Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Fifty-Two Percent Support Higher Taxes on the Rich

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Gallup, by way of Politico, by way of Pirate’s Cove.

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say wealth is distributed unfairly in the United States, and a majority want the federal government to play Robin Hood to fix the problem, according to a poll released Thursday.

Only 33 percent of Americans think the current distribution of wealth in this country is fair, according to the Gallup Poll, while 59 percent say it is not. Fifty-two percent said the United States should redistribute wealth through heavy taxes on the rich, while 45 percent disagreed.

While the percent of Americans who said the current distribution of wealth is unfair is down from 68 percent in 2008, the number of Americans who favor federal redistribution is at an all-time high.

It’s really a rather simple problem: Have the fifty-two percent go first. They wouldn’t be the first in the country’s history to stutter and stammer something like “Hey! I meant the other guy!” After all, everyone seems to think “government” handles everything efficiently, effectively and fairly until they have to deal with the government.

No seriously, we should try it. I think a lot of us would be surprised how many material things are owned, or controlled, by those who feel it’s the other fellow who’s got more.

They like higher taxes because it rolls off the tongue so much more smoothly than “steal his stuff and keep it.”

Let the chains rest lightly upon them, and let posterity forget that they were our countrymen.

“We’re All In This Together”

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

“Being nice in the face of depravity, is the opposite of nice.”

“If you can’t argue, you can’t think.”

In Defeat

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

You know, I was just noticing this yesterday while listening to the President’s speech on the radio. If the democrats get their butts beat a hundred times in a row, we can predict they’re going to say some variation of exactly the same thing, a hundred times in a row, and that thing will be: This just goes to show that you voters have to give us more of a lock on power.

This is a big part of the reason why I don’t trust them, why their whole way of looking at politics is incompatible with the way the republic was built. Not wanting to over-simplify it too much, but they’re spoiled brats. It’s just like an ex-wife who wants her child support or alimony early: They got this idea in their heads about what is going to happen. Nobody gave them that idea. They literally just gathered around a conference table and wrote it all down. They formed the idea in what was, for all practical purposes, a vacuum, and nobody made any promises about any of it save for the promises they made to each other. On the strength of that thing not coming to pass, they portend misery and doom. Just like any spoiled brat.

They Won't Give Me Their Guns!And it’s always something polarizing. They get a few RINOs to participate and on the strength of that, they throw around the word “bipartisan” like peas at a food fight or something…but really. If you haven’t been following the news too closely lately and someone described the bill to you and said “Now, what do you think is the Republican position on this and what do you think is the democrat position,” would you really stand their scratching your head going “duh??” because the bill is just so-common-sense and wonderful like Emperor Barry was saying yesterday?

In defeat, I would expect a party that really does deserve more power, to say, in America: Well, back to the drawing board. It wasn’t meant to be. Not right now, at any rate. Let’s wait for another day, or let’s identify the most contentious parts of the bill, perhaps they’re not that vital. Oh, they are? Or Oh, we did that already? Okay, alright, now is not the time. The nation’s mood is going in one direction, the bill’s was going in another. Nut up. Let’s figure out what we’re doing tomorrow. It is what it is.

Let’s see what this fund-raising letter to Barack Obama’s supporters, or in my case subscribers, had to say:

Here’s where we go from here:

The senators on both sides of the aisle who stood up to the pressure and cast tough votes to do the right thing — they’re going to know that OFA supporters are going to get their backs.

And those senators who decided that not crossing the gun lobby was more important than making our kids and communities safer — OFA supporters will call them out and hold them accountable to their constituents.

The special interests have been at this longer, and they can do a real good job at scaring people by distorting the facts — they think we’ll go away quietly.

But there are so many more of us than there are of them. And as long as you don’t give up, we’re going to keep fighting, and someday soon, we will win.

Nothing in there about taking a cue, straightening out, forming compromises. More of us than there are of them! We will win!

Gosh, why didn’t this common sense wonderful gun safety bill pass? Well, technically, it just didn’t have the votes needed to pass. Shockah! Then there’s the matter of, it isn’t constitutional because it’s an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. So, it didn’t jive either with the will of The People, or with the United States Constitution. It would not have prevented any of the tragedies that occurred lately, since criminals do not submit to background checks. It would not have saved any lives at Sandy Hook, or at the Aurora theater, and it would not have saved any lives in Tucson. Like most-to-all democrat legislation, it would have messed around with the people who live their lives productively, help others, and follow the rules, to no good effect. It was a blemish and a blight on the history of our Congress’ legislative efforts, as you would expect, since it was a big fetid snotball of new rules — unenforceable new rules — about guns written by people who don’t know jack about guns. Other than those minor flaws, President Obama is correct in talking up how wonderful it was.

What do Republicans say when they’re defeated? We certainly haven’t had to do much waiting lately, to see it happen. It’s still a bit of a tough call because you have to define “Republican.” We certainly know what the loud voices, the voices that MUST get the last word in, have to say about it: “Forget all about the principles I have in mind when I go around calling myself a ‘Republican,’ nevermind that at all — I’m just completely heartbroken that my party is SO EXTREME and you know what? It has ONE HOPE for survival…it needs to stop being so rigid, and compromise on [blank].” And the [blank] would have something to do with the continuing erosion of either a definition, an institution, or both. Something that makes young people look cool and spiffy, and old people look square and lame unless they act more like young people. It’s like an incantation people recite when they long for eternal youth. It’s got something to do with a thing being regarded as something it isn’t: Marriage should not be between a man and a woman, illegal drugs shouldn’t be illegal, illegal aliens should be welcome here.

But, again: Those are the loud people talking. It’s an open question whether they’re truly Republicans. Nobody really knows, and yet few-to-none take the time to really figure it out.

In defeat, the democrats always say the same thing: This was supposed to happen — we decided so — and it didn’t happen that way, so this shows things are really messed up! Voters, you have to help us get rid of those Republicans. When we said we wanted a form of government that works for everybody, we were not talking about them! Their opportunity to be represented in our nation’s capitol, is the one thing that is really, really, heap-big busted right now, and that has to be the next thing fixed.

When it comes to politics, the democrats are much smarter. It is not in keeping with the founding principles of our nation. But it is in keeping with winning: If you go after a small victory in every defeat, what you are essentially doing is guaranteeing that every event is a victory for your side, the only open question is how big.

Related: What the public really thinks about it…

Related: Would President Obama pass a background check?

“Road Rage Karma”

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

From here.


Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

File this one under “philosophy,” or for clarity’s sake, “How come it is, we think we know the things we think we know?” In these contentious times this doesn’t get a lot of attention. People get so passionate and caught up in what they think they know, that all their energy starts to be plowed into repeating it over and over, and they can’t spare the residual ergs to recall how they decided it was so. But if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that this is precisely when we should re-inspect.

I recall a lengthy dialogue some decade or so ago, with a cousin of mine shortly after I “discovered” that our family, like many others, was descended from Henry Borden of Headcorn, Kent, who apparently left this earthly plane in the year 1470, and therefore we were distantly related to Lizzie Borden of the “took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks” fame. With the little boxes all drawn in and the lines neatly connecting them, the task arose to answer the question: How probable is this? And the answer is rather disquieting. Not only do we have no way of knowing, but much of what is recorded in genealogy is that way, for that is what genealogists tend to write down. “He married her on such-and-such a date, and then they had these children on these dates.” The what-is-known, every couple generations, is plotted or scrawled into a big sheet of butcher paper or some such, then rolled up for safekeeping. The how-do-you-know-that, on the other hand, very seldom enjoys the same benefit of forever-documentation. Even the guy who makes a breakthrough by getting hold of an old property tax document or passenger manifest, tends to footnote the boxes-and-lines very poorly, or not at all.

For the record: I “know” of this Borden link because of an ancestor in the early nineteenth century who had a certain name. Uncle Wally traced us back to that guy, and then I found that name, itself, benefited from some relatives who had done the research on the priors, so I made the link. Is it a strong link? Hell no. This is not a rare name. Although the geography and dates do line up rather nicely. But that’s all we got. No, I’m not putting a lot of faith in it.

Speaking of families: Competence, or lack thereof, of a family member can lead to conflicts that drag on for years. Of course this is always lots of fun. I have noticed those who plead for incompetence tend to use “externalized” arguments, as in, “Everyone who’s ever met him says [blank].” They do this rather consistently, so that they can’t do what I just did in the paragraph above: “I think I’m descended from this peasant out in fifteenth-century Kent, England, because such-and-such.” This is, of course, Philosophy 101 stuff: You can either answer the basics of “How come it is you think you know the things you think you know?”, or else, you can’t.

Bloody Axe“Externalysis” would be a process of rejecting this fortifying knowledge, this “supporting documentation” if you will, keeping in mind only the tasty and tantalizing conclusion. Yeah, baby! I’m related to an axe murderer, innit cool? As it happens, I’m not too fond of the idea of being related to an axe murderer. (The other side of my family, according to legend, is also descended from axe murderers, so I’m not too keen on cluttering up the family tree with these types.) Some other people might find this enthralling. Emotionalism, I notice, is one of the most popular reasons for engaging in this externalization, this remembering-the-conclusion, forget-the-supporting-documentation stuff. People reach conclusions logically or emotionally, and if they reach them through logic they have a tendency to remember the logic. If they don’t, they don’t.

People who reach conclusions by way of emotion have a tendency to argue through the emotion. What else can they do? There is no other option. “How many children have to die before you support gun control” is a great example. Their plan is, when there is convincing to be done at some future time, they’ll do the convincing the same way they got convinced: With an appeal to emotion. Trouble is, it might not work, and if it doesn’t work then they just repeat it over again. It gets embarrassing to watch.

I’m reminded of a comment made a couple months ago when a lengthy argument meandered along about the global warming scam. The other side came back with a false argument that, although the scaremongers had been caught perpetrating fraud, in theory the skeptics were also capable of fraud therefore we should all pretend the scaremongers hadn’t engaged in fraud. I thought this was making my argument for me, since my position was that “We have global warming because all the scientists say so” is such a weak argument that it might as well be rejected summarily, in favor of something more logically resilient that might persuade toward the same outcome, assuming such an argument could be assembled at all. The way I said it was “I choose to internalize my reasoning processes,” to which the other side replied, “Have no idea what that means.”

Oh noes! The dreaded “We win, because we can’t understand you” rebuttal. If high school debate was a poker game, this would be like the straight flush. It burns!

Well if the phrasing is clumsy, it’s clumsy because I’m describing an unfamiliar concept; in my defense, if my phrasing is clumsy because the concept is unfamiliar, this is something that should not be the case. People should know why they know the things they think they know. And it should be readily apparent to all, including the guy who thinks-something-because-of-something, whether such a process is internalized or externalized.

Externalization is certainly valid, and can be valuable. However: If we are laboring toward a common objective of concluding something as reasonably as possible, whatever that conclusion may be, we all become obliged to use reason. In such a situation, I would offer that a certain conclusion should be viewed with a jaundiced eye when all of the arguments supporting that conclusion are, by nature, externalized.

Here, I will define it as best I can: You are failing to internalize, if you are capable of reaching a conclusion sufficiently satisfactory that it becomes your final opinion about the issue for the indeterminate future — yet if, subsequent to that, someone asked you to explain your rationale you wouldn’t be able to do it. The phrase “sufficiently satisfactory that it becomes your final opinion” is significant, because let’s be honest: Once we cross that point, most of us feel pretty safe allowing it to start coloring our biases. The longer we stick to an opinion, the harder it becomes for us to accept something different, and the more work there is for someone to try to convince us of something different. A capable thinker is a stateful thinker, and those who wish to change our minds about it at a later time, no matter how much they might like to, can’t enjoy the luxury of a clean slate. If they could, then that would mean we aren’t capable of learning.

I’m seeing this Boston bombing yesterday has yet to take the gun-control issue out of all the Internet-arguing going on…and from this, I see a rather durable pattern in which the pro-gun-control people are externalizing. They’re externalizing everything, from what I can see. “Justice Stevens said this,” “Justice Scalia said that,” “we already do background checks and that’s not unconstitutional.” It’s true that stare decisis is a valid legal concept, in fact a very influential one that often determines the final outcome. But that is not an absolute, and it cannot be one, for — let’s be honest again — it is an exercise in bureaucracy-making. The thinking is completely externalized: “It’s that way because it’s always been that way.”

I would liken it to visiting a campsite. Just about all of us, conservatives and liberals alike, recognize the virtue involved in preserving a good, healthy environment, especially when we get our flabby butts outside and see nature up close. In my experience with Boy Scouts, the best troops made it a rule to “leave the campsite in a condition better than the way you found it“…not just as good as. This externalized judicial-precedent argument, ultimately, invites a bunny-trail debate about exactly this: If logic is a campsite, have we made it our goal to leave it in as good a shape as the way we found it, or better? It’s actually a pretty important difference. Such a dialogue deliberates about whether it is our place to cure flaws, and to make right what was once wrong.

This is not an across-the-board condemnation of stare decisis. I would say it is a perfectly legitimate function of the Supreme Court, or any higher court for that matter, to issue a writ of certiorari on the finding of a lower court, haul the matter in for a good argument/questioning/decision thrashing, and overturn the opinion on stare decisis grounds. This would be an exercise in making sure justice is even, that people aren’t receiving disparate verdicts for identical situations based on who’s hearing the case. It may be a futile goal, but it’s still a noble one.

But I think we all would, and should, object to stare decisis being an eight-hundred-pound-gorilla absolute. It is, by its nature, externalization; you may find it convincing, but without appealing to a completely different argumentative structure to reach the same conclusion, you can’t explain why to a skeptical audience. And you know the old saying, “You’re always gonna get what you always got, if you always do what you’ve always done.” If we’re constantly reaching conclusions because that’s the way it’s always been, nothing ever gets better.

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts.

The Absolutes

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

It is frequently said that conservatives believe in absolutism and liberals believe in relativism.

This is incorrect, in this day and age; it needs an update. Both sides believe in absolutes. The liberal absolutes eventually must contradict each other, whereas the conservative absolutes ultimately have to work, because conservatives work.

The liberals say you have an absolute right to everything. The question arises — although it shouldn’t — “what exactly is everything?” That is decided by committee, essentially. It’s a mystery who or what that committee is, but somewhere at some central location, some decision is being made on an ongoing basis about what all these rights are, and what the latest addition to the rights-cluster is supposed to be. Today, for example, it’s getting married when you’re gay. Fifteen years ago it was serving in the military when you’re gay, fifteen years before that it was filing a bunch of nonsense lawsuits when you’re a woman, and your workplace offends you for some reason. Next few years it will be something else.

Until you’re “born” though, you are absolutely nothing. And “born” may mean emerging all the way from the womb, or merely becoming “viable” so you’re capable of living outside your mother’s body. This is the “vaginal finish line” concept. On one side of the line you’re entitled to absolutely everything, and on the other side you’re entitled to absolutely nothing.

Really, the only places liberals don’t believe in absolutes, are with concepts that any kindergarten child should be able to tell you are supposed be absolute. When “everyone deserves” something, and you talk with a liberal about it for a little while you see “everyone” doesn’t really mean “everyone.” They don’t want Rush Limbaugh to live forever because ObamaCare is getting him all the health care supplies and services he needs, for example. “Everything” doesn’t mean “everything” when everyone is entitled to that everything; the state has to reserve the power to take some of that “everything” away. When you attend workplace sensitivity training and you’re told “everyone deserves to be treated with respect,” you don’t have to sit in on the session too long before you find out that isn’t true. You can’t contradict yourself more sharply or with too much more of a hairpin-logical-turn than to say “the intent of the accused is irrelevant, the perception of the offended decides everything, these rules are put in place to make the workplace safer and more comfortable for everyone.”

Also, everyone deserves a better standard of living. But, if you watch liberals a little while, you’ll notice their solution to every problem has something to do with making goods and services more expensive…at least, for those who choose to do honest work to earn them.

Conservative absolutes are much simpler and more sensible. You have an absolute right to decide everything, save for whatever will, or may, bring harm to others. Liberals have managed to smear conservatives as crusaders for more rights and privileges only for the affluent. The reason this has worked so well is that conservatives defend the decisions people make to earn a lot or to earn very little, but there aren’t very many people around who choose to earn little. Most of the people who make that choice, do so out of depression and a failure to understand their true potential — they become liberals. There are fewer people who achieve a full working understanding of what they can really accomplish in life, and choose to direct that toward things that are not materially rewarding. But there are more than you might think. Housewives. Soldiers. Teachers who have mastered useful, hard, STEM skills and choose to pass them along to the next generation, rather than go full-tilt on making a living with them. Parents who find their niche in the big city, and make bank in it, but give it all up so they can raise their families in a more kid-friendly place. Point is, conservatives support all these decisions: Work much and earn big, or work less and earn less.

Your Rights End Where My Feelings BeginWork as hard as you like.

Play as hard as you like.

There are absolutely no limits, save for the limits involved in negotiating with others. Your employer has the absolute right to pay you as much as the two of you mutually decide your time is worth. Or, to offer as little. You have the right to take it, or walk away.

When you play, you play as you like. You can even sign some waivers and do some rock-climbing, parachuting, bungee-jumping or four-wheeling. You can go to a restaurant and eat meat, with polyunsaturated fats. Brought to your table by good-looking young women in skimpy clothes.

Liberals live in a surreal, topsy-turvy, twisty-stretchy logical universe of Ordinarily, However, Therefore. Since everything is up for appeal, the sense of commitment that would ordinarily be part of every absolute statement, is consistently missing. Although they won’t admit it when they’re proclaiming the absolute, every absolute can under the right circumstances be ordinarily‘d down into a however and then be therefore‘d into a nullity. One of my favorite examples is the “right to privacy” enjoyed by a woman who uses the ladies’ restroom; ordinary she should be entitled to this, however we have to think of the pre-op transsexuals and their right to work in a safe non-threatening environment, therefore one sacred victim-group has to make way for another sacred victim-group. It’s a ranking system among super-entitled victim groups. You might think of it as a totem pole, with this identity above that one, which in turn is above yet another one, all in a vertical arrangement.

It’s all absolute. But dynamic with the passage of time, such that the totem pole itself might be rearranged, with one victim-group emerging on top of another victim-group that in years past had been supreme. We saw this a few years ago with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama struggling for the nomination within the democrat party; it wasn’t about positions on issues, since Hillary’s and Obama’s positions were not remarkably different anywhere. But it ended up being a huge fur-fight dust-up, because they were struggling for victim-group supremacy, with Hillary representing resentful females and Obama representing the blacks who’d pledged allegiance to the United States of victimology. Which group had the coveted license to Ordinarily, However, Therefore the supposed “absolute rights” of the other group? And a shift took place, since Obama prevailed. In years previous, it would have been the women who’d come out on top: What would happen in the 1980’s if a woman brought a discrimination suit, or a sexual harassment suit, against a black guy? She would’ve prevailed, his rights would be Ordinarily, However, Therefore‘d into nothingness, against hers. As of 2008, it goes the other way. So the faces move around on the totem pole.

Liberals are rigidly absolute about winning, I notice. They must always win. If they treated the interests of the country with the same reverence as they treated the interests of liberalism, they would be wonderful stewards of our nation’s defense. But, of course, they don’t. If your sister ever married a man who loved her the way they love America, you’d be honor-bound to drag him into the street and give him the righteous beatdown that Sonny gave Carlo.

People should not be capable. They shouldn’t be independent, they shouldn’t be skilled, they shouldn’t be resilient, they shouldn’t be self-sufficient. They shouldn’t have rights, at the individual level; all of their rights should come either from membership in some designed victim-group, or from positioning through election or appointment. The only exception is for the guy at the very top of the totem pole, whose face really does represent one, and only one, person who outranks everybody else. That guy’s rights really are absolute, really are literal, and really are static with the passage of time. You’ll notice all the filthy leftist commie mudpuddles all over the world, have always had one guy like that. One Emperor Palpatine. But the truth is, all of the liberals who are in a position to brandish some kind of power over other people, and harbor some ambitions to accumulate more power, fancy themselves as eventually becoming that guy. They’re playing a game of “musical chairs” with each other.

The biggest lie in the world is that liberals are for equality. They’re for the opposite. Lining up all the liberals in the country, with each liberal having more power than the liberal to his immediate left, the resulting shape is a perfect asymptote straight out of math class, with the curve approaching the axis into infinity but never quite meeting it. Some nine-tenths of them are indistinguishable from one another in this respect, approaching the “zero power” axis. These are the Epsilons, the great unwashed, the ones who figure they’ll never make more than nine dollars an hour and “The Rich” are all out to screw ‘em. Those remaining are the power-brokers, the ones in the musical-chairs game. Their sales pitch is “more power behind that throne over there, because tomorrow I want to be the one sitting in it.” The Epsilons who don’t think they’ll ever make more than nine dollars, are the ones buying this sales pitch.

Liberalism will continue to thrive, and grow stronger, as long as these two sides wallow in the false narrative that they share a common ambition. During that time, the “absolutes” they push are genuine, and sincere and firm as any other proposed, in the sense that there is no ulterior motive anywhere to rescind or controvert those absolutes. That happens later, with the passage of time, after the interests change. That’s the way it is throughout all of human history, when promises are broken. It isn’t because anyone intended for the promises to be broken when the promises were made; it’s because the interests changed.

Ordinarily, However, Therefore. And after the Therefore, the promise is lost to history, living on not even in recorded history or memory, like Ozymandias above the knees.

This Is Good CVIII

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

He thinks he’s hot shit on a silver platter, but he’s just a cold turd on a paper plate.

— From the Mom of a former fiancee of the brother of a Facebook friend out in Maryland somewhere who I don’t really know.

How to Explain American Politics to Someone From Another Country or Planet

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This was a Facebook post, but it’s really more appropriate here. I didn’t think of blogging it because there’s no one particular event actuating the thought…but it should be written down and preserved for posterity.

In America, the moderates decide the elections. Moderates are not well-informed people. They call themselves “independents” but they’re not. They make their decisions pretty much blindly, by removing the two extremes and accepting without reservation whatever happens to be in between.

That’s good for surveys and scientific samples. Let’s see how it works with politics.

President Obama is not a manager of anything at all; like most accomplished politicians, He is merely a figurehead of a political movement. As such, He could best be seen as merely a proposal. And the proposal is this. One day you’re just minding your own business, and President Obama drives up in a big truck and says “I’m going to take money away from you, since you did not vote for Me, and I’m going to give all your stuff to the people who did vote for Me.” He uses phrases like “just a little bit more” a lot, but even a third-grader could see He has no limitations in mind at all. Obama has no more comprehension of “alright that’s it, I’ve redistributed enough” than your favorite dog does of “alright that’s it I’ve eaten enough.”

That’s the proposal. Three answers materialize, the first one from you: No.

The second answer is a beat-down against the first: “You’re just saying no to President Obama because He’s a black guy.”

The third answer comes from some Michael Moore type of character, who waddles in and opines with some nonsense that private property is mythical, and the house, everything in it, and the bank accounts never belonged to you in the first place.

So. We have: No; “You’re just saying no because it’s a black guy who’s asking”; and, It-was-never-yours. Remove the two “extremes” and blindly accept the middle. What do you get?

Danica Patrick’s Photo Shoot

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

From here.

She’s a beautiful woman, and I’m not about to apologize for saying so.

When the Model is Right and Reality is Wrong

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Then…you’re heading in the wrong direction, honey, if you wanna come home…

Thanks to blogger friend Phil.

Strong People Scare Weak People

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Re-shared it on Facebook with the comment, “Strong women scare weak women, too.”

Cylar Z came along to point out that strong men also scare weak men.

Strong men, I notice, often scare weak women, and a lot of weak women who are scared of strong men claim it’s a case of a strong woman scaring a weak man. We have an opportunity here, as well as an emerging necessity, to try to come up with a working definition of “weak”: You probably are that, if it is your habit to conjure up conflict that didn’t exist before, and make it look like it’s the other person doing that. Or, if the conflict did exist before, you seek to prevail in it by removing the competition that is threatening rather than by improving on your own achievements and capabilities.

The more years I see come and go, the more impressed I am that weakness becomes a pattern of belief: A lot of people believe in weakness. They won’t admit it. But you can pick them out pretty easily; they treat things as the opposite of whatever those things are. They tend to shower lots of deferential courtesies on others who, in return, behave unkindly toward them. They treat mean people as if they were nice people, and nice people as mean people. They come up with ideas that have no history of working effectively, or that have very lengthy histories of botching everything up — and treat those ideas as if they were good ones.

And those people are very frightened of people who don’t do things the same way.

The Replacement-Jesus President Finally Reverses Course

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

You’re not supposed to change Your mind when You’re a Replacement-Jesus. But I suppose if you watch any one thing long enough, you’ll see there’s a first time for everything.

[President Barack] Obama called [California Attorney General Kamala] Harris earlier in the day to offer an apology, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

“He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments,” Carney said during a Friday briefing at the White House. Carney acknowledged later that the president had also “apologized for the remark” during the conversation with Harris.

Obama “did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said. “He fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance.”

Hat tip to Reel Girl, who views the apology with a much greater sense of approval than I.

The irony is, in my view feminists should not have pressed this. And I think I’m right. It does the movement enormous damage. It does nothing to make opportunities enjoyed by the two sexes more equal, since women can tell men how handsome they/we are pretty much all the time. It’s even happened to me a couple of times. What am I to do, now, sue someone? Was I the victim of discrimination? The question cannot be answered for it cannot be seriously asked; no one’s wondering.

A lot of other things are failing to arouse anybody’s curiosity too. Has Rush Limbaugh finally been proven right about his most controversial item within the thirty-five undeniable truths of life: “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society”? Who criticized him when he said this? Many, as I recall. Are they going to line up to start offering their apologies now? You might say, it isn’t called “undeniable” for nothin’.

Did Obama decide He was in the wrong on this thing — this one thing, since Obama’s job description is to prevail in every conflict, all the time, anywhere — when someone from the White House perused this blog and saw I was defending Him? There’s an entertaining thought. Or, did He come to realize, without the benefit of me pointing it out to Him or anyone in His administration, that He had dared to offer resistance against The Culture That Must Always Win?

Feminism doesn’t always have to win; “black power” doesn’t always have to win. Even Barack Obama doesn’t always have to win. But this weird culture that doesn’t even work, and is opposed to children and adults knowing how to confront the challenges that life has to offer, has to win. All of the time.

Did someone happen to read those words, and decide “Hey, what this Freeberg character said doesn’t make any sense, we’d better do something to make it make more sense”? Because they just proved this right, too. “Barack Obama doesn’t always have to win…[b]ut this weird culture…has to win. All of the time.”

And now, most pressingly, we have to ask: What else are we not allowed to notice about nice-looking women? This becomes a social slight if they happen to have a job with authority, that has nothing to do with being pretty? Okay, I think I get that; but what if I don’t know? If I mention to my wife that a woman way across the room is pretty, and she turns out to be the Chairwoman of this-that-or-some-thing, and I didn’t know, does that mean I have committed a faux pas?

How about that dumb slut Sandra Fluke? What if I decide she’s a good-looker, and make the mistake of saying so? I get in trouble twice?

And where does feminism go, from here, I wonder? Part of the reason I see it as hurting itself by insisting on things like this is, it highlights that part of feminism that makes that least sense, that is destined to lose. When it presses the demands of quivering neurotic females, who require constant reassurance of that which is not true, and cannot ever be true: That everyone, everywhere, agrees with them about everything. The truth is that everyone doesn’t. As long as they deal with that truism by forcibly muting any expression of any undesirable opinion, they cannot sincerely promote themselves as champions of freedom, or of equality either.

My mother-in-law was very proud of my personal growth, as I saw the light and defended Obama about something. She and I now share the disappointment that He decided the apology was (somehow) necessary. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen Barack Obama reverse course and apologize for/about something. It interests me that, to the best I can recall, this is the first time He could have made the country stronger by sticking to His guns. If He’s making it His mission to make the wrong decision all the time, He’s doing pretty well.

“Accurate But Sexist”

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Confirmed: We are in the middle of a revolution, after which, you will not be allowed to notice good-looking women are good-looking. Even America’s First Holy President is not safe.

“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,” said [President Barack] Obama. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here. (Applause.) It’s true. Come on. (Laughter.) And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”

Kamala HarrisDoes merely stating the obvious make the president sexist? More wolfish than sexist, I’d say. And this may be a little problem he needs to work on.

No, I don’t think so. I’ll defend the President on this one. If He’s falling all over Himself gushing over her job qualifications, and in the middle of all that happens to notice she’s good looking, there’s nothing wrong with this. And I have to say, I’m rather suspicious of anybody who thinks so. When the PerfectWorldTM doesn’t have any good-looking women in it, or the good-looking women it does have, nobody’s supposed to notice how good-looking they are, my interest in living in that world plunges downward even further.

It’s the kind of social-revolution objective that can’t be stated: “We want to get rid of pretty women,” or “We don’t want anyone noticing out loud that women are beautiful.” The best job you can do of polishing that turd is “We don’t want women judged on their looks,” but there you run into the same problem feminism always has: Too much control. Nobody is supposed to judge women on their looks, anywhere? From sea to shining sea? How many deputies do you plan to hire for that enforcement project?

It’s also sexist, in a way. Think about it: Once you’ve made sure women aren’t judged for their looks, are you gonna do the same for the fellas? Oof. There’s a project. And it’s a check mate; if you say no, you’re discriminating, and if you say yes…well, you have to fight a lot of people. Feminists, among them.

Woman walks into an office to begin her day shift, her male co-worker points out she’s wearing a nice outfit. Is that okay? The real answer, if feminism wishes to be sincere about it, is: It depends on his looks, and whether she’s attracted to him. Hey, it’s the truth. Men have a lot more latitude if they’re not creepy-looking. Gonna busy yourself with fixing that problem?

No? Didn’t think so.

Might as well face it. There isn’t a thing in the world wrong with what the President said.

The Culture That Must Always Win

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The coach’s name is Mike Pollock Rice*. He’s fired, and on the firing itself I have no complaints. This is the coach who was caught on tape physically abusing the players, kicking them in the butts several times, as he did his coach-thing. I certainly see what he’s trying to do. My baseball coach was the same way, and I think most coaches are. So my disagreement with other people who agree the coach should have been fired, is not quite so much with the idea that he should’ve been fired, as with the question: What exactly is the difference between this coach, and other coaches who don’t have to be fired?

It isn’t anger. Coaches, coaching this way, are supposed to act angry. It’s part of the act. Nor is it loss of control due to anger or behavioral-disorder or substance-abuse issues. There could be some of that going on, but what I see in the video reminds me of that whole phony angry-coach facade. And it isn’t the results, for I know nothing of the results Coach Rice managed to bring, nor do I care. His technique just sucks. The spectacle is just dumb, and distracting, and I don’t think the coach is good at his job if that’s what it takes to do it. There is also some gossip going on about “homophobic remarks,” by which I infer he used slang that you’re not supposed to be using in this day and age. That probably had as much to do with the firing as anything else.

That having been said: My mind is blown that a firing, somewhere, at long last, can squeek on through the way this one did. Can’t help but wonder how many other firings need to happen, but don’t. How many times does someone show they don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing. And, are left standing. Or even promoted.

This ties in to something else I noticed: People who favor gun restrictions, and that includes lawmakers who are pushing for gun-restriction legislation, who have “been working on [these bans] for years…been deeply involved in the issue,” and yet know precious little about it.

Here’s a woman who hasn’t got the slightest clue what she’s doing. Is she going to be expelled from the House of Representatives now, or at least asked to stop legislating against guns until such time as she educates herself? To be sure, the Sheriff of Lamar County made exactly that request, but it’s probably not going to go anywhere. To acquire knowledge, you have to admit you don’t have it yet. Legislators who support gun control haven’t been known to do that too often.

I think we need to admit something here, about firings and other corrective measures. These two examples are sufficient to highlight the trend, and I see no upside to the idea of gathering more, for the trend is defined: Ignorance and incompetence do not get anyone fired, or subject to any other action truly meaningful.

Cultural clashes do that.

The problem I see has to do with set membership. The rule is that you can get canned for supporting one culture over another, or rather for failing to adequately support the other. While you can’t be canned for incompetence — back in the day, of course, canning had everything to do with lack of competence, and not often about anything else. Today it’s really all about culture and doesn’t have much to do with the competence thing.

This change is effective throughout all of our modern society. But there are many cultures in our society.

Somehow, somewhere, it has been decided that this one culture should reign supreme. It must ALWAYS win; there can be no exceptions. What do we call this culture, now. We should try to define it, if it always has to win! That’s a lot of influence. We know it by the offenses it takes. Bullying, homophobic remarks, guns. It isn’t “politically correct,” for the politically-correct culture, while also defined according to the offenses it takes, is confined to offenses taken against verbal or written statements. Guns aren’t statements. Ass-kickings are not statements either, although I suppose that may be debatable. But this is not political-correctness, and it isn’t “women over men” since it takes just as vicious umbrage against a woman brandishing a firearm in self-defense, as against any man doing likewise.

It isn’t modern liberalism, either. It doesn’t have an opinion about labor-versus-management, or minimum wage, or affirmative action, or school vouchers. It holds a lot of appeal for people who do not self-identify as liberals. And its field of interest is very narrow. I can summarize it with a phrasing almost bumper-sticker-sized:

“When we make everything safe enough, nothing bad will happen, to anyone, ever again.”

Just outside a school on a 55 mph county highway, it isn’t good enough to take the limit down to 25. My recent experiences here in upstate New York show it has to be 15. I guess twenty-five wouldn’t show how much we care. This culture cares about children arriving at adulthood with all their limbs and with their hearts still beating, but with not too much else.

Can we call it “the nanny state” and be done with it? There is certainly some overlap. The Mayor of New York City trying to ban soda sales fits into the object of my inspection here, and it is certainly part of the nanny state. Pondering it some more, though, I find this doesn’t quite work. There are differences, and the differences matter. The nanny state is an organization, and it is a sale. It is narcissists in office who have power, trying to accumulate some more. This is more like the purchase. The nanny state made no move to fire Mike Rice, and it had no interest in doing so. Rice, I think, was not fired for lack of success; he was fired for the attempt.

The truth is, there are some unpleasant boyhood memories behind every real man. That is what it takes to put together a manly man who can do manly things. This is not a defense of Coach Rice’s unprofessional actions, it’s simply a statement of fact. In the same way knowledge begins with admitting you don’t know something, learning how to do things in a manly way begins with an admission that, in the here-and-now, the boy’s best is not good enough. And that can’t be self-admission. So an authority figure is going to have to step in and say, you screwed up. That’s where manhood starts.

This culture — which always must win — is endangering our very society, because it is opposed to that. As the nanny-state seeks to everlastingly grow by way of creating more and more rules, this culture seeks to everlastingly grow by altering the definition of “bad things happening.” It has progressed so far now, without anyone consciously noticing it evidently, that bad-feeling evidently qualifies. If nothing bad really happens, but someone feels slighted, then action is required. This, of course, has to be a selective thing. It’s okay to make a guy “feel bad” when he approaches the State Fair with a Leatherman on his belt, by commanding him to walk a mile and a half back to his car, and back again, to stow the threatening-looking device. And a twelve-year-old girl who wins a pistol shooting contest might feel good with a little bit of extra applause, but this feel-good-all-the-time culture will refrain from that, and command everyone else to refrain as well.

The Leatherman is not dangerous and the pistol is not dangerous. In some situations, they both have the potential to make someone safe.

So this culture is not concerned with safety or danger. It has definite ideas about individuals and what, or how, the individuals should be.

The common theme I’m seeing throughout it all, is that the individuals should not be prepared or equipped. Men should not behave in a way that suggests they have what men are supposed to have. Women are not supposed to act like women. Children should not learn to be more than children while they’re children; so at that instant of majority-age, they should be ambushed, surprised and indeed completely baffled by whatever life can throw at them.

This culture has a lot to say about sex, whereas its close cousin the nanny-state seems to confine most of its dogmatic rules to just about everything else. These rules-about-sex are not rules, rather they are softened to simple preferences. High-fives for the encouragement, and raps-on-the-knuckles for discouragement. The preference along the gender-divide is always toward a muting of it. The high-fives come for the woman who’s chopped her locks into something short, like what you might see on a little boy’s head, the classic “bowl cut.” Pantsuits on a woman get the high-five. I’m seeing a lot of “powerful,” “intelligent” female lawmakers who can’t show or say anything to prove they’re either one — except for their habits of wearing pantsuits so often, that after awhile of watching them you see it starts to look clownish, and think they’re trying to make fun of somebody. Watching daytime teevee with my in-laws, I’m starting to see why this is fashionable. This Kelly Ripa woman, I notice, has a beautiful face but a very unappealing and unfeminine way about how she swings her skinny body around. And it’s not just her. I’m noticing a lot of women on the teevee lately, swing their thighs around the ball sockets in their pelvises in odd, strange ways, ways that mothers used to teach their daughters not to do. The pants, the skinny jeans, the leggings, they all fit in with this, and the skirts don’t.

Men are not supposed to appear masculine. That is a beat-down. In the workplace, it is unsafe for a man to say or do anything manifesting his masculinity. Even speaking in a naturally low voice is to tread into unsafe territory. He shouldn’t do anything to show his heterosexual desires; it might make homosexuals, or their sympathizers, feel bad. For the time being, it’s still safe to mention the fact that you have a girlfriend. Mentioning the wife is a bit safer even than that. But seriously, for how many more years are these things to be well-advised in the ultra-modern, ultra-sensitive office environment? I see a future not too far off, where the marital status falls off into the broad, deep, murky waters of “don’t bring it up, there’s no upside to it.”

And certainly, the married women are not supposed to mention their husbands. This has become the normal pattern now, especially among the famous and high-profile celeb females who are married: The stud isn’t worth mentioning. It’s amazing how far into the details they can go, discussing their childrens’ names, school adventures, strengths, handicaps, imaginary play friends, lost teeth, and all the rest of it without ever mentioning the stud, even once. This is again, I suppose, a nod toward sensitivity: Some womens’ children don’t have a dad. Other women have to map out which dad is the dad to which kid, and the level of complexity has exceeded what we wish to discuss in polite company with new acquaintances. But, also, you have to wonder how important is the mapping; if the connections that make up the map don’t matter, then neither does the map. So, there is her, there are her kids. Just like a mother cow with her calves.

When we think about and talk about homosexuality, an irony ripples across the surface of this culture-that-must-always-win. Men, women and children are not to be prepared or equipped, and if they are prepared or equipped, they should not act like they are prepared or equipped. Weaknesses may be accentuated, but strengths should always be muted down, lest someone be made to feel bad who is lacking those strengths. We are not allowed to show that we have gifts. An inclination toward heterosexuality is to be treated likewise; if you are a man who prefers women, or a woman who prefers men, you should tone this down so that homosexuals can be made to feel like they’re not being excluded. Heterosexuality, therefore, is to be treated the same way strengths are treated; homosexuality is to be treated the same way a handicap is treated.

For this to make sense, the culture-that-must-always-win must treat heterosexuality as a gift…

The culture-that-must-always-win, therefore, has to contradict itself. I suppose this is why we don’t want to examine it in any meaningful detail, we don’t like what we might find out about it. It isn’t enforceable, until & unless everyone is bound to get in some trouble, for there is no way for anyone to behave appopriately all of the time.

We should talk about this more. Feminism doesn’t always have to win; “black power” doesn’t always have to win. Even Barack Obama doesn’t always have to win. But this weird culture that doesn’t even work, and is opposed to children and adults knowing how to confront the challenges that life has to offer, has to win. All of the time.

If that’s the way people really do want it to work, then fair enough, I bow to the whim of the majority. But let’s discuss it, out in the open, first.

*Rice, not Pollock. Commentator nightfly is right, I got my butt-kicking basketball coaches mixed up.

Big Work, Little Productivity

Monday, April 1st, 2013

More and more, I continue to hear that “the market for Java programming is really taking off!” as, with increasing frequency, when I open up a new browser tab with some long-sought article or other information loaded into it, some web ad will creep in and float in on top of it so I can’t read any further. I see a connection between these two things.

I’m seeing other signs that, as the economy continues to suck, more and more products and services are being provided to “consumers” who aren’t really consumers because we/they don’t want whatever they are. The phone calls from telemarketers, carefully positioned around our dinnertime, become more frequent. A lot of them have to do with “taking surveys,” which I dunno, is that some kind of effort to get around the do-not-call laws? Well, I suppose it is to be expected. If you’re in business to provide something people actually want, it won’t be enough for people to want it, they have to be willing to part with cash in order to get it. That would be a lot of wait between the wanting right now, so I can see how it’s more appealing to provide something people don’t want. It’s clear to me that this wouldn’t be a simple marketing trick either, there’d have to be some innovation involved. Well, sadly, it looks like we’ve done it.

Even worse, the markets have adapted. Among those lucky enough to have a job, there is a growing problem of all these occupations, and the abundance of energy associated with them, being invested in providing things for which nobody asked. And so we have an addiction. If, tomorrow, all the commerce were to stop happening until such time as a real consumer stepped forward with a real demand and some real assets to back it up, a whole lot of people would be suddenly thrown out of work.

I also note that the legislative activity has stepped up quite a bit, possibly as a result of all this. A lot of things I hear about Congress doing, I see, is stuff entirely separated from any detectable constituent demand. Know anyone who was jamming the Capitol Hill switchboard wanting an Internet sales tax? Me neither.

It puzzles me that economists don’t talk more about this. Capitalism, at least the capitalism with which I’ve been acquainted, has a lot to do with want. Free want. It has to do with genuine consumer demand. This kind of capitalism is not quite so much being attacked right now, or being positioned for its destruction, quite so much as for its replacement. It’s a post-W2 job, post-desire “capitalist” world. In this world it is easy to “succeed,” but hard to find any opportunities to do so while actually building something valuable. I fear we may be on the way toward those opportunities drying up entirely. Then we’ll all pay the price…but not immediately. We’ll put it on layaway.

Not a good road for us. We should stop, turn around, and head back.

Update: I’m reminded of a Hello-Kitty-of-Blogging update I made early Saturday morning. Most of my weekend updates get zero likes and zero commentary; that was not the case here. It even got re-shared twice, so I guess it hit a nerve.

Pre-Occupy, our word was “if”: “If you give me that money, I will give you this product or service…with which you can do things.” Now, our word is “until”: “You will not be able to do your things, until you stop everything and…” Pay attention to our demonstration, get the degree at our school, join our labor union, contribute to our “charity,” buy carbon offsets, get permits, grease some palms…

We have evolved from a society in which people put bread on their tables by helping each other to get things done, to one in which people put bread on their tables by stopping each other from getting things done — until certain conditions are met.

We wonder why we’re more contentious, and why the standard of living is slipping when so many people are “working” so hard. The answer is in where the work is going. There are lots of occupations out there, requiring a whole lot of activity and energy and “creativity,” that don’t have much to do with actually building anything.

The Appeal of Unappealing Women

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Prelutsky is scaring the dickens out of me. Which I’m sure is a delight to some opinionated people out there who, as opinionated as they may be, aren’t going to be willing or able to say why they take delight in my consternation:

There is a trial balloon, or at least a rumor, floating around that suggests there just might be a Hillary Clinton/Michelle Obama run for the White House in 2016. Some are actually referring to it as a dream ticket. More like a nightmare. But I am willing to make book it doesn’t happen. Anyone who actually believes Mrs. Obama would play second fiddle to the honky bitch probably thinks that if that idea doesn’t pan out, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny might consider making a run for the White House. At least those two seem to like each other.

Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama make a “dream ticket.” I’m still at a loss to figure out what anybody sees, by way of positive characteristics, in either one. Let me guess, something to do with being super-duper smart and/or not “tak[ing] any [slang for used food] from anybody.”

I find this annoying for two reasons: One, what follows these often-repeated homilies, can be assured to be missing any specifics. I realize everything cannot be imbued with specifics. But I’m annoyed when these sound bites are given a sense of urgency, or enthusiasm, and are still missing the specifics. Especially when the specifics are so badly needed. We’ve had a long time, by now, to see some evidence of how smart Hillary Clinton is, and almost as long to see how smart Michelle Obama is. To date, the only example either has been able to bring, is by way of which fellow they respectively chose to marry.

I can’t think of a single job I’d want either one of them to do for me.

The other reason I find it to be annoying is that these two pushy broads, both of them, are…well, they’re annoying. They both seem to be working at it. I don’t like watching them or listening to them. If I had to make an appointment with either one, to have a conversation with them or simply to hear them speak, I would dread it and think of every excuse in the world to miss out on it.

And that seems to be the appeal. There is a template here, and the template doesn’t seem to be put together to impress women, but to impress men like me. Negatively. Shrill, unpleasant women who fit in the template, end up with this large and enthused following, because they are likely to give men headaches. No other characteristic is required in this template, no is any other characteristic needed. Annoy men. That’s good enough. Is that really what’s going on here?

And who is in the following? Who is churning up all this excitement over the idea that the latest female pol or celeb is repellent to men?

I know people don’t like it when I notice these things. Throughout the years, I’ve shown a tendency to get into a lot of trouble for noticing things that aren’t supposed to be noticed. But you know, Hillary Clinton seems to put an awful lot of energy and effort into being a shrill, unpleasant bitch. Ditto for Michelle O. To ignore that they’re trying to do it, seems itself to be impolite in its own way; when someone tries so hard to get something done, isn’t noticing their efforts the very least we can do?

It works the other way, I notice. If a woman, real or fictitious, shows some man-appeal for whatever reason there is a predominant view in our contemporary culture that this is a liability against her, and an imperative exists that she should be treated like something toxic. Sarah Palin should never be heard from again. As far as cartoons go, Wonder Woman and Lara Croft both should cover up their legs, which since I live in California, I find pretty amusing…you busybodies have any idea how many real pairs of beautiful female legs we can see down here every year? It’s completely awesome. And the cartoon characters also have to shrink down their boobs.

There are a lot of exceptions to this. And I find the exceptions even more fascinating: The trend seems to be toward stupidity. The Kardashian sisters can show as much thigh, and strut around with buxom bosoms, in prominence, to their hearts’ content. There is some simmering resentment against this, but it is muted. Their fame is not appreciated, among many, but among those many the fame is at least accepted as a fact of life. Not like, for example, Sarah Palin’s fame, which seems to be regarded by several among that same crowd as an actual problem that has to get solved with some sense of urgency. Palin is told to “go away”; the Kardashian sisters are not told that.

It seems to me that the typical straight man might appreciate looking at Snooki, KimK, Jessica Simpson, et al, but we wouldn’t very much like to be in the same room with any of them. We might like to screw them. We wouldn’t want to date them. I notice a consistent pattern wherein, where that situation exists, the muting-down of the resentment over the airhead-idiot-girl’s good looks, inevitably follows. Big boobs are okay. Boobs with brain, that’s a disaster.

If the woman is good-looking and might be a decent male-fantasy in the sack, but also is someone the man might like to take out for breakfast afterward because she knows enough to hold up her end of a conversation, she still might get a pass if she has the “don’t take any crap from anybody” thing going on. Like for example, Angelina Jolie. Not exactly my cup of tea, but there’s no denying she’s a good looking woman. But women don’t resent her or want her to go away. She might steal their husbands; the husbands might like getting stolen, might appreciate being around Angelina; but while the deed’s being done, the vision seems to be, Angelina would refuse to take bottom position. So there is redemption if there is a perception of female dominance.

The fictional characters, Tomb Raider and Wonder Woman, can’t bring this because in their case, at least classically, they have very tastefully been developed as asexual beings. Today we think of that as “it isn’t really established what their preference is, they might be lesbians or bisexual.” Sadly, that is about as close as we can come, today, to understanding “it has nothing to do with sex.” Yeah yeah, I know, Wonder Woman was originally a bondage fantasy. But after she gained momentum as a comic book character, she became something that today we evidently can’t allow: A heroine, who doesn’t have that kind of a social life because she’s a product developed for little kids — who happens to be beautiful. Beauty without sex. I guess we just can’t understand that now. So wear long pants, Wonder Woman, and shrink down those boobs.

We are not, it goes without saying, getting rid of any mention or thought of sex. We’re not even doing that for the benefit of little kids. Our societal beef seems to be against manifestations of hetero appeal.

Sometimes when you inspect things awhile, you find they don’t exist as isolated instances, but as extensions of something else. I’m starting to see this particular phenomenon that way. Consider that in our society, if you are an atheist then you have an absolute right to be one, and we have seen much agitation toward the preservation of that liberty. But of course it doesn’t stop there. No atheists are being forced to change their system of belief, for example, because a street has a certain name, but they obviously feel like they have some rights that are being trampled. Such a right must be: If I believe one way, I do not want to see any evidence anywhere that anybody else believes differently.

From all I have seen and heard and all the patterns I’ve detected, that must be what this is about. “I do not want to see evidence, anywhere, that men find women attractive.” There is much contention caused by this today, in this age in which we’re supposed to be so concerned about things being contentious, and wanting things to be less so. Well you know, I don’t think we really want that. If we wanted things to be less contentious, I think this pseudo-right a lot of people seem to think they have, not to see evidence of things, would now and then encounter a rebuke, or at least a challenge. That isn’t happening. What’s happening is we’re seeing the phony right asserted, more and more often, in more and more things. It shows up in a desire that women who obviously have a lot of appeal, should “go away.” Get out of here and take your infernal man-appeal with you! It isn’t the pleasing face or the supple thighs or the heaving bosoms, if it was that simple then Kim Kardashian would be getting chased off the stage too. It’s fear; fear of a good example. Fear that someone might start thinking “I wish X could be more like Y.” Simple jealousy. What your loyal old dog might be feeling, the night you come home with a new baby kitten.

So Michelle and Hillary might be a “dream ticket,” to some. This isn’t a bad thing because of the who, as in, who finds this to be a dream ticket. The peril is in the why. For quite awhile now we’ve had politicians being elevated to offices of real power, based on the kind of fear I’ve been inspecting and probing here. Doesn’t seem to be working out too well, I’d say. And, acknowledging that I’m not the focus group being chased by this dream-harpy ticket, nevertheless I’d have to expect that over the long term, things wouldn’t work out any better there either. Fear is not a good motivator for choosing leaders, especially leaders who are supposed to have real influence.

Political Theater

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Phil forwarded on a Cafe Hayek Quotation-of-the-day post to me…the quote is from Mencken…

They like phrases which thunder like salvos of artillery. Let that thunder sound, and they take all the rest on trust. If a sentence begins furiously and then peters out into fatuity, they are still satisfied. If a phrase has a punch in it, they do not ask that it also have a meaning. If a word slides off the tongue like a ship going down the ways, they are content and applaud it and await the next.

It is timely because I was just commenting on a stuffy, committee-speak rebuttal-rebuttal from Western Washington University’s geology faculty, that appeared in the Bellingham Herald and then was forwarded to me by a certain older family member.

You know how these committee-speak rebuttal-rebuttals go by now. Boilerplate phrases everywhere. And just like vegetable oil, or an Obama speech, one half-gallon exactly the same as any other half-gallon:

We concur with the vast consensus of the science community that recent global warming is very real, human greenhouse-gas emissions are the primary cause, and their environmental and economic impacts on our society will likely be severe if we don’t make significant efforts to address the problem. Claims to the contrary fly in the face of an overwhelming body of rigorous scientific literature.

Vast and overwhelming! Flies in the face! Any statements of specifics are provided grudgingly, if they are provided at all. The economic impacts on our society will likely be severe? I wonder what the economic impacts are of being able to grow more plants and vegetables in an atmosphere that is warmer and has more CO2. Looks like they ran out of ink before they could tell me…

Well, let me guess. Something to do with vastly and overwhelmingly settled science, or something. I should go get hold of the Fourth Assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and somewhere in there they’ll fill me in. Nobody can tell me exactly what page it’s on, because they haven’t had to go look it up, because everyone else already knew the answer and that’s why they’re going to tell me to go look it up.

Hello, sentence beginning furiously and then petering out into fatuity.

Without the benefit of Mencken’s quote, I replied with regard to the WWU litanies:

Reads more like prose than scientific commentary. Words like “overwhelming,” “vast” and “painstaking” are obviously unscientific, yet time after time I notice the written defenses of the global-warming con are consistently peppered with them. The authors seem to increase their use of these with each sentence, until they reach a summit of:

Science thrives on controversies; it rewards innovative, unexpected findings, but only when they are backed by rigorous, painstaking evidence and reasoning. Without such standards, science would be ineffective as a tool to improve our society.

That isn’t even true. When an Edison comes up with a new light source or an Eratosthenes figures out the size of the Earth, the best that the “standards” have managed to contribute to the advancement is to stay out of the way. Something they have very often failed to do.

There is an argument taking place here that is not being acknowledged: How does individual thinking benefit our society, and how does group-think benefit our society? Those who repeat the words of others that have been most-often repeated, seem to think it works like this: The individual comes up with any ol’ random idea, just like a random mutation occurring before evolution, but the individual lacks the vision or the ability to say, or to prove, that the idea is a good one. It’s just a fart in a hurricane until the committee sits down and subjects it to its many layers of vast, painstaking, overwhelming peer review; it is the committee’s place to say “you know what, you might have something there.” And then, thanks to the committee, we have a smart phone…

Those who inspect the details, see that the individual does a lot of work. That’s why everyone isn’t doing it! So before it leaves his desk, he already knows he has something and that it works. What he might not know, is that someone somewhere else may have a better way of doing it. He also can’t fund it. So it goes before the committee, which champions some innovations and kills off others. Like any committee, it doesn’t make its decisions for the benefit of mankind necessarily, but more out of political expediency. So it has the same chance of making the “right” decision as you or I have of calling heads-or-tails.

We all seem cleanly divided on which of those visions is the correct one. Those who are very opinionated and loud think it’s the first vision, those who’ve been through the process think it is the second vision. I guess we should do what the low-information-voters do, see who’s loudest and talks more, agree with them, and go back to watching “Jersey Shore” or whatever.

Bikini Barista

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

I see Shelton, Washington is not amused.

Can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t…just one pain-in-the-ass rule away from everlasting happiness.

The way these people talk, just scares me. “Values of the community.” Haven’t they ever been in the minority, about anything?

MinusIQ From SleepThinker

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

“Does Doing the Right Thing Even Matter Anymore?”

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Instapundit, by way of Maggie’s Farm:

Under a regulation proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, any homeowner – regardless of income – who falls 90 days behind on their mortgage will automatically become eligible for reduced interest rates, extended time for payment, or other relief. The Post reports:

Some analysts worried that the new program could encourage borrowers to deliberately miss payments in order to become eligible for the program.

“The primary issue is whether this will encourage borrowers to strategically default on their mortgage in order to get the modification. This risk exists because the new program does not require the borrower to demonstrate financial hardship,” Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Gugenheim Partners, wrote Wednesday. “

FHFA said Fannie and Freddie would use existing “screening measures to prevent strategic defaulters.”

Yeah, I’m sure that will work. Does doing the “right thing” even matter anymore, or does it just make you a doofus?

From the article:

In the past, to be eligible for a mortgage modification, borrowers had to provide documentation they had a financial hardship. They will no longer be required to do so — though providing such documentation will make borrowers eligible for more substantial monthly savings.

“This new option gives delinquent borrowers another path to avoid foreclosure,” said Edward DeMarco, the acting director of FHFA. “We will still encourage such borrowers to provide documentation to support other modification options that would likely result in additional borrower savings.”

Predictable. Tragically so. And a mighty but weakening nation becomes weaker still.

Monday, someone steps in a puddle; Tuesday, a nation mourns the tragedy. Wednesday, our government announces a program to provide clean, new, dry shoes to anyone who steps in a puddle and by Thursday, everybody’s looking for a puddle in which to do their stepping.

By Friday, there is government-provided training on how to find puddles.

Come the weekend, the liberals are mocking the intelligence of conservatives who have had the audacity to notice & point out what’s going on. It becomes comedy fodder for The Daily Show, Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live…after the weekend, the cycle is repeated as someone gets a paper cut…

What’s Up With Those “Exchanges”?

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

From The Emperor’s New Clothes:

Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: “Look at the Emperor’s new clothes. They’re beautiful!”

“What a marvellous train!”

“And the colors! The colors of that beautiful fabric! I have never seen anything like it in my life!” They all tried to conceal their disappointment at not being able to see the clothes, and since nobody was willing to admit his own stupidity and incompetence, they all behaved as the two scoundrels had predicted.

A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage.

“The Emperor is naked,” he said.

“Fool!” his father reprimanded, running after him. “Don’t talk nonsense!” He grabbed his child and took him away. But the boy’s remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried:

“The boy is right! The Emperor is naked! It’s true!”

The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He though it better to continue the procession under the illusion that anyone who couldn’t see his clothes was either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly on his carriage, while behind him a page held his imaginary mantle.

With that bit of background, we now turn to the latest post up at Rhymes With Girls and Cars:

I don’t understand what ‘exchanges’ are supposed to be, in the context of Obamacare. We are constantly told that ‘exchanges’ are a huge part of it. And that there’s a lot of effort involved in ‘setting up an exchange’. Some states will, some states won’t. Etc.

I don’t get it.

To me an ‘exchange’ is a room with some phones. Actually, you don’t even need that. It’s a bunch of guys in a room exchanging stuff. Actually the room is optional, they could be out in a town square somewhere.

So why do they need to ‘set it up’? Why is it so much effort? I mean okay, I guess they’ll buy some computers, office space etc. But besides that?

On the flip side, why is it so important? What’s so magic about it? Once these ‘exchanges’ exist, what will happen? Is there a big demand amongst insurance companies to ‘exchange’ stuff (insurance contracts – I guess?) with each other, and if there is, why aren’t they setting up the exchange themselves, or if there’s not, how will setting one up help anything?

It would be pretty nice if we had a President who was obliged to answer some unwelcome questions now and then, so we could get this kind of information from, let’s say by way of example, a free and independent press diligently scrutinizing those in power, lending transparency to the daily functions of government. That way we could have enlightening dialogue rather than a bunch of polished little talking points being put in circulation.

For lack of that, we have me, with my years and years of experience in software development, server engineering and project management in the health care industry. And from that impressive background, I can condescendingly pat you peasants on the head and give you the benefits of my wisdom, ho ho! And the answer to your question is, “What is an exchange?”…and all the rest of your little questions…is…



Well, tell you what. Let me get back to you on that.

Let me be clear, make no mistake, for far too long we have, blah blah blah…woozie wuzzel?

The Gay Marriage Polls

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Forbes takes a look at the family-values folks’ contention that the polls must be flawed. The situation is, the voting patterns in the states are supposedly going in one direction, and the polls are going in another. So, supposedly, the polls must be skewed.

The op-ed concludes:

So, do [Tony] Perkins and [Gary] Bauer have a point here? Are the polls, which consistently reveal a growing majority of Americans supporting the LGBT communities right to marry, wrong?

Not a chance.

Indeed, rarely have polls from all sides of the political spectrum lined up so tightly with even the Fox Poll out a few days ago indicating that more Americans support same sex marriage than those who oppose it.

Well, I agree with Perkins and Bauer on the way this issue would go, at least locally, but I think they’re wrong and the Forbes column is right. Kind of an easy call. Same-sex marriage is hip and happening.

As far as what I want to see happening, well, I’m having a tough time getting my dander up about it. I’m not gay. Whatever passions I can bring to this issue have to do with peripheries. My resentments are stirred when I see politicians defining new classes of innocents to be made easy prey for trial lawyers looking for new ways to litigate. And, that’s what I think this is; no, I don’t think we need any more of it. I also see it as a distraction. We’re trying to figure out if a nation can be defended, by way of some mindset that comes up with every excuse under the sun to not defend things, unless those things are things that bring harm to other things. We’re also trying to figure out if a comatose economy can be revived, by way of some mindset that says there’s something wrong with being rich, and that every product or service that can cost money, has to cost as much money as it possibly can. We’re also trying to figure out — bizarrely — if a statement worded in such an unambiguous way as “shall not be infringed” might have a loophole. To me, those are the issues that really matter. Gay marriage is just a way to get politicians elected who are on the wrong side of those three issues, when deep down, everyone knows those politicians are on the wrong side of those three issues.

But there is something else that bugs me about the gay marriage. Or rather, about the people pushing it. I see it as an established fact that, if the consensus view is not already on their side of the net, it is certainly headed in that direction and at a pretty rapid clip. Same-sex marriage proponents are not behaving the way I would behave, if the consensus view was moving in my direction at a rapid clip.

I would not be taking this to the Supreme Court, or any other court. Why would I? The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. If we’re in the process of creating a new civil right, isn’t it better to create it through a manifestation of the public will, especially when you believe the public is coming around to your point of view on this thing? Isn’t it better to tell the dissenters “Sorry you don’t like same-sex marriage, but you’re outvoted on this thing” than, “Sorry you don’t like same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court has ruled that you need to tolerate it”? We already have that situation with the abortion thing. Has that made it any less contentious of an issue? I’m imagining myself as a homosexual who wants to get married, and I can’t help but think — please, God, yes, let’s go for that first one, the out-voting thing. If all I want to do is get married, and not to tick anybody off.

There is one other thing the gay-marriage proponents are doing, in response to this favorable shift in public sentiment, that I would not be doing if some pet issue of mine were to be enjoying the same benefit: They’re applauding a bit too hard & heartily, for the politicians who are latecomers. They’re too accepting of their fair-weather friends. I’m writing specifically about Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama, who did their evolving last year, and as late as the year-before still hadn’t done the evolving just yet, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who evolved just now.

Why all these giddy congratulations on the evolving? After it’s safe? That’s not evolving, that’s known as wetting your finger and sticking it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. It is an old metaphor to be applied to the political class; it is not a term of endearment.

This is bizarre. We’re supposed to be talking here, according to the tedious litanies, about some kind of a “basic human right.” That makes it even more bizarre. If same-sex marriage can be compared to abolition, this is like starting to support abolition somewhere around the time Ulysses Grant starts his second term.

I care about gay marriage just about the same way I care about global warming. If you want to “go green,” you go ahead and do it, just keep it out of my face. I don’t want to be reminded of it constantly. I don’t want to be taxed for it. Let’s just keep it framed as what it is: A disagreement about an issue, between two mortals, and it need not be hashed out all day every day. But it makes me nervous when, in a weak, sputtering economy like the one we have right now, so many people can be told so easily what their priorities are supposed to be.

We do not need gasoline to be made more expensive so people will be given an incentive to burn less of it. If you really think that’s going to save the planet somehow, you’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t come crying to me a year later about the retail sales figures slipping. Buying retail usually involves driving places. Like, duh. And we certainly don’t need more excuses for civil cases to be filed against priests, wedding planners, and cake decorators who’d rather not participate in same-sex ceremonies. Again, you’re entitled to your opinion, but if we’re really concerned about how hard it is for people to make a living, then the last thing we need is for our government to busy itself with new laws that begin with the phrase “the sale should not go forward unless…”

And haven’t you noticed? That’s pretty much all our government is doing lately. Um, are we concerned about the economy, or aren’t we?

A Higher Standard of Living, Not a Corporate Conspiracy

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to know:

If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour,” she said, speaking to Dr. Arindrajit Dube, a University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who has studied the economic impacts of minimum wage. “So my question is Mr. Dube, with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, what happened to the other $14.75? It sure didn’t go to the worker.

The Fog of Law has an excellent answer for this.

It did go to the worker – in the form of lower prices. Once upon a time, almost all banks charged fees; the increases in technology enabled them to give banking services away for free. Increases in production technology enables people to pay less for better cars. Everyone who is reading this is benefiting from the increases in computer technology that enable them to buy a WiFi enabled tablet for about a tenth of the price of a late 1980s Apple IIE. As Thomas Sowell repeatedly points out, more houses were connected to the internet at the end of the twentieth century than were connected to running water at the beginning. But if we were legally required to pay inflation-adjusted salaries to plumbers to install water pipes into our house, to account for the increased ease of doing so, it’s likely that fewer people would have running water, let alone internet.
To use an example that may be familiar to Senator Warren, lawyers used to keep a team of secretaries for each attorney. Now, each attorney needs a smaller, albeit much more productive, support staff. The one lone remaining secretary isn’t making four times as much money, but the clients are no longer paying for four secretaries, so their bills are lower. Likewise, the secretary can now go out and buy a refrigerator for less money than she would have paid back in the ’60s, because it takes fewer people to build it, and she can open up a free checking account, since the bank is passing on cost savings to her. Ultimately, she gets more for her salary, just like everyone else does – which is far better than getting more salary to buy the same amount of stuff (i.e. the Warren plan).

Earth Hour is…

Monday, March 25th, 2013

A “dry run” at not-solving a phony problem, so we can get our pretend-to-solve-it skills at peak performance [for] when we start not-solving the real ones.

Words of wisdom from me, over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging.

Veering off on a tangent, in a piece of correspondence, I elaborate “off line”:

People are frustrated, bored, want to go through the motions of building something great and grand. But…They are destroyers, not creators. You ask them what they’re building, they can’t answer. You ask them what they’re destroying — they can. You ask their political opponents “What are those people over there trying to build, and what are they trying to destroy?” and the answers you get back, are identical to the answers you got from the participants in the movement themselves; only the terms are less glittery, less flattering. Example: The democrats want an “estate tax” and the Republicans call it a “death tax.” They disagree on the terms, but they agree on the implications of it and how it is supposed to work. What does it build? What does it destroy? Nobody can say what it builds. Well, it turns out a lot of human energy is going into things like that. Building things is scary. If someone comes along to quiz you about it, you have to say how it’s all supposed to work. And then when you actually do it, you have to get everything right. That means developing skills. Otherwise you do something stupid like put the wrong kind of fuel in the President’s limousine.

So in anticipation of the scrutiny and the assault of other destroyers, people find it easier to be destroyers; they’d rather do the quizzing, than be the ones who are getting quizzed.

I remember a very smart guy, the Chief Financial Officer for a company I once fooled into hiring me, and promoting me…came up with a real gem, which I must paraphrase and probably paraphrase poorly. Here goes. In government, even the people at the very top of the structure lack the authority to make anything go. But everybody, all the way down to the mail room, can bring the authority needed to put a stop to something. Everyone can stop something. Nobody can make it go.

Well, it isn’t true of just government. Authority and wherewithal to make things go, to build something new, are rare things. Because these things are rare, they are therefore precious. That the discipline involved is difficult to master, makes them even more rare and more precious. The authority and wherewithal to destroy such efforts, to bring them to a stop, are in abundance. The ritual of the destroyer quizzing the creator, obliging the creator to stop his creating if he can’t answer each question honestly, accurately, completely and to the satisfaction of the person asking. Doing that kind of quizzing is easy and fun. Being on the receiving end of it is frustrating, and not fun.

This is where I become truly embarrassed when I hear about the wrong fuel being put in the President’s limousine. The problem isn’t quite so much lack of skill. Heck, who am I to criticize, I never did find out if it was gas in a diesel engine, or diesel in a gas engine, and I’m at the point where I don’t give a hang. The problem is that it just wasn’t taken seriously, and I know why. The leadership is in the business of destruction because destruction is easier. They like to pretend they’re building something cool. They can’t say what it is they’re building. And, they lack the greater discipline required to build things.

Quoting Spock again:

As a matter of cosmic history, it has always been easier to destroy than to create.

Katie’s Rescue

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Here’s your first pic…

To find out what it’s all about, go read up over here. Bojangles is tops, in my book. I’d like to buy him a cube steak. Katie too.

Hat tip to Nightfly.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Restaurants Take a Beating

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013


Restaurants are reeling from their worst three months since 2010, as American diners spooked by higher payroll taxes cut back on eating out.

Sales at casual-dining establishments fell 5.4 percent last month, after declining 0.6 percent in January and 1.6 percent in December, according to the Knapp-Track Index of monthly restaurant sales. This was the first three months of consecutive declines in almost three years, with consumers caught in a “very emotional moment,” said Malcolm Knapp, a New York-based consultant who created the index and has monitored the industry since 1970.

“February was pretty ugly” for many chains — and probably will be the worst month of the year — after January delivered an “initial blow” while Americans grappled with increased payroll taxes and health-care premiums, rising gasoline prices and budget debates in Washington, Knapp said.
U.S. paychecks have shrunk this year after Congress and President Barack Obama let the tax that funds Social Security benefits revert to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent. Meanwhile, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded has risen about 12 percent since Dec. 31, to $3.69 (3AGSREG), including a one-week jump of 17 cents between Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, based on data from Heathrow, Florida-based AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization.

“That one-week spike was a killer; it destroyed sales in the first week of February,” Knapp said.

Wow. And yet the liberals will continue to argue we need to raise taxes so the economy can get moar-better or something…are we still in the period where this stuff is blamed on George W. Bush? For many of them, we probably are.

I don’t see how they can persist in denying things like this. I suppose the restaurant industry is something that lives and dies according to the discretionary parts of our budgets; the missus and I probably haven’t been eating out as much as usual since the year started, either. So maybe liberals just don’t understand the concept? They think everything is like gasoline, where you pay whatever it is whether you like it or not?

In truth, though — nothing is really that way. Not even the gas. Just the taxes.

National Center for Education Statistics Quotes Mao Zedong

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

United Liberty:

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Department of Education, has a section on its website dedicated to kids. The site has various facts and resources that kids may find interesting. It also has a “Quote of the Day” section.

While this section may occasionally provide insightful and otherise worthwhile quotes, today’s quote is from a historical figure isn’t exactly a role model. Here’s the quote directly from the website:

“Our attitude towards ourselves should be ‘to be satiable in learning’ and towards others ‘to be tireless in teaching.’” — Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was a ruthless dictator who was responsible for as many as 65 million deaths in his communist Chinese regime. So yeah, he’s a completely stand up guy. Who cares if he killed 65 million people, right? He wanted people to learn. [/sarcasm]

Well, hey it’s true: Education is a good thing. Trouble is, that word can mean a lot of different things. It can apply to an increase in knowledge, or going by the way it is most popularly used these days, it can also be used to describe a process of conformity. The line between can be surprisingly fuzzy. I remember puzzling over this when I was in grade school, myself, way back at the beginning. Second or third grade, maybe. Teachers hate cheating; they hand out these papers with questions on them, you have to fill in answers, and no looking at your neighbor’s paper. Nosiree! But when they say “can I see a show of hands,” heads swivel left, heads swivel right, everyone wants to know if the other guy’s got his hand up…and the teachers don’t care about that one little bit. In truth, I didn’t think much of it at the time. Nowadays I think back on that more and more, and see it as the “flashpoint,” of sorts, where many of our society’s problems start.

Where both instructor and student start to envision mimicry as a substitute for high performance and deep thinking.

Quoting a communist dictator on the national education website doesn’t help the situation. Actually, why do we even have a national education website? Or a national education agency? Oh wait, scratch that, I think I know…I said it myself, “education is a good thing.” So the same casual-thinkers who are going to put their faith in this phony syllogism…so-and-so supports something called “education,” education is good, therefore that guy is good…they will tend to be the same ones who figure, if you’re serious about it you’re going to be making a federal program out of it.

We don’t know how many lives were lost to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and we likely never will. The one mystery about this we might be able to solve in the generation or so ahead of us, if we really try, is: How come Americans fail to take communism seriously? We’re supposed to believe in, and stand up for, things like equal opportunity, speaking out when you see something is wrong, transparent government, service within that government being service-first prestige-last, stuff like that. Even without taking into account the millions of deaths, and tortures, and “disappearings” and the dismal economic conditions that follow communism around wherever it goes, by its very nature it is opposed to all these values we’re supposed to hold dear. Why do we tolerate it, quote from it, and on many occasions find ways to ridicule whoever would speak out against it?

Two Halves of a Perpetual Motion Machine

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Was just given cause to think about this…

For those who can’t spare the 65 seconds to watch all the way through, someone’s prepared a cool animated .GIF:

Not sure what got me on that. I was reading Gerard’s site, and I happened across something there…this, I think. Which led me to this. Oh, dear. Oh yes, that must have been it. Definitely yes.

If the latest news out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in San Francisco is accurate, those who both worry about the dangers of manmade climate change and support the legalization of marijuana are going to have to make a tough choice.

According to a report by Evan Mills, an energy analyst at the lab, the growing of marijuana indoors uses 1 percent of the U.S. electricity supply and creates 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. That’s not including the carbon dioxide produced by exhaling pot smoke.

The chief source of the energy expenditure comes from the special plant lights required to grow cannabis indoors, which require 500 times as much energy as bulbs needed for reading. Other factors, including air conditioning, ventilation, and humidity control, also contribute to the cost.

++Meow!++ Whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh…

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

The democrats Have Finally Found a Tax They Don’t Like

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

…that would be the tax that is already owed, but not yet collected — from employees of the federal government. We’re all equal, but some of us are more equal than others. Daily Caller, by way of Mr. Teach at Pirate’s Cove:

Citing figures indicating that more than 100,000 federal employees owe more than $1 billion in federal taxes, a House committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would require the firing of government workers who are “seriously tax delinquent.”

The legislation, introduced by Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, advanced through the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It now has to pass the full House to be implemented into law.

“Most taxpayers file accurate tax returns and pay the taxes they owe on time, regardless of their income,” Chaffetz, a Republican, said during the hearing Wednesday. “Federal employees and individuals applying for federal employment should do the same.”

The Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013 requires the termination of employment for tax delinquent federal employees, while also prohibiting the hiring of new federal employees with a substantial amount of delinquent tax debt.

“The intent of the bill is simple,” Chaffetz said. “If you are a federal employee or applicant, you should be making a good faith effort to pay your taxes or to dispute them, as all taxpayers have the right to do.”

Chaffetz explained that the term “seriously tax delinquent” is defined as having an outstanding federal tax debt where a notice of lien has been publicly filed.

The bill exempts employees who can demonstrate financial hardships and an effort of working to settle tax liabilities.

Democrats on the committee opposed the bill. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member on the committee, said the legislation “seeks to demonize federal employees rather than ensure their compliance with tax obligations.”

“By requiring agencies to fire employees for not paying their taxes on time, the measure actually undermines the ability of the government to collect the unpaid taxes,” Cummings said. “It is much, much, much more difficult to recoup the delinquent taxes from someone who is unemployed.”

The article goes on to lay out Congressman Cummings’ alternative suggestions for resolving the delinquent tax issues.

Oh, oops, no wait. I made up that last part. It’s not there; I looked for it. And I looked for it because the first thought in my head was, if I were Elijah Cummings, I’d have spent a moment or two thinking about, gosh darn it if I really don’t want this to happen, I’m sure my words will carry much greater persuasive weight if I could offer a solution of my own.

These are really funny, strange people. When there’s a problem they want solved, and their solution involves sorting people out into these different levels of privilege, they’ll hold back nothing in getting that solution applied even if the problem is a non-problem, like for example the climate change scam. Although there are many others. But when elsewhere, there is a real problem, and the problem is that we’ve already been sorted out into these different levels of privilege, the “Everybody On Equal Footing” party doesn’t want that problem solved at all.

They won’t even acknowledge it. Rep. Cummings thinks the problem is getting hold of the billion dollars. Isn’t that cute?

The mystery is, to what extent were they ever devoted to equal privilege, equal rights, equal protection under the law and equal opportunity.

To what extent they are devoted to such things today, there’s no mystery at all. That much is crystal clear.

Five Ways to Forfeit Your Man Card

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Wish I had the idea that John Hawkins had. I could probably come up with another 25 items before my wife even has my breakfast ready.

But his five are pretty good, in that most of them, some 80%, are practical. They have a definable effect on what gets done by the guy losing his man card, and what doesn’t, and on how things turn out.

Update: Was reading this…

That’s the funny thing about women. They’re always trying to tame men and then the moment they pull it off, they get bored with the wolf they managed to carefully craft into a poodle.

I’ve been noticing that for awhile. There is the courtship/seduction then the fun times then the proposal then the marriage then the errands errands errands errands errands…(deep breath) more errands…

Several years later, you see what they expect out of each other every day, and a lot of couples lapse into that pattern: He doesn’t expect a damn thing, and what she expects is, a timetable of very simple tasks to be met. Or else there will be complaining. In a lot of other cases, the simple tasks are never more involved than “make sure you’re out of the way.” Some wives skip straight to the complaining — if he did it right, she’d never know what to do with herself. It’s a very sad thing to see.

Not hard to see, though. There’s the misconception. Lots of married couples think there is absolute privacy here, nobody on the outside understands. They’re like the lovers in the office who think no one knows what’s up. In reality, very few things are more obvious.

Anyway: I’ve always thought of a metaphor involving a wild stallion, and a little wooden hobby horse. It’s in the instinct profile of a fertile woman: Engage that good wild man-energy, run with it, harness it, tame it…and then get rid of it, and spend the rest of your days tolerating the empty husk of what’s left. Peevishly. I feel badly for both of them, but what can you do.