Archive for October, 2018

“We Have to Stop Demonizing People and [Demonize] White Men”

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Don Lemon, talking too much on Cuomo Prime Time:

CNN host Don Lemon insisted that “the biggest terror threat” facing the U.S. “is white men” — and wondered what the nation could “do about that.” He made his comments Monday night on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”

“I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity,” Lemon told anchor Chris Cuomo. “So we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the Right, and we have to start doing something about them.”

Lemon claims he doesn’t want to “demonize any one group” — but he has no problem doing exactly that when the group is conservative white men.

Cuomo either ignored or missed the obvious contradiction in Lemon’s assertion.

All these years, people overall imagined “news” to be put together and brought to us by angelic Walter Cronkite types…we imagined a kindly uncle wise saintly type…

Cronkite himself, in truth, was very far removed from this.

As for the so-called “news” people who work the circuit today, they’re a bunch of deranged hateful kids. Self-loathing white kids, non-white kids bigoted against whites, self-loathing male kids, non-male kids bigoted against males, self-loathing straight kids, gay kids bigoted against straights. Sheltered, inexperienced, bigoted, ignorant, hateful. Proud of their ignorance and proud of their hate.

It is the kind of ignorance that can come only from people who haven’t done things. Like “Buy your meat in the store where no animals were harmed.”

Or “Move those deer-crossing signs to someplace with less traffic…”

They don’t even get the basics. They don’t understand the difference between a fact and an opinion. They don’t know the difference between an opinion about what’s so, vs. an opinion about what to do. And as Mr. Lemon so aptly demonstrates, a blatant contradiction in mid-sentence, setting the first half and second half of said sentence at odds with each other, doesn’t even give them pause.

Trusting them to bring us our news made as much sense as trusting a barnyard pig to do our taxes. Or, scratch that, to recommend a decent brand of bacon…

Never let them decide for the rest of us what’s so; never, never, not ever. They don’t know and they don’t care. You can’t build anything, in tech or in anything else, thinking the way they do — except onerous rules that make it less likely someone else could build something. Their silly arguments are built for monologue, not dialogue, and they can’t give us answers to even the most obvious questions about them, nor can they answer to the fundamental questions all diligently thinking adults must ask about all things.

And they lie. Even worse, wherever they can get away with it, they “demonize” others for merely telling the truth. If the rest of us notice this, too audibly or in the wrong company, we’re to be demonized too because we’re creating a threatening environment — for them. But they may do their demonizing at pleasure. I can’t explain this and you can’t either. It’s got something to do with “equality.”

Update 11/1/18: Evidently he still doesn’t understand what the problem is, and has taken to spewing some more hateful nonsense…thinks there is blowback against his earlier remarks because of lack of data or something.

It’s not going to be possible in the short term, to get the point across to him that statistical support is not the issue. The issue is that he’s blinded by hate and therefore can’t be trusted to know what is and isn’t so. People like this can be trusted to report what the statistics are, but that’s all. They can’t be trusted to interpret their meaning, to figure out what some closely related statistics might say, can’t be trusted to notice, let alone process, any evidence that might contradict. In fact they can’t even rely on themselves to make a statement about what it is they’re trying to prove. What is he trying to prove, anyway?

I see only one possible answer, and that would qualify his whole litany, indisputably, under the very textbook definition of racism. No doubt he’d say this means I lack the sophistication required to comprehend. If he had what it took to realize “A, therefore B” he wouldn’t be a liberal. It’s gotta be the other guy’s problem.

It’s really sad. He thinks he proved what he said earlier. He really proved what I said earlier. Listen to these people…only to get a reading on how bad so-called “journalism” has gotten, how far it’s fallen, how much it’s rotted from within.

The Good People They Don’t Deserve to Have

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

I’ve said liberals are definitions-averse, once, or a thousand times. Want me to prove it? Let’s just wait until they start recruiting new liberals, from the ranks of the wise centrists…you know, the ones who don’t lean one way or the other, because they’re above paying attention to politics. The salt of the earth types. The decent people who want to do right by others. The genuinely good people that the liberal movement doesn’t deserve to have.

Wiley CoyoteWhen they make the pitch to these good people, the definitions of things don’t just whither and die. They come to an abrupt stop like Wiley Coyote hitting the side of a cliff.

We need to raise taxes so government can pay as it goes!! Sounds so reasonable. It sounds, at first blush, like anyone opposed to this must be the ones who want to ruin everything. Pay as it goes? As in, not pass on the debt to my grandchildren? Who’s opposed to that? Of course we have to raise the taxes…on…uh, you know…those other people over there. Rich people. Not me.

The definitions have abruptly ceased. What is the public debt today? What do we expect it is going to do next year, and the year after, if we don’t raise the taxes? What will it do if we do? Are we thinking about paying it down a bit, or off entirely? If so, when?

Liberals don’t give a shit about deficits, debt, solvency of future generations or any of that boring stuff. They just want high taxes.

Another example is the spooky climate change. You have to agree with them on it anyway, right? Otherwise you’re “going against the science,” because ninety-seven percent of all scientists agree…uh…on stuff. Well, what is that exactly? You actually aren’t supposed to be asking about that, you’re supposed to just assume: Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree my great great grandchildren are going to fry like worms on a hot sidewalk, if we don’t tell that nasty man Donald Trump what’s what & what-for.

We have to raise the minimum wage because it’s impossible to raise a family on this! Oh really? What are people doing, raising families on minimum wage?

We can’t have someone like that on the Supreme Court! Anita Hill and Susan Blasey Ford were telling the truth! Oh is that right? You were there? And what happens if we do have someone “like that” on SCOTUS? If you could have blocked that nomination, what exactly would that have done? Send some kind of message to would-be molesters? A message that would have managed to do more good, than the harm done by the other message that would have been sent…if you don’t like the President’s nominee, just make up a story and we’ll socially cudgel people into believing it…

Of course you’re not supposed to demand specificity if someone uses “everyone” or “nobody.” But you’re certainly supposed to act like they’re serious when they say it…because they sure act like it. Everyone agrees! Or: Nobody wants to take your guns! So you went door-to-door and took a poll?

Must raise taxes on the wealthiest one percent to make them pay their fair share! One percent? Why not two percent? Or five percent? How much adjusted gross income is that? What is this “fair share” of which you speak, how do you go about determining that?

I don’t care if President Trump cures cancer, I refuse to support him because of my principles! Okay, so what are those? At this point, Trump supporters can point to any one of a number of things he’s done to ease the suffering of people here & there…and you can argue against some of it, but to argue against all of it would be silly and absurd. So your principles include making people suffer, or do they not include the abatement of peoples’ suffering? What other principles are worth having?

Part of the reason radical liberalism has made such inroads over the last fifty years, is our society at large deserved to have it happen. Liberalism is like the vampire that cannot enter your house, until someone invites him in…and someone did. People were in a bigger hurry to demonstrate their kindness and goodness, than to demand details where it would have been more than appropriate to demand those details. That is what opened Pandora’s Box. On all the rest of us.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Be specific, and when someone else wants you to support something, make them be specific too. Next time around, ignorance will not be an adequate excuse.


Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Modern liberalism; the desire to be a liberal; all the mission statements of liberal efforts; all their misguided legislation, when you strip away the red-herrings that are things they don’t really care about like “economy” and “environment”…

STEMWhat you’re left with is the desire to belong. This is the real distinguishing characteristic between liberals and conservatives. The conservative is not a spoiled-rotten nobleman from the court of King Louis XVI who wants to keep his inheritance and his lands and his status and his privilege; it’s a frazzled shopkeeper downtown who doesn’t want bums crapping on his sidewalk. When he’s done with trying to see what he can do about that, he has to use his remaining hours attending to his business, which may or may not be profitable. But he’s got something he needs to do, and a sense of purpose to it. He belongs. That’s the issue.

Liberals are in the process of building a whole new world, atop the ashes of this one as soon as they’re done destroying it, in which the people who belong somewhere today, don’t belong anywhere then. And the people who don’t belong anywhere now, will have a place to be in this new world.

This is why they accuse dissenters of “not going with the science.” It’s got nothing to do with science, it’s all political. A carrot to be dangled before the nose of the ones who seek to belong.

As this “caravan” continues to demonstrate to us, the emblems of the movement are people who don’t belong. The gays who couldn’t get married, the transgenders who supposedly couldn’t go to the bathroom anywhere, the women who are having perceived trouble breaking the glass ceiling…

I’m old enough to remember when the rallying cry of liberals was “think globally, act locally.” If liberals who craved this sense of belonging actually did that, they would find, in a very short stretch of time, they’d belong. But then the political movement would whither and die.

On Hillary Being Uncivil

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018


Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that civility in America can only begin again if Democrats win back the House or Senate this fall.

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

I’m late to the party on this one and others have already commented quite a bit. There is one thing, though, that doesn’t seem to get mentioned…

She never qualified this “what you stand for, what you care about” thing. Ever. Right? In context, we could presume, by reading everything literally, she’s talking about an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Merrick Garland. I have some doubts that’s what she means.

This is one of the reasons I frown on ending sentences with dangling prepositions. It ties into my dislike of passive voice. This is a sterling, shining example. The most important facet of the message she’s supposed to be conveying…isn’t even in there. It’s left for us to guess.

By design, one must conclude. If she said what she really thought, people would start to shy away from it.

On the Pink Hats

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

I have a character flaw. Actually I have many, but perhaps the one that has alienated people most frequently is this one…

From the time I could talk, I have driven people to distraction by treating the unknown as, you know, the unknown. Like a little kid — but why? Why this? Why that? I’m sure for people who don’t welcome it, it’s quite tedious. There hasn’t been any enigma worth leaving as an enigma. This is not to say I’ve managed to figure out everything — far from it — but at the very least I’ve always wanted to make a lasting footnote out of whatever story was incomplete, whatever mystery couldn’t be cracked. Just in case some new information came my way, at a later time, that could answer the question…

Right up until these fucking pink pussy hats.

“I am unhappy with Trump winning the election” has something to do with wearing a knitted facsimile of a woman’s vagina on your head…how? I’m at the point where I don’t give a shit anymore. Past it, rather. Yes it’s got something to do with this hot-mic debacle on the bus with “grab ’em by the pussy,” that part I get. But what’s this supposed to be on your head? Another woman’s vagina? Your own? You’ve got pussy on your mind? You’re offering up your hat for Donald Trump to grab? You want him to grab your head?

The core message seems to be one of: I really wanted that scandal to decide the election so Hillary would win, and since that didn’t happen it makes me unhappy. Okay, so you learned the hard way the country overall isn’t that hung up on this stuff. Now you wish to repeat the message, in the form of knitted head wear, that you’ve learned through experience doesn’t work. And toward that end you want to spend real money, make a big show out of spending the money, encourage others to spend money on this thing you know doesn’t work. I don’t get that part.

It’s like the desire went one way, reality went the other way, and what you wish to advertise is that you elevate your desires above conflicting reality. Well right. That’s part of what makes a liberal a liberal, “feelz above realz.” Well yeah, we knew this about you guys already. For quite awhile. If you could put what’s real above what your feelings were about it, and in so doing acknowledge reality even when you find it uncomfortable, you wouldn’t be liberals. So what else are you trying to say?

Pink Pussy HatsThe official website says it is a

social movement focused on raising awareness about women’s issues and advancing human rights by promoting dialogue and innovation through the arts, education and intellectual discourse.

No it doesn’t do that. Not unless you count eyeball-rolls as “dialogue” and wearing a lady-parts reference on your head as “intellectual discourse.” There is slippage here. I know I’m the one reading things too literally, and there’s a “wink wink nudge nudge” going on that I’m supposed to…you know…just get. Like and stuff. Well no, I don’t get it, it eludes me.

I see some other lefty activists, it turns out, don’t like the hats. This comes as a surprise to these people who are much smarter than I am, who can just-get-it. Looks like they didn’t get something: “…that they [the hats] might not include trans women or nonbinary women or maybe women whose (genitals) are not pink.” Alright so maybe this is a fail anyway. But what was it trying to say? The questions above remain open.

Or…maybe not. Unlike the many, many other things I haven’t managed to get in my half century on the planet…and I’m including in that, things like “Why doesn’t Ziggy wear pants?” and “How does the roadrunner disappear into a tunnel the Coyote painted onto the rock?”…with this one my patience is at an end and I don’t care anymore.

The hat wearers themselves, apart from displaying execrable judgment, don’t know. And don’t care.

That’s like George Lucas not knowing or caring why “Han shot first” at Darth Vader at the dinner table in Cloud City, when he didn’t shoot first with Greedo back at Mos Eisley. Or for that matter, Darth Vader sitting down at a dinner table. If he’s ignorant & apathetic and he’s the one putting together this universe, that means there’s no answer. I think we’re at that point with the pink hats. The thing that would make it all make sense, is out of view, but since it’s out of view, I’m ready to seriously entertain the possibility — now a likelihood — that there’s nothing there at all. I can’t prove it. But this time, perhaps for the first time, I’m ready to enshrine that without any further evidence substantiating that it’s so, as an article of belief.

It’s an incoherent message. End of mystery.

Are You Serious?

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Now that the Kavanaugh-scopy is over, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on one thing: This “job interview” metaphor which I think was first invoked by Lindsey Graham. There are many problems with this; as more than one Los Angeles Times reader has pointed out, “job interviews aren’t supposed to ruin lives.”

I have some experience with job interviews, on both sides of the table. When interviewing, I see my role as a senior technical adviser who, when you get right down to it, is extraordinarily unlikely to contribute anything that will change the outcome one way or the other. When I’m the one being interviewed, of course the food on my table is connected directly to that, so I put a lot more importance on that.

Being a “two century man” in the tech world, I look back on my experiences and divide them that way. There is pre-Y2K in which everything was straightforward; there is post-Y2K in which something seems to have happened and I’m still not entirely sure what it is. I’ll get to that in a bit. Let me first concentrate on the earlier time back when the year began with “nineteen.”

Life was simple. Employers wanted to know if I already had the skills; and if I didn’t have them, what would the experience be like for them as I acquired those skills. Do you know the — let’s call it — Lizard computer programming language? Five years experience with the Lizard language was obviously superior to 2 or 3 years experience. If you had zero years, maybe you knew the Newt language. Lizard is just like Newt, someone might say. He’ll pick it up real quick if he’s as smart as he seems. After assessment of experience in the relevant field, we would proceed to team-compatibility, which was really as precise an estimate as could be formed about whether you were a natural-born horse’s ass. Remember that pudgy guy in Jurassic Park who stole the frozen dinosaur embryos? They wanted to not hire that guy.

NedryNow my full-time jobs have lasted awhile, on average. Against the obvious expectations, this is more of a bug than a feature when it comes time to go looking, because this recruiting-world can change dramatically while I’m disconnected from it. Some people have spent twenty years or more contracting and haven’t been in any one gig for more than a year or so, which must be interesting. I lack their familiarity with the system. And so a few years after the calendar changed, I woke up from my slumber and discovered everything else changed too. This “soft skills” assessment that’s supposed to screen out double-chin guys who’d steal the dinosaur embryos, had exploded like a supernova, incinerating and consuming everything else. Fifteen years onward I’m still figuring out how to process this. The technology has become much more complicated and there are many more horror stories of enterprises hiring the wrong guy — wrong in the skills department — and having to dismiss him. And so the concern is there. But it doesn’t seem to percolate through the system. It’s like Human Resources has thrown a protective barrier around this process and imposed its own system of priorities, excluding all others.

Which isn’t necessarily wrong. You don’t want to hire a horse’s ass.

The most obvious explanation is that shared experience must have necessitated the shift. Maybe there have been a lot of horse’s-asses getting hired. Lots of dinosaur embryos stolen. I would imagine you could absorb a lot more damage hiring a guy with the correct skills but missing the necessary scruples, than the other way around.

But isn’t hiring a candidate who’s missing either one a nearly-guaranteed fail? So in that sense, sympathizing with it as a business decision, I’m still a bit baffled. I think I’m not the only one.

But my point is, throughout it all what we’re doing — the employer and employee alike — is the dance of being an adult. We’re adulting. And this essentially comes down to three words in the form of a question.

Are you serious?

The hard skills, the soft skills, the clothes you’re wearing, the company you keep, your training, your pursuit of the training. It all comes down to showing the other person you’re serious. That’s the big difference between being an adult and being a kid. For me this has become a big issue, as over the years I’ve come to turn it around, out of necessity, figuring out prospective “employers” or the recruiters who represent them aren’t serious. And from talking to others in the tech field, I’ve learned this isn’t unique to me. The emphasis has shifted away from the recruiters assessing our skills; many among them aren’t doing that at all. They assess whether we’re serious, in terms of whether we’d be a good fit for the team, and then we have to assess whether they’re serious about opening up an interview in which we’re really being considered, as opposed to what looks like an interview and isn’t one. Or whether they just want to collect names to put on a list so it looks like they’ve really gone through the field with a fine-tooth comb, when the successful candidate has been chosen already.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I can see things didn’t really change that much between the centuries. Back in my younger days when the central question was “Do You Know Lizard?” they really just wanted to know if I was serious. Do you know it already, or are you going to have to learn on our nickel, was almost a peripheral question, somewhat along the lines of “Is shipping included?” when you buy something over the Internet. Looking at it from the employer’s point of view, back in the days when I wasn’t commanding that much in terms of salary, things would work out alright even if I didn’t know Lizard or Newt or Dragon or Iguana — as long as I was serious. It was exactly like, for them, the way it is for us when the supplier has the item in stock, but has to ship it from China. If we really want the item and we know it’s right for us, we’ll pay the higher amount, and wait. And it will make good business sense to do so.

This is why adults ask each other, in these words or in other words, “Are You Serious?”

It’s not just looking for a job, or even buying & selling stuff. About this time I had to re-enter the dating field, and I discovered once again that things had changed. The sex appeal I never really thought I had in great amounts, in my youth, I must have had because there was something present-and-accounted-for before, that was missing now. But also, in my age group this faded away as a consideration. Women my age were more concerned about compatibility, which was a good thing because that’s where my concerns were as well. But what was that, exactly? Throughout the weeks and months a certain reality slowly began to sink in, that women by & large weren’t personally sure of what they wanted to find. It was as if the vision for most-desirable-male, had descended upon Planet Woman, much like a popular new fashion trend. And women wanted to be seen by other woman pursuing this type of guy, just as they’d want to be seen by other woman wearing a particular brand or style of leather boot. What I was coming to learn was that the “success” of these encounters, and their duration over this very brief window of time, were in inverse proportion to the distance between me — as each of my prospects saw me — and this ideal.

Whether I was an interesting person. How much money I made. How I spent my spare time. What I watched on the teevee (which, at that time, was nothing). What books I read. We think, when we’re available and looking, that women want to know these things so they can pick up clues and form conclusions about what makes us tick, our compatibility with each other, what their lives would be like as they share them with us. My own experiences quickly disabused me of that. From what I saw, it’s more like picking up clues about what other women will think of them when, for some period of time, you’re the one bringing them to the whatever. I found this to be frustrating, of course. It meant even my successes were defeats. The women weren’t thinking that much about what they really wanted. They were thinking way too much about what they’d be telling their girlfriends about their new fella, and whether that made for a good story that would contribute to their social position with those girlfriends.

And I see nowadays, with a new generation, as was the case back then — if a woman is really cornered with the troublesome question of “What do you want in a man?” and forced to come up with an answer — reliable as rain it will come back. “He makes me laugh.” That’s Planet Woman talk for “I don’t have any idea and figuring it out isn’t my priority right now.” That usually means they don’t want a happy life they’re sharing with a man. They put a much higher value on getting approval from other women.

Oh Shut UpI say now, to the lads who are available and are struggling to fix what’s broken: That’s what’s broken. Fix that first. The women who are doing the selecting, like all other selecting adults, are struggling to properly assess the answer to the question “Are you serious?” And they’re confused because the most common way to resolve that is to figure out if the prospective suitor is not serious. No wonder they’re so frustrated.

How do you fix that, when you don’t get to control how a woman evaluates you? Same way you fix the employment thing. You turn it around. In both areas of life, if you’re having troubles it means you’re not putting enough emphasis on assessment. You’re not spending your share of time in the magistrate’s seat. It means you have to put more thought into whether the other person is serious. Women, jobs…we may be bringing something to the table that opens a lot of doors, or we may not, but either way we’ve only got time for one of each. It’s not my place to do all the jobs or to date all the women. So grown-ups have to make a selection and that starts with figuring out if the other person is serious.

How to figure out someone isn’t serious, is something I should probably leave for a whole separate post. But it might be within scope here, and paying a decent minimal respect to the reader’s time, to burn off just one short paragraph kicking off that topic before returning to the subject at hand. In all these walks of life, we have a great many purported “adults” walking around among us who don’t really have what it takes to be an adult, because they haven’t ever gotten over that one big shock of entering adulthood. The squirming away under the microscope, while someone who’s considering entering into, or maintaining, a relationship with you tries to figure out if you’re serious. Incomplete “adults,” just tall old kids really, want that settled so that the question goes away. They want a lifetime-guaranteed affirmative-adjudication. After some deadline, if the question remains there must be something wrong with the person asking. Think in terms of Barack Obama’s, and His supporters’, seething resentment against anyone daring to question His birth certificate, or that Blasey Ford woman’s supporters and their anger against anyone who wouldn’t uncritically believe her so-called “testimony.” This is a desire for immediate and lasting approval — and a simmering grudge if it isn’t forthcoming. Adults know there is no such thing; they are comfortable with the reality that there are only two answers to are-you-serious, “no” and “pending.” That’s a very different thing from saying some residual distrust will always be there, or that no one has any real confidence in anybody else. Actually it means quite the exact opposite. Adults judge each other, they each find the other person is serious, they renew the business or marital or friendly relationship for the day, and then…they keep assessing and renewing. This is not suspicion. It is affirmation.

How this pertains to Kavanaugh, and likening his confirmation process to a “job interview”:

It’s incorrect, of course, and not for the reasons the LA Times readers say. They’re still right and Sen. Graham is still wrong. The Senate, as a whole, made an ass out of itself because it did not assess Judge Kavanaugh the way adults assess each other, trying to figure out the answer to “Are You Serious?” The democrats, who still have way too much power even though they’re in the minority, sat in judgment of the opposite. They didn’t want five seats on the Supreme Court taken up by people who are serious. They wanted more not-serious people on the bench, and fewer serious people.

This, the knowledge that has come my way tells me — both the personal anecdotes and what I’ve learned through more established and orthodox channels — is what’s wrong with our society all-around at the present time. We are pandering way too much to people who entered into adulthood, and couldn’t cope with the idea that they have to convince someone they’re serious, which of course kids don’t have to do. The trolley came off the tracks when these grown-up kids managed to get power without figuring out how to do that. And now, in dating, in real job interviews, and in politics, they’re usurping the very concept of adulthood, turning it upside-down, by sitting in judgment of who is & isn’t serious…

…and then making a point of picking the people who aren’t.