It’s been four days, and I notice the ground hasn’t opened up under Washington, DC, nor has the sky fallen from above it, since Sen. McConnell and crew applied the Reid Rule.
Pre-natal infanticide is apparently still legal, too.
It’s been four days, and I notice the ground hasn’t opened up under Washington, DC, nor has the sky fallen from above it, since Sen. McConnell and crew applied the Reid Rule.
Pre-natal infanticide is apparently still legal, too.
So I guess the new idiotarian progressive talking point is that Mike Pence won’t eat alone with any female other than his wife.
Seems to me that the bottom line is, “What business is it of ours?” Plus, the rest of the world has known this since 2002, when Pence mentioned it in an interview with The Hill*, so it would be nice if the idiotarian progressive left could kindly keep up.
The resulting charge among radical feminists on the left (but I repeat myself) that Pence discriminates against women because this means they can’t get the same one-on-one access to him as men do is just another bogus charge from the progs, trying to stir something up. But given modern security concerns, who actually believes that any official meeting with the Vice President (or any other politician at that level) isn’t covered and recorded for security purposes? Despite that assumption on my part, he chooses to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and I say, bully for him.
If I were VP, or frankly a politician at any level, I’d just carry around a table sign that said, “This interaction will be monitored and recorded for security purposes,” and let the chips fall where they may. Glenn Reynolds’ advice to always record or film your own interviews, especially when you figure the opposition will cut and paste their tape to suit their agenda, makes great sense. While it sounds Nixonian, it’s hardly covert or illegal if you come right out and say all of your interactions with other people will be recorded. They can take it or leave it.
FWIW, I somehow suspect Pence has either read Glenn’s “The Appearance of Impropriety”, or he already understood the concept deep in his bones when he went into politics.
* See the recent profile on Karen Pence in the Washington Post. It’s about halfway down.
So this was on Facebook today.
Yeah, sure, Bernie. I’ll bet the IRS would be surprised to learn that.
This wealthy induhvidual [sic] who likes to play up his common-man progressive credentials hasn’t got the brains to pour pee out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel.
Major American corporations — the ones that really bring in the dough hand over fist — pay plenty in taxes. The difference between them paying taxes and me or you paying taxes is that they build their taxes into their pricing structure. Every time you buy a newspaper, or a candy bar, or a fancy meal, or a car, or a house — you’re helping the corporation(s) that brought you those products pay their taxes.
And every time some dumb son-of-a-bitch like Bernie Sanders succeeds in making them pay more of “their fair share”, prices go up on all those products for the people who are least able to afford the increase. Multi-billion dollar oil companies, wanna stick ’em with windfall profit taxes? Price of gas goes up and it gets harder for people to go to work. Big soda-pop company, wanna stick ’em with a sugar tax? The price of a soda goes up and people lose their jobs when sales volume falls off. And it’s not just taxes — want to force big companies to pay $15/hr minimum wage? Prices go up and people lose jobs suddenly made too expensive for companies to provide.
Bernie’s right about one thing: America’s not broke.
But he’s damn wrong about who is and isn’t paying their taxes.
Hey Bernie — how can you afford those three homes you have? Maybe we should take a look at YOUR tax returns.
My niece posted this on Facebook:
Uh-huh. Let’s see about that.
Actually, the “wall” between church and state is not what people think it is. It’s based on a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a church, and the text of that letter is usually misinterpreted to mean religion and the state should be completely separate and have no influence on each other. Which is impossible in real life. Anyway, see Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. Read it carefully. It doesn’t mean what most people think it does.
Same-sex marriage is the law of the land now, so that’s over with — not that it’s that big of a deal since the population affected is tiny; they simply scream and holler well over their weight class until people get tired of listening and another barrier is lowered. However, the backlash is starting to cause something I have wanted to see for years — several states writing legislation to significantly reduce state control of marriage, which would in effect nullify the Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage without outlawing it. Indiana has a bill before the legislature right now to that effect. So I’m all for anything that does that. Why should anyone have to buy a license from the state in order to get married?*
Stem cell research goes on regardless of whether it’s funded federally or not. The key is not the research itself, it’s whether federal money should be spent to further it. And there have been compromises over the years to allow some federal funding. I’m all for stem cell research as long as it’s done properly — there are some major breakthroughs coming in therapy because of stem cells. But the original argument over the use of stem cells was that only embryonic stem cells would work, because only they are “pluripotent”, which goes back to the abortion argument. After a lot of smoke and fire, it was discovered that adult stem cells can also be induced to be pluripotent.** So there’s likely no pressing need to use embryonic stem cells in any case, which should mean properly-done stem cell research should bother exactly no one other than extreme Luddites.
Abortion, on the other hand, is murder in a lot of peoples’ opinion — and that’s hardly a religious question, unless you think you can only be moral if you are religious. And a “safe abortion” is a contradiction in terms anyway. But it’s ALSO the law of the land, regardless of how you feel about the outcome of Roe v Wade. My argument has long been that abortion needs to be removed from politics, because eventually the “Roe Effect” will take hold and it won’t be an issue anymore.***
TL;DR version: I wish people would think about these things before they just generalize about them. I’ve been thinking about them for over forty years, and a Facebook meme isn’t going to change my mind about any of them.
* Of course, if people don’t vaccinate their kids, rubella is going to come back, and then the state will once again have a pressing interest in whether or not the potential mother is rubella-free. But I’m sure that can be handled some other way. Like by a family doctor testing her before or right after she gets pregnant. (Before 1987, women had to have proof that they were rubella free before they could get married in Indiana. In point of fact, even though this portion of the code was repealed in 1987, my wife still had to have a rubella test in 2000 before our county would give us the license. Interesting.)
Also interesting is the fact that the bill in question in Indiana still prohibits polygamy. Which is fine with me.
** I’m not going to go into this in depth, but the NIH says, “Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent—that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent—restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be. However, a newer type of reprogrammed adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, has proven to be pluripotent.” NIH FAQ regarding stem cells, research question #2, accessed 1/24/2017; bold emphasis mine.
*** For those who can’t reach the linked 2005 WSJ article by James Taranto,
The Roe effect, however, refers specifically to the nexus between the practice of abortion and the politics of abortion. It seems self-evident that pro-choice women are more likely to have abortions than pro-life ones, and common sense suggests that children tend to gravitate toward their parents’ values. This would seem to ensure that Americans born after Roe v. Wade have a greater propensity to vote for the pro-life party–that is, Republican–than they otherwise would have.
In my opinion, there’s more to the Roe Effect than whether or not a child is aborted or allowed to come to term and be born; it also depends on the consequences of education for that child. A child can be born into a family that considers abortion to be murder, and through indoctrination in our public schools, come to the conclusion that a fetus isn’t human and can therefore be safely disposed of. Such families also generally believe that sex should be confined to marriage and that it is a sin to have intimate relations before marriage. Young girls from such families who find themselves fallen pregnant (a interesting term) typically believe that their best option to avoid punishment or disapprobation from their parents is to get an abortion, even though abortion is far worse than simply accepting fate and keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption — which have more consequences in and of themselves. Perhaps the true solution is to stop telling children that premarital sex is a sin and will be punished by $DEITY, and tell them instead that sex is indeed a wonderful thing, a sacred mystery if you will, but it can lead to bad consequences for young girls who engage in it — and make it clear that even if a daughter finds herself pregnant, she’ll still be loved and accepted and everything that can be done to support her will be done. Because I’ll bet you more girls run away from home to find an abortion when they find out they’re pregnant whose parents go all fire and brimstone on them about premarital sex than those whose parents are proactive and supportive even if the worst happens.
The 68 or so ‘critters who are “boycotting” the Inaugural are, I suppose, entitled to suddenly find they have something else to do that night — wax the dog, shampoo the cat, make a drug buy, whatever.
But I remember something from my American Diplomatic History classes in college, which were (the way the professor taught) sort of an advanced Civics class on steroids. Not quite Heinlein’s History and Moral Philosophy, but elements thereof.
The prof said that our tradition is that the outgoing President always attends the inauguration of his successor — even if he has to be dragged there kicking and screaming. Apparently the Secret Service (and their predecessors in that job) see to that. The story was that Truman absolutely did not want to attend Eisenhower’s inaugural — he and Ike didn’t get along very well — but he manned up (as Truman always did) and soldiered on.* And I can imagine Hoover probably would have happily given FDR’s first inaugural a miss. Can you imagine Johnson and Nixon? Ditto Obama with Trump. But it just isn’t done. Why can’t the wayward congresscritters man (or woman) up and do the same?
The prof also said that no foreign dignitaries are invited to join the official party or to attend the major ceremonies. This is OUR time. We owe our independence, wealth, and power to nobody but ourselves. Contrary to a soon-to-be former president’s pronouncement, we DID build this.
Politics aside, when we get done fighting our quadrennial intramurals and actually elect a new president (or re-elect the incumbent**), the nation is supposed to come together, put that all behind us, and acclaim the new president. None of this “he’s not MY president” shite — at least not until he turns out to be, well, Obama, who was, for at least his second term, hardly representative of anyone right of center’s idea of the direction the country should be taking.
By and large, though, in 2009, the right was willing to give Obama a chance. He blew that chance, of course, as many of us figured he would, and his lock on Congress with it (which really should have told him something), and then he simply played a six-year game of “I won” and “I have a pen and a phone” to avoid working with Republicans. At that point, no, he wasn’t my president. The question, of course, is whether he was anyone’s president after the 2010 midterms.
But the time for divisive politics is over. Donald Trump says he wants us to unite. He wants this to be a country we are all a part of and can be proud of. To him, the things that unite us are stronger than the things that divide us.** In truth, it has always been thus, if we are willing to admit it.
The ‘critters who are boycotting the inaugural are, in that tradition, almost committing an indiscretion beyond the pale. They believe in division and are being divisive. They believe they can force failure on Donald Trump by turning their backs on him and declaring him illegitimate. And yet…they do not have majorities in Congress, they are losing governors’ mansions and state legislatures left and right, and they control only small slivers and bits of America. This attitude on their part seems destined to lead to more failure on their part, not failure on Donald Trump’s part, because Trump is not obliged to seek compromise with them. (I think he will, because that is his nature, but I certainly think they’ve burned most of their bridges with him at this point.)
But let’s think about this for a moment. According to official results of the 2016 election, 136,628,459 Americans voted for president. That’s a lot of voters, about 7 million more thain in 2012. Yet, “[e]stimates show more than 58 percent of eligible voters went to the polls during the 2016 election”. Folks, that means that 42 percent didn’t think this election was important enough to cast a vote. That means about 98,937,850 voters went completely untapped for one reason or another.
I don’t know about you, but I suspect that if Trump had spent more money on GOTV efforts in the last couple of months of the campaign, he might have picked up enough votes to landslide Hillary. They were only separated by a couple of million votes.
Of course, that’s entirely meaningless, since we’re not a democracy — we’re a federal republic, and we have an Electoral College that expresses the democratic will of the states as to who will be the leader of the federal republic. The states vote in the Electoral College based on whatever manner they have each provided to choose their electors. In all 50 states that happens to be by holding an election and either handing the winner all of their electors or dividing them up in some way that has been determined by the state legislature. They could as easily choose them by reading a horoscope or taking the augurs, or by having the elector candidates play Russian roulette.**** But all of the states, one way or another, have chosen to give the people a voice by letting electors be chosen based on a democratic election within the state.*****
The Electoral College is part of the Constitution, and has been from day one, and it’s how we have run our federal elections for president since 1789. It’s hardly the first time the Electoral College winner hasn’t won the total popular vote, either — but again, that’s completely irrelevant.
And that’s why claims that Trump’s presidency is illegitimate fall flat, and the bad attitude on the part of the 68-odd Democrat congresscritters who’ve found something better to do with their day tomorrow don’t look like they are standing up for principle at all.
They just look like sore losers. And they are.
* As I recall the story, Bess and Mamie hit it off famously when the two couples met for the obligatory coffee at the White House before heading up Pennsylvania Avenue, and that was part of what thawed Truman out.
** Or, in Obama’s case, the incompetent.
*** Hmm. Where have I heard that before? (If you’re not a Scottish Rite Mason in the NMJ, you probably won’t know.)
***** I think they should be chosen by the legislatures. But I think senators ought to be chosen that way, too, the way God and the Framers intended, and not the way the ridiculous 17th Amendment changed things in 1913.
Kurt Schlichter is on fire.
You know, the Hillary Body Double theory is pretty hilarious, but admit it – who would actually be surprised if it turns out she has a body double? Secretly, even the liberals are thinking to themselves, “You know, I can totally see that.”
Read, as they say, the whole thing.
Yesterday, a fucking idiot claiming to be a journalist posted this on Twitter:
He has since deleted it, because he was getting clobbered by people who know better. This will stay here as a reminder of his idiocy.
This came out of musings regarding a FB post bemoaning the use of the construction “If you don’t like my attitude about this, feel free to unfriend me” — something I’ve used a couple of times recently myself. (I lost exactly one friend over that, according to FB Purity.) This got me to thinking about the difference between real friends and Facebook (or social media in general) friends.
One of my best meatspace friends is a Bernie supporter. I can’t help it if he’s an idiot about that. We’ve been friends for four decades. We have much more in common than we do otherwise. So we get along and don’t talk politics. Much 🙂
My wife is a lifelong Democrat (but despises Hillary). I knew she was a Democrat (so are her parents) when I married her. But again, we don’t discuss politics…much. (On the other hand, it helps that she’s more of a Scoop Jackson Democrat, not a wild-eyed radical dirty hippie like so many on the left are anymore. She thought Occupy was stupid, too)
One of my fraternity brothers is not only a Democrat, he’s a union negotiator for the UAW. But again, we have more in common than we do otherwise. He holds political views that I disagree with…but we don’t discuss politics. Much 🙂
Note the common denominator — I know these people well. They are long-time friends and associates in real life. I would no more “unfriend” them in real life than I would cut off my trigger finger.
On the other hand, I associate on social media with any number of people I barely know, and have either never met in meatspace or with whom I have only extremely limited associations.* Some of those hold political views I find abhorrent. I’m sure they think the same of my political views. And the links with those people are often so tenuous that I honestly don’t care if they unfriend me for political reasons, or not.
Social media has been the catalyst for a lower and lower standard of social and political discourse over the past couple of election cycles. As I touched on, below, in Democracy usually fails, the real-time ability to comment on other people’s opinions has turned the mill run of us into a community of mean, sarcastic assholes when it comes to those opinions. The great Facebook Democracy of the Unwashed is driving our political conversation today, as it has for at least the last two elections. What is sad is that the monolithic move to social media has led to the retirement (or near retirement) of a number of sane, thoughtful bloggers — because nobody reads blogs anymore. That takes too long, when it’s easier to read pithy crap typed by your “friends” or view picture memes as if we had suddenly been reduced to a basic reading level where informed, thoughtful, and logical commentary is seemingly Sanskrit to the masses. (In fairness, most millenials are already at that level, thanks to our crap schools.)
So when someone says, “If you don’t like my opinions, unfriend me,” maybe we should take them at their word. It might make people spend a little more time thinking about what they say and write. And that could only be for the good.
* Many of them “handshake” Masons that I’ve met in real life maybe once, and en passant, or may not have ever met at all. I’m the international secretary-treasurer for a fair-sized Masonic organization with members all over the globe, so I get a lot of friend requests from people I know only because they send in a check once a year. But I also have a lot of “friends” for whom I can’t really find a connection. Naturally, if one of them starts spouting political crap that I’m diametrically opposed to, the likelihood is that I’m going to dump them.
Gun bloggers and Baen SF writers, in my view, are generally exempted from the “social media” category. I’ve drunk good beer with some of them (well, not the SF writers — yet). We get along.
Pure democracy, anyway. Our Founding Fathers knew it; that’s why they created a Republic for us. Little did they know we’d only take two centuries to fuck that up.
Anyway. After reading comments on an article regarding the dustup between CBS/Paramount and the fans who are producing the “Axanar” spin-off Star Trek movie, I really do wonder if the Internet has done us any favors. What would have been, pre-1994, a simple article in something like Variety (it used to be printed exclusively on newsprint, for those not old enough to remember) that might have been discussed a few days later on a Usenet newsgroup that practically nobody actually read, has in 2016 become an instant forum in which readers may projectile-vomit their undistilled raw thoughts about the article anonymously and without regard for what anyone else thinks.* (Indeed, such microcephalic idiots generally operate without filters between ears, brain, and mouth even in real life conversations and other interactions. Sometimes even those of us who do normally operate with those filters engaged nevertheless find ourselves issuing that kind of internet comment, too. So sadly, it’s not just those with tiny brains** who succumb, suggesting that the problem is really the siren call of the medium beckoning one to yield to that blinking cursor, not simply the individual’s solipsistic need to assert that the universe does, in fact, revolve around himself and that his opinion actually has any worth to anyone but himself.***)
The thing I don’t understand is why it’s anyone’s business except that of the parties involved. Why did this article need instant comments at all? It’s a simple report of news. You want to respond to it, write an email to the editor like we used to do back in the day (although generally we typed or hand-wrote it on paper, stuck it in an envelope with a stamp (remember those?) and threw it in the mailbox to be delivered sometime in the next couple of days). If the editors liked it, they might even print it in the next issue, and might even respond to you, thanking you for your well- or not so well-reasoned arguments, and in the latter case, gently explaining why you were a fucking idiot who needed to be spoon-fed the Truth as handed down by your Betters.
Oh, and — if you wanted to be taken seriously, you wrote politely. Even if you were pissed off. Such was the Republic of News; it was serious, it was considered, it was grave, and it was polite, even when it excoriated local or national politicians for real or imagined sins. And it had its gatekeepers. If they didn’t like your tone, your letter went into the round file with that of other barbarians and kooks.
Today we have the great Democracy of the Unwashed who simply react reflexively rather than respond thoughtfully. And that’s why the comments section of that article about Axanar — and the comments section of so many other articles — is something you read only if you have no care for your sanity.
* And often, without regard for correct grammar or orthography, either.
** Or small phalluses, but that’s really kind of beyond the pale, even for me.
*** Women also have this problem, but I’ll be damned if I’ll yield to political correctness and fuck up the flow of this post.
Look, seriously: Please stop this shit.
Posted on Facebook last night by a friend who ought to know better. Go Google “US Army Sgt. Gregory Hayes”. There is no such person* and, so far as I can tell, no such crime being tried in the courts.
I rail every day about memes like this that are promulgated by the loony left, but it just absolutely enrages me when I see the isolationist far right doing the same thing. You people are better than this. Because, if you’re not, you need to be put down like the rabid dogs you are.
I am no fan of opening the borders to unvetted Syrian refugees — or any others. I want illegal aliens to go home and not come back. But I refuse to be a party to rabble-rousing by ANY group of people. STOP LYING, YOU FUCKS. AND DO YOUR GODDAMN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BLINDLY PASS A MEME YOU LIKED BECAUSE YOUR FUCKING KNEE JERKED AND YOU GOT A HARD-ON WHEN YOU SAW IT.
* At least not according to Google; if your name is Gregory Hayes and you’re a retired Army Sergeant, I apologize, but I doubt you’re sitting in jail waiting to be tried for murder…and no retired Army Sergeant would be sitting in a bar wearing a hipster beardlet, anyway. I hope. Because if you are, either grow that fuzz out proper, or get a fucking shave, sarge.