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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, July 29, 2011

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

"I think this may've been the very first time in my then-young life that I said to myself, 'Self, did we really just see and hear that?'"

I always had mixed feelings about this song. Its got a great tune, a great country sort of feel, and its really catchy. On the other hand its a country hippie song about smoking pot, and I never really appreciated that part. But one thing I know for sure, these people had no clue what it was about.



That really happened, in 1971. This is not a hoax, not a clever mashup, this is not a faked version. They really sang this on the Lawrence Welk show.

CLINTON AND THE BALANCED BUDGET

“Once again, the economy will be held captive unless Republicans get their way.”
-President Obama

President Clinton balanced the budget and raised taxes, we're told, so we should do the same thing and get the same results! The left loves the idea of rolling back to Clinton-era tax increases because it fills a burning need to punish anyone wealthier than they are. What they don't seem to realize is that it would raise their taxes, too.

However, the entire argument is based on a lie. President Clinton didn't balance the budget. He fought like crazy to not balance the budget against a congress which was working hard to do so. A Republican congress, led by the Contract With America guys elected in 1994.

The truth is, even after the 1993 tax increases which resulted in a lot of guys being thrown out of office, the Office of Budget Management predicted deficits of 200 billion or more into the foreseeable future of 10 years or more. President Clinton in 1995 submitted five budgets, each one increasing the debt by billions of increased spending, and congress kept fighting them off, trying to implement a simple concept: just stop spending more. No more increases, just zero it out and let it ride.

President Clinton fought and fought trying to raise spending, he used every trick, the media used every lie, slander, and attack they had, the Democrats warned of starvation, misery, doom, and horror.

Eventually, reluctantly, President Clinton finally signed a balanced budget. By 2010, the nation was not increasing its debt any longer based on this simple concept of spending no more than it took in from taxes. I know, crazy, but that's what the GOP wanted.

The main change was reduced military spending (which we paid for by 2002 when we needed it again), and a booming economy propped up on faux internet riches which boosted tax revenues. That eventually failed, but it did shrink the deficit.

Now, after 8 years of increasing spending by President Bush topped off by the idiotic TARP, and compounded by 2 years of even greater increased spending, which bloated the budget and debt by 30% more under President Obama, the debt is almost fifteen trillion dollars. And the Democrats are demanding that we must spend even more and raise taxes to help pay for it all.

And this time, there's no booming economy.

ROLLEY POLEY

"views running counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful"

Polar Bear
Ah, the Polar Bear. Although kids are still fond of the creatures, they've fallen out of favor as the mascot of the global warming alarmist. The problem is that while they claimed the bears were in danger, 11 of the 19 populations of Polar Bears around the arctic are increasing, and only 2 decreasing in population.

According to biologists, there are five times as many Polar Bears now than fifty years ago. Despite this, the Obama Administration declared the bears "threatened" and set aside almost 190 million acres of prime oil drilling land in Alaska for a habitat.

Five years ago, a scientist named Charles Monnett claimed that several bears had drowned in the Arctic sea because they couldn't find ice. There had been a powerful storm the days before he found the bodies, but that was discounted as meaningless because the real problem was melting ice. Now that scientist has been tossed off the research team and is under investigation, allegedly for doctoring evidence.

Well you know, when the facts don't support your theory, scientists have long been trained in other areas of science to manipulate the facts or concoct alternate possible theories that make them still somehow fit.

Besides, how are you going to get those killer grants if you prove your thesis is in error?

WORD AROUND THE NET

"Sea levels rose at about 3m a century about 15,000 years ago."

Courtesy Ace of Spades HQ we get this graphic (click to embiggen) which shows real life, actual newspaper websites and the idiotic crap they put on them.

Lousy News Sites
Its bad enough your news is usually old and biased, but why make lousy websites with obnoxious features? Its like newspapers want to die. My experience with newspaper websites is that most of them make it hard to actually find any news you want to read.

Fast and Furious isn't just a B-movie with cars, its a government program to move guns to criminals. This program has been under close scrutiny for months now with little media coverage, but the latest news made it to NPR: whistleblowers are facing intimidation and being threatened with retaliation. Meanwhile congress investigates obstruction of justice by the Obama Justice Department. This was a scheme to gin up support for gun control that went bad. But if the Democrats learnede anything from President Clinton, its that if you stonewall long enough, you can ignore almost any charges.

Meanwhile, the State Department appears to have gotten in on the gun running business as well. A former El Paso USDA intelligence officer claims that the Obama State Department was running guns to the Zeta drug cartel, under a program that allows the State Department to negotiate weapons deals with foreign governments, not crime cartels.

More evidence that salt is not as harmful as previously believed has come out, this time in Scientific American. Doctors have long known there's little scientific evidence of a link between salt intake and high blood pressure, but have suggested cutting back just in case. The latest study demonstrates there is no such connection. That won't stop government drones like New York Mayor Bloomberg from insiting everyone but him cut back on their salt.

La Raza decided to hold a car show in Kent, Washington, the first one. This first annual car show had latin rap music, hot low riders, and lots of attendees, and ended in gunfire, bloodshed, and 12 wounded people.
A fight broke out just before the shooting, which occurred at the La Plaza shopping center, Kasner said. It is in the 23200 block of Pacific Highway South, where it meets the Kent-Des Moines Road.

Nine people — seven males and two females ranging from age 14 to 32 — were taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries to arms, legs, feet and torso.
This area is a Seattle area "little Mexico" where people grow up generation after generation not even bothering to learn English and all the signs are in Spanish. I'm sure if the Klan held a white pride rally and 12 people ended up in the hospital it would be no particular cause for notice nationwide.

The highest paid actress in Hollywood is a tie between Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker. I thought Mr Ed had been canceled decades ago. Also high on the list: Jennifer Aniston and another filly and former top paid actress Julia Roberts.
What if there was a way President Obama could create more than 100,000 jobs, reduce the price of gasoline at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil -- all at zero cost to taxpayers? Any sane president would jump at the chance, right? Not Obama. It has been 33 months since TransCanada filed for a permit from the State Department to begin construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. They are still awaiting final agency decision.
If they pretended they were Brazilian or got George Soros to invest in their scheme, they'd get their permits and even a grant from the US.

Weather has always been unpredictable and often catastrophic. At No Tricks Zone, P. Gosselin links a PDF runs down two thousand years of remarkable weather such as these events:
344 AD In England, hailstorm, "stones much bigger than hen's eggs."

585 AD “Western Europe was so rainy, that it could be confused with winter. The bulk of the rains this year caused rivers to overflow their banks and flood the fields and meadows. These floods seriously compromised the crop yields.”

Winter of 759/760 AD Frost in Britain continued from 1 October 79 through 26 February 760.

1186 AD “In Germany the winter was warmer than had known for a long time. The vegetation was very advanced. The harvest took place in May and the grape harvest in August. In France, the trees were blooming in the middle of winter.”

1498 AD England, the summer was hot, very dry and the food was very expensive. In France, it was so hot that the peasants had to douse their fields with water. The pressing of the grapes was finished in mid-September and the wine fell out very well. The harvest of Dijon, France did not take place until 26 September. The price of grain was high in France.
One of the greatest conceits of modern man is that the only time that matters is the present and anything that changes from what we're used to is unprecedented and unexpected. Lately, alarmists have insisted that the reason the warming they repeatedly warned of, their computer modeling predicted, and their speeches insisted was coming has not happened, is because of... pollution. They claim that aerosols in the atmosphere from Chinese coal burning is saving us from the warming that they previously claimed aerosols in the atmosphere from pollution of that sort was causing. Still with me? OK, the problem is, the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere of the type they credit with saving us temporarily from global climate doooom has been reducing the last 5 years. That's not all. The standard "greenhouse gas" estimates for the effects of CO2 on an atmosphere predict an increase of 1.6 degrees Celsius over the last 110 years. The real total gain? Half that: .8 degrees, assuming the data is accurate. It gets worse for the alarmist.
Few if any climate scientists would challenge the view that a further increase in concentration of carbon dioxide would cause further warming of the atmosphere that might be discerned.

However, empirical data from temperature measurements over time clearly show that carbon dioxide is not a main driver, as temperature does not rise monotonically with carbon dioxide.

For instance, there was almost 40 years of global cooling beginning in 1940 despite steadily rising carbon dioxide levels. Other factors also drive global climate change. It appears carbon dioxide is only a minor player.

Sea levels are supposed to be rising catastrophically, but have instead apparently gone up at 2mm a year, and not uniformly (some areas see none).

The problems keep coming for the alarmist, detonating their decades-old presumptions about weather and climate. NASA recently released data which "far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed," according to James Taylor at Forbes.
The new NASA Terra satellite data are consistent with long-term NOAA and NASA data indicating atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds are not increasing in the manner predicted by alarmist computer models. The Terra satellite data also support data collected by NASA's ERBS satellite showing far more longwave radiation (and thus, heat) escaped into space between 1985 and 1999 than alarmist computer models had predicted. Together, the NASA ERBS and Terra satellite data show that for 25 years and counting, carbon dioxide emissions have directly and indirectly trapped far less heat than alarmist computer models have predicted.


In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth's atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.
Its almost as if those computer models are complete trash.


Incidentally, who owns big oil? Who owns the majority of their stocks? Penny Starr at CNS news has the answer:
According to a report published in 2007 by Sonecon, an economic advisory firm that analyses U.S. markets and public policy, corporate management owns only 1.5 percent of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

The rest is owned by tens of millions of Americans through retirement accounts (14 percent) and pension funds (26 percent). Mutual funds or other firms account for 29.5 percent ownership and individual investors own 23 percent of oil stock holdings.

Institutional investors hold the remaining 5 percent.
Chances are, you do.
Surprising only pointy-headed academic leftists, a study showed that putting calorie and nutritional labeling on menus does not, in fact, reduce caloric intake. Its almost as if people know what's fattening and not, and do not give a crap what the nutritional information is when they go out to eat.
England has very strict laws on campaign finance and who can spend money, advertise, and speak out to support candidates for public office. As a result, news organizations have gained tremendous power over elections, since they have a free, continuous voice unrestricted by law. Jacob Rowbottom at The New Republic details how this plays out, and his answer of course is... even more campaign finance restrictions, this time on newspapers.

Seven of the world's top selling drugs will have their exclusive patents run out next year. What this means is that other companies will be able to make versions of this drug (called "generics") which typically sell for much cheaper than the original. Sometimes these aren't as effective or have materials in them that can be troubling in combination with other drugs, but they are significantly less expensive. On average, generic versions of drugs cost less than half what the original does.

Catholic University is going to convert to single-sex dorm housing this fall: one gender per dorm, like most Christian universities. This plan was (you'll never guess it) attacked in a lawsuit by an atheist group, demanding that they mix genders in the dorms. Why? They cite a Washington DC statute which states that a business cannot discriminate on race, religion, gender unless it is absolutely required in order to remain in business. No female-only clothing stores or hair salons, apparently. The problem here is less the idiot atheist fundamentalist and more the stupid idea of such a law.

Lansing Michigan has a pot dispensary for "medical" marijuana and they're offering free weed to anyone who registers to vote there (and, theoretically, has a doctor's note to get wasted). Because you'd have to be high to keep voting for Democrats in Michigan.

Presently the debt ceiling (the most the US government is permitted to borrow) is $14.3 trillion dollars. That's been raised many times over the years as this chart indicates:

Debt Ceiling
As Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air:
Of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling we have now, $4.5 trillion got added by Democrat-controlled Congresses since taking control in 2007. That corresponds exactly with the expansion in spending by Democratic Congresses over the same period.
This money has already been spent, all raising the debt ceiling again does is let them spend even more tomorrow. And the Democrats want everyone to believe that the world will be destroyed and Christmas canceled if they aren't allowed to spend even more.

Helping make sense of the budget battle is Jerry Pournelle who writes:
There are no cuts. None. Zip, Nada, Bupkis, Zero. None.

We need to understand how “budget cuts” are measured. The base line budget projects a $9.5 Trillion Dollar increase in spending over the next ten years. Any reduction in this increase in spending is officially a “cut.” Thus the Republican Deficit Plan mandates an approximate “cut” of $1 Trillion over the next decade in exchange for a rise in the Deficit Limit of $2 Trillion. Note that the $1 T “cut” isn’t assured, since it takes place in the future, and one Congress cannot bind another. (Note that. One Congress cannot bind a future Congress. It might be well to remember this.) But even if the $1 Trillion “cut” is faithfully carried out, the effect is that there will be an $8.5 Trillion increase in spending (and thus in Debt) over the next decade.

Put it this way. If Congress were to freeze spending: we will spend next year precisely what we spent this year on each project, none of them increased and none decreased – if Congress were to do that, the result would officially be a $9.5 Trillion cut. It would be a cut in government pay, in school lunches, in Medicare and Medicaid, to the Army and Navy, to the DOE SWAT team and the Department of Agriculture Pet Bunny Inspectors, a cut to Head Start, a cut the FDA, a cut to – well, you get the idea. Not spending more money every year is a cut, and a freeze on spending is a $9.5 Trillion Cut in Federal Spending. Cuts to school lunches, Medicare, Medicaid – well, we’ve said all that. Not spending more is a cut.

It hasn’t always been this way. Back in the 1960’s a “cut” was actually a cut; if a department’s budget got cut it meant that it got less money. But since the budget acts of the 70’s Federal spending automatically increases year after year and any reduction in that increase is scored as a cut.Only in Washington DC is a reduction in propose increase a "cut."

What are we getting for all this spending? Well the economy is roaring along so well that they had to lower the 1st quarter growth again, now it was official under .5%. Economists say we're in a recovery from a previous recession but every quarter the "recovery" goes down in growth rate.

Raymond Jefferson, assistant secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service for Obama's Department of Labor has resigned. Appointed by President Obama, it turns out he's been using his office to throw contracts at friends and those who were willing to pay to be a friend.

Nissan's Leaf has sold 10,100 cars worldwide, almost half of those in the US where you as a taxpayer are helping people buy one and put it in their garage so they can claim to be green.

Fort Hood was spared another murderous Muslim attack. The man was a soldier who went AWOL, started stocking up guns, and built two bombs he was going to detonate in a cafe frequented by Fort Hood soldiers, then shoot survivors. He opposed the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq and was a self-identified Muslim. Nassr Abdo was arrested with bomb making materials, a partly assembled bomb, and stockpiles of ammunition. He wanted to be discharged from the military and was a conscientious objector, but his discharge was on hold because the army found child porn on his computer.

Los Angeles has shut down their costly and ineffective Red Light cameras with a unanimous 13-0 vote. Unlike most cities who set these up, LA wasn't making money off them because the system couldn't handle the load, people just didn't bother paying, and they weren't able to track people down.

Oregon's state legislature passed a bill establishing a "virtual school district" in 2005 so students could study online. Six years and over 8 million dollars later, the internet school district has not had a single course or class yet. Meanwhile, they're laying off real teachers and cutting back spending on real classrooms (but apparently firing no administration and cutting none fo their budgets).

Y-PEER, a UN group for youth, has put out an agenda promoting sex education, free abortion services for children as young as ten. Further, they want to decriminalize sex workers as young as ten years as well. I suppose, given the UN blue helmeted soldiers' proclivity to underage prostitutes in countries they allegedly are protecting, that's not surprising. Personally I think anyone who finds a 10-year-old sexy needs to be beaten into a body cast with fists and baseball bats.

Something I always bring up when someone calls for socialized medicine because "health care costs so much" is that no such program actually addresses costs of medical care, they just hide it behind taxes and layers of government bureaucracy. Now, a study shows that the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act will increase medical care costs over the years. The problem is not insufficient government control, its that costs are too high. Reduce costs and the problems are reduced.

Last September in Tblisi Georgia, the country the Russians invaded and seized control of part of in 2009, a bomb went off, damaging a wall of the US Embassy. Now documents have been uncovered which indicate that the Russian intelligence services were behind the blast. Probably, they figured in Moscow "what will they do about it? Nothing!" And they were right.

And that's the Word Around the Net for July 29,2011.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Mail Difference

Quote of the Day

"We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried $#!+ every day."
-Morrissey

Thursday, July 28, 2011

RALLYING THE TROOPS WITH INSANITY

House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) has really been on a tear lately, throwing off the attacks like grenades in a crowded market square. Here are some samples:

“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget….we’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

“This is an excuse. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don’t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights.”

Now... I understand she's making speeches, and the point is to rouse the troops. I understand that Democrats tend to lash out like cornered animals when their spending is threatened, spewing some of the most hateful, bitter, dishonorable lies, but does anyone really believe this stuff? I get that the Democratic party survives based on a coalition of radical groups with their hands out so they have to keep the money flowing and cannot allow the slightest reduction. I get that its just...

Do Democrats believe this? Does she believe a word of it? That Republicans are just evil monsters who want to obliterate everything and ruin all life? I just can't believe that she's that stupid or blindly dogmatic but you wonder sometimes. The thing is, this is the kind of frothing rhetoric that the Democrats routinely puke when they're fighting to keep their spending going. Its not new, they've done it for decades.

They do it to win and to get money from people. And that means they think its a winning, intelligent strategy. Republicans want old people to eat dog food. Republicans want black people to die. Republicans want children to suffer and freeze. Republicans want to destroy the planet.

Its amazing to me that this even works. I mean, I'm a conservative, I get GOP mailers along with Obama's stuff (I'm independent, and they think that means "have no opinions of my own") I've never yet seen a GOP fundraising email that said "Democrats are deliberately trying to destroy America and turn us into a Marxist paradise." Sure, I've heard some people on the right say, that, I don't listen to Savage but I suspect he does. Pundits will say all kinds of stuff for an audience.

But not GOP officials, not the chairman of the Republican party, no Republican politicians. The Democrats routinely use that kind of incendiary, extremist rhetoric, with a straight face. And apparently it works. They get money from donors, they get votes, they generate interest and passion in the ranks. It's just amazing to me.

FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-C.S. Lewis

A father of an Oregon boy took his son to a doctor. His son was 11 years old and weighed 400 pounds, clearly in the "grossly obese" category. He talked to the doctor about various treatments and changes in diet, and went home.

His doctor called child services and told them that the man took his son to McDonald's too much. Children's Services showed up at the man's house, and took the child away. Recently an issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association encouraged doctors to do that more often, for the children.
Even relatively mild parenting deficiencies, such as having excessive junk food in the home or failing to model a physically active lifestyle, may contribute to a child's weight problem. Typically, the potential harm involves an increased risk for obesity-related chronic disease later in life.
Clearly, the only answer is for the government to step in. How else could someone solve a problem? Only big brother the government can fix anything.

National Review Online recently had an article by Daniel Pipes about a passage from a book written in 1970 about England in the early 20th century:
Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home. For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police.

Unlike the countries of the European continent, the state did not require its citizens to perform military service. An Englishman could enlist, if he chose, in the regular army, the navy, or the territorials. He could also ignore, if he chose, the demands of national defence. Substantial householders were occasionally called on for jury service. Otherwise, only those helped the state who wished to do so. The Englishman paid taxes on a modest scale: nearly £200 million in 1913-14, or rather less than 8 per cent. of the national income. … broadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.
How did England get from that point to having a camera on every corner, a bureaucrat controlling every aspect of life and laws detailing every slightest behavior? Simple: its for your own good.

This well-meaning effort to make life save, comfortable, and controlled at the cost of liberty has incrementally destroyed nearly every vestige of freedom once-proud countries once knew. Think through an average day in your life. You wake up to an alarm carefully built to avoid any materials that might harm a child, with a safety plug to prevent possible shorts and fires, in a tone that is not too harmful to your ears, from a bed regulated by books of laws in its construction and shape.

You step out of bed onto a carpet regulated to be fireproof and made of certain non-allergenic materials, into slippers built in another nation because the costs of making them were driven so high in your home country by regulations and lawsuits that industry was destroyed. You step out into the hall in a home with regulations on what kind of paint you can use, what kind of siding, what kind of flooring, what insulation, how much, and where, what kind of window glass, how big the spaces can be in the wall struts, using what materials, in what configuration, with permits to confirm it all from the local government.

You might have an animal, but maybe not, because your local laws might prevent owning pets in your kind of building. If you do, you probably have to have a collar on it by law, and even a tracking chip in some places. That animal cannot be treated in any way except how the law permits, or you can go to jail.

And you haven't even made it to the bathroom yet, where your low capacity toilet and low-flow showerhead await you.

We're so surrounded by laws and regulations we swim through them like a fish without even noticing it these days. Someone fought against every one of those regulations and laws, warned about every one of those tiny restrictions on your liberty and was called a monster for wanting to kill the children and harm people. Someone tried to defend your freedom and was considered evil for being the kind of person who'd oppose decent, just, and reasonable laws for our own protection.

Every step of the way, tiny bits at a time, nibbling away at the edges, our liberty has been corroded until now we're wrapped in a cocoon of protective laws and regulations that keep us safe, but won't let us move or breathe, like a child so wrapped against the cold their arms stick straight out. You're safe, now go play.

"Our passions are not too strong, they are too weak. We are far too easily pleased."
-C.S.Lewis

And every day, someone wants to add more regulations, more laws, more restrictions, and ultimately take away more of your liberty. For your own good. Because they not only don't trust your judgment, but have worked hard to create a society and education system which necessarily removes your judgment and self-reliance.

We're so used to a culture which handles everything for us that we'd be aghast at having to deal with and make the decisions people just a hundred years ago took for granted. In the name of safety and ease, we're living in a culture where we've had our freedom cut so short we'd be lost without the government's hand holding ours every step of the way.

The one exception to this? The internet. Its wide open, wild, and free. It has almost no restrictions. There are horrible things on the internet, and wonderful. There are awful people on the internet, and good. And despite the bad and the near total liberty, it is not just an amazing tool, but an incredibly powerful engine of progress and economics.

As liberty is crushed more and more in the world, the internet step by step takes over more of the business and transactions we used to handle in person. And it does so very successfully because it is so free and open. It is so dangerous for the same reason, and as a result requires each of us to take responsibility for what we do and how we care for ourselves online.

Avoid certain sites, set up your own protection, restrict your use so you can get other things done, all hallmarks of personal responsibility, all things we used to do in the rest of life, but the government handles instead.

If the internet were like the rest of life, you'd have to get a permit to set up a website, which would have to have certain elements, avoid others, and within specific parameters. If you wanted to do it yourself, you'd have to get a special license, pay a regular fee, and all the content on the site would be subject to not just government approval, but government scrutiny. And all the while, it would be taxed.

Think that's not in the future? Think that isn't what people yearn to do, for your own protection? Think about the spam, the viruses, the horrible manners, the hate mail, the ghastly websites. Think about the dangers out there. Wouldn't it be better if the government had a minor oversight power, just to protect us from those evils?

If you said yes, you're so in chains you don't even recognize it. Because that's how it will start, and grow. Each new limitation on your liberty will be well-meaning and for your own good. Each step will take away what you can do and why, and replace it with government control. Each step will take away your freedom. Think it can't happen? It already did, everywhere else around you.

And at this point there seems no way out short of violent, catastrophic disaster that ruins almost the entire infrastructure of our culture and civilization. Which would also destroy the internet and all it contains.

Sometimes losing your chains is painful. Just ask the former Soviets who couldn't figure out what to do without an all powerful government guiding their lives every step of the way. The freedom was overwhelming, and they were utterly unready for the responsibility. The same thing would - and perhaps will - happen to each of us, should we find that freedom that has been taken away.

It would reduce many, perhaps most of us to helpless confusion. It would have many of us turning to a strong leader to obey and follow them, for safety and comfort. It would have some, perhaps many of us die just out of starvation and exposure because we don't have a clue how to survive without that cocoon.

That's the price we've paid for that feeling of stability, reliability, safety, and comfort. Like a child released on the world too soon, too many of us would be utterly unready and unfit for real freedom. And often, that's the very argument against liberty that's used by people who supposedly are leaders and trustworthy with the power we've given them.

THE FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE THAT WASN'T

"Time will tell what the future brings. But we must be prepared for a potential US intervention and must somehow manage to get Russia to contribute as a guarantor."

Writing Manifesto
Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway murderer has been called not just a Christian but a fundamentalist Christian conservative. He's the white christian murderer the left has been waiting for all these years, when they've been wrong again and again trying to identify killers as one. But is he?

The lunatic's manifesto is available to read now, if you really care to, and SooperMexican has torn it apart and condensed it to make it easier to read and less rambling. So what does this fundamentalist conservative Christian think about Christianity?
The Judeo-Christian religions played an important and influential role in building the once mighty West but we also discovered that these religions contained a serious flaw that has sewed the seeds of the suicidal demise of the indigenous peoples of Western Europe and our cultures. This flaw was identified by the brilliant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who described it as “an inversion of morality” whereby the weak, the poor, the meek, the oppressed and the wretched are virtuous and blessed by God whereas the strong, the wealthy, the noble and the powerful are the immoral and damned by the vengeful almighty Yahweh for eternity. (p. 391)

Should any person have the temerity to criticise any one of these “victim” groups, they will be viciously smeared and deemed guilty of numerous hate-crimes, the new heresy of the Liberal-Multicultural religion. The plain fact that this situation is destroying the west because it flies in the face of Mother nature...
In other words, he's critical of Christian love, charity, and tolerance for the weak. How about his personal faith, his testimony?
Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.
So he claims to be a Christian, but utterly rejects the most fundamental tenet of Christianity, that you must call upon Jesus for salvation and become his follower, in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God the father through the work of the Holy Spirit. This is a total, categorical, and violent rejection of Christian fundamentalism in every possible aspect.

In other words: he clings to Christian ethics, but rejects the actual faith of Christianity. It is not a religion for him, just a framework for basic ethical behavior. Except for the charity and love for the weak, the downtrodden, and the helpless.

To put it another way, he's not a Christian, not fundamentalist, not of any sort except in name.

How about economics, what does he think about business, money, banking, and how a government should behave with these concepts?
All globalist companies will be nationalised (a minimum of 50,1% ownership must be redistributed to EF governments hands (combined) at any given time, for their respective countries). Investors with majority control who refuse this re-nationalisation process will have their respective corporation expelled from the European Federation monetary zone (losing trading concessions). Ensuring state control is the only way to avoid that globalist capitalist political lobby groups continue to negatively influence European policies relation to immigration and multiculturalism.
...
Is capitalism always a force for freedom? It is easy for “conservatives” to think so, but is it always true?
...
I never thought I would actually argue against capitalism but the US model is an extreme variant, almost resembling a pure laissez faire model. 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are now in the hands of 1 percent of the people. 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
Nationalizing business, fear of corporations, anger at people getting wealthier than he is, and a rejection of capitalism. Again, he's not a conservative in any sense of the word when it comes to economics. He goes on with his fear of corporations, in standard leftist anarchist manner:
In 1998, Rupert Murdoch owned 34% of the daily newspapers and 37% of the Sunday newspapers in the UK. Successive UK governments have allowed his empire to grow in return for his media’s support.

53% of UK newspaper and magazine distribution is controlled by just two companies, WH Smith and John Menzies.

Cross-media ownership and the fact that a small number of people own so many of our means of obtaining information is a threat as it institutionalises globalism and multiculturalism.
That almost looked as if he bashed Murdoch, I thought this guy was supposed to be some sort of conservative? Well what does he think about the environment?
Getting around is necessary, oil is not. Considerable efforts should be made to further develop high-power Lithium-Ion batteries. The goal should be to aim for oil independence. This will not only save the environment; it will completely devastate many Muslim countries economically which will weaken the ongoing Islamic imperialism.

All 2nd and 3rd world countries (where the average birth rate is above 2,1 [sic]) are to implement 1 child policies until their country is stabilised in regards to financial outlooks and overconsumption, saving their forests etc. This will both solve their poverty problem and result in drastic cuts in global pollution due to the fact that the population (consumer) explosion will be reversed.

But be in no doubt whatsoever that Mother nature will demand they pay the heaviest price for their arrogance and she will not care one iota if the entire white race has to pay too. Mother nature knows not pity...
Hold on, I thought this guy made fun of global warming? And yet here he is calling for everything the alarmists demand step by step: nationalization of companies, ending the use of fossil fuels, overpopulation, consumerism, etc. Again: not conservative.

Wait, there's one more bit, what does he think of Marxism? Surely he's opposed to that, right?
The essence of our struggle is to defeat the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes of Western Europe before the we are completely demographically overwhelmed by Muslims.
So his anti-Marxism is not in terms of economic policy but the leftist influence on multiculturalism?

Got it.

He's not a Christian at all. he's not a conservative at all. In fact, he's something else, something more familiar yet from the region, from the past. He believes in white Nordic supremacy, nationalism, and opposition to corruption of his culture, immigration, and alternate cultures. He's a white supremacist who believes Christianity is weak and the strong must rule through the power of mother nature and their strong Germanic heritage.

He's a fascist.

And unlike what you probably were taught in school and is repeated constantly by the left, fascists are not conservative, not even remotely. They are traditionalist and dislike multiculturalism, but not for the same reasons and intent as conservatives.

Conservatives like tradition because it teaches us strengths from the past and ought not be rejected without good cause. Tradition brings us wisdom from our elders that is not wisely ignored. Fascists like tradition because they believe in a mythical glorious past, a power that can come from returning to the ethics and culture of long-gone pre-Christian peoples.

Conservatives are suspicious of an uncomfortable with multiculturalism because it tends to give all cultures and societies equivalence; it treats every cuture as fundamentally as worthy and useful as any other instead of picking the good out of it to blend into a greater culture and rejecting the bad. Fascists reject this because it waters down their ultimate ideal glorious culture they envision where the weak are crushed and the strong dominate as is their evolutionary right.

Fascism; its not just something from the past. And its not "you are trying to keep me from having fun." It is a real, brutal ideology and people kill for it.

Incidentally this guy is going to serve a maximum sentence in a Norwegian prison. that's 21 years in what Time Magazine called the "worlds most humane prison" with flat screen TVs, dorm-like cells, video games, a recording studio, and so on. Want to bet he gets out with more followers and a new book?

PICTURE OF THE DAY

How much money is fourteen trillion dollars?

Here's what one trillion dollars looks like:


And here's the US national debt:


That isn't a building next to the statue of liberty. Its a stack of $1 bills.

Quote of the Day

"How many of those on the left crowing in delight that they’ve finally got a blond, blue-eyed, white male “Christian conservative” nationalist murderer to wave around like a bloody shirt have images of Che Guevara on their walls or clothing?"
-Andrea Harris

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NO COVERAGE, NO PROTEST?

"But the We-Love-The-Troops-But-Not-The-Wars branding hasn’t stuck."

Remember all those protests when President Bush was in office? How they were popular, tens of thousands of people shouting about how the Iraqis should be forced to suffer horrors under Hussein and that the repeatedly broken cease-fire should be maintained until the sanctions just crumbled with time. Well, that's not what they said they wanted, but its what their efforts would have resulted in, with success.

The legacy media loved to cover these protests, and I can't help but repeat a story I saw unfold right in front of my eyes. The "anti war" protests were in full swing and a bunch of people in my town decided to have a rally in support of the troops, with flags and so on. Over a hundred people showed up at the capitol steps and we smiled and cheered. Across the street a dozen or so raggedy old hippies showed up with carefully printed signs from International A.N.S.W.E.R. and the press showed up in their vans.

We thought "neat, maybe someone will finally pay attention to the support of the war on terror." Oh no. They turned their cameras on the tiny group of "anti-war" guys, totally ignored the troop support rally, then drove away. This was never about the war for the legacy media, it was about how they could undermine the president's vast popularity and get the hated Republican out of power.

The protests started to disappear around 2006 when Democrats took control of congress, and have all but vanished from the press now that a Democrat is president. Over and over people like me noted that most of this was about getting rid of a Republican president, not war. That these "anti-war" protests had little to do with actual war, and the press coverage everything to do with removing a president that was shockingly of the wrong party and actually seemed to believe in God. Once the GOP was getting out of power, well why have the protests, and why cover them?

The protests are still happening, by the way. They aren't as big, but they're regularly occurring. Since 2009, 1400 Americans have been arrested for tresspassing, civil unrest, and violence in anti-war protests. The press just isn't paying them any attention. At Neiman Watchdog, John Hanrahan complains that the legacy media isn't doing its job:
Antiwar activists repeatedly stage dramatic acts of civil disobedience in the United States but are almost entirely ignored by mainstream print and broadcast news organizations. During the Vietnam era, press coverage of the fighting and opposition to it at home helped turn public opinion against the war. This time around lack of homefront coverage may be helping keep military involvement continue on and on.

In the past two years, protests of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, killer drones, torture, nuclear weapons and other war-related issues have been carried out at nuclear weapons silos and production facilities, military bases, unmanned drone facilities, major defense contractors’ headquarters and offices, the Nevada Nuclear Test site, nuclear weapons design laboratories, military recruiting centers, the U.S. Capitol, the White House, federal buildings in various states, the U.S.
Strategic Air Command, and numerous other war-oriented sites across the country.
...
As Daniel Berrigan, now 90 and living in a Jesuit friary in New York City, observed in the summer of 2010 in an interview with author Deena Guzder for her recently-published book, Divine Rebels: "There's resistance all the time today, but there's no media. The media is a total sellout. You're not going to know the earth is shaking if nobody reports it, but there are still plenty of people who are trying to read the Gospel and act as if it were true."
My complaint is that the legacy media is doing its job inconsistently and unjustly, by choosing stories not based on their impact or significance, but on who they help or hurt in power. Covering these protests like before means making Democrats look bad, and that's simply not on the agenda.

Hanrahan's position is obvious here: US military bad, all war must stop; he doesn't say a single word in criticism or opposition to the horrors the Taliban is unleashing daily on the people of Afghanistan, just the handful of scattered people who've suffered tragically from the war.

Like many in the "anti-war" movement I have no doubt their concerns are sincere and heart felt, but are ignorant and naive. They seem to honestly think everything will be OK if only we got rid of our military. And they seem unwilling to consider the evil that we're fighting against, only the evil they perceive in our military.

But the protests are still going on. They're small and have more or less spliced into the no-nukes people who've always been around, but they are happening. The size is smaller because the real no-war guys aren't being joined by the "whee its a party" guys and the "anarchy now!" guys and the biggest constituency, the "Republicans must be driven out of power" guys. So they are more modest in size, but still going on.

And like I noted above, the size wasn't the deciding factor for media coverage of Bush-era protests. They're still happening, sometimes bigger than those rallies. The legacy media just doesn't want to pay them any mind.

ERASING THE JEWS

"The West has made no effort to prevent this rewriting of history"

Moses Maimonides
Its a tough time to be a Jew. Alleged "Islamophobia" gets a lot of press these days, and old fashioned hatred of Jews has fallen out of disfavor, and across the western world, academia has become increasingly hostile toward Jews, again.

The latest bits I've seen are more of the same: Israel must die, Jews must be silenced on campuses, writing Jewish accomplishments out of history, and so on.

From Iran we hear from one of their top generals that "In order to protect the security of our country, we have no option but to have the Zionist regime wiped off the map." Israel must be obliterated as a nation in order for Iran to have security. Why? Because they blame Mossad for the assassination of one of their top nuclear weapons scientists. This isn't new for Iran of course. Their government has been calling for Israel to be obliterated since 1979. Which is probably why Mossad felt compelled to do something to stop their nuclear weapons program.

The island that the lunatic Norwegian shot up was a camp teaching children proper leftist and socialist ideology. Literally, it was like Jesus Camp for Che Guevarra fans. Among the projects of the camp was teaching kids that Israel should be boycotted and Jews were dangerous, bad people. Alan Dershowitz wrote in March what its like trying to talk in Norway and how Jews are treated:
My hosts expected, therefore, that their offer to have me present a different academic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be eagerly accepted. I have written half a dozen books on the subject presenting a centrist view in support of the two-state solution. But the universities refused.

The dean of the law faculty at Bergen University said he would be "honored" to have me present a lecture "on the O.J. Simpson case," as long as I was willing to promise not to mention Israel. An administrator at the Trondheim school said that Israel was too "controversial."

The University of Oslo simply said "no" without offering an excuse. That led one journalist to wonder whether the Norwegian universities believe that I am "not entirely house-trained."

Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities in a country. The other country was Apartheid South Africa.
Norway's professors have been working hard to prevent any Jewish speakers from coming to their universities, and want no viewpoints or speakers opposing their perspective on Israel.

There's a reason Norway's sizable Jewish population has been reduced to a tiny fragment.

And then there's the UN, whose primary goal seems to have shifted from preventing another Hitler to attacking Jews and Israel at every opportunity. Gulio Meotti has a great series of examples of this in Ynet magazine. In 2009, UNESCO declared Jerusalem the "Capitol of Muslim Culture," and described the Jews living there as an "occupation" of the city. A few months ago UNESCO declared Rachel's Tomb (where the patriarch Isaac's wife Rachel is said to have been buried) a mosque, despite having never been used as such in the past. That article has many, many other examples.

The most recent example is to change the faith and background of one of Judaism's most respected and honored scientists, scholars, and academics: Moses Maimonides. A great physician and one of the greatest thinkers and philosophers of the medieval period, Maimonides has been considered a Jewish icon for years. Now, UNESCO has decided he was Muslim:
For those who are skeptical, or who note that Maimonides, who lived under Muslim rule, was also called by that Arabic name, Elder of Ziyon has tracked down the original document in French. I double-checked his translation with a friend from France and with Google Translate, but then also realized that changing the “_fr” to “_en” in the URL would probably get me to the English version of the file, which it did. The English version contains the following passage:
“From AD 1100–1350 – during the first half of the European Middle Ages (AD 1100–1543) – the names of a few European scientists appear in scientific literature alongside a string of Muslim scientists, whose numbers include Ibn-Rushd, Musa Bin Memoun, Tusi and Ibn-Nafis.”
Musa Bin Memoun is the Muslim version of Maimonides' name. This is part of the mythmaking about an Islamic golden age in medieval Europe where science, medicine, philosophy, literature and other efforts all exploded in a tolerant Muslim culture centered in Spain. As I've written about in the past, the facts are significantly less rosy and immensely less Muslim.

This promotion of Islam and degradation of Jews by the UN is not surprising, since Islamic nations have been promoted to significant power and voice in the organization over recent years.

WU UPDATE

"I fully acknowledge that I could have dealt with these difficult circumstances better, and I remain focused on being a good father to my children and a strong representative for the people of Oregon."

People keep talking about Wu having already resigned; he's still in office and will be for weeks at least. He's not going anywhere until the debt ceiling vote because the Democrats want a reliably leftist warm body in that seat until this big vote is over. He may have announced his resignation, but he hasn't resigned yet. Here's a few samples of Wu's career:
  • In 2007, Wu gave a speech on the floor urging Americans not to “let faux Klingons send real Americans to war.”
  • In October 2010, he admitted to using painkillers and accepting two oxycodone tablets from a donor just months after he told his Democratic colleagues that he had stopped drinking.
  • In February 2011, he sent an email to his staff posing as his middle-school-aged daughter and another posing as his son.
  • He sent a picture of himself wearing a tiger suit to his staff.
  • After staging two interventions, at least six of his most loyal staff members quit en masse in a last-ditch effort to urge him into treatment. They were so concerned about his mental health that they even researched available beds in psychiatric facilities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • He sent out emails as his middle school aged daughter attacking his staffers.
  • He send an infamous picture of him in a tiger suit - with no text - to staffers.
  • He went to Portland International Airport and convinced the TSA to let him through security unchecked then stood and campaigned exiting passengers in violation of law.
  • Several times his staffers physically took him to clinics and rehab centers pleading with him to enroll himself, and he refused. The final time he got out of the car and walked away.
  • At the end of his last campaign for his seventh term in office (yes, you read that right, this lunatic was reelected 6 times) his campaign shut down as his staffers hid him from public to conceal his insanity and drug use.
Portland: where it doesn't matter who you are or what you're like, you'll be elected if you're a Democrat. All this crazy behavior and drug use was apparently tolerable, but touch a girl and you're out.

For people who get their news from the legacy media: there's a reason this man is resigning from office. Many of you will be surprised to learn of his announcement, since several major outlets didn't bother covering anything he did before this point.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

Daughter
Every girl is someone's daughter.

Quote of the Day

“Only President Obama is fighting for higher taxes.”
-CNN Analyst Gloria Borger

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RECORDS AND MANIFESTOS

"You can't handle the truth!!"

July 21
A couple of global warming bits to consider.

The Norwegian shooter stole a great deal of demented environmentalist lefty Ted Kazinsky's (the unabomber) unhinged manifesto and tried to write his own. In it, he attacked global warming alarmists, and this is being held up as proof, proof that skeptics are lunatics and scum: look who they associate with! Here's how to determine the truth of the matter, only a murderous maniac believes the skeptics!

Tom Nelson noted a few other quotes by lunatics that helps put this in perspective:
Flashback: Osama bin Laden enters global warming debate - Telegraph
Osama bin Laden has surprisingly appeared to enter the debate on climate change by blaming industrialised countries for global warming.
Flashback: Charles Manson Breaks 20-Year Silence, Warns Of Global Warming
Manson said, "Everyone's God and if we don't wake up to that there's going to be no weather because our polar caps are melting because we're doing bad things to the atmosphere… The automobiles and fossil fuels are destroying the atmosphere and we won't have air to breathe.”

Before trailing off, Manson added, 'If we don’t change that as rapidly as I’m speaking to you now, if we don’t put the green back on the planet and put the trees back that we’ve butchered, if we don’t go to war against the problem...'
Truth, right, and reality is not defined by association. Just because, say, Pol Pot loved chocolate doesn't make a love of chocolate evil.

Another bit of news, difficult to relate to since in Oregon its been the coolest summer I remember (its 65 and cloudy outside as I write this, in late July). A heat wave struck the east coast, pushing temperatures far above what I find tolerable. The headlines and pundits' lips were full of three digit numbers and promises of unbelievable heat: 116 in Washington DC! Fry an egg on your porch!

A few records were set, but the main focus was actually the humidity, not exactly new on the eastern seaboard but higher than ordinary. Thus, the temperatures weren't especially high for July in New York or Charleston, but the heat index was higher, a speculated heat level that meteorologists believe the weather feels like based on the humidity and wind.

Thus, when the news touted 123 degrees, they meant "99 actual degrees, plus humidity and wind that results in a heat index of 123." Since no one has kept records of heat indexes, its not sure if that's a record or even particularly unusual, but it was really unpleasant. At the Hockey Schtick, the tale is more clearly stated:
The NOAA database of all-time Max Temperature for the entire US from over 6000 weather stations shows that there were no records broken on July 17, July 18, July 19, or July 20th. A total of 4 stations broke records on July 21, 20 on July 22, and 10 on July 23, 2011, for a grand total of less than 0.4% of stations breaking a temperature record sometime during the past week. More than 99.6% of stations failed to break records sometime over the past week.
July 2 had a lot, but the truth is, in the overall picture it was actually not very many record or even unusual high temperatures. Its summer. The temperature goes up. What's unusual this year isn't the heat index on the east coast, but the unusually cool temperatures on the west coast. San Francisco is chilly. LA isn't sizzling. The fact is, this is where the news is.

The problem is, that doesn't help sell the narrative. Unusually cool sounds like global warming is bunk. Weather doesn't really tell you much either way about overall long-term climate patterns, but it does manipulate public perception of them, and the narrative is all about perception of issues, not the actual issues. Record highs, even if you have to manipulate the report to fabricate them, sells the perception of global climate doom. Record lows tends to damage that. So we get heat indices and thousands of stories on record high temperatures.

WU GONE

Are you with me Doctor Wu
Are you really just a shadow
Of the man that I once knew?
Are you crazy are you high?
-Steely Dan, "Dr Wu"

David Wu (D-Oregon) is apparently going to finally resign. The tipping point was a girl that said he "sexually contacted" her (probably he grabbed something he oughtn't have). Being a lousy representative and being insane, unstable, power grabbing, and abusive wasn't enough. Touching a girl wrong, and you're out of here. Odd priorities in Washington DC.

CORRUPTION OF SPEECH

"They used to call it mud-slinging. I don't think that's mud they're throwing any more."

One of the only certain things about human language is that it changes over time. Attempts to enforce "purity" or "proper" versions of a language are always doomed to failure because each successive generation changes their language based on new situations, slang, cultural shifts, and influences. What is generally considered proper English was developed in the late 1800s, but over time it has changed and dropped some rules while adapting new ones.

As a result, it is difficult to convince kids that using text messaging in writing when they do not have any actual limitations on keyboard size or length of message can be difficult. They carry over that abbreviated, jargon-packed language because it seems fun and makes them part of a group that they feel elevated by in social status. Teaching them that using proper English helps them in life and assists communication which is already so challenging, they lack the wisdom to understand what you're saying and simply point to how language changes - or satirically start speaking Elizabethan English.

And in a certain sense, they are right: if they are able to communicate between each other, why should they adapt your method? By the time they reach their thirties, language will have shifted significantly in any case, and it may not matter as much any longer. Granted, its ideal to have a set method to communicate that all ages may easily access and understand, if for no other reason than maintaining a steady and reliable society to function in. Besides, if you find reading proper English challenging and dreary, you'll find yourself missing the immense riches of people who have written and spoken before your generation, and suffer the failures, mistakes, and even horrors they would have taught you to avoid.

I would argue that it is a great error to not learn more proper English and spice it up with your own additions and subtractions, but again, it is difficult to get a young person to have the wisdom to understand something not immediately beneficial to them - particularly in a culture which rejects authority and wisdom to begin with.

LAYERS
That said, the way and the reason language changes does have significance beyond mere communication. In the past, people used to have five layers of communication that they would engage in. Each layer had its place and use, but did not readily cross over to another layer, if ever. The layers were these:
  1. Children
  2. Friends
  3. Passion
  4. Strangers
  5. Speeches
The first layer was to children, the kind of speech you used to adapt ideas and communication to someone who was not as learned and developed as you are. Not so much baby talk as simplified, direct speech lacking certain references and concepts that would be confusing or alien to a child. You wouldn't tend to quote Shakespeare and drop Latin terms into a discussion of why little Billy should eat his breakfast.

The second layer was the kind of language you used with friends and peers. This would tend to have more vernacular, terms not used in formal writing or to strangers that your friends were used to and understood. This communication was informal, often joking, and would contain many shared cultural and experiential references which were short cuts to make a point. Quotes from plays, movies, television, and past experiences were comfortably inserted, with the knowledge that shared understanding would not require explanation. Other languages, such as Latin or French, or simply the language that you were born using or was from your heritage would spice conversation.

The third layer was the kind of language you used when very angry, hurt, upset, or passionate. This is the language lovers use when intimate, or you use when you stub your toe. It is the language you scream at someone in an argument or use to describe something you truly hate or are frustrated by. This was used sparingly, often apologetically, and always privately. It was not a part of you that was unveiled in public except by accident. This language often included terms and language that was considered shocking or appalling in the general society.

The fourth layer was language used in public among strangers. This was more formal, with careful statements to indicate respect and dignity. Jargon, popular or literary references tended to be left out, and speech would seem stilted and contrived, but was so deliberately to ensure careful communication and avoiding discomfort, anger, or humiliation in the other person. Dropping a reference someone else didn't get embarrassed them for not knowing and you for saying something that made them feel uncomfortable.

And the last was formal speech. This sort of language has almost entirely disappeared from the English language. This is the sort of communication done in speeches, dissertations, formal writing, and situations of great importance. It was rich with vocabulary, and in speeches often was delivered in a different tone of voice than other conversation. Often speech writers would roll their R's, use language often considered archaic in any other setting, and awkward were it not for the specific, formal setting. No one used "four score and seven years ago" or words like "forefathers" in ordinary speech in Abraham Lincoln's time; that was reserved for speeches.

MELTING LAYERS
As time has gone on, we've lost many of these layers, or blurred them into each other. The last two, particularly, have been abandoned as contrived or pointless. Being especially polite and honorable to strangers is considered hypocritical, a waste of time, or insufficiently amusing. Making special speeches is considered contrived and artificial; we want someone who "sounds like us" and who makes down home speeches that seem like they're one of our kind.

That's not to say people don't speak differently in speeches; President Obama is a classic example of someone who has a speech voice and a normal voice. Many ministers have a "sermon voice" which is different and uses different language. But the shift is more calculated for effect than crafted for formal speaking.

The distinction between the private and the public is the most significant change, however. What was once considered to be personal and private has become public and casual. People dress in public with clothing that would have been considered at best disrespectful and at worst shameful. Wearing sloppy, stained clothes at home was not entirely appreciated but was understood; wearing them in public would be shocking, or at least a sign of personal decline.

Speech has undergone a similar change. Language and patterns once shared only between close friends and family now is considered proper use to total strangers. The fierce and colorful language of passion is now considered reasonable to use in public. This is defended as "more honest" and "less artificial" but in reality is just disrespectful, rude, inconsiderate, and lazy.

NOT CRASS?
Even twenty years ago, using foul language in public was surprising and considered ill-mannered in much of America. Today it is just part of language, regardless of who might hear you. Even in formal settings, the language has corrupted to a shocking degree. Consider this exchange Bill Maher's Real Time program with comedian Marc Maron and sex advice column Dan Savage:
MARON: I don’t want to be crass but I just hope that Marcus Bachmann takes all that, you know, rage that comes from repression and denial and brings it into the bedroom with her. I hope he f–ks her angrily because, because that’s how I would. And I’ve thought about it. I just…

[Laughter and applause]

MARON: …It’s a political statement I’m trying to make.

SAVAGE: Just so we get, just so you don’t get charges of sexism, because only Michele Bachmann was involved, I sometimes think about f–king the s–t out of Rick Santorum.

[Laughter and applause]

SAVAGE: Because I think…

MARON: I’m with you.

SAVAGE: …he needs it. So, it’s not, it’s not just women we’re talking about f–king. Like, let’s bone that Santorum boy.

MARON: Alright. Let’s video it.

SAVAGE: I’m up for whipping up some santorum in Santorum.
I'm not exactly sure what that last statement even means, but the entire flow of this conversation was in a public forum, in front of an audience, intended for public consumption by hundreds of thousands, even millions of people. They were speaking in this way not just publicly, not just to strangers, but in a formal setting. They used language, patterns, and themes that are private and passionate in a calm and public forum in a manner meant to be humorous.

The lines and limitations of communication have gotten so blurred or destroyed that there are no limits to public discourse any longer. Dignity, propriety, appropriateness, and class are all thrown aside on the basis of "reality" and "humor." Anything you say or do in public now is acceptable, or insisted is acceptable, as long as it is "real" and especially "funny."

Notice this line by the alleged comedian: "I don’t want to be crass..." really? How do you sound when you are meaning to be crass, sir? The topics and language used in this exchange were met with delight and joy by the audience; they ate it up, they wanted more. This is hardly the only such example on this show alone, it comes up all over television, on cable and not.

THEY PUT IT ON EVERYTHING
There is a series of ads for Frank's Red Hot sauce, with the clever advertising tagline "I put that (bleep) on everything!" That's what they want associated with their product. This is their "where's the beef," their "oh what a relief it is" ad. Think I'm joking? Here's the ad:



If you're laughing, you've bought into a culture so strongly that an old woman swearing her head off in a public setting is not just tolerable, but amusing. This kind of ad would have literally shocked people as little as ten years ago. Today its an advertising gimmick. The next step will be to remove the bleep entirely. Because its raw, and honest, and real!

SLOUCHING INTO IDIOCRACY
The movie Idiocracy mocked this with the degradation of the name of the Fuddrucker's hamburger chain and the language of the people. The president of the United States made a WWE wrasslin speech in front of congress who swore and threw things at him like a crowd. The movie claimed this was hundreds of years in the future, but we have congressmen regularly swearing now on television.

Remember when Vice President Cheney's crude wish for opportunistic slime Patrick Leahey to leave was so shocking to people, it made people stare in amazement. How much attention would it really gather now if Vice President Biden said that to, say, Senator McConnell? Half the people watching TV would cheer.

This corrosion of manners and public discourse is far more troubling to me than people getting upset and saying mean things about their political enemies. Saying your political opponent wants to starve children is not nearly as damaging to culture as saying he's a "@$(*@$ing @(#& faced (@*$ who sucks and stuff." That drags the discourse down, then uses it for toilet paper by a particularly dull child. Its not just undignified, but crude and imbecilic.

The faux upset at Representative West noting that Democratic Party chair Wasserman-Schultz is no lady is incredibly difficult to believe based on the current level of rhetoric. Consider all the things that Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin have been called, not in a private email, but in public by pundits and television figures, congressmen and others.

The level of rhetoric has gotten so gutter and crude that nobody can believe anyone would be upset at what he said to her, and the response of various Democratic organizations looks self-righteous and hypocritical to even a casual observer.

Today you can say pretty much anything you want about anyone you want... unless they're a protected minority and someone can make even the wildest, most improbable charge of racism. Say president Obama is athletic? Racist, shut up, go to counseling, kiss your career goodbye. Say Sarah Palin is a @(*$? That's a resume enhancer.

Say you want to hate-(@*^ Bachmann and the audience cheers and claps. Call President Obama a "dick" and get fired. Like I said at the time, honesty doesn't excuse the inappropriate behavior, and he shouldn't have said it.

And its not just one political side or the other, not one generation or the other, not one group or the other, nearly everyone is engaging in this feces-flinging contest, scooping up the worst sort of filth, and not caring what happens to you in the process.

Dignity, honor, manners, and respect have all been abandoned in a false quest for "reality" which is neither real nor honest, but instead crude and immature. Pretending that using this language is more real and true than using polite and dignified language is like pretending kicking someone in the teeth is more real than disagreeing with them. And the entire culture suffers as a result of this crass, self-destructive tilt.

SPIRITUAL FEVER
The thing is, this is a symptom of a greater ill: the loss of absolute, overarching ethical standards, and the incremental, often deliberate effort to destroy any such traces so that people can enjoy their most base, corrupt nature without fear of sanction or disagreement. You can't satisfy your every crudest urge if people are going to tell you to grow up and treat others with respect. Honor and respect get in the way of personal pleasure and satisfaction.

Needing to sacrifice your base urges out of respect for others means you can't do whatever you want, whenever you want, and order others to not "make you feel guilty." Language doesn't shape our culture, its the most obvious expression of what's deep down within the culture to begin with. The tongue steers you like a tiny rudder can steer a huge ship, but it only does so because of something deep down in the ship steering it, and your soul.

PICTURE OF THE DAY


And there you have it.

Quote of the Day

"I'm getting damned sick of this game of 'Civilization Jenga.' How many blocks can we playfully remove before it topples?"
-RKae

Monday, July 25, 2011

TREADING

“But look here,” said Eustace, “this is all rot. The world’s round–I mean, round like a ball, not like a table.”

“Our world is,” said Edmund. “But is this?”

Lucy Pevensy
Watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader on Saturday night. It started out kind of weak, like they'd run out of budget. It felt a lot like a typical British TV show. The Minotaurs were suits with CGI-written mouths rather than the much more sophisticated ones in previous movies. You could tell they didn't have as much money to work with, which is a crime for a fantasy movie.

But it got better, in a big way. By the time the ship left the second island it really pulled me in, and was a great movie by the end. I don't feel like doing a long detailed review, but a few points really stuck with me.
  1. The girl that played Lucy went from a kind of unattractive little girl to a really cute kid in a few years. I always wonder how casting directors can figure that out. How do they know what a kid is going to look like in a few years?
  2. Her getting this cute kind of made the "I wish I was Susan" storyline more difficult to portray.
  3. The story of Eustace going from a heartless, cold intellectual boy to a young man is one of the best and most effective I've ever seen of its type and illustrates Lewis' ideas on manhood and the entire point of Abolition of Man even more effectively than the book of that title.
  4. The more I look closely at these books and the film adaptations the better I see what Alan Jacobs meant in The Narnian when he says the series is a fairy tale telling of Lewis' entire worldview, and none better than The Dawn Treader.
  5. Some day I hope I can write a character as interesting, unique, and memorable as Reepicheep.
  6. This was the most overtly Christian of the movies so far (even the first really tried to avoid the blatantly Christ-like imagery in the book). I wonder what they'll do with the next few? A Horse and His Boy and The Silver Chair are significantly less obviously Christian themed but the other two are pretty overwhelming.
I recommend The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Its better than the other two movies in many ways, and far better than the second, which was sort of a disappointment.

SUSPICIONS CONFIRMED

On the internet, if you wait long enough, the truth will drift by you.

The first thing I thought when I read about News of the World begin busted for phone hacking was "if this was a movie, people would cheer the crusading reporter" then I thought "like they're the only news organization in England that has done it, let alone the world."

And now, we find that they weren't. First from Jack McElroy a reminder of an Ohio story where the Cincinnati Enquirer was busted for doing the same thing in 1998; they withdrew the story despite it being true. Next is the CNN story that indicates other newspapers than Murdoch-owned the News of the World are being investigated as part of the same story:
A British police investigation into illegal activity by journalists appears to have expanded beyond Rupert Murdoch's disgraced and now defunct News of the World tabloid.

The Metropolitan Police have asked the British Information Commissioner's Office for its files from a probe into the work of a private investigator who sold illegally obtained information to a number of newspapers, the data-protection office told CNN Thursday.
Oh that Cincinnati story? No congressional investigation, no big blowup over ownership being evil.

I can't help but think of all the faux outrage in football over the Patriots using binoculars and radios to figure out the other team's plays. They got caught doing it, they were hardly the first or only team to do so.

Here's the thing: I don't want to defend Murdoch, he makes lousy news companies. They focus on sensationalism and sales and generally are poor products. I don't like Fox news much, not because of any political bias but because they are all about celebrity trials, rumors, and missing little white girls. Besides, he's rich and married to an apparently wonderful woman. He doesn't need my defense.

Tabloid journalism annoys me, it exemplifies the worst of the business. Reporters digging through trash, attacking people, combative interviews, sneaking cameras around, hacking computers, breaking and entering, all the stuff people love in books and movies but is just sleazy and underhanded in real life.

These aren't crusaders for justice and truth, they're scumbags who'll do anything to get a story, no matter who gets hurt, who they have to betray, and what morals they have to abandon. There's nothing likable about that. So yeah, I'm not surprised this happened, and has been happening, all over the place.