Archive for September, 2014

The Omelette Thing

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

George Orwell, In Front of Your Nose, the “Catastrophic Gradualism” chapter.

There is a theory which has not yet been accurately formulated or given a name, but which is very widely accepted and is brought forward whenever it is necessary to justify some action which conflicts with the sense of decency of the average human being. It might be called, until some better name is found, the Theory of Catastrophic Gradualism. According to this theory, nothing is ever achieved without bloodshed, lies, tyranny and injustice, but on the other hand no considerable change for the better is to be expected as the result of even the greatest upheaval. History necessarily proceeds by calamities, but each succeeding age will be as bad, or nearly as bad, as the last. One must not protest against purges, deportations, secret police forces and so forth, because these are the price that has to be paid for progress: but on the other hand “human nature” will always see to it that progress is slow or even imperceptible. If you object to dictatorship you are a reactionary, but if you expect dictatorship to produce good results you are a sentimentalist.
…In the name of Socialism the Russian regime has committed almost every crime that can be imagined, but at the same time its evolution is away from Socialism, unless one redefines that word in terms that no Socialist of 1917 would have accepted. To those who admit these facts, only two courses are open. One is simply to repudiate the whole theory of totalitarianism, which few English intellectuals have the courage to do: the other is to fall back on Catastrophic Gradualism. The formula usually employed is “You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” And if one replies, “Yes, but where is the omelette?”, the answer is likely to be: “Oh well, you can’t expect everything to happen all in a moment.”

He prophesied the Obama phenomenon, and Detroit too, I suppose. Crushed eggs as far as the eye can see, and lots of obtrusive narratives about omelettes, but none to be found.

Or, we’re just too dumb to see the yummy, fluffy omelettes in front of us…

Via Hot Air, which adds:

The reason that people don’t “feel” the recovery is because it hasn’t been much of a recovery at all. The supposedly historic streak of private-sector job growth has barely kept pace with population growth for the last five-plus years of the technical recovery. We still have millions of workers sidelined, and job growth hasn’t gotten out of the 200K monthly range. Economic growth, which should have spiked after a sharp recession, has been in the 1.8%-2.2% annual range ever since. Obama takes credit for cutting deficits in half, but neglects to mention that it was his budgets that had to be cut from the $1.5-trillion deficit range, and that the deficit reductions for the next few budget cycles are based on wholly unrealistic expectations of economic growth. Our energy production growth has mainly come from the Bakken extraction in North Dakota and natural gas production from fracking, neither of which this administration supports; they just can’t do much about the former, and the EPA’s still working on the latter.

But, nothing a little speech-making won’t solve. Ever stop to think how much less President Obama would have to say, if His policies worked?

Things the way they are, we have to hear from Him several times a week now. Controlling the narrative is important when you’re selling a bad idea

Update: A commenter at Gerard’s site demonstrates, perhaps inadvertently, how things have subtly changed…

The focus should be on on dissipating the ignorance, stupidity, greed and viciousness that results in unnecessary injury.

That is to say, why make an omelet if you’re going to have to break valuable shells? Why not figure our how to make a mutually nutritional salad so that all benefit, thrive, and cooperate.

Go build a Panama Canal or a system of reservoirs to prevent wasteful water runoff and to retain dry-season water supply.

So in Orwell’s time it was “Oh well, you can’t expect us to bake you an omelette in a moment.” In the age of Obama — aptly demonstrated not only in the comment, but in the video clip above — it’s more like “you don’t want an omelette, you don’t know what you want, we’ll tell you what you want and what you want is a salad.”

Meanwhile, the eggs are still smashed.

The Moral Failings of Eric Holder

Monday, September 29th, 2014

VDH writing at Pajamas Media, by way of Instapundit.

After many verifiable examples, he writes:

In other words, in the reprehensible vision of Eric Holder, how we look governs who we are. He either believes in the desirability of such racialist exceptionalism out of cultural and historic ignorance — given the contemporary evidence of where bumper-sticker racial, ethnic and religious jingoism inevitably leads — or he cynically assumes that the more the country is polarized racially, the more elites like himself are called on to adjudicate differences, and thus advance to positions that they might otherwise not have earned either by their prior record or their present display of minimal competence.

Then closes with,

The hypocrisy and demagogic manner in which Holder has done so may well teach other Americans to follow his reprehensible lead — and that will be unfortunate given that rare interracial violent crime is currently a mostly politically incorrect and taboo topic. Reasonable and educated people are not supposed to notice the disparate statistical rate in which blacks attack whites — at least until Eric Holder taught the country otherwise that race matters most in their lives and that they remain cowards should they not agree with him.

The Pros and Cons of Dating a Programmer

Monday, September 29th, 2014

At Geeks Are Sexy. Has a year of dust on it, but it’s still funny. And true.

The Sandwich one was the best one, I thought…

Justice for the Undocumented White House Migrant

Monday, September 29th, 2014

White House petitions:


We urge President Obama to immediately and publicly recognize that Mr. Omar J. Gonzalez, an oppressed migrant, was merely looking for a better life when he entered the White House after going over the classist, divisive and needless fence.

In the interest of White House diversity and what will surely result in adding to the rich tapestry of love and community, we further demand that the President reform the mean-spirited laws regulating access to the People’s House. For justice and peace, upon his next return from the back-nine, Mr. Obama must award permanent lawful WH residency to Mr. Gonzalez and his family, along with a permit to work there. Because.


By way of, which credits The Daily Caller, who in turn adds:

King’s sardonic petition was posted Saturday, one day after Gonzalez jumped Obama’s household fence and dashed inside one of the doors into the president’s house. The president’s bodyguard detained the man, and exiled him to a federal law enforcement facility outside the White House border.

That’s a very different reaction than Obama approved for the 200,000 Central Migrants who have crossed the nation’s border since 2009.

Obama allowed nearly all of the unskilled and poor migrants — including roughly 135,000 adults, youths and children who have arrived since October 2013 — to apply via the courts for Green Cards that would allow them to stay in Americans’ homeland. They’re allowed to apply regardless of education, productivity or possible criminal records.

Obama’s deputies have only repatriated about 300 of the 200,000 migrants.

Roughly 70 percent of the migrants are children and youths who claim to be aged 17 or below. Many of those are being sent to U.S. schools, where they’re expected to absorb education resources originally approved for Americans’ children, including the children of low-income African-Americans, Latino-Americans and white Americans.

“Men Who Have Had These Experiences Are Different From Men Who Have Not”

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Scott Locklin, Taki’s:

The great banker-journalist Walter Bagehot said it well almost 150 years ago:

History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.

Every great civilization reaches a point of prosperity where it is possible to live your entire life as a pacifist without any serious consequences…
I think there is a certain worldview that comes from violent experience. It’s something like…manhood. You don’t have to be the world’s greatest badass to be a man, but you have to be willing to throw down when the time is right.

A man who has been in a fight or played violent sports has experienced more of life and manhood than a man who hasn’t. Fisticuffs, wrestling matches, knife fights, violent sport, duels with baseball bats, facing down guns, or getting crushed in the football field—men who have had these experiences are different from men who have not. Men who have trained for or experienced such encounters know about bravery and mental fortitude from firsthand experience. Men who have been tested physically know that inequality is a physical fact. Men who know how to deal out violence know that radical feminism’s tenets — that women and men are equal — are a lie.

Well: Not so sure about that last one. Or, let us say this: It may be a lie that women are the same as men, but it is not so much an untruth as it used to be, just a few short years ago, that men are the same as women. That one is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

By way of Gerard, again.

The rest of us rings true, though. I’ve been noticing for awhile, now, it seems there is one skill being gradually replaced by another. The older skill was made possible by weighing of consequences: How are you going to be building this bridge? Now, how are you going to be building it, knowing you will be among the people driving on it. It involves a certain way of thinking.

The newer skill is described in Thing I Know #435. I ain’t got it, or much of it, anyway…

I notice there is an ability some people have and some people do not have. We might think of it as the ability to comprehend definitions that have provide no objectively discerned meaning, applying interpretations that require the human element. Is this room tastefully decorated, is that joke funny, is it fun to watch that person give a speech. In our time, this ability is generally mutually exclusive from the ability to perceive truth. It isn’t hard to demonstrate: Was so-and-so only kidding when he said such-and-such. We see people heckled, ridiculed, scolded, for failing to “get the irony” or for having taken something too literally. The danger involved in diagnosing learning disabilities in, and prescribing medication for, these people is that it sidelines most of the people who might have the ability to get something useful built. An irony-genius, or denizen of a relative-reality universe, isn’t in a good position to build anything involving any level of complexity because you have to perceive hard, concrete, cause-and-effect relationships to do things like that.

Locklin closes with:

Teddy Roosevelt, my ideal President, kept a lion and a bear as pets in the White House and took his daily exercise doing jiu-jitsu and boxing. He even lost vision in an eye in a friendly boxing match while he was president. Our last three glorious leaders are men who kept fluffy dogs and went jogging…
I’m no great shakes: I’m a shrimpy egghead in a suit who thinks about math all day. I don’t train for fighting anymore, and my experiences with violence are fairly limited. Nonetheless, I judge people on these sorts of things. When I first meet a man, I don’t care what kind of sheepskins or awards he has on his walls. I don’t care if he is liberal or conservative. I want to know if they have my back in a fight. That’s really the only thing that matters.

I sit behind a desk and write code. I’m surrounded on all sides by Sergeants and Lieutenants and Warrant Officers and Majors and Colonels who dress in fatigues, and have to pass the Army’s PT. They’re not muscle-heads by any means, but at least they have a regimen, their bodies have to be up to code.

Mine, looks like I’ve been writing code.

But, there is a cycle taking place here. You do it wrong, the results suck, you show some certain level of humility and say “Those results, they stink on ice, I don’t like those.” Then you look for something under your control that you can change — which is an acknowledgment that that first go-round, you did something differently than the way you should have done it. Or, you did something you shouldn’t have done at all. Or, didn’t do something you should’ve.

Then, you get better results. Or not, which means you need to work on your skills figuring out what’s wrong, because now you’ve messed up the execution twice, and the post-mortem phase once.

What these girly-men who think in this “new” way all have in common is, they somehow can’t, or won’t, complete that cycle. The hundredth time they try something, their attempt will be indistinguishable from the first time they try something. They won’t, and maybe can’t, learn. They fail at that brand of personal improvement that relies on admitting that improvement is needed, or possible.

Dangling Houses

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Many of them, and the designs get, er, nuttier as you browse toward the end.

Via Right Wing News.

“What We Saw at the People’s Climate March”

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Blah blah blah corporations blah blah blah. Capitalism destroys the planet.

From HotAir:

The modern climate alarmism movement has been hijacked by the remnants of those who still adhere to the defunct tenets of revolutionary Marxism. It is no wonder, then, that so few climate change devotees in government and the media go out of their way to make sure you hear from their grassroots supporters.

Well that would explain a question I’ve been having for awhile now: How come changes in our society that are collectivist in their direction, from reduced independence of the local jurisdictions to diminished labor participation to the swelling of the political class to the increased government spending to the bloating of the welfare state, never seem to be bad for the planet? It’s always “capitalism” or something related to it, that is the problem.

Six Reasons Obama is a Failed President

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

John Hawkins writes at Townhall:

Unfortunately, GOP awfulness didn’t translate into Democratic goodness, those speeches got dull in a hurry, race relations have gotten worse, and none of that has anything to do with Obama actually being capable of handling the most important job on the planet. Maybe next time, voters will ask the most basic question about the candidates running for President: are they competent to do the job or will we end up with another Obama?

The six reasons are very elegantly stated, good enough for coffee mug slogans. He was unprepared for the job, His goals are overly ideological and not necessarily good for the country, He doesn’t know how to work with Congress, He’s narcissistic, He’s a poor planner who doesn’t think through things all the way and He’s a habitual liar.

He may actually know how to work with Congress. But, it wouldn’t matter if He did, because He doesn’t demonstrate any interest in doing so.

The narcissism is particularly dangerous. I’m reminded of a fellow engineer I knew once who demonstrated this particular weakness, but none of the others. He rose to this highly senior and technical position due to his knowledge of certain aspects of the desktop OS, and some solidly crystallized ideas about how it should work with the enterprise, but not too much else; he was put in charge of deploying a configuration throughout this very large organization, which was really unfair to him, I thought. Evidently, whenever a question arose about how something should be configured, he didn’t ask anyone, he just formed an opinion. Our super made his failure a bit more humiliating by quizzing him about whether he would rate the effort a success. He partially redeemed himself by replying in the negative.

I wonder how Barack Obama would reply. Well, I really don’t…He’d say something that would castigate, probably ridicule, the person asking the question, making it clear that He didn’t think it was a question that should’ve been asked. That’s how He’s handled just about every question that isn’t welcome. In this way, He is a walking, breathing, talking guarantee that poor strategies and poor tactics will never be reformed. But that is one of the most crucial aspects of competent leadership, competent management, in fact any competent implementation of anything that involves any complexity.

We’ve got a lot of people walking around among us, who can’t quite seem to catch on to that. They apparently think humility, like two-wheel drive and cigarette-smoking, is something for the lower altitudes. That’s exactly the opposite of the truth.

Dawn Wells

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Just because.

Why She’s Not a democrat

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Well, there’s a YouTube channel subscription for you. From Young Conservatives.

I guess she wouldn’t be too happy about these students on their hugely long 3-day weekend road trip to protest other people driving…

Liberal Dark Ages

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Kirsten Powers, via Instapundit, by way of American Digest:

The touchstone of liberalism is tolerance of differing ideas. Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card.

Each week seems to bring another incident…
Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show.

Hm. Well. I think I can pick out one pattern that holds up in the above, if I really try. But overall, yes, there is still a consistency problem.

A college educator with the right opinions can attack a high school student and keep her job. A corporate executive with the wrong opinions loses his for making a campaign donation. Something is very wrong here.

As the mob gleefully destroys people’s lives, its members haven’t stopped to ask themselves a basic question: What happens when they come for me? If history is any guide, that’s how these things usually end.

Well, as I pointed out years ago, that’s what guides them. We hear from all sorts of directions — from them as well — something about this “social contract.” Theirs is, once all the pretenses are dropped, a social contract of musical chairs. A new pariah is chosen every time the music stops. The goal is to not be that guy.

Well, I suppose it may be just a little more complicated than that. For example…uh…er…well no, now that I think on it a bit further it isn’t any more complicated than that. That captures it completely and rather nicely, explaining everything they say and do.

Glenn Reynolds adds: “It’s only gotten worse in the intervening months. The ‘social justice warriors’ are only happy when they’re destroying someone. That’s because they’re awful people with mental and emotional issues.”

Megyn Kelly’s Cold, Cold Eyes

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

From here.

Captain Capitalism Doesn’t Believe in the Bullsh*t Mental Disorders

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Yeah, sure, some people really do have something. He addresses that about two minutes in…

Boy, he’s got some BP going on there. And not without reason. A little bit further on, he gets right to the heart of it. If you want to be given credit for trying harder than you really are, the bullshit mental disorders are where you go. They’re available for anybody who’s closed their minds to the possibility of suckage. Can’t admit they suck as parents, or that the kid sucks, or that the kid isn’t trying, or is just plain lazy. People who swear up and down that they have these, or that their kids have these, simply won’t consider possibilities like those. Which has always struck me as weird and bizarre: Everything is wonderful, or at least, adequate? What an amazing world. What color is the sky inside that snow globe?

In the real world, lots of things suck. Not necessarily parents or kids. Sometimes, teachers:

And the way we find out about these things is through sucky grades. They can’t all be A-plus. If they were then it would be pointless to evaluate it.

And that, right there, is the problem. The phony cases of ADD and Aspergers merely represent a stage in a long pattern of decline, during which time we’re ridding ourselves of standards. Where we are now, we feel obliged to continue to put out report cards and to read them, but several among us have lost the will to look at substandard grades and say “Something needs to change here.” That requires confrontation. A lot of people would like to avoid that.

Simply put, in the times in which we live, we have softened up to the point where anyone who says “Something needs to change here” is a meanie-cow and a bad person. Like a grain of salt in the eyeball, the thing to do is to wash it out as fast as possible and go back to feeling comfortable.

With a bullshit mental disorder, you can do all the pretending you want. Your kid is a genius, you’re a wonderful parent, the kid is trying super-duper hard, but something’s wrong with his brain and that’s why he’s failing. No need to improve or change anything. Just listen to the experts, believe them uncritically, and accept all your best-wishes and notes of sympathy from your Facebook friends, after you put up a post saying your son has an ASD. Bask in the glow, fix nothing, the perfect formula.

Next stage after that is to keep putting out grades, but if any teacher puts out a B-plus or lower for any reason whatsoever, you complain and get his ass fired.

Next stage after that is to stop reading the grades, then they stop putting them out. Even then, they won’t stop with the exploding statistics of questionable mental disorders, because now there’s money attached to it.

I’ve been arguing with people about this for nearly two decades now, and it always amazes me how they refuse to acknowledge the recent instability of this thing they call “science.” They act like it’s been a perfectly consistent exercise since the time of Socrates. That just completely baffles me. I would prefer to believe, charitably, that they’re ignorant and don’t know of all the fits & false starts & hairpin turns the orthodoxy has been taking. But if that’s the case, their ignorance looms large and they need to cork it, rather than coming up with innovative new ways to monopolize the soapbox and marginalize everyone who questions them about it.

Theirs is a process of achieving complete “certainty” about the matter, if only at a cosmetic level, by achieving a complete consensus. And they do that, by ejecting from the discussion anyone who doesn’t go along. That is the formula consistently found in lots of historical failure, phony certainty churned up by way of phony consensus. There should be arguing about this, and disagreement about this, and contention. And challenges, questions and rebuttals. It should be going on all the time, and everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of kids have these disorders now, and a generation ago very few of them did. We don’t have any business being in complete agreement about anything, except maybe that “science” is in danger of being held hostage by pharmaceutical profiteering. Apart from that, everything should be on the table and opened up for discussion.

Liberal Tears, Gear, and T*ts For Men

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

“Liberal Tears” gun lubricant. Hmmm, I should get me some of that…can’t be that expensive, it’s not like there’s a shortage of the stuff…

That’s Why We Make it at Home

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Pretty sure Benjamin Franklin said something like that, too.

I’m not going to spin some fiction about how I never order coffee from this chain or anything like that…truth is, last time I did that was yesterday morning.

But when I do, I don’t have this problem, there isn’t anyone in front of me in line. I just opened the place, first customer.

Once in a great while, I may have to go there in the middle of the day, and then — yeah. I can definitely see it. These people are obnoxious. I often get the impression that being a spectacle is the point. If they order the perfect cup and nobody sees them do it, it’s a fail, and if everybody sees them ordering but they don’t get the coffee, that’s a success. I’m probably not too far wrong with that one.

“From Aggressor to Victim in a Few Short Minutes!”

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

What a dumbass:

It didn’t go over that well. A few minutes later this brief exchange ensued:

In the Twitchy blow-by-blow, Michelle Malkin makes the comment “One thing’s for sure: Goldberg opened a can of worms with his ‘makes me think of’ tweet,” and then it gets…really, pretty damn funny. Unless your name happens to be Jeffrey Goldberg.

High School Principal Bans Chick-Fil-A

Sunday, September 21st, 2014


After donating tens of thousands dollars to area schools, Chick-fil-A was banned from donating hundreds of meals to a booster club by a public high school in Southern California’s Ventura County because some parents might take offense to the franchise.

Ventura High School principal Val Wyatt voiced her objection to Chick-fil-A and her reasoning for the ban, which she announced just hours before the school’s football team fundraiser at a back-to-school event on Wednesday, September 10.

“With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus,” Wyatt told the Ventura County Star.

I’ve noticed when you make some sort of observation about dirty tricks used by the left-wing, you haven’t got long to wait before some ostensibly “middle of the road” guy manages to come up with some isolated anecdote of something similar done or used by a Republican, or noted conservative. It’s an effective strategy because there always is one. If they can’t find one, they just do what the left always does, and revise definitions, in this case the definition of “similar.” Congressman Hyde’s affair with a married woman over thirty years before the Clinton impeachment hearings, for example, that’s supposed to have something to do with a sitting President getting a blow job from an intern young enough to be his daughter, lying about it repeatedly, suborning perjury, obstructing justice and abusing power.

So, the moderate level of difficulty you and I have thinking back on history and answering questions that begin with “have we ever” or “has there ever been…” It isn’t even that much work for them. Reality is like warm, soft putty in their hands. They can always find a right-winger who did “the same” thing.

However, I wonder about this public relations maneuver they use, this “sensitive proxy for made-up offended person” move.

It’s pure cowardice, and I associate it purely with The Left; not just because I want to. So lacking is it in form, shape and substance, you could use it to ban, bar, neutralize or obliterate just about anything — and make it look good. God, Mom, Dad, the American Flag, Apple Pie, even helping the poor.

It’s just like “I’ve received death threats in the e-mail,” it doesn’t say anything at all, there’s no way to potentially falsify it so there’s no way to test it.

Let’s Go for a Ride

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Forty photos at The Chive.

“Scotland Votes for Continued Dependence”

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The title of this post is a byte-for-byte copy from a headline I found…well…I haven’t actually found that headline anywhere. Instead they all look like this

BBC News – Scottish referendum: Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence
Scotland votes to remain part of United Kingdom…
Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence
Scotland Votes to Stay the Same, and for Change
Opponents of Scottish independence hold lead
Scotland votes in independence referendum
Scotland Rejects Independence From United Kingdom
Scottish Independence: Scotland to Stay in U.K.

It interests me, although I’m an American — because “independence” is the natural state. Dependence is the exception. Just like “cold” is technically a nonsensical term since what is being measured is heat, cold being the absence of it. If you held a vote with your wife on turning down the thermostat, and she won…well of course she would win, she’s a female and it’s a vote…you wouldn’t say, the household voted to reject a proposal to turn the heat down. You’d say the household voted to keep the heat, and pay out the ass next time the electric bill shows up.

Seems to me that’s what Scotland did, they voted to remain dependent. It’s a bit strange that it’s not headlined that way…I mean, to the best I can research it, ever. It’s headlined as “rejecting independence” or “remaining part of the UK.”

Column A, Column B

Friday, September 19th, 2014

severian breaks it all down.

How did Goverment come to be?

Not this or that particular government, like America or Mexico or the Babylonian Empire. I mean the whole shebang, capital-G Government. Great thinkers and college freshmen alike have pondered this over bong hits since humanity first came down from the trees, and their answers have always fallen into one of two groups:

Group A argues that it’s basically a contract. A group of individuals, each as sovereign as his physical power can make him, agree to cede some of their rights to a collective, in order to better secure their remaining rights. The key player here is the individual.

Group B argues that government comes from somewhere Out There. Maybe it’s God, maybe it’s Historical Necessity, maybe it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but whatever it is, it imposed government on us. The key player here is Something Out There, whatever it may turn out to be.

With me so far? Now, apply them to basic history. Here’s where it gets tricky…

There follows a whole lot of well-structured and well-grounded observations of what all has gone down, and how it did, viewed through this lens of A and B. RTWT. Then he closes with:

Column A, Column B. We need catchier names than that — I look forward to your suggestions — but it’s really that easy.

I believe, or am at least tinkering with the possibility that, he’s discovering Architects and Medicators, the former of whom are going to be in Column A because there’s no place else for them to be. If the mystery-black-box breaks and nobody knows how it works, in their world you take it apart and figure that out. Watches have to have gears, the computer has to have a processor. Composites have atomics. These guys aren’t happy until the composites have been broken down, especially if the composite is busted; if there is all this importance placed on a “somewhere out there” then the first thing they’ll do is saddle up and go find out what that is.

That’s really been the distinction, at least what I had in mind, since I started writing about them. Medicators medicate. They may have responsibilities, and these responsibilities may load them up with stress that they need to bleed out or off-load somewhere; they’ll do that by means of something repetitive and non-edifying. Something like Barack Obama’s 15 games of Spades — something that does not intentionally change the state of any object, as furniture-building or quilt-making would, and something that does not bring new information to its instigator. They’re not big on the “go find out what it is” thing, so when they explain how a certain thing works their explanations tend to rely a great deal on these “somethings” and “somewheres.”

Which is not to say, I’ve noticed, that they are willing to let go of control and are accepting of fate. Heavens no. This is Robespierre in a nutshell, along with quite a few lefties who’ve been in the public eye lately. They’ve had ample opportunity to explain themselves and their explanations all follow the same theme: Something something something, somewhere somewhere somewhere, The American People Have Spoken, and so — it’s all going to happen My Way, and everybody agrees that’s the right way to go and if you don’t agree then you’re a hater or a something-IST.

And don’t dare ask that Thing That Shall Not Be Asked: How do we know this will go any better than the last time you guys said that? Or: What, specifically, have you changed in your plan to make sure it doesn’t suck as much as it did last time? Those questions, too, make you a hater or a something-IST. Just like the guys waiting in line to be guillotined, back in the day.

John Kerry’s Leadership is the Kind We Don’t Need and Don’t Want

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

It’s all too clear why this guy never was President…

We don’t need it because of Thing I Know #112:

112. Strong leadership is a dialog: That which is led, states the problem, the leader provides the solution. It’s a weak brand of leadership that addresses a problem by directing people to ignore the problem.

Needed or not, this type of “leadership” has been in demand for the past few years, has it not? People lusting after being-told-what-to-think?

Yeah, sure. You can’t watch the results of the 2008 and 2012 elections and come away thinking anything else. But at a certain point, I think people tire of the obfuscation. Conquest Rule #1: Everyone is conservative about what he knows best. I might flip that around to say something like: People feel a temptation to be liberal about matters most distant. When there is an insulating layer, or the perception of one. When they feel like they can afford to be.

It’s surreal that the Secretary of State makes this comment about a “tortured debate about terminology” and in the very next sentence relies on a term that apparently is in use by pretty much no one, save for himself and his boss. For reasons that aren’t clear at all. But this does clarify one thing: There’s a confusing and “tortured debate” going on, and John Kerry represents the people who are making it that way.

It’s not just with this issue, by the way, and not just this year. It isn’t even just John Kerry.

Clarity is anathema to modern liberals. Sometimes the American people like that; we’re often not in the mood for too much clarity. But, Kerry did lose the election when he ran, which shows now & then we can be fair-weather-friends with the idea of knowing what is being said. My thinking is that, since this stuff is cyclical, we’re heading into that realm again and the smokescreen-pundit is going to be losing popularity in the years ahead. Hope so. And that not too many people get hurt. There’s some pain involved in this part of the cycle, just as there is some unpleasantness when any hallucination reaches an end.

“Waste of time,” feh. Somewhere I made the observation that all persistent and profound human disagreement seems to be conflict between one side that craves details, and another side intent on avoiding them. Ever pay attention to what people do with their time, after telling other people not to “waste” it? It’s enlightening.

JoAnna Cameron

Friday, September 12th, 2014

With all this ‘Isis” talk, I keep thinking of her. Maybe I’m dating myself by making the connection.

From Isis, which I recall as the second half of something that had the name of “Shazam!/Isis Power Hour” or something.

Except for the white-bikini one on the left. That one is likely from Spider Man and the Deadly Dust.

See, the bad guy is extra extra bad, because 1) he’s old; 2) he wears a suit; 3) it isn’t just any suit, it’s a solid white suit with white necktie and everything; 4) he plans to incinerate a hundred thousand people with a nuclear bomb, including the President of the United States. But, worst of all, 5) he likes beautiful women in bikinis. Also, he compulsively numbers things. But that fifth one just cracks me up. Presidential assassination, mass murder, explosive devices, and appreciating the sight of a beautiful woman like Ms. Cameron in a bikini. How dastardly!

Maybe I can be a bad guy too.

Memo For File CLXXXIX

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Today I successfully unfucked (that’s a U.S. Army term, just not an official one) an ASP .NET application and continued development on a couple of web services, during time which the huge office teevee was on mute, tuned to CNN. From the visual, I notice the top stories today were:

1. Rumor has it that “the Palin family was involved in a bar fight.”
2. Something something something Hillary Clinton. No wait, that’s not a headline, it’s missing a verb. Oh well, let’s just drop the pretense: The verb is “exist,” as in Hillary Clinton still exists. CNN wants to mention Hillary Clinton, the more, the better.
3. The research project continues into how the NFL’s behavior was not properly bludgeoned into shape by the forces of political correctness, and what further bludgeoning is needed. The “loud crowd,” somehow, still can’t come to grips with the fact that the NFL is run by businessmen, not angels, who are just going to handle everything that comes along in whatever way is good for the bottom line. That’s actually got a lot to do with why people go hiking and fishing during Super Bowl Sunday.
4. Solar storms due to hit Earth.

Observation: I can’t prove it, but I think if you replaced “solar storm” with “asteroid” in that bottom one, and made it an extinction event — the above list wouldn’t change, apart from that. Not even in the order.


Thursday, September 11th, 2014

It’s embarrassing to watch your nation’s leader on the teevee set giving a speech, and see beneath his moving lips a caption informing the viewers something like “‘ISIL’ is also known as ‘ISIS’.”

There are, occasionally, some valid reasons for calling things something different from what “everybody else” is calling them. I do that quite often myself — always, to the best I can recall, explaining my purpose in doing so. I recall the George W. Bush White House did this too:

Q: At the same time that conservative Republicans are sharply criticizing this President for his Mideast policy, which they describe as being too tough on Israel, you, the President, others in this White House have adopted a term called homicide bombings instead of suicide bombings. Is that a coincidence, or is this an attempt to pacify his political base that’s criticizing him?

MR. FLEISCHER: David, I don’t think pacification comes from lexicon. I think people support the President —

Q: Then why change the term, why adopt this —

MR. FLEISCHER: I think people support the President because of the principles that he has so strongly stood for in the war against terrorism and in his actions here in the Middle East.

But the reason I started to use that term is because it’s a more accurate description. These are not suicide bombings. These are not people who just kill themselves. These are people who deliberately go to murder others, with no regard to the values of their own life. These are murderers…It’s not suicide, it’s murder.

Perhaps President Obama has a reason for using the term “ISIL.” He didn’t, and to my knowledge hasn’t, explained what that is; instead He’s been leaving it to others to speculate.

People who communicate, and in doing so invest a great deal of their concern in exuding competence, typically don’t adopt their own terminologies and then leave those aberrations entirely unexplained while they use them over & over again. It looks daffy. Communication, after all, is the one human endeavor in which excellence is inextricably linked to doing things the same way others are doing them. Also, if you want to make people think differently simply by bludgeoning them over & over again with the thoughts you want them to think, it’s a good first step to explain the rationale. It’s clear the Obama administration doesn’t see any value in so explaining.

Either that, or their boss is nuts. Mentally unstable. Unfit for the job. One’s mind goes into overdrive as one ponders how our press would treat a Republican president doing the same thing.

Yeah, you can take this as a shout-out. Anybody know of an incident or exchange in which the Obama administration has explained this unique nomenclature? I’m sure it’s got to do with them being much smarter and sophisticated than those who use the better-recognized name of “ISIS.” But it’s bothersome that they appear far more determined to proliferate the ISIL acronym, than to explain their reasoning in choosing it. It makes them look like a joke (H/T Instapundit):

“Knock knock.”

“Who’s there?”


“ISIL who?”

“ISIL have no idea what to do about this $#!+.”

How Liberals Use Technology

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

A statement so self-evidently obvious, one feels a bit bashful about taking the time & trouble to jot it down, let alone to communicate it with others: Liberals, today, enjoy a reputation for being more technologically savvy than their counterparts, the conservatives. There is some merit to this. One reads the critiques from six years ago about John McCain’s technological illiteracy, and while one has to admit the advice certainly has not aged well, right after that comes the thought, well, I can see the logic. Electing Obama seemed like a good idea at the time, at least to some people.

But, another statement so obvious one hesitates to take the time to write it down: This perception about liberals and technology, is grounded far less in reality, than it is in the success the liberal movement has had in dominating the media, academia, entertainment, even crony-capitalism — not all of the components to our society, but at least all the ones that have something to do with people telling other people what’s going on, and what to think about it. Isolated anecdotes aside, there isn’t much to support it. How do liberals use technology, really? They use Twitter to win elections. They build databases that monitor my contributions (and lack thereof) against the latest “fund raising deadline,” and they harass me if I haven’t “signed” Barack Obama’s birthday card. Does the list end there? Perhaps there’s more, but not much that’s altogether different from that: Doing things that may very well require some level of expertise, but have been done before, and are not new. That’s not technology. That’s the opposite. In short: They “succeed” at technology the same way they succeed at everything else, including “reform” of our country’s health care system — by seizing unilateral control over the bar that separates adequate performance from the unsatisfactory, and then pushing it down.

Often, when my experience produces perceptions starkly different from the common, I have to look at definitions of the words being used and perhaps that is where the discrepancy originates here. I work in technology, and have been doing so for a very long time now, certainly long enough to make my experiences unique. I sometimes frustrate others, I’ve noticed, especially those who also have been working with technology for as long as I have. This seems to happen most when “technology” has something to do with “doing things the same way some other guy would be doing them” — which, over on Planet Morgan, is outside of the definition. As I wrote above, that’s actually the opposite. If you’re not coming up with a brand new way of doing something, whatever you’re doing doesn’t fit the word. And this is a truth that I notice eludes a lot of people, including many among my peers in the industry. They do something the established way, using something that was invented 1 or 2 years ago instead of 10 or 20 years ago, and are convinced they’re doing “technology.” As is the case with voting for Barack Obama because John McCain doesn’t use e-mail: I can see the logic. It’s still wrong, and it leads to a lot of problems. Like many other evil things, it’s tempting.

I’m HTML-encoding this into a WordPress installation I put on my blog eight years ago. Is that “doing technology”? It’s got bells and whistles, it even involves coding! But, no. The processes and procedures are all established, it’s all been tested. Technology involves discovery. That’s the key difference; that’s where the tighter perimeter is drawn.

There needs to be some genuine wonder about what will happen, followed by some tests, real tests that are fully capable of turning out one way or the other. The boy with a towel around his neck jumping off the roof, wondering if he can fly, does a better job of practicing what I call “technology” than most of the people who seriously use that word. It involves not-yet-knowing. Which means, like the science upon which it is based, it involves an admission of ignorance. It relies on humility.

That’s just the first ingredient. The second is even more demanding in terms of delayed gratification: The “bleeding edge.” If you’re finding new ways of doing something, ways that haven’t been tried before, but the result of all of it is the production of something that’s already being produced, and your way doesn’t produce superior results or manage to get it done more economically, then what you have practiced could be called “creativity.” But, not technology. Yeah, that’s a bitter truth; a lot of it results in A For Effort. Frustration abounds. That’s why this distinction is so important. It isn’t just because of disagreement over the political objectives, that I exclude these boiler-room trolls sending me their mass-mailings about Obama’s birthday card from the pursuit of “technology.”

Point is, once that exclusion is done; and, I think I did a more than satisfactory job up there defining a purpose for it — it emerges liberals don’t do very much with real “technology” at all. They poke around with some things that weren’t available to us fifteen years ago, and in so doing they win elections. But when you get right down to it, that’s just using a new communications medium. They criticize their opposition, as I noted at the beginning with some legitimacy, for failing to match their agility as real-technology opens up new pipelines. But they aren’t the ones doing this. They don’t think the way you need to think, to do things like this. They’re not ready to run tests. They know too much, at the beginning, about how it’s all going to go up to the end. Whether it really does work out that way or not. “…October 1, 2013, a date which will live in infamy. The go-live date of the monstrosity; the take-off date of the albatross.” That is when we learned what happens, when liberals really try to do “technology.” Their open-ended tests aren’t sufficient, if they’re there at all, because the requisite humility is not there. They don’t believe in actual technology; they don’t see the need, and they don’t see the point.

What’s really missing is their concern about results. We’ve seen it with President Obama over and over again. Dismal results do not compel toward a different objective or an altered design; they are merely occasions to give yet one more greatest-speech-in-all-of-human-history, and then get back to the golf course.

Liberals do make use of technology provided by others, though. They use it to win elections, and, they use it as a scapegoat for their politically-motivated bitching so they can win elections. I’d put up on the Hello Kitty of Blogging a link to this article, by way of Instapundit, and one of my friends pointed out,

Here’s an idea – if they’d stop taxing and regulating the hell out of technology and engineering, they’d hire so many people with degrees that low skilled jobs would have to pay much higher than minimum wage to fill the demand.

Nahh, not enough opportunities to rabble rouse the base to suit limousine liberals.

It’s really just like everything else at the intersection of the economic and the political: Liberals promise their constituencies and end to, or at least a reduction in, economic discomfort. It follows that there has to be some economic discomfort for this message to find resonance, to generate momentum. Technology, as I have defined it, tightly, above, relies on recognizing such discomfort and then engaging a plan that will ultimately alleviate it. And, there will be a test, a real one, because there will have to be one. If that test at the end is failed, then what was done may be “technology” in effort but in effort alone, not in achievement.

So, liberals very rarely use technology, and when they do, it’s to help their movement and not to help people. And they never actually “do” technology, at least, not as liberals. It really isn’t hard to find examples of them opposing technology, nor should we be surprised when such examples emerge. Modern liberalism and real technology are mutually exclusive things.

“The Left is Not Liberal”

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Well, like…duh.

Jeremy Frimer…noticed that socialists seemed unable to tolerate even mild questioning of Che Guevara’s eminently questionable legacy. Frimer is a researcher at the University of Winnipeg, and he decided to investigate. What he found is that liberals are actually very comfortable with authority and obedience — as long as the authorities are liberals. And that conservatives then became much less willing to go along with “the man in charge.”

Frimer argues that conservatives tend to support authority because they think authority is conservative; liberals tend to oppose it for the same reason. Liberal or conservative, it seems, we’re all still human under the skin.

Via Driscoll.

As Fred Siegel wrote in his recent book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, “The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. ‘Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,’ Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, ‘and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.’”

That’s certainly been the president’s motto as well — he’s far more interested in waging war against the Tea Party, non-union businesses like Gibson Guitars, and the GOP in general, than dealing with any of those pesky headlines he keeps seeing in the newspapers from the Middle East and Eastern Europe:

By way of News Junkie at Maggie’s Farm.

Since the Progressive Era, what is termed “Liberal” has been increasingly illiberal.

Today, Conservatives are the Freedom people and Liberals are the statist-control people.

“Utter Incomprehension of Religious Sentiment”

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last month, you already know about this new low

President Barack Obama has ignited fresh conservative criticism by saying “we don’t have a strategy yet” for airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria.

Republicans immediately jumped on the President’s comment during a news conference Thursday by saying it proved their longstanding complaint that his foreign policy failed to seriously respond to the terrorist threat from Sunni jihadists in the Syrian civil war.

CNN is funny. It wasn’t just conservatives, it was just about anyone listening. Just as, it wouldn’t be just conservative passengers having second thoughts if the pilot came out of the cockpit and said “By the way, I have no idea how to land this thing.”

Our Secretary of State sprang into action almost immediately with some “What He Meant To Say Was” platitudes, and to subtly ridicule anybody who might think “no strategy” just might mean, literally, no strategy. Doesn’t it fill you with confidence when your “leaders” stand by ready to belittle anybody who thinks things mean what they actually say?

But that’s not new, or too interesting. What interests me is what James Taranto found:

In that 2002 speech, [President Obama] said: “Let’s fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.”

Last Friday, he struck the same theme, though without bad-mouthing our so-called allies: “We have seen, frankly, in this region, economies that don’t work. So you’ve got tons of young people who see no prospect and no hope for the future and are attracted to some of these ideologies.”

Compare these quotes with candidate Obama’s notorious 2008 remark: “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Reader Lavonne Kuykendall, who astutely spotted the similarity, observes:

It is crystal clear to any Christian that Obama is a nonbeliever, regardless of what he claims to be, and that is his business. But these comments make it clear that he sees all religious feeling to be essentially equivalent: an opiate for the masses to assuage their seething bitterness and anger.

Which, come to think of it, would also explain Jeremiah Wright.

It bears emphasis that the problem here is not Obama’s conjectural lack of faith or insincerity. It is, rather, his utter incomprehension of religious sentiment. How does one develop a strategy against an enemy one cannot understand?

Yes, I’ve made the acquaintance of some people like this. They seem to wake up each morning saying to themselves, “Oh joy it’s a new day, one in which all the haters are religious and all the religious people are haters.” Religion, they figure, is a bastard child of poverty and hopelessness, and in turn conceives hate, suffering, and nothing else. They’ve got it all mapped out. Bring them some evidence of a religious organization feeding the hungry or clothing the naked, or of a secular regime mistreating its subjects in any way, they blot it out. It’s all settled, religion is the cause of all the world’s problems and it is the only cause of all the world’s problems.

Most embarrassingly: They view the many acts of terrorism by Islamist radicals as just more problems caused by religion, absolutely refusing to see anything special about that faith. Any day now, the Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists and Jehovah’s Witnesses will start doing the same thing, or something. Cringe.

Well, I suppose it isn’t completely necessary to have a pious leader waging this battle against ISIS. If Obama doesn’t understand the threat, He could, hopefully, be advised by someone else who does. But it would be nice if we could see some attachment to reality up at those lofty heights. For that to be missing, is almost as discouraging for the rest of us as a missing strategy.

Can You Name One U.S. Senator?

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Spider Dog

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Probably staged, but pretty funny.

From here.

“Someone Chosen for Symbolic Reasons”

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Prof. Thomas Sowell. Well said, as usual:

The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people “moderately disapprove” of Barack Obama’s performance as president and 39 percent “strongly disapprove.”

Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now “strongly disapprove” of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.

With many people now acting as if it is time for “a woman” to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.

It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect “a woman” president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons.

If we were to choose just “a woman” as our next president, would that mean that any criticism of that president would be considered to be a sign of being against women?