Archive for December, 2011

Fear: The Nebulous Boogeyman In The GOP Primaries

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The GOP primaries have been awful. I don’t know that they’re more awful than 2008, necessarily. The stakes are the same as they were..or worse. It’s just that people now seem more acutely aware that much is at stake, so there’s more urgency.

The economy feels unstable. That is, the current awful environment feels like it might not be the worst it could be. It could get a lot worse.

Even with the press putting a shiny bow on the Obama administration, the general consensus is that things are going the wrong direction.

And yet, President Obama’s numbers aren’t as low as one would expect. Why?

The answer may be in the GOP field and not all that obvious. The current front runners– Mitt Romney and Ron Paul– have both succeeded the same way Barack Obama succeeded in his difficult primary with Hillary Clinton: by stoking fears and manipulating the unease people feel.

The success of Mitt Romney’s strident and insincere demogoguing over illegal immigration and Ron Paul’s own nativist rhetoric reflect a society in crisis. When it’s too tough to look inward, blame the “other”.

Ron Paul’s hysterics are nothing new. As the success of his newsletters demonstrate, there’s always been a patch on the American quilt possessed of isolationism and paranoia. This year, his message has finally found a bigger home. Everyone is out to get you. It’s not you. It’s them.

Likewise Romney’s forked tongue has worked much the same as Obama’s. He’s subtly divided and nursed insecurity. His big government Republicanism won’t be as bad as Obama’s, but the government will still protect you, from them.

In 2008, Obama won with code words like “fairness” and “enough” and “tax the rich”. You, are being taken advantage of by them.

Fear makes people do stupid things, but it is primal and it is effective as a motivator–for a short time.

Unfortunately, the success of these messages blot out the tough and true message. Things are bad right now. True. Americans have the power to make things better.

That is, each individual can, for his own life, make this better if the government stays out of the way.

The government fixing things hasn’t fixed things. Clearly, this approach has failed.

Still, because of the other fears out there like the looming world crises and the sense that America has yet to hit rock bottom, a stern, solid, and common sense message just hasn’t taken hold.

I do believe people want to hear it. It also seems like they need some serious, solid encouragement.

Are the American people plagued with self-doubt? Maybe. And so many citizens are so busy just making life work that they have little time to consider positive possibilities. From where they sit, one small trouble could tip their balance negatively and has for so many.

Somewhere between, “There, there, little children, we’ll make it all better” (Mitt) and “Get yer guns, they’re comin’ fer ya” there’s a positive message of self-reliance and American exceptionalism.

Mitt’s message is one Obama does better. And Ron Paul’s message is downright frightening.

A note on the latter. I do believe that Ron Paul is resonating with people who fear the government as oppressive and invasive in their lives. His promises of a smaller government are compelling.

Herein lies the schizophrenia of the GOP, and of the nation generally. The American citizenry seems to be like a teenager: wanting to be able to do whatever they want with no government interference but spared consequences when they do something completely stupid.

A truly independent individual cannot have it both ways. Just like a parent gets bossy when it’s their money being spent, the Federal Government likes to manage behavior by monetary manipulation. There are rules, and one must follow them to have favor.

People have to decide: More independence (which will require self-reliance which is the only way to be truly free) or dependence (which will require more rules, more redistribution and less freedom).

It’s agreed that no one wants to bail out big corporations any more, right? Right, GM workers who are surviving, this minute, on the generosity of fellow taxpayers?

Are people willing to be cut off from the strangling hand of the government? That’s not clear at all.

And that’s why this GOP primary feels like being stuck at an empty resort with a psychotic writer. Everyone fears impending doom, the stakes feel so incredibly high, and rather than sensible messages, the leading GOP candidates are stoking real fears and irrational ones.

While Obama’s made nearly every single thing worse, rather than give straight, truthful talk and leadership, Romney and Paul employ similar rhetorical methods.

America could use a calm, thoughtful, optimistic message. It’s certainly not coming from Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

Is this the entirety of the explanation about the GOP primary? No, this is a complex race in complex times.

Fear, and the stoking of it, is at least part of the explanation for what we’re seeing, though. And while it’s understandable, it’s tremendously destructive.

America needs sound leadership not fear mongering.



President Selfish: Obama Spends Christmas Golfing, Marines Can’t Be Home With Family

Monday, December 26th, 2011

President Obama might be the most selfish president ever. Instead of staying home with his family, President Obama had to go golfing on Christmas day.

Big deal, you say?

Well, the big deal is that a bunch of Marines had to work–blocking roads and doing other miscellaneous security detail–instead of being home with their families.

Here are some of the comments from the wives of these men. (I am not going to include the link to this page, nor am I going to include names, because I don’t want anyone in trouble. I do, however, have the screen shot and have copy and pasted the comments verbatim.)

“You also have to understand that, a lot of people were unable to get to their homes during Christmas Eve, Christmas and even today. That’s a major inconvenience for families trying to enjoy their holiday. Also all of those guys out there missed out on Christmas, leaving their wives and children at home alone so the President can play golf. It may not affect you, or be important to you, but to the families affected it’s a sensitive subject and frankly I feel that people are allowed to be upset by that. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you really should consider expressing your opinion in a different way. Cursing and calling people names isn’t respectable.”

“Because he’s here, I didn’t get to see my husband all weekend, on our baby girl’s first Christmas, so he can have his vacation. So when I can’t get to my house because he wants to play golf it just adds insult to injury and yeah, gets on my nerves. I agree that it’s a sensitive subject for some of us who are more effected by his being here.”

“I was so angry! They blocked off my driveway… -_-“

“It takes him forever to play too because he isn’t good at it either lol!”

“hahahahahahaha i hate when hes here. last year her and the kids where at the big park (which is across from my house) and i couldnt even turn onto mokapu! they wouldnt let you walk over either! i actually feel really bad for the kids”

There are more where this came from, but these comments captured the general mood. There were also a few “rah rah Obama” defenders such as this:

“This ish is really make’n me mad!!! U want 2 vent about the President being here just STFU!!! This is my 1st duty station and I’m happy 2 b in the prescence of a PRESIDENT!!!! So 4 all of u who don’t care do the 1’s who do care a Favor and STFU!!!! Thanks I’m Done!!! Vent That! :). BTW its ur husbands job 2 patrol and block!!! Hello, that’s what they’re paid 4 incase some of u wives 4got!!!!”

So, basically, the President ruins the Christmas of some Marines so he can play golf on the military base which causes a complete shut down around the base around Christmas.

President Obama seems to have no class and no empathy for those working around him. Unlike President Bush, who took the secret services’ needs into account, President Obama, his royal wife and the royal family go to Hawaii. This makes the lives difficult of the secret service.

And as the above demonstrates, the Marines in Hawaii and their families are deprived of Christmas, too.

President Obama is President Selfish. Shameful.



Pinterest: Why You Should Be Interested

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

A couple years ago, I immersed myself in Twitter over a Thanksgiving weekend. This weekend, I’ve done the same with Pinterest.

Some thoughts:

1. It’s going to change online search. People are more inclined visually anyway. So, imaging putting in “pink bedroom” and imagine hundreds of people sorted pink bedrooms which you now see after it has been filtered through Pinterest. Like Twitter, it’s a smart, people-driven search.

2. Artists, graphic designers, architects,interior designers will love it. In fact, I’d force my clients to do two weeks of “Pinning” before I worked with them. It’s one thing to describe what you want. It’s another thing to see it. This could be a way to diminish communication problems. A person can collect art, websites, logos, homes, living rooms, etc. and then show their designer/decorator.

3. Marketing to women has just changed. You know how I know Pinterest is a big deal? Every techtarded woman I know is on the damn thing and has ten boards going already. Women make something like 80% of home-focused purchases. Everything. Still. Retailers better make sure their website interfaces work with Pinterest so women can “pin” what they like. That includes you snobby tech sites.

4. Bloggers better make sure EVERY post has a picture so it can be “Pinned”. Have a favorite book? movie? military installation? gun? car? Just post a picture so it’s shareable.

Now, Pinterest has some shortcomings, but if they’re smart they’ll fix them soon:

Namely:

Share-ability. I’d really like to be able to tag people I think would be interested in something within Pinterest. Ironically, I can share something on Twitter or Facebook and tag, but it’s not easy (is it even possible?) in Pinterest.

Maybe (not sure) more ability to text modify the comments below a picture. Maybe some simple commands like bold, italics, underline like Google+.

Ability to make a board private or shareable with only a few people. I can see business and family applications here. A group project where you can share all sorts pictures and ideas? Pinterest is ideal for that, but not if the whole world sees what you’re up to.

Finally, Pinterest needs a killer iPad app because, really, it is a match made in visual social media heaven.

For those scorning it — namely dudes– get over yourselves. It is a fantastic organizational tool. I’ve saved the best part of Pinterest for last:

You know all those things you see online and you hate your bookmark bar and lists because they’re a hot mess? Pinterest really is logically made to organize. It is fascinating how people break things down already based on their interests/needs. I especially love my Tech board. I’ll see something cool and then forget about it. By pinning it, I can come back to it. Do I want to buy it? Do I really like it? Maybe.

At least squat on your name on Pinterest. It’s going to be a big deal. It’s the first social media that I’m aware of that is dominated by women out of the gate. Facebook was both guys and girls (college students) to start with. Twitter and Google Plus (predominately male to start and then women joined). Friendfeed? Well, that was dominated by Robert Scoble. Heh. Get your name before someone else does.

Follow me on Pinterest here.



Christopher Hitchens: Always Learning…And Coming To The Truth?

Friday, December 16th, 2011


Christopher Hitchens died yesterday, here in Houston at MD Anderson.

A faithful atheist, Christopher Hitchens wrestled with God. I appreciated watching it in action. It was like witnessing Jacob go round after round with the Maker begging to be blessed. Hitchens wanted to be blessed with belief, I believe.

Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seemed to me he felt cursed by not being allowed entre into an intellectual world he couldn’t understand. His unbelief limited his understanding of the world both literary and literal and unlike so many, he seemed aware of his lack. He seemed to resent it. So, he fought.

An honest believer of any stripe fights. The mindless, whether atheist or God-fearer, makes a mockery of belief itself. Some might be surprised that a man who seemed to so despise God would be respected by believers. Here’s been my experience: the fighters acknowledge Something whether conscious or not.

Reminds me of the verse Revelation 3:15:

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”

In a politically correct world of facile sophistry, Christopher Hitchens was either hot or cold. He certainly wasn’t lukewarm.

He didn’t brook the flabby self-congratulation of the likes of Bill Maher the king of cheap and easy pseudo-intellectualism.

One of my favorite Hitchens moments was between Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan in a debate moderated by the incomparable Tim Russert. At one point, Hitchens decried Andrew’s whining like a little girl. It was offensive, un-p.c. and completely deserved.

One of the most painful Hitchens exchanges was Hitch and his brother debating over the existence of God. What pained me was Christopher’s brother Peter’s pain.

Peter wrote about his journey to Christianity (well worth the read):

Being Christian is one thing. Fighting for a cause is another, and much easier to acknowledge – for in recent times it has grown clear that the Christian religion is threatened with a dangerous defeat by secular forces which have never been so confident.

Why is there such a fury against religion now? Because religion is the one reliable force that stands in the way of the power of the strong over the weak. The one reliable force that forms the foundation of the concept of the rule of law.
The one reliable force that restrains the hand of the man of power. In an age of powerworship, the Christian religion has become the principal obstacle to the desire of earthly utopians for absolute power.

While I was making my gradual, hesitant way back to the altar-rail, my brother Christopher’s passion against God grew more virulent and confident.

As he has become more certain about the non-existence of God, I have become more convinced we cannot know such a thing in the way we know anything else, and so must choose whether to believe or not. I think it better by far to believe.

And then he writes of his brother:

My brother and I agree on this: that independence of mind is immensely precious, and that we should try to tell the truth in clear English even if we are disliked for doing so. Oddly enough this leads us, in many things, to be far closer than most people think we are on some questions; closer, sometimes, than we would particularly wish to be.

The same paradox sometimes also makes us arrive at different conclusions from very similar arguments, which is easier than it might appear. This will not make us close friends at this stage. We are two utterly different men approaching the ends of two intensely separate lives.

Let us not be sentimental here, nor rashly over-optimistic. But I was astonished, on that spring evening by the Grand River, to find that the longest quarrel of my life seemed unexpectedly to be over, so many years and so many thousands of miles after it had started, in our quiet homes and our first beginnings in an England now impossibly remote from us.

It may actually be true, as I have long hoped that it would be, in the words of T. S. Eliot, that ‘the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time’.

And if that peace could come…

Well, we all get old and we all soften, or most with any shred of wisdom do. And so, the question was asked by Mark Judge,”Is Christopher Hitchens about to convert?

My initial answer to the question was a version of “isn’t it pretty to think so”? My second thought was who can know the mind of men? And that reminded me of I Corinthians 2:11 (again in the King James version because I’m partial):

“For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

Or said in a modern way, “After all, who knows everything about a person except that person’s own spirit? In the same way, no one has known everything about God except God’s Spirit.”

We can only know believers by their fruit and forgive me, but Christopher Hitchens was withering. Ultimately, his belief is between him and God. It is for all of us.

Either way, I’m thankful for Christopher Hitchens. His keen mind and incisive questions forced a believer to be better in his answers.

And that is why I’ll miss Christopher Hitchens most–his unintended consequences. It is with great irony that he caused many who were learning, to come to the truth–even if he couldn’t.

UPDATED: Please read his brother Peter’s eulogy. It’s excellent. A smidgeon:

He would always rather fight than give way, not for its own sake but because it came naturally to him. Like me, he was small for his age during his entire childhood and I have another memory of him, white-faced, slight and thin as we all were in those more austere times, furious, standing up to some bully or other in the playground of a school we attended at the same time.

This explains plenty. I offer it because the word ‘courage’ is often misused today. People sometimes tell me that I have been ‘courageous’ to say something moderately controversial in a public place. Not a bit of it. This is not courage. Courage is deliberately taking a known risk, sometimes physical, sometimes to your livelihood, because you think it is too important not to.

Another moving tribute by his friend, Peter Robinson.



Leftist Underage Labor: Forcing Children To Do Their Dirty Work

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011


The ends always justify the means if you’re a lib.

Once again, a leftist uses her child as a prop to harass a conservative. Needing to prove a political point, the lesbian mom get that she’s harming a child in the process.

Here’s a gay mom using her son to pester Michele Bachmann, something the child clearly doesn’t want to do. And even if he wanted to, doesn’t have the notion of consequences, i.e., could look back when he’s an adult and have formed a different opinion. Kathy Shaidle has an opinion on this “bullying.”

The Left has a real problem using children for their own coercive purposes.

D.C. mom uses children as human shields at Occupy Wall Street protests. This one in D.C.

Hollywood activists get kids to sing creepy pro-Barack song.

An artist made kids cry for anti-Bush art. (This is really despicable.)

Here’s a union “goon” using his son as a human shield in Portland, Oregon.

Oh, don’t forget this sweet girl used by her dad to block traffic. This is particularly upsetting, too.

And really, these are just the examples I can think of off of the top of my head. There are probably more and you’re welcome to share them in the comments.

The point is that leftists have no problem using children to achieve political ends. They force them against their will and without consent to engage in behavior that is dangerous.

Totalitarians of all stripes are the same, though.

Here’s some Palestinians using their children as human shields.

It’s disgusting whenever it’s used.



Mitt’s Cap-N-Trade And Environment Problems

Monday, December 5th, 2011

So the blogger journalist at the WaPo in Mitt’s hip pocket points out Newt’s problems on Cap-n-Trade. And I’ll grant everyone, there’s a there there. But it’s not like the Most Favored Candidate is pristine.

Consider this from the WaPo itself (the other part of the paper not the Mitt 2012 Cheerleading section) about Mitt and global warming, “The fact that he doesn’t change his position . . . that’s the upside for us,” said one Romney adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the campaign. “He’s not going to change his mind on these issues to put his finger in the wind for what scores points with these parts of the party.”

So, like Obamacare, Mitt’s sticking with his principles…of manmade global warming.

And there’s this:

2005: Romney Endorsed Regional Cap And Trade System, Saying “This Is A Great Thing For The Commonwealth … We Can Effectively Create Incentives To Help Stimulate A Sector Of The Economy And At The Same Time Not Kill Jobs. … I’m Convinced It Is Good Business.” “Governor Mitt Romney signaled his support yesterday for a regional agreement among Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite opposition from power companies and other business interests that have been lobbying the administration against the plan. In opening remarks to a clean-energy conference in Boston, Romney said the first-of-its-kind agreement, under which Massachusetts and eight other states could be required to cut power plant emissions by 2020, will not hurt the economy, as some have charged. He argued that it would spur businesses to develop clean — and renewable-energy technology to market worldwide. ‘This is a great thing for the Commonwealth,’ Romney said, his strongest endorsement of the pact to date. ‘We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs.’… Romney said yesterday that he had some concerns about the agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but he endorsed this and other clean-energy initiatives by saying they would stimulate the development of technology that Massachusetts companies could sell to other states and countries, as the emphasis on climate change grows. ‘I’m convinced it is good business,’ Romney said.” [Boston Globe, 11/8/05>]

Bleh.

Everyone knows that Newt and Mitt bought the leftist clap-trap about the man-made part of what is also known as normal climate changes. And had Mitt gone the Pawlenty route and said, “You know what? I screwed up.” Well, I wouldn’t like it, but I would forgive it. I did Pawlenty, anyway. (What I couldn’t forgive was Pawlenty not taking Mitt out on Obamacare when he had the chance. Come. On!)

And the reason why buying this junk science was and is such a big deal is that all sorts of policy “solutions” to non-existent “problems” would cost taxpayers a lot of money. And even still, it is anyway.

We have stupid light bulbs foisted on us by stupid government regulations. We have stupid EPA regulations that are killing all sorts of potential jobs.

And the Obama administration is making it worse with folks who worked for Romney.

So, yes, Newt has a problem and so does Mitt.

Are we to pretend that these guys won’t be swayed by every wind of leftist doctrine? They’ve been swayed too much.



Feminists Lie, Women’s Hopes Die

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Women want to believe that they’re impervious to things like age and ovaries. So, during peak creative years, women push their energy into relatively time unlimited endeavor–career–instead of a very time limited endeavor–having babies.

Young mothers are scorned for being stupid, giving up their potential, subjugating themselves to a man’s world.

Ironically, by subscribing to a dirty man’s definition of success — rutting like animals and climbing the corporate ladder by any means necessary — women deprive themselves of doing the one thing that is essentially female–giving birth.

Newsflash: Only women can do it. There are requirements. A woman must have a functional uterus, fresh eggs, good health and it’s really helpful to have economic and emotional support. In old-fashioned terms, that was called a husband.

Imagine the shock, then, when women find out that they’ve been lied to about their reproductive ability:

A decade ago, a fertility ad campaign on public buses in several big cities sparked a vicious backlash. It featured a baby bottle shaped like an hourglass, to warn women their time was running out. But women’s rights groups called it a scare tactic that left women feeling pressured and guilty.

Another ad campaign? Sure, says Mingo.

“And it needs to come on when men are paying attention,” she says. “Heck, put it on in the middle of a football game or something!”

Women are afraid of losing career opportunities. It’s not like there is one choice or the other. I’ve always worked while having kids.

Still, it helped that because of medical training waiting to have kids was no option because it limited options.

When you know you want kids, and maybe a big family, two things should be a priority:

1. Getting married.

2. Getting pregnant.

So, women in their 20s need to strike while their hot body and biology work to their advantage. This, of course, is very politically incorrect advice.

Telling a woman to carve out time to date, join social institutions (like, horrors!, churches) that encourage marriage, etc. just seems so old-fashioned.

Well getting married and having kids young has many biological and sociological and cultural advantages.

Women need to be told the truth about their limitations so they can change their life choices accordingly. Many who want and should have children won’t be able to because of the lies they believe and they’ll find out the truth too late.