Archive for December, 2010

Fighting Terror Almost All the Time

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Three hundred sixty-four days a year?

Napolitano just amazes me. She’s the reason why, when people go on about what an incompetent ditz Sarah Palin is and how it’s so important to keep her out of public service — not only should Napolitano not be allowed near any decisions that actually matter, but neither should they. Nappy is the very picture of a public servant who is bad in every conceivable way. She makes no constructive contribution to anything, other than to try to sell the citizenry to accept a bad status quo. And she can’t even do that.

A security and counter-terrorism plan should, before addressing any other goal,

a) Impose as great a magnitude of difficulty as possible upon a resourceful and determined attacker planning a terrorist-strike event; or
b) Make sure all races, genders, sexual preferences and creeds are exposed to equal levels of inconvenience and danger.

It’s a simple, one-question, two-option test. And this administration consistently chooses the wrong answer. They won’t protect the country. They won’t even tick off anybody until they do their “due diligence” to make sure the right people are getting ticked off…then they’ll jump in with both feet. But outside of that, it seems they have no other goals in mind at all.

I’m loving that revelation at 1:27. There will be an attack, innocent lives will be lost, and we just have to learn to live with it — but no profiling!

Can we at least talk about that system of priorities, maybe discuss it a little bit? Aw, heck no. That’s their job as they see it, to convince people like me that that’s just the way things are and I need to accept it. That, it seems, is their idea of “homeland security.”

These people shouldn’t be trusted to run a flower cart. They’re not there to protect anybody, they just think they’re hog farmers and we’re the hogs.

From Hot Air.

“I Was At – Forgive the Expression – a Christmas Party…”

Monday, December 20th, 2010


Share with a “The War on Christmas is a Myth” person you know.

A Truly Progressive Idea

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Oh, my. At this hectic time of year, which isn’t supposed to be hectic at all but somehow is anyway…this just might catch on.

It seems that the urge to give the shirt off the other guys back in the interests of social justice and displaying compassion for the little guy is one that is not going to go away anytime soon…
Since it’s been established that this kind of thinking is not likely to go away, what we have to do is simply redefine what it is to be wealthy. To the people who choose not to take the ambitious path in life, to those who take the European view that leisure time and taking it easy are the true measure of a rich life, I say that you are absolutely right. Wealth should not be determined by how much money or how many things I have accumulated, but rather by how happy I am…
Once we convince them completely that feeling good is the goal of life and that leisure is the new money…we start taxing it. Anyone working less than eighty hours a week will be forced to split the difference with the hours that they are putting in and subsidize the hard working for those hours…At a certain point, I think that you have accumulated enough free time. It’s a good idea I think to spread the wealth around…

Hehe. I should have been on top of what’s coming out of Mark’s mind here, but I wasn’t. Grateful hat tip to Joan.

The Tragedy of the Times in Which We Live

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

…is that, in subtle but important ways, we turn our backs on truth. We reject it, not outright, but by demoting other tangential things over truth, and we relegate truth to some position inferior to other things that should not matter as much.

We think of things that are fake but accurate to be more meritorious, more worthy of our attention, our consideration, our support, our indemnification, than other things that are truthful, although perhaps somewhat lame.

You know, it’s a funny thing about the concept of “truth.” When we come to find out there is one, we very often find out it is not one to our liking — but it is what it is, nevertheless. That is the whole concept of truth, that it is what it is and it doesn’t very much matter whether we like it or not.

When it arrives at too high of a cost, and we find our delicate political structures and obligations are more precious to us than reconciling ourselves with truth, we have to disclaim what we know to be truth. But it doesn’t stop there. We have to also disclaim the idea that there is a truth at all — anywhere. We step into a world in which “truth” is determined by what the majority, or the powerful, or some combination of those two, find to be comfortable.

And by absolutely, positively, nothing else.

Arguing About Knives

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Added the following comments to the Hello Kitty of Blogging, otherwise known as “Facebook”:

To me, a big part of Christmas is arguing about knives.

A Christmas KnifeYeah, really. Before the big event, it’s all…use scissors! No, men don’t use scissors, men use knives. But it’s easier to cut straight with scissors! No, a real man can cut just as straight with a knife. Oh yeah? Yeah. Ad infinitum…(“Don’t hurt the rug!”)

…and then, during the unwrapping, it’s…since I’m a third-generation immigrant from solid Scandinavian stock, it’s always been — all together, now — SAVE THE WRAPPING PAPER FOR NEXT YEAR. So you take personal responsibility to make sure your own blade is sharpened properly, and you use it to bisect the scotch tape.

As I approached manhood, I became convinced this was just a way for grown-ups to torture children. So I did the only rational thing, I paid it forward. Yeah, ever[y] December 24 my kid hates my guts. “C’mon, Dad, just tear through it!!”

It tell him the same thing Dad told me: Slide that under an iron, son, and we can use it next year.

Be that as it may: By the time I’m done, you can tell a woman did NOT wrap this present. That’s been a constant.

“Al Gore Screaming Like a Loon”

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Why am I embedding a fifteen-month-old video?

Because it’s the tenth anniversary of the Bush v. Gore silliness. I’m watching all the puff pieces come in on the mind-rotting cable teevee. And I’ll not mince words with you on this one: If I hear one more talking-head droning on about the most “mature,” “dignified,” “conciliatory,” “soothing,” “calming,” “unifying” speech “in all of American history”…I’m a-thinkin’ I’m a-gonna barf here.

This is the decade-old speech that fooled people:

In 2000, we had an excuse to be naive about what Al Gore really is. We have no such excuse in 2010. He’s a partisan hack who just wants his side to win, and will say what it takes to make that more likely when the cameras happen to be on him. He doesn’t have a genuinely conciliatory blood cell in his entire body.

Grandma Got Molested at the Airport

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Wrong and Right

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Here’s an issue for 2012 if there ever was one. What the hell, this is what all the arguing and shouting is all about anyway, we just don’t spell it out.

Number eight is where it gets really important.

You can watch some reality contest on teevee like American Idol or what-not, or you can watch Dirty Jobs or the History Channel and embiggen your brain a little bit.
You can sneeze with your snot and slobber flying everywhere like a little kid, or you can cover your dirty germy mouth.
You can get a job and do your part to produce a product or service, or you can live on the welfare teat.
You can gnaw on your food with your kids in front of the teevee like you’re a bunch of damn feral creatures, or you can sit down to the table together for a proper meal.
You can leave the bathroom right after zipping up your fly, or you can wash your hands first.
You can learn to park and change lanes & leave it at that, or you can learn to change a tire and drive a stick shift.
You can tie your shoes with a simple bow or you can tie a proper double-knot.
You can vote for the guy with the coolest personality, or vote based on visions and ideas.

And Then Pedal Away Really Really Fast

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

…like you’ve never pedaled before. Head for the arboretum.

Because we bicyclists don’t have enough of a rep for being smug and holier-than-thou — yet.

From BoingBoing.

“Beyond Cool: Winter Solstice, Plus Lunar Eclipse on December 21”

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Just going to go ahead and borrow Frugal Cafe‘s headline. And their graphic while I’m at it:

On That Study That Says Fox Viewers Are Misinformed…

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

…the one from the University of Maryland.

Mediaite is to be congratulated for putting up something that not only talks about the study but actually points to it. There is an abundance of spewing and intoning and condescending out there in blogger-land, in which people merely talk about the study around virtual mouthfuls of churlish chortling, basking in the afterglow of skimming through something that comports with their prejudices in such a satisfying way. But they don’t point to it.

This is not the intellectual behavior of people who meet my definition of “informed.”

I should add in the spirit of full disclosure I don’t have a dog in this hunt. This is the twenty-first century and responsible consumers of news don’t get their news from the teevee anymore. They take a more active role now — they put together queries about what they want to find out, who says what, what the opposition has to say about it, and then they form an opinion.

If I do this right, you’re about to find out how that is done and also why it is so important.

Daisy DukeBut anyway, I don’t regard myself as a Fox News watcher. If I beat the Lady of the House home, I might turn on Hannity if there’s enough time to attend to a casual chore like hanging up my shirts from the drier, but not enough time for an episode of Dukes of Hazzard. Only in the spirit of, since these are interesting times in which we live, I don’t want to be completely cut-off from the outside world for an evening…and I can’t hit the news scrolls on the computer when I have a “One Big Ass Mistake, America” tee shirt in one hand and a hanger in the other.

So I have the channel memorized. But would I say Fox News is a significant contributor to my net information base? Not even close. If I’m misinformed about the issues, don’t go crying to Hannity about it.

Anyway, back to the study. By reading what the eager cheerleaders of the study do not want you to read — which is the work itself — you find that the “misinformed” assessment was formed by means of responses to carefully chosen questions. In other words, if a respondent refused or failed to reject a pre-selected and pre-defined canard, which apparently the authors of the study decided ahead of time was somehow relevant, the respondent was “misinformed.”

Even if I liked the questions that were asked — if I liked the canards that were pre-selected — I’d have to characterize this as a not terribly helpful way to go. As you’ll see below, the canards have it in common that, if true, they would make a certain consistent ideological position (progressive) look discredited and undesirable. The obvious problem with this, is that a respondent could reject all of them out of loyalty to this ideological position and come out of it looking like a rocket scientist.

Care to argue with me about it? Take a look.

P. 5. Most economists think stimulus legislation has saved or created only a few jobs, or has even caused job losses.

P. 6: Economists estimate that healthcare legislation will increase the deficit.

P. 7: The economy is still getting worse.

P. 8: Most scientists think climate change is not occurring.

P. 9: The TARP program began under President Obama.

P. 11: The bailout of General Motors and Chrysler occurred under President Obama and not under President Bush.

P. 12: There were no income tax cuts in the stimulus legislation.

P. 14: President Obama has either decreased troop levels in Afghanistan, or kept them the same.

P. 14: President Obama may not have been born in the United States.

In addition to these, there was one token question that went the other way, on page twelve:

In October an article on the website launched the claim that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was using large amounts of money raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates. Most voters—60%–were aware that this charge about the Chamber of Commerce was not proven to be true. However, a substantial 31% did believe the claim that “the US Chamber of Commerce was spending large amounts of money it had raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates and attack Democratic candidates” was proven to be true.

A token question is useful for keeping ankle-biters like me from making absolute statements that would otherwise be true: “All of the litmus tests in this study would be satisfied by an uninformed participant who just happens to lean left politically.” It helps to refudiate a claim like that — but, I note, it wouldn’t have much of an effect on the statistical outcome.

There seems to have been a prodigal expense of effort going into this study, and I don’t even want to know how many dollars. The research, from what I can tell, is all based on the survey responses to these chosen falsehoods. It just seems strange to me they weren’t chosen with quality in mind. If I were to commission such a study, there would be a great many more questions. Something approaching a hundred seems more reasonable.

I would sort them into three buckets: “The revelation of the truth makes the conservatives look good”; “the revelation of truth makes the liberals look good”; and “neutral.” Then I would fill these buckets so that the final ratio was something like two, two and six. I expect, as far as finding the canards to be debunked, the six-neutral would be the most difficult one to fill in terms of quota.

I note, too, that some of the questions asked by the World Public Opinion Dot Org are framed around “what the experts think.” So there is another obvious point to be made about the flaw in their research: It is inclined to bestow the title of “well informed” upon people who place great weight on what “experts” think, and then just slavishly mimic them. I suppose there is a certain fairness to that, along with a worthy fidelity to the intent of the study — you need to track down some information in order to find out what the so-called experts are thinking, so you can copy it — but it occurs to me. When we seek to establish and maintain an “informed” democratic republic of participating voters, this seems somewhat far-flung and distant from what we should be trying to build.

What good is information if you aren’t thinking independently about what it means?

Anyway, it is clear to me from reading this study that World Public Opinion and the University of Maryland are going to need some assistance coming up with some canards/litmus tests for the next study. It’s also clear to me such an abundant effort will be made at least one more time, prior to the elections of 2012 — of this, I have no doubt.

So following are my submissions for the next selection of falsehoods to be included in the next round.

1. The New Deal ended the Great Depression.
2. Science is about reaching a consensus.
3. After we invaded Iraq we learned the invasion was completely unjustified.
4. The First Amendment criminalizes the expression of religious belief in a public school or in any public place.
5. The Supreme Court has consistently held that life doesn’t begin until birth.
6. President Nixon started the Vietnam war.
7. The Pilgrims came to America so they wouldn’t have to pray or go to church.
8. The Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, grants certain rights to The People.
9. It also grants the Supreme Court the final say in whether a law passed by Congress is valid.
10. America was started so that all pressing issues of public importance could be decided democratically.
11. In the years after Ronald Reagan signed the tax cut in 1981, tax revenues fell.
12. Women in the work force, on average, make 70 cents to every dollar made by an equally qualified man.
13. On average, the rich inherit their wealth; they don’t earn it.
14. While serving as Governor of Texas, George W. Bush pardoned James Byrd’s killers.
15. ObamaCare has never done anything to create a “death panel,” this is a complete falsehood.
16. Al Gore never claimed to have created the Internet, this is another falsehood.
17. The Second Amendment is about hunting, and if you don’t hunt your food you have no use for it.
18. By renewing the Bush tax cuts across the board, Congress is giving money to the wealthiest Americans.
19. Equality is one of the founding, visionary ideals of America.
20. Diversity is another.
21. Blacks didn’t win the right to vote until the 1960’s.
22. Under Reagan, the CIA sold crack to inner-city youths to keep them criminalized and impoverished.
23. Karl Rove outed Valerie Plame and destroyed her career as a covert operative.
24. George Bush (the elder) persuaded the Iranians not to release the hostages until Reagan’s inauguration.
25. The Boy Scouts is a hate group.
26. Unemployment benefits stimulate the economy.
27. A fetus is not a life.
28. Under President Bush, gas prices went up as oil companies saw their biggest profit margins ever.
29. A progressive tax system imposes the highest proportional liability on the wealthiest Americans, which is as it should be.
30. Sarah Palin said, “I can see Russia from my house!”

At sometime or another, I have argued with liberals — usually on the innerwebs — who honestly believed one, some or most of these demonstrably false statements. I tripped them up easily; they were uninformed because they were misinformed. Handed a bowl of drivel and nonsense which they then gulped down uncritically, probably repeating it more than a few times before I smacked ’em upside the head over it. The balance of what remains, I have heard uttered by progressive politicians. They were seldom to never questioned about it.

So if the study is to serve the public interest by offering us cues as to where people might be going to become informed or misinformed, I would argue there is an urgency involved in framing the next study around falsehoods like the ones I have offered. Among the falsehoods they are already using, they could jettison some to make room. I would start with the ones that begin with “experts/economists/scientists say…” Because this, too, is not a pattern of behavior I would expect from an informed person — you turn on the teevee to watch a news anchor regurgitate to you whatever it is the experts say?

No, I think the study would be better served by using what I’ve offered. I wonder if that will have an effect on the result? Ya think it would?

I probably needn’t worry about that. World Public Opinion Dot Org is merely a label, a front for The Program on International Policy Attitudes. PIPA is bankrolled by, among other sponsors, the Tides Foundation.

So I’m not holding my breath for my offering of thirty questions to make it into the next round.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

Conservatives, Liberals, Christianity and Government

Friday, December 17th, 2010

It would be awfully cool if the progressives among us were to view new social programs with the same suspicion, paranoia and scorn they so regularly thrust upon creches in courthouses & pledges-of-allegiance in schools. Jamie Jeffords tries to make sense of it all:

I would speculate the divide is a result of the differing view of government. For progressives, nothing is above government, so religion must be given a subordinate position. Conservatives do not have this problem. The issue may go deeper. There is also a notion that enlightenment and intellectualism are mutually exclusive from religion. That is just old fashioned arrogance. It cannot be dismissed, however.

As do I:

Some thoughts:

Atheists and secularists insist the statement “atheism is a religion” is as risible as “bald is a hair color” — heard that one before? It makes a lot of sense, until you start to ponder how the universe was built. To the atheist, the faith placed in the not-a-religion eliminates all possibilities save for one, and the one possibility looks more like a miracle than a scientific theory. Event 1, nothing; event 2, something complicated, bizarre and not quite specified, event 3, miraculous result. So atheism plus explain-how-we-got-here equals something I, for one, am very comfortable calling a religion.

Thought two: How we got here, is a much more important question to good governance than mere theoretical exercise. You make reference to a dichotomy involving whether religion should be subordinated to government. If there is any possibility to a competent mind at all that there might be a sentient and superior force involved in putting us here, then subordinating religion to government makes no sense at all. If we were put here, we must have purpose; where there is purpose, there has to be a will; and unless that purpose has changed from what it once was, then that will must lead to an expectation. Government, by its nature, has expectations too — if we are to erect a government that makes contrary expectations on us, then abiding by the law(s) becomes an exercise in abject futility, and mankind itself becomes a perversion.

Point three: The possibility that atheism is, after all, a religion, arouses another possibility that those who are trying to secularize the government, are the ones who are trying to establish a theocracy. Whether they know it or not.

That sign-off is a reference to a specific issue, which is teaching evolution and/or Creation in the public schools. Ever see Inherit The Wind? It’s about a real court case involving a penalty for teaching about evolution. Got that? They were deciding whether evolution should be allowed to be taught in the schools. And that Spencer Tracy, he seems so reasonable.

Fast forward forty-five years after the movie was made, and eighty years after the events took place, and the public hearing is on exactly the same issue but the so-called “law” says something completely different — now we’re deciding whether any alternatives should be allowed in the schools.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is an encroachment into a government by an order attempting to establish a state religion. A successful encroachment, and a successful establishment. This is how liberalism works in general; it acts like it’s on the defensive, fighting for its sacred right to express, for its very life. And as the years tick on by, you see it persecutes any & all challenging ideologies exactly the same way it once claimed it was being persecuted.

Back in Sunday school they used to tell me about God & Jesus being kind of like a compass, or a map — you’re lost in life without them. I never did understand the wisdom of this until I saw liberals work away at things. The things they do, are 180 degrees off course from where they say they’re going…where they seem to think they are going. The persecution thing is just one example of this. They talk a good game about building a new society, a wonderful society, based on tolerance and acceptance. But their most zealous acolytes are so bitter, resentful and angry; they wouldn’t know what tolerance was if tolerance ran up and kicked ’em square in the ass.

They want to be the only game in town. On each question, on each issue, on each matter of any public policy. And then they want to make everything that has to do with the living of life, a matter of public policy.

NOW Talking About Hooters is Like Liberals Talking About Limbaugh’s Show

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Blogsister Cassy calls out NOW’s latest hissy fit over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging. Said hissy fit is about Hooters. Yup, women men do not want to see are bitching away about the women men do like to see. Hey, I wonder if that simple statement just sums it all up. Ya think?

Patricia Bellasalma, NOW’s California president, asserted that Hooters is violating state and local laws prohibiting sexually oriented “adult” businesses from serving minors. The chain is also violating federal employment standards, she said.

Bellasalma said the federal government has not subjected Hooters to the rules requiring employers to protect their workers from harassment by customers. The Atlanta restaurant chain has successfully argued that its employees know they will be working in sexually charged surroundings, Bellasalma said.

But in recent years, she said, the company has promoted itself as more family-friendly. She cited a statement on that “10 percent of the parties we serve have children in them.”

“If they want to switch and turn the chain into a family-style restaurant, more power to them,” but Hooters would then have to follow the same anti-harassment rules as other restaurants, Bellasalma said.

This has nothing to do with following law; I can tell that because no law is cited. I suppose I could go digging around to find more stories about the same issue, but why should I? If you’re arguing about the law, wouldn’t you be taking the initiative and talking some about the law?

No, it’s the same leftist crap as always: “Someone is having an influence on the next generation…besides us!”

Yours Truly is having none of it:

I suspect there are some good Americans who have infiltrated NOW, and are sabotaging it from within. NOW’s credibility is diminished every time they do this. If they go after Hooters a few more times, NOW may be utterly destroyed. They have never restored themselves to the lofty position of power & influence they had before Clinton/Lewinsky, when business executives immediately did anything-&-everything once they found out NOW was so much as thinking about coming after ’em.

This isn’t about skinny girls in skimpy outfits or hot wings & cold beer. This is about red state versus blue state. The truth of the matter that nobody seems to want to acknowledge, is there is an order of cultural expectation in the red-state culture that the blue-state culture does not want to acknowledge is there. It isn’t perfect, but it’s there, and it works. It works pretty well.

It works so well that if “mistreat a lady” is an item on your things-to-do list for the day, Hooters is the *very* last place you should go. Sure the girls are dainty, sweet, skinny and young — but they’re surrounded by these gentlemen who don’t want to put up with your crap, they’re there to watch the game, and some of ’em are as big as a house. You’re better off going to Denny’s to harass the waitress. I’ve spent some time in Hooters, believe me. If there were stories to be told about young ladies being heckled or harassed or propositioned inappropriately, I’d be able to tell ’em. In short: NOW talking about the Hooters environment is very much like the liberal talking about Rush Limbaugh’s show. They don’t have to get too many words into it before they’ve proven they’re just repeating the cliches they’ve been given, and have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

“Clarity is Just a Phone Call Away!”

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Hat tip to Viral Footage.

“Get Out of the Way”

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Just give me and my friends what we want.

That would be your tolerance and love of diversity right there.

National security is at stake, eh? Throwing weapons away not only helps our national security, but is vital to it?

This is why these people must be driven from power. Some guy walking around your neighborhood would just love to perforate you with a high-powered machine gun, people like Joe Biden figure if you just get rid of the gun everything will be okay. And they aren’t willing to discuss or debate it.

Progressive Rage

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

…inspired by, and manifested by, irresponsible class warfare rhetoric. Dangerous, deadly progressive rage.

Clay Duke, the man who opened fire on a Florida school board Tuesday, posted a “last testament” on Facebook decrying the wealthy and linking to a slew of progressive sites including and

The chilling Facebook statement, posted under the “About Clay” section, talks about being born poor and how the rich “take turns fleecing us”:

My Testament: Some people (the government sponsored media) will say I was evil, a monster … no… I was just born poor in a country where the Wealthy manipulate, use, abuse, and economically enslave 95% of the population. Rich Republicans, Rich Democrats… same-same… rich… they take turns fleecing us… our few dollars… pyramiding the wealth for themselves. The 95%… the us, in US of A, are the neo slaves of the Global South. Our Masters, the Wealthy, do, as they like to us…

Doug Powers notes:

Meanwhile, as Media Matters is still busy trumpeting how dangerous Glenn Beck’s “violent rhetoric” is, there’s not a mention on their site of the media that Clay Duke considered worthy of following. Some media just don’t matter when it comes to these things.

Just wow. As one who could be considered a highly-compensated professional in the private sector, I wonder what my government is going to do to protect me from these gun-wielding, wild-eyed progressive cranks. Maybe we needs us some more regulation to put a check on their freedoms, and the irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric that inspires them to act.

Victor Davis Hanson Reports on My Corner

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

And it reads like he just got done visiting a war zone

The last three weeks I have traveled about, taking the pulse of the more forgotten areas of central California. I wanted to witness, even if superficially, what is happening to a state that has the highest sales and income taxes, the most lavish entitlements, the near-worst public schools, and the largest number of illegal aliens in the nation…
Many of the rural trailer-house compounds I saw appear to the naked eye no different from what I have seen in the Third World. There is a Caribbean look to the junked cars, electric wires crisscrossing between various outbuildings, plastic tarps substituting for replacement shingles, lean-tos cobbled together as auxiliary housing, pit bulls unleashed, and geese, goats, and chickens roaming around the yards. The public hears about all sorts of tough California regulations that stymie business — rigid zoning laws, strict building codes, constant inspections — but apparently none of that applies out here.

It is almost as if the more California regulates, the more it does not regulate. Its public employees prefer to go after misdemeanors in the upscale areas to justify our expensive oversight industry, while ignoring the felonies in the downtrodden areas, which are becoming feral and beyond the ability of any inspector to do anything but feel irrelevant.

Blame Republicans?

The liberal effort is bolstered by a bushel of bromides and platitudes but never by a crisp, prioritized mission statement that could be objectively recalled later. Banishing some kind of a wage gap? Racial integration? Everyone gets the education, food and clean water they need? Economic sustainability? The human condition becomes ecologically friendly? Can we put a nice, fat, green, satisfying check-mark by any of those, or any other objective?

VDH has just stepped into a land where when liberals want something, they get it — where they rule the roost, and have ruled it for a very long time.

VDH has just stepped into the Twilight Zone. Bet he’s glad to step out of it again.


Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Hat tip to blogsister Daphne.

It would be nice if liberals could muster the same agitation for fight, the same determination to oppose, the same cantankerous attitude, against terrorists that they manage to focus through their government upon their fellow citizens.

And it would be nice if certain dimwits weren’t thought to be geniuses simply because they show a talent for reading words and looking somewhat nice. Not that I care much, but in Couric’s case she’s coasting on old glory on the last of those two.


Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Related somewhat with the post previous: I see over on the Hello Kitty of Bloggin that blogger friend John Hawkins is making an observation about liberalism. It always seems to be, as the adage goes, the shirt off the other guy’s back that the liberal stands ready to offer.

To those who are receptive to the liberal viewpoint, the first paradox they might seek to resolve is this: The plan has to do with helping some indigent and it is an important plan because the indigent’s plight is a desperate one. Supposedly, it says something derogatory about all of us that the indigent’s living situation is what it is; great urgency is involved in changing this.

The person from whom the wealth is to be confiscated in order to make this situation better, is just as much a dirty rotten creepy jerk after the deed has been done, as before. Now…there is your paradox. That is your conundrum. If it is so important to offer this aid, and it is impossible to offer the aid without the assets that are to be seized from the DRCJ over there…and the DRCJ is a bigger DRCJ because the task needs to get done. How come getting it done doesn’t have a redeeming effect on the person who is, in effect, bankrolling the aid?

Thing I Know #32 helps to explain this. Liberalism is, among other things, a way to reach your coffin without ever expressing gratitude. To some among us, it is emotionally unacceptable to ever acknowledge that someone enjoyed options, and that someone chose to exercise the option that made life better for someone else. Oh, they’ll admit that much about Ted Kennedy or Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or some other wealthy distributionist engaging in the “please tax me some more” malarkey.

But outside of left-wing politics, they cannot acknowledge that anybody anywhere chose to do something nice when an alternative was readily available. And so their impulse is to eliminate the alternative, and pretend it was always that way — so they can rationalize “that wasn’t really a good deed, he was required to do that anyway.”

It’s the Christmas season. Avoid making more liberals: See to it after the wrapping paper is cleared away, your child writes all the thank-you notes he or she can. Just as houseflies come from maggots, liberals come from kids who weren’t taught gratitude.

I Made a New Word XLV

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Traffic Calming Roundabout Thinking (n.)

One of the commenters on Ed Darrell’s site comments way more than most other commenters; he captures nicely the spirit liberals have in mind when they speak of unification, tolerance, learning to get along together.

Which is a nice way of saying this commenter doesn’t believe in any such thing. His litanies are regularly filled with references to “my side” and “your side” and “us” and “them” — opinions like these are very important, because they’re popular. As best I can understand the mindset, it works like this: We need to stop fighting with each other and build a society that works for the benefit of everyone, and when we get that done, we need to figure who among us is not really part of this “everyone” and do everything we possibly can to destroy them.

This person recently came to learn of some remarks by Republican Congressman Spencer Bachus, who is set to become Chairman of the House Banking Committee. He was kind enough to inform me of the Congressman’s comments the way he informs me of everything else being discussed in the underworld of left-wing myrmidons: By injecting the news into a discussion that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it. Said underworld is going nuts over something the incoming Chairman said:

In an article yesterday from the publication, The Raw Story, Congressman Bachus intimates that his leadership role will be to keep the regulators working in a subservient role for the banking cartel.

“In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,” Bachus told The Birmingham News in an interview.

As I said, I know from experience that what Congressman Bachus said is no different from what regulators and auditors regularly say. There’s even a little joke about it: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” is one of the biggest lies, right after “the check is in the mail.” Heard that one?

I would not characterize the Congressman’s comment as a winning one. But he is right, at least about the “Washington view.” We know from the I’m-from-government-I’m-here-to-help-you joke that this is an old situation, it’s much bigger than bank regulation.

Congress makes requirements and auditors go in to make sure the requirements are met. Somewhere along the way, the government becomes a sort of aristocracy; an elite layer of noblemen who enjoy special rights and privileges, and are there to fight the citizen.

How do things get to be this way? From unhealthy, diseased thinking…and it is not deposited into the equation. Like the maggot swarming over the dead body, it is there from the very beginning. We have these twits running around who think it is the job of the Government to fight the governed — they have the same right to vote that everybody else does, and so Government is only too pleased to accommodate. When your grandmother’s golden years turn into her living nightmare of fighting with the IRS over some form your grandfather forgot to fill in properly 45 years ago, you’re looking at the result.

RoundaboutsThis is what inspires the odious road engineering custom we have imported from Europe, known as “traffic calming.” How does traffic calming work? Exactly the same way a progressive income tax works, by artificially elevating the difficulty involved in attaining success. By fighting the motorist, the same way the government fights bankers, or businessmen who seek to make a profit.

Traffic calming does nothing at all to calm traffic. It makes ordinarily patient, long-tempered motorists into agitated, frenzied assholes.

Still, overall it can lower congestion over the long term in one key way. If you have a trip planned that involves twenty miles and a round-about, with an alternate bypass demanding thirty miles, you’ll probably take the bypass. Now, you ponder the implications of that thinking with regard to an onerous, progressive taxation system and you’ll start to see why there was such contention about the new tax bill — and, why our economy sucks as much as it does right now. Another interesting aspect to traffic calming is: It seems to be geographically planned to thwart this one single potential benefit. Where there is a roundabout, there is considerable difficulty involved in planning an alternate route. Case in point, the last onerous roundabout encountered by Yours Truly, at 39°36’13″N 119°13’37″W.

Wherever you find any kind of traffic calming, coupled up with artificially inflated difficulty involved in taking a bypass route, you know somewhere is a civil engineer who is a complete dick. That engineer thinks like this. That the point to the exercise is to fight the driver. Make life harder just for the hell of it. Make the errand take longer. Create a real potential for an expensive collision every fucking ninety degrees of the circle. Scare the driver. Aggravate the driver. Calm (heh) the traffic.

The mindset is real, and it is out there. It is the province of dimwits. It is as old as the country itself. The mindset says that government exists to torture citizens — and it’s quite alright, you should vote for it because you’re not one of the citizens to be tortured. Government is working for you, by making life tough for that other guy over there.

Aw, but here & there you might become that other guy. Don’t worry. Probably won’t happen.

Every now and then we’ll come to find a new appreciation for the enormous and growing cost of some particular line of business complying with new regulations. What is objectionable about this is not quite so much that it is the biggest expense after payroll; but, rather, that the cost of compliance is much larger than it needs to be. And that this is by design. And that idiots like Ed Darrell’s guest mentioned above are running around, voting it in that way, fully intent on doing it again, trying to inspire others to do the same. Often succeeding at it.

The rest of us take note that ordinary everyday commodities cost many times what they used to. Bread, sugar, coffee, movie tickets — ah, and then there’s health care. Hmmmm…if your head is useful for something besides a hat-hanger, you’ll start to see a connection.

“If People Stop Taking Something Seriously, it Ceases to Exist”

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Ann Althouse is calling out this canard, practiced most recently by Josh Marshall who says:

A year ago, no one took seriously the idea that a federal health care mandate was unconstitutional.

Althouse replies:

We don’t rule out a proposition of constitutional law simply because no one seems to taking it seriously right now. We work through the analysis, and maybe we discover that it should be taken seriously.

Notice she said “maybe.” The point is that the “nobody taking it seriously” litmus test is not a reverse barometer of logical validity; the point is that it is non-correlative.

Also notice that she’s granting Marshall the benefit of the doubt — conceding the point, for the sake of argument, that “no one” was taking the proposition seriously twelve months ago, so she can contest the reasoning of what this would & would not mean.

But there were people taking it seriously one year ago. How did Marshall ignore this? Easy. He made them disappear…by refusing to take them seriously. That’s the trouble with this kind of thinking. You start manufacturing your own reality. And you do it on purpose. Without explicitly knowing that’s what you’re doing. By being a craven gigglepuss.


Your Thomas Sowell reading assignment that deals with this, would be Intellectuals and Society, Chapter 5, “Optional Reality in the Media and Academia.”

“Why do Women Hate Freedom?”

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Note the scare quotes, please. Not my question, it’s someone else’s. The question surfaces because of the scarce supply of female libertarians.

Yeah my brain went there too. Sorry, not female librarians; libertarians.

Tim Cavanaugh interviews Allison Gibbs, chief muckety-muck of the Ladies of Liberty Alliance. Among the issues discussed is the bizarre nineteen-to-one (!) ratio of men to women in libertarian ranks.

Some of that gets into the gender disparity between attraction to opportunity & attraction to security, which comes perilously close to the Three Things Morgan Hasn’t Got the Balls to Blog.

I do think, though, that if you changed the subject from libertarianism…to something more like…I recognize liberal democrat policies are bullshit. You wouldn’t be looking at a nineteen-to-one ratio anymore. I’m gonna peg that one at two-and-a-half to one or thereabouts. Just spitballing here.

But the libertarian 19:1 thing is interesting nevertheless. Wonder what’s up with that?

Hat tip to Instapundit.

“But We Can’t Have Nativity Scenes”

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Hat tip to Ed Morrissey, by way of Robert Stacy McCain.

Question: Where are all the “War On Christmas Is A Myth” People? It seems last year they were out in force, trying to sell us on the idea that Bill O’Reilly just made the whole thing up, unctuously and bumptiously demanding to know our anecdotes so they could take ’em apart. Supposedly, if we would recite everything we thought we knew, we’d find every single “attack” on Christmas was a perfectly valid enforcement of the sacrosanct Wall of Separation, and we’d misinterpreted what it all meant because we were bigots or something. This year I’m not seeing hide nor hair of any of this.

That wasn’t…uh…just a hackneyed talking point put together without a grain of reason or truth behind it or something?

Guy Blows Self Up In Cartoon War

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Yes, I know you can’t headline a story quite like that. But I like the way the Los Angeles Times approached sanity a little bit with “Suspected Bomber Dies in Stockholm Blasts.” That beats the hell out of “One dead after suicide bombing in Stockholm“…and then you read and read and read…and you find the evidence indicates, rather strongly it would seem, that the “one dead” is the bomber which would mean this is a complete failure. It looks like The Beeb did the same thing.

At the other end of the spectrum, Michelle Malkin brought the relevant facts and headlined them properly.

To be fair about it, it seems the information about “one dead two injured” arrived first. I would imagine, even in this day and age, that the organizational stress of getting copy in by a deadline would lead to some headlines remaining unchanged that perhaps shouldn’t & wouldn’t…but when we start looking at how many stories about this bombing were headlined this way, that starts to wilt a little bit as a valid excuse.

It’s an important issue. This is a psy-ops war being waged against western civilization. What, is that a right-wing neocon kooky thing to say? Because it’s true. The enemy wants to propagate a feeling, not so much that they’re on the winning side, but that we are on a losing one. Our society is molded and shaped around the idea that our press should be as free as possible, so it can thrive and pay our society back by keeping it strong.

We have a situation here were the bombing failed. Not a first by any means. That is a fact of primary importance. That fact should have made it into the headlines. “One dead” is completely unacceptable.

And the headline writers — perhaps entirely unaware of the vast power they wield — are, actively or passively, muffling and muzzling that bit of truth. “Bombing Kills One” looks like a successful bombing. This was not one, not even a little tiny one, thank God. Oh yeah some property was damaged.

Institutions of the press should not spread untruths to prop up empty morale, but they shouldn’t spread untruths to tear morale down either. I can see how this might be entirely innocent, maybe, but it’s a situation good enough for an Ombudsman’s column.


Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Hat tip to Coyote Blog, and thanks to blogger friend Daphne for sending it in in an off-line.

“Get on a Subway and Go to Maryland”

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

This one’s going viral. Or it should.

Breyer made a brilliant point, the same way Joe Biden beat Sarah Palin in a debate: Didn’t do it. Flashed pearly whites in a grin that telegraphed self-satisfaction, condescension, insouciance and ignorance. Strip away the grin and there’s nothing to it.

Not a shred of logic as far as I can see. This guy’s really sitting on the Supreme Court? I mean, when an Associate Justice offers his thoughts on an issue on which I disagree with him, I expect him to weigh in with some brilliance and give me some “omigaw” moment. Where’s the “omigaw” moment? Breyer certainly acts like he laid one down…has the mannerism down. But there’s nothing.

Kinda reminds me of this.

Anyone got a good argument they can offer against impeachment? An argument that will give me an “omigaw” moment? I’m not talking about impeaching all justices who weigh in on the minority; that would be tyranny of the majority. I’m not saying that — I’m talking about where the Constitution plainly says something, and that particular amendment is sprinkled with extra, special verbiage to make sure nobody misunderstands (which the Second Amendment is, go look it up). That particular amendment is worded in passive voice, when most of the others are worded in active voice, to make it clear that the authors of it don’t give a good goddamn who is doing the “infringing” it is wrong, wrong, wrong. And then, pondering the plain meaning of this language that is not used in the other amendments, SCOTUS says “yep that is what it says.”

And this guy wants to keep living in a fantasy world. Not just participate in the vote on the minority side. But build castles in the air.

It seems to me a plain, unalterable fact that we need people serving on the Supreme Court who won’t go doing that.

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

America’s Waiters and Cashiers Are Over-Educated

Saturday, December 11th, 2010


More people are going to college than ever before, but those extra years of education aren’t translating into the fancy-pants jobs that most people expect after snagging a sheepskin. Sixty percent of the increase in the number of college grads between 1992 and 2008 are doing low-skilled jobs that used to be done by people with high school diplomas or less. Ohio University economist Richard Vedder does the math:

In 1992 the BLS reports that total college graduate employment was 28.9 million, of whom 5.1 million were in occupations which the BLS classified as “noncollege level jobs” while in 2008 the BLS data indicate that total college graduate employment was 49.35 million, with 17.4 million in occupations classified as requiring less than a bachelor’s degree.

An example or two from specific occupations is useful. In 1992 119,000 waiters and waitresses were college degree holders. By 2008, this number had more than doubled to 318,000. While the total number of waiters and waitresses grew by about 1 million during this period, 20% of all new jobs in this occupation were filled by college graduates. Take cashiers as well. While 132,000 cashiers possessed college degrees in 1992, by 2008, 365,000 cashiers were college graduates. As with waiters and waitresses, 20% of new cashiers since 1992 are college graduates.

These numbers are big enough that we’re not seeing a clsuter of arty comp lit major-novelist-waiters picking up some cash while living their dream in a garret. The stats show people who probably wouldn’t have gone to college in another era, responded to incentives like cheap loans and went to college in the ’90s or ’00s, graduated at 22- or 23-years-old, and then got the same gigs they would have been qualified for at 18.

Hat tip to Dyspepsia Generation. That’s gotta be a kick in the nuts. Here you are in your cap & gown, and if you’re lucky you can scrub pots after closing time at Sizzler’s.

Wonder who’s taking it tougher. The ones who sprung for tuition on their own, or the ones who skated on through thanks to mommy & daddy’s second- and third-mortgage?


Saturday, December 11th, 2010

If you think there’s something wrong or surreal about this…

…but that this is completely on the up-and-up and right as rain…

…I would have to say there’s something wrong with you. Probably. Not that I want to judge anyone. But it would probably be good for you to have a check-up from the neck-up.

Update: Treacher, via Instapundit: “Say what you want about Sarah Palin quitting her job, but at least she finished her own press conference.” Good ‘un.

What this country really needs is a leader who’s willing to finish what h

Santa Fired for Telling Naughty Jokes

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

I wonder who this one person is who complained? Macy’s will, of course, not only refuse to answer to that, but do everything in its power to dissuade people from asking that question. Can’t build an awesome “everyone with a mouth is a fucking loose canon” perfect Utopian society, without a thick muffling cloak of safe anonymity upon those loose canons.

This is “42 definitions of a strong society” stuff. The right to face your accuser is not merely a ritual phrasing embroidered into our Constitution; it’s a darn good idea. This is where the alternative goes. A society that cannot stand — a society filled with towering tempered glass spires, and every single grown-up walking around is an eight-year-old malcontent with a rock.

One person complained, about nuthin’, so Santa has to take a hike. You know, it’s not that I think the joke is a good one or that I’m jotting these thoughts down to try to defend it.

But I shouldn’t have to. This was just plain wrong.

A Qualified Answer to Katie Couric’s Question About Newspapers

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Was she looking for something like this?

He reads the Washington Examiner first, then Politico, and “Then I look at the [Washington] Post, which is not what it used to be. Each year it’s less than what it used to be before….It’s so neocon I can hardly read it….I read the New York Times….You gotta read some other newspapers before you read the Times, you have to work your way up to it…. The [Wall Street] Journal, once in a while, not often.”


I used to love the [Washington Post] Style section. … What a joke it is. … It’s about this ridiculous show business news that is totally boring.

Also in this interview, Chris Matthews said something truly amazing:

‘Hardball’ is absolutely nonpartisan.