Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
November 6, 2012 - October 30, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

An Election Day Distraction:

The God Thing

BABY PEE. So Brizoni is pissed off. Really pissed off.

In response to a comment of mine he has deployed an entire army of straw men to attack my God delusions. Only problem: he succeeds only in revealing his own shrunken perceptions of what faith consists of.

I don't know which to tackle first. His childish view of the Judeo-Christian tradition? Or the truly bizarre passion atheists exhibit when they assault those who believe in God?

Oh well. I'll start with the first one I mentioned. He posits the faithful as standing in the way of every rational achievement from tacking sailing vessels to Einsteinian physics. Along the way he even has the nerve to reference the term "straw man." He has the wit to try to deflect the obvious argument that expressly rational social systems kill people in large numbers, but his preferred example of Robespierre was a piker at mass murder compared to Stalin and Mao, whom he's not anxious to discuss. His escape clause is some sourceless principle of "morality" Robespierre and company failed to discern. Probably because that pillar of objective human compassion Ayn Rand hadn't been born yet.

Truthfully, his whole argument is absurd and grotesque. Why I tried to preempt it by warning him that he was "fucked." Which he is. Not because I can string together more pejorative adjectives than he can, but because his whole post is a preening display of the kind of historical and contextual ignorance I have repeatedly made a point of skewering here at my site. Which is called "Instapunk," not "Brizoni When He Feels Like It."

The whole thrust of his screed is that people of faith have stood in the way at every turn while rationalism was making breakthroughs in the practice of reason and science. Nonsense. The acknowledged father of modern science, and specifically the scientific method, was Isaac Newton, who believed the mission of science was to uncover and understand God's creation. (btw, B, Einstein believed in God too & Catholics didn't protest the innovations of the Pieta. Sorry.) The Age of Enlightenment that followed featured a powerful partnership between Christian principles and reason, which led, among other things, to the one unique political document in human history, the Declaration of Independence, which posited that human rights, including personal liberty, are derived not from government but from God and are therefore inalienable and outside the purview of would-be despots.

This is the most powerful limiting factor on the authority of the state ever articulated. Without it there is no United States of America, no exceptional sanctum of liberty anywhere on the globe, no puny chest-beating about liberty by the idiot-savant who worships reason without knowing how to use it.  The rationalist who actually knows any history is forced to acknowledge this fact, even if Brizoni is not similarly burdened thanks to a philosophy education consisting entirely of Atlas Shrugged, but what better equipped atheists seek to do in rebuttal is depict religiously rooted morality as a transitional phase to the superior state of pure rationalism.  Of course, this is an actually laughable rationalization.

Eliminating the divine source of human rights in favor of rational constructs is what led the human race into the catastrophic dalliance with Marxism which murdered well over a hundred million people in the twentieth century. The attack on Christianity being waged by so-called Progressives in our own country in this the twenty-first century employs the same Marxist rationale, supposedly moral as Brizoni seems to be using the word but transparent in its rational view of people as interchangeable, disposable units.

Odd indeed that Brizoni chooses to pick this particular fight on the eve of a life and death showdown between the rational Progressives and, uh, the benighted, deluded, irrational rest of us. Typical of the rational mentality that it can't even detect such rich ironies. They're just Spock raising an uncomprehending eyebrow; it is illogical.

Which brings me to Question 2: Why do atheists get so het up about the fact that even intelligent people believe in God?

Think about it. I mean, if they buy almost all the morality and law hammered out by Jews in the Torah and Talmud, why do they go nuclear over a sticking point -- abortion and the origin of life -- that can't possibly mean as much to them, who think it's just a delayed menstrual period for 'n' months, as it does to the Godsuckers, who see murder?

I can only think of two reasons for their hateful posturing. One, they actually DO have skin in the game; they've been party to an abortion. In which case, there's every reason under the sun to build an army of attack against believers. I have no further comment on this one.

The second reason is the bitterness of the bastard child. There was no such thing as atheism before the birth of Christ. There were lots of Gods and many of them had no morals whatever. But the idea of 'one god' changed all the rules, made religious concepts universal in impact. (Yeah, Christianity was an outgrowth of Judaism, not an iPhone in a landline universe.) it was the Age of Reason with its Christian empowerment of the individual mind that made it possible, even acceptable, to dare the hypothesis that there was no god at all.

And now all the disinherited, disenfranchised bastards are throwing a tantrum. They claim a superior understanding of a morality that simply wouldn't exist without the father who doesn't answer their letters and therefore post letter bombs that snipe furiously at particulars of his so-called hypocrisy. Even atheists should be able to accept this kind of psychological interpretation.

But why abortion? Why does this tip them into the realm of madness? Perhaps because it would be better not to have been born at all than endure a consciousness your posturing insists can have no meaning at all. Surely, that's the definition of pure despair. And reason enough to hate with all your soul those whose delusions free them from your tragically lonely existential prison.

Or it could be simpler. You read a book once, didn't understand it, and get a big kick out of imposing your misunderstanding on everyone else.

Welcome to Brizoni's world.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Brizoni here. Been trying to post this since last week. I'm sure it's just a coincidence the bug in the updating code flared up again when it did, keeping me from posting. Posting as RL seems to be the only way around the bug. Another coincidence?

Now where were we?

Ah. Yes.

Meet Yxom

TIME FOR AN EXORCISM. The Old Man has retreated into full feckless God partisanship. But that's not who he really is. He's just tired of days and hours. He wants me to kill him. I won't do it. Instead, I'm going to save him. Drag him kicking and screaming into the light.

In grateful return, he's going to acknowledge that I'm right about God and liberty being incompatible. Contrary to one of his pet theses.

My lifelong point about atheism and existentialism and all its materialistic variants has always been that they simply don't work as a basis for a social contract.

He's got it backwards. Theism-- even belief in a "good" God like the Christian God-- is an insufficient basis for a free social contract. You cannot consistently believe that goodness comes from God AND believe that men ought to be free to make up their own minds about God. You can ignore or evade the contradiction, as the Founders did, but the contradiction persists. Anyone committed to liberty has to at least subconsciously work from a different moral premise.

(It's no good to claim Marxism or the French Revolution prove a rational morality is impossible. If you're a human being, there's nothing rational about leaving the sanctity of human life out of your ethics. Ask Robespierre how well that worked out for him.)

What happens when I confront the Boss with this truth? Does he delight at the prospect of a new adventure in moral and metaphysical reconceptualization? No. Instead, he withers into a wizened old Chink, shaking his gnarled finger at those who would presume to try to top generations previous.

This craven spirit isn't unique to Dynastic China. It's possessed men in every group at every time in history. I've named this spirit Yxom ("Moxie" backwards, and anglicized) (pronounced "ix-om," "yeex-om," "yee-zom," or however floats your boat). Whenever a man's nerve to move forward fails him, Yxom lives in his heart. Robert has written eloquently about Post-Civilization man:

I believe post-modernism has always been with us in one key respect. This is that the complexity of contemporary life has (habitually) reached a point which can no longer be dominated by human will, either in the singular power of human individuality or the united spirit of a single community. It must be compromised to keep the impending catastrophe from doing us all in. We must, at last, begin to embrace the status quo, settle for less than our boldest dreams, initiate a process of self repudiation in recompense for the grievances of others, or even deny (or doubt) our own human right to survive.

Yxom is the spirit of Post-Progress. Where Post-Civilization Man believes fervently in regression, the spirit of Post-Progress is devoted to stagnation. Post-Civilization says Go Back. Post-Progress says No Farther.

Yxom's rationalizations vary. The next frontier might be called too dangerous, or a waste of time, or a blasphemous endeavor. Maybe other men have braved that frontier in the past and not come back (in the physical, emotional, or moral sense). But rationalizations these all are. The real motivation to quit is always fear. Fear of death by disaster, fear of death by disgrace, or fear of the wrath of the spiteful, insecure God who confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel because he knew he couldn't handle the competition. Never mind that the glory of an honorable death is eternal, that disgrace in a society afraid of an honorable pursuit is momentary, that a man properly spits in the eye of a God who has no honor.

Yxom can never be killed. The only way to drive him out is to shame, inspire, or otherwise induce his host to greatness. The greatness that is the birthright of every human being. The only way to keep him out is to claim that birthright. A quick tour of Yxom's failed campaigns throughout history will be instructive.­

Yxom and the prehistoric man who devised tacking.
"Hey everybody! Get a load of this guy. Thanks to him, sailors don't have to rely on God for a favorable wind! He thinks he can control it!

"But seriously dude. What do you think God's going to do to you when He hears you think you don't need Him?! Or do you think you're smarter than EVERY mariner EVER? People have been sailing since forever. Don't you think some sailor would have thought of this by now? It's obviously been tried and doesn't work. Even if I can't tell you when or by who, exactly. Them's the breaks of pre-history, don't you know.

"Think of the men who sailed before you. Think of their devotion to God in praying for the right wind. Think of the virgins sacrificed before each voyage. Do you not realize you mock their devotion and their sacrifice? Do you think God values a few extra planks of wood more than a beautiful young virgin's life?"

The man, though chagrined by the insult to his cherished piety, went ahead anyway, and not since the invention of the wheel had mankind been saved more lives and toil.

Yxom (possessing a Hebrew father) and a first generation Christian son.
"You have absolutely no idea how much our people have invested in the Law of Moses. How many centuries. Which is why you feel entitled to sweep it all away with a few fancy orations from a carpenter's son. Because everyone has been waiting for him to come along and be Mister Big Shot. Feh. Using the ancient Palestinian version of YouTube, I amassed this list, which doesn't include art and architecture and literature but only music, because I want you to experience some humility. Which will obviously be a brand new emotion for you, maybe one you're incapable of. Because after all, you are you, right, YHWH's Yeshua's gift to the universe. The one who's gonna set us all straight. Right.

"It's a record of how important God has been to ordinary, non-fancy Jews over the past couple thousand years. Listen to all of it. And then tell me you're superior to all of it. I suspect you will. But then everyone will laugh. And I know how you don't like that."

Shema Israel. O Hear, Israel. If only you could. In your arrogance.

Ashir Shirim (ancient Jewish wedding song). Your mother and I got married to this song. But I suppose you'd toss that marriage on the dung heap, seeing as how it wasn't solemnized in the name of your pretend man-god. And look! People will still be performing it and making videos of it 2000 years from now! Do you think your little Christ cult will last so long?

Kadoish, Kadoish, Kadoish, Adonai 'Tsebayoth. Listen to this. Really listen. Simple. Beautiful. Sufficient. You're too young to understand what I really find so offensive about this Jesus guy. For dozens of generations, we Jews have managed to commune with the almighty just fine, thank you. Then some bum comes along and says, nope, sorry, you've been doing it wrong this whole time? I don't think so. Narcissists like Jesus Christ-- and you, son-- always think the world needs their particular insight. It doesn't. If we needed such an intermediary with our Lord, our rich tradition would have told us. If you're not moved by this song, that's all the excuse I need to turn my brain off.

The early Christian replied simply, "Father, here is the truth. What our fathers had was OK. What I have now is better. You could have it too. The time has come to trade up."

Yxom and Michelangelo.
"You want to carve WHAT out of marble? The most beautiful statue of Mary holding the body of Jesus that the world has ever seen? You want the thing to practically glow as though it were real life flesh? Pssh. Obviously if it were even possible to do that with marble, it would have been done by now. The Greeks and Romans worked with marble for hundreds and hundreds of years. Do you really think you're better than ALL the Greek and Roman sculptors who EVER lived?"

Michelangelo didn't speak English, so he ignored Yxom and went on to carve The Pieta, the most beautiful work ever wrought in stone. Topping even the 10 Commandments.

Yxom and George Washington.
"This... of all the... I've got the vapors. I have honest-to-God vapors right now.

­ "OK. For the moment, never mind the fact that this "new nation" of you and your reprobate cohorts goes against the laws of both man and God. Who in Heaven's name do you think you are, 'General'? You can drop the Cincinnatus act with me. Shoving your hands in your pockets and toeing the dirt when they ask you to lead the charge. Don't pretend you don't love it. Your narcissism stands naked before me, sir.

"Now, back to your blasphemy against the almighty and his divinely authorized governments. Maybe you missed the memo, but kings are ordained by God. Do you understand what that means? That means you are not to question him! He is answerable to God alone! Unless you think you matter more than God.

"Liberty is not to be plundered from the righteous hand of God's anointed king! Liberty is a gift from the almighty Himself. The quiet, pious life is what our Lord delights in best. But, as your contemporary Johnathan Edwards correctly states, it is impossible to curry His favor. He will make you as free as He pleases, and to strive for more than this is an affront to His will. To seek liberty in this life is to lust after the things of this world. A first year Bible student knows better than you, 'General' Washington."

Washington had heard this line of "reasoning" before, though never quite so aggressively. With his customary reserved resolve, he turned on his horse to Yxom's latest host and responded.

"I believe Providence ordained liberty for all men. When we Fight to live as we see fit, we do not design to rob Almighty God. We intend to take what is Rightfully and divinely Ours, and which has been Kept from us."

Yxom replied, "A wholly unwarranted view. You cannot substantiate such from the scriptures, which is why you haven't even made the attempt. You are simply choosing to believe that."

"Indeed I am." Replied the father of our country as he rode off.

Yxom and the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk
"HAHAHAHAHAHA! Is it possible for one's sides to physically split?

"My only feeling stronger than contemptuous bemusement is offense at your presumption. Man has wanted to fly since he saw his first bird. For millennia, great men-- men better than YOU-- have tried and failed. It's obvious that human flight is simply not meant to be! (except for hot air balloons, which have been around for more than 50 years and are therefore acceptable to me.) Da Vinci didn't fly. Do you honestly think you're smarter than Leonardo Da Vinci? You can't even paint a decent portrait!

"And what's this I hear about you tinkering with the Smeaton coefficient? Do you think YOU'VE found something that an entire generation of mathematicians just HAPPENED to overlook?

The Wright Brothers responded, in perfect sync, as was their manner: "We must beg your pardon. Sir, we have taken it upon ourselves to solve the problem of human flight. We have made a study of the principles of aeronautics for almost three full years, drawing upon the work of Brother Da Vinci and others, and we are proud to say we stand on the shoulders of those giants.

"It is true than not even those great men ever flew as we propose to fly. With due respect given to our forebearers, we humbly submit that, in our honest judgment, our engineering is correct and our little craft shall take wing."

Yxom's further protestations were drowned out by the Wright brothers' whoops and hollers when their glider flew as predicted. Wikipedia succinctly sums up their impact on this world.

Orville died on January 30, 1948, having lived from the horse-and-buggy age to the dawn of supersonic flight.

Yxom Meets Einstein
"Hooooo boy. I've heard some whoppers in my day (and my day is loooong), but this one... Where to start? How about with the biggest dumbness of all. Every. Single. Scientist before you-- including Newton-- understood matter and energy were two fundamentally different things. But here you come along, insisting that energy is just very fast matter! That's a hell of a thing to have missed all these years! Newton clearly dismissed such nonsense out hand. Otherwise he would have mentioned it as plausible. But he didn't. So why are you asking anyone to waste time with your obviously absurd speculations?

"And word around the cooler is you think you can determine the speed of light itself! Who do you think you are? GOD? What are you gonna do, run alongside a beam of light with a stopwatch? Do you, in your arrogance, honestly think you can run that fast? Or do you think light will slow down or speed up to conform to your arbitrary proclamation?

"Stick to the patent office, son. Commanding the laws of nature is above your paygrade."

Einstein barely noticed Yxom had been speaking. He was too busy mapping the curves of spacetime in his head. History would go on to vindicate him in short order, but he didn't need it to. He knew his math added up.

Yxom and Robert Laird (25 years ago).­
"This book you're writing, The Boomer Bible? Give it up. You're Icarus headed straight for the sun. It just isn't possible for anyone to get doctoral degrees in philosophy and psychology and physics and literature and history and art and natural science and all the other fields you'd need a doctoral degree in, so it clearly isn't possible to pull all those disciplines together into one big picture of what it all means. What are you trying to pull, anyway? Do you think you know more than all these degrees put together, simply by virtue of being Robert Laird? I guess we should be grateful YOU came along!

"You say you won't give it up? Fine. I suppose the book isn't completely irredeemable. I don't think you're a bad guy. Just misguided. I can tell you have a real reverence for God and tradition. Someday you'll understand that mere reverence ought to be full-fledged subservience. I'll have a home in you yet."

For once, he was right. Look at RL's responses when I dared to propose God might not be necessary to solve a complex moral issue.

Love your arbitrary designation of Month 5. Makes everything easy. A Big Cleaver paves the way for objectivists. Funny. I can somehow imagine you thrilling to life a week or two before your own deadline. (nobody EVER told you were precocious? Really?) And your content with your own abortion rings hollow.

Bravado is cool. You should be the last to argue that life begins when people NOTICE intelligence. Lots of people still think you're an idiot. What if you weren't six-six and able to fight back? Sad, sad, sad. I noticed your intelligence years ago. Does that make me dumber than your archetypes?

You're fucked. You admitted that a babe in the womb can be a person. Then you presumed to know when the babe in the womb IS human. You don't. You're not God. Nobody is. Except God. Oh? You're smarter? Do tell. Please do tell.

Awww. Brizoni doesn't like being God. A college dropout who understands the physics of the universe. I'm very very impressed. Enlightenment has become tallness. Cool. Brizoni. Love you, but you're pretty much a moron.

Read all that a second time. Particularly the second-to-last graf, but still all of it. Really take in the unabridged dishonesty, the deep-down asininity. Following these wild shotgun blasts, he took a few deep breaths and tried to refine his case. But that was just damage control. His first, authentic reaction was hysterical non-sequitur, leavened with equally off-target condescension. (I call it Straw Fiat. I think I'm God? No. I think no one is God. Myself included. Not sure why Godsuckers can't get their heads around that.) Scared gibberish. The Bob Laird who wrote The Boomer Bible has checked out. This is pure Yxom.

I'm not writing the Old Man off. His analysis of temporal events remains invaluable. I just wish he'd hold his sacred cows to the same standards of intellectual rigor that he holds the Democrats. When it comes to the things of this world, he's as insightful as any living commentator. But when it comes to Heaven? Standards go out the window. There is no lie he won't tell, no rhetorical trick beneath him, no depth he won't stoop to to defend his bastard Lord. This who am I to say? shit was once anathema to him. Now, when it comes to God, it's his banner.

This lapse has persisted for at least the couple years that I've been trying to shake him out of it, but it is only a lapse. He's overcome personal bugaboos before. God is a big one, but mere size won't stop him for long. Robert Laird is too American for that.

Last Thoughts before
Election Day

BONA FIDES. I don't know who will win. I think Romney will, but part of that thought is hope, because I continue to believe in the common sense of the American people. If you don't believe in that sense, why would you care? Why I've continually tweaked the determined pessimists. Their position is suspiciously akin to the liberals who think they know better what ordinary people need. If the pessimists are right and the majority is so dumb as to reelect this utter disaster of a president, then it will be time for new formulations. Until then, pessimism seems a lot like vanity: "I know what no one else does, and it breaks my heart that you're all so stupid. And doomed. And pathetic."

The chief spokesman for the blackest perspective among commenters has been Dirty Rotten Varmint, who lashed out a post ago thus:

Wait - because I am REALISTIC about Obama's chances of winning, which are a salient THREAT: you're accusing me of WANTING him to win?

Fuck you.

As a "pessimist" who is simply being realistic and examining factual evidence, who has consistently since 2008 expressed my deep distrust and dislike of Obama, I expect an apology, you asshole.

I'm disheartened by the fantasy-laden, wishful-thinking, anti-factual turn taken by this blog. RL, you have turned into a discredited, disreputable, DISHONEST hack. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, and many of the commenters here shamefully encourage you.

I'll come back after the election is over when perhaps you can rejoin the real world and engage in cogent, rational conversation.

I responded thus:


You want an apology? Sure. I apologize if I have misinterpreted the core of your pessimism. At some level I know you want Romney to win. At another level I think you are heavily invested in your dark view of our future.

For example, in the scorching litany of truths you recited in a recent comment, you repeated your belief that debates never change anything. This year the first debate DID change things. Romney immediately began moving toward a lead in the polls. Or had you stopped paying attention by then? Or does it just not fit into your received wisdom?

I'm not the only one feeling optimistic. Such serious political experts as Michael Barone and Jay Cost believe Romney may very well win. Are they hacks too?

I think you'd rather be right about your nightmare vision than glad of a Romney victory. You tell me I'm wrong about that. If I am, I'm sorry.

Which is the truth. But on this last day before the moment of truth, I'd add a thought or two. Polls are not facts. They are statistical arguments dressed up as facts. There are legitimate reasons for questioning them, especially when so many of the sponsoring organizations are outgrowths of political or media organizations. Yes, they might be right. But they are not necessarily right and they are certainly not facts. Accepting them at face value conforms to no definition of "realism" I know of.

Furthermore, the Instapunk blog is not about you. It's about what I care about, in this case, the United States of America, which is in serious danger from a combination of institutions hijacked by lefties and pouters on the right who sit at home rather than vote because somebody somewhere has offended them. If you're a sitter, using your own words, Fuck You.

I'm giving you a pass on the "hack" remark. You're welcome back anytime. But just a reminder. A hack is usually compensated for his advocacy. I am not. I write what I think. Period. It's called freedom.


Lake found a New York Times critical path argument that daunted him.  Obama has hundreds of ways to win in the electoral college, and Romney has less than a hundred. Lake wonders if there's any flaw in the logic. Yes. This argument has been baked in the cake for decades. Democrats have a few big states like California and New York that give them a huge head start on the Electoral College. Republicans always have to win many more states to win a presidential election. Which means Democrats can hit the magic number by picking off individual states. Hence, many more ways to win. But not all ways to win are equal. Do Republicans win presidential elections despite the apparent "ways to win" odds against them? Yes. Is Ohio usually involved in the Republican winning formula? Yes. But the truth of history is that Republicans win Ohio when they win the election, not that Republicans win elections only because they win Ohio. The Buckeye State is 19 electoral votes. That's all. Of the 270 needed for victory, 19 is a shade above 5 percent. Why do Republicans need Ohio? Because Ohio is only half part of the midwest union monolith. Apart from Indiana, Democrat union influence has been delivering states like Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa to Democrats. Pennsylvania, which is very like Ohio except for Philadelphia, is the evil twin of Ohio, a reliable Democratic checkbox. But western Pennsylvania all the way to Philly is pretty much the same as Ohio excepting Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. If Ohio amputated Cleveland and Pennsylvania amputated Philadelphia and the remainder of these two states joined, Democrats would never win the presidency.  Accidents of Electoral College geography.

But there's nothing I will say to alleviate Lake's fears about Ohio. Right now, everyone gets into the mindset he needs to withstand the suspense. For DRV it's rage. For Lake it's guarded pessimism. He's living in Connecticut. Who can fault him?


I'm going to cite age again. Which I'm well aware may be as much delusion as wisdom.  Honestly. I know that. But I remember what most of you do not. 1980. So many things are similar in terms of feel, anecdote, and news. The polls had Carter ahead of Reagan to the very end. And Reagan the candidate was in some ways even less prepossessing than Romney, because even his admirers were concerned he was too old, had missed his window. He looked old, he sounded like a voice from the past. His sheer ebullience appeared an anachronism. The press had been drumming into us for years that the presidency was no longer a doable job -- they were touting a "New Normal" in which America would have to settle for less. It's true that not even the press liked Carter, but they hated Reagan far more than they despised the micro-manager peanut farmer. Reagan's "There you go again" riposte in the one debate was reported as a folksy anachronism, not a deathblow to Carter. But there was also a lingering mideast issue about which Reagan was curiously mum and the country was disturbed: the Iran Hostage Crisis.

Why am I thinking of all this now? Carter was still smarting from the helicopter crash that doomed his hostage rescue plan, badly planned and ill supported. His policy of negotiation regardless, even to the dismissal of our friends in favor of our enemies, made him look weak. His economic record was atrocious. High unemployment, higher inflation, and a response that seemed to blame Americans rather than his own policies for what was wrong.

But that's not all. In unexpected ways, Romney is reminding me of Reagan, and Obama is reminding me of Carter. In the political cartoons, Carter kept getting smaller, until he was a kind of raisin sitting on top of issues he couldn't control. In the same way, Obama keeps getting smaller. He has no second term agenda. He has only a duffel bag full of nasty. Everything about him is permanent -- his sneer, his certainty, his sense of superiority, his sense of entitlement to the perks of office, his determination to rule around the legislative branch like an omniscient polymath. In the same way, Carter managed the schedule of the White House tennis court. Only Carter did it himself. Obama has "peeps" to do it for him. Romney on the other hand is at least physically Reaganesque. He has great hair. He is tall, obviously handsome, and somehow impervious to slime. He's not as eloquent as Reagan. But he might be a permutation of Reagan. The man on the white horse who doesn't know there's even a horse.

In recent days, Romney has equaled Obama's likeability rating, after months and months of negative ads from the Obama campaign. All that slander, swept away in a single debate.

What I remember. Three things.

1. Reagan had a more difficult wife than Romney. Ann Romney will not shut down New York City fto attend an off-Broadway play, spend millions on state dinners, or endlessly redecorate the White House. We'll prefer to protect and cherish her instead.

2. Romney has a much better Harvard education than Obama, a law degree plus a business degree. The fact that he can listen to others where Obama cannot is a proof of the difference between the executive and the community organizer. One listens. The other dictates terms.

3. Yeah. There was that afternoon of Tuesday, November, 1980. The polls closed. The networks were ready to polish off Ronald Regan once and forever. Then the returns started coming in. You cannot know what it felt like to see the major networks dying on the air as the full impact of the catastrophe hit them. One of the great moments of my life. I can remember the room, the TV, the faces, the horror on their faces, and the joy I felt at the time. Landslide for Reagan. To me, this election feels like that one.

It can happen. The polls can be wrong. Not saying they are or will be. But they can be. But if, like me, you distrust the polls, here's what you look to:

-- Nobody's reporting Obama signs. Lots of people are reporting Romney signs. What are you seeing?

-- Romney and Ryan are consistently outdrawing Obama and Biden throughout the battleground midwest, frequently 10 to 1.

-- The monstrous bias of the MSM raises legitimate questions about all polls because polls rather than issues have become headline news stories.

-- 2012 isn't like 2008 in media terms. There;'s not just an incremental change but an order of magnitude change. Corruption has run so apace that the MSM is like nothing so much as helicopter parents protecting their incompetent child from accountability for anything and everything. The list of scandals is endless. All we get is happy pats on the back from newspapers, network news, and cable apologists. Which raises even more questions about the polls. Are they trophies for showing up, a la soccer kids who don the uniform but can't kick the ball into the goal?

-- The math for Obama just doesn't add up. Not anywhere. You can't lose most of the independents and suffer declines in enthusiasm among every single one of your constituencies and still think you're going to keep from losing the 3 1/2 percent of the vote that defeated McCain last time. Worse, you can't cite win the election by confabulating  polls that show you with more energetic turnout than you had in 2008. It doesn't pass the laugh test. For one, the kids are just hooking up and doing meth, not, uh, voting. Sad for Obama. Disaster for the nation.

Math. Which includes statistics. Any of you know that only 9 percent of those contacted by polling organizations anymore agree to be polled? Way down from previous years. Imagine all the hangups. Anyone doubt that all polling organizations are struggling with how to weight land lines versus cell phones? Who's more likely to answer, and what does it say about the whole population? Anyone know that party identity listed in polls is not determined by registration or history but who answers the phone? Lots of current polls are assuming Democrat party identities beyond levels that secured Obama's victory in 2008.

Polling is politics and influence, not science.

My common answer to DRV and Lake.

Standard disclaimer. Obama could still win. Standard disclaimer. If he does, I partially blame everyone who was too superior to participate in the vote.


Yeah. Girls. All they care about is contraception and abortions. And bubbles. Because they're strictly brainless vaginas. Is this really what feminists had in mind?

Her name was Camille Paglia, yes, a lefty icon. Here's something she said:

What in the world has happened to the Democratic Party? Its passivity towards this awful takeover of our lives by a know-it-all government, as shown by the way Obama has governed by constantly going around Congress — appointing czars and one new layer of bureaucracy after another. And hardly a peep of protest from liberals. It’s like the movie of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” -- Democrats have turned into the Eloi; they’re like sheep. They hear a signal, and it’s like pre-programmed spin in their heads — they just trot like sheep in one direction. I am voting Green in protest against the systemic corruption of my party.

Who's she talking about specifically? Was that a typo? No. Obama.

I was very excited about him. I thought he was a moderate. I thought that his election would promote racial healing in the country.

It would be a tremendous transformation of attitudes. And instead: one thing after another. Not least: I consider him, now, one of the most racially divisive and polarizing figures ever. I think it's going to take years to undo the damage to relationships between the races.

Standard Disclaimer. My original plan was to show you all how to avoid confronting the news for 36 hours. Go ahead. Grapple with the news. Two days from now we'll have a country or we won't. DRV can continue demanding an apology, and I will give just as much of a fuck about that as I do now about that, win or lose.

On the other hand... thank you Lady Barbara. It's always a privilege to get an invitation from a lady. Friends of my grandmother were interned in Japan during WWII. They used the same coffee grounds for a week or two. I suspect the china made all the difference. Something few understand anymore. I'd love to serve you from my mother's Spode.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Campaigning resumes...

Found this by looking for Brian Williams, "sucking up."

ANCILLARY TO MY POSTSCRIPT. If only there were some way to make fun of Barack Obama, this last week could be fun. Oh well. Today, I'm giving in to the rightwing pessimists and the mandate of the MSM. Let's say Obama is reelected, which is what both of these constituencies clearly want. What then?

The idea that it will simply be more of the same is wrong. Things will change. The fiscal cliff will push our economy into full-on depression. ObamaCare will shatter the health industry as doctors retire and red tape strangles seniors looking to live another day. All the scandals that have been kicked down the road past the election will finally get their day in the sunlight of an angry congress. Election fraud. Crony green connections like Solyndra. Fast and Furious. Benghazi. One of these, probably the last, will lead to impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Important? Not really. The senate will never convict. That would be racist. The real consequences, as is so often the case, will be the destruction of those who mindlessly supported the impervious malefactor at the center of the drama. Who will pay the ultimate price for Obama's incompetence and corruption? We citizens will pay obviously. Pay and pay and pay. But the bright spot is that others will pay too. Notably the icons of the MSM.

Imagine it. After the orgy of celebration that will occur on MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, CNN and in the drivelings of the NYT, WAPO, and all the other old gray lady whores, there will come the most dismal inauguration ceremony in our history. Our exhausted and empty president will take the oath he doesn't believe and utter more vacuous platitudes that nobody will believe. In fact, nobody will even watch. Nobody will want to watch or read anything for four years. Not even the liberals who have worked so hard and viciously to reelect this loser. They know as well as we do that he's incapable of improving anything. They just hate Republicans so much they haven't given any thought to unintended consequences. Namely, a second Obama term as president.

Everyone will have absorbed this dread reality by Inauguration Day. As I said, nobody will watch. The electorate -- even those who voted for this idiot -- will be drained, listless, indifferent, and hopeless. And they will take their vengeance. But what does that mean? Plummeting newspaper subscriptions and truly catastrophic TV ratings. The New York Times will either go out of business or become a tabloid featuring Lindsay Lohan crotch shots on the front page. The alphabet networks will fire all their anchors and try to transform their news operations into variations of Entertainment Tonight. You see, as the impeachment hearings ramp up, people will come to resent the smug millionaires who refused to do their job when doing the job might have made a difference.

Yes, there will be change, but there will be no hope. Not even Obama is promising us hope this time. People will finally notice this. You can fill in most of the details for yourselves.

I won't try to paint the whole picture. Just one tiny corner of it. Brian Williams will be out of a job. His sententious cheerleading for Obama will terminate his career. People remember that kind of shit. Here's who will replace him:

She's blond now. Is that enough consolation?

He's a white man. Sheena Parveen is not a man, not white, and unlike Brian, she has a college degree (major in meteorology, minor in mathematics from Florida State). I can't show you what she looks like in a red dress, but she wore one in the hurricane buildup on Sunday, and on Monday every female at her station was wearing a red dress. Who better to sing out the statistics of our collapsing economy and disastrous foreign policy while making us like it?

So the future may not have a silver lining. But you can be assured that it has big breasts. Whatever that's worth to you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Where were we?

Chunks of our lives washed away.

BIG BAD REALITY. Let's see. DRV was declaring that debates never change elections despite weeks of evidence to the contrary. Brizoni was still obsessed with proving he's smarter than a God he doesn't believe in unless She's Ayn Rand. Helk was still pumping arterial spray from the compound fracture in his mind. Joe was still pumping out invective culled from Roget's Thesaurus and his Dictionary of Quotations. And the other pessimists were still exposing the polished lead other folks might misread as the silver linings of Obama's storm clouds of disdain.

Forget all that. Thanks to Lake and Brizoni for asking how we were doing in our role as the MSM's designated bullseye for Hurricane Sandy. Short answer? We did okay. The storm was so focused on South Jersey that its strongest winds circled around us doing far more damage directly north, south, east, and west of us than it did to us. We lucked out. Almost miraculously. We were without power for approximately 18 hours, but we were also glad of our two days of (for once) preparations. Batteries, a hotshot Grundig radio, batteries, food requiring no heating or refrigeration, batteries, a bathtub full of water, batteries, LED lanterns, batteries, multi-tasking flashlights, batteries, a week's worth of free detective novels on Kindle, batteries, new iPad video games, and, of course, batteries. Plus some candles, just in case.

A few hours before the lights back came on at 9 pm, I had the pleasure of watching my wife make the acquaintance of Angry Birds Rio, giggling like a schoolgirl. Thanks to batteries and battery backup, there was also the continuous texting contact with family and friends from New Jersey to New York to Connecticut to Maine. Sharing the vicissitudes, warnings, tips, power outages, family members scarily out of contact, and other traumas, including the utter destruction of places we all hold dear. Who was the Command Center? The same one who was laughing at Angry Birds Rio. Good people have a balance in life that no organization or institution can match. It helps, it inspires, it's determined, and it somehow makes something fine out of something bad. I don't have to explain it. That's just how it is.

Today the sun is shining. Intermittently, to be sure, because there are clouds too. I can't tell you we enjoyed the storm because there has been so much cost and pain associated with it. But there's also affirmation. When the usual distractions are gone, my wife and I still enjoy each other's company, with no empty spaces between us. Laughter almost always lights up the dark. What I wish for all of you. And for those who think people are natively bad or mean or vile or selfish, I commend to you the communications between family and friends when life as we know it breaks down. People still without electricity cheer when somebody else gets it back. The people who are sitting pretty, comparatively, are quick to say come stay with us.

I suppose I could make political points about this, given the MSM's determination to make Hurricane Sandy an argument for big government's mission. But I won't. No need. I'm guessing most of those in the storm's path had the same feeling we did when we saw a line of electric company trucks forming in our rural neighborhood. I feared there would be no resources for us the more we learned of the catastrophe at the shore. Not so. They looked like a relief column, all in white, and not one of them said FEMA on the side. Now I expect they are lined up again, still without much sleep, outside the barrier islands waiting for the waters to recede. In retrospect, consider: nobody watched the crisis on a federal channel; nobody got rescued by a federal first responder. When it comes down to it, this kind of experience is always local, usually right next door.

The sun is shining today. For us. What we most want now is for it to shine on those who are the most stricken among us. And they are legion.

LOCAL COMIC RELIEF. Just for fun. The queen of weather in Philadelphia is Cecily Tynan. Always impeccably dressed, Connecticut-born and graduate of tony Washington & Lee University, hair always perfect, and I hadn't seen her in, well, quite some time. As I watched her hurricane coverage and beheld her elegant frock and tastefully too small for TV necklace, I thought to myself (as opposed to when I think out loud to my wife), "What do you you suppose the Channel Six Action News Team think of Cecily?" Curses. I'm thinking I missed this by a scant few minutes. First, there's the incident. Which is cool as hell. Then there's the lamest walk back of an obvious embarrassment I've ever seen on local television.

uh, she said, "Moron."

On the other hand, Philadelphia's Channel 10 was all red dresses and red-breasted breasts, big ones -- for two days. It wouldn't surprise me if they won the hurricane ratings despite Cecily's Leona Helms moment.

As I said. There has to be balance. Both cheerful and jeerful. Cecily's okay in my book...


The Lamest Obama
Newspaper Endorsement

It's called a major newspaper. It's a rag.

ALSO KNOWN AS THE BIG GREEN. I've been waiting for this one. Personal reasons. But here's the text of the Providence Journal's endorsement of Barack Obama for a second term. The boldfaced parts are all mine:

Four years ago, another Great Depression was hovering. Wall Street institutions had gone bankrupt. The American auto industry was teetering. House prices were collapsing. Stock values had crumbled and with them, a third or more of Americans' retirement savings. People were scared. Meanwhile, we were enmeshed in two wars.

Since then, Barack Obama has very competently and calmly helped navigate the ship of state away from these traumatic situations. His biggest flaw has been failing to more quickly and clearly defend his policies.

Comparing the slow recovery with rebounds from typical recessions is not useful. Recessions (or depressions) set off by financial panics almost always take longer to dig out of. In 2008 we suffered the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

President Obama's performance at the beginning of his term was impressive. His administration, and the Federal Reserve, helped stabilize the financial sector. His economic-stimulus bill of tax cuts and spending projects -- inevitably flawed because of the economic and political complexities of the crisis -- helped to reverse the plunge in economic activity.

And it has too rarely been noted that members of the Group of Seven industrialized democracies whose economies have best weathered the Panic of 2008 and Great Recession are Canada, Germany and the U.S.

Then there's saving the U.S. auto industry -- and with it much of U.S. manufacturing. His aides structured the bailout as critics called on the government to let Detroit go bankrupt.

Mr. Obama's Republican foe, Mitt Romney, was one of those critics. His point that General Motors and Chrysler did eventually go through bankruptcy is true, but he demanded a bankruptcy without upfront and direct taxpayer support. That wouldn't have worked.

Recall that early in 2009, lending had dried up, even for solid companies, which the carmakers were not. Few consumers would have bought cars from bankrupt companies not already being partly financed by the U.S. government.

The bailout required painfully restructuring the companies. Their workforce was slashed and pay cut. Many factories were closed. Today the automakers are in good shape, but imagine what the heartland would look like had they been allowed to go under.

''Obamacare," if it survives GOP attempts to kill it, is a victory for the American people -- both those who will finally be able to obtain coverage and those who've been paying soaring premiums for private plans. Some argue that President Obama should have been zeroing in on the general economy instead of pushing the Affordable Care Act, but they miss an important point:

Rising health-care costs are eating the taxpayers alive and making American businesses uncompetitive. Curbing them, an essential part of Obamacare, is a very important part of regaining strong long-term growth.

The Dodd-Frank legislation went some of the way toward better regulating the financial sector, where some banks had run wild before the meltdown. More needs to be done. For example, Washington still hasn't dealt with too-big-to-fail banks. But the sector has stabilized, and stock values are back.

America's fiscal health remains an urgent concern. Of course, government spends more in poor economies to help suffering citizens while it takes in less tax revenues. That America's deficits have greatly worsened in recent years should surprise no one, especially after the big tax cuts, two wars and the creation of Medicare Part D -- all on borrowed money -- that Mr. Obama inherited.

The Mitt Romney as Massachusetts governor seemed a sensible pragmatist, but what is he today? He is the greatest shape-shifter in contemporary U.S. politics, and thus difficult to trust.
Having won the nomination as a Southern-style social conservative, he's now restyling himself as a mainstream promoter of women's rights, though if you listen closely to the words, he'd ban abortion except for incest and rape victims or to save the life of the mother, and he still doesn't believe that birth-control pills must be a basic in any government-supported health-care plan. More tax cuts, even higher defense spending and less financial-sector regulation would risk repeating earlier fiscal mistakes.

The economy is improving and doing better than in most developed nations.

We should stick with the man who has ably led us through such tough times. Barack Obama's plan for investing in America's future should well serve the economic recovery. And his careful leadership of foreign and military policy will help get us around other dangerous shoals. He deserves a second term.

I know. I could have boldfaced every line. Everything in this editorial is a lie or a misrepresentation. A few rebuttals.

1. Obama is not remotely competent. He doesn't talk to anyone, not even his own Democrat leaders.

2. Obama's performance at the beginning of his term was a catastrophe. He wasted two years ignoring the economy in favor of a spending plan and a healthcare nationalization he never even negotiated the specifics of.

3. This is the umpteenth repetition of a monstrous lie. Bankruptcy law exists to refinance ailing companies. Obama's version violated law and gave the unions control, thus ensuring the continuing downfall of GM. Which continues to this day. People thought the Edsel was a joke. They'd never heard of the Volt.

4. ObamaCare is a disaster that has already increased healthcare premiums and caused employers to drop employees from coverage. Obama promised that both these eventualities would never happen. He's a liar or a fool on both counts.

5. Ah yeah. Obama inherited woes he can't fix. It's all Bush's fault. Bullshit. He had two years of total control of both houses of congress. He preferred to play golf, basketball, and celebrity tag.

6. Romney changes positions? How about changing from Hope and Change to children who blame their parents in song and old people who curse like Andrew Dice Clay in the name of perpetuating a vicious little twerp in the White House?

7. Okay. We give up. Women are nothing but vaginas. Give them their pills. And their abortions. The ghost of Marilyn Chambers would be proud.

8. The economy is improving? Only if you're a DC bureaucrat or an Obama-loving journalist. Everyone else is NOT improving.

9. We should stick with the man who has ably led us through tough times? Really? REALLY?

10. Deserves a second term? Hell if he does. He's wrecked the whole fucking country.

What you need to understand is that this editorial was written by "highly intelligent" people. They went to Ivy League schools like Brown and, well, Brown. Except for the exceptional ones who went to Dartmouth and Columbia School of Journalism, for whom there is no possible excuse.

Sue me, Robert. If you're still working for the rag that produced this endorsement, you're a whore. I'll stand up and say that in court anytime.

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