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Jenny’s Take

Friday, November 9th, 2012

It’s dated October 19. Absolutely worthless today, except for one thing: She gets it, and she’s thirteen. Sharp as a tack, to be sure, and you might protest that she comes from a Republican family and has been indoctrinated. I’m inclined to say there may be some truth there.

But it doesn’t matter, for it is plain to see she knows what she’s talking about. There are those who will toss up some stuff & nonsense to try to distract from her points; some are paid handsomely to do so, others are not. The question that arises, once again, is what does that say about the ones who are not? They’re engaging in the confusion and obfuscation, for free, that others are well-paid to engage; and, they fail to understand things a thirteen-year-old understands…

Low Information Voters

Friday, November 9th, 2012



Those two graphics tell the entire story.

I’m listening to Herman Cain chew the fat with Neal Boortz, and the two are attributing to Armstrong Williams a wonderful and pithy quote: Suffering is a great teacher. I listened to this guy on the radio some twenty years ago and since then, I’ve failed to find any access to him. Best source I can find for a link on this quote, is here, which went up the day after the disaster. And I find some other beauties there:

This represents a national repudiation of reality: we have tossed out the doctor because we don’t like his prognosis.

The spending addict does not want an intervention; he wants more spending, no matter what.
It is apparently extreme now to balance a budget, to stay out of people’s lives, and respect tradition. Obama almost ran the table with swing states: it was a landslide.
I am not confident that the Republican Party can win national elections anymore.

I have to disagree on that last one. Suffering is a great teacher, isn’t it? I’ve already observed many times before, and I’m a bit short on time at the moment to go hunting around for links, but…people have a tendency to abjure themselves from truth and reason for however long they feel they can afford to do so. That really is just a more loquacious version of “suffering is a great teacher.”

In economics, the biggest concern I have is the same as everybody else’s: being, and remaining, gainfully employed during this coming massive onslaught of layoffs. In politics, where things are pretty much entirely out of my hands, I have feelings of actual dread — now that the two Davids, Axelrod and Plough, are sagely geniuses the whole landscape is about to be re-formed, re-planted and re-shaped to appeal to the low-information voter. This would be an enormous mistake. Show me ten low-information voters, and I can show you maybe one or two long-term low-information voters, probably no more than that. That elite sampling, of course, is going to be disproportionately likely to have entered Google query referenced at the top of this post on November 6th. They cannot be reached. Nobody should try. The remainder of them can be reached, but not actively, only passively. Suffering is a great teacher. They simply haven’t been taught enough. That second graphic is a great introductory course to the lesson, which teaches us:

• Uh no, the President cannot do anything magical to make our economy more better overnight;
• But the President certainly can do some things to screw it all up.

The big takeaway in the debacle involving the low-information voter is that such a voter, by his very nature, is going to be the very last among us to figure out that the policies are not working. President Obama already had the bedrock support of Mitt Romney’s forty-seven percent, who are endlessly opinionated about where the pork chops should be sent from the government’s barrel, and who should be obliged to fill it back up again, while they themselves aren’t putting anything in. But 47 is less than 50. To drag Obama across the finish line, you needed some “swing” voters who don’t know a damn thing, and can be told something only with great difficulty.

My concern is that this fine art of telling them things, is about to be elevated to a prestigious and coveted art form. Swinging a billion-dollar presidential election is no small thing. This is like an alternative language, a language that is about to become dominant because it is so cherished and decides so much. We are about to switch the dominant language to something that nobody, not even the speakers of it themselves, actually understands.

That would be an even bigger disaster than re-electing Obama.

Since Wednesday morning I’ve been privileged to watch all sorts of pundits and columnists talk down to the “Paul Ryan” crowd, preaching to them, condescending to them, scolding them, for getting overly wonky. “You’re the reason Romney lost” and “people don’t care about that” and all that…I’m sure it feels good to say that. It makes you look like you’re among this narrow band of cunning linguists who can babble away with this fake-out nonsense, therefore you should be elevated to a position of greater power. You get to strut around and feel victorious, like the pigeon on the chessboard. But, problem: This is the only benefit to be enjoyed from it. Ever. The spoils are political only, limited to whatever victories are to be enjoyed from commiserating with other people. Who are idiots. Which can be considerable when you’re participating in an election, but we aren’t supposed to spend our entire lives in elections. There is reality in which we live, and that technique doesn’t net us anything from it.

I guess my point is that if the candidate is found who can appeal to these low-information voters better than President Obama can, that candidate would be just another Obama. Such a candidate might have the letter R after his name, but that by itself doesn’t do anything to solve the nation’s problems. This would be an exercise in moving labels around, just like chairs on the proverbial Titanic, nothing more.

As a final comment, it bears repeating although we’ve pointed it out before: The democrats understand that Armstrong Williams is right, that suffering is a great teacher. Also, contrary to popular belief, merely being “poor” is not suffering. Maybe in other countries it is. It takes a lot more than being poor, to suffer in America. This has become a wonderful place to stay poor, for years and years, maybe for an entire lifetime and never learn a goddamn thing. That is the goal of the democrat party and has been for quite some time. This year, it’s working pretty well.

That doesn’t mean it always has to. All this stuff is cyclical and dynamic. At the end of the day, people don’t like to keep their options limited. Eventually, people want to get up off their butts and explore & refine new abilities they might have, new potential. I believe, over the long term, that hard-wired passion is the one that will win out.

Let’s Come Up With Some Names For Things

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

I can’t read any more dirges or doom-and-gloom about where we’re going because I don’t work that way. I’d like to think that now it’s the second day of reckoning, most people have moved past that anyhow. Let’s talk fixing. And I see there’s a big busted thing going on here that hasn’t been talked about at all. Turnout.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan got 57,847,151 popular votes out of about 118 million cast.

John McCain and Sarah Palin received 59,934,814 popular votes out of 131,313,820 cast. If you follow the link above, you will find some comments that should dazzle you, if you were expecting this to be a high-turnout election. It was anything but.

Sarah Palin could come back now, if she has a mind to do so, which since she has more common sense than a lot of people think, she doesn’t have a mind to do so. And won’t. But we’re all done with the “McCain lost because that airhead Palin drove ‘em away” thing. All done. Not to talk any smack about the decision to nominate Paul Ryan, which I still regard as a pretty good one, but a killer rep for handling arcane details and a sturdy/scholarly approach to math, didn’t turn anybody on here. Even when combined with sex appeal it didn’t work.

This is not up for discussion. The numbers don’t lie. I don’t deny that, where people are turned off against Palin their emotions are very intense. But, frankly, it doesn’t translate into numbers, their emotional baggage is not Palin’s problem, it isn’t mine either and the whole thing doesn’t matter anyhow. She’s gone for good and I don’t blame her one bit. But she never was the problem. The numbers, the numbers. Wake up.

The victors Tuesday night do their work according to human feeling, and it is dark human feeling that is the currency they trade. Resentment. Feelings of entitlement. Laziness. Despair. That is not a permanent situation, it is only a greater-than-four-years situation. We’re depressed because we thought this was the day our Uncle Sam would throw down the bottle and acknowledge that he has an addiction problem. He crawled back into the bottle again. Alright, so he’s a hardcore case. We try and try again.

So getting rid of the eskimo-ditz and replacing her with a Christian Grey math wizard doesn’t fix what’s broken. What does?

Luke:Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

That last part’s easy; it doesn’t get much darker than “fuck white people.” It doesn’t get much darker than “I don’t need to give a shit about deficits or terrorists, I’ll just tell Todd Aiken and the rest of those morons where to stick it and then I’m pretty sure everything will work out okay.”

To the first part, how to fix what’s broken, Yoda’s wisdom is key: not stronger; quicker, easier, more seductive. Barack Obama won His re-election because He got the most out of His efforts. In the battleground states, which He bothered to visit, there was barely enough of a turnout for Him to defeat the commensurate turnout for Romney. He made His campaign quick, easy and more seductive. Once again, the electorate simply wasn’t vigilant. It comes back to “freedom versus free shit” again, and the freedom side was not vigilant. They did not turn out.

Republicans stayed home. That is your three word take-away. A lot of other people stayed home too. Some nine million or so of Obama’s supporters stayed home. But the people who would’ve voted for Romney, stayed home.

As far as fixing it — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The first step to destroying something, in any arena of public discussion, is to name it. And the point here is — Has anyone, besides me, taken the time or trouble to notice how incredibly agile the liberals are at coming up with names for things? They have conjured up, focus-group-tested, re-defined, or co-opted: awareness, solidarity, hate, reality-based community, assault weapons and progressive.

In the field of economics, they have shaped and molded our cultural understanding of words and phrases like: poverty, middle class, common good, Buffett rule, progressive tax rate, collective bargaining, social justice, tax cuts for the rich and working families. Also, “access to” this or that thing that is supposed to be seized from one group of people and given to another without compensation.

With race, feminism, gay rights, and issues generally dealing with the resentment felt by members of one class against another: diversity, loving (as a synonym for homosexual), wage gap, miscegenation, white flight, truth to power, equality & inequality, discrimination, social class, tolerance, and for extra gut-chuckles there’s patriarchal and heteronormative. Heteronormative? Who the hell talks that way? These are in additoin to rac[ist/ism] and sex[ist/ism], which are pretty much just gimmes.

Within the issues that have to do with the environment, there’s natural, going green, green jobs, organic, ecological, natural, sustainable, and global warming and climate change.

All these are in addition to: “true” patriot, education, intellectual, fasc[ist/ism], faith-based, warmonger/warmongering, insensitive, offensive, repressive, oppressive, jingo[ist/ism], imperial[ist/ism] and theocracy. Not a single one of these words or terms means anything close, coming out of the mouth of a liberal, as they mean anywhere else. After awhile the “anywhere else” must give way. Liberals argue with dictionaries, and they win.

I think Republicans are not going to inspire their base, or the independents and moderates who would come over to their side, until they follow suit. Getting Todd Aiken to shut up is just the first step. And no, ejecting the abortion plank is not the answer. Remember, turnout was the problem here, 2,087,663 McCain/Palin voters stayed home. Did they see the wisdom over the last four years of converting over to Obama & Biden’s side? That seems doubtful. Did they vote for Gary Johnson? That would be a selection of “I’m not in that group over there” over and above “I’m in this group”; this would mean the incentive for identifying with the group, is missing, a problem that everyone has to acknowledge now that the democrats don’t have.

Although they should! But, words. Terms. Phrases. And so, they don’t have the problem.

There are a lot of approaches to addressing that. Mine would be simply coming up with names for things. Or, at least, take note that our cultural dialect currently does not have names for certain things and if this is not the identification of a problem that can be fixed, it is at least a tell-tale sign of where the dry rot is, and how bad it is.

There is an alternative “Occupy” economic system by which you acquire the things you need & want, by making lots of noise until someone brings those things to you. It slithers around underground, as an unseen rival/opponent/complement to the above-ground economic system, in which we acquire things by providing things of like value to others. There is significant meaning attached to this. The election itself, arguably, was about the conflict between those two economic systems, within one of which we “buy” things by “working”…and, within the other of which, you “buy” the things you want by bitching. There is no word to describe that alternative economic system, in which so many of our fellow citizens believe so much. Find one. Find a word to describe the conflict between those two systems, as well. The stakes are high, and the meanings are important to the decisions we’re making.

We don’t have an actual word to describe any or all of Saul Alinsky’s rules. We have Alinsky’s name, of course, but it only means something to people who are familiar with that book of his.

We don’t have any one single word to describe: Voting for the purpose of lowering a beatdown on some person or class of person, as opposed to voting for love of country and concern for its future well-being.

Destroying something people need, and selling the destruction of it to the people who need it, by making an issue out of whether it has been distributed equally.

Confusing the destruction of this needed thing, or the removal of that thing from our ability to acquire it, with its equal or “fair” distribution.

Imagining the U.S. Constitution to be a document about the size of a paper in a fortune cookie that says something like “ROE V. WADE, WALL OF SEPARATION, END OF CONSTITUTION.”

Electing candidates according to who can bring you the greatest bounty of material things, at the expense of somebody else.

Choosing those candidates according to who can do the best job of selling things that a conscientious and informed prospect would never, ever buy.

Discussing tax policies only with regard to who-pays-what, without a genuine care in the world about the long term financial solvency of the Treasury.

Some dumbed-down version of “static scoring”; considering economics in terms of third-grade math (+/-/*), ignoring changes in consumer behavior.

Voting on matters of personal taste as public policy issues when it is not necessary to do so.

The idea that a little bit of socialism can be mixed up with a little bit of capitalism, and the result will somehow be something that isn’t a monstrosity.

Challenging peoples’ understanding of the words “communist” and “socialist” when you don’t have a good understanding yourself.

Indulging in the fantasy that Hitler and other fascists were “right wing”.

The impulse to seek a government solution for every natural exigency in life.

The extremist idea that ALL victims in the world are victims of circumstance and couldn’t have done anything to prevent it.

The extremist idea that you can’t be a sexist if you’re a woman, or a racist if you’re black.

The injection of social issues, like gay marriage, into elections so that the electorate will make decisions about financial issues that they otherwise would not make.

The kind of thinking that leads one to conclude Joe Biden won the debate. Practicing the “I laugh at it, so it becomes untrue” defense.

Voting for a black guy just because he’s black.

Voting for the candidate that’s cuter.

That “Conquest Rule” thing in which all institutions not specifically chartered to be right wing, become left wing.

Oh and most important of ALL: The desire of the democrat party for more people to become poor, and for poor people to stay poor, so that they can get more votes.

I don’t know if we can invigorate turnout in future elections simply by coming up with words to describe these things. After that, there would be a challenge in getting people to use them, to recognize them. Once that is done, it would be much easier to state the case. There would be a side benefit involved in that I’d be much less likely, in the middle of an election season, to read stories about some Republican knucklehead saying something like pregnancy from rape is a gift from God, or the like. The democrats are skilled at saying “that’s not the question, the question is this other thing I want to talk about…” A lot of them say that, when the question they’ve just been asked is the question. Republicans seem to handle it the exact opposite way; they get asked about stupid tangential bullshit and they have this way of compliantly following along. Knock it off.

Also, once something is named, there is a tendency for the use of that word to have an automatic pejorative effect. That would be very helpful. Vice President Biden’s conduct during the debate is way overdue for pejorative effect; if it doesn’t qualify, nothing does. It was a national disgrace, and even people who liked it, know it.

I’m seeing all this discussion about Latino vote, angry women, immigrants, gay-rights groups, along with this endless drumbeat litany of “Republicans need to be more inclusive.” I’ve become rather tired of reading about this stuff because none of it can come up with any specific examples, aside from the unwise mutterings of the above-named two knuckleheads, where things were done wrong here. The campaign was about as inclusive as it could have been.

And, as it happens, it was the less-inclusive side that emerged victorious on Tuesday. Seriously, listen to them sometime. Every approach they have, to any problem that comes along, has something to do with gutter-balling somebody…Christians, millionaires-n-billionaires, gun-people, old white men, you name it. They won. So that is not an accurate identification of the problem.

“[expletive] White People”

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Oh, my. And to think of all the opinions I’ve been reading and hearing about the Republicans losing because their tent isn’t big enough. Not that I ever put much stock in it. The Republican party has been met with the challenge, every two years actually, of separating out the alienation of bad ideas from the alienation of the people who hold them, and also the alienation of the ethnic groups of which some are a member. For many cycles now it has appeared to me that this has been a concern in theory more than in practice, since all the examples to be offered that there was work remaining to be done has consisted entirely of: Someone said something idiotic that could by some others be interpreted some certain way. But from all I’ve seen this year, they succeeded in this sloppy and challenging separation business better this last time, than all other elections previous. I mean really, who’d they alienate in 2012? Specifically.

Are we really at the point where you’re a misogynist sexist discriminating pig if you just don’t want to buy Sandra Fluke her birth control? On the other hand, “Obama! Fuck white people and Romney” is somewhat alienating in its own right.

No, I can see how & why Republicans lost the election, and it’s like the big elephant in the room, it’s obvious and nobody wants to talk about it: People who vote to re-elect Obama are still people, and people have it hard-wired into their circuitry to put the hatey-hate on other people. They get a charge out of handing other people their walking papers and pointing toward an exit sign. If they have to spend some of their money to do it, without any money coming in to replace it, they’ll still do it…they’ll do it until the fridge and cupboards are bare, and the furniture is being repossessed. They’ll do it until they reach some level of poverty — then they’ll stop — I’d thought we were there. This was not correct, evidently we still have a ways to go.

Electable?And I see the same thing here. The two white Christian guys who said something knuckle-headed about pregnancy from rape…nobody whose opinion counts for anything at all, from what I can tell, has even raised the question about what these guys were asked, and why. Both big losers. Well, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if the objective is to keep narrow-minded, bigoted people out of Congress, I’m not seeing anyone bothering to check back and make sure we have any good results to offer there. So the enthusiasm for this is not for the goal, it must be for the journey. It is, quite plain and simply, a whole lot of fun to stick it to the man. That pig-headed, white Christian man who said something dumb…lots of people are voting for that reason and for none other. So there you go again: Tell someone he sucks, kick him out of something, and waltz around feeling smug and self-righteous. For a lot of our fellow citizens, that’s all voting is. Uh, budget? What’s that?

My question remains unanswered. I don’t think it’s going to get answered.

And I don’t think the Republicans have any post-mortem to conduct here, I don’t think they have anything to learn that’s really worth learning. That seems an easy call to make. Everyone who says they do, to the last man, I think would insist that whatever corrective strategies would be implemented as a result of that should be inclusive and positive, and I agree. My point is that with that restriction in place, you would end up paring your corrective action plan down to nothing. It isn’t that kind of energy. These aren’t people chafing at having been shunned or tossed out of anything. These are people who want to do the shunning.

Republicans’ best bet is to recycle exactly the same messages in 2016. Oh, that and if someone wants to bring up a question about pregnancy caused by rape, it might be helpful to ponder how & why such a question is being asked. It might make a good deal of sense to refuse to answer it because it’s off-topic. That’s allowed, isn’t it? I hear democrats doing it all the time, when the question isn’t even off-topic. This one was, or should have been, since I never did hear of a proposal prohibiting abortion even when a woman has been raped…not even sure you can put such a proposal on the table right now.

Ann Coulter says, don’t blame Romney. There are some good reasons to agree with her on this. Romney did a fine job, especially in that “high altitude” debate, and I think Republicans across the nation got a much better performance out of his team than they could ever have expected. And that goes for Paul Ryan as well. Still, it must be said, we were warned. The pattern is holding up: When the candidate’s credentials as an establishment GOP dude, glitter more brightly than his credentials as a common-sense constitutional-scholar “government is the problem not the solution” guy…he gets knocked in the dirt. If we’re looking for something to keep in mind in 2016, I suggest that might be it.


Wednesday, November 7th, 2012


to identify wrongly : confuse with another


a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention

The more years I see come and go, the more of a one-to-one correlation I see between the instances of the noun, and accompanying instances of the verb. People, and I, make these “wrong actions” by way of perceiving an object or action as something different from what it really is. I suppose this is all rather self-evident. Where this observation might start to yield some meaningful value, is with the realization of an eighty-twenty rule of sorts, that perhaps eighty percent of the mistakes (noun) come from twenty percent of the mistaking (verb). Or perhaps that’s more like a ninety-nine-one rule. And, perhaps, it is more like ninety-nine percent of the damage done through these mistakes, come from just a tiny minority of the categories of mistaking.

I have often observed in my other life, in the making of money, the Morgan K. Freeberg rule that “technology is the opposite of doing something the same way the other guy is already doing it.” I said it while I put up my fight against being pigeonholed, as sort of a high-tech drywall installer, knowing that if it became my job to just do the same thing over & over again but with writing computer code, I would ultimately fail to return value for my growing salary demands and thus become a pink slip waiting to happen. Nowadays, I guess, maybe I lost that battle. Maybe this thing they call “peer code review” makes such a loss inevitable. Code reviewers already know what the code should look like; do the finger-work for them, and remove human variables from the process or else your code won’t pass review. But of course, without the human intuition there’s no reason for the human to be there. Well, there must be a way to make it work, other people can do it. But then again, I don’t know for how long, and I made it work for awhile. Perhaps that whole gig is temporary by its very nature. Either way, it qualifies as a mistake-mistake: Using human ingenuity to create new things that did not exist before, is confused with its opposite, which is copying things that exist already, if only in the minds of others. Not-ingenuity is mistaken for ingenuity.

I’ve already received a taste of that, and last night I saw another strain of it: I saw destruction mistaken for creation. President Obama is supposed to be building something here, right? What is that? Can anyone tell me? I don’t think the most fervent Obama supporter can answer that question. But they can tell me what America’s First Holy Emperor is supposed to be destroying, that part’s easy to do. The rich people, they have too much money! Must pay their fair share. Businesses need to be taken down a peg or two. That Todd Aiken jackass. Men! Whites! Christians! We’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times, but we don’t yet know what’s being built. Sooner or later, the time will come where we’ll have to admit that if something definable was being built, we’d have heard some indication by now of what it is.

The little boy Brandon who thought a President Romney would send him and his family out to the fields to pick crops, asked what he wants Obama to do, said “I want Him to change the world…like He did” (link goes to 0:45 mark). So that’s another one, we’re up to three: Block-copying things is mistaken for building something new, destruction is mistaken for creation, and not-change is mistaken for change. I just don’t know what to make of this part of it. How does the incumbent president campaign on a platform of “change”?

I am seeing moderation mistaken for extremism a lot of the time. I define extremist thought as something that, to be accurately and properly expressed, must make use of the words all, none, always or never. That disagreement I had with the feminists comes to mind: I chastised them for creating this new strain of feminism that relies overly much on victimology, lamenting that my mother thought of feminism as refusing to be a victim; and, what t’heck happened to that? I was put on notice that people are not selective about this status, they are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they don’t choose that. And I said — never?? And was told, quite right, never, never, not ever. I said, you promise I can’t come up with some examples, cross your heart? And I got back this lecture of “I don’t promise things” or some such, but…right, I won’t be able to find examples. ++blink++ Just wow. Yes, I do get to a point where I realize futher discussion is futile. That was one of those times. The argument itself is sad, the descent into victim-hood is sad because of the loss of vision for independence and improvement of personal plight…but, saddest of all, is this confusion between the moderate and the extreme. The never-never-princess thought she was presenting a moderate argument.

We’re up to four now. Five and six would be: Simple things complex, and vice-versa. Calling Obama a socialist is often met with angry rebuttals, taking the form “do you know what that word means?” The clear implication is that there is some meaningful subtlety buried in a dusty tome somewhere, and whoever attaches the word to His Eminence must be not only ignorant of this prized distinction, but is showcasing his ignorance to all sorts of strangers — who, in turn, bask in the wisdom of this special knowledge. It is a clear intimidation tactic to dissuade the observation from being made, or from gaining any more traction. Well, we here do know what it means, have thought about it, and it applies. That’s a case of something simple being gussied up as something complicated, possessing these layers of wrinkles and fissures that it doesn’t really possess.

An example of the complex thing being mistaken for something simple, would be that ignorant statement “Saddam Hussein did not attack us.” Gah. Don’t even get me started.

Block-copying being mistaken for innovation, creativity and ingenuity; destruction mistaken for creation; not-change mistaken for change; dogmatic extremism for sensible moderation; the simple for the complex, and the complex for the simple. Those would be six, and they all work for the grand-poobah of these fundamental mistakes being made, the very worst out of all of them: death for life. That is what it is all about. That is the stem to the funnel. That is where it all goes.

So my observation — let us call it a working theory, rather, but it’s made it pretty far and is still going strong — is that the mistakes (noun) that matter, years down the road, come back to one, or some, of these seven (verb). Re-electing Obama is directly connected to several of these. Mistaking your dark blue sock as a proper mate to your black sock, that’s in a completely different ballpark, tomorrow morning it’ll be a bit of your personal sock-wearing history and nothing more. It’s not one of the seven.

Now What?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

That’s the question all reality-attached Americans are asking themselves as of last night, sometime around nine Pacific as the election was called for President Obama’s re-election. It’s a big question in that context, but I mean it in another. I mean it as a pointed inquiry, to be directed toward Obama’s slobbering toadies. Quoting myself, in some personal correspondence:

Okay, we’ve kept the eeeeevil Mormon out of the White House; the Bush tax cuts are going away and employers have to worry about ObamaCare before they hire anybody, which means they won’t be hiring anybody until they’re absolutely backed into a corner. But the top-dog is a likable guy, or is rumored to be, although He’s a snob, this much seems provable, has never held a real job, seems to only be going through the motions of building anything useful while He’s destroying entire industries everywhere you look…He can’t be told a damn thing, and apparently is rather proud of this. Now what?

It’s an important question, America needs and deserves an answer to it every place it applies, and it hasn’t been getting asked enough. The platform of Obama, and the democrats, has been replete with the phrase “and that should work out just great,” in some annotation placed immediately behind the huge bubble taking up most of the chalkboard, marked “some miracle occurs here.”

Make sure Warren Buffett pays as high a tax rate as his secretary — meaning that the capital gains tax bite is always equal to or higher than federal withholding, on a per-dollar basis — and that should somehow work well. In other words, level the playing field, even though the federal budget isn’t balanced, not even close to being balanced, doesn’t even exist and that should work well.

Tax the millionaires and billionaires so they “pay their fair share.” We’re a bit starved for details as to what exactly that means, over the longer term, other than “more.” And that should somehow work well.

A Little More DetailSpend a trillion dollars more out of the treasury than it can take in, just don’t worry about the budget deficit for that year or any other, and that should work well.

Pay out hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus funds to provide maintenance jobs, jobs which are upkeep and are not supposed to actually create new assets, primarily (temporary) road construction work & teaching. Ignore the plain and simple fact that there must be a resulting and counterbalancing lack of jobs existing wherever this money was siphoned away, we’ll never find out about what those jobs would’ve been…but the road construction guy gets to work. Temporarily. And that should work well.

Tear up the roads all over the country in this misguided massive road construction frenzy. All at the same time, so it takes half again as long to transport anything anywhere. And that should work well.

Keep that guy who said that idiotic thing, out of the Senate…so that the Senate is made up entirely of people who say soothing, sensible, wise things (gigglesnort). And that should work well.

Keep the oil in the ground. Sink taxpayer money into “green” energy which, even if it works perfectly, costs several times more than petroleum on a per-joule basis and will for the next century or so, perhaps forever. If everything works perfectly. And that should work well.

When the green energy companies soak up the taxpayer money and then go bankrupt, ignore it. That should work well.

Why, you even see it in their debating strategies. Vice President Biden showed how it’s done: Just cackle and sneer at everything like a petulant child, and that should work well.

Obama’s supporters, faced with anything that is glaringly wrong with their strategies and can be expressed in simple and obvious terms: For example, “Businesses are not likely to hire more people if it is more expensive to hire them,” or “If the economy is to improve, some people are going to have to get rich, and Obama seems to have a problem with that” — reply with the pablum that this is complicated stuff, and we need to come together to make it work. If those things are really true, then as we come together to make it work for the sake of the country, we owe it to the country to go back to that huge blank bubble marked only with “a miracle occurs here” and clarify things a bit in that bubble. We owe it to the country to stop relying on “and that should work well” and start filling in an answer to the question that cries out to us, “How, exactly?”

And the people like me who saw the President for what He really is, back to the first day, don’t need to worry about answering it. Speaking just for myself, I think I know the answer and it sickens me. This is, as I noted, a question for the President’s supporters. They need to provide some working, credible details.

In the case of many of them, probably for the very first time in their lives.

Update: And this is not doing much to answer my question…

Two Cats Tied Up in a Bag

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Oh goody. I’ve got just one more day of people giving me instructions about what I’m supposed to think and what I’m supposed to expect…and me ignoring those instructions, thereby bringing on more instructions which I then ignore. And then one of us is “proven” right and the other is proven wrong, and it’s over. That in itself is cause for celebration.

As far as the two campaigns/factions/parties/ideologies, one will become insufferably smug and the other will go nuts.

Well you can take this to the bank: Whichever side loses, will come roaring back in ’14 and/or ’16 with a stiffness of resolve that it isn’t quite showing this year. Because neither one of these two sides is going away. We put on such a great show of “enacting policies” and then sitting in judgment of those policies, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. But that is not entirely true, is it. I think most of the people paying attention know what policies bring about what results. Our quibble is with the goals. Yes, your teachers lied to you when they said “Republicans and democrats both want the same things but have different ideas about how to get there.” That’s the biggest load of crap ever told.

Time and time again, I’ve had angry, resentful and hurt libs hand me that lecture about “we tried those policies of George W. Bush, including tax cuts for the rich” and it “didn’t work” because the “rich got richer.” A tax cut, by its very nature, makes it okay to make money. Well the liberals didn’t want it to be okay to make money, and they still don’t. They wanted, and want, something called “equality”…which means poverty and death. “Equality” means, ultimately, no you can’t have it. Every rock on the moon is equally wet.

Jedi KittiesProsperity entails inequality. And I think everybody knows it. You turn on your living room lamp, and all that light is disproportionately, unfairly, gathered about the bulb. What a gross injustice that is! But that’s how it works. You want equality of lumens, turn the damn thing off and stumble around. You get your equality…and, your zero, your disconnection, your lack of light and lack of accomplishment. Those are your choices. Go or stop.

And that is the choice being made today. It’s no different than the jilted boyfriend killer suspect in the murder mystery shows, you know, “If I can’t have her then he can’t have her either, and I’ll make sure nobody else can.” That is the proposal involved in an Obama re-election, in democrats maintaining hold of the Senate: If [insert name of despairing, angry hurt voter here] can’t have money then nobody else can.

If that statement holds up, and we need to continue struggling against this artificially-imposed headwind for another four years as we have been struggling over the last four — then, our desire to move it out of the way will only intensify. There’s no way Barack Obama can enjoy all the credibility of blaming everything on George W. Bush for eight years, over & above what He has enjoyed while doing this for a solid four.

But, on the other hand, if the “if I can’t have it then nobody can” ethos is smacked down today, it will come back with a resurgence in the years to come. The democrats and liberals will become more resentful, more pickled, more nasty. This is the way American politics have been, for generations and generations: One side gets power, and the next cycle the losers come back with an advantage they didn’t have before. A lot of times this is inadequate and the losers get smacked down a second consecutive time. But, I maintain, this happens when the losers perceive they have this advantage, that they did not yet posses the last go-’round, and they overplay it. It’s an easy mistake to make because in politics, you have to use the advantages you have or else you lose them. But, eventually, things rock back to the point where they were before, and beyond. The pendulum swings. That’s the way things are going to go, for the indeterminate future. The democrats had the White House from 1933 to 1969, with only Eisenhower’s two terms interrupting the streak; Republicans had it 1861 to 1913, with the exception(s) of Cleveland. Those days are long gone. Words like “Republican” and “democrat” entail much greater commitment to ideology now than they did back then, but paradoxically, the streaks are gone. We’re far more polarized. Four to eight years, that’s all you get, because the grass is always greener on the other side.

As far as what is going to happen tonight, I have some cautious optimism because I notice people vote for doom and gloom when the contrast is subtle and obscure, and when the contrast is highlighted, obvious and stark, they vote for prosperity because…well, duh. It’s a vote on “Is it alright to make some damn money?” Of course the answer is yes. So the question becomes: How well-defined is the contrast between the two cats tied up in the bag, today? Is it easy to see?

Well. We’ve got a financial cliff coming up, and anyone who can spare a glance toward it can see the abyss that lies beyond, how close we are, how fast we are going. The incumbent party’s campaign slogan is — FORWARD.

The contrast doesn’t get any better-defined than that. Now or ever. Barack Obama has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, making it clear to people that the way things have been going, is the way He thinks they should be going. Message received and duly noted President Obama. Hey, let’s have an election about it.

Update 11/7/12: Well, then. Forward it is.

More on the two cats in the bag here. And here.

“Ask Joe Biden and Harry Reid”

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Because…Steven Crowder was quoting them. “I lit up a big ol’ troll cannon and will now walk away laughing. That’s how it’s done, kids.”

Why Do democrats Say Such Weird, Strange Things?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

I really don’t get it.

And then, although I didn’t say anything about it at the time, there’s this…

It’s like they’re trying to ad-lib something from the The Lexicon of Intentionally Ambiguous Recommendations (L.I.A.R.): “In my opinion, you will be very fortunate to get this person to work for you” or “whatever task he undertakes, he will be fired with enthusiasm.”

Second Sign of the Enthusiasm Gap

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Instapundit has two interesting links up about this. First, Romney and Obama are tied in a CNN poll that samples democrats plus-eleven:

Romney has gained 3 points since the last time CNN ran its poll, in late September, when Obama led 50%-47%. That is good news for the Republican ticket, especially since the poll was conducted after Hurricane Sandy.

Yet there is something odd–and even ridiculous–in the poll’s sample: of the 693 likely voters in the total sample of 1,010 adults polled, “41% described themselves as Democrats, 29% described themselves as Independents, and 30% described themselves as Republicans.”

In other words, the poll is a D+11 outlier. It presents a picture of an electorate that is far more pro-Obama than it was in the historic 2008 election. That is extremely unlikely.

And…it’s been going on and going on, and the “smart money” says we should ignore that part of it and treat the polls as gospel.

But that’s where the other link comes in.

If you look at history, which poll takers do, they consider what percentage of the population votes Democratic and what percentage votes Republican. For many years, Democrats typically make up 36-38% of the election; the remainder is composed of Republicans and independents. The Democrat percentage is so consistent that the election is won or lost by how many Republicans vote plus whatever the independents do.

A few short paragraphs of examples from recent history, in which democrat percentage wobbles between 36% and 38%. It is never higher than 39%, the figure from their magic year of 2008. Then…

Okay. Let us say you are a pollster. You conduct a poll in which you call a few thousand numbers around the US, and hope that you get about a thousand people to participate all the way through.

You ask them if they are registered voters because you don’t need participants who cannot or will not vote. Sometimes, you ask if they are likely voters. This last part is very essential, the Czar believes, because only a small percentage of registered voters actually bother to act like mature adults and vote.

But many organizations don’t care. They only want to know if you were to vote, for whom would you vote if the election were held today? Then they ask if you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

After that, the data are collected and then “normalized.” That’s where it gets interesting…you should go read it top to bottom, and I’d still be saying that if I didn’t like what it was pointing out because it’s all game-changing. And rather hard to refute, from what I can see.

The takeaway from it all is, the polling has wandered down the same evolutionary avenue as any other overly-institutionalized discipline: Process matters more than results. In fact, the aroma of this process-over-results value system is likely more pungent in polling than anywhere else, since in this field of effort the one great sin you can commit is to be an “outlier.” Polls are invalidated as they come out because they are outliers. They are not invalidated after the fact because they turned out to be wrong…not with too much zeal anyway…because it’s after the fact. We talk a lot about pollsters with “egg on their faces.” And I imagine maybe it’s a bit tougher to sell the product, maybe, when the polling service didn’t predict the result like it’s supposed to do. But do the brand names really suffer any lasting damage? It does not seem to be so. I see people saying “Listen to this guy, because he called the 2004 or 2008 election right.” I do not see, quite so often, anybody saying “Stop listening to [insert really, really big name here], because he/she/they called the election for this guy and it went to that guy.”

“A Vote for National Collapse”

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Mark Steyn:

Imagine if Obama’s 2009 stimulus had been spent burying every electric pole on the Eastern Seaboard. Instead, just that one Obama bill spent a little shy of a trillion dollars, and no one can point to a single thing it built. “A big storm requires Big Government,” pronounced The New York Times. But Washington is so big-hearted with Big Government it spends $188 million an hour that it doesn’t have — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and Ramadan.

And yet, mysteriously, multi-trillion-dollar Big Government Obama-style can’t do anything except sluice food stamps to the dependent class, lavish benefits and early retirement packages to the bureaucrats that service them, and so-called government “investment” to approved Obama cronies.

So you can have Big Government bigger (or, anyway, more expensive) than any government’s ever been, and the lights still go out in 17 states — because your president spent 6 trillion bucks and all the country got was a lousy Air Force One bomber jacket for him to wear while posing for a Twitpic answering the phone with his concerned expression.


Sunday, November 4th, 2012

It happens. Festivities planned for December 29.

Update: Maybe it’s time to put up the Big Reveal. The “avatar” picture that has come to be so famous among friends & family:

And, the picture upon which it was originally based. Raffetto, El Dorado Nat’l Forest, around July of ’05.

Yes, the bride is the woman who clicked the shutter on that. One hell of a woman, as one would expect. Twenty-one years of bachelorhood come to a stop. The immovable object finally met up with the irresistible force.

Will Someone Please Put David Moscrop’s Face on a Urinal Cake?

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

So he gauges the status of “equality” according to how many women hold positions of authority…I’ve gone down this road in my “discussions” with hardcore feminists, it’s truly bizarre. It’s a true shortcut hyperspace jump to victim-ology. I know how this goes. These people don’t live in a world of “if one person can do it, then that means they all can,” they live in exactly the opposite: “If one has run into an obstacle, that means they all have and they’re all helpless.” They don’t live in a world of can, they live in a world of can’t.

That, and the guy wants female volleyball players to wear more clothes. A-yup…I’m not saying we should find a way to ensure, systematically, that people like him should have no influence on anything anywhere. I’m just thinking if we could somehow make it happen, we’d be living in a better world. Women volleyball players wearing more clothes? If there’s one thing the world doesn’t need, that’s it. Has this guy seen any of those volleyball players?

Hat tip once again to Robert at Small Dead Animals.

First Sign of the Enthusiasm Gap

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Memo For File CLXXIII

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

First things first: I found some malicious PHP code at this humble blog, (all together now) which nobody reads anyway…that was evidently responsible for some odd behavior Phil and I had been noticing a few weeks ago. You click on a link that is supposed to take you here, and instead, it takes you to a male-performance-enhancement drug website. Back then, if you clicked on the same link from this blog itself, it wouldn’t happen. You click on it from Phil’s site or some other site, it did. Phil and I looked through his code and couldn’t see anything…I was suspecting a template issue with Blogger itself. A lot of people, meaning myself and the support team at GoDaddy, were thrown off because we made the innocent mistake of taking HTML code literally, which you can’t do with a PHP exploit. It wasn’t until Buck ran into the same problem that I realized I could eliminate everything as a suspect except for this blog itself, right here, which had to remain under suspicion as the common factor. And thus, a fairly intrusive time-sinkhole crisis began.

Even then, this looked screwy because the desktops were not all acting the same way. My Unix box acted sporadically, navigating to the correct link up to maybe 80% of the time. The HP Mini never went to the bad site, not once. I sunk money into it, I sunk time into it, and finally while I was messing around over a FTP session prowling through the hosted WordPress files themselves, I came across the problem. Easy fix, so far it’s worked, steps have been taken to make sure it can’t happen again (upgrades, patches, passwords changed, etc.).

Do let me know if you see something though. And let me know what your security solution is for catching viruses and malware. I’m concerned that the one device that I’ve really taken the most trouble to keep sparkling-clean and battleship-strong, never experienced the problem; that would indicate to me that the countermeasures are working properly, there, which means wherever the problem was occurring, the malicious code was doing something only because local variables were allowing it to. So who’s been sent to that site? Are they/you cruising the Internet without any anti-malware solutions installed? From what I can tell, the site itself doesn’t download anything. But, you should run a scan just to make absolutely sure. It’s a good practice to get into, run a full scan any time a possibility arises. You see a window open and you didn’t specifically ask for it, you run a scan. This would qualify as one of those times. But I suppose I should add that, as of this point, there is no cause for alarm. Knock on wood.

GoDaddy’s Website Protection SiteScanner gave us a clean bill of health. But, this seems to be a HTML tool, not a PHP-level tool; we earned our clean-bill before I fixed anything (see fancy badge over in the sidebar). Which is not to say the tool is entirely lacking in value, it probably just wasn’t money well spent in this particular case.

Now, to business. The elephant in the room that has aroused great volumes of indirection discussion this week, while the thing itself remains uncommented-upon, is…the elephants. Republicans. Conservatives. People who understand that the good future fortune of the country is far better secured if Romney takes this thing Tuesday, than if he doesn’t. They are split between optimists and pessimists. It is that split that arouses my interest this morning.

One of my more casual acquaintances over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging had this to say…

Dear Eeyores, Man the fuck up. No one said this election was going to be easy.

And I hit the “like” button on that puppy, as fast and as hard as the “dismiss” button on a floating popup ad hovering in front of a picture of Kate Upton in a swimsuit. Pow. Mind you, this isn’t like “start sawing down trees when it’s pouring freezing rain because you’re out of firewood” man-the-fuck-up or anything like that…the issue is, purpose. Pessimism definitely has a purpose. But, as a general rule, only when the pessimism leads to the sensible revision of a state of something, such that the outcome of some meaningful upcoming event can be changed. Spare inner tubes, spare flashlight batteries, car insurance, spare this spare that. Pessimism leads to vigilance and vigilance leads to preparedness. None of that applies here, not a shred. If Mitt Romney loses and you were one of the smarty-pants who figured that out beforehand, what exactly does that buy you? Not a damn thing, from what I can see.

I replied…

The common theme I have noticed, is a conviction that anybody who dares to question Nate Silver’s findings or express any optimism at all with regard to a Romney victory, has become irrationally and emotionally attached to a prediction that is anything but certain and thus unmoored themselves from reality.

Experience has taught me, however, that it is the “Eeyores” who are doing that. The waves of inspiration washing over them every day to spread the gospel from the mountaintops of how fucked we are, I wish we could bottle that energy.

I should mention by way of disclosure that I have a bit of a reputation as a gloomy pessimistic “Eeyore” myself. In fact I have a coffee mug in the kitchen cabinet to this very day, that a work colleague presented to me fifteen years ago following a trip to Disneyland. As noted above…pessimism does have its place. It’s just not doing anything for us here.

I’m not sure what the point is. And it should be noted that some people are getting a bit unhinged with it. “…to tell yourself when convincing yourself Romney has a chance”? Eh, excuse me? I’m all in favor of keeping it real, but the Governor certainly has a chance. Whether it’s 50/50, something lesser or something greater, can yield some fruitful thoughts worth pondering about the history of polls, how the nature of polling has changed, what it might all mean.

But the point to it all is, emotions can become passionate and pickled, with the passage of just a little bit of time, and then they can take on an oxidizing affect against the wrought-iron tethering to reality. But I don’t think it’s the optimists who are doing that. It is the Eeyores doing that, and they are projecting. There are elections going on throughout our history in which the incumbent has had it locked up, and the whole thing is just a silly waste of time.

All in all, this is not one of those. Let’s all tune in Tuesday night, and whatever happens, happens.

By the way, I don’t see any Eeyores taking that attitude of “whatever happens happens.” To the last man, they’re all behaving as if the near-future unfolding events, will be determined entirely by the argument immediately taking place…in which they have to have the last word, all the time. If I were inclined to see things their way in the first place, I’d be reconsidering that because of this one observation, because if you really want to predict with some accuracy what’s going to happen the first step is this: You have to reckon with the idea that what-will-happen, is not necessarily superglued to the other question of who’s-going-to-win-this-argument-we’re-having. Those are two different things.

Now speaking for myself, the money I would put on a Romney victory — were I allowed to do so, since gambling is actually illegal here in the Golden State so of course that is out of the question — wouldn’t be much. A few coins picked up out of the couch cushions, maybe, something I could afford to lose. But I damn sure wouldn’t put it on Obama! And here is why. It is said that Americans have a consistent track record, since the first televised debates, of voting for the more charismatic fella. That theory has holes in it, since the pattern is only demonstrable for some 52 years or so, which means the gap left by Richard Nixon’s victories over Humphrey and McGovern is comparatively very large. Large enough that I must call into question the idea that charisma is the litmus test. The other thing to consider is that the charismatic candidate tends to be the one with the more positive vision — which, this year, granting the concession that the incumbent president is the more charismatic, doesn’t apply. Romney is bringing a more inspiring vision, Obama’s not even trying. This much has been made abundantly clear.

I think the resentment factor has an incandescent appeal for unimaginative, unhelpful and unhappy people; I think this election is all about testing that appeal. It really isn’t about anything else, when you get down to it, is it? This isn’t even anything worth pointing out. It’s all around us and it’s completely obvious. Do we satisfy our wants and needs by engaging in a system of trade, providing products and services of value to other people we want to do these good things for us? Or do we just want to bitch and moan and bellyache about the high price of birth control and what-not, until some elected or appointed pencil-pusher with a dark and empty soul comes along, and “makes the rich pay their fair share,” and borrows from China, and rolls the printing presses at the Treasury to make up the difference, so we can be provided with what we have reached a group-think consensus to be “a right, dammit”?

I think Obama is going to lose because this “Occupy” appeal is deep but not broad; it burns brightly, and like Dr. Eldon Tyrell said, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. We’ve been trying this for four years. It has failed to yield positive results, entirely, while people have been hungry for those positive results, desperate for them.

Electoral victory is about vision. There’s no vision here, on Obama’s side. Not much, anyway; the vision is something like “No, I’m not ready to come out of Rose‘s dungeon of resentment yet.” But people get tired of living in dungeons. It’s hard-wired into us, eventually we’re going to want our liberty. The question that confronts us Tuesday, is whether four years is enough. Whether we have enough people in this country who want to keep sitting in the dungeon, to send 270 electors into the college. That is the question, and it is the only question that matters.

Who’s Indoctrinating These Little Tea Party Snots, Anyway?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Steven Crowder applies Obama redistributionist policies to Halloween candy. Somehow, it doesn’t go well.

“How the ‘Having It All’ Debate Has Changed Over the Last 30 Years”

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Deborah Fallows writes in the New Atlantic:

From my book in 1985:

My desires and feelings about the way I should raise children and be a mother suddenly seemed to place me at sharp, and unnecessary, odds with the women’s movement, whose campaigns to offer women the chance for stronger and more independent lives were, along with the civil rights movements, the most important social developments of my lifetime. I thought of the women’s movement as my friend, and still do; yet its positions on motherhood and child rearing made it seem as if I would be failing the movement if I took the steps I thought necessary to care for my children.

A torrent of response followed. The mailman delivered bins and bins of typed or handwritten heartfelt letters, an image that now rings as quaint compared with the barrage of easy, instant digital responses. I was embraced or vilified, quietly and publicly, more or less equally, by both sides.
So, that history established, you can imagine that I was very interested to time-travel and try out modern life with children. Here’s what I learned, in three parts: the sociologically interesting, the surprising, and the highly improved.

I’ve never understood this part of the feminist movement, and I don’t think I ever will: A public debate on private decisions about work-life balance. Someone says something, and suddenly every woman’s decision to take care of her household and family…or not…is held up for review and critique by all women. “The mailman delivered bins and bins”? Why? Send them to me. You won’t need a “bin” to hold my response, it will be brief, crisp and I’ll come right to the point.

Instapundit asks an intriguing question about this:

Notice that nobody ever seems to worry about whether men can “have it all?”

Our society has choices to make, about how choices are made. They can be public or private. Who gets the White House for four years: public. Keeping a doctor or health plan you like: private, or it should be, that’s what everybody keeps saying. Color of the car you buy: private. Standards it must meet to be sold: public. Whether it should be harder to convict violent felons, or easier to put them on parole: public. Whether I should buy a gun if I’m worried about violent felons: private.

The elephant in the room that no one seems to want to discuss: There is a big part of the womens’ movement that is nothing more than a big, stinky, massive mistake along these lines. A woman decides to prioritize the raising of her children a certain way, and suddenly that somehow becomes everybody else’s business. There are people who insist on it, and ironically, these seem to be the same people who insist it’s “a decision between her and her doctor, nobody else” when she considers murdering those children before they’re born. Feminism has not been without friction and contentiousness, and that’s probably because it has done very little to avoid conflict; in fact, at times it has worked to embrace it. But at no time has it been more contentious than when it sought to make private matters into public ones. That is what happens — people start arguing about stuff they shouldn’t be.

Confessions of a Conservative Flight Attendant

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

At 1:36: “Flight attendants tend to overwhelmingly be kind of snarky, angry democrats however — my husband is a pilot, and they tend to almost all be Republicans.” Miller: “Oh, that’s interesting…”

From Robert at Small Dead Animals.

Falling on Principle

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

An important message for Paul/Johnson supporters.

Hat tip to Gerard.

Do Your Part to Help Violently Murder Republican “Zombies”

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

It continues…our fellow citizens who happen to be leftward-of-leaning, accuse others of being zombies while, ironically, engaging in zombie-like behavior of their own:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Isn’t it something how, the people who want to come up with one-size-fits-all plans to make life wonderful “for everyone” — whether “everyone” wants it or not — only want a tiny piece of the “everyone” to be involved in saying what the plans are? That seems, much of the time, to be the only part of the plans they’ve managed to work out: Who among us is not to be privileged to have any influence on the planning. All the rest of it seems to be just one big bloody zombie-mess of “Well, we’re sure it’ll all work out somehow.”

From Barracuda Brigade.

Mitt Romney is Unconstitutional and Immoral and Stuff

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

So easy.

“On the Incivility of Socialists”

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

John C. Wright’s Journal. I can tell he’s shared the experience:

If someone says, “But once we eat the rich, by what means will the society accumulate and invest capital? In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

The socialist will reply, “You are a moron. I am smart. You are a reactionary. I am progressive. You are benighted. I am enlightened. I am good, because I want to kill the rich and steal their things and dash out their baby’s brains against the rocks. You are evil.” or something of the kind.

If you say, “Let us grant that I am an evil moron. How can civilization be maintained without specialization of labor, trade and industry, and the other incidental effects of private property?”

The socialist will reply, “You are a moron. I am smart. You are a reactionary. I am progressive. You are benighted. I am enlightened. I am good, because I want to kill the rich and steal their things and dash out their baby’s brains against the rocks. You are evil.” or something of the kind.

This is a very accurate summation of their approach to truth: Through words & deeds, somehow, you get these “brands” for lack of a better term — soon we have all these people walking around who are branded as speakers of truth, and other people branded as deceivers…from that point the immature, childlike and overly-simplistic thinking may be safely engaged, in which these people over here never make any mistakes and those people, over there, never get anything right. And that brand-driven test of “truth” supersedes real science, experimentation, human experience itself, empirical observations…

The way I see it, it’s more of a recruiting tool than a telltale sign of how they do their thinking. Just like these damnable paper/cardboard “vote yes on proposition-whatever” sheets that show up in the mail, the existence of the method is a testimonial that it works, since if it didn’t work it wouldn’t be used. But ya know, maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe it’s also a tip-off into how socialists do their thinking.

“Communism” is, in my view, functionally synonymous. Yes I would score a zero on that test question, my answer would be marked wrong, but I have my reasons for saying so and they are explained in detail here. I then go on to say…

Its leaders, by their existence, confound this stated objective of achieving a “classless” society, since the leaders occupy a class unto themselves. They monopolize power. They deny their human flaws and failings, and the system of government they establish and maintain similarly denies their human flaws and failings. These dictators cannot make a mistake, ever, since should they ever make one, the mistake will cease to be a mistake on the spot.

Here we have the unworkable contradiction: Whatever you choose to call this system of government and social order, it is about policies being applied universally and with force, so that community members are included involuntarily. The policies themselves cannot be defined since they are in a state of continual evolution, toward the desired objective which is equality. The objective itself is not reached and cannot be reached, since there has to exist some elite layer within the society, of people who have the authority to say what the next wave of policy change is going to be.

It would be difficult to try to overstate the importance of this last point. It is the greater share, in fact something close to the totality, of all the aspiring communists/socialists have to say: “You’re in, you’re out.” As the entry above manages to capture, they apparently can’t make it through a single paragraph without drifting back to it — Hey! You’re not cool! You’re not one of the special ones who should be figuring out what is to be done. You are to be outcast…but not excluded. Everyone must be included in the grand plans, but you are among those who cannot have any say about what those plans should be. Your thoughts are not pure enough. I/We have judged you unworthy.

Emken Debates Feinstein, at Last

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Hat tip to Bruce Kessler.

Zombie Apocalypse: Already Here

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

While writing the post immediately previous, it had eluded my recollection that Joss Whedon was making essentially the same “point,” to the extent that he was actually making one, as those brain-dead kids we just saw in the latest round-up of “indoctrinated younglings sing the praises of Obama.” You know the one; His Majesty is not mentioned by name, but from the lyrics and the timing, you know exactly how they want you to vote:

To be contrasted with the Holy Savior version from just a couple years ago,

Which, in turn, is not to be confused with mmm mmm mmmmm.

Well let’s focus on that first clip up there. It does not mention Mitt Romney whereas Joss Whedon does make a point of calling out Mitt Romney. But they share this common theme, which is worth noting because they’ve both come out in the last few days here…we must do this thing and not that thing, or else disaster will follow. It is obvious that now that the election is less than a week away, and our proggies are getting desperate, they’re taking refuge behind the Ninth Pillar of Persuasion: The Harbinger of Doom. Do as I say or else X will happen. To be fair, many Romney/Ryan supporters are similarly relying on this ninth pillar…but, not exclusively so. And it says something when a challenger can make use of this, as opposed to the incumbent. There has to be some truth to the idea that disaster will follow sticking with the present course, if such an idea can achieve any currency at all. That’s an indicator that things aren’t going so well.

Whedon, as I noted, appears to equate — indeed, is talking to an audience that likewise seems to equate — any decrease in social spending whatsoever at the federal level, regardless of the reason and regardless of the actual result, with a disaster on the scale of a zombie apocalypse. That seems to be the mindset. There is a mommy-government holding my hand and standing beside me throughout all the challenges in my life, guaranteeing a good outcome, and there is the walking undead clawing at me for my brains. Just those two extremes, nothing in between. Question for this crowd: What is the cap to be put on the amount of money spent by this government, on a per-person basis, to head off such an apocalypse? A thousand dollars a nose? A million? I mean, either you’re totally out of control or you’re not. If you’re not, you should be able to come up with a ceiling. What is it?

The delicious irony is that Whedon speaks of zombies. And yet in real, day-to-day life we have no better example of genuine zombie-ness to offer, than the indoctrinated singing kids. Which has become something of an epidemic since about…2008 or so. Mmm mmm mmmmm!

P.S.: If you’re not already reading Jason Mattera’s book, you should be. The metaphor fits the events of this week, and the days ahead, as it never has before.

“What Is the Idea Here?”

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Well, Sonic Charmer is taking this video way too seriously. I should clarify what I mean by that. I don’t mean that Joss Whedon is saying something different from what appears to be saying; what I mean, by that, is that Sonic is (or seems to be?) misunderstanding the method of delivery.

Interestingly, we’re back on zombies again. This could mean one thing, or another, but I’m sure of one thing about this: Zombie movies are ungodly boring and I wish the whole fad would dry up and flake away, like a pustule or zit. Zombie movies are like slasher-hack-em-up movies without the skinny-dipping, and the girls in skimpy clothes. Who the hell needs that? No really, check out the dialogue it’s exactly the same. “[Name]? Is that you? C’mon, guys, knock it off…guys? It’s not funny anymore…

But back to Whedon’s video. I, too, fail to understand the connection between zombies and Mitt Romney. All I can make out from the clip is, 1) if/when the Zombie Apocalypse comes along, we’ll all be on our own, 2) Mitt Romney wants to “make deep rollbacks” in lots of social services, which would mean we’re all on our own, so 3) there is a connection between the two because we’ll all be on our own. This says more about Mr. Whedon’s fans, or I should say the fans of this particular video, than it does about Mitt Romney. Apparently, our government has to keep spending between 3 and 4 trillion dollars a year so these quivering neurotics can feel like someone is taking care of them and they aren’t all-on-their-own. Or else…zombie apocalypse.

That is all the sense I can make out of it from taking it seriously. And it isn’t much. So let’s dissect more deeply and inspect some more layers…

The YouTube page has 12,343 comments ready for inspection, and I cannot pretend to have taken the time to do anything more than skim through a relatively microscopic sampling. But the likes/dislikes are leaning toward the positive, with a strength far exceeding ninety percent…and the experience of my skimming shows a similar leaning, these are favorable comments. It is telling that within what I managed to skim, there’s absolutely nothing solid, structured or enlightening. “Joss Whedon is a fucking GENIUS!!!” seems to be the prevailing sentiment as well as the most frequent expression of it, leaving the question posed in the title of this post unanswered.

We have already established that Whedon has his finger on the pulse of a generation — no, not a generation, more like an inter-generational cross section of Americana — and I am not a part of it because I can’t understand his work well enough to appreciate it, and I can’t maintain an interest in what he’s delivering long enough to begin to understand it. The tits, car explosions and guns, it’s like he came up with something that actually did have them, and then in post-production went through some finishing process to strip them all out again. So in Whedon production after Whedon production after Whedon production, I’m seeing something resembling an empty husk, which used to have all sorts of wonderful plot developments and stirring visuals, of which there is nothing left but remnants of marginally good-looking characters delivering lines in a clever sort of way to develop and display their personalities the same way over and over again. Which irritates me to no end, since I already know Malcolm Reynolds is dark, brooding, heroic, courageous, not a hero in the classic sense, et al. The story is lacking, and if I’m looking at my watch while I’m watching the telling of what little there is of it, the telling must be a fail.

And I have much the same reservations toward the clip. I’m looking for something that isn’t there. It isn’t the tits or car explosions or guns, it’s a strand of logic by which Mitt Romney could be connected to a zombie apocalypse. And just like with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, I’m left like a dying goldfish on the floor, gasping for something that isn’t there. In fact, there isn’t anything there except this clever, edgy, deadpan delivery…which must be the point to it all. And I think it is. We’ve got this staggering, brainless gathering of our fellow citizens who are lurching around, eagerly consuming “entertainment” which is also their intake of “news,” although they deny it…and they’re only looking for one thing, which is clever delivery, caring not a bit about the content. Queried about what is so scintillating and satisfying about what they have consumed, their answers are sterilized of anything structurally sound, just like the object of their admiration: “He’s the BOMB!” “You just have to see it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!” “It’s the characters, they’re so well developed!”

And there is a lot of this going around lately: How a thing is said, is everything, and what the thing is that’s being said, doesn’t seem to matter very much. It reminds me of years ago, when we had a very high-profile and much talked about dust-up taking place here, locally, when Sacramento received an award for being “most diverse” in the nation. One of the benefits called out in the magazine article about this award was, there were some seventy languages being used in the school system, and our local radio guys said something like “you’re nuts if you think that’s a good situation in any way” or some such, which offended the Mayor at the time. Who then tried to get them thrown off the air by way of threatening the station’s FCC licensing. It is exceptionally difficult to find a direct reference of this incident on the innerwebz today, which is rather sinister and spooky when you stop to consider the issue is our constitutional right to free speech. But the point is, there is a case in which the expression of an idea — the seventy-some languages — is given greater importance than the idea itself. We saw the same thing going on way-back-when, as the country was going through the turmoil of switching to the metric system, an idea since abandoned. All these ideas were tossed around about the superiority of the metric system and why it makes better sense to count everything by tens…but the whole thing was nonsense because, in reality, the supporters of the metric system didn’t give a crap about the number ten. That was simply not an honest presentation of the passions at work. They just wanted to feel more scientifickul and be more like Europe. If it was about avoiding the problems with measurement errors and conversion, the effective resolution to such concerns would have been to simply stick with what was in place already. In schools, we see kids being pushed to take foreign language classes to broaden their horizons and strengthen their employment prospects down the road; and there is some legitimacy to this. But we also see tell-tale signs that strengthening their employment prospects is not necessarily of paramount concern. And so, again, we see some insincerity; but, again, we also see great weight being given to how something is expressed, at the expense of any consideration for what exactly the idea is.

This may or may not be a “liberal” thing. Somewhere I was reading about the fascination our modern liberals have with linguistics, which noted a lot of these examples, and that Noam Chomsky is, as a lot of people tend to forget, a professor of linguistics. I think party politics may not have much to do with it. It’s more likely we’re looking at a desire for people to be perceived as capable thinkers who are successfully grappling with big, important ideas, when they can’t muster up the intellectual acumen to actually do it. I did sort of pick up that “vibe” as I was skimming the YouTube comments, they looked like the work of schoolchildren who were given a homework assignment of “tell me exactly what it was you liked about Joss Whedon’s video” and wanted to get on with…well, whatever kids these days do when they lie their way out of their homework. So perhaps it’s nothing more than laziness. Or, maybe there is deeper meaning. Maybe a combination of both…like…if you’re intellectually weak but do not want to look that way, the path of least resistance is to display your fascination with how an idea is expressed and then maybe you look like you managed to sift your way through the structure of an argument, when you really didn’t. And so we have — learn a foreign language, use the metric system, but who cares what you’re saying and what you’re measuring. Just like, nobody who likes this video can explain what it’s trying to say. Including Joss Whedon.

The admirers of this particular YouTube movie do look more and more like zombies all the time, now that I think of it.

I Made a New Word LVIII

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Romnesia” — hey, that’s pretty clever Barry. If cleverness could restore our nation’s credit rating, bring the unemployment rate down to George W. Bush levels, and put our enemies on the defensive, then someone like You might actually be qualified to work somewhere in the executive branch…after you got some useful experience, anyway. If only it were that easy.

But, since we’re in that mode, I’ve got one for you.

Obamative Dissonance (n.):

When you tell me nobody knows what the other guy’s ideas are because they’re “all over the map,” then proceed to describe in great detail exactly what’s wrong with them and/or what will result from them.

Now you see…that’s actually scary. The whole reason for electing Barack Obama in the first place — apart from this “Yay, it’s America’s first black president” thing — was to try out yet again something I’ve seen fail over and over and over…so-and-so just got done, uh, managing something, so perhaps all knowledge is generic and we don’t need anybody to demonstrate any specialized knowledge in anything. In other words, running a “great” political campaign is, perhaps, all that is needed. The guy at the top doesn’t need to know about anything practical, since His marvelous head is crammed full of generalized, abstract stuff…although He’s just so prescient and observant and generally wonderful that we’re sure He can grasp everything immediately if He really needs to.

Like most dumb ideas, this falls apart under the weight of simply being taken seriously. Knowing what Obama knows, in the field that Obama knows, should be sufficient to bring good results in matters more technical and specialized…well, coordinating a message is not even venturing outside the field of what Obama is already supposed to know. It is what He does, what His team does, what we saw them do back in 2008 so effectively. It isn’t even branching into a different area of knowledge, it is their primary field of expertise. It is the specialized talent they are supposed to be bringing to the table.

They can’t even do that much. It’s as if someone, whose name we still haven’t heard, was responsible for getting all the work done and got tired of missing out on the credit. Submitted his or her resignation, went off somewhere and became a goat farmer, leaving all the big-name management types high & dry.

We don’t know what Mitt Romney wants to do; Romney himself doesn’t know; but we can tell you exactly what is wrong with it all. It doesn’t even make sense.

They send their toadies out to the social networking sites to repeat this stuff…everybody else can handle it however they like, my chosen method has been simply to repeat it back to them. “Wait a minute, you’re saying it’s a mystery what Romney’s going to do, but you can tell me precisely what will happen in the wake? How do you reconcile that, how do you square that circle?” And there they are. Blink, blink. Derp. Got nuthin’. Boss sent them out on the jousting field with a short lance.

Cassy Seems to Recall…

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

…something. Let’s get through the background info first. Some Republican candidate somewhere fell into a trap, answering a question that is hopefully mostly-useless and should be all-the-way-useless, about what is to be done about a pregnancy caused by rape. The correct answer is, of course, that he would represent his Indiana constituency in the United States Senate in strict accordance with upholding the U.S. Constitution, as required by the oath he would take upon being sworn in. But he was goaded into saying…

I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

Well, problem: You have to be a whole lot more careful around the zoo tiger that has missed its last two or so feedings, and the Obama re-election beast is so starved with any kind of case it can make to the American voters that its bones are starting to stick out from its fur. So…lights, camera, action! You have the floor, Mr. President!

“Let me make a very simple proposition. Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so these various distinctions about rape don’t make too much sense…”
“This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions,” Obama said. “Women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors, and for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff often times without any information is a huge problem.”


Yes, by all means. When our overriding concern is politicians sensibly staying out of matters that do not concern them, and leaving intimate decisions up to the wise and capable voters, then of course our standard bearer has to be Barack Hussein “My wife is bored and wants to tell your kids what to eat” Obama! <eyeball roll>

Which brings us to Cassy’s remark:

Gee, that’s funny. I seem to recall Obama — a male politician — weighing in on abortion in the past. Let’s see… there was his pro-infanticide vote. That’s one notable example. So I guess what he really meant to say was, male politicians can weigh in on abortion, but only if they’re on the “right” side of the issue. Otherwise, keep your mouths shut!

It isn’t just Obama, though. I see this all over the place: Men making this claim that men should not have opinions about abortion…but if another man pipes up and says “It should be legal!” they don’t get in that guy’s face and say “Hey, you! That’s an opinion about abortion, you’re a man, so you just stuff a sock in it pal!” To the last man, it seems this professed abortion-issue agnosticism is entirely phony. “Men should not have opinions about abortion” — means — “Men should not oppose abortion.”

I notice something else, though. When a politician takes charge of something and, next time he’s up for re-election he doesn’t have any good results to offer and has to head back to the “re-elect me so we can keep abortion legal” thing…you know what, President Obama? Those politicians are “mostly male” too! Mostly male, and mostly silly, since a lot of these guys never had anything to do with abortion being allowed (or not) in the first place.

Cassy then goes on to raise an interesting question:

Also, if men aren’t allowed to make decisions on abortion, then why should they be forced to pay child support for children they don’t want? I mean, think about it. Men can’t have a voice on abortion, and they can’t have a choice on whether they want children or not. How is that right?

I can field that one. It goes back to my previous post, in which I said, simply:

Abortion: godlessness…

I was going through a litany of favorite left-wing issues, categorizing them according to how they meshed up with what I perceived to be three primary base human impulses. Those three impulses being: Resentment, desire for a centrally controlled and micro-managed nanny-state, and belief in a godless universe. Abortion is godless, not only in the act, but in the beliefs upon which it is based. The baby is “tissue.” To those who then ask, if the baby is nothing more than a clump of cells and the rest of us labor under no moral obligation to preserve it, then how are any of the rest of us more worthy of protection than that “tissue”? And the honest answer is: We’re not! Boys, girls, gays, straights, babies, old people, every year in between we’re all just randomly growing and regenerating carbon-based stuff. Stuck here on a tiny rock in space by unplanned cosmic forces. Nothing glorious about us at all. Certainly no reason for being here, no mission, no purpose. Just sit around and be happy. Play a video game and chow down a Happy Meal. Do whatever pleases you.

This is a view of our cosmos, and all the things in it, that is loaded up silly with glaring, unworkable contradictions. Like — now that we’ve been deposited here by random forces, without glory, without purpose, without mission and unworthy of any kind of respect…somehow, we have this [blank]-given right to a more-or-less equal distribution of the wages and assets. We have rights to all sorts of things. Representation at negotiations between labor and management; the job itself; the fruits of the negotiations; health care; using the other bathroom when we’re about to go in for gender reassignment surgery; minimum wage; voting, maybe food, maybe a car…dammit, we have rights!

Right to vote. Right to abort. Neither one of them can ever be infringed upon, because, GRRRR ANGRY HULK SMASH!! Well, when there are two rights that are to take supremacy at all times, and they do not run parallel to each other, they in fact intersect — something’s gotta give. Here, we reach that point when we ask an intriguing hypothetical I’ve posed before: The powers that be fail to pay proper heed to Roe v. Wade, and a referendum question ends up on my ballot asking if I want to outlaw abortion. Do I have the right to cast a vote? Do I have a right to vote yes? To have this vote counted…to see it prevail, if it turns out I’m in the majority? Bounce that one off your liberal friends sometime. Get ready for a deer-in-the-headlights look that will put any real deer to shame.

But I suppose that sounds like, liberalism is in fact anarchy. We have no purpose here, therefore we have no obligation, including obligation to follow the law. How then do we resolve Cassy’s question: The men who are not to have any say about abortion, are to be obliged to pay support when they didn’t have a say in whether the pregnancy would continue. How do we square that circle? The answer is that liberals do not see “child support” the way real people do. You’ll notice they’re very free and easy talking about “obligations” people have, like rich people and corporations paying their “fair share,” humans being kind to the “environment,” giving health insurance to the poor, poor, pitiful poor. Mitt Romney should hire more women. But Thing I Know #52 kicks in…

52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

Liberals don’t see child support the way you and I do, because they don’t see any other kind of “obligation” the way you and I do. The issue with the obligation is not, it has to be met because someone somewhere is counting on it. If that were the case, then the obligation being met, would be a meaningful event. On Planet Progressive, this is not happening. No, the obligation is assigned to help underscore the idea that the person who has the obligation, is not as good a person as somebody else. You’ll notice these people the liberals want to make good, and force everyone else to respect; they never have any obligations. Obama Himself is the extreme example. Everyone who expects Obama to do anything, including maintain a consistent position on gay marriage, or closing Guantanamo, or produce a picture of bin Laden’s corpse, or Obama’s own college transcripts — is a r-r-r-r-acist. Which, in turn, simply means that they are to be shunned by all good liberals everywhere.

So of course men have an obligation to “pay child support.” But the liberals who say so, don’t give a hang about the kids. They just want a reminder that the men aren’t good. So put some obligations on them, because to a liberal, that’s how it’s done.

Another contradiction that is unworkable: The men, mentioned above, who don’t want men to have opinions about abortion. Such passion! But if it’s honest passion, how is it sustained? How do you go about being so opinionated, that you should not have an opinion about something? I call shenanigans. I don’t think the human mind is capable of tying itself in to such a knot. If it is, then it isn’t very suitable for its intended purpose…uh oh…there I go, offending the godless universe again, for how can the human mind be intended for something in its design and implementation, without someone doing the intending, designing and implementing?

Politics and Resentment

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Some days I’m thoroughly ashamed of how long I’ve been studying liberals, and how much I still have left to figure out about them. After all, when all’s said & done they aren’t that complicated. I can only conclude that either I’m thoroughly lacking in the skills needed to figure things out, from the simple to the complex, or else I’ve been spending all that time looking for the needle in the wrong damn haystack, studying something that is not the thing that needs studying.

I’m leaning toward the latter. I’ve figured out some things here & there, in my lifetime, that eluded the vigorous and honest presentation of investigative effort of others, whom I knew to offer no small amount of talent when it came to figuring things out. So I must not be completely handicapped there. There is also the matter that in politics, people have a tendency to shape the politics by using their abundant and intense passions to debate a wide variety of issues; it’s fascinating how everyone seems to lose track of how many issues there are, and yet everyone’s convinced their own issue is the most important one. Well, listening to all these arguments about all these issues does open one up to the possibility of error, by way of using one’s energy to look for things in the wrong places. And, I have to ‘fess up that some other people are good at keeping from getting distracted, and for whatever other strengths I might have to offer, I am not one of those people. After many years of being reminded of that I have come to realize I’m simply not comfortable with the horse-blinders on. I don’t recognize the separation of subject-matter. My life experience tells me that work, play, family, friends, raising and educating children, these things are all connected to the way people think, as is this thing we call “politics.” It’s all one big ball of yarn. I’m still trying to untangle it.

And so I have these epiphanies about basic things. Embarrassingly basic, and embarrassingly late.

Like this past weekend: I reflect on it for a few days and a few nights, and realize I can’t think of any political agenda, in my lifetime, leftward-leaning that doesn’t have something to do with resentment.

My fiance and I were talking about this over dinner in Vallejo Saturday night, mulling over the question: How could there be any kinship at all, between feminism and communism? Feminism, at least that brand of it that finds the broadest support, is: If a woman performs the same job as an equally experienced and equally-qualified man, and performs it with an equal level of competence, she should be paid the same. Second-wave feminism, it could be persuasively argued, is first and foremost about this one thing, all other agendas within that movement are derivative of it. It is inherently capitalistic. It is entirely irrelevant in this mythical Utopia that is communism, and suffers from a continual erosion of irrelevance in a society moving toward that ultimate goal. Feminism, therefore, should have an inimical relationship with communism. In theory; but in practice it does not, the two have formed a diabolical, but rather easy, alliance. How and why?

And this forms the epiphany. The two really don’t have anything in common with each other besides resentment. Could it be that resentment is the underpinning, the common foundation, beneath all leftist movements? It was there in the Communist Manifesto. It was there in the storming of the Bastille.

I thought I’d come up with an exception this morning: There is a lot of excitement swirling around about ObamaCare, and of course there is an entire field of socio-economic agitation for reform based on a desire for central management. These people do not all seem resentful, to me. If they are then I think their passion for this “kiosk society” includes a lot of things that are not entirely based on their resentments…but there is the big question, perhaps I’m wrong about this. Perhaps resentment possesses not a sibling or cousin relationship, but rather an ancestral one, to these collectivist/kiosk longings.

Professor Mondo put up a link to his thoughts about Roger Scruton’s writings — which present a powerful argument that this is indeed the case.

[H]e argues that the rise of totalitarian governments (e.g., Nazism, State Communism) in the 20th Century occurred because “there is something in human nature to which they respond.” The temptation is to believe that the failures of the totalitarian states have stemmed from putting the wrong people in charge, and each new batch of totalitarians believes that they will at last get it right.

But what is the human trait that totalitarianism pretends to assuage? This is where I find Scruton to be electrifying. “Totalitarian systems of government and totalitarian ideologies have a single source, which is resentment.” Scruton notes that resentment is a natural part of the human condition, an inevitable consequence of competition for resources. The would-be totalitarian sees the institutions of civil society as creating the inequalities that bred his resentment, and by using government, he would bypass or altogether eliminate those institutions.

It seems what I’m discovering is that I don’t really understand resentment. This comes as a surprise. I’m no saint and I have not spent a life free of resentment; growing up, in fact, I was far more resentful than most other kids, and had more reason for being resentful, at least in my own mind. And I recall that at age 10 I was fooled into “voting” for Jimmy Carter, which is a way of saying I was fooled into thinking it would be a good idea for him to be voted in as our country’s next president. This did not last long, since by 14 I fully understood this was a dumb experiment and, for the good of the country, the peanut farmer had to go. By 18 I couldn’t get out in the morning early enough to cast my vote to re-elect Reagan. But how did resentment feed into these ideas of mine? It didn’t. I recall it all as jumbled bits of accidental wisdom and foolishness, the way I suppose we all recall things in our past, the good decisions as well as the bad.

Those who disagreed with me, though, and thought Mondale-Ferraro was the way to go; I cannot in good conscience jot down any doubts about their resentments, or speculation that they were acting on something else. I have no memories to support such a thing. They imbibed thirstily of the intoxicating elixir of their own resentments, and made sure they were seen, far & wide, so imbibing. Reagan. Watt. Bush. Old white guys. Men. Christians. “Oil buddies.” Oh, and nucular nucular nucular. Right, back in those days the left-wing didn’t ridicule the right-wing for mispronouncing the word, they were the ones doing the mispronouncing. They still wanted to appear super-sophisticated and enlightened, but back then the faux sophistication was found in just mentioning the word as often as possible, not much attention was paid to whether the pronunciation was right.

In the years since then, I lost my interest in politics and became more fixated on meeting the demands of day-to-day living. I guess that happens to most young adults. My interest was aroused, again, when Bill Clinton came along since I could see exactly what he was about to do. What was going on with resentment during that time? Certainly I felt some here & there, but the pressures and demands of adult responsibilities toned it down. Perhaps there is a fundamental difference in world-view there. If others have privileges I don’t have, and because of this I have to do a little extra grasping in order to meet my goals, then it isn’t going to happen unless I have that “Am I over it yet?” moment and concentrate my energies on my own actions and my own influences. Besides, in the meantime, I had been on the other end of resentments as well. That is to say, others had been resentful of me. And I felt the effects of this, which was not an experience I had had by age 10. I suppose that can have an effect.

Anyway: I had another thought about godlessness. These people we call “liberals” and “progressives,” today, seem to be intractably bound to an understanding of the universe and all the things in it, that since living things are capable of developing new traits through a process of evolution, that everything remarkable about every living thing must have evolved that way. They are fascinated with this process of evolution. When they enter into conflict with conservatives about how to interpret the Constitution, they get into this nonsense about a “living [, breathing] document” and they recognize “rights” without even acknowledging the process of recognition, instead insisting that the rights are in a process of evolving. Had I not already parted company with them on any other matter, I would have to part company with them here, for their error is in a childlike confusion between the objective and the subjective. It is a rather drastic confusion taking place because they’re observing a change in an object’s state, while the only thing that has changed is their own sensibilities. Ask a conservative, is slavery wrong today and was it wrong before 1863? And there’s no hesitation about it — it is universally wrong, wrong then, wrong now, wrong when the Egyptians used slave labor to build the pyramids. But the liberals like to live in today, and when they recognize the concept of time they get stuck in this thing about evolution. We must have rights today that we didn’t have then, since the rights come from government, and heck, something has been going on since why else would we be celebrating the 30th, 40th, 50th anniversary of this-thing or that-thing.

Since there is no god, an unborn child is not a child at all but a “choice.” And we should take “In God We Trust” off our money. Also, we are not “endowed” by our “Creator” with certain “inalienable rights.” Been a few years since I engaged in that particular debate, but the last I heard the story was that the words are found in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, which means something because the Declaration is not “legally binding” or something.

So what we today call “liberalism” is a family tree of sorts, an unholy trinity. You have these three doctrines at the top of the pedigree chart — inter-class resentment, the desire for the micro-managed centrally-ordered kiosk society, and the godless universe with the magical force of evolution explaining everything because, science. From those three, all the other positions become clearly defined. Abortion: godlessness, as has been demonstrated already, above. Taxing the rich: Resentment. New and expensive bureaucracies: Micro-managed society. Affirmative action: Resentment. Public education: Micro-managed society. Labor unions: Micro-management, and resentment. Minimum wage: Same. Taking the Boy Scouts to court: All three. Gun control: Micro-management. Environmentalist extremism: Micro-management and godlessness. Can’t buy a 32-oz. soda: Micro-management. Gay marriage: Resentment and godlessness.

But perhaps our pedigree chart isn’t accurate if the three at the top are on equal footing; perhaps there is a hierarchy to be recognized way up there. There is, it could be said, a rather subtle parentage taking place between resentment and Scruton’s “Totalitarian Temptation.” The competition for limited resources concludes with winners and losers, which causes resentment, which would then naturally inspire some juvenile visions about living without said competition. Therefore let’s start regulating and regulating some more.

There is also a subtle parentage taking place between the resentment and the godlessness. After all, what really is our belief system, when we profess a belief in a Higher Power? Summing up the Old and New Testaments in a single sentence, along with the holy books of all similar religions going all the way back to the Greeks and the Romans, what we are essentially saying is: Whether I can see it or not, there is a purpose for what just happened here — it is supposed to have happened. Politics based on resentment will not allow for this, since that viewpoint says that what happened here is not supposed to have happened.

Perhaps it is a linear parentage at the top: Yoda might say resentment leads to micro-management, micro-management leads to godlessness, with a grandparent relationship between the resentment and the godlessness. But maybe at that point we’re just quibbling over semantics.

Mondo goes on to say:

This is what Rush Limbaugh has described as “get even with ‘em-ism,” but for those of us in the medievalism business, we recognize it as the second deadly sin in the Gregorian order: Envy.

This is why I’m sure I’d flunk Mondo’s classes if I ever took them. I know I’m supposed to be thinking about Dante and Milton when we get into those Seven Deadly Sins, but whenever he brings it up, the first thing in my head is Billy Batson walking down that long hallway to meet the old wizard Shazam. But, all the same, I can appreciate why they are “deadly sins”; it all comes down to the simple understanding that a decision made based on any one of those things, will not be made as well as a decision made without them. That is true of all seven, but it is especially true of the envy, which is resentment.

And that seems to be what left-wing politics have become, perhaps what they always were: Making bad decisions look like good ones, by viewing them through a cloudy, colored prism of envy and resentment.

Where Do Obama Supporters Get Their “Unbiased” News?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest.

Can Barack Obama or Joe Biden Be Told Anything?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I don’t think the “live-blogging” works…

I came to that conclusion early this morning as I opened up a Starbucks. After I got hold of my morning cup of hot strong black stuff, when I caught up on the headlines from last night’s debate, I realized this went soaring over my li’l head:

[President Obama:] You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

See, I have this belief about assholes: We can disagree about whether or not a specific person is one, or is behaving like one within a defined setting as we evaluate some defined behavior of his, with reasonable points presented on both sides of such a disagreement. Right up until the individual is trying to be one. Asshole-ish-ness gets an automatic A for effort; if you’re working at it, it really doesn’t matter what the achievement is. People manage to do asshole things all the time without characteristically behaving like assholes, or without the personality deficiencies of assholes, but you don’t apply yourself toward asshole effort unless you’re an asshole.

Yes, that applies to sitting United States Presidents. What an asshole! “We have these things called aircraft carriers…”

I have a dream. It is one fraught with reckless optimism, but not altogether disconnected from reality…that this statement made a bigger impression on people at the time than it did on me. I have a dream that as soon as President Obama got to the “z” sound in “carriers,” millions upon millions of people in the battleground states made up their minds once and for all that we’ve reached the zero with Experiment O. Mull this statement over in your mind a minute or two, and it becomes clear: Some teenager at heart, having successfully used elaborate Marxist rhetoric to get out of garbage-hauling duty for the entirety of his young, snot-nosed existence, managed to bullshit His way into the White House. That is a problem, and by no means a small one.

The Oval Office is infected with a case of CBTA Disease:

CBTA: Can’t Be Told Anything. Applied to an individual who might actually be quite intelligent, but barring some drastic change in mindset, can never know any more than he knows right now.

Right. See, here’s the problem — you should never presume someone is stupid just because you personally don’t like them. That’s a trap. However, CBTA Disease is another trap. The damage done by CBTA Disease can be summed up in a single statement, and here it is: People who have it make better foes than friends. You don’t want these people on your side, you see, because by the very definition of their class, they can’t be told anything. And they tend to think, tragically, that they have managed to “win” every single argument that comes their way…which is quite a few, since they attract conflict like shit drawing flies…simply by demonstrating that they can’t be told anything.

Quoting myself, on some other matter on which I was invited to expound in written form,

[I]t might be summed up as “you’ll never get me to come around to your point of view, so you may as well save yourself some trouble and come around to mine.”

There’s a lot of that going around, lately. I last recall it with…uh, let’s see…oh yeah right, that veep debate with Joe Biden. Do I need to list examples? It would take a lot less time and space to list examples of when Joe Biden was not doing this.

Oh and one other little thing: Who is the knucklehead who thought it was a great idea to use this as a campaign promotion photo?

Just WOW. You can see the intransigence sort of leap right out of the photo, grab you by the neck and shake you. The caption practically writes itself. “Vote for us, we’re rude, boorish assholes who interrupt constantly and can’t be told anything.”

“We have these things called aircraft carriers.” Hey President Obama, your mom’s dead. I’m sure she had some challenges bringing you up right, that’s been made abundantly clear in a lot of little ways now. How about, let the dead rest a bit easier, sort of tone down on her failings in proper parenthood, let us forget about it a little bit. Because when I hear You saying stuff like this, first thing I have to do is envision someone age-appropriate saying it, which would put them somewhere around fourteen, fifteen…second thing I have to do is envision the proper parent mid-course correction, which would in some way concern a split lip. Which, it’s plain to see, and this is exceptionally unfortunate, You didn’t get when You needed it most.

Big BirdBut I’m not worried about Barack Obama being a proper and polite teenager. I’m worried about Barack Obama being my President. Even disregarding the ideological spectrum, this is precisely what I do not want to see in the Oval Office, this swaggering hipster can’t-be-told-anything mentality. What’s the matter Obama, You’re really that sensitive when You encounter someone who doesn’t agree with You on everything? It’s that much of a new experience for You? Because that would be a problem. A real problem. You can’t reconcile it all in that head of Yours, except to imagine that Gov. Romney doesn’t know what an aircraft carrier is?

And, unfortunately, we know the culture is in our nation’s highest office; it surrounds it on the outside and permeates it within. We know Biden is no better. Biden worked long and hard, after all, to make sure we knew.

CBTA Disease; when it rears its head, it’s always an ugly thing.

Let’s see, what’s the absolute highest station in life I think someone should be able to attain, when they’re infected with CBTA. Can’t Be Told Anything…well that would be a good thing to have, if you’re something like, um, say, a driver’s ed instructor in a high school. A prison guard. A collection agent? Those guys might be more effective in their jobs if they can’t be told things. But not President of the United freakin’ States.

Just look at that photo one more time. There is a constituency out there — which might prevail, in this election coming up — that wants these two guys to be this way. Time comes for President Obama and Vice President Biden to reach out to their constituents, and we get this image. It’s like they stepped out of a movie directed by the Coen Brothers, or Quentin Tarantino.

But they’re not in a movie, they’re real people. Running everything. Can’t Be Told Anything…will never know any more than they know right now…incapable of learning anything new. And they’re proud of that.

November 6 can’t come soon enough.

Update: As of today, Oct. 23, it seems Chris Matthews had the opinion that anyone who doesn’t agree the Benghazi attack was about “the video,” needed to “read a newspaper.” Just another example of what I’m talking about…

Update: Just realized the video clip auto-plays, sometimes at least…wonder why it didn’t do that to me before? I am absolutely not in favor of such web shenanigans and will not knowingly be a party to them…certainly not so that my readers can be regaled with the dulcet tones of Mr. Matthews. So you can click the link if you want to view.

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest.