Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Her Male Genitalia”

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

The who the what now?

GOPUsa:

Late last year, a parent called the police after her daughter walked into a locker room and observed a naked man using the sauna. According to the police report obtained by Campus Reform, the transgendered man in question, a 45-year-old Evergreen State College student named Colleen Francis, was “sitting with her legs open with her male genitalia showing” with girls as young as six years old present.

Police, however, were advised by the local prosecutor’s office that “criminal law is very vague in this area and it would be unlikely they could pursue charges.”

Oh, how quaint those days when such behavior was considered “indecent exposure.”

Evergreen State College spokesman Jason Wettstein told Campus Reform that the school must “follow a non-discrimination policy with the state.”

From Daily Mail UK:

“Little girls should not be exposed to naked men, period,” David Hacker, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom told Fox News.
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Th[e] swim coach who called police that day says she did apologize to Ms Francis for questioning her, “bu[t] she also explained there were girls 6 to 18 years of age and they were not use to seeing individuals in situations like this.”

The school has since set up a smaller, isolated section of the locker room for girls to change in, until the matter is resolved.

Unpacified, Mr Hecker has warned the school that should any harm come to the girls affected by this, they will be held accountable.

“Clearly, allowing a person who is biologically a man to undress and expose himself to young girls places those girls at risk for emotional distress and harm,” he wrote to the college.

“Any reasonable person would view this as dangerous to the young girls involved. The fact that this individual was sitting in plain view of young girls changing into their swimsuits puts you and Evergreen on notice of possible future harm.”

The “perfect society that makes everything in life completely safe and free of discrimination, for everybody” runs into a hiccup: If the transgender is protected from discrimination in the way, uh, s/he wants to be, then the little girls are not protected from harm. You let one “guy” into the girls’ changing room, you have to let them all in. And you’ll have to go by the honor system to figure out that they’re really trannies and not just perverts who want to expose their junk to little girls. How else can it be done? You’d have to call their tranny status into question. And if I’m following the rules right, you get to enjoy tranny status the minute you merely suggest you’re part of the protected class, not after you prove you’re in it. So, legal liability. You can’t question the status, because the benefits of the status are enjoyed before the status itself is proven. Honor system. It’s part of the culture that must always win.

But, women who are afraid of the harm/threats/attention/interaction from men, also enjoy infinite special-exclusive-equal-rights status. Especially young girls…as they should! As Mr. Heckler points out, some things are just matters of common sense. Both sides cannot enjoy the privilege of infinite weight. The horse-sense favors one side, political-correctness happens to favor both. So who wins?

My prediction is, one way or another, the school bows out of the business. That’s the typical outcome. You have to change into & out of your suit at home, then drive to the pool. Or, the pool is closed down.

It Isn’t True

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Yea, blogger friend Rick got snookered, but that isn’t the point. The Currant writes very good satire and a lot of people have been snookered the same way…the point is, isn’t this a fun thing to be thinking about?

Hoo-yah. I’d love to see something like this happen. Love it.

As is very often the case, after watching people argue back and forth for awhile, I come to a realization that the real argument is about something else, unexpressed. Let’s see if I can find a way to express it:

“Shouldn’t all the decisions that really matter, even the personal ones, be left up to an enlightened peerage of wise elders who don’t even know us, but must know something, because they ride around in limousines?”

I am one of many who look forward to some kind of a divorce in the near future. People who respond in the affirmative to the question above, should never, ever exist in proximity to those who answer no. And vice-versa.

A Girly Blog

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Run by one of my Facebook pals.

No one single post I can find to pique my interest for linkage. It’s kind of like Lawless in the sense that I can see there’s some quality there, but I’m having a tough time following along because it doesn’t seem like there’s much by way of tits, guns or car explosions.

But you know, variety is the spice of life & all. That’s what they keep telling me.

Memo For File CLXXIX

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Well, that was a stupid month. I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that April is one of my least-favorite months. And I don’t want to go there, because that’s some 8.3% of my existence, crib to crypt. And I like the April weather. It’s perfect, not too hot, but you can get outside and do stuff. But as is the case with all things in life, April is a grab-bag of positives & negatives, and we have to learn to take what we like and leave the rest behind, where we can. This April had the Boston bombings as well as, like all other Aprils, tax day. Our Nation’s First Holy President had His hindquarters handed to Him on a plate after trying to get that insane gun control albatross through the Senate.

None of that has to do with my observation here.

The observation I make here, has to do with the fairer sex. The realization is very, very gradually sinking in, for me, that for some reason or another April seems to be a time for inflammatory gender-role conflict to be pushed, by those who manufacture it, upon those who never asked for it. I don’t know what it is. If it’s seasonal, I suppose the most logical theory I could form would have something to do with swimsuit season. There are women who are unhappy with the progress they made? Perhaps there are some unscrupulous exploiters out there seeking to prey on the insecurities?

The wife and I were invited to a second wedding reception over in New York state, for the benefit of her friends & relatives out there. Wow what a cool deal, the groom gets to get smashed on wine again, but in a different time zone. Anyway, that was the big activity at the beginning of our April. And we were struck by this whole thing with President Wonderful getting in all that trouble when He pointed out Attorney General Kamala Harris is a beautiful woman. It impressed us because I was obliged to defend Obama, noting “[T]here isn’t a thing in the world wrong with what the President said”; it impressed us because, the one time He would have been right to stick to His guns and tell His critics to go stick it, like He usually does — that’s the one time He decided to cave. Amazing! It’s almost as if He’s afraid of facing a stiff fine or prison sentence if He ever makes a sensible decision on something.

It made a deep impression on us that the whole thing blew up the first day we flew in to New York, we stayed just short of a week, and by the time we were getting ready to fly out everyone was still talking about it.

So we have a mod to my power and pulchritude theory, which says there’s a curve-shaped ceiling imposed on how beautiful a woman is allowed to be, as she occupies positions of greater authority. Being a beautiful woman in a position of power might be alright, as long as nobody ever notices. And it must be a partisan thing, since of course Sarah Palin is ticking off all sorts of people whether anybody points out her beauty or not.

Power and PulchritudeBeautiful Republican women are barely tolerable, if they have next to no power whatsoever, like Elisabeth Hasselbeck. If they have no power at all but once did have power, or sought power, like Palin, then they’re intolerable because they’re beautiful, but you’re not allowed to notice they’re being subjected to the hate and the spite because of the beauty; you’re required to pretend it’s all about “Palin’s extreme positions on the issues” — which no one can actually name. The beautiful liberal woman…if you look long and far and wide, eventually you might find one or two, like Attorney General Harris…they can have the power as long as everyone keeps it on the down-low that they’re beautiful. Like it’s a secret or something. Shhhh!

I’m old enough to remember when feminism, or womens-lib as we called it, involved some goal of “having it all.” That meant family and career, specifically. But the appeal was that having-it-all meant bridging a divide, of sorts: The spoils that a woman can bring in from the living of life, by being feminine, along with the other spoils that come about from doing “manly” things, like going to an office and working. The message was that she shouldn’t have to give up one in order to have a shot at the other.

It was a good message. Something has happened to it.

Women can’t have it all. And, bizarrely, it is our feminists who are making it that way. Working very hard at it, from what I can see.

Quoting from my observations about S.T.A.C.I., the five pillars that assure us that in any given new situation, liberal ideas are overwhelmingly likely to fail:

Abundance…[T]he goal must be to make something more highly regarded and highly valued, and the surest way to get there is to make that thing more plentiful, ideally, so that it becomes impossible to ever get away from it. This is a guaranteed fail because no person or thing has ever become more highly prized or cherished as a result of being more frequently seen. Natural laws of economics and human nature dictate that the opposite must be true.

We’re seeing the “A” in S.T.A.C.I. being used to regulate the “commodity” of beauty in women — sweet, strong, genetically gifted femininity. Our positive response to this commodity, wired into us by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, is undesirable, and we are to be purged of it. And so our field of vision must be all cluttered up with these unfeminine, unappealing, argumentative harpies in their pant suits and bowl cuts, until we learn to like them. We are to be deprived of the sight of a more beautiful woman, day after day, year after year, until it’s been so long since we’ve seen a pleasing, feminine, ravishing woman that we all decide we don’t want to see her anymore.

As I pointed out, human nature simply doesn’t work that way.

But they keep trying. They want to control our preferences, so they try to do that by controlling abundance. Guaranteed fail.

* * *

My in-laws have a ritual of watching morning television, which is outside of my own normal routine. Holy moley, talk about breaking down the gender divide. It’s awful. All the women act like men, and all the men act like women. This Rachel Ray lady is a pleasing exception, she’s a real cutie-pie, although her voice is annoying. Some ferret-faced guy was explaining something on what used to be “Regis and Kathy Lee,” or some other show, and I couldn’t believe how hard he was working to act womanly. I had to wince when he knocked his heels together like Dorothy wishing to go home, or something. Dude. Men aren’t supposed to be able to do that.

From the daytime talk shows, we saw it was time once again for everyone to get outraged about “unrealistic body styles.” My mother-in-law, fresh off of congratulating me on my personal growth as I defended President Obama about something, broke from the formation in acknowledging that straight men were probably not the cause of the problem. But, I didn’t see them let off the hook, either.

Mallika SherawatJust in case, though, I bookmarked this excellent rant linked by Gerard: “Blame the Women.”

I didn’t come up with the idea of fake tits. I think they’re bizarre. I’ve met about two men in my life who disagree, but they’re both obese losers who never get laid.
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Our testosterone is already airbrushing you into perfection the second you walk into the room. We have virtually no deal-breakers.
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Straight men are a great scapegoat because we rarely complain. Virtually every time you hear about a woman getting breast augmentation or a facelift or liposuction, her husband is saying, “I thought she looked just fine, but if it makes her happy, go nuts.” Go ahead and bleach your anus. Have all the labiaplasty you want. Just don’t blame us when normal-looking women feel like freaks. You gals set the standards, not us.

So women feel like freaks. Men are handy scapegoats, for the women feeling like freaks. Why is it seasonal? Again…bikini season. Probably.

After all, the vicious and mean as all holy fuck rant by “Skinny Girl” against Kate Upton, was from about this time last year:

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

Nice.

Nope. Don’t blame the men. Heck, we’re being singled out for insults and abuse right along with the curvy gals. Same time every year.

* * *

In service of this misguided, doomed-to-fail mission of making ugly, spoiled and petulant women more appealing and making beautiful, feminine women less appealing, by crowding us with the former and depriving us of the latter — someone managed to get a costume collection on the front pages of Huffington Post by re-imagining highly recognizable female superheroes in clothes that covered up all the skin. Ya get it? The male superheroes tend to cover everything up, so as we find new ways to erase the gender difference, the women should follow, uh, suit.

This is a perfect confluence of bad ideas.

First and foremost, there are reasons Superman’s got everything covered up and Wonder Woman doesn’t. Superman’s a guy, Wonder Woman is a woman. Nobody wants to see that much of a guy. Also, one’s a strange visitor from another planet who came here in a rocket when he was a baby, as that planet’s last survivor; the other one is an ambassador of goodwill who won the right to journey here in a gladiatorial game. Throughout the years of arguing about Wonder Woman in long pants, I have been completely baffled at how little is known about her, as well as about all other superheroes, by those who seek to deck her out in a pair of slacks or stirrups. It really is shocking. They know nothing.

But don’t take my word for it. The comments from Huffington Post regulars are most unkind. That’s because the costumes are ugly. They don’t get the job done. And here’s what I mean by that: If your car is teetering off the edge of a cliff, and Supergirl comes by to save you in her classic Silver Age minidress with the red go go boots, you’d think — Supergirl! Thank goodness! I’m saved! If she appears in her late 1970’s hot pants with the puffy-sleeve blouse, which looks ridiculous — ditto. If she appears in the modern skateboarding-chick getup with the bare midriff, which looks even sillier — it still works. But it doesn’t work with that ridiculous burqha getup. She doesn’t look ready for action. You would expect her to say “You’re in trouble? Hang on, I’ll call my boyfriend on my iPhone, maybe he can stop you from going over that cliff after he brings me a Starbucks Venti Latte and a McMuffin.”

Yeah. Watching teevee and waiting for your boyfriend to bring you things…but doing it in style. That’s what all those costumes are for. Nevertheless, we just keep going through this again and again. As if there were some shortage going on, of uppity and pushy women in slacks, stirrup pants and ugly pantsuits. Because, the A in S.T.A.C.I. Controlling our tastes and desires by controlling abundances, which is doomed to fail. And it always does.

We come now to an ugly truth: There is more going on here than the superheroines looking sexy as a result of showing breasts, bellies and legs. You can look sexy without doing that, of course, and that’s for just one thing. For another thing, there is more going on here than looking sexy. As my analogy involving Supergirl shows, there is the matter of looking heroic, which is really job #1. And there is also beauty. A beautiful woman looks beautiful for a lot of different reasons. These reasons are all centered around capabilities. Even a “kept woman” from the noir age, who happens to be beautiful, is beautiful because she has the capability of taking care of something.

The battle being waged here has to do with the connections to female beauty. The battle is between “beauty is connected to capability,” versus, “beauty is whatever we tell you it is today.” Costumes that show more skin don’t have a lot to do with this, except that a woman clearly has to take care of more things if her costume bares more things. But they don’t have a lot to do with sex, either. Really, they don’t. Super Friends is for kids. Justice League cartoons are for kids.

This is the line they’re trying to draw, and we should fight back on it — vigorously, for it is pure evil: Beauty is one and the same as sex. This goes part & parcel with the notorious modern-feminist ideal of all men being (potential) rapists. It’s surreal, it’s like we’re getting our own version of the Taliban going, on this side of the world: A woman happens to be physically appealing to men in some way, and we men — entirely beneath any responsibility for our actions and unable to control our lascivious thoughts — immediately start thinking about having sex with her. Of course, she’s unable to give consent in that context, and acting out the deed is indistinguishable from merely thinking about it, so suddenly rape is a-goin’ on everywhere.

Welcome to the world of: No, women can’t have it all. They should be powerful, and in order to do that they need to dress down, so us hormone-driven men will stop mentally raping them.

Tomb RaiderReel Girl was wondering about what powerful and strong women were portrayed with brown eyes. I offered the example of Tomb Raider, and got back a curious response:

I’ll look into her. My only real experience of her is the Angelina Jolie movie and the pics of her before that– short shorts and distracting breasts. I just read a post that there is an attempted rape in her new game.

This gets to a criticism I have against RG, which I’ve already explained to her: Catching flies with honey versus vinegar. She, and opinion-writers like her, manage to affect a lot of “change” but that is all they do. It reminds me of the guy who comes through and blows leaves around the parking lot…badly. In both cases, there’s a lot of difficulty involved in figuring out if any progress being made toward anything at all, because there doesn’t seem to be an end goal. Lots of movement, though. But Reel Girl is never happy.

Snarking away at Tomb Raider is particularly silly, in my opinion, because here we’re dealing with a character that has slowly evolved to resemble more and more closely a feminist ideal. That includes shucking feminine appeal, like the husk off an ear of corn. These days, Lara Croft has an emo haircut. She wears long pants. She has diminutive breasts. Her hips are not curvy. She looks like a PVC pipe. Before she ditched the skimpier costume, it was in all other respects a feminist dream: She left these two gelding-guys back at her huge mansion, who spoke to her through her headset. She did all the acrobatics, the flipping around, the firefights with the bad guys, the filling the vicious jaguar full of lead from her 9mm pistols. Then the ferret-faced guys would get all scared from the images that were coming up on the monitor from her camera. If there were Egyptian hieroglyphs carved into the walls of the cave, she’d read them. If you needed to know something about Greek or Norse mythology to figure out where the next clue would lead — yup, she did that too, all from memory. With very few and minor exceptions, the fellas, safe warm and comfy back at home, didn’t do a damn thing. Had the feminists taken the time to check it out, they would have been pleased, but most of them never got that far. Breasts. Legs. That’s all they needed to know. Like Lara Croft is a bucket of KFC or something.

You realize how remarkable it is that the star character can both recite obscure trivia AND kick ass? Guys have never had it this good. Ever. I mean, really, think back: If a guy knows geeky stuff like how to read the hieroglyphics, you had to have some other guy doing the flying scissor kicks and filling the air with lead. And the action-guy would have a monopoly on the sex appeal. Since we all know, any guy who knows anything you don’t already learn by eighth grade, must be living in his mom’s basement with an office chair disappearing between his swollen fleshy buttocks, as the piles of Twinkie wrappers grows ever higher…

Lara Croft is everything, though. Firearms expert, amateur gymnast, Special Forces veteran, martial arts expert, published professor of archeology, world’s greatest detective. But, Reel Girl’s unhappy. You could see Lara Croft’s legs. So they covered those up, fem’d her down, made her look like a little boy, and now Reel Girl is still unhappy.

Contentment is, of course, the enemy of progress…but that just goes to show how tragic the situation is, because chasing this fake phony rainbow of “make the feminists happy” is viewed as a process of continual improvement. The producers of the comic books, teevee shows, books and games won’t ever stop because they have no reason to. Feminists yell “jump,” the institutional response has been defined as “how high?” Likewise, the feminists won’t ever be happy, because again there is no reason for them to be. They get what they “want” when they are unhappy.

* * *

PalinWhat is of particular interest to me, here, is that the gender divide is not consistently presented as trivial, nor is it consistently presented as meaningful. It swivels around, from one to the other and back again, out of convenience. We should be toning down, muting down, getting rid of the gender divide…here. But when we start to think of women as dependent victims, and let’s not kid ourselves that is part of the product being sold here — all of a sudden the gender divide is not only meaningful, but vitally important. Because we have these “rights” that are only supposed to go in one direction.

About the only rhyme or reason I can pick up on it is this: Men are not supposed to see anything in women at all that is particularly special, save for two things. One, it is an inevitability, and desirable, that women should take our jobs away from us because they can and will do them better. And two, in the past present & future, they have some legitimate complaints against us for…(deep breath here)…the way we’ve treated them, what we’ve thought about them, what we’ve said about them, how much money we make compared to what they make, that we don’t do our share of the housework, that we open doors for them, that we smile at them and give them compliments, and finally — and I suspect this is the bone of contention behind it all — that God built us to get them pregnant, and built them to get pregnant.

We are to see them as distinguishably different from us, only as replacements who are destined to send us to the benches, and as victims. Everlasting, perpetual, permanent victims.

Such a mindset ultimately will not heal any gender relations. It will only exacerbate the agitation that exists there already.

And that is what feminism is, as we know it today. It isn’t about equality. It is about aggravating the resentments men and women feel toward one another — while pretending to do the exact opposite.

My answer is a definite no. I don’t want to see women in such simplistic terms. I know too much about them for that; I know they are more complex than this. I don’t want to see them as androgynous interlopers who are poised to displace me in my useful purposes, or file grievances against me, or both. Besides, I happen to like them. Oh and as frosting on the cupcake, I don’t accept the power/pulchritude curve; if she’s drop-dead gorgeous and also appointed or elected to a position that has some real power behind it, I see no wrinkle that has to be smoothed out there, I’m good with it. If she’s fulfilling the challenges, then yes, she should “have it all” as they say. Now here’s the really sad part: In the minds of many today, that’s enough to make you what’s called a “sexist.”

Well, we may not be abusing the women too often lately, but we’re sure doing a great job smacking the language around.

Is Thinking Obsolete?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Prof. Sowell again says obvious things that, in spite of being so obvious, once pointed-out will cause you to question much that you might not have previously questioned:

It is always amazing how many serious issues are not discussed seriously, but instead simply generate assertions and counter-assertions. On television talk shows, people on opposite sides often just try to shout each other down.

There is a remarkable range of ways of seeming to argue without actually producing any coherent argument.
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…[A] student can go all the way from elementary school to a Ph.D. without encountering any fundamentally different vision of the world from that of the prevailing political correctness.

Moreover, the moral perspective that goes with this prevailing ideological view is all too often that of people who see themselves as being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil — whether the particular issue at hand is gun control, environmentalism, race or whatever.

A moral monopoly is the antithesis of a marketplace of ideas. One sign of this sense of moral monopoly among the left intelligentsia is that the institutions most under their control — the schools, colleges and universities — have far less freedom of speech than the rest of American society.
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The failure of our educational system goes beyond what they fail to teach. It includes what they do teach, or rather indoctrinate, and the graduates they send out into the world, incapable of seriously weighing alternatives for themselves or for American society.

As I’ve pointed out before: Thinking is about thought, and a thought is best & most accurately described after it has been categorized — fact, opinion, thing-to-do. The issue Professor Sowell raises has to do with conflicting thoughts, which we might define according to the above taxonomy as: pluralities of facts, some of which must have been assessed inaccurately since they offer different measurements of the same things; pluralities of opinions, some of which must be erroneous because they are mutually exclusive; and, pluralities of desires about what is to be done, some of which would have to yield to others. What do we do about such conflicts? Or more to the point, what is the next generation being taught about what to do with conflicts like these?

For all the reasons he offers, and many others he doesn’t mention, the answer appears to be — not a damn thing. We’ve seen that often enough in these pages, as the comment threads occasionally grow, Jack-and-the-Beanstalk like, twisting and turning and revealing all sorts of stuff.

The fundamental thought-concept of uncertainty seems to have become something of a relic from the past. People know there is global warming, it’s all man’s fault, China has a moral license to take a breather from stricter pollution limits that are to be imposed on the rest of the world…because it’s all about carbon emissions per capita, and the developed nations will have to learn to sacrifice, which they will. Not a scintilla of residual doubt about any of this, it’s discussed as if future events occurred in the past. But most distressingly, if the other side remains unconvinced, the thing to do is start repeating the same things over and over.

It doesn’t end there though, there are all these quirky maneuvers. We see it on television. Sarcasm, for example, which can have a legitimate function every now and then. On The Daily Show, that’s how pretty much all the “thinking” is done, with sarcasm. Nobody really wants to say The Daily Show is their primary source of news, or even that it’s one of many sources of news…but many who refuse to admit this, refuse to admit the opposite as well. They’ll start droning on about how Daily Show viewers are best informed, and Fox News viewers are the least informed. In fact, I’ve often observed that over the last few years we seem to have lost our sense of what a well-informed opinion even looks like: Our bar is so low, now, that about the best you can expect is “I saw Jon Stewart do a segment on that once, it was really good, I liked it a lot.”

Edmund Burke spins in his grave.

I mentioned above about conflicting thoughts, which are contradictions. This is a great example: The Daily Show is a source of news, or else it is not. An argument that maintains both of those to be the case, must fail, for it is encumbered by an unworkable internal contradiction. But many within the younger generation aren’t even slowed down as they press onward with exactly that: I’m more informed because I watch TDS…but that is not anybody’s news source, that is a myth.

So repeating things over and over, is not persuasive. And you can’t assert some fact while simultaneously asserting the opposite. There are other rules in place that nobody should have to write down…but a lot of people don’t seem to know about them…

An argument must fail if it pretends two things are the same, when they are meaningfully different things.

An argument must fail if it pretends two things are divided by some meaningful difference, when this is actually not the case and those things are identical for all intents and purposes.

Blogger friend Phil has made occasional reference to the “I laugh at it, so it becomes untrue” mystical power of modern arguing. Sadly, you haven’t long to wait nowadays to see examples of it in action. Wherever you see someone provide a “rebuttal” by way of this magical hocus-pocus, you are seeing a “thinker” bypassing thought. The tragedy is that he probably thinks he’s doing a wonderful awesome job of thinking about things. Giggle giggle.

An argument must fail, I would say, if it transgresses against any of the twenty things that are non-partisan, or darn well ought to be, that I wrote down.

Not that I claim to be any kind of lawgiver, like Moses, or anything. It shouldn’t be necessary. These are things that should be just self-explanatory. And would be, I think, if we lived in a more rustic society in which people had to solve basic problems on their own just to get to their classes healthy, whole and capable of learning, with fluids and nutrients in their systems. But as our society has become more advanced, the necessity of this basic-problem-solving has been slowly obviated. Which means once the students do arrive at that class, they rely on that class to teach them “how to think and not what to think,” as the saying goes…with a weight and sense of dependence that was not present in the previous generations of students. When they’re not being taught that, there, consequences must ensue. These consequences are felt not only by the student, but by the rest of society.

Well. To answer the Prof’s question, I think the answer is no; thinking is not obsolete, like a five-inch floppy disk or a film development darkroom. But that’s because, as I see it, this stuff goes in cycles. As quality thinking results in an improvement of the standard of living, for the individual as well as for society as a whole — you can take it to the bank that the “quality thinking” has worked itself out of a job, since the higher standard of living will partially result in a new allowance of sloppy, slipshod thinking. And we have enjoyed so much improvement to our standard of living, and as a result our society-wide ability to think things out has deteriorated so much, that we are overdue for a suffering. With the current recession that began around 2007, this is exactly what’s been happening to us. Maybe it’s just about done. Or, maybe it’s the dawn of a new era, and the licks we’ve already been taking are nothing more than a down-payment.

But I’m sure as the challenges get stiffer, people will adapt, as they are forced to, and we will eventually “rotate” our way out of the mess we’ve created for ourselves. In my exuberant optimism, I fantasize that we will not only have recovered these critical thinking skills that we left lying in the dirt in years past, like a spoiled child leaving his cherished new bicycle lying in the street waiting to be lifted — but will have produced a new wisdom from having gone through the experience.

And we’ll remember it all for generations.

Yeah…it is that last note of reckless optimism, in which I place the least confidence. That’s regrettable, because that’s the most important one. Critical thinking isn’t worth much if it doesn’t have wisdom to go with it, and wisdom doesn’t provide much of an assist over the long haul if you can’t hang on to it. But, I remain hopeful. What else can one do?

Hula Hoop Cam at Burning Man Festival

Monday, April 29th, 2013

What a neat idea. Some images from the video arguably not safe for work or a mixed audience…

“In Witness Whereof, Hear My Voice, Alexander Graham Bell”

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Dr. Mercury thought this was “exceptionally cool,” and I agree.

Voice of Alexander Bell heard in recovered audio recording from 1885.

I Made a New Word LXIV

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

I referred to them here and here…might as well make an official definition.

Brick WallBrick Wall Person (n.):

A person with an opinion, in which he or she invests great weight and importance. However — the opinion is the product of no decision-making process whatsoever, save for the selection of a simple preference of one option out of a plurality available, such as, “Brussels sprouts over Broccoli.” There is absolutely no foundation or framework for the argument. No inductive reasoning, no deductive reasoning, no arriving at logical inferences of any kind, not even any rational speculation.

Normal people have thoughts like these…like…aw, I don’t wanna get out of bed yet. But normal people yield on them, and often, since normal people save their “Hill I Wanna Die On” positions for the issues that involve objective truth, and therefore, some measure of certainty and confidence. Brick-wall-people M-U-S-T have the last word, and yield to no one, even though the means by which they know they are “right” are limited to their pointing to the opinions of others, and/or simply repeating things over and over.

They are responsible for generating much conflict. Which, more often than not, they can then successfully blame on others.

They don’t think things out any better than a brick wall does. And, like a brick wall, they aren’t very much responsible for putting anything in motion, although they’re great at stopping things that already were.

QUILTS: Affordability of Products, Services and Labor

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Over at Rotten Chestnuts, our collaborative blog, one of our co-conspirators has launched a blog-post category called QUILTS — an acronym for “Questions I’d Like To See [Asked].” With the opening of the George W. Bush library, the air is suddenly thick with talk about the legacy of our 43rd president…which was supposed to be a toxic chapter of our country’s history we would never, ever, ever want to recall again. But the time has come to give that another re-think.

The man of the hour predicted this himself, and the day might be here. Gas costs half of what it is now? Businesses looking to expand, doing real work for real people who really want the work done? Triple-A credit rating? Who wouldn’t want to go back?

Our liberals, that’s who. Well, they’ll never admit it, anyway…

We have two problems here. One, there are people who agree with me, that if it’s possible for me to buy a gallon of milk for $3 instead of $4, then I should be able to. If government has a role in that, then its role should be to make sure I can buy milk for the lower price; at the very least, it shouldn’t be trying to make it harder for me to get hold of the milk…or the refrigerator in which I’ll be putting it…or the linoleum for the floor upon which it sits. Or the house with the floor. But — those people would support the liberals in saying, no, let’s keep going “Forward” because they don’t want a guy like Bush in charge. They’re repeating what they’ve been told to think, you see, and what they’ve been told is that George Bush is something of a “douche.” They’re neck-deep in personality politics, and the policies, and their effect, can’t achieve relevance. A little bit of name-calling and these folks suddenly have answers to all the questions. Although, we’re still waiting for things to get better…

Problem Two is simpler: We have people who don’t agree with me. We have people who want high prices. A lot of them aren’t shy about saying this should be government’s job. They’ll never say “make it harder to get hold of” the gas or the milk or the refrigerator or the linoleum or the house or the labor that went into it all…they may never admit to being “in favor of higher prices.” But they’re opposed to the prices being lower.

So. Question I’d Like To See Asked:

Should goods and services be made accessible to the consumers who want to buy them?

Notice I said “accessible,” which might affect the outcome of a poll. It’s not escaped my notice that when people talk about nationalizing health care, they use the focus-group-tested word “access” a lot, which seems to enjoy positive appeal. I’m under the impression we have two Americas right now, an America that seeks to pay for the things it uses up for its own benefit, and another America that doesn’t want to pay for anything. Whoever advocates for a certain policy change, and advocates smartly, will seek to heal that divide but only heal it in service of the goal they’re trying to achieve. “Access to health care” is language carefully crafted for consumption by people who want to get some health care, but not have to pay for it. You’ll notice, in my question, the effect is the opposite: consumers who want to buy them. My meaning is, pay for them.

President Obama, by and large, has been consistent in making all sorts of things more accessible. But only for the people who don’t want to pay for them. For the rest of us, life’s been getting tougher and leaner.

Gas costs double, and it’s much tougher to get a job.

A lot of that is by design. He said He would fundamentally transform America. Say what you will about the rest of His promises, but there’s one He’s managed to keep. We are “fundamentally transforming” America from a country in which people pay for the things they consume, into a country in which they don’t.

And a lot of people like it.

So: QUILTS. Question I’d Like To See Asked. Should prices be lower? Should it be easier for people to buy things? It’s certainly a fair question; I keep hearing a lot of people say they want “the economy” to get better, stronger, more robust, resilient, whatever. Well, in my world that would mean more selling & buying. My idea of an “economy” thrives on consumer confidence; when I’m a consumer, my “confidence” comes from an understanding that replenishment of supplies is affordable, and so is the acquisition of equipment, risk is manageable, payoff is bigger & better. That the opportunity is out there. They seem to have a different idea of what an “economy” is.

Some folks say the media is in the pocket of the democrat party. Other people say that’s bull-squeeze. It would be much easier for me to doubt it, if I were to ever see my question asked in a major media channel that actually counts for something. As it is, we have to leave it to the wild-eyed silly right-wing blogs, like mine. Which I find interesting.

She Slept With His Dad

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Suck it, Trebek.

Contempt

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Emperor Misha I at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler pens an essay on what exactly passes for thought on The Left. This is excellent.

I was, once, of the left. Not just “flirting with the ideas” or “curiously studying their customs and quaint habits”, but “red scarf wearing true believer.”

Yes, I hang my head in shame over my youthful ignorance, but I got better. And I try to atone for it by passing on what I’ve learned to those who weren’t as dumb as I and therefore have not the first fucking clue as to what they think they’re up against. Without much success, as the past five years have shown, most of the time — when I get a response at all — it’s along the lines of “lalalala I can’t hear you” or “sure, but our lefties are diff’runt.”

Town MeetingThey’re not. That’s the whole point of the left. On the left, nobody’s diff’runt or they’re not on the left anymore. Utter one, even a slight little minor one, heresy against the leftist catechism and we will make you a non-person. Just ask Bob Woodward who, we believe, was once quite the left’s hero for bringing down that horrible man, Richard Nixon. One act of heresy against the Dogma of the Cult of Obama, and he was a doddering old retarded fool and sellout, ready for the glue factory.

Overnight.

And that was not an aberration. That is how it works…

By ostracism. Like a pencil being sharpened, lefty thought achieves an ever more durable structure to it, by constantly whittling away what it figures doesn’t belong.

Just like the original lefties, during the Reign of Terror. Revolutionaries executed for not being revolutionary enough. It’s a holdover from human evolution.

…[P]arty ideology is always right, and therefore any idea that opposes it must, naturally, be wrong no matter how it’s worded. This is never questioned. Never. Because it’s a fundamental truth to a true leftist believer. 1) The party is always right. 2) If not, see 1). Why the party is right is irrelevant because, seriously, IT IS RIGHT. Seriously, were you not paying attention?

That is why attempting to engage leftists on ideas is an exercise in futility. Most won’t even take part, but those who pretend to be doing so aren’t actually listening. Because they know they’re already right. They were told so. And the party is always right. Again: I say this because I KNOW. Putting my old red cap on again, why would I question what the party said? All of its ideas had been passed down to me from people much smarter and more learned than I…

Right. Externalysis.

He continues…

And the next point, another one ignored by our “pragmatists” and “civility champions” on the right because of their utter ignorance of what they’re dealing with is this: We on the left (again I put my old cap on) do not “disagree” with you. We despise you. The more spirited among us even hate you. Those can mostly be found among the lowest echelons of the movement, the ones who were just given their party badge and feel that they have something to prove so they can move up in the system. Higher up, it’s mostly just contempt.

Hat tip to Gerard. Great stuff.

“It Takes Faith to Believe in Everything Coming From Nothing”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Hat tip to blogger friend Rick.

A minor quibble: The part at the beginning doesn’t describe the thesis accurately. If we’re going to get super precise about it, it’s accurate to say faith and reason are opposites, since reason states “I must see evidence in order to conclude something” whereas faith, by its definition, doesn’t need to see that. If the conclusion was reached but there was evidence presented supporting it, the person concluding might have some faith, but it wasn’t tested in the exercise because the evidence was conducive to a reasoning process, which might have been used in lieu of faith. If the process is repeated, the evidence withheld, the same conclusion reached, then we might say that person has faith.

So if we’re talking about the process, the statement is true: “Many people think that faith and reason are opposites.” What the clip argues is not that there is overlap between the two, or that that they are synonymous. Instead, it argues that belief in this powerful intelligence creating the universe, is bigger than this thing we call faith; reason, also, supports a belief in God.

Then, in addition to cleaning up its act a bit over this quibble, it finishes strong: It is atheism that requires the faith.

Consider coming up with a rebuttal to that one. We would need to come up with a rational explanation for the universe that would support atheism. There are those who believe, incorrectly, that the Big Bang Theory does exactly this. At about 0:45, through around 3:00, the clip shreds that one up rather nicely.

“Goodbye, Bad Guys!”

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Some helpful advice for Joe Biden’s wife, in case bad guys start breaking into the house…

Brick Wall People Who Are Feminists

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The notion of “brick wall people” was explored by me in the post immediately previous.

The hardcore cases are confined, in their vocabulary of forensic maneuvering, to presenting nothing possessing any persuasive weight save for their own intransigence. Their operating credo seems to be one of, “You might as well come around to my way of thinking, for I shall never, ever, ever come around to yours.” If you were to take a large sheet of butcher paper and plot out a flow chart showing what it is they think they know, in little bubbles connected by lines to how they think they know it — there’d be nothing to plot. One bubble, no lines, and you’d be done. In these discussions that catch their fancy, they impose themselves into the role of a brick wall. Immovable and impassable. It decides nothing, does nothing to make anything go, but certainly does something to make things stop.

Captain Capitalism (via Small Dead Animals) explores the phenomenon of the Zombie Feminist. He warns that this has more to do with psychology than with lefty-politics…which makes my connection valid, since my observation about “brick wall people” isn’t dedicated to ideological positioning either.

I truly believe that after K-Grad school education, the human brain is so indoctrinated and steeped in leftist thought they are mentally impaired and incapable [of:]

independent thought
critical thinking
intellectual honesty
open mindedness
admitting being wrong or in error

He compares the female-zombie (naughty language warning):

…to the zombies in that mediocre Will Smith movie:

It isn’t just lefties. It isn’t just feminists, either.

Assuming we have the same definition in mind — and I think, in general, we do — the shortest and crispest litmus test I would have for this stunted thinking is this: Absolutely no use to be made of the logical concept of “therefore.” As a consequence of this, every single deliberation, every single discussion, every single so-called “debate” is nothing more than, and can never be anything more than, a contest of some sort. To see who can have the last word, have it the loudest, make the most lasting impression on bystanders. But there’s no “therefore.” The thinking is too simple to make use of the simple language-less concept of “I think such-and-such a thing, because such-and-such other thing has been validated to my satisfaction, and from that I speculate, or infer, this new thing I think.”

They support some things. They oppose other things. But, like brick walls, they don’t actually make decisions. About anything.

Ever.

Memo For File CLXXVIII

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

For a number of years now I’ve had to inspect how people think, if for no other reason than to try to reduce my conflicts with them. Seems I have more conflict than the average bear, although there’s really no way to prove that. Personal conflicts are like credit card debt; nobody talks up what they have, they prefer to play it down. But when it comes to conflict — and this flies in the face of what a lot of people think about me, I’m sure — I’m always on the lookout for ways to reduce it. Aren’t we all?

Obviously, the best way to avoid is through prevention. If we aim to prevent, we have to look at root causes. Through a very slow process of inspecting it and analyzing it and thinking it out, in my own episodes I have identified three:

1. Conflict I create when I notice something;
2. Conflict I create when I infer about what is going on, from what I have noticed;
3. Conflict I create when I decide what should be done, about what I think is going on.

What I have aimed to do by filing & sorting these conflict-ignition episodes, is to form a better understanding about what can be done to prevent. About as far as I’ve managed to take it, up to now, is this: If we’re creating conflict through events #2 or #3, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let’s talk it out. With regard to #1, I honestly don’t know what to do. If I’m getting in trouble just for noticing something, “don’t notice it” certainly doesn’t strike me as constructive solution. “Notice it, but keep your mouth shut” isn’t much better; depending on what’s being noticed, it might actually be worse.

So I don’t know what to do with #1. I may never figure it out. Not sure I want to. It might strike some as a bit harsh to say something like “If you can’t be my friend when I notice the wrong things, you’re probably a lousy friend and I don’t want you anyway” — but yeah, that does come pretty close to where I’ve settled on it. Who wants a bunch of friends who stop being friends when you notice the wrong stuff? It isn’t the kind of life I want to live, knowwhatimean?

How this matters lately: The statistical breakdown is not remaining static with the passage of time. I’m seeing, lately, a LOT of conflict is arising from #1: I’m noticing something, and someone else doesn’t want me to.

Maybe that means I’m just getting really, really good at avoiding conflict with the #2 and #3. It could mean that, but I don’t think so. I’m not that sharp, for one thing, and for another thing it isn’t just my personal conflicts to which I’m referring here. Other people are noticing the “wrong things,” and other other people don’t want them noticing those things.

Because a healthy thinker will infer what’s going on from what is noticed, what follows is a bit hard to assess so I’ve been nooding this one over awhile: It seems a great many of these #2 and #3 conflicts, which are disagreements about what’s going on & what to do about it, are actually #1 conflicts. Maybe all of them are. Example: If I infer there is a plot among radical-Islamists to attack the United States, from my understanding that the Boston bombers turned out to be radicalized Chechen Muslims, and someone disagrees with me about this — I can take it to the bank now, that not only do they disagree with me about the plot but they are likely to still be living in the fantasy-narrative-bubble that the Boston bomber was a right-wing Tea Party type. In other words, in the times in which we live now, it has become stylish and popular to concede nothing. This isn’t just a gripe-against-lefties again; I wish it were.

My gripe, to be usefully specific about it, is against people who don’t discuss, and can’t discuss, because they don’t think. About much, anyway. They might do some minimal thinking about how this-opinion or that-opinion will make them more popular within the social circles they have targeted, but not about too much else. And, for some extra clarity, when I say “don’t discuss” I don’t mean they’re sitting down, folding their arms, zipping their lips shut and staring straight ahead…nothing like that. Oh, heavens no. They talk. They can yell, they can type, they can interrupt, they can bitch and kvetch and whine and browbeat and coerce and bludgeon and cudgel and slam.

They can type-and-gripe. They just don’t discuss anything. If you listen to & watch what they say, after filtering out the bunny trails and the “gotcha” maneuvers, you find they’re just repeating the same “facts” over and over. You haven’t too long to wait before someone makes some kind of inquiry, politely or otherwise, about how it is they know the things they think they know. But you better not wait for them to provide a decent answer because you aren’t going to get it.

Perhaps they’re just “medicating.” By and large, they do seem to have addictive personalities, and that is consistent with Medicators; I’ve said for years that Architects think, Medicators feel, and the conflict between these two seems to be unavoidable. So inevitable is this divide, and so deep, and so debilitating, that I seriously wonder if they should be existing alongside each other at all. Repeating the same thing over and over again in a vain attempt to convince someone who hasn’t been convinced already, is a classic symptom of arguing-by-feel as opposed to by-think. It is to be expected, right? When you got to your conclusion by feeling, and you’ve recited those feelings to someone else to invite him onto your little bandwagon but it hasn’t worked yet — what else can you do other than try again, and in so doing, get more and more frustrated.

This is exactly what I see them doing.

The hardcore cases are confined, in their vocabulary of forensic maneuvering, to presenting nothing possessing any persuasive weight save for their own intransigence. Their operating credo seems to be one of, “You might as well come around to my way of thinking, for I shall never, ever, ever come around to yours.” If you were to take a large sheet of butcher paper and plot out a flow chart showing what it is they think they know, in little bubbles connected by lines to how they think they know it — there’d be nothing to plot. One bubble, no lines, and you’d be done. In these discussions that catch their fancy, they impose themselves into the role of a brick wall. Immovable and impassable. It decides nothing, does nothing to make anything go, but certainly does something to make things stop.

Grumpy ObamaThese human brick walls get testy in short order because, I think, what they want is an impossibility: Limitless influence on the outcome, while laboring under the burden of exactly zero decisions. There is some universal appeal to that. A lot of people want exactly that. The most useless bureaucrats, from the Ozymandias who dresses nicely and outranks everybody although he’s done precisely nothing in life to distinguish himself, all the way down to the agency clerk who makes you wait endlessly for his break to be over just so you can fill out a form all over again — they irritate us. They’d irritate us if we saw them only once in a lifetime. Lately they seem to be everywhere, as if our society, or something in it, thinks the human-brick-walls are the endgame-objective of the efforts of everyone else, and life will become sweet and beautiful if & when we can turn out more of these types. We’re not irritated quite so much because they use up our time and our resources, or that they make even humble chores much more difficult, or because they remind us that some organization or peerage is not the meritocracy it’s supposed to be; they irritate us because they cause us a lot of trouble while they chase this impossibility. Winning the argument, all of the time, conceding nothing, ever, and all without deciding anything or doing any real, grounded thinking at anytime. They want to have the last word. They lack the mental discipline to even have the first one.

When these human-brick-walls get frustrated with the results, it’s everybody else’s fault. Although, what they’re trying to do, is kind of like merging onto a busy highway, poking along at 15 miles an hour, and being determined to stay out in front of everyone. It usually doesn’t work because in real life, if you really want to be the top dog and win all the arguments, you have to make some decisions. If you try to make it the whole way without actually making any decisions about what-a-fact-means, or what-to-do-about-it, then one way or another, sooner or later, life is going to hand you an education and you aren’t going to like it.

Don’t get all honked off at me about it, I didn’t make it that way. I’m not that important. That’s just how it works.

Thoughts From the Campus About Gun Control

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Who’s squirming harder: The gentleman appearing from 2:24 through 3:03 pronouncing “if guns are outlawed then only outlaws have guns” to be a “weak argument,” but unable to explain his rationale…or me, watching him. Him, I suppose, if I could film my first reaction in the web cam and measure it…I’m probably just slightly wincing. But it seems like I’m doing more. Lots of proxy embarrassment.

They’re not teaching ‘em what to think, they’re teaching ‘em how to think. That’s what we’re told…well…I have issues with both the what and the how.

This business of rephrasing the question that is sufficiently simple and crystal-clear, at least in my universe, that if the answer isn’t a slam-dunk, the question itself ought to be easily understood. What is that?? I see it at 0:28, and then I see it again at 1:44. I heard it in the recording of that original American Castrati guy (since removed) who “didn’t support the troops.”

Here’s what I think: Too much development of communication skills is taking place in the classroom environment. Now if I’m right about that, it raises another issue that these students are a bit old to still be developing their basic communication skills…but let’s let that go, because I speculate that the problem began before they graduated from high school. I conclude all this from the pattern I’m noticing, in which as the verbiage plays out and the speaker approaches a crucial point, the enunciation becomes more and more muddled and unclear, and riddled with phonetic and rhetorical ambiguities; a reasonable observer would expect the opposite to take place. Questioned about why you think the things you think, as you approach the point that substantiates it all, you should want your phrasing to become precise & concise. Crisper. Clearer.

These muffin-heads are doing the exact opposite. And with a remarkable consistency.

It is as if they are counting on being interrupted before they get to the part where they hang themselves.

I have a bit of a beef with the next generation being taught, en masse, how to talk this way. Especially when it influences how they think about things — which, it certainly does appear to.

Maybe they need to spend a few minutes listening to this guy.

Ya know??

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts and Right Wing News.

The Latest Lara Croft Cosplay

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

From here.

But where’s the new one, I wonder? The much-vaunted, latest, greatest, high-falutin’ one…with the flatter chest and the emo hairstyle and the PVC-pipe-straight-up-and-down figure and the teenage-boy clothes. You know, the one they made all trendy and hip by toning any & all feminine aspects of it waaaaaaay down…

Nobody wants to cosplay in that look? Huh, kinda of like when they dressed up Wonder Woman as a “not quite that crazy about the United States” motorcycle-gang chickee. Didn’t see too much cosplay over that either. Not even any Halloween costumes.

I’m seeing a pattern here.

One Hundred Forty-Five Rounds

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

He has a reason for carrying it.

The suspect was in the street on the other side of the car. “I could see him by looking under the chassis,” Gramins recalls. “I tried a couple of ricochet rounds that didn’t connect. Then I told myself, ‘Hey, I need to slow down and aim better.’ ”

When the suspect bent down to peer under the car, Gramins carefully established a sight picture, and squeezed off three controlled bursts in rapid succession.
:
Remarkably, the gunman was still showing vital signs when EMS arrived. Sheer determination, it seemed, kept him going, for no evidence of drugs or alcohol was found in his system.

Bad Lefty Ideas This Week

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

This is one of those weeks where I hope people have been paying attention…

The following were either written/uttered since Monday morning, or else revealed to be dreadfully bad ideas since Monday morning. Quite a week for a good education, for anyone willing to watch, listen & remember.

Dzokhar
1. Hoping that the persons responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing incident were “white Americans.”
2. Trying to pass a gun bill to make it harder for American citizens to keep and bear arms.
3. Blaming the “lobbies” when the gun bill fails, because the senators know their constituents would hold them accountable.
4. Pushing an immigration bill to allow Islamic extremists to become U.S. citizens without anyone doing a lick of research.
5. Blaming Sen. Ted Cruz for being 42 years old.
6. Putting up a “gun free zone” where the bomb went off; if only it was a “bomb free zone,” huh?
7. Speculating that the bomber was “on the far right” of the political spectrum.
8. Blaming the bombing on the gun culture and the “2nd amendment.”
9. Releasing the Saudi national for deportation.
10. Declining to answer any questions about releasing the Saudi national for deportation.
11. Blaming the Boston bombing on “tax day.”
12. Supporting people who are JUST LIKE the Boston bomber…after they become college professors.

Now that the weekend is here, we can contemplate whether any of them had anything going for ‘em. My verdict so far: This is a swirling tempest of sloppy crackpot thinking…drug-induced, at least some of it, more likely than not.

I’m reminded of that old adage about how, if you make a mistake and don’t admit it then you’ve made two mistakes. One wonders how many mistakes we’re making every week by allowing lefties to run things.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Danica Patrick Photo Shoot

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

It’s got four years of dust on it…but she’s still a nice looking lady.

From before she said she didn’t want to be a sexy symbol, or something, I guess…

Final Obituary on Manchin-Toomey

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Wall Street Journal, by way of Instapundit:

The President might have forged a compromise from the political center out that reduced gun violence at the margins while respecting Second Amendment rights. Instead, liberals cleaned out their ideological cupboards in favor of gun restrictions that would have little practical effect but would have notched a symbolic victory over the National Rifle Association and those benighted rubes in the provinces. By so overreaching, Mr. Obama couldn’t even steamroll moderate members of his own party.

A word, first, about that Senate “minority.” Majority Leader Harry Reid was free to bring the deal struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor for an up-or-down vote, and this background-checks amendment might have passed. It did convince 54 Senators, including four Republicans.

But under Senate rules, a simple majority vote would have opened the measure to up to 30 hours of debate, which would have meant inspecting the details. The White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the amendment without such a debate.

Majority rules would have also opened the bill to pro-gun amendments that were likely to pass. That would have boxed Mr. Reid into the embarrassing spectacle of having to later scotch a final bill because it also contained provisions that the White House loathes. So Mr. Reid moved under “unanimous consent” to allow nine amendments, each with a 60-vote threshold.
:
Manchin-Toomey was rushed together on a political timetable, and a thorough scrub would have revealed that its finer legal points aren’t as modest as liberals claim. Tellingly, the White House blew up earlier negotiations with Tom Coburn on background checks. The Oklahoma Republican favored more and better checks across secondary firearms markets like gun shows and online, but liberals insisted that federally licensed dealers had to keep records.

In other words, keeping guns away from dangerous or unstable people was less important than defeating the NRA. The Senate GOP offered an alternative background-checks amendment that failed 52-48. Nine Democrats were in favor, but their colleagues voted en masse to block it from moving forward. How’s that for incoherent?

Mr. Obama is technically right that Manchin-Toomey would not create a federal firearms registry. Then again, its most clamorous supporters are also contemptuous of the Second Amendment, and they are explicitly hoping for a fifth Justice to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark gun-rights rulings. Manchin-Toomey opponents can be forgiven for worrying that gun controllers will attempt to build a registry from whatever records they get.

From all the arguing that’s gone down about this, I’ve been rather taken aback by the zeal with which the anti-gun noisemakers continue to put forward this whole charade that, had Congress passed the bill and the President signed it, tragedies like Tucson, Aurora and Newton could have been avoided. They keep it up right on until I call ‘em out on it, and then they don’t even bat an eyelash about it. As if to say “Yeah well, we had to give it a try to see if you’d fall for it.” So the phrase about “keeping guns away from dangerous or unstable people was less important than defeating the NRA” finds resonance with me.

I think most people get that by now. But I’m concerned that the public doesn’t understand the extraordinary lengths to which the Senate majority, along with the White House, went to avoid transparency. And I’m concerned about the ongoing pattern, this continuing chorus-refrain of “we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.” Everything they want to pass is real-good-legislation, as if crafted from glorious hands above the mortal plane, like Moses brought it down from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets. Oh, except for one thing: We “forgot” to open our discussions on it in any way, so you little peons weren’t involved this time. Whatever! It’s still perfect and wonderful and it is vitally important that we not discuss any of the details. But…it’s very, very moderate, very common-sense, and you’re some kind of a nutcase if you don’t back us up to the hilt on it, every word, letter, jot and tittle.

That’s the part I’d like people to understand a bit better. These are supposed to be our representatives in Washington. Quite a few of them are giving speeches to the effect that something bad is going down, if we manage to get represented when it really matters.

DJEver Notice? LXXVII

Friday, April 19th, 2013

It is often said that gun control laws are not about guns, they are about control.

As we saw on Wednesday, lefties do not appreciate anti-gun-control arguments too much. They claim to be agitated because they just want to “save lives,” but I notice when it’s pointed out to them “such-and-such a proposed rule would not have saved a single life at Sandy Hook,” they don’t have a rebuttal for this, so they must understand they don’t have a rebuttal for it. Therefore, they must understand the measure in that particular case would not have helped out any with that particular problem. And because of that, they must understand that opposition to their bill, contrary to their rhetoric, doesn’t really endanger anybody.

Yet, the agitation they show when confronted with anti-gun-control arguments, is not the same agitation they show in the face of, say, anti-affirmative-action arguments or anti-stimulus-plan arguments or yes-Sandra-Fluke-is-a-slut arguments or reveal-the-global-warming-scam arguments or anti-tax-increase arguments.

It is a very special kind of agitation. I do not see them display it uniformly, although I do see them display it when they encounter: stay-at-home Moms; home-schoolers; school voucher programs; the right not to join a union.

Earlier this month I examined the culture that must ALWAYS win. Concluding that this is above, or beneath, the conservative/liberal divide to which we have become accustomed, I noticed its credo appeared to be…

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.

I noticed, a couple months ago in the Palo Alto area, I was beset on all sides with what might be the consequences of such a culture. I can’t name any one particular example, it was the confluence of many things: B.A.R.T.; hand sanitizer dispensers; SmartCar recharging stations; doggy poop bag dispensers on the walking trails. It wasn’t just general-urban-living, it was the continual presence of systems. Systems, systems everywhere.

The individual must be reduced to something weak. Sexually vague. A mere parasite upon the host, utterly dependent on it for its daily sustenance, providing nothing in return. Except, in the case of government, perhaps some useful information. But the culture strips the individual of independence, oftentimes for no good reason that can be discerned, save for discouraging foresight. Example: You need a pump-kiosk because you forgot your hand sanitizer? What’s a bottle of hand sanitizer cost, anyway? You have a dog and you live between a walking trail and a ninety-nine-cent superstore, but you own no baggies? Huh?

I think it is a myth, after all I’ve seen this week, that gun control opponents think about home defense situations and gun control supporters do not. I think the gun control supporters think about that too. I think both sides are arguing about what is the real issue: The individual being equipped to handle problems, both within and outside of the ordinary. And those who oppose individual capability, are in a state of high dudgeon about it all.

They like to feel like they’re trying to save little kids’ lives, although they know that is not the effort they are undertaking. And they certainly like the feeling of being smarter or better-informed or more-well-read than their opponents. But, that can’t be it either, since they have no qualms at all about drawling through those sad words, “I don’t know anything about guns, but I do feel…” And, it continues to flummox me how much there is to know about guns, that these people do not know — it doesn’t bother them in the slightest. So what the heck are they reading that makes them feel so well-informed?

So, tentative conclusion: We are experiencing a conflict of cultures: The ready versus the unready. One guy has a metal lunchbox with an industrial-grade construction workers’ thermos, just in case, in his huge truck that has four-wheel drive, just in case, with a pack of road flares and a winch and a set of jumper cables, just in case. And bottled water and energy bars and candles and dry matches AND a gun. The other guy is out walking, without packing anything at all, relying on his next kiosk-encounter for the next dose of hand-sanitizer, doggy poop bag, wet wipe, iPod recharge and energy drink.

So yes, it is more about control than about the guns. But a lot of the gun-control advocates will protest that they have no designs on controlling anyone, be they friends, foes or complete strangers. And they’ll be right about that. Their cause is one of: I am not ready, and I don’t want that other guy to be ready either.

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.

Externalysis

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?