Michael Sam Cut by Rams (Part II)


Well!

Someone else at least hinted at it!

Michael Sam is the openly gay football player drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the NFL draft this year.

In a previous post — here — we stated an obvious truth that none in the land dare say publicly: “More than one other player on the team [The Rams] was more than a little bit skeeved out at the possibility of showering with Michael Sam after a game.”

We also said it way, way back here on May 14 of this year.

We followed that with another obvious truth that none dare say: “Michael Sam must have felt like a normal [yes, we meant: normal] dude would feel at the prospect of  showering each day after work with the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders.”

We further said that no one else would dare say it in America, where to state just one of these self-evident truths publicly would be to end one’s career, and possibly force one to move to avoid things like death threats from oh-so-tolerant America.

Turns out there were other people figuring out the awkwardness of it all. See the article here on PFT (NBC Sports’ ProfootballTalk).

All the commentators take great pains to say that the various teams not picking up Sam are worried about the distractions caused by the media — particularly ESPN — but there is one salient passage that should be noted:

Last week ESPN apologized for a report that quoted an unnamed Rams player as saying that Sam hadn’t showered with teammates in training camp. [Editor's Note: I wonder whether there really was such an unnamed source, or whether the reporter made it up to deflect the attention from himself for "reporting" what he, and the rest of the world knew to be true -- but could never say out loud. Certainly if there were such a player, he would insist on deep cover anonymity, with no recording devices anywhere near, before saying it.]

Now, if it’s true that young Sam hadn’t showered with his teammates, you and I both know why that is. And you and I both know that the players and coaches got together in super-secret, cone-of-silence-protected meeting and someone let it be known that there was skeevage in the ranks at the thought of showering with a guy who would be looking at their naked, well-muscled physiques ummmm… pretty much the same way a woman would look at them. You and I also both know that someone made an observation similar to my Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders one, above.

It’s just that no one could ever say this, for fear of the aforementioned loss of career, complete with death threats and total life disruption.

And this in America! The land of the once free, and the now opposite of brave.

– xPraetorius

Ann Coulter – August 27, 2014 – WOULD IT KILL YOU TO HIRE MORE BLACK COPS? YES


Ann Coulter – August 27, 2014 – WOULD IT KILL YOU TO HIRE MORE BLACK COPS? YES.

Ann Coulter points out that Affirmative Action in hiring for police officers results in lower standards across the board, and more crime, and that these things disproportionately hurt the poor and minorities (often the same people).

As she poignantly puts it, “Someone’s got to say it, so it might as well be me: I’m against more black people being murdered, raped and assaulted.”

Me too.

However, it is significant to say that the Race Grievance Industry, including many prominent members of the media, are perfectly okay with more black people being murdered, raped and assaulted. 

That’s the only possible conclusion, given that this fact (which, by the way, no one disputes) about Affirmative Action in policing is readily available in public documents across the land.

 

– xPraetorius

Michael Sam Cut by Rams


He’s the gay football player who announced his sexual preference publicly before the NFL draft last year or so. I wish him all the success in the world. I hope he’s able to get his sex life out of the public eye after that ridiculous, publicity-seeking, grandstanding… and successful ploy to get a team to draft him.

Yes, there’ll be all the hoohah that the media fabricate around sillinesses like this.

However, I’m going to say what no one else has said (that I’ve seen). It’s something that is undeniably true.

Put it this way, if you were to ask Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to bet his entire fortune, on what I’m about to say, each would do it.

If you were to suggest to Barack Obama that he bet the success of the entire remainder of his Presidency that what I’m about to say is true, he’d do it.

If you were to suggest further that he bet the future of Obamacare that what I’m about to say is true, he’d do it in a heartbeat.

What I’m about to say is inflammatory, provocative, would cost anyone his career if he were to say it publicly.

It’s also self-evidently true.

Here it is:

More than one other player on the team was more than a little bit skeeved out at the possibility of showering with Michael Sam after a game.

Here’s another, worth repeating, that I said here: Michael Sam must have felt like a normal dude would feel at the prospect of  showering each day after work with the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders.

– xPraetorius

Obama and Golf


We’ve said it before in these pages: Whether Obama’s on the golf course or in the Oval Office, the country is equally poorly served.

Or: the only thing worse than Obama golfing as much as he does, is Obama being in the Oval Office as much as he is.

Or: How could Obama be the best President he could possibly be? Simple: Go straight from the golf course to his next vacation. When the vacation’s over, he should head straight back to the golf course. Repeat as necessary to fill up the rest of his term.

I’m completely serious.

Besides, you know that the media and pop culture and academia would totally let him get away with it.

– xPraetorius

This Sums It Up (Part IV)


In a recent post, we mused a bit about how pop culture is either ignoring or somehow trying to turn into genius the many dumbnesses of Obama and his Administration. From 57 states to “corpse-man,” comedians have left Obama completely un-mocked, whereas they pounced all over George W. Bush if he so much as sneezed.

In my last paragraph, I said this:

One serious problem, I admit, is that when he says something that would produce gales of laughter if said by a Republican President, lots and lots and lots and lots of people die. For a sobering example: Imagine if, as Obama did, George W. Bush had said of ISIS: “We don’t yet have a strategy.”

I then reflected:

Maybe the comedians have a point. There’s really not too much funny in that.

Upon yet further reflection, maybe while the country lacks a strategy to deal with ISIS, the blood-soaked scumbags out there beheading and crucifying innocent people, the President might want to go play a round or 20 of golf, and leave the devising of said strategy to some people who are actually concerned about the safety of Americans.

Any strategy Obama might come up with, I’m sure, would be crammed with imaginary red lines, muddy “let me be clear’s,” (as he was to Assad) fictitious “holding accountable’s” (just like Putin), transparently meaningless soaring statements and a lot of wind.

Everyone in the world knows by now that with Obama all they have to do is wait him out and they’ll be just fine. There certainly no reason to take anything he says seriously.

Shouldn’t we all have learned by now? Obama’s all about standing up to and defeating only one country: America.

– xPraetorius

Stealing This From a Response I Wrote In Another Blog


It kinda summed up how I believe about science and God (with some edits). The post to which I responded is here. The blogger is one of my favorites, so she merits long responses like the one below.

Here’s the passage I wrote:

I remember once asking an ophthalmologist: “Who is really color-blind? Those of us with normal sight, or those we classify as ‘color-blind?’” He replied that there’s just no way to tell. The “science” that provides the definition is based only on the conclusion that the perceptions of the vast majority — who are defined as not color-blind — are correct. It’s absolutely possible that the “color-blind” are really perceiving colors correctly, and that everyone else is not.

Thus you have a vast body of “settled science” — rock-solid beliefs possessed by billions around the world — based on what is possibly an incorrect, but popular, corner-stone premise.

Furthermore, the eye-doctor said, if we wished, we could define “color” and “colors” based purely on the perceptions of the color-blind if we wished, and that would have every bit as much validity as what we have now. We then could turn that into “settled science,” if we so desired.

Apparently there is quite a bit out there that is called “settled science” that is purely subjective. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the idea that “science is the be-all and end-all as far as conclusive proof is concerned” is just a silly notion, and no real scientist — of which I’m one — believes it… except maybe when applying for grant monies.

This desire to “settle” science, ie to stop further inquiry and/or debate is strong. We all want to be “right,” and we all want others to acknowledge our rightness. Especially if we’re applying for grant monies! :)

Think of it: what is the proof even that atoms exist? No one’s ever seen one. Forget the fuzzy IBM pictures, those could have been fabricated in five minutes using PhotoShop. No, we have faith that they exist, because the math is beautifully elegant and seems to work (though it frequently changes) and the idea seems to make sense and the notion that everything is composed of building blocks is compelling (except atoms? Hmmmm…), and the science resulting from our faith in the existence of atoms seems to make sense. However, the actual conclusion that atoms exist is based purely on faith.

In fact, all science is based on nothing more than human observation, human integrity and … faith. That faith rests on a confidence that our human observations are accurate to the necessary degree, and that the observers have faithfully and honestly reported those observations. And then we must have faith that the conclusions drawn from those measurements and observations are correct! To believe the science, in the incredibly competitive world of scientific inquiry and the mad scrambling for funding, is to believe that in the pursuit of those monies, no scientist would ever, not ever, never, never, never fudge, manipulate, or mis-report any of his findings, observations or measurements. Furthermore, it is to believe that every scientist always draws the correct conclusions from his work.

Talk about a leap of faith!

The fact (in which I have faith) that so many scientific conclusions of the near, not-so-near and distant past are being “proven” wrong should give rise to the only obvious conclusion: there is no settled science. Furthermore faith in science is based on wildly shifting sands. Ask yourself: is coffee good for you? You’ll get a different answer from “science” every week. How about eggs?

Climatology, that sexy, oh-so-hot, oh-so-hoppin’, oh-so-current body of “science” is riddled with the corruption that I mentioned above. With manipulation and mis-reporting of measurements, with internal plots to squelch the many dissenting opinions, with e-mail trails loaded with plans to commit scientific fraud, even with temperature measurement devices placed on trees such that they would record temperatures (in the direct sun) up to an average of five degrees higher than the actual ambient temperatures. And all, apparently, in the pursuit of funding.

It would be astonishing if the rest of science were not riddled with the same corruption, especially those branches that are not as sexy and hot as climatology.

None of this discredits science in the least; it simply says that scientists are human too. Not some demi-deities wandering the world in white robes, blessing us with the deeper knowledge they possess. Nope. They’re just blokes like you and me out there trying to make a living… just like you and me.

Even atheists acknowledge God. If they didn’t — think about it — there’d be no, or very few, atheists today. There’d be thousands of atheist suicides every day, until their numbers diminished to very few. Because without God, there’s no reason not to succumb to that impulse that we all experience several (many?) times in our lives when things appear their bleakest. Without faith in Someone greater than we, and if we truly were convinced that there is just nothing afterward, again, there’s no reason not to succumb to the temptation to kill oneself. Yet, suicide — all over the world! — is still an extremely rare phenomenon.

Call it the “survival instinct” all you want, but the man who has banished God from his life, has easily overcome anything resembling a survival instinct.

A guy responded to my response. He said that I was anti-science, and that therefore, my “comment signifies a rejection of common sense and modern science.” And: “Such a broad-based rejection of the foundation of Western Civilization is a clarion call to the personal bias and superstition that plagued humanity’s pre-modern past.”

I disagreed… as follows:

@silence: thanks for your thoughtful comment. I may not have been clear enough, but color-blindness is not the inability to see color, but the perception of some colors as different colors. My dad was color-blind, and I forget which colors he mixed up — red and green maybe — but he saw other colors just fine. Bottom line: he couldn’t describe to me precisely what he saw for red, though he tried for years to.

Also, my friend the ophthalmologist said that my dad’s rods and cones were not defective — just different. He saw colors differently. He saw colors “incorrectly” only because we base everything we do with color on the perceptions of those we don’t define as “color-blind.” Red and green traffic lights, for example.

Yes, scientists “discovered” atoms long ago. Man “discovered” God long ago (the circumstances behind both discoveries differ :) ) … man has still seen neither God nor atoms. Yet, atoms are “settled science,” and God is constantly up for debate. I believe in both, but I admit that I have to have faith to believe in either.

Look at it this way: I could write a very convincing book telling of my discovery, for instance, of the building blocks of atoms. In that book. As I work my way up from these unimaginably tiny things to atoms to larger things, there would be an interface between my fictional “reality” and that believed by most scientists today — just as there is between the atomic world and ours.

That latter interface — the one believed by most scientists — is described elegantly and nicely by a system of formulae and axioms and hypotheses vouchsafed to us by the very scientists who would have us believe in atoms — as, by the way — I do. However, since I don’t have the full body of scientific knowledge necessary to make my sense of the probability that my belief is correct surpass 99.99%, I have to be stuck with that level of confidence — 99.99% — that my belief is correct.

Ask any scientist who studies atoms for a living and he will tell you that his confidence in his beliefs is something like 99.99999999% or thereabouts. No honest scientist will ever tell you that he believes in anything at 100%. Well, the difference between 99.99999999% and 100% is faith.

Back to my hypothetical description of “reality” at the atomic and sub-atomic level: The interface between my level of “understanding” and the atomic level would be perfectly undisprovable. I could even, fairly easily, make equipment that would “prove” my hypothesis by producing pictures and things that show what I want them to show. When I produce such outputs I could point to them and say, “See? See? This shows what I’m talking about!” Others can express skepticism all they want, but they can’t disprove the “science,” — no matter how fraudulent it might be — because they’re unfamiliar with it.

The point: Our — the people’s — belief in the scientific rests on those things I mentioned above: (1) human observation, (2) accurate communication of observations and measurements, (3) human integrity and honesty, (4) a scientist who can communicate his findings effectively(*) and even then (5) faith. Because we can never get to 100%. (**)(***) All that is a very, very tall order, up to which (Winston Churchill is laughing now) the stalwarts of the climatology branch of science, for example, proved unable to stand.

Common sense is a great thing, but the difference between common sense and certainty is, again, faith. Common sense tells me there’s a non-zero chance that I’ll get hit by a meteor when next I exit my residence. Faith allows me to go to the grocery store.

Please don’t misinterpret that I have any disdain for science. Far from it. I love science and respect it, and think it a spectacularly wonderful way to approach that delightful human pursuit: the inquiry into the unknown.

However, as a scientist, I recognize its limitations — all scientists do — and don’t expect more from it than it can deliver. For example, science has never been able to tell us what life is — just to measure it and describe it, but never to tell us what it is, what its nature is, how it comes about, where it comes from. That’s kind of a fundamental thing not to be able to do, no?

Nor has science ever been up to the task of proving or disproving God’s existence. Hmmmm… could the two be related?

As to your last paragraph. Under no circumstances do I reject science or commonsense or any other foundation of Western Civilization. But, if we are going to discuss science and its pluses and minuses, it’s important that we be talking about the same thing. Science is nothing but a structure meant to facilitate inquiry. Nothing more nor less. It has rules and processes and procedures and customs that are all designed, then implemented, by people. People are prone to all the temptations and foibles and distractions of every other human, at every step of the way. In theory, science is a beautiful, pure, pristine, shiny, clean, sparkling tool. In reality science is all too frequently a dirty, mud-caked, twisted, corrupted, slimy, ratty, tattered mess (cf. eg: “climatology” — global warming, climate change, etc.). But it isn’t always that way, and some of the things that come from science are beautiful, and spring from disinterested (not “uninterested”), honest efforts by men of integrity.

I do observe, furthermore, that the most superstitious people I’ve ever encountered have been atheists. I mean like holy mackerel! Over the top superstitious!

(*) And scientists are notoriously ineffective communicators!

(**) Cf, eg: Heisenberg, whose premise was simply: in observing something we act on it and change it.

(***) Which is why, even though there is evidence aplenty to produce a commonsense consensus, René Desartes was reduced to “I think therefore I am,” thereby saying, I can prove me to me, but I can’t prove you to me. To believe in you, he recognized that despite the evidence of all his senses and despite common sense, he still needed faith.

– xPraetorius

This Sums It Up (Part III)


Aaaaaaand… here’s the paragraph referred to in Part II (** blush**).

I plead that I had to go make lunch/breakfast for my 13-year old son, and get my 20-year old daughter with a headache squared away.

Here’s the paragraph:

Now that he has retired from the show and gained a little perspective, Downey comments in “Live from New York,” “I have to say, and even [Al] Franken agrees with me — I’ve talked to him about this — that the last couple seasons of the show were the only two in the show’s history where we were totally like every other comedy show: basically, an arm of the Hollywood Democratic establishment. . . . We just stopped doing anything which could even be misinterpreted as a criticism of Obama.[Editor's note: red emphasis added.]

Yeah, we noticed.

– xPraetorius

Why comedians and ‘SNL’ are shielding President Obama | New York Post


Why comedians and ‘SNL’ are shielding President Obama | New York Post.

or: This Sums It Up (Part II)

A paragraph that sums up what those of us who have been paying attention already have known for a very long time: the comedy industry has completely and utterly ignored the greatest source of material since Og slipped on the banana peel in the family cave.

By the way, this is an indictment of us Conservatives. Surely we could have found something in a man who thinks that there are 57 states, whose supporters think that he’s a “lightworker”(1) and who, without his teleprompter, is an inarticulate, oatmeal-mouthed boob.

One serious problem, I admit, is that when he says something that would produce gales of laughter if said by a Republican President, lots and lots and lots and lots of people die. For a sobering example: Imagine if, as Obama did, George W. Bush had said of ISIS: “We don’t yet have a strategy.”

Maybe the comedians have a point. There’s really not too much funny in that.

– xPraetorius


Notes

(1) By the way, here’s an unintentionally delightful, semi-, kinda-sorta denial of Obama’s status as a “lightworker” from the way, way out-there-in-the-cosmos left. If you can wade through the turgidity and whacked-out nitwittery, you will find delicious passages like this one:

As to Barack Obama being a highly evolved spiritual being that is here to guide the people of the United States, to lead America forward, the evidence does not show this and when one truly looks at the evidence of the actions of the President of the United States one cannot say that they are the actions of an evolved being. The evidence further shows duplicity and deceit, and therefore to wish to have it confirmed, to wish that this Awareness confirms (sic) that the president is one who is the evolved soul that others claim him to be is not that which this Awareness can do.

This Awareness has always said that there is a potential for this man to rise up but he would have to be of great courage, and would have to stand in the face of those who are the controllers and declare himself. He is aware that when he does so his life may well be forfeit, for they have also shown him that should he ever oppose them, should he ever turn on them, that his family would be murdered. His wife, his children, even the family dog, his mother and others close to him would be murdered and that he too would also be killed as a result of his betrayal.

Even the family dog?!? Say it ain’t so!!! I guess the “Awareness” denying Obama his “lightworker” ID card and decoder ring, forgot that Obama’s mother died nearly twenty years ago.

The above, by the way, was in response to this query:

An update from Awareness is requested regarding Obama’s mission as a high level being from the higher dimensions and confirmation that he is in fact such.

<

p style=”text-align:left;”>Wait…The Awareness won’t confirm our beloved leader as a lightworker?

Racist!

This Sums It Up


When Ronald Reagan was President, there was no shortage of comedians poking fun at his supposed “laziness,” his alleged lack of intellectual heft, his “amiable dunciness.”

When George H. W. Bush was President, he practically made Dana Carvey’s career. He was a constant source of mocking, derisive comedy in American pop culture

When Bill Clinton was President, his antics were eminently mockable, and he did come in for a bunch.

George W. Bush was the target of vastly more derisive, vitriolic, abusive, hate-fueled, hateful “comedy” than any other President in history.

Then comes Obama. We need a bunch of new terms for the white glove, cloying, babying treatment of Obama by all aspects of the media, pop culture and academia, but one such term should be something like “Comedy Crickets.”

This is in honor of the deafening silence coming from comedians as they contemplate this latest President.

Jonah Goldberg found someone, Kyle Smith, who summed it up nearly perfectly. Here’s the passage from Smith’s New York Post piece, as it appeared in Goldberg’s (roughly) weekly “news”letter called “The Goldberg File”:

At last, we know the reason why comedy writers don’t make fun of President Obama much.

It turns out the man is completely unmockable.

We learn this from Jim Downey, the longtime “Saturday Night Live” specialist in political japery. “If I had to describe Obama as a comedy project, I would say, ‘Degree of difficulty, 10 point 10,'” the writer says in the expanded new edition of the “SNL” oral history book, “Live from New York.”

“It’s like being a rock climber looking up at a thousand-foot-high face of solid obsidian, polished and oiled,” Downey says. “There’s not a single thing to grab onto — certainly not a flaw or hook that you can caricature. [Al] Gore had these ‘handles,’ so did Bush, and Sarah Palin, and even Hillary had them. But with Obama, it was the phenomenon — less about him and more about the effect he had on other people and the way he changed their behavior. So that’s the way I wrote him.”

Got that? The charter Choom Ganger, confessed eater of dog and snorter of coke. The doofus who thinks the language spoken by Austrians is “Austrian,” that you pronounce the p in “corpsman” and that ATMs are the reason why job growth is sluggish. The egomaniac who gave the queen of England an iPod loaded with his own speeches and said he was better at everything than the people who work for him. The empty suit with so little real-world knowledge that he referred to his brief stint working for an ordinary profit-seeking company as time “behind enemy lines.” The phony who tells everyone he’s from Chicago, though he didn’t live there until his 20s, and lets you know that he’s talking to people he believes to be stupid by droppin’ his g’s. The world-saving Kal-El from a distant solar system who told us he’d heal the planet and cause the oceans to stop rising. The guy who shared a middle name with one of the most hated dictators on earth.

Nope, nothing there to mock. No way to get a grip on this polished, oiled obsidian. So comedy writers didn’t and mostly still don’t. Jim Downey isn’t in dereliction of his comedy duty to take down the high and the mighty, or so he begs you to think. He’s just too obtuse to see Scrooge McDuck quantities of comedy gold when they’re sitting right in front of him.

Ummmmmmmm… yep.

Please note also that Smith noticed, as we have, that Obama is basically a doofus. Not an idiot, just a bright enough guy who’s sailed easily through life, smoking the same intellectual joints that the left who pushed him to the heights where he is now, smoke. A man who faced no prejudice, no significant obstacles on his path to undreamed of power and fortune, nevertheless arrived as a full-fledged member of the Race Grievance Industry.

One realizes, in contemplating Obama, that this is a man who never had an original idea of his own, and who never challenged the received “wisdom” he got from his very left-wing family and friends. A man who is a total stranger to critical thinking.

In other words a doofus. Or, if you prefer, an amiable dunce.

– xPraetorius

Eric Clapton – Somewhere Over The Rainbow HD – YouTube


Eric Clapton – Somewhere Over The Rainbow HD – YouTube.

The best guitar playing I’ve ever heard from Eric Clapton — and I’ve heard a bunch of his playing! — and it lasts for 12 seconds, starting at about 4:20.

This is actually quite a good rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow from someone whose guitar playing I’ve always thought was consistently mediocre at best.

Needless to say, the difference is glaring. Instead of his omnipresent strat, Clapton is playing a beautiful Gibson hollow-body hollow-body electric (an L5?) much better suited to jazz… and to this really nice, jazzy version of the wonderful old song.

–xPraetorius

Emma Jackson, Victim of #Rotherham Rape Gangs: ‘They Like Us Naive’ : The Other McCain


Emma Jackson, Victim of #Rotherham Rape Gangs: ‘They Like Us Naive’ : The Other McCain.

Rotherham (see the essay linked above) is the stain that displays the emptiness, the dishonesty, the sheer fraudulence that is American feminism.

The above-linked essay is terrifically painful and powerful. Read it with this caution: The things you will read about are difficult for any normal person to read.

That this story is still flying under the radar is an additional indictment — as if any more were needed! — of the American left, who continue to own the vast majority of the media.

  • xPraetorius

Metaphors, Parables, and Literal Translations


xPraetorius:

This blogger is consistently profound, witty and readable. I enjoy her blog immensely.

Originally posted on See, there's this thing called biology...:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Something that keeps coming up, mostly from talking with atheists, is this idea that the bible is not historical fact. God cannot be proven therefore He doesn’t exist. People always want proof, verifiable facts, non-testimonial evidence, realism, objective reality, absolute truth. Peer reviewed science papers!

It makes me laugh, not in mockery, in envy! Envy, with a lemon twist of cynicism on the side and a bit of gallows humor. See, I don’t even live in that world. I can hardly even comprehend what it must be like. I don’t mean that unkindly, it’s simply that I have learned over and over again that our own perceptions of reality, are not reality. We as humans, don’t even have the wherewithal to understand reality, even if all the facts were laid out before us. This concept…

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How to Fix Detroit


People, pundits and politicians have been noodling this one over for a while. Detroit is a bombed-out, decaying, dangerous-as-ebola, former city. Now little more than a war zone patrolled by rival gangs of roving scum, there are “nice” parts in what remains, but they’re firmly walled-off from the smoking, desolate ruins of the rest of the city.

What to do, what to do?

Well, if you were to glance through photos of a city that had recently undergone a terrible earthquake, or powerful hurricane or tornado, a tsunami maybe, or had suffered a fire, or even a firestorm (like Dresden in World War II) on a massive scale, and if you then were to compare those photographs with snapshots of Detroit, you wouldn’t see much of a difference.

What do we in America do in those cases? Simple: we declare the city a major disaster area, rush in and re-establish order, clean up the place, relocate the people, and start re-building.

What’s the difference between Detroit and a city that has just been ravaged by a natural disaster? Well, really, nothing — and everything.

There’s no difference in what really counts: the effects on the people and businesses living and working there.

However, there are major differences between Detroit and a city fallen victim to a hurricane or flood or earthquake.

First, and foremost: the hurricane, earthquake, fire and flood happen, then are in the past. Generally in the space of a week or so. At that point the challenge is simply to begin cleaning up the wreckage.

Second: It’s valid to say that the citizens of Detroit chose to bring the destruction of Detroit upon themselves, and that is the major difference. It almost makes it valid to say: They did it to themselves, let them clean it up themselves. But not quite.

There are innocent people and children in Detroit, and it is not fair in any sense of the word to leave them to the roving bands of beasts that control so much of the city.

So, how do we fix Detroit?

Well, the first thing that must be done is to identify the nature of the disaster. When you have a hurricane bearing down on you, you know what it is, you know what you have to do, you know what you face, and you even call it by name! It’s so much easier to address a threat if you can wrap your brain around what it is exactly that imperils you.

The second thing you need to do is to recognize the nature of a disaster. For a hurricane, we know, for instance, that they come around seasonally, they last a couple of days at most, and then they disappear. They bring a lot of wind, and there’s usually the possibility of shortages, rioting, looting, homelessness, soaring crime rates and vandalism.

After having identified the nature of the threat, you can (1) prepare for it better, and (2) deal with its aftermath more effectively.

Ok, let’s identify the nature of the threat. That’s pretty simple: Detroit’s government has been, and continues to be, a gigantic, bloated, sucking, oozing, putrescent, colossal leech on the city. It hasn’t been an honest, responsible executor of the powers supposedly lent to it by the people for many decades.

Detroit’s government has been riddled for decades with self-serving corrupt, mafia-style criminality, with mendacious self-enriching, merciless, gangland-style petty tyrants, from top to botton. For decades! All of them Democrats. All of them.

The government of Detroit has been 100%, lock, stock and barrel, in the hands of the Democrat Party for more than six decades. It’s time that we were honest with ourselves and with our fellow citizens suffering in Detroit. It’s time to declare the election of Democrats to positions of power a natural disaster.

Think about it. You could drop powerful bombs on various parts of Detroit over sixty plus years, or you could simple drop one Democrat into the big chair in the mayor’s office. Either way, you will have crushed Detroit just as effectively.

A sad and simple truth: the most powerful hurricane ever experienced in the history of the world would do far less damage to Detroit, kill, impoverish and displace fewer people, ruin fewer people’s lives and futures, bring less despair, than that (D) next to the name of Detroit’s mayor has done over the past sixty plus years.

Okay, what’s the nature of the threat? Well, Democrats, like hurricanes, bring a lot of wind, and there’s a near certainty of shortages, rioting, looting, homelessness, soaring crime rates and vandalism.

Now that we’ve identified the nature of the threat: elected Democrats, we can effectively prepare for the eventuality that more Democrats will get elected, and we can put other important measures in place.

For example: Insurance companies should offer “Democrat Insurance.” If you don’t purchase it, then you’re on your own when some elected Democrat impoverishes you. I would think that Democrat Insurance would be mandatory in any American city, just as flood insurance is de facto obligatory on the coasts.

You might want to buy plywood for the windows and doors, to cover them until the Democrat blows over. If you live in an area with a high frequency of elected Democrats, you should consider moving to a safer location.

A good idea might be to purchase extra stores of food to give you a buffer against the inevitable widespread impoverishment that always accompanies the election of Democrats.

Most importantly, though, if you see an elected Democrat, turn slowly away, and depart the area as quickly as possible. They typically don’t bite, but they do spread disease, poverty crime and despair wherever they go.

If you, heaven forbid, are to come into contact with an elected Democrat, immediately wash the affected area with soap and warm water for at least ten minutes, thoroughly scrubbing any areas that sustained prolonged contact with the Democrat.

Most importantly, do not under any circumstances feed the Democrats. All elected Democrats always bite the hand that feeds them. Look at Detroit.

If you were to poll any sane person: “Would you prefer to live in a place in the direct path of a powerful hurricane — like Katrina, say — or where the Democrat Party owns the city government in perpetuity?” The sane person says, every time, “Give me the hurricane! Any day of the week!”

He knows that he faces vastly less risk of the loss of his property, his savings, his job, and his life, from the hurricane.

And the hurricane has the common decency to go away after having done its damage.

– xPraetorius

NPR Watch – ‘No One Burning Issue!’ – 8/28/14


In Which NPR Gets It Wrong — Again

(Surprise! Surprise!)


I was listening to National Public Radio yesterday on the ride home from work. I have to admit, it’s sometimes flabbergasting how slack-jawed, drooling, over-the-top-and-around-the-bend stooooooooooopid they can be!

The anchorette, Melissa Block I think — I can’t remember the names of who was interviewing whom (I do have to pay attention to the road too, ya know!) — was interviewing a “political correspondent” of theirs. She posed a question like: “So what’s the hot issue out there this election cycle?” The question’s not important (it is, but we can’t get to that in this piece), but the response was. It went something like: “Well, surprisingly enough, there’s no one burning issue out here.” The anchorette and the political correspondent went on to use this premise to make the case that there might be some Republican gains in the House and Senate, but no great shakes; no “wave,” as in 2010, when there was a massive Republican tsunami.

But, wait just a sec. “No one burning issue!?!?!?

What in the world has that dude been paying attention to these past five plus years?!?

Remember the old saying: “When everybody’s special, then nobody’s special?” Well, it’s true.

Likewise, I guess, when all the issues are engulfed in raging conflagrations, then no single one of them is more important — or “burning” — than any other.

Let’s see, let’s see…

• The economy, how’s that doing? Everyone out there sleeping snugly, and comfortably, and worry-free about the economy?

• How’re things in Russia and Ukraine?

• Are you happy that Iran is well down the road to having nuclear weapons?

• Are you just glad that North Korea has nuclear arms? With the acquiescence of the United States/Obama?

• How’s that Libyan civil war doing?

• How’s Syria?

• Checked in on Iraq lately? How’s that little “ISIS” thing panning out? Should be just fine, right? I mean, they’re just the “jayvees,” right? Right?

• How’s unemployment?

• How’s labor force participation? Real unemployment? How’s that? Are you okay with where we are with that?

• If you’re a Conservative, as, oh, 100 million or so of you are, are you okay with the fact that the most abusive agency in American government is squelching your speech? If you’re a liberal, are you okay with that? If so, you’re not a ‘liberal,’ you’re a wannabe tyrant, and you’re a problem.

• Are you just okay with the fact that the National Security Agency has a copy of every e-mail you ever sent, and knows about every phone call you ever made?

• Are you just peachy with the fact that the government gave guns and money to Mexican drug lords?

• Are you okay with the Pigford scandal?

• How’s things shakin’ with race relations? Remember “the post-racial President?” Uhhhhh… mebbe not so much.

• The Obama Administration lied transparently to your face, looking you in the eyes, and now you don’t have the same insurance or doctor you had before. If, that is, you even have insurance or a doctor. Remember: “If you like your plan you can keep your plan! Period!” Are you just fine with that?

• Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s efforts — or maybe it’s better said: lack of effort, her incompetence and her perverse desire to put her own ambitions ahead of the lives of American citizens — a U.S. ambassador and three other great Americans were murdered in coldest blood in Libya. Now Clinton — Dirty Hillary Clinton — is considered a major candidate for the freakin’ Presidency! Remember the famous “three a.m. phone call?” She got it, and she blew it, and she could be your next President. You okay with that?

I guess the NPR “reporter” was correct in a way. There isn’t one burning issue, there are a freakin’ thousand of ‘em!

We said it in these pages recently: Can you name one thing — just one — that’s better off in the entire world for Barack Obama’s having been President? Just one. Someone? Crickets?

Nope. I can’t either.

Republicans should pose that question — is anything anywhere in the world better because of Obama? — over and over and over and over and over and over again this election cycle? Then, they should pick from the list above as needed. Or just wordsmith it a bit, and read it. That list, and that question should spawn a million radio and television commercials.

Ready for the one word you will never — never ever, not ever, not once, not one teeny, tiny timeever hear from the Democrat side of the upcoming campaign? It’s the word that Republicans should hang around the neck of every single Democrat running for elective office in America today. The word: malaise.

America is in a bone-deep, crushing, stultifying, foggy, enervating, wearying … malaise.

In these pages before, I’ve said that we should call the Democrat Party the Detroit Party. That we should hang that city — that they’ve owned, lock, stock and barrel for more than six decades — around their necks, until it drags them down into the electoral depths.

I still think the GOP should do that, but I think they should also mix it up a bit with “the Malaise Party.” Use the terms judiciously, but get them into the national political vocabulary.

Why?

Because they’re accurate. Calling the Democrats “the Detroit Party” or “the Malaise Party” is a bit like calling Shaquille O’Neal tall.

– xPraetorius

Corruption in Connecticut


I heard this on National Public Radio’s Connecticut affiliate station yesterday morning.

Not that it’s a surprise, really. Connecticut has been ruled by the Democrat Party, almost alone, for more than six decades.

Every politician’s dream is of nice, easy elections in which his main opponent’s support is divided between the rival and an ideologically similar, third-party candidate.

In Connecticut, it appeared this go-round — the gubernatorial election of 2014 — as if both major party candidates would have a third-party gadfly siphoning votes from them.

The Republican, Tom Foley, a former ambassador, would have to beat back both the incumbent, the ridiculously-named Democrat Dannel Malloy and third-party candidate Joe Visconti, an anti-gun control, single-issue challenger.

The Democrat — the afore-mentioned ridiculously named Dannel Malloy — would face both Foley and one Jonathan Pelto, a hard-left doofus who’s been around forever, and is convinced that the nearly as hard-left Malloy is simply not hard-left enough.

Both third-party candidates, Visconti and Pelto, presented enough petition signatures, per Connecticut election law, to appear on the November ballot, but then — ** gasp! ** — registrars of voters around the state began to challenge Pelto’s signatures!

Starnge, obscure challenges. Were these really valid signatures? Were the signers really registered voters where they signed the petitions? Things like that.

The challenges were many, varied and detailed. They prompted the very obvious conclusion that was the crux of the NPR feature: to investigate all these things for all of Pelto’s thousands of signatures would take a heckuva long time. And the process to prove the validity of the investigation itself would take well beyond the November election.

Needless to say, that means that Pelto will not appear on the November ballot to take votes from the ridiculously-named incumbent Democrat Dannel Malloy.

In the same “news” story, the anchorette, one Diane Orson, mentioned off-handedly that Visconti’s petitions had sailed through the the Secretary of the State’s office without the teentsiest, weentsiest, littlest speck of a hint of a hitch.

Now, you have to realize that Malloy is in some trouble in the state where he’s been Governor for the past three and a half years. Connecticut is the “sick man” of America. Our state, due to an overabundance of Democrats for decades, has always lagged behind the rest of America. If America is in recovery, it comes late and less strongly to Connecticut. If America is heading downward economically, Connecticut gets hit early and hard. It’s because our Connecticut Democrats are infected with the same malady as the national Democrat Party: economic and social retardation.

Malloy has raised taxes and brought about conditions deeply hostile to businesses and employment. Our part in the so-called national recovery has been minimal. We’re still deep in the doldrums here in CT, and Malloy keeps boasting about how well we’re doing. Needless to say, his acolytes at NPR echo the sentiment.

But Connecticut residents know better (oddly enough — because typically we don’t and we continue to elect nitwits like Malloy), and recent polls have shown the Republican Foley with a sizable and growing lead.

It appears as though Malloy’s only hope to win re-election is to steal the election. Now, it appears, Malloy has made it so that the Republican’s vote will be split between the Republican candidate and the anti-gun control candidate.

You know what I’m betting happened with the Pelto signature kerfuffle?
Someone from the Malloy campaign went up to the hard-left candidate Pelto and said something like: “You know you’re not going to win the governorship, what’s it gonna take to get you to leave the race? How about if we pay you a bunch of money, and make it appear as though it’s just a silly, paperwork/signatures/technicality thing, will that do it?”

Pelto’s response — because he’s a hard-leftist and a Democrat, therefore he’s corrupt: “Heck yeah!”

– Praetorius

NPR Watch (8/26/14)


In Which NPR Unwittingly Shows the Utter Failure of Liberalism

Yep. I was listening to National Public Radio again on the ride home from work. On comes another of their ever-so-deep installments concerning men and masculinity and everything guys in America. Only this time, it’s all about being a black dude in America.

They went out and found what was, I’m sure they thought, a representative sampling of black American men and asked them what “being a black man in America is all about.”

See if you can predict what they found.

Yep. To a man, it was all about how shamefully, shockingly horrible it is to be a black man in America. Here are some of the quotes that I gleaned from the NPR web site:

First:

We’re smart, we’re educated, you know we have hopes we have dreams we have goals, we’re family-oriented…  [Editor's Note: Maybe it was just me, and my impression was colored by the rest of the responses, but this young man (by the sound of his voice) seemed really defensive while saying this. The only appropriate reaction to his quote is: "Except for the hugely disproportionate number of black men who are not educated, who are not family-oriented (more than 60% of all black babies are born out of wedlock), who may be smart, but have done nothing to back up that claim."]

Followed by:

 It means struggle and strife. Finding work, finding housing, trying to make it in a very racist country.

And:

Racism is very sophisticated now. I mean it’s all sort of disguised, but they still let you know you’re black. [Editor's Note: ** sigh ** that good ol' invisible racism that only black people can see!]

Then:

… I realized I was a black man when I had to fight for certain rights, you know to get a job…

And:

I’ve been a victim of racial profiling, in Brooklyn actually so I was going to the bodega to get an Arizona Iced Tea, my favorite Arizona Iced Tea with mango when I was approached by five white officers, Five … and me 5’8″ and 138 pounds, and they proceeded to handcuff me and take me down to the precinct. I asked [Editor's Note: He said "axed." I've been correcting such little things throughout.] why, they didn’t tell me why. To actually experience that? I lost hope, ’cause it’s like you know, these people are here to protect us, but they’re killing us.  [Editor's Note: The truth? Other black men are killing you -- at an obscene rate. You need to address that no matter what the situation in white America is. I didn't say this first. Martin Luther King, Jr. did.]

And:

Put yourself in my shoes. Imagine you’re walking down the street and someone crosses the street just because you’re a black man. Imagine you walking down the street and a police officer stops you and frisks you just because you’re a black man, or just because of how you’re dressed. Imagine that being your son, imagine that being your nephew, your uncle, your brother. Imagine that and then you know try to process what we go through. ‘Cause, like I said… it’s tough, it’s tough.

And, finally:

Being a black man myself and I’m living by this advice, ummm stay in the fight…

Every single black man this guy found had nothing but the same complaints we’ve all heard before. NPR’s picture of black American men, as nothing more than sullen, complaining, hostile, bitter, resentful people is — read it well: deeply racist. There are black men, and women, who have succeeded in America. And not, “despite the odds,” or because they were “twice as good as any white man,” or because “they overcame huge obstacles.”  No, black success is because America is American. And all that is American allows anyone and everyone who (1) works hard, (2) speaks well, (3) gets an education, (4) presents himself more of less normally, and (5) gets along well with others to succeed. What American-ness says to these people is simple: You do your bit to work hard, and I’ll do my bit to avoid putting unnecessary obstacles in your path to success.

It wasn’t always that way for Black Americans, but it has been that way for a very long time now.

NPR apparently thought that there was not a black man in America who could say a single, solitary, blessed positive thing about America. Phenomenally accomplished, brilliant, genuinely, authentically, actually black men like Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Jason Riley, Charles Payne, and hundreds of thousands (and growing!) more just aren’t black according to NPR.

But, but, but how can that be?

Liberalism has owned race relations in America for decades! For longer than a large majority of people — black or white — have even been alive. Put another way: A large majority of Americans have known only a liberal interpretation, only liberal media presentations, only liberal pop culture expressions, only a liberal tsunami of regulations, rules, laws, guidelines, corporate rules, speech codes…liberal everything concerning race and race relations, their entire lives.

How could NPR think that their piece represented a true picture of “black men in America,” as they said? Simple: they confessed, without actually saying it,  that everything liberal has been an abject, total, abysmal failure.

In the 1950’s the economically fastest growing segment of American society was… black people. That all came to an abrupt halt with Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society,” and welfare, and all its thousands of offshoot programs, and practically hasn’t budged since. Why? Simple: If you offer a population this deal: I’ll keep you at a certain level of subsistence if you don’t work, and if you produce only children, then a certain, non-zero portion of the country will take you up on the bargain.

Remember “Welfare Generations?” As more and more working people see more and more of their money going to support people sitting at home watching increasingly bigger televisions and buying $200 sneakers, they begin to despair and decide to join them.

Trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars have been transferred from mostly white people to disproportionately black people (though the majority went to poor whites) At approximately 13% of the population, black people have received more than 40% of all freebies the government has handed out. And this is where we are now?

It would be difficult to find a more eloquent exposé of the wretched failure of liberalism than what NPR has unwittingly provided for us today.

But, wait!

There is hope. At the end of the web site presentation of this miserable, pathetic, one-sided, myopic, pinhole-vision, useless (here) feature, were some priceless comments, reproduced below. Others are catching on to the fact that NPR is over-the-top obsessed with race, and with trying to convince their listeners that the America of 1950 is the America of today. Here are the comments:

First some red meat:

Funny how NPR wants to have a “conversation” about race. .. then deletes every comment they don’t like because they say it’s racist!!!!!!!!!

NPR IS A JOKE! WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN TODAY TO DEFUND THEM NOW!!!!!!!! [Editor's Note: Two big thumbs up! The liberal propaganda machine that is National Public Radio receives lots and lots of your money and mine from the government. In America, that is a national disgrace. ]

Next:

I am not quilty of racisim…I am guilty of judging a book, so to speak. If I see a young man, black, white, Latio… in very baggy pants holding them up and he walks, a side hat and a swagger that looks like he has a hip out of place, my mind jumps to the conclusion that he’s up to no good. If I see a young man, black, white, Latio in clean pants that fit well with the right size shirt and a regular baseball cap, I assume he is a safe person to be around. For me, and I think many Americans, it’s not the color we judge it’s the attitude and the appearence. [Editor's Note: Oh, my goodness! Where did I hear this before?!? Oh, yeah. Right here. Life, and everything and everyone in it, does have context.]

Another one, short and sweet:

Oh no . . . not THAT again! Will you guys EVER stop pretending that nothing has changed since 1959?

This guy’s caught on to them:

FIVE stories on race in today’s show alone.

Same guy, a post or two later. Where have we heard this before? Oh, yeah. Right here.

NPR is absolutely besotted with coverage of race. It’s three, four or more stories in every show. It’s excessive. It’s making NPR into a parody of liberalism. It’s too much. Please stop!  [Editor's Note: I think I've even shouted these very words at the radio.]

Finally, speaking truth to NPR:

I am very disappointed in this selection of comments from black men in America. The only view reflected in this bite was of the oppressed, underprivileged, and victimized (whether real or perceived) painting a very skewed view, doing harm to all blacks in America. The interviewer obviously picked only one strata of black man. There are LOTS of successful, educated and accomplished black men who could have been and should have been interviewed, men who have risen above circumstance and provide a victorious voice in the discussion. If you want to truly represent what it means to be a man in America, in this case, a black man in America, please present a broader, and more true picture or title your bit “what it’s like to be a black man on the L.A.. streets”  [Editor's Note: Bingo!]

– xPraetorius

Heaven Help Us All


Item: Our relations with Russia are at a new low. Worst ever since the Cold War. Russia is run by Vladimir Putin, who all indications suggest is a cold, cruel, ambitious, opportunistic dastard. Relations should be at a new low with scum like Putin. However, we still have to look at the reality of the situation and recognize that they have nuclear arms — lots of them.

Item: China is rattling sabers in the Pacific and South Pacific — a lot as Japan did before World War II. China has warned us to “keep our distance.”

Item: the Middle East is disintegrating before our eyes. Tyrants are being replaced either by incompetent fools (Iraq) or fanatical, sub-human monsters (Syria), with all indications being that the fanatical sub-human monsters will unseat the incompetent fools in Iraq.

Item: The situation around the world eerily resembles the situation before World War II.

Item: All the Islamic scum are gunning for us. There are indications that there are hundreds of these drooling, slack-jawed, brain-deprived, knuckle-dragging sub-human savages here in the United States already. Not caring whom they murder, not caring whether they die in the act of murdering. To call them rabid dogs is to be unfair to rabid dogs.

Item: Russia, China, North Korea, et al, are also gunning for us. We’re at the top of the heap. The most advanced, prosperous, inclusive, egalitarian, generous, big-hearted, powerful, creative, productive society history has ever seen…of course they’re gunning for us! They’re primitive, backward, frequently pre-industrial, agrarian, societies, that have been mostly primitive and backward for millennia! This includes even the “super-powers” Russia and China. Go into the countryside outside the modern big cities, and you find the same conditions as hundreds of years ago. Of course they’re gunning for us. They have a deep-set understanding — whether true or not — that they’re inadequate to the task of producing a real society as in America. What to do if you’re poor and figure you have no prospects of not being poor? Bring down the rich, of course!


Who’s overseeing our response to all this from Washington, D.C.?

Barack Obama — the man whose word means absolutely nothing. The man whose feckless weakness, whose dishonesty and blinkered, ideological response to everything, whose thin-skinned, prickly immaturity and lackadaisical detachment have hugely contributed to — caused? — this increasingly desperate situation. Does anyone think that the situation in Russia, China, with ISIS, Iran, North Korea and the rest would be in this kind of shambles if there were a clear-eyed, strongly, pro-American President in place?

Does anyone honestly think that anything in the world is any better off for Barack Obama having been President? Anything at all?

We’ve said it before in these pages: When the “international community” was rooting for Obama in the 2008 election, it was not because they thought his victory would be in America’s best interests.

It was because they wanted a weaker America. By all indications, they achieved their goal. In spades. A clearer example of: “Be careful what you wish for” would be difficult to find.

Everyone — bar none — views Obama as an ideologically blinkered, dim-bulb, thin-skinned, detached lightweight. There’s a sad truth with which everyone agrees: the country is equally poorly-served whether Obama is on the golf course — a place he retreats to almost obsessively — or at work.

Last question: Does anyone honestly think that if a clear-eyed, pro-American President were in place, all these sabers would be rattling? Of course not! In fact, what would be happening is that the world would be a lot better off, a lot safer and more prosperous, and the “international community” would be whining that we need someone like Barack Obama in the White House.

– xPraetorius

NPR Watch – More NPR Nitwittery, or: Words Mean Things (8/22/14)


As you know I’m National Public Radio’s anti-fan. NPR is the most full-of-themselves network out there. They bring self-satisfied smugness to heights never even remotely achieved, even by the likes of the hyper-bombastic Peter Jennings, Walter Cronkite or others.

Contrasted with NPR’s rock-solid, dim-bulb mediocrity, and those regular moments when they prove they have no idea what they’re talking about, their over-the-top superiority complex can be really funny, which makes for a tolerable listen on the way to and from work.

Plus, I can say perfectly truthfully that I listen to the opposition media — regularly.

The morons who say things like, “Oh, you listen to ‘FAUX’ News,” indict themselves, indicating thereby that they don’t listen to FOX News and therefore, don’t get their information from varied news sources and perspectives.

But I digress…

NPR is frequently laughable, but they’re even more frequently infuriating. Especially when they misuse the word: “execute.” As in: “ISIS ‘executed’ journalist James Foley by beheading him.”

No, the goons of ISIS didn’t “execute” Foley. They murdered him. In cold blood, as cold-blooded, bloodthirsty, sub-human, drooling, half-witted goons do. If they’d “executed” Foley, they would have charged him with a crime according to a well-known set of legal precedents set down in the form of laws, found him guilty of some crime for which the punishment was death, and “executed” him. The goons did none of that. They just didn’t like Foley because he was an American.

The goons murdered Foley, and in so doing, committed a war crime. They did not execute him.

What a shame when people, like those who work for NPR, who are supposed to know what words mean and who are supposed to be somewhat literate and educated, misuse even basic words, in such important matters as the life and death of Americans.

Update: I’ve heard the word mis-used on all the networks, even the usually reliable FOX News, who typically can be counted on to use words well.

– xPraetorius

Bumper Sticker Of The Day…


Bumper Sticker Of The Day….

Had to re-blog this. It’s from a wonderful WordPress blogger who tells us to makeaneffort.

He’s always worth a read… I’m making my way through his archives and enjoying myself thoroughly. He’s trenchant and incisive, but best of all he has a quick, and versatile wit.

 

– xPraetorius

B. Lagrène S. Luc P. Catherine C. Escoudé “Sweet Marciac” – YouTube


Philippe Catherine

via B. Lagrène S. Luc P. Catherine C. Escoudé “Sweet Marciac” – YouTube.

I’ve jammed with this guy too — Philippe Catherine. It was in Paris in 1981, and we had a great time! He was as much a gentleman as a great guitarist. He’s the guy on the left in the foursome.

You can tell he’s a nice guy in the very brief interview at about 3:15. Philippe says, “I played with Biréli (Lagrène) in a festival at Frankfurt. He was about 14 years old, and he was small while his guitar was big.”

– xPraetorius

Birelli Lagrene & Al Di Meola & Larry Coryell -“Super Guitar Trio” – YouTube


Birelli Lagrene & Al Di Meola & Larry Coryell -“Super Guitar Trio” – YouTube.

This is just a lot of fun! I’ve jammed with the guy on the left.

“The guy on the left” — kind of a casual way to refer to the great and wonderful Larry Coryell.

– xPraetorius

Almost Everyone Wants the Policeman to Go Free In Ferguson (Part II)


Here are two more people who wholeheartedly want Darren Wilson to go free.

Why?

Because these two are addicted to their own imaginary victimhood. More importantly, they want, they crave, excuses for failure. They demonstrated it more than conclusively in numerous exchanges with our writers in the past.

They’re dyed-in-the-wool racists, and they need a steady stream of excuses — such as Ferguson — to maintain their reactionary, backward states-of-mind.

They are Brotha Cryin’ Wolf and Abagond, two race addicts and pawns of the Race Grievance Industry.

Brotha Cryin’ Wolf in particular — a real sheep in wolf’s clothing — he loves these incidents because they allow him to complain and whine about his imaginary “oppression.”

Poor Abagond, though, is just a guy stuck in the 1960’s, completely unaware that time and events have utterly passed him by.

– xPraetorius

The Media and the Mob | National Review Online


The Media and the Mob | National Review Online.

Want to know what’s going on in Ferguson? As usual, Thomas Sowell says it perfectly.

Well worth the read.

– xPraetorius

Suckers | National Review Online


Suckers | National Review Online.

A trenchant, to-the-point blog post by the great Kevin Williamson in National Review.

Leaves you echoing Williamson’s sentiment entirely.

– xPraetorius

Observations


Ferguson:


• Face it: Ferguson is nothing more than an excuse for the Race Grievance Industry — in the form of the rogue’s gallery of Sharpton, Jackson, Holder — to go out and fan the flames of racial resentment. They need to keep race resentment simmering whenever they can, in order to remain relevant and rich.

• There probably was no racial component whatsoever to the shooting of Michael Brown, but the RGI will still fabricate a mountain of seething racism on the tiniest shred of insubstantial, speculative “evidence.”

• Even more, the fact that this shred of evidence is overwhelmed by a tsunami of contradictory evidence escapes the notice of these race pushers.

• Obama is dispatching Eric Holder to Ferguson. Ferguson = fire. Holder = gasoline. Dispatching Eric Holder to Ferguson says clearly that Obama wants to keep race resentment as alive as he possibly can. Is anyone really surprised at that? Obama’s along-time card-carrying member, and leader, of the Race Grievance Industry.

A simple truth about the very concept of racism: I could go up to a black person at whom I was really ticked off and shout, “You f’ing n-word!” That would have no meaning whatsoever concerning the condition of racism in America. Furthermore, it wouldn’t even mean I was a racist… only that I’d momentarily lost my cool, flipped my lid. If I had a habit of recourse to such racially-charged insults, then — and only then, you might be able to conclude that I was a racist.

• See this essay here. Everyone, except possibly the media, wants Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop, to go free. You heard it here. They  all want him to go free… for various reasons, but that’s what they all want. The RGI is, after all, composed of race addicts.

Rick Perry


• If this “indictment” goes any further than the very preliminary steps of the judicial process, it will be hard to avoid the conclusion that the Democrat Party has cadres of stormtrooper attorneys out there whose sole focus is to bring down high-profile Republicans — whether or not they’ve done anything wrong.

• This is the same jurisdiction as the infamous Ronnie Earle, the corrupt pol/DA who brought down Tom DeLay with a spurious indictment. Did you ever notice how this happens only to Republicans? Ted Stevens of Alaska, Tom DeLay, now Rick Perry. All found to have committed no wrongdoing whatsoever, but long after their careers had been destroyed.

Poverty


• The biggest obstacle to getting out of poverty are all the regulations, and bureaucracy and hurdles and fees and costs associated with simply trying to stay afloat in Connecticut/America. I make a good income. Somewhere in the top 10% of income earners. I have two kids. The court system imposes on me that I support them as well as my drunken ex-wife, who lives off the “child support” money that I give her (she drinks it) and other illicit sources of income. As a result, I pay for child support, while my children live with me — so I pay twice. My ex is supposed to pay for half of it all. She’s never paid anything so that she’s in arrears in that regard to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. In the past nearly nine years since my divorce, I’ve paid her more than $60,000. Since my children live with me, that’s their medical, dental and vision attention, that’s their vacations, their leisure activities, their clothing, food and normal fun stuff. It’s their education, automobiles, insurances, their birthdays, Thanksgivings and Christmases. That’s the family cars — necessary because my daughter is in college and in the Army — all paid as “child support” to my ex-wife, but used by her to buy and drink magnum after magnum after magnum after magnum of wine. Seven days a week, 365 days a year. My lawyer says I shouldn’t take my ex to court, because in CT, the court system almost automatically finds in favor of the woman — even a deadbeat, drunken, freeloader like my ex.

Or, put another way, as a result of all that, I can’t give my kids regular medical, dental or vision care, without pushing off the potential purchase of the car that I absolutely need — my Jeep has 270,000 miles on it and is on its last wheels — to continue to work at my well-paying job. Furthermore, I can’t afford all the fees — registration, insurance, vehicle emissions — that I need to pay to keep my current dying car legal, so I’m constantly worried that I’ll get pulled over and have to pay a fine that I also can’t afford. And I have a good, high-skilled, well-paying job!

The really poor have it a lot worse. They can’t afford a legal car, so they’re either walking, or driving illegally, like me, or they’re on a bike, or a bus to get to the locations where they get food and other “services.” If they’re working, it’s at low-skilled jobs, and they can’t afford to get the credentials necessary to obtain skills that would give them a shot at a better life. Nor do they even know what credentials they should obtain to get a good job! In Obama’s America, the social compact — you work hard, and you’ll find a job — is nearly dead. I sure couldn’t tell them. My field — Information Technology — is lucrative enough, but I’ve been through an even dozen layoffs. Would I advise someone to go into IT? No way. Even if I were to advise a poor person to go into IT — or nursing, or law — at the end of each month, they have nothing in any accounts anywhere, no time to make any extra money, or even get free training, and they’ve barely kept their families fed and a roof over their heads.

Frankly, I’m not surprised when the poor just give it up and say, “The heck with it, I’ll just live off government services for the rest of my life.” They shouldn’t do that, but I’m not surprised when they do.

National Public Radio (NPR)


This morning the local Connecticut NPR affiliate station ran a promo for a locally-produced show called “Where We Live.” On the promo, the announcer, one John Dankosky, announced that they were going to explore a study that found that “poverty causes stress, and changes the way we think.”

Seriously? Who wasted one thin dime on that “study?!?” Oh, that’s right: it was NPR itself! Morons! Was there really anyone out there concerned that the poor were under-stressed, and that they thought exactly the same way as the more affluent?

Sometimes these NPR droids seem so incredibly stupid. ‘Course, I haven’t listened to the feature, and likely won’t have a chance to. Could be simply that the promo was a stupid as a Connecticut leftist talking about, about… as a Democrat talking. Oh, that’s right. I forgot. It’s NPR: It was a Connecticut leftist talking.

Update: I listened to the feature as I drove to pick up my daughter at college. It was as predictably, stupidly predictable and stupid as you might imagine. Roughly a half-hour of stating not only the obvious, but the really obvious, the howlingly, shriekingly, over-the-top-and-out-the-back-door obvious, the UUUUUHHHH-DUH-HEY! obvious. Using typical oh-so pseudo-intellectual NPR-speak that makes them sound like even greater numbskulls.

It was that dumb.

Yes, I admit it, I’m in a bit of a peevish mood tonight.

Still, it was that dumb.

The Middle East


• ISIS, ISIL, IS — whatever • Hamas • Hezbollah • Assad • Baghdadi • Syria • Sunni • Shi’ites • Palestinians • Maliki • Iran

  • what a rogues gallery of slack-jawed, slope-headed, drooling, spittle-dripping, brainless, vicious, mad-as-rabid-dogs, insane, IQ-deprived, sub-human, inhuman scum!
  • Ahhh, Islam! What a sweet, and peaceful, and tranquil, and calming, and happiness-bringing, and prosperity-giving, and kind, and generous, and benevolent, and welcoming influence it’s been in the Middle East!
  • What is it about the Middle East that produces these freakin’ vermin that look vaguely like humans?
  • What is it about the Middle East that produced freakin’ Islam?!? When will people realize that, like socialism, the disease is the ideology, not its mindless, ovine, IQ-of-a-cinder-block followers who’d follow a ham sandwich if it were charismatic enough.
  • As Henry Kissinger once remarked during the Iran-Iraq War: “Too bad they can’t all lose.”

– xPraetorius

Almost Everyone Wants the Policeman to Go Free In Ferguson


They all want either (1) no charges files, or (2) if charges are filed, they want a not guilty verdict.

• The Race pushers — Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder — want it. What better way for them to keep the fires of race resentment burning bright, and the money flowing into their bank accounts?

• The looters want it, because it would be another excuse to get more free stuff.

• The New Black Panther Party and similar assorted goons in the Race Grievance Industry (the RGI) want it for the same reasons as the race pushers and the looters.

• The cops want it because they don’t want one of theirs actually to be guilty of murder.

• The low-information citizens currently rioting in the streets of Ferguson, MO before learning what actually happened, want it so they can feel as if their low-information biases are confirmed.

Remember, these are people rioting, and looting, and throwing rocks and nolotov cocktails, before they even find out whether the cop was justified in shooting Michael Brown.

What would happen if it transpires that the cop was justified in shooting Brown? Well, fortunately for the RGI and the rest of the American left, being a leftist means never having to say you’re sorry.

Why?

Because even when they’re wrong — which is almost all the time — their powers of self-delusion are so mighty, that they still think they’re right.

• How about the family of young Michael Brown? I don’t know, and the media ought to go away and leave them alone. Or, if the family are seeking the publicity they’re getting, the media ought to turn them away politely.

The worst thing in the world — for the RGI, the looters, the goons and the rioters — would be if Darren Wilson, the policeman, were to be convicted. The last thing these automatic agitators and low-cognition nitwits ever want is for the news to get out that black people (1) can, and (2) regularly do, obtain justice in America, and (3) that there is recourse for black people in America.

Just how whacked out is all this? Missouri Governor Jay Nixon already said that there ought to be “a vigorous prosecution,” whether or not, apparently, a crime was committed! For those of you who thought that the governor of a state should be expected to act responsibly, Nixon is a deep disappointment. Oh, that’s right, I forgot. He’s a Democrat. We don’t expect them to act responsibly.

The pols and everyone else are listening to the media, and the media can be counted on to get it just as right as they got the Duke Lacrosse case, the Trayvon Martin case and so many other fiascos that prove what nitwits they are.

All this means that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson cop, ought to be able just to sit back and be confident that he’ll go free. After all, everyone — including Nixon, who can now be confident that he has sucked up to the low-information rioters and looters who are certainly his voters — wants Wilson to go free. Except, that is, the media, but they’re idiots.

– xPraetorius

Haste Makes Waste!


– In which xPraetorius eats some crow –

Whew!

A while back, I posted an essay in which I wrote peevishly about the need to proofread what one writes. That post is here.

Fast-forward to three days ago.

A bit hurriedly, I posted a long essay concerning balance and lines (here) that I thought was pretty good. In parts, I guess it was. In other parts, however, it was awkwardly written, obscure, poorly phrased, in need of serious re-writing. Which I have done.

I’m now eating the crow that I deserve to eat, having mounted my high horse and exhorted you all to proofread what you write, all the while neglecting to do it for my own piece.

Oh, I have all the excuses. I was in a hurry; I was getting ready to go to work. I wanted to get the post out there. All the usuals. Bottom line: It got out there alright, but it was not in an acceptable condition when it made it.

The most ironic thing about this is that the original post about proofreading resulted from another time where I posted something that needed to be changed.

So: Writing Rule/Exhortation #2: If you don’t have adequate time to proofread, save as draft, and delay publishing! That way you’ll be able to have a fruit smoothie for dinner, instead of crow.

– xPraetorius

 

 

NPR Watch – 8/18/14


Wow! The things they say on National Public Radio. Suffice it to say that they can report as “news” or “fact” things that are highly suspicious, or highly subjective, or very much open to debate.

Just a couple today. They were reporting that Julian Assange, noted scumbag whose efforts at Wikileaks are reputed to have killed actual Americans in service to this country in foreign lands. Ari Shapiro, openly gay NPR (yes, it’s important, as you’ll see in a moment) “reporter” was the correspondent in question. He was telling of how Assange took information from “Chelsea Manning” — formerly known as Bradley Manning, and published it on Wikileaks , thereby causing the outing, and apparently some deaths, of American agents overseas.

Of course Shapiro would report as fact that the dude, Bradley Mannnig, was now the dudette Chelsea Manning!

This is a typical modus operandi of NPR: to send in a person with at least probably a point-of-view favoring a leftist conclusion. Hence, NPR uses Ari Shapiro to report on Julian Assange who received stolen American intelligence information from “Chelsea Manning.”

Bottom Line: NPR accepts as given that Bradley Manning is no more, and has become Chelsea Manning. No proof that this is even possible, of course, but NPR is nothing if not relentlessly, slavishly, blindly politically correct.

One quick observation: If I were a dude convicted of something akin to treason, and expecting to spend the rest of my days in prison, I’d want to spend those days with a bunch of women too!

This is a long-time practice of NPR’s. Back in the days of apartheid South Africa, they always sent in John Madison, a black man, to “report” on goings-on there. As if to “report” on a topic, and put a stick in the eye of the disfavored parties in the report.

I believe, but can’t confirm just now, that Madison later left NPR and joined the post-apartheid government of South Africa.

If, for example, NPR were to report on an immigration debate within the Republican Party, they’d “report” on it using a Hispanic reporter, who’d come into the country illegally, but had somehow managed to go through college and now was a reporter for NPR. In other words, a “success story” showing how unrestricted immigration — the favored leftist position — is a good thing!

Next Story:

They report on “rape on college campuses.” Again, it’s a report that throws out there as “fact” or as “news” highly suspect conclusions. NPR’s definition of “rape” is probably something like: “Any time a woman says it’s rape.” Including, by the way, all those times where she said it was rape, but was simply ashamed of her own behavior the next day.

For the moment, let’s not talk about the definition of rape. During the story the reporter, I forget her name, said, “Let’s not forget that 90% of men never commit rape.”

Wait. Whuh? Was that supposed to be reassuring?!? Was that supposed to make us all say to ourselves, “Whew! We thought all men were nothing more than slavering, drooling, leering, rapists! What a relief that it’s only 10% of ‘em!”

The real truth: 99.999% of all men never commit rape. That brings us back to the very definition of rape. If a woman doesn’t consent to sexual relations and a man forces himself on her, that’s rape.

If a woman goes to a college frat party where they are serving alcohol, and does everything under the sun to make it seem that she’s available, then has a tryst and is ashamed the next day, that is not rape. The way NPR reported this “story,” incoming freshmen girls in college are nothing more than empty-headed, naïve little does, out there for the plucking by the roving bands of predatory wolves in frat-boy’s clothing.

Uhhhhhhhh… no.

I’ve been a college kid. I have college kids — a daughter and her several friends. Want to know what the girls tell me? They tell me that (1) they know of not one girl who has been raped of the thousands they encounter each semester. (2) they know of many girls — especially freshmen — who attend these frat parties on purpose so that they can be “initiated” into sex; ie lose their virginity.

They go where there’s alcohol assuming that the booze will reduce any pain, awkwardness or nervousness involved in their “first time.” They subsequently bragged, my college girl informants tell me, of availing themselves of a certain frat house’s “services.” And, yes, they’ve also told me of when these “transactions” have gone wrong, almost always because the girl felt ashamed afterward.

Rarely has that shame resulted in a rape accusation, generally because the girl knows she was complicit the whole time. But NPR considers that “rape.” My daughter and her friend have spoken scornfully of these girls, who so desperately “wanted it,” then when they got it, weren’t happy with themselves for having done what they did.

NPR said that the vast majority of these “rapes” go unreported. Well, that’s because they weren’t rapes! Duh!

Change your mind during or before consensual sex all you want, but not after. It ain’t retroactively rape. Sorry.

One more fact about girls: sexually, they are just as predatory as boys. Their methods are different, but their goals — to use sex as a tool for social acceptance and hierarchical advancement — is the same.

Here’s another fact about girls — and about people in general: they compartmentalize. My daughter has a friend — let’s call her “Jeannie” — who went out one evening with another friend and bought some booze. They intended to go to the house of a male friend of theirs and to drink the booze and to have sex with the male friend.

It was all very well-planned out. The male friend was reputed to be well-endowed, as my daughter tells it, and the two other friends wanted to “try it out.” They did the purchase, went to the male friend’s house, they all got sozzled, and they all got it on.

At some point, well after the proceedings were over, Jeannie got sick on the effects of the booze. The male friend’s mother came into the room, catching all three of them in various stages of undress, and the room smelling of booze, sex and vomit.

What did my daughter’s friend do? Well, she claimed “rape,” of course! The accusation never amounted to anything — never even made it through the first stages of the legal system.

Jeannie and I are close, in a kind of advisor/advisee context. She came to me after the incident and told me the whole story. We talked and I suggested that Jeannie take the time and intellectual effort necessary to arrive at a solid determination as to who, how and what she herself was, and that she then would find it easier to avoid putting herself into situations in which that kind of thing could happen, etc,. etc., etc. I stayed away from any judgment, as she was plenty aware of my thoughts, feelings and opinions on the matter anyway, and she was judging herself plenty as it was.

However, since then, Jeannie has told me of numerous incidents in which she was aware of girls who had done exactly the same thing, and her quote was, word-for-word: “Well, what did they think was gonna happen? They were asking for it!”

And you think men can be cruel to women!

By the way, Jeannie still insists that she was raped. NPR would agree, and would label the guy they seduced a prapist and sex offender and the rest.

The further point: NPR “news” is almost never news. Sometimes it’s out-and-out lies and slander. This “90% of all men have never committed rape” quote of theirs is an absolutely outrageous, disgusting abuse of men.

Again, and it’s worth repeating: Very nearly 100% of all men have never committed rape. And never will.

One more point — if what passes for “rape” these days is really rape, then I’ve been raped by women hundreds of times. Women can leer, and grope, and fondle, and not take no for an answer (though their retaliation might take a different form), with the best of them… and they do.

– xPraetorius

Balance and Lines


Life is about, among other things, balance. We all try — hard — to balance work and home life, our treatment of our children, sleep and awake time, our diet and a million other parts of our lives that, if they get out of whack, make us miserable.

So, too, with government. The country needs absolutely to balance the level of government, of regulation and rules, of authority and liberty, or else the country — you and I — is miserable.

We’re miserable, as a country, now because we’re out of balance in so many ways.

With that said, it’s perfectly impossible to be in balance.

How so, you might ever so reasonably ask?

Easy: imagine balancing a yardstick on your outstretched finger. Where does it balance perfectly? Also easy: right around the 18″ mark. You can fiddle with it and fiddle with it, and when you get there, it balances just fine and you can — very carefully — move around with it balanced on your finger. However, just a tiny fraction to the left or right causes the yardstick to tip, then fall, unbalanced, off your finger. The further away the yardstick on your finger is from that balance point, the faster it tumbles from your finger.

If you were to make a line on the yardstick at the balance point, you might call that the balance line. Perfect balance lives in an extremely constrained range. The best we can hope for at any time is to be close to the balance line. The country is full of such balance lines, and her mood depends completely on the gap between the ideal and the actual level for a thousand different things.

Take taxation, for example. Let’s invent a statistic: the average level of taxation for every man, woman and child in America. This statistic would be a simple calculation: the total dollars paid in taxes by each person divided by the total dollars earned by each person. This would give you, at a very high level, the average total taxation a person experiences annually.

Now, let’s take some examples. Let’s hypothesize that you could actually determine the ideal level of taxation — the level of taxation that maximizes revenues to the government — and plot it week by week on a graph, because it would be constantly changing. You would get a line, like the above-mentioned balance line.

About this ideal level of taxation: I’m assuming the following: if the taxation level is 0%, the government gets no revenues, because no one’s paying any taxes. If the taxation level is 100% the government gets no revenues,  because no one will work if they have to give all their income to the government. No work –> No income –> no income taxes, or other taxes paid –> no revenue to the government. This is the principle behind the Laffer Curve.

So, let’s assume that there is a level of taxation that maximizes both the revenues to the government, and the incentive for the people to work, in order to maximize their revenues. Again, this level would change day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, second-by-second, as the mood of the people changed (seasonally, for example), as the nation’s average optimism, or pessimism, happiness or sadness, wealth or health, fluctuated over time.

So, now we plot the ideal level of taxation against the actual level of taxation, and we get two lines. Let’s not draw any conclusions just now about today’s level of taxation, but we can, certainly, draw the following conclusion and its corollary: Conclusion: The closer together these two lines are the better for the country’s general mood and well-being. Corollary: If the actual line is higher or lower than the ideal line, this exerts a downward pull on the national mood. The greater the difference the greater the downward pull.

So too with all such lines.

Exploring that just a bit more: if actual taxation is significantly higher than ideal taxation, the people feel they are being abusively taxed. If actual taxation is significantly lower than the ideal level, then the government can’t pay for services the people are demanding, the government runs deficits, and the people get irritated. You could call the gap  between the two lines the “Misery Gap.” The greater the gap, the more miserable the people.

This last will make my Conservative confrères upset, so let’s add an assumption above: Let’s assume that the hypothetical government, at the federal, state and local levels, is performing the correct, or near the correct, level of services (another balance and another line to track!) it is permitted under the various Constitutions.

Here’s the kicker: The country is composed of many millions of such lines — the ideal versus the actual. The levels of taxation for everything from income to the purchase of food, clothing, automobiles and other essentials; the levels of federal, state, city and local regulation for every industry in every state. For every home in every city and town in the country. The level of policing in every neighborhood. The amount of scrutiny you receive at the airport, for example. The level of security at your building when you arrive in the morning for work. The number of locks on your door. The cost of your insurances: life, health, homeowner’s, automotive, dental, vision… All of these have an ideal amount that should be in place, and an actual amount that is in place. Furthermore, they all have an ideal cost, and the actual amount that we all pay for them.

Every person has such lines: The ideal amount of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, dairy, caffeine, candy versus the actual amount of each of these, that we consume each day. The ideal amount of exercise versus the actual amount that we do each day. The ideal amount of reading, praying, resting, sleeping, relaxing, thinking, television in which we indulge, versus the actual amount.

And all this multiplied by more than 300 million Americans!

It’s likely that these two lines — the ideal and the actual — measuring these thousands of levels in the lives and conditions of these hundreds of millions of people, businesses, towns, cities, states in the country, are almost never at the same spot on the graph.

Both lines are constantly moving up or down depending on the conditions in the country, the government, the people’s moods and other factors. At best the ideal and actual lines intersect for a nanosecond or two before parting ways again.

The most important thing is to keep the ideal and actual levels for all things in a country’s or person’s life as close together as possible, so that if you were to graph them, they would look a bit like a strand of DNA.

DNA? Or Actual and Ideal

Assume that the red in our DNA picture represents the ideal, while the blue is actual. This would be a picture of a level that’s close to in balance. It seems to indicate that as conditions change, then the person or people in question adjust well, always changing it to accord more closely to the ideal.

Now, a comment about life in America today. Briefly: the country’s miserable. Everyone knows it. Things are out of whack, and we all know it, but sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on just what is wrong.

I can tell you that I know that a bunch of our country’s lines are way out of balance, and that these imbalances are important contributors to nationwide misery. Here are some of them:

  • Regulation: The actual line is way above the ideal line, and the gap is growing.

The more this gap grows, the greater will be the feeling of being stifled, suppressed, blocked at every turn, on the part of the American people.

How can I tell that the regulation lines are out of whack? Lots of ways.  The size, complexity, cost and intrusiveness of the simple efforts required to remain in, or get into, “compliance” with various regulations, for example.

How about, on the local level, the increase in stories of kids’ lemonade stands being dismantled by the police because the kids didn’t pay the $500 fee, and the like?

Anecdotally, I remember a project  at a company where I used to work. I managed part of this project. The point was to get our company into “PCI Compliance.” PCI = “Payment Card Industry.” It was an effort to mask all possible “PII (Personally Identifiable Information) Data” from the employees handling that type of data. Things like a credit card number, phone number, address and the like.

We estimated that the project would take 40,000 man hours. Each man hour cost the company an average of 60 dollars. Hence the whole project was projected to cost 40,000 hours x $60 or $2,400,000. The project ended up requiring more than 60,000 hours, or $3,600,000. That was more than three and a half million dollars that the company paid, and 60,000 man hours (30 man years!) that we spent to get into compliance with this PCI organization.

To remain in compliance, we projected that we would need to take at least 5,000 man hours ($300,000) every year thereafter. This effort produced no product, improved no process, reduced no costs, added no efficiency — in fact, decreased efficiency and productivity — added no innovation. It was pure cost.

Furthermore, the time taken from developers, project managers, managers, executives and others, was time taken away from the opportunity to produce products, improve processes, improve efficiency, reduce costs, improve productivity and innovation.

Interestingly, the fact that our software was collecting all that PII data in the first place was in response to earlier regulation!

Remember, all that effort, all those hours worked, all those hours taken from real business pursuits, all that money — all of it was thrown at regulation in our company alone. Thousands of companies across the country had to do the same thing. Furthermore, it was all required only by this one PCI organization. All companies have to be in compliance with dozens and dozens of OSHA, DEP and other organizations’ rules, all requiring similar efforts.

A corollary to excess Regulation:

The more money and time devoted to parasitical “industries” like “Compliance,” the less money there is that can be devoted to other important business pursuits, like: compensation and advancement for people who actually do make products, improve processes, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and innovate.

Furthermore, now that complying with the vast regulatory apparatus is a huge industry and there are trillions of dollars wasted on it, people who might have been encouraged to go into other more important careers — like doing things that produce products, improve processes, improve efficiency, reduce costs, improve productivity and innovation — choose to enter this parasitical industry, making it even more of a drag on the country.

  • Taxation: My hypothetical government above does only the things it was supposed to do. Our real government does a lot more than it’s supposed to do. The actual taxation line is well above the ideal one.

My evidence: a thought exercise. (1) Name for me all the ways you are taxed. (2) Tell me how many hours and how many dollars are spent each year by the population in complying with American tax law. First of all, I’d be surprised if you could tell me either, and this is no discredit to you whatsoever. Second, American tax laws are so complex, so byzantine that the possibilities for abuse are legion. If we were not overtaxed that would say that (1) no politicians ever abused the maze-like tax code, and that (2) taxes, as they become unnecessary, simply go away. When was the last time you ever heard of a tax that “just went away?” Bottom line, as the distance between ideal taxation and actual taxation grows, the more discontented America becomes.

These are two big — gigantic — items in the life of the country. However, many other vital things are profoundly affected by these two things. When the lines between the ideal and the actual levels of regulation and taxation are out of whack, and getting worse, then so are those same lines for people’s compensation, employment, advancement, and any other measurement reflecting economic conditions.

  • How about Prices?

Again, out of whack. How do I know? Simple: the prices for very important things have skyrocketed recently, while there’s no indication that they were undervalued before, or that their actual value has increased for any valid reason. What things might these be? Gas, a college education, healthcare (with expectations that this will only get a lot worse in the near- and mid-term future.). Worse, the skyrocketing price of gas increases the price of everything that has to go from here to there to get on a store shelf. As compensation and advancement stagnate, for the reasons mentioned above, and prices increase, Americans experience greater and greater hopelessness. Trust me, I know.

So, how do you fix America? Simple: get the important metrics back into balance. I’ve named three of them: Taxation, Regulation and Prices. If you were to fix Taxation and Regulation, you’d fix prices. You can develop thought exercises like the ones I’ve formulated above. It’s not difficult. You can tell whether important things are out of balance in the country.

It’s significant that the increasing imbalance between the ideal and actual levels of vital societal metrics is entirely a Democrat Party phenomenon. Yes, it’s entirely possible that Republicans would implement imbalances the other way, or even in the same wrong way as the Democrats, but simply less.

In any group of people, if one in ten of them is miserable, then justice and fairness, for the Democrats are when ten of ten are miserable. In the same circumstance, justice and fairness for Republicans consist of implementing policies that maximize the opportunity for the tenth person to become happy. Needless to say, neither of these approaches guarantees happiness for anyone. It’s just that the Democrats’ way maximizes misery, because it always maximizes the imbalance between the ideal and the actual.

Republicans have said that they want to reduce the size, scope and reach of the government. They have understood that the country is out of balance. Way out of balance. Size, scope and reach are also things that could be understood in terms of actual and ideal levels. In terms of two lines on a graph.

Republicans got their understanding of that imbalance from their Conservative wing. Absent that Conservative wing, the Republicans would be little more than Democrats-lite. They would market themselves as better stewards of the welfare state that the Democrats have spent decades imposing on America. One way — the way — to restore America is to restore her balances, to get the actual and ideal lines a lot closer together, to close the increasingly yawning Misery Gap.

If the Republicans re-take the Senate in 2014, and if they re-take the White House in 2016, and if they do the right and courageous thing and roll back the Obama-Pelosi-Reid depredations, then they will save the country. The people will save the country by demanding that the Republicans do the above. That’s just a whole lot of “if’s” for a country in the condition of imbalance as it is now. It sure won’t be easy. As soon as anyone tries to bring the lines closer together, it would unleash a barrage of vituperation, vitriol and venom from the Democrats and their brainless minions in Hollywood, the media, pop culture and academia, the likes of which you have never seen before.

The Obama Administration has been a hammer blow to the character, the happiness, the strength, the vitality, the work ethic, the creativity… the very spirit of America. Is there enough of that spirit in ordinary Americans to save America? Is there enough character in the Republican Party to save America? It’s a sure bet that there’s not enough character in the Democrat Party to save America. They’ve spent the last decades eroding everything America has ever stood for. Is it even possible, after Obama, to save America?

Restoring her balances and lines will restore the American spirit and the American dream.

Simple as that.

– xPraetorius

Phil Keaggy: “Shades of Green” – YouTube


via Phil Keaggy:”Shades of Green” – YouTube.

This is just wonderful. Really pretty, fun and great both to listen to and to watch!

Phil Keaggy does a one-man band thing with nothing more than a guitar, a looper and sundry seemingly random items.

The result is a simply gorgeous song, as well (as mentioned above) as a whole passel of fun!

Starting at about 5:47 and lasting for about 26 seconds is one of the most delightful passages ever composed for the guitar.

– xPraetorius

Wish I’D Said This: Blame the Racism-of-Liberals for Ferguson, Missouri – Michael Schaus – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page 1


Blame the Racism-of-Liberals for Ferguson, Missouri – Michael Schaus – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary – Page 1.


Oh, that’s right: I did say it. Lots of times in these pages. This guy, Michael Schaus, the writer of the above-linked essay, says it quite well too.

Here are some particularly apt passages:

  • If liberals truly cared about the plight of today’s black community, they wouldn’t be “standing in solidarity” with a bunch of outraged looters in Ferguson, Missouri… They would be denouncing the party of the KKK, Jim Crow, and segregation. They would be burning the homes of gang members. They would be fighting for the single black mother who is facing up to three years in prison for deciding to defend her life with a firearm. In short… They would be rampaging against the morally bankrupt hustlers of victimhood and dependency. Or, to put it another way, they would be voting Republican.

Yep. We’ve said that, ummmm… several (dozens of) times.

A bit more from Schaus’ piece, perhaps?

  • Yet, there is a left-wing groundswell of support for the lawlessness that has followed a questionable police shooting just outside of St Louis. The truth is, this story isn’t really about racism, police brutality, or even tragedy… This story is about the failure of Liberalism. It is an indictment of the liberal culture of victimhood, and oppression. The riots, the violence, and the anti-police actions of the Black Panthers, “Anonymous”, and average thugs in Ferguson is the result of being told for years that victimhood is a permanent state of being; rather than a temporary state of mind. It is a tactic that the left has imposed on minority groups for half a century. To the American left, African Americans are in a perpetual position of subjugation. After all, heroes are only found when they are perceived to be needed, right? … Without a class of victims to champion, Sharpton/ Holder & Company would be exposed as the quixotic hustlers they truly are. These hollow heroes of the modern “Civil Rights” movement are, essentially, portraying themselves as the emancipators from a truly fictitious reality.

We’ve said that a few times too. Here’s some more:

  • After more than a century of civil liberty battles and triumphs, African Americans have flocked to the Party that opposed every measurable Civil Rights initiative since the Emancipation Proclamation. It should stun historians that the party of the Ku Klux Klan and segregation now has an undeniable stranglehold on black America. Today’s Party of Barack Obama and Eric Holder, willfully ignore FDR’s history of opposing anti-lynching laws. They ignore John F Kennedy’s vote, as a Senator, against the 1950’s era Civil Rights laws. They even ignore the egregious violence and lawlessness that plague some of America’s most Democrat cities. (Such as Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles.)

Wow! We’ve definitely said all that before! We even made it a point to suggest that the Republicans hang bloody hellholes like Detroit, Chicago and others — cities run by Democrats for decades — around the necks of Democrats candidates at all levels like the albatross that they ought to be. We said it, rather forcefully too, here.

So, I guess I did say all that, after all!  However, Schaus’ piece is well worth the read, because it’s good to know that there are ever increasing numbers of people who realize that the “solutions” proposed by the Democrat Party — the party of decay, decline, deterioration and death — are no solutions at all, but rather recipes for ever greater suffering.

– xPraetorius

 

 

 

 

Wish I’D Said That! (8-16-14)


diffReading Jonah Goldberg is a constant exercise in saying to oneself, “Wish I’d said that!”

Goldberg sends out a roughly weekly “news”letter, called the “Goldberg File,” or the “GFile”, which is really more a stream-of-consciousness set of musings on the issues of the day. The style is easy, breezy, humorous and informal. It’s always a rollicking good read, and frequently makes points as effectively as, or more effectively than, his also excellent, but more cerebral, more mainstream content in National Review Online and elsewhere.

The most recent edition of the GFile arrived in my e-mail in-box today, and was crammed full of wish-I’d-said-that moments.

In this edition, Goldberg explained why he had not yet pronounced himself on the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Here are some of those wish-I’d-said-that moments:

  • I have to confess I am very late to the Ferguson story. [Editor's Note: Me too, and for the same reasons as Jonah's.] I tend not to follow these kinds of events too closely when they break, because they always seem to go the same way. What am I supposed to say? If the cop did something wrong, he should be punished for it. If he didn’t, he shouldn’t be. [Editor's Note: Uhhhhh... Yep.]

And, about the subsequent rioting and looting:

  • But even if he did something wrong, rioting is almost never justified. It can be more or less understandable depending on the circumstances, even forgivable I suppose. But never justifiable, never mind permissible. Why should the crime — real or alleged — committed by person X make it okay for person Y to do harm to person(s) Z? No one has ever been able to explain that to me.  [Editor's Note: A neat summation. Wish I'D said that!]

Some background to add perspective:

  • And I grew up in New York City in the 1970s, when race riots were a thing — though not as much of a thing as they were in the 1960s. And that’s part of the problem. In the 1960s, you could see the point of race riots (though less so in the North where they were quite common). But by the 1970s, liberals had incorporated race riots into their mythology as noble “happenings” even though the romance of rebellion had lost its plausibility. And by the 1980s, tragedy had been fully swamped by farce. It is an axiomatic truth going back to Socrates: Nothing can be wholly noble if Al Sharpton is involved. [Editor's Note: Wish I'D said that! Oh, I have said that! Whew!] Nonetheless, it was amazing to watch New York liberals act like battered spouses as they tried to explain why blacks are right to loot while at the same time they shouldn’t do it.

Another neat summation (emphasis added):

  • I haven’t followed the details well enough to have an informed opinion on what actually happened. But, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the easy part. I’m wholly with my NR colleagues on this. There should be an honest investigation. If the officer unlawfully shot an unarmed man, he should face the consequences. If he didn’t, there should be no (criminal) consequences. How this is a complicated issue intellectually is a mystery to me. [Editor's Note: Another neat summation. Wish I'D said that!] How this has become a complicated political problem, sadly, is not.

Finally, a selection from the GFile with which I have a minor quibble and comment:

  • I think this should be an educational data point for those who think any nods towards racial diversity are ideologically suspect. I am as against racial quotas as anyone, but the idea that police forces shouldn’t take into account the racial or ethnic make-up of their communities when it comes to hiring has always struck me as bizarre. A Chinese-American cop will probably have an easier time in Chinatown than a Norwegian-American cop. A bilingual Hispanic cop will have similar advantages in a mostly Spanish-speaking neighborhood. When my dad was a kid in the Bronx, it was not uncommon for a cop to give a teenager a well-intentioned smack as a warning and leave it at that. But forget the smack. Today, in many neighborhoods, if a white cop even talks harshly to a black kid, it might immediately be seen as a racial thing. If a black cop said the exact same things, it might be received differently.

My quibble: Suggesting that the police force should have approximately the same ethnic mix as the neighborhoods it polices cements the idea that skin color is important difference. Skin color is difference, to be sure, but it ought not to be important difference. Aren’t we trying to get away from the idea that a person’s skin color represents anything significant about him?

By contrast, I do see the wisdom of having Chinese-speaking cops patrolling in Chinatowns around the country. However, if a white dude is fluent in Chinese, then he should be perfectly acceptable to the residents of the said Chinatown. It’s stating the perfectly obvious to say that no one — white or black — gives the tiniest hoot about the ethnic make-up of police forces in majority white areas, and that’s a good thing. Isn’t that what we’re trying to get to?

My tiny quibbles aside, Goldberg is, as always, a wonderful read, and his “GFile” is one of the finest publications in circulation today. Go to National Review Online and sign-up for it today! It’s well worth it.

– xPraetorius

This Is Why We Will Never Solve These “Crises” Once And For All…


The headline in Drudge reads: WHO: Epidemic ‘much worse’ than world realizes….

It’s referring to the outbreak of the horrible Ebola virus in Africa.

How did you react to that headline?

Remember, we’ve been regaled, here in the United States — for weeks — with breathless coverage of this terrible thing, all having the overarching theme that: “this is the worst outbreak ever! It’s threatening to spread across the continent of Africa, and into other lands. It’s much worse than anyone realizes.”

The general reaction, here at least, to such reports is: “Ho hum.”

Before you condemn Americans for callous indifference to the suffering of others, please remember that this is how our Chicken Little  press breathlessly report all such things.

Deep breath: Every hurricane, tsunami, epidemic, temperature change, earthquake, volcano, economic, demographic, climate, ozone hole, pollution, sunspot, rainfall, snowfall, birth-level, death-level fluctuation, any mildly-to-severely distressing condition anywhere is always “much worse than the world realizes” and, of course, if it’s not addressed immediately, and with massive, focused, government-funded research, and action, then it inevitably will spill over from its current location and engulf mankind in an existential menace the likes of which has never been seen before.

Remember AIDS? Yep. Me too. Everyone, everywhere, no exceptions, was at deadly risk (except, as it turned out, those who weren’t homosexuals and didn’t use intravenous drugs). When “Everyone is at risk!” was the general understanding regarding AIDS, a whole bunch of billions of dollars got funneled away from things like cancer research and cardiac and other diseases, didn’t they? Yep. They did.

Heard anything about AIDS in America anymore? Nope. Me neither. Nothing significant, anyway, and certainly nothing all that alarming. Whatever happened to: “We’re all at risk! We’re. All. Gonna. Die!!! Tomorrow!!!” 

Oh, homosexuality and intravenous drug use didn’t go away, so AIDS didn’t go away. So what’s different now? Simple: enough people secured enough endless government funding for “research,” and university departments devoted to this once apocalyptic threat.

The American people had been sufficiently alarmed to acquiesce in the transfer of piles of money to “AIDS research” or “AIDS whatever” that there was no need anymore to flog the menace as either apocalyptic or “much worse than the world realizes.”

Look at just about any terrifying threat to the public safety — bar none(1) — and you’ll find hysterical, alarmist, panicked-sounding marketing that the media dutifully report as “news.”

Rule #1 concerning crisis reporting in the media: A crisis can stop being alarming only when it’s become self-sustaining in terms of money for university departments, non-profit organizations, advocacy/grievance groups and lobbyists.

Needless to say, the easiest chumps, marks, dupes, rubes to hit up for that money are you and I, the American taxpayer; the fattest, richest, Willie Sutton targets(2) ever in the history of the world — whose money is conveniently collected centrally by the federal government.

When there’s enough automatic, annual money budgeted to the parasites looking to get rich, or at least make a living, off the “crisis,” then it can stop being a “crisis” and will morph instantly into a mere permanent problem.

Show me a scientist gravely intoning that some terrible threat places the world in jeopardy as it’s never been placed in jeopardy before, and I’ll show you a dude looking for enough government grant money for research to make him comfortable for the rest of his life.

Global Cooling/Global Warming/Ozone Hole/Climate Change/Rising Seas/Shrinking Polar Ice Caps, anyone?

As regards the above-linked headline, the other common theme to all the coverage of the latest Ebola outbreak in Africa has concerned itself with very well-reasoned arguments that the additional streams of funding that must be dedicated to research and action on Ebola, need to be permanent streams of funding.

Guess what: people nowadays read the above-linked headline, and think to themselves, “Well, some bunch of scientists somewhere must be angling for research money.”(3)

– xPraetorius

Notes:


(1) This isn’t always a bad thing. Fighting the Cold War was the right thing to do, and I suspect that there were people in the West (me included) who understood that communism doomed any society in which it held sway to failed statehood.

Still, it was important and right to do what was necessary to hasten communism’s demise in the Soviet Union. The hyperbole necessary to galvanize public opinion in favor of continuing the Cold War for as long as we did was both the right thing to do, and involved a whole lot of marketing.

(2) Willie Sutton is credited with having responded, “That’s where the money is,” when asked why he robbed banks. He likely didn’t say it, but it makes for a colorful and expressive image.

(3) Am I suggesting that many people who have devoted their entire lives and careers to solving a particular problem aren’t actually interested in solving the problem? Am I suggesting that, in fact, many people who have devoted their entire lives and careers to solving a particular problem, actually would prefer that the problem never be resolved in their lifetime?

Absolutely.

In the case of problems like poverty, racism, bias or prejudice, it’s patently obvious that the industries that have grown up, and sustain themselves and enrich their members, by finding these things under every rock and around every corner, are not in the least interested in solving them. In fact these groups are the principal obstacles in the path of the resolution of these “problems.” Don’t forget: there’s always a great deal of money, fame and prestige to be had in whining about how awful it is in America.

Powerful, Influential People Read This Blog (8-16-14)


Seeing the similarities between now and the years before World War II, as we did, here.

He comes at it from a different angle, and he got the year of Mao tse-Tung’s bloody accession to power in China wrong (he said 1932; it was 1949). Let’s face it though, it’s plain that he read our blog post.

– xPraetorius

NPR Watch – 8/14/14 – Thoroughly Sick of Feminist Whining


Yep. Another National Public Radio thing.

Some woman won the most prestigious prize for Mathematics in the world. However, of course, since NPR was reporting the story, the rest of the feature had to be about how there were so few women in the field of Mathematics. [insert eye-roll here]

Anyway, the NPR anchor or anchorette had to interview a woman mathematician who’s convinced that the reason there are fewer women in Mathematics is because male mathematicians are actively working to exclude them. Not, of course, because women just might be choosing to do other things.

The woman mathematician said something to the effect that every woman in the field of Mathematics had “at least one war story” involving some time that a man in the field was a jerk in some way.

Wow! At least one, eh?

I’m in the supposedly male-heavy field of Information Technology, but before that I was, among other things, a professional athlete, an underwear model in France and a professional musician. I’ve been around a few blocks. In each of my fields, I’ve experienced out-and-out, wide open discrimination, “harassment,” physical “abuse/assault,” all because of my sex, my color and my looks. Hundreds of times.

Here are a few of the squirrelly/funny things that happened to me because of who I am.

• A former employer told me that she had offered me a job because, she said, “You look like a greek god.”
• A female hiring agent, whom I met in a bar after she had rejected me for employment with her company told me once, and I quote, “I didn’t hire you because you’re too good looking, and I don’t know if I’d be able to keep my hands off you.”
• A former boss once told me that she had transferred me because she was romantically interested in me, but didn’t feel she could act on it if I were in her department.
• In all my places of work, up until about when I turned 40, I’d been fondled, groped (these are the “assault/abuse” incidents I mentioned above) propositioned, leered at hundreds of times.
• When many of these incidents occurred, I was married and the “perpetrators” knew it full well.

I’m not full of myself — as an athlete and musician I was, but no more — I’m simply reporting what happened. If I were to tell you what I experienced — with some of my own complicity, of course — as a 6’5″ tall, well-muscled underwear model in France back in 1980 and ’81, you’d blush from stem to stern.

By the way, I didn’t really mind all this stuff being imposed on me. I figured that the other person had issues and it was my task to be sure that they affected me as little as possible. I was upset about the employment things, but just took them in stride, and moved on. Furthermore, I managed to avoid breaking my marriage vows, even once, and avoided entirely any recourse to the HR Dept. I’m still friendly with some of those who had done these things years later.

Why? Simple: these things are inevitable in any and all situations in which you mix grown men and women for long stretches of time. It’s why I put “harassment” and “assault/abuse” in quotes. I didn’t feel the need to go running to anyone, even though the situations were all awkward at best, stressful at worst.

Here’s another incident:

• A mortgage company — where I worked! — told me, off the record, that they had denied my application for a mortgage, because, and I quote, they needed “to get their white rejections up.” This, while their minority loan acceptances and white loan rejections were the highest in the region. Just not high enough for the company’s perceived ability to keep federal regulators off their backs.

Why am I telling you all this? Simple: This “at least one war story” thing that the lady mathematician told of, sure seems like small potatoes. Really small potatoes.

Listening to the constant stream of puffery that’s supposed to pass for analysis on NPR can get tiresome. They seem to think that no one should ever experience any friction whatsoever in any dealings with any other human beings.

Feminists have it way, way wrong. Men had no problem whatsoever welcoming women into the work force. We enjoyed it immensely in fact. It may surprise feminists to hear, but we men really like women — on a lot of different levels. Yes, one of those levels is the physical.(1) Fortunately, that affection is reciprocated 100% by women. And yes, that does make for some awkward and uncomfortable interactions from time to time. But, I’m sorry, “at least one war story” doesn’t rise above the level of the inevitable normal. In fact it sounds pretty darned sheltered.

By the way, a lot of women in my field — Information Technology, or “computers” or “IT” — get out because they don’t like to do the server-wrassling and the system installations, and the wiring, and the crawling under desks, and the other heavy work that I — as a freakin’ programmer! — do pretty regularly in my supposedly “white collar” job.

How do I know that? I talk with them, and they tell me.

Sometimes, I do wonder why I subject myself to the noisomely, whining, preachy, moronic, full-of-themselves NPR. Then I remember why. :)

– xPraetorius

Notes:


(1) By the way, I’ve never seen more female skin than at the workplace. What with infinitely creative, low-cut, sheer blouses, short skirts, and more, it’s a constant exercise in making sure that I maintain eye contact throughout the workday! An exercise, I’ve noticed, that women feel no particular obligation to do.

Words To Ban


If you never use any of the following three words again, that would be a good thing.

Iconic. Reason: It means just “legendary,” but people say “iconic” to sound cool. Example: “Iconic film star Lauren Bacall passed away the other day.” Just say, “Legendary film star…” Come to think of it, there’s not a film star in history whose work is worth the intellectual energy required to build and maintain a legend. Audie Murphy’s exploits as a soldier are worth a legend, not an actor’s or actress’ (with the possible exception of Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart). For people like Lauren Bacall, use “veteran” or something.

Community. Reason: I swear I heard on National Public Radio yesterday a feature in which an interviewee was speaking of Inspectors General, or “IG’s,” who were trying to oversee government functions. The interviewee said, and I quote, “In the IG community…blah, blah, blah.” What? The freakin’ “IG community?!?” As if they have little IG neighborhoods with little IG convenience stores and little IG houses and streets… It’s a word used to be lazy, or to avoid saying something more accurate that someone of tender sensibilities might object to. For example: “The African-American Community” as opposed to “black people.” “Community’s” a lazy, cowardly, pandering word, and if you don’t use it, you’ll be forced to use better, more accurate words, and you’ll communicate more effectively. Instead of the hyper-silly “IG Community,” say something like, “The IG’s I know and work with say…”

A note about NPR. This bizarre “community” thing is how they speak and think. If they were to land an interview with a serial killer, they would refer to the murderer as a member of the “Serial Killer Community.”

Sense. In the sense of “Give us a sense of the mood there…” Also yuck! Say something like “What are your observations of the mood there…?” Force the person to give you specifics, rather than vague, unprovable (or disprovable) generalities. NPR interviewers are constantly guilty of the vague, unprovable, ultimately information-less interview, in which they ask for a “sense” of something. Furthermore, the response to “Give us a sense of blah, blah…” never says anything of any use, meaning or… sense.

We’ll have more as time goes on, and as we notice words used and abused, unnecessarily, pompously, pretentiously, ridiculously, lazily or stupidly.

– xPraetorius

Hard Copy News — Down. And Out.


David Carr of the NY Times posted a piece suggesting that the old-fashioned broadsheet newspaper is on the ropes.

Well, duh! What he didn’t say was that so are books, pamphlets, brochures and all manner of hard copy publications meant for distribution to the public at large.

But, not books, I can hear you wail!

Yep. Books. Again, what’s the real point of the venerable, clunky luggable? They’re heavy, bulky, take up a lot of space in luggage and in the house, they wear out after just a few uses, and if you drop them in the bathtub, they’re utterly ruined.

Look, no one loves a good book more than I, but let’s face it, now that we can read them on our Kindles, iPads, phones or even Desktop computer — and I can carry around some 300 or 3,000 books or so with me in my easily portable e-reader — there’s just no need for the luggable hard copy.

Want to know the real death knell for books? It’s the waterproof, solid-state reader. Essentially a Kindle that you can use in the rain, or at the beach, or the pool… or in the bathtub.

At that point, there truly is no longer any need for a book in the form we know now.

Tell me all you want of the comforting presence and all this abstract, but still very real, sentimental value you derive from books, and I’ll tell you that the young kids nowadays have none of that. It is they who will bring about the disappearance of books as we know them.

Furthermore, let’s face it, that waterproof, solid-state reader will be a vastly superior content-delivery system for all manner of publications. Including books.

Finally, I’ve received countless spam phone calls from various newspapers practically offering to give me the newspaper if only I’d subscribe. The person on the other end of the line is mystified when I tell him that I get way more, and more varied, information on the internet than I can ever get in any one newspaper, and that means that even if the newspaper were free, the hassle of disposing of it wouldn’t be worth it.

So, get yourself ready for the disappearance of books, prepare to welcome into your lives, e-books filled with advertising and other ways for the content owners — either the authors, or whatever the publishing houses become — to make money.

How about interactive books? You pay a small fee to determine how the book ends (this already exists in limited form). How about competitive reading, where readers compete with each other for prizes or money to predict how a work will turn out? And more… much more.

All coming soon to your e-reader and mine.

– xPraetorius

NPR Watch – 8/13/14


A brief one today. Just a reinforcement that the “news” readers on National Public Radio — both local and national — are not informed people. They’re not necessarily even all that well educated.

I was listening to the local NPR affiliate here in Connecticut this morning on the way to work.

One of the local guys, Ray Hardman (Yep, that’s his name) “reported” on a potential advance in Alzheimers research, telling first of how Alzheimers works to inhibit the strengthening of “synopses” (pr.: sin-OP-sees) in the brain.

Of course, that would mean that if you have Alzheimers, then “brief or condensed statements giving a general view of some subjects” (dictionary.com) have difficulty in your brain.

Really, Hardman meant to say “synapses” (pr.: SIN-ap-siz): the connections in your brain that allow information — thoughts — to travel from here to there.

That’s my synapses synopsis. Please feel free to correct.

Now, I have no particular deep expertise in the fields of Alzheimers research or brain functions, but even I know the difference between “synopses” (plural of synopsis) and “synapses.” That was BIO 101, I think. Or maybe Psych 101. Either way, it’s not advanced knowledge.

Now, in Hardman’s defense, he simply might have been reading copy fed to him by some uneducated writer. If that were the case, then Hardman should have been able to edit the word on the fly as he read. He was aware enough to pronounce “synopses” with the long “e” sound at the end. He was familiar with the words he was reading, and read the copy that way anyway. All of which means that they have no clue of the actual meaning of what they read.

There’s a bottom line with NPR: They feed you “news” that often is not only not news, but it’s frequently flat-out wrong or, as in this case, comically nonsensical.

– xPraetorius

The American Left: Unscrupulous Liars? Or Dumber Than Rocks?


The American left is always nattering on about how we Conservatives want so desperately to oppress people, to send women, blacks, gays and any other identifiable minority group back to the 1950’s or some such.

And yet, Conservatives’ one perfectly consistent, never-disputed-by-anyone absolutely core tenet is: reducing the size, scope and reach of the American government.

For a bunch of would-be totalitarian/fascists, Conservatives are sure going about it in a very strange way. I mean what kind of self-respecting totalitarian/fascists would come to power, and immediately set out to deprive themselves of the very tools necessary to be totalitarian/fascists?

Now it could be that the left is trying to argue that Conservatives are trying to oppress everyone by depriving them of all those great benefits that the government provides. Really? Has anyone looked lately at the situations of the various people/groups/anyone/anything the government has tried to help?

Let’s see: the economy? Drugs? Poverty? Unemployment? Race relations? Foreign policy? Iraq? Syria? Afghanistan? Russia/Ukraine?  Someone said it pretty well here.

Uhhh…yeah, We really need to give these jokers more power, so they can keep “helping.”

‘Course, it could be that the left is simply being dishonest about us Conservatives. They wouldn’t do that, would they? The left?

Of course they would! Because the media will simply echo their dishonesty and report it as news. Here’s the only inescapable conclusion about America’s left: They’ve been wrong in everything they’ve ever said about any issue in America today. Yet, they consider themselves the intelligent ones, the sophisticated ones, the ones with “nuanced” thinking. They’re either completely unscrupulous liars, devoid of any conscience whatsoever, or they’re stupider than rocks.

– xPraetorius

I Can Cure Cancer! (In less than a MINUTE!)


It’s simple! Just do with cancer what we did with another disorder– simply reclassify it as not a disorder. Simply call it “normal,” even “desirable.” Or transform it into “noble.

Bemoan and condemn in no uncertain terms the oppression, and the stigma that cancer “victims” (it’s normal now, remember? Let’s just stop calling them “victims” — the word is radioactive, after all — let’s call them “Persons of Cancer” — or “POC.” (1)) have had to endure through the ages, and demand that the injustice stop!

Easy, right?

See if you can guess what was, until only very recently, an actual disorder… an abnormality. But, after a bunch of prancing kerfuffles, flouncing hoo-hahs and pouting indignation, guess what: presto-changeo, it’s normal! 

Not only is this newly-redefined thing normal, but if you were to say something seemingly perfectly sensible like, “Hey, are you freakin’ kidding me?!? Do you know what they do with their you-know-whats?!? That is not normal!” you would immediately find yourself buried – along with your career and social life — under a barrage of spittle-flecked, bug-eyed, forehead-vein-popping rage. 

Because, you see, all of a sudden you had become a freakin’ bigot! Oh, you hadn’t changed since the thing got re-defined, but society had. And the lunatics berating you… had all  of a sudden been transformed into ummm open-minded, sensitive, compassionate, caring, tolerant, sharing, loving, non-bigots.

Lunatics, obviously, but not bigots.

Can you guess what newly-proclaimed  “normal” thing I’m referring to is?

Yep. It’s: homosexuality. Or as it should be properly known: “elaborate masturbation with people of the same sex.”

So, why not just do that for cancer? Just call it normal. And if someone were to suggest that someone with cancer has an abnormality, or a disease, or a disorder, then inundate that someone with a barrage of righteous indignation-fueled abuse so that he’ll go cower in a corner and shut the heck up.

Done!

Cancer cured! Wow! Applause, and Nobel Prize, and freakin’ ticker-tape parades for me now, right? I mean, I just cured cancer! Or at least made it okay to have cancer.

Right?

Of course!

But, but, but… I hear you say. Cancer’s a disease! You can’t just “re-define” a disease  as “normal!” People die from cancer… you can’t just pretend that it’s normal! That would be cruel and awful and … people would die! 

Yet, being “gay” is not really a lifestyle, it’s a death style. Homosexuals die much earlier on average than normal people. They die from the ravages of homosexuality. It has nothing to do with “oppression” or “societal abuse,” but everything to do with how homosexuals lead their lives. Now that they have joined the ranks of favored, coddled grievance groups, this sad fact has not changed.

Frankly, between  you and me, I’d expect cancer people to revolt against this new “tolerance” for cancer. They’d say, “What in the heck are you talking about? What we have is not normal. We’re sick! And we need you and others to find out how to cure whatever the heck is wrong with us, not just pretend that nothing’s wrong with us!

Which, by the way, is precisely how gay people should have reacted to the new “tolerance.”

Still most gays learned to embrace the notion that their abnormality is really not an abnormality. That, in fact, it’s perfectly fine, and they don’t need to change a thing in how they lead their lives. Cancer patients will be able to learn the same thing. Sure they’ll die a lot earlier than those without cancer, but so do gays.

If we were to make it just as hazardous to say anything negative about cancer, as it is for homosexuality, cancer patients will stop their whining and accept their new reality. They’ll accept that what they have is great and noble and, sure, it’ll kill ‘em, but that’s just okay.

Okay, okay… of course I’m kidding. Just calling cancer “normal” doesn’t make it so. And, as you can probably tell, this essay isn’t really about cancer. However, what’s true about cancer is also true of all other disorders in life, such as homosexuality: just wishing something to be true doesn’t make it so. Just declaring homosexuality — and all its vast array of other related neuroses — “normal” doesn’t make it so.

Something else that’s true of both cancer and homosexuality: we’d do cancer patients no favor, obviously, by simply declaring cancer to be “normal.” Likewise, we did gays no favor by simply re-defining homosexuality as normal.

As mentioned above, homosexuality could be called a deathstyle rather than an alternative lifestyle. In arbitrarily redefining it as a “normal” thing, our society killed hundreds of thousands of gays when we could have been warning them of the very real dangers of homosexual activities. And we consigned millions of gays to lives of secret misery by eliminating any possibility of their leading a normal life. They know they have a rather significant abnormality, and they want to lead a normal life just as anyone else does.

It’s a harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless: you can wish reality away all you want, but it doesn’t then go away.

– xPraetorius

Notes:


(1) Hmmmm… surely there are acronyms that can come out of this! Cancer is a condition in which certain cells go on a self-replication tear. They are, compared to other cells, ummmm… overly enthusiastic about making little versions of themselves. But everyone calls that a “bad thing.” Let’s re-classify it as a good thing. I mean, these are productive little dudes! Every self-respecting society — socialist or capitalist — respects productivity, right? So, let’s accentuate the positive! Let’s turn that frown upside-down! How ’bout if we call those cells “Cells of Enhanced Reproductive Capability,” or “CERC”  — or how ’bout “Cells With Extra Potency?” Cancer “patients” (they wouldn’t be “patients” anymore … they’d be normal people.) would become People of Cells of Enhanced Reproductive Capability — PoCERC,” or “People of Cells With Extra Potency” or ‘PoCWEP’  We should empower people who have learned that they are “living with cancer.”

NPR Watch – 8/8/14


A two-part feature today!

Part I:

Sometimes the local National Public Radio people are really funny. Occasionally we need a reminder that their news readers are not actually informed people.

This morning, I was listening to the local Connecticut NPR affiliate — WNPR — on my way in to work. They had their morning “news” show going, and they alternate between national and local stuff.

When it came time for the local segment, the local anchorette — Diane Orson — came on. She’s funny by herself, in that her breathless delivery makes it seem as though she just finished a two-mile run before coming in to deliver the news. Her sign-on is absolutely hilarious. She says, “I’m Diane Orson,” as if to imply — “and you’re not.”

During her spot, she kind of lost track of where she was in the copy for the day. She wanted to give some tidbit about the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, or DEEP. At that point, lost in the copy, she needed to give the name of the department. Now, mind you, this is the name of a Connecticut government department that she has read hundreds of times before. It’s one of the most reported on departments in the state, and probably the country.

She fumbled about and fumbled about. “The Department of Energy and… ummm,” she said. “The Department of Energy and, and, and [brief silence] … ” she said. Finally she blurted out, “The Department of Energy and Environmental [very brief pause] er Services.”

Just reinforcing, I guess, that your local NPR news readers don’t really know what they’re talking about. They’re show people. NPR is all show and no substance. At the local and national levels.

Part II:

On the national show, they did a feature that made clear why they are so reactionary today. They live completely and utterly in the past. They feel the constant need to re-fight battles long won, long forgotten, long overtaken by subsequent events.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974 as a result of the Watergate scandal. Of course, NPR — who loathed and continue to loathe Nixon and any other Republican — felt the need to do a gloating segment featuring their reporterette of the time: Linda Wertheimer.

Wertheimer came on and told of how Congressmen and Senators were sobbing in the Halls of Congress as they voted to impeach Nixon, which is complete hogwash. The Democrats were triumphant, gloating, boastful, elated. The impeachment hearings represented a vast transfer of de facto power to the Congress, and they were reveling in it.

Nixon was blameworthy for Watergate, but what he did then absolutely pales compared to what Barack Obama is doing today. There are just not any Democrats with enough integrity to call Obama on his and his administration’s corruption. But then, governing the United States of American honestly, decently and with integrity was not what the Democrat Party was all about during Watergate, or today.

Wertheimer told of when Barbara Jordan, black Democrat woman Congressman from Texas, addressed the House of Representatives. Wertheimer said worshipfully of Jordan’s predictably partisan speech, and I quote, “Well, it was as if we were hearing the voice of God!”

Gee, I wonder where Wertheimer’s leanings are!

Wertheimer told of how “scared” people were. The fate of our democracy depends on the orderly transition of power, she said. Wrong again. The fate of our democracy does depend on the orderly transition of power, but no one was worried about that in the slightest at the time. I’m giving Wertheimer the benefit of the doubt that she’s not out-and-out lying, but is, simply, reporting things as she wishes they were. A ubiquitous NPR flaw.

I remember the time well. No one was afraid of whether or not the orderly transition of power in the United States was in jeopardy, nor was anyone even saying they were afraid for it. The Democrats smelled blood in the water and they moved in for the kill, and they got it. They needed only to convince a few gullible Republicans that they were “deeply concerned for the future of the country,” which they were able to do also. Connecticut’s own Lowell Weicker, for one.

The piece dragged on and on and on, with the anchor, David Greene, reverentially asking Wertheimer questions with the tenor of: “How did you even survive the horrors of it, you brave, courageous woman, you?”

You get the picture.

Back to the point of this: NPR is as reactionary as they are because they live in the past. No one has as many ossified old fossils around running their show as NPR. Wertheimer, and others of her long past time, long ago abandoned doing anything serious journalistically, and are hanging on by tenure alone.

I was listening to Wertheimer, Robert Siegel, Bob Edwards, Noah Adams, Daniel Schorr, and all the rest, more than forty years ago! All of them, except the now defunct Schorr are still there, still wheezing, gurgling and gasping out the “news” on NPR. Heck, half of them have probably already been dead for years, but no one ever knew it … and they continue to read what passes for “news” at NPR.

Daniel Schorr was the epitome of everything NPR has been for decades now. He made his reputation as an unsubtly left-wing reporter for, I think it was, ABC. NPR got him when he proved even too obviously a lefty for the legacy broadcast media! He then hung on, fighting and re-fighting Watergate for NPR, until he passed away. Or someone realized he’d passed away.

For NPR, the echoes of the ’60’s and the ’70’s still ring clear in their ears. They remain ready to join the rioters and war protesters in Washington, D.C., and at Kent State. They’re still primed to re-join the now long dead — or in the halls of power — Civil Rights marchers in the South.

When someone gently points out to them that these fights were won long ago, they put their hands over their ears and croak, “Na, na, na, na, naaaaaaaa… Naaaaaoooot LISTENING!!!” Then they do a six-part retrospective on the Civil Rights era. Or on feminism and “the vast quantity of work that still remains to be done.”

They note adoringly the passing of even the most insignificant figures of the past, involved (always) on the leftist side of the Civil Rights era, of feminsm’s rise to dominance, of the McCarthy era, of the Vietnam era, and now of the shiny new gay era. Remember the Stonewall riots of 1969? Me either. But they were apparently a “major milestone” in the gay rights era, and NPR did a reverential piece on one of their anniversaries.

The great thing about this focus of theirs is that these anniversaries are the gifts that keep on giving. Every year represents a major anniversary for some grievance group or other, as do every five year mark and every ten year mark.

Of course this is a network incapable of seeing evil, or corruption, or abuses of power coming from the Democrat Party, from its minions in the halls of power (IRS, NSA, DEP, for example), or from the Obama Administration itself.

Even worse, this is a network that loudly and ostentatiously prides itself — no, is in awe of itself — at its whipcrack smartness and its powerful, in-depth and perceptive reporting during Watergate, all while it remains blissfully oblivious to the two dozen worse-than-Watergate stinking piles of corruption coming from the Obama Administration.

– xPraetorius

Pursuant to ‘Similarities’


(a brief follow-up to the essay here)

I am not (yet, at least) predicting World War IV (World War III is already underway in the guise of “The War on Terror.”), but I am saying that global conflict — with nuclear weapons involved — is very much possible. These are very dangerous times, and for reasons that some may not have taken into account.

That there is a preening, egotistical, self-obsessed, power-mad fop atop Russia is beyond dispute. That we have the same atop the United States should be plain to all.

That our particular fop is also a dull mediocrity should be cause for the greatest alarm.

– xPraetorius

Similarities


…between now and before World War II.

Most specifically between American/Japanese relations before Pearl Harbor and American/Russian relations now.

Oh, there are lots and lots of difference to be sure, but the principal similarity is in the sort of game of chicken the two great powers are playing now, compared with that same game before WWII.

Before Pearl Harbor, it should be noted, relations between the U.S. and Japan were tense and growing more tense. Pearl Harbor didn’t just happen out of the blue, as if the Japanese one day said, “Hey! I know! Let’s go bomb the heck out of the American Pacific Fleet and see what happens!”

No, before that, President Franklin Roosevelt was more than a little put out at Japan’s invasion and occupation of large portions of China, and at Japan’s growing muscle in the Pacific.

But, why was Japan being so adventuresome? Easy: natural resources. Japan is a rocky, resource-poor archipelago with little arable land. Needless to say, they had been seafarers for a very long time. However, they recognized that in the coming mechanized age, an island nation with no access to the means or materials to industrialize would soon be left behind. So they did something about it. I’m not defending Japan’s decisions, but let’s recognize that they made sense in a certain realpolitik kind of way.

In the months and years leading up to Pearl Harbor, as America — really FDR, let’s not forget that he came to the White House fully eight years before Pearl Harbor(1) — tightened the screws on Japan, the Japanese grew increasingly desperate for the aforementioned resources. It seems odd that neither Roosevelt nor his advisors envisioned that an attack on Pearl Harbor might be a strong possibility. 

Roosevelt was fully responsible for America’s relations with Japan. It was American sanctions that pushed the already militaristic Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. Such an act certainly shouldn’t have seemed remotely out of the realm of possibility for the War Department of the day.

In retrospect, one can wonder only just how the attack on Pearl Harbor could have been a surprise at all.

Why does Russia do what it is doing now? They’re certainly not resource hungry; theirs is the resource-richest country in the world, by far. However, their economy is tanking and that can put the urge to invade neighbors into the head of despots right quick. No, their reasons for their current expansionist kick are not entirely resource-driven. In Russia’s case, it’s a combination of economic factors, and the resource-rich ego of Vladimir Putin.

Actually, though, the motivation is unimportant; that the expansionist urge is upon Russia and Vladimir Putin, is incontestable. And what are we doing? Imposing sanctions on Russia. Gettin’ the game of chicken revved up.

Why make mention of this? Simple: atop Russia is a petty, thin-skinned, proud, headstrong, stubborn, self-worshipping, hyper-inflated ego, without a lot of brains or common decency. A war likely would not bother him at all.  Atop the United States is the very same kind of man.

Today’s events, and the state in which the world finds itself, are stark reminders that when everyone around the world was rooting for Barack Obama to win the Presidency, it was not because they all thought it was in America’s best interests.

 

– xPraetorius

Notes:


(1) Roosevelt, the quintessential liberal/leftist Democrat of his day spent all his first two terms blaming his Republican predecessor, Herbert Hoover, for the Great Depression and for the failure of Roosevelt’s measures to fix it. The more cynical among us wonder whether this ‘failure’ was intentional; it’s a lot tougher to re-make a country from its foundations up if the people are prosperous. There’s little or no support for ‘change’ in a land of prosperity. Sound vaguely familiar?

NPR Watch – 8/7/14 (Part II)


NPR was a twofer today!

In this morning’s edition we revealed what the experts at TPWG(1) discovered about National Public Radio’s afternoon/evening “news” show — “All Things Considered,” which we’ve generously re-dubbed “A Really Limited Range of Leftist Things Only Very Selectively Considered” — the famous television personality that NPR hostette Audie Cornish reminds us of is: Eeyore!(2) That essay is here.

Tonight’s edition comes to you because NPR’s afternoon/evening hostette Audie “Eeyore” Cornish interviewed just another typical man for their series on Men and Masculinity in America. He’s Jason Taylor, and he’s a potential National Football League Hall-of-Famer. Yep, just another guy like you and me.

In this entire series, of which I’ve endured a half-dozen or so excruciating episodes(3) —  one thing has always stood out: Cornish, a woman, and the rest of her colleagues, have spent the entire series not trying to find out what it is to be a man in America — as if a flimsy, paltry, trivial little series could do that — but rather they’ve been lecturing us on what they — and therefore NPR — think being a man in America ought to be. That’s why these women have sought out the least typical, the most out-of-the ordinary possible men for interview victims as they could.

Of course, this is nothing more than SOP for NPR. They should be  called Nagging Preachy Radio, which would make the “NPR” finally accurate.

One other note: can you imagine NPR doing a series on “Being a Woman in America?” Of course not! Someone would have the common sense to say, “What a ridiculous idea! That’s way too broad a topic to handle in a few five-minute segments several times a week!”

That NPR really thought they could pull it off for men is indicative of the howling, crashing ignorance they had for the topic before they even started. I could do an NPR series on “Men in America” and it would consist of a single episode about 30 seconds long. The copy would read:

“It’s perfectly laughable to try to do anything meaningful on such a vast topic in anything less than hundreds of broadcast hours. Since NPR would never devote that amount of time to the subject, this will be the first and last episode in the series. We conclude with this thought about “Men in America:” We haven’t the foggiest notion of what it’s all about, we’re NPR, fer cryin’ out loud!”

Between you ‘n me, if they had committed that tiny bit of obviousness-stating and journalistic honesty, they could have instantly silenced naysayers and scoffers  like me. After, that is, we pulled ourselves out of the ditch we had just driven into.

Back to today’s episode of NPR Watch. Somewhere in the interview, Eeyore Cornish asked Jason Taylor when he first heard that he needed to “man up,” or to tough it out and persevere. He said something like, “Oh, it was my mother, I’m sure. Probably before I was five-years old.”

Interesting response!

First thing to note is that the question — with Cornish’s phrasing and intonation — sounded something like: “What idiot was the first one to tell you to ‘man up?'” Cornish seemed immediately taken aback by Taylor’s response. She did a startled little giggle, as if to say, “Well, that was the wrong answer! You were supposed to say a ‘coach’ or some ‘childhood friend — who was a boy,’ or, like, you know, ‘your father.’ You know, some male! She quickly moved on to the next topic. I’ll hazard a guess why.

Two things stuck out like the proverbial sore thumbs in Taylor’s response. Thing 1: Frequently — maybe even the vast majority of the time — men’s perceptions of themselves as men come from what, who and how they think women want them to be. Where do men get the idea of what women want them to be? Women tell them, of course! Thing 2: A simple, but important truth: Women made the world as it is today. Talk about men being in positions of power all you want, but the women made the men.

Not kidding here.

Ask any child psychologist what are the most important formative years in terms of personality and character development, and the answer is always: birth to five years. Despite feminists’ best efforts, women still overwhelmingly raise young boys and turn them into the men they become.

Ok, ok, ok… this is a bit of a cop out. We all pick and choose the influences we wish to use for life. However, again overwhelmingly, the hand nudging the boys (and girls) from birth to toddlerhood to childhood to youth to teenager to young adult to adult is a woman’s hand, and the most prominent of the influences admitted to by boys is overwhelmingly: their mother. Jason Taylor answered Cornish’s question quickly and easily. Who, she had asked, first told him to “man up?” It was his mother — and before he was even five-years old!

Just as interestingly, the on-line transcript (here) of Cornish’s conversation with Taylor left out the little tidbit about his mother telling him to man up.

– xPraetorius

Notes:


 

(1) The Pretorian Writers’ Group — this blog

(2) Here’s a bit of Wikipedia’s summary description of Eeyore: “He is generally characterized as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey…”

Wow! Is that NPR all over, or what!!!

(3) You may ask: why the heck do I subject myself to it?!? I’ve discovered the way to listen to NPR’s over-the-top pomposity and so-much-smarter-than-thou pretense, and enjoy it: I listen to it as comedy. If you can do that, not only does NPR work, it’s brilliant! Here’s a link to that essay.

Here’s a quote from that piece:

NPR has demonstrated over and over and over and over and over and over again, why 1: you should view their “news” product only as comedy, it’s the only way it makes any sense, and 2:  if you think it’s “news” you’re getting from them, then you come out of any session with NPR less informed than when you went in.

I guess what’s really rich is the contrast between NPR’s constant, snooty, nose-in-the-air insistence that they are the quality broadcast; that they are the in-depth network, the one you turn to when you really want to know. Really, they’re the worst of all the news outlets out there — and that’s really saying something! Worse still: frequently, as it was this time, their “news” is simply false.

NPR Watch – 8/7/14


I was listening to National Public Radio on the ride home from work yesterday evening, and burst out laughing. One of their afternoon/evening anchorettes is Audie Cornish. It is she who caused my mirth. Not because of her introduction to any story, but because of her delivery.

First, a little background: NPR’s news readers — going all the way back as far as I can remember listening to them — have always been the most affected, least natural, the most obviously trained of any news presenters out there. Bar none.

Now, if you’re really good, if you’re really well-trained, it’s not supposed to be obvious that you’re trained. Your delivery is supposed to seem natural, smooth, unaffected — as though you talk that way all your life.

However, if, for example, Linda Wertheimer were to talk in real life as she does on the air, every single interlocutor of hers would run screaming away from her. That’s how annoying she’d be.

She’s a perfect case in point. Every sentence she completes leaves you with the impression that in her mind she’s thinking, “Now, wasn’t that just really clever, what I just said? And didn’t I deliver it cutely, smoothly, articulately and flawlessly… yet again?”

Furthermore, her delivery is as follows: “We. Take. You. Now. To. The. Forests. Of. Norway…” It’s as if she takes a handful of Quaaludes before each broadcast, or as though she’s feeding what she says through one of those sound processors that slows the sound waaaaaaaay down, but doesn’t affect the pitch and tone of the sound. Either way, it’s awful… and it’s funny.

Again, there is only one possible conclusion: If you listen to NPR as comedy then they make perfect sense, and they’re absolutely brilliant! It’s only sweeter that they’re only accidentally comedic geniuses.

NPR is how comedies/parodies of the news industry should be made. It’s why shows like the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” were so awful. The buffoonish character of Ted Baxter was so clownish that he was absolutely unbelievable. There was no way, one thought, that any newscaster is that much of an idiot.

That the NPR hosts and hostettes take themselves so seriously, and consider themselves the crême de la crême de la crême de la crême de la crême, makes what they do even more exquisitely funny. It’s so bad, and so affected, and so forced, and so pompous, pretentious, snooty, hoity-toity and smarter, better, cleverer and just so darned much cooler than thou… and it’s all unintentional! Absolutely rolling-on-the-floor-laugh-out-loud hilarious!

Even more: you can picture their listeners: earnest, serious, wispy, comb-over, John-Lennon-glasses, scrawny middle managers and professor types with “Obama” bumper stickers on their Smart cars; focused, unshaven, tangle-haired, purposeful, young Masters Degreed women on their way in their Priuses to the non-profit to “make a difference,” their “COEXIST” bumper sticker proudly displayed; rich, gated-community liberals for whom “coolness” is in the distant past, who think they can replace it with cheap, easy, unearned sophistication by listening to NPR. You know the type… that awful thing the brainless hippies of the ‘sixties became in later life — and their luckless progeny. All taking the caricature that is NPR as seriously as they take everything else in their gray, humorless, earnest lives.

Now, to bring this full-circle. What made me laugh so uproariously as I listened to Audie Cornish deliver the “news” on NPR yesterday evening on the ride home from work?

Simple: she is Eeyore turned newscaster!!! If you were to turn Eeyore into a newscaster and put him on NPR, he’d be Audie Cornish… the perfect successor to Noah Adams, the original personality-deprived, affect-less, dull — Eeyore! of NPR.

Time to listen to them with an ear to finding out who the rest of them are!

– xPraetorius

I will not teach my kids about safe sex because there is no such thing | The Matt Walsh Blog


I will not teach my kids about safe sex because there is no such thing | The Matt Walsh Blog.

The truth is in the headline.

There’s simply no such thing as “safe sex.”

It’s funny, listen to anybody and they will tell you that relationships with significant others are fraught with danger, with pain, with emotional turmoil, angst, worry, insecurity, sadness, tears, anxiety, hurt and sorrow. Those are the successful ones!

The ones that don’t work out are all that and more.

Yet in the same breath someone will tell you that there’s something called “safe sex.”

I believe in unicorns, Atlantis, Santa Claus and honest Democrats more than I believe that there’s even the remote possibility of something called “safe sex.”

Matt Walsh agrees, and has written eloquently about it in the above-linked blog post.

Here’s a sample:

Nameless, random, uncommitted sex is never safe. Not emotionally, not spiritually, not physically. In fact, no sex is safe. Sex is not supposed to be safe. Sex isn’t supposed to be physically perilous like it often is these days — thanks, mostly, to years of ‘safe sex’ education — but it is supposed to be an act of great depth and consequence. Sex is meant to be open and exposed. It’s meant to bring out scary and mysterious feelings of desire and devotion.

Call that whatever you like, but you can’t call it safe.

Sex itself isn’t safe. On the other hand, committed relationships, fortified by the vows of marriage and reaffirmed daily by both spouses, are safe — and it is only in this context that the inherent vulnerability of sex can be made secure and comfortable.

Yep.

– xPraetorius

One of My All-Time Favorite Commentators


You can’t do better than Alfonzo Rachel — CEO, proprietor, head honcho, top dog, emperor-of-all-he-surveys in Zo-Nation! He’s smart, articulate, fearless, and a thorough-going, non-punch-puller. Enjoy his many commentaries and other performances here.

– xPraetorius

Life’s complexity and mortal weight: Odds and ends 12/6/2013


Life’s complexity and mortal weight: Odds and ends 12/6/2013.

I can’t begin to tell you how good this collection of commentary and remarks is.

Joseph Dooley is intelligent, a very fine writer, a keen analyst and avid reader — and he publishes a terrific, challenging, really well-done, and terrifically readable blog.

In the above-linked collection of “Odds and Ends,” as he calls them, Dooley has pulled together some pointed, pithy remarks from far and wide on feminism, marriage, Obamacare and more. He interjects his own commentary as well, making for a great read.

I found this particular Odds and Ends a tad late — it’s from December of 2013 — but the thoughts and ideas expressed herein are timeless.

Enjoy!

– xPraetorius

Democrats’ Impeachment Amnesia | RealClearPolitics


Democrats’ Impeachment Amnesia | RealClearPolitics.

Wow!

The above-linked essay is well-written and well-thought out. And it’s not by some Republican Conservative firebrand. It’s Carl Cannon of RealClearPolitics.com.

Here are some of the more interesting passages:

One disconcerting feature of modern liberalism is that so many Democrats consider it reasonable to judge the Republican Party by its most rhetorically untethered adherents: Sarah Palin, for one. Or Rush Limbaugh. Texas Congressman Steve Stockman is another example.

Those three have been trying to nudge their fellow conservatives in the direction of impeaching President Obama. This suicidal idea has been duly ignored by the Senate Republican leadership, the House leadership, and every potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate. It has been rejected out of hand, really, by almost every prominent Republican in the country, including the never-shy Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Well. Someone finally noticed! Along with the vapors coming from Democrats about Republican talk of impeachment, along with the media hyper-frenzy over Republican moves to impeach the President there have been … no Republican talk of impeachment and no Republican moves to impeach the President. Yep. It’s all fabricated. It’s as if they all (including the press of course) got together one day and said, “What can we accuse them of now?”

Here’s more from Cannon:

The actual officeholders and party professionals stoking impeachment talk are all Democrats. This is disquieting for several reasons. For starters, having White House officials and leading congressional Democrats claim with straight faces that impeachment is a serious threat is cynical and dishonest. Its purpose is to frighten liberals into donating money to Democrats, a tactic that is working. But it suggests a political party that is out of gas and out of ideas.

Oops… I think I just said this. Darn! :)

Then, there’s this from Cannon:

When it was her turn to speak, and she rarely misses such a chance, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called the lawsuit resolution “a veiled attempt for impeachment [that] undermines the law that allows a president to do his job.”

It’s unclear what “law” she had in mind, but the Texas congresswoman was just getting going: “A historical fact that President Bush pushed this nation into a war that had little to do with apprehending terrorists,” she added. “We did not seek impeachment of President Bush, because as an executive, he had his authority. President Obama has the authority.”

Historical confusion, constitutional illiteracy, and mangled syntax aside, this statement wasn’t merely inaccurate. It was peculiar. That’s because on June 10, 2008, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat, introduced a measure titled “Impeaching George W. Bush, president of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Eleven of Kucinich’s fellow progressives signed on as co-signatories. These weren’t talk radio or cable TV entertainers—or marginalized members on their way out of Congress, like Steve Stockman. The sponsors of the Bush impeachment bill were congressional liberals in good standing with the Democratic leadership in the House, and most of them are still there, including—yes, you guessed it—Sheila Jackson Lee.

“She misspoke,” her press secretary Mike McQuerry told inquiring reporters.

Sheila Jackson Lee is now little more than a mildly entertaining crank on the House floor. No one — not even her fellow hard-leftists — take her seriously, she’s always saying really dumb things.

Still more from Cannon’s piece:

One excuse for Obama’s troubles is new, however. He himself has implied what Attorney General Eric Holder and many others have claimed aloud: that much of the opposition to this president is attributable to his race. This is not an easy narrative to disprove, but the eight-year dose of vitriol directed at Bush and Cheney—and the craven claims that it never happened—certainly undermine it.

One minor quibble with Cannon: the race excuse is nothing new. It began even before Obama assumed the Presidency as people were trotting it out pre-emptively as an excuse for Obama’s possible failure. It’s possible that Cannon is saying that it’s new that Obama is making the claim. However, if Obama believed that racism was not a cause for all his failures, then he should have publicly told his subordinates to shut up, and recant their race card plays. His silence implied his agreement. It is, after all, the Obama Administration.

Here’s still more:

Sheila Jackson Lee’s brain freeze was almost comical, but the serious side to this is that if you’re going to impugn others’ motives—if you’re going to talk about “hating,” as the president did—the biblical admonition about noticing the speck in your neighbor’s eye is apropos.

“I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for” wasn’t a sentence uttered by a leftist talk radio pundit. It was said in 2005 by Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean.

And it wasn’t some unhinged MSNBC host who said that George W. Bush deliberately fabricated the rationale for invading Iraq to help Republican electoral chances. That was Sen. Ted Kennedy, the icon of American liberalism. This didn’t start with Iraq, either. During the Florida recount, Rep. Jerold Nadler of New York mentioned “the whiff of fascism in the air.”

The whiff I detected, as I do now, was the scent of demagoguery.

“An overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American.” So says Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States.

Cannon has a valid point. The Republicans’ worst firebrands are nowhere near as vitriolic or vicious as your average, run-of-the mill Democrats in the party’s leadership. The whiff detect is the stink of dishonesty and corruption that permeates the media and the Democrat Party leadership.

Cannon concludes:

Barack Obama received a higher percentage of the popular vote than any Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson—and he did it twice. It’s irrational to say that those who’ve soured on him only recently noticed the hue of his skin. The more likely culprits—as Carter should know firsthand—are the effects of his policies, his tepid approach to foreign policy, and a rhetorical impulse to position himself as president of the Democratic Party, instead of president of the United States of America.

Gee, you mean the media and the Democrats have been lying all this time about the racism thing? Who’d a thunk it? Oh, yeah… we did — and we predicted all this more than six years ago, when we suggested that it was way more important to elect a good President than it was to elect a black one.  A good or great President lays the groundwork to do “cool” things, like elect a black President. But a lousy President can very well mean — worst case — that we won’t have any more Presidents of any color.

– xPraetorius