Archive for April, 2011

Pedal Power Perimeter Polygon (April 2011)

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Click for larger.

Many other journeys within the boundaries. The perimeter itself is formed by, I think if I’m recalling this right, three trips. That’s a little tricky, since as the perimeter is pushed outward some older trip loses its significance in favor of the newer one…

Some of these will be pushed outward very soon I think, if all goes right. Some others will be staying where they are for quite some time; they’re representing a frontier I’m not feeling too enthused about expanding. Low on the excitement and high on the sunburn, boredom, sore butt. People don’t realize, we have lots of farmland here. Depressingly, that’s what makes this “pedaling universe” as expansive as it is. Light on the hills.

Although I would point out in my defense that when you lose hills, you gain a whole lot in terms of wind. And by “gain” I mean lose. In mid-afternoon, sixty miles into it, your tenth hour in the saddle or thereabouts…well hey, that’s what makes beer taste good right?

Jobs Matter, Product Not So Much

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Smitty (hat tip to Gerard) explains it:

Jobs are what matter. Product? Not so much. Thus, if the State of Illinois pays for signs with spelling errors, that isn’t a bug, that’s a feature! Workers and materials suppliers will be kept busy moving the location of the typo all around the sign. It’s all about jobs saved or created, man!
Full circle, then: this humble sign in Illinois, far from a sign of stupidity, is a harbinger of winning the future, full employment, and portion controlled servings.

Yeah, Progress: yeah!

I wish Smitty’s humor tidbit was as big a waste of time as your average Huffington Post article or Daily Show segment, which is to say I wish it was an exercise in “wouldn’t it be funny if this thing happened, how about you go off and pretend like it really did, since if you part company with reality in that particular way it helps my agenda.” Otherwise known as I Can See Russia From My House! humor.

Sadly, though, he’s nailed it. Among the things that have people shouting and yelling and calling each other racists, is a debate about Keynesian economics — this thing we call an “economy,” do we owe it to the activity involved in the churning-around of this other thing we call “money”? Or is it necessary to the long-term well-being of this thing called the “economy” that something of practical use be created where it did not exist before? Is it some kind of heresy to believe in the creation of wealth?

It’s a good discussion to have, I think…although my mind happens to be pretty much made up on it.

Somehow, though, the people who disagree with me don’t feel particularly motivated to list their reasons for disagreeing with me. It’s much more common for them to call their detractors racist. That would be desperation if they were doing it as a ploy to get ahold of capital to try out their “economic activity without wealth” schemes…but that isn’t what is happening here. They got ahold of the capital just fine, then they spent it, then the plan didn’t work and then they called people racists for noticing it didn’t work.

A Blog About Bad Tipping

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

…run by a disgruntled delivery man.

“15 Percent is a blog documenting people, and companies who have never seemed to work in the service industry, or don’t think to tip at least 15% on deliveries, and instead opt for 2 dollars on everything,” the site says. “This is for all the people who have been handed $80 on a $78 order and told “keep the change”. Thanks a**-h***.”

The “<=15%" blog is here.

I guess he’s talking about me. I’ve never worked in a “service industry”…except I did work once in retail which I’m guessing is not what he’s talking about. Retail people don’t get tips, do they? I didn’t.

I do think it’s a good point to be made about delivery people. I tend to agonize much more about take-out. I drive over, she swipes my card, out comes a paper tape for me to sign and it’s got “gratuity” on it — I’m not even looking at my food yet and here I am filling the damn thing out. What’s the food gonna be like? Are they going to bollux it up? Lose track of the order and make me wait an extra twenty minutes? If I don’t know any of this, then why am I tipping?

You know what this guy’s problem is — at least, in my household. The check is made out before the guy ever shows up. See, tipping is supposed to be all about, “I appreciate that, you did everything I wanted or needed.” It makes sense. You value the service more than the money in the first place, right? Otherwise you would not have placed the order. So when the service commands special leverage in determining that the order was a good call, the message needs to be sent “make sure it goes that way from now on.” And y’know, just telling the guy that isn’t going to get the job done. Put your money where your mouth is, and it happens. Win-win.

In this way, a blog dedicated to bitching about tips below fifteen percent, misses the point. What kind of service did you render in order to net two dollars on a $78 order? Maybe the customer is trying to send you a message.

I’m old enough that I can’t give you an age when I started working, because I started in childhood, and people my age don’t consider that to be real “work.” Although if I tried to force my kid to do it today, California would squawk, the county would squawk, something about “child labor laws”…wouldn’t want to go back to the days of Oliver Twist, would we. But little kids don’t command a concept of time very well. They need to be given an incentive. That’s how tipping got started isn’t it? Boys selling newspapers, shining shoes, delivering hay bales, carrying luggage. I had the opportunity to earn tips, but I didn’t earn that many and I probably wouldn’t have tipped me if I was the customer. I wasn’t a very good paper boy. Had a rather thick skull when it came time to get the message through “move on my timeline and not yours, and this partnership will work for both of us.” Somehow I didn’t quite catch on.

But if I did, and some jackass failed to appreciate it monetarily, I wouldn’t have acted all abused about it. That’s not quite right. In fact, I’m doubting it is my natural biases that incline me to believe the following: A feeling of entitlement to the other man’s coinage, is a far bigger problem for our society today than some newspapers showing up late. Therefore, there is a line we should be trying not to cross; a line of entitlement.

Starting a blog about shitty tips, crosses the line. Why is this customer rounding up to $31.00 when the bill is $30.21? Maybe that’s a lack of education, in which case I’m all for the education. But ya know, I’m thinking there might be more to it than that. Did you talk to the customer and find out what’s going on?

“You Changed Clothes!”

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

You heard about this by now, right? Busted.

At the last of four events on Rep. Paul Ryan’s “listening tour” of his district Thursday, he called on a man in the front row of a high school auditorium, then instantly recognized him.

“You changed clothes!” Ryan told Steve Jozefczyk. The 54-year old salesman from Franklin, Wis., had asked Ryan several critical questions from the front row of an event six hours earlier in Waterford, when he wore a shirt and tie. In Greenfield, it was a black “Faux News” parody T-shirt.

Josefczyk admitted trying to trick Ryan into calling on him again.

So as near as I can figure it, this inexplicably-impassioned movement for higher taxes — high taxes are awesome, don’t you know that? — is a pie with three slices.

– People who are actually paid to drive the agenda, usually by George Soros
– People who Want To Be A Part Of This Thing…and are not paid…
– People who stand to benefit in some other way.

The ones who are part of the first slice have nothing to say that is worth saying, of course, since they’re paid to say it. The ones who are part of the second slice are not in any position to lecture me or anybody else about what makes financial sense, since they’re doing for free what others are being paid good money to do.

That third slice of people would be people who work in the public sector and are just worried silly about layoffs. They, too, are not in a position to educate or condescend to others about things money-related, since their logic is too simple to be sound: Raise taxes, bring in more money, layoffs avoided.

When a host is only so big, the parasite can be only so big. At some point, the parasitic growth must be limited in one way or another. This is a universal truth. I can understand how it might be a little difficult to see when you’re worried about your alms, or your pottage, or your non-producer’s paycheck or whatever. But it remains a universal truth: All parasites can feed on their respective hosts only so much, only to so great an extent relative to the host’s mass.

The parasite is at the point of desperation, that it must put in plants like Steve Jozefczyk — it has probably been at this point for a long time. I’m not sure what slice he’s in. I don’t suppose it very much matters. The parasite is desperate, that’s the point. More desperate than Congressman Paul Ryan.

Not desperate to survive, it must be noted; desperate to grow.

Update: There is a fourth slice completely unrelated to the person’s system of financial dependence or interdependence: Just plain ol’ tall poppy. The jealousy that somehow escapes ever being called jealousy, the emotional bilge. Those who believe “greed” is a word that describes wanting to hang on to what’s yours, but somehow does not describe lusting after what’s not.

It works like this: Do a good deed for a stranger, there is a social expectation that the stranger express gratitude. This expectation depends, in large part, on whether you were required to do it. Admittedly, that’s not a conclusively determining factor. It’s a free country, the stranger can thank you or not thank you in any case.

But ya know, if it’s plain to see you didn’t have to do it, it takes a real dick to just go barreling along without stopping to give some kind of acknowledgement. And so, you know, as we are allowed by our fellow motorists to merge in ahead of them, we wave. From one car to another car — not the most likely forum for etiquette and niceties. We still do it because people are helping where they are not required to.

But if someone is only meeting an obligation of theirs by helping you, acknowledgement is not quite so expected. You’ll still do it if your Momma raised you right. But if not…well, that’s okay. The first one is like littering. This one is kind of like leaving the litter where it is after someone else dropped it there.

So I think these fourth-slice people want to feel good about themselves, by making it much less likely anybody will ever do anything else better. If we’re all required to help each other by means of taxes…we become a society where nobody, or hardly anybody, goes out of their way willingly to help each other. Nobody owes anybody any acknowledgement or debt of gratitude for anything. We all just owe our taxes and that’s it.

I Miss the Gas Prices Under George W. Bush

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

I just do…

Flashback —

Regrettable statement. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t like paying four dollars a gallon for gas.”

From here. Hat tip to Instapundit.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Obama” — Kenyan word that means “failed experiment.”


Friday, April 29th, 2011

A royal wedding, and the long-awaited release of a document from Hawaii. The week certainly does finish up with a feeling of genuine accomplishment, doesn’t it?

I say, not so fast. If there is any positive development for the civilized world this week, it is that a problem gnawing away at all of us, invisibly, undetected, has been brought to the surface. It stares at us defiantly threatening to destroy us if we do not destroy it first — if, that is, we are willing to look at it.

I like to foster a spirit of optimism about these things. But there is no call for it here, none whatsoever. Consider what just happened:

Pompous ass Barack Obama, who occasionally pretends to preside over the United States, finally released the long form birth certificate that has been causing all this trouble. The certificate He has been using as an instrument of disunity to cause all this trouble…for no good reason whatsoever…purely for partisan, politically strategic purposes. He said “We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have more important things to do. I have more important things to do.” Then flew off to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show.

The New York Times says it shouldn’t have happened. We should have taken Obama’s word for it and it’s a national tragedy that some among us did not.

With sardonic resignation, President Obama, an eminently rational man, stared directly into political irrationality on Wednesday and released his birth certificate to history. More than halfway through his term, the president felt obliged to prove that he was a legitimate occupant of the Oval Office. It was a profoundly low and debasing moment in American political life.

The disbelief fairly dripped from Mr. Obama as he stood at the West Wing lectern. People are out of work, American soldiers are dying overseas and here were cameras to record him stating that he was born in a Hawaii hospital. It was particularly galling to us that it was in answer to a baseless attack with heavy racial undertones.

Mr. Obama practically begged the public to set aside these distractions, expressing hope that his gesture would end the “silliness” and allow a national debate about budget priorities. It won’t, of course.
It is inconceivable that this campaign to portray Mr. Obama as the insidious “other” would have been conducted against a white president.
Mr. Obama was tactically smart to release the certificate and marginalize those who continue to keep the matter alive. It is tragic that American politics is fueled by such poisonous fire. Mr. Trump quickly moved on to a new fixation, questioning Mr. Obama’s academic credentials. Mr. Boehner, and other party leaders, have a new reason to call a halt to the politics of paranoia and intolerance.

Now on the way to making my point, I ask that we just let this situation sit here while we go on to other things — other pompous asses. Forget about the Oprah point; the proves nothing except that our pompous ass of a President has a priority system that is all cocked up, or no priority system at all. Consider: Obama showed a document to make a controversy go away. Whether this is successful or not, the take-away is that we have some vocal critics who don’t think this should have been necessary and the feeling that it was, should be an embarrassment to those who asked for it and it represents some event of oppression against President Obama. With thick racial undertones. Or overtones.

President Obama should not have to prove things. That’s the take-away.

Pompous ass Robert Gibbs, who used to be the President’s Press Secretary, issued a challenge — a reminder, really — to pompous ass Donald Trump who is now claiming victory in the birth certficate matter: Where are the tax returns? The Donald said he’d release them if Pompous ass Obama would relent on the birth certificate question. Pompous ass trump pompously replied…

Asked later about Gibbs’ comments, Trump told POLITICO: “Gibbs is a loser.”

That’s an end, not a beginning. Go follow the link. If Trump said anything following the word “loser” it wasn’t anything worth including in the article. It was a brush-off.

Much as it amuses me to watch Gibbs get brushed off the way I’ve seen Gibbs brush off so many others — the man is a pompous ass, just like the other two, after all — I have to side with him on this one. Trump said he’d do X if the President did Y. Pompous ass Gibbs is just calling on pompous ass Trump to make good. But there’s a problem, see: Pompous ass Trump is above it. Just like pompous ass Obama was above releasing the damn birth certificate, or at least, the pompous asses at the New York Times thought He should’ve been.

Kate Middleton is marrying Prince William of Wales this morning. I’ve already given my thoughts on the inherent anti-Americanism of royal weddings, particularly this one. I hesitate to call this girl a pompous ass, from what I’ve seen of her she’s lovely, polite, well-mannered et al. Looks to me like the prince is getting a real prize. But I’ve had my fill of this:

Independent Woman: Kate Middleton Won’t ‘Obey’ Prince William

The future princess is reportedly following Diana’s footsteps in dropping the word from her wedding vows.

Diana broke from royal tradition and protocol when she left “obey” out of her vows to Prince Charles in 1981, and the decision caused much controversy. But befitting this royal wedding’s more modern tone, Middleton’s choice feels appropriate. She’ll promise to “love, comfort, honor and keep” her husband instead.

Give it a rest, you pompous asses. If Diana did the same thing, there is nothing ground-breaking here.

It isn’t that I want wives to “obey” their husbands, it’s that the entire fuss misses the point. Wives and husbands, at least on the big stuff, need to come to agreement on things. It really doesn’t matter if they do that by means of her obeying him or him obeying her, or a midnight round table, plates breaking, whatever. The problem is — and this was the problem back in Diana’s day, as well — there are a whole bunch of messages coming out of this “Kate won’t vow to obey” story.

I happen to agree that “obey” is antiquated, so in my view one of those messages might be called the right one. All the rest are bollywonkers though. And you just know the one message that is most popularly received, is that wives & husbands don’t need to agree on a damn thing. Followed closely by: Wives don’t need to obey husbands, husbands need to obey wives.

Because wives are above. This is the common feeling of female pompous asses.

Those of you still just starting to recover from the topic-change whiplash of a few paragraphs above, I think can now see the logical connection. Sad, pathetic, dissatisfied people — homely fat women who wish they had the nerve to rebel in some way against their husbands — are living vicariously through Kate Middleton. Just as sad sacks who wish they could tell someone to “take this job and shove it,” or something, are living vicariously through President Obama. Or Donald Trump. This ceremony of “I don’t owe you” spectacles is all about proxy living.

That’s the monster of which I speak. It threatens to destroy civilization.

The Last Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, Man of Tomorrow, Scion of the House of El, renounced his American citizenship or at least announced that he’ll renounce. What a pompous ass. Superman, you see, is tired of having his actions construed as maneuverings by the United States government, and so (from what I understand) he is taking this action to gift himself to the world as a “citizen of the universe.”

I’m somewhat sympathetic with this, actually, if only in the sense that yes this is probably what would happen. Superman flies off to Libya to help overthrow the evil government of Khadaffi, and the angry voices from around the world say…the United States, through its spy Superman, went and did this thing. I don’t agree with the solution but I can recognize the problem.

Before we get to that, though, a real-life Superman would run into the problems faced by The Incredibles, wouldn’t he? The liability. (“I saved your life!” “You ruined my death!”)

But the hyper-nationalism, the blame-America-first-ish-ness…let us call it “anti-patriotism”…that isn’t the biggest problem. It’s a problem, to be sure, but I see a bigger one: Superman being above the citizenship. See, there’s that word again. Pompous ass Superman is just too big to fit into a country.

The theme persists. We’ve got an awful lot of pompous asses being above things.

The problem is that western civilization is made possible by the opposite sentiment. What we have built runs on a foundation of “as a matter of fact, I do owe you something.” Or, “for value received, I am going to do X.” This permeating stench of a story, that some modern Ivanhoe or Perseus is just so super-duper wonderful that nobody should ask anything of him, is contradictory to the motor that has moved everything in any way that has ever helped us. Even the ancient Greeks, who inspired us in so many ways, believed in it. Twelve labors of Hercules and all that. Jason can’t have the Golden Fleece until he does X, says King Aeetes of Colchis. Jason doesn’t say “Omigaw! That’s so unfair!” Jason does the labors and then King Aeetes doesn’t say “Yeah but you’re a loser!”

Actually he does if you read the mythology. But that’s part of what makes him the villain.

Fast forward to 2011 Common Era and we see yesterday’s villain is today’s hero. We worship the pompous ass who can’t be counted on for anything because he thinks all this stuff is beneath him. The golf-playing trust fund baby jackass.

It implies something toxic about us that all these examples are crammed into one awful, odious, pompous-ass-filled week. Implies but doesn’t prove — it might all be a coincidence. But if it is, we should make the most of it. We have met the enemy and he is us; our tolerance for pompous asses who regard themselves as being above things…who insist that the rest of us also regard them as being above things…is our undoing. We are far too deferential to these pompous asses.

And they aren’t above jack squat. Not in America, at least. Maybe it’s time we reminded ourselves of this simple egalitarian fact of life, and then after we’re done doing that, we can clue the pompous asses in on it as well.

Civilization requires it.

Cross-posted at Washington Rebel and Right Wing News.

At Least One Argument Has Completely Imploded

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Okay…it’s pretty hard this morning to find some news that doesn’t have to do with that damn birth certificate, so let’s just wind the whole thing up here.

Neal Boortz points to Glenn Reynolds’ round-up, which is pretty good.

My Hello Kitty of Blogging update, if I dare say so myself, offers a salient summary:

Document Drop Day Plus One: This is the hard part. It took Obama three years to provide His real birth certificate. The challenge to Obama fans is to take this, and make it look like there’s something wrong with the people who were asking to see it. Tall order. But they’re trying…oh, Lordy, they’re trying real hard.

They’re in a jam. Think about it: How do you say “you never should have asked to see this…uh…this piece of paper…right over here.” It’s taking the position of, you shouldn’t have insisted on this thing you wanted us to do — after our side caved. Now that we have caved and you’ve lost nothing, there’s something wrong with you that you kept insisting on this. How do you do that?

I think behind closed doors they’re protesting that very thing.

We know we’re not going to turn to stone, or cause the universe to supernova, just by looking at it. We looked at it yesterday. Just a boring piece of paper, and the question that pops up after you’re done looking at it is: What is someone thinking when He refuses to release it? Who does that?

At least one argument they could’ve used up until now, and in fact have used, has completely imploded: You stupid crazy racist birthers are insisting on seeing something that doesn’t exist! Destroyed in fire, shredded when the department went to electronic records, etc. Now we know that was a lie. The hunt for hard links is time-consuming, which is to be expected…maybe I’ll pick that up and maybe I won’t. It happened. Lots of Google histories and 404 links out there. Quite the Tidy Bowl operation that seems to have taken place since.

My favorite analogy is one of my own inventions: Two jackasses you unfortunately have as extended relatives, have gotten into an extended altercation in which one demands to see written proof of something from the other. See, generally you take a lot of emotion out of things by getting rid of the whole democrat/Republican thing and keeping everything else.

Your family gets together frequently because you live close together. You are the host for nearly all of these. Picnics, ball games, funeral wakes, bridal showers, whatever…these two idjits keep getting into the same tired old argument. Your furniture is getting broken.

First couple times it happens, you might take the attitude “C’mon uncle Jack, his word is good, you don’t need to see the piece of paper.”

Then it goes on into the third year.

And then you find out the other guy has the piece of paper. Furthermore, the reason he isn’t showing it to the other guy, is his position is the other guy should take his word for it — I’m-just-so-completely-wonderful-and-awesome. Anybody who doesn’t believe every little thing I say, has something wrong with him. So I’m going to convert this other guy, see. Force him to believe me by not showing him the piece of paper. Which I have.

We’re in our third year of this nonsense.

You’d have to conclude:

1. The guy with the piece of paper is responsible for the conflict.
2. This doesn’t have anything to do with facts. It’s about privilege.
3. The guy wanting to see the paper isn’t exactly vindicated…but this other guy who has the paper? It might be time to look into assisted living. The guy’s whacked.
4. You’d probably want to be reimbursed for broken furniture. And not on a 50/50 basis. The guy with the piece of paper should pay all of it.
5. And finally…Jesus Fucking Christ just show him the paper you asshole!

You know, it’s funny. At this point, the kindest thing you can say about Obama is that He can’t actually run anything, but He’s gifted at coming out on top in these conflicts and whether we knew it or not, that is what the country was voting for.

But then things like this happen, and you realize — waitaminnit, He doesn’t even have what it takes to come out on top. You can’t conclude Obama is good at something unless you started examining the situation with that bias firmly planted in your mind already.

He commands an emotional vibe when He appears before a crowd of people. He can do that much pretty well. But what is that, exactly?

In sustained factional conflicts like this one, He doesn’t emerge victorious any more often than the average guy. And, based on what I’m picking up on Document Drop Day Plus One…I don’t think He’s come out on top here. He’s got some people in His corner, true. But that’s bedrock for Obama.

I think He’s hurt badly. Ready for another analogy? You’re in the Donner party. After you’re done cannibalizing each other and you get rescued, during the helicopter ride home you find out one of your companions had a stash of chocolate and energy bars the whole time. That guy who’s been holding out on you then, somehow, has the job of sustaining some kind of “personal approval rating.” That’s Barack Obama.

You wanna be Barack Obama right now?

Now We Know What He Didn’t Want Us to See

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

So that’s why He finally released His long form birth certificate…

U.S. economic growth slowed more than expected in the first quarter as higher food and gasoline prices dampened consumer spending, and sent a broad measure of inflation rising at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years.

Big debt, fast inflation. They go together like bacon and eggs…but what do I care? My god-king president was born in the USA! Yay!

It’s Hard to Wreck a Train

Thursday, April 28th, 2011


Hat tip to Kate at Small Dead Animals.

Update: They’ve configured their embed code to auto-play, so I have replaced the embed with a link.

I want to bitch up a storm when other blogs have auto-play, see. Can’t go bitching about it if I’m doing the same thing…cool video though. I could go fiddling around with the code trying to shut the auto-play off, but there’s no time for that right now.

Best Sentence CXIII

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

We do not hand out the coveted Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award casually. We certainly do not hand it out just because certain individuals out there deign to request that it be granted to them.

But ya know what? That isn’t a disqualification, either.

Mike Simone, one of my friends over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging, is well deserving of the one hundred thirteenth BSIHORL award because of this bumper-sticker-suitable entry:

If you voted for Obama in ’08 to prove you’re not a racist, you’ll need to vote for someone else in ’12 to prove you’re not an idiot.

I’m sad to say, the evidence of Mike’s correctness is all around us today, April 27, 2011, the day His Holiness decided to release His own long-form birth certificate. The blogosphere has gone supernova over this. Actually, not really. It is faintly rumbling. Maybe we should call that “stirring.”

The right side of said ‘sphere is yawning, saying (roughly paraphrased) “Good. Now we can stop paying attention to whether He’s a legal President, and start paying attention to what a gawdawful President He is.”

And the left side of it is screaming “RAAAAAAAACISM!” So you see, nothing is really changed too much. Except, those birthers who were supposed to be maniacal and never satisfied by anything, so what’s the point of releasing the long-form? Actually they’ve been reasonably quiet.

And the end of the day, it’s looking like just another thing King Barry The First should’ve handled differently from the way He did. Oh, and the date 4/27/11? I have a standing challenge for any Obama fan to argue this particular date was a good one to release the long form…according to the interests of the country. I have no doubt it was in the interests, or at least perceived to be in the interests, of the democrat party or of Obama’s re-election campaign. Even then, it looks like an asset that quickly turned into a liability, like something that exploded out of control. Some “tiger by the tail” thing that escaped inept management.

But show me how it was in the interest of America for its President to release His birth certificate on Wednesday, the twenty-seventh of April, in the third year of His first term.

And oh my goodness isn’t this more than a little bit awkward:

“We don’t have time for such silliness,” the President said this morning. And then he flew off to Chicago to be on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

It’s just strategic thinking beginning to end. And I mean that adjective literally, the way you read it straight out of the dictionary:

strategic : designed or trained to strike an enemy at the sources of its military, economic, or political power.

So if you grant Barack Obama the benefit of every possible doubt — and in His world, you damn well better, because as I explained in the post previous He isn’t used to anything else — He really came out on top here! He really socked it to those birther teabagger Republicans. And that’s what it’s all about!

Go look up at that definition again.

Well, two problems with that. One, I don’t think so. I don’t think “Teh Won” won. My standing question “how does it help the US of A to release this on April 27, 2011?” remains a standing question; it is unanswerable. Unless you’ve been living in a hole, you know Obama was painted into a corner by that fellow with the bad hairpiece whose name cannot be mentioned out loud on April 27, 2011. Rhymes with “plump.”

Obama let go of the saucepan handle after He already got a third-degree burn. He didn’t release any document; the document jumped out of His scorched fingers. Once again, inept management. And it looks like it.

Two: My April 27 query is unanswerable because the plain fact of the matter is Obama did not act out of concern for the welfare of the country. Obama acted — again! — to the benefit of Obama.

Obama failed to preside. He acted, again, as His own public-relations manager. And then He failed to attend even to that relatively miniscule task with any degree of competence.

My friend Mike addresses those who labored to prove to — whoever — that they weren’t racists back in 2008. The one flaw in this message is that those who are capable of hearing it, don’t need it. It is self-evident that Obama is not a healer of racial divisions, and cannot be one. He’s too…strategic. And therefore He is inherently divisive. It’s always going to be that way because it always has to be that way.

Add up the following: the attack on the “stupidly” acting Cambridge police, Eric Holder’s “cowards” and “my people,” Justice Sotomayor’s “wise Latina,” Van Jones’ rants against white polluters and mass murderers, the president’s declarations like the following: “And if Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us….’” Or the following, “We can’t have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back.” Or the race, class, gender video appeal to “young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again.” What, then, is left of a supposedly racially neutral presidency?

In other words, if Obama had modeled his presidency after a Colin Powell’s or Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as secretary of State, then race would have been seen as incidental, not essential, to his character and agenda, and support for his presidency would have been predicated solely on principles rather than appeals to particular identity groups. The current rising racial awareness is no accident, but essential to focus support for liberal issues in traditional terms of polarization, victimization, and increased racial identity — especially as independents get frightened and peel off. Since 2009, we are less seen as an integrated, assimilated, and intermarried melting pot, but more a mosaic of competing interests that predicate their rival claims on society based on race, class, and gender.

Bloc voting and identity — the “base” — aid the Obama agenda; race as inconsequential does not. Before Obama, the now explosive and globally viral video of two young black girls’ savage beating of a white transgendered victim in a McDonald’s would have been one of many tragic morality tales about the generic dangers of drifting into the wrong places at the wrong times in an unsafe contemporary America. But after the precedent of the Skip Gates presidential intervention, the question naturally arises — when and when not does the president intervene in local issues, in symbolic terms, to offer the nation a teachable moment on racial bias: when an elite professor is inconvenienced in private or an adolescent is almost beaten to death in public?

Hat tip for that last one to blogger friend Rick.

Obama’s many shortcomings, I’m afraid, are much bigger than Obama. George Washington would have been horrified at the “brand-name politics” that engulfed the presidency sometime during the twentieth century. Every single President [insert surname here] has to demonstrate what is uniquely wonderful about a [insert surname here] administration. The presidency is supposed to be bigger than any one man, bigger than any one name. When the nation first got started, the vision was that these executives would be mere custodians, or stewards, each attending to the task in a way that would be most obviously beneficial. They had their partisan squabblings about what that was, to be sure. But the dream was that this squabbling would recede into the background. It’s a dead dream, now.

In fact, it’s much worse in this century than it was in the last one. We take it for granted that a “wonderful” administration is only supposed to be wonderful to a select few people. This President here, will deliver things to that constituency over there…everyone else should just resign themselves to going without. And then when he gets voted out of office, it’s that other constituency that will benefit from it, and the previous beneficiaries need to become accustomed to not counting for anything for the next four years…and so it goes.

So these three years without showing anybody the long form? That was a clue. Maybe, for the kind of healing our nation really needs, the right president has yet to be born. But if he is living among us, over thirty-five, ready to assume the mantle of that executive power…Barack Obama was not the guy. Because we knew early on that He fits the mold of my Monopoly-brat. He runs into a rule, and where George Washington would dismount his horse, bow courteously, and comply with the rule — it seems to be Emperor Barack’s place to exploit every little margin of doubt, every little loophole, to His advantage so He can stick it to the people who need to have it stuck to them.

What else would you expect from the guy who thinks it’s His place to make the oceans recede? No, that is not a manufactured quote. He really said that.

Twenty-twelve is coming fast. Prove you’re not an idiot.

Your Obligatory “He Released It” Post

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

I have to admit, if you woke me up out of a sound sleep this morning — and although tortured and interrupted with sneezing fits, it was sound — and said “Hey Morgan they’ve found life on Mars…OR…President Obama has released His birth certificate,” I’d have snuffled, rolled over, sneezed yet again, reached for a hanky and murmured something like “Slithery-wriggly or creepy crawly? Animal or plant? Does it look like a Jim Henson muppet?”

So Birther Zero has ceased to be Birther Zero — about three years too late. Who’s nuttier, the guy who refuses to release it for no reason, or the guy who insists he should be able to see it?

Obviously Obama has been painted into a corner; wouldn’t have done this if it were not for The Trumpster. So He’s going to turn this to His advantage, try one last play at the roulette wheel of “make the birthers look nutty and therefore make Obama look un-nutty.” I predict He’s overplayed His hand on this one, and it won’t pan out. Obama looks strange; not just to me, but I think to “middle America.” There was no reason to sit on this thing — but He did.

What’s the most innocent explanation for this bizarre, strange behavior of Barack Obama?

Ever play Monopoly with a five-to-seven-year-old who you can already tell is going to grow up to be a lawyer? Four rolls of the dice out of every five, leads to someone reaching for the box lid for yet another reading of the rules — because the kid has picked up, from somewhere, that he can always win whenever there’s doubt. Just make a grab for the benefit-of-doubt and if it doesn’t work, hey, nothing lost. The game takes freakin’ all day. And always, always, always, you’re the nutty one…even on those rare occasions when the box lid declares future-lawyer to be so unquestionably in error, that even he accepts the result (with a big ol’ pout), even then you’re nuts for having made an issue out of it. Even when it turns out your understanding of the rules was the correct one, you’re still in error for having said so.

Just plain nuts!Imagine the tot growing up with that personality, and then learning how to manipulate people politically on top of it all. Refuse to release the long form birth certificate, unilaterally dictate “this is good enough” when the rules don’t actually say one way or another…a big fight erupts coast to coast and…the patient watches it all go down. With a sick kind of a smile on the inside. His one motivation is “how do I play this to my advantage.”

That’s a mental illness, I think. But that’s who’s in charge. Scared yet?

Back to my old stand-by question: Is this someone you’d want to have watch your house when you go on vacation for a week?

I’d rather the newspapers get collected and the plants get watered by…a birther. An average birther. Seriously — he’s got a “McCain/Palin” or “Ron Paul” bumper sticker and he insists on seeing documents? Stacked up against my watch-the-house test — that’d be a plus.

But Barack Obama II has a quirk. He thrives on conflict and He’s gifted at making it look like it’s the other guy who’s doing that. I don’t want Him watching my house, let alone my country…and I don’t think your typical die-hard democrat wants Him watching his house, either.

Update 4/29/11: Gold.

Obama’s greatest victory of the entire past year — his crowning achievement for the past twelve months in the most powerful office in all the world — is his celebrated triumph in successfully producing a common form of secondary identification.

As of right now, that’s what he’s running on: That he, like 88% of all non-incarcerated adults in America, has access to his own personal records.
And for the past two nights I’ve endured Chris Matthews telling me about Obama’s “brilliant” “Perry Mason moment,” how masterful he was in all of this.

This is what he’s doing victory laps on right now. That’s what Chris Matthews is praising him to the heavens for. He’s grinning like King Shit of Fuck Mountain, and bathing in rapturous applause, because he accomplished something considerably less difficult than opening a Netflix account.

Pardon the word — are we not treating the President of the United States like a retard?

Obama 2012: Because Yes, We Can. Two, three years…that’s our turn-around.

Obama 2012: He has access to His personal records.

Obama 2012: If by “awesome” you mean “can produce ID,” then He definitely is.

Obama 2012: Yeah, really, that’s who He is. Take our word for it, or else!

Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself… XXXIII

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

“Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”

Susan Ertz.

Sticky Campaign

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Heh. Yeah, that works…

Credit to Bud Hammons.

Update: Michael O’Hare, in one of the private groups over on the Hello Kitty of Blogging, threw together a nice little list of one-liners with an interesting point on the end:

Obama Admin is
1. obstructing exploration.
2. Obstructing drilling.
3. Denying oil drilling permits
4. Applying tough EPA regulations on the oil industry
5. Obstructing Canadian Shale Oil pipeline
6. Printing more money
7. Messing up the Middle East Policy
But MSM says its oil speculators.

There’s another item that needs to go on though. And this item is part of an issue that is bigger than the gas industry or the oil industry.

Think back: When a commodity — any commodity — begins to increase in price, and the commodity is a staple of life, or could be thought of as a staple of life, particularly for the indigent and the rustically-living…how do democrats go about bringing the price of that commodity under control?

Think of health care and rent and retail gasoline…and breakfast cereals…and automobiles…

There ya go. Hearings. They investigate. Investigate and regulate. They shove their fat putrid faces into the teevee cameras, jam that index finger straight up into the air, stand on a soapbox and make solemn vows “to get to the bottom of this” by golly. And then they start sniffing under the skirts. Hold circus sideshows. Then they put a bunch of requirements on the books that the “corporations” open their doors to “regulators” and boy oh boy, they’d better not even think of shredding anything!

Which creates what those corporations call a “cost of compliance.” Which is then passed on to the consumer.

Actually the whole thing is bigger than the petroleum industry. The democrat party actually makes use of a very narrow selection of tools for bringing prices of things down. They provide cosmetic and substantial hostility to the process of bringing the whatever-it-is to market…increasing regulation…fighting the production of the raw materials. Along the way, they make some friends, and it seems only natural that their friends should be given control of the distribution of the whatever-it-is. Control of distribution, and monopolistic marketing power — usually, to the overseas producers of the commodity in question, in this case Brazil.

Don’t forget the labor. It has to be unionized. Naturally…these things do not bring the price of the widget down, they shove the price up skyward. It’s very predictable. I’d be disappointed in an eighth-grade graduate who couldn’t predict it. But they don’t get caught at it, because by this time the emotions are running high and too many people have stopped paying attention.

The democrat party doesn’t make things more affordable. It isn’t supposed to. I don’t understand why people think that is within its function or its intent.

Update: Back to the subject at hand…more visual evidence of the “sticky note campaign” in action from the fine food stores in Georgia, thanks to Melissa

Join the campaign here, and help support it here.

The Royal Wedding

Monday, April 25th, 2011

My country, the United States, does not have royal weddings because we do not have royalty. We also have not plunged headlong into the black hole of western socialism, unlike Mother England. But seeing that we’re skating along the event horizon and have been for awhile, can this Yankee be blamed for his obsession with the latter?

The royal wedding seems, to me, a perfect metaphor for socialism. I would be shocked if it were confirmed to me I was the first to see it.

This unspoken silly agreement that all of us “commoner” folk are exactly alike, is buttressed by this equally silly and equally unspoken agreement that these few special people in the spotlight are somehow different. And here is unleashed a whole panoply of bizarre contradictions. Elizabeth rules by the Grace of God, her son Charles and grandson William next in line also because of the Grace of God. But is it not also through God’s Grace that the Monarch of Great Britain has been stripped of all constitutional power?

See all the throngs of people lining the streets, so anxious To Be A Part Of This Thing. But what thing is that? The promise is one of consistency, just like you can go into any MacDonald’s all over the world and expect the same menu and same experience. Today, Christmas Day 1066, all the days in between. It’s all the same. But — that would be boring. So we have these events like royal weddings. Events don’t count unless the situation afterward is different in some way from the situation before…but the situation is supposed to be unchanging. It is the promise of consistency, itself, that has produced this hungering for an event that would not otherwise be there. Another commonality with socialism.

But the similarity that really makes an impression on me is the promise of the happy ending. The air in London is fairly crackling with the electrical excitement over it. Good manners dictate you’re not supposed to mention what happened last time. You’re not supposed to say “I hope it goes as well as last time” and you’re not supposed to say “I hope it turns out better.” You keep that unsaid and un-thought.

Just like socialism. It’s tradition…but we’re all going to pretend this is the very first time it’s been tried. Without mentioning that out loud.

Nine hundred forty-five years since the arrow pierced King Harold’s eye at Hastings. Nine hundred forty-five years since the comet, since William landed at Pevensey and ate the sand. Their country is four times as old as ours, and yet their tradition is for those with short memories.

“…But Sometimes Absolutely Mad”

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

File this one under “Yep, I’ve met my share of people like this”:

“The President’s title, as proposed by the Senate, was the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of. It is a proof the more of the justice of the character given by Dr. Franklin of my friend. Always an honest man, often a great one, but sometimes absolutely mad.”

Thomas Jefferson on the proposed presidential title of “His Highness the President of the United States and protector of their liberties” advocated by Vice-President [John] Adams in the Senate; in a letter to James Madison (29 July 1789) [emphasis mine]

Life would be pretty boring if we all had the same ideas all the time. But still…

Best Sentence CXII

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

The latest winner of the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award is Adobe Walls, who comments poignantly at Bob Belvedere’s place and thus earns a post linking back there. And here as well.

The biggest problem for Conservatives is that none of our leaders are as pissed as we are or, if they are, they are afraid to show it. Trump isn’t going away unless and until somebody can capture that anger. Trump is expressing that anger without really giving policies that address that anger. Until somebody does that, get used to seeing Trump on the news and in the Blogs day in and day out.

It still doesn’t seem to me, though, that self-identified “conservatives” have a shot at winning this election. They don’t have the numbers right now and they’re not going to have the numbers in November of 2012.

For the vote to be wrestled out of the grip of Obama, it is going to have to be decided by people who are paying more than they want to for gas, and understand it is Obama’s policies making it that way. But of course, for that to work, that selection must be made out of the people who need to pay for their own gas…

So now is it a bit clearer why democrats don’t like individual responsibility?

But that first sentence, that’s the Best Sentence. The conservative movement does not have any leaders who seem to be as pissed off as the people within it. Liberals don’t have this problem, I notice. Candidate Obama actually got points for being smiley, sophisticated, mature…”no-drama Obama” they called Him.

He came out on top after liberals evaluated His ability and potential to sell things.

Conservatives evaluate their candidates on their ability & potential to fix things. See, that’s an important difference. It is not one that works to conservative advantage.

Chihuahua Dumping

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

“Thanks for nothing, Paris Hilton.” The article is a year and a half old, but it’s my understanding this problem has only gotten worse in the meantime.

California is seeing an influx of chihuahuas popping up at animal shelters, and it’s becoming too much for the state to handle.

Rather than take these unwanted pooches out back, and deal with them Old Yeller style, California shelters are pawning these rat-dogs off on the Grand Canyon State.
Shelter officials are associating the rise in the abandoned pooches to celebutards like Paris Hilton, who popularized use of animals as fashion accessories. When the reality of having to care for the dogs kicked in, it proved to be too much for a lot of wanna-be heiresses, and they dropped the quivering canines off at animal shelters.

According to California shelter officials, more than 100 of the dogs have been driven to shelters in other states, Arizona included.

I just thought of this when I saw a commercial for some Ashley Tisdale pop-music high school made-for-teevee whatever, with some warm gooey shapeless plot to it in which she runs around with some purse-dog in tow. I really don’t know what it’s about, but I do know the presence of the little rat-dog is much more important to the production than the contents of any particular story-line. Right afterward there was a PSA from some dog pound pleading for support to help keep the surplus animals from being neglected & abused…

Interesting juxtaposition.

This “rodent-dog in a purse” thing has gotta stop.

Bunny Barley Break

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Mark gets the prize for the best Easter graphic. Blue Ribbon? What a dumb-bunny.

Happy Easter everybody.


Sunday, April 24th, 2011

TPK #34

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Blogger friend Phil has a Thing I Know #34:

If A is “political” and B is opposition to A, then B is also “political”.

I find it funny that politicians are always accusing each other of doing things for political purposes.

Oooh…let that one sink in for awhile.

Not an Economist, and Here’s Proof

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Don Surber:

From Paul Krugman: “Here’s my question: How did it become normal, or for that matter even acceptable, to refer to medical patients as ‘consumers’? The relationship between patient and doctor used to be considered something special, almost sacred. Now politicians and supposed reformers talk about the act of receiving care as if it were no different from a commercial transaction, like buying a car — and their only complaint is that it isn’t commercial enough.”

An economist would not write that paragraph because an economist would know that a patient is indeed a consumer, a person who makes decisions on this product line called medicine. As a consumer, the patient usually decides whether to buy medical services or products, when, where and how much.

Commenter Drake says:

What kills me is that the NY Times continue to pay six-figure salaries to guys like Krugman and Friedman who just mail in twice-a-week columns that are honestly on par with twice-a-day posts from probably the top 50 liberal bloggers. Who pays attention to these guys anymore?

What is Krugman supposed to be doing, anyway? Maybe he’s what Thomas Sowell is talking about, when Dr. Sowell uses the word “intellectual” as a put-down: Krugman’s specialty begins in the arena of ideas, and ends there as well, so there’s no way to measure how well the idea meshes with reality, therefore no way to measure Krugman’s competence.

Either way, it’s clear to me Krugman isn’t supposed to put down in writing anything truly edifying — the reader is not supposed to know any more after having finished a Krugman column, than he knew when he started reading. And I think it’s been clear to Surber for awhile too; he’s a bright guy, I’m sure he’s not just figuring this out for the first time. Krugman’s columns are just so much liberal agitprop, calculated to motivate the reader into voting for liberals next time the opportunity arises. He writes it, the Times prints it, and then Memeorandum ratchets it to the tippy-top of their scroll and anchors it there for a day or two.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Never Interrupt an Enemy…

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

when he’s making a mistake.


Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Janet Daley writes in Telegraph:

Like a mythical traveller seeking truth, a think tank has asked a profound question: what is fairness? And lo, the people have answered with (almost) one voice: what “fair” means is that those who are deserving shall receive, and those who are not shall be – well, not exactly cast out, but certainly not entitled to everything that’s going.

As we report today, Policy Exchange – supposedly the Prime Minister’s favourite ideas outlet – has done a brave and unusual thing. Rather than polling the public just on policy and voting intention, it has put a far more abstract moral issue before them. It instructed the pollsters at YouGov to find out precisely what the public thought the most powerful term of approbation in the political lexicon – “fair” – actually amounted to.

The quite unequivocal reply that was received (with breathtakingly enormous majorities in some forms) came as no surprise to this column. To most voters, fairness does not mean an equal distribution of resources and wealth, or even a redistribution of these things according to need. It means, as the report’s title – “Just Deserts” – implies, that people get what they deserve. And what is deserved, the respondents made clear, refers to that which is achieved by effort, talent or dedication to duty: in other words, earned on merit.

You know, it’s awfully funny. We’re pretty good at marginalizing opinions and ridiculing them if complete strangers tell us those opinions should be marginalized and ridiculed. We marginalize and ridicule the idea that Barack Obama should have been required to prove His place of birth with some piece of evidence more authentic than a pink piece of paper fresh off the printing presses that essentially says “the people running Hawaii right now believe it.” We ridicule people who think babies might be alive before they actually breathe air. Ridicule mothers who homeschool their kids, or show some kind of affection toward their father, acting like he matters. And oh yes, we are great at ridiculing people who have found Christ. These people are minorities and minorities are there to be mocked.

But this toxic minority of people who think of “fairness” as “everyone has the same amount of stuff no matter what”…they’re allowed to live among us. They won’t keep their opinions to themselves, either. Unlike the homeschool-Moms, they can’t point to a single productive thing they’ve managed to achieve with this, uh, unique opinion they’ve got. Not one.

In fact, there isn’t a single appealing thing about it other than this phantom mirage illusion they manage to put out, that their outlook on the word “fair” represents a majority opinion or consensus. Well, it doesn’t.

People want to help other people who are in need, but there’s a big difference between helping the local widow and helping the town drunk.

Rrrrrgh! Gaaah! Rrrrgh!

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

That name, Sarah Palin, brings out such eloquence from the Palin haters. Just wow…these people want more power and control. Well, can’t fault them for lacking enthusiasm I suppose.

Hat tip to Rebel Pundit, by way of At The Point of a Gun.

Morgan Owns Dixon

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Time Out: 5:08
Time In: 18:11
Distance: 71.67
Scariest wild animal encountered: If bovine creatures count, a herd of cows I seem to have sent into a stampede. On one of those “okay if I do this again I don’t think I’m coming this way” shortcuts, it became a doubtful proposition as to whether I was still on a public road…this situation arises frequently out there. Never saw any barriers. I pushed on through and made my egress. But the cows didn’t appreciate it.

Didn’t break the distance record, but that was not the intent anyway. It was quite by accident that I came as close as I did.

I’ll put a map together when the opportunity presents itself


Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Just dang, people.

After 5,852 posts and six and a half years, I misspelled a word. Okay?

And I’m actually seeing a spike in traffic as a result. How pathetic is that?

Connecticut Last

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

…to arrive at tax freedom day (article is now one year old).

Tax Freedom Day — the date on which Americans have earned enough to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels — falls today, April 27th, for residents of Connecticut, giving them the latest Tax Freedom Day in the nation. This is 18 days after national Tax Freedom Day (April 9).

Rhode Island reached Tax Freedom Day on April 12th, Massachusetts on the 14th, and New York on the 23rd.

And why is tax freedom day important?

…Americans will pay more in taxes in 2011 than they will spend on groceries, clothing and shelter combined.

But it’s taken from the rich and then redistributed to “working families” so that makes it all okay, right?

You can tell there’s something fundamentally dishonest about it, because when the time comes to defend it, the defenders just want to talk about police, firemen, sidewalks and park benches.

Go Connecticut.

Memo For File CXXXVI

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Liberals tend to fall for the false consensus effect, and conservatives tend to fall for something that could be thought of as its opposite.

This is an important observation, I think, so indulge me a few paragraphs to explain it. We have people who do real work, and people who don’t. Overall, you’ll find people who do work have a tendency to — as they said when we were growing up — “see what needs doing and get it done.” People who don’t work tend to bitch about what someone should do, wait until someone gets it done, and then contribute a bunch of “ideas” in some big gab-fest about where the product of the work should go. That’s what post-industrial-revolution liberalism is: Non-producers making rules about what should be done with the items of value produced by producers.

Where we’re at, now in the age of the Tea Party, is the producers have again been reminded that they can’t tune out of the political process and busy themselves with producing. So the producers, the conservatives, feel this conflict that is not felt by the non-producing liberals. Our inclination is to say “fuck this shit, I’ve got work to do”; kiss the wife & kids, go off to work, toil away, come home, pop open a beer, do our projects or watch teevee or whatever & go to bed. We put together our software or our bales of hay or our car parts or our pottery and figure that justifies our existence. But then the non-producing liberals come along and make their rules about what should be done with what we built. Or what should be done with the wealth generated by what we built. And so after we’ve built our things, or before we’ve built our things, or during, or wherever we can somehow manage to find the time — we must participate in this gab-fest about redistribution, and if we can’t manage to do that, the result is the same as if we never bothered to build anything.

Because that’s what really motivates our liberals. When you live out a non-productive life not actually creating anything of value, you don’t want anybody else to do that either.

Where the false consensus comes in, is: Our liberals are stronger when they make this common mistake — they congregate together and come to an understanding that “everybody” thinks the way they do. You hear this when a liberal politician makes a speech about American values. You know this part, you’ve heard it before, it’s where they start pulling things out of their butts and show us they have no clue what the Constitution actually says. They start off with this bastardized and corrupted reading of the fifth and sixth amendments…not about the speedy trial so much, but “innocent until proven guilty,” and then of course we’re going to make it harder every damn year to “prove” guilt, until the streets are crawling with violent criminals again. Then they meander from that to all the nonsense. Diversity. Yeah, it was Ben Franklin who thought to toss that one in, either him or James Madison. Open borders, lots of social programs, the rich should pay their fair share. Classically American values!

See, that’s false consensus at work. “Everybody in line-of-sight in this room agrees with me on this one thing; therefore, everybody with a pulse must agree with me on all other things.”

This opposite of false-consensus that hobbles the conservative mind, has to do with conjuring up a villain on some issues where, maybe there really isn’t one. And this is an important point, I think. We’re directing this energy toward the gab-fest on Facebook and on the blogs. We have all these other things we do where we’d rather be directing the energy, but experience has taught us we can’t do that and neglect the gab-fest because the end result of the gab-fest determines — dictates, unilaterally, I’d say — what will become of the fruits of our other labors. And it’s not too hard to pick up on the resentment we have over this conflict. We’re being painted into a corner, here, and dammit we don’t like that.

And so, I think, it’s important to develop a sense of looking at all the people who disagree with us, and figuring out who’s real and who is just an illusion. Our tendency has been…and this is the opposite of false consensus…to hear of some voice of someone who disagrees with us, and leap to the assumption “that is a real person speaking sincerely of his opinion and he represents God only knows how many millions of other dickheads.” We need to be leery of this. There are too many talking points out there being regurgitated.

Yes, I’m speaking of Astroturfing. To read the Wikipedia article on Astroturfing and skim the Recent Examples (political) section, you’d think the progressive side never does it, ever. This has been a very silly situation with that page that has been going on for quite awhile. Read up on the “Ellie Light” situation. Wikipedia editors and admins are well-intentioned, honest folks — except when they’re not.

Heck, just listen to what some of the supposedly real people have to say. The woman who interrupted Lou Barletta’s town hall meeting for example —

While he was going through a slide projector presentation about the Medicare changes proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), a woman raised her hand.

“Excuse me, I’d like to get something off my chest,” she said, standing. “You seem to think that because I’m not effected [sic] I won’t care if my niece, my grandson, my child is affected. I do care. What you’re doing with this Ryan budget is you’re taking Medicare and changing it from a guaranteed health care system to one that is a voucher system where you throw seniors on the mercy of for-profit insurance companies.”

“You said nothing in the campaign about I’m going to change Medicare, now you voted for a plan that will destroy Medicare,” Linda Christman, 64, said. Christman is president of the Carbon County Democrats for Change, according to Barletta’s office.

A concerned citizen who happens to be a democrat activist? Or a democrat activist who happened to have some time to turn the town hall into a circus? You be the judge of that…but these cliches are dishonest. “Throw seniors on the mercy of for-profit insurance companies.” That might get a “real” citizen excited, but it’s not an honest expression of real-citizen concerns. Real citizens are concerned that their nieces (that’s the next generation), children (next generation) and grandchildren (two generations forward) won’t enjoy some absolute, unconditional guarantee from the government that we can’t afford as of right now anyway?

That’s bullshit. Plants and puppets. Puppets and plants.

One of my favorite examples of this, lately, is all this polling that says the public supports public sector unions over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. You know the drill…

As labor battles erupt in state capitals around the nation, a majority of Americans say they oppose efforts to weaken the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions and are also against cutting the pay or benefits of public workers to reduce state budget deficits, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them.

Riiiiight. Because if there’s one classically American value that really counts for something, it is that nobody who is a member of a union should ever feel the effects of a recession, ever. They shouldn’t have to wait for their raises even when the economy sucks, they shouldn’t ever have to worry about layoffs. Such indignities are for the rest of us. And after governments take some money away from us in the form of taxes so they can function as efficiently as possible, we need to have some other part of government, also funded with our tax dollars, to “negotiate” with…uh, somebody…so it all ends up being a jobs program that costs as much as it possibly can. Yeah, nobody has a peep of protest to offer against that except a bare majority of those extremist Republicans.

My other example is this drive to teach gay history in the public schools

Over forty years ago, African Americans demanded public school districts and other educational institutions to reform their curriculum in order to reflect the experiences and histories of folks other than white men…in the years that followed, other ethnic groups and women would follow suit and push schools to revise their curriculum to be more reflective of United States history.
These battles over what and whom should be included in public school curricula are far from over; e.g., Texas State Board of Education approves revising textbooks to eliminate the civil rights movement, and Mississippi becomes the first state to implement a civil rights curriculum for grades K through 12. But it appears that public school curricula may undergo an entirely new makeover with the recent news that the state of California is close to becoming the first state to require the teaching of gay history.

According to the Associated Press, the California Senate approved the landmark measure a week ago, but it still needs to get a seal of approval from the Democratic-controlled Assembly and Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. If the legislation is a success, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will be added to the lengthy list of social and ethnic groups that schools must include in social studies lessons. As early as the 2013-2014 school year, the California Board of Education and local school districts would be required to adopt textbooks and other teaching materials that would cover the contributions of LGBTs throughout history.

It is, of course, a stupid idea because the parallel does not exist. You conduct a class and say “Here’s Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb” and you’re not going to get too far before everyone can see this is a white guy. And so if we grant the black-history argument every conceivable advantage, then we eventually acknowledge, alright if you’re a black kid you might feel a sense of estrangement that doesn’t apply to the white kids.

But you’re probably not going to cover the fact that Thomas Edison was straight. I mean, he was, wasn’t he? Gee, I don’t even know that for sure. In all my learning about Edison, the subject simply never came up which is exactly my point.

But my other point on top of that point, is even more important: I don’t think there’s anybody I need to convince of that. Who’s really for LGBT history month? Who’s pushing this? A bunch of well-intentioned but mistaken liberal dipshits who could be my co-worker or my neighbor? Doubt it. Yes, it passed the Senate. Gov. Brown would sign it if it landed on his desk; of that I have no doubt. So yeah it could become law.

But I don’t think anybody’s being fooled by this turkey, anywhere. You have some “citizens” who are for it, but again, they aren’t uninvolved citizens. They’re egghead quacky docs and education professionals who stand to make money off the new curriculum.

This is a hazard that applies to conservatism that doesn’t apply to liberalism, since conservatism makes sense. All ideas, whether they make sense or not, must eventually find some opposition somewhere. And nothing really makes more sense than “it should be more lucrative to be a producer than a non-producer, not the other way around” — and — “if you subsidize something you’ll get more of it, if you tax something you’ll get less of it.” Those ideas make so much sense that nobody should be disagreeing with them. But, since they are ideas, someone, somewhere, will.

But that doesn’t mean those are real people. They’re plants. We’re living in the age of the plant. The whore who is paid money, or recruited as a volunteer, to pratfall and faint when Barack Obama makes a speech. It is a reaction, I think an expected one, to this recent development of blogs and social media and the Tea Party. Since the liberals have monopolized the previously-mentioned gab-fest about where the fruits of labor should be directed, and the producers have understood they need to mount a resistance at that gab-fest, a fierce battle now takes place on that hilltop. Both sides perceive that this tiny plot of land holds premium strategic value, and both sides are correct about this. They’re trying to get the first word and the last word.

Liberal non-producers are engaged in this battle because of their natural instincts, whereas conservative producers are engaged under protest. We are very much like the founding fathers rushing off to the battlefield, or off to the halls of Congress, wondering if the wife & kids can look after the farm in our absence. We’re conflicted by that, and furthermore, we don’t like to think some of our friends & neighbors are liberal jackasses. We mind our affairs with some degree of foresightedness, we make decisions deliberately, and that includes decisions about which friends to have. It bothers us to think some of our close friends can be so mistaken about things. It doesn’t seem to bother liberals to think derogatory thoughts about their conservative “friends”; they just write ’em off as gun-and-Bible-clinging assholes, and go about the day.

And so, I think, it might be productive to keep in mind which liberals are real people and which ones are phantoms and plants. Keep the bullshit detector on high alert. The New York Times won’t fess up about the deceptive and leading questions being asked in their polls, Wikipedia won’t be honest about what astroturfing really is or where it’s really being used. We really don’t have the time or energy to be participating in this too much. They do.

In fact, I’m seeing an up-surge lately in the left-wing cliches being flooded into the social media, since the unemployment rate found its new Obama-era home between nine and ten percentage points. Maybe they’re being paid to do it and maybe they’re not; does it really matter? These are still phony positions that, by being offered audibly, sometimes create phony controversies. The California legislature obviously needs an overhaul in its priorities — whether that is possible or whether it isn’t, and I’m inclined toward the negative on that one, the first step is going to have to be the public leads it by example. So many other things are much more worthy of discussion. Like, for example, the high volume of red ink on the balance sheet of our federal government, and on our state governments and local governments. I’d say that’s Issue #1.

So leave the farm to the wife and kids and approach the battlefield. Make it a good fight and a decisive victory; a complete rout, everywhere you carry the banner. But then choose those battlefields very carefully, that’s my take-away from all that. This is an enemy that is fighting us on all fronts, and one of those fronts is information warfare. They’re coming at us with fake attacks as well as real ones.

I cannot help but wonder how much of this effort, which seems to resemble real combat in more ways than one, is being supported with our tax dollars. Directly or indirectly. That, too, fits the Revolutionary-War analogy. Colonials fought British soldiers who were furnished with shot, swords, rifles, horses, and red coats — all funded with taxes paid by the blue coats. They, like we, were placed in the sadly laughable position of paying for their own hanging.

The “Eat Poo” Argument

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

So you see me walking up to some guy, and I tell the guy “Eat poo! Because then I’ll be your friend and stuff. And it’s tasty! And if you don’t, I’ll be all, like, whatsa matta with you, you too good to eat some poo?”

And you come running up and advance the quite sensible argument of “Dude…no. No! That’s just wrong! You’ll get e coli and ptomaine and God only knows what else. Case of bad breath at the very least. Don’t eat poo.”

And then I come back with: “Hey, hold on there now. You have to eat something. You can’t go just eating nothing. You’ll starve to death. That guy over there wants people to starve to death. He’s bad! He doesn’t want anybody to eat anything.”

That third thing there is like what I’m hearing from the President lately, and a lot of His admirers. “I think America wants smart government (dramatic pause)…it wants a lean government (pause) …it wants a[n] accountable government (pause)…but we don’t want no government.” (0:47 to 1:03, here (hat tip to Hot Air).) Okay, now. Who, lately, have you heard seriously advocating an overthrow and complete dismantling of the government?

Far be it from me to speak for every citizen from sea to shining sea who feels some sympathy for the tea party movement. But I think it would be more accurate to paraphrase the platform as one of: Stop spending more than you’re taking in, because we are not going to be distracted from the red ink on the nation’s balance sheet by a bunch of gimmicks. Or: When a trillion dollars in outlays was unthinkable just a generation ago, and two trillion was unthinkable just a decade ago, boosting the spending level by a whole trillion dollars in one year is probably not a great idea. Especially if, while you’re doing that, you’re looking for whole new ways to spend even more.

See, this arguing style has a way of flipping things upside-down — it turns the moderate side of the argument into the extreme side, and thus the extreme side into the moderate side. To rationally thinking people, “eat poo” is an extremist position. My ludicrous and silly example at the beginning of the post inverts the equation, and makes the poo-eating proposition look moderate and any attack upon it look extreme (assuming you’re dim enough to buy into it). Well, that is what the President is doing.

The situation with our nation’s finances is such that “Whoa, slow the fuck down!” is just the reasonable position for any thinking man or woman to take. And I’m afraid that is considerably understating the matter. We have only the barest, slimmest chance of avoiding the fate of Greece, and that’s relying on the premise that Barack Obama is made into the one-term President that He richly deserves to become.

“Pay no attention to those teabagging rubes in the back” is a position that can only be taken by a charlatan…or one who is convinced he will somehow escape any personal responsibility in our nation’s resulting financial mess…or one who is both of those. “And come, gather ’round, let’s find new creative ways to spend even more” is pure insanity.

Uncle Kenny dealt with it this way.

We should all be writing letters that make Uncle Kenny look like a lovable teddy bear. Letters to senators, letters to congressmen, letters to state legislators, letters to the editor (if your local paper still has some circulation), blog posts, and keep fighting those liberal jackasses on Facebook.

They think we don’t give a shit about debt. It’s an old, moldering rotten corpse of an antiquated idea from the New Deal era. God willing, we’re seeing the final internment of that festering carcass. But I suppose there will always be some petty jealous jackals that can’t stand to see willingly unproductive people treated to their just desserts. They’d rather play their game of make-believe, that people who actually generate wealth must have stolen it from someone else, and people who’ve done not a single worthy thing their entire lives and have no talent at anything other than wearing a suit nicely and speaking into a microphone eloquently, are somehow responsible for every good thing that ever happened to anybody.

And they have all this contempt for the rest of us, for getting in the way of this childish fantasy. Well, pardon us all to holy hell.

Sorry. People who don’t produce, don’t get to lead. And insisting that a government live within limits just like the people it taxes, is not the same as insisting that it go away. It isn’t the same as anarchy.

Jacksonville Bikini Contest

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

For no particular reason. Call my complaint department if you’ve a mind to.

I see in some parts it looks like they hired the cameraman from Quantum of Solace. “Yo dude…shaky cameraman with a bad case of DT…pretty girl. Over there. Point the camera at the pretty girl. Over there, please.” But you know, I’ll find a way to deal.

Hat tip: Viral Footage, via Linkiest.