Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psychology Exam Question

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

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

From Dr. Joy Bliss at Maggie’s Farm.

Memo For File CLXXXI

Friday, June 7th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Real Leaders Admit Mistakes and Work to Correct Errors

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Anita Folsom:

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

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

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

Conservative Women and Feminism

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Sam Janney:

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

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

Phony Science in Eight Steps

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

Hat tip to Robert at Small Dead Animals.

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

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

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

Cody Green

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Marine opens up about Cody Green: wlfi.com

Hat tip to Bruce Kesler at Maggie’s Farm.

“The Real IRS Argument”

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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

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

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

Arrhythmia

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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

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

Skinny Calves and Hairy Philtrums

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope. No baggage here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Except for Your Testicles”

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

A Giant Scam?

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re being set up for future protests.

Trois Gymnopédies

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Five Ways to Know You’re Watching a Spielberg Movie

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

From here.

Jesse Ventura Has a Bad Case of Lerneritis

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Three-Notice Rule

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Yeah, that’s a good rule.

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

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

Bikini and Rock

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Don’t try this at home…

The Anti-Bullying Movement is Completely Fake

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

And that’s being charitable.

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

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


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

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

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

Perhaps both will happen?

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

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

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

The Times continues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evolutionary Husband

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Posted without comment.

The Private Man, by way of Captain Capitalism.

Related: It’s Time to Stop Treating Dads Like Idiots:

The same people — mostly moms — who claim to be overworked and desperate for dads to do more are all too often the first ones to criticize them for not doing things right when they do step up. And by right, I mean their way. I’ve seen dads criticized and made fun of for how they dress the baby. For how they feed the baby. For how they handle things differently than moms. Despite the fact that most first-time moms are just as clueless and confused as first-time dads, it’s chic to make fun of the dads, while moms are assumed to know absolutely everything…

Doll Tragedy

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

One of my Facebook peeps posted this last night, and I thought it was great. It gives the first-person accounting of a playground incident that amounts to a clash between parenting cultures, the Helicopter-Mom culture and the “other.” It occurs to me, perhaps there needs to be some kind of a name to describe the other. An acronym, maybe? “Intervention For Emergencies Only,” I.F.E.O.?

Just like voting for Barack Obama — people of all shapes, colors, sizes, backgrounds and origins, once they do some good, quality left-brain thinking, will usually come around and say, Yes, I can see what is wrong with what we’ve done here and it’s silly for me to deny it. I see what’s wrong with the Helicopter-Mom brand of parenting. The problem isn’t getting them started thinking about this. The problem is getting them to finish with it. Infuriatingly, there’s always this “but” afterward, and following that you can almost hear the blood rushing into the right-brain artsy-fartsy touchy-feely part of the gray matter. Then, there follows some kind of muttering about absolute safety and feel-feel-feel, then, conclusion: We have to keep on keepin’-on. As far as the one indisputable point you’ve managed to make, Mr. Reason And Common Sense, which is “How is the kid going to learn to do a goddamn thing?”, we’ll just have to plug along and hope it somehow all works out. Cross that bridge when we come to it, or something.

And that’s when “Playground Mom” decided she had enough because she walked briskly over to him and said “You need help sweetie? Give me your hand.”

I was furious but not exactly shocked since I had seen it building to that point for the previous 10 minutes. But I still wasn’t about to let it go without addressing it.

“Excuse me, but he doesn’t need your help and he’s fine. I’m his dad and I’m right here.”

“Well clearly he does need help because he’s about to fall,” she said in full condescending mommy tone.

“Maybe, maybe not. But either way he’ll be fine. I can parent my own kid.”
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Look, you can parent however you want but I have multiple problems with what happened. First of all, it’s just another in a long list of examples that show some moms think they know everything — especially compared to dads. To openly step in and insert herself with me — the kid’s actual parent — right there? Maybe she would’ve done the same to another mom, but I doubt it. It’s a shitty attitude and I’m unbelievably sick of it.

Second, we are raising a generation of kids who know nothing about taking risks. Even on the monkey bars and playgrounds of America, the minute they hit some turbulence and adversity mommy and daddy are there to rescue them — and give them a trophy in the process. It makes me ill.

As he writes and I read, this guy’s preaching to the choir. I don’t understand the Helicopter-Mom thing, even though I’ve been trying to figure it out for years. I’m forced to rely on process-of-elimination, which among other things, is a tell-tale sign that I’ve failed at all other approaches. Also, it only works when the list of possibilities to be eliminated, starts out as an exhaustive one, covering everything.

So let us exhaust:

One. Helicopter-Mom parenting, say what you want about it, is a sincere effort. These are good, caring moms who don’t want their own kids or any other kid to get hurt. When in the course of their tireless efforts to Prevent Bad Things From Happening, they end up shielding the kid from everyday exigencies and challenges, and over the long haul deliver to adulthood one incapable weak pussy whelp after another who can’t do anything for himself, that is an unfortunate side-consequence but by no means is any part of their central focus or intent.

Two. Helicopter-Mom parenting is all about raising one incapable pussy whelp after another who can’t do anything for himself. In other words, things this time are exactly as they appear. We are looking at a battle between the sexes. It is a war against manhood and masculinity, that’s why you’re seeing this saturated female aggression around it, it’s there by design, and men had better wake the fuck up because it’s very late in the battle. And thanks to the politically-correct forces of vengeful feminism, the gentlemen are still sleeping. Or silent, which ultimately is the same as sleeping. We’re acting like fatherhood is replaceable, because we’ve been given a lot of messages that it is — and it isn’t. The consequences are disastrous, on the scale of tragedies you see only when there was some fighting that had to be done that didn’t get done.

Three is a midpoint between One and Two. It is more complicated, but I think it the most likely. This is only natural since both One and Two, while they have merits, are caricatures; caricatures very seldom mesh up well with real life.

Consider where, for the last forty-five years or so, feminism has failed in our evolving society most resoundingly. It has succeeded in ending careers and proving its destructive power, to such a great extent that it has made generations of honest people afraid to test it, and then, conversely, afraid to mention it or acknowledge it in any way. Even though everyone who’s paid the slightest bit of attention knows how it works: Say the wrong thing, and you’re gone. Whoever lifts a finger or utters a word to try to save you, is also gone. That’s how “shunning” worked back in the olden days: “You are to be shunned, whoever does not shun you is likewise shuned, whoever does not shun he who did not shun you is also to be shunned.” So the older established generations fear feminism, because we all have to make a living. The younger generation grows up hairless, chestless, and idea-less, standing up for nothing. Whenever an American Castrati ends a supposedly-declarative statement with a “…??” that’s a victory for militant feminism. But — in the very young, those who haven’t gravitated toward one world or another, here is where feminism fails. When they try to take the gender out of playtime, during the toddler-age. There’s no reason in the world, feminism scolds us, that our retrograde, patriarchal, oppressive society couldn’t be teaching girls to play with guns and shovels and hammers and drawing supplies, and boys to play with dolls.

Feminism is a big flop here. It achieves a patina of legitimacy only through the exceptions to the rules: Yes, some boys do like to play with dolls. Some girls are gifted at drawing. But the effort to reshape and remold the future generations through the remaking of the toddler, has fallen on its face time after time.

Wiring at work. The boy-toddlers are given Barbie dolls. They point the dolls at each other and yell “bang!”

Here’s an irony: I’m in the middle of attacking feminism, and what you’re about to read is me essentially repeating a lot of catchphrases straight from feminism, thereby highlighting it’s inherent, internal, unworkable contradiction. The female half of the species has been created to — or evolved to — create, preserve and protect as part of its instinctive drive. The male half can’t even fully understand this. Nor is it our place to do so. We only barely comprehend it enough to meet it, charm it, seduce it, couple up with it, build a life with it, and do what we can to protect the protectors. It is how the human race has always worked: Momma protects baby, Daddy protects Momma. Okay, feminists aren’t quite jiggy with that last part. But they’re certainly wild about that male-female-protection business when it has to do with the male finding out what the female wants, and bringing it to her.

But it all means this: Girls play with dolls. The playing with the dolls has a lot to do with practicing the acting-out of their maternal instincts, later on once they are of mothering age.

Think about what a doll is. Think about what it does. It does what it’s told, although it has needs. Some dolls even shit their diapers. It isn’t self-sufficient in any way; if they built a doll like that, there’d be no point for anyone to own it. Some dolls are told to do certain things; they do them, unquestioningly.

And there may be exceptions to this, but: Generally, dolls don’t learn. Maybe that’s a big part of the problem right there.

No, the dolls stick to what is expected of them. The ones that can speak, say what they are expected to say. They are zero-surprise devices. And they have big gorgeous eyes. They need protection.

So for my exhaustive list, my third possibility is a hybrid between One and Two. The desire to protect the child is sincere, solidified since the mother’s own toddler-years playing with dolls. But the playing-with-dolls ritual has done nothing to invigorate the mother’s emotional maturity, nor has anything else that came afterward, too much. She limps along in life with the emotional intelligence of a nine-year-old. That’s why, when you point out the obvious that “Your kid won’t reach adulthood capable of actually doing anything useful” you get back this useless, platitudinous, purely ornamental “Yes, I can see what you’re saying there” followed by the ever-present “but” followed by the disgusting glurgey nonsense followed by the so-we’ll-just-keep-on-keepin’-on. That’s what people do when they are emotionally immature. They go through the motions of discussing things rationally, with reason and common sense and logic, until such time as the logic veers off in a direction that isn’t to their liking. Then they mumble a bunch of buzzwords and go on doing what they were going to do anyway.

So this third, more realistic possibility is that the helicopter-mom really does want to prevent bad things from happening to the child — but there’s a conscious-versus-subconscious thing kicking in there. The statement “yes I can see what you’re saying” about the benefits to rough-and-tumble tough-love parenting — that is also sincere. But it will never win out. EVER. Because there are two personalities sharing the same body there, and the over-protective one that smothers the bear cub, and keeps it from ever learning to pull its own fish out of the stream, will always win out.

I’ll finish this by noting something that applies to all three of the possibilities I’ve considered: Across the board, the only remedy possible, other than allowing the tragedy to continue, is for someone else to intervene.

I’m not optimistic about this. It is contrary to what our society is inclined to do, contrary to what it has been doing. The pushy female would have to be told no. That would be a change of direction on a scale nothing short of revolutionary. We’ve shown ourselves to be capable of revolutions, but not often. And not like this. But if nothing else, the writer of the article shows it is possible to think globally while acting locally.

Is it in us? Time will tell. Everything depends on it.

Not About the Nail

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

From Rodger the Real King of France, by way of Gerard.

Words Most Abused by the Left

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

1. Tolerance
2. Fairness
3. Equality
4. Inclusion
5. Science
6. Open-minded
7. Egalitarian
8. Stereotype
9. Oppressive
10. Non-threatening
11. Diversity
12. Everyone
13. Skeptic
14. Nuance
15. Progressive
16. Environment
17. Hate speech
18. Abuse
19. Torture
20. Greed
21. Assault (weapon/rifle/gun)
21. Wealthy
22. Any tangible noun that ends with “ist,” or intangible noun that ends with “ism.”
23. Undocumented
24. Working (family)
25. Worker
26. Right(s)
27. Ethical
28. Transparent(cy)
29. Landmark
30. Theocracy
31. Common sense
32. Safety
33. Fascist/ism
34. Mainstream
35. Forward

Cross-posted at Rotten Chestnuts and Right Wing News.

Memo For File CLXXX

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Dennis Prager has said “I’d rather have clarity than agreement.” There doesn’t seem to be any place on the whole Internet that I can link to really give a good context for this, so I thought I’d just jot down what I know about it in a blog post, and then make this the place. There is a lot of wisdom packed into those few words. They are worthy of preponderance, post-ponderance and mezzo-ponderance.

It’s an important thought to have, too. It explains maybe two thirds, or perhaps more, of the human conflicts I’ve personally had. So many times per year I find myself asking for clarification about something, and half a heartbeat later I find myself in the middle of some kind of tempest. Melee. Imbroglio. Mess. Which is supposed to be all my fault. Last time it happened was Friday, May 10th, in the middle of the afternoon, about six hundred miles from here.

I can’t add too much more to “I’d rather have clarity than agreement.” But I can add something. And what I have to add, is this:

It shouldn’t be a necessary thing to have to point out. But, it is. Because it’s necessary to point it out in some contexts, we know there are some people who go the other way: They’d rather have the agreement than the clarity. If nobody felt that way about it, you wouldn’t be able to cause conflict simply by favoring the clarity.

We can go further than that: If these people would prefer agreement over clarity in some specific situation, they didn’t start off that way when the situation came up. No, take this to the bank, they’ve been building on that preference for awhile. Probably all their lives. Consider all the everyday things you need to do when there isn’t full agreement, that you’re spared from doing when there is agreement. When everyone assembled agrees, you don’t have to do…inspection. Introspection. Substantiation. Challenge. Response. Proofs. Rebuttals. Qualifications. Inductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning. Argument framing. Hypothesizing.

So you see, nobody ever says “I’d rather have agreement than clarity.” They just chafe at the idea of doing any real, flippin’ mental work. They mimic, and they chide others for failing to mimic properly.

When there is agreement without clarity, nobody has to admit they don’t know something. This is hazardous. The beginning of the acquisition of all knowledge is “I don’t know.” You have to admit you don’t know something, in order to learn whatever it is. Last time I had to do that was not two weeks ago; it was more like half an hour ago.

This seems to be related to another eternal-question, having to do with Process v. Outcome. The Google search, from what I can tell, nets a whole bunch of results that all seem to have something to do with inflated eggheads extolling the virtues of process elevated above outcome. Some even go so far as to say that the more modern thinkers, fixated on process, are more likely to conduct mind-expanding experimentation, and arrive at a better final result. I guess I’m old school — seems to me they aren’t giving a fair or accurate consideration to the whole concept of “outcome.” When we consider these two values in the context of “which one is better?” we must necessarily start with the premise that to favor the one, places the other in jeopardy. In other words — to really weigh them against each other, we have to ask the question “Is it better to follow the correct process and achieve a crappy outcome, or is it better to achieve the desired outcome by straying from the established process?”

Those of us who have dealt too much with an intrusive and inefficient government don’t need to think twice when we answer that. There is a phrase to describe the process-over-outcome thinking: “The operation was a complete success, the patient died.” It refers to the bureaucrats, and the bureaucracy-minded, following their precious rules and losing track of the objectives. The thing to ask yourself is: What if you’re the soon-to-be-dead patient? What’s going to be important to you?

I detect a parallel, perhaps a very important one, between the Prager clarity/agreement divide and the pop-psych process/outcome divide. Based on all I’ve seen of it, it seems to me that the clarity is valued by people like me who elevate the suitability of the outcome above dogmatic fidelity to the defined process, and the agreement is craved by those who are committed to the process at the expense of the outcome. I think they’d agree, that the benefit from doing it their way is a quicker and easier assessment of whether the right pathway is being followed. It’s a lot like the range chief at my local firing range insisting on an orange or yellow action flag be inserted in the pistol and rifle actions whenever the range is called cold. It makes the inspection easier, and therefore quicker and more effective, therefore safer. But with all those desirable deliverables, let’s not kid ourselves, the achievement is made through slicker thinking involving lower effort. A lot of times, like at that firing range, this is entirely appropriate. Deep thinking is expensive; how much deep thinking can you afford?

But with the more elaborate and unorthodox challenges in life — and that is, arguably, what life is as far as we humans are concerned — a question arises: If the outcome at the end of it all is, that the patient dies, then who cares? And the answer is only obvious: The patient! He isn’t going to want lower-effort thinking, and who can blame him?

Thing I Know #401. People who refuse to work with details don’t fix things.

“Star Trek” Writer Apologizes For One of the Best Scenes in the Movie

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Telegraph:

Damon Lindelof, the writer of Star Trek Into Darkness, has apologised to fans for the scene in which…

Wait, wait, this is all wrong. That article is a stupid article because it doesn’t include any pictures of its subject. How are we supposed to know why the writer “apologised”? And what’s up with that spelling? Silly Britons.

Let’s go here instead.

Alice EveWho was it that said, ‘it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission’? Well, that little maxim for life must have been at the very forefront of Star Trek: Into The Darkness writer and producer Damon Lindelof’s mind this week when he issued a heartfelt apology for including a scene featuring Alice Eve in her underwear. Needless to say, Alice Eve looks very good in her underwear, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she has to conduct an entire scene in it.

It doesn’t? Who says? Actually, in this case it does…I will get to that later on.

Katy Brand, author of this second article — and I’ll bet just just a great and fun person to invite to parties or something — continues:

Using his Twitter account (of course, what else?) Lindelof sent three tweets in a row:


Well, in terms of this newly discovered mindfulness, we could start with learning to spell ‘misogynistic’ – if that is indeed a word – you know, just as a gesture, but let’s not pour cold water on his efforts yet – after all, you applaud the toddler if it gets the poo near the potty the first few times, don’t you?

Um, yeah. You know, we might as well quote from a “tweet” of my own, from before tweeting was done, because I’ve got a feeling we’re gonna need this one:

[Thing I Know #] 52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

Something else I’d like to get out of the way before we go further. I can’t prove it, but I’ve got a feeling Katy Brand doesn’t look as good in her underwear as Alice Eve looks in her underwear. And, let me go out even further on the limb and speculate: That’s what we’re really arguing about here. That, and one other thing: When it’s thought of as a solution to any & all problems to simply require the good-looking women to cover up all their skin, that’s a sign that idiots are in charge.

Damon Lindelof has already written for all kinds of small- and big-screen things like Crossing Jordan, Cowboys and Aliens, and probably many other visual works in which perfectly nice-looking and even gorgeous women go running around in clothing that covers everything. Which, by the way, does very little to inspire any sympathy for him as far as I’m concerned…the hasty and “heartfelt” apology doesn’t do much to improve that. Both look to me like exercises in caving in to jealousy. But this “Katy Brand” scold is doing a great job of proving out, not only how those jealousies work, but the wisdom & truth in TIK #52. Lindelof obviously has a lot of work ahead of him before he can win her over, and that’s assuming he ever can, and my money says no on that.

I really don’t see why the movie people even bother. I’m still not clear on what the complaint is. Since when are movie scenes criticized for being “gratuitous”? Especially the ones that last thirty seconds or less? Because of the visuals? Have these whining whelps seen what’s going into movies lately? Have they seen some of the visuals? Have they seen how ungodly long some of the scenes are that are completely lacking in purpose? Seriously, if that’s the complaint — and, I’m pretty sure it isn’t — “Alice Eve in her underwear” doesn’t even rate. It doesn’t even make the list of noted offenses. It’s lost in a sea of much better examples, even within the Star Trek universe.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about here. For the record, the producer who pushed this scene did apologize for putting it in. And, should’ve…

Back to that first link: It includes a phrasing of the question that evidently was strong enough to launch Lindelof into this spate of backpedaling and apologia. And seems to have been intended to do just that:

Why is Alice Eve in her underwear, gratuitously and unnecessarily, without any real effort made [to explain] as to why in God’s name she would undress in that circumstance?

Holy crap. Someone’s upset! Okay, for those who have not seen the film and might not be up on this “Carol Marcus” character:

Let’s start with the beginning. The new Star Trek series is a semi-reboot. The reboot vehicle which came out four years ago, of which this one is a sequel, includes a storyline which continues at the end of the classic Star Trek time line with all the plot points intact and all the characters developed in the way we’ve seen up to that time. One of them falls into a black hole, emerges at the other side in the distant past, then a bunch of things in the past are changed which essentially causes a new “universe” to be created. It’s a ham-handed, but at the same time rather ingenious, way of kicking things off with a blank slate but with the opportunity to re-imagine characters that have been developed before, with new events in their lives.

If you’re thinking something like “Yeah, I’ll bet they’re just doing this so they don’t have to go to Star Trek conventions and answer endless questions like ‘why would so-and-so do X if Y happened to him back in such-and-such?'”…I’m thinking, you’re probably not too far off the mark.

Enter Carol Marcus, who appeared in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan over thirty years ago. In awkward-looking ugly Mary Tyler Moore slacks. The legendary Captain James T. Kirk had a kid with her. But we never got to see any of that going on, or the “courtship” that would’ve led up to it, we only saw Kirk and Dr. Marcus dealing with the “here and now,” back then, after the kid grew up to become an adult and a Doctor himself. The actress who played Carol Marcus was visually appealing enough, but with much of her feminine appeal removed post-seventies-feminist style. Simply put: We never did get a chance to see what got things going. What kicked in Kirk’s “warp engines.” What got him thinking with the little head.

But, if I were Mr. Lindelof, I wouldn’t have said that. Asked the “why in God’s name” question, I would have said something like: “She wore underwear because the movie’s rated PG-13 and we couldn’t show the boobage. Next question.”

By the way — again, for the benefit of those who have not seen the film. The comments that there is some kind of exploitation taking place here, or “mysogeny” or as the writer himself might say I guess? The idea is completely absurd. I suppose people see what they want to see, especially when they’re caught up complaining about something…but it’s like this. Somehow the idea is gradually put together, as they very often are in Star Trek and always have been, that so-and-so is going to have to approach such-and-such and do some kind of thing. A hasty argument ensues about “No you can’t, it’s too risky and you’re too valuable,” and the person who has to do the thing, the person who came up with the idea, and the person who wins the argument all end up being the same person. Here, it’s Carol Marcus. But she isn’t attired properly, so she orders Captain Kirk, who up to this point has been doing all the ordering, to turn around. Then she strips, he peeks, and she starts berating him and ordering him to turn around again. Simply put: She is taking charge. And that’s where the camera clicks in that screen cap you’re seeing. She’s laying the smack down, while not wearing too much by way of clothes, and the much stronger, taller, fully-dressed and better-established male character of superior rank is replying with “uh, yes ma’am” or some such stuttering, sputtering, deferential type thing.

Kirk has all the advantages. But Marcus is establishing supremacy within the scene nevertheless. That was the point.

It’s exactly what feminists want, in addition to being a perfectly solid as well as amusing foundation for the relationship that develops later. Well, they’re still not happy. If there’s one area of achievement where the feminists really excel, it’s got to do with “still not being happy yet” with something. Boy, they’re like the Energizer Bunny that way…a complaining, bitching, grouchy and unhappy mechanical bunny, that never stops. Being unhappy.

So alright, it’s an exaggeration to say this is “one of the best scenes.” But the reports that the scene is entirely lacking in purpose, are simply not true. I don’t know why one of the writers is agreeing. Writer or not, he must be approaching it from a position of ignorance, or else (I consider this more likely) he’s engaged in fantasy and falsehood, spouting silly things, as part of some effort to climb out of a hole. I can’t speak to his motivations too much. I only know I like my answer better. “She’s wearing underwear because we’d have to go for the R-rating if she wasn’t.”

Uh, you unpleasant nags do realize, don’t you, that he’s going to have to be getting her pregnant at some point soon, right? Heterosexual coupling. Breeding. It’s coming. Might as well start throwing the hissy-fit now…

Update: Context. Once you appreciate the historical context, you appreciate how silly the complaint really is.

Steaks

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

A how-to guide at IziSmile.

Hat tip to Linkiest.

I Made a New Word LXV

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Lerner-itis (n.)

Mental illness triggered when the patient finds other people are forming opinions about him that he doesn’t like.

The patient starts to behave irrationally, handing out orders to people about what to think and what not to think.

The reasoning seems to be, since the subject of concern is the reputation of the patient, that reputation becomes the property of the patient, and the patient should be able to mold it and shape it as he pleases. Of course, to find oneself at the center of controversy or criticism and to be unhappy about it, is only natural. But mentally rugged and healthy people respect the opinions of others. Lerneritis seems to come from an inability to acknowledge that other opinions might endure, even if the subject of those opinions doesn’t happen to like them.

We got a glimpse of Lerneritis when Lois Lerner, Director of the IRS’ tax-exempt department, testified before Congress about singling out conservative organizations applying for the tax-exempt status. Or…didn’t.

Lois Lerner might win the legal battle but she’s prolonging the political war.

Instead of simply taking the scorn of lawmakers for a day, repeatedly invoking the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination, and then moving on, she chose defiance.

And her bravado has prompted House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to say she has waived her constitutional right to not comment.

Now, he plans to haul the director of the IRS’s tax-exempt department back to the committee for questioning.

Lerner Cartoon“When I asked her her questions from the very beginning, I did so so she could assert her rights prior to any statement,” Issa told POLITICO. “She chose not to do so — so she waived.”

Lerner shocked the committee room in the opening moments of Wednesday’s hearing by delivering an opening statement denying any wrongdoing and professing pride in her government service.

“I have not done anything wrong,” said Lerner, who triggered the IRS scandal on May 10 by acknowledging that the agency had singled out conservative groups applying for tax exemptions. “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.”

Beyond that, she refused to answer the committee’s questions, immediately triggering a debate among panel members over whether she had just voided her Fifth Amendment rights.

After that, the article linked strays into legally murky territory. And I’m not a lawyer. Then again, that wasn’t a trial. At any rate, it seems we’re about to learn something about the Fifth Amendment. I’m glad to see there’s an amendment in the Constitution that the Obama administration happens to like.

Had some wisdom to share about this mental illness, yesterday, on this issue over at the Hello Kitty of bloggin’

I have noticed a certain behavior in some people for awhile, aptly represented in Ms. Lerner’s comments about her taking the fifth, and having done nothing wrong, et al.

It has to do with the person’s reputation. The thinking seems to be, “since it’s my reputation, that makes it my property, and people should think only the things about me I want them to think. I can simply order them not to think about all the rest.” Which, of course, is not really the way it works…

I’ve also said before that, as an advanced civilized society, we do a great job of “diagnosing” certain mental ailments where they don’t actually exist, and failing to diagnose things that arguably are real illnesses. This would be an example of the latter. You have to be mentally ill, on some level, to think you can simply order people to have the perceptions of you that you want them to have.

If we could simply start diagnosing this illness, and start extrapolating patterns and trends, we might find the afflicted represented disproportionately among persons who have achieved some measure of authority and power, but not all of the authority & power they want. And they are at the extreme ends of the power spectrum: directors of units within agencies that award, deny and revoke tax-exempt status, and other people who have hardly any power at all. But in all cases, wanting more. Guarding the personal reputation with a bit too much jealousy. Unhappy, unfulfilled.

Yeah, I’m not sure you can cut it that way legally. It certainly doesn’t work, out here, in the world of reason and common sense: “I’ve done nothing wrong, and I refuse to answer any questions.” Which is it?

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Rotten Chestnuts.

Pedophile Disembowled in Prison

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Newsflavor:

A prisoner who bragged about his offenses was disemboweled in prison on Saturday.

For many criminals, especially those who sexually assault people, it’s often in prison they are made to suffer for their crimes. Many men are raped, sexually assaulted, or murdered in prison. Mitchell Harrison (23) a serial sex offender, Saturday found the latter awaited him.

When Mitchell Harrison was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a 13-year-old girl he seemed proud of his crime. Harrison was sent to the notorious Frankland Prison, home of child killer Ian Huntley (who last year had his throat cut). When quizzed by other inmates, Harrison would brag about the intricacies of his sexual exploits (this the third time he was caught for sexual offences on minors). It’s this bragging that is thought to have ended his life.

On Saturday morning, having made makeshift weapons out of toothbrushes and razors, two inmates at Frankland prison confronted Harrison in his cell, slit open his stomach, and to ensure he was dead pulled out some of his internal organs onto the floor, essentially disemboweling him.

The two men (as yet unnamed) aged 23 and 32 then cleaned themselves up, went to eat breakfast, then turned themselves into officers for the crime, which at that point had gone undetected.

Funny how some things have a way of sort of working themselves out.

English Flag Might Offend Muslims

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Examiner:

FlagThe centuries old flag of England has been rejected by a local town council on the grounds the red cross on white background English colors may be “inappropriate” and “offensive” to Muslims, as reported by the on-line news portal The Bristol Post on 16 May, 2013.

The town council of Radstock in Southwest England, has elected to pass on purchasing a new flag of England, correctly known as The St. George’s Cross.

Councillor Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer and teacher, stated that due to the English national flag was used by English troops during the Crusades of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries just possibly could mean the beloved English Red & White may be seen by some as offensive.

As Councillor Jackson stated:

My big problem is that it is offensive to some Muslims but even more so that it has been hijacked by the far right.

My thoughts are we ought to drop it for 20 years.

Jackson failed to mention the Crusades were in response to the initial Muslim invasion of the Holy Land.

“We’ve received some anonymous complaints about X” is one of the lowest-of-the-low among sneaky bureaucratic weasel tricks. “I can envision a possibility in which a hypothetical X might be offended” is the next step down.

Wasn’t there a Queen of France named Eleanor, about that time, who made a break for it and started fornicating with some young punk kid named Henry, eventually marrying him and becoming the Queen of England? Wonder if the French found that offensive. The two kingdoms did start going at it in a more-or-less constant state of warfare for some three or six centuries, depending on what sorts of uneasy peaces you think might count for something. Perhaps the good university teacher should’ve changed her given name.

B.A.S.D.S.M.T.O.T.W.D.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I think I like this.

An all-out assault against the WAGTOCPAN. Go get ’em! Folsom has it worse than most places. Everybody looks like they’re receiving instructions on the formula for an antidote that will save humanity, or missile coordinates for the satellite that’s about to wipe out all life on Earth.

But those conversations are really all about: “Whaddya you doin’? Me? Aw, nothin’ much…whaddya you doin’?”

So let’s crack down. Yes, if it saves just one life then it’s worth it.

Mean Liberals

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

So the producer and co-creator of The Daily Show, Lizz Winstead, made a bad joke about the Oklahoma Tornado hitting a red state. “This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives.” Then she apologized and backpedaled like crazy in the best self-deprecating manner should could rustle up, once she found out that real people were getting hurt and killed.

There’s a great case to be made that this isn’t sufficient to let her “off the hook.”

I tend to over-think these things. Maybe this is one of those times I shouldn’t be doing that. Winstead made a “funny” joke before she figured out people were going to be hurt, so it was outside of her intention to wish ill on anyone, or to make light of it once the worst came to pass. She owned up. Let’s move on. Right?

Um…not so fast there. This Daily Show producer being a dark-hearted evil monster who laughs at dead children, is not the focus of my concern and it never has been the focus of my concern. When someone says something stupid like that, it isn’t even my default presumption about what’s going on. I’m more worried about just the thoughtlessness of it. I’m not worried about whether her horizons were broadened once she realized she made an ass out of herself — although maybe I should be, since in her Twitter feed, post-backpedal-moment, I don’t see anything along the lines of “I learned something.” I’m upset that she had to have them broadened in the first place. She didn’t see Oklahoma citizens as “real” people or something? I mean, that was the whole point of her little quip, wasn’t it?

In fact, I think my own horizons are the ones that just got embiggened here. Let me explain that: I’ve often made the point that it isn’t safe to generalize among liberals too broadly. They all push bad policies, but the “elite apathetic” types push the bad policies because they don’t care that the policies hurt people, while the “common ignorants” presumably have the very best intentions and want the best for their fellow world-citizens; they just don’t understand how awful and wretched the policies are. And so, I’ve rationalized, the liberalism we see is simply a sales transaction, from the few cynical psychopaths to the many low-information voters.

It’s a good rationalization. It’s a friendly rationalization, since it makes it possible for all of us to start to find ways to get along. And there’s truth to it, which indicates there’s a need for it: I do know some liberals who are good people. They’re misguided, of course, and by seeing things this way I can at least try to find ways to un-mis-guide them without cheesing ’em off. Try to.

Problem: I don’t know how to file Winstead into this.

Second problem: It isn’t just Winstead. There are quite a few like her.

What’s the difference between being a dark-hearted Jezebel and being a thoughtless bitch? It’s the difference between the active and the passive. I don’t think Winstead really wanted kids to go missing by the dozens and then turn up dead. She just wanted to get her little joke out there. No, I agree the apology doesn’t let her off the hook, because when you really mull it over awhile you see it’s one of those apologies for getting caught. She made a very hateful remark, which was worth making because it was hateful against the right people. And, I’m picking up that it was very important for her to get it out there, toot-sweet, before someone else thought of the same thing and beat her to the punch. That does seem to be when the bad judgment comes out.

Can I pigeonhole her with the genuinely well-intentioned liberals who just want to be kind all the time? The sweet, cheerful Aunt who’s been voting for democrats since Roosevelt, and finds a way to change the subject whenever you point out that logic and history agree the minimum wage exacerbates unemployment for young people? And here’s my dilemma: I don’t think I can. It isn’t fair to the Auntie, who at least gives a shit. Lizz Winstead obviously doesn’t. She, along with the people like her, are all too busy being “funny” and making their “jokes.”

So I guess, with this new experience in my rear-view mirror and a bit of introspection and “exospection,” we need a new middle-tier. We have the generals, think of those as Barack Obama’s inner circle right now, the people who figure out absurd silly things like: Pass this gun control bill, pass ObamaCare, pretend John Kerry is the best Secretary of State we could possibly have…based on God only knows what kind of motives they’re hiding from everyone else. There are buck privates, who might have wonderful intentions but don’t know a damn thing and can’t be told anything, the dear old aunties. In between we have, dunno what “rank” we’d give them, Staff Sergeant or something? The “noncoms.” They aren’t at the bottom of the food chain, because they get this thrill out of making their “jokes” which are really nothing more than efforts to tell others what to support, what to oppose, what to think. With little punchlines at the end, so they can pretend what they just said is some kind of a “joke.”

But they don’t formulate what they’re selling. They don’t decide what that’s going to be; they’re not “brass.” They just pass it along, bludgeon others into believing in it and supporting it.

They’re not funny. They’re just plain mean. Just not actively mean. They’re passively mean. The truth is, they really don’t give a crap about dead kids, if while the kids are alive they happen to be living in the wrong, red states. They care about looking like they care, so they can keep their good reputations. Which they can then use to sell the agenda. Formed and shaped by the brass, to the kindly old buck-private aunties, who genuinely do have and maintain this compassion for kids and other human beings, that these noncoms only pretend to have.

The top tier is the apathetic, the bottom tier is the ignorant, and this middle one is both. We have to acknowledge it’s there, because there is a danger that these buck-private compassionate aunties might, after a time, be “promoted” and lose their compassion. That’s the trouble with these noble, glorious movements that are supposed to change the world: Sooner or later, this drive to help people who need the help, checks out. And it’s replaced by this other darker ambition to lock the sites on the opposition, and blast away. Beat them. Vanquish. Win. Grind ’em into the dirt. Really show ’em what-for.

I don’t want to pretend to know a lot about this Lizz Winstead person, because I just heard about her for the first time. But with this charge-and-retreat thing she did here, she’s not that hard to read. She has rounded that bend. She’s not alone. It’s been growing, as a big national problem, for a long time.