Archive for March, 2016

United in Impotence

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Derek Hunter writes at Townhall about our President’s response to the Belgium bombings:

Like it or not, the civilized world looks to the United States in times of need. Since World War II, we’ve been the protector of freedom, the superpower to stand against evil. We aren’t worthy of that trust anymore.

Barack Obama squandered America’s pinnacle position in world leadership through feckless moral equivalence and empty platitudes in the face of opportunity. The chance to lead, to rally the world against the evil of our time, has been flushed by a man who seems to believe the sins of our nation’s past are no different than the sins of those who murder in the name of their God.
“This is yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality or race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism.” Meaningless…Is the world not already united? Has it not been united against terror since 9/11? Since Paris – the first or second time? Since any and all terrorist attacks, beheadings, burning alive of prisoners? Aren’t we always united in opposing such actions?

Cutting In?That’s not the problem. The problem is, without American leadership, we’re also united in impotence when it comes to doing anything about it.

The problem here is not a lack of saber-rattling. Not necessarily, anyway. It’s a leadership problem. The head honcho is confronted with this job that has to get done, and He’s shown Himself over and over again to be obsessed with just doing the easy parts of it. The immediately-gratifying parts. Repeatedly. The part that has to do with making a “We Must Unite” speech and then reading in the papers about how He just gave the greatest speech in all of humankind. Again.

There’s more to it than that.

Europe, sad to say, is more far-gone than we are. Doug Giles has been noticing. Just like in the last century, they bear the responsibility for having created, or at the very least emboldened, an enemy from which we are going to have to one day liberate them. As the parent of an eighteen-year-old, I’m hopeful that there will be less spilled blood involved this time around. Somehow.

They take verbal abuse from Islam and then sit there in befuddled wonderment when Islam follows through with Brussels attacks while asking themselves, “What happened? I didn’t see that coming.” And I’m screaming at the TV, “Yes, you did see it coming! You just chose to view the Islamic invasion through your Hello Kitty, rose-colored glasses. The selfsame glasses the jihadist just ground to powder.”

What more does Islam have to do before Europe wakes the heck up?

Islam, like my buddy’s horrible little bride, tells Europe they hate them and they’re going to kill them and, yet, Europe doesn’t believe it’s going to happen; or they’re self-deceived to such a degree that they think they can talk them away from a malevolent worldview that does not include Europeans.

So, keep on living in denial, Europe. Keep blaming yourself. Keep telling yourself it’ll “get better”. Keep on cutting Islam slack and excusing their verbal abuse and see what happens. I predict it won’t end pretty.

Thing of it is, on both sides of the Atlantic radical Islam is not the actual problem. It’s more like a ritual challenge. There are always threats. Someone is always out to kill someone. The problem, on both sides of the Atlantic, is this: Our leaders are more concerned about looking like charismatic, inspiring, revolutionary figures ushering in new ages of HopeChangePeaceLove etc., that they’re not even paying lip service to the idea of performing merely adequately at their jobs. Which would start with doing all of the parts of those jobs, not just the fun, immediately gratifying parts.

Peace In Our TimeIt reminds me of what one of my bosses said, the one who was often accused of getting a rise out of firing people (and was likely guilty). “I don’t ask much of anything at all,” he said in one meeting, right after the termination that demoralized the workplace more than most of the others. “Just finish something.” This was, I think, one of the more profound, respectable things he had to say during his tenure as human woodchi– er, I mean director. It’s a truth, from which I notice a lot of supposedly accomplished people in technology tend to stray. Do all of a job. Getting part of it done is the same as getting none of it done.

In fact, one might reasonably graduate to the next level of bluntness-yet-truthiness, since a lot of people are missing out on what follows as well: If you only do the parts that makes you look wonderful and awesome, then move on to the next thing without achieving the basics, we would be accurate in postulating from that that you’re firing yourself. It connects to this main subject because if you read your history, you see this is the real problem; this is what made the twentieth century bloody. Guys wearing suits, speaking into microphones from behind lecterns, a bunch of nonsense about how This Is The Moment or This Is Our Time or some such…and then, going on to the next thing. Leaving the actual problem unaddressed and unsolved. You’re going to find that is the common precursor to the bloodlettings, lots of talking that never actually meant much of anything.

Those Who Know It All But Are Not Curious

Friday, March 18th, 2016

Well, Donald Trump has done it yet again. It’s pointless to call out which time he did it, or to argue that this latest example pushes him over some kind of edge, achieving some sort of status to be denied to all the other examples. Pointless to provide a link. Pointless to compare the number of times he did it on this day, compared to the number of times on that other day. Comes as naturally to the man as breathing.

He waxed eloquently about how superbly capable he is of meeting some challenge, or doing some thing, or thinking through some thing. Without showing a single sign of identifying what it is that has made him that way. Today he’s probably going to do it a few more times, and then next week he’ll do it some more.

Trump haters, on both the left and the right, are correct to criticize him for this. They are recalling from the Twenty things that are non-partisan, or darn well ought to be what could arguably be the most important one, Number Five:

If I must learn something new to meet my objective, I will have to admit that I don’t know it, in order to learn it.

I see some common ground shared between myself, and all sorts of different factions involved here. Let me dispense with the least comfortable first: I identify with what is called the “Republican establishment” in their criticism of Trump. Trump, who knows it all, bases seemingly every word of everything he has to say on this faulty premise that he’s the master and hasn’t got anything to learn — but, can’t or won’t speak of the circumstances under which he learned it. Certainly, I can’t relate to The Donald. In my less mature years, perhaps maybe I could have. But since then, I’ve noticed hubris is not something I need to stockpile. Others have had enough flattering things to say about my capabilities and intellect…and with each passing year, I cherish this less and less. I’m at the point it makes me uncomfortable. “Morgan’s a smart guy, he can handle it” so consistently seems to precede some sort of disaster.

So Trump and I are on different pathways in life. If that means our net worths will never come any closer together from here on out, well, so be it.

Knows EverythingDid I say this common ground I shared with the Republican establishment was most uncomfortable? We-ell, about that: I wince in proxy embarrassment when I hear The Modern Left take their turn tearing into The Donald; they who have been holding up The Barack non-stop for all these years, as the “all-knowing, all-wise, and yet not a shred of curiosity to be found” savant. The Republican Establishment is, at least, somewhat consistent. At least they are, if you take what they have to say at face value. The Left criticizing Trump, on the other hand, paint themselves into a rather curious corner. They seem to be saying: Yes, accumulated wisdom correlates with curiosity and an admission that you need to learn things, if and only if we’re talking about the mortal plane. Which is most certainly not occupied by He Who Argues With The Dictionaries. President Lightworker gets a pass.

Obama, lest we forget, just did it too: “I’ve Made My Decision.” That is, I understand from a variety of sources, the subject line of the e-mail He sent out…to no one in particular. Seven years I’ve been spending, wondering when, or if, that “fear not, I have figured out what to do” shtick will ever get tired and I guess by now I have my answer. Someone’s lapping it up, cleaning the plate and demanding seconds. Let me guess the next part: I’m some kind of racist for noticing.

Yes, the 42 white guys who came before also made decisions. But I struggle to figure out which one did so without displaying a hint of curiosity. Yes that includes the immediate predecessor, you know, that dimbulb from Crawford, TX. In my lifetime, they all offered some nod to the truth that their knowledge fell short of the universal entirety. As well as, on occasion, to the conviction held by some of the people they governed, that the decision could’ve & should’ve gone the other way.

Not so with the earthbound, golf-addicted Oracle. Like the “Republican front-runner,” He strikes a perfect confluence between knowing everything, and showing curiosity about nothing.

I also identify with the Trump fans. I keep hearing how stupid they are for falling for all this stuff Trump says. After talking with them, I don’t see any sign of this whatsoever. They’re not taking it completely seriously. Nor do I see any sign from the man they’re following, that this is part of his intent. Which sets him apart from the above-discussed person who occupies the White House at the present time.

I’m afraid this is part of the times in which we currently live. And, God help us, will be for quite some time. Maybe we’re seeing what this thing we call “politics” really is. Perhaps this is the rule, what we lived through before — residual traces of humility, at least, in Eisenhower, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, some might say JFK and Johnson — was the exception.

Maybe this is politics in its “natural habitat.” How it’s done. Admission that the decision was made with even a routine and expected tincture of uncertainty, could be perceived by enemies as a weakness. And admission that there was anything left to be learned by the person who decided, would necessarily imply uncertainty. We can’t have that, so we have that “perfect confluence” instead. Over and over again, until we can’t take it any more, and then we get some more of it and so we’re forced to adapt to it as an unwelcome part of our routine, like a traffic jam. “Fear not, I’ve decided; I learn nothing yet I know everything.” It slaps us in the face until we don’t notice it anymore.

It does not impress me as a formula for likely success. I’ve worked in my share of infuriating bureaucracies just like anyone nominally experienced in tech industries. “The decision has been made, resistance is futile” is not a prelude to any sort of grand accomplishment. Or, a feeling of satisfaction. Or even that you are doing your work where you should be working. It is a warning siren, that however low morale is now, it is never going to get any higher and you should get ready for a nosedive. Because the dimbulbs are in charge.

Incurious dimbulbs.

It would be puerile of me to stoop so low as to insult their level of intellect, to call them “dummies” or “stupid” or something. And yet, I note, the question “but what makes them smart?” continues to hang, unanswered, in the air. If they aren’t curious about anything now, and never were before, then when did they ever learn anything? And why are the rest of us to presume they ever did?

Women in STEM

Monday, March 14th, 2016

This comes up a lot, in my career field. Someone wants to do something about the present fact…which over time has become something of a lingering fact…that very few out of the total number of science jobs, are held by women. And so this latest plan, or stunt, will be introduced with great fanfare. It makes for a lot of attention for those who seek it, but at the end of it all nothing changes very much.

Hooters WaitressAre the geeks like me keeping women out of the field? That is the idea you can see people would like to position ahead of a voice box, just before giving it some hot air so it can lunge out and achieve promotion to spoken thought. They seldom go this far because the thought wouldn’t last long. Keep women out of the field? What meeting was that? I must have missed it. And if I didn’t miss it, I sure as hell wouldn’t have voted yes. Shortening and brightening my work days, working alongside nice-looking intelligent women, like it seems ALL the other male working classes get to do…lawyers, architects, hospital workers, bureaucrats at City Hall, Hooters cooks. Nope, the software engineers just have to toil away endlessly, shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of other sweaty guys. Oh, we’re working hard to keep it that way, are we? Well that would be news to this one.

But you can tell the thought is there. In pieces like this one for example, which adheres to what has become a familiar journalistic pattern: Paragraph One mentions that males already in the field, are poorly behaved. Paragraph Two bludgeons the readers with some more statistics about the disparity. The link between these two things is for the reader to imagine.

Which I must admit, is beyond me. What could the link be? “‘I get called “honey” and “dear” a lot, too.’…women still hold only about 20% of all computer science jobs.” Does the first cause the second, or the second cause the first? Let’s see…woman lands a “science job,” gets called “honey” and “dear,” is traumatized, quits to go home and make babies. Or…women don’t hold many science jobs, so the guys in those jobs never actually see women and don’t know how to behave around them. Well that works a bit better. I must be one of the offenders, having occasionally used these terms. But, I make it a point only to do it around women I know fairly well, who I’m sure would not take it the wrong way. Which I have found is very often the case, most women don’t have a problem with it. Especially when you limit your selection to the women who have actually accomplished something that requires disciplined, scientific thinking.

We only have so much energy. Even upstairs between the ears, when we’re not doing anything physical, there is a finite number of “CPU cycles” in the gray matter within any given time interval. We can burn them off thinking about, is that an unintended infinite-loop, or is it a memory leak? Or we can waste them on being offended. But not both. It is highly unlikely anybody is going to do both.

I’d still suggest getting to know a female co-worker fairly well before calling her “honey.” If you have sufficient sanity about you to write some code that works, which is among the very first steps, you probably don’t need this advice.

But, back to the paucity of female practitioners in hard-science fields. It is a trend so durable, we should recognize the possibility that it is a comment from Mother Nature on the human condition. Maybe, just maybe, the chicks — generally — just don’t wanna. I said generally. You make such a remark in any sort of public setting, and the retort comes flying back at you at Mach One: Not so! This chick over here did such-and-such, and there isn’t a man alive who could do it better blah blah blah…yes, true. But this says a lot more about the handicaps of the retort-maker, than it says about men and women. The concern is about statistics. As in, averages. How’d you lose track of this so soon, retort-maker, we were just discussing it. Were you sleeping?

Reality is falling short of a goal, that the women in these fields should number in proportion to women in the general population. That is the concern. The question it inspires is: From whence did this goal come? Reality did not produce it; that’s why it is under indictment. But reality shouldn’t be. Reality never did or say anything to promise this.

Sexy LibrarianI’ll answer the question. It came from the premise that men and women are exactly the same. Which is factually, provably wrong.

“What can we do to get more women into the STEM fields?” is something that illuminates, brilliantly and as few other things do, the yawning gap between bureaucratic thinking and reality. If there are some young girls who’d like to sharpen their skills, and they’re feeling somehow intimidated by whatever, then curing that would be a worthy goal for anyone. But after all the failed efforts to manage the girls in bulk like they’re cattle or something, reroute them around, culturally condition them, with so little to show for it, it’s time to see that as what it is: A problem that exists on a case by case basis. Even there, it is likely that the talking-heads have overestimated its effects, and not by just a little bit. There’s a great deal more going on to intimidate young girls away from becoming swimsuit models, or beauty pageant contestants, than from being STEMmers. Fact is there just isn’t that much social excoriation going on in these fields, because there’s not a lot going on socially in any direction. It’s an anti-social vocation. We get together out of necessity, only when it is absolutely necessary to get further work done, or when the bosses make us do it. These are called “meetings.” We hate them. Most of us do anyway. I’d venture to say the only people working in STEM fields who look forward to meetings, are the political-animal types, the ones whose favorite desktop computer application is the e-mail client. The ones who have to have the last word on all matters great and small. The ones who, if you look closely, aren’t really all that STEM-my.

And sadly, those are the ones who all too often become bosses. That’s when you know you’re working for a bureaucracy, and the priority of technological advancement has slipped a peg or two. When we hear about people who look good in suits and are good at talking into microphones, making their noise about “getting more women into the STEM fields,” we know it’s one of those tell-tale signs that the wrong people are in charge. That we’ve got twiddlers in charge. Those who can, do; those who can’t, make fancy speeches and twiddle with the rules constraining those who are doing. That’s best-case scenario. Worst-case is, we have insane people in charge. Because let’s face it, if technology is important, that means technology can alter the course of humanity for the better, just like your course is altered by someone extinguishing the fire that was consuming your house…and in a situation like that, if you’re all worried about whether the fireman has a penis or a vagina, you can legitimately be called a lot of different things but “sane” is not one of those things. Worry about the fire. That’s the job.

The “Compassionate” Bullying of the Left

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Erick Erickson, The Daily Signal:

For example, the very people who support Planned Parenthood’s butchering and selling of baby body parts also advanced the disaster of Obamacare because they care for children. The same people who insist that “The Vagina Monologues” be permitted on col­lege campuses also set up “safe zones” to restrict free speech because students must be protected from harmful ideas—like marriage being between a man and a woman. They outlaw incandescent light bulbs so we can use only toxic mercury because they care about polar bears and penguins with happy feet.

Around the country, progressive bullies have attacked Christians for daring to put their faith ahead of the pet causes of those who feign compassion while destroying life-giving liberties. What we are seeing is a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners approach as the wildfire burns across our land. It is not enough that Christians be quiet. Christians must be silenced and punished.
There will be no going down the street to another florist, baker, pharmacist, venue operator, or photographer. Any who defy them are labeled bigots and driven to the fringes of society.

They will viciously attack those who disagree with them because they tire of the debate, which they never wanted to begin with. They have no interest in explaining or defending their beliefs. They want victory and know the only way to get it is to silence, isolate, and destroy any who get in their way. The progressive activists who yell bigot at those who disagree with them are the jihadists of American culture.

The column is adapted from the book You Will Be Made to Care.

I’ve been noticing this thing about liberals tiring of a debate, which they may have started, but never wanted. Been noticing it awhile. Somewhere I made the point that a lot of people — wasn’t thinking of them as liberals, it was just a general observation — tend to forget the first rule of winning arguments: To get there, somewhere along the line you have to do some actual arguing. That’s, like, the first step. Veggies before dessert. We’ve lately got a lot of people living among us who want to skip to the fun part.

And yeah, come to think of it a lot of them do tend to be liberals.

“Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.” — William F. Buckley, Jr.

“I don’t want to start an argument or anything, but…” What a nice sentiment. If disagreement ensues, it must be the other person’s fault. Can’t we all just get along?

Very Un-Liberal Things

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

I can only think of two examples. But two is enough…

The missus had the idiot-box tuned to one of those shows liberals just love. It doesn’t matter which one. But I was noticing the male action hero somehow got away with doing a very un-liberal thing, namely, telling his female co-star something like “Stay right here, don’t go anywhere or do anything until I get back.” The other example would be Jack Bauer beating a terrorist senseless until he can find out where the ticking time bombs are…

It’s interesting. It would be healthy if it relied on a decent and crisp separation between fact and fiction. In a way, it does. But there’s something insincere about it as well. These people we today call “liberals” are the way they are, because we’re going through a cultural conflict. They’re intruding into an established culture, with a new culture they’d like to impose. “Conservatives” are any people who do something to resist this incursion. This new, enlightened culture says men should not address women in any manner or tone except for the most-deferential; to do otherwise is uncool, anywhere, inside or outside of the teevee set. And that goes double for pummeling terrorists to get information, of course. Their message is not one of “that’s only cool in make-believe, real-life people shouldn’t do that”; their message is that this is BadThink. It’s part of the thought-smallpox we’re supposed to make extinct, right?

The two examples — there may be more — dislodge a telling fig leaf. They reveal a meaningful truth, that liberals and conservatives don’t actually disagree about what’s cool. The disagreement is in whether ordinary people are worthy. Kinda gets back to what I was noticing about their newest, Trump-defense campaign slogan: “America is already great.” You don’t know what that actually means, any better than I do. Does that mean, sometime since their guy got sworn in seven years ago, America crossed some threshold and became “great,” rather like the sun crossing the celestial equator and starting Spring officially? Because the liberal catechism sure as hell doesn’t smile on the idea that America was “already great” in 2009. So, when exactly was this crossover-point, this vernal equinox? Where is the enthused, self-identifying liberal who will comment on that?

Again: Without the “ordinary people aren’t worthy” idea tossed into the mix, there’s an irreconcilable contradiction. And with that emulsifier added, things align, sort out, start working. But this would mean “America is already great” really means, “America hasn’t got any business aspiring to be any greater.”

Pay all your bills, fund your retirement AND save for your kids’ college funds? No peasant, you must choose. Let Sweden and Guatemala have a shot at that first. America has been “great” too long. Am I interpreting unfairly? Because this makes everything work. Jack Bauer is cool when he does what’s needed to stop the bomb plot, but that’s him, you just squirm appropriately while your liberal wife yells at you, Hillary/Bill style.

It also fits into another observation I made awhile ago. There is some sort of licensing process, or criteria at least. Certain people, the aforementioned current President and His wife among them, are permitted by the liberal intelligentsia to imagine themselves doing extraordinary things, to aspire to these things. They are encouraged to do this, applauded for doing this, for merely having the thought, or enabling the thought. Others are not, and the difference doesn’t have as much to do with ideological leanings as it does with social proximity.

It’s a phobia. If you live next door to a liberal, socialize with the liberal, occupy the same economic bracket as the liberal, and then you earn a promotion at work then this creates pressure on the liberal. If this stuff we today call “liberalism” is any one thing at all, it is the avoidance of pressure. Don’t wanna, that’s too hard, what about the rest of us who didn’t bother. Who’s going to provide the worm to the bird who didn’t want to get up early? We need a program…

President Obama, along with others in the same mold, can be a “transforming figure” because He is not a peer.

And this is a division that has endured between liberals and conservatives, since before America’s Civil War. The idea that certain types of people are just certain types of pegs, that fit into certain types of holes. In other words, remember your place. And stick to it. We are supposed to think of women this way, men are supposed to go over there and stay out of the way, let’s have a gay guy do this, the President should be black, and now that He is nothing He does matters unless it can be put in a positive light…doing what needs to be done is for Jack Bauer, you and I are just supposed to go to work, if we do have work, and spend as much of the day as we can in the stall so we can get paid to poop. College kids have these jobs, non-college kids have those jobs.

As opposed to: No, anybody can do anything. The only limit is you.


Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Vodkapundit, which is Stephen Green:

Last December my newly minted ten-year-old got a Swiss Army knife for his birthday — an Explorer much like my first.
It’s a rite of passage, and an important one I think, for your children to earn their first knife and to learn its proper use and care. Unless your children are anything like these kids:

California State University at Long Beach on Thursday said that it has taken seriously an incident in which a faculty member saw a student with a small knife, in class, and asked him to leave and notified authorities. On social media, the incident was described by some as a threat by the student against a black female student in a class on gender and race issues. Many on social media have questioned why Cal State didn’t alert the campus to danger or take further action against the student. The university statement does not reference many of the details claimed on social media. But the university says that the incident remains under investigation by campus and local officials, and that a threat assessment determined no immediate threat.

Back in my university days…if a professor had asked for a show of hands for who was carrying a pocketknife, some men (typically but not exclusively men) would raise their hands. Some wouldn’t. But the point is that nobody would have really thought much of it one way or the other. I’d even be willing to wager that in some parts of the country, a man might feel a small bit of shame if he’d forgotten to grab his knife that morning. I know I feel naked without one — and next-to-useless, too, if I find I need one and it isn’t there.

I prefer my Skeletool, with the belt clip. Sheaths, both leather and nylon, have failed me repeatedly and I find them unworthy of the tool itself, which is insanely well-engineered. Oh, but we want safety, do we? Well…the pliers probably saved the fingers of the purchasing & requisitions lady who I rescued at 6 in the morning one day, as she struggled to pry the paper detritus from a business-sized shredding machine that couldn’t be unplugged from the wall.

ImprovisingWhich is a point I see not discussed too much. In this balance between perfectly-ready and perfectly-safe, we presume these are always opposite goals. It isn’t so. A lot of the time in life, being ready brings its own safety benefits. In fact that’s most of the time. When people have to get something done and they’re forced by “safety” rules to be unready, they start…improvising…

The other point I see not being raised as often as it should, is this passive-voice notion of “…described by some as a threat by the student against…” You’ll notice that is the entirety of the stated danger. Someone said. Someone posted on Facebook. Someone saw it as. “Many on social media have questioned why Cal State didn’t alert the campus to danger or take further action…” As is the case with all passive-voice statements, the question lingers: Who?

It matters.

See, when people say “it’s a threat when someone else has something that could be used as a weapon,” what they’re really saying is “you should feel threatened when I have something that could be used as a weapon.” They’re saying people shouldn’t rely on the value others place on human life, which is the foundation of any civilized society; they’re saying they don’t believe in civilized society. They’re projecting their lack of community feeling, onto others.

When they hallucinate about people with guns on a subway, suddenly turning that setting into a bloodbath, what they’re saying is that they have the untested impulses to do something like this. They’re saying they come from a place where people are not to be trusted.

This is a bit like the underwriter at a bank, being responsible for approving loans for which he himself would never qualify. And then, because of that, denying them all. Nope! I can’t be trusted to pay back a loan, so that means nobody else should either.

So for the safety of us all, it would be a good idea to track down these people who so-described and so-questioned, and find out who they are. Perhaps we’re all in danger with them walking around free like that. If it saves one child’s life then it’s certainly worth it…right?

Two Grannies, One Lamborghini

Monday, March 7th, 2016

By way of Gerard.

The Small Thermal Exhaust Port

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

…or, how to destroy modern-liberalism once and for all. I haven’t got all the answers yet, and what I do have no doubt has been gathered by others who are more eloquent at describing it. Nevertheless, it occurs to me someone should be putting this all together in one place. People do make observations about liberals a lot. But I don’t often see these things put together into a strategy to actually solve the problem.

1. There is an intelligence within the liberal movement, manifesting itself through its competence, taking on the responsibility of adjusting the agenda between election cycles. Let us call this the “scheming elites,” since the slickness through which it self-coordinates suggests limited size, and the content of its strategy shows that it does not share all interests with the constituencies upon whose support it depends.

2. There is a demonstrated ignorance within the movement as well, a bloated, voluminous, sprawling ignorance. The argument of: “If democrats win elections when there is economic desperation, they must have an incentive to preserve and create such desperation” is so simple, and irrefutable. When liberals fail to understand it, the only possible explanation is that a cosmetic lack of understanding must be the only method of refutation available to them. This fits in well with other observations made about liberals who fail to understand things: They get emotionally invested in wrong things, and when a logical point is made by someone that exposes the wrongness, they have to do something to disrupt the discussion, to avoid learning logically sound, but contraband, things. We could call this the “ignorant commons.”

3. The liberal movement consists, in large part, of a sustained monologue taking place FROM the scheming elites TO the ignorant commons, with zero feedback, very much like the power structure among the aristocracy and the peasants in feudal times. A great portion of this monologue, measured either in volume or in priority, is concerned with instructions about how the ignorant-commons should do their living, their communicating, their thinking. The instructions run long on “do this, don’t do that” and run short on hard, helpful information. Passive-voice sentences appear very often in the message stream. And these are things the scheming-elites would never, ever practice themselves. Examples abound.

Death Star4. One of these examples would be the elevation of emotion above reason. We know this must be part of what the scheming-elites would have the ignorant-commons continue to practice, and yet would never practice themselves, because this emotion-over-reason configuration is so intrusive and so persistent that its practice blocks self-improvement. We know this because Obama voters managed to — chose to — re-elect Obama. This is a choice not to learn from experience. The scheming-elites, meanwhile, figured out they had been in error directing their political resources away from the legalization of gay marriage, and so they self-corrected. This proves a differential between these two halves, about how a thinking and acting person must conduct himself. If the preservation of this differential is key to the enemy’s continuing survival, it logically follows that the destruction of this differential is key to his defeat.

5. The ignorant-commons consistently fail to distinguish between statements about facts, versus statements about what facts might mean. Put more simply, they can’t think. Examples include emotionally unhinged sentiments of conclusion that purport to be statements of fact, such as “Health care should be a right and that’s a fact,” or “Education must be free and that’s a fact.” This makes it easy for the scheming-elites to program the ignorant-commons to have certain opinions; they say, “get the facts” about this-or-that. The ignorant-commons then obey, get told what to think, and with this emotion-over-reason juxtaposition in place, proceed to “feel” like they know something. From that feeling, they get a sort of a hit, like a hardcore junkie. It’s their soma.

6. There is also a hostility against any sort of exceptional thinking, I’ve noticed. It’s the sort of thing you might see more often in a middle or high school setting. If a functional adult sees that a brush fire is about to start, it doesn’t matter if a lot of other people can see it as well; urgent action is required. To an emotionally-invested liberal, like to a seventh-grader, nothing is worth noticing if it hasn’t achieved “everybody knows” status. “Nobody thinks that” is a legitimate rebuttal, even against observations that, once measured objectively and in good faith, would be undeniable. One of the things that distinguishes liberals from conservatives is faith in one’s own ability to validate. A conservative believes himself capable of seeing conflicts between contradictory statements, repeatedly, and eventually from that judging the true state of things. A liberal doesn’t even try. So a conservative, forced to choose, will value the ability to think logically over a repository of verified & verifiable information, whereas the liberal will not, because the conservative can see one can be made from the other with just a bit of work.

7. The potential weakness of the movement, leading to its eventual defeat, is to sever the link between the scheming-elites and the ignorant-commons; somehow, disrupt the flow of information through that pipeline. What would make that easy is that the connection relies on an implicit trust, and the truth of the matter is that this trust is unearned, since the scheming-elites favor policies that hurt the ignorant-commons. In short, the objective is to expose the elites, as parasites. What makes it difficult is that the ranks of the ignorant-commons are constantly replenished, by way of youth reaching majority age. In order to defeat the enemy, such an enlightenment would have to achieve an attrition rate that exceeds the rate of replenishment.

It all depends on what youngsters, marching up to and teetering on the brink of adulthood, manage to learn before arriving at that brink. Modern liberalism has achieved success because it’s taken control of what we today erroneously call “education.” They’ve managed to turn it into a process of emotional investments in emotional investments. Today we’re fighting a problem that has been allowed to mature and grow. It is a Death Star of bureaucratic, passive, “hope the bosses do things to help me” thinking.

But every Death Star has an exhaust port.

Related: Dice explains where this is all going if the small photon torpedo doesn’t find its mark.