Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pick of the Week

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Nick Searcy Apologizes for Chris Matthews

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Action.

Reaction.


Win.

Wasn’t your apology to give, Mr. Matthews.

Update 7/22/13: BailofRights has an apology of her own to offer:

No, You NEVER STARTED Arguing…

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

A global-warming alwarmist who writes for TIME Magazine, met up in the airport with someone who’d already figured out the whole thing is a big scam. Teach links to her tale…and makes an observation of his own…

Would you be shocked that this article is in the psychology section rather than science? I’m not.

I’ve learned not to argue too long with people who do not “believe in” human-made climate change. I figure it’s impossible to reason someone out of a position that they didn’t reason themselves into. But the fact is that even those of us who do believe climate change is man-made are in partial denial about our enormous global problems, and almost all of us minimize or normalize the situation.

Most Warmists do not want to discuss this with non-Warmists, because Warmists tend not to have facts on their sides, and one can’t argue for long when they’re only armed with talking points. [emphasis mine]

In the global-warming scam, this happens all the time: A chicken-little will deliver some snotty monologue about “I’ve learned it is futile to discuss it with…” blah, blah, blah. With big smiles on their faces and with their eyes closed.

Erm no, I say. You didn’t learn you should stop discussing it with the other side. The truth is you never started. Oh, you might delight in repeating over and over that the “science” is on your side because CO2 acts as an insulator and the greenhouse gas effect exists. It’s an established fact! Look it up! But when we get to that more crucial, thorny matter…of WEMUSTACTNOWORITMAYBETOOLATE!!. That’s where the problem is. As our illustrious President might phrase it, although He’ll never admit it here — there is no “there” there.

So they indulge in the snotty monologue about not discussing it, because that’s all they have.

It isn’t just global warming. I still remember the argument with the psychologist which never really was an argument at all…it was an inquiry, which met with a barricade of “I’m feeling bullied.” An inquiry that dealt with the fine distinction between actually finding something, and merely speculating on it being there. That’s, like, a defining trait of real “science,” and unfortunately this discussion would meander into that disquieting residual question about whether psychology should be considered a real science. So when she said she felt bullied, I’m sure that was sincere. Just unprofessional as all holy hell. The point is: There, too, we have something that is so obviously “proven” by “science,” that “there’s no use discussing it with” someone who doesn’t immediately and uncritically accept it.

The problem is not that there is futility involved in earnestly discussing what is supposed to be “known.” The problem is, any discussion in which the “known” is subjected to diligent questioning, might strip it of the quality of being “known.” So the proponents did not lately discover that they shouldn’t be doing that. They’ve understood it from the very beginning.

Because they insulate their ideas from challenge, they must insulate themselves from it as well. Because they are protected from honest discussion, they are sensitized to it.

When they finally are exposed to some diligent inspection of their cherished beliefs, whether they say so or not — they feel abused. Uh, yeah, they do. I’m sure when it finally happens, it feels like a real whallopin’.

I recall my son was, at the time his Mom and I split up, eyebrows-deep into this horrible Japanese cartoon about snotty little kids with eyes the size of dinner plates, who’d talk smack to other kids and get their magical creatures into fights with each other. I forbade any merchandise that had to do with that execrable franchise from ever entering my bachelor pad. I didn’t like the way the kids would generate the conflict by talking their smack, and the magical creatures would have to settle it. The message from the cartoon, to me, was abundantly clear: It isn’t up to you to handle anything or fix anything in life. Some magical pixie-dust fairy-goblin will pop out of a distinctive little ball, and make it all right for you. Great, a cartoon is going to teach our kids to become Michael Vick. Just want I wanted. No thanks. I hate that cartoon. Words cannot say how much. To this day I see it as like a second Pearl Harbor attack, I really do.

Anyway, back to the people who want to do a lot of arguing but not really. Maybe I should call these people “Pokemon People.” They generate the conflict, talking their smack…want to control the economy, refuse to take no for an answer, can’t & won’t deal with the resulting conflict. They require, but are frustratingly missing, their magical little creatures that are supposed to leap out of the ball and magically vanquish the “enemy.” Enemy being: Those who are inconveniently asking, just how & why is it you think you know the things you think you know?

I call bullshit on the idea that they have any litany of misadventures discussing things with the opposition, before they finally figured out they shouldn’t do it anymore. That’s a load. This never happened. They never started doing the discussion in the first place. They’ve known from the very beginning that this is something they can’t do. Their ideas are just too fragile.

Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

The New AXE Commercial is Offending a Lot of People…

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

…and I have no idea why.

Well, I shouldn’t say “no idea,” that isn’t accurate. I notice it’s one of a great many teevee advertisements that make males look like complete idiots who can’t concentrate on anything. But since they’re all on the infantile side of twenty-three years old, this doesn’t rub me the wrong way too badly…and besides, somehow I have the idea that this isn’t quite the wrench-in-the-cogs that’s causing the ruckus, IYKWIMAITYD.

Hawt women-n-girls is hawt. This one is filed under Aristotle’s Laws of Thought: A thing is what it is. A is A.

There is a Freeberg Addendum to the Aristotle Laws of Thought: When we have to pretend a thing is something other than what it is, to keep someone from getting all pissed off and bent out of shape, it’s time to admit we’re surrounded by nitwits who are just looking for reasons to be offended.

Update: Omigaw, it just hit me like a thunderbolt. I was inspired as I read through some of the YouTube comments. It’s that old disagreement between normal-thinking people and second & third-wave feminists…aptly represented by the Swedes.

Most little girls don’t want to play with dump trucks, as almost any parent can attest. Including me: When my granddaughter Eliza was given a toy train, she placed it in a baby carriage and covered it with a blanket so it could get some sleep.

Androgyny advocates like our Swedish friends have heard such stories many times, and they have an answer. They acknowledge that sex differences have at least some foundation in biology, but they insist that culture can intensify or diminish their power and effect. Even if Eliza is prompted by nature to interact with a train in a stereotypical female way, that is no reason for her parents not to energetically correct her. Hunter College psychologist Virginia Valian, a strong proponent of Swedish-style re-genderization, wrote in the book Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women, “We do not accept biology as destiny…We vaccinate, we inoculate, we medicate…I propose we adopt the same attitude toward biological sex differences.”

Valian is absolutely right that we do not have to accept biology as destiny. But the analogy is ludicrous: We vaccinate, inoculate, and medicate children against disease. Is being a gender-typical little boy or girl a pathology in need of a cure? Failure to protect children from small pox, diphtheria, or measles places them in harm’s way. I don’t believe there is any such harm in allowing male/female differences to flourish in early childhood.

And there is the disagreement that has been flourishing. In the catalogs and ads as well as in reality, boys play with construction tools and guns and trains and trucks, and girls play with dolls. Is this nature or nurture?

I’ve tangled with my share of feminists who insist it is “nurture” and I can tell you this: It is positively mind-blowing how sure they are of their “nurture” ideas without any supporting evidence at all. None. Other than “Our daughters play with dump truck toys and guns so how d’ya like that”…but without actually spying on them, I don’t know how many pecks and bushels of nurture it takes to defeat the few pints & ounces of nature, to manufacture this exceptional tom-girl who’d rather pretend to work at a construction site than to rock a baby to sleep.

My lately-arriving epiphany is this: We’re looking at a mindset here that says YES…boys prefer to shoot rocks at tin cans using a slingshot, only because they have been taught to want to do that…and…admiring Kate Upton’s boobs is an extension of this.

We have to figure this out, because they’re not coming out and saying it. It would sound too silly. Well…of course

Your male eyes are drawn to the image above, only because your retrograde daddy spent years calling you a sissy-boy if they weren’t — it’s all conditioning. Your small-dee dad in his wife-beater shirt, and the “sexist” magazines & commercials; there’s nothing about it in your, uh, hard-wiring, at all. Right, yeah, sure.

Again, nobody is saying this word for word. So it isn’t fair for me to snicker at it as I’d like to…but, it is fair to theorize about it. Especially when I don’t have any other answers.

The Honest “Skyfall” Trailer

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Okay now DON’T LISTEN to this jackass guy! Because this movie was FUN!

…but…then again…there were quite a few parts to it that didn’t & still don’t make a lick of sense, and pretty much in exactly the way they’re described here. So I guess, alright, you can go ahead and listen to him…

The Two Economic Systems

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

I haven’t pointed it out directly here, although perhaps I’ve made more-than-occasional reference to it…since it’s like preaching to the choir. But it’s probably more appropriate here than as a Facebook post.

There are two economic systems fighting each other for supremacy right now. With the one, you go to a job and exchange your labor for money, your employer gets that money by selling products and services to customers. You take your money, pay your utilities and your installments and buy your food, with what’s left over you either save or splurge as you see fit.

The other economic system is called “Occupy.” In that one, you wait until you want or need something and then you do a lot of yelling and obstructing and generally make yourself into a pain in the ass, until someone gives you whatever it is to shut you up…or, forces someone else to give you whatever it is. Then you shut up until there’s something else you want or need, at which time you become a pain in the ass again.

It is spooky how consistently the Obama administration supports one of these economic systems over the other. I don’t believe in “conspiracies,” generally, but I do think the folks in charge now are fully aware of this battle between the two economic systems…and they have their preference about which one should win. And they’re not alone.

Some of this has been going on for quite awhile, since the industrial revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Hey, that’s why political arguments tend to go on awhile, often spinning around in circles, generating much heat and little light…different classes of people being hurt & helped. Are Barack Obama’s policies “good”? What about Gov. Jerry Brown’s policies, are they “good”? Are labor unions “good”? Do they help this thing we call an “economy”?

Watering My HippiesThe democrats will say: Look at these poor wretches over here, look at this program that helps them. Think about what would happen to them without that program. And there is some truth in this. We know it doesn’t work out over the longer term of time. If it did, you could show me ten big cities that haven’t elected a Republican in a couple generations or more, and I could show you ten little islands of paradise. Anyone want to go traipsing down those solid-milk-chocolate sidewalks in Detroit petting the Unicorns and eating the jellybeans and liquor cups that grow on the trees there? Thought not.

The truth is, this “conspiracy” is not about making it harder to sell or buy things, any more than it’s about helping people. It’s about making it harder to sell or buy things that way. The bureaucrat’s nightmare is that you can wake up one day, see that your house would be better if you added a wing on to it, buy the materials to do it, put in the work, realize the rewards, and everyone goes home a bit wealthier and City Hall is not involved in some way. That would imply self-sufficiency at the individual level. That would imply a strong and proud people, looking to their leaders in government to enforce contracts, defend the nation, police the cities, fight fires, provide sidewalks & other centralized services…and not do too much else.

And so you can’t build the wing of the house. Not just yet; you need a “permit.” Like the radio guys say every now & then — and it’s worth repeating, since people forget it — “permit” is a verb as well as a noun.

You have to feel bad for those Occupy protesters on some level, thinking about what badasses they are, existing outside the hated “system.” Was there ever a more splendid example of human fools, toiling away in an effort diametrically opposed from their purported passions? They think they’re caught up in a struggle between dependence and independence. They’re right. But they’re woefully mistaken about which side they’ve joined.

Related: Charles Koch describes how the minimum wage hurts the poor. ThinkProgress is not fond of having that pointed out…

Saying No Without Saying No

Friday, July 12th, 2013

A great and potent source of recent misery is that we seem to have accumulated a great deal of skill and talent, over a rather narrow stretch of time, at saying no without saying no. We have all sorts of methods for this. Prerequisites, like first we have to do some studies, we’ll have to run it through legal, I need a cost-benefit analysis, you have to get permission from that guy over there…and, excuses, like we don’t have time, if I go after that degree I’ll be so-old when I finally get it, it’s too hot, my ass itches, and how come that other person/group doesn’t have to??

The problem that comes up is: It is in the nature of the living of life, to desire things that are not had yet. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m quite in favor of it — contentment is the opposite of progress, necessity is the mother of invention, and all that stuff. There are those who will pick a fight with me over this, and my conflict with them is not what I seek to call out here. The point is, when you go after something you do not yet have, there is a suite of obstacles between you and that thing, and you have to eliminate these. Since some of these are going to be easy and others are going to be difficult, it is a natural unfolding of events for you to eliminate the easy ones first. The effort will proceed like any other complex human endeavor that demands completion of a set of simpler tasks: The low-hanging fruit goes first. Because it “goes,” it is eliminated, which means, by process of attrition, our natural and undisciplined situation is going to be one of confronting hard things, that demand sacrifice, while in our rear-view mirror is going to be a plethora of completed, easier things, that did not.

Enter the destructive power of this lately-developed “saying no without saying no” societal talent. You see it over and over: People, agencies, firms, divisions, foundations, and other organizations put themselves on record wanting something. A job. More jobs. An agreement. A loan guarantee. A memorandum-of-understanding. A new law. The repeal of a stupid law. People to fill the jobs. And then they blow their own feet off, at the neck, with their own “friendly fire.”

The pattern I see happening is: The pursuit of the stated goal is a complex effort, breaking down into simpler tasks; some of the tasks that are difficult and demand sacrifice, are vital; the vital simpler task goes undone because…some requirement that is arbitrary, idiotic and nonsensical. All of this framework is required. If an equally-detrimental, but at least honest and direct, “no” were to be applied to this vital and simple task, the person applying it would have to confess that which cannot be confessed: I’m abandoning this effort. Or, if he were to stick to the cowardly and indirect “but first we need to conduct some studies” and apply it to the overall objective rather than to this simple but vital task, again, that which cannot be directly confessed would have to be confessed. But if the complex thing relies on a simpler thing, and it is the simpler thing that is obstructed, in this craven and cowardly way, there is no confession necessary. We are human beings, the only species on the planet smart enough to fool ourselves, so we can toil onward indefinitely…pretending to be laboring long and hard toward a go, when our actual efforts are toward a stop.

The Chief Financial Officer of a company for which I once worked, which was a government contractor, said something insightful about this: In government, it often seems nobody has, or can get hold of, the authority needed to make something go. But the lowliest clerk in the mail room can stop something, anytime and for any reason.

One of my Facebook friends pointed out something equally insightful, also about government: When & if the proposal would involve a contraction or excision of freedom, the promulgated narrative that goes with it is always that we MUST!! ACT!! NOW!!! But on those very rare occasions when we seriously discuss the possible repeal of a dumb requirement, or anything else that would expand freedom, it is first necessary to do a bunch of studies…

Again, that which must never be confessed, is not. When’s the last time you heard of a candidate for political office, at any level, vowing to stop something? Other than ObamaCare. Or, vowing to curtail freedom? Freedom, freedom, everybody loves freedom, nobody ever pledges to get rid of it. But of course that’s because they don’t mention it at all. We listen to our so-called “leaders” speak, and they drone on and on about fairness, equality, fair share, millionaires and billionaires, corporate jets…not freedom.

The millionaire-billionaire thing is a particularly egregious example of our lately developed talent at saying no without saying no. Nobody wants our anemic economy to continue languishing the way it is. Certainly, nobody wants to hurt it any further. We all want the economy to be stronger. B-U-U-U-T…if the economy gets stronger, someone somewhere is going to have to get filthy rich. This is exactly what I was discussing earlier: The more elaborate objective, is met by among other things, the successful completion of this simpler, but absolutely vital, task. The economy getting stronger means someone has to get stinking rich, maybe even offensively rich. And so, reliable as rain, here comes the excuse: Fairness. Equality. Balanced approach. All just code words for not-doing…or, doing the opposite. Pretending to be laboring long and hard toward a go, when our actual efforts are toward a stop.

I don’t know what’s more tragic: The consistent failure to achieve objectives that involve any level of complexity; the slow and steady loss of freedom, without interleaving and compensatory expansions of it; or, the gigajoules of wasted energy. I’m leaning toward none-of-the-above: Our biggest loss is great and good planning. We can’t make wonderful super-duper mega-awesome plans with this shit going down everywhere. Think about it, even with the best possible outcome of eventually getting a “yes,” at the end of it we aren’t able to say we achieved as much. The plans are always whittled down, streamlined, made more compact — humble. They’re made that way, and even worse, they start out that way. To build up as much as possible, their chances of making through the brutal “no-without-no” headwind. Best we can expect to get done is, little music players and some phones that can play video games. And you know what? When we consider technological breakthroughs that can directly impact people’s lives on an everyday basis…that’s about all we’ve seen lately. Oh, we’ve got medical breakthroughs here and there that are quite meaningful to those who need them, and other breakthroughs behind the scenes. But sooner or later you have to admit it: We’re in a slump. Seen any real revolutions, accessible to the everyman, on par with bringing the computing power that would’ve taken up an entire warehouse just a couple decades earlier, into a den in your house and slapping it on a desk? Me neither. Folks, that’s a slump. Thing I Know #408. You can’t aspire toward success if you won’t spot the fails. This is fail. Self-induced fail. Mass-produced. That makes it a real problem.

Our brighter days are still ahead, I’m sure. But again, the deleterious behavior I have called out here, should be expected to continue into the foreseeable future, until people start calling it out, arresting it, acting against it. While that doesn’t happen, the stoppage will not stop.

“Too Many Millionaires”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Equal, equal, equal. Why is it we have all “these big men up on top”? Why is the distribution so uneven?

The politically incorrect truth is, it’s the people who are asking the question with their nostrils flared in anger, who are the answer to it. You become whoever you watch. They see the “big men,” but they do not watch them. The kind of watching that leads to learning, in their world, is reserved for the poor. Toward the other end of the spectrum, where those hated “wealthy” live, they can only spare an occasional and instantaneous glance, filled with rage. They see the success and their reaction is one of disgust and resentment — no learning.

They’d like to say: I’m upset that this guy has all the money that he has — and stop the sentence right there. The “when so many other people are starving” or whatever, is just meaningless pablum duct-taped on to the end. That’s just stuff people say to make themselves look like they’re concerned about statistics, or “fairness.” That is not the real concern. The real concern is that it’s possible for someone to succeed, and therefore, there is evidence that you can’t just have any ol’ attitude in life and expect to come out on top. Thinking matters. Hard work matters. Judgment calls about the character and virtue of others, matter.

That realization causes fear.

“Settled”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

From Carpe Diem, by way of Maggie’s Farm.

This Is Good CIX

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Well…I suppose not really good…although there might be some good involved in making sure people know about it.

For those who wish to get hold of a (non-graphical) foundation for it, there is this.

Modern feminism is a spectrum. At one extreme, there is: “Women should not be slaves, of any kind, and they should receive equal compensation for equal work.” At the other, there is “every abortion that might happen, must happen” and “we have to destroy the nuclear family.” Most of us are fine with the equal-pay thing, and we hop off the subway-system sometime before it reaches its final stop. Most people don’t realize how ugly that final stop is…but they’ll find out, if they fall asleep while their car is en route.

Hat tip to Steynian.

By the way, what the hell is up with that look?? You know what I mean, that androgynous, wrinkly, long-tooth, space-alien kind of look. I grew up in Bellingham during the seventies, so I’ve been wondering this for a long time.

Dustin Hoffman is an Uncle Tim

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

When female-centered women and the Uncle Tims who go along with them are the only authority on men, fatherhood and sexuality, the agenda quickly pushes aside men’s needs or rights, and allows injustice to flourish…

Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream — and Why It Matters, Helen Smith, Ph.D., p. 144.

He thought about it, he went home, he cried like a bitch, told his wife what he was thinking about it, got interviewed about it later, cried during the interview (2:36), and then started smiling as he was crying (2:57)…

I understand there is a societal expectation that we’re supposed to all line up and start calling this a “REAL MAN” or something. I can see that from the comments in the YouTube page. Like Bill Maher said, and one of the few things out of him that drew any kind of agreement out of me: We live in a society dedicated, first & foremost, to making women nod. And I’m sure this does that sometimes. But the fact is, it’s just disgusting and gross.

Yes there is some truth in it. Men — people — pay more attention to other people who are pretty, and because of that there is a possibility that some valuable life-experiences could be lost. How tragic is that? That’s really for each individual to decide for himself, or herself. I mean, let’s be realistic about it, sitting in front of a computer typing words onto a screen on a beautiful July day is tragic in exactly the same way. But I see that didn’t stop anyone from typing hateful rejoinders into the YouTube channel. It won’t stop anyone from speaking out in support or in disapproval of what Mr. Hoffman had to say, or of what I’ve had to say about what he had to say. Much of life is a bunch of choices about opportunities, time commitments and costs. All choices can be made stupidly. That’s part of life.

Why are we lining up to beat up on the men who make that choice questionably? Because it’s safe to beat up on them? How cowardly. Women have been doing the same thing for quite awhile, have they not?

It is sometimes said that when women make comments to the effect of “all men are alike,” what they really mean is “all the men we prefer are the same.”

My suggestion for Dustin Hoffman is, if you think it’s a bad move to confine your attentions to women who are pretty, then don’t do that. Maybe I should expect actors to miss out on this truism, but all things in life do not have to be high-drama. If you see something busted in your own back yard, it’s always an option to just fix the thing in your own back yard and leave everyone else out of it.

Related: Thought this comment from Severian, a “footnote” really, made an important distinction that is overlooked all too often:

”the right facts”…being…that attractive people really do get lots of breaks the unattractive don’t, including that little extra burst of attention they get when they first open their mouths. “The wrong conclusions” are that attractiveness keeps people listening, and that ideas have nothing to do with it. The truth is what Morgan says: I’d happily look at Jennifer Anniston all day long, but only if she keeps her mouth shut. [emphasis mine]

BINGO. Yes. Attractiveness gets people listening, but it will never keep people listening unless they’re in a localized social situation, actually trying to get some tail…in which case, the meaning behind the word “listening” becomes a matter of legitimate question.

I’m really not sure what the proportion is, of men who have high-school memories of unrequited attraction toward an object of affection who doesn’t even seem to know they exist. I don’t know how I could go about guessing that. I’d hope everyone knowledgeable, regardless of their biases, could agree it’s over sixty percent. Ninety seems reasonable, might even be a bit low. But at least sixty. So I think it takes real chutzpah for anyone, male or female, to start up the hand-wringing and the water-works about these poor poor ugly women who can’t get attention. It looks to me like the old argument about forcing employers to hire people, or keep them on when they’d rather fire them: What is the objective? You want attention from people who aren’t actually inclined to give you the attention, like you want to work for someone who’d prefer you not be working for them? What’s the appeal? Why would anyone prefer to be placed in such miserable situations? Seems to me to be a confusion between quality and quantity. Those two things are not interchangeable. You can only reciprocate attention to one person at a time, or maybe a bit more than that but not too much more; you can only work at so many jobs.

I DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE WHO DO NOT TRUST SARAH PALIN

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

This was a Hello-Kitty-of-Blogging post that attracted an inordinate number of “likes,” so I guess it must have hit a nerve…

Confession time: I JUST DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE WHO DO NOT TRUST SARAH PALIN. Okay, if you catch her in an ACTUAL lie or can make an argument that she’s unfit for some office she’s held or sought…I’ll listen. But seriously, folks. She is the absolute embodiment of what nearly everyone, everywhere, says they want to be, or at least to support. She was just another citizen living in a state that was being molested and milked by corrupt cronies and special interests…said dammit, I don’t have to sit here and take this, became a PTA Mom, City Council person, then Mayor, then Governor. She GOT UP OFF HER SWEET SEXY PHOTOGENIC ASS AND GOT THE FUCK INVOLVED. And she takes the extra time and energy to educate her children on her values, and stands up for what’s right.

I have yet to meet someone who says “I disagree with Sarah Palin, but I respect her right to her opinion.” It’s never simple disagreement, it’s always white-hot incendiary hatred and frankly that just creeps me the fuck out.

She’s an ordinary citizen who saw something was wrong, and got involved. That’s something ALL of us aspire to be, or at the very least, if we saw it in our kids we’d be proud. So why the butt-hurt childish hatred? I don’t get it, and frankly I don’t trust it. I don’t think I should. I don’t think anyone should.

In a way, it’s a shame that she’s naturally gifted in just being a good-looking sexy grandmother. It distracts, because there are a lot of people like me, red-blooded straight men, who support her…and it isn’t because she has fantastic looking legs. That has nothing to do with support at all. It turns my head, sure…my head is turned toward pictures of Alyssa Milano and Jennifer Aniston…they have good looking legs too. But they’re dipshits. I don’t want them making decisions about anything, or running anything…I really, really don’t. Palin, on the other hand, is a PTA Mom. Yes, I would replace Congress with 535 clones of her, in a heartbeat, yes I would. I wouldn’t even think twice about it.

And yeah, here’s another picture of the sexy grandma in shorts, just because.

But the most attractive part of her, to me, is her brain. Not because I think she’s an Einstein. It’s just the common “horse sense” of it. The idea that maybe, just maybe, if your government is constantly running out of money, day by day and month by month and year by year…that could be because you’re spending too much, and it might not be the taxpayers’ fault for failing to pay enough.

She’s still around, you know. Whether you like it or not. Here she is being interviewed by Sean Hannity:

And the legs are pretty nice-looking too.

“One Man”

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Hat tip to Margot, who’s upset about the sexism.

But I noticed something else about it…

Endowed, Huh?

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

The perils involved in passive-voice sentences.

There’s just no getting around it: The Founding Fathers took the trouble to say who did this endowing, and Sam Adams, the beer company, skipped over that part.

I can certainly see the marketing department figuring it’s doing its job, pointing out that an atheist’s beer money is as good as anybody else’s money, and the atheist would be offended. Nevertheless, the words are in the Declaration of Independence being quoted, which is supposed to be the centerpiece of the ad. It’s just a fact. You know what Sam Adams’ cousin said about facts. And you know what Sen. Moynihan said about facts.

So I’m glad they’re getting in trouble. They took the long way around in order to avoid offending hypothetical people, and ended up pissing off real people.

One of the problems we’re having in our society lately, that we didn’t have in the earlier times, is that in these situations that could be summarized by way of “someone may get offended, although they should not,” the people who make decisions that actually affect things, read only up to that first comma. Someone got offended…or may get offended…and that is supposed to be the end of the discussion. We pretend to be puzzling it out by way of reason and common sense, but our “reasoning” consists only of figuring out whoever is offended, or might be offended, and doing whatever they say.

It’s rather sweet to see the episode play out with someone else getting offended. It imposes a luster of futility and pointlessness on the mindset that deserves to toil away beneath it.

My Mom saw a sultry and subtle evil behind passive-voice sentences. When she was still alive, I didn’t quite understand the rationale for this…it’s just a construct of the English language, which like any other, might make sense in some situations. With each year I see come and go, I get a little bit more wise to the true nature of her complaint. Verbs should be connected to subjects. Oops, uh, pardon me…writers should connect verbs to their subjects. The “who’s doing it” should, at the very least, exist as a common and successfully-communicated idea, between writer and reader, speaker and listener…whether or not it’s stated specifically, it should be spec’d out in some way.

To fall short of that goal, is to deceive.

Feminist Make-Up Tutorial

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Hat tip to Gerard. Thought the description on the YouTube page was rather interesting…

!!!!!!!!VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!

WOW UH hi folks i didn’t realize this thing would get this popular (or notorious), but thanks for taking the time to watch!

in case you didn’t catch on, this video is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek parody on some of society’s crazy stereotypes of feminists. it’s honestly not supposed to be serious or be taken seriously?????

this video is not intended to offend anyone; if you want to take anything from it (which you don’t have to), it’s meant to play on some common misconceptions about feminism. there is a difference between feminism and misandry, and this video is a satire based on the fact that these two things get mixed up all too often.

please though this video is ***not serious***: i’m NOT trying to get people to run into the streets and start ripping other people’s throats out or performing blood sacrifices or anything like that, nor am i trying to undermine the feminist movement or tell other feminists what to do/how to live their lives/etc. i’m just having fun poking at some misconceptions and tropes.

whether the delivery of the overall punchline is a success or not, this video is satire above all else, and such things are not supposed to be taken in earnest….

Hmmmm…well…I guess we’d have to file that one under “failed parody” wouldn’t we? People see these references to “wings so sharp they can kill a man so you can drain his blood” and, relying on their actual experiences talking to, arguing with, or dating feminists, say “Yes! Exactly!”

If you then have to put up this “disclaimer” to clarify that the target of your rapier-like wit was actually those other guys…it’s like any other joke whose punchline has to be explained.

Anyway, I’m continually awestruck at the carelessness with which self-identified feminists say things like “feminists don’t believe that…feminists simply believe this other thing.” If we’ve learned anything from the last half-century of feminist revolution, it’s that revolutions wear out their welcome like house guests or fish flanks. They may have a definable and laudable purpose in the moment, but over the longer term the revolutionaries start to bludgeon and browbeat each other. That “reign of terror,” along with the natural process of attrition and replacement, ensures that longevity is reserved for those within the revolution who are most strident and hateful.

The more moderate and sensible “I just want women to earn the same wage as men” school of thought — it endures as well, but only as a P.R. slogan, with little actual substance behind it, to snare new recruits. Join our movement, we’re only just about women being treated equally and stuff.

That’s not as much fun as…uh…the other (language not safe for work)…

Hope and Fear

Monday, July 8th, 2013

“Hope won. Fear Lost.” Remember that line, from early November 2008? Well, I was just noticing something: Since then, I haven’t seen or heard of too many people express hope. Not real hope.

FearI look at it like this: If you do have hope, but your hopes are to simply hang on to what you have right now…family, car, job, house…there’s something rather immaterial, shadowy and fake about that isn’t there? We should be demanding more out of life, shouldn’t we? Don’t we understand that implicitly, deep down inside? It’s like a military brigade talking about “advancing” when they’re really just holding steady and “hoping” not to retreat.

I guess my point is, this “hope-I-keep-my-stuff” hope contains within it a tacit admission that the status quo is as good as things are ever gonna get. The dream behind the hope — if you can say there is any dreaming, I mean, at all, whatsoever — is simply that the present high ground is the beginning of a plateau that will extend in front of us for awhile, that we’re not teetering on a pinnacle. It’s all horizontal dreaming. None of that good, old-fashioned, pie-in-the-sky vertical dreaming about going upward. None of the wonder about how great we may one day become. It implicitly answers the question with: “As great as we are, in this moment, no greater than that, and you’re nuts for thinking otherwise.” It then ponders longevity, and nothing else.

The vertical-dreaming is a presence of something. The horizontal-dreaming is an absence; it is merely the pockets of emptiness between the clouds of dread.

If that’s all there is…isn’t that as sturdy an indicator as any other, that maybe fear didn’t lose after all?

DJEver Notice? LXXX

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

em•pa•thy (n.):

2. the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another…
:
He felt great empathy with the poor.

My lately-arriving epiphany here is two-fold:

One, this is testable. Or at least it should be. If you can truly understand and be aware of someone else’s thoughts and feelings, then you should be able to predict what they’ll want and what they’re going to do, just like a real science should be able to predict things. But — a lot of people who have empathy, in fact lots and lots of empathy, can’t even come close. Their concern for “the poor” might be genuine, but if you talk with them about it for a little while, you see some of the things these poor would want to do, the empathic folks can’t see coming. Like, for example, put in a solid day’s honest work for that “minimum” wage, or choose their own health insurance plan. Although their so-called “empathy” might be sincere, and qualify for the dictionary definition in every other way. The word therefore describes two different things: An honest desire to feel the pain of others, in service of some kind of goal to ease that pain and/or to keep more of it from being inflicted — and, access to a conduit of unspoken communication involving true and more useful understanding. The former might not necessarily be able to predict behavior, although the latter can. These things are disconnected, because another outside observer might be able to boast of superior results in predicting behavior of the target, even though he wouldn’t, to coin a phrase, piss on him if he was on fire. Also: Both these qualities are valid things to assess, and to comment-upon, so I’m reticent about labeling one “false” and the other one “true.” It’s just another word being abused by our language, by being deployed to describe two things; the situation is nothing more and nothing less than that.

Like, For Example, Working at HootersTwo: Apart from being disconnected, these two qualities being described by a common word are disjoined. Find me someone who offers bushels and bushels of the one, better-than-even-odds he will be wholly lacking in the other. E1 times E2 equals K. That is my true “didja ever notice” moment; I try to think of someone I’ve known who, as they pondered my various plights or someone else’s, showed ample measures of both kinds. There are very few examples, although the bar is lowered in situations that are especially dire. The guy holding on to the sagebrush to keep from falling over the cliff, probably doesn’t want to die, that’s an easy call to make. It’s after the crisis is averted that we see, those who have the greatest “don’t want anything bad to happen to that guy” empathy, are most sorely lacking in the “predict what he’ll want to do” empathy.

Feminists are a great example of this. All those women feeling empathy for other women, crusading tirelessly for their ability to “choose”…sooner or later they run into a woman who says “Thanks for giving me the choice, now I choose to have the child, stay home, and raise him into a strong, capable man who will make me proud, while my husband works.” They have no idea what to make of it. Truly bewildered. Baffled. Like a spoiled and sheltered pet puppy coming nose-to-nose with a deer for the first time…except…the dog learns about the deer. Militant feminists can’t even reconcile their tiny little world with the occasional spectacle of a woman who cherishes her choice, and uses it to choose things the feminists would never have chosen for her.

A lot of liberalism is like that. But this is a phenomenon much bigger than liberalism.

Daniel’s Post-Independence Day Thoughts

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Blogger friend Daniel Summers, that is…

I’ve got a good bit on my mind this morning. I held back from posting anything negative about our nation yesterday. “Happy Birthday America – you suck!” just seemed inappropriate.

However, our nation does have many, many flaws. I’m not ready to discard her, by any means; but I see, at nearly every turn, her people and her government making the wrong decisions, and continuing her slide towards mediocrity and insecurity, under the guise of improving both. In nearly every issue, the underlying cause appears to me to be the same – an inability to dispassionately, rationally evaluate a situation, policy, etc. on its merits alone. This is displayed on both sides of the political divide, where talking points and comebacks are slung back and forth, and seems to be what passes for civil discourse. It isn’t!
:
America is not beyond hope. We must change course, though, or we will find ourselves swimming in self-induced mediocrity, while we are crowing over how advanced we are. To get God’s blessing, we must turn to Him; to elevate civil discourse, we must teach reasoning.

Reasoning, to me, represents a great deal more than just the dictionary definition. In my world it is an object-oriented exercise, starting with a vision, from which is derived one or several objectives. To service the objectives, we gather facts, and then we infer from those facts what is really going on. Once we figure out to our own satisfaction what’s really going on, we reconcile that with the objectives and from what we figure out what to do.

This provides a lot of opportunity for rational, reasoning people to disagree, with neither side of the disagreement doing anything irresponsible, intellectually lazy or insincere. They could have different visions, or they could share a common vision but labor toward different objectives. They could be looking at different facts; they could be looking at the same facts and from those, they might arrive at different conclusions about what’s going on. In my experience, it is very, very rare for any two sides to share common visions, objectives, facts and conclusions and then disagree about what is to be done; by the time your compass or ruler passes through that many plot points, the rest of it is usually pretty clear and there’s not much arguing left to be done.

But argue we do. From that, I conclude — see that? I just did it! — there is much disagreement about what comes before. The discussions that ensue don’t go there very often, though, and I believe this is because of what frustrates me…and it seems to be frustrating Mr. Summers as well. Our “national ability,” if you will, to slog it out earnestly about our differences in visions, objectives, facts gathered and conclusions inferred, is in a state of decline and has been for quite some time.

And I think if we could pie-chart-plot it, with honesty somehow restored and then measured, we’d find much of the culpability in the first stage, the vision. People support different objectives because they nurture different visions. If we could somehow fasten that Up! dog collar to ’em so that a sincere statement of the vision could be vocalized, with or without their consent, we’d be hearing an awful lot of the same thing: I want my team to win and I want that other team to lose. I agree with Daniel there’s a lot of that on both sides of the divide. And I also agree that if it passes for “civil discourse,” it shouldn’t.

I recall years ago one of my managers got into a scuffle with another manager, and demonstrated his written-communication prowess in the e-mail. His message was structured in the following way: “I want (something anybody else should want, who gives a hang about the business). In order to do that, I need to (blank), and in order to get that done, I need you to (thing the other manager was refusing to do).” Copied to a zillion and one people. This is not effective for diplomacy, cooling down a tense situation, or anything of the like…but again…vision, objective. The writer of the e-mail made a conscious decision about whether that was part of his priority scheme or not, and decided to go for the jugular. Agree or disagree about that part, you have to admit that the way things are executed following that decision, make sense in their own way.

Maybe that’s not good for a corporate environment. Or, maybe it’s good only for “hill I wanna die on” situations, that have been deliberately and diligently adjudicated to be past the point of easing tensions. But in politics, I think, it would be much more appropriate, and much more often…perhaps all of the time, for the foreseeable future, until people stop equating politics with sports and instantaneously leaping to support their “home teams.” These are thoughts that should be in abundance, and instead, are in short supply — disgracefully short supply, at times, I would say. “I want (what’s good for all of us); to do that, I need (blank); therefore, we must (blank) (unless you have a better idea you can offer).”

I hope, by July 4th next year, we can get back to some of that.

How to Thank a Soldier, by George W. Bush

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Buzzfeed.

Soldiers love getting hugged because most of them are big softies deep down.

Four Things Every Man Should Be Able To Do

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Cracked.

Pretty low bar. Building a fire, running a mile, changing a car tire, dividing up a bill.

“But what about the people with asthma or polio or something?” you may be asking. “Does that preclude them from becoming real men?” And my answer is, of course, “No, but trying to piggyback on their disability so that you don’t have to run a mile is a decidedly unmanly thing to do. Now get going, Devon, or whatever your name is.”

That one’s like having an itch scratched. Why do some people work so hard at being losers? So sick of the “oh, but what about” thing…

Happy Independence Day

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

The Un-Definers

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Those who were in favor of un-defining marriage are now sanctimoniously inquiring if any noticeable damage has resulted from their victory last week. The answer to the question is in the affirmative, although they’ll never acknowledge it; the damage is gradual, cumulative, and it comes from many other efforts to un-define many other things. I refuse to call it a “conspiracy,” for now, because my consciousness is not too hospitable to the concept of conspiracies. I have learned too much about human deficiencies to accept those, most especially about deficiencies in discretion and deficiencies in coordination. But I will accept an “epidemic.” We have an epidemic lately of frenzied efforts driven toward detaching words and phrases from their accepted meanings. As a result of this, we have sexists calling non-sexists sexists, racists calling non-racists racists, and purveyors of huckster phony “science” calling others “gullible” for showing valid but unwelcome skepticism.

We have bullies calling non-bullies bullies.

There are boring people calling non-boring people boring.

Still can’t find an Internet-linkable source, other than the one I put together, for Dennis Prager’s wonderful statement of “I’d rather have clarity than agreement.” But I think that gets right to the heart of the matter. Defining things, posed as a question, would be a phony controversy because there really isn’t anyone who is outwardly opposed to defining things. The controversy comes up when other priorities emerge to displace, and Prager has accurately identified the other priority: Agreement. And so we have an epidemic, albeit not a conspiracy, to replace, albeit not eliminate, clarity. The definitions of things. So that everyone participating can be in agreement.

But here is the problem: An exchange is a “win” if, and only if, the asset that is received is of greater value than the thing that was given up in exchange. Isn’t that only obvious? You win in the exchange if you buy low and sell high. Nobody responds to Mr. Prager with a rebuttal of “I’d rather have agreement than clarity,” because I think it is intuitively obvious that this isn’t going to work. Agreement at the expense of clarity really doesn’t get us anywhere. You can’t get anything built with it, and you can’t do anything with it. Except feel smug, and stop arguing. Which means to stop thinking, ultimately, because if you can’t argue then you can’t think.

Because we have turned in the ability to argue & think, we find ourselves surrounded by a great many “phony tests” for things…tests that were supposed to find out, at the beginning, what they ultimately did find, and never did have any possibility of finding anything else — therefore, weren’t really tests.

The IRS investigated the IRS.

The Earth is in imminent danger of…something…due to human activity, which somehow translates to United States activity.

It goes so far as to state that boys are girls:

The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled an elementary school discriminated against a transgender 6-year-old child by barring [him] from using the girls’ bathroom.

KDVR reports the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund announced the ruling Sunday, and said they would hold a news conference Monday to explain the decision in the case of Coy Mathis, who was born a boy but [is identified by his parents] as a girl.

Those who are looking for damage from the un-definition of marriage, might skim through Severian’s thoughts on the subject. Where we’re heading, is fascism: It’s all for the state, and the state is whatever those-in-charge say it is. Definitions are guardrails. With those guardrails removed, it becomes the place of our “leaders” to “drive” wherever they want. But it is their place to steer the car over the cliff and into the abyss, and everybody else’s place to absorb the impact.

Wherever a disagreement endures across time, and arouses the passions of those engaged throughout it all, it seems we invariably find the real disagreement is about this. The definitions. One side labors to identify and preserve definitions of things, and the other side endeavors to keep those definitions concealed, and remove them from perceived relevance.

One will also find, as one inspects other unrelated issues, that people who oppose definitions of things pretty much oppose them all the time, regardless of what is being discussed. Example: A remarkably high portion of those who seek to un-define “science” to the point we can call “climate change” a science, doubt the existence of God. They seek to “un-define” Him. Logically, we should expect climate-change concerns to be driven by a belief in, not a denial of, God. Meanwhile, whoever seeks to un-define science and un-define God, will also be laboring long and hard to un-define marriage, even though the gay marriage movement has absolutely nothing to do with secularism, or with the climate change political movement that seeks to call itself “science.”

Those who seek to un-define things, are engaged in almost an almost militarily offensive operation — they seek a definition until they find a definition, and when they find a definition they try their best to destroy it. Once that’s done, they seek-and-destroy some more.

Since the definitions are targets to the un-definers, each definition has a certain value as a target. These values are not all equal, and so there is a certain hierarchy to the definition-targets that have to be eliminated. An opportunity to un-define one definition, will be sacrificed for a time so that another opportunity to un-define another definition of greater target-value, can be effectively exploited. No different from bombing one enemy ammunition dump instead of another.

Marriage being an institution, it is an extraordinarily high-value target. You will generally find the definitions that are institutions, have the highest value as targets to the un-definers who are seeking and destroying the targets. Another institution is science. We have lately seen the label “science” affixed to a lot of things that are not science, and this is provable: Science is supposed to be testable. Exercised competently and effectively, it should result in predictability. That name is being used to describe things that do not fit this bargain-basement, minimalist, qualification. “Education” is not education, as you and I know it and understand it (hat tip to Captain Capitalism). “Access to health care” is a phrase we can no longer take seriously. We can’t trust “congressional oversight” because we can see for ourselves how often it’s making…oversights. Now we have “marriage.”

One reason we can no longer take science seriously just because it calls itself “science” — why it so often fails this minimal test of testability — is that it has leaped off the Prager value system, seeking to sacrifice clarity for agreement. Clarity over agreement is an inherently positive process, an inherently inclusive process. Information emerges, you figure out what to do with it whether it’s welcome or not. It has to mean something. This doesn’t lead to good feeling all the time, but it leads to some kind of learning. Agreement over clarity, on the other hand, is an exclusionary, and inherently negative, process. It’s always “whittling,” turning the block into a horse by removing whatever doesn’t look like a horse. Someone is constantly being handed their hat, and told not to let the doorknob hit them on the way out.

Why are the un-definers going after institutions first, as they select their definition-targets? One possible explanation for this is that their real mission is not to destroy all of the definitions, but the society we have built that rests upon them.

They are inherently destructive. They must be. Building things and preserving things, I’ve noted many times before, requires a certain mental discipline that isn’t needed for destruction. Un-defining is, by its very nature, un-enlightening. So destruction is all these people can do. And once they’ve started, they can’t stop.

“What Would Happen If You Gave a Gun to a Slave?”

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

…they’d stop being a slave, of course. From the video here (which auto-plays when I try to embed it).

Huh, so that must be what they were trying to say in Django Unchained. Hmmmm…maybe not

I don’t own a gun. But if gun control were to happen in America, I would have no problem with it whatsoever. Gun control would probably do wonders here.

Wonder if Tarantino’s had a chance to re-think that one. He’s certainly been given the inspiration to do so.

As for the woman in the video, her opening proposition is an interesting one. “I’m not one of those people who admonishes any American for bringing up the issue of gun bans and the second amendment in the wake of a tragedy like this, I think it’s natural and normal.” Since I’m opposed to gun control, will I be the reasonable guy and at least concede that much?

Actually…no. I won’t concede even that much. It is not natural and not normal, when you look on a problem that is obviously hurtful and urgently demanding a solution of some kind, and your first reaction is “What can we ban to make this go away?” Or “What can we make it harder for everyone to do?” Or cutting through all the bull: “What freedoms can we take away?” When the expansion or preservation of freedom is viewed as the problem, and the curtailment of that freedom must be a prerequisite for any effective solution…or, in some cases, is the solution. That’s not normal and that’s not natural.

Other than that, though, she’s got it. The Second Amendment is not about hunting, and it isn’t about muskets. It’s about freedom.

Think Apocalyptically and Act Locally

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Sultan Knish, hat tip to Maggie’s Farm:

For all the talk of apocalypse and melting poles, the environmentalists really only care about your economic activity. Buy or don’t buy. But preferably buy, so long as you’re buying green, or buying carbon credits along with whatever you’re buying.

The sinner fills up on paper towels, but the righteous man buys paper towels with a green stamp on the box. The man of little faith may drive an SUV, and the faithful may also drive an SUV, but the faithful man’s SUV has a bumper sticker warning everyone to conserve something or other. Such hypocrisies are constant, pervasive and little commented on.

What began as a movement for the responsible stewardship of the earth has been corrupted from the ethical to the fanatical. Conservationism kept humanity in the picture. Environmentalism rages at humanity. Behind its colorful drawings and its dolphin key chains is the vision of a world in which humanity and its fire sticks are the original sin.

That primal rage has been channeled and diluted into a million businesses, into countless regulations and profitable ventures. The new environmentalists are regulatory robber barons like Al Gore, green rent seeking tycoons looking to use cap and trade, and a thousand mandatory revenue streams to fleece both the faithful and the unfaithful. [emphasis mine]

Nobody ever actually says buying a different kind of light bulb and unplugging your cell phone will make the difference between the planet’s continuing survival and its imminent doom. They just use these generalized topic-label terms — “global warming,” “climate change,” “green energy” and others — to link the extinction-level-event concern, with the meaningless but profitable things we’re supposed to be doing about it.

In doing so, they exploit a dry rot that has been setting in to our thinking, for decades: We have been losing, and are continuing to lose, our ability to form effective solutions to defined problems. We’ve lost the instinct to circle back around after a solution has been proposed, and ask that annoying but purposeful question: “Okay, and this changes the likely outcome toward something more appealing to our preferences and more fitting to our vision…how?

We’ve stopped doing this. And someone has seen a way to make big piles of money from that. It’s pretty smart of them.

The Sopranos in Seven Minutes

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

…all of it. So far as I know.

Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

The Bible’s in the Middle

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Very astute observations, offering great potential benefit to anyone who hasn’t seen the new Superman movie, along with anyone who’d like a better introduction to Plato, Nietzsche, Popper, et al.

And for those who have seen the movie, it is, as Arsenio Hall said many a time, a thing “that makes you go hmmmm…”

Hat tip to blogger friend Rick.

“No Care Policy?”

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Aw, man…

Yeah, that’s good advice. Pack it well, it may not be treated well…

From here.

No Obvious Answer

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

George Leef at National Review Online notices something interesting at New York Times. Hat tip to Maggie’s Farm.

This interview with Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
:
Q. Other insights from the data you’ve gathered about Google employees?

A. One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation. Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything.

What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.

Q. Can you elaborate a bit more on the lack of correlation?

A. After two or three years, your ability to perform at Google is completely unrelated to how you performed when you were in school, because the skills you required in college are very different. You’re also fundamentally a different person. You learn and grow, you think about things differently.

Another reason is that I think academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained, they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment. One of my own frustrations when I was in college and grad school is that you knew the professor was looking for a specific answer. You could figure that out, but it’s much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer. You want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer.

Interesting way of phrasing it, with the “artificial environment.” I’ve often noticed that this special intelligence that is involved in anticipating expectations in other people, is quite different from that other special intelligence leveraged when puzzles are being solved and there is “no obvious answer.” I see it in my own experiences. I tend to achieve my greatest sense of confidence and comfort when I’m solving puzzles, but through the years my efforts have been almost entirely derailed by the artificiality. Just knowing someone is “back there,” expecting a certain response or a certain type of resolution, is enough to break my concentration entirely.

It seems like these two intelligences are more or less diametrically opposed. People who are head-and-shoulders above me in this special group activity of sitting in a room, figuring out what “everyone” is thinking or wants to see — they’re first to anticipate it, I’m the last — team up with me to solve a problem, a no-obvious-answer problem. I invariably find that after I’ve solved the problem on my own, I have to back up and explain to them the basic concepts. And there, more often than not, I fail; they can’t quite grasp what I’m talking about. But the solution works, and a sense of “let Morgan handle this whatever-it-is from now on” sets in. And then we have a meeting about it, and I go back to being lost. Out in front of the crowd, or else falling way behind, but never shoulder-to-shoulder. I suspect I’m far from alone in these experiences.

“Conservatives Are the Mainstream”

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

I’ve said it again and again and again and again

The moderates stand with the conservatives. People who don’t give a rip about democrats and Republicans, will say — emphatically — no, you can’t do that. If bullies are picking on kids and they get some blowback from it, leave it alone, the situation handled itself. Save your interference for when the bullies are doing their thing and not suffering natural consequences from it, that’s what discipline is for.

The liberals stand alone in saying: Oh, no. Law and order? Can’t have that. Better to have chaos than law and order, if the law and order arrives by means of vigilantism. Better to let the hooligans win. Better to let Gotham City burn all the way to the ground than to have Batman running around doing his thing.

Liberals stand alone here. And yet, we end up doing things their way, time after time.

Lloyd Marcus, writing in American Thinker, notices it too.

The left, assisted by their buddies in the MSM, use a very effective tactic to render conservatives politically impotent. They accuse us of being haters and aggressors, all the while forcing every item on their socialist/progressive list down America’s throats. Conservatives who were simply minding their own business are branded the bad guys.

Conservatives are swiftly becoming an ever-increasingly “silenced majority” — persecuted, intimidated, and bullied into shutting up. Rush Limbaugh says our country is in the midst of a peaceful takeover. America as founded is slipping away daily.
:
Conservatism wins every time it is confidently and passionately articulated. Ronald Reagan proved that. Suggesting that the GOP has surrendered the New Jersey Senate seat is yet another MSM attempt to dispirit and discourage conservative voters.

Time to dust off this favorite image, and put it up once again…

“Why I Am a Republican”

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013