Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Our Strategically Brilliant House Speaker

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Speaker Pelosi has lately been lauded from both sides of the aisle for her “brilliance” and I haven’t been able to see it. I’m not getting how you could call her plan brilliant when you can’t define what exactly it is, what it’s supposed to do…whether she has the authority under the Constitution to withhold articles of impeachment from the Senate. I mean, I get the gist of it — the Constitution doesn’t specifically grant her the power to unilaterally decide whether President Trump really is impeached or not, but it doesn’t specifically deny her that power either (although this last is a matter of opinion). But she’s going to withhold something the Senate wants, darn it, and they’ll have to do it her way regardless.

Except the Senate doesn’t want what she’s threatening not to give them. Don’t brilliant people get this part?

And at the end of it, she blinked, without gaining a single concession from the Senate Republicans.

I never understood why Pelosi delayed sending the articles to the Senate in the first place, so I can’t explain why she has changed her mind now. It seems obvious that the delay of several weeks has implied a loss of both momentum and perception of seriousness, to the extent that anyone ever took the Democrats’ partisan impeachment seriously.

I think it all has to do with fundraising. There is a segment of the population out there that salivates, and I mean in a positive way, when it sees cantankerous like-minded persons refusing to do things. Context doesn’t matter to them.

Could it really be that simple? I used to think not…

“Lefty Lingo”

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

I realized this is so brilliantly written I had to save it. Found it off a link at Instapundit…somewhere.

Many of the cringe-inducers I grew up with in the 1960s conveyed enthusiasm: “Way to be!,” “Outta sight!,” “Far out!,” and “Dig that!” Subsequent generations have also latched onto effusive expressions, such as “Awesome!” and “That’s sick!” But the glossary particular to today’s left is joylessly accusatory: “fat shaming,” “victim blaming,” or “rape culture”…

Manchester PrepFront and center in overused progressive vocabulary is, of course, “privilege.” From Lyndon Johnson onward, we’ve expressed concern for the “underprivileged.” Shining a spotlight instead on the “privileged” fosters resentment in people who feel shafted and an impotent guilt in people at whom the label is hurled. The word functions something like a rotten tomato without the mess. I myself have been decried in the Independent as “dripping with privilege,” while the writer Ariel Levy was portrayed in The New Republic as “swaddled in privilege.” This is a shape-shifting substance in which one can bathe or nestle.

Whereas a privilege can be acquired through merit…privilege, sans the article, is implicitly unearned and undeserved. The designation neatly dispossesses those so stigmatized of any credit for their achievements while discounting as immaterial those hurdles an individual with a perceived leg up might still have had to overcome. For privilege is a static state into which you are born, stained by original sin. Just as you can’t earn yourself into privilege, you can’t earn yourself out of it, either.

[I]t isn’t clear what an admission of privilege calls you to do, aside from cower. That tired injunction “Check your privilege” translates simply to “S.T.F.U.” — and it’s telling that “Shut the fuck up” is now a sufficiently commonplace imperative to have lodged in text-speak. [bold emphasis mine]

Well…the end may be near. It’s a little out of fashion by now to say “groovy” or “far out,” and I would think — hope — the sunset period would be a bit more strict on a stylish outburst that’s supposed to put whole races of people down and silence them, compared to another one that’s just supposed to express approval of something.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Memo For File CCXIV

Monday, December 30th, 2019

We have one full day until the twenties. Here is what I would like to see…

…and by the way, we can start with these “Actually People.” You know the ones. The ones who just read “one full day until the twenties” and just had to say, to someone, somewhere, “Actually the 2020’s don’t start until the end of December 31, 2020…” Yes, technically you are right, it is an ordinal and not a cardinal measurement. Now stick a cork in it, because I know you’re also “Actually”-ing about a whole bunch of other stuff…about which you are also technically right…making yourself into a raging, blistering pain in the ass to everybody. And likely missing the overall point. That is logical to assume, since you’re missing the point here. In all the ways that really matter, a decade starts when the digit changes. It’s got to do with a shared experience, not a measurement of something.

King of the Black PeopleSometime since Obama, whom I’m not entirely sure I can blame but my tincture of courtesy doubt borders on the negligible — racism that points in the right direction has become okay. This is not cool at all. This “fuck white people” thing has to be left behind, for the same reason that derogating or blaming black people has been left behind. “But I’m going the other way” is not a workable excuse. How did this come to be alright? Isn’t it terribly dangerous? These “you should be afraid of white people” people clearly don’t think so. I dunno, I guess their feeling is that white people, in addition to being mean, and bad, and wrong about everything, and skittish, and and and…must also be complacent. Whereas those darkies, if you say the wrong thing about them, well that would be a much worse problem…see my point? Racism isn’t an arrow or a weather vane, you can’t turn it around and point it in a correct direction. It doesn’t work like that. It smears everything. And we were supposed to have been done with it for good, a long time ago.

Closely related, stop using accusations of racism as a weapon. And when you’re proven wrong about something, stop it with this “I refuse to back down” stuff. Ah yes, we get it…you were wrong and you smeared somebody, so if you refuse to apologize you’re making the smeared-people look like non-people which is the point you wanted to make in the first place. Oh but words and signals mean “different things to different people”? How about, in the ’20’s, that means we assume benign intent. No more of the overly sensitive types making their problems into everybody else’s problem. Because in the teens, we have noticed these offended-people, more often than not, are products of someone’s imagination. Oh that is not to say they don’t exist. But we’ve had enough of this third-party grievance monger, this “I’m complaining on behalf of someone else who might conceivably be offended by X.” We’ve tried it on for size, given it a fair shake, it doesn’t make us better people. So let’s stop trying it.

As much as I enjoy watching Hollywood flail around trying to make up for its various #MeToo transgressions, hemorrhaging money and trying in vain to figure out how & why it’s hemorrhaging money…the time has come to leave this “Strong Woman Don’t Need No Man” thing in the dust. Pull the plug on the experiment. It’s alright, because the experiment has run its course. This wish of mine is somewhat idle, I don’t think it’s going to come to pass; Hollywood will continue to make movies about NeckToToeBlackCatsuit wearing, strong women who don’t need a man…and continue to lose money…for which the audiences will be blamed for being “fanboys.” I know that’s going to keep happening because Captain Marvel made truckloads of money. It’s the exception that proves the rule. Lady Ghostbusters was a failure, Tomb Raider was a failure, The Last Jedi was a failure…and I think the Marvel character was saved from financial doom because she was Strong Woman Don't Need No Manpositioned to be a necessary component to the Avengers saga. Is that a fair assessment? You had to watch her movie if you wanted to find out how Nick Fury lost his eye. From what I’ve seen across all the other decades, and this one, audiences will open their wallets and purses for a movie with a strong woman in it. They’ve done so, over and over again, throughout generations. It’s this “don’t need no man” thing. It’s a sign that the people who move the resources around to produce the movie, aren’t talking to the writers, who surely must know first hand: There’s no place to take this kind of character. Okay, so she doesn’t need a man. So what are her hopes, her dreams, her aspirations, her insecurities…? Oh no, can’t have insecurities. That would break a rule. So what you get then is a boring movie. Let’s make that a boring movie from an old, prior decade, naturally termed-out mercifully and well.

The same holds true for men, by the way. You can make a good prison movie with only men in it, even make it long, and financially successful…The Green Mile, The Great Escape, Shawshank Redemption…these are masterpieces. But even on the longest & laziest of weekend afternoons, are you going to watch more than one in a row? No you won’t. Men are more fun when they need women, and women are more fun when they need men. Sorry genderfluids, that’s just how it is.

Swampeachment is just stupid and useless, useless in addition to being stupid, stupid, useless, counterproductive, useless, and stupid. Is it okay to finally acknowledge the obvious yet? And “swampeachment” is the right word. It is the swamp protecting itself from being drained. It’s gotten embarrassing, by proxy, to have to obligatorily pretend it’s about anything else, about some not-quite-spelled-out “high crime” or “misdemeanor.” I’ll admit to just being mildly interested in seeing if Nancy will ever deliver those articles…or if she got drunk and lost them. It’s quite alright, #NeverTrump people, you can continue with your Trump Derangement Syndrome in other ways. But you don’t need this constitutional mechanism to feel more important than you deserve to feel, especially since, in the long run it doesn’t work for you. You have reached, and surpassed, the point where your efforts are helping Trump, the object of your invective…and people are bored from watching it…so what else is there to be said? New decade, new subject.

Now this big, sprawling, expensive, out-of-control nanny-state that defends itself with tooth and claw: I’d like to see that left in the ash bin of history as well. Just don’t know how much hope I should have for that. But history has already taught us, this is a dangerous thing. The big sprawling deep state defends itself, and partners up with our media to do so. In so doing, it manages to lend a patina of legitimacy to its own red herrings, fallacious reasoning, scapegoating. Also, I don’t like the overall effect. I don’t approve of this imagined, modern-age “right” to look around anywhere you care to look, and not see any reminders that someone else has subscribes to a different body of beliefs — and that is the overall effect, people start to think they do have such a right. This is incompatible with the continuance of any civilization imbued with a diverse culture, such as ours. We can’t continue to work this way. Also, it has been demonstrated repeatedly, from personal experience as well as in documented studies, that when the state provides for those who are indigent, the people under its governance will stop helping each other. The natural sentiment of charity starts to take a holiday, a sort of “I gave at the office” ethos takes shape. That is a bug and not a feature, we don’t want that.

SeattleWe have a serious problem with people turning to some body of authority, over-arching and distant, or nearby & local, to redress grievances as a consequence of feeling left out of things. Evidently it’s become a soft-crime to do anything at all that might make someone feel like they’re not a part of the whatever. Well…I guess I must be a second-class citizen then, because in addition to “feeling left out,” I’m at a complete loss in my attempts to understand any of it. Back when I was in school, I felt-left-out 365 days a year, from fifth or sixth grade or so, right up to graduation day and beyond. Even today, you’ll notice if you argue with liberals, the bulk of their argumentation consists of nothing more or less than to make you feel like you’re left out of something if you don’t agree with them. “People like you will be on the wrong side of history” and so forth — that’s how it’s done. So I have to wonder how many of these misguided school districts have zero-tolerance policies against anything that could be perceived as exclusionary against any person, group or class? That’s a terrible disservice being done to these kids. Without the prospect of perhaps being left out of something, what incentive is there to do…well, anything at all? What incentive is there to learn?

It’s always like this. On each and every single issue. There is a rule passed, be it hard & statutory or soft unwritten & merely cultural, that “protects” people from being excluded or “left behind.” And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction — people are made soft, sensitive and fragile. They are infantilized, and made idle as their hopes, dreams and aspirations are reduced to a mere nullity. I’m rather befuddled by the number of people who seem to see nothing wrong with it. I hope that’s just a “beltway” thing, and that all of us out here in the real world can see what these so-called “leaders” apparently can’t be made to understand. When we have candidates for president promising to eliminate jobs by the thousands, things have gone too far.

And finally, let’s look forward to a greater sense of respect for truth. One of the things that bothers me the most, that I’ve seen over the years, is is a quite earnest question, with nothing but good intentions behind it, from those who are just starting to figure out this “follow the news” stuff is a bit more complicated than they thought it was. I don’t wish to come off as callous, I do understand their predicament: Dad and Granddad just watched Walter Cronkite and believed everything he said, it should be just as easy today right? But I, you, this other guy, those people over there…we’ve all been snookered by “fake news.” So they figure out I have a blog — which means nothing, other than I have a computer and some opinions — and think I know something about how to properly consume news. Which one should I watch? What’s the new Oracle, the modern-age Cronkite?

It is this desire that makes all the trouble. When the fatty carcass is left undefended on the desert floor, the scavenger will appear, and if you’re ready to place unlimited trust in whoever claims to be this flawless purveyor of “news,” you’re going to get some shysters. They have appeared. They put out their nonsense, get caught at it, are compelled to apologize and recant…Jussieand all too often, refuse to do so. There wouldn’t be any point. They’re not being tested for their suitability as this Trusted and Constant North Star of Truth, all they’re required to do is continue to hold aloft this brand name, this label…so they do it. Who’s the modern-age, trusted Oracle? There isn’t one. There never was a Cronkite. You have to do your own thinking. You have to be prepared to be wrong. You must cope with uncertainties and doubts.

And yet, the liberals continue to fill the role of the scavenger feasting on the unprotected fatty carcass, exploiting these people who just want something that looks like a new Cronkite. Someone who’s ready to believe anything. And so in this new decade I’d like to see a widespread vigor, a responsible skepticism. A sense of “Oh sure that’s the labeling upon the packaging, but does the content match?” And a presumption that it doesn’t. What we’ve had up to & throughout the 2010’s, is the opposite, a presumption that all content must match the corresponding packaging, and it hasn’t served us well. Liberals are still out there with their cherry-picked statistics, their made-up statistics, their fallacious reasoning, their stories about how Super Bowl Sunday is the worst day for spousal abuse, and mass murderers are disproportionately white and what not…

This “I said it’s so, so it must be true” thing has to go. We’re still a maturing society, but we’ve done some maturing to get this far, and we should know better.

When the liberals go so far as to assert they have some kind of exclusive lock on truth just because they’re liberals, the proper response is something like “Go fuck yourself, your side believed Jussie.” It’s not at all out of bounds, because many still do. You knew that, right?

The Three Words

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Okay I’ll go ahead and reveal something about myself. It’s probably okay because what’s true about me is true of a lot of other people as well. A lot of people spend a lot of time and energy pretending it isn’t so, but it is.

It starts with the last time I was single. These days it’s a pretty common refrain: There was a relationship, which reached an ignition point, and I ended up rattling around in a little apartment by myself with very little furniture, lots of bills and a new child support payment. Also with some words from her ringing in my ears, to the effect that our problems were all mine, and she was entirely blameless. I knew this wasn’t completely true and it wasn’t completely false either. She had wanted a certain family life, and her fairy-tale princess wishes from childhood had crystallized into inflexible demands. We spent a lot of years figuring out these demands had no give to them, and neither did I, so we weren’t a match. Like I said, it’s a common refrain.

Who rejected who, is unimportant. What was important then, and is now, is that certain people don’t belong around certain other people, and when we forget about that it causes harm to others. Some of these others who are being harmed, are much more innocent than you or me. And I’m distressed to see it happening with seemingly greater frequency, as if the entire human race had spent thousands of years evolving in one cultural setting, and then was indelicately transplanted into a different one. In fact, I think that’s exactly it. In all the generations our species has seen, save for the most recent 2 or 3, there has been an unspoken understanding that you and I need each other — maybe not now, or today, or this month. But sooner or later we’re going to need sugar for a pie we’re making, or our horse and buggy will get stuck in a ditch, or our barn will be on fire and we’ll need lots of strong bodies with buckets in a big hurry. Technology has given us a world in which the need is not so pressing and not so inevitable. This has eroded our sense of purpose, and also our appreciation for each other.

This has all resulted in a narrative being written, and nursed & nurtured like a growing baby, by many — that goes something like this: Life is a movie, I’m the star, everyone I know is a supporting character. This has created two big problems for our interpersonal relationships. We’ve got people reciting this narrative to themselves, alienating those around them; and we’ve got people who have had their fill of this, refuse to be demoted to supporting characters — also, alienating those around them. It can be hard to tell them apart. But in all the months of introspection that followed, I realized I was in the second of those groups. There was a lot of this introspection since I refused to have any teevee in my new bachelor pad, and when my son wasn’t visiting me the hours were long and dull.

But I came to realize the people in the first group, to me, were “normal” because of my upbringing in a household of Scandinavians who pretended to be extroverts when we were really introverts. I’d been conditioned to accept conversations that outwardly appeared to be of interest to all in attendance, but in reality were of interest only to one, with all others feigning interest out of a sense of duty. Again, this is not unusual at all. I think it applies to a lot of us. It has become a requirement for working in an office environment, and I probably enjoyed greater success there than I deserved to have because of this upbringing. But I also got into programming in the first place because of my revulsion against this. If I’m honest about it, I have to admit it turned into a vocation with a paycheck attached because of good luck, and not any intention of mine. I think that’s pretty common too.

So I taught myself, in childhood, how to program computers because I figured out I really don’t like people enough to talk to them. Voting consistently against democrats came later, when I realized I don’t hate people enough to want them to suffer. That is also not unusual. I think if you were to question a lot of political conservatives as to why they are conservatives, a fair answer you’d get back a lot of the time would be “I just don’t hate people that much.” But that’s a bunny trail. The truly frightening question that confronted me now was: Given that I can get along with some people, but not all, can it be that the difference lies completely in their social strengths? Am I only making friends with just the friendliest of people? Just taking from what few relationships I have, and putting nothing back?

And we fellas have to ask that question a lot, because when couples have “friends,” most of them are her friends. That’s just how it works. This gets revealed when it’s time for the couple to split, and it leads to a sense of isolation most women will never know.

Here is what I did about it. Having spent a lifetime accepting it as an obligation to pretend things that bored me didn’t bore me; and that this led to a destructive insincerity about what truly captured my interests, and therefore who I was. And seeing how this exercise in self-denial ultimately hurt other people. The first step was to figure out if it was my destiny to always live alone. Maybe my initial feelings were right, the entire rest of the world was fascinated in stuff that held no interest for me at all. The problem with that idea was that I knew I wasn’t that special. There was nothing about my story that was truly unique. Some of the things that really irked me, and a lot, I could see were also annoying to others. It logically followed that some of the things that held my interests, might hold interest for others too. This didn’t have to have anything at all to do with romance or dating. The fact of the matter was I had never taken the time to make friends — at least, not in adulthood. I remembered having friends in childhood, in school, and making them and keeping them as friends had never been that big of a deal. Somehow, when I wasn’t monitoring the situation or paying attention to it, adulthood had thrown me a curve. I had been having adventures, but I hadn’t been sharing them with anyone.

Again, not a rarity. This is something I think happens to a lot of young people whose careers drag them around from city to city. It’s hard to make friendships last. Is that because your locale is changing, or because maybe you’re an asshole? At some point, we have to grow some balls and ask that question. And in those years of 20’s and 30’s, it’s a narcissistic time, so if we’re really honest about it we’ll find something we could improve.

Movie DatabaseIn my case I had to look at the interests. Maybe the time would come where I could feign interest in boring nonsense others find fascinating, but I could see I was at a tumultuous time in the months ahead. And I didn’t want to just make friends with people who had the patience to deal with me, because that wouldn’t be fair to them. So a question emerged: Where is the hard evidence that I have some interests, that aren’t interesting to just me? Not that merely capture the tolerance of myself and others; but the passion of myself and others as well, so we can find some common ground.

And that’s where I formed the movie-database. Not the collection of DVDs I found to be worth owning. Last I counted there were over 500 of those. Just the very few that I found to be so well done, that they were worth watching again and again. Movies, of all things, saved me from this dark place because I came to realize the movies I wanted to see again and again, other people wanted to see again and again as well. You might have noticed this yourself. It isn’t a quality-of-production thing. There are some movies out there that cost a damn fortune to make, and you can see everyone involved really sunk in their blood, sweat and tears making them…they stink. There are others that meet-the-mail, and yet you can tell the people who made them barely even knew what they were doing, had no idea what they had.

And so I made a list. It came to 41, or 43, somewhere around in there. They were not necessarily the funniest ones or the highest-grossing ones or the longest ones or the shortest ones. They had the best stories, the ones I found most captivating, that had the strongest structure to them. First time I saw these movies, with each scene I wanted to know more. There was no money in the kitty go to buying them, but that was okay because I already had all but a handful of these. Yes, she got the kid and the dining room table and some other furniture I was supposed to get before there was some kind of “misunderstanding” — but she had no interest in the movies.

This is where I did something just a little off. I put the movies together and I analyzed them. Chapter by chapter, scene by scene, line by line. Minute by minute. Where does the villain get introduced? Where do we find out what it is he’s trying to do? Where does the hero meet up with his colorful contact, or quirky sidekick? How long is the boat chase? What grisly death awaits the henchmen? And why is it that I find this captivating? Why does everyone else? How are the writer and the director burning off this minute, and this second, of the audience’s time? How did they come to the conclusion this is worthwhile? Why does the audience agree?

And what makes this other movie, that seems to check all the right boxes…fall short? Why do we all seem to think it stinks, even though none of us can say why? That last one still perplexes me to this day. Some of these use the audience’s time judiciously and take pains not to bore anybody. They’re still failures. It’s my sixth sense that tells me so, and everyone else agrees. Can’t explain it.

Now this is all a very silly story that isn’t worth your time, except for one thing. It worked as well as it possibly could have worked. I’m almost embarrassed to admit how short this bachelorhood stint was. I went on dates, I walked away from the women who weren’t a good fit for me, and very soon I met the one who was. She’s in the bedroom now, doing the loud snoring she claims I’m doing, and in about half an hour she’ll wake up and I’ll bring her coffee. So that’s the takeaway: If you’re young, and you’ve had to move around from city to city, and your relationships haven’t lasted, it could be you’re just not as good at them as you think. And maybe you’d be well served to get acquainted with yourself before meeting others. You might know less about yourself than you think you know.

As far as my last-bachelorhood exercise, it’s had an unfortunate side effect.

I have very little patience for un-creative script-writing. Very, very little. I see it as a rip-off, even if I didn’t actually pay to watch the movie. A man and a woman getting into an argument about whether she’s coming with him or not, evinces a profane outburst from me. “I’m getting way too old for this shit” makes my eye twitch. Don’t even get me started on a character saying to another character, “You’ve got to stop blaming yourself.”

Ah…you people are being paid large amounts of money to be creative. Stop stealing from us!

Fast forward to today, and we’re getting ready to start a new decade. The Pipi Longstockings of Climate Doom has been named Time’s Person of the Year. Aquaman shamed Star Lord for using a water bottle, got an apology out of him, then apologized himself. The soccer malcontent who’s full of expletives to direct at President Trump, has been given a sports person of the year award by Sports Illustrated…which she accepted, right before pointing her bile-nozzle at SI and scolding them. “Taking them to task” I think is what it’s called; I prefer to think of it as behaving like a perfect asshole. Joe Biden is offended he got asked a question. Nancy Pelosi is offended she got asked a question.

Is it my imagination? Maybe it’s my hyper-sensitivity against cookie-cutter scripting. Or maybe my patterns of revulsion that are unique to just myself…or not?

It seems lately that if I were to go over all the messages deemed worthy by one person to fling at another person, in view of lots of others, and obliterate from that compendium the following three:

• You’re a superlative! Here’s an award, or thing!
• I’m so sorry (although I fully intend to do it again)
• How DARE YOU!

…we would be left with virtual radio-silence. Is that accurate? Just static…snow…an occasional democrat babbling away with insincere balderdash about “no one is above the law,” a few dying gasps of that “OK Boomer” fad, followed by more static.

I’ve quite had my fill of it. The corporations apologizing to these malcontents for non-offenses, the HOW-DARE-YOU, the public servants swiveling the spotlight away from themselves, onto the voters and interviewers asking them perfectly reasonable questions. As an American, I don’t find it at all acceptable. When you’re elected to something, or wanting to be elected to something, you work for us.

It’s a new decade coming up real, real soon now.

I’m glad the HOW DARE YOU girl was made Person of the Year. That would imply “How Dare You” is the phrase of the year…which, in turn, would imply maybe we can leave this one in the ash bin of history?

Let’s make the 2020’s the decade of SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP. No really. Let’s do it. This time, I’m getting the impression I’m not marching around in the tall grass by myself. I think a lot of other people would find that a welcome change. And even if they didn’t…the time is right for it. This would be healthy. That I can promise. Suck it up buttercup!

Do this thing. Make it happen. Do it for me, and I’ll consider it a personal favor.

It’s my “Fetch.”

Quid Pro Quo

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

Impeachment may or may not go forward from here, but this past week has not been a good one for the democrats who want it. It’s been bad enough for them, they would be well-served to go back and look for points-of-failure.

I suggest this hackneyed phrase. Not so much the words themselves, as their showmaster’s handling of it all.

At the beginning of this month, things really caught fire when word got out that this Gordon Sondland person confirmed there was a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The democrats then wanted to know: What’s up with all these Republicans telling everyone there wasn’t one? Our side wins, right? We just caught those guys in a fib.

Yeah…I’ll get to that.

A little while later, for some reason, the democrats began a campaign-within-the-campaign to dump “quid pro quo” and change to “bribery.” This is a point of failure. There are limits to what “focus groups” should be affecting, there are times when they should or should not so affect. With the wisdom of hindsight, we can see the democrats would have been better off preserving inertia and staying the course. The invasive surgery cost them more than they gained here. The spotlight of the nation was already on them, and to the nation as a whole, the switch looked weird. This is why support for impeachment, particularly among independents, eroded in the days following. It’s all quite logical: If the defendant is so clearly guilty, a change in the verbiage describing his so-obvious crimes would be neither necessary nor desirable.

Add to that, the glee over the “confirmation of quid pro quo” was premature. Sondland’s knowledge that there was quid pro quo, was one of these group-consensus things, the “everybody knows” things we all saw in middle- and high-school. Everybody knows this guy’s cool and that other guy is a total dweeb. Everybody knows Hillary is gonna kick Trump’s behind, everybody knows the world is flat…I myself have been studying this awhile, for a very long time, since I’m among the very last ones in the room to know there’s any consensus forming at all, let alone what it is. I have yet to crack that nut. But I can tell you, after years of study, that it’s mostly guesswork. People make their calculations, then lunge for the next rung on the ladder of social status with some proclamation of “I speak for everyone here” — and occasionally get embarrassed. Some people get very good at this, and never get embarrassed. They stand an excellent chance of becoming “leaders” without actually knowing much of anything.

I could write a whole book on it. Someday maybe I will. For now my intent is merely to address the question of whether people should be able to “testify” about this, anywhere, and my answer is not in the affirmative. It’s not only no, it sails well past Aw Hell No, headlong into the territory of: Are You Nuts?? That would be like testifying this idea is a good one or that idea is a bad one…pineapple does or doesn’t belong on a pizza…the second husband on Bewitched was better than the first. Hey we all know it. Moore is clearly a better James Bond than Connery. Everybody knows.

But granting the absurd idea that it’s okay to testify about these feelings as if they’re facts. To these “lying” Republicans who said repeatedly “there was no quid pro quo.” They have to do a one-eighty now, right? Maybe even wear stripes and make license plates because they perjured themselves. Right?

Well now. Ukraine got the money. No quid.

Supposedly there was going to be an investigation, in the Ukraine, into these shenanigans with Joe Biden’s son. To the best of my understanding, there isn’t one. No quo.

So with no quid, and no quo, if you’re asked “Was there a quid pro quo?” what would the truthful answer be? There’s only one.

And we come now to another point of failure democrats would do well to inspect. I know they think it makes them look like shrewd devotees of logic and rational thinking for them to take the position of, Schrödinger’s cat can’t be both alive and dead so someone is clearly lying to us and we must investigate. And to people who are only skimming over this thing lightly, it likely does look that way…or did look that way. But the inconvenient question that arises is this. Should foreign aid be tied to an attempt to influence the receiving country’s behavior? If we accept that that’s not supposed to happen, it’s easy to make this whole thing look wrong, maybe even slimy, maybe even worthy of impeachment. But then — why do it at all? We spend billions of dollars on foreign aid so it’s not an insignificant question.

What if the “quo” is something the democrats want, hmmm? Country X may receive a billion dollars in foreign aid if, and only if, it agrees to cut carbon emissions by 25% by year 2025. Would that be impeachable?

Why are we giving money to countries if we can’t put conditions on it? Isn’t that the whole point?

If we accept that conditions are to be attached, we must necessarily accept that someone is to take on the job of negotiating. What sort of function would that be, now: legislative, or executive? Who’s in charge of the executive branch?

The democrats think they found a contradiction here. There wasn’t a quid pro quo, and yet there was one. You see a lot of apparent contradictions that don’t really exist as contradictions, when you fail to understand the basics. A three dimensional space appears to present contradictions to someone who can only comprehend two dimensions. A map seems to present contradictions to a man who doesn’t know how to read it. The kitty thinks the laser dot is a solid material thing he can catch.

The liberal democrats can push their heads-or-tails thing if they want, but in doing so they look like they can’t distinguish intent from outcome. That, you’ll recall, is their reputation. We here in California, struggling under their tutelage with our state chronically on fire and chronically without power, know full well that they deserve to have this rep. Unable to, or unwilling to, discern intent from ultimate effect.

These Last Five

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

“If God did not exist,” Voltaire famously said, “it would be necessary to invent Him.” The same could be said of these last five marked occasions in our calendar year. They have disparate histories and they weren’t planned that way, but it is good for our spiritual health that they landed that way, juxtaposed the way they are.

It’s not like you need an extra day off work by the time Labor Day rolls around. That unstructured, flabby, weak middle of the year, where you’ve already taken time off to go camping with your kids, go to the beach, maybe jockey with your co-workers for the best dates to put on the calendar and punch out — all those days and weeks blend together. It’s good for fun and it’s good for catching some rays, enjoying the active outdoor lifestyle, but it’s not good for maintaining an awareness of the passage of time. We all become acutely aware of this when it’s over, I think. Depending on where you live, you need to mark a date on or about where you can enjoy it for the last time. And the kids go back to school, and life, thank goodness, starts to return to “normal.” But we have to return to our thoughts about obligations. This is a good time to think about life. What is your work-life balance. Are you pushing it too hard, or not hard enough. What is your purpose? How are you contributing?

On Halloween we get to celebrate childhood, even if our children are grown. There’s something magical about all these little kids getting together, playing dress-up, and going on their adventures. We get to participate in their fantasies. Kids are precious. They’re our window into the future. Some of us get to have a little tiny bit of influence into a future that is distant, that we won’t be able to see. And we also are inspired by all the dying vegetation to think about our own mortality. That’s important. Two to three months prior, reading a book in that beach chair and working on the tan, we don’t want to think about that. But eventually it will become necessary. Better to worry about putting one’s affairs in order early rather than late. This is a bit unpleasant, but it’s sobering, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good that this comes up just a little after Labor Day. It’s a one-two punch that reminds us life, after all, is not a beach. We must enjoy what we can, while we’re here.

ThanksgivingAnd then there is Thanksgiving. This, liberals, is where we think about your favorite thing: We didn’t build it by ourselves, we had help. Others sacrificed and worked for us, and we had good luck…but that’s not an occasion to clamor for higher taxes and more regulation, that’s the occasion where we give thanks to God. And — this is after Halloween, remember — we place a premium value on the limited amount of time we get to spend together. That’s why we travel to go dine with relatives. The dinner “table” is where community was born. That’s why we do it that way. This Friendsgiving stuff is for the birds. Oh yes, for some there is no alternative to it; that’s all fine and good I suppose. But choosing friends over family brings on all sorts of messy questions. Are you choosing your friends, perhaps, because you haven’t known them as long? Have you got what it takes to maintain a relationship over a long period of time? Are those friends still going to be around in ten or twenty years, like family? If you haven’t got what it takes, you can learn anytime. If you have grudges, or someone else has them against you, as long as you’re both here there is the chance to cure it all and start again. That’s a blessing. And there are so many others.

There is a purposeful sequence to this. FIRST be thankful for what you have; THEN, think about giving, and receiving. It’s better to give than to get, as the old saying goes. But no, Christmas is not about material things. And it isn’t about charity, quite so much as celebrating that we’re all in this together. It’s the birthday of Jesus Christ who laid down His life for our sins, and we all have sinned. All of us, even those who don’t believe in Him, have sinned, and are in this. And everyone is struggling with something so try not to be a dick. Find out what you can do to help, in ways large and small. And then help.

After Christmas, comes the New Year. Now look forward, think about the year just closed out, what happened that you didn’t like, that you could have avoided, that you weren’t able to avoid. What life-changing events descended upon you, and how you are going to cope with them. What can you do to make things go better. And drink a toast to those who met their end, to absent friends. By this time, the days are short and so, once again, we celebrate the time we have together. With this fifth and final one, we look forward with open hearts and grateful minds to a future that challenges us to do our best, and gifts us with boundless opportunities, laced with just enough fear and foreboding to put us on alert, so that we value what we have and appreciate life for what it is, to the best that we are able.

And that is why you don’t play Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

“Participation Trophy” Crisis

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

“Impeachment” circusDark FateCalifornia taxing/regulating good honest people out of the state“woke” Tomb RaiderGillettebullet train…the pigtail climate change bratNikethe eleven thousand “scientists”MuellerDick’sObamaCaredemocrat candidates for President, including Ban-Them-All BloomieCommon CorePG&E’s power gridblaming the wildfires on “climate change”

It occurs to me that out of all the sources of misery we experience lately, there is a pattern of surprise, of lots of build-up before a payoff that falls short, and then a frenzy of scapegoating afterward. And this is all done by creative persons and creative groups who didn’t expect the disappointment, in fact who apparently hadn’t even factored in failure as a possibility. They weren’t particularly stupid or incompetent — they just never seriously considered that their delivery could bomb. That they’d ever be sent back to the drawing board. That there’d ever be a moment of judging or assessment at all. Their attitude seems to be “I worked really hard on this, so, ya know…uh, here. Now where’s my bonus?”

Participation TrophyIf it doesn’t work, they’re not the problem and their efforts are not the problem. The results were bad because you expected too much, or didn’t forget the right things. Devin Nunes summarized the circus, and in so doing provided a convenient snapshot-sample:

In the blink of an eye, we’re asked to simply:

• forget about Democrats on this committee falsely claiming they had “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between President Trump and the Russians;
• forget about them reading fabrications of Trump-Russia collusion from the Steele dossier into the congressional record;
• forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials;
• forget about them leaking a false story to CNN, while he was still testifying to our committee, claiming Donald Trump Jr. had colluded with Wikileaks;
• and forget about countless other deceptions, large and small, that make them the last people on earth with the credibility to hurl more preposterous accusations at their political opponents.

They can’t, or won’t, discuss any of this. They may not know how. Too many decades of “Stop arguing, there’s cheesecake” or “No politics allowed in this bar” have created generations of people who can’t present a coherent assertion, rebuttal or defense, so they lunge for these “ironic” brush-offs like “okay, boomer”. I wonder what it’s like to go through life this way, with this Last Jedi no-criticism mentality.

My observation has to do with how, and why, so many things that shouldn’t suck, do, and lately are doing it more often and harder. We are reaping the harvest of this steady procession of “participation trophy” people. It’s a bumper crop. It’s hard to notice, in politics, because we all know this is what politicians do. On both sides. They sit like vultures, and when something good happens they hog all the credit, if anything bad happens they blame their predecessors, or the opposition. And so that camouflages this other thing — which is recent. Both sides aren’t doing it quite the same way. Your idiot liberal nephew at Thanksgiving will put emphasis on the “both sides do it” thing, and xhe‘s not completely wrong. But it is also true that to succeed in life, you have to do a lot of failing, and it’s also true that in our political system there’s one side that is dedicated to avoiding any acknowledgment of that. They’re motivated by fear of failure, and refusal to acknowledge failure. They always have been. And they’ve always reached out to potential constituents, who share this fear of failure, and this drive to control all narratives so that failure never has to be acknowledged, or if it must be, the blame has to go somewhere else. This has always been harmful to the rest of us. But it’s getting worse.

They stick us with something — it founders — and then they gaslight us, tell us there’s something wrong with us if we don’t look past all the glaring deficits. Or they blame Republicans…yeah that’s right, for freakin’ Chicago.

It’s gonna get worse before it gets better…

Happy Fifteenth Birthday

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Still at it, although slowing way down last year or so. Dashboard says we’re up to 8,401 posts, 26,936 comments from 444 user accounts.

Fake Oppression For the Rest of Us

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Oppression — or more accurately, anything that could plausibly be presented under that enticing moniker — is more an asset than a liability, and it is in greater demand than its supply. Jussie Smollett proved that. He had to hire people to assault him so he could play victim.

“Global warming” actually is the same thing as “climate change”; it is the Jussie Smollett game for over-privileged, straight, white, guilty-feeling liberal people. Women can play like they can’t get dates because too many men are intimidated by strong, smart, self-assertive women; blacks can carry on like they’re owed reparations because they’re descended from slaves, which they may or may not be. Gays can pretend they’re still fighting for the right to marry, even though they’ve been over & done with that for awhile; they have the option of appealing to a broader audience capable of noticing this, by transforming the fight into transgender issues.

For everybody else, there is the climate change boogeyman. The fake-oppression for people who are having a tougher time than anybody else faking their oppression.

Veterans Day 2019

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Happy Birthday Marine Corps 2019

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

The Iconics

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

I don’t know about this Colonel Vindman guy. I have noticed online that discussions about anything connected to him, are pretty short: Someone says “war hero” and then there are gasps of righteous indignation against anybody who would dare question this or that…

And this is something I’ve seen before. Every now and then The Left will trot out someone who says something The Left wants said. And if the person was in the right place at the right time, and maybe holds some position that would run contrary to the ugliest stereotypes about The Left, then he or she becomes a hero. From the moment we first learn their names, they’re elevated by their democrat-party handlers to iconic status. We aren’t allowed to question what they do or say. Anyone with a heartbeat who so much as suggests anything short of glowingly positive, faces an onslaught of Internet mockery and derision.

One of them, back in the day, was lionized by a prestigious columnist as holding “absolute moral authority.”

And I have come to a conclusion about them: I don’t trust them. No actually it’s worse than that: They tell me something is so, I immediately disbelieve it. I have doubts if they say water is wet.

It’s not an anti-democrat-party thing. Okay so it is, but only partly. Mostly it’s based on the past track record. These megastars don’t tell the truth very often, and when they do, after all the chips are down you come to find it’s only a half-truth. Sure there are teeming throngs of Internet denizens ready to circle wagons around them, and that’s important because the Internet is fairly reliable as a tell-tale about where the national discourse is, and where it’s going. But it suffers from a horrible reputation when it comes to figuring out what is & isn’t true, and it deserves that horrible reputation. With me, The Iconics have a less than desirable reputation as well. I’d sooner trust a salt-lick canoe.

So say what you want about me. No, I don’t think your Autistic Swedish brat can see carbon dioxide in the air. The Iconics, and their unscrupulous handlers, bore me.

Thinking Like a Grown-Up

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

In my third-of-a-century arguing with liberals on the Internet, I have occasionally used the phrase “think(ing) like a grown-up” and I’m sure it comes off looking like I’m hurling an insult. Some of those on the receiving end have come back and shown their understanding of logical fallacies, by accusing me of an “ad hom(inem) attack,” which is an elaborate way of demonstrating they’ve missed the point on multiple levels. Since I’m not completely socially inept and stupid, I do reserve use of this phrase for situations where I don’t care about the ensuing person-to-person relationship too much, but that’s different from an actual insult. As an insult, it wouldn’t work very well. We all start out life forming opinions like children, because we start forming them as children. But that doesn’t mean, in adulthood, we should still be doing it the same way.

Persons who think it is uncalled-for need to reconsider their view. We do live in an age in which people tend to be very proud of the conclusions they reach, but not proud at all of the way they got to them. And so they want to talk to excess of the former but not inspect the latter. They cause strife and contention, and then they blame others. But it is true that, in order for this to be a useful observation, I should take more & better responsibility for my definitions. What do I mean by this?

1. First and foremost, you have to release “it makes me feel bad” from its anchoring at center-stage. There are other things to consider. Respect reality. It doesn’t care about your feelings.

2. When you argue with people, do your arguing to discover & disseminate truth. Recognize you can “win” an argument, and be wrong. It logically follows that you can lose, and be right.

3. Use active voice. Word selection and sentence composition influence thinking. “Don’t leave your car unlocked, it will get broken into” encourages desultory thinking, obliterating the subject of the sentence, the vagrant who would be breaking into the car. If something is to be done, someone is doing it, and the root of the problem being discussed is there.

Your Opinion4. Deal with specifics in your critiques. “Your response is full of logical fallacies” is not specific. It conveys your own disapproval, but nothing else, no justification for dismissal. You may discover, if you go looking for a specific objection, that when all’s said & done you don’t really have one.

5. Recognize cause and effect. This must necessarily mean distinguishing intent from ultimate outcome. “Straw man! I never said to throw the baby over the cliff, I just said to wheel the carriage up to the brink, and then give it a mighty shove.” There are other metaphors we could use. “I never said to blow up the truck, I just said to check the gas level with this cigarette lighter.” “I never said to eliminate jobs by making it hard to hire people, I just said to put the employer on the hook for all sorts of unfunded new expenses.” Your own ignorance of what-causes-what shouldn’t excuse you from the deleterious effects of the bad policies you support. Not unless hurting people is what we’re trying to do.

6. Think about the “lurker variable” when noticing correlations. If two changes seem to be connected with each other, there are four possibilities: A causes B; B causes A; there is an unseen C causing both B and A; or, it could be a coincidence. Four is a lot, so picking out just one of the four as “proof” of your thesis, without something to eliminate one or all of the other three logically, is child-like thinking.

7. Respect your enemies’ successes, talents and skills, and be careful about condemning others who do this. It is one of the thresholds of adult thinking. I don’t agree with Barack Obama on very much of anything, but I can respect His many talents. A general leading a charge against a resourceful and determined adversary, is more likely to prevail if he can appreciate the strengths of the other side even as he tries to make the most of their weaknesses.

8. You don’t get to play the “If this doesn’t convince you nothing ever will” card, if you haven’t yet brought a compelling “this.” People who apply this note of resignation, to terminate the discussion when they haven’t yet made their case, are arguing like children and almost certainly doing their thinking like children.

9. Since the argument is supposed to be about the true nature of things & what to do about it, not a duel to show who’s wonderful & who sucks — it doesn’t do achieve anything constructive to get lost in “Trivial Pursuit” games and show your opponent doesn’t know something. Even if the nugget of trivia he doesn’t know is strongly related to the topic, there’s a good chance he could still be supporting the right answer and you could be supporting the wrong one. So when the nugget is only weakly related this becomes even more of a likelihood. There’s nothing disgraceful about ignorance in & of itself. We’re all born ignorant.

10. In the same way it doesn’t ensure victory showing your opponent doesn’t know how many angels fit on the head of a pin, it also doesn’t ensure victory to highlight your own intransigence. It’s a common game on the Internet: “Nothing you can say will ever change my mind!” This actually works backwards. It shows your position is embraced by at least one person, and likely others, who can’t be told anything and thus are likely uninformed.

11. Recognize when & where your current problems developed from your past errors. If you want to go through life as a smug egotist, that’s okay, you don’t have to admit this to anyone. But it is necessary to at least acknowledge it for yourself, if you want to be credited with greater wisdom at, say, age 35 compared to what you had at age 25, because that’s what it takes to get it done. Without the ability to try things, fail at them, and recognize where you went wrong so you can improve, you don’t learn things from one year to the next. Part of thinking like an adult is anticipating how well your thinking is going to function for you, when you’re an older adult, and nobody wants to be an old fool.

12. Self-restrain. A lot of people rankle at the slippery-slope rebuttal, protesting “I don’t want to do this, I just want to do that.” They want to be given credit for stopping at some point. So, self-stop. If your argument is that a speed limit should be raised from 25 to 35, you should be the first to reckon with the consequences of raising it to 45 or 55. If you want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, you should be able to say why we’re not raising it to $30 — and why we won’t. Why should the line be drawn there? What’s to stop it from being moved?

It could be truthfully said that many, and perhaps all, of the above twelve have to do with preferring light over darkness; could be distilled into a simple “don’t conceal/obfuscate.” It really comes down to that. “I’ve decided this and that’s final” has become a popular structuring of the most passionate (Internet) arguments, in no small part because, as I said above, people are proud of the conclusions they reached but not proud of how they came to them. If that’s a problem, we would all do well to attack it directly, because as a problem it’s been getting bigger and bigger, for quite awhile now.

“Big Mother”

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

It’s been quite a week. I can’t spare a sufficient block of time to get it all captured, but it has not been lost on me that all of the significant events have to do with a socially accepted set of observations going in one direction, while the truth lies in the opposite direction. We as human beings can do this. We possess an ability, unique within the animal kingdom, to lie to ourselves. I did manage to make a list. It isn’t short. It makes me wonder if we’re becoming so estranged from truth and so anesthetized to even the most blatant attempts to deceive us, we may be losing the whole distinction between truth and falsehood.

1. Mitt Romney was embarrassed by the exposure of his nom de plume, “Pierre Delecto.”

2. ABC News got busted for airing phony war footage.

3. Greta Thunberg, as myself and others have observed before, is not in any position to be commended for giving a wonderful speech, or even to give the wonderful speech in the first place. She’s a child with learning disabilities, and people who recognize her as some source of wisdom or good decision do a disservice to their own reputations. If she’s to be given extra laudatory praise for her Autism-spectrum diagnosis, then she can be criticized for that as well. That’s why it’s a betrayal of trust to be exposing her to this level of discourse. Furthermore, singling out predominantly-white societies and nations for “how dare you” climate-criticism while turning a blind eye to India and China, is racist.

4. Elijah Cummings was subject to a bunch of high-profile hagiography as some kind of big swaggering hero who did all sorts of things to help the less fortunate…and a whole bunch of suddenly-indignant people in all sorts of places, were unable to name those things. Cummings, you’ll recall, was lately the subject of a spat with President Trump over the ramshackle state of his own home district, and seemed to be just fine with large numbers of his own constituents being forced to live with rats.

5. Elizabeth Warren has been working extra hard to get herself established as some kind of a victim, which has led to a pattern involving her getting busted for falsehoods over and over again — since the truth is she’s been quite privileged. And I notice she never backs down after she gets busted. Once it’s definitively established the facts are not on her side, she plays the “I’m still going to win the argument” game.

6. Speaking of democrats running for President. All of these promises they’re making, which they aren’t going to be able to keep anyway, would cost big money. I’m talking play-weird-games-just-to-understand-the-magnitude money. “If I spent such-and-such dollars every minute since the assassination of Julius Caesar” type money. We’re supposed to consider them over Republicans because the Republicans aren’t minding the store on the public debt issue…which has some truth to it. The case is that their tax cuts “cost” money, which is at best a strange way of looking at it, and at worst an out-and-out falsehood. But let’s accept it as truth for sake of argument. If democrats are the answer, what’s up with this “Christmas all 365 days” thing? You have to do so much pretending and so much self-contradiction to consider supporting them. And yet here they are. A major political party.

7. PG&E is pulling the plug on nearly a million ratepayers this weekend…which must translate to millions of people with heartbeats, or more, struggling to figure out how to cope without power. That’s because there’s a lot of dry brush, we just finished up with a hot summer, and there’s wind. There is an established cause-and-effect between PG&E’s equipment and some deadly wildfires we’ve been having, so that’s all on the up-and-up…but…what about all the unasked questions? We have a wind event, then ten days or so without power. What’s to be said of other places with dry hot summers, lots of dead brush, and when there’s a “wind event” — nothing. The power keeps flowing. There are no wildfires. People don’t have to throw out freezers full of meat, kids can keep going to school. We don’t have PG&E, we have SMUD. So, there’s high wind for us, too, this weekend…we get to have power. One doesn’t automatically flow into the other. I mean, if I were a PG&E ratepayer I’d be getting ticked that the most obvious questions don’t seem to be getting much inspection.

8. Politicians and their mansions. A lot of the ink spilled on this is pure-jealousy-stuff, not having much to do with logic and common sense apart from wondering pointedly how our representatives can effectively represent the rest of the nation. The real cause for wonder that doesn’t receive much wondering, though, is the congressperson whose real-livelihood is under a big fat question mark. We don’t actually pay these people mansion-money. So people may get irked over Darrel Issa’s entrepreneurial success, or Jay Rockefeller’s inheritance, but at least we have a rough idea of what’s going on there. With someone like Maxine Waters, we don’t. We only know something’s amiss. We don’t know what.

9. The hate crime hoaxes are pretty much out of control. The Jussie Smollett case was only the most famous example, although that’s a good one, because on hearing it for the very first time anyone with some common sense could see things weren’t fitting into place there. Nevertheless, we were obliged to “believe” it. And all the others. The running-tally of true-ones versus false-ones, in hindsight, seems to be kinda…lopsided. The ones that are blasted all over the place before anyone knows what they are, and thus cannot be cherry-picked by anyone with an agenda, almost always turn out to be hoaxes.

10. Fake families at the border. This one is particularly sultry and seductive. We have a great many fellow citizens among us who, it would appear, simply cannot process the thought that the content of a package may be different from its labeling. MigrantsAndTheirChildren!! It flows out of their mouth like one word. Well…how do you know they’re their children?

My list doesn’t stop there. California’s gas tax for fixing the roads…the bullet train…our wildfires being caused by “global” warming…Trump investigating Joe Biden as a “political rival“…the so-called “impeachment inquiry.” Hillary Clinton calling everybody she doesn’t like a “Russian asset.” The nonsense about “betraying our allies” in Syria, the risibility of the Transgender movement, the leakers being called “whistleblowers,” Caitlyn Jenner being a woman, Kavanaugh’s accusers…

What they all have in common is that they’re lies. But that’s not overly concerning to me, because people have been lying for a long time. What causes distress is the brazenness, the “How’d they ever think they’d get away with it.” And then I realize they’re getting away with it because the people being deceived, are aiding in their own deception. It’s on par with the little boy with his hand caught in the cookie jar, insisting that he was actually putting it back into the jar. Except…it’s more like, while he’s offering up this excuse, he continues to take the cookie, remove it from the jar, chew off a piece of it and continue bullshitting you with his ramshackle excuse around the mouthful.

Something is happening. Uh no don’t go there, this pre-dates Trump. But it doesn’t pre-date…let’s say…the first George Bush? Sometime in the last twenty years or so. The lies have deteriorated in quality, to the point where they wouldn’t work if the person being fooled didn’t want to be fooled. And yet they keep working.

As willing as I may be to indulge in political incorrectness — perhaps even with a sense of glee over ticking off the right people, that’s not entirely in good taste — I wouldn’t stoop to blaming girls for it. I don’t like doing that, and that’s in no small part because of the consideration that boys are acting a lot more like girls lately, and vice versa. Sexual stereotypes have moved from being merely needlessly alienating, to being poorly advised, because even if people belonged in their pigeonholes they’re not staying there.

But look what someone else managed to do. Okay, that’s certainly a provocative headline…but I’m keeping an open mind…

“Big Mother”: the Decline of Men and…Truth-telling
Guillaume Durocher • October 27, 2019

The speed of social change in the modern era, and in particular in the contemporary West, is so rapid that we all are liable to feel a bit lost.

Big MotherA recent example of this was provided by none other than Hillary Clinton, that most “progressive” representative of global oligarchy. You see, the 71-year-old Clinton, whose presidential campaign was premised on making history as the first female presidency, still believes in biological sex:

In an interview with The Sunday Times, journalist Decca Aitkenhead asked the Clintons if someone with a beard and a penis can ever be a woman, to which Chelsea replied emphatically, ‘Yes.’

However, as Aitkenhead describes it, Hillary looked ‘uneasy’, and blamed generational gaps for being less accepting.

‘Errr. I’m just learning about this,’ Hillary responded. ‘It’s a very big generational discussion, because this is not something I grew up with or ever saw. It’s going to take a lot more time and effort to understand what it means to be defining yourself differently.’

…There’s something truly surreal about these kinds of developments. One wonders where to start.

The article then runs through the factual foundation, familiar to many of us already, supporting the trend of shrinking maleness. We’ve made it very cool and socially-uplifting to identify areas of life where women don’t yet have a fair shot at things, and we’ve made it cool to offer them increased, even unfair, opportunities. Once they catch up to men, or even pass them, it’s still cool to notice it’s happened. It’s decidedly not cool to conclude from that, that it’s time for the unfair advantages to go away. The skewed worldview seems to have had a direct effect on our physiology. Testosterone levels are on the decline.

But how is this to blame for our weakening attachment to reality? It’s true the two trends have taken place at roughly the same time, but that’s the very definition of a post hoc fallacy. We need something better.

Well…

The predominance of women is not without consequence for liberty and excellence. A 2015 Pew poll found that women were almost 50% more likely to support government censorship of “statements that are offensive to minority groups” than were men. Women, particularly left-wing women, are more politically intolerant: one survey found that 30% of Democratic women had blocked, unfriended or stopped following someone online for their politics, as against only 8% of Republican men. The London Times reported in May 2016 that female students overwhelmingly supported censorship of university publications if these were “considered offensive to certain groups.”

Naturally, any number of truthful statements may be painful or “considered offensive to certain groups.” Most pointedly, any suggestion that men and women have meaningful biological and psychological differences, and therefore to some degree should have different social roles, will be considered “offensive.”

This highlights the self-reinforcing nature of the Western societies’ feminization.

Among the people I know, the ones who are most likely to remain open to initially-unwelcome ideas, and in so doing are likely to expand their horizons and learn something new, are slightly more likely to be female so this doesn’t jive with my personal experience. But I know the sample pool is tainted because there are some small-minded bitches out there and I don’t want to have anything to do with them. I happen to live in California, and it’s pretty easy to spot them from a good distance away. And I know from my past experiences, from back before I learned how to stay away from small-minded women, how much damage they can do. The “I refuse to listen” men are just as dangerous. But I haven’t been marrying or dating those, so again, I know my perspective is skewed.

On the other hand, though…

While men have historically controlled the priesthoods and the media, it is women who nag their menfolk to live up to the society’s established social norms and be respectable…

As we have become comfortable, so our societies and culture have become feminized and infantilized. Today, it seems that women project their mothering instincts upon all the approved “victim groups” of the world: homosexuals, migrants, and minorities all are their symbolic substitute children. [emphasis mine]

There certainly is an impulse, outside of the women I personally know, to reach out with a suffocating variant of “motherhood.” And to cause some damage. Certainly it’s a valid argument to be considered that men do it too, but that’s not the issue here because there is no concerted, energized agenda to pack high influential offices and committees with men. But we do want to pack them with women. And, what kind of women? The ones i know? Or the ones I seek to avoid?

The answer is the same as it is for any other movement. You make a point of placing a woman in an office of influence, she’ll end up being the screechy, unpleasant, destructive, child-thinking kind. If you make a point of just placing the best and most competent person…it just might end up being a woman. A much better one, who creates, and defends and preserves, and thinks like a grown-up. As you move up into the occupations that involve greater power and trust, and are more widely visible, it seems the effect intensifies. Had Hillary Clinton won the election of 2016, she would have stood as the most extreme example.

With the argument now made, I can see the link between that, and this new strain of “shut up and take my money” fraud that requires sanction of the defrauded. The fraud that requires a sanction of “Okay, you’re lying, I know you’re lying, you know I know, now…aw fuck it let’s just get this thing done.”

Who-to-blame, of course, is always less important than how-fix-it. When a popular notion is an obvious lie, and there are loud angry people surrounding you and prevailing upon you to accept the lie, ready to heckle you mercilessly if you reject it as a lie…it really doesn’t matter if they’re men or women. The fix, I think, is to re-evaluate this unstated but successfully-proliferated idea that some lies are good lies if they hurt & help the right people. It’s easier to do that if we keep in mind that a lot of lies that appear at first blush to hurt no one at all, if you take the time to inspect more closely, you’ll find there are indeed some people being hurt and quite badly.

My Favorite Die Hard Movie Line

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

It’s not “Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker” and it isn’t “Welcome to the party, pal.”

It’s “Oh, you’re in charge? Well, I got some bad news for you Dwayne, from up here it doesn’t look like you’re in charge of jack shit.” There is deep meaning here. There is social commentary here that is important.

Putting the Breakfast Club guy here was brilliant casting. He was born for this.

How many Deputy Police Chief Robinsons do we know in real life…you run into them pretty much constantly. They’re “in charge” in the sense that they have an official title and they’re ready to take credit for anything that happens to go right. But they’re not at all attached to the moment-by-moment condition of the overall situation. They aren’t committed. If something goes wrong, they’ll just blame someone else. They are Seagull Managers. They are Grenade People.

My state has a new governor who’s trying to be the anti-Donald-Trump. It is tragic watching this contrast play out every week. He hasn’t got a clue. He’s got the “I never apologize for or regret anything ever” thing down cold…he thinks that’s all there is to it. But Trump is not a grenade-person. He’s a salesman, which is about as annoying…but if you find something wrong with the situation under Trump’s control, and get in an argument with him about it, sure he’s going to insist on having the last word like a little kid. But he’ll still remain attached to, and committed to, the situation. He has plans. If the plans go wrong, he adjusts. Quietly, maybe. He probably won’t admit to it. But he doesn’t abandon. He doesn’t take large fast strides away from it, like a man who just lobbed a grenade, retreating behind some rehearsed lines about “Well you’ll just have to go talk to those other guys, it’s all their fault” or socially browbeat you to change the subject to something else. If he doesn’t like your opinion, he’ll just call you a loser. But he’ll continue to work the problem.

Watching my Governor try to be the democrats’ answer to Trump, is like watching Dwayne Robinson try to be John McClane. It’s just a pathetic sight to see.

Gov. Newsom, from down here it doesn’t look like you’re in charge of jack shit.

I Made a New Word LXXVII

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

Grenade Person (n.)

A grenade is the furthest you can get from any kind of precision instrument. There’s no scope-sighting, no aiming, no plan to adjust for wind, downgrade, muzzle velocity, bullet weight in grains…just an explosive projectile lobbed in at an approximate Grenadelocation. Such people demand and require uncontested control over whatever is happening. Everything in earshot or line-of-site has to be exposed and subject to their frag. They are the last to compromise on anything and the first to ostracize any dissenters who show too much recalcitrance or hesitation to “get with the program.” If you continue with your not-getting-on-board bad behavior, you will find yourself subject to some passionate gossip while your back is turned, sure as the sun rises in the East.

But they take no responsibility whatsoever for the ultimate outcome. Just like the grenade tosser. In fact, after they’ve run things for awhile there is a perceptible similarity between the aftermath, and the wreckage left by a live grenade. That’s what they do, they just pull the pin and walk away. Power and responsibility; they want all of the former, none of the latter.

You run into them at work, you want to go home as soon as you can. You run into them at home, you want to go on a long vacation. Maybe fake your own death and move to another continent. They make life short, but seem long.

Take Your “Investigating His Political Opponents” and Cram It

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

The overall thrust of the piece by Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel is anti-impeachment, which is the correct opinion. But even the obligatory disclaimer that makes up the first paragraph, with its status as essentially throwaway, get-this-out-of-the-way ballast, is too much for me to take.

Donald Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea. Like a lot of things Trump does, it was pretty over-the-top. Our leaders’ official actions should not be about politics. Those two things need to remain separate. Once those in control of our government use it to advance their political goals, we become just another of the world’s many corrupt countries. America is better than that.

I cut it off after those last five words, they were enough to make me reach for a bucket. This is propaganda of the enemy. I know that for sure; I get their fund-raising and petition-soliciting e-mails. The communication from the democrats, to the lightly-informed, is that we have to have impeachment because of foreign interference in our elections. Trump, supposedly, was “digging up dirt on his political opponents.” It’s a good sound bite because it sounds like Watergate Part II. There’s just one problem. It’s poppycock.

Biden is a very odd case. Common sense, only a dash of it, will confirm he’s not going to be President. I realize the Hollywood A-listers were saying that about Trump 3 years ago and that didn’t age well, but in Biden’s case it’s really true. He can’t even be nominated. And yet the polls have been putting him out in front, by a large margin, so to those who are eager to have opinions but are OmgWayTooBusy to actually follow the news, Trump must have hatched a plan to clear the playing field of Joe-Freakin’-Biden, after that his second term would be assured. Yeah. Um…it’s actually not possible for it to have happened that way.

The polls might be reporting correct raw data about Biden’s double-digit leads, but it’s only raw data. He’s not really a front-runner. He’s not even a contender. Trump doesn’t need a plan to deal with him, and if ever he does need a plan to deal with him it will be something far, far simpler, something along the lines of “just let him talk.” So spare me, please, your hyperventilating about how this must be Trump dealing with political opponents the only way he knows how. Anybody who knows anything knows that’s not what is happening here, and if you don’t know that, you don’t know anything so why should I care what you say?

But there’s an impeachment inquiry, so he must have done something wrong! Well, the first fifty percent of that is true. And you’ll note the “inquiry” is not really what it is being made out to be. It’s all packaging, no substance. But understand this: The packaging has to be there.

It’s important to the beltway crowd that impeachment, or something that looks like it, happens for five reasons:

1. It doesn’t protect Biden. If anything, it pushes his misdeeds out into the limelight which makes it easier to get rid of him. And by the way, this is working just fine so far. Obviously a lot of people want that, and not because of any likelihood he has to win. The man’s a constant embarrassment.

2. The democrats don’t have anything else. Unemployment is at an historic low now. The picture is crystal clear that if we want some actual positive results they shouldn’t run anything, exactly what I’ve been saying for years and years.

3. The democrats’ base will eat them alive if they don’t get something that at least resembles impeachment.

4. They need to establish a precedent that looking into these kinds of transactions potentially carries repercussions, since Biden is far from the only one who’s been playing this game.

5. Rightly or wrongly, they see Vice-President Pence as another Romney. They can withstand a bloodless revolution every four years and they can tolerate these unwelcome opinions about lower taxes and strong defense and abortion-is-murder, but they cannot abide this “punch back twice as hard” thing and they hate being mocked. They want their lose-with-a-smile Republicans back, the ones who look good in a suit and babble away about this thing or that thing being “deeply troubling” before they disappear.

But the go-along-to-get-along, know-nothing, “Please give me an opinion for me to have at the Thanksgiving table” voters think it’s all about Trump going after his political enemies, starting with the most threatening one: Joe Biden.

Bull squeeze. Biden’s filthy-dirty and guilty as hell. Our government has three branches, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Now, which one investigates? Who manages that? This is Civics 101 stuff.

So with all due respect: Cram it. Take your deeply-troubling, your spooky Watergate-redux language about digging up dirt on political opponents, wad it up into a little ball with your “we’re better than that,” and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Seriously, in what universe does that make sense? You run for President one time, and from that point until whenever the sun burns out you’re a “political opponent” and so you’re immune, no one can ever speak of starting an investigation on you? We want that precedent set? That’s what it takes to make us better than something? Better noodle that one over a bit more there, Tex.

It would be funny if it weren’t dangerous and sad.

The White, Middle-Age Males Calling Out the Swedish Brat

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Isn’t this a rather odd headline?

White, middle-aged Christian private school principal slams climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, 16, as a ‘little girl with mental problems’ – and urges students not to believe her ‘doomsday waffle talk’

A Christian private school principal has savaged 16-year-old climate campaigner Greta Thunb[e]rg and called her a ‘little girl with mental problems’.

Rodney Lynn, head of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, wrote a letter to pupils and parents on September 26.

He did not mention Greta by name but told pupils not to pay attention to her impassioned speech at the UN which went viral last week.

In the speech, the Swedish activist tearfully urged politicians to take action on climate change to stop the planet from being destroyed.

But Mr Lynn dismissed her as ‘a little girl from Scandinavia’ who was full of ‘doomsday waffle talk’.

In the letter seen by the ABC, he said she was a ‘little girl with self declared various emotional and mental problems that she thinks give her a special insight into a pending doom’.

‘My life experience has taught me that the doomsday predictors are just attention getters.’

In a message to his pupils, he added: ‘Do not be afraid. Your world’s future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl and false prophets.’

It seems like this isn’t anything to worry about over on that side of the Atlantic, and I know I’m not one to talk, but that headline seems really…bloated. It looks like there might have been a prior version with just-the-facts, and an editor looked at it and said “That’s not going to make our readers angry enough at this guy, you need to put in his quotes so they get properly ticked.” And don’t forget to mention you…know…what.

Speaking at the United nations last Monday Greta broke down in tears while furiously scolding international delegates for not taking responsibility for fixing the planet’s warming climate.

A host of Australian celebrities lined up to criticise Greta after her speech. Her supporters said most of the criticism came from white, middle-aged men. [emphasis mine]

Hmmm…I’ve seen this somewhere before. Where? Ah…here.

Jeremy Clarkson’s daughter has slammed middle-aged men for criticising Greta Thunberg – as the Grand Tour star branded the climate change activist a ‘spoilt brat’. Emily Clarkson made her feelings known on Twitter, referring to a tweet by John Bishop in which the comedian praised the 16-year-old for being an inspiration and ‘breathing life’ into the debate surrounding climate change.’ Quoting his post, she wrote: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if all middle aged blokes could talk to and about Greta, the ballsy af teenager out there changing the world, like this.’ She makes a good point…

++blink++ She does? And what would that be? That looks to this “middle aged bloke” like nothing more than emotional reasoning and lusting.

Hey do you people even know what “a good point” is? I could try to explain, but I’m sure I’ll be kinder to your own workload and time allocation, along with my own, if I just provide an example.

How dare we? No. How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15million, that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention.

I’m sorry Ms Thunberg, but if you’re going to lay into my generation, you must accept it when I lay into you and yours.

What about the pills you take when you have a headache?

What about the clean water that comes out of your tap? What about the food you can buy at any time of the day and night?

No 16-year-old was responsible for any of that.

What about the aid missions currently being run in some of the poorest countries of the world, or the drugs that help keep Aids at bay?

Think about all the movies you’ve enjoyed. Movies made by grown-ups. And all those comedians who’ve made you laugh.

And then pause for a moment to consider how soundly you sleep at night, knowing that adults are building and servicing and flying Sweden’s fighter planes. To keep you safe.

We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet. We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all.

So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.

And yes, you are spoilt because when you told your mum and dad to stop using planes and give up meat, they didn’t behave like sane parents and ignore you. They actually said, “Yes, dear.” And did.

It’s the difference between emotional reasoning and logical reasoning. The difference between closing one’s eyes to things, versus opening them, looking, and pondering what things mean. Emily Clarkson does it one way, her father does it the other way. His way is better.

But back to this “white, middle-aged men” thing. I thought it was a bit odd when I myself was on the receiving end of some criticism after setting my phone ringtone to Ms Thunberg’s polished-thespian professional-warbling “How Dare You!” — which makes me very happy, by the way. My critic called me a white middle-aged male, which is something I can’t change, but also he happens to be one of those guilty-white-liberal males who actually has half a year on me. Still, I thought little of it at the time. Just liberals pigeonholing people by race and sex, which is what they do.

But with these three examples, and some others, we have an established pattern. It is clear a talking-point has been circulated from some central point somewhere, to marginalize anybody who has objections to the spoiled child’s rantings and make sure, should they qualify, to call them out as a “white, middle-aged male.”

Seems like a fragile public relations strategy. It’s not the optimal time. White is negotiable now, right? We’re still debating whether Elizabeth Warren is or isn’t, even after she had that expensive DNA test done. Middle-age is always open for discussion. And although science says otherwise, our culture has decided “male” is an open question too.

Still & all, there’s something to their observation. With their implication that this means an opinion should be bulldozed to the gutter just because of the demographic of those who hold it, those who promulgate the talking point have branded themselves as racists, sexists and ageists. But they’re not wrong, even a blind squirrel can find a nut. How come so few people are identifying a problem with the world accepting orders and scoldings from a mentally ill teenager? And how come we’re almost all “middle-aged white males”? Is it because, as they imply, there’s something about us that is inherently indecent?

I can dismiss that as a possibility with my own limited experience. I know lots of minorities who can see what’s wrong with exploiting this girl; young people see what’s wrong with it, old people see what’s wrong with it, women see what’s wrong with it. This kind of common sense is not exclusively a white middle-age male thing. The not-white not-male old-n-young just aren’t as vocal, they don’t say it out loud. It seems speaking out about it is the thing.

Well isn’t it obvious?

White middle-age males have nothing to lose. This new-world-order of sorts rejects us by default; we could be accepted if we say a bunch of woke-stuff some of us aren’t willing to say. We already threw out our Gillette crap after that dumb ad, so we’re not going to go chasing our maze-cheese by signaling away with “I hate 4x4s!“. Non-white non-middle-age non-male people, not subject to the verdict of guilty-til-proven-innocent, can achieve this level of acceptance merely by being quiet. Therefore they have something to lose. So because our liberals are sexist and racist, and they’ve had influence in forming and reforming this new culture, the playing field is a bit uneven. We, the white middle-aged males our liberals detest — nevermind that many among them are themselves white middle-aged males of the self-loathing sort — are left to consider invocation of The Morgan Rule: “If I’m gonna be accused, I wanna be guilty.” There’s no reason not to so invoke. For the better and more desirable demographic segments, the situation doesn’t exist. Well anyway, that’s one explanation.

White middle age males are not worse than everybody else. We’re not better either. What’s happened is that your blatant discrimination against us as had the exact opposite effect on us from what it was supposed to have: It’s liberated us. To say the obvious things everybody else is thinking. In fact, in a funny kind of way, it has obliged this segment of the population to point out what we, uniquely, can say without losing anything we haven’t already lost:

To throw her into the public eye is unforgivable. It’s clear she is not pretending to be terrified about an eco-Armageddon, an emotion likely compounded by her conditions. Has anyone who supposedly cares about her thought this through? She really believes this garbage. She thinks we’re all going to die, horribly and soon. She doesn’t get that this is a grift, a scam, a political ploy…But when faced with the reality that people aren’t willing to surrender their money and freedom simply because she demands it, she may lose hope. What happens if this precious child hurts herself?

That’s obvious. Her backers would cynically morph her from living demigod to martyr and blame you for what happened, you awful, selfish people who refused to submit to the emotional blackmail that underlies the whole Greta of Arc campaign.

Let go of this kid, you creeps.

Yes racist-sexist-ageist liberals, you’re seeing different behaviors from different demographic portions. That’s because you’ve constructed the dynamic that confronts those different portions with different situations and different ramifications for speaking out on true-but-forbidden things, like the above.

But you know, that might be changing. Basic human decency is not an exclusively white-male middle-age thing either, and exploiting children for your climate-change scare-mongering, for the reasons Colonel Schlichter offers, is a truly low blow. So you’ve got a strategy to marginalize anyone who objects based on our race? Well enjoy that clean simple breakdown while you still can, and maintain awareness of the passage of time; the battleground will shift, as it always does. Women, in particular, don’t like seeing children thrust into situations inappropriate for them.

Your racist, sexist, ageist talking point is milk. Note the sell-by date carefully, it’s bound to curdle quickly.

The Scariest Prognostication

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

I see it has become trendy to prognosticate. We’re supposed to speak of future events with all the certainty we’d have if we were recalling something from the past. These are supposed to be meaningful but simplistic, staccato things, like exclamation marks you find at the end of sentences. The equivalent of “You’re going to fall off that ladder and bust your ass.” Except missing the implied “unless you fix the ladder.”

These aren’t real expressions of future events the speaker actually finds to be likely, although they’re supposed to be; they’re more like attention-getting devices. The prognostications are supposed to be scary.

Well, brace yourself, I’ve got a doozy. Several of them. They’re so scary, many among the people you see every day and talk to every day can’t handle them!

ScaryTrump will not be impeached, or if he is impeached he will not be removed. Republicans and democrats will think back on it in entirely different ways, just like they do now with Bill Clinton’s impeachment. The 2020 elections will proceed and Trump will be re-elected if he deserves it, and not if he doesn’t…he’ll probably win it. History will therefore record it as a rather meaningless election compared to the others before & afterward.

Alternative fuel sources will continue to refine and evolve, becoming more and more affordable, but we have about 100-150 years before they can actually replace fossil fuels. Until then they’ll be less reliable and more expensive so people will keep burning oil, and coal.

We’re going to continue to emit more and more carbon. China and India will be given lots of fake credit for their “plans” to get cleaner, but they won’t. We’re going to read lots of reports about “hottest [month]/[day] in [city] ON RECORD” and it won’t mean a thing. The planet will cope just fine.

We won’t learn a thing from kids. How could we? They’re kids. The kids won’t be the first generation ever to be poorer than their parents…unless they choose to be, by being lazy. And then if they end up lazy and poor and wanting to blame others for it, they won’t break any ground there either. Many, many others who came along earlier have been uninspired, unambitious, slothful, dilatory, and ended up in bleak circumstances, wanting to blame others for their plight, or for their lack of options. There’s nothing novel about this. And they didn’t learn from the examples of those who worked harder and gave up more so they could earn more, to the contrary they elected candidates and promoted policies for “equality,” so they could plunder the assets from those who had earned them. There’s nothing novel about that either. “Bernie bros” have existed before and they’re going to exist some more.

In short, we’re going to struggle away, working, playing, sleeping, fornicating, eating, defecating — and prognosticating — womb to tomb, just like our grandparents and great-great-grandparents, nothing really remarkable about us on a generational scale. Whatever makes us extraordinary will be confined to our individual deeds, by which we’ll show our priorities, our trustworthiness, and our levels of commitment to things. After that’s all done, we’ll be buried or cremated and then life will go on for others who, if we’re exceptionally fortunate, and exceptionally accomplished, and worthy, might very occasionally speak of us in a positive way.

And that’s it.

Scary, huh?

Impeach Adam Schiff

Friday, September 27th, 2019

John Hinderaker writes at PowerLine:

As Scott noted earlier, during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee earlier today, committee chairman Adam Schiff purported to quote from the transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s President Zelensky…

Schiff simply lied. Not a word of his tirade came from the transcript of the president’s conversation with Zelensky. Schiff made it all up, and it didn’t resemble the actual transcript in any respect.

Apart from the fact that it shows once again what a disgusting liar Adam Schiff is, why is his “parody” important? Because it shows the baselessness of the Democrats’ case against Trump. If Trump had actually said anything objectionable–let alone impeachable!–in his conversation with Zelensky, Schiff would have quoted it. But because the conversation was entirely innocent, Schiff couldn’t quote a line of it.

Chairman Schiff, caught spinning his web of falsehood, went full-teenager with the “it was a joke doncha get it” defense. I would expect this from a typical leftist, but I’m surprised to see a supposedly accomplished former prosecutor using this. Prosecution is supposed to have something to do with, you know, real facts.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked, “Well, do you regret what you called the parody, the use of those phrases during the course of your opening statement?”

Schiff responded, “No. I think everyone understood, and my GOP colleagues may feign otherwise, that…I was mocking the president’s conduct.”

It does seem like we’ve seen a lot of this lately. It’s a way of accusing-the-accuser: “Everyone gets it. Except this one guy who’s pointing a finger at me. Well watch out everybody, here is a weirdo who doesn’t understand humor.” And then we’re all obliged to pretend for a moment or two that not-having-humor is like, I dunno, the worst thing you can do or something.

Fellow congressman Trey Gowdy wasn’t having it.

“Adam Schiff has one of the worst senses of humor of anyone I’ve ever met[.]…So, he doesn’t need to try parody.”

…Gowdy said Schiff is essentially doing what he did during the Russia collusion allegations, although this time he is making up evidence.

“This is the same show; they said he had evidence of collusion. He’s not making that mistake this time…He’s just gonna make it up and he made it up on national television,” Gowdy said.

There are people who don’t consider themselves to lean left, but they don’t see anything at all wrong with what Schiff did.

You could think of them as the example-patients of the mental illness that has enshrouded our modern culture. They’ll acknowledge the rudimentary framework of competent adulthood, that we make decisions about what to do based on our opinions, and we form those opinions from facts. But it’s okay to rewrite things at your leisure when you determine what those so-called “facts” are. Truth is whatever makes you feel good when you think about it. Or whatever you can sell to others. How did Joe Biden put it? “We choose truth over facts.”

Since ignoring the gap between your perceptions and reality is okay, it follows that it’s okay to contribute to that gap yourself. If you get caught, just say it’s a joke.

If you don’t get caught, make your opinions and your decisions based on it. Aw heck, go ahead and do that whether you get caught or not.

Supposedly, I’m demonstrating the lack of civility that is troubling us all when I say things like “These people are caricatures of the kind we don’t want making meaningful decisions.” Well they are, and we don’t. Look at what they’re doing here. Trump is supposed to be guilty and punished, ditto Mike Flynn, Scooter Libby, that cop who shot the “hands up don’t shoot” thug, Kavanaugh, the Convington kids; and then meanwhile it goes the other way for Comey, Hillary, Al Sharpton, Strzok, Page, all of whom were demonstrably guilty and by rights should’ve ended up wearing stripes and making license plates.

This errant thinking brings real consequences.

We culturally require a correction to our coordinates and a correction to our bearing. We’re way past the point where Oprah Winfrey felt she was on safe ground babbling away with her gibberish about “your truth.” We’re way past the point of convicting people without solid evidence and acquitting people we know are guilty. That’s too far.

An example would be good. It’s not like I’m calling for his bloody decapitated head to fall in a basket or anything. But he should certainly lose his position for this stunt. It shouldn’t even fall to anyone ideologically opposed to him to say so; those who are aligned with him, should be the first ones clamoring for him to resign or to be forcibly removed.

Greta Thunberg

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

Deanna Fisher writes at Victory Girls:

Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg – you have failed your daughter in almost every way imaginable. My pity for her is laced with my contempt for you.

You allowed an impressionable young girl with autism and depression to work herself into an obsessive state over something she cannot control. I hate to break it to you, but no one person on this earth can control the climate any more than they can control the weather.

When Greta began obsessing over climate change and by her own admission, fell into a depression so deep that she couldn’t eat, what did you do?

SVANTE THUNBERG: Yeah. She made us realize that we were these parents, you know, standing up for human rights and refugees and right and wrong and all these things. And we were really fighting for that. And then she said, you know, “Whose human rights are you standing up for?” You know, when my wife, for instance, went to Japan to make concerts and being on Japanese TV—you know, very important. You know, it was a good reason to travel across the world to do that. But when she got home, you know, Greta sort of worked out how much—how many tons of carbon dioxide she had spent on that and how many people’s carbon budget that was living in West Africa, for instance. So, she basically, you know, confronted us with that. You know, “Whose human rights are you standing up for, when you are draining the world’s resources, the functioning atmosphere, for instance?” And so we basically realized, in the end, after a couple of years of her going on about it, that we had to change. You know, we had to stop doing these things. And that really had an enormous effect. She made her much more happy. And she changed a lot with that. So, yeah.”

You allowed a child to become a dictator in your own home. You are fools.

The alwarmists are convinced young Ms. Thunberg is a new face for their movement. They’re right. That’s not a good thing.

There are people who lose patience with people like me because I put liberals in a special little pigeonhole. I don’t see them as fully competent adults who are laboring away at a goal common with the rest of us, who just have a different method in mind for getting there. I see them as suffering from development problems, people who aren’t thinking with their whole brains, high-drama, easily distracted types who are doing net harm. Stuff like this, is why I see them that way. Even the most ardent Thunberg fan, would never go so far as to assert this sixteen-year-old with special needs has some actual knowledge to impart to us. Just as even the most ardent Obama fan wouldn’t have gone so far as to assert our 44th President knew something special about how to re-tool our health care system.

In their special little world, it’s all about the rhetoric. The word choice, the delivery, the agent…the story. And unlike here in the real world where adults do productive things, in their little pocket universe there is zero room for doubt about any of it.

Fisher continues…

And did you know Greta has a sister, Beata? My heart hurts for her, because their parents have been cowed by one child to the detriment of the other.

So, here we are, with Greta Thunberg standing in front of the cameras, proclaiming that her dreams and her childhood have been “stolen” from her.

I’m sorry, WE didn’t do that, Greta. Your parents, in failing their first duty as a parent, stole your childhood. In not setting boundaries, they let you become a tiny tyrant. In not getting you appropriate therapy, they let you fall victim to your own depression and anxiety. By not appropriately redirecting your autism-focused obsession, they have let you become this – a child who is shunning a full education because you think you know everything there is to know about your chosen subject. They have failed you as parents, and are now unleashing you on the rest of us.

It’s time for everyone to say the word that Greta Thunberg never heard from her own parents: NO.

Well…hate to say it, but that isn’t going to happen. So let’s consider what’s really being taught here.

Ms. Thunberg is not spurring any particular legislative body into meaningful action. There’s nothing the U.N. is going to do, nothing that the U.S. Congress is going to do, that will make her happy. She’s just going to keep scowling, forever, just like that other little twerp. It will become her identity, and her identity will become her whole livelihood. She has learned that messages sell. The planet is not in peril, it will be here for a good long time, but the thing that really makes it spin on its axis is guilt. So what you need to do is lie about how you think the planet is going to die, to make people feel guilty…and that’s the whole point to life now.

Thunberg sailed to New York on a boat. Her 15-day voyage has its own Wikipedia entry…because starry-eyed New York Times readers like to think of her as Moana. Well…no. That’s the romantic fantasy. It’s also a romantic fantasy that the sailboat came into play because air travel is filthy and Gretta doesn’t want to do it, but there’s all sorts of air travel connected with this so-called “voyage” so — ONCE AGAIN — it becomes a symbolic thing, something that doesn’t make logical sense when scrutinized and measured, just like our plastic straw ban.

Follow the money. Everybody wants their own industry to become more important. If the public at large is interested in these ecological efforts, even temporarily, with their heads full of all sorts of wrong ideas, then at least they’re interested and the people working those efforts who get to make a profit, make a bigger one.

But that doesn’t mean anyone is making anything better.

And now we know harm can be done, without the most impassioned advocates reconsidering anything, indeed without having any of them so much as skip a beat. Quite to the contrary: Doing harm, knowing they’re doing harm, they’ll charge full steam ahead.

We don’t need to speculate on this or wonder about it. We know for sure.

Memo For File CCXIII

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

I notice as I’ve gone through life, the kids who got the good grades in school have been met by the same challenges as the kids who were, uh, like me. Everyone gets knocked on their ass sometime or another. Everyone gets told at some point or another, by life itself, “Sorry…great job, wonderful natural talent…it isn’t needed here.”

It must be deflating for the ones who went Kindergarten through graduation, having never been told that. It’s a very special kind of pain. It isn’t like “Sorry, your skills aren’t sharp enough, practice some more.” To be told you’re practicing at the wrong thing, that you need to work an entirely different set of skills, and until you do you can forget all about making any kind of special impact that you thought for sure you were going to make.

It would seem humans are not hard wired to deal with this. We don’t inwardly understand the concept of a snipe hunt. Once we’ve convinced ourselves there is a snipe, we will chase it forever. This is where the fantasizing about the imminent extinction of the human race is given birth. People start to think “Well if I’m not extra special that way, then I must be extra special in the sense that I’ll be around for the final curtain call, closing credits, my story is written in the very last pages of the book.”

Snipe HuntThis is why climate change alwarmists vacillate so effortlessly between “It’s way too late now, you should have listened to us” and “We still have one last chance, we have to act within 10-20 years.” The rest of us are supposed to assume, because some of it is based on science — “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” — it’s all science. No that’s not true. The important parts of it are based on human psychology, depression, mental enfeeblement and spiritual impoverishment. It’s entire generations of motivated, ambitious, potentially accomplished prodigies being reduced to living, breathing solutions in search of problems.

Life has told them they’ll never be special unless they change the bearing of their course, and develop a different suite of skills. It’s a tough, tough message. I know. I had to learn to listen to it; it isn’t easy. Most people choose not to listen to it.

That’s why the scam works so well. We are technologically advanced — you’ll notice the doom-saying resonates best in the First World. The important work, by & large, is done. Here in the First World, where we have to re-define the word “poverty” in order to have something we can measure at all, the work that really has to get done, work that’s survival-related, is mostly done in our sparsely-populated farm country.

Where the population density is much higher, we like to think of ourselves as irreplaceable. And within a narrow stretch of time, a few people may be. But just a few, and for only that narrow stretch. The office isn’t forced to close if we call in sick for the day. In our absence, people are inconvenienced maybe but they won’t starve. After we’re gone, the people who depend on us will learn to cope. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but we wouldn’t want it any other way, right?

When people talk up the perils of climate change, you’re listening to someone who can’t swallow the bitter pill. Guilty white liberals lecturing other guilty white liberals, not anybody in India or anybody in China. You’re listening to people coping with the unwelcome realization that they’re not irreplaceable. You’re listening to someone who’s having trouble with it. Lots and lots of trouble.

Call it an Al-Gore-Rhythm, maybe.

That’s the really cool thing about developing new technology: If I’m in the middle of building something and aliens abduct me or I get hit by a bus, you know what happens? Nothing! An effort to develop something new, stops. Or, we have to find another guy. It’s lost capital, and that’s worst-case. So with that uncomfortable realization out of the way, let’s see what we can do to build something that was not there before; what we can do to make other people’s lives easier and better. There is a certain level of sanity reached in it: I believe in what I do, but I’m not going to pretend I’m the one guy on the planet who has a truly irreplaceable job. So I don’t have to go chasing off after snipes or jackalopes trying to convince myself I’m somehow irreplaceable.

That’s me though. Why do other software people lean left? You’ll have to ask them. But I can offer that it’s easy in our line of work to form visions about how users will be using the systems we build — it’s necessary to get the job done — and a lot of the time, most of the time, those visions get a little bit…I’m sure you’ve seen this from running the apps…too well-formed. Too crystallized.

The guy who wrote it, knew what he knew, but he didn’t know what he didn’t know.

Just like your average climate-change zealot.

Oh and nine times out of ten, he was convinced that if he took a walk or ceased to exist, the project would come to a complete stop. And he was wrong.

An Honest Sales Pitch for Climate Change

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

As much as I talk about “believing in science,” and “what science has shown us,” I’m not going to want you to be thinking about that when I issue my prognostications of imminent doom for the planet because scientific findings do not portend imminent doom for the planet. You know it and I know it.

I find it awful that Trump has withdrawn us from the climate change talks, and I will support candidates who pledge to reinsert us into those talks, because I know this is about a shift of power and money. I like the idea of pushing nations into a socialist economic model, I like the burdens and obligations that are being heaped upon developed nations and I like the perks and the exemptions and the benefits that are being directed to developing nations. I think developed nations are bad and developing nations are good. That’s because I think of developed nations as western evil rich white people and I think of developing nations as third-world good poor non-white people. I will not even pause to consider any real-life disruptions in these clean binary divisions, won’t think about spillage or overlap, you can’t bother me with your impure thoughts about good people living in developed nations or bad people living in developing nations. I like my cartoonish pigeonholing and my simple narratives. I apply emotional reasoning to everything, which is ironic given that I’m ready to mock you mercilessly if you so much as hesitate to accept the non-scientific prophesies of doom that I call “the science.”

I just don’t trust businesses. They impact the lives of others with their decisions, and I don’t know the names of these people so I’d rather have this “unchecked and unfettered capitalism” properly regulated, and checked by clipboard-carrying bossy people who’ve never produced anything in their entire lives…whose names I also don’t know. I think the former can do nothing right and the latter can do nothing wrong because, again, emotional reasoning.

This would be an honest sales pitch for climate change.

But no one would buy that…so we have to pretend the planet is in crisis.

Three Orgies

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

It’s a trip to Crazytown, USA because each one of the three of these orgies is in full swing, and each one is just as dangerous for the country as the other two:

1. No borders
2. Unproductive/uncommitted people voting themselves gifts from the public treasury
3. Ban all the things!!

This much-discussed, seven-hours-at-a-throw imbroglio about “climate change” is merely a subset of #3, an excuse for banning-all-things. From nuclear power to drinking straws…it’s all silly but maybe viewed through this lens it doesn’t look quite so silly.

My Saturday-beerfest-guest, of whom I think highly, was asking me why I’m a conservative and not a liberal. Not wishing to offend, I gave the whole subject a cursory but respectful brush-off claiming that Jimmy Carter taught me their answers simply don’t and cannot work. Which is true. But if I wanted to be a bit more abrasive about it I would have cited #2 above. We can’t survive over the long haul this way. No republic can. If history has taught us anything, it’s that any association of people has a certain level of health about it, which rises and falls according to the health of the habits of its congregants. If you have healthy habits and can provide for yourself, you’re not going to be voting yourself alms from the coffers because there won’t be any need. So this must proliferate and empower unhealthy habits. It must. There’s no getting around it.

#1 and #3 reveal the political gamesmanship that threatens to tear our country apart: The democrats wish to rebel against a law, while at the same time come up with some more laws against things that in this moment are perfectly lawful? They conflict with each other. And they reveal this side to be nothing more than an agent of lasting chaos. A feel-good, fix-nothing movement to be participated in & enjoyed by those who are missing, or failing to make use of, any functional understanding of the fundamental concept of time. Snapshot-mode people. The ones who perceive their surroundings like a Mayfly, with its flash-in-the-pan lifespan.

So this isn’t going to work. Unfortunately The Left is filled with anarchists and malcontents who know what they’re doing — they can see this isn’t going to work, and for them that’s a feature and not a bug.

People Are Missing Out on the American Dream, and the Climate is Going to Kill Everybody

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Yeah we watched it to the end last night. Caught it too late to absorb the entire three hours, but we were able to pick up the vibe pretty quickly.

Every four years their message is the same, doesn’t matter if their guy is in the White House already or not:

The American Dream isn’t working for everybody. Lots of people are being left behind.

It offers the appearance that there is a vital function for the democrat party to perform. That we’ve got this singular economic status that rises and falls, but we need someone around the periphery, like a piston ring upon an engine’s combustion chamber, to make sure no one is “left behind.” But who wants to depend on government and a robust economy that comes & goes as the years go by…for their American Dream?

The democrats represent fear, depression, hopelessness, defeatism — perfectly. Every four years they win the presidency if enough people feel they’re being left behind, and they lose if not enough people do. Every four years that is the dynamic. Without exception.

Ponder the ramifications. We shouldn’t be at all surprised when their policies bring about economic ruin…leaving more people with the impression democrats want & need voters to have.

As far as the climate change thing goes, it’s really scary but not for the reason the democrats say.

In their assertion that this is something under our control, they politicize against science while accusing others of doing that. But as a thought exercise, let’s do what they can’t do and make a presumption in their favor, for sake of argument, just to see where it goes. Suppose technology can deliver us control over the global climate, but we’re still lacking the understanding needed to achieve a reliably beneficial effect? You know, in that zone where we know just enough to do damage…where we’ve been with everything else, for awhile, that technology’s ever put under our control. Everything. Can you think of any exceptions? I can’t.

You’ll notice from the debates last night that democrats aren’t considering this as a possibility, not even in the slightest. They have zero healthy uncertainty about what to do with the carbon level…zero doubts…unlike responsible adults, with everything they/we do. So what if the global climate is just the latest plaything of democrats, who are about to ruin it? Like Baltimore. Detroit. Los Angeles. San Francisco. Chicago. Atlanta, New Orleans, DC, Seattle, Sacramento.

Higher Education. Art. Torts. Bathrooms. History. Late night television. Boy Scouts. Star Wars.

Emma Watson.

A Lady James Bond

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

I think we need more good ideas and we’re currently already drowning in dumb stupid ideas. But it’s clear not everyone agrees with me about that.

Drowning the world in dumb stupid ideas, ironically enough, seems almost like an Ernst Stavro Blofeld plot from one of the old James Bond movies. Well…maybe there is one doing that very thing.

Pierce Brosnan was asked about his thoughts on the much-discussed idea of a Bond gender change. Here’s what he had to say.

“Yes! I think we’ve watched the guys do it for the last 40 years. Get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting.”

Well…no, he’s wrong. It wouldn’t be exhilarating or exciting. It would be just another boondoggle. It just flat out wouldn’t work, for a number of reasons. A lady James Bond would have to sleep with between 2 and 4 guys every movie.

This would gross out audiences, even progressives, and effectively neutralize Bond’s mystique since women don’t have to have a lot of finesse or talent to seduce large numbers of men. Remember the Key Theory: a key that opens lots of locks would be extraordinarily valuable, but a lock opened by lots of keys would be junk.

Without a story to tell about an exceptionally talented and charismatic protagonist, the movie(s) would tank. 98% RT score critics, 38% score audience. The makers of the film would heap all sorts of insults on the audience for not being sufficiently accepting of it, just like Rian Johnson et al did after The Last Jedi.

And then they’d blame Trump.

I just saved everyone eight years of useless experimentation and $1.6 billion in production and marketing costs. Pierce Brosnan is an obsequious, showboating dope.

Four Kinds

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Once people start arguing about politics I notice there are four kinds:

1. I don’t want anyone to get interrupted, it’s rude, besides of which it’s hard enough for me to figure out what people are really saying/supporting/opposing.

2. I don’t want to be interrupted. You, on the other hand, have already talked long enough that I know what my rebuttal is so let’s go ahead and cut you off right now.

3. I want people to be interrupted whenever they’re saying something stupid. No one should complete a sentence unless they’re saying good, smart things.

4. I want people to be interrupted if they’re about to show something else is stupid, especially if it is something I said.

Sadly it seems like that fourth one is most prevalent. If nothing is ever shown to be stupid or unworkable or inconsistent with its own premises, there is none of that inconvenient logic, and we can all just have whatever-opinions.

Back when I went to school, sometimes we would have to write essays that we would hand in to the teacher and sometimes we’d have to write essays we’d get up and read in front of the class. There was a lot of trepidation about the latter, and some kids felt it more keenly than other kids. We were expected to get over it. Well…I’m told these days schools are “zero tolerance for bullying” zones and so anything teachers did that might have made kids feel embarrassed, I can count on them to have eliminated it. That would have to include reading essays in front of the class, or the tried-and-true “Who can tell me the answer to…whatever…uh, YOU. Go.”

If that’s really all been shoved to the wayside, then the same must be true of any incentive to pay attention if you’re not so inclined. Looking back on it I can recognize teachers have always been poorly equipped to deal with the daydreamer who just wants to stare out the window. Depriving them of the very few tools they had to inspire a better incentive, can’t be good. It would have to result in a lot of people graduating from school unsure of how to handle a detailed, coherent, clearly stated idea. And then I look around and I see — that. Pretty much exactly that.

They argue about politics in person, it devolves into interruptions and conjecture about Trump’s personality, Pence’s personality, the democrat contenders’ personalities…a lot of useless supposing about the intelligence levels of people we/they don’t personally know. They argue about politics on the Internet, and it’s a bunch of “fact checking” that entirely misses the point. You get the impression, in a written forum, that if the option was available to interrupt, then a lot of it would be happening.

It’s not good for an advanced society such as ours, when the ideas can’t emerge intact for serious consideration unless they’re bite-sized. Bite-sized ideas don’t work, and that includes this one. The exceptions are important, the patterns of exceptions are important, and thinking about what really makes society go is the most important thing of all. That’s supposed to be the whole point.

Can We Please Knock it Off With These Dumb Excuses

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Psychology, I maintain, is dead. And it isn’t because there’s nothing worth studying there; there is. There absolutely is.

The problem is the treatment of the science, not the science itself. They keep diagnosing things that aren’t really there. And then they fail to diagnose problems that are there. If this scientific discipline is to endure, I propose the following. Give it its own ICD-9 number. It is needed.

STANDARDS-A-PHOBIA. Or…something.

It is all around us. The “patients” who walk among us do not perform, will never perform, it’s always someone else’s turn to perform. All of the time.

Turn in your homework on time — Oh noes!! No can do! I has a learning disability. Participate in this meeting — I can’t!! I’m one of those individuals who are extremely sensitive to ambient noises blah blah blah…

Pay your bills. Earn a living. Put food in the fridge. Come have Christmas dinner with us. Study for this exam. Take out the garbage. Cut the front lawn. Change the oil in my car without stripping the threads on my drain plug. Cut up these cardboard boxes for recycling pickup without getting blood on my garage floor. Bring back the Ark of the Covenant. Pick up a gallon of milk on the way home. Figure out who Keyser Söze is. Trim the hedge. Sweep the walk. Change your kid’s diaper. Make the coffee. Repel the alien invasion. Apply the server hotfix. Redeem humanity of its sins. Chill the wine. Cook the roast. Peel the carrots. Blow up the Death Star.

In short…PERFORM TO EXPEC-FUCKING-TATIONS.

We have, walking around among us, poor sniveling wretches who have been raised to adulthood lacking the necessary vision. They don’t see themselves as worthy. To them, it’s always the other guy’s turn to perform. You’ve heard of people who are illiterate and have soldiered onward into their senior years, keeping everyone, even their spouses, in the dark about their inability to read or write. Well the same thing persists with the achievement of ALL tasks…the elaborate ones as well as the very basic ones. Lots of zombies staggering around in our midst, just faking it.

I don’t mean like I do, with laundry. I can shitcan a whole day and get just ONE load done, while my wife can do something crazy like nineteen loads or something. I mean COMPLETELY faking it, not even trying. “That’s for other, stronger, better people to do.”

Since it’s all around us, I say come up with an ICD code for that. And if you won’t do that then shut down the whole flippin’ thing. Because that is the disability at the root, the disability of unified common descent. It all comes from that, so diagnose it properly or treat the whole thing as Sigmund Freud’s failed experiment and scrape it into the trash.

I have this weird vision, that if the orthodoxy of behavioral health science can formally recognize this, then maybe, just maybe, it would follow that they can admit they had a hand in making the problem as grave and as big and as all-encompassing as it is today in the first place. Intentionally or not, these kids have been set up to live just a fraction of a real life. They can’t have all the things they want in life until the rest of us can count on them to get things done, and with things the way they are, we can’t count on them to get things done. We can count on them for the ol’ tried-n-true “I can’t do that [blank] until someone brings me a [blank]” — if that’s what we want, we’ll make a bee-line right for ’em — but we can’t count on them to deliver. Sometimes in life it’s the other guy who needs a blank to do a blank…to fetch a stepladder to saw off the tree limb, for example. And if all we get back is a bunch of excuses about how the ladder can’t be brought because of whatever…it’s dark and spooky in the basement, there’s spider webs, I’m one of the individuals who are extremely sensitive to whatever…then we’d just as soon get the ladder ourselves.

Society can’t work that way.

Koch Derangement Syndrome

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Derek Hunter writes at Townhall:

When billionaire industrialist and philanthropist David Koch died Friday, these people couldn’t contain their joy. He was a libertarian activist who gave to groups fighting (unsuccessfully) to advance the cause of individual liberty, but he also gave more the charitable causes and hospitals than all of the people cheering his death will ever collectively give to charity in their lifetimes.

What had to happen in someone’s life to cheer the passing of a man they’d never met and likely (and unknowingly) benefited from the largess of? It’s easy to say these people are stupid, but stupid people don’t commit stupid acts deliberately, they simply don’t know any better. These people know better.

They had these thoughts, then took it to the next step: the world must know!

He provides many examples, but in my mind Bill Maher takes the cake:

He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers for decades. So f— him, the Amazon is burning up, I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope the end was painful.

It’s revealing that the evident launch-point for all this hatred is the “fund[ing]” of “climate science deniers.” The other side had a platform? That’s the great evil that was done here?

To me, the big issue is why Bill Maher wanted David Koch to suffer. Liberals aren’t going to understand this. They’ll make excuses about how Maher is supposed to say shocking things, I’m confusing rules with exceptions, Not All Libs Are Like That, etc….and, it will get awkward. All liberals aren’t like that other guy either. Or that guy, or that guy, or that one over there…99% of the liberals are giving the remaining 1% a bad name…

How did Buckley put it: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

If the libs were as open-minded as they claim to be, there’d be no anger because there would be no reason for it. Koch would have persisted in his supposedly wrong opinion, he’d fund these efforts to proliferate the wrong opinion, and “science” and “truth” and “evidence” and “facts” would show how wrong he is. The anger and resentment and petulance and teenage-mall-rat mean-girl attitude of “We’ll just HATE them for-EVER” proves, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that liberals simply cannot allow that process to play out to its natural conclusion.

They know the facts are not really on their side.

That is the main dish. The spectacle of Bill Maher being a spiritually tiny, wounded, angry little man is just garnish.

“It’s Masculinity to the Rescue”

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Anybody else noticing this about the #MeToo thing? Not about the thing itself; about the quote-unquote “men.”

Harvey Weinstein. Matt Lauer. Garrison Keillor, Kevin Spacey. Al Franken. Woody Allen. Ben Affleck. James Franco. Bill Clinton. Bill Cosby. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Les Moonves. R. Kelly. Louis CK. Bryan Singer. Cuba Gooding Jr. Jeffrey Epstein.

They’re not all complete wimps. Affleck did a great job bulking up as Batman and I’m sure he could bench press more than me on very his worst day. But like all the rest, he doesn’t quite carry himself as a complete man. None of these are exactly cigar-smoking, steak-and-potato-eating men, right? Not a single one among them has built any kind of public profile that’s proudly masculine…a great many in this list have built a profile that is the opposite. The most macho out of the whole lot display their masculinity only in muted tones. A great many, and I mean a GREAT many, as in a bone crushing majority, have been out-and-proud left-wing liberals. More than just liberal; wispy, chestless, slouching, “in touch with my feminine side,” sweater-wearing, Live-With-Regis-And-Whoever-Watching…

Not quite so much lipstick-and-earring-wearing. But they don’t speak in a man’s natural baritone. Lauer, who had a push button to lock the door in his office, is the primary example: Just like any predator in nature’s wild who has survived by scoring his share of good meals, he’s gone on years and years and years putting out this air of “gelded, woke and safe.” Turns out that was two-thirds true.

There is this residual controversy about #MeToo vis a vis does it involve overreach, has it been going too far. It’s the wrong question to ask. The right question to ask is something like “Well what TF does this have to do with masculinity at all?” The profile of the predator has emerged, solidified, crystallized, and anybody who takes the time to inspect can see that the predator is not masculine. It is what we should have expected to see from he very beginning. Manly men don’t do these things.

Instead, the predator has taken the form we should expect the predator to take if he wants to catch prey. He looks more like Alan Alda than John Wayne. Just like the deep sea (female) Anglerfish with the forehead-protruding light lure, they give off all the right vibes of the woke, undeveloped not-quite-male man. So they can draw in the woke, wounded, incomplete women and girls who’ve made up their minds that the real-men are the real problem.

Masculinity is Not for Women to DefineBut when we take the time to look at real-world events and digest for ourselves what really happened, we see they have it perfectly backwards, as wounded-incomplete people often have it:

In every story of bloodshed and mayhem, it’s the same. Tales of selfless male heroism and chivalry emerge in the face of mortal danger.

These are men who rush toward danger, risking their lives and even dying in the noble cause of protecting women and children.
:
Call it the chivalry instinct, it is what inspires men to run toward danger to protect the weak.

This is the noble side of masculinity that we once would perpetuate in folklore and stories passed down from father to son about what it means to be a real man.

But in the new era of “toxic masculinity,” young men are taught to ignore their heroic instincts and learn to be weak. They are instructed always to be on guard against the monster within.
:
Evolutionary psychologists have found that women instinctively desire a mate who can protect her and their offspring. “Modern women” look for “ancestral cues of a man’s fighting ability,” in the words of a 2017 study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

This is the very masculinity that is being damned as the toxic seed of the patriarchy. Courage and derring-do is the essence of maleness and is what has allowed western civilization to prosper.

This is a deep concept that affects many of our most pressing and attention-grabbing issues, and affects how we think about them: Is strength, in & of itself, sufficiently attached to the process of brutalization that we should call it out as a threat — even in the face of mounting evidence that the real harm is done by the obsequiously weak? Is it right that we associate mass shootings with having a gun, when in order to do so, we have to ignore the millions upon millions of skilled, practiced and dedicated law-abiding gun owners who don’t hurt anybody? Should we associate having a large amount of money, with being responsible for economic injury against those who have much less, when in order to imagine this we have to weave together elaborate fiction about cheating, embezzlement and other shenanigans we haven’t seen take place?

If we answer in the affirmative, we built a society in which no one is allowed to remain the way they are unless they’re either weak and oppressed, or aligning themselves politically with the weak and oppressed — systematically attacking those who have made themselves rugged and strong. Such a society must ultimately nosedive into the dirt, like a lawn dart, because it encourages no ambition in its young except an ambition toward nothingness.

The dirty little truth is that there’s no contradiction here. Young men don’t have to look for ways to build themselves up into good strong men while “be[ing] on guard against the monster within.” It’s more a matter of fixating on the right priorities. Thinking about outcome, ignoring concerns over mannerisms, foibles, “triggering” microaggressions…worry instead about cause and effect, like grown-ups have to do. That’s what a real man does.

And that goes for real women, too.