Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“‘Issues’ or America?”

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Sowell:

The America that has flourished for more than two centuries is being quietly but steadily dismantled by the Obama administration, during the process of dealing with particular issues.
:
When a President can ignore the plain language of duly passed laws, and substitute his own executive orders, then we no longer have “a government of laws, and not of men” but a President ruling by decree, like the dictator in some banana republic.
:
ObamaCare imposes huge costs on some institutions, while the President’s arbitrary waivers exempt other institutions from having to pay those same costs. That is hardly the “equal protection of the laws,” promised by the 14th Amendment.

John Stuart Mill explained the dangers in that kind of government long ago: “A government with all this mass of favours to give or to withhold, however free in name, wields a power of bribery scarcely surpassed by an avowed autocracy, rendering it master of the elections in almost any circumstances but those of rare and extraordinary public excitement.”

I’m afraid that’s the vision: Vote in the guy who likes “us,” and “win,” over those other people who are trying to take our “rights” away…it’s rather ironic when you think about it. For generations, the rule of good manners has been, don’t discuss politics or religion, talk about sports instead. Here, after all the water has flowed under the bridge, we find our politics have been taken over by little people who seem to see all of life as some kind of a football game. Win. Beat. Rout. Trounce.

They babble away with incoherent but obligatory bromides about “level playing field” and “building a society that works for everybody.” But when pressed to give reasons why everyone else should do what they say, it always leads to some lecture about some hated person, or hated group, or class, which should rightfully not be deciding things…in any way at all…and has to be neutralized. The irony.

So I suppose it should not be surprising that these people vote for laws, the same way they vote for people — they do not come from a world in which one thing counts for as much as another. They’re voting on weights. If so-and-so won, then these people become more important than those people…and these laws become more important than those laws. And they are prisoners of such thinking, because if the other guy wins then, from out of nowhere, they conjure up this thought that they, and theirs, have been somehow diminished, and may be on the way toward extinction. “We offered our ideas and the electorate said no” is a thought that never penetrates the ol’ cranium.

Would a return to high school civics class fix this? Perhaps. Perhaps not. We will always have the ignorant. But the politician who panders to this, seems to me to be an avoidable pestilence; perhaps, therefore, a curable one.

Update: Jodi Miller gets it: At 0:54, “In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, President Obama said he doesn’t think anyone would suggest He’s tried to divide the country; at least, not anyone from the half of the country that matters.”

That’s a good way of summing it up.

Little Lies For Little People

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

The big thing that happened yesterday, apart from Commander Armstrong leaving Earth for the last time, was the Obamapologist democrats getting caught in another lie. But this one is not just another cash-versus-accrual-basis-accounting, could-be-construed-as lie, this is a forehead-smacking, “how did they ever think they could get away with that” lie.

Much has been said already about the “Republican woman voting for Obama” who turned out to be a posing die-hard lefty activist. After the info had a chance to come out, it emerged that another so-called “Republican woman” had a similar background. At this point there is very little to be added, except one thing…

First, watch, for context…

For me to make my observation, I must zoom out, use my recollection, think back; it will likewise be necessary to think back in order to get it. But review recent history about the lies coming out of the defenders of the current President. Think about the subject matter. Notice a pattern?

They all have to do with two things: What’s-everyone-else-doing, and what’s in the bargain for me, me, me. They’re all lies that wouldn’t work on real Americans. As statements, they are all statements that would have negligible-to-nonexistent effect on people who actually build stuff. Free stuff from the government? How’s everybody else voting? What the hell do I care?

But, the little people are all worried about their free shit…that, and how do I have to vote to fit in, like they’re still in middle school or something. And, of course, it is offensive in the extreme to ponder seriously what the Obama democrats think about women. And infuriating. Odd reactions to elicit in people, when the core concern is supposed to be about not-offending-someone. There are maybe two seconds — out of 156 — that have to do with “equal pay,” the rest of it is all birth control, abortions and Roe v. Wade. And, tellingly, the ad signs off, finishing strong, with one of the “Republican women for Obama” saying “If we don’t look out for our interests, how do we expect someone else to?”

Priorities!The entire perspective is diseased. There’s no other word for it. This is all an election is ever about, just groups of people getting together and then whoever is outnumbered is forced to do things to suit the other people who did the outnumbering? That’s the whole point, really? Election time…let’s raid that billfold.

This is the attitude that made America a superpower, huh?

Invented the telephone and the light bulb.

Defeated the Nazis and the Communists, secured “last man standing” status after the Cold War.

Put a man on the moon and launched the space shuttles.

I don’t think so…and I don’t think the America I know, appreciates this kind of message too much…

I think there’s a Republican mole in Barack Obama’s campaign. It keeps doing dumb, stupid things, putting out this stuff that makes me think “Whoever did this should be fired before sundown…no, wait…now that I think on it, I hope that doesn’t happen.”

Our current President is telling lies. They are lies a technologically savvy president, even feeling somehow inclined to tell such lies, would not tell, because it is only too obvious how the liar would be caught. But the lies are not even directed toward Americans who want to be part of the American legacy, Americans who are interested in building great things. That’s my observation: Just like His statements that actually have some truth to them, His lies are only addressed to a part of America. To the little people with little hearts and little brains, who just want to do what they think everybody else is already doing. And pocket lots of free stuff, with the bill sent to strangers.

The “How Dare You Not Believe Blah Blah Blah” Thing…

Friday, August 24th, 2012

++groan++

Earlier Friday, we reported that Mitt Romney upset many in the so-called “mainstream media” when he joked that no one has “ever asked to see” his birth certificate while speaking at a rally in Commerce, Michigan. MSNBC hosts, however, went ballistic on Friday, calling his joke “racist” and bigoted, the Washington Examiner reported.

“Host Alex Wagner explained that Romney was clearly ‘scraping the very bottom of this sort of racist other-ist narrative,’” Charlie Spiering wrote.

Michael Eric Dyson amplified that remark, claiming that Romney was appealing to the “base bigotry” of the GOP.

“In this he’s revealing for us, I think that we should be grateful for this but it’s pretty scary to think that a political figure at that high a level is resorting to some of the basest, most despicable bigotry we can imagine,” he said.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes called Romney’s remark “hipster racism.”

“I don’t even know what to do with that joke, it’s like a lasagna of metaphor. I don’t know what, it’s like so piled up, somebody, Adam Serwer at Mother Jones referred to as ‘ironic post-birtherism,’ it’s like hipster racism basically,” he said.

One demerit for using the word “basically,” and an additional demerit for using it in precisely the way I described earlier. Chris Hayes, born in 1979, wishes to lecture us about “hipster racism.” Basically.

I’m getting so sick and tired of seeing people vilified as monsters, for merely suggesting a sluggishness about believing…whatever. Skepticism, mere questions, the faintest whiff of hesitation or doubt. Or, the mere lack of certainty. Or something that might be interpreted as lack of certainty.

Quicker than Obama blaming George Bush for something, and just as predictable, there’s a butt-hurtey two-minute-hatey-hatey.

I…am…so…sick…of…it…

It’ll be nice when Obama’s gone. I’m not gonna miss this. Just fucking childish as all get-out.

Breeding Like Bovines

Friday, August 24th, 2012

So over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, this image appeared…

…and under the name of a male. One who is by no means left of wing, in general. So I’m assuming the sentiment behind it is one of true libertarianism, a “woman’s right to choose” being not an expression of modern liberalism, but a true desire for greater personal liberty across the board.

Nevertheless, even granting that and overlooking all the attendant contradictions, there is some passion behind it, and it is male passion. Which is part of a phenomenon I have been noticing: Men who are extremely opinionated that men…shouldn’t have opinions about this thing. I just don’t understand how that is managed. How do you do that?

Favorite question to ask the libs: If voter ID is an impermissible encroachment on one of our most sacred liberties, The Right To Vote…and abortion restriction, in any form, is an impermissible encroachment on one of our most sacred liberties, The Right To Choose…do I then enjoy a sacred right to vote yes on a law that will restrict abortion? Oh, my. What a crowbar to toss in the ol’ sawblade. The stammering, stuttering, bumbling incoherence you get back, the deer-in-the-headlights look you get. You can see “Do I get to phone a friend?” right in their big, wide, bulging eyes.

There is a pattern with modern liberalism, in which they elevate personal liberty above the policing and regulatory authority of the state when, and only when, it’s got something to do with sex. The deviant practices of sex, and the consequences that follow.

However, I’ve long picked up the vibe here that what we’re really talking about with the “men shouldn’t express opinions about abortion” issue is: How do humans breed. And the problem I call out is, if the decision to carry the child or to abort it belongs entirely to the woman, it isn’t such a great leap from there to say that raising the kid is also entirely the responsibility of the woman. And I fear there is the school of thought out there that says, yeah that’s exactly how it’s done. Men just kinda run around spreading, the women “get” pregnant and “have” children and raise them. Like cows raising calves. Humans are supposed to breed just like bovines.

Once again, we see nobody who believes that actually puts that together word-for-word and writes it, or speaks it. It would be too evident in its destructive energy and destructive intent. But that does seem to be the rule. And, we see at school when kids are hurt, or get in trouble, are accused of something…it has become part of the bureaucratic normalcy to make sure the mother is notified and once that’s done, well, mission accomplished.

It is clear how we got here. Feminism has become very powerful over the last several decades, and it has never been too fond of what it calls “the patriarchy.” And we all know what the patriarchy means: The poppa meets the momma, he provides a house which then remains his, and together they raise his family then he makes sure his sons can do big he-manly things so that they can start their households with their new wives who will raise their kids…so feminism comes along and says, more credit for the momma. More credit, more ownership, more responsibility, more privileges, more rights. Let’s be fair, it is the bureaucrats, actually applying the rules, who come to the conclusion that fatherhood doesn’t matter anymore. And they reached that by just thinking narrowly. The feminists just gave them a push in the general direction, then the pinheads did what pinheads will always do: Minimalist thinking. Kids have moms. They don’t have dads, not unless all kids have dads, for if all can’t have something then none of them can…and not all of them have dads. Next problem.

Question, then: If feminism is all about equal rights, and it doesn’t have anything to do with eroding the glory and the potential of the human equation, then how come it has never put too much energy behind a drive to carry surnames down the female line? I’m not talking about hyphenated names; that’s just a softly bubbling angry cauldron sitting on the back burner of our society, muttering away “look out lefty and feminist I am.” I’m talking about a complete reversal. They marry, his name gets lost, the kids get her name and carry it on. Carter spent all that energy trying to move us to the metric system…and in the middle of an energy crisis too, might I add. Lefties just love to flip society over like a pancake in other matters, why not here?

This has to do with personal ambition, desire to become a better person. Fathers are supposed to have this talk with their sons, are they not? I had it with mine: “There is a reason you have two names, and your job is to keep them both good.”

Perhaps the answer is as simple as: The feminism we know, has always been quicker about erasing inequalities that have to do with these “rights,” than about confronting other inequalities that have to do with responsibility. This one is obviously the latter. But if equality is the goal, and the family is to be re-wired and re-configured to prepare for a new matriarchy to displace the patriarchy, it nevertheless seems like this should be a natural next-step. Well, it hasn’t been. The energy hasn’t been directed here. It’s been directed toward making it easier to sue men in the workplace, for feelings of whatever in potentially unstable females that those men never even noticed were there. Followed closely behind by, left-wing male politicians whose policies are just a big hot mess on their local economies, getting re-elected by way of feminist-buzzword-gimmickry so they can do some more damage. Those two things, abortion and gay marriage, that’s where feminist excitement is directed and has been directed.

At any rate, I would offer that this has been the source of some of our societal decline: The desire for a decent personal reputation has been identified as one of the bits of baggage that are supposed to be tossed in the bonfire, with the rest of the hated patriarchy, and reduced to ash.

The cows raise the calves. But the calves do not share the cow’s last name. So they don’t serve the purpose of carrying any kind of reputation into the future. With that change made, children cease to function in their unique role of preserving any kind of immortality. The desirable attributes of youth, itself, are entirely lost. Kids become nothing more than a pain-in-the-neck, a bunch of curtain-climbers, trouble-making whelps who have to be constantly told put-that-down, don’t-touch-that.

Much like the calves. No place for them except maybe between the vegetables and the mashed potatoes.

But if the kids aren’t worth any more than just that, then neither are the rest of us. Uh yeah, that includes all classes of us, male and female, gay and straight, all colors. Two ninety-nine a pound with your Safeway club card, that’s all we’re worth.

“Sixty-Six Years of Us Would Take the Starch Out of Any Nation”

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Tough to come up with a headline/post for this one…not so tough to excerpt. P. J. O’ Rourke, at his finest (hat tip to Maggie’s Farm):

When did America quit bragging? When did we stop punching hardest, kicking highest, roaring loudest, beating the devil, and leaving everybody else in the dust?

We’re the richest country on earth—four and a half percent of the world’s people producing more than twenty percent of the world’s wealth. But you wouldn’t know from the cheapjack spending squabbles in Congress. We possess more military power than the rest of the planet combined. Though you couldn’t tell by the way we’re treated by everyone from the impotent Kremlin to the raggedy councils of the Taliban. The earth is ours. We have the might and means to achieve the spectacular—and no intention of doing so.
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For fifty years, from 1931 to 1981, the US had the longest suspension bridge spans, first with the George Washington Bridge, then the Golden Gate, then the Verrazano-Narrows. Now even Hull, England, has a more spectacular place to make a bungee jump. Although we are in the lead with that. The elasticized drop from Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge is 1,053 feet long, showing that whatever America has lost in technological superiority we’ve made up for in sheer idiotic behavior.

Speaking of which, there’s our space program, which has basically ceased to exist. We have a NASA that might as well have been dreamed up by Alger Hiss. In order for Americans to get to the International Space Station, they have to go to Russia.

And in order for Americans to get to the bottom of how the universe works, they have to go to Switzerland. We were planning to build a high-energy particle collider in Texas that would have had a circumference of fifty-four miles—three times the size and power of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. But Congress canceled the project in 1993.

America has had plenty of reasons to abdicate the crown of accomplishment and marry the Wallis Simpson of homely domestic concerns. Received wisdom tells us that, in the matter of great works and vast mechanisms, all is vanity. The Nurek Dam probably endangers some species of Nurek newt and will one day come crashing down in a manner that will make the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima tsunami look like an overwatered lawn. And we have better things to spend our country’s money on, like putting a Starbucks on every city block. But I suspect there’s a sadder reason for America’s post-eminence in things tremendous, overwhelming, and awesome.

My sad generation of baby boomers can be blamed. We were born into an America where material needs were fulfilled to a degree unprecedented in history. We were a demographic benison, cherished and taught to be self-cherishing. We were cosseted by a lush economy and spoiled by a society grown permissive in its fatigue with the strictures of depression and war. The child being father to the man, and necessity being the mother of invention, we wound up as the orphans of effort and ingenuity. And pleased to be so. Sixty-six years of us would be enough to take the starch out of any nation.

Smackdown…

America once valued the high-skilled. Now we value the high-minded. We used to admire bold ideas. Now we admire benign idealism. This doesn’t make us good, it makes us wrong. The bold can be achieved. Of the ideal, there is none in this life.

Trudging toward infinity versus trudging toward zero. The zero always seems easier because it’s closer, but the irony is that we destroy ourselves getting there because we have to abandon our creative energies. What do you do, the day after you’ve succeeded in approaching the zero? You become an embodiment of silliness, much like the dog that can catch the car. Seriously, what do you do? Nail it again?

So I would not put all the blame on the baby-boomers. How many Gen-X slackers do we have who want to fly to Mars? How many Millennials? This isn’t a problem with a generation, it’s a problem with an event.

Blogger friend Gerard linked earlier this month to some other, topical commentary:

Human capability peaked before 1975 and has since declined

I suspect that human capability reached its peak or plateau around 1965-75 – at the time of the Apollo moon landings – and has been declining ever since.

This may sound bizarre or just plain false, but the argument is simple. That landing of men on the moon and bringing them back alive was the supreme achievement of human capability, the most difficult problem ever solved by humans. 40 years ago we could do it – repeatedly – but since then we have *not* been to the moon, and I suggest the real reason we have not been to the moon since 1972 is that we cannot any longer do it. Humans have lost the capability.

Now, how did we get here exactly? Travel back to the early seventies by whatever time-travel vehicle is at your disposal: Books, retro DVDs ordered over the Internet, Netflix Instant. You have to wonder how we made it through the decade. It certainly doesn’t look like the apex of hundreds of thousands of years of human achievement, by any stretch.

Think about a baseball reaching its very peak in the trajectory after it has been thrown. Once it reaches that point, it plunges to Earth again — but not because it hit something, right? No, it runs out of kinetic energy after a cumulative depreciation. The net effect has been applied since it left your fingertips, about a second or two previous, and it is achieving relevance at the peak now that it has succeeded in changing the vertical direction from an up to a down. In fact, at the apex there is no meaningful event taking place at all, other than that change from an up to a down, and that change is merely a manifestation.

Point being: As we look for an event, even accepting the idea that the zenith was around the time of the moon landings, we need to look for something prior to that. Possibly preceding it by several years. We landed on the moon in spite of something that already had a good head start gnawing away at us. Since then, all this destructive force has done, is grow some more.

This doesn’t take too much careful thought. But it does take some.

I see lately we are very interested in changing paradigms. Coming up with a new transistor that is half as big as the one that came before; that is not a realistic vision for the pie-eyed dreamy kid building things in his garage. Such an achievement would be measured on the scale of nanometers now, manufactured in a million-dollar clean room owned and maintained by a giant public or private organization. Creating a whole new way of doing the switching, that might capture some imagination but not enough for actual implementation because, again, resources. Part of what has left us, seems to be the standing-on-shoulders-of-giants thing: I’m going to take what this other guy did, and make it look like nothin’. But when I accept my award I’ll be sure to call him out. That’s gone. Nobody wants to head down the same direction a further distance, they just want to head down a whole new direction.

By itself, that is harmless. In fact, by itself, that is the stuff from which big, bold dreams are made: Why fly over the Atlantic? Why not build a tunnel under the whole damn ocean? But there’s another problem. Heading off in a whole new direction is a productive exercise only when there’s a sense of purpose to it. A constructive sense of purpose.

Look at all the superheroes in comic books being rebooted right now. We could do another rant about Wonder Woman being put in long pants again, but now it’s a lot more characters than just her (although, since she’s always been lacking in definition vis a vis super-powers, secret identity, is she bullet proof, et al, she’s by far the best example of the problem). Superman is being rebooted in both the comic books and in the movie. To what end? He was rebooted just a few years ago. Ditto for Batman. Ditto for The Avengers over in the Marvel universe. And Star Trek. Reboot, reboot, reboot, reboot. Everybody wants to be bold. Well, boldness is good. But when you’re working from a blank slate just to avoid the research that would become obligatory if you were to build on top of what was there before, it isn’t bold anymore. It’s just lazy.

The litmus test is: Was the boldness built on top of a definable purpose. Of course, every artist and every one of their sympathizers is going to answer in the affirmative. No exceptions. But what is the purpose? Does it have any real passion behind it? “To create a Green Lantern that is in harmony with the values and concerns of the new generation”…that’s a cop-out. Fiction, by its very definition, is an inconsequential quibble of course. But it does carry the potential to say something about us, as it morphs to suit our evolving tastes. And what this says, here, is: We don’t want our parents’ superheroes. We’ll accept their names and their logos and their rough, general appearances, but we want new substance. We demand an imprinting of modern times. Aquaman using a cell phone, Invisible Girl using an iPad, not a soul on the bridge of the Enterprise over twenty-eight.

In a nutshell: Our culture borrows from what came before, only when it spares us work. Not when it challenges us.

We are still excited about building new things, but the new things we build are emblematic. They are signatures. They exist to say, primarily, “so-and-so was here.” They do not exist to make new things possible for others who will come along later. Quite to the contrary, being signatures, there will necessarily be some resistance to a wave of successors building on top of them. So look for more superhero-rebooting in the generations ahead. Our creativity is being channeled into distinguishing ourselves, from others, and not to expand the capacity of the human potential.

And here we come to the crux of the matter: The desire to distinguish ourselves from others necessarily must carry a hostility toward those others. Any remnants left in your project that are identifiable with what someone else has done, or is doing, become undesirable. So you need to purge it of the residue of not only your predecessors, but also of your rivals.

Besides of which, it’s lazy. The two toughest parts of building something that actually works, like a good economy, or computer hardware or software component, are: Recognizing that similar things are similar, and recognizing that different things are different. That takes some careful mental discipline when you work way down in the details. With this business of building uniquely identifying insignias, in which we all become Ozymandias, the job distills down into one step: Make your thing different. Job done. Who cares if it works or not. In the case of movies, there’s supposed to be some pressure on that the producer should make a profit; I’m sure that pressure is present in some sense, but it doesn’t have much of an instantly devastating effect when this bar isn’t reached.

We have this urban legend kicking around about the head of the Patent Office writing a letter to President McKinley, or Roosevelt, that this office should be closed down because “everything that could be invented, has been.” Perhaps, if it were true, the mistake would have been limited to merely writing prematurely. A century and some change onward, the electronic circuits are evolving still but much of this evolution has to do with integration, shrinkage, and some tricky particulars involved in 3D rendering; as far as the basic building-block science is concerned, people are more-or-less satisfied with it. The databases have been built, and indexed, and now they’re used to service these boiler room operators who so regularly violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the Do Not Call registry. The flat screen teevees, whether they are LCD or LED or plasma, work great. We use them to watch commercials that let us know how easy it is to sue somebody. Of course, we can skip past these with the DVR, but it takes some doing because this part is essentially an “arms race” between two technology consumers that are motivated by competing interests. You don’t want to watch the commercial even if the advertiser wants you to, and the advertiser wants you to be forced to watch the commercial even though you’d rather not. So there’s a lot of inventiveness going on there, but it’s essentially going in a circle.

Oh, and we don’t want to pay for anything — whether you have the ability to skip past these commercials or not, it’s pretty hard to spend any block of time absorbing electronic media information, without hearing the phrase “find out if you qualify.”

We still like to build things. But we like to build things that say something about us, we’re not interested in building things so the other guy can build something. That makes us destroyers. Lazy destroyers.

And it is the laziest and most destructive among the lazy destroyers, who pack the biggest wallop of influence. This means that the greatest abundance of “creative” energy, is spent passing judgment on each other. This is supposed to be God’s job, and we see what a mess is made when man passes judgment on man. Four years ago, how often did we hear the upcoming Obama vote justified with the phrase, “there still is some racism out there.” Yeah…and? So? Four years later, the President is black, has racism ended? Anybody think so? Where are our bragging rights? Who likes us better? There’s a lesson there.

If we want to know where the racism is, we only need to ask Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton; they’ve made lifelong livelihoods out of pointing it out. Do you want your sons to turn out like them?

If we want to know where the sexism is, I guess we ask Sandra Fluke, or Hillary Clinton. You want your daughters to turn out like them?

We aren’t changing for the better, because too much of our effort toward this “change” involves placing authority in people we do not see as role models, people we do not want to become. See, there’s the big problem. When Bruce Charlton says:

50 years ago we would have the smartest, best trained, most experienced and most creative people we could find (given human imperfections) in position to take responsibility, make decisions and act upon them in pursuit of a positive goal.

Now we have dull and docile committee members chosen partly with an eye to affirmative action and to generate positive media coverage, whose major priority is not to do the job but to avoid personal responsibility and prevent side-effects; pestered at every turn by an irresponsible and aggressive media and grandstanding politicians out to score popularity points; all of whom are hemmed-about by regulations such that – whatever they do do, or do not do – they will be in breach of some rule or another.

…what he is talking about is a delicate formula involving man, name, hat, move. The man would become elected, or appointed, or perhaps move himself into, the position. The man would wear the hat. He already would’ve had the name, and he would have worked his whole life, before that time, to keep his name good. But he couldn’t make the move until he wore the hat, because the authority for such a decision belonged to the hat, not to him. So, the man with the name would put on the hat, and make the move. Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower launched Operation Overlord. Henry Ford started Ford Motor Company. Person did thing. Subject-verb-object.

These “dull and docile committee members” of whom the essayist writes, avoid doing things. They make their decisions with an eye toward, if someone in a greater position of authority asks which ass to kick, it won’t be theirs.

They are motivated by the destructive force which is currently acting as a cement to our building-block society. We’re looking for ways to distinguish ourselves without building anything. Got our eyes and ears out, keeping each other in line. Looking for a botched decision somewhere, some rule that wasn’t followed or interpreted correctly, or some “ism.”

That is how today’s man makes his name. That is the hat he wears, and he wears it from birth. Not “guy in charge of…” but, instead, passive tattle-tale. Use the hat to make the name, by tattling the right tale at the right time, as opposed to using the good name to earn the hat. And don’t make a move, whatever you do.

Which translates to: Build nothing. At least, build nothing but fashion. And don’t go destroying all the time, necessarily…but, by all means, keep your eye open for the opportunity.

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

Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Special Place in Hell for Ronald Reagan

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Oh my, how inclusive…how tolerant…

“Ronald Reagan deserves a special place in hell for his role in the war on drugs.”

The above comment was made by Democratic President of the Cook County Board of Commissioner’s, Toni Preckwinkle. There was no backlash, even from Republicans.

She was given a free pass by all.

Before becoming President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Toni Preckwinkle was a Chicago alderman. Chicago aldermen are famous for the disproportionate number of them who go to prison.

Preckwinkle is high-ranking member of the Chicago Democratic Machine, the political crime family that rules Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois. Government payrolls there are disproportionately loaded with friends and families of the politicians.

Contrary to popular belief, Preckwinkle is not a reformer or good-government type. She would could not get elected as County Board President if she were.

Toni Preckwinkle made the above comment about former president Ronald Reagan while speaking at a luncheon, “The Opportunities and Responsibilities of Public Service.”

When the audience gasped at her remark, she retorted and doubled down, “What? You didn’t like that?” There was no backlash. Preckwinkle is immune.

She retracted her “inflammatory remark” hours later.

The retraction was insincere hot air, that nasty carbon stuff. Chicago politicians’ apologies and retractions are meaningless gasbaggery.

Wow, it’s Reagan-Hate. Kinda like stepping back in a time machine.

Cook County, IL. So that’s Chicago, right? 15.2 Murder-Death-Kills per 100,000 population…democrat Mayor since 1931. Oh now I remember, that’s the airport whose signs were all wrong and nobody could do anything about it because the unions ran everything. How come it is these megalopolis cities with democrat leadership and high crime rates, can’t ever keep their big yaps shut? It’s at the point where there’s hardly any use pinpointing the location anymore, the profile is always the same: Zillions of people, scads and scads of rapes and aggravated assaults and property crimes, ranking high up on the list of violent/miserable cities, democrat politicians in charge for most of a century.

But they need a big bad conservative, for which they can blame all their problems.

Voter Fraud is Real, and It Gave Us ObamaCare

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Received from blogger friend Phil in a message over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging:

Vote Obama 2012, Abort the Economy

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Ye Gods, this does get tiresome. It would have been an accurate — and effective, from the looks of things — campaign slogan across my entire mortal existence now, or much of it anyway, and I’m no spring chicken: “Who cares if our policies are like rust on the wrought-iron of the economy, you have to vote for us for womens’ right to choooooooose!

I like Instapundit‘s headline: “Democratic Convention To Become Celebration of Abortion Rights.”

Dem Convention becomes anti-Akin affair

With an eye on Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments and the GOP’s mad dash away from the sinking Missouri Senate candidate, the Democrats are turning their upcoming presidential convention into a pro-choice assault on the Republicans with the help of major abortion supporters.

Just as the Akin crisis was reaching a crescendo, the Democrats on Wednesday announced that three starlets of the pro-choice movement will be featured at the convention, an event that will now drive the liberal charge that the Republicans are anti-women.

Democrats said that they will feature Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parent Action Fund, Nancy Keenan, president of the NARAL Pro-Choice America and Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University student whose plea for federal birth control funding drew the ire–and a subsequent apology–from Rush Limbaugh.

What’s more, the Democrats are expanding their list of women ready to assail the GOP on women’s issue, adding Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and actress Eva Longoria to the list that already includes Sen. John Kerry and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.

Well, it is good to have this periodically tested: “Oh, you done stepped in it now you Republicans, just done pissed off the girls! We’re gonna make you pay for that!” Well, we shall see; honey and vinegar, you know. There are two problems with the vinegar approach: One, it doesn’t work as well, and two, the practitioner of the vinegar approach is the last one to realize it doesn’t work as well. Well, there’s a third: The women, apart from Longoria, are pug-ugly. I doubt that they will be speaking in dulcet, soothing tones to make up for this.

This was all the rage in the 1980′s, after the Equal Rights Amendment went down in defeat: Nasty women taking center stage and saying nasty things into powerful microphones with nasty nasal tones. Lest it be forgotten: Sandra Fluke is not an advocate for the right to abortion, she is an advocate for entitlements to contraceptive supplies free of charge. There is a very wide gulf between an entitlement advocacy and a rights advocacy. This is an important distinction to recognize in mainstream America, but the providers of the vinegar are the last to know.

I predict success is possible for them here, but only if they take great care to discuss only the things they want to discuss. After all, their true position is “Every single abortion that might happen, absolutely has to happen.” Their true constituency is: People who, for one reason or another, have made it their business to desire that other people should not have children. Either because they’re spinsters who don’t like to see other women getting married and starting families, or they’re part of VHEMT or similar silliness, or they want the United States to look more like Europe, or they’re profiteering from the abortion industry. Either way, their real beef isn’t with the availability of abortion, but with the abundance of its practice.

Speaking of abundance of practice: This “legitimate rape” thing continues to be discussed with great frequency. I thought nothing of it at first; it is, after all, the most incomprehensible part of the gibberish Akin was spouting on that show. But I’m on some lefty mailing lists, and I couldn’t help but notice when this bulletin rolled on in:

“Rape is rape.” The fact that President Obama needed to explain this to the Republican Party earlier this week says so much about how extreme the other side has become.

It’s only Wednesday, and we already have a lot to report this week.

Take a look at the items below, and share them with your friends and family:

The e-mail then includes a link to President Obama’s comments about the matter, which includes the “rape is rape” line.

The curious thing about this particular tempest is that there is a whole lot of anger being expressed, repeatedly, with very little information being exchanged. You’d think that if the matter was important enough to re-write the whole platform of one of the major political parties, every now and then you might see someone sorta break it down, and say why they think Akin’s comments were offensive. Which Obama, to His credit, did. But I don’t think He’s correct: “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, and qualifying, and…uh…slicing…uh…what types of rape we’re talking about, uh, doesn’t make sense to the American people.” We know it makes perfect sense to Whoopi Goldberg. But of course that isn’t mainstream-America; when she stepped in it, it was revealed that there is more than a grain of truth to what Obama was talking about. “Statutory” is a very important qualifier to the guy who’s been accused of this kind of rape, when he thought she was of age and it turned out she wasn’t; but then the girl’s parents are going to bring an entirely different perspective to the matter.

But, key point here: This issue is not that issue. Not unless you think, when Akin said “legitimate,” his intended meaning was “not statutory.” Yeah…didn’t sound that way to me. And I don’t think that’s what democrats have in mind when they send me these e-mails telling me that Akin’s values are Republican values. I think what we’re really arguing about here is the notion that the Tawana Brawley and Duke LaCrosse incidents never happened, where there’s smoke there’s always fire.

I think there are a lot of people incensed about Akin’s comments because “legitimate rape” makes it sound like there’s another kind. It would be hard to pick this up through the cloud of frustration one must feel after having been the victim of a legitimate rape, having gotten actually pregnant from it, and then suffered through listening to this blowhard spew away that it doesn’t happen that way. But it’s one thing to acknowledge that, and quite a different thing to surmise that there’s no such thing as a false rape allegation. Such a thought would be every bit as ignorant as what Akin said.

And the democrats get to run on that, without having to absorb the flak they’d be taking if they were to spell it out word for word — “women don’t lie about this stuff, there’s no such thing as a false rape allegation.” Rape, abortion, contraceptives…run the whole campaign inside the uterus, to distract from Obama’s failed economic record. What happened? I thought the whole push was to get “government out of my uterus” or something. I’ve read Sandra Fluke’s e-mail from top to bottom and it isn’t clear to me what her testimony has to do with Akin’s comments or vice-versa, all they have in common is the gestation process, and some vague and undefined notion of “rights.” Fluke was not testifying about legitimate and illegitimate rape; she was testifying about her and her friends getting free stuff.

Oh well, I get it I get it, support all of what we support or else you’re anti-woman.

It seems lately everything the democrats have to say to anybody, is of the form: “Support/vote for [thing] or else you’re anti-[some other thing].” And, always, there has to be a loss of some liberty somewhere, some freedom. In this case, everybody accused is supposed to enjoy a constitutional right to presumption of innocence. That’s anti-woman now? Because talking about “legitimate rape” is offensive.

Well, bring it on. I’m interested in seeing the consequences of the entire convention being run this way. Obama was supposed to fix everything. And now He’s doing what failed (male) democrats always do, which is to run on the “re-elect me or women will be reduced to womb-slave status”…

I’m not so enthused about the return of the “I believe you Anita!” era. That was a very silly time. Still gives me a headache thinking about it.

Atheists Are Vampires??

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

WorldNet Daily, by way of Fox News:

The group contends the placement of the 17-foot-tall symbol at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is making some atheists unbearably sick.

“The plaintiffs, and each of them, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross,” the lawsuit American Atheists v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey states. “Named plaintiffs have suffered …. dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack.”

Hmmmm…dyspepsia:

Dyspepsia (indigestion) is best described as a functional disease. (Sometimes, it is called functional dyspepsia.) The concept of functional disease is particularly useful when discussing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The concept applies to the muscular organs of the gastrointestinal tract-esophagus, stomach, small intestine, gallbladder, and colon. What is meant by the term, functional, is that either the muscles of the organs or the nerves that control the organs are not working normally, and, as a result, the organs do not function normally, and the dysfunction causes the symptoms. The nerves that control the organs include not only the nerves that lie within the muscles of the organs but also the nerves of the spinal cord and brain.

So their esophagi, stomachs, small intestines, gallbladders and/or colons are not working right…because they’re looking at a cross.

Well maybe we could interpret it more charitably and flexibly, to say they are upset — because they’re looking around, across and toward land that is not under their ownership or control, and on that land they are seeing a reminder that there are other people who do not believe as they do.

They’re being intolerant. I submit that any other definition of the word, that doesn’t apply in this case, is not a workable definition.

Intolerant vampires.

Akin…

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

There’s a shark rule in place. If the sharks are not that hungry, and you somehow know this, it’s okay to look a little bit like a seal. But if they haven’t eaten all year long, which is the case with our lefty media here, then merely casting a shadow under the waves, is good enough to ask for trouble.

Phil lives in the state, and has some thoughts.

Interesting point made by Kingjester:

…unfortunately, while Democrats tend to shore up their ranks and defend their own, like a lioness defends her cub, Republicans tend to banish our wounded, like a leper to a Leper Colony.

Joe Getty, on the radio, made another good point: Everyone wants to talk about how outraged they are. Nobody ever talks the science about this stuff, as in, “by the way, that isn’t true.” Which strikes me as a bit odd, now that you mention it; Akin’s claim sounds to me, credibility-wise, a notch or three under the chestnut that your dotty old aunt sends you in the e-mail about gang initiation rituals involving driving around with the headlights off.

Well, if he’s to drop out, today’s the day to do it, and I hear he isn’t planning to.

I really can’t think of any substantial difference between “You can’t get pregnant from a legitimate rape” and “If you have a business, you didn’t build that.” Neither is true, and to the extent that either might be just partially true, the information would be so useless that it’s a daunting exercise to figure out what the point could possibly be; they’re both blisteringly offensive to whoever might be in the situation under discussion. Both statements imply someone let their mouth get ahead of their brain a little. But one has to do with the economy, which would, in a rational world, take center stage morning, noon and night; the other one was spoken by a Republican. And so we are to be obsessed with the Republican.

No policy differentials under discussion here. None at all. We’re just having an argument about how these politicians feel. That, right there, is the thing we have to get away from — that is the big lie. The people who think this is really important, and must somehow be acted-upon, are the people who are trying to put together a country in which “everybody” has a place, a role to play…and yet, how exactly is this to be acted-upon?

Search-and-destroy, that’s how. Oh look, a politician who has spoken some politically-incorrect thoughts about rape and pregnancy. Abracadabra! He should go away…

Update: Looks like it worked

b>Update: No, it didn’t

My Monday

Monday, August 20th, 2012

How’s yours?

Plastic Bag Bans Are Silly

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Nothing to add…

Sarah Palin Has a Suggestion for the President

Friday, August 17th, 2012

…and she had a lot of fun giving it, I think…

It’s the Weekly Standard… conspicuously promoted by Drudge.

It would be a great “game change” — to use the term applied 4 years ago to Sarah Palin.

And — amusingly — it would be Obama taking advice from Sarah Palin, who just a couple days ago said:

[T]he strategists there in the Obama campaign have got to look at a diplomatic way of replacing Joe Biden on the ticket with Hillary. And I don’t want to throw out that suggestion and have them actually accept the suggestion because then an Obama-Hillary Clinton ticket would have a darn good chance of winning.

Don’t you love the role of Sarah Palin in American politics? On the sidelines… looming…

She’s completely unqualified, if by “unqualified” you mean saying things as they really are without a bunch of bullshit euphemisms. Which, let’s face it, that is what that word seems to mean in this day & age. “He really does drag down that ticket” — that’s “unqualified.”

After all, it was the “qualified” people who were lecturing us during the campaign four years ago, and soon after Emperor Barry’s inauguration, that we had some kind of “senior dignified elder statesman” in our nation’s second-highest office. How’d that work out?

It may give some people ulcers to read it in black and white, but it’s probably wearing on ‘em a lot quicker having the knowledge slowly gnaw away at them without anybody assuming center stage and actually spelling it out…so I’ll spell it out…

Sarah Palin is smarter than Barack Obama. It has been proven, multiple times.

She’s more intelligent and she knows more than he does. There is His area of expertise, which is to give large audiences an impression of what’s going on that may or may not be at odds with the truth, to drive a pre-selected interest forward…there is her area of expertise, which is to really fix things, haul in catches of fish on a boat, build stuff, hunt wild animals and so forth…there is the overlap between the two, like having reality shows. She has consistently outperformed Him in all these areas. And, she calls her shots, too. After her enemies score some kind of victory, she comes up with some kind of a plan, defines the steps, executes them and reaches her goal, as opposed to President Soetoro just scooting along like a giant cow-catcher, hogging credit and deflecting blame…yeah, I, uh, made the “gutsy call” to take out bin Laden.

Watching Sarah Palin and President Obama interact, in any given situation, has always been a little like watching a coyote and roadrunner cartoon. And the President is not the roadrunner.

Meep meep!

Biden Turned Down by Virginia Bakery

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

From Brietbart.

I was a bit taken aback by that thing with the Secret Service at about 2:30. Wow. If that’s really true…

Very pleased, though, that this issue in particular is finding currency. It’s not just a remark taken out of context, it has to do with how the American Left sees the world and the things in it.

It’s all about indulgences. Western civilization has generally aligned itself, for the present time and the foreseeable future, along an axis of: Right-wingers assert power of the individual over (or in spite of) the institutions, left-wingers assert power of the institutions over the individual. That is why this has emerged as the first of the four things upon which this election — hopefully — will turn.

The big super-issue is emerging, having to do with this viewpoint held by the leftists, how they see “the world and the things in it” as I said above…that is good. It is not helping the left at all. That is also good.

“A Liberal Horror Story”

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

This morning I found the text in the headline, associated with this picture over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging:

Meanwhile: In the growing comment thread under that “The Vampire Problem” post, our resident lib gadfly is accusing me of making a muddled, incoherent critique about people on the left, failing to distinguish between leftists and liberals. The accusation itself is a bit muddled and incoherent, but from what I understand of it, by conflating these two memberships I am working a quality of incoherence into all of the comments I make about that set membership because I’ve qualified the set membership in a sloppy way. The evidence for this being, that liberals are generally leftists but everyone on the left is not necessarily a liberal.

Hmmm…I’m sure there are people who agree with that, maybe a textbook/encyclopedia definition or two that support it. It doesn’t impress me as an entirely uncontested truth, and even if it were, it does not necessarily follow that this distinction is important in any way. If leftism is the superset, therefore the criticisms become more fragile and easily challenged when applied to that larger group, is it not nevertheless a demonstrable assertion that individuality and dissent are generally greeted with hostility, and even rancor, on the left? And so statements like “The left believes in man-made climate change” — while perhaps they should become hazardous, they don’t. The leftist who is skeptical of the man-made climate change theory, while he may exist here and there, is an exception that proves the rule.

But also, notice: The man-made disaster theory, like so many other ideas on the left, is a narrative. And not just any narrative. Let’s inspect narratives a little bit. Quoting from myself, in some private correspondence I had to put together (on an entirely different subject) last week:

…we are dealing with, for lack of a better term, what could most precisely be called a “supremely persistent narrative.” Read that as a narrative that is “supreme” in the sense that it takes a back seat to nothing, not even reality itself. It therefore jeopardizes its own integrity by consistently prevailing over that reality rather than conforming to it, or yielding to it. Such narratives are often seen to proliferate and thrive like harmful bacteria, when people start to opine on scientific things without showing any semblance of scientific discipline…
:
Narratives like these take root, like weeds, in all sorts of thinking efforts in every day life. They do a three-step, to keep thriving: Ignore, Pounce and Dream. Facts inconvenient to the narrative are ignored, rationalized away, minimized, gutterballed. Then, when a fact comes along that might have have the opposite effect upon the narrative, which means to nourish it and strengthen it, the person clinging to the narrative pounces like a starving carnivore on this “fact,” lending it much greater weight, through more rationalization, than those other “facts” that were diminished and set aside. And finally, after that cycle has been repeated awhile, but the crown-jewel “fact” that would really slam-dunk this favored narrative fails to appear, the frustrated narrative-clinger simply makes it up.

The challenge to identifying these things is that science itself uses narratives in an entirely legitimate way. “Theory” is, when all’s said and done, just a fancy word to describe these; it’s an “I wonder if” idea with sufficient structure lent to it that it becomes testable. The difference is, if such a theory becomes, what did I say…”supremely persistent”…then, as a scientific theory, it becomes useless. The ignore-pounce-dream three-step is therefore not to be tolerated in science.

Or at least, that used to not be the case.

But anyway, however you define the political left in modern western civilization, whatever term you use, and whether or not you view this superset/subset relationship between left and liberals the way our leftist-liberal gadfly friend here has…none of it matters because we have had this “supremely persistent narrative” going on, on the left, for the last century or more. That the collage, above, is indeed a horror story; humans are a toxin, a sort of disease upon the planet.

Paradoxically, there is another supremely persistent narrative that we are in a process of evolution, and this evolution is toward perfection. The left believes in this with great gusto, and at first blush it seems to be a contradiction, and therefore, a problem. However — I notice this part is not too well fleshed out. You’ll notice when you talk to leftists, ideas themselves undergo an “evolution,” if you will, eventually achieving mobility among leftists, and in some cases hyper-mobility. A good example of this is “I just can’t explain what it is about Barack Obama, He’s so awesome.” The vision of human perfection, you’ll notice, never is quite elevated to this stage of hyper-mobility. You can find a leftist with such a vision, but you’ll have to get him drunk, or stoned, to pry it out of him, and then there isn’t too much chance you can find a hundred other leftists with the same vision. They are not syndicated on this idea, and they do not care to become so.

I believe the narrative about evolving toward perfection, is in fact a branch-off from the narrative about being a pestilence upon the planet. The perfection is a day-to-day neutral environmental effect; we are “evolving” in the sense that we are becoming cleaner, each generation hopefully doing less damage than we did the year before. When the effect is identical with our being here, to our not being here at all, that will be the perfection.

So the Star Trek universe with all the war and famine and disease having been ended — food replicators whipping up Earl Grey hot tea and fudge sundaes on a whim — that’s not quite it. We are to evolve toward a zero. Become more sophisticated, year by year, sure. Articulate, heck yeah. More well-read…only in written tomes upon which our friends, the leftists, have managed to jot in the final word, top to bottom…absolutely. We are to become more cerebral and maybe our heads will, physically, become more ballooned in shape and veined in texture to reflect this. But the ultimate intent is that our impact will be reduced to zero, since the only impact we can have is bad. Yes, even a “lightworker” like Barack Obama. He does good things, but only in the sense that He makes us better, and He makes us better in the sense that He doesn’t actually build things, He just protects the planet from the awful things we do, by putting some new rules on us that stop us from hurting it.

Now there are some certain classes, for the most part victim-classes, that are spared this; as far as the left is concerned, they can proliferate, prosper, achieve greater influence, and not only is that quite alright but that is evidence of this continued “progress.” The left likes to see greater numbers, they’re often observed equating higher numbers with some kind of achievement. Joe Biden famously embarrassed himself coming up with something good to say about East Indians, and managed to fill the bill by noticing you couldn’t go into a 7-11 or Dunkin’ Donuts anymore without having their accent, or something…viewing this remark most charitably, which is difficult, it seems to me that he was engaged in the tired old liberal trap of recognizing meaningful accomplishment in an ethnic group by way of simple population increase.

But that’s a special insult in its very own league, when you think about it. That’s the very best those people can do? Gosh, you’re so wonderful, there’s so many of you!

Of course, higher numbers can translate into more votes, and I suspect this is why liberals — excuse me, leftists — like to see higher numbers within these cherry-picked classes. We know this is true of Jews, women, poor people, their adoration for these higher numbers is strictly all about electoral outcome. There’s the old joke about “democrats love poor people, their policies make so many more of them.” It isn’t really a joke at all.

They’re still stumped when I ask my favorite ethical question: Who cares? If there’s no deity who put us here, no Higher Power who cares about us or what we do, we just sort of grew here like a fungus and someday we’re going to off ourselves, then the planet will spin away, disease free, awaiting its own inevitable demise…meanwhile, we abort some babies to make our wretched lives a bit more tolerable here, in this game of “I got here first, so I have all sorts of rights, you have to get sucked into a sink to make room for me” — what does any of this matter? We invade and depose Saddam Hussein who, right, got it, didn’t directly attack us. What of it? Discrimination? Just something we’re doing in the cosmic wink-of-an-eye, while we’re here. How is it of any consequence at all?

In fact, doesn’t war just hasten the much-anticipated sunset on this long dreary day of environmental damage? Means fewer of us.

Of course I don’t have an answer to that…I haven’t gotten one…it won’t happen. Any time you corner a lib, they look for some way to get morally outraged so they can change the subject. And that question, of course, gives them one in spades.

And so, no, I don’t recognize these delicate set memberships. I see that whole thing as more confusing, obfuscating, decoy squid-ink…and the idealogical split, the way I see it, is an either-or. Whether people see it or not, they’re really just answering the question that has confronted them, “Do humans do?” And, along that spectrum, the so-called “moderates” are just fooling themselves. We’re ultimately all in a centrifuge, bound to get yanked toward one extreme or the other, once we’ve answered that question for ourselves. “Moderate” just means “on the way there.”

Memo For File CLXVI

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

For an interminable length of time — I have no idea how long it’s been, seems like forever — my name has been on the subscription list of the Obama campaign. I’m still bewildered and baffled by the thought process of the average Obama supporter. Can’t identify with them even a little bit. And, with the march of time, things seem to become only more confusing. In 2008, they were merely pie-eyed…so I thought…not thinking clearly, maybe indulging in some of what Michael Gerson once called “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” to wit: Oh look, Barack Obama, a black guy, just made it through a speech without breaking out into rap rhythm, or crapping His pants. Had no idea those people could do that! No other thought process explains how anyone could find Obama’s tedious speeches particularly remarkable…so, when they call the other side racists, it looks like yet another round of racists-calling-non-racists-racists. And so, we had all those people smiling and crying their tears of joy, in late 2008, relieved to discover America was not unready to elect a black guy as President after all. Then they apologized for ever thinking seriously that this might have been the case. Oh, wait, no they didn’t; with the election over, they busied themselves with accusing the other side of being racist all over again, as if the campaign was still ahead of them, oddly.

And now, Obama has finished off nearly one full term, clearly demonstrating the entire time that His brand of leadership is not what our economy needs. I said things are getting more confusing, and here is how murky and befuddling it is now: It is very, very, very important that Obama wins a second term this fall, because if He can’t do that, [blank].

What’s [blank]?

You figure out what that is, on Planet Obamafan…you drop me a line, okay? Because I’m completely lost here.

It is abundantly clear to me by now that they can’t say “If Obama is defeated, the economy is gonna tank.” They’d like to, but a statement of this sort would become such a parody of itself, instantaneously, that it might be tantamount to conceding the election. And so we get a bunch of silly stuff. Rumors that Gov. Romney hasn’t paid taxes over a ten-year period, entirely unsubstantiated, gossip really, and then some innuendo that since Romney isn’t releasing the tax returns the democrats want him to, he must be hiding something.

That is, for the most part, all the dirt the Obama campaign has been able to dish…so, a bit uncertain of these latest steps, I speculate that [blank] must be in there somewhere. The tax returns.

Vote Obama, so that we can have a President that provides paper documents on request…um…oh, dear, that’s a problem. We still can’t have the bin Laden death photo, the college transcripts, a bunch of other things…

And then, it gets weird. Obama has tax calculators that show Romney’s plans will gouge poor people so that rich people can make out like bandits.

So…

Vote Obama, or else the poor people will be gouged. Which means, under President Romney, the nation’s oceans and oceans of debt will become everybody’s headache, not just a problem shoved off onto the “millionaires and billionaires.”

That works about as well as anything else. But here it gets even weirder. We’re all part of the nation, so if the nation’s debt load is becoming so out-of-control, so crushing and so devastating, that should be everybody’s headache…right? Those who insist otherwise, must therefore be insisting that everyone, save for the detested rich, enjoys some “right” not to care.

But this would directly contradict what Vice President Biden said, remember that?

“Wealthy people are just as patriotic as middle-class people, as poor people, and they know they should be doing more,” Mr. Biden said at the town hall in Exeter, N.H. “We’re not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else.”
:
The vice president’s comments were reminiscent of the campaign for the White House in 2008, when Mr. Biden forecast that wealthier Americans would pay more under an Obama-Biden administration.

“It’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut,” he said at the time.

So we all have to jump in, be part of the deal, we’re not supposed to have one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else.

Vote for Obama — so we can have that very thing. The poor and middle-class get to sit on the sidelines and not jump in…Obama will make sure it’s the rich that get America out of the rut, nobody else should break a sweat. One set of rules for one, a different set of rules for the other.

Or, maybe I’m reading it wrong. I probably am. But if I am, then the question remains unanswered. Obama must win, because otherwise [blank]. What is [blank]? It’s still blank!

Two possibilities exist: One, there is no answer. Obama, and those who campaign with Him, and those who sympathize with all those who campaign…desperate as they may be to come up with an answer, cannot come up with one. Two, there is an answer but they’re afraid to say what it is. And then, of course, there is Three: I already nailed it with the “two different sets of rules” thing. Spend spend spend, is the plan, and let the rich people worry about the bill because nobody else should have to. Well, if that’s the case, someone needs to clue in the Vice President, or his speech writers.

But either way, this is the unworkable Obama paradox. We’re supposed to be electing these leaders so that the leaders pass laws, including tax policies, and those laws are supposed to make us a better people somehow. Part of being a better person, toiling away under the requirement imposed on you by these laws that force you to be good, is paying lots of taxes, the more the better. And yet — vote for Obama, because if He loses, then everyone is going to have to do this thing…not just the very rich people, but everyone…will be required to pay more taxes…which…makes…everyone…better…

I’m going to stop now, because this stuff gives me a headache. Besides of which, I think I’ve thought this thing out past the point where they have, which makes the exercise something like figuring Pi to twenty digits beyond the decimal point, based on measurements that are good only to four or five digits…someplace beyond back-there-aways, we have begun to process gibberish and essentially just waste whatever time and effort we’re putting into it.

We have a President in charge right now, who writes to me several times a week begging for three dollars.

But He cannot explain why He should win His re-election. He cannot form a list of bullet points, or even a single bullet point, to explain how that helps anyone but Him, and, I suppose, the people who directly benefit from His victory. He’s in charge of America but He cannot explain why He is good for America.

You know, I don’t think that’s a good thing.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Not Too Wild About Teevee

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

I said on Twitter that I’d be blogging this…our friend in New Mexico is counting on it, from the looks of things. Besides of which, it’s funny. More than a grain of truth to it…

What Kind of Community…

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Wisdom from my Hello Kitty of Blogging account…

Liberalism, today, re-defines what it means to live in a community, and not in a good way.

It has everything to do with seizure of money and nothing to do with trust. When we build things while we belong in a community, we are to be denied the credit for building them; the community did that, and we are but its humble agents. Out of our earnings, whatever is above what we “need” as determined by the community, is to be placed in a community inventory.

But the important things about a community, are decidedly absent from this vision. We are not to be trusted with our own sense judgment, or with personal defense firearms, like members of a community; we cannot even earn respect from other members of the community, as community members, it is the community institutions that bestow, and thus direct, this respect.

Why the cognitive dissonance? Because liberalism lies about what it is. It restructures a community, ostensibly to ensure that all members within the community are “equal,” but the real purpose is to minimize the effort put into a conquest by a few members, to achieve maximum result of such conquest — to expand the influence held by those few, over the rest of the community, while those few have to exert themselves as little as possible, do as little as is necessary to demonstrate their dedication and talent, before achieving superior rank over the balance. THAT is what liberalism is in this day and age.

Liberals want us to work and trade with each other just like ants, or bees; breed like fruit flies; raise our progeny just like bovines, with the cow raising the calf alone, while the bull goes on to spread his seed to other cows…

…and argue politics like cuttlefish, squirting off with a load of opaque, confusing nonsense, swimming away from the “threat” as fast as can be managed. Said threat being that cool-headed, rational, reasonable and logical exchange of ideas they say they want so badly.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Four Things More Important Than Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The point made here by Professor Sowell is so important, and weighs so heavily upon the election that is coming up in less than three months, that after pondering it I realized it had to be added to the list. That would be the list of three things upon which the election will be turning, or should turn…it doesn’t matter if the things are on the minds of voters as they punch out their chads, or not. Doesn’t matter. History is awaiting an answer to each of them, and right or wrong, history will be using the election results to determine those answers.

It Takes More Than RoadsThe socialists who are trying to turn America’s society upside-down, have been indulging in a sneaky trick here and they’ve been allowed to get away with it for a long time. The trick is a simple one: Define “greed,” at least in the emotional sense, without first defining “property.” It is as ludicrous and silly as it is clever; defining “greed” without defining “property” is like building a brick wall without bricks.

Our American election of Twenty Twelve turns on four things, and all four are a great deal more important than Michelle Obama’s vacations or Ann Romney’s blouse:

One. If you built a business, who really built it? Are you to receive some credit for the personal effort you have put in, the personal risks you have absorbed, the personal assets you had to liquidate to meet payroll during the years when it wasn’t profitable, the hours per week over forty that you had to put in before you could afford to expand that payroll?
Two. If you want to move the business into a community, what test do we apply to make sure the business’ values are compatible? Does the business find out about that, the hard way, when people vote with their feet — wow, just think about the magnitude of capital lost on such a failed venture, it’s staggering — or, is it somehow necessary to vote in mayors and “aldermen” to express this note of rejection that the potential patrons, and voters, are somehow unable to properly express?
Three. Why, exactly, do taxes exist? Are they for funding government’s vital services, or to whittle that Gini number down to size; to ensure that, at the end of it all, no one citizen among us has too much more or less loot than the next guy?
Four. How exactly do we define the word “greed” — does it have to do with wanting to hang on to what belongs to you, or does it have to do with taking possession of someone else’s property?

On that new, last one: The dictionary says it is

Excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

Merriam-Webster:

A selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.

Those are not a lot of help, although the MW definition seems to lean left, implying that the attribute to be criticized has to do with desire for increased quantity, and that it has to do with a differential between the quantity desired and the quantity needed.

If that is to be the case, it is hard to see how we can put our energies behind an effort to drive “greed” out of our society, without the proggies ultimately winning; we would need to be sitting in judgment, in some way, of how much lucre our fellow citizens have managed to stash. We would have to pounce, like starving jaguars, upon any situation in which that amount was “excessive” and greater in quantity “than is needed” — situations in which, in all other respects, everything is above-board and legal.

The alternative being, to resign ourselves to “It meets the definition and that is a bad thing, but no laws were broken so no action will be taken.” But that, with all the passions swirling around, doesn’t seem too likely at this point.

Our current President is running on all four of these things, and has positioned Himself on the wrong side of each one, I think. He’s out there many times a week, saying silly things like this:

“It’s like Robin Hood in reverse,” Obama said of Romney’s tax plan, which would cut taxes across the board by 20 percent, during a fundraiser in Connecticut. “It’s Romney Hood.”

Obama’s quip [distills] an attack that he has repeated in the last week. “In order to afford just one $250,000 tax cut for somebody like Mr. Romney, 125 families like yours would have to pay another $2,000 in taxes each and every year,” the president said at another fundraiser last Wednesday.

His claim is based on a report from the Tax Policy Center, even though the authors — who include one former Obama aide and a former aide to President George H.W. Bush — preface their study by saying, “We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be.”

The Tax Policy Center, according to Wikipedia, “is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.” One is well-advised, I think, not to trust the online encyclopedia too much after that sentence; I say that based on reviewing the talk pages for Tax Policy Center and, of course, for the very well-known lefty outfit Brookings. I note, further, that although we seem to be eyebrows-deep in noisy, self-appointed “fact checkers” following most other questionable claims from both Romney and Obama, it seems said fact checkers get sleepy when the President says Governor Romney wants to give X many dollars to rich people and take X many dollars away from poor people — the pattern, then, is that our noisy checkers fall suddenly quiet, perhaps sleep in a few extra hours, and it is up to each reader to do his or her own “checking.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

“Gilbert Gottfried Reads Fifty Shades of Grey”

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Warning in effect about naughty language.

Also, Gilbert Gottfried’s voice…

Update 8/8/12: Just to be extra-sure there is no misunderstanding: “Naughty language” means you aren’t supposed to play this in an environment in which things like taste & decorum matter…that means absolutely, positively NSFW.

Killing Derek Barnes

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Hat tip to Gerard.

Power of One: End of an Error

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

At least, I Hope so. Adam M. Smith has been sacked from both his jobs, from the look of things, for his poor judgment in harassing a Chick-Fil-A server at the drive-thru, and then videotaping his own harassment and posting it on YouTube.

That embed, again:

In defense of this wart in the colon of humanity, what I think he was trying to do, was this:

This mash-up was uploaded back in ’07, but I know the experiment was going on since before that, as is evidenced by this 2005 comment on the Straight Dope message board:

In principle I agree perfectly that even the less overt forms of racism and xenophobia should be discouraged, but these ads are just so damned smug, righteous and annoying! It’s got so I always change the channel when one comes on. Does anybody else have the same reaction?

I have that reaction, and more:

This whole thing was a dumb, stupid, just plain bad idea.

Put on these “public service announcements” encouraging us — total strangers — to monitor the behavior of our friends, relatives, and other total strangers who simply consume oxygen from the same air space…looking for signs of perceived bigotry, then to act as judge, jury and snotty-lecturer.

The trouble begins with the whole “silence is consent” thing, which is plainly the point of all these ads. Silence is consent, since the whole point is to get the scolding out there…the power of one voice, and all that. If silence is consent, then awarding the benefit of the doubt, must also be consent. So presume the worst. If you look for that prejudiced behavior and you haven’t managed to find it, you must not be looking hard enough.

Again, with my litmus test: Can society continue to operate indefinitely this way? And we’ve found out, first-hand, the answer is no. Adam M. Smith practiced what the videos said people should be practicing. He did everything right. Sure, you can pick a quibble with the fact that it’s the CEO of Chick Fil A who made the comments he doesn’t like, and he took it out on a drive-thru server…which is something of a disconnect…but hey, how can you let that get in the way of the Power of One Voice??

When your cause is glorious, you’re obliged to win. All of the time.

Nifty, cool experiment. I’m sure it was inspiring when it was first thought up. And its ultimate effects are certainly a surprise…at least, maybe, to some of us, not to others of us.

But it isn’t an experiment anymore, we see where it leads. Time to declare the experiment over, m’kay? Go back to being non-judgmental and liberty-minded, as opposed to simply talking about it while scolding strangers.

And the “Freedom Center” owes the country an apology.

Four Things

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

From my previous

To make liberal ideas look sensible…it becomes necessary to make meaningfully similar things look like they’re different, and meaningfully different things look like they’re identical.

I had no idea, at the time, that blogger friend Rick would be linking to this…nor do I have a good idea of how to excerpt from it…

In light of the Chick-Fil-A controversy, I now realize modern man is almost incapable of distinguishing between these four things:

1. Approval and Implicit Condemnation. Just because you support one thing doesn’t mean you’re viciously antagonistic toward another (i.e. “anti-” the opposite.) If Dan Cathy supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman, that doesn’t mean he ipso facto “hates gay people” or is “anti-gay.”

2. Disagreeing and Hating. I disagree with ideas all the time. This does not necessitate hating the person who proposed them. Your beliefs are not your identity.

3. Beliefs and People. This is somewhat similar to #2. Rejecting a belief does not equal rejecting a person. You can reject the validity of same-sex marriage on philosophical and social grounds while still profoundly loving people with same-sex attraction. I reject at least some opinions or actions from each of my friends (such as “double-rainbows are boring” or “playing the lottery is wise.”) They in turn reject plenty of my own. But we don’t hate each other. In fact, just the opposite is true. Our relationship is grounded on a communion of persons, not a symmetry of beliefs.

4. Bigotry and Disagreement. The definition of bigot is “one unwilling to tolerate opinions different than his own”—not “someone who disagrees with me.” Toleration doesn’t require agreement, merely recognition and respect. (Ironically, those quickest to accuse people of bigotry are often bigoted about their flawed definition of “bigot.”)

The solution to these failures is not more dialogue. It’s better philosophy, logic, and reason. Unfortunately, until two people are capable of making these distinctions, healthy, productive dialogue about same-sex marriage is almost impossible.

Now that is good. Very, very good.

Memo For File CLXV

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Somewhere, I made the comment “Looks like we have our campaign year issue” or something like that. The “We” was the country, not the conservatives or the Republicans or libertarians; and the “issue” is the idiotic remark made by our current President, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.” In the wake of the Chick-Fil-A hoop-dee-doo, I’ve thought back to this thing I said with the understanding that it is going to require some updating. We have two issues. They have it in common, as consequences, that they arouse great passion in people because they speak directly to the inner psyche — how each individual has developed his comprehension of the world around him, and his methodology of figuring out what to do about whatever it is he’s noticed lately.

I say “as consequences” because, on one side of each issue, the passion is a cause as well as a consequence; on the other side, the passion is a consequence only, it is logic and reason that have detonated it. Liberals came up with a goofy idea and said “We’re just sure this is going to work out super-awesomely,” conservatives took a look at it, saw what would happen, and said “Can’t believe they’re really serious about this.” That seems to be a consistent configuration.

Before these two, there was the Buffett Rule imbroglio. That, too, aroused great passion for the same reason.

So we have three things:

One: I think, if you’ve built a business, the credit for building it needs to go to the government and “roads and bridges,” versus, that’s horse squeeze it’s the guy who built the business who gets credit for building his business.

It Takes More Than RoadsTwo: I think, once the business is built, it might be incompatible with the sensible values of a community so we need to elect some really smart and enlightened mayors and councilmen to tell the business to go stuff itself…versus…uh, if the community doesn’t like the business, it can not shop there, and boy will that business ever end up sorry. Mayors and councilmen should stick to staying within budget and making sure the traffic lights work.

Three: I think, if someone is really rich then he needs to give back to the community and pay his fair share through higher taxes…versus…taxes exist to fund vital services, not to make sure everyone ends up with roughly the same amount of money at the end of it, if these guys want to pay more they can just write a friggin’ check.

It is hard to read my summations and come away with much sympathy for the progressive viewpoint. The progressives, I’m sure, will point out all sorts of reasons for this. The most meritorious will be: I can’t provide sympathy for the progressive viewpoint that I do not have, and I have little to none. They will also say, with far less merit, that I am somehow misstating the left-wing position, missing some subtle but very important nugget of nuance. Well, fine, let’s agree to disagree about that. Liberal positions like these are based on emotion, and there is no nuance in emotion; quibbling about such things is like insisting that only a surgeon’s scalpel can be used to slice jello. It isn’t so. Arguments based on feeling are just feelings. You can divide jello with a scalpel, butcher knife, bread knife, or heck, a chainsaw. Once you spot a valid problem involved with enshrining a primitive feeling into public policy, the criticism stands. To criticize the criticism on the basis that is grounded on some trifling misunderstanding just pulled out of thin air, is, well…just more arguing based on emotion, when you get down to it.

You can apply tests to the three, to show the left-wing position on each of the three is based on emotion and not on reason. If people do not build things, they merely channel the beneficial energies of society as society does the building — does that pertain to Barack Obama’s many accomplishments then? Society won the Nobel Peace Prize? How about when people destroy things instead of build things…did they not really do that? Pop goes the argument, just like a balloon…if it’s based on reason and not emotion. But of course it isn’t. If we need to elect Mayors to tell businesses, with bad values, they aren’t welcome here…does that rule hold for a conservative Mayor in Utah, telling Disney they can’t build an enchanted castle in his area? Pop! And as to the third, what the heck is “fair share,” exactly? Pop! So you see, not only are the progressive positions based on emotion, but measurably so. The conservative positions are also emotional, but they’re not grounded in emotion, the emotion is consequential. Reason has been applied. If a guy built a business, he built the business; if you don’t like the business, you can shop elsewhere; if your taxes aren’t high enough, write a check.

The three have it in common that, in addition to the intensity of emotion, there is a durability as well, a quality of “remember ’til November.” Nobody’s going to go through a drastic epiphany in one direction or the other, about any of the three. In all three, our friends the modern liberals are opposed to freedom.

The unifying principle among the three, from what I can tell about it, is: Roles of hosts and roles of parasites. That is not, I hasten to add, a way of expressing this unifying principle in a way that all sides would agree to it. But here we get into the cognitive dissonance of the liberal mind: Their quibbling with the word “parasite” would be purely semantic.

Parasite (n.):

1. An organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

2. A person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.

I’m presuming that the weirdly unified body of modern liberal thinking, would take issue with the second definition but not with the first, when the word “parasite” is applied to our government. The government lives off of our works; that is what it is supposed to do.

It also provides services and, unfortunately, a lot of people live on that. The means for these services, it obtains from the “host”; it collects taxes from us, and borrows money in our name, and from those assets it makes block grants to the states, funds food stamps, maintains the precious “roads and bridges,” et al…

In these three, there is a sense that the parasite must be the brains of the outfit. Much like a queen ant, or a queen bee. You wouldn’t leave it up to the drone ants to make a crucial decision like, that crumb over there shouldn’t go into this anthill because it isn’t compatible. Of course, real ants do work that way, but that’s how you kill ‘em, you fool the drone into carrying something back to the nest. So I guess the liberals think we’re a step of evolution above that; we are to be evolved versions of ants, with a proper bureaucracy in place, so the queen can say “that doesn’t go here.” Those ants are far too libertarian for today’s “moderate” liberal. Of course, no single drone ant built the hill, somebody else made that happen. A drone ant that “owns a business” would be, I guess, a worker that brings a larger crumb of food to the queen than most of the others…he didn’t really do that, somebody else made it happen. I wonder, would it not be in the queen’s interest to say “Hey, that rocks! Let’s have this worker ant teach something to the other worker ants”? I wonder if ants do that. President Obama seems to have made up His mind that it isn’t going to happen…if you happen to have a successful business, let’s just forget all about it. You pay your taxes, and everyone else will just kind of stagger around doing what they’ve been doing. Socialism, like they say, is trickle-up poverty.

Here we get into the third of these remember-’til-November issues, the Buffett thing. No one worker ant can be bigger than the others; if that be the case, the tax code should be used to even things out. I’m guessing that’s because, there is a finite quantity of resources needed to replenish the anthill, and the queen within it — a bigger worker ant might bring more food to the queen, but he’d consume a greater share as well.

If It Weren't For Double Standards They'd Have No Standards At AllI think we’re seeing why, it’s a huge deal when Ann Romney wears a blouse that costs a thousand dollars, but no biggie if Michelle Obama wears a jacket that costs seven times as much. She’s entitled. She’s the “queen.”

* * *

On a related note, I’m noticing a plurality of libs are taking issue with my definition of “Architects,” as in, Architects and Medicators, when I cite Hammurabi’s Code 229 (actually codes 229 through 233), which Wikipedia claims “is generally accepted as the first building code.” That’s the one where, if a family is killed because you built them a house and the house falls apart over their heads, you get crushed to death.

Their incredibly flawed thinking seeks to entrap me in a “gotcha”: Since I approve of 229, and why else would I make a reference to it, why that must mean I similarly approve of government regulation! Weird. So, I define something, with a reference to a nugget of history; that is tantamount to personal approval of it, so I’ve been caught contradicting myself…I guess I’m supposed to go “homina homina homina” off in a corner somewhere while everything I’ve said is expunged from the record or something.

I’m wondering, with unease, if such people have occupations in which they produce something I use. To make liberal ideas look sensible, I notice once again, it becomes necessary to make meaningfully similar things look like they’re different, and meaningfully different things look like they’re identical. “Government regulation,” as we use the term today, and as conservatives criticize it, is not quite like Hammurabi Code 229. It isn’t even close. I’ve actually worked with regulators and, frankly, I have to wonder if these people have. They sure talk a lot about “nuance” when it comes to the proper interpretation of their own arguments, it’s odd how clumsily they noodle out the other guy’s…

The distinction is between codes that are outcome-based, and codes that define the process. Architectus, from the Latin: Master builder. Hammurabi Code 229: If you screw the pooch on this thing, you will be crushed. You’re on the hot seat. You’re the big cheese. That is not what regulators regulate, today; if what we follow today, in terms of “government regulation,” indeed enjoys some kind of solid line of descent from Hammurabi’s “I will suffer no foolish pie-eyed liberals in my kingdom” law, there has to have been a major twisty going on somewhere. But I do not accept that there is any such solid line of descent. They are, in fact, polar opposites. Modern regulation says, the what, where & how are to be decided by people who do not actually build anything. It regulates that production is to be decided by those who do not produce.

Liberals do not understand what it is they are really advocating — in no small part because, when you listen to them criticizing the opposite, you find they have no idea what it is they’re really opposing.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Virtue Junkie Goes to Chick-Fil-A

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

What a cocknozzle…mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be this…

From The Examiner, which sez…

When he got to the window, he told the young lady at the window that Chick-fil-A is a “hateful organization.”

The woman disagreed politely and said the company does not treat any of its customers differently.

“But the corporation gives money to hate groups,” he said, meaning organizations that believe in traditional marriage.

Even after berating her over Chick-fil-A, the employee remained professional and friendly.

“It’s my pleasure to serve you always,” she said as she handed him his water.

“Of course,” he said. “I’m glad that I can take a little money from Chick-fil-A and maybe less money to hate groups.”

Addictions are always ugly to see.

What starts the virtue junkie addiction, I wonder? Is it something small or something big? I’ve thought for a long time these people were trying to compensate for something they did, like the guy driving a fancy Corvette who has a small dick, they did something awful. Perhaps something in childhood that only seems to be dark, terrible and nasty to a child…like they had their first shot of impulse from what matures into their conscience, and it doesn’t start this growing process quite properly.

Well, the end results are obviously quite ugly. The deeds themselves, from harassing honest and hard-working employees who are just trying to make a living, to passing city codes telling restaurants what sizes of soda they’re allowed to sell, aren’t really the problem — it’s the lack of awareness of something wrong with the cunning plan, or something potentially wrong. This misconception that, if the intentions are honorable, there can be no blemish in the results.

That leads to the very worst of the whole lot. Even the Great Society legislation is caused by this.

Guy’s got some growing up to do, but I’m not sure he’s capable. Also, he used the word “totally“. Blegh.

Vindicated

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Feelin’ vindicated here. I’ve been saying, ever since this issue took center-stage that gay marriage is not a civil-rights issue, it’s a freedom-for-everyone-else issue.

Find someone who is actively keeping gay people from being together, or trying to at least, then we can have a different conversation. But when we start talking about freedoms being taken away, the first thing we have to do to assess the situation as it really exists, is to look at who’s trying to stop who from doing what.

People who say gay marriage is a civil rights issue, haven’t done that. Or, if they have, they’ve been making up stuff that hasn’t actually happened, while denying other things that are really happening. Like this

It’s only fair to ask what’s next. Litigation? A church getting sued for not holding the ceremony? When it comes to that point, and it looks like we’re practically there — keep tellin’ yerself that you’re free, little man. Aren’t businesses in America allowed to refuse service to anyone?

Same-sex marriage is a personal thing. So is the decision not to be a part of it.

And regarding the woman at 0:57…I must say I’m getting tired of hearing that. “This community will not allow.” That’s the kind of nonsense people say, when they think they can speak on behalf of such a community.

Buckley was right; they claim to tolerate other points of view, and then are shocked and offended to discover there are other points of view.

New Skyfall Trailer

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Memo For File CLXIV

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Given the choice between a sound knowledge base of verifiable & verified factual information, and the ability to think logically, I would choose the latter.

If I have a good understanding of how to figure out what a fact means, but my head is crammed chock full of silly “factoids” that aren’t really true even though they may be repeated by others verbatim, I should be able to ultimately determine some of these conflict irreconcilably with others. From there, I should be able to figure out which ones are suspect and, eventually, which ones should be questioned, and then reconsidered.

If I have a good solid repository of verified fact, but I don’t know how to figure out what these facts are really telling me, I might as well have nothing.

Fact is merely foundation. You can’t live in a foundation.

The Vampire Problem

Monday, July 30th, 2012

One of the most widely appreciated denizens of my blog goes by the name of Severian; no one has a clue who he really is, which is just the way he likes it. All I personally know of him is his first name, and I suppose if I bothered to check, his apparent IP address. This tells me nothing useful, save for that it’s probably safe to use masculine pronouns to refer to him.

The rest of us learn much, perhaps more than any of us would like to admit, when Severian engages those who are progressive of mind who have also seen fit to participate in greater frequency this summer. Out of the resulting fireworks, two observations have become eminent.

First: Many among those who are so passionately devoted to modern liberalism, especially those who claim to be able to provide logical support for the points they seek to make and then resoundingly fail to do so, are virtue junkies. The term means exactly what it seems to mean. You discuss the merits and possible pitfalls of a voter ID law with them, and things get strange when you ask them to describe reality as they perceive it. In our case, number of legitimate voters potentially “disenfranchised” by such a new law, ONE MILLION — in a single state, while the number of fraud incidents prevented or stopped, ZERO. And, the interested observer picks up the vibe: Hey why stop at a million? But reality, once measured reasonably, is probably not that way. The virtue junkies do not care, they want their fix. If you quibble about the million, all you get back is a bunch of tear-jerking prose about old ladies in wheelchairs who’ve voted non-stop since FDR, et cetera…

I warned you, things get strange. The virtue junkie, like all other junkies, has an unstable, flickering relationship with reality itself. He experiences the reality that you’re not open to the emotional arguments, and he reacts the way you should’ve expected: He doesn’t. He just recites the same arguments he just got done reciting. He’s tying it off, slamming it into the main vein. Not really discussing anything at all. All the impulses of a wild animal, with none of the comprehension of real objects and real events that all wild animals must acquire and sustain, in order to survive. The worst of both worlds.

The second thing to notice is a bit more complex, and is going to require a few more paragraphs. It is derivative of the first. The virtue-junkie is hooked on this virtue, which is actually a cosmetic display of virtue and not the real thing; this is to be concluded because the virtue is relative, not absolute. Example: Two election cycles ago, democrat presidential nominee and Massachussetts Senator John F. Kerry said something awkward about voting for an allocation before he voted against it…he was pilloried over this all summer long, mostly because it fit into the ongoing narrative that he’s a flip-flopper who cannot be relied-upon to stick to a position. During the first of three presidential debates, he acquitted himself of this in a most remarkable way:

…when I talked about the $87 billion, I made a mistake in how I talk about the war, but the president made a mistake in invading Iraq…Which is worse?

Now, one may argue all sorts of things about this. Kerry lost the election, narrowly, and it’s certainly plausible that the mistake talking about the war was a deciding factor, so this defensive remark didn’t get the job done. One may further argue that presidential elections are all about highlighting differences. To those of us who are experienced in arguing with left-wingers, such objections, while legitimate, do not distract from the main point which is: Our friends on the left, far, far more often than those on the right, are seen to seek shelter through the exploration of personal virtue as measured in relative terms — when, according to logic and reason, it is not germane to the discussion at hand, and does very little to add persuasive weight to what they’re trying to argue. But they don’t care about any of that. They just keep doing it. Reflexively.

Very much like vampires retreating from sunlight.

It’s worse than losing track of the discussion, it comes across as an abandonment of it. After all, what does Kerry’s mistake-magnitude-comparison exercise do, to clarify his position on the $87 billion? You have no idea where he stands at the beginning of the debate, and certainly you haven’t learned a thing about it at the end. Also, when we vote for presidents, we are not trying to vote in the guy who’s been caught making a less-glaring, or less-damaging mistake. We’d prefer not to, anyway…and we’re not trying to vote in the guy who can, given a few months to mull it over, come up with a cutting, if childish, remark to throw down in defense of his mistake…we’re not supposed to vote that way, anyway…

This thing we’ve noticed is a problem that comes from measuring the virtue in relative terms. Severian, in an off-line e-mail to me, recollected a work of fiction he’d once read about vampires that made this point. I Googled and found a page that explains it over here: “The vampire population increases geometrically and the human population decreases geometrically.” I’ll try to summarize it briefly: The vampire, feeding on a human, changes the human into another vampire, and after a relatively brief time another feeding will be required by both the old vampire and the new vampire.

The vampire, by feeding, not only incrementally depletes the food supply, but in so doing manufactures a new competitor for consumption of this limited supply. That’s at each feeding. There isn’t any way for the math to work in the vampire’s favor, none at all. All scenarios considered, lead to an all-vampire-no-human planet, on which the vampires are starving to death.

Thus it is with our friends, the liberals. They have to get their virtue-fixes — which means, virtue in relative terms, playing up the fact that they have ascertained and asserted themselves to be morally superior to some “control” specimen. An act which is forbidden when a fellow liberal is the control specimen, just as vampires cannot feed on other vampires.

They enter these “discussions” supposedly to coolly, logically and rationally exchange ideas and win converts. They’re sincere about the “win converts” part of it, at least. But, vampire problem: What if it actually works??

This is exactly what I was noticing shortly after Obama was elected President: Liberals get a lot of ego gratification out of being superior, in their own definition of “morals” and their own definition of “education,” compared to others, and it is also part of their vision that all of the “others” should eventually be converted. Converted, or…well, let’s not go there. They want everyone, everywhere, to be like them. This represents a doublet of mutually-exclusive goals. They cannot both happen. It isn’t logically possible.

My two favorite quotes from The Incredibles, become apropos:

Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: Which is another way of saying no one is.

Syndrome: Oh, I’m real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I’ll give them heroics. I’ll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone’s super…[chuckles evilly] – no one will be.

That’s the trouble with everybody possessing some nifty new attribute…which is measured relatively and not absolutely. If everyone’s got it, then nobody does.

And then, the planet full of vampires is doomed to stagger around, starving to death.

Most problematic for them, the most likely outcome by far is that both objectives will fail: They won’t convert everybody, and in spite of this they still will be doomed to painful withdrawal symptoms. Because, it seems, deep down they understand the terrible truth that a virtue fix is not duly shot up, until the other party acknowledges this measurement of superior virtue.

Eventually, they will have converted everyone who might have been converted, leaving only the hardcore sloping-forehead types who aren’t going to grant this implicit-permission, this acquiescence of “Yes, you’re ethically better than I am and/or more truthy,” even in a sarcastic, “whatever” kind of tone.

And then, their frustration will be complete. They’ll be surrounded by, and very often outnumbered by, all these walking, talking unfinished-conversion tasks…and…starved for a fix, in an addiction from which there is no cure.

Perhaps our society has been in that state for quite some time now. Perhaps that is the real reason why they’re so agitated.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Rubber-Banding a Watermelon

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Hat tip to Bob’s Blog.

The “Japanese video” mentioned could be any one of several candidates…one such example follows…