Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In the near future....

(Addendum: The economy will suffer such a slide, with the staples of gas and food going up, that there will be a huge backlash among the common people, resulting in the Liberal Elite riding into power on the Obamamania ticket.

The "Hope" that he promises will be followed with continued failure of the economy and the crippling of National Defense. Not that the 'pubs would do any better.)

There will be a National ID Card within three years - probably brought about and allowed through reaction to a great catastrophic event.

Many food staples will become more expensive than a gallon of gas (which will soon be way over $5/gallon), and thus unaffordable to the average citizen.

Individual state unemployment systems will go broke publically (they already are, they are just going to admit it), and shortly thereafter Social Security and other state administered retirement systems will stop payouts.

There will be a major economic meltdown. Government will try to establish control over the economy. Many necessary products will be effectively Nationalized and still be unavailable. Unemployment will be close to 30%, in spite of a National jobs/registration program where many will work in trade for sustainables (Will work for food).

The dollar will devalue to the point that the currency will be replaced with a North American Currency that will tie Canada, Mexico and the U.S. together economically. This won't last long with an almost direct jump to some sort of chip implant in lieu of ID and currency.

Then it will get bad....

Friday, April 11, 2008

Obamamania Update....

Obamamania Update: A running Scared commentary.

Boy howdy.

I think the superiority that inhabites Obamamania's disgustingly elitist world-view comes through in this unavoidable condescension. Just listen to the phrasing, the sound-bites, the certainty of it all: They DO know what is good for us. Trust them, they do.

It says something about the quality of Presidential candidates our country can field when the most thoughtful person left in the race comes up with a clunker like this.

Obamamania says:

"... You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

I may very well be bitter, but that's just me. I don't "cling to guns and religion" because I'm bitter. I cling to Christianity and the Right to Bear Arms, first of all, because my God sent His Son to die for me, and I am both obligated and grateful to Him for saving my undeserving soul -- and because they are both part of MY HERITAGE, and I am commanded through my belief to obey GOD; and given my observation of you and what you stand for, I will probably need my guns for survival.

Scary stuff.
Mike Huckabee on Obama:

"We should recognize his many strengths. His poise, his intelligence, his ability to inspire. He's like the car you always wanted as a kid. You had your dream car and it had every bell and whistle option your heart could imagine. Then, one day you sit down and decide you want that car, except, when you do the numbers, you realize you can't afford it. You've waited and dreamed about it your whole life, but the reality hits you; you can't afford it."

Caucus vs. Popular Vote Results:

There are a lot of lib voters who love to talk a good game when it comes to anti race-bias, but when they get in the booth it's a different matter. I don't think you have to guess at any "Bradley Effect" -- all you have to do is look at the Caucus results in all (not just northern) states vs. the popular vote. If there is data on white caucus votes, I'd bet it backs that up....

On the exit polls, people lie. All the time.

I'll bet the difference in the exit polls and results mirrors the data of white Dem' caucus voters vs. white Dem' popular vote, only at a slightly smaller ratio.

On the Obama's Somali outfit pics:
Fortunately for Obamamania, the outfit completely covered up the "Go Hamas" t-shirt.

He can walk on H2O, then turn that H2O into a passable American Pale Ale (with the help of a good brewmeister, some malt and Cascade and Centennial hops), then waste that Ale by pouring it on the swooning crowd, bring world peace, brotherhood, end jaywalking and world hunger.

Personally, I'm waiting for the end-world-hunger thing, and I'm HOPING he uses the loaves and fishes trick.

Make mine a Neeew-Oileeens-style blackened Orange Roughy, please -- accompanied by said American Pale Ale; and if you would, one of those homemade flat-breads they used to have at Shaw's in Lancaster.

"Good people can vote for evil because the political process spreads the cost of evil to everyone. This serves to both obscure specific evils within the grand scope and fa├žade of government, and also to allow for the devotion of resources to evil in huge disproportion to what people really want to give it. As long as people recognize the authority of government to fund itself on their behalf, the regime will continue." -- Jacob Halbrooks

"Revivalism from the beginning has only thrived insofar as a single individual is the focus of the devotion of the faithful, and that individual is chosen based on his ability to stir up excitement in his followers. Objective truth and deep sustained intellectual reflection are substituted with shallow rhetoric and easily attained emotional fervor. So, in fact, Obama actually has more in common with Charles Finney than with any former president, in that his views on policy are largely irrelevant to his supporters. In the modern context, Joel Osteen comes to mind. People don't care what he says, so long as he makes them feel good. But what we're witnessing is a sort of resurrection of the Caesar cult. People believe that the government is to be their savior, and they think Obama would make a good messiah." -- Kerry Lewis

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." -- H.L. Mencken

"I hate to be so cynical, but I'm afraid we're about to get a belly full of what we've got coming to us. How a person gets through this life without faith in Christ and fellowship of Christian friends is beyond me." -- Rublev's Dog

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Rublev's Dog takes that walk....

... down the creek with dad and the old Marlin 39.

I’m going to miss my favorite blogger, Chuck, over at Rublev’s Dog.

He is riding off into a Carolina sunset and retirement (hopefully a la Bret Farvre).

His last post is great, and replete with wonderful advice: "And don’t take any microchips…"

Goodbye and hello, as always.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

'pubs, Dems and Paulites....

Shame that the very ‘pubs who make fun of the Paulites supposedly “limited understanding of foreign policy”, also ignore the economic realities that the RPs are concerned with. As do the Dems.

We are economically screwed past the point of no return. ‘pubs and Dems have combined to ignore sanity for so long -- National debt-wise, Bush makes Reagan look like a piker -- that our economy is being threatened by the “National Security needs" of a war WE started.

And NeoCons have signed on to a program that chooses war in lieu of Nat.Healthcare. It's like the Dems and 'pubs are having a dialog over which way to go bankrupt. Instead of the slow death of Big Gov., we've juiced up the speed of our demise by dumping our debt down the well of Iraq.

Flash: we've BEEN bankrupt. The call just hasn't been made yet.

Iraq is Bush’s version of Public Education: if you throw enough money at it, eventually… what? The infection feeds on money.

How much do we owe? How much of that is owed to other nations?

What happens when the debt gets called?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

McCrazy's VP pick....

Gonna take off my Libertarian, Paleo-Conservative hat and put on a 'pub one fer a minute.

The McCrazy VP pick, way I see it:

Kasich would have been the pick, if it weren't for the Faux "News?" entanglements.

Condi has been overshadowed and way too indecisive.

Romney is sure defeat. I've never seen a candidate with a higher "dislike quotient". You'd get the CEO vote and no one else.

Haley Barbour also falls into that catagory. He looks like every southern fried politician/car salesman with a little Boss Hogg thrown in.

Colin Powell? Won't happen. Too old anyway.

The Minnesota Gov., Pawlenty? Why pick a guy from a state that will go Dem?

Texas Gov., Perry? Ehhhhhh, no. Texas.

My pick: Kinky Fried-man. Funny is way underrated as a VP plus and vote puller. And the only Texan anybody will vote for....

Cerealously, the best pick for the 'pubs would probably be Charlie Crist, if he could somehow get rid of that fake-looking Florida tan. If he can't, mebbe they can buy him some dyed hair extensions and pass him off as female and black?

(This was posted after I re-read the post before this, which just proves the point -- to my shame.)

Social Subtleties and Snarky "Superioriatedness"....

A fairly important subject, so I CROSS-POSTED an edited version from Assistant Village Idiot.

Social Subtleties: Three Connected Discussions.

The three posts below go together, separated for easier reading.

Part I: Sophia's Office Window

Sophia has the office next to mine. She is a Christian conservative of slightly different flavor – chocolate chip to my vanilla, perhaps. Her window looks out over the copier, and she has affixed a long list of examples from around the world of what bad things happened to peoples who were not allowed to own guns. It’s been up a few months. I don’t know how many folks have read it.

One of the med students from another unit brought the psychiatrist over to look at it. Neither said a word, the younger just pointed to it and grinned mockingly. How do I know it was mockingly, rather than approvingly? Because our brains are very good at picking up social cues like that. Even the worst of us are pretty good at it. We evolved in groups where such things were important for survival. Tribes enforce their norms via gestures and expressions which are maddeningly difficult to describe. My oft-mentioned A&H tribe is especially good at it. They can pick up the merest changes in tone or eyebrow.

So can I, as I grew up in that tribe.

The psychiatrist likewise grinned in amusement. Some rube had had put up something about gun rights for public display. Here! What a maroon! No words, just the shared chuckle.

It is not merely the point of view, of course, though that in itself can prompt those superior smiles. The placement and tone of the document were also part of their pleasure. Those gun people. They don’t know how they come across. They don’t get that this is ridiculous. We do. We two, and our tribe do. That’s how we know we’re better.

If progressives don't want to be accused of this level of arrogance and rudeness, they should stop doing these things in front of me every few days.

CS Lewis writes about this in The Screwtape Letters. In a comment that stabbed me to the heart when I first read it and stayed ever before me in my long conversion from liberalism to conservatism, the senior demon Screwtape tells his nephew Wormwood to encourage some types of humor but not others, in order to deliver the patient out of the hands of The Enemy and safely into Hell, to be food for them.

"... But flippancy is the best of all. In the first place it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real Joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour plating against the Enemy that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practise it."

Lewis is referring more to spiritual than political flippancy, but the point holds. Watch how often people will laugh at something or someone without bothering to make a reasonable argument or give evidence against it. All the cool kids “just know” that it’s ridiculous. The tactic is an enormously powerful social enforcer. Time and again while I was a progressive, I would hear people make such jokes to me. Reagan. (Hahaha.) NASCAR. (Snicker.) Trickle-down. (Ha!) Born-agains. (Stop, you’re killing me!) I now have the opposite response: when someone speaks as if the joke is obvious (sometimes they go so far as to add an urban legend in, like Dan Quayle and studying Latin), I now conclude that it is merely a social cue, an efficient tribal communication devoid of intellectual content.

Part II: Classical Values

The Tricky Politician's trick:

... He gets to tell everyone present that he agrees with them, but also gets to pose as a person who sees many sides of things – one who has been fair to other points of view and has considered them. So when he kicks them in the balls you know they deserved it. The audience, meanwhile, receives no real challenge to reevaluate their position. They can even pretend that they have reevaluated their position in that instant. They go on as before, thinking themselves wise and the politician evenhanded. Better yet, the politician is on record as having considered an alternative POV. Even his opponents might be impressed that he has at least heard them clearly.

Tricksy politician. False.

One layer deeper, I look at the tactic a soupcon more kindly. The current audience receives the near-indiscernible disagreement in the context of being patted on the back a dozen time. Yet in this age of rancorous debate, the single comment can be taken out of context and sent out into the world: ... A communist can be made to look libertarian, a libertarian communist, and anyone can be made to look stupid or evil.

It's still not honest, but it's more understandable in that context.

Part III: Tone Filters

We don't mind pervasive snarkiness so much, when it isn't aimed at us:

... I was able to perceive the tone, but could filter it out when I thought it was directed at others. Once I knew that the tone was directed to folks like me, the snarkiness was too much. From listening to people live and reading their arguments for years, I suspect I may be on the good side of the bell curve for evenhandedness. I think many people get so used to talking within their own group that they don’t even hear the nastiness directed to others anymore. They believe they or their comrades are being critical, but not unfairly so, and certainly not insulting. A good test is observing whether their own tone fed back to them offends. Conservatives who spend much time in the presence of liberals are puzzled that phrasings and tones of voice clearly calculated to offend pass unnoticed by the speakers.

Screwtape is apposite again:

"... In civilised life domestic hatred usually expresses itself by saying things which would appear quite harmless on paper (the words are not offensive) but in such a voice, or at such a moment, that they are not far short of a blow in the face. To keep this game up you and Glubose must see to it that each of these two fools has a sort of double standard. Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on the actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother's utterances with the fullest and most oversensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention. She must be encouraged to do the same to him. Hence from every quarrel they can both go away convinced, or very nearly convinced, that they are quite innocent. You know the kind of thing: "I simply ask her what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper." Once this habit is well established you have the delightful situation of a human saying things with the express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offence is taken."

I have heard that tone shooting out from the conservative end of the spectrum toward the progressive end at times, but far less often. I have little doubt there are professions or churches or cultures where conservatives are in such predominance that the tone deteriorates unnoticed. When folks believe they are alone with their own they become less cautious, freer with their sneers. I recall standing on the street with a Mormon friend when other friends of his came up. As their comments about non-Mormons intensified, I could feel his discomfort and embarrassment – they had wrongly assumed that I was one of them and revealed themselves more than they wished (they were less nasty than social workers, BTW). It is always interesting to see behind the curtain.

What intrigues me about these tone-filters is that they are apparently automatic.

(Read the unedited version at Assitant Village Idiot)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Competition and Loyalty in the Bizness Werld....

A "for whom the bell tolls" note:

Our company lost our best salesperson today, along with his assistant.

This was after the latest round of salary cuts. They cut his salary for the third time and he picked up the phone, called our big competition and got a no-cut contract, including his assitant. They took his phone and computer and are planning on keeping him in an empty office for two weeks while they try to salvage the accounts, but I don't think that is happening.

They really think he won't be able to take his accounts. Right.

In these days of competitive pricing the only thing that swings the deal is loyalty and a comfort level.

You know, it's funny how it's OK to poach from other companies, yet when it's done to you it seems SO wrong....

News flash: it ain't.

And loyalty goes both ways.

On an addtionally sober note, my job is no longer safe. It is true that while I am the only person capable of doing my job at my company, and so far have been exempt from any cuts, if they replaced my duties and divided them up, they might get by for a while, until the mistakes begin piling up and the stuff I do that I never told anyone how to do doesn't get done.

Note to self: Next time get compete Cobra coverage for 6 months in my contract. That would have been smart.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


What do you do when your Better-Half hates something you thought you done good? I realize that a writer of ANY type has to be in love with the newest thing... and I always am to some extent -- even when I know the piece has limitations that might be made worse by my lack of real talent. Then the Writing Prof shot me down.

My much-much better half says that there is nothing redeeming in this song lyric - it doesn't "reach" for anything; that the subject is a cliched version of a man, there's a million songs where the "mine done failed", and that while there is some good pacing and careful wordplay (she liked the "rack of wood" line), there is nothing to spark interest and any need to understand motives... and she's the English Perfesser. My much-much better half also does not like writing in "Vernacular" (Even though she has a whole book of short stories in it).

The lyric is full of Regional references that are limiting -- that I understand, but I don't see why you have to steer clear of cliche, as long as it is handled right. John Prine does it all the time. Fred Eaglesmith even voices it all the time. And although I admit this song does not have that Prine-like twist and human revelation at the end, it doesn't need it -- the song is a reflection of the subject: an all-too-common man, who isn't going anywhere. Ever. Surrounded by failure, he IS failure.

So I did what I had to do to preserve myself. I ignored her, for the most part.

Lyrics here: