Monday with the announcement he’s been diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” He told listeners that the disease will keep him off the air on certain days when he’ll receive treatment.

Trump responded by inviting the conservative icon to the State of the Union address, where first lady Melania Trump then presented the medal and placed the award on Limbaugh – who was visibly emotional.

Ocasio-Cortez was not moved.

“To do it in the middle of a State of the Union, and not even dignify it with its own ceremony, as it has, there is all sorts of norms that are being violated,” she said. “Not just for people’s humanity but also, it truly just cheapens the value of it.”

I don’t object to disagreeing with me about the value brought to our nation’s discourse by Rush Limbaugh. I can tolerate people disagreeing with me about that. And I’m not referring so much to the out-and-out fibbing about Limbaugh being a racist, when he isn’t one. That’s pretty nasty, but we have a lot of people running around fibbing about things, and we can put up with that. It’s the price we pay for having free speech in our society.

The thing we really can’t have, the thing that does more damage than even the deliberate lying, is this sunup-to-sundown, all-year-every-year, “Omigaw this cannot stand” state of being aggrieved…about…whatever. This it’s-always-something thing. We have all these people taking to social media or to the weekday or Sunday morning talk shows, with their various trifling complaints, demanding attention for the trifling complaints over & above what’s appropriate for trifling complaints. Ocasio-Cortez objects to the President of the United States awarding a medal that, in his place, she would not have awarded…well…that’s why we have an executive in this country, who goes around doing things that wouldn’t get done if we had to wait for everyone in our shores with a heartbeat to go along & not object. Sometimes that guy is going to do things that some people don’t like, and that’s okay. I survived Obama, you’ll survive Trump.

And the democrat party has declined to the point where they’ve become just that and little else. Just ankle-biters, emergency-cord-pullers missing the emergency. “Hold up there, I have a complaint.” Don’t buy that gas, don’t build that business, don’t hire that guy, don’t don’t don’t. I’m aggrieved. You have to stop everything and hear my complaint. Carbon emissions, objectifying women, not enough blacks on Seinfeld…whatevs…

This has caused enormous damage to us over the years because our country is made up of decent people. I think most Americans, when they hear someone has a beef about something, are initially inclined to freeze in our tracks and see what we can do to accommodate. That’s one of the things that has made us an exceptionally great country. But it’s also been our weakness, because over the years it’s given rise to these waves of ninnies who just take advantage of our good nature. They start bitching, not when they see a problem that could be solved, but when they want some attention — which is always. They’ve been using this good trait of ours to start up their never-finished never-done revolution. They’ve put us in a never-ending state of revolt.

The obvious solution is for us to sharply curtail this spirit of accommodation. To short-circuit our own benign attributes of consideration and sensitivity. To transform into a culture of jerks. I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope the coming transformation stops at a simple reversal-of-polarity in initial premises: “Let’s give your beef a fair opportunity to express and see what it is, but until you can convince me a change is necessary I shall presume there is not to be one.” As opposed to: “Let’s hear about your feelings and see what we can change to make you feel better.”

A cheerful, benevolent, sensitive, sensible, results-oriented, rational and reasonable GFYAOC attitude. Grant all these trifling complaints the fair hearing they’re due, but nothing more than that, and never, ever, ever the benefit of any doubt. They’re so often wrong, and injurious to their own goals. They’ve cost us so much. And they’ve given us a mighty pull off in the direction of becoming a nation of back-biting, complaining, won’t-shut-up “but mah feelings” never-happys. It is a bearing unfit for the dignity of our mighty ship of state. The time’s come to right the course, and if that means the demise of a major political party then so be it. Political parties are temporary. So are problems with achieving maturity, which is what this is. Immature people shouldn’t affect the decisions of mature people, it ought to be the other way around.

We’ve Been Called Much Worse

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Laugh it up, guys.

From the comments: “All three are angry hacks overflowing with venom.” I suppose it’s a picture of America, in a sense, or at least half of it. This is why we have something called “impeachment” which is, when you get right down to it, a confession of “I have no idea what to do about this problem I just don’t want this guy, or anyone chosen from out of those guys, solving it.”

Fewer words: “I/we can’t work with him/them.”

Well…good to know.

Laughing-boy in the middle there, apologized kinda sorta. He’d have been better off just saying nothing in my opinion.