Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Lessons Learned From Rand Paul’s Filibuster

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Okay, the drone strike thing is obviously the most important one. It takes so long to get a straight answer about this, and yet we have a “bipartisan coalition,” to coin a phrase, of windbaggy people who are ready to ridicule anyone who will ask it. Without being so windbaggy, I note, about answering the fucking goddamn question.

Let’s see if I understand this right:

The Constitutional blessing for drone strikes works from a three-point system. You’ll notice “three points” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, but everyone interpreting it seems to think they’re interpreting it the right way, and are horribly, awfully offended if their interpretation is called into question. The consensus seems to have settled on this system. Being an American citizen is worth a point; being here in the United States is worth a point; being engaged in peaceful activity, in the moment, is worth a point. Once you have been identified as an associate of terrorists, if you accumulate less than three points according to this, then the Constitution permits the President to send a missile up your ass, at His discretion. So. American citizens sitting in a pizza parlor who have been associated with terrorist activity but are not engaged in it at the moment, over there, can be droned. If they are here on American soil, sitting in the pizza parlor, but are not American citizens then they can be droned. If they are American citizens, and over here, and engaged in combat, then they can be droned.

If they rack up all three of the points and the President drones them anyway, then He is in big, big trouble because that three-pointer guy is entitled to a trial. That would be unconstitutional, and “inappropriate” in the words of Attorney General Holder, and the President would have to answer for this, uh, lack of propriety or something.

The other lesson is, we have a split within the Republican party with two sides to it. One of these sides seeks to preserve an institutional command of respect within the Senate, particularly within the Republicans in the Senate, that isn’t really there. They worry to excess about a loss of this respect that has already taken place awhile back, and they don’t seem to know. They labor under an unworkable contradiction: They want to get the word out that they are open and welcoming to everybody, and yet they will fall for every single gimmick of elitism that comes along. They’re constantly sniping at “fellow conservatives” for failing to believe this person, or failing to doubt that other person. And on the other side of this split, sit the open-and-small government types, who are put down and sneered at as “libertarians” or something. This side of the split believes, correctly, that if two and two make four then it doesn’t matter who says so, and if two and two make five then it still doesn’t matter who says so. You could define this split according to: Is it the identity of the person who advances the idea, that matters most, or is it the content of the idea itself?

Also, outside of the Republican party, seems to me there are a lot of loud people out there who think Congress’ duty according to the above mentioned Constitution is to do whatever President Obama tells them to do. And quit asking these pain-in-the-ass questions.

“Under Public Humiliation, the White House Will Do the Right Thing”

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Rand Paul, on his filibuster the other day:

“This was a very serious question. It was a question that took a month and a half to get an answer to and so I would argue — and I think a lot of the public would agree with me, both on the right and the left — that what we ask was a very serious question and it’s a question that we finally got an answer to,” Paul said.

Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday responded to Paul in a letter that said the U.S. does not have the authority to conduct a drone attack against a U.S. citizen on American soil.

“Hooray, for 13 hours yesterday we asked them that question. And so there is a result and a victory,” Paul said after the letter was read to him during the Fox interview. “Under duress and under public humiliation the White House will respond and do the right thing.”

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham were none too pleased with the whole performance.

McCain said Paul’s argument that the administration might use a drone to kill an outspoken opponent — someone like Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War — was “ridiculous.”

“To infer that the president is going to kill someone like Jane Fonda or someone who disagrees with him is simply ridiculous,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “If someone is an enemy combatant, that enemy combatant has nowhere to hide, not even in a café.”

“To infer that our government would drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda brings the conversation to a ridiculous tone.”
:
“I don’t remember any of you fellow Republicans coming down here and saying President [George W.] Bush was going to kill anyone with a drone,” Graham said. “But we had a drone program back then…so what is it that’s got you so spun up now?”

Great question, Sen. Graham. Oh no wait — no it isn’t…there is a history of prevaricating on this issue, maybe you weren’t aware of it.

There is a problem here that goes beyond drones on home soil, involving the behavior of the Obama White House in response to questions like this; questions which would, by being answered, commit the President to a reduced scope of available options. Obama’s people seem, to me, to be disturbingly sluggish in making these commitments. This goes back quite a way. It didn’t start with the drones.

Always, if someone asks such a question, the answer has less to do with providing information sought by the question, and more to do with embarrassing the person asking. I’ve been looking for exceptions to this and I haven’t found any. Most of the time, the scolding that is heaped upon the person doing the asking, takes the form that the answer is just so self-evident that the asking should have been entirely unnecessary. That certainly happened here — but the other thing that happened here was, at the end of it all, you get that half-page letter from the Attorney General’s office that says “no.” Now, go back and watch the video again…

So, that kind of scolding is not appropriate. And it is most regrettable that some of it is coming from ostensibly “Republican” senators.

Someone is laboring under the mistaken belief that Useful Idiots retain their usefulness for some length of time. Well, I don’t think they do. I think, you could ask a panel of thousand Americans, evenly mixed by geographic location, ethnicity, sex, sex preference, party affiliation and any other way, “If the Republican party is not for shrinking the size of government, then why in the hell is it there?” and you wouldn’t get ANYTHING back. Just an occasional “put black people back in chains” and that’s the only coherent answer you’d get.

A Republican senator providing cover to a democrat president with delusions of dictatorship and grandeur, is about as useful as a bag with no bottom.

“Put On My Server Smile…”

Friday, March 8th, 2013

That would be an interesting experience…to say the least.

The waitress was handed her own stolen ID.

Imagine you’re a waitress, out with friends on a night off, when you lose your wallet. Cash, credit cards, driver’s license—all gone. Your bank later informs you that checks are being issued in your name.

It’s a pain, but you carry on. Two weeks later, you’re at work when four people walk in and sit in your section. They start ordering drinks. You ask to see their IDs. A woman in the group hands a driver’s license to you. You look down, and it’s yours.

That is precisely what police in Colorado say happened to Brianna Priddy, a server at a Lakewood Applebee’s.
:
Priddy called the police, and tried to act normal while waiting for them to arrive.

“I put on my server smile and tried to take care of them, but I was shaking like crazy,” she said.

When police arrived, the woman, whose name has not been released, was arrested on suspicion of theft, identity theft and criminal impersonation. Police also found narcotics in her possession.

“Dumb criminal,” Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis told Denver’s 9NEWS. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind.”

Hat tip to Neo-neocon.

Area of a Triangle

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

As the definition of “learning disability” has noticeably broadened in recent years, I’ve harbored the suspicion that, although I wasn’t diagnosed with one in my childhood, if I had it to do over again today I might be. Every now and then some evidence comes along that elevates this from a suspicion to a near certainty.

I saw a web ad about some kind of learning program, don’t remember what it was. Girl calls woman. The girl is doing her homework, and can’t remember how to find the area of a triangle. So the woman reminds the girl that the area of a triangle is one half the length of the base times the height; so, what you do is multiply the base times the height, and then divide by two. Then they grin at each other. This bugs me, although I imagine others would wonder why.

I’m looking at it from the point of view of the instruction service provided: The formula was translated into a sequence of steps. It has me wondering about supply and demand, because when I needed help with homework, this particular instruction was in great supply even though the demand wasn’t there. And that’s mostly a ditto in the other half of my world experience, helping my son — translate a formula into a sequence of steps? Negatori. Choose the formula that applies, maybe. Figure out which bit of information in the “too much information” section is ripe for disposal before the real work starts.

And I remember the area-of-a-triangle thing pretty clearly: I was obsessed, like a dog going after a bone just out of reach, with the why. How come it is that this always works? For those who are a few years past this level of education, you can do this with right triangles, acute triangles, isosceles triangles, scalene triangles.

What makes it so? What if the width of the triangle is much greater than the base; do you use the base, or the width? And why? How is it to be demonstrated?

A chirpy math tutor just walking me through the steps of the formula, wouldn’t have done anything to resolve this. And in a way, it’s not a good demonstration of the problem because if I was off in the weeds meandering through all this, and I was interrupted with a task to just work out the area of a triangle as expected, I would’ve been able to do it fine. But it certainly was, and is, a distraction. And the other kids weren’t even wondering about it. But, to my way of learning, this kind of thing is a vital prerequisite to just getting the concepts down cold.

Hey look, even Wikipedia has the same kind of diagram (in the public domain) that got me going on all that. They’ve got a triangle with a base that’s narrower than its width. But if you follow the area-of-triangle link I embedded above, they don’t say anything about this scenario, they just give you instructions.

And, their instructions are equally lacking. Base times height times one-half? Or width times height times one-half? As it happens, if you simply ignore ramifications and consequences and hypothetical scenarios and simply stick to the script you’ll get it right, because the correct decision to make is: base. But can you come up with a proof?

See, there are those among us who can’t consider the lesson learned, with any confidence, until we construct some kind of a proof. After all, the question might be on the test: Base is a foot, height is two feet, width is a whole mile or more. Base times height over two, or with times height over two? And if it’s base times height over two, giving us a final area of one square foot, then how can that be, how does it work?

This step-by-step procedure-driven learning is like making your mind into a rake, nimbly navigating across the surface of such problems, while there are those of us who are more inclined in aptitude to work like pitchforks. We’re better suited for probing the conceptual material all the way down to the bottom, breaking up the clods, getting it all sorted out. Not so agile with the surface-spanning. It’s not that we’re slower with the work, the problem is that we’ve identified more of it to be done. Once we’ve identified it, we lack the ability to skip past it on command. It’s got to do with how the learning is done; it’s got to do with sequencing.

So yeah, the learning-disability mania lately really upsets me. It’s difficult to exhaustively identify all that’s going on here, but one of the things that seems to me to be undeniable is that LDs are being identified first as anomalies — this kid over here, isn’t learning & behaving quite the same way as all those other kids. We’ll work out why that is at some later time, but for now the important thing to do is to treat him differently. Well, that’s not going in the right direction. In my day I was held to the same standards as the other kids, and I had to figure out on my own how to make it work. Yes, there was some stress involved, there was suffering, some of it on me and some of it on my parents, and my teachers, and ultimately my grades. And, my adaptation to the world around me will always be incomplete. But then again, that’s true of any of us, isn’t it? Don’t we all have our little crosses to bear? Aren’t we all just a bunch of strangers in a strange land, in some way? Individual experiences are unique by their very nature, aren’t they?

And how does it improve the situation, to treat kids differently? All you manage to accomplish then, is to remove the incentive for getting the work done that really has to get done. They need to learn to map things out in their own way, so it can be programmed into their uniquely-laid-out brain circuits; they have to take responsibility for whatever translation tasks have to get done. It’s their job.

Somehow, somewhere, at some time, we’ve been sold this bill of goods that it’s the school district’s job to catalog all the students according to this iconoclastic brain-circuitry-layout, and start up as many special education programs as have to be started up — very much like instructing in as many different languages as are manifested in the native tongues of all the student body. See, we skipped past a dialogue we needed to have there. I don’t think that’s the way it should work. And on that particular note, I don’t think I’m one voice in the wilderness, I think there are others who see it the same way. But there, as in many other things, it seems we’ve settled on the answer that the system has to be all-understanding and all-knowing, while the individuals just sort of bumble along in whatever way they think makes sense.

This does not make for a graduating class of capable, productive and society-ready adults, which is what we all say we really want. It tends to produce, in my opinion, the opposite of this. Script-kitties. Experts in following sequences of steps, and when they’re done, the result should be like such-and-such…but what if it doesn’t work someday, what then? They won’t have the skills to sort that out, but that will be “okay” because it won’t be their job. The system we’ve managed to put together, from all I’ve learned about it, is a system that’s pretty sure it will all somehow work out fine. But, that’s the thing about bureaucracies: If & when it doesn’t work out fine, it isn’t anybody’s fault.

“My Parents Were Killed By a Sequester”

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

The first guy (1:12) could just take that answer word-for-word, and use it for everything that comes along. Which is probably exactly what he does.

I like the way they picked on the Obama opposition as well, though. Yes it’s true, there are people out there who wait for Obama to do something, and immediately see all the wrong in it; if He picked the other, they’d pick the other. But then, of course, there are the people like that first guy. Thinking is hard.

My favorite was the last one, though. Finally some honesty.

Ownership

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

An alternative speech prepared by our nation’s 34th President, from years earlier when he commanded the most complex and daunting military operation in human history:

Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

Not even a comma after the word “attempt.” Those are some balls, right there. Now, fast forward seven decades and ten presidents, we get

The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy, a slow grind that will intensify with each passing day. So economists are estimating that as a consequence of the sequester that we could see growth cut by over one half of 1 percent. It will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly.

So every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester’s in place we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.

I’ve been waiting for someone to go after this like a pit bull. If it’s happened, it’s escaped my notice, so we’re left just listening for Ike’s bones to rattle as he spins in his tomb.

The lack of ownership concerns me, and my concern increases when I think about the timeline. Obama’s presidency started off continuing smoothly from His campaign, blaming Bush for every little thing. This sales pitch became a parody of itself and, over time, seemed to subside. This suggested a message from the White House of “okay, that’s wearing a bit thin, let’s shift to something else.” So perhaps, four years in, we’d have our answer to the question of when Obama would start owning the results and the situations under His management. Couldn’t hope for an Operation Overlord “if there is blame it is mine alone” — but maybe a bit of “this isn’t working let’s try that other thing”? I mean for the sake of the nation, not for the sake of the democrat party or His campaign. I’ve seen He’s capable of this when it comes to campaigning. But He’s President of the United States, not President of the democrat Party or President of the Obama Campaign. Too much hope?

Evidently. Now we have another six months of, if this doesn’t go all wonderfully…or even if it does…”we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.”

This is more than a continuation of what came before. It is a whole new horizon in the sad, pathetic voyage of failing to take ownership, a brand new threshold to cross. Here is President Obama instructing us to believe — not spinning it this way, but actually telling us what to think, not even being shy about it — Republicans in Congress are to blame for everything going badly. And, if that isn’t enough of a kick in the gut, if things go awesomely then Congress is to be blamed for everything not being even better.

What if things go so well, that they cannot have gone any better? Do I even need to ask…all hail Economic Savior Obama. Gosh, it’s great being a subject in Emperor Barry’s kingdom. To think of all those frustrating years I spent trying to think for myself.

Over at our collaborative blog, CylarZ was noticing something about what I said there, also with regard to the President’s press conference. He found it to align with something from his recent personal experience:

If it isn’t your fault, you make it your fault. Really, that is what you do. For if it does not depend on you in some way, then what hope do you have for making it better?

That’s profound. I’m going to have to remember that. In fact, I think maybe this should be added to your “Things I Know” list.
:
…I should have asked more questions before jumping into the purchase…If I don’t “own” my screw ups and take responsibility for them, how am I going to avoid similar ones in the future?

Regrettable purchases are wonderful illustrations of how this all works. In any human conflict, it’s easy to say “I’m perfect in every way and the problem all has to do with that other guy.” But when it comes to getting fleeced, the wisdom just has a way of sinking in, along with the pain. Even those most jaundiced against the simple concept of taking ownership, really have to ask themselves: Okay, you did everything right, the other guy did everything wrong, now with the little-to-nothing learning from that sad episode, do you really want to go sliding on in to the next transaction? Really?

Winning is fun. Screwing up sucks. But if we don’t screw up, we don’t learn. That’s where the learning’s done. We don’t learn much when we win.

My son was having some problems with this about the time I was splitting up with his Mom. He began to sink a lot of his passions into this reprehensible anime cartoon with origins over in Japan, about a boy roughly his age who’d conjure up these strange-looking animals out of a ball. It seems in this universe, all the kids did something like this, they’d run around with these distinctive-looking spheres, they’d talk a bunch of smack at each other, and then they’d conjure up these creatures out of the spheres. Then the creatures would do all the fighting for the kids. The kid who owned the creature that won the fight would be able to gloat, and the kid who owned the vanquished creature would get all mopey and frowny-faced and butt-hurt.

Thursdays and weekends, when my son came over to my bachelor pad, I absolutely forbade anything to do with this perverse franchise from crossing my doorstep. Naturally, the day soon came when he wanted to know why, and I held nothing back: I said, it is my job to make you into a strong and self-sufficient man, by the time you come of age, and frankly I’ve seen a distinct drop-off in the attributes I’m trying to build in you, since you’ve gotten all invested in that awful cartoon.

It is equally accurate to say I’d seen these things recede since his parents split up. But, you know, ownership: His parents splitting up was not the boy’s fault. But the crappy cartoon certainly was.

Anyway, it had the desired effect. The kid wanted to know, what were these things he used to show in some measure, that had been falling off? So we made an acronym:

L is for Leadership
I is for taking the Initiative
C is for Creativity
O is for Ownership of your own problems
R is for Resourcefulness
I is for Ingenuity
C is for Courage and Conviction
E is for Energy

This was, thankfully, about the time the “new Star Wars prequels” were rolling out. So, after doing what we could to get out and have fun together over the weekend, and it was time to slide the take-n-bake pizza in the oven and watch what installments were available, we were able to talk about, wow, that Anakin guy whines exactly the same way as his kid Luke. Those Skywalker dudes seem to have some real problems with the O in their L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E.

And so, a pact was formed. He brings his damn L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E. And, I bring him what he needs to bring that. He was a bit unclear on the concepts there, and it is a father’s job to restore the clarity.

Some folks suffer the handicap of not having a father figure who could have restored that clarity, but by marshaling their own internal resources and making the right decisions, they manage to figure it out on their own.

I wish our current president was one of those people. Today, we, as a nation, would have more hope. As it is, it looks like we the citizens will have to bring the L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E. that He can’t seem to bring. I mean, I understand it can be frustrating dealing with a Congress and everything, I completely get that…but, does the average Obama friend/voter/fan realize that the 43 previous administrations also had to deal with unfriendly congresses?

You find a way to make it your fault, if it isn’t your fault already. If it isn’t your fault, what hope do you have to make anything better?

Wealth Inequality in America

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Hat tip to Ed Darrell. And, good for him, since I think it is very important that this information get around. Not so much the distribution itself, but how people look at it.

Of course, there’s a problem or two with it, which I’ll just leave unmentioned.

Adam Carolla’s Son’s Helmet

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

From pp. 16-17 of “In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks…And Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy”:

The tests suggested that if we didn’t buy the four-thousand-dollar PVC yarmulke, my son was going to look like Rocky from Mask. So after a plaster mold was made of his head, which was about as easy as stuffing a raccoon into a garbage disposal, four to six weeks later we received the final product. The instructions were to wear the helmet twenty-three hours out of he day, every day, for three months. He lasted less than forty-five seconds. He pitched such a fit and was so miserable that we had to pry the helmet off almost immediately…And today my son is four with a head prettier than Yul Brynner’s.

Please indulge me for moment on the off chance that the “expert” who prescribed the helmet is reading this.

Dear fuckwad:

Obviously you don’t know shit about your field. You said if my son didn’t wear the helmet that his sunglasses wouldn’t sit right on his head. Well, your four-thousand-dollar helmet became a four-thousand-dollar doorstop, and three years later my son’s head is perfect. Which means you’re either A) horrible at what you do or B) a liar preying on the guilt of moms who drive expensive SUVs. Perhaps it’s a combination of incompetence and greed. Either way, you should focus full-time on your true calling — gay porn.

Thank you.

That’s a bit insensitive to gay porn stars, and I wish he’d managed to intermix that splendid description he’d whipped up back on p. 15: “I blame us because we caved to the hypochondriac, Readbook-reading, Oprah-watching, crystal-rubbing, Whole Foods-shopping survivor-of-incest moms and their pussy-whipped attorney husbands.” Emphasis on hypochondriac. Hypochondriac moms, doing their hypochondriac worrying vicariously through their kids.

The rant about peanuts is splendid. At no point does he question that the severe peanut allergies are, in fact, real. And a lot of them are. But the question still remains, and the lack of curiosity about it is really rather befuddling: How come it is that if you’re around my age (class of ’84), you can barely, maybe, possibly remember one kid out of the whole school who had an allergy like this. Now we’re looking at one in twenty-five.

The logic is bad. Don’t take my word for it, try this simple test: Someone insists her precious has an allergy, or learning disability, or needs medication in order to concentrate, or is autistic, just…doubt it. Doubt it in the case of that one kid…and…sure as the sun rises in the East the next day, you are going to find yourself embroiled in a huge knock-down drag-out about whether the problem exists. So. You doubt the one case is a positive, and you are blitzed with this “overwhelming evidence” that the malady itself is a real one.

They can’t even keep their minds on the conversation at hand. But we’re supposed to uncritically believe them when they say their kids are special cases and need medicine or therapy or cartoonishly overprotective cafeteria policies about peanut butter.

The small-m moms are feeling guilty.

And it’s cultural. We place all this importance on being able to say “I’m smarter than the next guy” or “I’m more noble than the next guy” or “I really know what I’m talking about and that other guy doesn’t”…but, paradoxically, there is no value whatsoever being attached to saying “I am a better pick for the job than that guy, because I can achieve it without any special accommodations at all and he can’t.”

Attaching a sense of importance to that, I guess, would be like picking on handicapped kids or something. So now we all get to be handicapped.

“Yum”

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Fitting summary.

Hat tip once again to Gerard.

So this time last week it looked like my interview was going to be a bunch of quizzes on “fundamental algorithms.” Then I got some more interview materials and it looks like it’s going to be more like, they ask me “when in your career did you have occasion to use [blank]?” and I regale them with crisp answers about what I was trying to do, how I used [blank], what I’ve learned. That actually made me more confident about it because at this point, if I retired right now and ++poof++ instantly had some ten-year-old grandchildren, oh trust me, I could bore them to tears about pretty much anything. Databases, filters, sorts, normalizations, superkeys, validation, indexing, encryption, cipher, hash, digital signature, icons, cursors, hot-spots, color mapping…

But now I’m imagining this guy as my competition and I’m thinking…hmmmm. Built a robot back in high school as part of a group science project. Since then about the most complicated thing I’ve done has been installing new accessories on my bike, outside of building an occasional Pinewood Derby. I’m not in this guy’s ball park. Not even playing the same game.

Wonder what happens to the creme?

If I Found It In My Mailbox

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Hmmmm…interesting question to ponder.

“Uh…”

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Just one thing to add on to my analysis of the President’s press conference yesterday, in the post immediately previous. It’s probably much more appropriate to make into a post of its own, and so that is what I shall do.

Over the course of the many years since He has become a national celebrity, I have very gradually become cumulatively irritated with the President’s habit of making noises like “uh” and “um.” And I’m picking up the vibe that, although I am likely to be heading down a road all by myself in saying it out loud, I’m very far from alone in thinking it. Oh yes, I know this puts one in the bulls-eye zone of the target area for accusations of R-R-R-Racism. Well, here’s my response to that.

Regardless of skin color of the person speaking, it just doesn’t fit. We use “uh” as a habit of nervousness, when we need some time to grope for the right word, are not yet ready to relinquish the floor to someone else who might be a bit too enthused about taking it, who may not even realize they’re interrupting if our thoughts are a bit too sluggish. It’s a bad fit because President Obama, in spite of all His flaws and his lack of practical experience, is a sharp guy in His own field. And there can be no doubt about it at this point, His field is speaking. He is polished, He is rehearsed, He is sharp. We have had some presidents who are, on occasion, walking advertisements for Holiday Inn, or whatever is the hotel brand using the advertising gimmick of pondering the disasters in store for whoever doesn’t get an adequate night’s rest on a business trip. Obama’s predecessor is a good example of that. Obama is not one of those. His rep is that He really, really knows what He wants to get out there into the microphone, and in that respect if none other, He can live up to His billing.

It is a bad fit, even further, because for all the smarts Obama seeks to bring, the ideas He’s putting out there when He speaks are not formidable thoughts. They are very simple. It doesn’t take a lot of mental horsepower to channel them into words. Furthermore, along this particular point, there hasn’t been a lot of variance to them throughout the years. They’ve mostly been a round-robin. Obama speeches, on any subject, remind me of the rotary drums mounted in those pianos that can play themselves. Very, very small rotary drums…they complete one cycle and they play the same thing again.

And it is a bad fit, even further than that, because the verbiage is modest. Here, try this. Pick an Obama speech on YouTube. Any one, I don’t care which. Wait until the next time He says “uh” or “um” and then…this is key…watch for what comes right after it, and seriously ask yourself: Okay, did He really need more time to choose just the perfect word? Is that plausible?

This is the part where, if you don’t understand where I’m going up until now, you come into my fold and agree. It isn’t plausible. Yes, even President Obama’s use of “uh” is insincere, like everything else He says.

He’s using it as a gimmick. I will give him this much, I think at this point it certainly is a subconscious thing. He’s probably been building the habit since early adulthood, some thirty years or so. And it’s easy to see what the gimmick is: We have in our midst a brilliant and deep thinker, approaching the level of godliness, sort of, wading into a subject of deep complexity, and moving about with skill and nimbleness, determined not to make even the slightest misstep.

It’s just a complete crock. In that particular example, President Obama’s point was a simple one, an old refrain, one that should be familiar by now, even tiresome: Republicans are screwing you guys over and it isn’t My fault. There is nothing tricky about this, not even close. Yet how many utterances of “uh” and “um” do you have within any randomly selected minute of it.

Now I’m sure it sounds petty. I’m sure many will question whether I’d be similarly peeved if a white guy was doing the same thing. It’s a tough question to answer because Barack Obama’s gimmicky use of the word “uh” is a device He’s been using to exploit a low bar of expectations placed on Him. Geraldine Ferraro was right, and the real racism here is the racism within his supporters, who would not be supporting Him if he were white. This is proven easily: Many among them keep their enthusiasm rejuvenated because of, not in spite of, the “uh”; white guys go “uh” fairly often, and there’s really nothing impressive about it. So how come the black guy gets extra credit for it. What, you think because rap music is rhythmic and rhymes, that people of color aren’t capable of going “uh”?

As it happens, though, I do have an example that comes to mind about a white guy really, really getting under my skin with this stuff. It’s not the “uh” gimmick, it’s a different one. We were staying in a hotel and we had the boob tube on in the morning…an infomercial comes on about the device you use to figure out if your check engine light is coming on. So I tell the wife…wife, why are we watching this dreck? And the wife says, because I want to know what the thing costs. And I’m thinking, why does he keep jibber-jabbering and he won’t tell us? And jibber-jabber he does, and he gets to the price of the appliance noting what a steal it would be at three hundred, but it’s NOT three hundred. It’s not two eighty, it’s not two seventy, it’s not two-fifty. It isn’t even two twenty-five! What would you say if it was ONE NINETY NINE!! And then he talks about it being one ninety nine for a little while…then he goes, but it’s NOT! it’s not one sixty, it’s not one fifty, it’s not one forty! Think about having this wonderful thing for just ONE TEN!! Then he talks about that…But it’s EVEN LOWER! It’s not ninety, it’s not eighty…

So. Don’t any you sunzabitches go calling me a racist for this one. That would be yet another example of racists-calling-non-racists-racists, and we’ve had plenty enough of that already. I don’t give a fig about the President’s skin color, I just don’t like being talked to like I’m an idiot.

The device, by the way, turned out to be free. With some conditions attached, the details of which surpassed my curiosity at that point.

I gave the wife the feedback that, now that I’ve switched the idiot box off, I want to drop-kick the goddamn thing not out of the third-floor window, or the fifth-floor window, or even the seventh-floor window. Or even the tenth. How about…

Why is so much human creativity, in recent years, being plowed into the objective of deceiving each other? And with such a low level of regard for the intellect of the “mark,” the person who is supposed to be deceived. Dumb lies put together for dumb people. So, week in and week out, the President has another bushel of wonderful speeches to bring all peppered and pockmarked heavily with that word “uh.” It’s annoying because He’s just doing the same thing liberals of all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes do all the time: Make something more abundant that was never scarce in the first place, that by its greater abundance doesn’t make anything any better.

About the President’s Presser Yesterday

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

On the “Jedi mind-meld,” Sulu says the President got it right so that settles it…if we recognize an appeal-to-authority argument as valid. I’m afraid, though, if this demonstrates anything at all, what it demonstrates are the many flaws in that form of argument. To use one’s good name as a lever for moving insincere ambitions is a sultry and seductive temptation in the human condition, and it lives in the forever. None of us are immune. I recall Vint Cerf, recognized as the father of TCP/IP, weighing in with the notion that Al Gore was right to accept credit with the “I took the initiative in creating the Internet” remark.

By internalizing the reasoning process and taking our own initiative to peek into the water wells, we can see President Obama is just as wrong now as Al Gore was then. Actor George Takei’s actual argument, granting him the benefit of every available doubt, amounts to “Star Trek and Jedi knights both have something to do with peace.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Dignifying it with a response — and I’m conflicted about that, but I’ll go with it — Takei makes the mistake of neglecting thing-that-is-non-partisan-or-darn-well-should-be Number Eight:

8. [blank] and [blank] are meaningfully different; what works for one does not necessarily work for the other.

Jedi mind tricks put the ideas in. Vulcan mind melds get the information out. In and out are opposites. They are not the same. Note this is after ignoring, for no reason whatsoever other than it is injurious to the point Takei is trying to prop up, that “Jedi mind meld” is a portmanteau of sheer nonsense. The phrase doesn’t exist. It’s a botch, plain & simple, and one feels a bit silly descending to the level of pointing it out.

And, since I’m merely a fan of both franchises, whereas Takei is an actor on one, and yet I got it right and he got it wrong, this settles any outstanding disagreement about the appeal-to-authority, as well. I find the whole business to be strewn with gaping defects in logic, and fallacies both formal and informal lying hither and yon. Sincere presenters of assertions have no reason to use it, none whatsoever. Unless it is their intent to outsource the reasoning processes…which, if they really are sincere, they’ll come out and ‘fess up that this is what they’re doing, and offer due deference to anyone who undertakes the more disciplined work of internalizing those processes.

Putting it more simply: We have enough bovine feces floating around out there and we don’t need more.

Which brings me to that other thing:

What a telling exchange. And unfortunate for the President, in that the character deficiencies He is showing here, are easily recognizable to many of us. His saving grace is that this “many of us” probably doesn’t overlap statistically, in any great measure, with His constituency, since the defect becomes most glaring when it is in your proximity and you’re trying to get a job done.

Just look at what happened here.

Reporter: It seems like you’re not taking any responsibility for what happened here.

Obama: Oh yeah? Name one thing I could’ve done differently. Just one.

This particular exchange doesn’t fit the image that the President was trying to put together here. He’s trying to present Himself as the grown-up in the room, the cool but inwardly frustrated ambassador of good will, trying to get something done.

But those among us who’ve encountered the personality type, understand this is the type of guy stopping things from getting done. The “nothing is ever my fault” guy.

There is another point to be made here. My son and I have been exploring this in recent years: A lot of times in life, you’re going to look around at the wreckage of your latest failure and see yes, President Obama’s viewpoint is right here, there is absolutely, positively nothing I could have done differently. That is okay as an initial observation. It is not okay as a final conclusion because it just isn’t how productive people think. They don’t say it out loud and they don’t allow the thought in their heads. EVER.

If it isn’t your fault, you make it your fault. Really, that is what you do. For if it does not depend on you in some way, then what hope do you have for making it better?

So: We do not say “those assholes at the car lot really saw me coming, they really took me for a ride. Reamed me good.” We do not say things like that if we want to be productive people. We say “I really made a mistake going to that car lot.” See the difference?

A lot of people won’t. Seems the guy in the White House right now is one of those people. And, what’s even worse is, He seems to think it’s awfully important that we know this about Him.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Rotten Chestnuts.

Question About Internet Advertising

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Is it intentional that, when I visit a page that has an article on it that I’ve been trying to find, and you know sometimes that’s easy and other times not so much…the article remains readable for a moment or two, just long enough for me to glimpse it and verify that this is probably what I’ve been trying to find — before an ad floats in on top of it?

Because the ad, to do what it’s supposed to do, has to prominently carry the branding of the sponsor. Which means in that situation, within my brain, that sponsor’s identity is becoming irreversibly intertwined with the primitive sentiment of “fuck off and die.” Just doesn’t seem like a desirable thing, for the sponsor, to me. Is there a body of research work out there concluding that this is the right thing for them to be doing?

Sequestration Saves the Planet

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Yeah, let’s play a little game of “believe everything we read and see where it takes us.”

The planet is warming. Because it has been, that is proof that it will. We know this because of models. We made them with science.

The cause of the warming is carbon. Carbon is emitted by humans. Developed nations must cut their emissions. America is one of the leading developed nations, and has an obligation to cut its carbon emissions to save the planet. The science is settled that the heating of the planet is being caused by human activity.

America’s government is active. It does activity. It is populated by humans. American humans.

The sequester is going to mandate deep, draconian cuts. The cuts will come from government spending. We are going to have to go without vital, needed services because the cuts will be made without rhyme or reason. A lot of the things the government has been doing, it will not be doing. The government staffed by American humans, who emit gas and heat the planet when they do their American human activity. They won’t be so active because they’ve been sequestered.

The sequester has given us exactly the reduction in human-activity carbon spewing, that we needed to save the planet. We should find a way to do more sequestering. The planet’s continuing survival depends on it.

Update: By way of Maggie’s Farm, this chart from Gateway Pundit:

The “Equal Protection” Scam

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Not His job, and He doesn’t live here anyway. Isn’t He supposed to be out stirring up a panic over the sequester or something?

Completing what President Obama called his “evolution” on the question of gay marriage, the administration late Thursday called on the Supreme Court to strike down California’s voter-passed initiative invalidating same-sex marriages.
:
Just SHUT UP, Obama!In the new brief, the Justice Department argues that the ban on gay marriage violated same-sex couples’ constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law. But the brief focused on the California case and stopped short of calling for a nationwide guarantee that same-sex couples have a right to marry.

“The government seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement Thursday evening. “Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination.”

Hat tip to The Other McCain.

I’m having a tough time wrapping my head around this, I must say. This country does not allow discrimination because we have Equal Protection Under the Law. And so…we, the lowly sheeple who don’t have the slightest clue what we’re doing, pass a law through our state government, to apply to our state — and some guy who has achieved fame we haven’t achieved completes his evolution, way off somewhere, well outside of our state…well, He’s seeking to overturn our law because He knows better than we do. Even though He doesn’t live here.

Equal protection under the law!

You need to shape the fuck up and start doing it Barry’s way!

Same sentence. Same breath.

If we really think so highly of equal protection, then Barack Obama’s evolution is not truly complete until He moves to California, shows all of the paperwork in the process of becoming a California citizen that the rest of us had to show — and I’m having trouble envisioning that at this point since Obama’s stock answer to “show me a document” seems to be “Why should I have to?” — and works to convince a majority among his fellow Californians that we need to pass a new law. That’s how it’s done for us peons out here in Flyover Country, Mister constitutional law professor president guy.

But of course, if He did it that way, He wouldn’t be special.

Equal protection! Know your place and do what Emperor Barack says! All in the same document, same gesture. I just don’t know what to say about that. The cognitive dissonance, it’s just staggering. Mind-blowing.

Thing I Know #415. No practical or effective thinking can proceed from a fundamental confusion of a thing with its opposite.

Update: Come to think of it, this whole Voting Rights Act thing is more of the same. If any of these selected, historically bigoted states want to change anything, they have to stop everything and check with whoever the Attorney General is before they can go further. Premise underlying this bizarre rule is, obviously, that the AG must believe in the equal-treatment thing, and the bigoted states’ credentials in that matter are not so stellar. What makes the system flawed is that the premise is foundational and indispensable but there isn’t any mechanism to validate it in whole or in part.

Eric Holder believes in equal treatment? Who says? More dedicated to this than anyone in those states that have to do things his way? Who really thinks so?

How would I condense this summation of the bizarre times in which we live…it’s coming to me…it’s coming to me…ah yes, here it is:

Do what I tell you to do and think what I tell you to think, for it is not proven that you abhor slavery as much as I do.

The task now arises to look around and see how much of our modern, egalitarian “equal protection” society works according to this unworkable paradox. And right off the bat, I suspect it would be easier to make a list of what does not work this way. We’re seeing it in quite a few places now. Masters bossing around slaves, because the masters fancy themselves to be more faithful to the equal-treatment principle, even as they betray the principle in the bossing.

Mary Ann Freeberg, 1/10/1934-2/27/1993

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Quoting from Uncle Wally’s memoirs:

Danny, who was now driving the old Stevens and displaying an active interest in girls, needed a regular income to sustain his racy life style. I had achieved varsity status on the Prospect High basketball team and was looking for new and larger worlds to conquer. Bobby, two years my junior, had not yet exhibited the same restlessness, but soon his strong commercial inclinations would involve him in the general revolt. For the moment, however, our fathers’ firm opposition thwarted all of these noble aspirations.

Then one day Mom stunned us with an altogether unexpected announcement. As we finished our supper and prepared to troop upstairs she informed us, a trifle awkwardly, that there would soon be another place at the table.

“Who’s coming” Bobby asked. “Relatives?”

Mom and Dad exchanged a conspiratorial smile. For a change, Dad’s mood seemed less somber than it had been of late.

“Well, yes,” said mom; “but not the kind you are thinking about.”

Mary Ann FreebergOur mouths fell open and for once we were at a loss for words. Danny was approaching sixteen, I was fourteen, and Bobby was twelve.

“You mean a baby?” Danny finally blurted out.

“That’s right,” Mom said, obviously pleased with herself at taking us so completely by surprise. Mom was then forty-two and, by our unenlightened reckoning, light-years beyond the proper — or biologically possible — age for childbearing. Up to that moment the possibility of any further increase in our family had no more entered our minds than had the prospect of entertaining a visitor from outer space.

From that moment this great coming event dominated our every waking thought and overshadowed all other considerations. The spare room was cleared and converted into a nursery. Dad set to work making a crib. We boys were at pains, for once, to spare our mother any undue effort.
:
For the time being the dolor of the Depression was relieved at our house by the prevailing mood of expectancy. Not a little of the excitement hinged on the question of the newcomer’s sex. Another boy? Our parents looked at each other and paled. Surely, not another boy!

Ten days into the new year of 1934 a healthy, squalling baby girl arrived and settled all the speculation. She was christened Mary Ann and immediately became the center of all our attention.

I’ve come to see the sweet glurgy vague things like “the perfect Mom,” true as they may be, as interlopers for other tidbits of information that might be more helpful, in that they bring the virtue of specificity. Mom’s life could be summed up in just six words: She refused to be a victim. Fate certainly did its best to make her into one, more than her share of times, almost like some mischievous deity was having a joke at her expense. It couldn’t be God doing that, could it? In the years since her passing I’ve come to realize what’s true of her, and is also true of all of us: We would not have learned the things we’ve learned, about how to cope, if life was happy all the time. With her troubles arrived the opportunity to show, to anyone paying attention, that victimhood is an option. You don’t have to accept it. In fact, not-accepting it is the default option.

As the nest emptied, she made a living the way that was typical for empty-nest folk up in Bellingham: Started a business, retail, downtown. Perhaps it is more accurate to say she bought a business and transformed it. “The Paper Crunch” became a fixture and a focal point, if not a profit-powerhouse. Senior student after senior student filed in to get their resumes done, and in so doing learn from the city’s favorite mother-figure what their “studies” classes hadn’t bothered to teach them about becoming employable, or at least, showing the employability on a sheet of paper.

Had the brain tumor not taken her out of the picture, it’s a cinch to see her industry would have been crowded out by Kinko’s and all sorts of other multi-state franchises. But as anyone can attest who’s been thrown in the world of building their own resume, there’s a world of difference between demand and need. She took great pride in taking the time to do the job two different ways: The way the customer told her to do it, and then a second time, the way she thought it would make sense. At pickup time, she relished her little exercise of presenting both. She took great pride in the fact that the customer invariably chose her vision, leaving his own abandoned.

She subscribed to a newsletter for owners of businesses dealing with word processing and secretarial services. One day a letter appeared from another business owner that essentially amounted to a whole lot of bitching about “abusive” customers. In those days, I was in my last year in Bellingham, living in my little piece-of-crap apartment on High Street, getting ready to shake the dust off the town and head to the evil city of Seattle. I was on her staff, getting the computers set up, keeping it all running, figuring out who-broke-what-and-how. I’d say, watching her attend to all the various odds and ends of owning a business that day, Mom managed to concentrate on things maybe for an hour or two. Then she couldn’t take it anymore, because her don’t-be-a-victim switch had been flipped. She wrote the finest rebuttal you ever did see.

To this day, it’s the only time I saw genuine anger come through a piece of written phrasing, without completely destroying it. No, she did not manage to keep her emotions out. Yes, she did get her point across. I’m sure there are people walking around who’d be able to read it, and not pick up on the message; there are people walking around who might work at staying confused. But for those who are ready, willing and able to pick up on it, she got the job done. The point was made: Victimhood is a choice. So, “life” says you are a loser, you think you’re a winner — that’s the beginning of a disagreement, not the end of one. Man up. Tolerate this thing, conquer that thing — keep a cool head about you so you can tell which is which. This is a paraphrase, not of the rebuttal itself, but of her outlook on life itself. After she spoke her piece, and it got written up in the next issue, it was clear to me why she was literally shaking with anger before she made the time to sit down & get it off her chest. This is a very special kind of aggravation in the human adventure, duplicated nowhere else: Those who’ve gone through the exercise of winning in the unwinnable, seeing others resign themselves to defeat and victimhood, trying to figure out when & if they should say something.

Bad Day Cow
This is NEVER Your Proper Role in Life
You ALWAYS Have Options

It’s a real shame nobody kept a copy of what she wrote there. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now that she’s twenty years clocked out, that’s the Mary Ann Freeberg I remember: Check your sense of perspective when the battle seems lost. If life’s just handing you a big of crap, and you’ve been cornered and it’s just your job to stand there and take it now, well then that doesn’t mean a damn thing except that you’re looking at it all wrong. Find another way to case out the situation. It’s there, just look harder. You’ll find it.

Mom always considered herself a feminist. But then, even during her lifetime the movement was making itself victim-friendly and this led to some occasional conflict, similar to what I saw in the case of that whiny secretarial-services letter. It was a different world back then, the victimhood was not such a central plank of the feminist movement compared to the way we see it today. When it was there, she handled it the way she handled everything else: Take what you like, and leave the rest. It’s interesting to ponder what she would think of feminism today. Mom left just as things were getting really polarized, during Bill Clinton’s first two months in office. Since the summer of ’91, when they found what had been growing in her skull, nobody had too much time to think about how our nation’s culture was being transformed. So the significance of Bill Clinton’s rising was mostly lost on us. Some of us were aware of it, consciously, but we didn’t have the freak-out space left over on our emotional tabletop to really ponder where it was going.

In 2013, feminism is really nothing more than complaining about victimhood. She would not have the luxury of taking what she liked & leaving the rest, as I saw her do in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In this century, when a feminist is saying something, it means the feminist has found something the feminist hates and is inviting a bunch of other feminists to gather around and help her hate it, because it’s just further evidence of the patriarchy keeping them all down. All other pillars of the platform have been lost entirely, or relegated to window dressing for recruiting. Equal pay? You’re either fixing it or you aren’t, and if you’re fixing it we should see the end of the seventy-cents-to-the-dollar cliche after the passage of some amount of time. What kind of “feminism” thinks about abortion rights, really? Abortion is how you keep from becoming a mother. And gay marriage? That’s how you keep from being a wife. Mother. Wife. After all feminism has had to say, those are still the two most important roles for a woman in our society…today’s “feminism” seems mostly preoccupied in narrowing down those two roles, because it likes to wallow in victimhood. It should be called “anti-feminism,” when you think about it. It seeks to replace femininity with victimhood.

How would Mom handle that? I envision that she would concentrate on more productive things just as long as she possibly could, and then, hands shaking from the strain, I think after a few hours she’d lose it. Then she’d write something, angry, and it would be wonderful and amazing. People would read it and say one of two things: “I knew that, but I couldn’t find a way to say it articulately, thank you so much”…and…”I knew that, and I don’t like it, we’ve got to make sure this never sees the light of day because this woman is taking away our victimhood.”

And that’s a good example for us all to follow. We should all labor long and hard at this. Deprive them of their victimhood. Drag it out of reach of their desperate, flailing hands, like a drug from a druggie. It would be a kindness. Victimhood is no livelihood.

Blame

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Continuing the thought from the post previous:

The feminist movement is running into the same problem, here, that has confronted the Obama administration along with all of modern liberalism. Really, the same problem lies in wait for any movement that is better defined according to what it hates than according to what it loves. Such movements tend to have it in common that they must have everything their way, all the time — the “no justice no peace” thing common to all revolutionary movements. But then, when something goes wrong, of course they want to blame the same target of hatred that they’ve spent all that energy and time making sure should never have any influence on anything. The job of making that object of loathing ineffectual, it seems, is never quite all the way done.

Revolutionaries tend to suck at assigning blame. They make the common mistake of laboring long and hard at making sure “X” is bounced out of any decision-making process…they succeed at that…they brag about it…and then when a problem comes up, sure as the sun rises the next morning they all rush in the same direction to blame “X”.

The problem is that they get away with it. Look, it’s in the job description of revolutionary: As long as you get away with something, you’re obliged to keep right on doing it. So in a way, the blame for the blame-game must go — lest I be guilty of exactly what I notice in others — to the rest of us. We’re all seeing it happen, right in front of us. The young girls are growing up with this silly notion that they must never weigh more than a hundred pounds? We’re seeing the vicious mean straight women and the vicious mean gay men giving them this idea. So the feminists want to blame straight men for it, when we all know fully well how much straight men like round hips and big breasts. Well, feminists might like putting the blame there. But the fact remains it doesn’t make any sense.

Law-Abiding Gun OwnersIn the same way, we can see the not-law-abiding mowing down innocent people with their automatic weapons…so we have a lot of loud, angry people who want to blame law-abiding gun owners for things. What of it? Experience teaches us, rather consistently, that people who take the trouble to comply with laws pretty much go the extra mile to comply with all of them. Including that “don’t kill people” thing. And people who can’t be bothered to comply with one, can’t be relied upon to comply with the others.

I see we have a blame game going on with the sequester. Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has tattled on President Obama for misleading the public about this, and once again, the misleading is a very silly thing, involving the same silly two-step I’ve just described. President Obama has worked long and hard to win every argument, to have everything done His way. That is His job. That’s why He was chosen. You have to give in and do what He’s telling you to do, because if you don’t then that makes you a racist. So, okay…Republicans have lost all sorts of arguments, everything’s been done King Barry’s way. Now, again, there is trouble. And the President wants to blame the Republicans, against whom He’s managed to win all these arguments. And the joke’s not on Him, nor is it on the Republicans, it’s on all the people who are figuring “Well, Barry must be blameless, because otherwise He wouldn’t be blaming the Republicans” — it’s the revolutionary rule. As long as you think you can get away with it, you have to go for it. Barry’s a revolutionary. He just got done making sure the enemy can’t decide anything, so the next step is to blame them for the aftermath.

Which brings us to the Chicago thing. Robert Zimmerman, some very silly donkey-party Sunday morning talking head, wants to blame Republicans for the way things are going in the Windy City…which hasn’t been run by a Republican for some eight decades or more. Sure, he didn’t single out any Republican mayor for anything. But it’s still worth noting that if Republican leadership really is the origin of any problem, Chicago is about as insulated from it as any other city in the nation. So…in Zimmerman-world, it is still not yet adequately protected. Would this not tend to indicate that the Chicago way doesn’t work, then?

Well, looks like not. See, there’s an ugly truth we’re learning here: A revolutionary who has been winning consistently up until now, is a revolutionary befuddled. Like a spoiled child, he knows not where his boundaries are because he hasn’t run into them. He is obliged to continue to push the envelope, and assigning blame is just another way of pushing the envelope. He is honor-bound to do this.

And so it is their default configuration to blame the opposition when it makes the least sense to do so, when they have enjoyed the greatest success rendering that opposition ineffective. That is when they look silly, and that is when they should.

Men do not get to decide what the prevailing cultural notion is, be it right or wrong, about what a young woman’s body should look like. We’ve been removed from that decision, just like law-abiding gun owners do not get to decide when the law-breaking gun-wielder does, and does not, mow down a school full of children and teachers. And Republicans damn sure don’t get to decide what’s going on in Chicago.

Eat Some Ribs

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Once again, a girl has whittled God’s gracious gift down to a bony nuthin’…thinks it’s worth snapping a picture and putting on the Internet. This is somehow, in the minds of many, the fault of guys.

Don’t think so, folks. As this conversation has come up throughout the years, and I’ve discussed in it guys-only settings, I’ve met maybe in my entire life two gentlemen who favored the “must run around in shower to get wet” look. If it is anybody’s fault, it is the fault of the fashion industry. The fashion industry has very little to do with guys. Well, little to do with guys who like women anyway.

This is what guys like.

The feminist movement is running into the same problem, here, that has confronted the Obama administration along with all of modern liberalism. Really, the same problem lies in wait for any movement that is better defined according to what it hates than according to what it loves. Such movements tend to have it in common that they must have everything their way, all the time — the “no justice no peace” thing common to all revolutionary movements. But then, when something goes wrong, of course they want to blame the same target of hatred that they’ve spent all that energy and time making sure should never have any influence on anything. The job of making that object of loathing ineffectual, it seems, is never quite all the way done.

Young girls, their heads crammed full of feminist claptrap, no longer want to grow up to look like real women. They’d rather be walking skeletons. And then this is supposed to be mens’ fault.

No CalvesAs it happens, I recall lately seeing a thread in which a bunch of gents were criticizing Kate Upton’s calves for, well, for not being there. You remember Kate Upton, Swimsuit Illustrated babe…the one that was criticized for being a moo-cow by that “skinnygossip” blogger.

Who, as terrible as her sense of judgment is about a woman’s body, agrees with me about the overall situation…men want more curves, jealous mean valley girls think bag-of-antlers is the only acceptable look…

Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!
:
Yes, yes, I know that every tobacco-chewing, beer-drinking, shotgun-toting, NASCAR-watching man south of the Mason-Dixon line would love to get into her pants – but most of those guys wouldn’t know a beautiful woman if she jumped out in front of his pickup truck.

Okay, so maybe there’s a time gap going on here, during which time the model might have gained or lost weight. Models do that. But we have a fairly well defined difference of opinion going on here: The catty jealous skeletor bitch who writes her hateful little gossip column thinks Ms. Upton is a Sumo-wrestling, lard-eating squishy-brick moo cow. And the guys — along with the many upset “fans” who wrote in with their hate mail against the skeletor bitch — think the model is just fine, but might want to think about building up more muscle in the calf area.

And I’m in the latter group. The Kate Upton I’m seeing here, could use some inches in the roundness-of-hip area. And the calves would worry me, if I was in a position to think about it seriously. Skinny calves are trouble. There’s very little you can do to exert yourself, that doesn’t have something to do with the calf area. When a woman has PVC pipe calves it means she’s spending a lot of time sitting on the couch, watching teevee, and it’s probably not good teevee either. Reality teevee crap, maybe some home-shopping network, and tons and tons of “Lifetime” and “Oxygen Network” programming. Ordering her boyfriend to go out and bring her things. And probably owns a tiny dog. A really loud, annoying one. That she carries in a purse. My son brings home a prospective daughter-in-law for me and she doesn’t have calves, he & I are going to go off and have some serious conversations about things.

And, I also have to ask: “huge thighs”? I’m looking right at her thighs, right now. Those are some nice looking thighs. A bit on the thin side, if anything. Now, if you want to criticize the way Kate Upton throws a softball, then we can talk.

Yes, girls today do have an “eating disorder” and it is cultural. It doesn’t have that much to do with men, though.

Update: These are calves. Literally, gold medal calves:

“Put Your Phone Number in my Phone”

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

From Sonic Charmer.

“Government by Freakout”

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Peggy Noonan notices something I wish she’d noticed earlier:

It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama. It is always government by freakout.
:
Obviously the potential budget cuts the administration is announcing—well, not announcing but warning of—are the kind that would cause maximum pain, inconvenience or alarm. Obviously too, the administration doesn’t want to be clear about exactly who might be affected, how or when. Let the imaginative dwell on the extent of the menace; let them do it on cable news.

In a way it’s all brilliant showbiz: Scare people into supporting your position. But we’ve been though it before, and you wonder, again, why a triumphant president and a battered Republican House majority can’t reach a responsible agreement.

Opinions differ on President Obama. How could they not? He’s polarizing, and it isn’t just because of the efforts of others; He does His work by being polarizing.

And I think things are going to continue to get worse until some of His supporters admit that He’s different from what they thought He was. Until some from among their ranks admit that they got snookered. Trouble is, by the definition of their class membership, they are less likely to ever admit they got snookered by something.

And they got snookered big-time. I remember back in ’08 someone was trying to get the meme rolling that His nickname should be “no-drama Obama.” Heh heh, heheheh. That One? Low drama, or no drama? In what world did you ever see that?

The Barack Obama I’ve seen for the past several years, is more-or-less a perfect recitation of what scam artists tell gullible old people when they manage to catch them on the phone: “The cost of NOT acting could be higher than you could ever imagine.” Always some looming crisis resulting from a longstanding pattern of negligence, and now we have our last, best hope to correct it and avert disaster. But…in this case, the scam artist has been calling the gullible old people on the phone every goddamn day, for five, six, seven years or so…and winning every single argument. Seriously, name three big things that were decided over the last five years, that were decided in some way meaningfully different from the way Barack Obama wanted them decided. And yet here we still are. Some looming crisis about to befall us, because of our sins, and High Priest Barry is telling us how to mend our ways at the last possible second to escape our unfathomably miserable, yet richly-deserved, fate.

Again.

Yawn.

It’s all very tiresome…

Say It…

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Within our evolving society, we seem to be losing the ability to say:

1. We got taken for a ride, let’s just admit it.
2. Let’s figure out how this thing works.
3. This is harder than I thought, I’d better up my game.
4. He gives a great speech, whether his ideas are any good is another matter.
5. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
6. But is there a way I can do that for myself?
7. What am I going to build today?
8. Nobody’s giving me permission, but I don’t see any signs saying I can’t, so let’s go.
9. Let’s put that money in the bank so we’re better prepared for tomorrow.
10. But is it profitable?

Effort Shock

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

This makes more sense than any other Cracked article I’ve read in a long time. And actually, that is not a putdown of Cracked articles, that’s really saying something. A lot of them do make sense.

But this one, more than most.

We have a vague idea in our head of the “price” of certain accomplishments, how difficult it should be to get a degree, or succeed at a job, or stay in shape, or raise a kid, or build a house. And that vague idea is almost always catastrophically wrong.

Accomplishing worthwhile things isn’t just a little harder than people think; it’s 10 or 20 times harder. Like losing weight. You make yourself miserable for six months and find yourself down a whopping four pounds. Let yourself go at a single all-you-can-eat buffet and you’ve gained it all back.
:
I really think Effort Shock has been one of the major drivers of world events. Think about the whole economic collapse and the bad credit bubble. You can imagine millions of working types saying, “All right, I have NO free time. I work every day, all day. I come home and take care of the kids. We live in a tiny house, with two shitty cars. And we are still deeper in debt every single month.” So they borrow and buy on credit because they have this unspoken assumption that, dammit, the universe will surely right itself at some point and the amount of money we should have been making all along (according to our level of effort) will come raining down.
:
The world demands more. So, so much more. How have we gotten to adulthood and failed to realize this? Why would our expectations of the world be so off? I blame the montages. Five breezy minutes, from sucking at karate to being great at karate, from morbid obesity to trim, from geeky girl to prom queen, from terrible garage band to awesome rock band.

It’s the eye of the tiger it’s the thrill of the fight. Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival…

Candy…

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

…yes, candy. That thing little kids choose, and try to get away with, right before the grown-ups have to step in and say no.

Which evidently didn’t happen last fall (hat tip to National Review).

[Commission on Presidential Debates co-chairman Frank] Fahrenkopf said he was proud of his role in helping to pick the debate moderators, but then added, shockingly I thought: “We made one mistake this time: Her name is Candy,” a reference to Candy Crowley of CNN, who absorbed hosannas from the left and brickbats from the right after she corrected Mitt Romney during the second debate.

Ed Morrissey provides video of Candy Crowley’s mea culpa. This is right after the debate ended:

And for those who don’t recall, here’s Ms. Crowley getting bored with her role as moderator, and deciding to jump in to a side gig of fact checker; just like Star Trek actors going cowboy or gangster or Robin Hood or something.

“Could you say that a little louder, Candy?”

So let’s recap. Candy Crowley says Mitt Romney was right “in the main.” So okay…let’s take all the partisan passion out of this by calling that Fact A. So we don’t get all hung up on the deceptive details, like “Yeah but President Obama actually used the word such-and-such” — just say, since Crowley was forced to change her tune on this, that Mitt Romney was right about something. So we can concentrate on how this verified fact was treated.

Fact A did occur.

In the weeks afterward, the administration repeatedly insisted: Not A. Ambassador Rice appeared on talk show after talk show insisting: Not A. Then, eventually, it became undeniable: A.

Crowley’s name was put up, and then chosen, as the debate moderator. Which is pretty good evidence that there are no Republicans on the commission, or if there are, they must have a collective case of laryngitis. Or are comatose.

During the debate, Gov. Romney said: A, and yet the administration has insisted, Not A.

President Obama insisted: We never said, not Fact A. Gov. Romney replied, in the video you see above, WTF?? Did I get that right? President Obama said, in the Rose Garden on the morning after, I said, A.

Candy Crowley, in her role as moderator, jumped in and said: He’s right! He said A.

Then, in the after-briefing, Crowley fest up that Gov. Romney was “right, in the main.” The administration’s position had been Not-A. When the truth is, A.

And then, we were told what a wonderful thing it was to have Candy Crowley moderating that debate with her wonderful debate-moderation skills, even if she did flub up that one thing and generate needless controversy. By not moderating, but doing something else. Inappropriately, and wrongly.

Now we find out what was always plain to see: Candy Crowley didn’t do a good job. She didn’t even do the job. She did a different job. So, we were misled about A versus Not-A, what the administration had to say about it, about Candy Crowley being a debate moderator, and about Candy Crowley being good at her job. In short, the prevailing-wisdom about this whole thing has been 180 degrees off course, from the very beginning. The loudest voices speaking have been constantly spewing nonsense.

This is a ritual we repeat every four years, so it is good to see there is so much room to improve next time. Certainly can’t move far in the other direction.

The Woman-Talking Protein

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

From Rob Bariton, by way of an off-line:

You know all the times that men complain about women talking too much? Apparently there’s a biological explanation for the reason why women are chattier than men. Scientists have discovered that women possess higher levels of a “language protein” in their brains, which could explain why females are so talkative.

Previous research has shown that women talk almost three times as much as men. In fact, an average woman notches up 20,000 words in a day, which is about 13,000 more than the average man. In addition, women generally speak more quickly and devote more brainpower to speaking. Yet before now, researchers haven’t been able to biologically explain why this is the case.

Like Us on Facebook

Now, they can. New findings conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Neuroscience show that a certain protein may be the culprit.

In 2001, a gene called FOXP2 appeared to be essential for the production of speech. In order to test this protein, the team, led by J. Michael Bowers and Margaret McCarthy, looked at young rat pups. These animals emit cries in the ultrasonic range when separated from their mothers. The team recorded the cries over five minutes in groups of 4-day-old male and female rats that had been separated from their mothers. They found that male pups had up to twice as much of the protein FOXP2 in regions of the brain known to be involved in vocalization–perhaps an unsurprising finding since researchers noted that males made twice as many cries as females.

Next, the researchers wanted to test their findings in humans. They conducted a small study on human children aged four to five years who had died in accidents less than 24 hours previously. They then analyzed the amount of FOXP2 protein in the brains of these children. In the end, the researchers found 30 percent more FOXP2 protein in the brains of the girls.

The comments under this can be — depending on your frame-of-mind and your perspective — quite funny. But yes, this also gives a whole new frame of reference for the whole “talk about problems versus try to fix them” thing.

I don’t like it when my husband tries to solve a problem or issue that I just want to discuss. I like to express my feelings about a topic or situation. During those times I really just want to hear myself talk so I can make sense of the situation. What I don’t like is when my husband sees the issue as a dilemma and starts trying to solve the “problem” before I’ve even considered it to be problematic.

++headshake++ Poor Kelly-Ward’s-Husband guy. He’s probably spending several nights a week what the heck he did to get the latest browbeating. I can hear it now: “But I’m just trying to come up with a solution to the problem…”

YES, it’s big enough of a problem to bother you with, and NO, it’s not a big enough problem that it has to be fixed. BOTH of those. Gotta learn your place in the problems-to-be-solved pecking order, bud. I used to have a wife like that…used to…

Rand Paul Was Misquoted

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot…

The Associated Press has withdrawn its story about Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., saying he sees some in the his party favoring a 2016 presidential candidate with an immigration policy that would “round up people . . . and send them back to Mexico.” That quote was in the transcript of “Fox News Sunday” that was distributed after Paul’s interview on the show. A subsequent Associated Press review of an audio recording of the show determined that the transcript had dropped the word “don’t” from that quote, and Paul actually said, “They don’t want somebody who wants to round people up, put them in camps and send them back to Mexico.”

Hat tip to National Review, by way of Instapundit.

Thing I Know #415. No practical or effective thinking can proceed from a fundamental confusion of a thing with its opposite.

How the Media Could Begin Repairing its Tattered Reputation

Monday, February 18th, 2013

I know…they don’t give a damn.

But I watched the incoming White House Chief of Staff being interviewed yesterday by some silly twit. I guess that would be this human-buzzard-lookin’ guy, and the useless jerk interviewing him was…I don’t remember.

Well the Chief of Staff repeatedly made mention of the middle class being made stronger, or thriving or whatever…this is, as I have explored before, a contradiction in terms and it doesn’t matter if the phrase has been thrown around like refried beans at a school food fight since the 1930’s. It’s worth a question or two. How about asking some questions about that?

But also, McDonough used the phrase “balanced approach” about five times in the space of a minute. Now look: McDonough is speaking on behalf of someone else. There is an assumption in place that he’s had ample time to sync up with the President on the details, down to some arcane level, quite a bit further down in the weeds than anything that would pique our interest. And our interest should certainly be piqued about the definition of a balanced approach. He kept using and re-using that term. It must be important.

I understand it isn’t a complete mystery: For every spending cut, democrats want to see a tax increase on those hated rich people. The thing is though, that’s not the end of it, especially if the WH Chief of Staff is going to keep repeating it like a parrot. So, how balanced? A nickel of this for every dollar of that? How about assuring the country that someone is in charge, making decisions about these things, who is capable of doing anything with a hard number anywhere, be it a dollar figure or a percentage. Do these suits know that the rest of us, out here, have to do that a couple times every single month? This goes beyond partisan politics, when I see the “boys in charge” just throwing around catch-phrases like this, it makes me worried. I don’t think I’m the only one.

Brings to mind that thing about the Republicans and democrats fighting over spending, being like the two drunks fighting over a bar tab on the Titanic. Seems there’s some mission-definition missing here. Are you patching the leak in the hull while you’re explaining to us what’s being done and what we can expect to see…are you telling us sweet lies about the ship being fine while it sinks lower and lower…or are you merely playing a lullaby for us to listen to? Like the band-playing-on?

I know Sunday morning is different. I know it’s accepted that the whole point to these shows is to help both sides get their talking points out there…more one party than the other. I’m just saying, how about disrupt the pattern now and then? Just to make it a bit more interesting? Every now and then, the Sunday talkie-shows make big news, which I would think would translate to establishing a reason for existence…a good thing. Is my thinking going off in a totally different direction from the producers of these shows? They just want a palliating rhythm going, without any boat-rocking? Here I come to the question central to it all. I’m guessing it could be a little difficult from here on in getting Ambassador Susan Rice on any of those shows, maybe they don’t like that. But it doesn’t really matter, does it? This is information we need to have. Gives us a reason to tune in. I thought that was important too.

The “‘Hello Kitty’ of Blogging” is in Trouble?

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Poll: People aren’t logging on to Facebook anymore.

The Facebook craze that gave us Farmville and notes from “friends” about their breakfast and just about everything else may finally be ending.

A new Pew Research Center poll finds that a huge group of users, 61 percent, are taking breaks from Facebook up to “several weeks” long, and that virtually all age groups are decreasing their time on the social media site that recently flopped in its initial public offering of publicly traded stock. Most devastating: 38 percent of users aged 18-29, the focus of advertisers on the site, plan to slash their time on Facebook this year.

Farmville…pffft. So long.

I still find Facebook useful as a way to communicate to the “everyday” people whose politics don’t necessarily line up with mine. In this day & age, “how in the [expletive] could you possibly have voted for Barack Obama” is not quite so much an outburst of exasperation, as a sincere question that demands some quality answering, toot-sweet. I can’t get that from my blog. Blog readership tends to follow the ideological meanderings of its author. And my readers are mostly too smart to ever support Obama. It ends up being a preach-to-the-choir thing.

But, I have noticed over time, Facebook following also begins to follow the ideological meanderings of the subscriber, thus defeating the purpose. Liberals delight in shunning me, as quickly and as forcefully as possible. I’ve also noticed this is something they tend to be very practiced at doing in all walks of life. Low-information centrists, for the most part, have learned their lesson, and I think the centrists not included in that were never really centrists. This week I got my first chiding from Facebook that I had to review the community guidelines because I’d been reported as submitting a friend request to someone I don’t know. This is not something that could happen on a regular basis, since I don’t do that; I think there were a couple times lately I pushed the button, purely in the spirit of “a friend of [blank] is a friend of mine.” And, in likelihood, those two were libs and I was trying to heal a rift. They saw an opportunity. Okay, lesson learned, it’s not my place to try to heal the polarization, I should learn to embrace it and celebrate it like they do.

But the weird screwy “abusing the friend request button” algorithm is a major turn-off. What conservative wants to log in to a social network, so that liberals can continue to frolic in and enforce their pretend-reality-bubble of “everyone who doesn’t agree with me is creepy”? Not good for us, not good for them, not good for anybody else. If we felt some compulsion to continue to do things that aren’t good for anybody, we’d probably be liberals in the first place, right? And, I suppose if they had what it takes to opt in to “friendships” with people who don’t march in lockstep with them on every little thing, they wouldn’t be.

As a way to establish and maintain an identifiable on-line presence, I think Facebook is probably around for the long haul. I think there is research on this that says so. Facebook seems lately to have read that research, and come to a decision that it wants to move in on LinkedIn‘s turf by offering people a work identity. This, I believe, is a mistake of enormous proportions. I’m basing that on a presumption that people use these tools the way I do, and that’s always problematic I realize. But I don’t want current work contacts to see me on Facebook. Maybe past co-workers, the ones who are kinda “cool.” But there is no reason to go mixing up these two worlds, and if I’m going to be pushed into it because that’s just the way the system expects me to use its services, then I’ll be on my way out too. That’s probably what’s been happening, since most Facebook inhabitants behave more-or-less the way I do.

Besides, I’m getting rather fatigued with networks and systems and applications demanding that I should use them a certain way. It’s like any other form of pollution, I suppose, each polluter thinks his pollution isn’t quite as bad as the next guy’s, and he isn’t really contributing to the problem. But the totality of it is a problem, and subscribers will opt out of things to keep that total under control. Twice a month, if not more, I’m asked to upgrade my Flash support for videos and I have to wonder: Isn’t this technology pretty well settled? What are you doing, adding support for more codecs or something? If that’s the case then maybe your architecture needs re-visiting. You use a thing for a certain purpose, if the purpose doesn’t change then why is it that you have to keep tinkering with the thing just because you’re told to?

Dunno, maybe there’s something in the details that will confound this idea-progression I’m having. I’ll stay away from discussing what I don’t understand. But there’s been some resentment brewing about Facebook for a few years now, and I can’t say I’m completely surprised to see something might come of it. If it happens, I think “Timeline” might be recalled by history as the jump-the-shark point, the beginning of the end.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Marco Rubio Water Bottles

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Buzzfeed:

When Marco Rubio paused to take a sip from a water bottle during his response to the State of the Union this week, it become an instant viral sensation. The Florida Senator has now capitalized on the moment to raise more than $100,000 for his Reclaim America political action committee by selling branded water bottles.

A source close to Rubio tells BuzzFeed that the water bottles, which were sold on the senator’s PAC website to anyone who makes a donation of $25 or more, sold like hotcakes. In the period since they went on sale Wednesday, more than 3,100 of the PAC’s “Marco Rubio Water Bottles” have been sold.

“Send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you…he hydrates you too,” the donation page reads.

Ah…this is great stuff. Refreshing.

My Cool Hair

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

So the wife and I go see the new Die Hard movie. And I’m thinking, among other things…okay, my hair is in a transitional phase of sorts. And the phase to which it is transitioning is aptly represented by Mr. Willis here, who is slightly my senior, an action hero star, and bald as a billiard ball. That’s right, I’ve seen the wedding pics and I know what they mean. Getting thin up there. But no roadkill rugs for me, it’s natural all the way. If the widows-peak is encroaching upward, and there’s a big hole up on top, and I’m starting to look all monk-like and nerdy up there, then someday I’m going to go John McClane on it and just whack it all.

Meanwhile…the morning after…I’m doing the hotel room fight with my hair, after it’s been all washed out by hotel room shower soap. Like herding cats.

Morgan: Go there!

Hair: Fuck you.

Morgan: I said, go there. Be parallel, at least, for Chrissakes.

Hair. Dude, seriously. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. We’re still sleeping.

Morgan: AT LEAST DON’T BE A HAIR DILDO ALL POINTING IN THE SAME DIRECTION, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.

Hair: We do what we want. We know best. Deal with it.

Morgan: GO HERE! I mean it! Don’t make me bring out the spit!

Hair: …der…no hablo anglais…

Morgan. FINE…what the fuck ever.

So we go to Hooters. I have a cool wife, she likes going to Hooters as all decent wives do.

Now get a load of this, fellas…this Hooters girl is not our server. Our server is a blondie type, this is a redhead. I was just looking over at her thinking, wow this is really Phil‘s type, the natural redhead who likes having long hair.

Well, she — swear to God, not making this up — asks to be introduced to us, and makes a point of mentioning how cool she thinks my hair is. That’s why her face is all blocked out like that. To protect her identity. Because I think the poor girl is nuts.

But…my forty-seventh birthday is coming up this summer. So, I’m figuring this is just about the last time it’ll ever happen. Yes, in years past, I’ve gotten my share of compliments…occasionally, from hot, hot good-looking girls, like this. I thought they were nuts too.

But, maybe not. If not, then I guess my hair does know what’s best, after all. I mean, let’s be real: The hair DID win the argument this morning. And it seems to have had a good outcome, not that anything will develop from it. I may not be dead, but I am married. And I’m sure Nic– I mean, the anonymous good-looking Hooters girl here, with terrible taste in mens’ hair, has some kind of a stud-muffin young boyfriend back at home, seven feet tall with rock hard abs and whatever.

But I’m at the age where I’ll take a compliment where I can get it.

Oh, and as a side note, the Hooters restaurant on Challenge Way, by the Arden Fair Mall, is being well-managed and fun again. Wife and I had a complete blast. You’re dropping about a hundred bucks every time you walk in & out again, so it’s important to take note of which ones are fun. With the wings and beer being exactly the same, a fun atmosphere is all the difference between “Shit yeah, why the hell did we even hesitate, we should be coming here all the time”…and…”Uh, why did we spend all that time and money when we could’ve gotten a burger at Carls?”

Hooters on Challenge is fun again. Spread the word. And, don’t ask me about the details, for apparently I’m a poor judge of this, but my hair is cool-looking and all. In about a year I might not have any, but whatever. Yipee Kay-yay…

“It is Consistent, However, With Common Sense”

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Investor’s Business Daily editorial:

The global warming alarmists repeat the line endlessly. They claim that there is a consensus among scientists that man is causing climate change. Fact is, they’re not even close.

Yes, many climate scientists believe that emissions of greenhouse gases are heating the earth. Of course there are some who don’t.

But when confining the question to geoscientists and engineers, it turns out that only 36% believe that human activities are causing Earth’s climate to warm.

This is the finding of the peer-reviewed paper “Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change” and this group is categorized as the “Comply with Kyoto” cohort.

Members of this group, not unexpectedly, “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause.”

Academics Lianne M. Lefsrud of the University of Alberta and Renate E. Meyer of Vienna University of Economics and Business, and the Copenhagen Business School, came upon that number through a survey of 1,077 professional engineers and geoscientists.

Their work also revealed that 24% “believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the earth” while another 10% consider the “‘real’ cause of climate change” to be “unknown” and acknowledge that “nature is forever changing and uncontrollable.”
:
This is all illuminating information. But it won’t get the same media attention given to Al Gore and the usual assortment of eco-radicals, because it violates the narrative that our selfish activities are warming this planet.

It is consistent, however, with what most people call common sense.

Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

The alwarmists are not too happy about my exercise in questioning whether what we’re looking at is really science. They’ve formed their own consensus that I’m doubting the “science,” because I don’t like where it goes. There it is again, a consensus. Give ‘em credit. They can form a consensus like nobody’s business. Go through them puppies like Rosie O’Donnell through a box of donuts.

This consensus of theirs, tragically, reveals that the point went sailing right over their heads. No matter what your feelings are about where a line on a paper “goes,” you’re not even ready to debate it until you settle the matter of whether the line is what it is perceived to be. Whether it is straight. And there are tests you can do with the straightedge or triangle that was used to draw the line — most effective if they are localized. If they have nothing to do with where the line “goes.” You can use the straightedge to draw the line, flip it over, and bring it up alongside the same line.

This faux vintage of “science” doesn’t pass simple tests like this. It is far too intermarried with the public relations aspect of itself. It seems to be concerned with “winning,” everywhere it is challenged, primarily by means of getting in the last word.

Alwarmists, therefore, sidestep the question of whether their straightedge is straight, deciding instead that we should be concerned with where the line “goes.” They either are lacking conceptual command of the knowledge domain, or they are engaged in an attempt to deceive.

Does it really matter which one it is?