Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Once again we’re split squarely down the middle: People who believe what they’re told to believe, think the “War on Christmas” is an artificial concoction of fiction being played up by Fox News, and people who pay attention to what’s going on understand there really is one. Examples abound, and have for years, but for purposes of our discussion here we only need one:
Looks like the PC police have threatened members of the House of Representatives against wishing constituents a “Merry Christmas,” if they want to do so in a mailing paid for with tax dollars.
Members who submit official mailings for review by the congressional franking commission that reviews all congressional mail to determine if it can be “franked,” or paid for with tax dollars, are being told that no holiday greetings, including “Merry Christmas,” can be sent in official mail.
“I called the commission to ask for clarification and was told no ‘Merry Christmas.’ Also told cannot say ‘Happy New Year’ but can say ‘have a happy new year’ – referencing the time period of a new year, but not the holiday,” said a Hill staffer who requested anonymity.
Another Hill staffer told The Washington Examiner that “we were given that advice after submitting” a draft mailing.
Notice the following:
One. If a person with common sense happens to agree with this rule (since let’s face it, there is some wisdom and legitimacy to it, just not very much) — such a person would have to concede, without reservation, that if the rule were to be repealed tomorrow morning and then throughout the day, all kinds of things would happen that would’ve flouted the rule…no definable damage would be done. Absolutely none. So you have to be completely lacking in said common sense to try to prop up this notion that the rule has any purpose to it whatsoever. At all. It’s a useless rule, and no reasonable discussion of it can take place among people who do not acknowledge this much.
This is a constant in the War on Christmas. It’s a bunch of “can’t can’t can’t” with no purpose to it at all.
Two. And this is a bit more subtle: The congressmen, who are elected to their positions and are therefore accountable to the will of the electorate, are told what they can & cannot do by people who are not similarly elected, and therefore are not similarly accountable. There isn’t much point to noticing that, except for one thing…
…this, too, is a constant in the War on Christmas. Useless rules, which because of their uselessness are completely arbitrary, since they function as ethereal guardrails marking the edge of a highway that doesn’t have any such edge. And although they are arbitrary, they are enforced, enough though they are cooked up by people who are not guided by anything except for the agreement they will surely receive from other people who have the same biases and are similarly unelected and unaccountable. Such-and-such a judge says yep, something terrible will surely happen if a nativity scene is allowed within line-of-sight from the steps of City Hall, or the courthouse…and he says that, because and only because the next judge will say the same thing. Wow, it sure looks like a sensible interpretation of the Constitution, with all these unelected judges agreeing with each other! Must be one!
Boortz provides an explanation (which I’ve linked somewhere before, too lazy to go searching for that just now):
It’s simple. Just look at the cast of characters. You have government and liberals behind the attacks … almost exclusively. And why? Simple: Because it’s government we’re supposed to worship, not God. It’s government we’re supposed to look to for support in rough times, not our church. It’s government we’re supposed to look to for comfort, not our faith. In fact .. our faith is supposed to be in government, and government doesn’t like competition.
Get it now?
I see by my e-mail from Human Events, that today is the day for #351 on “365 Ways to Drive Liberals Crazy”:
Say grace before meals.
Bringing God into the picture always puts liberals ill at ease, because it reminds them you think there’s a power more important than government.
Not sure what to think of this. My deceased uncle, the Roosevelt democrat, was the one in our family who was most gung-ho about saying grace before meals. And I don’t like the idea of collecting ways to piss people off, even if they are liberals…but it does say something when it takes so little to do it. And this does provide support for what Neal Boortz has been noticing. Government is supposed to be at the tippy-top in all things, there isn’t supposed to be anything higher. And, those who make sure of this, cannot be elected or beholden to the dumb ol’ voters. They have to do this in committee, or from a bench, swinging a gavel.
In Colorado, a District Court judge has handed down an opinion that would appear to provide further evidence:
A case that has been lingering in Colorado courts since 2005 arrived at an important and historic threshold last week when a Denver District court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. In her ruling, Denver District Court Judge Sheila Rappaport said that the State funding system of K-12 education is not “thorough and uniform.”
While that seems like a basic judgment, Judge Rappaport went on to frame a much larger ramification in her decision, and delivered the reasons why this case is almost certainly headed to the Colorado Supreme Court.
In her ruling, Judge Rappaport wrote that “there is not one school district that is sufficiently funded.”
She also wrote that, “There is not enough money to permit school districts across the state to properly implement standards-based education and to meet the requirements of state law and regulation.”
In a nutshell, she has ruled that the Colorado State legislature must find a way to fund K-12 education in Colorado at a much higher level, at least a level to meet these standards, but must also do it in a way that is constitutional.
Without stating exactly how much funding would be adequate, Rappaport has asked the legislature to either ask voters to raise taxes, which voters just turned down by nearly a 2 to 1 margin, or find more funding in a state budget for a line item that already eats up more than 40% of the general fund.
While Judge Rappaport may have expected that her ruling would be appealed, if for some reason the State of Colorado decides against the appeal, Rappaport has set an impossible standard without setting any financial guidelines.
Essentially, the legislature is being told to arrive at a magical number that they know is bigger than the one they currently use, but don’t know how high they really need to go.
Hat tip goes to Protein Wisdom, where it is pointed out,
In short, the Judge has now institutionalized the idea that a proper education is tied to how much money is spent on it — this, despite years of evidence showing that per capita spending on education doesn’t correlate to better educational performance.
Many among us have had the experience of arguing with liberals about education, and how it needs to be funded “properly”…and have been confronted with the bedazzling spectacle of our rhetorical antagonist, pondering the quite rational inquiry about how-much-is-enough, doing whatever it takes to avoid providing a practical, usable answer. You know what happens, a lot of bilge comes out, I’m-a-better-person-than-you, a few sound bites they picked up from West Wing, or some homina-homina-homina until a Cheesecake Nazi bursts out of the kitchen, like a clown out of a car, to announce dessert-and-coffee-are-ready-would-everyone-stop-talking-about-politics. But no, you won’t get an answer, you won’t get 5k-per-child-per-year, or 10k, or 15k, nothing like that. Just more.
We’re accustomed to seeing that in our weird liberal friends & relatives during Thanksgiving. It’s strange there. It’s a little more strange seeing it in a court decision.
And here…at long last…I finally come to the point: I don’t think liberals believe government is good. I have long disagreed with Rush Limbaugh about this. Yes, it’s true, they’re constantly demanding more money flow into it, and if anybody dares to disagree with it the liberal will suddenly opine endlessly about what a terrible, awful person that dissenter is, he must be in favor of kids starving and puppies dying and water & air getting polluted et cetera.
Yes, it’s true also, that liberals don’t like western religion because they don’t want anything to be higher than the government. And yes, they probably have this affinity for eastern religions that they don’t have for western religions, because generally the eastern religions can co-exist with an all-powerful, in many cases tyrannical, state government. That does seem to be where they’re going, that government should be supreme and nothing can be above it.
And yes, here and there I see some liberals engaged in the belief, at least superficially, that every human endeavor that results in anything good must have come from government. File this away in your “Ways to drive a lib crazy” file: Let them know it’s absolutely true that Al Gore claimed to have created the Internet. See what kind of discussion ensues. It will almost certainly degenerate into a sermon about how we have the Internet because of the goodness of government…I’m not entirely sure what is being asserted, here, and I’m not entirely sure they know what they’re trying to say either. The OSI model provides seven well-defined layers of technological challenge, and each one of those layers do, indeed, present a fairly formidable challenge (although clearly not an insurmountable one). Particularly the Data Link, Network and Transport layers. Are they saying, a government committee was gaveled to order, and then the committee met to figure out how these packets would be sent from one peer to the next, to make a system that would actually work? They met in that hearing room and figured out what would work and what wouldn’t work? Nobody had to do any actual experimentation? Or are they saying…the experimentation was all done by competent government people while the private-sector businesses just sort of sat around and went “duh”?
It is truly laughable how they think about this stuff. But I can only explore it so far; like I said, I have strong doubts they’ve thought it out too well themselves, and I cannot explore that which does not exist.
It is their motivations that are at issue here. They do not, in spite of all the above, think of government as a wellspring of goodness. Or, at least, not pure goodness. You doubt me, just wait for Barack Obama to get His ass voted out and sent home. Wait for a Reagan-style no-apologies conservative Republican to be inaugurated again, then approach your weird liberal friends-and-relatives about what government can do, or what it’s thinking about doing. You’ll get a whole different song out of them. The best representative case of this might be the San Jose Mercury News story about the CIA selling rock cocaine in inner cities, and all the conspiracy theories that erupted from that whole thing. It fit the narrative: Murder and mayhem being stirred up by all these sinister guys running around, in their nice suits and expensive cars, on the payroll of some shadowy, sinister government agency. Straight out of the Watergate era. It never gets old.
So when the other guy is in charge, our libs are quite capable of believing government might do less-than-wonderful things.
Here we have a dilemma: How, then, can they see the answer to every problem as simple as prying more money out of the taxpayers’ grasp, and turning it over to this sometimes-good sometimes-bad government?
They have no problem believing government does bad stuff when the other guy is in charge. Can the dilemma be explained, as simply as: They don’t think, when their guys are in charge, that the other guys will ever, ever be in charge?
The People will understand, once we see liberal ideas put into action, that they work so well we’ll never want to put anyone else in, ever? Maybe cancel the elections forever or something? How then do they explain fairly recent human history, which saw us getting sick to death of the liberals in 2000, 1980, 1968, 1952, 1920…how do they explain this circular motion. I can tell you from my own experience they have a lot of difficulty with this. Once this is posed, I see a lot of the “homina homina until the Cheesecake Nazi bails me out, or else call the other guy an awful person if she’s nowhere to be seen” tactic. Oh, maybe I really am an awful person…and maybe the Cheesecake Nazi can see that too…but it doesn’t matter, does it, if the question is still out there? The liberal policies are supposed to be so obviously wonderful, and yet the country keeps getting sick of ‘em.
This guy has a theory that works. I think he’s nailed it:
Think about the people you know who have low self-esteem. We’ll call that person The Patient. The Patient does not see value in himself. He does not consider himself worthy of advancement, of self-transcendence, or self-actualization. Instead, The Patient believes he is a bad person, undeserving of success, love, wealth, or happiness. He comes to believe, therefore, that any effort he exerts on his own behalf is doomed to fail because he is such a bad person and does not deserve any success.
But there is this tiny little voice — the ego — that just won’t stand for this self-flagellation. So the ego projects The Patient’s self-hate onto The Other as a defense mechanism. They project the self-hate onto the person who is happy, wealthy, successful, and loved. Now, it is The Other who becomes the object of hate. “Why should he have everything? What has he done to deserve all this? I’m not the bad person, he is.” As a friend’s Facebook quote said just today, “Haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be.”
Then, as the pathology deepens, the projection distorts further. Now The Other is actually the cause of The Patient’s unhappiness because The Patient’s ego refuses to accept the truth that The Patient himself is the cause of his own unhappiness. Blame cannot be taken! The Patient becomes The Victim. The Other is demonized — literally transformed into a demon, an evil entity. The Other is called names. The Other is dehumanized. The Patient now self-righteously, and in the name of all that is good and just, actively seeks to destroy The Other. To punish It. To take away what It has by force. Because by destroying The Other, The Patient believes the source of their suffering will be removed.
Unhappy people become Liberals. People seek out those that are similar. Birds of a feather flock together. An unhappy person looks around and sees two groups: happy people, and unhappy people. Rather than take a page out of the former group, enter the herd and ask for (and likely receive) help and guidance on how to become happy, the person is more likely to choose the path of least resistance — of instant acceptance. “Come to Mumsy, darling, you’re one of us.” And once in the herd, it becomes very, very difficult to leave it.
The Liberal, of course, will deny this pathology. No, they say, they are only trying to make things fair. Liberals are consumed with fixing the world. By eliminating what is unfair, by eliminating the evil banks and the greedy corporations, all the little people will receive what is rightfully theirs! (Subconsciously, then, nobody will be more successful than they are.) So twisted with hate, and so convinced of their own inefficacy, they cannot even rely on themselves to overthrow The Other. They hand over their own power to a third party — the government — to do their dirty work in the form of the confiscatory process of increased taxation and regulation.
Bulls-eye. The government is a source…not of goodness, but of anonymity. The progressive says, The Internet Is A Government Creation, and the pronouncement is not quite so much an effort to impose the shining light of truth upon the darkness of ignorance, or even to control the outcome, but rather to avoid contending with any of the historical details. It is an exercise in avoidance.
The driving desire is one of denying individual human achievement. Nothing is more frightening to a true progressive than the idea of some guy going into a garage, or abandoned barn, and fiddling around with something that then takes on a life of its own. Whether that something is a steam engine, or an Apple computer, or a light bulb, or a Frankenstein monster, or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This idea just scares the hell out of them. If it comes from the labors of an identifiable individual, then it comes from that individual’s brain. That, in turn, means the individual had the potential all by himself…and that, in turn, means we all do.
This is the true reason why they loathe God. The idea of God is an idea of purpose: We are here for some established function. It may very well be that this function is nothing more than an experiment. Maybe God is trying to build His own Internet — or climate model? But even an exploratory function is still a function, and this scares them silly.
They feel useless. So they don’t want anyone else to escape uselessness. Therefore, any decision worth making that has an actual impact on something, has to be made by a committee…a nice, safe, anonymous committee full of people who will never be personally acquainted by the liberal who is so scared of all this. Either a committee, or a super-wonderful demigod like Barack Obama, who, again, will never become a personal acquaintance of the liberal. Oh, maybe the Replacement Jesus will call on them during a town hall meeting to ask a question…or, He’ll have dinner with them to thank them for their five dollar donation…
…but the liberal won’t ever have to be personally associated with a decision about something that has a real lasting impact. Neither will anybody with whom the liberal identifies, on any personal level. We’re all just — here. Doing our thing. Living, eating, fornicating, crapping, dying, like domestic pets.
No real accountability for judgments made. No decisions that really mean anything, coming from any of us.
That’s the real goal. That’s why they like government. All decisions made, are announced in passive voice: “It was the decision that…the feeling was…the consensus was…” Nothing scares them batshit crazy so much as an individual protagonist calling a shot, and sinking the right ball in the right pocket. That would mean anyone else who wants to, could do the same thing. This just rattles them right down to the marrow of their bones. That is what makes them liberals.
And that is why the celebration of Christmas is treated as a toxic thing. If it was about religious freedom, religious diversity, or the respect for people who choose not to be religious, they’d have to acknowledge the obvious: That when an atheist is reminded of the existence of religious people, the atheist is not harmed by this in any way. They have to go much, much further than that, because their driving ambition is to mute out any suggestion from anyone — be it a religious suggestion or not! — that we, as individuals, have the capability of altering the course of events, and maybe it’s a good thing for we as individuals to try to do this. Not by electing super-duper-wonderful people to make those decisions for us. But to do it ourselves. They cannot abide this, even for a stretch of time measured in heartbeats. They cannot…to coin a phrase…”tolerate” it. There is no room for it in their world.
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