Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"You Don't Have To Like Me!"

Team Hillary has tried everything to make the public like her. Nothing has worked. Surprise! Now she had a new strategy, and it's probably the worst strategy ever.

Hillary Clinton is one of the worst campaigners ever. Despite having the power of the entire MSM, feminists, and the Clinton machine behind her, she has sputtered and stumbled and collapsed like an asthmatic racing through an endless field of pollen toward the smokey finish line. She has proven to be uninspired, timid, offensive and gaffe-prone. She's a me-too candidate who takes angry positions on controversial issues years after they stop being controversial. She exploits expired tragedies. She speaks like a drone. She lectures when she should converse, monotones when she must inspire, and leads from behind... far behind. She waffles, dodges, and lies. She's probably a criminal too.

Hillary began by falling on her face with a thud in 2008. Bizarrely believing her problem to be a lack of foreign policy experience, she tried to pad her very thin resume by becoming Secretary of State and vanished in a cloud of incompetence and irrelevance. Since then, she's been dogged with questions of security breaches, destruction of evidence, missing emails, and giving improper favors to her lover personal assistant.

Since her 2012 campaign started in earnest, she's had a half-dozen resets. She's angered reporters by trying to control them, spoken to empty stadiums, and tried to rig the debate schedule. The MSM is so furious at her mishandling of them that they are even openly reporting negative information about her, like how she's notorious for being late to speaking engagements and how this is turning off her voters.

Her ideology, or lack thereof, has turned the left against her. She didn't support gay marriage until everyone else did. She never said a word about Keystone, Wall Street regulation, repealing the Cadillac tax in Obamacare, student loan debt reduction or increasing the minimum wage (all standard positions on the left) until every one of her opponents staked out their position. She barely speaks about Syria or Iran or Israel, and when she does, she says nothing. She never said a word about guns until her latest reboot in the face of an Oregon issue that has already faded to the back pages by the time she spoke up. She wants to help women by accusing the Republicans of politicizing the Planned Parenthood video. She wants to help blacks by N/A. Gays by N/A. She doesn't favor Trumping Hispanics, but doesn't really tell us what she does favor. She was for giving illegals drivers licenses back when she was a Senator until the voters were against it and she's never gone there again. She hasn't even spoken about the Great Trannie Bathroom Civil Rights issue on which Biden is trying to make a name for himself. On education, her position is that she wants the support of the NEA teacher's union, and she vaguely dislikes the parts of the No Child Left Behind Act that everyone else dislikes... you know the parts, but she won't say if she supports or opposes Obama's anti-education union policies. She certainly wants to stop Climate Change in some way yet to be determined. She doesn't like Super PACs either unless they give her money.

Just about the only thing she's been firm on, pun intended, is wanting to see Lenny Kravitz's penis. No, I'm not kidding.

Anyways, a lot of people have a lot of negative feelings about Hillary. Her team tried to squelch this by claiming that anyone using the negative words their focus group found that people applied to her were being sexists or talking in code or something like that. That flopped. Then the email thing hit and she needed to prove she wasn't a liar. She tried to deny that, but that didn't work. So she tried to laugh it off, but that came across as insulting and crazy. She then tried to show that she's a man/woman of the people in the hope that people would forget that she's a liar. She even went on SNL and very stiffly mocked Donald Trump for his hair (that's so 1980s) hoping to show how down with it and hip she is you jive ass turkeys. DynOmite! This didn't work either.

Well, now she has a new strategy. Tryanmax noticed the first part of this a week or so ago when her team of flying monkeys descended upon media land and claimed that it doesn't matter if Hillary is "genuine" because you can be a good leader without being genuine. But genuine is not really the problem because Hillary is genuine all right, she's a genuine b*tch. In fact, recent reports from the Secret Service, again played up by the MSM, have just added to image of Hillary as a real sh*t of a human being. So this week, we finally saw them address the real problem head on. This time, her minions in the MSM are selling the line that it doesn't matter if we like Hillary or not, we should still vote for her. In fact, here are a couple quotes of the dozen or so quotes I saw like this all weekend:
"She kind of turns me off, but I'd rather have a Democrat in there as opposed to a Republican." -- Marsha Campaniello.

"She just rubs me the wrong way. But, hey, you don't have to like her, right?" -- Jim Gallagher
Drink Coke, it sucks and you hate it, but hey, it stops your thirst, right? That is the new strategy??! Yes it is... "You don't have to like me to vote for me!" That is not a winner. Voters will never pick an unlikable candidate. They want someone they would feel comfortable handing power, and that means someone who shares their interests and whom they trust to take care of their interests. The way most people reach that judgment is the emotional question of whether or not they "like" the person.

This is a doomed strategy.

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Open Thread

I apologize for once again shirking my duties at CommentaramaPolitics. I am going through another e-meltdown again. Good news is that Verizon finally has finally restored my internet service after 2 weeks, then Apple/Itunes decided to destroy my Ipad with a new 9.0.1 ugrade". Then after I got that all sorted out, I wanted to cancel the auto-pay on an App and two hours later and four "password" changes, I finally got in. Why do I feel that I achieved some kind of victory against "the Man"? It used to be so much easier when all we had to do is take a book back to the library. I am beginning to take all of these issues personally as a misogynist, micro-aggression.

Anyway, enough about my e-problems...there's so much more happening in the world. Any clue what's happening in Syria? I hear Putin has started regular bombing raids? Or that Trans-Pacific trade agreement? Did you hear about the American Airlines pilot who died mid-flight? Frankly, I don't care because I finally defeated Itunes...for now.

The floor is open
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Sunday, October 4, 2015

It's The Left's Fault

A few thoughts about this Oregon shooter. I blame the left.

This Is Important: There is no single type of shooter. This is important because the left and the MSM hide behind the different types like a shell game to evade responsibility for what they’ve done. I’ll deal with this point more in a moment. For now, let me identify the types that I see.
(1) The forgotten loser. This type is typically sexually incompetent and a failure at life economically. They seek a body count to make them important.

(2) The revenge killer. There is the personal revenge killer who seeks to kill people he knows who have offended him. Again, sexual inadequacy is a key.

(3) The grievance killer. These are people who are generally economic losers and have bought into the left’s grievance view of the world. Hence, they seek to kill large numbers of the people they believe oppress them. Every one of these has bought into leftist ideas about grievance.

(4) The looney tunes. These are guys like Hinckley who are simply insane. They hear voices.

(5) The sickos. This is guys like Manson, Bundy and Dahmer. These guys get off on killing.
I Blame The Left: Yeah, I blame the left for the vast majority of shooters. Here’s why.

The main advertising strategy the left has employed since the age of Marx to the present is the creation of conflict. The left attracts voters by telling people that they are oppressed by someone else and that they need the left to help them settle the score. This generates hate. It puts people at each other’s throats, and makes them feel that their own failures are the result of some vast conspiracy to keep them down: the rich keep down the poor, whites keep down blacks, men keep down women, and so on. The result is that society loses its cohesion and fills with hateful people who advocate all kinds of nastiness in the name of getting revenge against their enemies. Not only does this spur on killers in the third category above, but it wipes out the institutions (mental institution) that tend to suppress the fourth category and the support network (church, families) that keep the first category from becoming lost and seeing murder as a way to solve their problems.

I also blame the left for creating an atmosphere of violence. On the one hand, by framing the world in terms of armed struggle, they promote the idea that violence is a political tool... because for the left it has been for a long time. At the same time, the left dominates entertainment and they use things like gun violence to sell movies, and in so doing, they promote gun violence as a “cool” means of solving problems. Ditto on rap music. This won't affect well-adjusted people but shooters are never well-adjusted, they are weak-minded people living on the fringes. Hence, this encourages the first and second categories. They also turn sickos into celebrities... the sicker the better. Even outside of Hollywood, the left runs the media and their mantra is “if it bleeds, it leads” which again turns sickos into stars. Hence, anyone can become famous just by spilling blood. This encourages the first category.

Really, the only people the left doesn’t encourage is the true sickos, who are simply born defective.

How The Left Avoids Responsibility: The left avoids responsibility for the carnage it’s caused by playing a shell game with killers. Let me give you an example by talking about an article from the AP. In this article, the reporter noted that many law enforcement agencies are now refusing to release the names of shooters so as not to give them the notoriety they seek. They even noted that the FBI endorses this. But that would lay the blame on the MSM, so the AP counterattacked throughout the article.

First, they noted that there are killers who aren’t motivated by publicity, hence, they claimed this strategy won’t work. That's bunk. This is an evasion: this solution won’t solve the entire problem, so we shouldn’t do it. How does that make sense?

Then the author warps the argument and says the police are trying to stop copycat killers because some study found that copycats were more likely within 13 weeks. This argument is then dismissed by saying there have been no school-shooter copycats on record. But this isn’t the point at all. The point is to stop an entire category of killers: those seeking notoriety, which appears to be most of them these days. Also, there is an obvious copycat shooter that the author (intentionally) ignores: the theater shooters. In China, you had a series of knife-wielding copycat killers at grade schools. Guys like the Oregon shooter also are clearly copycats because he was obsessed with Sandyhook documentaries and he specifically spoke about the Virginia Tech shooter online. And isn't it interesting how often Hollywood or TV land needs to hold off on some film or television show because what they do is exactly what some killer just did. The author ignores all of this.

Then the author argues that without releasing the name, it would become harder to understand these killers. But how does that make sense? Doctors always study patients without names. The name is the most meaningless of data points. The author even quotes some professor who actually whined that it would be harder for him to study these people if the name is withheld. Gee, so making it easy to do your job is more important than saving lives, huh?

Then get this. The author notes that “media organizations... reason[] that the name is the key detail that helps unravel and answer broader questions about the killer’s motivations and hold the government accountable. Only with a name can the public know, for example, whether a killer shouldn't have been able to buy a gun or if authorities missed red flags." Bull.

The name is irrelevant to the motivation and motivation can be examined without releasing the name. It is also irrelevant to “holding the government accountable,” whatever that means. Knowing whether the killer got the gun legally or whether the authorities missed red flags can all be done without revealing the name of the killer. Not to mention, none of these guys ever buy their guns illegally, so this is a red herring. As for missing flags, that’s just a game of gotcha at this point, where the same media who attacks people then quickly changes sides and argues against any changes that might actually impose responsibility. Moreover, I have yet to see a genuine analysis of what “the authorities” should have done in any of these instances other than wish guns away.

Finally, like all leftists, the author offers static thinking: It’s impossible to know if withholding the names would have prevented any of these killings, ergo it would not have helped. This is how the left evades things they don't like. If they don’t like a thing, then we have no way to know if it would have worked because no one has tried it, so we should not try it. That's a tautology and an evasion. But if they like a thing, then they accept every benefit anyone suggests as guaranteed to have been true if only we had done what they wanted. This is myth as fact, not genuine argument.

So just keep dying folks because it's too risky to change anything except the one thing that won't change anything... gun control.

Nothing New: Finally, despite all the media coverage of these guys, it should be noted that the number of mass shootings has been going down decade after decade, that the world is safer, and that anyone’s chance of dying from something like this is infinitesimally small. You are more likely to die from diarrhea.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Hate Mercury...

It is as if Mercury is sitting in my living room, drinking my premium scotch and smirking at me while laying back in my brown leather Laz-Y-Boy recliner. I hate Mercury when it's in retrograde.

You may not believe in such things, but after 2 week of my DSL line being down because of a "construction mistake" and the "upgrade" to my Ipad taking 8 hours to "correct", Mercury in retrograde is just pure evil. Needless to say, with so many celestial events in the last week - Pope sightings and Blood Moon lunar eclipse* - I am now a believer and I am exhausted from the stress.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Mercury seems like such a small, insignificant planet just out there next to the Sun all molten and stuff, but it is has to power to wreak havoc everywhere on Earth or maybe just in my living room...while drinking my scotch and lounging on my recliner. It's pure evil.

By contrast, national politics, domestic social issues, and international politics just seem so insignificant. So, I don't have anything but celestial wars to fight right now. And if Mercury hasn't done enough damage, now there's a freaking hurricane heading my way!!!

Let's open the floor to discuss anything other than Mercury...

*Hopefully you got a glimpse of the Blood Moon/Lunar eclipse because it was spectacular!
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Build A Great Wall In The Pacific!!

Today is about race and immigration. Enjoy! (Press 2 for Spanish)

Reality Strikes Again. For the longest time, the leaders of the talk radio right have been able to score points with their low-information followers (h/t Rush) by screaming about THE FENCE!!! "BUILD THE DAMN FENCE AND STOP THE FLOOD OF DIRTY IMMIGRANTS!!!" But as I've explained before, the fence is a red herring. Not only has Mexico run out of people to come North in large numbers because their birth rate has crashed, but even when there were more Mexicans than you could shake a Home Depo at, that wasn't how most illegals got into the US. The simple fact is that the majority of illegals got here by overstaying their visas. Others got here by any number of means. Indeed, if we completely sealed the border with Mexico so that not a refried bean fart could make it to the US, nothing would change with the illegal immigration problem.

Now there is even more clear evidence for this. As I pointed out before, there are now more Asians sneaking into the US than Hispanics. And by 2065, there will be more Asian immigrants in the US in total than Hispanic immigrants. Indeed, immigrants from places like China, India, Korea and the Philippines will make up 38% of immigrants, with Hispanics making up only 31%.

So let me be the first to scream... "Build a wall in the Pacific!!!"

No, seriously, this is more evidence that fixating on that stupid wall is a bad idea. By focusing on the wall, politicians keep the public deflected from the real problem, which is overstays or people simply arriving by boat, plane, or whatever. Moreover, by making the wall into a litmus test, they keep the entire debate frozen, which lets the problem fester and keep getting worse. In other words, they've created a situation where nothing needs to be done until the Democrats agree to build the wall. Does that sound like a workable plan or an evasion to you? And let me ask you this... if those proposing to build the wall were serious, why doesn't the House just fund its construction and jam that into a budget rather than trying to attach all kinds of other things that sound nice and nasty but will guarantee the bill can't pass? Somebody's being played for a sucker, folks.

As an aside, the percentage of foreign born people here compared to native-born Americans is projected to hit 14.9% by 2025. That's hardly what the talking heads make it sound like, is it? Interestingly, we are told this number will increase to 38% by 2065. But that number is false. For one thing, that is based on a raw number of 78 millions -- which is gotten to with an estimate that overstates their growth rate. But in any event, if you divide 78 million just by the number of people here now, you only get 24%... not 38%. And if you factor in the likely number of people living here in 2065, this number drops further to around 20%. Two in ten is higher than I would like, but it's not the end of the world we are told is coming.

Gays are Racists? I've been telling you for some time now that gays and the left are headed for a divorce. There is a lot evidence to support this. Here is a little more. Rapper Azealia Banks just got into a bitch slapping contest on an airplane in which she called a flight attendant a "f***king f*ggot." This led to an outcry from the L(e)G(o)B(oa)T community. Azealia did not like this, and now she's called the LGBT LegoBoat community "a gay white KKK."

What I find interesting here is that (1) another famous black person screams racism when she gets in trouble (yawn), (2) she has screamed racism about a group who was previously seen as staunchly on her side, (3) she has identified gay rights as a white cause, and (4) I somehow missed until now that LGBT stands for LegoBoat.

This suggests to me that the racism defense has become so automatic as to be ingrained in the race-sensitive community and will be used without any attempt at only using it when it is valid (see next story), and like the overuse of antibiotics, this has neutered the charge. It further suggests that gays and blacks are no longer friends or she would have just apologized and moved on. And it suggests that the gay movement has in fact remained a specialized movement of affluent whites who have been unable to claim much diversity.

Po' Whoopie! Whoopie Goldberg is upset about some programming change made on her stupid show... the one that just pissed off millions of nurses. When the change was announced, Whoopie showed her displeasure by denigrating the change and saying that the change had been made by the network without her input. Well, that's what she meant anyways. She said it a little differently. Specifically, she used a very ignorant "slave" dialect and said, "I's just a n*gger following orders around here, master - It's 12 Years a Whoopi!" Interesting. So Whoopi is claiming racism has resulted in her being treated like a slave. Would it surprise you that the producer who made the decision is a black chick? (And you know she's a leftist.)

What you have here is another instance where a prominent black leftist squeals racism where there really is no racial element. This is the kind of stuff that has worked so well to undermine claims of racism with the public. At this point, the idea is effectively dead with the public, even if the left still tosses it around amongst themselves now and then (and increasingly at each other). Indeed, Whoopie calling her black producer a slave master, Banks calling the LegoBoat community the KKK, and the attacks on Matt Damon for not celebrating all diversity show that the racist left is now wildly throwing this charge around and is hitting their allies more often than anyone else. Nor are these isolated instances. This summer, a couple of fired Philadelphia Eagles and a couple race baiting sports writers tried to accuse Philly coach Chip Kelly of racism even though there were valid reasons for dumping each black, even though he brought in blacks to replace the terminated blacks and even though he terminated as many whites as blacks. Then a couple high school football players tried to excuse their attack on a referee by claiming he made racist comments, even though he is himself Hispanic and the best man at his wedding is black. Make no mistake, this is the race lobby and the left imploding.

Get your popcorn!

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The Bloomberg Effect...

As a New York City dweller these days, I have to admit it. I miss the Bloomberg years. Now, former Mayor Bloomberg did many things that I did not agree with or even appreciate at the time.

He did away with transfats that fried our french fries to a golden crips. He destroyed our ability to smoke cigarettes anywhere. He made fast food joints declare the calorie count in our Happy Meals, [The calories were so high that it caused heart attacks just looking at the number] However, he finally "jumped the shark" when he moved to ban on our super-sized sugary sodas. That was finally struck down by a soda-swilling judge. And don't get me started on the evils of gluten!

Mayor Bloomberg constantly interfered with our enjoyment of "life". but he meant well. And to his credit, he actually made the city a tolerable place to live. The cost of living went up, but violent crime and unhealthy preservatives all but disappeared.

And it even filtered down to the our vermin...well, maybe not all of our vermin. At least our hardy vermin refused to cave to the calorie/fat/gluten-free craze!

Just in case you may have missed the latest Youtube sensation, I present to you...Pizza Rat.

Btw, Roger (that's Pizza Rat's real name) doesn't like how he has been presented. So much so, he actually felt compelled to write an Op/Ed piece for the NY Daily News - It's all a big misunderstanding!

Oh, and here is another example of what happens when Bloomberg isn't Mayor...Milkshake Squirrel next to Shake Shack in Madison Square Park (not to be confused with Madison Square Garden):

But not all our vermin escaped from the Bloomberg Effect. Fortunately, at least one black squirrel* at City Hall Park learned the proper and healthy foods to eat...

Beware...Michael Bloomberg may jump into the Presidential race. If that happens, none of our bad habit will be safe.

*My niece crowned the apple-eating squirrel Prince Charming...
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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Obama... The UNPresident

Sometimes, bloggers get lucky. I was struggling with finding something to write about and then Obama addressed the U.N. Thank you, Jebus! What Obama said was utterly stupid.

Let me start by mocking what Obama’s opening act John Kerry said. Kerry said, “It would be a complete understatement to say that we meet at a challenging time.” In other words, grade us on a curve. Well, let me ask His Weakness which of the following challenges faced by others Kerry and Obama are currently facing:

Are the Nazis or Commies sweeping through Europe? Hardly. Are the people rioting in the streets in every capitol? Nope. Is the Clinton-weakened military struggling to fight multiple wars as a disloyal opposition offers aid and comfort to anyone who opposes the administration? Nope. Are we losing a war in Southeast Asia as American colleges burn and American soldiers revolt? Nope. Do our enemies threaten our annihilation with nuclear weapons? No. Is the flu or AIDS killing millions of people? Is an entire continent starving while another is ravaged by civil war? Does the second most productive continent on Earth lie in post-war smoking ruins? Nope.

So what exactly makes this time so challenging other than the fact that Kerry/Obama are too stupid to solve simple problems? No curve for you, loser.

Now Obama. Obama wants to spend trillions of dollars over 15 years to end poverty around the world.

First, commies always go for 5 year plans. Going for 15 sounds like weak borscht to me. As for spending trillions, we already did that in the US and guess what? According to the left, there is more poverty now than ever in the US. So clearly, that is not the answer. Or is the left lying about American poverty?

Also, why in the world should we accept that Obama has a clue how to solve poverty when it’s gotten so much worse under his watch. Plus, he already spent all of our money, so too bad suckers. Don’t take a check from this man ==>

Anyways, he calls this “not charity but instead is one of the smartest investments we can make in our own future.” Uh, no. It is charity because Obama is just proposing handouts. And it certainly doesn’t help my future. It’s no skin off my ass if a bunch of Syrians butcher each other or if some person in Bangladesh doesn’t have a job. Besides, looking at lives as an investment is cruel and evil and business-y... isn’t it? It is when other people do it.

Obama is justifying his plan on the basis that 800 million men, women and children scrape by on less than $1.25 a day and that billions of people are at risk of dying from preventable diseases. He particularly noted the “moral outrage” that many children are just one mosquito bite away from death.

But again, what about the 40 million who live in poverty here? He’s done nothing for them in the last eight years. As for the preventable diseases thing, see Obamacare for why you don’t want Dr. Obama tampering with your health care. And as for the mosquito thing, it was Obama’s people who banned DDT before places like Africa could be made safe. What’s more, it’s interesting that he should pick that particular example when groups like the Gates Foundation have made fools of the groups Obama likes to laud by managing to nearly solve the malaria issue those other groups couldn’t dent for decades. So yeah, low credibility here, Lord O.

Sensing this, he tries to jam Syria and war in there as an excuse. First, Obama warns us that “development is threatened by war.” Really? Where. Outside of Syria and Iraq and a couple other minor places, the world has never been more stable. And frankly, it’s not like Syria or Iraq were ever very developed or contributed much to the world economy.

He then said that Syria is the greatest refugee crisis since World War II and that other countries “that can, must do more to accommodate refugees,” but added that those efforts must be matched by diplomacy. I’ve been pondering this quote and it seems like nonsense. Was this refugee crisis really the result of a lack of diplomacy? Or was it the insane assholes who are killing everyone they come across that they don’t like? What’s more, he’s implying that there is a diplomatic solution. Does he really think that? What exactly is the diplomatic middle ground between “I will kill you savagely” and “I don’t want to die!”?

Anyways, he wants you to think that pouring trillions down the toilet will stop war and end mosquito-related deaths. But why should we believe it when it’s never worked before in the past?

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday's Thoughts: Pope Francis, Corbyn's Labour Woes, and Some Other Stuff

By Kit

It is a double-post today. First, a few words on the Pope's speech and then an op-ed column-length post on the latest woes for the new UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. And after that, some random stuff on Japan and the Trump.

Thoughts on Pope Francis

Papal infallibility is a funny thing. In theory, other than canonization of saints, it applies only to those statements that deal with the faith and morals of the whole church. The result is that it has a rather narrow application, just how narrow is up for debate. Some cast a fairly wide, though still narrower than often believed, net, others very narrow. Some have argued that only six statements by Pope’s in the past few hundred years are grounded in infallibility.

In practice, however, it’s application is a tad muddier. You see, it is often applied only to those statements where the Pope and the person speaking are in agreement, and the Pope whose infallibility is being referenced need not even be alive for it to matter. And a later or earlier Pope’s statement may contradict him. All that matters is the Pope whose opinion is being referenced is in agreement with the person speaking on this particular subject.

Thus, our current situation.

As a Protestant, what the Pope says has little sway on my opinion but what he says can have an impact on what a lot of other people think about economics or immigration. Or, rather, what they think he is saying about economics or immigration.

Therefore it behooves American conservatives to (respectfully, mind you) both point out where he is wrong and correct him, articulating just why he is wrong while acknowledging where he is right, or at the very least has a point, and give the conservative movement’s response to that issue, be it concerns about income inequality or the environment. American conservatism has answers for each of those concerns or issues.

We live in a country where, as Thomas Sowell has repeatedly stated, most of the people in the bottom twenty percent will end up in the top twenty percent at some point in their lives. That is the miracle of the Free Market system. The least we could do is argue for it. Passionately and respectfully.

There is a lot to like in his speech, though there are, naturally, many points of disagreement, such as the death penalty. But instead of shirking from the debate, shrieking in shrill tones about the “Marxist Pope!” we should be using it as a starting point for stating where we differ and why we differ and, when we find places of even some agreement, using it to find common ground. This speech can serve as a basis for many arguments on behalf of American Conservatism.

And, who knows? Maybe the Pontifex will hear us.

Corbyn's New New Labour Woes

Since hard-left Jeremy Corbyn became head of the Labour Party, riding a wave of very vocal support from the Russell Brand Red Twitter Youth, he has done exactly what Tony Blair and and the rest of the New Labour folks predicted he would do; make the Labour Party look like a bunch of crazed commies who make the raving Caledonian lunatic George “I miss the USSR” Galloway look remarkably sane and lucid. (Ok, maybe not lucid)

In the past week or two we have had at least two, no three, controversies flare up over his election as Labour leader, most involving his Shadow appointments. Now, before we go on, a “Shadow” appointment is an appointment in Parliamentary governments made by the leading opposition party. They sort-of serve as spokesmen and women for the opposition party on various issues. A “Shadow Home Office Secretary” will serve to present the Party’s positions on Home Office-related policies in opposition to the governing party’s policies.

First, there was John McDonnell, picked as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to their Secretary of the Treasury, sort of). It turns out, in 2003 the man called for the IRA terrorists to received honors. Really.

At a meeting to commemorate Bobby Sands, the IRA terrorist who died during a hunger strike, he said, “It's about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table.

Now, considering it was Irish Republican terrorists who spent 30 years bombing or shooting Britons and Northern Irish Protestants, ultimately killing 2,139 people, 1,771 of them killed by IRA, including a few Tory MPs, this did not go over well, especially once it was brought up by MP Nigel Dodds during the Prime Minister’s Questions (which you can see here: LINK) and McDonnell was forced issue an apology, which was more of an “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology than the more appropriate “I’m sorry for being a terrorist-loving twit” apology.

Oh, and in 2010 he joked if he could go back in time he would “assassinate Thatcher”, which the IRA tried to do in 1984. Classy. (He “apologized” for that one, too)

Second, despite having a majority-woman cabinet, none of those women held senior leadership posts, prompting an uproar from the Feminist wing of the Labour Party. Women were appointed but all to junior posts like “Shadow Secretary of State for Farming” (for an idea how that particular appointment has gone, see below) or some similar post that no federal government with a population of 50 million or more with a country that is more than capable of federalism should have. As one feminist tweeted, “It doesn't count as a majority women shadow cabinet if you just make up clearly more junior positions for the women.”

But, really, they shouldn’t be too surprised, as one departing Labour Party member said, this is a man who has been best buddies with the kind of Islamist preachers who have deep, thoughtful, and intellectual discussions on under what circumstances a man may beat his wife. And it wasn’t like this was unknown, there were numerous stories in the papers about his connections with radical Islamists, but these hard-core Feminists never seem to care about domestic abuse or sexual slavery when carried out in the Muslim world. After all, those men are probably just reacting logically to white patriarchal imperial aggression, or something.

Third, one of his female appointees, this Kerry McCarthy, a self-proclaimed “militant vegan”, as shadow environment and agriculture minister, (a choice The Guardian a week ago called “a good move”) stated she wants a massive, widespread public service campaign depicting the dangers of and the “evils” caused by meat-eating similar to the public service campaign done a decade or so earlier against smoking.

She, like McDonnell, has a history of nutty. 3 years ago, for instance, she took to twitter to call a fellow passenger wearing a somewhat risqué t-shirt on a train a “lager drinking oaf” who “should’ve been killed before he could breed.” Oh, and she had earlier been named the Labour Party’s “twitter tsar” before she apparently got canned for releasing some election results too early (which is illegal in the UK).

What a charming group of folks Mr. Corbyn has surrounded himself with! May they bring us many more joys in the years to come. Anyway, here is a good song for Mr. Corbyn, one that I think he will appreciate: LINK


Rich Lowry joked on Fox News that Carly Fiorina cut off Trump’s balls. Trump, who has said far worse, took offense, and went to twitter about it, proclaiming that he should be fired and fined by the FCC.
First, the FCC has no jurisdiction over Cable news.
Second, Trump has said far worse.
Third, trying to sue the Club for Growth for running ads and demanding Lowry and Fox News be fined by the FCC has a whiff of Putinism to it; using the powers of the state against political enemies.

A study was done at Fukushima on possible illnesses caused by the leaked radiation. Apparently, the stress caused by the evacuation in fear of the radiation was more dangerous than the radiation itself. Far more dangerous. There were 1,600 deaths stress-related deaths caused that have been connected to the evacuation while “Even among Fukushima workers, the number of additional cancer cases in coming years is expected to be so low as to be undetectable, a blip impossible to discern against the statistical background noise.”
Proving once again that, unless the reactor was built by the Soviet Union, nuclear power is pretty safe.
(Source: New York Times)

On Japan, the Japanese Diet, their parliament, passed a law re-interpreting the Japanese post-war constitution’s (that we wrote) provision renouncing war “as the policy of the nation” (that we put in) to allow for defense of allies (which we have been asking them too do for years).
If South Korea is upset by this, I would remind them that while Japan did many terrible things, most infamously the forced sexual enslavement of the “Comfort Women”, that today it is in China-sponsored North Korea that the use of Comfort Women still occurs, among many other depravities inflicted by that Kim-lead cult regime.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Two Thoughts... Nothing More

With Bev religiously incapacitated tonight, I thought I would drop a couple quick thoughts.

Thought One: Syria. There has been a lot of hand wringing lately that the Russians sending combat planes to Syria and flying missions to support the Assad regime is interfering with US policy. This raises a couple questions. First, we have a Syria policy? I really don't believe it. Obama's policy is to hope nothing happens until he can dump it on whoever gets the job next?

That said, I really think that our policy is to support Assad while claiming we are supporting the rebels. Seriously. The problem is this. Assad is unacceptable because of Obama's false self-righteous position about not supporting dictators and because his allies are Iran and Russia. But so long as he is in charge, little bad is going to happen except for a couple dead rebels. On the other hand, supporting the others is bat-shit crazy. Between crazy and unpleasant, you always choose unpleasant, and I think Obama realizes that. He wants to tell the world he won't support Assad, but our policy seems to be looking the other way as the Russians and Iranians help Assad fight the modern world's version of the Reavers from Firefly. Honestly, that's a good policy.

Thought Two: So he is the devil! I'm sick of talking about the Pope... but check out these photos.

Note the horns on the Prince of Worthless. How funny is that? While meeting the Pope! Between this and the rainbow over ground zero on 9/11 while the mosque crane crashed, the universe is clearly picking sides.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Movable Type and the Pope

I have been doing a lot of thinking about something that Andrew wrote last week about how cynicism. He wrote "...to be clear, I HATE the cynicism. I have no respect for it. It is idiocy and hate pretending to be wisdom. It is destructive and biased. It is immoral."

Just so we are clear, this is the offical definition of "cynical":
cyn·i·cism (sinəˌsizəm) noun 1. an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism. "public cynicism about politics" synonyms: skepticism, doubt, distrust, mistrust, suspicion, disbelief; 2. a school of ancient Greek philosophers, the Cynics.
Have we become too cynical and, if so, why? I have a theory. When Johannes Guttenberg "invented" moveble type in the 15th Century, he opened the world up to a vast world of knowledge. And by that one invention, it enabled the mass production of books and the rapid dissemination of knowledge to those who could acquire reading skills. At once, common people had access to information that they had never had before. Suddenly, they had access to knowledge that expanded their world and made them question everything that they were taught to believe. And certainly they had access to information that did not add up once it was put in print.

So has the internet. Our modern-day invention has opened up our world to the entire knowledge of humanity at the click of of mouse. But, just like those in the 15th Century who must have needed a period adjustment to their newfound knowledge, we need an adjustment period too. Too much knowledge too fast can be a dangerous thing.

You see, I don't believe that humans have changed all that much in the last 600 years in how we process information. And I don't believe that humans have changed so much that there aren't people who are motivated by self-interest who will exploit that information for their own personal or political gain. It is healthy to be intelligently cynical of the constant assault of readily available "information". But the key here as always it to be intelligent and always question the motives. I know that we as humans, will eventually adjust. Maybe it is the eternally optimistic contrarian in me, but that cynicism is not a sin. Frustrating at times, but certainly healthy.

Other stuff:
So, Pope Francis is coming to NYC later this week and I can't seem to get away from him. I live four blocks from the Papal Nuncio [Yeah, it's easier to write than the Official UN Observer Mission of the Holy See and the Official Residence of the Pope when he is in NYC...] and work one block from the WTC where he will be visiting, so I will be Poped out by Saturday. But it will be interesting. Here is my take on the current Pope.

I am not Catholic, but Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air for the Catholic Church. He is trying his hardest to bring people back to the Church. And frankly, I think he is often mistranslated [See: definition of "cynical"]. He is one who truly believes that one should love the sinner, but hate the sin. Don't be shocked, but I admire that he is not afraid to die. Much to the dismay of our security apparatus in NYC, he does not want to be protected from his flock. He seems to trust that God has a plan and if God's plan is that he should die by an assassin's bullet, then so be it. I respect that. And I fully expect to see him buying his morning coffee and bagel with a schmear at my local deli. If he does, I may convert, but don't tell my Dad.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Candidate Update

This truly is the silly season of politics. This is when the idiots run wild offering nonsense as "policy," pandering like mad, and spouting moronic statements which get the fringe all giddy. Here is an update on the candidates.

Bernie Sanders: Sanders doesn't so much put his foot in his mouth as his entire ideology is idiocy. He keeps making all kinds of spending promises and he's now up to $1.8 trillion A YEAR in new spending... increasing the budget by 46%. That works out to $12,000 a year in new taxes for every taxpayer. I hope you didn't have plans for that money.

Trump: You could write books on the stupidity that spews from Trump's mouth. He's doing it intentionally because it entertains his supporters. He's now whining that his latest poor showing at the debates was the result of CNN trying to help his opponents, just like Fox News did. Oh, and Carly Fiorina is a poo poo head! In any event, his latest "policy" pronouncement is that he's going to end "birthright citizenship," which is legally impossible, and he's going to deport all 11 million illegals within two years... which is physically impossible and will require a police state that makes Nazi Germany look like Canada. Oh wait, Obama's a Muslim! /wink wink Look, shiny!

Ben Carson: Carson says that being Muslim is inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore we should never have a Muslim president. Of course, that's ridiculous. The Constitution forbids the Federal Government from picking a national religion. That means, the Feds can't tell you what you need to believe, nor can it punish you for believing whatever religion you want. In other words, there is no such thing as a religion being inconsistent with the Constitution so long as it obeys the law. As an aside, the same reasoning Carson uses against Muslims applies in spades to Christian fundamentalists like himself.

Hillary Clinton: "I am a real person!" This is Hillary's latest attempt to prove that she's not a dried up, unlikable automaton. Usually, when you reach the point of needing to prove that, you're pretty much done. Between proving her personhood, dodging email questions that seem to be leading toward criminal charges, insulting rape victims (and spewing way out of date rhetoric), hosting empty receptions, getting into trouble with reporters, and generally imploding, Hillary hasn't really said much related to policy. She wants to spend some money on the things Bernie likes, like making student loans cheaper... or just more plentiful, but her main policy seems to be attacking Trump. She also made some confused noises about Syria which got the left upset that she's possibly a war monger.

Carly Fiorina: Seems to be trying to sway social conservatives by attacking the GOP for not destroying Planned Parenthood after the videos... even though they've been obsessed with it.

Bush 3: Bush continues to hide under a blanket. Last week he suggested tax cuts for corporations, which isn't something the increasingly populist public wants to hear, but no one was listening anyway.

The Others: None of these guys even made the news.
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Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday's Thoughts: Carly at the Debate

By Kit

Over the last 25 years conservatives have had much to depress them. Starting Bush’s infamous “read my lips” then to Bush II’s Medicare Part D, McCain’s call for mortgage subsidies, and Romney’s “severe conservatism” where he talked conservative politics like an immigrant still learning the English language.

Nor is this new. Conservatism was founded in the aftermath of World War 2 when Big Government-New Dealism was triumphant and Communism was on the march around the globe with the first conservative-ish president in 20 years, Eisenhower, seemingly unwilling to do much to challenge either. As for culturally, it is worth noting that National Review was founded in 1955, two years after Hefner founded the Playboy magazine.

And the intervening years between 1955 and Reagan’s election in 1980 where for the most part quite dark for conservatism. At home the Johnson started the Great Society, crime rates soared, and Hippie-ist hedonism seemed to run amuck while overseas Communism was on the march in Vietnam, in Afghanistan, even erecting an iron wall around West Berlin to halt emigration.

More often than not, we are settling for less-than-conservative candidates. And the only solid conservative candidate in that era to grab the nomination for President was Goldwater —who lost 45 out of 50 states.

Therefore it seems being in the opposition is natural for conservatives. In a way, we are happier, despite the depression it causes, when we are, like John the Baptist, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” But still we hunger.

So, it is also natural that when a candidate appears who manages to articulate conservative ideas in a manner that is clear and plain, speaking a language the average man and woman can understand yet refusing to indulge in blind, rage-filled populism while still standing firm on the bedrock of our principles, we are captivated.

The main argument by Trump’s supporters in his favor can be boiled down to Lincoln’s famous words about General Grant when there were calls for his ouster in the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh, “I cannot spare this man, he fights.”

Well, as was seen Wednesday night by nearly everyone who watched, Carly Fiorina fights.

In both last night’s debate and in the afternoon the debate one month ago, she proved she can state conservative ideas in a way we have not heard from a major politician since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. And there is no doubt that the skill and poise she displayed last night has thrust her, along with Marco Rubio, into the top-most tier of the Republican Party’s candidates.

Of course, getting known is just the first hurdle. She will face furious questions about her lack of political experience and her tenure, and ultimate firing, at HP. The attacks will come hard and furious, they will be brutal. Some of it will come from the Bushes who, though they are at times honorable to a fault, can be as cut-throat as any candidate.

And the left, too, will hit her. As she rises, if she continues to rise, the attacks will become even more fierce, for she has had the temerity to be a woman and identify as a conservative. To many on the left, such a vile act of treachery to womanhood must not be allowed to stand. She will be Sarah Palined.

Of course, the reason Sarah Palin was so easy to Sarah Palin was because she was Sarah Palin. And, because she was a CEO, she will be Romneyed. The question is: Can Fiorina handle it?

She couldn’t in 2010 against Barbara Boxer. So, the answer will be given in the coming days, weeks, and months. She has already some good news; many in the conservative intelligentsia seem to like her, the grassroots are more split, though Rush is not her biggest fan Hannity seems ok with her, millennial conservatives seem to really like her, especially millennial women, and James Woods has announced he will do the voice-over for her campaign film (such endorsements can, and do, have an impact).

There is also the matter of organization. She has almost nothing on the ground in the early states, but that is still a few months away.
I am not ready to endorse anyone yet but if she can give a Republican Party and conservative movement starved for quality conservative candidates more of what she gave us last night, no one should count her out.

Debate in Sum

Fiorina won hands-down. Her knock at Trump and her brief speech on Planned Parenthood (despite the slight inaccuracy) was impassioned and, as David French pointed out, broke all the rules on the debate. On almost every issue she seemed on point.

Rubio was the only candidate to come close to Fiorina last night and even he seemed, to me, a bit drowned out by her bravado performance. He was strongest in foreign policy. Don't count him out, either.

Jeb survived and he has the money and resources to stay in.

Kasich was Jeb Bush Diet, which is problematic for him because Jeb Bush already feels pretty Diet.
Jindal will be lucky if he makes it to the end of October. Scott Walker needs to improve fast, or else he'll start falling.
Lastly, a word on Trump. Trump was Trump and there is no way of knowing what will happen with him in the polls next week.

However, I find there is one positive, to me, of him being in the race; without him the attacks would be consumed in petty, childish attacks upon one another. Yes, it is true they are hitting each other but without Trump there to consume most of their attacks, it would be far nastier. It seems that, ironically, Donald Trump is the best enforcer of Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment* since Reagan himself.

*”Thou Shalt Not Attack a Fellow Republican.”


Oh, and Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Fallwell. What is most interesting is what did not happen; he was met respectfully, there were no bomb threats, and students did not seem to need a “Safe Space” to protect them from Sanders’ “traumatizing” views.

Maybe the left could learn something from Liberty.

Have a nice week. And Roll Tide.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Scattershot Day!

Two issues (or more) of the day to discuss. Seriously, what is wrong with people?

Issue #1: Seriously, who is handling Hillary Clinton's campaign? Are they tone-deaf or are they just trying to sabotage her campaign? Here is a video that she just released on her stand on "campus rape" that has since been removed from her official campaign site, but as things on the internet never really go way, here is the LINK

Here is the text of the 18-second PSA that has since been taken down:
“I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault: Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you."
What were they thinging?? How can someone who's husband is a known sexual predator and who has she herself spent years demonizing her husband's victims send any kind of "message" to survivors of sexual assault? Are her campaign people just insane? Needless to say the Twitter-verse exploded with outrage...hence the PSA was taken down. It is mind-bending to say the least.

Issue #2 - Okay, you may have seen all over the news yesterday about a Muslim student at a Texas High School who was arrested after bringing his latest engineering project to school - a small briefcase with a digital clock apparatus - LINK. Now, full disclosure, I graduated from the MacArthur High School in Irving Texas. And frankly it makes laugh that people are questioning the issue. The 9th-grader took proudly took his latest project to his engineering teacher and the teacher allowed him to carry it around without thinking. His English teacher was appalled and called the local police. Frankly, I question the stupidity of the engineering teacher who allowed a kid named Ahmed Mohamed to walk around the school with an briefcase with a clock that looked like a "terrorist bomb" device from any episode of NCIS and not think "Hum, that might cause a problem to an English teacher who doesn't know Ahmed or engineering."

Okay, I am horrified that the MacArthur Cardinals and the Irving Police Department are now in the NY Times, but seriously, wouldn't common sense question this? If someone name Billy Bob was carrying around a clock shaped like a gun wouldn't someone do the same thing? Irving has a large Muslim community and a mosque, but come on. I mean, A kid named Ahmed Mohamed carrying around a briefcase with a a circuit board clock in it. As I have stated openly on Facebook for the last few hours, how was anyone other than Ahmed and that stupid engineering teacher to know that this wasn't something to be concerned about? What if it really was an incendiary device? Isn't it better to look stupid than trying to explain how killing 1200 students and teacher could have been prevented if someone had just said something? Thank goodness Obama has invited Ahmed Mohamed to the White House and all of those stars are rooting for him to make him feel better. But what if...

In case none of this interests you, did anyone watch the Republican debate?
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Science Results Are Telling

Sorry, I'm late... sick child and all that. :( Anyhoo, I've told you before that I always look for confirmation of social trends in places other than direct studies. Basically, a study that asks "Are you stupid" won't give you a realistic answer because people tell you what they think you want to hear, but something like sales figures for a book titled "How To Hide Your Inner Stupid" will give us a better picture. Well, I ran into an interesting one this weekend which confirms several things we've discussed before. Observe.

The thingermerbob in question was a simple test given to 3,200 Americans. (You can take it here: LINK.) It asked a series of basic science questions from different fields. The end result was the average was a C. And that's been the headline everyone ran with, as if Americans are science illiterate. Oh brother. Look, yeah, people didn't do well, but these questions were essentially trivia as none of the information contained therein is useful to 99.999% of people. Nor do we have results for smug Euros, lazy South Americans, or sneaky Japs to compare us to. So how this can be a basis for condemning Americans is beyond me. Whatevs.

Anyways, the genuinely interesting information is the stuff the media won't touch. Consider these:

● Men scored one point higher than women. Why is this interesting? For the longest time now, we have been told by feminists that there is something wrong with the world because women do so much better in school than men (more go to college, more graduate, more get better grades) and yet men continue to hold the vast majority of management positions and continue to make more money. Must be sexism, right? Wrong.

The problem is that while women do indeed do better in school, it is clear that school grades do not translate directly into knowledge or ability as the feminists want them too. Indeed, we see that here. If school performance were a predictor of ability, then women should have beaten men handily. But they didn't. They got beat by a full point (8.3%). How can that happen? Well, I would suggest that this test measures the ability of men and women to remember what they were taught long ago AND/OR to work out a problem with which they are presented and about which they have limited knowledge. Hence, what this test result tells us is that while women are better students while they are in school, men retain their knowledge better and have better practical skills which let them work out problems. In other words, women are better at education-based skills like repeating lessons, but men are better at remembering the things they learn long term and at using their knowledge to solve problems outside of what they've been taught. That makes women better students, but men better employees. That would explain part of the gender gap in pay verses the reverse gender gap in education.

The other thing this highlights is that the gender gap is the result of choices men and women make. Indeed, the gender gap on this test goes away in biological science, which means that this is the one area of science where women are equal to men. That suggests the gender gap is about interest rather than ability. In other words, women find biological science more interesting or the jobs they choose keep those skills more fresh in their minds. Hence, they do better than they do in physical sciences, which don't interest women. What this means is that women are picking and choosing the skills they want to have, which is the real cause of the gender gap. Hence, there really is no gap in the sense of a lack of potential ability, there is a gender choice gap. This is confirmed in the real world where women flock to fields like K-12 education, counseling, and nursing, while men go into science, math, management and other more demanding and better paid fields.

● Whites again beat blacks and Hispanics. Why this matters is that once again, it shows that there really are two Americas. When you look at whites only, everything from the crime rate to infant mortality to education results reflect a society that exceeds even the best Europe has to offer. It is only when you add minorities that American results get dragged down to the middle of the European pack. As a policy wonk, this should tell us that our goal should be to raise minorities to the same level as whites and we should be looking for the causes of this race/ethnic difference. Unfortunately, that is considered "racist," so policy types are stuck recommending broad-based solutions for all races simultaneously when they should be targeting specific solutions to those who need it most.

● Democrats proved to be half a point stupider than Republicans. That's no surprise seeing as how the Democrats truly are the anti-science party. To tehm, science is a goodie box that can deliver magic on demand when demanded by people pure of heart and without a profit motive. Interestingly, the experts they consulted for the article are trying to dismiss this as being the result of minorities inhabiting the Democratic party... a point that would be racist if made about education or other statistic.

● Westerners scored highest, and Southerners did the worst. That doesn't surprise me in the least either. The West is very modern and packed with science companies. We're also pretty obsessed with education. The South is a mix of agrarian and manufacturing culture and has the worst schools in the country. It also suggests that places like New York and Massachusetts, which think of themselves as smarter than the rest of us may be fooling themselves.

● People with college degrees smoked high school grads, and people with postgraduate degrees did even better - they were the only group to score an A. I suspect this shows that those people value the collection and retention of information better than other groups and it shows that they have better problem solving abilities. All of that shows why those people tend to lose their jobs less often and get new jobs much quicker than people without education even though there are a great many more jobs for unskilled labor out there. Said differently, retaining education pays.

● Finally, the smartest group age-wise was people between 30 and 49. This makes sense too as that is the age group that has the strongest combination of (1) needing to use their brains every day so they can earn a living, (2) being fresh from their education years, but adding in some real world years, and (3) going through K-12 again as they raise kids. I wouldn't make much about that except to point out that this idea the Boomers seem to have of the rest of us as morons compared to their genius selves is again proven wrong. Boomers did the worst.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

In Praise Of A Monarchy

For those of you who are not Anglophiles or Royal-watchers, here is some historic news from across the pond. As of September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth II is now the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom/Great Britain and the longest reigning female monarch ever exceeding Queen Victoria's reign of 63 year, 216 days (and counting). Hail Britannia. Now, I know this may seem odd that we as Americans who fought a war to extracate ourselves from the grip of another long-reigning monarch - George III (59 years, 96 days) should care about this monumental achievement. I can sum it up in one word - Tradition.

Now, before you think I am going to break out into a song from "Fiddler On The Roof" [Happy 5776, btw], let me expound. Through the Stephens, and Williams, and Edwards, and Henries, and Elizabeths, Annes, and Georges, what has held the United Kingdom together through all of their wars and trials and tribulation is their Monarchy. Even through the 17th Century civil war that brought the Commonweath where there the monarchy was deposed and the Restoration where it was restored, the British Empire has survived and endured. And Elizabeth II carries with her the entire 1500 years of British history. I bet every schoolchild in Great Britain can name all 66 of the monarchs. Not all of them benevolent, fair, or enlightened, but all part of their vast and rich history.

It has been generations since the monarchy of England actually wielded any real power. As it exists today, it is apolitical, neither liberal or conservative but always constant and steadfast. Prime Ministers come and go, but their monarchy survives. And the British are proud of their history and respect it. It was evident when archeologists located the final resting place of Richard III in 2012. You may know Richard III from Shakespeare as the deformed, evil dictator of Shakespeare's play who died in the field of battle during the War of the Roses in the 15th Century....a civil war. The only controversy surrounding him leading up to his reburial in March of 2015 was where to bury him.

It saddens me that we do not have the same respect for our own history. We have not been a "perfect union" and have had our own Civil War. But instead of embracing our history, there are those who want to erase it. Even now, we have a raging debate about extracating ourselves of our brief past by destroying statues of Confederate generals and removing the graves of Confederate soldier buried in Arlington Cemetary. Maybe it is because we do not have the constant of a monarchy. We do not have that one steadfast figurehead that keeps us rooted to our past and present or even our future.

Now, I am not advocating for a monarch, but it would be comforting to be able to point to a person or thing that embodies and carries with them our past, present, and future. That one constant touchstone that keeps us rooting to our past, and that constant guidestone for our present and future.

That constant should be our Constitution, but then maybe it is just who we are as Americans and there's no going back.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Politics Isn't Influential Anymore.

I've mentioned many times that our political system isn't very influential when it comes shaping the country. If you want more proof of this, look at the list Politico just compiled of the top 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2015.” If politics means anything to the country, then these are the people who should be changing the way the public thinks or acts. So are they? Let's see.

To demonstrate my point, consider these 54 names from the “Top 50” (Top 71 actually):
David Bossie, Charles Spies, Alicia Garza, Patrissse Cullors, Opal Tometi, Mark Holden, Ernest Moniz, Jenny Horne, Ron Fermer, Michael Oren, James Obergefell, Sara Horowitz, Robert Putnam, Tim Rieser, Bill Halsam, Loretta Lynch, Mark Bertolini, Mary Kay Henry, Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coats, Brian Sandoval, Radley Balko, Charles Murray, Heather Boushey, Ann O’Leary, Marvin Ammori, Susan Crawford, Tim Wu, April & Ramesh Ponnuru, Michael Botticcelli, Mary Anne Hitt, Brice Nilles, Oren Cass Joseph Stiglitz, Barbara Howard, Susan Stone, Mick Cornett, Raj Chetty, Ernie Chambers, Mikey Dickerson, Megan Smith, Timothy Carney, Veronique de Rugy, Jay Faison, Dana Bolger, Alexandra Brodsky, Lanhee Chen, Chris Soghoian, Nancy Sullivan, Clifford Lane, Julie Ledgerwood, William Voegeli, Michelle Lee, Atul Gawande
They write blogs, books read by a few thousand people, or columns in obscure political journals. They are race baiters or gender baiters in a world that no longer listens to people like that. Some are hired guns for dying campaigns. Some work at “think tanks” which write papers read only by other think tank members. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all nobodies. They are unknown to the public as are their ideas. Good luck even recognizing most of them.

Now let’s consider the 17 names you will recognize in the reverse order of actual importance:

Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner. The fact that obnoxious Reality TV transsexuals are listed as influential tells you all you need to know about how influential this group really is. Look, gays won, but the sex-based issues are done now. These people are irrelevant. And even if they weren’t, there are only roughly 50,000 transsexuals in the US... less than one NFL stadium. No change that affects that few people is influential.

Nikki Haley. An Indian female governor who may one day run for another office. Where is the influence exactly?

Elon Musk. Musk makes noises about being an environmentalist, but really he's a luxury car battery maker, and his influence depends on him developing environmentally friendly batteries. If he pulls it off, then cars will switch from gas to battery power, which will shift energy production from gasoline to power plants. If he fails, then nothing changes. All told, his political influence is that of the typical wealthy donor.

John Oliver. Oliver wants to be the new John Stewart, only he’s stuck on HBO where far fewer people can see him... not that he influences anyone anyways. The sum total of Oliver's influence is that he gives moronic hipsters who want their existing views confirmed by a smug bastard somewhere to turn.

Hugh Hewitt. Like all Talk Radio hosts, Hewitt uses his talk show to sell his books and advertising; he's not trying to change the world. And even if he was, his audience is tiny (less than 1% of the public) and he's speaking almost entirely to people who already agree with him and who have no influence.

Bernie Sanders. Old man Trotsky is for entertainment purposes only. Sanders is Ron Paul with a red shirt, meaning he's a protest vote who will always threaten, but never influence a single thing.

Elizabeth Warren. Warren is given credit as a King maker, but has yet to successfully crown a single person. Her consumer agency was a flop. She is post-Congress Newt Gingrich in drag: a woman with a small, dedicated following who think she's something she's not... influential.

Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein is probably the most respected Democratic Senator, for whatever that's worth. She does manage to keep noncontroversial issues humming along, but has never and will never do anything bigger than funding a bridge or sending angry letters to competitors of her donors. That makes her our biggest influence so far. How sad is that?

John Kerry. Kerry has no actual influence of his own. He makes sense on the list however, because of his ability to hamstring US policy in favor of whatever thugocracy has pulled his strings in their most recent negotiations. Essentially, his influence is in delaying inevitable action. His biggest "influence" currently is in teeing up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf. He's a delay of game penalty.

Paul Ryan. Ryan writes the budget, which you would think would be a big deal. Only, (1) he lacks the nerve or savvy to do anything interesting, (2) Obama will run rings around the GOP budget if Ryan tries, and (3) the Federal budget is on autopilot except at the edges, so genuinely influential change ain't happening in our lifetimes. Basically, he's the head of the purchasing department for the Federal government, carrying out orders from other departments.

Charles Koch. I would be tempted to dismiss Koch as just another rich donor, except that Koch has been trying to create an influential empire by purchasing major newspapers, air time, and candidates. I would estimate that he can move the political needle a bit, but still within the margin of error. That makes him easily the most influential person on the list so far. How sad is that?

Matt Drudge. Drudge is the first with real, significant influence. Drudge has the power to freak out "conservatives" with misleading headlines because the Talk Radio crowd repeats his headlines as if they were gospel, even when they are obviously wrong. Basically, his power is to keep the fringe right at war with the right by keeping them misinformed and pissed off, i.e. he's doing Debbie Wasserman Schutlz's job for her. That makes him the first person on this list to actually affect the way the public thinks and acts.

Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy's political influence is the strongest on the list, though what exactly his influence is remains unclear. Seen one way, he has freed the GOP from some toxic issues and has otherwise been a reliable ally for big business. Seen another way, he has given the Democrats likely-Pyrrhic victories on a couple social issues and has otherwise been a reliable ally for big business. Either way, that makes him the most significant person on the list for when it comes to reshaping the political landscape.

See my point? If this is the most politically influential, then politics is not influential at all. Finally, we come to people with actual influence, only, none of them are influential through politics.

Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg's political influence is minimal. He wants to be Charles Koch, only his attempts to shape the immigration debate imploded. Where he is highly influential, however, is in his ability to shape the culture through Facebook. So he would belong in the top 10 of an "important Americans" list, but not on a politically influential list. The fact that he's in the Top 5 of Politico's Top 50 political movers and shakers list speaks volumes to the dearth of influence on the list.

Pope Francis. Hugely influential, Pope Francis is reshaping the Catholic Church to bring in new members. Politically speaking, Francis hasn't really commented on our politics, nor do Catholics vote as their Pope tells them. Where he seems to have had the most political influence has been in the genuine conservative response to his proclamations, which essentially equates the current Catholicism with Marxism. That could drive a wedge between Catholics and conservatives, or it could mean nothing.

Janet Yellen. Although her job is political, Yellen's real influence is economic. In theory, her control over monetary policy gives her the power to accelerate or decelerate the US economy. This power, however, is hamstrung by prior fed actions and is currently limited to little more than talking the stock market up or down for a few days.

That's it. These are the people who are supposedly “transforming” America, yet outside of a couple whose influence resides outside politics, only one or two have any real influence over how the public will act politically. Isn't it interesting that for the system that supposedly runs America, there is remarkably little real influence anywhere on this list.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ahhhhhh! I mean, check this out! nods head like mad man

Ok, I did this to poor Kit and now I'm doing it to you. Our oldest has a Spanish class and one of the teaching aids they've used is a website that produced a song entitled "Billy la Bufanda." This video, I believe, was made by aliens to brainwash the human race because it's unbelievably fricken catchy. In fact, I've been singing this song about a doomed love affair between a scarf and a pair of boots ever since I heard it. Poor Kit has lost his mind and is dissecting the song and has learned that it is a dirty, dirty song in ways that no twelve year old will ever understand (until they turn 21). Anyways, I give unto you, a song that will haunt you for the rest of your lives...

...Billy la Bufanda

Enjoy, amigos.
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Obama's Alaskan Vacation and other stuff...

Obama's Alaskan Vacation:
President Obama took a trip to Alaska last week and here's a fun fact. President Obama is the first President to visit Alaska. Now. I don't mean to criticize our former Presidents, especially President Eisenhower, but one would think that at least one President would've taken a look at Alaska before we made it a state. But, hey, that's just water under a bridge to nowhere now.

Anyway, President Obama finally went there and, you know, Alaska is kind of beautiful and filled with breathtaking scenery and wildlife. Fortunately for us, the President took lots of pictures to show us the vast majesty of our 49th state.

So, here we go...

Oops, no, that's a photo of a selfie...let's try again.

Hmmm, nope not here. But if you look really close you may see a mountain and some ice in the background.

Well, I must admit that is some nice Alaskan "scenery", but...

Oh, wait, here we go! There's some Purple Mountain's Majesty! And I must say, it is mighty generous of President Obama to point it out since no one would have noticed otherwise...

Oh, yeah, he renamed a mountain too. This is Denali, the tallest mountain in North America. You may know it as Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America.

Here's another fun fact that no one noticed: the name change came around the 114th anniversary of the assassination of President McKinley by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York - September 6, 1901. It's all in the timing.

Now for "Other Stuff":

So, Mayor De Blasio and our City Council (a/k/a NYC "student council") have proposed new regulations that requires chain restaurants to post the sodium content on their menus. Now, personally I am thrilled because this must mean that all the other immediate problems in NYC - out of control homelessness, housing shortages, rapidly rising crime/murder rates, at-grade reading and math scores at 40%, and high taxes causing people to flee the state - all have been solved and we can move to the more important issues of sodium/salt consumption in the general population. Phew, we're saved...

Okay, the floor is now open.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Random Stuff... Random Stuff

Here are some random thoughts ripped straight from the headlines.

First Britton Targeted Killed By Drone. That is a harsh punishment for speeding. That said, let me ask a question. Would people be less upset if he had been killed by a human pilot? Would it make him any less dead or differently dead?

Penis Photo Costs Man Job. A Chicago man lost his dream job after accidentally texting a picture of his penis twice to the HR manager of the company that had just offered him a job. Apparently, he was supposed to submit three copies. Just kidding. Actually, the man thought he was sending the photos to a woman he was hoping to impress, but instead he sent it to the HR manager. What kind of fool thinks women are impressed with dick pics? That isn’t something women like, as explained all over the net. And did the company fire him for lack of judgment in sending a picture of his Johnson, in taking a picture of his Johnson, in sending a text to the wrong person, or in trying to impress a woman with a Johnson pic? Or did they fire him for coming up short (if you know what I mean)? Last question... what job had Mr. Biden applied for exactly?

No Soup For You! A Times Square topless street “performer” was arrested the other day for offering oral sex and drugs to an undercover cop. This statement had me deeply perplexed. Does this mean it’s illegal to have sex with cops? I could see priests, but cops? No wonder they eat so many donuts. Also, in this sentence, does the word oral modify sex or drugs or both? Oh, and her name was Destiny, so wasn't this really inevitable?

Biden 2017! I find it funny that anyone thinks Biden can win the Presidency. Biden is Hillary except that his gaffes are funny... and he's more dangerous with a shotgun. The real difference between the two is that Hillary’s supporters can plausibly claim that they are voting for the first woman for President. Biden doesn’t have that (barring a Caitlin Jenner thing). In fact, that’s really the only appeal Hillary has and it’s more than Biden has. So I can’t see how anyone could assume that he would have a chance to win.

Taylor NotSoSwift. Taylor Swift is a mega success. Can't deny that. She has learned to turn annoyance and a silly version of "girl power" into a sort cash machine that taps straight into the pockets of parents. Interestingly though, she is running into race problems now. First, when she won video of the year, a black turd/"singer" named Nicki Minaj freaked out and whined about white people getting awards she wanted (just as black "biggest clown" Kanye West did to Taylor in the Bush years). Taylor made the mistake of responding by asking Minaj why she was crapping on her. Taylor was not prepared for the liberal backlash which laughably accused HER of turning this into a race issue by responding to Minaj, who then lied and claimed she hadn't aimed this racist tirade of hers at Swift. Now Taylor is in trouble again because her latest video is being accused of embracing the racist white colonial fantasy. Once again, Taylor is befuddled that she's being picked on. Ha ha. I love it when intolerant a-holes who embrace identity politics find themselves attacked by other intolerant a-holes who embrace identity politics. Maybe Swift should declare herself black?

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Monday, September 7, 2015

The Self-Defeating Left

We talk a lot about how bad the right is at reaching the public with its message. The reasons for that vary, but they generally come down to (1) unfamiliarity with the public and the culture, hence an inability to grasp what matters to the public, (2) inability to tailor message because of inability to grasp that politics is about sales pitch, not substance, (3) inability to grasp that perception is more important than reality, and (4) inability to grasp that everything is political. Yuck! But these things can be fixed. The left's problem can't be fixed.

The left's problem, stated simply, is that everything they do blows back upon them and undermines their fundamental purpose. Consider this: the left loves to attack anyone who stands in their way. They smeared President Bush and his entire administration as corrupt and incompetent. They attack the Congress as corrupt and incompetent. They attack the Supreme Court as corrupt. They attack the Federal Reserve as a corrupt defender of the rich. They attack the Treasury as beholden to Wall Street, the Pentagon as murderous and incompetent, the FDA and EPA as beholden to the big business companies they regulate, etc.

They said, the government's response to Katrina was incompetent and racist. Its response to the Crash of 2008 was biased and incompetent. Its response to the Great Recession, the creation of Obamacare, the regulation of the internet, and the creation of financial reform was biased for Big Business. The Iraqi War was fought for oil companies, as were they all. Police are incompetent, racist murders. When someone is hurt by a product, it's because of incompetent or biased regulators. When someone loses their house, it's predatory loan practices allowed by the government. And so on.

See the problem?

Ok, how about adding this: the Hollywood left reinforces this. The villain in so many films today is a corrupt general, regulator, governor, senator or President. The government bureaucrat stands in the way of everything... they never understand what the hero needs to do. They are a roadblock at best... an enemy at worse.

Get it now? Fundamentally, the left NEEDS you to trust the government so that you will accept their solutions. After all, that is what they want, that you hand over your life to the government. Yet, every single thing they say is an attack on the government as incompetent, racist, and hopelessly biased. Think about that. Every time they make an argument they argue: "The government is hopelessly incompetent and biased!! Give the government more power to solve the current problem!"

How's that for a problem? The better their arguments are, the more they damage their own cause.

snicker snicker

And this isn't the only thing they do which backfires. The more they try to sell ideas like girl power, the more they reinforce the idea that girls are inherently powerless. The more they argue that talking about problems facing the black community is racist, the more problems they prevent anyone from solving... like the number of blacks murdered by other blacks. The more they talk down the expectations for their own supporters, the more worthless and non-productive (and powerless) their supporters become. The more they make the use of the military unacceptable, the more impossible they make it for leftist Presidents to conduct foreign policy. And so on.

The left lives in a trap where their own arguments undermine the public's belief in their cause.

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