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March 27, 2012 - March 20, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Democrats vs.
Republicans


It can't be. It just can't be. Because we're too smart. We'd have seen it already.
And besides we know that everybody in politics is exactly as lousy as everybody
else in politics. Because we really really hate our Republicans. Don't confuse us.
We're the smart ones. We know shit. We do. And we hate Rockefeller Republicans.


THE HOWDY DOODY FACTOR. I listened to Rush Limbaugh today, which I only do at odd intervals anymore, because he reminds me of me. He's not so funny anymore. He's angry, frustrated, alarmed, and openly acknowledging that even his own talents are unequal to conveying the immensity of the threat to our republic. He didn't take a call in the first hour. He was, almost desperately, trying to drive home the significance of Obama's announcement today that he will seek to remove the bureaucratic barriers to building the lower half of the Keystone pipeline.

I won't reprise all his arguments. Just a select few that are responsible for his sense that he hasn't, that no one has, done enough to expose the rank, blatantly arrogant and cynical dishonesty of the president and his cheerleaders in the press. Just yesterday, the president dropped the line "there is no silver bullet that can bring down gas prices" from his energy stump speech because today he is taking credit for the Oklahoma to Texas portion of the Keystone pipeline, which he never had any power to stop since it is a separate project from the international Canada-to-U.S. portion and was going to be built anyway. The president has no authority to halt pipeline projects within the U.S. But here he was, claiming that he is blazing the trail to oil independence. And in the same speech, he is still claiming that nothing we do in the U.S. can affect world oil prices. So he wants credit for something he insists can have no positive effect. And anyone who says otherwise belongs to the Flat Earth Society. The drip-drip of contempt he feels for all those of us who feel more U.S. oil means a corresponding decrease in dependence on foreign oil is acid. But he's taking bold decisive action for the American people we should all admire. Logical mindfuck.

By the beginning of the second hour, Rush was actually sputtering. How can anyone not see how coldly calculating and scruple-free this president is? How can the state of journalism have fallen so low so quickly that there is literally no one in the mainstream press who isn't in the tank for whatever he says? His lies are obvious, directly linked to polls, and not only not vetted by the MSM but positively sustained with manipulated facts and made-up confirmations. He even has the nerve to blame external factors which are directly his responsibility and which he has ignored from day one -- like the instability in the mideast associated with Iran and the Arab Spring he has done nothing whatever to address.

Rush went so far as to threaten to do his first hour all over again, backing off only because he knows it would become boring.

How I feel when I get a comment like this:

Your main point? That Obama needs to go, or that anyone who is "...so blind and ignorant and selfish as to piss on the future of your nation and its children..."?

Given that we (seem) to agree that this happens on BOTH sides of the aisle by both politicians and voters, would you be so willing to agree with the following sentences?

"I think people who voted for Bush in 2000 committed a mortal sin. They can be forgiven if they confess and make atonement. People who still defend and support Bush are actually evil. I cannot be their friend on any level, and there is no excuse -- be it ignorance, folly, or miseducation -- that can possibly make it right."

Or...

"I think people who will vote for Santorum OR Romney will be committing a mortal sin. People who still defend and support Santorum OR Romney are actually evil. I cannot be their friend on any level, and there is no excuse -- be it ignorance, folly, or miseducation -- that can possibly make it right."

Nah...probably not. Even though they are just as guilty of ignoring the constitution when it serves their purposes and wave it proudly when it serves them.

So why not?

Just because they (Santorum, Romney, & Bush) are LESS "evil" in some way? Or because their detours from the constitution are somehow OK? Or maybe "a fait accompli makes morality go away"?

Way I see it (and what the fuck do I know, I'm just the guitar player rubbing 2 pennies here), whether it's Obama's destruction of the constitution or Santorum/Romney's destruction of the constitution, the constitution ends up destroyed.

Romney doesn't spell victory to me. Ditto Santorum. They might just slow the slide by patching the hole in the Titanic so that it slides a tad slower into the murky abyss. The economy will at least superficially improve, so I guess we get to drink champagne and eat caviar in the penthouse as the country burns instead of swilling cheap gin and munching Cheetos on the bumper.

That the plan?

Nah....I don't like those scenarios at all.

Yeah. Everything's all the same. Right? That would be the left wing argument, wouldn't it? Every sin is equally immoral, and so the right response is to condemn everyone and go stick my head in the oven.

Here's what one brave moviemaker -- one with a lot to lose -- is prepared to do:

Director Steven Spielberg, who donated more than $87,000 to the Democratic Party in the last election cycle, has a co-producer who feels a little differently than he does about President Barack Obama.

Meet Gerald R. Molen: Spielbergís co-producer on Hollywood blockbusters such as "Schindlerís List," "Jurassic Park" and "Minority Report." Molen is the driving force behind ď2016,Ē a documentary -- based on "The Roots of Obama's Rage," a book written by Dinesh D'Souza -- about President Obama scheduled to hit theaters this summer.

Molen promises, that like D'Souza's book, the film will take viewers deep into the heart and mind of our president, a leader he contends is unique in the course of our nationís history because of his far-left radical views.

The filmís trailer debuted at CPAC 2012 earlier this year and was followed by a moving speech by DíSouza himself. The film's, as explained by DíSouza, is simple: Obama is not a traditional Democrat like Bill Clinton and Michael Dukakis. Nor is Obama akin to left-wing liberals such as John Kerry or Jimmy Carter.

Traditional liberals, DíSouza explained, only want to redistribute wealth within America. Obama, he says, wants to redistribute Americaís power among smaller nations throughout the world.

Why? DíSouza explained that Obama is literally trying to fulfill the title of his book, ďDreams from My Father.Ē Obamaís father, who was Kenyan, viewed the world from an anti-Colonial perspective. Molen says Obama now wants to use his power as the American president to rid the world of colonialism Ö starting with downsizing the very power of the U.S.A.

DíSouza explained the premise further:

What is this anti-colonialism? It is, in fact, the most powerful ideology in Asia, in Africa, in South America, in the past 100 years. If you want to know why thereís anti-Americanism around the world, itís not just because of Islamic radicalism - that would help to explain it in the Middle East. Itís anti-colonialism.

The anti-colonial ideology very simply says that the world is divided into the oppressors and the oppressed. There is the West, now led by America. Then there are the poor people led by Asia, Africa, and South America. The anti-colonial ideology is that the rich countries got rich by invading, occupying, and looting the poor countries. The ideology says that to fight against all of this, you have to put a leash on the rogue elephant that is America. It also says that there are concentrations of economic power: The banks, the insurance companies, the oil companies - this is the economic wing of colonialism. And what you have to do to fight this is to use the power of the state to control it.

Molen named his film ď2016Ē because heís attempting to demonstrate what America and the world could look like if Obama is re-elected. And that, Molen and D'Souza believe, would be a dangerous thing for those who want to preserve the American dream.

DíSouza told the crowd that Obama's second term would mean the president "won't be tethered to public opinion, he wonít have to run for re-election again, he will be truly, in a sense, a free man in the White House to do what he wants.Ē

Molenís ď2016Ē is scheduled to be released nationwide this summer.

And don't trot out the "lame duck" argument. The first term has shown that Obama is adept at and devoted to bypassing the congress, the courts, and every other constitutional constraint to govern by 'czar,' edict, and regulation.

But Republicans are as bad as Democrats, so we might as well fold our tents and go home. Give me a break.

What I'm beginning to suspect about the dismal pessimists on our side is that the smarter they are, the dumber they are.

The Democrats have succeeded in creating an elite political class that owns the media, academia, the federal bureaucracy, and the leadership positions in their party's congressional caucus. The Republicans in congress are the dumb ones who didn't do what most capitalists do -- make prosperous and rewarding lives in the private sector. (My answer to the question, "Why do so many Republican congressmen have bad hairpieces?")

Are Republicans occasionally corrupt, gullible, and inept, so much so that they constantly play into their opponents' hands? You betcha.

But that's the good news. The Democrat political class -- Kennedys, Rockefellers, Byrds, etc -- want to rule us all. The Republicans want to get reelected. Which would you rather have in charge of the federal government?

Republicans may misunderstand parts of the constitution, but they revere it and will obey when the rulings go against them. Too much, it can be argued, but that's also why they never seem to understand the danger of Democrat nominees who want to junk the whole thing in favor of their own unique ideas of 'social justice.'

Our presidential candidates are all dumb in the same way. They never seem to fully comprehend the danger of a political class that outwits them at every turn and always makes them look like idiots. Which they are.

They're our best hope. Don't you get that? You're all pissed off because Gingrich is so smart he keeps sounding like he's a charter member of the political class. And everybody else has been a flavor of the month -- Cain, Perry, Bachmann, and now Santorum --all dumb as rocks. Except Romney. Who's maybe not as dumb as he is clueless. As if he thinks the presidency is the kind of national CEO Calvin Coolidge saw it as and flatly fails to understand the need for vision, fiery rhetoric and something called charisma. He thinks we're hiring a federal accountant, and accountants are supposed to be meticulously polite.

If you want smaller, more limited government, wouldn't you actually prefer the dumb ones? Balance the books, you dummies. Leave vision to the private sector. We can handle dreams of the future on our own. They don't suffer from Napoleonic fantasies. They don't have the gravitas for it. And maybe they have the humble decency not to dream in that particular direction.

I'll close with an item of pure triviality. I've written before about P.G. Wodehouse, a genius who was always regarded as a personal mediocrity except for his purely entertaining, apolitical fiction. He did a series of golf stories, usually involving indifferent golfers who needed a match-play victory to win the hand of a girl. One that comes to me now is the story of a young man who had a notoriously volatile temper and was faced with playing his potential boss for a CFO position he needed to, uh, win the hand of his girl. He tried manfully to contain his temper, but a series of unlucky shots resulted in his tossing his golf clubs into a water hazard and stalking off the course.

Professional and romantic prospects in ruins, he waited in the clubhouse for the verdict of his once-intended boss. Who said, "My boy, there's no way you could ever steal from me and my firm. I can see every flicker of emotion on your face. Congratulations! You've got the job."

Deep down smart comes our way once in a long while in the political arena. How we got Ronald Reagan. We had Sarah Palin, but we stood by and let the media gang rape her onto the sidelines. Until we get another smart one, dumb and transparent will have to do. Which is far far better than evil. Unless you'd rather suck your thumb in the dark.




Wednesday, March 21, 2012


NFL Soap Opera

Something about the market. But what?

STORIES NOT TOLD TEBOW COULD EXPLAIN BETTER THAN SAINT SEAN. Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, suspended for an entire year. Other onerous penalties as well. Lost in the sea of headline ink, Tim Tebow traded to the New York Jets? Really?

What does it all mean, if anything? I think the two stories are related, if only philosophically. But I'll get into that part of it later.

First, the Saints. Anybody struck by the team name here? It's never been meant or understood as a Christian reference, has it? It's about New Orleans, conjuring images of jazz funerals featuring the classic song "The Saints Go Marching In." The ascendancy of the football team really dates to the Hurricane Katrina debacle, long blamed on federal government failure to bail the city out of a largely self-imposed catastrophe. But we all wanted them to come back from disaster, and we joined gleefully in the narrative (utterly false) that Sean Payton and Drew Brees and the Saints restored the spirit of a defeated city and made resurrection a reality.

There's that. Of course, to the extent that New Orleans has recovered it's due to the efforts of Governor Bobby Jindal, who has reclaimed power and authority from the feds to a state government that knows how to get things done without an endlessly extended hand begging for largesse. Still a long way to go, though. Major obstacle? The culture of a city which calls itself "The Big Easy" and is notoriously constant in its search for shortcuts, convenient excuses, morally ambiguous choices, and an historical tolerance for all manner of personal and institutional corruption. Rot is so engrained in this place that it's even considered part of the city's architectural charm.† Everything in New Orleans reeks of mold, mildew, dank water, and the many flavors of entropic decay. Disagree? Who would not recognize "decadent" as a keyword in any tourist-attracting description of this city? Vegas is sin in neon. New Orleans is sin incarnate.

Which brings us to the scandal of the New Orleans "Saints." Saints in what belief system? How about this one? Whatever we can get away with. Now, apparently, they're the French Quarter of football. Successfully sleazy. Colorfully corrupt. We admire the canniest rogues among us. And what's the big deal? We've got it covered. It's called Zydeco:


Infectious. Like many things, good and bad.

That said, I'm troubled by the possibility of giving too much credit to the NFL for coming down on all this rot like a ton of bricks. The NFL isn't a free market institution wielding the power of consumers who are voting with their pocketbooks. The NFL is a government-created monopoly. No failure by any NFL team is going to reduce ticket prices. These aren't set by the market. They're set by the power of monopoly, which, as any Econ 101 student knows, are an order of magnitude higher than a free market would produce.

Let me put it another way. What would a free market response to the Saints bounty system be? It probably wouldn't be a nanny state lashing of the supposedly guilty in the hypocritical pretense that football isn't about hurting the other guy and if possible knocking him out of the game. It would consist of fan appraisals of what players, coaches, and pundits have to say. Do they want an all-powerful czar to intercede and tell them what to think and how and why? Do they want to decide for themselves how much violence is too much violence? Do they want to decide to vote with their feet if their beloved game is, finally, too destructive and violent to support with their own money? Anecdotally, I was young when Howard Cosell called for the abolition of boxing. He'd made his career from it. I thought he was nuts. Now I see Muhammed Ali and I understand precisely what he was talking about. But there is no boxing monopoly with a commissioner like Goodell who can pretend that promoters are really truly interested in the physical well being of the meat that makes the money.

What does any of this have to do with Tebow? Maybe nothing. But Rich Eisen, who has already repeatedly professed his astonishment at the NFL penalties on the Saints, is also already proclaiming his conviction that New Yorkers will not succumb to the Tebow spell. Without articulating it in so many words, he is eloquent in averring that the Big Apple will want nothing to do with Tebow's Christian iconography and he seems to be licking his lips at the humiliation which will descend upon the person everyone who's met him admires and respects. A sacrifice waiting to happen.

Nanny state. We're there. Goodell is playing the Obama role. He knows best. Because he's in charge. The ticket prices will never ever decline. Bounties will persist in whatever form, even if they're precipitated rhetorically by pundits like Eisen. And the Tebows will be relentlessly destroyed.

In the end it's not about the power to punish the guilty or the innocent. It's about the power to punish period, the ability to use power for the purposes of guile, deceit, manipulation, and control.

Think about it.




Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Spanking

So tiresome. Little boys need to be stopped in their tracks.
Everybody knows this. Why does everyone deny it? Crap.

NBC KNOWS WHAT IT THINKS IT KNOWS.† I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this. I'm just tired of hearing that spanking is child abuse.

Here's how it went down when I was a kid, more than 50 years ago.

My dad would tell me that the next time I did something (he was specific), I'd get a spanking. Then I would do it. My mother was a notorious snitch. But not as bad as as my sister. My dad would tell me I was going to get the promised spanking. We went into the bathroom. He sat on the toilet. He wasn't angry, just resolved. I bent over his lap. He didn't pull my pants down. He smacked me three to four times. It hurt (a lot) but it left no bruises. He was making a point. It was judicial. Sentence carried out, he was not angry; he was my father. Afterwards, we were cool. Think about it. No simmering resentment. All done. A transaction carried out,

I always knew that I deserved the spankings. He stopped administering them when he could do worse with words. Which was, even then, never about yelling, profanity, or name-calling. He expressed his disappointment. Which was far far wose than spanking.

What I'm tired of:† the term 'spanking' used as a synonym for thwacking kids on the butt out of instantaneous anger, using belts or paddles or worse on their bare buttocks, and actual beatings.That's not spanking. It's violence.

News for the idiot generation. Little boys need spankings. The kind I've described above. If they don't get them, they become slovenly, ungovernable little assholes who eventually get shot by the cops.

Sorry if that interferes with your green tea break. Truth.

As you were.




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