In a letter to the editor thingy I found on Boston.com, Ken from Arlington said:
"Obama was absolutely correct not to give Iran’s theocracy the benefit of appearing to meddle in its obviously rigged election process - a process to elect what is essentially the country’s number two leader.
"Condemning the violence that is occurring in Iran’s streets, rather than bringing that violence, as in Iraq, is a smart first step toward redefining democracy in the Middle East."
In other words, whatever Barack does, Barackis will adore him for it. This guy is praising Barack for ignoring an illegitimate election in Iran. This guy was probably one of the many liberals who protested the 2000 US election. There was a very well written comment in support of this letter. In parenthesis are my thoughts:
"Brilliant letter! (it agrees with me, it must be brilliant) Jeff Jacoby is consistently blinded to facts on the ground by his own right wing ideology (conservatives are always wrong because they're conservative). He seems incapable of an evolution in thought and political analysis, still clinging to 'evil-doer' dualism and American triumphalism (I support ismism). You might think he would recognize that Bush's belligerent rhetoric on 'Democracy' gave us Hamas, the empowerment of Iran following our invasion of Iraq, and global enmity for torture (He also started the IRA and he's responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings). Jacoby in effect justifies all of this philosophically. It's ugly stuff. And of course he completely misses the new paradigm President Obama has initiated in the mid-east. Under Bush there was no dissent in Iran, they were united against the U.S (before Twitter we had no clue what was going on inside Iran). Under Obama, we see new expressions of people power, including the election in Lebanon two weeks ago. (Obama gave us Twitter)"
All this eloquence and high diction came from someone called "Tomato76." And is even more deification of Barack. Every sunny day this summer will be because of Barack. Every rainy day is still because of W. IT'S A GLOBAL REOVLUTION!
Today is an historically ambivalent day. The US military is leaving the cities of Iraq to be policed by Iraqis, and terrorized by Iranians. Americans will now police only the countryside. It's Iraq's turn to walk a bit on its own, albeit with an American cane.
The liberals must love this. No more blood for oil, just blood for sand. Frankly, I think complete withdrawal from Iraq is long overdue. We accomplished/failed with what we wanted to do. Everything since the ousting and capture of Saddam has been a waste of life and material.
And remember, these soldiers aren't coming home. They're going to Afghanistan. No more blood for oil, now it's blood for opium. The media will mention this as rarely as possible. But hey, that's where the war against terror "began." And we have to get Osama bin Laden. Because he's the only terrorist in the world, and there's only terrorism in Afghanistan. Nobody from Saudi Arabia was on any of those hijacked planes.
And there's absolutely no terrorism spawning from Iran. There's no reason to even acknowledge Iran's existence. We can reason with Iran. We can reason with a government that's not only illegitimate, but is nothing more than a puppet of the religious power holders. We're dealing with the 21st century's Holy Roman Empire here.
But I'm sure Barack's policy of doing nothing will work. After all, he's already responsible for all the protests in Iran, right?
There is something to be said for a policy of ignoring Iran. Most of the "countries" in the Mid-East are fractured and fragmented, but can easily be united by a common hatred for America. So if America stays out of the picture, it allows for dissent and possible change in the region. Hope. Yes we can.
But won't the new leaders still have that hatred for America? And since when do we care about what Iran thinks of us? America didn't become America by tiptoeing around the world in hopes of being the most popular kid in the UN cafeteria.
And all the liberals that protested the 2000 election in Florida, where are you in all this? Why don't you fly to Tehran to protest for fair elections, just like you flew to Tallahassee? Or are you still working on your conspiracy theories regarding the 2004 election in Ohio?
I love how if there are irregularities, and a Republican wins, then the election is rigged. And the air-quote dude who deemed towing to be voter intimidation should rent a time machine and travel to 1932 Germany.
And where the fuck is that impotent group called the UN in all this Iranity? How useless is that organization?
Barack's liberals and Bush's conservatives have two conflicting philosophies on terrorism. Bush thinks terrorism ends with US involvement. Barack thinks terrorism begins with US involvement. Both are wrong. Terrorism never starts and never ends. Terrorism thrives when it works and dies when it fails. You leave Iraq because you want to leave Iraq, not because you're afraid of upsetting the terrorists.
But Barack and the liberals want America to win popularity contests. They'd rather have the people of Iran suffering under a fake government but loving America. And we all know that the world loves America the most when we stay out of foreign affairs...
Monday, June 29, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
God, can't she just say she had great grades and fucked up the SAT? Hell, I had a great SAT (1400 back in the 1600 days), and mediocre GPA with no activities. I could bitch and moan about grades and activities being culturally biased, or I could just say "I didn't try that hard."
And I'm not attacking Sotomayor here. I'm not proclaiming her to be an affirmative action appointment (like Pat Buchanan has). She seems like a decent judge with experience, credibility, et cetera. I have no problem with her being on the Supreme Court.
No, my problem is with affirmative action itself, perhaps the most vile government policy in modern times. Little to me is more abhorrent as selecting someone for a job, or for a school based on their race.
Affirmative action is not racism. But it is discrimination. Look it up. Discrimination = "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit." And discrimination is wrong, right?
That's the argument for affirmative action, correct? Discrimination in the past was wrong, so we'll fix it with discrimination in the present. Let's call it counter-discrimination, which is what it is. And it's not "reverse racism," that term sucks. A FoxNewsism if there ever was one.
I think "counter-discrimination" is a fair term. And it isn't discrimination AGAINST whites, it's discrimination FOR non-whites. But imagine how hard it would be to get something called "counter-discrimination" into law?
Why does affirmative action exist? Because racial discrimination has been part of American law, policy, and life for centuries. Not just slavery, but Jim Crow laws, segregation, and so on. This longstanding institutional racism has put minorities in poor position to compete in this country. And I'm not arguing against this FACT at all.
But that's history, folks. Someone once asked me why I'm so interested in history. After all, everything in history books has already happened. Who cares? But history is WHY and HOW the present is the way it is, for better or worse.
But undoing centuries of discrimination is like trying to put a broken egg back together again. You might glue it, use some duct tape, and maybe paint over the cracks. But it's still broken. I advise that you get on with your life, use the broken egg to make some French Toast, and have a nice day.
Undoing centuries of discrimination via counter-discrimination is like breaking the egg, then breaking all the other foods in the kitchen so EVERYTHING is broken, therefore making the egg the same as everything else.
Affirmative action's supporters' first line of defense is very telling. This is actually a well-written and well thought out defense of affirmative action right here. I'll quote from it:
The claim is that these programs distort what is now a level playing field and bestow preferential treatment on undeserving minorities because of the color of their skin. While this view seems very logical on the surface, I contend that it lacks any historical support and is aimed more at preserving existing white privilege than establishing equality of opportunity for all.
So basically, those who argue against affirmative action are doing so because they want to preserve their "existing white privilege." So since I'm white, and upper-middle class, I can't argue against affirmative action as a policy, I can only defend my precious "white male hegemony." With such a fallacious and dismissive first defense, how could such a policy be amoral?
Just imagine this. I get married, have two kids (boy and girl), get divorced, get married to another woman, have two more kids (boy and girl). Both my wives die of swine flu, so all four kids come to live with me. But let's say my first wife was white and my second wife was black. Now I have four children, with the same father, same economic status, and even sharing some similar Irish and German roots. Yet with affirmative action, the children from my second wife are able to get into better schools than the children from my first wife. They're able to get better jobs, get promoted faster, et cetera.
Does this seem American to you? Does it even seem fair?
I'll not lie, the playing field IS NOT fair and even. I got a $130,000 education from Ithaca College, paid for by my parents' hard work. I got a free car, free health insurance, and I'm debt free, all thanks to my parents. That's not fair. I know people who had to pay for their own college. I know people who couldn't afford to pay and had to transfer or leave school altogether. That's not fair. I knew people who had to bust their ass working two jobs while they were at school. Meanwhile, I got free time to study and play Madden. Not fair.
Life's not fucking fair. Sorry folks, but that's the truth. And it isn't the government's job to make it fair. It's the government's job to remove barriers to fairness and potential upward mobility, like segregation and voting restrictions. But leveling hills and mountains on that playing field is both impossible, and unethical.
There is a natural force that allows, and even drives playing fields to be even. It's called competition. When and where there is discrimination, there will be weakness. If only whites or blacks are allowed to work for a company, that company will be weaker, especially if a competitor is hiring people based on QUALITY and not ETHNICITY.
Look at baseball in 1947. Before then, there were barriers to black players. Baseball desegregated itself, thanks to Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, and the desire to win. That same desire to win turned owners who once barred black players into owners who craved them.
But what happened to teams that failed to select players based on quality? The Red Sox were the last team to integrate. They passed up on Jackie Robinson in 1945. Which is, in a way, understandable, because being the first integrated team would have been difficult. But in 1949, there were multiple black players in MLB, and the Red Sox passed up a chance to acquire Willie Mays for a song. Willie fucking Mays.
Imagine an outfield with Willie Mays and Ted Williams. Nearly 1200 homeruns hit between those two.
The Red Sox didn't integrate until 1959, 5 years after Brown v. Board, and two years after Jackie Robinson's Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. Hell it was a year after Willie O'Ree took the ice for the Bruins as the first black NHL player.
And while other teams benefited from wider pools of talent to draw from (the Indians won the World Series in 1948 with an integrated team, the Dodgers won 6 pennants with Jackie Robinson), the Red Sox limited their own success by limiting their hiring.
But sticking with baseball, could you imagine a rule that required all teams to have at least one black player? How about in football, imagine a rule that required at least 1 QB to be black, at least 1 WR to be white, at least 1 O-lineman to be black, at least 1 CB to be white, and at least 1 coach/coordinator to be black?
Sports are the ultimate meritocracy. Race doesn't matter. If you're good, you can get away with murder.
But if there are no quotas, and no affirmative action in sports, why is there affirmative action in fire departments and police forces? In law schools and teaching schools? In the military?
Here's an interesting hypothetical metaphor from the same site I sited above:
Suppose that [there] is a track officials judging two athletes running a hundred yard dash. Before the official shoots off the starting pistol, one runner kicks the other in the shin, stomps on his toes, and then runs ahead fifty yards. Now because our official is observant, he sees this dirty play and immediately halts the race. So, he walks over to the runner, who is fifty yards ahead and tells him that what he did was unfair and wrong and he is forbidden from doing it again. Then he goes back to check on the runner at the starting line. The runner is a little bruised up. The official tells him "Don't worry I saw everything that happened. I told the other runner that what he did was wrong and that he shouldn't have done it. As I speak the rules are being changed to outlaw such actions from ever happening again." Then the official strolls back to his position and fires the starting pistol to begin the race, where the runners left off...
The race has already been tainted. It is our duty to somehow reconstruct the situation so that fairness can again pervade the event. At the very least we must allow the injured runner time to heal and then advance him fifty yards to be even with his competition. We must actively deconstruct the advantages. If we do not, we violate our own rules of fairness, preserving the advantages of one runner over the other.
Just to expand on this metaphor, suppose the cheating runner has kids, and the cheated runner has kids. Is it right to actively punish the children of the cheater and give a head-start to the children of the cheated?
Or is it right to punish the ENTIRE ETHNICITY of the cheating runner for what he did?
And how can one reconstruct the 100 yard dash IMMEDIATELY, which is what affirmative action is supposed to do: quickly remedy the problems created by historical racial discrimination. The cheated runner needs TIME to heal. In fact, the worse the injury, the more TIME it will take to heal. So the worse the historical discrimination, the more TIME it will take to be remedied.
If the cheated runner has a broken foot, it's impossible to give him a proper head start, or give the cheating runner a proper punishment that will result in a fair race. What's done is done.
Remember my analogy about putting a broken egg back together? And do you recall the story of Humpty Dumpty? All the King's horses, all the King's men not being able to put him back together? It's a common liberal trait to believe that government intervention can solve everything, even the unsolvable.
Affirmative action is an overly optimistic liberal notion that the past can be undone. That millions of injustices committed by long-dead people against other long-dead people can be rectified by government policy.
It'd be nice if that were possible. But it's not.
And then there's the victims of affirmative action. Liberals are ever so quick to point out the beneficiaries. Judge Sotomayor even claimed to be one. But for every person helped by affirmative action, doesn't there have to be someone hurt? If Sotomayor got into Yale because of her ethnicity, doesn't that mean someone was rejected based on theirs? Is THAT fair? Is it American?
It's a form of racial socialism.
Until 1954, when the Supreme Court handed down Brown v. Board, Blacks were legally pushed to the margin of society where many were left to dwell in poverty and powerlessness. The Brown decision removed the legal impediments that had so long kept Blacks in the impoverished peripheral. Despite this long awaited victory for Black Americans, the historic decision failed to provide adequate means for the deconstruction of white dominance and privilege. It merely allowed Blacks to enter the arena of competition. This recognized and established the status quo (white wealth and Black indigence, white employment and Black unemployment, white opportunity and Black disenfranchisement) as an acceptable and neutral baseline. Without the deconstruction of white power and privilege how can we legitimately claim that the playing field is level? Does it not seem more logical, and indeed fairer and more just, to actively deconstruct white privilege, rather than let it exist through hegemony?
"Actively deconstruct white privilege?" That's a lofty and frightening goal. To belittle my personal accomplishments based on my whiteness and my privilege offends me. Certainly both helped, but I graduated from college, not my race. I got a 1400 on my SAT, not my economic status.
Is there anyone or any group in the universe wise enough to determine which of my accomplishments are due to my "white privilege" and which are due to just myself?
How do we separate those whites who "deserve" to be rich and powerful, from those who simply inherited theirs from centuries of discrimination and hatred? Again, more lofty liberal uberoptimism. Such a task is impossible. Moreover, it's not even worth attempting to carry out. Failure in this task is inevitable due to its impossibility. And any failure simply results in more harm and misleveling of that proverbial playing field.
Two wrongs don't make a right. Two discriminations don't lead to equality.
Posted by rob at 11:41 AM
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Miss California will be stripped of her crown, title, and duties. (Duties?) I don't care and neither should you.
But do you remember the whole Miss California debacle? She answered a question as part of the Miss USA pageant about gay marriage and became public enemy #1 for people like Perez Hilton and others.
I've gotten so good at tuning out meaningless media drivel that I never even heard what she actually said until my curiosity peaked a few minutes ago.
Kind of reminded me when some guy defined marriage in another superficial competition:
Eerie how similar their views on gay marriage are. Scary how differently they were treated. One was asked a political question in a beauty pageant, told the truth, and was vilified. One was asked a political question in a political pageant, told the truth, and it was ignored.
Loyal readers of this blog know how I feel about gay marriage:
Lone Star Tyranny
Iowa is More Progressive than California?
To sum up, I think two consenting, unrelated, and unmarried adults have the right to marry each other, regardless of gender. Marriage is a familial acquisition (in other words, a legal contract that makes two unrelated people part of each other's family). If a man wants to add a man to his family, then that's his right.
But lots of people don't like that idea. And as much as I disagree with them, I'm not going to HATE someone just for that.
But if I did hate someone just for disagreeing with me on one issue, I'd hate EVERYONE who disagreed with me on that issue. I wouldn't go after Miss California, then give Barack a pass just cuz he's so gosh darn loveable.
And where is the liberal criticism of Barack on this issue? Why can't they try to cajole him on this one issue if it's so important to them? Because for many liberals, it is an ancillary issue. They use the gay marriage issue to vilify conservatives as bigots. Hell, how much flak did Sarah Palin take for her quotes on gay marriage?
Then after they use the old "conservative=bigot" tactic, they shelve the issue until the next election. So Barack gets a free pass.
And Dick Cheney's stance on gay marriage gets swept under the rug:
Wow, this is friggin Darth Cheney here. And in this one issue, he's LEFT of Barack. Wow!
Posted by rob at 11:23 AM
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
There's a hidden tax you've been paying. Barack and his cronies will go on CNN and claim that they've lowered taxes for most Americans. And technically they're correct. But you're still paying for all this government spending, just in a roundabout way.
You feel it at the gas station. Gasoline prices have soared in 2008. Why? Because oil prices have soared.
But why have oil prices soared? Demand is stable. Supply hasn't changed. So why is the price going up?
Oil is traded in dollars. Everyone in the world buys and sells oil with dollars. And the value of the dollar has steadily decreased the past few months, as more and more dollars are printed by the US government in an effort to pay for all the spending.
So for other countries, buying oil costs about the same in their own currency, as they get more dollars for their Pounds, Euros, Yen, and Yuan.
This is a bit simplistic: $1 is worth a percentage of the US economy. It's almost like a share of stock. So the more dollars out there, the smaller percentage each one represents, and the less it's worth. Furthermore, the US economy has shrunk at a pretty steady clip, and will likely continue to shrink slowly but surely.
Demand for US dollars is going down. Supply of them is going up. So the $500 in my bank account today will be able to buy $499.999999 worth of stuff tomorrow. It's slow, but it can get faster. In Zimbabwe, their hyperinflation reached an annual rate of 231 million percent.
CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli concocted a great metaphor for inflation. I semi-quote: "If I stick a hose into your basement window and turn it on, and you sit in your living room, just because you don't feel the water yet, doesn't mean your house isn't flooding."
Inflation is the worst thing in the world. And this unrestrained spendfest is a potential cause of inflation. Inflation can cripple an economy, and tends to lead to civil unrest and even revolution (See: Germany, 1920s and 30s).
Now every time the subject is broached to one of Barack's talking heads, or the man himself, the first part of their answer is invariably "We inherited this problem."
Whoever is elected President or Führer in 2016 should learn from Barack. Not learn about his economic policies, or his defense policies. But he should learn how to start every answer with "We inherited so many problems from the previous regime." Because it will be the truth.
Posted by rob at 12:16 PM
Monday, June 01, 2009
The free market is a wondrous thing. A market has no morals. It's blind and brutal, but it's not debatable. If a restaurant doesn't make money, it goes out of business. If a person has no skills, they lose their job. There are winners, there are losers, but when the market is allowed to divide the two, there's not much that can be said.
A free market is like a sporting event. And the new brand of quasi-socialism the government is now practicing is like the Oscars. The Steelers won the Super Bowl because they scored more points than the Cardinals. On the other hand, Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture because some nontransparent committee decided it was the best. Who decided that? What criteria was used?
See the difference? There's no debating the Steelers are the champs. But Slumdog Millionaire being the best? That debate is quite literally endless.
I own General Motors now. I don't want to. But We The People are now owners of General Motors. And we'll have to "invest" AT LEAST $50 billion of our tax dollars in order to resuscitate it.
If the free market were allowed to do its dirty work, General Motors would be wiped off the face of the planet. All those auto workers in Michigan and Ohio would lose their jobs. As would those auto workers in Mexico and Canada who do a hefty portion of GM's manufacturing. And then GM's parts suppliers would go bust. So industry in the Midwest takes a big hit, unemployment dramatically increases, and shit hits the fan.
But hang on a minute. The government seems to think that GM can be resurrected and in 4 or 5 years, it can become profitable. And that's why we're putting tons of money into it, so it can be reborn and eventually pay us back.
If this is true, that GM can make a comeback, then why do anything at all? Instead of forcing the comeback, why not let it die and be reborn naturally via private sector investment? Or let another car company, like Ford or Toyota, take over GM's territory in the market?
If GM, or another entity, can regenerate Midwestern industry in 4 or 5 years, it will be able to do it ON ITS OWN. If no entity or entities can do this, then a GM supported by the government will also be destined to fail.
To simplify: you own a bar. The bar goes out of business. If a bar or some other business can be profitable in that location, it will be. Someone with money to invest will open a bar, or a restaurant, and will either succeed or fail.
The other alternative is that the government invests in the bar. If the bar succeeds, then it would have succeeded with private investment anyway, so government intervention was meaningless. If the bar fails, the government loses money.
How come the government didn't save Boston Billiard Club? They had some fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine bartenders.
It's a no-win scenario when government invests in private businesses or industry in an effort to save them. Because if the government does win, the private business (or some form of it) would have won anyway.
And before you counterargue by citing the bank bailouts, banks are banks because they have cashflow. The credit crunch occurred and they couldn't get cash. Without cash, banks freeze and can't do business. The bailouts weren't a loan to failing companies, they were fiscal lubricants applied to a grinding part in order to allow the larger machine to move with ease.
Then you get to the United Auto Workers. It's funny. The tone of the conversation might change if instead of calling them workers, we called them voters. Instead of saying "3 million workers' jobs were saved" let's say "3 million voters' jobs were saved." Barack won Ohio by less than 300,000 votes. How many auto worker/voters are in Ohio? Curious.
The UAW took some concessions in the GM bankruptcy. Like they can;t get Viagra or Cialis from the corporate health plan. They maintain their base pay, and there's been a minimal reduction in benefits. They won't get tuition assistance for their kids' schooling for 1 year. Cue a violin.
WHAT THE FUCK? No reduction in base pay???
I wouldn't care, except I OWN GENERAL MOTORS NOW!!! Why do these people get paid the same when a replacement could be hired (especially in this dry jobs market) for half the fucking pay???
Again, I wouldn't care if it weren't my money. If some company wants to pay a worker $60,000 when they could pay them $30,000, go right ahead. But when that worker is getting paychecks that come out of my pocket, I'm going to stand up for myself.
And how come successful car dealerships, like Westminster Dodge in Westminster, MA are getting forced to close their doors, yet these UAW fuckos are getting to keep the same base pay?
This is anti-market-morality. Successes are losing their jobs, failures are keeping theirs. Thanks, Barack. Could you imagine being in a school where the A students were held back and the F students skipped a grade?
And where does this $50 billion come from? Obviously from us. Well, kind of. Most of it will probably come from the upper class and business tax hikes the Democrats are pushing. Sounds great, right? Steal from the rich, give to the poor.
Nothing wrong with that, right? Except, the money taxed from those rich fat cats would have been invested in some other business. You know, a business that had a track record of success. Or the money would go to pay a maid, or buy a yacht, or import caviar. But importing caviar gives a job to the caviar importer. Buying a yacht gives a job to the yacht crew, as well as the dock workers where the yacht is anchored, as well as the people who made the yacht. And hiring a maid is pretty explanatory as a job creation.
Even if a rich guy just puts their money in the bank, that money gets loaned out to others.
So instead of letting people WHO KNOW THE RIGHT THINGS TO DO WITH MONEY spend and invest their money, the government (WHICH DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MONEY) takes it, throws it into a company that's already gone bankrupt, and is paying workers more than what they're worth.
That's great, that's super. So instead of moving on with our economic lives, acknowledging the mistakes of companies like General Motors, we're trying to raise the dead. Instead of letting people spend and invest their own money, we're taking it from them and throwing it into a welfare company just so voters in swing states keep their jobs and vote Democratic in 2010 and 2012.
I think I'm going to move to China in order to live in a capitalist country.
Posted by rob at 1:24 PM