Archive for June, 2011

“Should Be Hated”

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Hat tip to Stable Hand at Jawa.

Two Options for Wisconsin Unions

Sunday, June 19th, 2011


The question now is what comes next for labor. In interviews with union leaders, academics and others who have followed the months-long fight over Walker’s budget, organized labor appears to be regrouping on two separate tracks.

One is turning their still formidable war chest toward the recall of six Republican senators in Wisconsin in the hopes of turning the Senate back to the Democrats.

The other is a lawsuit that a consortium of labor unions filed last week in federal court, saying Walker’s collective-bargaining legislation, in effect, created two classes of public-sector workers. The unions say that makes the collective-bargaining law, which is scheduled to go into effect June 29, unconstitutional.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse, by way of Instapundit.

Great, Average, Small

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

By way of an offline from Rob Bariton.

I would go one step further: Useless people talk about rules.

“You Don’t Spank Children Today”

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Blogsister Cassy turned me on to this story over at the Hello Kitty of Blogging. It takes place in Corpus Christi, TX…which I find somewhat surprising…

…Judge Longoria was firm in his criticism of [mother Rosalina Gonzalez’] behaviour, and told her it was unacceptable.

He said: ‘You don’t spank children today. In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children. You understand?’

She answered: ‘Yes sir.’

Gonzales will also has to pay a $50 fine to the Children’s Advocacy Center and attend a course of parenting classes.

She has lost custody of her daughter and two other children, all of whom are being looked after by their grandmother.

I’m sure there is another side to the story, but the facts spelled out here seem to be complete. There isn’t a trace of abusive behavior — not unless you’re one of those busybody hippie pinheads who counts all physical punishment as inherently abusive. The buttinsky mother-in-law noticed the little girl had a red ass and called authorities.

Meanwhile, diagnoses of “learning disabilities” are skyrocketing…during this age supposedly free of corporal punishment.

I have yet to meet a single 4A Cheerleader who’s managed to ask why there are more diagnoses, or even to drum up some superficial curiosity about it. “We know more now than they did then” is about as much scrutiny as they can manage to apply.

Can’t spank our kids. So the kids do whatever they want to do…unless, that is, they are advised that the grown-ups don’t want them doing something.

If that doesn’t work, it’s off to the behavioral health specialist to order a diagnosis. Like a take-n-bake pizza. Oh, yeah, he has trouble paying attention alright. He’s been diagnosed. We know he has trouble paying attention because we told him what we wanted him to stop doing, and he didn’t stop doing it. Don’t spank him whatever you do.

To be filed away for the next time someone tells me “That’s not true!” Also, regretfully, for the next time someone tells me I should move to Texas…

Campsite Blogging

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Four thirty a.m., in the middle of nowhere. No bears sighted yet.


Drinking coffee, too.

Where there’s a will there’s a way.

Update: Note for file: Our mission of “Just a few last minute items on the way” was seriously impacted by a substandard provider of foodstuffs.

Observation: if the muzak being piped in is a steady diet of “crooner” songs…some loser begging his Jezebel to please not leave, please come back, baby, baby, begging you please…you’re in a crazy-cat-lady store. There’s no good selection of anything but candy, liquors, cigarettes and cat food.

Update 6/19/11: I shall not name the store. But I can give you the measurements of it, from my mental imprint: The meat department was all of 48″ wide, give or take…the pet food aisle was thirty or forty fucking goddamn feet long. The candy aisle was as long as the pet food aisle, but no marshmallows for shmores. That’s, you know, just too kid-friendly. No good for watching Jerry Maguire over and over again interspersed with Sex in the City reruns. Ice cream, though — yes they had ice cream. Hard liquors galore, and wine, wine, wine…for the whine, whine, whine.

Could’ve sworn there was a Raley’s in that neck of the woods. Had there been, it would have been a much quicker provisions-grabbing mission, with no need for a follow-up further down the road — and therefore, one hell of a lot cheaper.

Damn crazy cat ladies, with their crazy cat lady food stores.

I Have a Banker Named Weiner

Friday, June 17th, 2011

We had quite an interesting day yesterday. For a very long time now, everyone in my family has been putting all of our money into a certain bank. We just got word one of the officials at that bank resigned. A bank executive named “Weiner” who had lately become embroiled in a “sexting” scandal.

The salacious details to this are rather unimportant. Perhaps, if you’ve been following the news, you might’ve come across some happenings in a similarly large institution, and you could use that to sort of fill in the holes. All that is really worthy of mention amounts to this: It took a long time for this little drama to wind up, because it emerged that banker Weiner can’t or won’t manage a portfolio, his personal credit card debt, his sex drive, his household or for that matter anything else. The picture that emerges is one of a shallow, pugnacious little jackass, and it doesn’t reflect too terribly well on the bank, to wit: The degree of jackass-ery under discussion exceeds any little story you have to tell about your casually-jackass boss or neighbor. This bank allows for, and encourages, jackass-ery on a hitherto unknown scale.

That’s not a slam. It’s a reasonable conclusion to draw based on the events.

Last night we had a serious family-table conversation about what to do with our money. It came down to: Should we put more money into that bank, or less? Well, how long of a conversation do you think that was? How uncertain do you think we were about the final verdict?

Now I come to the point: As a practical matter, as far as the domestic issues are concerned, all this democrat-Republican arguing comes down to a question of whether to invest lesser or greater volumes of our income in the government. (As a philosophical matter it’s about God and the dignity of man; but as a practical matter it’s about the loot and where to put it.) I’d say “wealth” intead of income, but we really don’t have any wealth in this country anymore, and the policies are really about income anyway. When democrats clamor for higher taxes and Republicans balk at this, we’re arguing about — if we should turn over lots of money to the government are we digging our way out of the hole, or are we making it deeper.

To pretend it’s happening with a bank, changes the dynamics. At least with the democrats, it does. It shouldn’t, and I think they know it shouldn’t, but that’s the way it works.

Anyway. I really don’t like political scandals. My beef with them is not that they distract from the nation’s business, for I think the nation’s number one item of business is that we have trillions of dollars of our money being thrown around by fools and tools who have been selected according to a dazzling, stupefying, Weiner level of ignorance about what money is. Nor is my problem that the scandals lower the level of dignity and respect accorded to our Congress, since it seems whenever I have doubts that this dignity/respect should be as low as it is, it seems my doubts are consistently proven wrong — it continues to turn out we were giving them way too much of this respect. Along with our money.

My issue with scandals is that scandals lead to jokes. It’s unavoidable. And jokes tend to make it harder to remember an important thing: These jerks and jackwagons are taking our money and they’re giving it away to other jerks and jackwagons. Meanwhile, people who create products and services people can actually use, are asked to do more with less.

Sure the jerks-and-jackwagons get hit with “scandals” here & there, and every now & then the scandal takes one of ’em down. But let’s be honest: The scandals only drive someone out of office about half the time, and how bad the scandal is, or what it implies, doesn’t determine the outcome. Show me a hundred democrats who get into trouble with scandals, and I can show you ninety-nine jackasses who fared better at it than Congressman Weiner. Probably more than ninety-nine. The scandals are used as procedural maneuvers to remove people who’d stand in the way of this “give money away to other jackholes” process.

In fact, flip around the above. Show me a hundred Republicans who get into trouble with scandals and I can show you ninety-nine resignations from office. Probably more than that.

A democrat who has to resign because of a scandal, is rarer than a democrat unicorn. A democrat unicorn who has cyan and magenta stripes, whose fur is made of velveteen, with six legs, who not only thinks our taxes should be raised but also pays extra to the treasury. A democrat unicorn who not only insists “the rich” should help the less fortunate, but does it himself. And actually noticed the day Katie Couric resigned because he was really watching her. And Keith Olbermann too. And puts the little six-legged unicorns in the public schools he insists our own kids should be forced to attend.

Anyway, that’s the situation. A scandal actually took down a democrat. That’s your sign that the scandal got out of the “control” that is typically supposed to be part of all scandals; the wagons circled ’round, and it didn’t work.

And when scandals get out of control, you should be watching — for this reason and pretty much none other — because that means, for a short time, your government is transparent. Unintentionally so. It’s a good time to pay attention.

I’d bounce that one off your liberal friends, it’s a good ‘un if I do say so myself. Maybe save it for that McGovern-voting granduncle at the Thanksgiving table: What if it happened to a bank executive? Or a “hedge fund manager”? Or an oil company executive? Would this tell us something about where we should be putting our money? Why or why not? Well, with a member of Congress does it work any differently, does it reflect on the institution any more or any less? Why or why not?

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest, Washington Rebel and Right Wing News.

“The Sorry State of Liberal Compassion”

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Peter Heck, writing in The American Thinker.

For an even more personal view of the left’s true compassion, pay attention the next time you fill up your gas tank. You will inevitably encounter the same heartbreaking scene I recently did. Standing at the pump, a disheveled looking man in an old Chevy Cavalier pulled up next to me, looking at the balance ledger of his checkbook as he got out of his car. Shaking his head, he wrote a check, walked in, paid the cashier, returned, filled up, and left before I had finished filling my own tank. Out of curiosity, I glanced at his pump and saw he had only been able to pay $5…enough to buy him just over a gallon of gas.

Our leftist leadership can pretend that by telling us we are in an economic recovery, we will all be convinced that it’s true. But people aren’t going to judge our economy by proclamations and press releases. They will judge it by what they’re living. What happened to that man at the pump may be anecdotal, but real-life struggles like his are rippling throughout our economy and having devastating impacts not just on jobs, but on families.

While we sit on top of some of the world’s largest fuel supplies, our leftist leadership keeps telling us that there’s nothing we can do about the oil and gasoline situation. If you ever wanted to know what the left’s compassion really looked like, watch them continue lying about that as struggling Americans scrape up change to put a single gallon of gas in their car.

Remember, it is Barack Obama who implied he has no objections to $4 a gallon gasoline, as well as his energy secretary who has stated we should be paying double that amount. After all, they tell us, such high prices will push us to more fuel efficient vehicles. Here’s a newsflash to the president: that man at the gas pump next to me won’t be able to afford a hybrid anytime soon.

Hat tip to Terri.

We have become enshrouded by a progressive culture that seeks to define as “extremist” anything that would thwart or jeopardize the ultimate dominance of liberalism. If you think there’s something inherently phony about the left-wing agenda, or any part of that agenda, that is certainly enough to qualify as an extremist.

But the agenda has become a study in the art and science of claiming compassion for something, while simultaneously denying it the staples it needs to continue to live. How can that not be phony? Isn’t it a moderate position to take that there must be something duplicitous and fake about that? Wouldn’t it be more extremist to deny it?

Obama Blames Unemployment on ATMs

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

It’s old news to the blogger world, but from hanging around the automatic-transmission model, Facebook, which I call “The Hello Kitty of Blogging,” I see the word hasn’t gotten out beyond the periphery.

It’s the downside to having an interest in something; you lose track of what everybody else does & doesn’t know. Well, this one is important. So I think the proper decision is to reverse course & put ‘er up:

Blaming ATMs for unemployment demonstrates a short-sightedness that is beneath the President and belies his reputation among liberals as someone who is brilliant, intuitive, pragmatic, smart, and elegant in thought, word, and deed.

Instead, the ‘ATMs are to blame’ statement shows the President in a moment of profound economic unawareness on such a basic level that it is actually sad.

To the chagrin of the many Americans waiting for the President to put forth a bold jobs and economic growth plan, it also indicates that the nation’s chief executive seems to have given up thinking creatively on the economy:

“There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.”

It begs the question of whether or not the President is aware that the invention and dissemination of ATM technology is responsible for the creation of many other jobs that inevitably arise with the advent of technological advances like ATMs, kiosks, and other incredibly complex automated devices.

Prof. William Jacobson fills in the few blanks remaining about why this is such a bad thing to hear from the guy in charge:

This is a perfectly static view, which would have protected jobs in the buggy whip industry by preventing the creation and expansion of the auto industry; would have protected jobs at glass tube manufacturers against the advent of flat screen televisions; would have barred the creation of the cell phone industry because of all the jobs lost in the land line business, and so on and so on.

This is your modern union mentality at work, in which the preservation of the economic status quo takes priority over innovation and creation. Job losses in old industries make for good 30-second political ads, while the creation of new and more vibrant industries which create more jobs takes too long to explain on television.

He really, truly doesn’t understand. It’s frightening.

Frightening, and discouraging.

The problem is much bigger than Obama.

People whom Dr. Thomas Sowell has called “intellectuals,” by which he has defined (somewhere) as professionals whose vocations begin with ideas, and end with ideas as well, so that the strength of those ideas is never actually put to a meaningful test — implicitly claim to know things that are not known and cannot be known by people who actually produce things. And the people who produce things reply with…no, actually they don’t. They’re too busy. Producing things that actually work, or can be used to make other things actually work.

“Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.”G. K. Chesterton.

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest.

“That’s What’s So Cool About You, Barack”

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Barack Obama sent me an e-mail:

Morgan —

I’ve set aside time for four supporters like you to join me for dinner.

Most campaigns fill their dinner guest lists primarily with Washington lobbyists and special interests.

We didn’t get here doing that, and we’re not going to start now. We’re running a different kind of campaign…

I wrote back.

That’s what’s so cool about You, Barack. Can I call You Barack? An ordinary person who’s just sort-of-adequate, as opposed to sort-of-God like You, would have said “I’ve set aside some time to join supporters like you.” Missing that all-important word “me,” which You’ve managed to stick in to the very first sentence. Might have even lowered himself to tack on something self-denigrating and nauseating, like “as a small gesture just to say ‘thanks’,” or the classic “I figure it’s the very least I can do.”

It’s great to know You’re above all that! I feel so hopey and so changey!

Also, very thankful I got a job before You became President.

You know, it’s the little things. Maybe that seems unfair when you’re picking out isolated little things…but that is not what I’m doing here. In the words of Yoda, “this one long time have I watched.” And I have to ask: Who feels any kind of inspiration about something like this? Wouldn’t — shouldn’t — a big part of the thrill be that the President sees you as being worthy of this precious time slot?

Just a simple, single nod to the significance of the other person. This one always seems to leave that out. Instead, He signals like a traffic light: I have decided — nevermind the reasons why — to set aside time during which you are to approach the dais and genuflect. You are therefore temporarily allowed to cross this line. Your moment in the sun. Kiss the ring on my hand.

Whatever happened to class? To grace? I’m not asking that a lowly mortal from the worker-bee Freeberg clan be elevated to the saintly godliness of our elites. Just include the note or two about why I’m worth the trouble. Even if it’s only through my fortunate representation of a class much larger than myself. Such a justification must have been in there in the first place, right, or we wouldn’t be talking? So if it isn’t still there when it reaches me, it must’ve been removed. Why would that be?

Barack Obama writes onward, getting a little bit closer to this, but never quite reaching it:

We rely on everyday Americans giving whatever they can afford — and I want to spend time with a few of you.

You want to spend time with a few of us because…?

This is where ordinary radio talk show hosts say well-mannered things, the kind of things that make both sides bigger. After all, without people like you, there’s no reason to keep going on…all the rest of this is nothing.

Deities cannot say such things. All they can do is inconvenience themselves, setting aside a few minutes for the riff-raff. Not because of any feeling of necessity or even obligation. It’s almost like the whole set-aside is for nothing more than………amusement?

Looking for just one string of words from the demigod’s pen to refudiate this notion. Not seeing it. That doesn’t actually prove anything, of course. But it’s a very long time I’m going, reading a great many things from the man who published two autobiographies before the age of 45 — not seeing anything.

It’s like He doesn’t see them as supporters or any kind of constituency. Almost like they’re pets or something. What lucky pets; He’s decided to set aside a few minutes for some of them. For four of them.

Good thing I’m not coming. First question out of my mouth would be something like, now that I’m a close buddy of Barack Obama’s, can I see the bin Laden death photos? Or are those only for the really close friends. The ones in Congress. The fellow titans, whom He’s determined would be able to handle it.

The Truth About the Economy

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Robert Reich enlightens us:

Hat tip to Ed Darrell.

Seems to me we don’t need five or six dots for this lecture. We only need two: “The economy has been expanding, government should get its cut.”

All the talk about how much money the “rich” manage to take home, the rhetoric about “fighting over scraps” — let’s be honest, that’s just motivation. All that’s missing from your pathetic wretched lives, will materialize on your front doorstep the morning after you give us exactly what we want.

There is yet another dot — the other dots depend completely on this dot that was left unmentioned: A more progressive tax structure, plus more out-of-control government spending, will result in a more fluid movement of all this money throughout the economic strata. In other words, the money will be naturally redistributed because the government is taking more of it. Reich doesn’t come out and say this. But if it isn’t true — in fact, if it is even called somewhat into doubt — then his entire recommendation falls flat.

In fact, this entire school of thought only makes sense if there is a willing effort to forget what an “economy” is. What exactly is this thing we’re trying to revive, according to Move On Dot Org?

Update: Alan Reynolds has a red dot.

“Uncle Tims”

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

I’ve been noticing for awhile now that before the Weiner scandal goes away, there’s a looming threat that it might undergo a metamorphosis and turn into something actually worth discussing. Then I’d have to make a decision about whether or not to write it up.

That became a reality on Saturday when the New York Times explored the question of why women don’t get into sex scandals as often as their male counterparts. The author seeks to draw a gender line, and I don’t object to this. There does seem to be a consistent statistical dominance in these stories that come out. But what really caught my eye was the fleshing out of the characteristics involved, particularly this passage:

Research points to a substantial gender gap in the way women and men approach running for office. Women have different reasons for running, are more reluctant to do so and, because there are so few of them in politics, are acutely aware of the scrutiny they draw — all of which seems to lead to differences in the way they handle their jobs once elected.

“The shorthand of it is that women run for office to do something, and men run for office to be somebody,” said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. “Women run because there is some public issue that they care about, some change they want to make, some issue that is a priority for them, and men tend to run for office because they see this as a career path.”

Hmmmmm…yes, the gender lines do break down in isolated little pockets we could argue about interminably. I think Paul Ryan is in public service because of an issue that has captured his passion, he’s a dude. I think Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama like to be in the limelight, and they’re chicks. But these are exceptions that prove the rule.

At this point, I’d run off onto a tangent…or rather, maybe the story is running off on a tangent compared to where I’d take it. Since the observation is statistically valid and almost certainly provable, but it’s loaded with all these bothersome gender exceptions, I’d be more interested in the missing-middle aspect of it. You can carve through the House of Representatives, all 435 members, and I daresay you could neatly categorize all 435 as one or the other with little or no lingering doubt about anybody. Congressman A: Fix something. Congressman B: Wants to be famous. Fix, famous, fix, famous. All the way down the line until you reach the end.

Regarding the gender differential, in 2011 I think this is why we’re frustrated with our presidential candidates, although nobody will admit it. There seems to be a nationwide hunger for an exception to this rule that is somehow perfect: A man who wants to fix things. In the entire line-up, I perceive that the only exception to the above rule is Pawlenty. More exceptions are desired. To say anything further about the election next year is to betray my chosen subject matter, so I’ll stop that thought. There’s something else that merits discussion.

Via Althouse (hat tip to Instapundit), I see there’s a doubling-down in the department of “okay to say one sex is superior to the other as long as you’re saying women are better.”

Hold on to your butts. This is sweet, syrupy, sappy and sick:

Why is it that men so often self-destruct? In the political world, Weiner joins Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Edwards as hypocritic slimeballs who let their pants set their personal policy.

But it’s not just politics. Todd Thomson, young, married, chief financial officer at Citigroup Inc., was embroiled in a scandal a few years ago with money honey Maria Bartiromo of CNBC. Her career survived. His didn’t.

There’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund, who’s accused of sexual assault. There’s James McDermott, who was CEO of Keefe Bruyette & Woods until a dalliance with a porn star named Marylyn Star embarrassed him out of the company.

We men just make bad decisions. We can’t help it. We’re men.

Women, on the other hand, do almost everything better. We’ve known this intuitively for a long time. If you didn’t, just ask your wife or your mother. But now there’s a raft of evidence that suggests women are better at everything — including investing.

A new study by Barclays Capital and Ledbury Research found that women were more likely to make money in the market, mostly because they didn’t take as many risks. They bought and held. Women trade this way because they aren’t as confident — or perhaps as overconfident — as men, the study found.
A new body of evidence is emerging that shows women are better at just about everything — or, as Dan Abrams has titled his new book, “Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.”

As Abrams notes, women are better soldiers because they complain about pain less. They’re less likely to be hit by lightning because they’re not stupid enough to stand outside in a storm. They remember words and faces better. They’re better spies because they’re better at getting people to talk candidly. [emphasis mine]

Question: If we’re going to pronounce that this train of thought, right or wrong, should be believed and acted-upon because it is fashionable and trendy — and it most certainly is — what sort of women would we then want to place in positions of power?

We’re settling on women because we want people who can make things actually work, right? So what kind of family lives should these favored women have, I wonder.

Well, we were clued in to the female superiority because of the self-destruction of Congressman Weiner, so we’re already using the functionality of the family unit as a litmus test. I simply propose we should move in a consistent direction on this. Marriage is tough; women who can make it work, go to the front of the line. I shouldn’t even have to suggest that, right?

Why, then, does it seem the star status — the “magical woodland fairy we want to be fixing everything” power — falls consistently on the harpy who drives the hubby out the door? I saw a Facebook update from Breitbart a few weeks ago as a certain other powerful family man went supernova: “Maria Kennedy Shriver for Sec’y of State.” Ingenious, even if you do have to stop and think about it for a moment.

What lesson to take away from this? Very little we didn’t already know. There is a prevailing wisdom from about the early 1970’s, maybe late 1960’s, that says women and men are exactly the same in every way — unless you want to say women are better than men, and then that is okay too, you are allowed to distinguish and differentiate.

The less obvious lesson is: We, as a modern culture, like to delude ourselves into thinking we’re searching for effective and productive people when we really aren’t. What other qualifications does Hillary Clinton have for being Secretary of State anyway, besides her husband cheating on her? I’ve heard a lot about her “experience in the White House” — how many hundreds or thousands of people in the DC area can say as much, or more? Is her character to be defended with the excuse that it was Bill’s error and not hers, therefore her only transgression was to choose her man foolishly, or with overly pragmatic motives? Okay, sure I’ll buy that. But it certainly isn’t a qualification for a cabinet level position, or for any office in which one is to make better-than-average choices. Would you say it’s a good idea for her to choose Chelsea’s husband? How about your own daughter’s? If not, then why would we want her deciding something for the State department? And where are the teeming hordes of female allies of Hillary being elevated to similarly high offices, who are still married to their first husbands, families intact and with the soap-opera drama turned down low?

Families, by and large, are an either-or proposition. They either work or they don’t. That idea isn’t so popular; many will argue with it, because we’ve been taught a lot to the contrary. Everybody’s family is flawed, quirky, filled with infighting but ultimately lovable. I’ll go along with the strange relatives, it does seem everyone’s got at least one. But when it comes to belief in the family unit, you either have it or you don’t. The philandering husband begging to be taken back & given just one more chance, has become a cartoon caricature. Good manners in our evolving society dictate that if Congressman Weiner’s wife wants to continue with the charade, the rest of us are obliged to persist in a larger “wingman” game of make-believe.

But deep down, we know dysfunctional is dysfunctional. So I say: If we’re going to choose competence by stereotypes, let’s make the stereotypes sensible. The philanderer’s behavior is not the fault of the cuckolded wife; the statistics show the females are more productive and show better judgment than the males at some things; those two factors, even added together, don’t do anything to enhance a resume. They certainly don’t qualify a woman for high public office, if she as an individual person has accomplished little or nothing else.

Now back to this regrettable trend that seems to be shaping up. The title of the book described above captures it rather nicely, I think: “Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.” Oh, my. What a coffee-table conversation starter. Prof. Reynolds has an awesome proposed-nickname for these men who bash men to please women: “Uncle Tims.”

What sort of person buys a book like this? A mother, with one or more sons, perhaps? Would any of these sons be taking longer than the average, I wonder, to seek out & find a sense of direction in life, a purpose? Would this lad be requiring medication so he can pay attention in class? Just asking the question, here; wondering how many cases would fall into the criteria I set down. Tens of thousands? Millions? Tens of millions maybe?

There starts to be a jeopardy-of-human-potential issue here, on quite a large scale.

Many will reflexively deny it — without any information — just because. Others might toss a joke at it, which the rest of us are required to take “good-naturedly,” something to the effect of “what human potential would that be Freeberg, they’re just boys and weren’t going to accomplish much anyway.” But to those with the maturity that is needed to evaluate the question in a rational way, I’ll just sign off with: This doesn’t seem quite so cool and hip anymore, now does it?

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest.


Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I’ve reached a point where I’m less concerned about learning new words and more concerned with jettisoning old ones.

There are certain words I can no longer stand to hear, because I’ve made the observation that when someone is using any one of these words, that person is engaged in an act of deceit.

All husbands who’ve been through “counseling” will understand why I’ve made the decision to add “dialogue” to this list. I’ve been hearing this word slip over the tongues of dishonest people in recent years. Proving some kind of deceptive intent on their part has become a formality and nothing more. The word itself is an intent to deceive; dialogue no longer means dialogue.

We as a society have slowly come around to the idea — without admitting it — that a dialogue is a cyclical process. That’s because, of the two sides of the dialogue, contrary to the intended implication, one side is to be a great deal more powerful than the other. And so the overall vessel embarks upon endless orbits, like a golf cart or a Segway with wheels of unequal size — going nowhere.

My objection is to the implication that two parties are to be placed on some level plane of equality. That’s the crock. “Dialogue” means the party calling the dialogue wants to engage in endless, counterproductive, circuitous bitching. A perimeter is to be thrown down upon the matters to be discussed; nobody can venture out of the perimeter, not for too long. The perimeter is about as big as the cross section of a rake handle.

A dialogue has key components:

1. A large group that is to be committed to the dialogue (n people, where n is at least 2);
2. A smaller group instigating the dialogue, whose interests are to be served by it (1 to n-1 people);
3. A hair-splitting statement of the form “Nobody is saying A, but…B”
4. “B” is something like “we need to talk this out” — to have the dialogue;
5. “A” is something that, although people disclaim it audibly, they do indeed believe in it damn good & well, or they wouldn’t want to have the dialogue;
6. A constrained and tightly controlled perimeter of issues to be discussed. Nobody is allowed to meander outside of this for any reason, lest they be accused of abandoning the dialogue.
7. An end. Oh no, scratch that…the dialogue goes on forever and ever and ever. It’s a bitch pitch. Who’d ever want to call an end to a bitch pitch, when they’re the ones who get to do the bitching?

There is an implication that the dialogue is mission-based, that it exists as a diligent, principled effort to unearth some particular datum, to extract from the shadows some long-hidden desire, thrust it into the limelight, and satisfy it. This is never actually done, of course. The dialogue can best be thought of as a moment in which all of the attention in a very large group, is fixated upon the desires, concerns and emotional state of a single person, or smaller group, within. Nothing is actually settled and very little is actually discussed. As the other parties eventually lose interest and/or move on to other things they need to be thinking about, there will be a call for “recharging” or “renewing the dialogue” or a complaint that “we’ve lost track of the dialogue.”

I’m all done dealing with this word. It has been abused to the point of complete uselessness.

Until there’s a fundamental change to the situations in which it is used, in my book it’s a sham. It has nothing to do with the spirit of a real exchange of thoughts & feelings among equals. If that ever changes, give me a call. Meanwhile, I’m done.

“We’re Not on the Road to Recovery”

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Steyn’s wonderful writing appears in National Review Online:

“There are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery,” President Obama said at a Jeep plant in Toledo the other day. “We’re going to pass through some rough terrain that even a Wrangler would have a tough time with.’’ His audience booed. They’re un-fire-able union members with lavish benefits, and even they weary of the glib lines from his twelve-year-old speechwriters.

We’re not on the road to recovery. You can’t get there from here, as they say. Obama was in Toledo to “celebrate” the sale of the government’s remaining stake in Chrysler to Fiat. That’s “Fiat” as in the Italian car manufacturer rather than “an authoritative or arbitrary decree (from the Latin ‘let it be done’),” which would be almost too perfect a name for an Obamafied automobile. The Treasury crowed that Fiat had agreed to pay a whopping $560 million for the government’s Chrysler shares.

Wow! 560 million smackeroos! If you laid them out end to end, they’re equivalent to what the federal government borrows every three hours. That’s some windfall! In the time it takes to fly Obama to Toledo to boast about it, he’d already blown through the Italians’ check. But who knows? If every business in the U.S. were to be nationalized and sold to foreigners to cover another three hours’ worth of debt, this summer’s “Recovery Summer” would be going even more gangbusters.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Don Surber seems to suggest nobody’s lost — wherever our road take us, is a place where Obama really wants us to go. And he recalls Bing Crosby traveling a similar road:

“My Name is Morgan Freeberg and I’m a Sarah Palin Fan”

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

My name is Morgan K. Freeberg and I’m a blogger.

Hi, Morgan!

Also — as of today — I am going back to being a Sarah Palin fan. Today concludes an experiment I have been doing. More on that below.

Sarah PalinI’m the founder, CEO, chief fry cook & bottle-washer at House of Eratosthenes, colloquially known as The Blog That Nobody Reads. There is a reason why we have named ourselves after a guy who lived twenty-two centuries ago; it has to do with a measurement produced by that ancient, accurately stating the circumference of the Earth.

Now, you know how liberal college professors like to say something like “we don’t teach ’em what to think here, we teach ’em how to think?” And then it turns out to be a load of crap, of course. Well, our name is all about borrowing a page from that book. See, to live two centuries before Christ and conduct such an exercise without the benefit of space ships or satellites or really long tape measures or really tall ladders, you can’t be thinking just any ol’ way.

But if you think the right way, you can accomplish some amazing, mind-boggling things. Even without the space ships, satellites, tape measures or ladders.

Today, we live with some powerful influences that dissuade us from thinking in this productive way; and, because of this, meaningful achievements are beyond our reach as a society, beyond even our vision of what might be possible, that ought to be well within our grasp. I believe in this matter regarding the former Governor of Alaska, our situation is roughly akin to a man struggling to recover a grasp on the edge of a cliff as he dangles over an abyss, rejecting the efforts of one rescuer, frantically searching for some other who has yet to materialize. It’s as if he’s saying “no, I don’t want some pretty woman rescuing me, I’d rather fall.”

Many’s the time I’ve heard a Palin hater say “I don’t have a better candidate in mind, but I’m hoping one will emerge.”

Their thinking is that she will screw this whole thing up. Nominate Palin, they say, and it’s four more years of Obama — guaranteed. This is because she’s some kind of a “lightweight.” Well, how do we know she’s a lightweight? And here is where the thinking falls apart; this is where it is shown to be a different brand of thinking, than that which can figure out the size of the Earth two centuries BC. We know she’s a lightweight because…we just do. Because that’s what everybody says. Bandwagon fallacy all the way down the line. Also: These stories just keep coming out over and over again. Bad decisions that she made. Television interviews handled ineptly. Things she doesn’t know about world history.

It’s only when you

1) Dig down into the details of the stories as they come out, and
2) Activate and maintain your long-term memory, remembering what really happened

…that you can make the determination: Just about everything that suggests it’s beyond Sarah Palin’s ability to handle something, is a crock, or is based on something that is a crock. I say “just about” because, like anybody else, Palin does have some fails. However, I have noticed a great majority of these fails have occurred within those very few weeks that she was a VP candidate, within a campaign that was not handled by her. In fact, that campaign was handled by people who weren’t fond of her. See, again: details. If they change the situation, then it’s worth knowing what they are.

People who hate Sarah Palin, or think she’s likely to fail, don’t know her. They’re ignorant. I don’t mean that as an insult, I mean it as a neutral observation of fact. I ask them if they’ve read any of her books, which are not priced out of the market; in this Age of Amazon, they are readily available and can be had for a song. The answer always comes back toward the negative, and furthermore, they haven’t taken the opportunity to hear her side of the story about anything. I quote them things from her books, and for this, they make fun of me. That’s their response to everything, to make fun. And at that point, I have to ask: Does it even matter what facts they do have & don’t have, if they think like lunatics?

We live in a universe that is logical, which means you can measure the size of planets by peeking into water wells. It is a truly amazing universe. But it doesn’t permit you to know anything worth knowing, if you think in a diseased way with the “I laugh at it, it therefore becomes untrue” technique. In this universe, you have to think like a responsible grown-up before you can know anything.

In keeping with that, though, one week ago I recognized that I need to live up to my own hype. That meant conducting some honest experiments, evaluating the strength of positions I didn’t find palatable, and it also meant being receptive to the outcome, whatever it might be. The Palin haters have all these arguments to present about her various deficiencies that have to do with — that rely completely upon — third parties. These people won’t approve of you if you like Palin. Those people over there will be convinced you’re as stupid as she is, if you support her. She will lose the election. If she is nominated no one will show up to vote and Obama will get a second term.

Nobody seems to be able to find something wrong with her, it seems, without speaking out in proxy for somebody else.

So I decided to put it to a test. Does liking Palin have an effect on what others think? Can I win some new friends, maybe, by renouncing Palin and making it known that I am open to another candidate?

Therefore, I put up a post last weekend declaring that I am no longer a Palin fan. I linked to it on Facebook, so that people there would know I am now a reasonable, intellectual, respectable human being who doesn’t like Sarah Palin. On June 4 I joined the swelled ranks of people who don’t have the slightest clue who the nominee should be, but gosh darn it it can’t be her! Judging by how much talking they do and how loud they are, it seems to be a big group.

Also, I put together a list of requirements of what we are looking for, for this candidate who is more acceptable than the Governor. I came up with twenty-five. It ended up being a very silly list, because I based it on these various complaints I’ve been hearing that supposedly make her unacceptable. Requirement Number One is that the “good candidate” should be a man, or a woman who is very ugly. Obviously, pretty women, for some reason that I have yet to understand, are absolutely unacceptable.

Today ends the experiment. I am ready to announce the results.

Number of new friends: ZERO.

Number of honest compliments I have received, for seeing the light that Palin is unacceptable: ZERO.

Number of new additions that have been recommended for my silly list of candidate requirements: ZERO.

Number of corrections I have received for silly requirements on my silly list that shouldn’t be there: ZERO.

Number of likes on my Facebook posting: ONE…not from a Palin hater, but from a Palin fan, who I suspect saw the irony of what I was doing. So I guess that wouldn’t count.

Number of friends I expect to lose by liking Sarah Palin again: ZERO. Hey, I try to think like Eratosthenes, but I’m still human. We all like to see the world through rose-colored glasses.

Conclusion to my experiment? I wouldn’t be able to avoid this even if I wanted to: Palin haters don’t care about the Republicans nominating a “better candidate” who would “stand a better chance” or who might be missing “all this baggage.” They don’t care about any of that; it’s all a smoke screen. They don’t have any new ideas to offer here and they won’t have any.

They are a bunch of bitter scolds. Nothing more. They just like to bitch and complain. Probably because of what Palin reminds us of, every time we think about her. They find all that stuff unpleasing so they make fun of it, in hopes that it goes away. It is no more complicated than that.

I suspected that much before. Now that I have taken my one-week sabbatical from being a Palin fan, I know for sure.

I know for sure because I thought like Eratosthenes. Now I will grant you that this it outside of my field of expertise; a professional software engineer in Sacramento really doesn’t have any business trying to figure out who does & doesn’t have a chance in a presidential election. But then again, a library administrator in Alexandria doesn’t have any business figuring out the size of the Earth.

I don’t perceive things to form opinions that will win me friends. No responsible thinking adult does; not with the questions that really matter. It’s got to do with how you think when you gamble the first of your million dollars, versus how you do your thinking as you gamble with your last dollar. Well, even if you do like to think with bandwagon fallacy, like you have a million bets you can afford to lose, and form your inferences to make friends — guess what? You can’t make friends this way. I’m not speculating on this. I gave it a more than fair try. Someone get the word to the Republican delegates?

My name is Morgan K. Freeberg and I’m a Palin fan.

And yes, as a matter of fact, I am serious, and I do know what I’m doing. I know that much very well, thank you. I made sure.

Cross-posted at Brutally Honest, Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.

I Love SNUL!

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Especially this time of year. I suppose a good blogger wouldn’t say such a thing. But when the weather gets nice out and there’s a smell of coconut oil mixed with bug repellant mixed with human sweat mixed with pool water, and the site traffic just completely plummets into the depths and the blog goes into suspended animation, I just think “Yeah, baby…this is what it’s all about.” I couldn’t give a rip if people stop by to read The Blog That Nobody Reads. If people are going out and having fun with their kids and grandkids, maybe even getting some scraped knees and elbows and blisters on their hands, it’s all good in my world.

Think of it as my right-wing “bitter clinger” version of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. Get up off your asses, quit reading blogs and go have fun with your kids!

Artwork by blogger friend Phil, who’s going to be a stranger to the keyboard in the near future. And that’s a good thing. Not that we look forward to his absences or anything…it’s just…you know. Stand in front of your full-length mirror in your underwear sometime and tell me what you’re built to do. Sitting in front of a computer on your ass? Eh, not even close. You’re built to run, to breathe, to give your ol’ ticker a workout and to sunbathe. And if my humble blog is scoring zero hits in a week, that’s just fine I’m happy as a clam.

Have fun with the family, and maybe post some pics if you feel so inclined. I’d like that.

SNUL, by the way, is our invention…Phil is just doing us a favor and paying us a compliment, with his considerable graphic talents. The acronym was first mentioned over here.

Now get out there and SNUL your balls off, fellow bloggers. Or until your nipples pop out, as the case may be. Sunscreen. Bug repellant. Sweat. Pictures. Family, sweat, pool water, charcoal, and most important make sure you bring back some stories to tell. And get the hell away from the keyboard! It’s a weekend, what in the world is the matter with you??

The Crash of 1993

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Jonathan V. Last writes at The Weekly Standard about what happened to the comic book industry twenty years ago. It is the anatomy of a mostly typical economic bubble:

The comic-book bubble was the result not of a single mania, but of a confluence of events. Speculation was part of the story. Price gains for the high-value comics throughout the 1980s attracted speculators, who pushed the prices up further. At the retail level, the possibility that each new issue might someday sell for thousands of dollars drove both the sale of new comics and the market for back-issue comics. It was not uncommon for a comic book to sell at its cover price (generally 60 cents or $1) the month it was released and then appreciate to $10 or $15 a few months later.

But the principal cause of the bubble was the industry’s distribution system. Comic books are created and released by publishing houses. There are two giants (Marvel and DC) and then a raft of much smaller independents, which come and go with great frequency. All of the publishing houses left the task of physically getting comics from the printing presses to the retailers to a group of middlemen—the distribution companies.

These distribution companies determined who could and couldn’t sell comic books. They imposed requirements on retailers, demanding that they demonstrate financial reserves and guarantee certain numbers of orders each month. The reason comics were so slow to migrate from newsstands and five-and-dimes to dedicated comic book shops (a process that took nearly 50 years) is that it was hard for these small start-ups to muster the resources needed to secure distribution. These hurdles are why, in 1979, there were only about 800 comic-book shops in the entire world.

Looks like I’m one of the speculators. I never thought of myself that way, I thought I was a collector. The three big cartons downstairs, which total maybe something around a hundred pounds, begin with the John Byrne reboot of the Superman storyline which was part of the same thing happening to the entire DC universe. That was in 1986…the carton chronicle stumbles and creeps forward in time, past the famous “Death of Superman” storyline. Those particular issues were set aside someplace special where I’d never lose ’em…which I did…grrrrr…

And then they peter out in 1997, when I became a Dad. Couldn’t do any more collecting/speculating. Once the boy was old enough to appreciate my collection, well, he didn’t. So they sit. Big, bulky, Death-of-Superman-less. I have contributed to the bubble and I didn’t even come out on top. It sure didn’t feel like it at the time, but with the wisdom of hindsight, I see what I was doing was participating in something that happened to be talked about by everybody at the time. Highly unusual for me. The lesson shows it to be a good thing that I don’t do it much.

Hat tip to Professor Mondo.

The Environment is Too Important to be Left to Environmentalists

Friday, June 10th, 2011

“John” at Power Line:

The thing about this photo is that the dumbest element isn’t the misspelling. It is the silly idea that “corporate greed” is “destroying the planet.” Corporations aren’t greedy. They have a legal duty to try to make money for their shareholders, and they do so in a wide variety of legal ways. I don’t know how, specifically, this particular dim bulb thinks “corporations,” which is to say all of us, are destroying the planet, but I suppose it involves drilling for petroleum so we can drive cars rather than riding in horse-drawn buggies, or mining coal so that when we flip a switch in our home or office, a light will go on.

I second something that Steve Hayward wrote this morning:

The environment is much too important to be left to environmentalists. They’ll just make an even bigger mess of everything, like they have on climate change.

That is exactly right. These people aren’t smarter than the rest of us, they are dumber.

The Chase

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Hat tip to Kate at Small Dead Animals.

Fair disclosure: I am on this company’s payroll. I’d still embed the clip if I wasn’t, though, because it’s pretty cool.

Alamo Drafthouse

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Don’t go there, now…because if you do, they won’t let you text anybody on your cell phone. And, of course, you won’t be seeing anybody else doing that. Which might be more than you can handle, y’know?

(Language not fit for a mixed audience.)

When Are You Going to Tax Me More?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Surreal…it plays out like parody.

Seriously. If you told me it came straight off Saturday Night Live, the only thing missing would be some suppressed giggling at the end. Everything else is there and it fits like a hand in a glove. But no, it isn’t parody, it’s real.

From Allahpundit, who once again provides the link to the spot where these people can pay some extra taxes. Every single nickel they want to, any time they choose.

Has it been, perhaps, a little too easy to become a millionaire? Have we got people rolling in cash who are too stupid to click open a link on the web and fill out an online form? I really don’t know the answer to that…but I do know one thing: We’ve got a lot of millionaires in this country who think the rest of us are complete idiots.

Congressman Demands Inquiry Into Palin’s Park Visits

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Doug Brady, Conservatives4Palin:

This isn’t quite as funny as Politico’s story last week in which reporters blamed Governor Palin for their eccentric bathroom habits, but it’s pretty close:

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wrote on Tuesday to National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis regarding “serious concerns about the use of federal resources in conjunction with the ‘One Nation’” bus tour.

“Many of the press accounts of stops included in this tour, which provided personal and political benefits to former Gov. Palin, suggest that National Park Service resources were made available to an extent beyond that which an average American family would receive,” Blumenauer wrote.

He cited media reports of Palin and her family receiving a private guided tour of Mount Vernon, early admission to the National Archives and a 10-person escort involving park rangers and New York City police officers at the Statue of Liberty.

Wow, this Congressman really ought to be pissed that his colleague went to tour the Statue of Liberty crown:

Speaking of colleagues, I wonder what the democrat leadership in the House thinks about this. They all care about protecting the public purse, don’t they? How come it’s up to this guy whose name is new to so many of us?

I think I can answer that question: This inquiry is extremely hazardous. Rememer what Mom said, you point a finger at someone, three fingers curl back around and point at you. National Park rangers are doing their jobs. The celebrity status Sarah Palin has — argue however you will about whether she should have it or not, but she has it — demands some extra time out of them. Her name is easily recognized and she can’t do anything about that. So the park rangers have to put in some extra time and therein lies the scandal…

…but then, they have to put in the time responding to the Congressman’s questions. And then talking to the press about it. And then the people working in Congressman Blumenauer’s office need to work on the letter. And then they need to talk to the press about that. This is supposed to be about excessive expenditure of federal resources, in terms of time put in. The result is, well…silliness. You have to be rabidly biased or just plain stupid, or both, to take this inquiry seriously.

It’s about making sure Palin enjoys no access to the National Parks beyond what an ordinary citizen would so enjoy? Well, it cuts both ways: Can’t keep her out just because she’s Sarah Palin.

Nobody with a reputation or name worthy of preservation or defense would so inquire. And that is why it falls to the Blumenauer guy. It’s a trial balloon. “You make this demand, and if it goes over like a pregnant high jumper, you own it. But if it actually works, it’ll be a great feather to stick in your cap, there, Earl.”

This is why these people shouldn’t manage anything. Even at the most basic and fundamental so-called principles upon which they want decisions made, nevermind the decisions themselves — they’re complete liars. Equal access to the parks? Equal everything! Hey, we’re all equal equal equal. But what are we looking for as we enforce this equality: These people over here are geniuses and wise and sensitive and should be able to dictate every little nuanced detail of every little thing…you can’t criticize them or think badly of them even when they’re caught texting pictures of their genitals and then lying about it…Those people over there are thick and stupid and should not have any influence on anything.

They do the discriminating they supposedly don’t allow anybody else to do. They discriminate against huge, giant segments of the American populace, in a single stroke, thoughtlessly. Best example lately: Palin herself is “unqualified” to run for President. Not “going to lose”; but, don’t even enter her in. And why, exactly? Annoying voice, certain unnamed other people don’t like her, and she’s from Alaska. Know what? Lots of people live in Alaska. Your certain unnamed other people seem to be crabby, perpetually aggrieved, foppish snots who can manage to drum up some dislike against all sorts & classes of their fellow citizens, over entirely inconsequential things…and nobody sounds as good as they themselves think they do. How many other states are to be geographically disqualified from offering their favorite sons or daughters for nomination to the presidency? Ten? Twenty, maybe? Which states are those?

These people do not want a level playing field. It is the biggest lie, I daresay, in the entire history of American politics.

The Ten-Word Question That Could Cost Obama the Election

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Nate Silver, Five Thirty-Eight:

If there is a credible case to be made that the economy is getting better — when coupled with what is likely to be a strong case on foreign policy — then Mr. Obama is likely to be given the benefit of the doubt by voters. But if you instead see the White House spending more of its time blaming Mr. Bush for the state of the economy, that’s a sign that they’re afraid of Mr. Reagan’s question — and may have reached a stage where they’re the underdogs in the race.

The situation is unique, contrasted with previous elections, in that President Obama possesses an unusual ability to avoid blame for His incompetence. Silver backs this up with good data, and good readable graphics built on top of the data. The election, therefore, will turn not on Obama’s ability to turn the economy around, but on His ability to make the electorate forget that He can’t and won’t turn the economy around.

Now the second of those two abilities, will that remain potent and vibrant as the country is dragged through the campaign season? There’s your question. Is Obama so charming, so personable, so likable, so hopey and changey that He can make a meaningful segment of the voting public forget Reagan’s question:

The smart money says yes. Obama’s ability to distract from clear-headed evaluations of His own dismal performance, remains considerable. The problem is, though, the smart money is evaluating this ability of Obama’s based on history up to this point in time. There must be something about Him, and we don’t have to explain or critique what exactly that thing is — it’s always been there, therefore it will always be there. The idea that Obama can survive a critical evaluation of His fitness for a second term, is based entirely on this idea, that He can count on some unexplained factor that, although it defies explanation, is somehow guaranteed to never go away or even to recede.

I would not feel comfortable relying on this. For one thing, we have another year, to seventeen months, of fatigue setting in before America renders its verdict. For another thing, America will know this is the last shot she will have at expressing an opinion for an additional forty-eight months. Those who are still looking for work at that time, will be voting on their prospects of trying to find a job in an Obama economy. Those who are running a business at that time will be voting on the opportunities they find available to them, as they try to sell things in an Obama economy.

The rest of us will be voting on our satisfaction as we shop for milk and gas.

One final point to be made: At the time Reagan asked his late-hour (last week in October) question, he was not favored to win. Had he not asked the question, he probably would have lost.

As it is, it was a thorough ass-reaming.

Draw your own conclusions. I’ve drawn mine. The last homeless guy you met on the street, could probably win the 2012 election against Barack Obama.

CDC Obfuscates Data to Support Gun Control

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Pajamas Media:

The CDC has long supported gun control. Researcher David Kopel wrote about CDC’s history of funding anti-gun research:

Finally, in 1996, Congress cut off gun control funding for the CDC — mainly because the NRA demonstrated to legislators the CDC was buying political misinformation rather than science.

Since then, they’ve attempted to reframe their agenda into “gun safety.” In the early 2000s, the CDC performed national gun ownership surveys. The survey’s codebook had interviewers asking people if firearms in the home were loaded and locked. The assumption was that a loaded, ready firearm was dangerous.

But CDC fatal injury data show that right-to-carry (RTC) states — where law-abiding civilians carry loaded handguns in public — averaged 16.3% lower homicide rates than restrictive-carry states.

More interesting, CDC data show that between 2000 and 2007, black homicide rates averaged 24.9% less in RTC states. Considering that American gun control policy historically coincides with racist oppression, this data indicate modern gun control is a questionable policy.

Too Big To Succeed

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Big banks are organizationally designed to do stupid things.

You frequently hear Dave Ramsey urge his listeners not to deal with big banks–not because they’re malicious, but because they step over their own feet. They’re so big that everything is controlled by bureaucratic rules; finding someone who can make a decision, no matter how sensible, is almost impossible.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

The Meaning of Success

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Remember our last democrat president and the meaning of “is”?

Well, the current one is supposed to be super-duper sharp, borderline magical, “Sort of God.” So isn’t it a bit strange we have to have a meaning-of-is deliberation….every time He gets to work on something….about the meaning of success? Why do we have to continually lower the ladder so Sort-of-God can manage to climb onto it?

It brings to mind that only-decent-line from that consistently bottom-ranked Star Trek movie: “What does God want with a starship?”

How many times can the Obama administration claim success for something only to find out later that it all depends on what your definition of “success” is. Let’s take a look at a few examples, shall we? Now do a bit of extra work here and click on some of these links to get the full story on what a complete fraud our Dear Ruler is.

Barack Obama does have talent, and our country did say it wanted His talent. Trouble is, it is only now starting to figure out what this talent is: The ability to sell things buyers should not be buying. Bundled in with this gift, is the ability to spin. The Obama administration sets its sites on a problem and goes about solving it…by means of doing, oh, whatever. Somebody who knows Barack Obama is going to get rich out of the deal in some way…and then the results get spun. That is Barack Obama’s personal strength. He can make things look like whatever He wants them to look like.

It is, to mix up my science-fiction movie metaphors — a Jedi Mind Trick That Only Works on the Weak-Minded.

That’s what we bought. That was the contract. That is who He is. You want to sell something to someone else, by means of concealing some piece of information that would stop the sale cold in its tracks if the other party ever found out about it & thought on it awhile…Barack Obama is your guy. No question about it. Nobody does it better.

But if you’re the buyer, not so much.

Well, the country is the buyer. Every election it has to figure out what to buy & what not to buy.

Ad producers who work for the Republicans in 2012…are you reading any of this? Is it getting through?

Message From Nikki

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

From the Hello Kitty of Blogging.


Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Spooky. I loathe and distrust reality teevee shows in all forms, and I know people behave differently with a camera around…but it’s really something how these termagants act just like some of the “ladies” with whom I consorted in my unwise youth. I was a “computer guy,” running a little lean in the social connections and people-networking thing…looking back, it’s clear I had much more to offer in one place than in another. So, like a lot of young men finding their way in a post-feminist landscape littered with human wreckage, I spun through a certain sad story over and over again, while the more ditzy among my few acquaintances would coo meaningless platitudes at me like “all women aren’t like that.”

Well, no fucking shit all women aren’t like that. But what do we, as a society, do to make sure a lot fewer women are like that year by year? That’s the real question. And the answer is: Not a whole hell of a lot. Boys are taught to do things right, make things better when you leave them than when you found ’em — or else get the hell out of the way. You’re doing it wrong, here I’ll do it.

Girl's WorldI was shopping in Wal Mart one time, and — oh yes, so many fine stories begin this way. Anyway, I heard this “whump!” like someone whacked a cardboard box. And I realized what happened. Some white-trash small-m mom was out shopping with her whelps, and some desired piece of inventory was missing a price sticker on it…so she sent one of the whelps to scan it at one of those kiosks. It became necessary to whump the item from him — snatch it from him — when he didn’t get the designated task done on time. He was probably trying to figure out what she was talking about. Somehow, this aggravates small-m moms, the male whelp trying to figure things out. Once rhythm is disrupted, it’s like a music number at a really important festivity was botched or something…a note was a quarter-second late, and the world has ended. It just riles ’em up. Like waving red cloth in front of a bull. Forget the Momma Grizzly protecting her cubs; this is like the same adrenaline rush, but the rush has nothing to do with protection and everything to do with reprimand. It becomes deathly-urgent to relieve the whelp of his responsibility…and make it known to the whelp that he’s been relieved, and why. Make it crystal clear that his efforts were substandard.

Not quite so much give him some hints on how to improve next time ’round…that’s not quite so important in trashy, increasingly prevalent, Idiocracy, small-m mom land. Just let him know he fucked up. That’s the really important message to get across. “You’re doing it wrong, go sit down.”

That’s boys. With girls, somehow, and nobody’s ever been able to coherently explain this, the message is all about preferences…it’s very, very important she should learn to figure out exactly what she wants, and then stand up for it, refusing to take no for an answer.

As if any children anywhere ever had to learn that. Babies pop out of the womb instinctively knowing how to do this, and do it around the clock. I’m really not sure how anyone ever got it in their heads that anybody, male or female, ever needed to be taught this, that damage would somehow ensue if they were not. Where’d we get this? Seriously, I wanna know.

Boys are stupidI’ve asked that before, and one father-of-daughters did speak up about it. But there was no coherent thought involved, just the same ritual bumper-sticker-slogans…want my kids to grow up strong, so she should form an idea of exactly what she wants. I’d already made the point that kids don’t need to be taught this — nothing was ever said to challenge me on this, and if the desire existed to challenge me on it, I’m not sure what kind of honest challenge would materialize. It’s just true. If you could have some magical readable speaking bubbles pop out of a baby’s head, up to the end of Year One, be that baby a boy or a girl, most of these thought-bubble-captions would start with the word “want.” Want-milk, want-toy, want-Momma, with an occasional “what’s that?” thrown in. I’d say the “what’s that?” thought bubble would be, at best, ten percent…and babies still manage to ask “what’s that?” very, very often. All parents agree on this. Babies learn extremely quickly. If you learned as fast as a baby, within a year’s time you’d end up like…curing cancer on your coffee break or something.

Well, babies get that smart by asking “what’s that?” every single second that is available to them. But they, boy or girl, are “want”-ing something nine or ten times as often as that.

So I really don’t get where we settle on the idea that they need to be taught to be spunky or pushy or insistent, or how to “know what they want.” That doesn’t need to be taught to any carbon-based life form…period…what needs to be taught, is the stuff that used to be important back in those olden days. You know, the basics. Wait your turn. Please and thank you. Live within your means. Things from the “everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten” book.

You know what I’m talking about: Things that demand parents do things they don’t particularly feel like doing.

Time to Take Mittens Seriously

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

But that doesn’t mean everything learned, will result in positive feeling…Ann Barnhardt lets loose.

“People of integrity either believe something, or they don’t.”

Hat tip to Joan of Argghh!

“Big Wang Theory”

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

DC to Reset Fifty-Two Titles

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Holy Moley.

DC Comics officially announced Tuesday that the company will reset the numbers of all its comic titles back to #1 later this summer.

All 52 titles under the publisher will be affected, including Action Comics, which is up to issue 902 – numbering that began with the first appearance of Superman in 1938.

“DC Comics will be making history this September,” said co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee in a statement. “We’ll be renumbering the entire DC Universe line of comic books with 52 first issues.

“Not only will this initiative be compelling for existing readers, it’ll give new readers a precise entry point into our titles.”

The move is meant to give new fans intimidated by the long continuity of many characters like Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash easier access into comic books, but also will include new writer-artist teams for about three-quarters of the books.

Rebooting individual titles has been done many times in the industry over the years, but this is the first time a publisher’s entire line of books has undergone that kind of massive change.

This could be very good news. We’ll have to keep an eye out & see what develops.