Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Breaking the Law

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Genius Times, which is a satire site:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please don’t hurt each other. Not yet.

This Ends

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I think that’s how it goes.

We’re Not a Toxin Upon the Planet

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stop this nonsense.

Kung Flu

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Andrea Widburg writes in American Thinker:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hordes of Hoarders

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Normal forces of supply and demand do not apply.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Run.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 6th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Anti-Sex Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Never Created Anything”

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ignorance and the Internet

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harrison Ford: We Have to Start Talking Politics Again

Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

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

This part isn’t it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But then Ford goes on to say,

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

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

“We damn well better,” the actor replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I Hate Arrogant Men!”

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attorney General

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

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

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

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

There’s no fixing this.

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

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

Why We’re So Polarized

Friday, February 14th, 2020

A thought about why we’re so polarized:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why are we polarized?

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

That Vindman Guy

Thursday, February 13th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s no scandal here.

Next problem.

You Don’t Care More Than We Do

Friday, February 7th, 2020

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

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

Three Glorious Days of Democrat Agony

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Schlichter

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

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

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

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

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

Advantage, Trump.

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

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

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

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

Ocasio-Cortez was not moved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ve Been Called Much Worse

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Laugh it up, guys.

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

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

Well…good to know.

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

Western Shaming

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Victor Davis Hanson takes a look at the selective outrage around the world about carbon emissions, human rights abuses, etc…notes that the rhetoric consistently seems to round up usual suspects, who do not overlap much with those the facts say are the worst offenders. Then he analyzes:

There are many reasons for Westerners’ selective outrage and pessimism toward their own culture. Cowardice explains some of the asymmetry. Blasting tiny democratic Israel will not result in any retaliation. Taking on a powerful China or a murderous Iran could earn retribution.

Guilt also explains some of the selectivity. European nations are still blamed for 19th century colonialism and imperialism. They will always seek absolution, as the citizens of former colonial and Third World nations act like perpetual victims — even well into the postmodern 21st century.

Virtual-signaling is increasingly common. Western elites often harangue about misdemeanors when they cannot address felonies — a strange sort of psychological penance that excuses their impotence.

Humans are stained, let’s just start with that. We were supposed to be “angelic” in ways that could be debated endlessly among theologians, and non-theologians who happen to be interested in the subject. But however you define that, we’re not there.

As the years began and ended while I continued to study humans myself, I’ve come to see our stain as one of excessive adaptability. An angelic being would behave as if he couldn’t afford to make any mistakes, even in situations in which he could. He would act as if he were operating under a stringent deadline even when he had all the time in the world, and he would spend money judiciously even if he were affluent. This is not the way we are. It is in our wiring to spend lavishly and without good judgment when we have lot, and to move a great deal more sluggishly and pursue fruitless distractions when we have more time. We also behave like wicked little ogres toward each other once we become familiar with each other, and calculate that a friendly or family relationship has afforded us the latitude to behave without the sense of restraint and good manners you’d grant a total stranger. Without the grace, without the camaraderie…and without the sense of justice. It is in our nature to spread blame around when we figure we can afford it; to direct it to places that, as VDH notes, “will not result in any retaliation.”

We’re built to calculate the level of error we can afford to make, and then make it. The First World, all chock full of its white-western-folk, can afford much.

The situation with the carbon emissions out of China and India consistently and quickly dissolves into some back-and-forth about whether “per capita” is the statistic that should be receiving all the attention, at the expense of “overall,” or whether it’s the other way around. That’s because the U.S. ranks much lower as a world polluter if you count the emissions overall, but higher if you count on a per capita basis. Both sides have good points to make about this, but it’s the wrong discussion to have. The ecological movement doesn’t scold western-white-people because of “per capita carbon emissions.” It scolds them because they’re/we’re an easy target. Half of us, maybe more, are the inner-urban latte-sipping self-loathing types continually self-flagellating over the 1619 Project and other such rot, and are eager to accept the blame — not on an individual basis, of course, but still. “Oh yes, we white people are awful. Not me. Just those other white people. I’m guilty by association but properly contrite, so I am owed my salvation. Go after those other guys, over there.”

But how does this compare to identifying actual problems that require an actual solution? Anyone who’s really solved problems in the past should be able to recognize, finding a scapegoat to properly hate and properly deplore, is just the first step and that’s at best. Making sure the scapegoat has the right skin color, has nothing to do with it at all.

Our Strategically Brilliant House Speaker

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lefty Lingo”

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time will tell, I suppose.

Memo For File CCXIV

Monday, December 30th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Three Words

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s my “Fetch.”

Quid Pro Quo

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

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

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

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

Yeah…I’ll get to that.

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

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

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

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

Well now. Ukraine got the money. No quid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These Last Five

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Participation Trophy” Crisis

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s gonna get worse before it gets better…

Happy Fifteenth Birthday

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

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

Fake Oppression For the Rest of Us

Monday, November 11th, 2019

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

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

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

Veterans Day 2019

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Happy Birthday Marine Corps 2019

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

The Iconics

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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