EXPANSON OF... "MIND" SPACE. I love these videos. Well, I like them. Disappointed the girl relies a bit too much on the original academic language and student-paper-speak instead of phrasing these concepts in plainer English. And though I'm fond of them, the boobs divert some of the mental energy I'd spend doing my own translating on the fly.
Not to brag, but my world is filled with girls like this. Yours too, right?
Monday, August 01, 2011
IMPORTANT. Mr. and Mrs. CP lost a dog this weekend. If you haven't already, read the post below this one and send some love.
EXPANSION OF MINDSPACE. I was prowling through Shuteye Town 1999 this weekend when inspiration struck. The passage to blame:
How do you think a kid like Pasco [an accomplished hacker] gets from ‘use spreadsheet’ to ‘break into a vast international software system guarded by layers of brilliantly designed security systems’?
Yes. But how does he learn? Or more properly, how does he manage to learn by leaps and bounds, mastering bigger, more complex chunks of information with each new trial?
He builds on what he already knows and uses it to learn more.
Exactly. The principal mechanism in that process is pattern recognition. Another way to say it is that he’s a natural mapmaker. He learns the spreadsheet, but not just the keystrokes. He recognizes the pattern of the way it works. When he encounters a new program, he doesn’t approach it as a brand new subject and sit down with a stack of manuals. He pitches the manuals into the corner and goes right to work, using his own map of the conceptual terrain he’s covered in his prior experience.
The name of the mechanism he’s using is ‘metaphor.’ It’s not just a figure of speech from poetry class. It’s the single most powerful means of learning there is. This is like that. What else might be the same? What’s different? The search for pattern thrusts the mind instantaneously into the realm of manipulating brand new information. That’s why it’s infinitely superior to the preferred female learning technique of rote memorization, which is simply the filing of inert data.
Metaphor enables us to understand something new right away and to be systematic in exploring the unknown. It is far and away the most important application of pattern recognition.
The concept behind Metaphor Monday is simple and brilliant. If I do say so myself. And I do. Because modesty is lying.
If the Boss's theory of metaphor is right, and it is, then the more we understand, the more we can understand. The more varied the stuff in our minds, the more readily we can make sense of new stuff coming in. The more this we know, the more, and faster, that we can learn.
I propose we expand our mind space on purpose. I propose we put some theories, formulae, and stories in our heads solely for their potential conceptual value. An investment, a deposit in our memory banks.
An example: Before it slid into mere idiom, "red herring" was a potent metaphor (pun not intended, but I'll take whatever credit for it you're inclined to give). A red herring was a strong-smelling fish convicts would use to throw dogs off their scent. "Red" was distinctive because the fish got that color through the smoking and curing process that gave it said strong smell. Journalists and readers of detective fiction, when realizing a politician or writer had misdirected them, then-- to borrow Dr. Jaynes' phrase-- metaphied the idea of the red herring to describe what the malefactors had done. This-- being led to believe or expect one thing only to have a different thing be true-- is like That-- A tracking dog being made to follow one scent instead of another.
Recently I've come up with a metaphor of my own. I don't have a metaphrad-- that's the thing the metaphor is used to understand-- for it yet. But why wait?
I've been bedeviled by the art above, in one form or another, since early consciousness. If you're of a certain age, it'll stir the same feelings of nostalgia and youthful excitement in you that it does me. But take a closer look, with adult eyes:
Not... that great, is it? Love how that leg comes from the, uh, center of his torso. Uh. When we were kids, we never noticed when the box art was shoddy. Nintendo was too rad, too impressive, too legit for the thought to have even occured. But I guess the painting did the job, didn't it? To the target audience, it seemed like a noble expression of man's highest aspirations. Fat dude holding a turnip leaping many times his own height. When you're young, you don't need the symbolism explained.
Shortly after the release of Mario 2, Nintendo dispatched a staff artist to trace over the original painting, replace the turnip with a more iconic mushroom (because vegetables were only in Mario 2, duh), and keep the new cartoon near the top of the folder of promotional Mario images, from whence it would become the company's go-to stock Mario image. (or maybe the turnip painting came after the mushroom cartoon. Who knows)
A few months ago, I found what may be the most nostalgia-strong use of the image ever. If the Mario 2 box is nostalgia reefer, this is nostalgia crack:
From a 1989 Dr. Strange comic. Look at how much sheer past is present. The two Sears logos, one with the slogan you haven't heard or thought of since the very early 90s (is Sears still a thing? Haven't been to that corner of the mall this century). The "24hr. Toll Free" number in lieu of a website. The pre-Photoshop graphic design-- the Nintendo logo was clearly cut out by hand. The now-exorbitant prices for the games-- maybe a sealed copy of Zelda in mint condition would fetch more than 40 bucks in 2011. Maybe. I know I could get, like, twenty copies of Rambo on eBay for $34.95. They're good for skeet shooting.
Upon rediscovering this ad a few months ago, I hatched a scheme. Take ad to a good print shop, blow up to around 2 by 3 feet, sell prints online, light cigars with hundred-dollar bills for the rest of my life. Sadly, production turned out to be prohibitively expensive, and copyright law isn't quite as lenient as I thought. I never got past the first proof.
After the project ended, I framed the prototype and put it up on my living room wall. Looks sexy up there with those oversize print dots. My good buddy came over one weekend to play some Battletoads and try new beers. Naturally, he was super impressed with what I'd done. He had just one little observation. An observation that TURNED MY WORLD UPSIDE DOWN.
"Mario's overalls are the wrong color."
"Um, no they're not."
"Oh, they so are."
I looked again. Nothing seemed out of whack. "No, they're fine." So fine, in fact, I was getting very confused as to why he'd say they weren't. Was he trying to be funny? He usually doesn't miss the mark quite this wide.
"They're blue, not red. See?" He handed me my copy of Mario Party 7.
My brain split open.
Mario has blue overalls. Has ever since, um, Mario 2. In the game, that is.
After that, on the box of Mario 3.
After that, everywhere ever since.
Of course Mario has blue overalls. Duh. DUH! Who ever heard of red overalls, anyway? But I'd been seeing that image of Mario in red for forever. I'm accustomed to it. It looks as normal and natural to me as the sky. I never, ever would have noticed the red overalls if they hadn't been pointed out to me.
That's this week's metaphor. Red overalls: The forehead-smackingly obvious thing you can't see because you've seen it your whole life.
Friday, July 29, 2011
What We Face
"Childish" is a
charge I can credit.
NEWENS. I'm not saying we can't win. I'm just being realistic
we're dealing with in the current political environment. Which is not
I'm not going to provide a lot of links, if any. You have to do the
work. Because you're going to have to do a lot of work in the next year
or so if we're not to lose our nation.
I'm not going to connect all the dots for you, either. Another skill
you're going to have to get better at. If you want to avoid total
Watched Hannity last night. He and Juan Williams screaming at one
another -- after a poignant moment when Williams acknowledged Hannity
had somehow divined his firing by NPR (the subject of his latest book).
"Are you all right?" Hannity asked after a taping. Well, no, Williams
wasn't all right. The two are obviously friends. But then they did a
screaming match, and think about it. Juan Williams is a graduate of
Haverford College and Hannity was a housepainter whose bio still
contains no mention of a college degree. Why Hannity congratulated
Williams on his friendly interview with Jon Stewart "even though he
Then the "Greatest American Panel" came to the point of a physical
blow, as Patrick Caddell, a Carter-Democrat pollster who has frequently
seemed to be half-Republican these days, was absolutely quivering with
rage at the fumbling, lunk-headed behavior of the Republican house he
called "childish," even as conservative Romneyite Hugh Hewitt
absolutely refused to shut up long enough for him to make his point.
Caddell went so far as to smack Hewitt's arm. (I'd have smacked his
face, but that's just me.)
Michelle Bachmann keeps telling us in her reedy voice, "I have a
titanium spine strong enough not to vote for raising the debt limit."
Meanwhile, the MSM is feasting on the news that her husband thinks he
can cure homosexuality with prayer. No, she doesn't have a titanium
spine. We've learned she suffers from crippling migraines. It's
stressful being a Christian icon, isn't it?
Also saw Rand Paul last night. On Fox News. They announced he'd be on
after the commercial break. I turned to Mrs. CP and did his whole
sing-song spiel almost word for word right, in advance of his actual
appearance. Usually, Mrs. CP doesn't like it when I do that kind of
thing. This time she had to admit I'd nailed it all except for my
closing line, "Whatever Daddy says."
Cut to Big Hollywood, where they're all pumped about Sarah Palin's new
movie, "The Undefeated." Even
liberal critics are cutting the movie a break. Wow. Things are
looking up, aren't they? No they aren't. Big Hollywood is an Andrew
Breitbart site -- he's also got sites called Big Government, Big
Journalism, and Big Conservative Delusions -- characterized by bold
conservative mission statements and really really weak writing. Big
Hollywood's managing editor, John Nolte, can't write a paragraph
without some major grammatical error, and the site's reviews, which
should be its main attraction from a conservative standpoint, always
fumble and stumble through incoherent lead paragraphs designed to
convince us of what(?), the intellectual bona fides of the reviewer (though they can't seem to spell bona fides correctly),
while managing to convince us that the writer is too self-absorbed to
be trusted. (Except for Kurt Loder. The best living movie reviewer.) Breitbart's whole 'new media empire' is put together with spit and glue and baling wire and hardly anyone who can actually write. The conservative existential fix in a nutshell.
Where were we? The Big Hollywood braintrust thinks Sarah Palin is
overcoming her media tarring. No, she isn't. How did John McCain become
the Republican candidate in 2008? The MSM pretended to like him. Until
he got nominated. Same process is underway with Sarah Palin. The Dems want us to nominate her. She's
their favorite 2012 presidential candidate because they're certain they
can destroy her. Does John Nolte know it? NO.
How stupid are we?
We are very damn stupid when
it comes to politics. I'm not saying there aren't smart Republicans.
It's just that the Democrats have an almost insuperable edge in terms
of resource allocation.
In the old days of European aristocracy, any family with three sons
gave the eldest the title, the second was sent to the military, and the
third to the priesthood. Now we have rich political families. The eldest
inherits dad's senate seat, the second son goes to the mass media to
fight for social justice, and the third becomes a professor at an Ivy
League school near you.
And, yes, there's a Republican aristocracy, too, just as numerous and
just as rich. But the eldest son goes to Wall Street as a banker, the
second goes to Wall Street as a lawyer, and the third goes to Wall
Street as a trader. Something we might characterize as a brain drain.
Which leaves us with what? A mass media empire that can give Barack
Obama a 15 to 20 point propaganda advantage in any election, while we
try to counter it with sincere but dim graduates of Oral Roberts, the
Barbizon Christian Barber College, the Stillwater State Graduate
Business School, rich Mormons who are too friendly and virtuous to be
anything but creepy, and balding, toupeed, sometimes overly bronzed
white male Middle American Babbits who never quite seem to
understand what a killer instinct their 'betters' across the aisle were
born with. And, of course, the purely crazy ones.
Why do I always have to be embarrassed when a Republican politician
speaks? Their mushmouthed southern accents. Their dopey gaffes. Their
determination to interpret opposition contempt as a conversation that
needs to be rejoined more productively.
I cringe when a Democrat politician speaks. He (or she) always knows
the talking points, is always on message, always a demagogue. Vicious.
And always forgiven by the interviewer.
Republicans? "Uh, I didn't mean to say that, I was misquoted, I resign
for the good of my family."
Democrats? "I can't believe this party's obsession with returning to
slavery, the death of small children through tiny cuts in the school
lunch program, and the desire to subject women to the 'barefoot and
pregnant' ideal of the Reagan administration. And I've already apologized for my own sexual indiscretions, so let's move on, shall we?"
To use Brizoni's locution: Really? Really?
But at the end of their screaming match, during which Juan Williams
essentially accused Sean Hannity of all these positions, Hannity shook
hands with him and then tossed his goddam football. Williams is still on message, delivering his talking points. Hannity is still a black Irish radio bumpkin with a low forehead. And the Dems pretend to be afraid of Fox?
Tell me what you're prepared to do not to play the fool for another
Wake up, kiddies. You don't win by throwing a tantrum. Not against
A few years back, I heard a radio interview with a vomit fetishist (stay with me). The 21st century is the Age of the Unfettered Fetish, and this guy was out and proud as loving to get puked on. Most illuminating part of the freakshow (the only illuminating part. I won't lie, I wasn't in this for the edification) came when vomit dude explained that he had to shut his porn site down because he was only ever contacted by three guys who were into it as well. Not a large market.
Think about this. He wasn't leaving mimeographed bile erotica at truck stops in 1989 and then sitting by the phone crossing his fingers that some like-minded degenerate would call the 900 number in the letterhead. He was on the internet. Civilization's newly-opened steam valve on thousands of years of taboo. Remember when pot was kind of an underground thing? Remember when you could never find yourself accidentally reading an essay by Lyndon LaRouche? Remember when you had never seen even a picture of a dead body, outside of a war textbook? Now I can pull up, within seconds, crime scene photos of Jeff Dahmer's fridge on my phone to settle a bet. And every kink you can think of, even as solely an exercise in grotesqueness, already has a community devoted to it. That's an acknowledged fact. Quantum physics writ large (if you get that pun, I say to you NERRRRRD). Every perfect has joined perverted forces with every other brother in perversion.
Even with that internet, vomit guy only found three other vomit guys. The moral of the story? There are limits to human depravity. Even now.
We see the Paris Hiltons and Amy Winehouses (remember when you had to be good to get into Club 27?) of our popular consciousness and despair for our young girls. Good news: It's not all of them. It's not even a lot of them. Judging by her seven-minute "PSA," Courtney Stodden is the only one like her in her town. Only the dumb girls aspire to plastic tits and thousand dollar wigs for their rat-sized dogs. Yes, one is too many, I agree. But take heart. Humanity's innate desire for self-respect isn't so easily extinguished. Tiny ember of hope.
I'll leave you with our 16-year-old superstar's empower ballad "Don't Put it On Me." That's "On," folks. On. When you're plotting strategies for the coming battles of the next 18 months, take a moment now and then to think of this song. Then think of the young girls you know who aren't "inspiring" [sic] to keep it rill. You'll smile when you realize who's the exception and who's the rule.
P.S. On the off chance there's a gal who doesn't already know: If you're out with your man and he cranes his neck to gawk at a Stodden type who "be poppin"? Dump him. On the spot. Don't wait for an explanaiton. None is possible. Don't burn any emotional calories over him. Shake his hand, say "We're done here," and walk away. Just like that.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
When called, he does what he does better than anyone.
THE NORWAY THING. Our new friend J.W. Helkenberg didn't volunteer to do it. But The Old Man asked him to. So he blew the dust off his dual pistols, which he keeps in a velvet-lined case under the futon in his spartan quarters, and dispatched commenter Jack with what seemed to be unlimited ammo.
We're impressed. So impressed, in fact, that we've decided to recognize Helk's completed contract with a post.
Helk responded to Jack twice, but I've only included the second response, because it covers most of the ground of the first. And I've reformatted it for visual clarity. Quotes from Jack in italic, Helk in "plain" text.
* * *
What we are talking about here is ...
This line of thinking leads absolutely no where. Let's say the Norwegian authorities had taken a sudden interest in defusing anti-immigrant sentiments, beyond fostering a culture of tolerance (which is, apparently, distasteful ).
Not distasteful, dangerous.
They would have done . . . what, exactly? Posted guards outside youth camps and mosques? Cracked down on right-wing groups (a move which I'm sure would've been received well by those now labeling Norwegians as "soft")? Ban the Progress Party? Restrict immigration? Construct Fortress Norway? What?
They would have prepared their armed forces for a rapid response. I am saying that the lack of response is an indication of a lack of preparedness. A lack of conceptualizing the threat (due to blissful ignorance) leads to a boatload of Norwegian police sinking on the way to the island. It leads to not a single helicopter being available to intercede in the situation. It leads to a 90 minute response time. I think the killer actually just got bored (or horrified) with the killing, and just quit on his own. It wasn't like he burnt through all his ammunition.
"Norway - home of the *real* Vikings. Need I say more?"
Yes, you do. You're making assumptions regarding Norway's role in the Cold War without any supporting evidence.
OK, I can offer some supporting evidence. (I said I would if you *needed it*)
In the immediate post-war years Norway maintained a very low profile in foreign policy. The country hoped to remain outside the power blocks and likely areas of conflict. Norway put great hope in the United Nations and in fact the UN's first Secretary General, Trygve Lie was a Norwegian.
Global politics prevented this and as East/West tensions built up Norway was ***forced*** to come firmly down in the western military camp. Although relatively unscathed, Norway still benefited from the American Marshall Programme. Initially a reluctant recipient, Norway eventually received 2.5 thousand million kroner between 1948 and 1951.
There is more, more, more. I can bring it. Do you want it?
You're assuming (as is TP, whom you quote to support this assertion) that Norwegians were, in their impotence and apathy, content to sit back and relax and let the U.S. assume the burden of defending it. Which in itself implies that Norway made absolutely no contribution to its own defense or to NATO (of which it is a founding member).
No, wrong on two counts. First, I am not saying they did absolutely nothing, they *acceded to* US protection. Second, Norway is not a founding member of NATO. At all. "Following an abortive attempt to create a Nordic Defence Alliance, Norway, along with Denmark, joined NATO in 1949." [cite]
"They avoided considering the possibility that Hitler would invade,... er, I mean, that a homegrown maniac would kill a bunch of leftist children at a *VIP-studded* leftist retreat located on, you guessed it, a relatively remote island."
I wish you would've alerted the proper authorities ahead of time, if you were so aware of this possibility. But wait, according to you they couldn't have actually known. Or something:
"This is not to say that the name, date and time could have been known in advance, not at all. Only that the character and nature of the crime was already being predicted by people in Norway (and elsewhere). They knew it was inevitable, but they preferred to live in blissful ignorance."
Names, quotes, anything. Please.
Here you go: "According to Aftenposten, the Norwegian Army base at Meymaneh is amongst the least secure bases in Afghanistan, the base is less secure than other bases belonging to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)." [cite]
OK. Aftenposten is a Norwegian newspaper. Lack of security being, apparently, a Norwegian *thing*, the newspaper decided to point it out to it's citizens. Maybe in an attempt to alert people that Norway was living in a state of blissful ignorance.
Norway's anti-immigrant Progress Party won 23 percent of the vote in the last elections in 2009. [cite]
"In 2011 we expect their activity to contribute to steering the public debate in the direction of increased xenophobic sentiments. This could contribute to an increased polarization within and between extremist groups in Norway. Increased activism among Norwegian anti-Islamic organizations can however also increase the use of violence in such groups, particularly in connection with demonstrations and commemorations." [cite, read the whole thing]
So the word was out, but nobody was *preparing* for the eventuality. Or, if they were, they forgot to include boat and helicopter preparedness in their training materials.
"There is a new purity movement, whether anybody wants to admit it or not. This nutjob Breivik did nothing to improve the (extremist) anti-immigrant platform, in fact he might have squelched it."
So there is a "purity movement" afoot, but Breivik has undermined it and possibly "squelched it." Is this a bad thing? Did this "purity movement" have any validity in the first place? Aren't Breivik's actions merely the inevitable product of such a movement, as you've implied?
I said nothing to indicate that this is a bad or good thing, only that it will have an impact. And it has had an impact. And as far as Breivik's actions being inevitable, refer to the link [above] (to wit, "In 2011 we expect their activity to contribute to steering the public debate in the direction of increased xenophobic sentiments.")
Again, I am neither defending nor attacking the 'purity movement' I am merely pointing out that it has been adequately detailed by the Norwegian press (and 'secret police'). And by adequately detailed I mean to state that there has been ample evidence to suggest that Norway is *vulnerable* to home-grown fanaticism.
"Now, think about that. This guys actions may actually result with a greater influx of Muslim immigrants. And so I guess I would say that, in the end, the Norwegians will likely get more of the same. And, by degrees, they will watch as unfamiliar customs slowly come to dominate their (native) culture."
So Norway, which is (or isn't; I'm not exactly sure what you think it is) a supposed bastion of right-wing, anti-immigrant extremism, is now *more appealing* to Muslim immigrants?
I never said bastion - which would imply it is a majority position - and I did not say "more appealing." I said that the resistance to immigration might be squelched. Because people who resist immigrants don't want to be aligned with Breivik. For now.
Oh, and please stop with the "Eurabia" nonsense. I'm willing to wager that Norway's Muslim population (which constitutes all of 2-4% of the total) is and will never possess the capabilities to undermine Norwegian culture or whatever.
Well, despite the lack of Muslim critical mass (in terms of modifying Norwegian culture), the presence of immigrants has led directly to this mass killing. Now, I don't blame* immigrants (in the sense of intent), but Breivik didn't go on a killing spree *just because*. He went on a killing spree to launch an anti-immigrant European war. Now, however far-fetched that is, it is a *direct result* of the Muslim presence in Norway. So is it unsafe to presume (based on secret police disclosures among other things) that an increased Muslim presence is somehow *not* going to lead to more frequent hostilities?
Here's a synopsis of your argument: Breivik, who's representative of a larger movement, has, through his actions, discredited the (apparently legitimate) anti-immigrant platform.
Not discredited, embarrassed.
Thus, more Muslims will immigrate to Norway, which in turn will precipitate more attacks (from a movement which has been "squelched," remember), and eventually Norwegian culture will somehow collapse entirely in the face of the foreign hordes.
They (Norwegians) will lose their capacity to live in blissful ignorance (just like a woman loses her capacity to walk (comfortably) alone at night following being raped). You cannot go back to a time before. You must accept the new facts. Norway has been (mentally and spiritually) raped by a violent mass murderer who desired to start a Pan-European anti-immigrant war.
Airtight logic, there.
Finally, credit where credit is due.
* * *
[ED: The Boss has also closed this comment thread in the original piece, thusly:
All right. Let him go. You have proven what needed to be proven: he
can never quite agree to disagree because he just MUST be right, even
if he has had to concede point after point, including the ultimately
rational basis of your argument.
Throughout, the intent is to keep driving for finer and finer points
of dispute so that the larger context will ultimately be lost or become
Prime example in the latest response. Norway's unpreparedness was
analogous to U.S. unpreparedness for 9/11. The "Everybody fucks up"
Only problem -- 9/11 was a worldwide wakeup call. It was followed by
terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. When your friends and neighbors
have been assaulted and murdered, it's simply negligence not to be
ready with the best emergency response you can muster.
Splitting and resplitting and re-resplitting hairs doesn't change
the point of the original post one bit. It simply seeks to obscure it.
For no discernible reason other than the need to counter a bold
statement by someone who must, by virtue of his political affiliations,
be wrong, stupid, ill-informed or prejudiced.
Recall that the debate here began with a series of name-calling attacks [by Jack on me]. That's the only rationale for the
respond, respond, respond, respond mentality we've seen on a topic that
ultimately isn't that important, unless it's an ego issue for the
I declare this debate done, this comment thread closed. I started it
with an opinionated essay I see no reason to retract. I asked Helk to
see how far it would go. He's done that.
It's gone way too far. Truth. Helk wasn't particularly invested in
the debate. It's just that he can do this kind of argumentation in his
What have we learned? Ego will drive you onto a dangerous limb
attached to increasingly frail branches and even twigs if you lose
sight of the main point in pursuit of just having to prove that you're
Nobody is smarter than Helk. And nobody has less ego involved.
Funny how that works, isn't it?
Can we be done with it now? Norway is just great, has no big
questions to ask itself, and they can be satisfied, like all liberals,
that their good intentions are all that's required in a purely
accidentally dangerous world.
As to the dead ones? Well, they're dead, aren't they? And won't be
heard from again.
Congratulations, Jack. We're all in, uh, awe of your brilliance.]
Because Republicans are on the verge of blowing their huge advantage
against Barack Obama.
The confrontation about the debt limit was a good idea. It exposed the
inflexibility of the president, who cannot bring himself to compromise
his anti-capitalist ideology even when the fiscal viability of the
nation is at stake.
The whole country has seen that he cannot propose his own plan, nor can
his party, if the simple question is asked, "How can we reduce spending
so that $40 dollars of every $100 we spend is borrowed, in perpetuity?"
But let's not forget that this has always been a game of "chicken." Who
will blink first? Who will drive off into the ditch before the Mutually
Assured Destruction of a head-on collision? The people are now well
able to see that the Democrats have no intention of reducing spending
under any circumstances. Point made.
And point made was always the best possible outcome in a political
structure that gives Democrats control of both the senate and the White
House as compared to Republican control of the House of
Representatives. That's it. Game over. Time to raise the debt limit and
attack, attack, attack the Democrats in the 2012 election.
Here's the irony that fills me with despair. The Tea Party freshmen in
the house were elected as representatives in a representative
democracy. Their job is to do the right thing, whether their
constituents agree or not. Isn't that the ultimate definition of
citizen politicians? You didn't elect us to follow your kneejerk
reactions but to serve the nation. And we're perfectly content to be
voted out of office if you don't finally approve of our votes.
Still waiting for the irony? Here it is. The Tea Party caucus which
insists it's okay to let the U.S. go into a state of at least technical
default are -- by this exact positioning -- proving that they are
already pure politicians, determined to hang onto their seats
regardless of national impacts of their votes. Their seeming principled
opposition on this issue is actually proof that they've already sold
Point made, goddammit. The debt limit has been raised dozens of times
over the years. Yes, there was value in objecting this time. But what's
the mission? To regain control of the U.S. government, meaning the
presidency and the senate.
So the senate has passed nothing. The president has proposed nothing.
There hasn't even been a federal budget during the Obama
administration. What more do you want? The only reason not to pass some
kind of even relatively clean bill raising the debt limit is to protect
individual asses in the House of Representatives.
I'm thoroughly pissed off. I'm done with all righties who insist
there's no penalty to pay for the nation if the world thinks we can't
pay our debts or can't forestall a downgrade of our credit rating,
which wouldn't have been a possibility at all if we hadn't made such an
enormous issue of it in the first place.
I'm old enough to be sick to death of the win-it-all or lose-it-all
strategy. If the dollar ceases to be the curency of first resort in the
world, we will all suffer. Interest rates will rise, inflation will
increase, and all the little people the Tea Partiers claim they care
for will be thrust into a world of diminished purchasing power and
escalating penury. Why? To prove a point? To take an axe to a situation
that begs for actual intelligence rather than a mindless inflexibility
that reminds me of nothing so much as Obama's obsession with corporate
Frankly, I'm done with most of the Republican field. This isn't what I
signed up for.
My candidate for the Republican presidential nomination right now? Evan
Yeah. A Democrat Why? Obama must be defeated. He's destroying the
United States of America. But so are all the suddenly heedless
libertarians who think they just might possibly win the 2012 election
by pissing in everybody's bathwater in the name of ideological purity.
“I respect what they want to do; I
share what they want to do: shrink the government,” he said. But at a
time when the country is going into debt and destroying everything in
its path, Krauthammer said that Conservatives need to understand the
only way to stop the damage, according to our Constitutional system, is
to control the White House and the Congress.
To do that, the GOP needs to win the presidential election in 2012. He
and O’Reilly both agreed on the belief that Bachmann and other Tea
Party members who hold such a black-and-white stance and insist on not
passing the Boehner bill – or any bill increasing the debt ceiling –
could cost them that possibility. Krauthammer said the Tea Party is
fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time, and no matter what, their
position won’t be won from “pointing a gun” from half of Congress.
“You cannot govern from one branch. All the Conservatives control now
is half a branch … and under our system, you’ve got to have it all.” he
He's kinder than I am. Because he has a stomach ache. I don't. I have
full on nausea.
(Sorry about your 36-hour jibe yet, Pete? You should be.)
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Photo by MRS. CP.
SHE KEEPS TAKING PICTURES WITH THAT I-PHONE. Under orders on this
one. You know how you've read about
the wars between Izzie and Elliott and Mickey? Well, mostly it's this
way. uh, peace. Mrs. CP seems
to feel my usual bellicose flair is misrepresenting the facts. (Though
she's dead wrong in this instance. All hell coud break loose at any
moment, which Mrs. CP knows, because she emailed me this pic as if it
were a treasure culled from the deepest sea. I'm just saying.)
Anyway. In this EXTRAORDINARY photograph, Mrs. CP has
managed to capture the total love which exists among the cats in our
household. They're in what we call the Tack Room, which has a great
view of birds you'd like to kill if you were a cat and not too lazy to
figure a way to do it. uh, Sorry.
The long gray blur up top is Mickey, who appears to have paid off Mrs.
CP to sliminalize him into more of a tomcat stud than a zeppelin. (Just
don't know where she got the PhotoShop chops. Hmmmm. Should I be
worried about her iPhone?) I can live with that. The little bundle in
the middle who looks like a monkey is Izzie. She's good at sleeping and
Mixed Martial Arts, in reverse order. The THING that's so scary in the
foreground would be Elliott. The picture makes him look he has two
faces and no eyes. That's not true. He has three faces and one eye that
gravitates oh so slowly from one side of his head to the other. (Wes
Craven has been hanging around the house talking movie scripts.)
Am I done yet? No?
All right. They're the cats.
The current ones. But that's the thing about cats. We got Elliott
because Mrs. CP couldn't ever stop thinking about Mac. (She won't ever
admit that, so don't let on. Whereas I never think of him unless I see
a windowseat on a sunny day.) That's how cats are eternal. Me, I miss
the black ones, Ajax, Butler, and oh, stop. Their descendants aren't
here yet. Why I have to
inflict this on you:
If you would wound CP, go for cats
& greys & deerhounds. Just make sure you kill him dead. Because he
will absolutely kill you back. Dead.
Sorry. I thought I was just posting an iPhone pic of my wife's. Why is
it harder than debating Jack?
Yeah. You know. (Thanks, honey. Now I'm remembering them all,
pretending my eyes are just moist.)
UPDATE: Feminism Still Province of Hysterical Phallophobes Who Won't Take Responsibility For Their Inability to Cope With Life
Feminists add to that equation the belief that having their vanity fully indulged is a fundamental human right.
. Nothing new to report, I'm afraid. Feminist thought has made no progress whatever in confronting its inane premises, adopting a more reality-centric narrative, or generally getting over itself. The latest outburst came at nerd circle jerk mecca San Diego Comic Con.
Thursday, I attended a panel titled “Oh, You Sexy Geek!” a discussion of the implications of “sexy women” in geek/nerd culture, and how that may or may not be used to pander to men.
Don't we typically reserve the word "implications" for things that matter? The specific gravity of the Invisible Woman's hooters may not qualify. Sorry, go on.
I was excited for the panel, considering I am frequently frustrated by the media’s exploitative use of women (whether it be the host of a show, such as Olivia Munn, or booth babes at E3) to appeal to a market that they treat as exclusively male. However, my expectations were quickly dashed when discussion of media literacy was tossed aside in favor of accusations of jealousy. Bonnie Burton and Adrianne Curry mused that women who were critical of sexy geek culture in any way were just jealous, had no confidence, and were projecting their issues with self-esteem onto the women who felt empowered by walking the Comic-Con floor in a Slave Leia costume.
When Jennifer Stuller (one of the creators of the upcoming Geek Girl Con) suggested that women who criticized “sexiness” were more than likely deconstructing the media, and by extension a society that tells women their worth lies in their ability to appeal aesthetically to men...
You get the idea. Feminists are upset that many women don't buy or aren't interested in the whole Patriarchy conspiracy theory, and, adding insult to injury, some women even call feminists out on their insecurities! They're not supposda!
Protip: "Deconstruction" doesn't have quite the Smart Guy gloss it did 40 years ago. Protip: Male sexual attention isn't inherently dehumanizing or exploitive. I understand feminists are terrified of it, but that's their fault and their problem. Protip: Markets will focus exclusively on men ON OCCASION, yes. The idea that women are never catered to is ridiculous. Any market that wants to survive in 2011 won't ignore 51% of the population. And last I heard, the geek sector was doing pretty well for itself.
Protip: It's not that feminists are uptight. It's that they're chickenshit. Another feminist had this take:
Worst of all was G4′s Chris Gore, the lone man on the panel, who showed his female co-panelists just how much he respects them by showing up nearly an hour late and proclaiming as he sat down, “I speak for every other man in this room when I say I want to put my penis into all of these women.” This elicited uncomfortable titters from the audience and panelists. How often are women place in that position? Of being diminished by a “joke” that, even if meant to make fun of their sexualization, still makes you feel nervous and without a good way to confront its incredible inappropriateness. I’d like to say that if I were the moderator or on the panel, I would have called him out on it, but I know how being in that kind of situation can make you suddenly silent.
Sigh. Once more: Equality means no special treatment. Which means-- and it breaks my heart that I have to spell this out-- no special protection. None. Which means, dear feminists, you're going to have to grow a backbone. The "good way" to ask Chris Gore to ease up on the penis talk (a fair request) is to find said backbone and ask him. Odds are he would have meekly backed off. Hipster film nerd guys are even more chickenshit than you. And that's saying something.
The price of liberation is you do things for yourself. Sorry if no one mentioned that.