Extortion Artist

Filed under:Heh,It's My Life — posted by Anwyn on April 18, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

Or, the Downside of a Four-Year-Old’s Ability to Read Fluently.

Or, Friday Mommyblogging: Suck It Up, Rachl Lukis.

Scene: Interior, Honda Civic, day. Mother and four-year-old Son are driving to preschool, a 20ish-minute drive depending on traffic. Mother puts in a CD, a film soundtrack that starts off with a slow Natalie Merchant song.

Son: “I don’t want this song. I want the songs I usually listen to.”

Mother: “Let’s listen to this one for a while.”

Son: “No, I don’t like it!”

Mother: “How can you know you don’t like it unless you listen to it?”

Son: “Give me my paper” (referring to flyer from the local indoor skate-hockey/lacrosse/soccer place where Son has soccer once a week and has had one rollerblading lesson). Mother hands him the sheet.

Son (reading from flyer): “Hockey leagues. Adult programs. Required Equipment: Elbow pads. Knee and shin protection. Cup and jock (males).” Son pauses thoughtfully, thinking back to soccer class, where for scrimmage the kids are divided into Pancakes and Blueberries, Blueberries being distinguished by blue jerseys. “I’ll be the cup. I’ll tell [young teammate] he’ll be the jock.”

Mother (startled out of listening to her music choice): “What?”

Son: “I’m a cup. [Teammate’s] a jock.”

Mother: “No, honey, that’s gear. Gear, not people. That’s gear you need for playing hockey.”

Son (continuing down flyer): “Pelvic protector (females)–”

Mother: “Here, baby, let’s listen to your songs now. You ready? Do you want your magazine?”

Son: “No, I don’t want my magazine. I want my songs.”

Mother: “All righty! Here you go! No problem. Give me your flyer–(he hands her the paper)–Yay songs!”

Who, Me? Grouchy?

Filed under:Heh — posted by Anwyn on April 16, 2008 @ 5:39 pm

My friend the Garter Knight has emailed to say I’m too grumpy and to knock it off.

Come on, Knight, I’m not grumpy–we all know I’m bitter. And so are you–we lived without distinguishing accents in the same rural area/set of small towns in the Midwest, and you were having trouble finding a job about the same time I was losing one. Apparently my religion and my antipathy to people unlike me are not doing their comforting job. I guess I’ll have to buy a gun–problem solved!

Cost Who What, Now?

Filed under:Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn @ 1:12 pm

“Divorce and unwed parenthood” are costing the American taxpayers $112 billion.

Now let’s see that figure again without this part factored in:

Several factors contributed to the costs, including anti-poverty, criminal justice and education programs, and lower taxes paid by adults “negatively affected by increased childhood poverty caused by family fragmentation,” said investigator Ben Scafidi, economics professor at Georgia College & State University.

People who pay lower taxes than others “cost” taxpayers? Only in a country where the government demands a fixed amount upon which to operate and if Sally Unwed Mother can’t pay her $20 but pays $16 instead, then Johnny Small Business Owner has to pay $24 to make up her share, instead of what we actually are supposed to have, which is that everybody making $10,000 per year pays 6 percent tax (numbers pulled out of my ear for analogy purposes) and everybody paying between $10K and $20K pays 8 percent. Obviously Sally Unwed Mother costs taxpayers if she is on welfare, but in that case she’s not likely to be in this group paying “lower taxes”–she’s not likely to be paying taxes at all.

Take that figure out of your scary-big total, researchers, unless you think you can change the meaning of the word “cost” just using the power of other words around it. Which of course you do.

H/t Hot Air headlines. Of course.

Squaring AllahP’s Circle

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn @ 8:45 am

If you know what I mean.

Square this circle: All of their friends are lawyers, yet every woman [Michelle Obama] knows is struggling to keep her head above water.

As usual, it depends on what the meaning of “water” is. C’mon, Allah, she didn’t mean monetarily … women just have it so tough since they have to both earn a living and do everything that is to be done regarding the household and child care–everything. Men, even the Obamessiah, are completely useless, but there she is, having to earn six figures anyway, even though it puts that final straw on that just might break her domestically minded back.

Oh wait, you mean … she does mean it monetarily? Lawyers making six figures apiece or more still couldn’t manage to pay off their student loans until midway through their forties? Wow. That’s chin near the waterline, all right. No wonder she has to break herself to do it all–clearly if she weren’t earning those six figures, it would have been ten more years or more before she could pay off those student loans, and then just imagine the level of Government Fixit she’d have to call for!

You’re a Bitter Stranger: Barack Obama’s Campaign Song

Filed under:Music,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 15, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

Part One: The Pitch, Suitably Vague and Feelgood

However you feel, whatever it takes
Whenever it’s real, whatever awaits.
Whatever you need, however so slight
Whenever it’s real, whenever it’s right.

Part Two: The Woo–You’re Bitter, Right? Come On, Baby, I Can Fix It

I’ve been thinking long and hard about the things you said to me–
Like a bitter stranger
Now I see the long and short, the middle, and what’s in between
I could spit on a stranger.

Part Three: The Truth

Honey, I’m a prize and you’re a catch and we’re a perfect match
Like two bitter strangers
Now I see the long and short of it and I can make it last
I could spit on a stranger
You’re a bitter stranger
I could spit on a stranger
You’re a bitter stranger.

Part Four: The Desperation–Come Back, Baby, What’d I Say?

I see the sunshine in your eyes
I’ll try the things you’ve never tried
I’ll be the one that leaves you high, high, high …

Song written by Stephen Malkmus, performed here by Nickel Creek

You Said It, Lady

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 2:46 pm

Yes, Michelle Obama, you most certainly are out of touch. Say on.

Got it, of course, from Hot Air headlines.

“War Is Not Pro-Life”

Filed under:Bumper Stickers,Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn @ 2:15 pm

Seen on a bumper sticker.

Pro whose lives? Pro the lives of tyrants who rape, murder, and imprison at will? No, it is not. Pro the lives of those who serve such tyrants? No, it is not.

Pro the lives of those living under the tyrant’s boot-heel? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of those killed in gas chambers? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of those, including housewives, being trained to kill “even one American” as Japan prepared to accept invsasion rather than surrender? Yes, it is. Pro the lives of soldiers proud to give their lives, if need be, in support of other lives? Yes, it is. Pro lives lived in freedom, pro lives lived without fear, pro lives lived with a voice in how they’re governed? Yes, it is.

Say On

Filed under:Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 12:28 pm

Must-reads on Obama. Mary Katharine Ham has the story of a Democratic advisor who understands the importance of “serving up basic respect” and the Democrats’ failure to listen to such as him, since they clearly have no reliable compass of their own on this group of voters:

Liberals routinely assume small towns are unfailingly desperate places filled with helpless people largely because they can think of no other explanation for people living in them. They project their own values on those communities, mistake proximity to a sushi bar with quality of life, and assume these people must be waiting for someone to rescue them.

But the man who owns a mechanic’s shop or a contracting business with his wife and raises a family in a house of his own on a decent chunk of land is not looking for the government to rescue him from anything. He has troubles, but he is not helpless; he may lack a Ph.D., but he is not stupid, and the suggestion thereof is not appreciated.

H/t Hot Air Headlines.

George Will gives the history of the evolution of this mindset in leading Democrats and notes Michael Barone’s observation that FDR would never have said–or thought–anything so arrogant and condescending. Me, I wonder if that’s mainly because FDR was far too smart and experienced a politician for that, rather than his “celebration” of the working class, but as I’ve said before, knowing how to get along in public is really half–and for a politician sometimes more than half–the battle.

The emblematic book of the new liberalism was “The Affluent Society” by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. He argued that the power of advertising to manipulate the bovine public is so powerful that the law of supply and demand has been vitiated. Manufacturers can manufacture in the American herd whatever demand the manufacturers want to supply. Because the manipulable masses are easily given a “false consciousness” (another category, like religion as the “opiate” of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:

First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant. Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness. Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms. Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.

The iconic public intellectual of liberal condescension was Columbia University historian Richard Hofstadter, who died in 1970 but whose spirit still permeated that school when Obama matriculated there in 1981. Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims — the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree.

Obama’s dismissal is: Americans, especially working-class conservatives, are unable, because of their false consciousness, to deconstruct their social context and embrace the liberal program. Today that program is to elect Obama, thereby making his wife at long last proud of America.

H/t: The Blog at The Weekly Standard.

Haven’t Tried It, Don’t Plan To

Filed under:Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on April 14, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

I’ve read enough pained reviews of Windows Vista that I have no plans to switch. And if Microsoft is so boneheaded as to insist on saddling us with ever-spiraling hardware requirements and an operating system–think about this for a minute–an operating system that actually clogs and burdens the hardware for its own flashy features rather than simply making the rest of the computer available for your use, then next time I need a machine I’ll install some flavor of Linux. Me and, apparently, more than 100K more users … but it’s going to take a lot more than that, I fear.

No doubt my more technologically savvy friends are laughing at me and remembering how each successive Windows version has done nothing but progressively require better hardware and then clog it. I remember when I bought my first Windows machine, in 1997, and admired the little animated papers flying from one folder to another to tell me that the transfer was in progress … and the tech friend helping me take the thing for a test run shook his head grimly about the resources that little jigger was wasting. Never mind. I’ve understood for a long time and I am finally at my limit. I have enough Windows, Microsoft. Lean it down, slim it back, give me my stable XP or I will go elsewhere. And while I’m not the most technologically savvy Jenny on the block (I’m having a hard time making sure my files are backed up before I upgrade to WP 2.5 as The Venomous One commands, also assuring me it’s easy as pie. Dare I ask her if she backed up her files? Oh yeah. I dare) I’ve got friends in Linux places who will be glad to help me turn back from the dark side. Believe it, Gates.

Two Airlines That Won’t Have to Code-Share Any More

Filed under:Uncategorized — posted by Anwyn @ 6:34 pm

Delta and Northwest to merge.

Quote of the Weekend

Filed under:Jerks,Politics — posted by Anwyn on April 13, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

Hands down while I laugh myself silly:

What do you think Obama will cling to when he’s bitter from joblessness?

One More Thing, Barack

Filed under:Jerks,Politics,Priorities — posted by Anwyn on April 12, 2008 @ 7:24 pm

The assumption that people who vote Republican aren’t voting on “economic issues” is lunacy–lower taxes being pretty high on the list of a lot of people who make a living. So I guess you’re talking to “bitter” people who vote Republican–they must not be voting economic because why would anybody vote against somebody who promises them other people’s money? Oh yeah, that’s because of some principles and standards that support the idea that it’s better to make money than be given it, even if you have to, or choose to, eke it out in a small, dying town. You know, those very same principles and standards that lead them to embrace their families and their God, your accusation of xenophobia and your implication of religious delusion notwithstanding.

Obama: You Only Need to Count on Your Family and Your God if Your Government Doesn’t Make You Rich or at Least Richer; UPDATED

Filed under:Jerks,Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn @ 1:07 pm

Update: Many thanks to Ace and Hot Air for the links. And don’t miss Ace taking me all the way back to square one and reminding me that in the first set of remarks, Obama didn’t say a damn thing about family; he said “antipathy to people who aren’t like them” and then tried to spin it into meaning dependence on family and the community (“community,” lest we forget, one of the nauseatingly repeated trend words of the left) … and it still comes out as a bad thing in his lexicon. Because it’s what he really thinks. Well done, Barack. But it’s all part and parcel of the new left idea that only the family you choose for yourself matters … thus it’s honorable and decent for Barack to stand by the pastor whose rhetoric is abhorred by so many millions of voters, but “cling” to your family? That’s only because you’re in distress and oh yeah, it’s also raaaaaaaaaacist.

There are two main things that allow you to get along with other people in life: Making sure that what you say and do publicly are acceptable to enough people and making sure that how you really believe and act are acceptable to people important to you. Obama just let voters know how he really believes.


Keep digging, Barack. Dig yourself all the way to China, where they already have communism, and see how you like it, jackass.

Original remarks:

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them…And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Got that? You can’t be frustrated about illegal immigration or anything else that matters to your ideas about how this country should operate or who should have to obey the law, really, you know you can’t. You’re just pissed that a factory shut down and took your job away so you have to have some outlet for that anger. Whereas (presumably) if you vote for Barry he’ll have your factory job back in a heartbeat so that you never have to consider moving, consider going where times are more prosperous, consider how you might alter your life to adapt to changing circumstances, changes that might actually end up being for the better.

Spin in Indiana Friday night, insulting the intelligence of my fellow Hoosiers, though judging by the applause, those present were begging to have it insulted:

They don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody’s gonna help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns … issues like gay marriage … take refuge in their faith and their community and families, things they can count on … so here’s what’s rich. Senator Clinton says, “Well, I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania …” John McCain says, “Oh, how can he say that? How can he say people are bitter?”

No, jackass, “bitter” was not the damning epithet. I’m pretty disgusted and bitter my own self at having to choose between an open-borders guy and a couple of socialists, one with racism thrown in for good measure. Saying people only care about religion, the right to bear arms, their families and communities (code, by the way, for they embrace only their own and despise, perhaps even violently, all other comers, out of this same bitterness), that was the damning bit. And sensible people in Indiana and elsewhere are hearing it, reading it, and knowing it. Keep digging.

Spin in Indiana Saturday morning:

I said somethin’ that everybody knows is true … people don’t feel like they’re being listened to. So they pray, and they count on each other, and they count on their families … you know this in your own life. And what we need is a government that is actually paying attention … fighting for workin’ people, [blah blah blah blah socialist code words up to and including American Dream].”

Once again, you’re not supposed to count on your family or your faith, you’re supposed to count on your government. He simply cannot fathom the concept that people do not believe this is the proper role of government, that nobody in their right mind wants to count on government for their needs and wants. So he says “I could have said it better,” but then goes on to say the same damn thing in the same damn way because he simply cannot believe it couldn’t be the truth.

This is the real Barack Obama, believe it. People counting on their families and God is not appropriate; these things are merely the refuge of the bitter. This is why his chosen church and his mentor/married-him/baptized-his-kids pastor are not about God but about race and class–because that’s all he believes in. People don’t vote their class identity not because they don’t believe this is an appropriate basis for choosing a government, because they believe individual rights are a better foundation, but merely because they’re embittered and don’t believe voting on class would change the class structure. There is nothing in his world but class structure and how he can alter it so that we’re all supposedly on the same basis, which in his mind means lack of inequity but in reality will result in nothing but lack of opportunity, lack of will, lack of ambition, lack of work, lack of achievement.

Keep digging, Barry. Hey, maybe there’s a silver lining: If you need to count on God and your family if your government doesn’t make your life turn out the way you want it to, then perhaps we’ll have a lot of converts to Christianity and family trust after you pull down the life edifaces of America’s wealthy.

And PS–if all the people you talk to are “bitter,” did it ever occur to you that these might be the only ones (not all of the populace or, it is to be hoped, even a majority) who want the government to put a bandaid on them and make it better, who might think it’s a swell idea to whine to a politician about how bad they have it (really, often, not that bad at all)? Seek out some ordinary folks without an axe to grind and then see how well your vision holds up.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace