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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 can 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 white middle-aged male our liberals detest, even though many among them are themselves white middle-aged males of the self-loathing sort, are left to ponder opting in to The Morgan Rule: “If I’m gonna be accused, I wanna be guilty.” For the better and more desirable demographic segments, the conundrum doesn’t even emerge.

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.

Do Not Leave Politics Out Of It

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

Politics is what’s changed.

I’m seeing so many people with good intentions say something along the lines of “When I was a kid everyone had guns, but nobody shot anybody. So we need to have a calm, rational discussion about what’s changed, and LEAVE POLITICS OUT OF IT.” Oh, I get what they mean and I understand what they’re trying to avoid. Trump haters say it’s all Trump’s fault, Trump’s fans say it’s all the fault of the Left Wing, so nothing gets solved.

So how come when I hear these calm, rational discussions started that way, I tend to tune out, confident that nothing’s going to get solved there, either?

MonstersThese shooters have many things in common with each other, but the one thing that really stands out is isolation. They went to school, they put a little bit of effort into blending in, they learned the hard way that you have to be accepted, acceptance wasn’t coming their way. So rather than self-improve they gradually gave up on the whole process.

Which I did, too. And there was anger over it. But I’m one of the crusty old farts who had access to guns pretty much everywhere, and I never shot anyone. How many my age can say all that? Lots. Probably most of us.

But back in my day, “You are to be shunned” was an experimental thing. Let’s see if we can end racism through social stigma! Bigotry has no place here! Well that was then. Nowadays this is the one tool in the box. Look around, it is for the most part the only way anybody argues anything. There are exceptions. There are people who make the case, support their arguments, let the idea succeed or fail on its merits…they don’t exist on The Left. The Left likes to think they do this, because they throw deceptive, cherry-picked statistics at people, they throw links to Snopes at people. And they call these “facts.” But they’re not arguing their case with facts.

What they do is label as “hate” anything they don’t like, and then “boldly” pronounce that hate “has no home here” and “is not welcome here.” They exclude constantly, even if the situation is risible, when they don’t have the influence to exclude anybody at all. It is their Golden Hammer.

What do you think that’s like for a little kid growing up, going to school, not knowing how to deal with it?

Ah, but there must be evil there, you say. Freeberg you never shot anybody. True. Well, why’s that? Why did I never shoot anybody? Why do we not kill each other? Is it because I was afraid of going to jail? Maybe, but before that there was respect for human life. There was the acknowledgment that once someone is born and breathing and walking around among us, it isn’t my place to take a life away, there’s something bigger and more important than me at work here. Uh…what’s The Left been doing to promote that?

Don’t stop talking politics. Both sides are not equally “at fault” with what’s changed, and politics is what’s changed. Politics shows — all too clearly — that whatever capacity we once had to discuss things and find common ground, using our disparate perspectives to work toward a common goal, this seems to have slipped out of our grasp. These awful events are merely a horrible extension of this. As far as the mental health aspect of it goes…it’s really all of us who have the mental health problem. Yeah, a lot of these kids are on psychotropic drugs. Well why did our society see fit to put so many kids on those drugs? Is it really because they needed the drugs, or because the rest of us can’t deal with conflict?

Stop excluding people and stop de-valuing human life. Stop replacing camaraderie and sense of community with “self esteem.” They’re not the same thing. There are consequences to this mistake.

Fork in the Road

Friday, July 26th, 2019

This new job has me commuting…lots. With Government contracting, being-there is the most important thing, which is a bit odd in these enlightened, greener, telecommuting times. It makes me wonder what kind of shake-up is over the horizon since this is an entire industry that views work ethics in a nineteenth-century context. People say “What about telecommuting?” and they’re right to wonder about it, but they also show they don’t get contracting.

It’s 120 miles a day round-trip. I just start out earlier, remind myself others have it tougher, strap in and enjoy the ride. The money’s good. I work to make money.

Now I haven’t driven that far for a job since…let’s see. Last century. Seattle, from one end of Lake Washington to the other. That was 48 miles one-way, 28 years ago. This time it’s a bit different, I don’t follow major thoroughfares start-to-finish in rush hour. What I do is squeeze through the Venturi tube that is the Yolo Causeway, before the journey is 1/3 of the way done and after that…well, I get to do whatever I want. I can take the advice of Google Maps and stay on Interstate 80 until the exit that’s closest to where I’m trying to go, which would be Leisure Town Road in Vacaville. And I did that, but I’d already ridden my bike through the surrounding farmland and I knew those roads well. The freeway traffic is pretty annoying, even early in the morning. And so as the days went by, I started leaving the freeway at Weber, then at Midway, then at Batavia…after all, those roads are clear. All these assholes cutting me off, boxing me in, they’re making me late. I started to realize something. The temptation to leave the freeway came to me in the impression that the traffic was making me late to work, and if I traveled over the farmland this factor would be removed. But I started timing it, and this resulted in a finding I should’ve seen coming: Negative. Not even close. It feels like the traffic is making me late when I’m going a good 65 or more, and driving faster than that in the farmland is dumb. Anything can happen. So the feelings are lying to me, as feelings often do. Relative to the farmland-travel, I’m actually zipping along at a good pace on the freeway, I’m just being fooled because other cars are going faster…which is something they shouldn’t be doing.

Also, the freeway approach is direct, from Northeast to Southwest in a more-or-less straight line, whereas the farmland works like a checkerboard. So the math says the distance on the freeway is roughly (1-(0.5^0.5)) shorter…about 28%…traveled faster.

I had to admit I’d been swayed by emotional reasoning.

This is something liberals are incapable of doing. They lack the requisite sense of humility. They don’t break out of emotional reasoning, because they don’t recognize what it is…because, at least in the realm of politics, they’ve never worked with or implemented or followed anything else. They can’t see how invested they are in it because they can’t contrast it with anything. To them, it’s all about the “gut” feeling. And that has the final word. You argue with them at the dinner table on Thanksgiving, or on Facebook the rest of the year, and you might be under the impression they’ve won the argument and you’ve lost, because they ensconce themselves into the judge’s seat and make it into a “Let’s see if you can change my mind” thing — even though they’re supposed to be the ones with the new idea. And they adjudicate your protests to be inadequate, because they’re under the impression that the rich people didn’t earn their money and managed to get it through shenanigans, or that Donald Trump is an idiot, or that Christians go around persecuting people, or that something called “climate change” will end the world in 12 years and it’s all our fault…feel feel feel. They think they’re thinking, but that too is just feeling. They feel like they’re thinking, just like I feel like the freeway is making me late for work. It’s all baloney.

So as I coped with all the eighteen-wheelers blocking the center lane, and the hot shots doing their double-lane changes without signaling, eventually I had another thought: This is stupid. There really is no deadline for getting to work, I’m just getting there early so I can get out again early. Avoiding stupid traffic is the whole point of getting in early. And if the freeway is saving me a few minutes, that number of minutes is, at the very most, something like six. That’s got to be a mere fraction of how much I’m shortening my lifespan each time, due to the stress of dealing with these idiots. Driving on farmland is dangerous. Driving on the freeway is also dangerous. That’s a wash…the freeway is faster…but I enjoy driving on the farmland, and I despise driving on the freeway. That’s all okay.

So these days I might stay on the freeway as far as Pitt School Road, if I’ve run out of water for the coffee and have to hit Safeway. Otherwise I get off at Mace. Or more often than that, County Road 32B. That means, I leave the causeway and I’m already coasting, getting ready for the off-ramp. I figure if I’m saving myself aggravation by getting away from these assholes, I’m saving them the aggravation of being around me. And I have no doubt in the world they’re calling me something similar. Morning commute traffic has a way of dehumanizing all of us. It’s the dark and unseemly part of what we call “civilization.” Many a cop would protest, with legitimacy, that there are darker parts of it, but of all the components that are supposed to be there and are required to keep things going, the morning-commute has to be the worst. You can feel the humanity slipping out of you every minute, and as I finish out the first hour of it I find I no longer like myself as a person. Every minute I can lop off of that is a good minute, so I’ll go ahead and cope with the checkerboard and the slow-moving tractors.

After all, it’s a beautiful day. Most every day is a beautiful day. I’ve reached the stage of life where I want to appreciate that.

This is naother thing liberals can’t do. They can’t keep track of the big picture. Just look at them right now…We gotta get rid of Trump! We gotta get rid of Trump! No, you don’t. I survived Obama, you’ll survive Trump.

This decision puts me in the farmland for…oh, quite awhile really. The traffic is very sparse. But occasionally you’ll see a pickup, or a tractor, or a big rig. Here and there, now and then, someone will pull out in front of you when you’re wanting to make some time. Passing is pretty easy since every road is a straightaway, the land is flat and you can see far. But every once in awhile you get something in front of you that you’d rather not have in front of you; passage could be made difficult by the vehicle’s wide rear end, or wide load, like a combine. Or maybe it’s an open bed full of particulate matter. Something you’d just as soon not have in front of you. And as you both slow for a tee intersection, you start to think…I can get where I’m going by turning right, or by going straight ahead, and my promise to God is I’m going whichever way this dumbass is not going. Right? Haven’t we all done that?

But, not everybody signals. Dumbass is going slow, so the drama is unfolding.

Fork in the RoadSo you do that thing where you peer under the bed of his truck, to try to get a look at all four wheels, see if they’ll betray his intentions. Look for some early clues about which way he’s going so you can make preparations to go the other way.

This is another thing liberals cannot do, and of the three I think this might be the most debilitating. Contingency plans. Forks-in-the-road. They can’t say to themselves, like all functional adults leading moderately complex lives must say, “If this happens I shall do this, but if that happens I shall do that instead.” Have you ever had a friend or relative who was seriously sick, perhaps had aged to the point where the final chapter had been started and everyone involved started wondering where it would end. What do you say to each other? “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

Surely I cannot be the only one who has noticed: Liberals seem incapable of processing the fork in the road. The meaning of the word “if.” They “know” just a little bit too much about what’s going to happen, and when things don’t unfold that way, they learn nothing.

That’s what we saw happen this week with Mueller’s testimony. Intelligent and functional adults said to themselves “Gee, I wonder what’s going to happen?” Or not…I was among the ones wondering what I could do to make some money off this whole thing. After all, if there was a bombshell to be dropped that would unravel Trump’s presidency, for good this time, it would’ve been dropped. I’ll admit to having been surprised by the level of disappointment. I’m a bit taken aback that the whole country is now wondering who really wrote the report and who really ran the investigation.

But our friends, the liberals, were only prepared for one thing — strategically, and emotionally. The only saw one outcome. That’s the way the script in their heads was written, and now that things have gone differently they’re completely shell-shocked. Omigaw, what do we do now?

And things have been going this way for them, the whole time. Cohen was going to sing like a bird, and put Trump away. How’d that go? Stormy Daniels. Alicia Machado. Billy Bush.

This has been going on since the very beginning, since long before Trump was even nominated. “This will be the end of Trump’s campaign…There’s no way he’s coming back from this one.”

It even predates Trump. It’s bigger than Trump. It isn’t even about Trump.

It’s got to do with liberals, their lack of maturity, and their inability to wait for something to happen before figuring out what to do about it. Their inability to process that most simple of situations: “Nobody knows…yet.” They haven’t matured, in a way, since they were little kids sitting in the back seat demanding to know from their parents “Are we there yet?” and “How much longer?”

Sometimes, you have to make more than one plan. Sometimes you have to prepare more than one speech. Sometimes, you have to admit you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Sometimes, the “perfect” plan that has absorbed the very best of your enthusiasm and creative energies, has to have a little empty box in the middle with two arrows pointing out of it, not just one…and it’ll have to be filled in later. In the meantime, you don’t know which way the pig-shit carrying open flatbed in front of you is going to turn. You have to wait and see.

It’s a blessing and not a curse, a feature and not a bug. How boring would life be if you really knew as much about what’s going to happen, as liberals think they know, all the time. How tiring that would become, and how quickly. We’d be welcoming the sweet release of Death before our thirtieth birthdays, I daresay.

We should all be thankful for these empty, filled-in-later decision boxes with Y and N arrows coming out of them, in the vast flow-charts that our are lives. Even if we do happen to have a President we don’t particularly like at any given moment. It’s the kind of challenge that keeps our minds sharp. It is why we leave the freeway.

If PDJT Were From Somalia…

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Word reached me that President Donald Trump said that the malcontent freshman socialist congresswomen “should go back where they came from,” and I was horrified. Such an outburst would fall well short of what the American public deserves and demands from the occupant of the highest office in our land; it is truly execrable.

I did my Internet research and was relieved to see there’s nothing to it. The President did not, repeat not, as has been repeatedly implied, end a sentence with a preposition. Whew!

He wrote: “So interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”

I see he has also been accused of forgetting which “places from which they came” in the case of three of the four “Squad” members, those three of the four being natives of the United States, so ha ha! Dopey old Trump! But it looks to me like a successful trolling, since Trump never specifically named who he was…uh, I mean, the persons to whom he was referring. He never named them.

Ponder the implications of this. It’s like Hercule Poirot assembling all of the suspects in the drawing room at the end of a mystery and announcing, “I will in due course get to identifying the killer, but for this moment let me just announce this much: He puts ketchup on his steak.” And one of them stands up and protests “I do no such thing!” What a bunch of dimbulbs. They actually held a press conference to launch their self-incriminating protest.

So when the talking heads “inform” us that, given the premise Trump must have been talking about these four, he’s 75% in error…sorry, it just doesn’t fly. I don’t accept the premise. There’s no reason to so accept. Yeah, sure you might say it is the most reasonable assumption, and at first blush maybe it looks like that much is true. But it isn’t, for that ignores the possibility that Trump was trolling. Which is far more likely and far more reasonable.

As for this other flawed premise, that saying “Go back where you came from” is racist, that doesn’t fly either. It’s an equivocation. We’ve got way too much of that already. Stop equivocating, stop pretending entirely different things are the same when they’re not. And don’t accept it when others equivocate either. If bedraggled, frustrated parents are bamboozled to taking their ten-year-old to the beach about this time of year, and the little monster ruins the whole outing complaining about sand in his swimsuit, and I hate building sandcastles, and I’m getting a sunburn and I hate kite flying and I hate saltwater and the seagull crapped on my juicebox and I hate I hate I hate…momma looks up from her Hercule Poirot mystery to say something like “Why TF did you want to come here?” that is one thing.

The xenophobe who lives rent-free in liberals’ heads, finding out some one is from India and commanding him to go back to where he came from, is an entirely different thing. Trump told the targets of his criticism to go fix their shithole countries then come back and show us how it’s done — sarcastically. He’s more like the frazzled Mom wondering what what she/he/they are all doing there. And this is entirely reasonable.

Why are they here?

Bollocks too, on this idea that we here in the U.S. are a cut above this why-don’t-you-go-away stuff. That’s not beneath us at all, nor should it be. If we’re going to argue about this stuff then let’s do it honestly.

If Donald Trump were from Somalia, the #NeverTrump crowd would cry in unison for him to go back to that mudpuddle from which he came.

They would waste no time in doing it.

Wouldn’t skip a beat.

Better than even odds, teeming throngs of them on social media would excoriate all the rest of us for not joining them. If I bet money on it, would I lose it?

Uh, really? Someone’s really gonna argue that?

There’s an old saying about pissing on my shoes and telling me it’s raining…

So sorry, mainstream media, talking heads, oh-so-sensible Quisling RINO centrist types. I’m not buying any of it. I’m not buying your conclusions because I’m not buying the fragile premises on which they depend, and by thinking like a competent adult — clearly outside of your expectations as you try to include me in your intended audience — I have found your conclusions rely on these flawed premises completely, utterly, for every single dry ounce of support. It just doesn’t work.

Here’s what works for me. Here are my premises and here are my conclusions.

I think you “news” people have abandoned real news a long time ago and are just broadcasting talking points. I think you get these straight from the democrat party that wants to see Trump defeated by whatever means. I think, in this respect, you are an unfiltered pipeline. I think you don’t even edit. I think if it reaches us mostly free of any spelling or grammar issues, we have them to think for that and not you.

I think our country has been lurching toward an unreasonable and unworkable set of expectations about freedom of association that benefits the left wing and all its adherents, at an expense to everyone else. Liberals, you’ll notice, can retain all of their social stature and at the same time, exclude. They can say “Why don’t you get out of our restaurant.” They can banish people from whatever, quite freely. Moderates get to do that too. Hippies get to do that, persons of all different ethnic makeups can do that, our immigrants can do that, hell even our illegal aliens get to do that. You don’t belong here! Clear the way!

The social expectation is that Trump and his supporters don’t get to do that because it proves the racism which is there — a non-event, if you take all this stuff seriously, for supposedly it is “known” that the racism was always there. The whole thing is nonsense.

There’s no skin color in “Why are you in our Congress when you don’t even seem to want to be in our country?” It is just about as race-neutral as you can get. Sure it certainly isn’t very inclusive…but lots of things aren’t.

This whole scandal is phony, but it’s not the first phony scandal we’ve seen crop up with regard to this administration and it won’t be the last. Like all the others, it is a test of each individual’s ability to think like a competent adult, versus thinking like an overly-passionate, undisciplined, and inexperienced child.

Speaker Amplified Too Much, Put Out of Commission

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

That speaker was getting old anyhow, really just a relic from the hippie era, covered with dust, maybe we need to go buy a new one.

This was weird:

Escalating tensions on Capitol Hill erupted into a floor fight in the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke in favor of a resolution condemning “racist” comments by President Trump — and Pelosi’s words were eventually ruled out of order, as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat, announced the decision from the House parliamentarian.

“The words used by the gentlewoman from California contained an accusation of racist behavior on the part of the President,” Hoyer said, in a decision that technically banned Pelosi from speaking on the House floor for a brief period of time. “The words should not be used in debate.”

She ended up losing her speaking privileges for the day. Evidently the House of Representatives has rules against impugning someone’s character. I suppose an actual Representative would have much better knowledge of this rule and more experience defining the periphery of violation than the average person…since impugning someone’s character seems to be oh, roughly 90% or more of what democrats have to say about anything.

It’s awkward when you’re holding a vote to officially excoriate a political opponent for saying unseemly things, and in the course of doing so you lose your speaking privileges for saying unseemly things.

Then things got weirder:

The scene then became even more bizarre when the chair, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., told representatives after a lengthy huddle that he was trying to make a fair ruling as to whether Pelosi had broken House rules governing decorum, but people weren’t cooperating. Cleaver told Fox News he felt Pelosi was being singled out.

Cleaver simply declared, “I abandon the chair,” and left — a moment with no apparent precedent in modern congressional history.

democrat partyWell the action does Cleaver no credit, but after watching the video I have to admit I agree with him.

In fact, there are those who say this whole thing is anything but an “oopsie” by Trump, or any impertinent kind of stepping-over-the-line, and is more of a calculated strategy and one well-executed.

Trump stated the obvious. And by his willingness to state the obvious, he has returned the obvious to the realm of public discourse. He has shifted the Overton window back to a more normal, common sense debate. It wasn’t a mistake of epic proportions. It was a brilliant insistence on having public debate occur in reality world, not in the Leftist’s dystopian fantasy world.

This makes more and more sense to me, the more aware I become of what’s going on under the capitol dome. Every time I watch these — what do I call them, I dunno, I certainly don’t want to impugn anyone’s character. But every time I watch them I’m happier and happier to be a small-government advocate. Who in their right mind would want important problems addressed by this crowd? And if they could ever run like a well-oiled machine, seriously what would you expect them to get done. Think like a grown-up not like a child, what would you expect. They’d make it easier to sell window installation services, tires, computer software, gasoline, sugar, life insurance? Easier? No. They wouldn’t. There’s no reason to think that. They’d make it harder. We should be celebrating when they’re dysfunctional.

And now that the House has held its vote and officially frowned on Trump’s shenanigans…what have we got here?

Nevermind the fact that this is a duly elected and seated House. Would you trust them with anything important? Putting party affiliations and oh-so-passionate #NeverTrump hatred aside, choosing between the President and the House of Representatives, who would you trust to produce positive results — with regard to your house, pet, your next business trip, or something of equal importance?

The media is still getting the vapors about these so-called “racist tweets,” theatrically horrified when Trump supporters say things like “that’s why I voted for him.” I was a Cruz supporter in 2016, but this is true of me as well. No one ever bothered to ask me if I support this craziness, this Salem Witch Trial logic of “You’re guilty of racism if your comments could be construed as racist.” That’s nuts, because I think all competent adults possessing any useful experience understand everything can be construed as anything. Who wants to live in a world where no one says anything that could be construed as something…by mentally infirm ankle-biters spoiling for a fight? I think the answer to that is nobody. So when Trump was ambushed at the last minute with this dumb fake “Miss Piggy” scandal, and the dumb fake “pussy grabbing” scandal, and managed to win anyway, I was thrilled. Still haven’t gotten over the euphoria after all this time. And it wasn’t for Trump.

Political correctness is the witch, innocent citizens saying harmless things are not the witch — it’s had water poured on it and is melting into the floorboards. This makes me very happy. Die faster you reprehensible parasite, and let’s entertain no delusions that you ever made anything better for anybody, ever motivated anybody to behave with better character, or ever kept anyone from feeling bad.

Next up, we’re going to have an election. It’s shaping up to be very much an either-or election; one side or the other is going to have to go. The case for keeping this House of Representatives and jettisoning Trump, as appealing as it may be for those who have been bitterly clinging to it the entire time, is tougher to make to any new recruits than it was a week ago. So if that’s what this whole thing’s been about, then Trump won. Yuge.

Feelz Over Realz

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

It occurs to me that obsessing over people’s feelings too much is at odds with respecting them for their potential. It seems, at first blush, like consideration and civilized sensitivity. Like you’re showing empathy to their plight. But it’s not. It’s smothering them and infantilizing them.

Think about this. Make a short list in your head of people who indisputably created a positive influence. Liberated others, defended others, did something to make it possible for others to do things for others…George Washington, George Patton, Black Jack Pershing, Chesty Puller, Ulysses Grant. Other military heroes. The itty bitty kids who weren’t old enough to drink yet, and dropped bombs on the Nazis. The heroes of D-Day. Our nation’s Founding Fathers: Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin, all them guys. Fictional: Superman. Or, if you’re so inclined, Iron Man and the Avengers. James Bond. And then your savior Jesus Christ. Your parents. Somebody at work, your boss maybe, who had your back when something went ugly. Guy who offered you his seat on the bus when you were eight months pregnant. Driver of the other car who waved you on through the 4-way stop, when you had to have a bowel movement really, really bad.

How did THEY FEEL? In the running-up to the act of heroism. During. And after.

It’s not even part of the story!

Okay maybe except for Jesus who wanted to know why God had forsaken Him while He hung on the cross. But even then, you’ll see there was no answer. The lesson is that feelings, yes, are definitely real…but also we have to rise above them to get anything done that helps others. That’s just how it works.

It’s a terrible, terrible disservice we do to young people when we condition them to think their feelings matter. There’s a lot of human potential being spilled straight down the drain here, because whole generations of kids aren’t being asked that most important of questions: Yeah, but didja die?

They could be learning how to help others.

And they’re being systematically taught now not to do this. How to just wallow in the marinade of how they feel.

Their Problem with Experience

Sunday, July 14th, 2019

So I’m making a list of things that mean something other than what they’re supposed to mean, and in a jolt I suddenly gain yet another new insight into something that’s been weighing on me for over thirty years: How come it is that liberals remain in steadfast disagreement with any competent adult who has common sense.

It’s got to do with the introduction.

I’ll explain by way of a hypothetical so I’m not including any of the items on the list: Let us say we have become generally aware of a vexing problem in our country, that it’s hot out and people can’t get ice cream cones whenever they want them. So the government sets up a Department of Frozen Confections…which of course is stupid. And our temptation is to get distracted by that, because people with common sense understand that if you really want a fudgesicle, you just need to pony up a couple of bucks and you can have one. And so we think the great divide between liberals and people with common sense is, liberals can’t form a vision of simply earning the $3 through honest labor, and then spending it. They want/need an agency to deliver them things.

That used to be the divide.

Things are changing though.

Think on this not in terms of conservatives and liberals, but in terms of conservatives, liberals and moderates. It’s important because most people self-identify as moderate. The department is created and the stalwart conservatives will write some blog posts about how terrible this is, taxpayer money is being wasted, kids are being taught how to go begging to Uncle Sam instead of how to do some hard work…these are all legitimate complaints. But most people don’t identify with them. Most people will say “Eh, that’s a stupid idea but who cares.” And they’ll agree with the liberals, ultimately. After all you can’t stop it, the department’s already created.

And the liberals will harass people in restaurants and spit in their food, if a single syllable is ever uttered against this new Department of Frozen Confections.

But then a funny thing happens.

The DFC doesn’t hand out any ice cream cones to anybody. It goes off on this wild tear, subsidizing “alternative milk product” development because cows are bad for the environment. Or they find some other excuse to harass people and get involved in all sorts of goofy projects that have nothing to do with fudsicles.

What then develops is this bizarre, crazy-quilt divide between promise vs. delivery, between labels vs. packaging, between expectation vs. fulfillment. This is where the support of liberal initiatives shrinks. See, the die-hard liberal is always going to go by the label. It’s the ice cream department! Because that’s what the announced intention was…you stupid idiot. But gradually the moderates who simply have some common sense, and didn’t identify as conservatives…come to swing over to the conservative side, after years and years of paying cable and telephone bills with “Department of Frozen Confection” surcharges at the bottom.

Bottom-lining it, liberals have a real problem with learning from experience. They can’t grasp that a symbol of something might be different from the actual thing. “Education,” to a liberal, is exactly that and it can’t mean anything different…”ANTIFA” must be anti-fascist, they’re entirely unswayed by the accumulated evidence that the group is, in fact, fascist. And it’s not just because they sympathize with them ideologically, although there is that. The big problem is that the name says anti-fascist. That it might actually mean something different from that, doesn’t register.

“This undocumented migrant’s ‘child’ might actually not be his child” — they can’t even comprehend the possibility.

Some of this is by definition, since a lot of liberals are young. You can’t have much experience when you’re young, that’s what being young is. That’s why liberals want to lower the voting age. They must.

They haven’t come up with a cogent answer to the question “What’s the difference between socialism and ‘democratic socialism’?” Because there isn’t one. D.S. is a label invented by left-wing power-brokers to bamboozle left-wing acolytes.

They think “journalists” actually do journalism, and “climate scientists” actually do climate science. This is why the divide exists, is so wide & deep, and is getting worse. You can explain to them until you’re blue in the face, your own personal story of how you came to suspect “climate change” might have more to do with politics than science. And you won’t get through, not because they’re disagreeing with you, but because they cannot understand how something might possibly be different from what it represents itself to be.

They didn’t read Little Red Riding Hood, or if they did, it was lost on them that the big bad wolf pretended to be L.L.R.H.’s bedridden grandmother. They may have watched Fargo, but if they did, they missed the significance of Mike Yamagita fibbing to Marge Gunderson about being married to Linda Cooksey, how before that surprise Margie had never earnestly dealt before with prevarication. Didn’t pick up that the whole story is about her world getting a little bit bigger, how she had to change her worldview to solve the crime.

This is the problem liberals have. It’s not all caused by inexperience. There are some old liberals out there. You’ll notice they all have that weird, mean look about them. It is the look that comes from having given up on untangling the mysteries of deceptive labeling, chalking up all detected contradictions in life to the sinister machinations of “George W. Bush and his oil buddies.” It is the look of realizing you’ve been deceived, again and again and again, and then failing to anticipate or untangle the deception, and eventually resolving to join the deceivers.

They’re confused, and angry because they can’t see a way through their confusion. They rely too much on the verity of labels, and not enough on their own experiences.

This is connected, I’m convinced, to their obsession with leaving it up to government to handle everything and forcing all their fellow citizens to do likewise. “Don’t need a gun, call nine one one”; it’s connected to all that.

Don’t Have to Remember

Saturday, July 13th, 2019

Yes, movies are important. All too often, we don’t even consciously realize it at the time.

In 1981 Indiana Jones said “I dunno, I’ll make it up as I go.” And since what followed was a “truck chase” that made action movie history, I didn’t attribute a lot of importance to that line. None at all, really. But then in the aftermath, ten years later, twenty, thirty, I discovered that was me. Often the hard way. Here and there, now and then, I’d be hired into “code monkey” jobs that were all about following proper procedure and doing it exactly the same way some other guy would’ve done it…who cares whether it works or not. And I learned I do not belong in those jobs. I received praise for my careful designs, but the ones that drew the most praise came from little sparks of the imagination…that won’t work, or it’ll work but I don’t want to maintain that, let’s do it this way instead. And then I went back and re-did it with a careful design and some good documentation. But first I made it up as I went.

But then.

Eight years after that line, his Dad said: “I wrote it down in my diary show I wouldn’t have to remember!”

And now it’s thirty years after that. ++sigh++

Once again…I assigned little importance to that line. But again, give it a decade or two and I’m looking around seeing just a few words back then have all too neatly defined my reality now. Taking notes on a laptop in a meeting is rude, I’ve come to understand, and so I grasp the notebook with its creamy-white last-century pages, and my trusty ball-point, like a dehydrated desert traveler clutching a canteen. And when the pen shows signs of running out of ink I’m gripped by a cold panic that wasn’t there back in my younger days. But when the meeting is over and the people dissipate, the chicken-scratching only accelerates.

It is the chapter of life I’m occupying now.

I have to write it down…so I don’t have to remember…I’m past that other point, that runner-up point. You know, the one where your memory is slipping away and so you think “I won’t write this down, then I’ll have to remember it, and that will exercise it and keep it around for a few years more.” I’m past that. I’ve learned the hard way that if I care, I don’t play that game anymore. It’s become a trust issue.

Oh so now we’re assessing competence in our technical personnel by making them memorize answers to questions, hmmm? No one asked me. But I’d advise against this.

And we’re teetering on the brink of assessing ethics in our computer programmers, which we’ve learned is a thing we need to value — the same way?

That’s a disaster.

I’m not saying so because I suck at it — although I do. I’m saying so because it’s bound to validate exactly the kinds of practitioners we don’t want. The “cram for the test tomorrow, forget it all the day after” types. The tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear types.

There is a story about Einstein addressing this. He supposedly didn’t know how many feet are in a mile.

One time Albert Einstein was asked “How many feet are in a mile?” and he responded saying “I don’t know why would I fill my mind with facts I can in two minutes in any standard reference book”

“Lady Ghostbusters” Rule

Saturday, July 13th, 2019

Success is predicted with greater effectiveness and confidence, by evaluating the priorities of the practitioners, than assessing the resources at their disposal or critiquing their methods of implementation.

Movies, as I wrote before, are important. They show us how we build things when the stakes are high, and how we consume and rate those things after others have built them. Now this one illustrates several important points. It tanked, at least in the sense that the audience was left wanting more even though the critics were afraid to give it anything short of slobbering praise. If you watch it, you’ll see there are a few funny bits in there that should’ve worked. These actors are talented. The writing is okay. It just doesn’t gel.

The problem isn’t the parts and it isn’t in the execution. And it’s not that they gave women too much prominence in the film. It’s the priorities.

We don’t discuss this because we can’t. You’re not allowed to dislike female-led superhero movies, or female-led action movies, or female-led comedies, or anything female-led. Because we’re not allowed to say anything negative about these efforts, the problems don’t get fixed. Again, it’s priority. The real mission is to entertain the audience and that’s what makes a great film. But that’s not where the priorities were with lady-Ghostbusters or with Captain Marvel, or with the new Tomb Raider. The makers of those films were concerned about other things and they ended up making mediocre messes.

Jason Reitman, son of legendary director Ivan, got into Twitter trouble when he announced he was going to give the franchise back to the fans. With our current prevailing insanity, the perpetually offended were free to read whatever they wanted into that comment, and it seems like the most damning inflection they were able to make out of it was that someone somewhere liked the old Ghostbusters better than the new one. That was enough to get the chest-thumping going, and the younger Reitman ended up apologizing.

Much about this is silly, but that one thing in particular strikes me as the silliest. New things, in general, are no good. More of these remakes/reboots/re-imaginings than not, move the audience to shout almost in unison “What was the point of this?” And the best example I have in mind for that is The Omen. It is a scene-for-scene remake of the original…because…? Why? There’s no answer. You’ll end up wondering this if you sink the time into it. Gregory Peck wasn’t a good enough actor? Why did you guys do this?

Fans of the Lady Ghostbusters movies should have been thrilled that it did well enough people weren’t asking that question. But, it’s a comedy with just a few laughs, measured against the time sunk into watching it, and it did about as well as most comedies that have just a few laughs. The market is not kind to such offerings, and this one was spared the harshest criticism that would normally rain down upon it because, well, it’s what Matt Walsh was saying. You’re not allowed not to like it.

I’m saying this as someone who wasn’t entirely thrilled with the original Ghostbusters. That’s another thing that makes this a good example. There was a fever that caught on, you couldn’t get away from the theme song no matter where you went, and people recited the lines from the movie everywhere…not because it was funny, but because it was fun. Harold Ramis and the other folk who’d put it together, wanted to entertain the audience. And it showed.

Kinda like Quentin Tarantino wanted to dazzle and overwhelm the audience with The Bride. He did a good job with it, and it worked.

Now the strong-women offerings today, just aren’t as good. That’s because the priority is missing…and what’s even much worse than that is, there’s no reason for it to be there. If anyone doesn’t like the movie or utters so much as a peep of protest against it, or merely withholds praise, you can just napalm them on Twitter until they apologize. It’s looking like something that’s crystallized from being merely an unseemly reality, to morph into a hardened battle-plan, a way to win Internet arguments about your movie. It makes for shitty movies.

Rapinoe Rule

Friday, July 12th, 2019

We need an extension to the Rian Rule, which is merely about the consequences of unconventional, contrarian expression. Something that has to do with mixing political expression with spectator-sport performance.

Rapinoe Rule: If the performer can’t keep politics out of the performance, the audience doesn’t have to keep it out of their reactions. And it’s improper to ask.

Goes for marketing/consumerism too. Shoes, shaving blades, coffee

Just on Monday I heard someone on the radio, who still has my respect and should know better, browbeat one of his listeners about Ms. Rapinoe. He might have been facetious about it or playing Devil’s Advocate. “Can’t you leave politics out of her great performance?”

In her case, politics is in the performance because she, as the performer, put it there. But that does seem to be the prevailing thought. Can’t you just acknowledge Julia Roberts is a great actress, that Robert De Niro is a great actor, can’t you just appreciate their performances…funny, I don’t hear anyone being upbraided about “Can’t you just appreciate Ted Nugent’s wonderful music?” Once again, our prevailing viewpoint tilts and it tilts, for no reason anyone can explain, to the benefit of the liberals who are wrecking things and destroying us. There’s no good reason.

No one’s holding a gun to the heads of these performers and retailers and demanding they alienate and piss off half their audience/customers. They’re doing that all on their own.

The Rian Rule

Saturday, July 6th, 2019

When I first started this blog, which no one reads anyway, there were a lot of exciting movies coming out and occasionally I’d allow my commentary on political events to mix with what I had to say about the movies. After hitting the Publish button I’d wander around attending to the various other (more important) bits of my life, wondering if that’s the right way to go. This was before Obama, and the point had not yet been driven home that liberalism is like a house fire, we can’t ignore it and hope it goes away…it was before we tried that approach and scientifically proved to ourselves it doesn’t work. And so everything about blogging was uncertain. People who aired their opinions in this new medium were constantly being told they shouldn’t, and I daresay every single one of us seriously entertained the idea that this is true, that we were wrecking something.

Sometime during all this, I’ve gradually come to realize that we are all living things, our political scene is a living thing, and as such it is constantly changing. And I’ve come to look at movies differently, especially the big-budget summertime blockbuster ones. These are massive investments made by people who have devoted their entire lives to relating to others. Now, I can form an opinion about things just like anyone else, but I haven’t been doing that. They know something I don’t know, and it isn’t confined to just making movies. So we stand to learn a great deal from them. The movies are constantly changing too, right?

Kids vote. By “kids” I do not mean, of course, those who are too young to legally vote; I’m talking in terms of age brackets. I’m speaking of the younger voters who were kids, and have now crossed the threshold. Here and there, now & then, they bamboozle the pundits and pollsters because it isn’t really possible to see in advance what this bloc is going to do. It happened in 2016, 2000, 1972, 1968…lots of midterms. The movies mold and shape how this new generation thinks. When you’re a kid, movies are a sort of reality existing in its own universe. In real life you have to wait until you’re eighteen to do stuff, and then you have to wait a whole lot longer to acquire prestige, authority, respect…in the world of movies, kids are important right away. So we have here a window, a crystal ball of sorts — a hundreds of million-dollar crystal ball, better than any other one we have, for figuring out what new generation is being constructed for us. By Hollywood, more than by their parents maybe. And that should produce paroxysms horror perhaps, but the good news is that the movies themselves are fallible. You can invest $200 million in a movie, that doesn’t mean it should make a profit. And if it makes a profit that doesn’t mean the audience — of kids — is going to like it.

I have noticed over the years that this imperfect lens isn’t very much good to us figuring out where we are, but it’s great for figuring out how we’re moving. That’s a significant statement. Because our movements are becoming more rapid, and the year-to-year changes are becoming more significant. We seem to be rounding a corner.

Now a fifth of the way into this new century, we’ve hit a point where the makers of the movies, themselves, are also kids. Or maybe it just seems that way to me because I’ve been aging. But in writing, directing, producing — and defending — their more questionable works, these movie-maker kids are doing a lot of things I would not be doing, which is something I view as instructive.

There is a trend lately, and it’s a recent one, to insert things into movies that will “really blow your (the audience’s) mind.” This crusty old fart is finding it just a bit annoying, particularly when the mind-blowing event is not supported logically by events in the running-up, or in the aftermath. “Turns out, when [blank] did [blank] he really was doing [blank]” appears way too often in the plot summaries. “He knew it was a suicide mission, it turns out.” “Turns out, he really wanted MI6 to catch him all along because his laptop had a virus.” “Turns out, he already abducted Rachel and Harvey before Batman caught him.” I’m not condemning the simple plot twist, which has been a staple of Hollywood fare for generations and generations. Hooray for Alfred Hitchcock, I say. No I’m reserving this criticism for plot twists that lack artistic cachet, that impart the feeling they were chosen by picking slips of paper out of a hat, and make you squirm in your seat and let loose with a hearty but confused “What the–??”

Now, this Last Jedi movie thoroughly abused the privilege. It’s impossible at this point to deny it. I still rank it higher than its predecessor, because it at least purported to answer some questions. But what were those questions?

1. Who is Snoke?
2. Who are Rey’s parents?
3. What does Luke do with that lightsabre when Rey gives it back to him?

And the answers were:

1. Go fuck yourself.
2. Go fuck yourself.
3. Go fuck yourself.

Doesn’t it just blow your MIND??? Awesomesauce!!

No. No it isn’t. And the new “This will blow your mind too, while we’re at it” extra trimmings just dig the hole deeper. The side plot with the rich people on the gambling planet, the turning loose of the goat-horses or whatever, the kicking-off of the movie with a prank call and yo-momma jokes, the burning of the never-before-mentioned “sacred Jedi texts,” the reformed stormtrooper’s suicide run, the Asian chick that foiled the suicide run, the nephew-trolling with the Force hologram…

They’re all rather clever ideas, and each by itself potentially contributes to an enjoyable holiday experience in the theater. But together it’s just too much. Yes, maybe I’m hyper-sensitized to it because they’re trying to “re-imagine” (ugh) Star Wars as a social-justice vehicle, and I’m not down with that…four decades after cutting lawns so I’d have enough money to go to Mt. Baker Theater, I’m no longer in the desirable audience. Which I guess brings us back to “go fuck yourself” as the proper rejoinder to my concerns.

But I do get asked for my opinion, and I have to rate Star Wars movies according to the likelihood of the disc to find its way back into the player. This one doesn’t rank very highly. It’s about on par with “Attack of the Clones.” With the original trilogy, we’re putting the useful lifespan of a DVD to the test, cooking them guys until you could fry an egg on ’em.

So I understand and respect that there is a new audience here, and these items that give me such consternation, they like them just fine. I get that. But that’s what makes it all the more important to clue ourselves in to how things are changing, bit by bit, by way of checking out the movies. The stories end up being incoherent, incomprehensible and nonsensical because the plot events are super-glued together — and the kids don’t mind? Okay then. That tells me something valuable. Kids today don’t appreciate stories. It’s a clue to the rest of us about how the newer generation thinks. Ooh, that blew my mind! Ooh, that other thing blew my mind! Mind blowing here and there! Whee!

All of this is leading up to a salient point though, more important than all the rest of that. The creative force behind the debacle, the mastermind. He’s been taking to Twitter to defend his work, and although he’s a humble dedicated creative type who takes the criticism in stride and is busying himself with seeing how he can channel it to make his future efforts better…

No. No he isn’t. To my knowledge, he hasn’t been doing that at all. You M-U-S-T like his work, dammit! If you don’t, then YOU are the problem.

It isn’t just Rian Johnson who has been doing this. It’s the default behavior now among filmmakers. “Here is how I re-imagined it, and if you don’t like it then go screw yourself.” Female-led action movies, as Matt Walsh has noted, are ensconced in this special exalted status in which you are required to like them. Even if a contrary leitmotif has emerged that you shouldn’t be allowed, due to your gender and your race, to watch them.

There was a time when artists of all kinds — writers, actors, directors, painters, charcoal-on-paper, sculptors, authors, poets — sought out criticism and prized it just as highly, or even more highly, than their praise. It was part of being an artist. They got to be that way because some practitioners like Herman Melville, or Vincent van Gogh, died in ignominy and squalor with their greatness discovered long after they were dead. Well who wants that? And so artists learned that the whole mission was to please the audience. Without that navigational guiding-star, there was no mission and therefore nothing of import was being done. You had to learn to relate, or else not bother, and that meant you had to constructively channel criticism or else not bother.

That was then, this is now.

We got here because we forgot “entertain us” rhymes with “anus,” we forgot that court jesters are not kings, and we’ve somehow hit on the idea that whoever has what it takes to drag us into an air-conditioned theater during the roasting hot days of midsummer must have what it takes to lead us.

There is something else happening here, something else that constitutes a meaningful cultural change. This whole ritual of coming up with a new and unexpected element. There was a time when “creativity” meant one thing, and that was a subtly different thing. You might anticipate the most likely answer expected by your audience, and discard it simply because it was the most likely…The Butler Didn’t Do It. Then you’d proceed to the second most likely, bypassing that as well as the third, and maybe settle on the fourth. There was an understanding that that, all by itself, was not “creativity.” For an example I would point to Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians which has found success and been remade countless times. There is a twist at the end. And it isn’t that the killer is the nanny, or the careless driver, or the big game hunter. The twist is truly creative, and it is connected to another meaningful event in the story: The fact that the police haven’t been able to solve the crime.

That’s not the case with Luke chucking away his lightsabre. It’s an isolated event. Wow, that blew my mind…so?

There was another understanding about having creative, unusual, unexpected ideas. It used to be taken as a given that some people wouldn’t like what you’re doing. So if you’re all set to receive the praise you have to brace for the criticism. Cilantro flavored ice cream? Bright canary-yellow house paint? A good stiff self-righteous scolding for being human, when you thought you were innocently settling down to enjoy a Star Trek movie? These are matters of personal taste. Some people may like these things — others will not. The ones who don’t like it will have something to say. There will always be a headwind pounding on the nose-cone of your craft that you’ve steered into the route never-traveled.

Not liking the criticism is normal. Being surprised by it or calling it unfair just because it isn’t positive, is annoying, and makes you look like something of a twit.

This should be a rule. We could call it the “AOC Rule” maybe. Or perhaps “The Rian Rule.”

Now having said all that…

The idea has now been put out there that people who go on the Internet in some form, like a blog such as this one, or social media, or YouTube…if we say bad nasty things about members of Congress, this is a “disgrace,” and…well…

“Those people who are online, making fun of members of Congress, are a disgrace and there is no need for anyone to think that is unacceptable,” Wilson said. “We’re going to shut them down and work with whoever it is to shut them down, and they should be prosecuted.”

“You can not intimidate members of Congress, threaten members of Congress. It is against the law in this United States of America,” she said.

Now the congresswoman who so proclaimed, is something of a clown. A Rian-Rule clown. No really, she goes into the halls of Congress and onto weekend talk shows wearing brightly-colored ten-gallon hats covered with sequins…for no reason at all that’s managed to find its way to me. So this kind of goes back to my original point about big-budget movies lighting the way and showing us where our culture is headed. This used to be unthinkable. Here you are working so hard to be unique — not better, just different — just to get attention. Your methods ensure that this will be a successful effort on your part, but of course you can’t dictate that all of the attention will be positive, so when some of it isn’t positive you get all twisty. And stick your finger in the air and start making these proclamations about disallowed behavior and punishment.

It makes me seriously wonder: Are these people, like Rian Johnson and Frederica Wilson, showing us their true selves when they hold themselves out as bold iconoclasts? Because to me, they just don’t seem to get it. In my younger days I went against the grain quite often because I realized I didn’t have what it takes to go with the grain, and there was no other way for me. With time, I’ve gradually learned to keep my mouth shut until such time as the “common consensus” is sure to lead us into some disaster. That’s the right balance, I’ve determined. Figure out who in this situation has something to learn — I see it might very well be me — and if I’m so sure that I’m the one with something to teach, stop and figure out if the learners can afford the lesson life is about to teach them, versus are they about to do irreparable harm. If they can afford the consequences of the mistake they’re making, then it may not be necessary for me to say anything at all.

But for all of us, if we do say something that goes against the prevailing consensus, for whatever reason, there will be blowback. Lots of it. Whether you’re right or wrong. And even if you are right and your critics are wrong, they still are, in all likelihood, perfectly reasonable people. You are, after all, advancing a novel idea.

It is the price to be paid for having one and giving it a platform.

It has always been this way. You play that game, you have to have a thick skin and not a thin one.

It is the “Rian Rule.”

Be bold and unusual, or be spared the inconvenience of unflattering blowback. Pick one. You can’t have both. No one gets to have both.

Patterns

Sunday, June 30th, 2019

In my youth, I bored quickly of this show because I was a spoiled Star Wars kid. The special effects are cheesy and dumb, by design, and it’s really supposed to be more about characters and relationships. Now I’m in my second-half-century on the planet and this appeals to me more. Having finished off the first season, this is all new ground for me.

I was surprised yet again because I read the synopsis for Season 3 Episode 3 and I thought…NO…you’re breaking it. Someone on the writing staff doesn’t understand the character of Pam, the low-drama, take-it-all-in-stride, the adult in the room. They built an episode where she does the annoying high-drama thing, “It’s either me or the [blank] and I’m outta here” thing…or so I thought. Hey it’s the early eighties, everyone was obliged to do this. Girlfriend says, Fine go on your adventure, your last bank heist, explode the laser beam satellite and save the world…I won’t be here when you get back.

This annoys me, especially given the era. We were being re-programmed to think of women as equals. And the first, last, and only thing they were having these newly-empowered female characters do was lay down the law — no world-saving when I’m in the picture. Get used to mediocrity, sucker. Now help me unfold the teevee trays, and turn the teevee set to Love Boat while I go get your bowl of prunes.

I mean, couldn’t feminism hide what it was trying to do to us for a few years?

But this episode is not that. Well it is…but you end up sympathizing with Pam, and it isn’t because the writers are manipulating you into it. She’s right. Ralph and Bill are wrong. You see it isn’t the donning of the red suit and the galivanting off on the latest sting of derring-do that’s got her piqued. It’s the pattern. It’s the fact that things have settled into being this way, every instance of normalcy is treated like it’s an exception but it’s all baloney. Bill says jump, Ralph says how high, and this is the way things are always going to be. She’s coming to a decision about whether she can deal with this over the long term and deciding it logically.

Can’t fault a girl for that.

And here we come to one of the more fascinating things about people. I have noticed this thing with patterns is a sensitive issue; people who live in patterns, don’t want to admit they live in patterns, and they don’t like having it pointed out to them. But sooner or later the subject has to come up and see the light of day. I’ve often said, in a few places, that whenever I notice patterns of things people get annoyed with me…oops, there I just did it yet again. But it’s true. People settle into a rut, and when it involves a lack of consideration for others, to just put a stop to things by cutting them loose without saying anything seems almost like cruelty.

But pattern driven people are firecrackers. “I notice whenever you put up Facebook posts with pictures of your food in fancy locales, within a few days you need some gas money from me until payday.” Boom. There’s no tactful way to put it. It’s too much truth.

This episode was put together very tastefully. The whole sequence of events is told from Ralph’s point of view, with him being the primary sympathetic character. In the end, it’s all about Pam’s feelings though — and how do you do that? The easy way would be for her to look down upon Ralph’s efforts to put together a decent vacation for her, like an angry and offended goddess, with a total lack of appreciation. And in the beginning they kind of did that, but in the end the message was driven home loud and clear: The relationship is on the ropes not because of just any one event. That’s what high-drama liberal chicks in Seattle do. “Ooh! I thought you were going to do this and you did that! You’re a promise-breaker!” Drama drama drama…yawn…no, that’s not Pam.

In the end, she just needed to be shown a little bit more consideration from Ralph, the pattern-guy. I’m sure if there was a way he could go on with his suit-life with the pattern dislodged, or merely disrupted, he would have done it. But, she saw that, and also saw there was no way, things would have to be like this for the sake of other people, and she could live with it after all. It’s Lois Lane‘s never-ending problem.

In real life, though, such alienating patterns are not the unavoidable side-effect of having superpowers. They are, all too often, signs of something not quite right. A boxcar that’s not quite fully lined up on the tracks. Blown deadlines, no-showing, “Sorry there’s been a change in plans”…it means there are others involved, a micro-community of sorts having been formed, with the less stable people exerting control, consciously or otherwise, over the stable people when the pecking order should, by rights, work the other way around. Such patterns can be left undisturbed. But when that happens, there’s a circle of trust that shrinks just a little bit, and someone who used to be on the inside of it ends up on the outside.

It’s far kinder to people to point out the pattern and allow the fireworks to commence, with the attitude of “If there’s gotta be bloodbath then let’s get it behind us.”

People are complicated. That’s why relationships are complicated. Third floor of a building isn’t gonna be any less rickety than the second.

Their Smirking Smugness

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

The whole point of the book I’m writing is that I, like millions of others, want to see liberalism go away but of course that arouses a question — what parts of it? Not the people themselves. If I wanted actual people to go away then I’d be a liberal myself, and I’m not. I can’t be one because I don’t hate people that much.

I think Wednesday and Thursday night we all became a little bit better equipped to answer questions of this sort.

Ackshyually GuyI think after they figured out they can use politics to put material resources under their control, the next summit of annoyance they achieved was this insufferable “I will win” thing. Providence is on our side, time is on our side, our opponents are on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of something called “facts”…WE HAVE YOUR CHILDREN

What they’re trying to replace is “God is on our side.” But they can’t bring themselves to use the capital G. And so a certain secular smirking smugness has crept into these substitutions of theirs. I know something you don’t know…I have done my googling and my snopesing…I have “facts”…and so they have become “actually” people. Actually, two and two DO make five, but if you need to have it explained to you then I’m way too busy to do it, you’ll just have to be left behind. It must be so. I’m so smug! And look how much anger I have. What’s what we saw in the debates. Seldom correct, never in doubt.

The very picture of someone you don’t want running anything.

They can’t even keep track of their own message. Two and two make five, and “you didn’t build that,” because I and a select few others have elite access to some nugget of game-changing information that eludes you…or…two and two make five because if I can convince 51 percent then nothing else is going to matter. Which is it? I don’t know and you don’t know because they don’t know. They don’t know because they don’t care.

Oh look at that, they want to do away with the Electoral College and lower the voting age to 16, but of course they do. Maybe the rest of us will support them in these efforts…if, and only if, we don’t have enough of the smirking smugness and we want more of it.

Former President Jimmy Carter added himself to the growing list of these smug, smirking, annoying actually-people, with his glib remark that President Trump actually didn’t win the election. Oh but of course he didn’t.

In my time I have annoyed people in a lot of different ways, mostly due to my immaturity. I owe a tremendous debt to Carter because, at least, I haven’t annoyed people THAT way. He kept me from becoming a liberal. At age 13 I could see what was wrong with these people and what they were trying to do. I can never thank the man enough.

Liberalism and Fear

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

The dumbest propaganda move The Left ever made, might have been to ascribe the motives of their opposition to fear. If you’ve ever argued with them about one of their silly changes they want to make for any length of time, or watched someone else do it, you’ve heard it:

You’re afraid! Scaredy-cat white males afraid of big tall black guys being on the same airplane flight or something…

I think whoever popularized The Left going that route, might very well have been a right-wing infiltrator. It’s a horrible, horrible idea for them. If I were a left-winger, the last thing in the world I’d want to do is get the whole audience thinking about, What would my priorities be if fear had no effect on them?

The answer to the question is, we’d act like conservatives. Some nanny-state do-gooder would approach us about voluntarily surrendering some of our rights, or our privileges, or our firearms “for the greater good” — and we’d tell ’em to shove it. It’s a beautiful dialogue that practically writes itself, and it would play out over and over again:

“It’s just that, ten years ago, there was this guy who had a gun just like yours, and he went to this crowded restaurant and did these awful things…”

“Well then take it up with him. Now fuck off.”

Fear would be acquiescing to such nonsense.

Here’s what they don’t get: Having, and using, the capacity to noodle out consequences to actions is not fear. If the liberal thinks it’s a great idea to wheel a baby stroller with a baby in it up to the brink of a cliff and then give a it a mighty shove — and let’s face it, a lot of their proposals are just like this — it’s not “fear” to understand that this results in a dead baby, and on those grounds oppose the idea. When James Bond figures out he’s got to blow up the orbiting laser satellite before it fries some major city and kills tens of millions of strangers he’ll never meet, and does his predicted transformation from martini-guzzling whore-fornicating nihilist assassin into altruistic white-knight who’s going to save the day because he suddenly cares about people — until the next movie — is he being fearful? That’s not fear, that’s concern for others, the one attribute all real heroes have in common with each other.

Liberalism is the Population Bomb ideology. It is the ideology of “Now that I’m here on the planet, resources are scarce, so fuck everybody else I’ve got mine.” It lives for today and retains no real hope for the future.

It is the ideology of a rat on a sinking ship.

It IS fear.

F*cking With People

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Rant: I do not believe in conspiracies but I do believe in common incentives and I believe some of these are hidden. These could be fairly called “conspiracies” because they achieve the same effect although they do not involve the collusion that should be necessary to qualify for the term.

There is a conspiracy to fuck with people.

Show me a hundred people who want a “climate surcharge” and I can show you a hundred people who want higher taxes. Show me a hundred people who want higher taxes and I’ll show you a hundred who want the climate surcharge. If things were on the up-and-up it wouldn’t be that way, because higher taxes are not good for the environment. Also, every dollar you spend on higher taxes leaves a dollar less available for surcharges, and vice versa. Furthermore, I would not be able to show you a hundred people who, by their own private conduct, do good things for the environment. On average, their “climate skeptic” dissenters would be kinder to the environment. So these are not people who want to preserve a livable climate; they are people who just want to make it more expensive to live.

California has water rationing during droughts, which makes some sense. We keep the rationing in place when there is flooding, which doesn’t make sense. Unless you accept the conspiracy to fuck with people. With regard to the environment, I have also noticed there is a “toilet paper rule” in effect: The cheap, rough toilet paper that chaps your ass will never be found to be bad for the environment. Only the cushy, comfortable, popular things are harmful. Environmentalism is not in conflict with things that really hurt the environment, but it’s in everlastingly conflict with us, and the things we prefer. And the measures that “protect” the environment seem to be chosen not on the basis of their potency for protecting their environment, but on the basis of their profile…which means their inconvenience. I mean seriously, what does the “straw ban” do? We got a much better benefit for the environment when the lumber companies began voluntarily planting trees on a 1-for-1 basis whenever they clear-cut a forest. But that did not get in the face of the average taxpayer/homeowner, inconvenience him, annoy him, obstruct him, nor did it justify the coercive police power of the state. So the straw ban is a model for future efforts, and the 1-for-1 sapling planting is not. That’s hosed.

We are indoctrinated from childhood to accept this. Our third-grade teachers told us “Because one of you did X, none of the rest of you will be allowed to do Y” and “If I make one exception, I’ll have to make a thousand.” We are conditioned to accept encroachments on our liberties and detriments against our standard of living based on the actions, or the neglect, of people we will never meet. In adulthood, we see persons of influence take advantage of this. “Things the way they are right now, with what’s going on lately, whenever you do a [blank] you’re going to have to get/do [blank] [instead].”

It has become the siren song of our times.

And we have allowed it to be this way.

But it’s never too late to reverse course.