Friday factoids (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI have lots of intelligent thoughts swirling in my head.  The problem is that they haven’t settled down and become coherent.  Mostly, I’m focused on an upcoming outing with my mother.

My mother is an inveterate shopper.  At almost 91, shopping isn’t just the main pleasure in her life, it’s her only pleasure.  Sometimes I take her (which is truly a test of my love because I hate shopping); sometimes a friend takes her; and sometimes (actually, weekly) she boards the bus at her managed care facility for an outing to her favorite store.

Her most recent solo outing, however, left her distraught.  I got a confused tale about lost receipts, switched-out clothing, purse-snatching sales clerks (although she still has her purse and everything in it), kissing sales ladies, and a general feeling that “something is wrong there.”  I’m sure something is wrong, but I’m not sure whether this mainstream, reputable store is having a management failure or if my mother’s mental capacity has suddenly diminished.  I suspect the latter, but am open to the former — so I’m taking Mom to the store today to see what’s going on.

Meanwhile, there’s interesting stuff out there.


By now, I’m sure all of you have heard that Dinesh D’Souza was indicted for alleged campaign funding malfeasance to the tune of $20,000.  A couple of comments:  To the extent his lawyer is talking about innocent mistakes, my reading is that D’Souza almost certainly committed the act as charged.  And to the extent that a John Edwards’ friend did the same, and was only charged with a misdemeanor, the over-the-top attack on D’Souza is political revenge.  Check here for Maetenloch’s list of a long line of Mafia-style policing from the Obama administration against conservatives and here, at Gateway Pundit, for Chuck Schumer’s explicit call-out to the IRS to attack conservative groups (but not Organizing for America, of course, Obama’s political arm).


Zombie has a shocking (no Casablanca-style irony here when I use that word) report about San Francisco’s decision to continue paying a pension to a former city employee convicted on felony charges for storing and sharing the most vile kind of child pornography.  In addition to the images on his computer, the official included excited comments on the photographs giving his enthusiastic support to violence inflicted on children as young as infants and toddlers.  He reserved special approval for situations involving black adults abusing children or black children being abused.  According to the City, his acts didn’t constitute “moral turpitude.”  To which one can only say, “Huh”?

As for a reason behind the Progressive City’s continued support for the felon, it might have something to do with the fact that he’s a gay rights advocate who spearheaded nationwide recognition for “domestic partnerships” and, ironically enough, campaigned vigorously against alleged discrimination against blacks at sex clubs.  In other words, despite his crimes, he’s still politically untouchable.

My comments should not be construed as a swipe at “domestic partnership” laws, which I think are a much better idea than gay marriage, a notion that risks a devastating clash with First Amendment religious rights.  Instead, they’re meant to attack a Progressive world view that forgives any sin provided that the person committing the sin has the right political credentials.  (Roman Polanski comes to mind as another example of this attitude.)


How about, instead of talking about blacks as the sexual playthings of a disgusting human being, we talk about them as fully realized human beings who do what the rest of us do, which is making political and social choices based upon their life experiences?  If that’s how you view people of other races, religions, cultures, sexual orientations, etc., please read Lloyd Marcus’s article about his upbringing and journey to conservativism, all of which took place inside a home with a hard-working father, and some of which took place in a sparkly new housing project that swiftly devolved into a Hobbesian nightmare.


If you ever get into an argument with a Leftist about anything — not just about politics, but about anything — you’ll notice one inevitable hallmark of their arguing style.  It’s always personal.  For example, a Leftist will say “That new HBO show Looking is really good.”  You’ll respond “I didn’t like it much.”  A non-Leftist might say, “Oh, that’s too bad.”  Or he might ask, “Why not?”  Or he could say, “But it’s a really good look at the ordinary life of ordinary gays, and is worth watching for that reason.”  But that’s not what a Leftist will say.  He’ll say, “You’re homophobic.”  Or he’ll say, “That’s because you’re too stupid/narrow minded/unreasonable/backwards to appreciate good television.”  It’s never about the show; it’s always about you.

Thomas Sowell has noticed this habit too, a habit that isn’t about the personal being political, but goes beyond that:  Everything is personal when a Leftist is involved — and you’re always the wrong or damaged or stupid or prejudiced or all-around evil person.  After looking at the roots of this practice and giving examples in both 20th and 21st century politics, Sowell, who is a humanist, offers a possible explanation:

The vision of the Left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice,” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.

I’m not a humanist.  My possible explanation is that Leftism is attractive to deeply insecure people who don’t have a solid sense of their own worth and values.  They latch onto a political ideology that spells out expressly what’s right and wrong, and that gives them permission to function as their own God-heads, casting nonbelievers into eternal damnation.  In other words, it’s a political ideology of, by, and for malignant narcissists.


Speaking of Looking, a half-hour long HBO dramedy that looks at young gays in San Francisco, it turns out that audiences didn’t want to look.  We actually turned it off in the first 30 seconds of the first episode, when a character sneaked into the bushes to meet another man who attacked his zipper and headed (literally) for his crotch.  This is always going to be the problem with the gay lifestyle.  Even people who are not homophobic and believe that they are entitled to full civil rights really don’t want to know too much about the sexual excesses in which so many gay young men engage.

And while we’re on the subject of salacious productions, enjoy this video (which is extremely good satire, but is not safe for work).


I don’t think the college bubble is going to burst in time to spare me the cost of sending my two upper-middle-class suburban kids to college.  But it will burst.  Two articles mark the way to bubble collapse.  The first, in The Atlantic, focuses on kids with big debts and no job prospects.  The second, in Forbes, gives voice to one person who thinks he made a smart decision to skip college.  I know that, in my neck of the words, more and more parents are encouraging those of their children who aren’t that academically oriented to look into working for a year or two before going to college or to get their first two years done at the local community college.


At IBD, both Michael Ramirez and Andrew Malcolm examine Obama’s latest position in the war on terror:  trash-talking al Qaeda.  Neither is impressed.  Richard Baehr has a few compelling and pertinent thoughts on the subject too.


Also at IBD, an editorial saying that the California drought is not a product of all-encompassing climate change, just as the Polar Vortex isn’t.  It’s happened repeatedly before, and it will happen repeatedly again.  Both are parts of earth’s ever-changing and completely natural cycle.  I hate the drought, but I’m not railing at evil corporate conglomerates.  And in any event, if I want to rail at evil conglomerates who pollute our world, I should yell at the Americans and Europeans who ship their dirty factories to China and at the Chinese fascist government that lets them.  (I’ve decided that China is no longer communist, since it has shifted to a market-based economy.  Instead, it’s now fascist, since the government continues to control the people and the ostensibly privately-owned marketplace.)


It’s great to be the messiah.  Even as you drive the US economy into the ditch, you and your family enjoy the high life — and charge it to the demoralized, broke American people.  When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette did that, they lost their heads.  Obama and Co., however, get away with it without even having a dent put on their halos.

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  • lee

    RE: Drought in California
    Check out the weather from 1888. Most people are aware of the Great Blizzard in the northeast ( and the Children’s Blizzard that happened about a month earlier. But there was KUH-RA-ZEE weather all over the world:
    There was an El Nino drought in Australia (in the middle of years of rain) that almost killed all the sheep; the start of several years of drought (and famine) in Africa; And England had below average cold (it SNOWED in higher elevations one night in JULY.) It was a wacky year.
    I guess it must’ve been all the bovine flatulence…

  • Ymarsakar

    When the Regime comes for me, I’ll be claiming the defense of being gay, a Muslim, a minority, got Indian blood, and so forth. I’m sure others like Martel is crafting up a portfolio of similar emergency background info.
    Others will react with land mines, M-82 .50 caliber rifles, and various other long, short rifles and handguns. I’m going to do the yin yang aiki/judo throw first though.
    The thing is, the timing is tricky. You can only activate the portfolio if you know it will be soon needed. If you use it too soon, those Leftist activist groups will be knocking on your door and before you know it, you’ll be dragged into an indoctrination class and come out a zombie. For real this time.

  • Ymarsakar

    <B>Even as you drive the US economy into the ditch, you and your family enjoy the high life — and charge it to the demoralized, broke American people. </b>
    Beat that slave until it’s dead and its usage is over. Then beat the child of the slave until it produces good fruit and work. Then keep on doing it as the slaves regenerate and repopulate. That is the RENEWABLE RESOURCE OF HUMANITY here. That is the Left’s sustainability model. That is sustainable. That will sustain Gaia.

  • Eidolon

    It often seems bizarre to me, the way that liberals can forgive one of their own for actually exhibiting all the sins they ostentatiously accuse right-wingers of (and which, according to them, make their opponents all bad people), and seeing no contradiction.
    It really does seem to be about visions, as Sowell discusses. Those who say the right things are “one of us,” and they may make mistakes, but they advocate the right policies, so they’re clearly on the correct side of things.
    What I always thought was, I don’t care much if a politician hates me personally, my race, or my sex, as long as he doesn’t announce it, and pursues policies that benefit society and, by extension, my family and myself. But that’s because, for me, it’s about creating healthy conditions for society, it’s not about my feelings of superiority or virtue.


     “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s …..


    I watched the NSFW satire. It would have been amusing had I not read the linked story.
    Mother supports son, 18, who was kicked out of high school for starring in gay porn to pay the family bills
    ‘I think he’s the most awesome person in the world,’ she told WKMG through tears. ‘He stood up and he was the man of the house when I couldn’t be.’   

  • Ymarsakar

    Nothing the Left does will seem bizarre for those that have delved deep into the depths of human evil and came up into a death cult.
    That is, of course, its own abyss and darkness.
    “It’s never about the show; it’s always about you.”
    Even for people who are not part of the Left, they feel superior that their tribe does things well and everyone else is doing it wrong. This is human arrogance at work, and even amongst missionaries this can be detected if the people involved are not fully trained in obedience to God’s will.
    Most Americans will forgive what Americans do, but not what foreigners do when they do the same thing. It’s the same concept.
    Superiority is a sense of discrimination, but is net neutral ethically speaking. It is not morally wrong, it is always morally right based upon their home culture. But it is ethically neutral because depending on what happens, it can go evil or good. It can rot or it can produce fruit.
    Let’s say an American feels pride that his country is exceptional, so joins the US Marines and protects starving people in Asia via humanitarian aid. Now let’s say a Chinese feels pride in his country being exceptionally ancient and wise, then joins the military and destroys South Korea and helps take all the women out for the sex and slave camps. Same intent, totally strange outcomes. Because of obedience. You don’t get to decide what happens in an organization, if you don’t own that organization. You hope things go well because if it doesn’t, there’s not much you can do about it to change it. Quit and refuse to obey, maybe.
    Leftists do not recognize your right as a human being. If you believe in free will, then you substantially believe in certain rights, such as autonomy and independence of judgment. You aren’t supposed to be lobotomizing humans into animals and chaining them into slaves, and then pretend they have “independent judgment” or are “autonomous”. Like your dog when it doesn’t have a leash on, it is “autonomous”, except it ain’t. It’ll soon starve to death or get diseased or get eaten by a bigger dog. It ain’t autonomous, it doesn’t have the survival skills. It’s still dependent on human support to be a pet. That’s what it was born for.
    So Leftists think you aren’t a real human with free will because you were born a Republican. Like a pig or something. Or a cat or a dog. They don’t have to hate you, they can be your spouse or friend or family member. They don’t have to hate you. But they will obey the Left when told that keeping pigs as pets isn’t good for their soul. Just as Jews and the Amish and the Jehovah’s Witnesses try to keep their community pure and safe from external poisons. As we should have known about Communism, open borders and open policies of welcome, also welcome in evil and poisons. Not everyone that walks through the door of welcome and diversity is a good one that contributes to your community. They will not let you in because you are not considered their equal. What makes a community “good” or “evil” depends upon what extremes they are willing to enforce these measures and safeties. Anything that supports and defends society is considered moral by that society. So you either have to convince all of society that their methods are counter productive and do not work, or you reject their morality and replace it with a personal ethic. Which often results in death or exile. Female Genital Mutilation in Africa is enforced by the women matriarchies. That’s a fact of the society and morality. It is considered good, such as chastity before marriage in some groups.
    The Left is their own community. We consider them evil, some of us. They consider ALL OF YOU to be evil though. If you don’t understand what evil means, then you cannot understand their emotions.
    Do you respect the ability of a person that is evil to like their evil? If not, why do you expect a Leftist to respect your property and personal rights when it comes to having thoughts and emotions vis a vis movies? Is a dog allowed to tell its owner where the owner is going to take a cra? If not, then the Left won’t tolerate you telling them you have an opinion that is inconsistent with the Leftist’s. Anymore than you tolerate your dog telling you what brand of condoms or birth control you should be buying, when you have already decided to neuter the dog. They have decided this movie is good or bad. What you decide, is meaningless to them. You don’t have emotions. You don’t have thoughts. You aren’t allowed to disagree. You will Obey. They have to obey the Left, so why aren’t you obligated to obey them?

  • Katja

    Just remember, D’souza has embarrassed President Obama personally, and so he must be destroyed.
    (How I became George Obama’s ‘brother’)

    • Ymarsakar

      Of course, heretics and heathens must be converted by the fire, rod, and sword.

  • Matt_SE

    You are correct, Book. China is now fascist.
    You see how easy it was for them to make the shift? All they had to do was open up their economy to free(-er) enterprise, but everything else is the same.
    How is such a seemingly minor change responsible for leaving the far left, and ending up on the far right?
    The answer is that Communism and Fascism are both far left, and always have been. Only individual liberty is on the right.

  • JKB

    An excellent write-up on MLK by Diplomad.  He also, succinctly puts paid to the Democrat fantasy of wholesale party swap in the 1960s.  He, also, sadly reports that the Democrats and their media lapdogs have rewritten history.  College students today are almost wholly ignorant of the true party of the White privilege.  Of course, it’s not just on campus.  Not long ago I was looking a Library of Congress exhibit of a letter the NAACP sent President Wilson to protest his segregation of the federal workforce.  After noting that Wilson did institute Jim Crow in the federal workforce, they, after not identifying Wilson’s political affiliation are sure to note in the final sentence “Segregation in the federal government persisted through the next three Republican administrations.”
    The DiploMad 2.0: The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
    Before I get back to King, let me address another issue that has been badly distorted and become something of a meme among the quasi-literate left. I refer to the idea that the parties have “switched places.” This is something I have heard from some lefties who, knowing the true history of the Democrat and Republican Parties when it comes to race and civil rights, try to argue that that was then, and this is now. Since FDR or so, they argue the Democrat and the Republican Parties “switched” places on the race issue, with Republicans taking the role of protecting white privilege and keeping minorities, especially blacks, down. The truth is quite different. What happened was that the old party of slavers, segregationists, lynch mobs, and secessionists figured out that government programs and intervention were the means to deprive Republicans of a significant voter bloc. The aim was to keep black Americans dependent on the largesse of government and Democrat-run urban political machines. Anyone who doubts that should read the crude comment in which President Johnson revealed the real purpose underlying his massive social program expansion, i.e., to keep black Americans voting Democrat. The Democrats have succeeded admirably at this objective.

  • MacG

    Point: “My possible explanation is that Leftism is attractive to deeply insecure people who don’t have a solid sense of their own worth and values”
    A Christian Counter point:
    As a follower of the Nazarene, I have learned the great worth I am to God through verses like the following and how He values others despite all of us being in the collective category of ‘sinner’: ”
    “There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11     there is no one who understands;    there is no one who seeks God.12 All have turned away,    they have together become worthless;there is no one who does good, not even one.” Letter to the Roman Christians Chapter 3
    It says worthless here but very worthwhile: 
    “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Letter to the Hebrew Christians 5:6-8
    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Letter to the Roman Christians Chapter 8
    His strong desire for reconciliation, the lengths He would go even for those neighbors that I may disdain (reinforcing ‘who am I to judge?”)  but more than that the assurance that He will never leave us not forsake us is about the best sense of worth builder and ergo community builder, that I can imagine.