Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Forty Ladies Doing Cosplay Right

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

From eBaum’s World.

No More Docu-Dramas About Henry VIII

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

…because I don’t like ’em. And that includes the most recent one with all the pretty people. The one where the piano-case-sized King with a bad case of Gout is played by that short-haired skinny dude.

Although it must be said, I certainly appreciated the pulchritude of the Anne Boleyn actress very, very much. No question about it: That is a babe. Hey, it’s a cable-network produced show chock full of historical inaccuracies, and hot young pretty people. There are definitely advantages to be found.

Natalie DormerThe problem is that the King’s Great Matter, as a significant event in the history of Western civilization, exists not as an origin of something that came later, quite so much as a consequence of other things that came earlier. History’s like that, you know: Things happen because other things happened earlier. Another thing about history is that we are very often left with a big plate of mess, along with historians arguing endlessly about what was real, what wasn’t, what’s provable, what’s questionable. We just don’t know.

But the point to a Henry VIII docu-drama is always the same: Eww, these sexist pig men were a bunch of selfish jerks.

It’s like watching The Daily Show. You’re supposed to take it seriously while it’s motivating you to get angry at, or hate, or act smug and morally superior to, somebody. But then when there is a provable mistake in the record or in the logic, all of a sudden the whole “docu-” part of it pops, like a birthday balloon, and you’re the one with all of the problem because you’re taking it seriously. It’s fiction loosely based on history, you big dummy.

Had a discussion with this with one of my Facebook peeps, who is not part of the problem, because she absolutely does know what she’s talking about. But, you know, my point stands:

…[W]hen the audience watches it and decides King Henry isn’t behaving according to acceptable ethics in our modern day & age, and neither is Cardinal Wolsey, or Thomas Boleyn, or any of those other disreputable characters, they’re not thinking of it as fiction, they’re getting all twisted off at REAL people.

And I don’t care about real dead people too much, but the “fans” end up laboring under the mis-impression that they’re learning something about history….I see people getting actually upset about certain things happening, that actually didn’t happen, or didn’t happen the way they were presented. They don’t know what’s certain and what’s questionable, and don’t care.

There’s also probably a gender divide taking place here. See, to a man, what we see happening is “You’re supposed to get all upset at these guys because they got married for purely materialistic reasons” and our reaction is something like…uh, don’t understand the concept of getting married for materialistic reasons. These days, guys marry into obligation and debt. Also — it has always been socially acceptable for ladies to get married for materialistic reasons, right up into the moments in which I am typing this sentence. See: Clinton, Hillary and Obama, Michelle, along with many others.

So I think the chicks get a lot of enjoyment out of this when the dudes…well, as always, we’d prefer something with tits, guns and car explosions.

If you want to watch a story that is a work of fiction loosely based on real historical events, ya know, this guy named Bill Shakespeare actually put a lot of time and effort into that stuff. There’s just no call for watching this bit about the fat slob with the six wives over & over again.

The way I see it, there are centuries and centuries of things going on, all related — they go on, they culminate in this one little drama about the fat pig who was lucky enough to be born into all this power and wealth, and who wants to get a divorce and still be a good Catholic. Kind of like any old Kennedy asshole. This causes a split with the Catholic Church, which drives many events that came afterward…but what came afterward isn’t explored in equivalent detail, and neither is the antecedent. The conclusion I have to reach is that this isn’t really about history, it’s about getting all ticked off at men who got married for practical reasons.

Which was acceptable then, and isn’t now. But then again, it’s rather silly to scowl on the practice with supercilious disapproval now. Kids and wives are liabilities, not assets. Liberals made them that way. So men don’t get married for security and prosperity. From the financial side of things, they get married for expense and risk.

But as I pointed out, above: It has always been okay, and is now, for women to be married for pragmatic reasons. It has also always been a pretty solid plan for them to do so, one very likely to achieve success, with little to no risk. And for the most part, is now, although that last part may be on something of a downslide, since I’m not sure how appealing a financial prospect is the average bachelor during Obama’s man-cession.

That all having been said, and I think what follows speaks for most thinking human males: I find it difficult to condemn fictional constructs of men who’ve been dead for half a millennium, when that’s just the way things worked all over the place, with the upper crust types anyway, since Roman times and before. As a modern man, I don’t understand “get married for power and wealth” — that whole concept predates me. And I can’t join in on the “two minutes hate,” which seems to be where all the passion is invested.

And I really don’t understand the types who gather around, cluck their tongues in disdain at King Henry and Thomas Boleyn, and turn around and say “Hillary for President in 2016.” T’heck??

“…While Calling Themselves ‘Progressives'”

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Zo is calling-out the modern, “acceptable” racism.

To think of your own racism as somehow okay, or even “progressive” or tolerant, just because the hostility is going in the opposite direction, is kind of like saying you’re not beating your wife because you’re using your left hand or something.

At 6:39: “But to those who say that I wanna be white, and say that I’m a sell-out for liking rock music — you want racism. You’re addicted to being angry about it. You don’t want racism to end. You validate your existence by convincing yourself and others that you’re a victim. And you get your rocks off by lashing out at other people, wanting to drag others into your misery. And you attack people who refuse to be shackled to misery with you.”

Most Excellent Tweet

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Good things coming out of 140-character-land, I see. Should start a running-search for Tweet Of The Year, or TOTY.

This one would go in the funnel to be sorted out later with all the other contenders, I think…

NSA Slow Jam

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

To coin a phrase, “make no mistake.” And while we’re at it, “let me be clear.” The author of the wonderful bullet points in the previous is not me, but The Virginian…I didn’t do anything but trip across it, and I only managed to get that done because American Digest got to it first.

Anyway, The Virginian is a place you should add to your regular reading if you haven’t done so already. Good stuff there…some of it is links, some of it is thinks.

Thought this one showed some decent quality.

“If Palin Had Become President”

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

How’s that for flame-bait? From The Virginian.

Hat tip to Gerard.

  • Palin would not have dismissed the Black Panther intimidation lawsuit that the government had already won.
  • Palin would not have seized two auto companies and give them to her cronies in and out of the UAW.
  • Palin and her supporters would not be claiming that her opponents were racists for disagreeing with her policies.
  • Palin would not have tried to block Boeing from building a factory in South Carolina as a gift to her union buddies in Washington state.
  • Palin would not have toured the world apologizing for America.
  • If Palin Were President

  • Palin’s Homeland Security Department would not have classified patriots as security threats.
  • Palin would have expanded oil and gas exploration on federal lands instead of reducing it, make the US even less dependent on foreign oil.
  • Palin would not have allowed the Pigford suit to be settled that gives billions of dollars to “farmers” that never farmed.
  • Palin would not have shipped thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels so that they could be found next to the bodies of murdered Mexicans and American agents.
  • Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to harass Tea Party groups.
  • Palin would not have encouraged the IRS to illegally reveal the names of contributors to conservative groups to Liberal organizations so that contributors could be harassed.
  • Palin’s IRS would not ask groups seeking 501(c)4 status about their prayer life.
  • Palin would not have passed a national health care bill that is a 2000 page “train wreck” and that threatens to destroy America’s health care system.
  • Palin would have focused on reducing unemployment as it skyrocketed instead of wasting a trillion dollars on green boondoggles.
  • Palin would have known that in today’s regulatory state there is not such thing as a “shovel ready jobs” program.
  • Palin would not have spent a trillion dollars to prop up state and local government employees when private sector employees were losing millions of jobs.
  • Palin would not have handed out “Palin phones” to welfare recipients.
  • Palin would not have attacked Libya, without congressional approval, turning it into a rogue state.
  • Palin would not have allowed her ambassador to Libya to be slaughtered, along with three US service members, and told would-be rescuers to stand down.
  • Palin would not have blamed a demonstration that did not occur caused by a video that no one saw for the attack by terrorist in Benghazi.
  • Palin’s UN ambassador would not have gone on national TV to lie about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi because she would not have broken Libya in the first place.
  • Palin would not have been stupid enough – or naive enough – to support the Islamist take-over of the Egyptian government.
  • Palin would have given encouragement to demonstrators in Iran when they went to the streets to protest a fraudulent election.
  • Palin would not be giving the Islamist regime in Egypt billions of dollars to keep it in power.
  • Palin would not have told Putin to wait till after she was re-elected because then she would have more flexibility.
  • Palin’s appointed officials would not be lying to congress and the American people when they are not invoking the Fifth Amendment against incrimination.
  • Palin would not be sending Secret Service agent to her critics’ homes demanding to do a search, go through his medical records, his computer, his cell phone and pretty much anything else, and then threaten to come back and confiscate his guns if he “stepped over the line.”
  • Finally, Palin would have taken responsibility for the things that happened while she was President instead of telling us that she only read about it in this morning’s newspaper.

The toughest question that never got answered is, “Just what are these ‘extreme policies’ of Sarah Palin?” Her critics, be they Obama fans or be they something else, can’t field that one.

But more important than that, I see a lot of people are missing the point: Many potential presidents right about now, would not have done these things. Much of the problem is partisan, in that it is in the nature of democrats to obsess much about what’s being said when it’s all over, how loud each voice is, and who has the last word. It’s worked well for them, so why should they stop. But the real issue is this “transparency” thing. We can’t really have any with a democrat in charge. Implicit in all of these bullets is the unstated extra, “If President Palin ever made any movement in any of these directions, the media would light her up like a fucking Christmas tree.”

But, Obama gets to do what Obama wants to do. For now…

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers. Writing credit for the bullet points goes to The Virginian.

“Child Saves Society From mom’s Bad Choices”

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Perfect headline from Comment #3, handbanana, 6/11/13 23:09.

Suffolk County police say the ex-boyfriend entered the Selden Road home of the teenager’s mother and confronted her and her new boyfriend around 4 a.m. Monday.

When the intruder threatened the woman with a handgun, her teenage son intervened and stabbed the man, police said. The intruder was pronounced dead at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital.

Comment #1 from bagger1 isn’t a bad summation either.

Male Nihilism

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Wow, that Brother-in-law is really on a roll. Look what else he found:

Of course, this inspires shudders, winces and face-palms. But what else? Speaking for myself, it inspires thought…in no small part because, for many others, I know it inspires positive reactions, squeals of delight even, or at least smiles. Those skeletal-looking, “anger just beneath the surface” bitter smiles from the moonbat types.

Show me a thousand Hillary Clinton supporters, I’ll show you a thousand people who are pissed about something. That holds doubly true for supporters of a ticket like this. No, really. Put Hillary Clinton in charge of a job you want to get done with success? There may be a lot of people who want to go through the motions of it, and act it out. But that isn’t something you’d really want to do. What would you have her run? Where’s her track record of success? Anywhere? No, there’s only one reason to back Hillary. You’re angry about something.

And you want something or someone destroyed. Taken down a peg or two, at least.

That’s true of Michelle, and it’s true of a lot of people who’ve accumulated significant and meaningful power over the last six years or so. In fact, I identify that as the epicenter of all our problems: We treat, as creative and constructive geniuses, or soothing healers, people who are nasty and destructive — never created, or constructed, or soothed, or healed a damn thing. And never will. We lie to ourselves about who is building, or is inclined to build, something great and grand.

Our elected leaders have not been elected to lead. They’ve been elected to be mean and nasty. To bring injury to the “right” people, and to conceal things.

In the case of Hillary and Michelle, they have something else in common: The irony of standing as an icon for womens’ strength, capability, sense of independence — and nastiness — after having achieved everything in life by way of marrying the right fella. If feminism means the same thing that it meant back in my childhood, it must have become awfully imprecise about things, awfully sloppy about things. But I don’t think it means the same thing it used to mean. I think it has come to sustain a prolonged war against men and manhood, to keep fresh that lust for revenge within it, keep the adrenaline flowing there. To stop the sense of reason from settling in, as it typically does in human conflict. To keep the irrationality preserved. To keep that “new car smell” in a deteriorating, fifty-year-old hulk that never had it, and always stunk.

Which brings me to this (hat tip to Linkiest):

There was once a time when men used to be real men. When they dressed with style, when they had a certain honor code they followed that involved treating not only their elders and each other with respect, but women alike. Unfortunately, those days are far-gone — a thing of the past. What we have now is…to be quite honest, I’m not sure.

There are of course certain men out there who still have their affairs in order, but we are few in number. What people are most often subject to is the company of boys who are refusing to grow up and man up — boys who prefer to play with their toys than to do their part in bettering society, the human race and the world as a whole. These poor excuses for men have the bodies of adults and the mentalities, as well as the social outlook of toddlers. Horny toddlers, but toddlers nonetheless.

It’s all about character — or in this case, the lack of character. Something has been happening during this era dubbed the “information age.” Social media platforms have taken away the need to interact face to face, taking away the need for actual interaction. This is great in many regards: you can now keep in touch with friends and family all over the world from a handheld device.

Men WTF HappenedHowever, much of the interpersonal confrontations are now also taking place online. People no longer feel that they have a need to meet in person to discuss their differences; they can now troll each other online. People are using the Internet as a shield, hiding behind IP addresses in order to speak their minds. The Internet acts like beer-muscles. It makes you believe that you are stronger than you actually are, making you more aggressive. There is nothing wrong with being aggressive when circumstances require it.

Personally, when my fight or flight response mechanism kicks in, I always go with fight. It’s not by choice; it’s just the way that I am wired. Online, people have no need to run away because they are already in hiding — so they always choose to “fight.” Although the fighting they do is just about as significant as the fighting I do when I play Call of Duty.

The same interaction from beneath cover can be seen when we look at the intercommunication between men and women. It is no secret that both men and women alike have sexual urges. Men, however, feel the need to get off more often than most women. So instead of having to spend the time to meet a real woman and have actual sexual intercourse, they watch porn.

Instead of going out into the real world and meeting women, they stalk women on Instagram. People now date online as well. It’s much easier to talk to a woman online than it is in person—or rather, it’s not that it’s easier. Both are just as easy, but for some reason, men now prefer to hide their faces behind their monitors. (Every time I use the term ‘men’ in such context I quiver) It’s out of fear and laziness. Men have become lazy pussies. I don’t even want to use the word pussy because it brings to mind women, who nowadays have much more character than men.

There are many reasons for this. We have to start by recognizing presences and absences, just as there technically is no such thing as “cold,” only the absence of heat. We are not seeing the presence of something new. What we are seeing is the absence of something old.

What’s missing? The men and the boys have lost their sense of vision, because there is no vision to be formed. Think about all the ways a man can make a positive difference, in reality as well as in fiction. It has been done; it has been done recently; but, wherever it has been done, it has been loathed. It’s either been eliminated, or targeted for such elimination.

How does a boy distinguish himself in school? Well let’s see now: Apart from the negative variety which is easy, the getting into trouble, he do the positive by raising his hand and nailing the correct answer that has eluded everyone else. He can walk up to the front of the class and write the correct answer on a blackboard. He can achieve the highest score in the class on a test. He can do spectacularly well in some athletic pursuit. It is my understanding that the first two of those four have been entirely eliminated, and I’m not optimistic about the third because it’s been awhile since I’ve heard of such a thing — seems everyone with bragging rights about “first in the class” is either female, over thirty-five years old, or both. Have our schools lost the willingness and ability to brag about a male student achieving the highest score? I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like we have too many opportunities to test that. Now what about the athletic achievements? Those still happen. And, yes, people are fighting that. Ask anyone with an opinion about Title IX, and you’ll get back an earful. Wherever a male has an opportunity to achieve something positive, that must have cost a female something, somewhere, so we have to get rid of it.

In case you haven’t been keeping track, I’ve just covered everything. Didn’t take long. Anyplace a male might have an opportunity to make a positive difference, and achieve recognition as a result, our advanced and lately-evolving society has recognized this as a “cleanup chore” of sorts…an unfinished one…with the cleanup effort following inevitably, and quickly, and enthusiastically. It’s a mess — clean it up.

This gets into the one complaint I’ve had about the James Bond reboot. On the whole, I like the reboot project. I like it a lot. It’s more realistic than the “classic” James Bond, more creative, more energetic, more fun to watch, and Daniel Craig is a natural fit for the role. One problem though: In seven years, all that James Bond has managed to do in terms of “saving the world” is stop one terrorist from blowing up one plane. That’s it.

In context of James Bond, I don’t have too much of a problem with that. In context of our evolving culture and how James Bond is changing, and what it says about men, there is a problem. It’s a huge problem. The problem is this: Daniel CraigThat hackneyed cornball plot about James Bond discovering an orbiting laser satellite that will destroy all life on Earth, shrugging off his continual vodka-martini stupor and rousing up some momentary concern about his fellow human beings, to disable the radar jamming device so our brave military men can find it, and get in a huge “Thunderball” good-against-evil brawl, and a final mano-a-mano confrontation with the bad guy…that’s the one thing missing not only from the movie franchise, but from the male vision within our culture. For that reason, although I do like the Daniel Craig movies, I’d rather see James Bond shooting down poison globes with a laser in a space shuttle, than playing “Home Alone” with the bad guys at his old family estate.

At its most glamorous, on-screen, it means stopping a nuclear bomb before the timer reaches zero, or blowing up nuclear submarines before they have a chance to launch missiles at Washington and Moscow so that the superpowers would be fooled into starting World War III. At its most common, it means simply having a beneficial effect on something. Not as part of an “Occutard” movement, or yammering away about one’s support for gay marriage. But more nobly, as an individual. Just a dude who recognizes an approaching disaster, or merely an injustice, and thinks independently and capably to do something about it.

That’s exactly what we want our girls and women to be doing. Somewhere along the way, though, encouraging them to do this has somehow come to mean discouraging men from doing the same thing. Or, looking at any opportunity for the males to be so encouraged, and treating that opportunity as if it’s some sort of a problem.

The mind of a child, be it male or female, is a practical device. It works according to visions. When it detects that there’s a vision for it to screw up at something, commit some transgression, violate protocol, and as a result be singled out for scolding and ostracism — the natural response is for it to withdraw. That effect is counteracted if it can detect a vision for its success…which, in the case of the males, is missing because we’ve been getting rid of it. Systematically, meticulously, and with a vigor that is renewed with each rising sun, for generations now. And that’s my explanation for what this author has been seeing lately. He’s not imagining it. Our boys have been pushed into collective thinking, because they’ve received the message loud and clear that if they pursue any effort as creative, independently-thinking individuals, there’s no opportunity to self-distinguish except by screwing up. Blending into the crowd is the very highest prospect for them. The absolute zenith of potential male achievement is being completely ineffectual.

In fact, it’s worse than that. When our popular culture does hold aloft some stellar example, one that happens to be male, all the sense of definition falls away like feathers off a molting bird. Let’s try it: Bill Clinton! What’s his achievement. Well…he survived that impeachment business, and under him the economy was not a complete disaster. Okay. But what did he do? Here, the Bill Clinton fan has to start homina-homina stammering, maybe groping and flailing about, rather predictably, for a change of subject. Clinton lied his ass off, cleverly, like a lawyer, in such a way that he couldn’t be caught. Started debating the meaning of “is” and so forth. Regarding the strong economy, we haven’t got a clue what he actually did, and one quickly suspects that neither does Bill Clinton. Is any of this the kind of thing you want to teach your male child how to do?

In the case of Barack Obama, there’s nothing to talk about. He’s just Mister Wonderful and you’re not allowed to question it or else you’re some kind of racist. From one democrat administration to the next, we’ve gone from weak supporting arguments, to no supporting arguments at all.

And the guy in between is hated and loathed, of course — because he actually did something about Saddam Hussein besides make a bunch of speeches. He acted. You see, that’s exactly what I’m talking about: A male figure made a decision, acted to achieve a beneficial result. That’s a toxic poison, somehow, and we’re all supposed to want to get rid of that. You do know the real reason, don’t you? Because the definitions are too stark and clear; they make too much sense. A male, seeing a problem, making a decision that isn’t consensus-driven — and fixing it.

Somehow, a feeling has set in that we just can’t have that. Well, the boys are paying attention as they grow up and enter adulthood. And as a result, we end up with some adults that aren’t really adults. They’ve learned that a neutral effect is the best thing a man can have on something.

Why did they learn that? Because we’ve been teaching it to them. We, as a society, have been working very hard at it.

Related: Blog-sister Cassy managed to find a portfolio of pregnancy portraits that is absolutely cringe-worthy. I see a connection between that, and what I’m talking about here. Look at the “dads.” The super-creative photographers, or someone, managed to find something for the dads to do in the pregnancy process. Yay for them, but they seem to be completely unaware that the father figure already has a role here. It isn’t a trivial one. Patriarch of the household is an all-important role. But since we can’t acknowledge that, the result of this ignorance is, ultimately…awkwardness, at best. And I do mean at best. Look at the very worst of the pictures. What they all have in common is that the dude is doing something in the picture, and what he’s doing doesn’t have very much in common with what he’s supposed to be doing at this time.

How to Open a Beer

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

From here, thanks to the Brother-in-law for the find.

Fifty-Six Percent Says No Problem

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

…with the NSA tracking the phone records thing.

Why such outrage going on in the Bush era, with things that pale in comparison to what’s being done in the Obama era that meet with majority-approval?

Part of it could be illusionary. The Bush-hating people have always been a loud bunch, eager to make their numbers look more formidable than they really are. And it doesn’t seem to me like the questions on this survey are good ones. I myself think of this privacy-versus-security balance to be a delicate and finely parsed thing; it should be settled by the language in the U.S. Constitution; that language is hard to apply to modern situations, although it is well established in our system of laws that there’s a certain sequence to elevated investigative and prosecutorial privileges based on suspicions formed and then validated by some independent judicial authority. The questions do not parse things that finely so it’s difficult to determine how I myself would answer, therefore I’m not sure what 56% means exactly.

But it’s a cinch that anything that sounded like “wiretapping,” up to January 20, 2009, wouldn’t net a 56% approval.

And so we have people who approve of Obama doing exactly what they think makes George W. Bush some kind of a “war criminal” or some such — and much worse. They do not self-identify as liberals, I don’t think.

And there is a problem. Our nation’s “centrists” are not centrist, although they think they are. Furthermore, they seem to be sincerely frustrated that other people start “labeling” them as “left-wing” or “liberals” or “Obama fans.” They hate the labeling…but they can’t seem to understand how they’re bringing it down on themselves.

Somehow, the “truth” has set in that if you want to maintain your indie status and don’t want to lean one way or the other, but the situation requires just such a leaning…leaning left is safer. Now, why is that? Perhaps my perspective is skewed, but it seems to me it has to do with our social understanding of “moderation.” I can think of some ways to measure this. I’m still hearing Sarah Palin criticized for “her extreme positions,” and when I ask for specific examples of this I never get any back. This provides additional foundation for the idea that people are forming opinions about certain identifiable names, and they’d like to pass off this surface appearance that they’re forming the opinions based on something substantial but they’re really just doing it to impress others. Putting it more simply: They just don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re clueless.

If we’re really looking to stay “sensibly” centrist, approving of moderate positions and excoriating extreme ones, it occurs to me that you can’t get much more extreme than: “It’s alright to have our agencies spy on American citizens only when our guys are running things.” That would seem to me to be about as extreme as they come. And it isn’t the right-wingers pushing that, it’s the left-wingers pushing that.

And the so-called “centrists” backing them up. Which would mean our centrists aren’t really centrist; they’ve become extreme. What’s tragic is, they’ve been fooled into being that way.

Why I’m Against Gay Marriage

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

This should have been a blog post instead of a remark on my “wall,” over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging…things just go that way sometimes…

If gay marriage were all about providing equal rights, I’d be all for it. But it isn’t about that. Just like “raising the minimum wage” isn’t about raising anybody’s wage, when you really think about it you see it’s all about outlawing jobs that pay below a certain amount — “gay marriage” is a proposal to muck up a definition. That’s what it is, it’s an attack on definitions of things.

Do we need to muck up, or remove, definitions of things. Well let’s see now:

“Health care” is not health care, and “access to health care” now means making it harder to get hold of health care, right?

“Immigration reform,” often thought by many to have something to do with some kind of “fence” somewhere, increasingly seems more and more synonymous with “amnesty.”

“Global warming” isn’t happening. It’s rather silly to say we should be getting all excited over something called “climate change,” although that isn’t stopping anyone, it seems…

“Working families” aren’t. And don’t.

“National Security Agency” isn’t providing much by way of security, and actually we’re not even allowed to know what exactly it is they’re trying to do.

“Internal Revenue Service” isn’t providing the kind of “service” you’d actually want.

“Reality television” isn’t, and everybody knows it.

Nobody seems to even know what “green energy” is. Nobody seems to care. They sure like to tell other people what not to do, though.

I notice the definitions deteriorate most quickly and most surely in those parts of our shared life & culture that receive the greatest attention/activity. Starting with “coffee.” Is anybody actually drinking REAL coffee anymore? You can pay $5 a cup for something, but I’m not paying that for coffee…

Speaking of paying for things. Do we even know what an “economy” is at this point? What about an “economic recovery”? In this Age of Obama, I’ve seen a lot of things called “economic recovery” that I don’t think are that. When I do see some economic metrics reported they’re almost always accompanied by the word “unexpected,” and I don’t think we’re all in agreement about what that word means either…

And I’ve been saying for a long time, we’re doing a bang-up job coming up with “disorders” that aren’t. And failing to label & diagnose things as “disorders” which, I would argue, really are.

Which brings me to the word “bullying.” It’s being stretched completely out of shape, applied to things that aren’t bullying. Those who seem to be most often excited about the whole concept of “bullying,” very often forget that it is a long-standing tactic of bullies to convince others that the people they’re bullying are the ones doing the bullying to them. The bullying I remember from my youth had a lot to do with deception. Either that’s changed, or it’s working very well…I think it hasn’t changed, and it’s just working a lot better.

And that’s why I want the definition of marriage to stay as it is. Something should. Until the day comes that we can communicate with each other again and achieve real confidence in what we’re talking about, we need a break from re-defining things. We’ve changed enough, and done enough damage, for now.

Progressives: I’m Taking Your Ball and Going Home

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Maybe I should put that headline in quotes, since I didn’t write the title or what follows.

Submitted from Soozcat, wife of Captain Midnight, in an off-line. Enjoy!

When our niece was still in grade school, we decided it was time to teach her about money and budgeting. Captain Midnight planned ahead, cashed out an entire paycheck, and brought home the money in bills and coins. We spread it out on the kitchen table in front of our wide-eyed niece and asked her, “So what could we do with this money?”

“Disneyland!” was the first word out of her mouth.

We agreed that, yes, we could take this money and go to Disneyland with it. But there were things we needed to take care of first. We put 10% of the money aside for tithing. Then we removed our monthly rent payment. Next came the costs of various utilities: electricity, gas, water, Internet access. We set aside money for groceries, money for gasoline, money for clothes. And we made a little pile of money to pay for things we liked to do: eat out once in a while, go to the movies, visit the beach. There was hardly anything left over to pay for a Disneyland trip.

Fortunately, our niece was old enough to understand what we were trying to demonstrate. She already knew that things cost money. She had deduced, from our frequent mentions that we needed to pay the bills first, that responsible people pay what they owe. And she realized that, as fun as visiting Disneyland was, it was even more important to have a warm, secure, well-stocked home to come back to afterward.

Of course, we needed to wait for our niece to be old enough. Had we tried teaching her about money when she was less mentally mature and more prone to expecting instant gratification, she might have seen all that cash on the table, thrown a fit and demanded that we use the money to go to Disneyland RIGHT. NOW. It wouldn’t have mattered that none of it was her money, nor that we needed it to pay for crucial services — Disneyland was calling to her, and she wasn’t getting any younger.

It occurred to me recently that, when it comes to tax money, progressives never grow out of this rapacious mental stage. Tax monies are there primarily for their personal gratification — to fund untested pet projects, to dole out more pork products than a salumeria to the usual suspects, and presumably these days to wiretap every man, woman and child in America. And if any’s left over, it gets laundered and finds its way into their bank accounts. The idea that these monies are not inherently theirs never seems to cross their minds, nor does the concern that they should first take care of their constitutionally mandated responsibilities. They want Disneyland and they want it now!

And if you dare try to curb their spending, they’ll threaten to shut off the water, power and telephone so they can keep paying for Disneyland. In fact, they do this so consistently that it’s become something of a cliché.

To illustrate, let’s take an example from a decade ago. In Washington state, licensing fees for car tabs were alarmingly high. Local citizen and political gadfly Tim Eyman proposed an initiative, I-776, to lower the car tab license fees to a more reasonable $30 and gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot. It passed, and a King County Superior Court judge promptly tossed out the initiative, claiming it was unconstitutional, so it went to the State Supreme Court, who ended up overruling the lower court and upholding the people’s vote. At the time of the ruling in I-776’s favor, King County Executive Ron Sims — presumably furious about losing *his* tax monies to this upstart — sourly stated that the people had voted in favor of less police and fire protection.

Catch that last bit? Sims, a consummate career politician, was not-so-subtly threatening to hurt the voters for choosing to rein in public spending of their taxes. You might not know this if you don’t live in Washington, but the tax monies gathered by car tab fees were earmarked specifically for road improvement, public transportation, and the billion-dollar boondoggle known as Sound Transit, the light-rail system that seems to shrink ever smaller and cost ever more. NONE of those taxes were ever earmarked for vital services such as police and fire — that was just Sims being a bully, saying to the voters, “If you don’t play this game by my rules, I’m taking your ball and going home.” He was threatening to cut off the utilities so he could keep going to Disneyland.

This nonsense is still going on. Late on May 23, an 18-wheeler on southbound I-5 clipped the edge of a bridge over the Skagit River in Washington; a section of the bridge collapsed, sending cars into the water. Fortunately no one was seriously injured, but as of this writing the bridge is still out of commission. It’s caused major traffic problems along this stretch of I-5, as the downed bridge was the only major river crossing in the area. It will need replacing, and soon. There are many such “problem” bridges in Washington that need to be repaired, and when the media came calling to ask questions, most politicians blamed the go-to scapegoat, President Bush, for not investing in vital infrastructure. For some reason no one — not politicians, not the media, not even Joe Sixpack — seems to be asking the obvious questions: If the U.S. government spent SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in 2012 alone, how is it that none of that money went to fix structurally outdated bridges? Was it really crucial to invest in Obamaphones and food stamps instead?

But hey, Disneyland first! So says King Toddler, Owner of All He Surveys, and King Toddler must be appeased at all costs. That’s just how it is for progressives. They want what they want, when they want it, and if you dare to protest their use of your money — then they’ll really make you pay.

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts and Right Wing News.

Morgan Finally ‘Fesses Up: White Straight Males Have an Advantage

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Via Captain Capitalism, a fascinating exchange between Vox Populi and a ticked-off female student of environmental engineering who has “read some of the posts you’ve written in your blog and [feels] very insulted by them.”

I’ll start off by saying I can’t blame her. There are two ways to go about the business of maintaining technical correctness & political incorrectness: You can appeal to those who think as well as to those who feel, or you can appeal only to those who think. The former is a better way than the latter, which aligns all the “those who feel” folks on one side of the divide, which is already yawning, broad and deep. So my preference is to try to avoid cheesing people off even further, and say thing that not only can’t arouse argument, but also can’t arouse ancillary anger. I notice Vox doesn’t opt for that approach, and even seems to delight in churning things up further than has been done already. Then again, I have never realized much success at healing any divide; none at all, really. That is what is difficult about communicating with the those-who-feel types; they tend to figure out they’re enraged first & foremost, and then stay enraged no matter what.

So I can’t really criticize Vox for his more blunt approach. Besides, it brings out this interesting morsel which is worthy of further contemplation:

Now I’m going to teach you a hard, but very important lesson. You see, I don’t care you how feel. I really don’t. More importantly, neither does anyone else. Only about 200 people on a planet of 7 billion actually care about your feelings, and that’s if you’re lucky. The sooner you grasp this lesson, the better off you will be. And since almost no one gives a damn what you do, say, think, or feel, appealing to your feelings when you encounter differences of opinion is not only illogical, but useless.

I disagree with this, only insofar as 200 is a wildly inflated number and the “that’s if your lucky” disclaimer does little to bring it in to reality. I say a dozen if you’re laughably lucky. Your extended family should probably care how you feel; your immediate family should probably care how you feel; your spouse certainly should. But the extended family, for the most part, won’t. Most of your immediate family probably doesn’t. And there are quite a few spouses out there who don’t, because when the marriage has become sour for the one, it has no doubt become equally so for the other, in which case he or she has bigger fish to fry. The two hundred might be an exuberantly optimistic high-end estimate of the number of people who will pretend to care what you feel, if you’re lucky. But people who pretend to care are much, much more plentiful than the people who really care.

How’s that bumper sticker go? “Jesus loves you, everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.” That fits most of the time. Now, if we try to live with each other in harmony, and Christian brotherly love and all the rest of it, since we’re mortal about the best we’re going to achieve there is situational concern. The old guy trapped in the wreck of a car that’s about to burst into flames, the little boy dying of cancer who needs a donation for his bone marrow transplant, the woman in line ahead of you whose arms are full of packages and can’t open the door for herself. We’re a better society when we take the time and effort to help those people, obviously, and we’re an even better one when we nurture an instinct to help those people.

But the point is, even this saintly level of concern…

…is situational. We don’t have the Christian/brotherly-love chops to care about each other’s feelings all of the time…as in, drop what we’re doing and start worrying when we find out someone’s “offended”…and here’s the magical epiphany-thought about it all…

…we shouldn’t try to change this. It wouldn’t make us better Christians. That way does not lead to the Kingdom of Heaven, or any kind of Utopia here on earth. It doesn’t lead to anything but confusion and misery. It doesn’t lead to order, it leads to chaos. I mean, think seriously about it for a minute or two. How in the world would that work?

Especially in the age of the Internet. Let’s say your feeling of offense instantly becomes someone else’s job. Imagine it: First thing to happen is, the Internet would immediately explode into a vast virtual tumbleweed of perpetual…uh…hey, wait a minute…

Okay, so strike that. We’re already there.

This is how white straight males have it easier than identified victim classes. There is great value in learning, during the childhood years, that nobody gives a damn what you feel. Now granted, there are white straight males who never pick up on that lesson, just as there are perpetually-offended students of environmental-engineering or femininely-oppressed “studies” or hemp-sweater-making. A lot of them are hipsters. Some of them are the “rich kids from the other end of town” who got pickup trucks loaded with all the options for their sixteenth birthdays, while my folks were dreaming up excuses to avoid adding me to the family insurance policy because it would’ve cost a goddamn fortune and we had yet to work out the details of how my seasonal lawn-care business would defray those costs…nevertheless, we do kids and young-adults of all sexual preferences and genders and races an enormous disservice, allowing them to enter into adulthood as we further nurture this “Occupy Mentality” that says, if you want something, just yell how offended you are and you’ll get it.

Starting with that most coveted intangible asset: The apology. Apologies all around! Always start by demanding apologies. How in the world did this get started? Who’s the rocket scientist who sat down and decided, “Hey you know what we really need, are entire generations of new adults demanding apologies for dumb and inconsequential things at the drop of a hat.” That decision is so stupid, it must have been a committee settling on it.

And while I know nothing about this “young female engineer” at all, it goes without saying that when your letter starts off with “I feel very insulted” and ends with “I’ve lost enough of my time on you already, I would wish you a nice day, but it would be a lie” — you’ve lost out on this very important lesson. Which white straight males, generally, learn during the teenage years during the growth spurt. When we stop being cute. When the world starts asking “So, what have you done for me/them/us lately?”

I say generally. I’m excluding the ones who’ve managed to generate The Aura — that hazy glow that suggests to those in proximity that they have something to gain from your immediate gratification. I’ll not deny those white males are out there. The clique-makers. The ones who might approach that 200 number…200 of the people who act like they give a damn. The Bill Clintons.

My wife and I are in the thick of struggling with some bureaucratic nonsense. I have lately begun to turn the telephone work over to her, and you know what? It works. We get a “yes” that way when, if I’m the one making the phone call, not only do we get a “no” but it becomes such a predictable no that the feeling of time-wasting sets in, is thick and pungent, effervescent, depressing…it’s simply become the smart way to do it. Part of that is, she’s more diplomatic than I am and smarter in a lot of ways. But let’s not kid ourselves here: Nobody wants to hear a male voice on a telephone. That inspires predictable — and, frankly, exquisitely boring — speeches about “unfortunately, our policy here says such and such.”

Our ultra-civilized and ultra-pasteurized society seems to have settled into a bureaucratic comfort-zone meme that says, you can always rely on beneficial results when you tell a man no. Save that never-say-die attitude, that extra umpshun in the gumpshun, for when you’re talking to a female. And the truth of the matter is, our females have become used to it. Guys are accustomed to rejection. It’s still our job to approach the woman, and “no” is the default answer we get back unless we give her a darn good reason to offer a different one.

But when a woman calls in with a request, “no” is not the default answer. When they get that back, and there isn’t a darn good reason, they get really, really pissed, every time. You know what? That is actually the correct attitude. You’re not supposed to get back “no” as a default answer. We’re all supposed to be helping each other out.

But we’re not supposed to all care about how everybody else feels all the time. Nor should a “yes” answer rely on that; you aren’t supposed to say “yes” only to the people whose feelings are of concern to you, who you feel are sharing some kind of a kinship or peerage with you. That’s what the IRS scandal is really all about, right?

I’m pretty sure the young female engineering student is going to be extra pissed when she reads the reply…if she does…which I think she will. If the message sinks in — and I have doubts about that — it will help her enormously in life. It’s a good message. But we have a lot of people who aren’t receiving it, in childhood or in adulthood, because they aren’t being set up to. They think their outrage becomes somebody else’s obligation. That’s unhealthy.

Psychology Exam Question

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Funny how we use these phony “disorders” to describe things that are essentially nothing more than culture-conflict.

From Dr. Joy Bliss at Maggie’s Farm.

Memo For File CLXXXI

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Can we find common ground between conservatives and liberals? Perhaps I’m looking at it through rose colored glasses, but I believe it is possible. I believe, if you can push past all the cloudy rhetoric and achieve clarity of understanding of all the ideas, inflammatory and otherwise, you’d eventually be able to define them, therefore to plot them out. If you can define and plot out the ideas, you can define and plot out the strands of association among them; these strands of association, now and then, would straddle the ideological divide. At least, that’s my hope. I’m just not too sure about it. Sometimes I have more doubts about it than other times.

The root of the unified common ancestry among all these hierarchically related ideas, in my mind (in its most optimistic state), would be one of:

The struggle between good and evil is never-ending; nevertheless, I wish to be a force for good.

This is not as simple a thought as you might expect in the case of the root node of an idea-tree. In fact, it is measurably complex: The word “nevertheless,” which manifests something of a hairpin-turn. And in this case it is a painful one, loaded up with angst. You might restate it as “I am defining the purpose of my entire existence here, and in doing so I have voluntarily subjected myself to a struggle, the end of which I will not see.” It takes maturity to think such a thing. And humility. So there is hope, if this is indeed a universal statement…

Uhura DistractsSo let’s test that. Is it universal? Let’s examine who we might have left out. Well — nobody, really. We’ve left out The Joker from The Dark Knight, and people like that. “Some men just want to watch the world burn,” Alfred the Butler said. And we’ve left out the people who just don’t give a hang. So we’ve excluded those who wish to do harm, and those who have no opinion; we’ve captured everyone else. You know what? I’ll accept that, I think that’s alright. We have effectively limited our scope to those who are capable of possessing an ideology. Those who have it within them to achieve passion one way or another, and are sane.

The struggle between good and evil is eternal, but I wish to be a force for good.

Somewhere underneath that on our idea-pedigree, which we can imagine duct-tape to one wall of a room on a giant sheet of butcher paper or something, there must be a fissure that divides the conservatives from the liberals. Is it God? No, I don’t think so; at least, His involvement must be complex. There are faithful people who end up being liberals, somehow, and there are atheists who end up being conservative. These are outliers, in the minority, but they are significant and worthy of examination. What do the conservative atheists have in common with the conservative faithful? What do the liberal faithful have in common with the liberal atheists/secularists?

God keeps trickling back into it, it seems to me. To me, it’s real simple: God put us here, as part of some Grand Design, which means God must want some things to happen and other things not to happen. “Good” would therefore be whatever God wants to happen, and we have a clue what that might be provided we accept the premise. If it’s something that makes Creation an entirely futile exercise, it must not be good.

The few conservative atheists there are out there, have the maturity to work with the hypothetical: If God were real, which of course He is not, what would He want? And they end up agreeing with us where it matters.

Here is your fork-in-the-road according to which liberalism may be defined: Good and evil may be distinguished by way of revulsion. Pious or not, they lack humility. “That’s wrong!” They say this; they have no question about it, no reservation. “This is on (your/some guy’s) hands!” Absolute certainty. Not a doubt in the world. Must be nice.

Morally, they make all the mistakes that might be expected of a “draftsman” who draws lines by free-hand, where a straightedge is required. This is an apt metaphor; this is precisely what they are doing. Now here’s a great example of a liberal freehand-drawing draftsman flubbing it up, scribbling where a straightedge is needed: Let us say I make, or some other white straight western protestant male makes, a rape joke. Oh, how awful! How terrible! No condemnation too severe! No punishment can exceed the crime! But outside of the West, Muslims force fifteen schoolgirls to burn to death in a burning school, because the schoolgirl’s faces were not covered. Where is the condemnation? By now, it’s been over a decade. We know how conservatives respond to this and we know how liberals respond to it. You’ve got a long wait before a liberal has much to say against it. Better tune into right-wing “hate” talk radio if you even want to find out about it.

In fact, writing broadly about it, that is by far liberalism’s biggest embarrassment in this modern age: It cannot lower itself to condemn as evil, acts that clearly are. Not if those acts happen to be politically correct, or committed by those who are members of protected classes…or merely outside the unprotected class of western-straight-white-American-male. It all comes back to that definition of where good ends, and evil begins. The Movement always has to win out, so if it’s helped along by something recognized by conservatives — and centrists — as something terrible, well you know…there’s always a more open-minded, complex, “nuanced” way to look at it that changes everything. So don’t be too quick to attack evil, because you might be attacking The Movement. Ask lots of questions first. And try to change the subject. Liberalism is great for acting superior and scolding people for the little things, but it sucks when evil has to be attacked. That isn’t its bag, baby.

So complex is this exotic way of looking at the situation, that lets evil off the hook, that even they who claim to understand it can’t explain it. Not to us slope-headed knuckle-dragging retro-sexual morons anyway. But I think everyone understands what’s really going on here: It’s The Movement. It must always win. To denounce things that help The Movement, or share common enemies with The Movement, would be anathema. Anyone caught on record doing so, would be kicked out of the club.

Looking past the disagreements about how to define good and evil; back to this unified-common-ancestry humility, of saying “I wish to press the attack for good, even though I shall not see the end of the struggle between good and evil.” A strange thing happens here. Our friends the liberals seem to understand that the struggle between good and evil is enduring, it was here long before they were here, and will still be raging after all our bones have turned to dust. I think they get that on some level. But they can’t consciously admit it. The timeless battle will always be settled once and for all, today or early tomorrow. We’re always right on the brink, always in the throes of some Glorious Revolution that’s going to settle it forever. There is no antecedent action. No failed experiments engaged in times past, from which lessons might be learned. Ever.

That part’s just creepy. History always began this morning. But the “evil” has been dragging on, forever. How can we be concerned about problems that are this much older than all of recorded time? I do not know; they do not say. And how does some guy, alive now, become entitled to “reparations” earned while slaves were being oppressed two hundred years ago — slaves who share only his skin color, but not his actual ancestry? I don’t know that either. They won’t explain that either.

The whole formulation has some pretty obvious problems. The kind of problems you have when you scribble with freehand, on a blueprint, the kind of line that is supposed to be drawn with a straightedge.

Update 6/8/13: Not my best work here. There arose a great confluence of events to keep me from writing competently — network packet download slowed down to near non-functionality, mysteriously, and the wife walked in with pizza and wings for dinner, and I noticed two of my three laptop batteries died all of a sudden — and my attention to detail was tested rather viciously, along with my ability to find Internet links. I ended up not quite taking this through the entire range of topics I had mentally chosen for it.

There exists in our country’s recent history a certain Supreme Court justice who I think may have been handed a raw deal in the remembrance of his name, which I have endeavored not to use for this purpose, but I’ve been repeatedly taught that this concept is an important one and if his name could not be used to describe it, we’d have to go flailing about for a different name. Potter Stewart, concurring with the majority opinion in Jacobelis v. Ohio (1964), made an unfortunate comment:

I have reached the conclusion, which I think is confirmed at least by negative implication in the Court’s decisions since Roth and Alberts, that under the First and Fourteenth Amendments criminal laws in this area are constitutionally limited to hard-core pornography. I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

You could make a compelling case, with much solid evidence to supply to fortify your argument, that this was not quite so much a tip-off about the insulated and aristocratic ignorance of Justice Stewart, or of the Supreme Court during the Earl Warren years, but merely a record of the turning-point of our national discourse about obscenity laws, and of criminal and civil law as a whole. Should our laws be objective and definable?

This is where liberalism becomes most destructive toward society’s objective of running right and running well: The “Potter Stewart” way of deciding right versus wrong, the “I know it when I see it.” With God The Creator and Giver of Laws entirely removed from the situation, not even allowed in as a hypothetical exercise the way the conservative atheists will allow Him in, and the freehand-scribbling where a straightedge is required — everything is reduced to this Potter-Stewart, know-it-when-I-see-it thinking.

It leads to nitwits like Bill Maher, asserting unilateral and autocratic influence over what the rest of us are to think about things like the Benghazi scandal, while simultaneously confessing they know nothing about it. It leads to the Attorney General’s apparently lying to Congress, saying things like “…that is not something that I’ve ever been involved with, heard of, or would think would be a wise policy.” It leads to our current president showing, at times, dangerous indecision about important things which even His disciples and fans cannot defend.

The President, no doubt enjoying once again escaping the homeland for his Asian visit, bristled when asked questions with regard to his Afghan policy. Or is better stated his lack of an Afghan policy.

When the Associated Press’s Jenifer Loven asked the President ‘Can you explain to the people watching and criticizing your deliberations what piece of information you’re still lacking to make that call’, the President showed his obvious displeasure. Could it be that the President lacks the “cool” to deal with anything but softball questions?

The Presidents non response, ‘Which respect to Afghanistan Jennifer, I don’t think this is a matter of some datum point of information I am waiting on. … Critics of the process … tend not to be folks who … are directly involved in what’s happening in Afghanistan. Those who are, recognize the gravity of the situation and recognize the unimportance of getting it right’.

The Presidents response begs the questions; 1) You don’t think, (this a matter of some datum point), Mr. President, shouldn’t you know by now? 2) The folks on the ground have given you their recommendations Mr. President. You and your political cronies have had more than ample time to make a decision. 3) All of America, (not just those directly involved in the situation), knows the gravity of the situation and we also know your Administrations dithering is costing American lives as well as your credibility.

This was an exchange that took place in mid-November, 2009; President Obama had spent the preceding ten months deciding the matter, and if His comments can be taken seriously, with all of the data He needed to get the matter decided.

And it leads to presidents unable to govern, as they are stuck in campaign mode. It leads to the absurd rationale that if you take a month to decide something, taking yet another month or two must mean you’re deciding it even better, even if there is no particular “datum” emerging during the extra time to actually make the decision any better.

John Galt LineThere is a long boring passage in the first part of Atlas Shrugged, in which a train is taken out over the first length of railway made with Rearden Metal. A passage which, perhaps against their better judgment, the producers of the movie labored to bring to the screen in its entirety rather than trying to abbreviate it, or expunge it altogether. In both forms, book and visual, it’s very difficult to figure out where the author is intending to take this since all that’s being shown, or written about, is a bunch of people riding on a train. The movie form is fun to watch, somehow; the book form of this scene is exquisitely boring. The explanation of what was intended, I think, ties into the problem with these “Potter Stewart” thinkers who attempt to decide things while elegantly leaving the undefinable undefined:

There are practical reasons why deciding things, particularly very important things, must involve definitions. The whole point to the Rearden-Metal-train-track passage is that if there was a flaw in the metal itself, or in the way it was joined together, or in the spread or in the span or in the pouring of the heat or in the driving of the spikes or in the wheels of the locomotive — all those aboard would be killed and there wouldn’t be a moment of warning. These were the people who were responsible for getting the railroad built. That was the point of the scene. It was about how to think about things, how to build a building knowing you’ll be the first guy to walk on the top floor of it. How to build a car, knowing you’ll be the first guy to drive it. How to build an elevator car, knowing you’ll be the first sucker to ride in it.

These Potter-Stewart-thinkers understand, on some level, that this is the type of challenge that awaits them and they have been grossly unprepared, throughout their entire adult lives, for such a challenge. They don’t know how to decide things that really matter, and they know they don’t know. They don’t really know how to decide things, where defining is a prerequisite to deciding — so all they can do is dawdle. If you ask them about it, they get peevish and churlish about it. And then you become the problem, since you asked the question they didn’t want asked.

They know what they want everyone to think. They know what decisions they want the other guy to make. When it comes to matters of “What do you do here, in order to create the result you want,” they haven’t got a clue. This is not so much an aptitude as it is a lifelong discipline. You have to learn this stuff in childhood, or at least, before you become too vocationally enamored of a more artistic, freehand, right-brain kind of thinking. You have to learn to stop playing to the crowd, long enough to work with apparatus and machinery — working in an environment in which stimulus A produces response B, and the skilled operator learns how to understand all that, and then figures out how to manipulate it toward his intentions, objectives and desires.

These are the people who have all of the influence over us, and are craving more — but “influence” is a verb as well as a noun, and they haven’t learned to do it. And yet the lust for the intangible noun, in ever greater intensity and in ever greater coverage, remains. How our guns are to be built, what kind of tax we have to pay on our ammunition, how our health care should work, how many hoops we have to jump through to get our tax-exempt status for our advocacy groups, what kind of cell phone chatter makes us potential terrorists, how much carbon we should be allowed to put in the atmosphere — and we should be afraid, very afraid. Because these are people drawing up fancy blueprints for how we are to live our lives. But they don’t know how to use a straightedge. They’re thoroughly accustomed to drawing freehand, and they don’t know any other way to do it. They can’t, or won’t, learn any other way.

What’s even worse is, they’ve been told every doodle they’ve made, going all the way back to finger paintings in Kindergarten, is a work of art on par with Picasso, Rafael or Rembrandt. Their desire to do “good” is, I think, sincere. But it doesn’t really matter, because they’ve never ridden a locomotive on a track they designed or laid themselves, and they don’t understand failure is possible.

Real Leaders Admit Mistakes and Work to Correct Errors

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Anita Folsom:

As the top Allied commander, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower was ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the invasion. He knew that if D-Day proved to be a disaster for the Allies, he would be blamed. On the afternoon before the landings, he sat in an Army tent in southern England, and composed the message he would send if the worst happened on June 6th:

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

Eisenhower put the note in his wallet, where he could find it quickly if necessary.
General Eisenhower didn’t have to read the announcement he carried in his wallet. The D-Day landings proved to be successful, but Eisenhower’s example of a leader who was ready to shoulder responsibility still inspires us today. He didn’t intend to blame his subordinates, bad weather, or lack of information. He knew that real leaders can’t hide behind flimsy excuses when problems arise. Instead, they admit mistakes and work to correct errors. Their character helps to give them the wisdom to command others.

Conservative Women and Feminism

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Sam Janney:

Liberals have ruined feminism. What started out as a strong movement for equality has turned into a depressing and empty message of vaginas, abortion and the government strong-arming employers to pay a woman a certain amount based solely on the fact that she is a woman, regardless of her merit or ability. In my mind this takes women backwards, minimizing us to a few choice body parts and reinforcing the idea that for whatever reason we need the government to take care of us.

Conservative women really are the epitome of what feminism should be. We are independent, strong, determined and believe in ourselves; you will not find a conservative woman whining that her boss pays her less because “she’s a woman.” That’s a cop-out in our world because we are responsible for what we make and what we accomplish, not our employer, not our husbands and definitely not big daddy government.

Phony Science in Eight Steps

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

The word “science” packs a powerful appeal of attraction for those who wouldn’t know science if it kicked ’em square in the nuts. The appeal is that you can’t argue with it — it’s science. But the way it achieves that exalted status, is by way of methods that are oppositional to the life-view and wiring of those who lust after that status, for their own ideas, most feverishly. Real science doesn’t want to “win.” It constantly questions itself, looks for ways to demolish itself.

The “phony science bullies,” of course, don’t do that

Step 1: Develop a quasi-religious belief in a particular point of view (e.g. that human-caused emissions are causing dangerous climate change);

Step 2: Convince yourself that you are morally and intellectually superior to those who hold a different view, since your view is naturally “right” and “good”, and the other is “evil” and “bad”;

Step 3: Look for ways to caricature, demean, ostracise and ridicule your ideological opponents whilst at all times avoiding any rational discussion of the subject matter in dispute; …

Hat tip to Robert at Small Dead Animals.

One of the best ways, I’ve found, to figure out if you’re looking at classical, real science or modern, phony science is to figure out how it values the concept of the Anathema. Is the information refined in a positive way, with each new scrap examined with an honest desire to learn whatever can be learned — or negatively, with only the definition fortified by way of rejecting whatever doesn’t fit into it? Real science starts with the raw data, proceeding toward the conclusion; therefore, whatever starts with the conclusion and sluices out the information based on that stencil-template, is not real science. People have a perfect right to call it that, but it doesn’t make it so.

Another way to differentiate between the real and the phony is to look at the product, and see how it is treated from within the process that made it. Is it a Bible of some kind? Real science doesn’t have “bibles.” It certainly does write down a lot of stuff; but always, always, always in pencil. Conclusions are tentative by their very nature. This calls out the modern phony stuff most effectively against the backdrop of politics, in which people naturally seek to assert the finality of their conclusions, and as a consequence constantly state things as emphatically as they possibly can. This catchphrase of “science,” with little to no actual scientific reasoning behind it, has unfortunately been wielded often lately as a sort of cudgel in support of that effort.

Politics is politics; science is science. Them two are different things.

Cody Green

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Marine opens up about Cody Green:

Hat tip to Bruce Kesler at Maggie’s Farm.

“The Real IRS Argument”

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

…found here…by way of Sonic Charmer‘s linkage…

To talk now of a “smoking gun” is like witnessing the Battle of Waterloo and saying: “Hah! A smoking gun! Over there!” True, but daft.
To defend Obama, as his wiser supporters already realise, must mean defending what he has quite obviously and publicly been doing.

Which might well work, because it is also clear that a great many Americans do agree with what President Obama has been doing. They want big government, and they want the big government they already have to silence anyone who doesn’t want big government.


Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Recently stumbled across a blog about comic books which is most entertaining, because the person publishing it — I don’t know the gender — has some kind of a medical background, and is going nuts over the same infractions being committed over and over again. Nevertheless the site does a good job keeping up its sense of humor and appreciation for fun.

From my skimmings, somewhere around half the whistle-blowing has to do with defibrillating heroes and loved-ones into being alive again after they’ve flat-lined.

Skinny Calves and Hairy Philtrums

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Sam Janney was asking for input from all her Facebook peeps about liberal women. In my present life, I know nothing about this at all…by choice…but my past is very, very dirty. I have layers of understanding here, and some of the layers have been buried. Many a classic tale has been written about this kind of “hidden world” beneath a newer, better one. Morlochs beneath the Eloi. Narnia inside the wardrobe. Alice’s world behind the looking glass.

I was very busy with what I was doing, and I knew that once I turned the first spade of dirt I’d fall into a deep pit. On the other hand, I was getting very bogged down, bored, and needed a break.

So I told her my contribution would be forthcoming in an off-line, and proceeded to write:

My knowledge is dated, since the last time I dated a liberal woman was around ’94 or so, at which point I swore them off for good.

We start with the A-through-E “get me a beer” scale. An “A-girl” will get a guy a beer so he doesn’t have to get up. A “B-girl” will get a guy a beer provided he treats her as a dignified and intelligent human being, meaning, says “please” and “thank you” as his Mom taught him. A “C-girl” might get him a beer but she’s going to keep count of who does how many things for who, and after she gets his beer he’s going to “owe” her one. A “D-girl” won’t get him a beer, and an “E-girl” will build an identity for herself out of her refusal to get him a beer.

Conservative women are B-girls, like the current Mrs. Freeberg. Liberals are either C or E. That’s because liberals are relativists. They don’t define things absolutely, everything is relative. That’s an important part of the reason why all liberals, male and female alike, are unfulfilled and don’t know why. They only permit themselves to “know” things that rely on other things, which are outside their perimeter of control.

“D-girls” do exist, but they aren’t liberals. They’re just plain lazy. If a liberal woman falls into D, she slips down to E, because liberals don’t refuse to do things without starting to define their whole existence around the refusal.

Proceeding to the physical attributes. Liberal women, steadfastly and consistently, have calves that are no thicker up toward the knee than they are down by the ankles — they’re straight up and down, like PVC pipes. This is a guy’s first tip-off that being her boyfriend is going to be a life of absolute misery, because she doesn’t get up off the couch and do things. If she isn’t fat, it’s because she doesn’t eat anything real. And whatever she does eat, she’s going to want to have brought to her by her subservient boyfriend. She’ll never come out and admit he’s subservient. Across the political divide, we’ve got a lot of women who hate men but aren’t willing to admit they hate men, even to themselves. But when it comes to everyday household chores, like cleaning things or bringing food, there is no such thing as a liberal feminist who supports “equality.” What they really mean is, they don’t want to have to get up out of a chair or couch unless they want to. Because, think about it, how would that work. A hundred droplets of toothpaste on the bathroom mirror, which therefore has to be cleaned. She takes care of fifty of them? Deep down, everyone knows it can’t work that way, we’re just not allowed to talk about it.

Above the knees, it becomes unsafe to generalize because there are fat liberal women and skinny liberal women. There seems to be an “inverted bell curve” here, with the thin part of the curve in the middle — a shortage of liberal women with healthy, reasonably-sized and reasonably-shaped bodies. What is consistent is the rage. Because it’s part of a liberal’s comfort zone to stay away from all hard definitions unless they rely on external things, the thoughts in the head are about external things. He is being paid more than me. She can be hired as a Hooter’s waitress, and I can’t. Sarah Palin needs to go away. Lego’s should not be selling toys to girls that are colored pink, because, stereotypes and messaging. They’re inherently insecure, because their satisfaction in life is all connected to things other people do, or don’t do. So across the board, they’re either missing the satisfaction, or they have the satisfaction but it’s fleeting and out of their control.

So the brain is by far the ugliest part. Apart from the brain, and the calf area of the leg between knee and ankle, there is the upper lip. There is this amazing consistency in liberal women over age 35, in how they look between the mouth and the nose. They all have that same Barbra-Streisand look, with this overly pronounced fold in the center. It’s called a “philtrum.” A disproportionate number of middle aged liberal females all have the same size & shape of philtrum. And the peach fuzz that goes over it. Barbra, Hillary Clinton, some sixty percent of all the women in Congress, their faces are all completely interchangeable in this one area, around the philtrum. I think it comes from many years of studiously avoiding doing anything that make make the face visually appealing to a heterosexual man, combined with lots and lots and lots of talking.

Which brings me to the voice. Liberal women have a very distinctive voice pattern. It’s as if they’re going to get fined by a “voice cop” if they utter a syllable without a piece of glass shattering somewhere. The nasal quality of a duck, combined with the volume and force of a roaring lion.

Hair: Some have a “Lois Lane swoop” with blond highlights, since that’s what Matriarch Hillary was doing in the mid-nineties. Some have curls. The “Sandra Fluke” Moe-Howard bowl cut seems to be popular right now, probably because it’s the surest way to repel the hated heterosexual men. But that is the common thread, they don’t want to be attractive to heterosexual men. Unless they’re trying to look like Eva Longoria. Being pretty is forgivable inside the collective, as long as it’s within the rubric of ethnic diversity. So some of the ardent liberal feminists who wish to act on their desire to attract a strong sexy male, will go that route. But they can’t ever, ever permit themselves to look like a bleach-blond Fox News babe.

Fashion: They know what they want in the moment, but if you look at them across any significant expanse of time, they become confusion personified. They are particularly confused about whether it’s okay to accentuate female attributes that men might find appealing, particularly the busts and legs. They are on a merry-go-round here, everlastingly and predictably. They haven’t got the slightest idea what to do about Wonder Woman, other than 1) it’s grossly unfair that she hasn’t made a movie before Green Lantern, and 2) she has to cover up her legs. It seems to be lost on them that Wonder Woman started showing off her legs, again, in 1972 to satisfy a demand from none other than Gloria Steinem. Fashion was doing the same thing, incidentally: In 1970, you weren’t a good feminist if you covered up your legs, and by 1985 you weren’t a good feminist if you left them exposed. The problem here is at the psychological level and it’s pretty obvious: They’re not sure if they are rebelling against their fathers, or the lusty men who’d come along to take them from their fathers. But they’re crystal clear on the decision that they want to do some rebelling.

The balance of what remains has to do with how to look at the world:

If you make it your business to subscribe to liberal-feminist blogs, and read what they put up, you’ll see a striking pattern set in: Across the hundreds, and even the thousands, they all fall into this funnel of thought that could be summarized as “Oh how I hate this thing I found over here, come gather around loyal readers, and help me hate it.” They don’t have questions and they don’t have answers — all they have is “How Dare You.”

Liberal women labor under a delusion that their primary motive is to elevate the stature and importance of women in our evolving society. Not only is this untrue, but they labor toward the opposite. Women can do an amazing number of things; some of these things can also be done by men, but there are just two of them that men cannot do. Those two things are 1) being a mother and 2) being a wife. Those are the two things that liberal women don’t want other women, anywhere, to do. Over the last few decades they have become unreasonably invested in the two public issues of 1) abortion, which stops a woman from becoming a mother, and 2) gay marriage, which robs women of their natural role as wives. In a society that is supposed to be sluggish in offering important and significant roles for women to occupy, those are the two roles that have always existed, and they are the very most important ones, supreme to anything a man can do. If liberal women were sincere and consistent in their stated desires, these are the two roles they would most vigilantly protect. As it is, these are the two roles for which they reserve their most incendiary hatred.

Your Rights End Where My Feelings BeginIt is in the nature of liberals to pretend they are building something great, grand and wonderful, while actually laboring toward nothing but destruction. Liberal women are no exception to this. They think they’re invested in a process of creation, when they are really creating nothing, destroying everything.

Other than the foregoing, I really don’t have much of an opinion about it.

Nope. No baggage here.

Kind of dovetails into something Severian was writing about this weekend:

…[W]hen it comes down to it, I really just don’t care all that much what you do on your own time — I’ve got friends and family and pets and jobs and responsibilities; on my off hours I’d much rather put my feet up and watch the ball game with a cold brew in hand than go poking around the internet for something to get riled up about.

Liberals, on the other hand, are deeply, deeply insecure. They’ve quite rightly concluded that nobody gives them a thought unless forced to. So they politicize everyfuckinthing. It still won’t get them invited to the 1983 junior prom; but it’s cheaper than therapy.

You ever have a live-in girlfriend who relates to the world around her that way? You go to work, make your honest living, come home to find out something has whipped her up into a frothy rage…the last thing that got under her skin, a day or two ago, is now long forgotten and the latest bee-in-the-bonnet is this new thing. Lather, rinse, repeat, twelve months a year.

No thanks, brother. You can keep it. This shit makes my life-energy just drain away, and I swear I can feel it happening. The air isn’t as fresh, the sun isn’t as warm, the food doesn’t taste as good. Makes a man old before his time.

I’m a father, by the way. That means I’ve been around a woman while she was pregnant. Yeah. I’d rather go through that a a few more times than be around one more liberal woman. And I’d rather think about the those frenetic months than think about liberal women.

And so, on that note, I’m going to move the giant manhole-cover back in place, over the sewers of my mind. They aren’t memories I treasure, although they represent things I guess I needed to have happen to me.

“Except for Your Testicles”

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

A Giant Scam?

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Putting a question mark after that because, like everyone else, I’m in a state of perpetual indecision about it. It’s natural to show some reticence about concluding “education is a fraud, so let’s not be educated.” Concluding that, you would then have to take the next step and tell the generations coming up that they shouldn’t be educated either. That’s all obviously a non-starter.

However, the twenty-nine facts are there (hat tip to The Barrister at Maggie’s Farm).

#1 In 1993, the average student loan debt burden at graduation was $9,320. Today it is $28,720.

#2 In 1989, only 9 percent of all U.S. households were paying off student loan debt. Today, 19 percent of all U.S. households are.

#3 Young households are being hit particularly hard by student loan debt. In America today, 40 percent of all households that are led by someone under the age of 35 are paying off student loan debt. Back in 1989, that figure was below 20 percent.
#16 One survey found that U.S. college students spend 24% of their time sleeping, 51% of their time socializing and 7% of their time studying.
#24 One poll found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in school.
Easiest#27 According to the ABA, only 56 percent of all law school graduates in 2012 were able to find a full-time job that requires a law degree.

#28 The median student loan burden for medical school students that graduated in 2012 was $170,000.

Caveats: First and foremost, we have consumer incompetence. If a product is selected and then purchased, and turns out to be a “scam” in its implementation, that doesn’t mean the problems were internal to the product. Spending a quarter of your time sleeping and half your time socializing is not a good way to apply the product. Next, there is nomenclature. An apocryphal quote from Abraham Lincoln asks how many legs a dog has if we call his tail a leg; answer is four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one. That’s the trouble with “education” — we call a lot of things that, that aren’t that. Also, we interpret the word in the wrong way, assuming that all activities purporting to be educational, by design are supposed to make it easier or possible for you to get a job you otherwise wouldn’t be able to get. That isn’t necessarily so, and that isn’t even intended to be necessarily so.

Much of the problem, I think, has to do with process and outcome. As is the case with all things, if you want a better outcome, you can hardly do better than beginning the exercise thinking about the outcome. That much seems just self-evident, but a lot of people don’t do that. They go to college as a way of elevating process — they’re there because they’re following through on process. The desirable outcome, they’ve been told, will follow naturally. And there’s your “scam,” I think. They haven’t been told what they needed to hear: “This is YOUR life, planning it is YOUR job.”

Once they’re in, of course, there isn’t much incentive or persuasion for a process-over-outcome type of individual to change his spots. So, they keep following sequences of steps, right up to graduation day…disaster ensues. Well, I’m seeing that looking from the outside in. But sometimes that’s not a bad perspective to have.

We’re being set up for future protests.

Trois Gymnopédies

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Five Ways to Know You’re Watching a Spielberg Movie

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

From here.

Jesse Ventura Has a Bad Case of Lerneritis

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

…and I only invented the word a bit over a week ago

The reasoning seems to be, since the subject of concern is the reputation of the patient, that reputation becomes the property of the patient, and the patient should be able to mold it and shape it as he pleases.

It’s as if the former Governor of Minnesota said to himself, “Hey, what that Freeberg character says doesn’t make any sense at all, I’d better do something to make it make sense.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is setting his legal sights on the widow of a former Navy SEAL he had sued for defamation.

Lawyers for Ventura have asked a federal court to continue his lawsuit against Chris Kyle — who was killed in February by a young veteran he was mentoring — by substituting Kyle’s wife, Taya, as the defendant. Ventura last year sued Kyle, a decorated former SEAL and author of “American Sniper,” claiming that the book’s description of a California bar fight defamed him.

“Although Kyle is deceased, his ‘American Sniper’ book continues to sell and it is soon to be made into a movie,” said Ventura’s motion, filed last week by Minneapolis attorney David Bradley Olsen.

Ventura’s lawyers said his claims survive Kyle’s death, and “it would be unjust to permit the estate to continue to profit from Kyle’s wrongful conduct and to leave Governor Ventura without redress for ongoing damage to his reputation.”

As I’ve noted repeatedly, our modern and evolving civilization seems to do a great job diagnosing mental disorders that aren’t really mental disorders, as it fails to acknowledge other things that might very well be exactly those. If Lerneritis is not a recognized mental disorder that can be diagnosed, it probably should be one. After all, in the case of both Lois Lerner and Jesse Ventura, this “reputation” that is the object of all this jealous guardianship, emerges somewhat the worse for wear.

They remind me a bit of a black poodle that was once our family pet, when I was very young. You know what my Mom did if we didn’t finish our waffles or our pancakes on a Saturday morning? She’d give them to Snowball, the poodle. You know what poodles do with stacks of pancakes they perceive to be their property? Nothing, not a goddamn thing. They sit there, all day, guarding their stupid little “property,” and they turn into the meanest hounds of hell you ever did see. Of course, they don’t care about the organisms that really are stealing the pancakes, which are flies and gnats…this goes on throughout the morning and afternoon…that was our punishment. Our beloved family pet would be transformed into a demonic beast, threatening to destroy us over something it didn’t actually want, that it wasn’t actually protecting.

Perhaps that background is why I can call out Lerneritis — I see it for what it truly is. A mental illness. Jesse Ventura is acting exactly like our pet poodle Snowball, when he was at his meanest and craziest. And I’m having a bit of a time coming up with a thought that could be crazier than “I shall protect my reputation by expanding my lawsuit to include Chris Kyle’s widow.” What else would be less sane than that? “I will restore that new-car smell in my BMW by taking a crap in the back seat,” maybe?

The Three-Notice Rule

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Yeah, that’s a good rule.

I subconsciously follow it…sometimes. Not always. I harbor a suspicion that there’s a correlation between my breakage of this rule, and that frustrating occurrence of critics telling me there’s something that can be improved, but they can’t or won’t say what.

Of course the real question that comes up, is what do you do with a conflict between 3-notice and some other rule that is more established; in other words, someone has taken the trouble to write it down. Does 3-notice yield? Or does it reign supreme?

Bikini and Rock

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Don’t try this at home…

The Anti-Bullying Movement is Completely Fake

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

And that’s being charitable.

What do I really think about it? The anti-bullying movement is all about bullying. Were you bullied in school? I was. First rule of bullying: Try to look like a victim. Bullies have always done this. Put up a mirage that makes it look like the other guy is the bully.

Dan Savage, LGBT activist and anti-bullying guru making a living off playing the suicide card, decided to do some bullying of his own.

So he’s a fake. It’s settled. Savage doesn’t believe in getting rid of bullying, any more than anyone else. He’s a bully himself. I’m going a bit out on a limb generalizing this across all this anti-bullying fever going on right now; they all look to me like a bunch of bullies accusing others of being the bullies. I know the signs, because I was a short little shrimp until I hit a growth spurt, summer between sophomore and junior years. That pretty much stopped it, but it was a shitty summer I won’t want to go back and re-live again. That gets into another story that’s off-topic here, but up until that point, there was a lot of bullying going on.

As blogger friend Phil pointed out, though, it’s all disingenuous because it’s all just a maneuver before a guaranteed-argument-win, and guaranteed-argument-win is the refuge of scoundrels who don’t know or care about how to actually discuss anything. It’s just silly to open up any kind of “discussion” about bullying or take an “anti-bullying” position, when nobody’s really pro-bullying.

I might come close to it though, since I dread a future in which there’s zero bullying. Not that I’d miss the bullying — I’m wondering what else got zeroed out while we were getting rid of the bullying. I was forced to show some resourcefulness when I got bullied. Had I not been bullied, I would not have been forced to develop the qualities I developed, and there’s nothing special about me there at all. This is actually a very common situation. So are the kids more capable of learning, and approaching maturity with some genuine grown-up ability, in a zero-bullying environment in which they’re spared from the distractions that come with bullying? Or, does this make them into thin-skinned sensitive little useless geldings, fated to waste away their twenties in their childhood bedrooms which are crammed full of trophies and plaques awarded just for showing up?

Perhaps both will happen?

It’s a worthy argument to have. Let’s have that argument. But the anti-bully brigade isn’t about discussing anything, of course; they just want to win, win, win. I guess in this day and age that’s what everyone seems to want. Win win win, without actually providing support for anything, discussing anything, exploring anything in detail. Just be on that winning team, and do a serviceable job of pretending to care about the losers you just beat, beat, beat into the dirt.

I see Women, Action and Media, whose initials are WAM! — oh, that’s nice — is doing a great job acting out exactly what I’m describing here. Yay, they won! Win, beat, trounce, pummel, tenderize, bludgeon, beat beat beat beat beat. But the product of all these beatings is nothing more than a bunch of confusion, as noticed by the New York Times. Facebook’s little blurb, from their Vice President of Global Public Policy, is quite an amazing thing. It’s a wonder of meaningless bureaucrat-speak. “We will complete our review…we will update…we will establish more formal and direct lines of communication…we will encourage…include representatives of…these are complicated challenges and raise complex issues.” So many words about nothing! No answers at all for the questions most pressing, first and foremost of which would be: Is the medium going to move toward a more strict, or less strict, policy of censorship? I’d be inclined to guess more strict. Seems an easy call to make, although I note that this is not actually declared anywhere.

Looks to me like yet another struggle between clarity and agreement, with clarity losing. Like I said, a wonder of meaningless bureaucrat-speak. Worthy of being enshrined in some kind of museum or something.

The Times continues:

David Reuter, a spokesman for Nissan, said in an interview on Tuesday that the automaker has stopped all advertising on Facebook until it could assure Nissan that its ads would not appear on pages with offensive content.

Nissan typically buys Facebook advertisements that target particular demographic groups, like men age 30 to 35, Mr. Reuter said. In Facebook’s system, those ads follow the users onto whatever pages they visit, potentially including those with offensive content.

“We are working with Facebook to understand this situation better and opt out of advertising on any pages that are offensive,” he said.

The observation about the clarity/agreement divide is apt. The one thing that emerges from the mess with any kind of clarity is that anyone who has any kind of authority in anything here, desires to be anti-bullying and anti-offense. That applies to all the identifiable players with any clout at all. So what’s up with the slippin’, slidin’, bumping into each other and falling down? Why all these false starts, if everyone who has any pull agrees about the goals? The answer is: Definitions. Clarity, in other words. You see that phrase “offensive content” being repeated multiple times. What is that, exactly? Does a Kate Upton photoshoot on a farm, constitute offensive content?

Some would say yes, some would say no. And that’s why they’re having an embarrassing problem that they don’t want to have. So you see, clarity is their friend. But their effort is becoming a laughing stock because they’re not for clarity, they’d rather have the agreement.

Agreement-over-clarity people are bullies by nature, usually. Very few people will say something like “the agreement is so important to me, I’m going to let go of this thing I care about so that we can have agreement.” That’s almost never done. That would be called “compromise,” and you have to value clarity in order to reach compromise. So no, people who value agreement over clarity, wish to have the agreement, with everyone else involved agreeing with them. They want to win win win, beat beat beat, just like Dan Savage wishing oral cancer on Sarah Palin.

Just saying what everyone knows to be true. But of course, if the wrong people see what I’ve had to say here…take it to the bank, they’ll call it “offensive content.” Now we know why.