Monday Mish-Mash (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesIt rained here yesterday, an event that was much more exciting even than the Super Bowl.  We probably got just a quarter inch of rain, but for a drought-stricken region, even that is thrilling.  There are storms lined up along the California coast . . . but that damned high pressure system refuses to let them pass.  The lizard part of my brain, the one taken up with magical thinking, keeps hoping that one of these storms will batter the high pressure system so hard that it breaks.  I know weather doesn’t work that way, but most days lately that fantasy is the best that I can do.

Still, and thankfully, there’s always blogging.  I’m sadly lacking in original thought at the moment, but others do have interesting stuff to say:

***

Apropos yesterday’s Super Bowl blowout, I learned two things about Seahawk’s coach Pete Carroll:  He’s quite possibly a 9/11 Truther and he graduated from Redwood High School in the heart of Marin County.  Hmmm.  I wonder if the two are related?

***

The IRS is planning on formalizing its persecution of conservative and Tea Party groups.  Until February 27, however, you can have a say in the matter.  At American Thinker, Sylvia Bokor mourns the fact that only slightly more than 20,000 people have weighed in, out of an American population greater than 300 million.  I’m not surprised.  First, most people truly don’t care; second, those who do care now have reason to worry that if they comment on the proposal, they’re basically signing on to the IRS’ future target list.  Chilling, that’s what it is.

***

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, takes on the belief fostered in every school child since about 1968 that, by signing on to the right (er, Left) charity, you too can save the world.  To him, this is the idiot stepchild of free enterprise and Leftism:

The West can’t fix Africa no matter how much of the price of a cup of coffee it donates. By attempting to fix it,  Africa and the West become entangled in each other’s problems, each worsening the problems of the other instead of solving them.

No one can save Africa except Africans. No one can fix Detroit except the majority of the people who live there. Social problems aren’t solved by nationalizing them or internationalizing them. They aren’t solved by engaging and guilt tripping those who have already solved those problems and live thousands of miles away but by engaging the people who live right there and are part of the problem.

If a man is drowning, you can toss him a rope. But if a man jumps into the water, tossing him a rope doesn’t accomplish anything. A physical problem can be solved by applying the right resources, but a human problem can’t be solved except when the affected humans change their attitudes or behaviors.

I am grateful to him for articulating something I’ve always felt in my bones, but couldn’t put into words.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    <B>those who do care now have reason to worry that if they comment on the proposal, </b>
     
    That was what I was going to say.  They think I’m retarded or got a death wish? As if the survivalists are going to log in, give them their IP, and write “yes sir, I hate the IRS stomping down on the Tea Party”? Are they stupid or do they think we’re the morons here.
     
    <B>I am grateful to him for articulating something I’ve always felt in my bones, but couldn’t put into words.</b>
     
    Why is that? Slaves were kept on the plantation with the justification that they, like women, were naturally born and suited to the roles given to them. That only being under the care of the plantation, would they be able to survive. Beloved pet dogs were seen as superior than letting them survive in the wild.
     
    We wanted to get rid of slavery because we wanted to recognize the individual humanity and soul of every woman, man, and slave. That means to be a human, one must exercise independent judgment and free will. Yet how can you exercise free will if you live on a plantation afraid of the master’s whip or live under a traditional society that thinks women cannot take care of themselves? The evidence that women couldn’t take care of themselves and that slaves didn’t know what to do off the plantation, were the direct result of the laws and society at the time, were they not. When given a chance, not every woman or slave would become exceptional, but a few would.
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, even clicking on the gov link increases the risk of your computer and ID being cracked and decrypted. It’s not a high one… yet, but it does exist.
     
    Malicious web and app coding can easily be transmitted across a known vulnerability online.

  • Charles Martel

    Watched the Super Bowl yesterday among a coterie of hardcore liberals. Hated the game for the Broncos’ roll-over-and-play-dead antics, as well as the usual background comments about how clever Colbert and Liebowitz are. Best comments of the day, both from a psychologist with a thriving practice:
     
    1. After watching the Coke ad that had a politically correct cross-section of brown people signing “America the Beautiful” in several different languages, “Well, I can tell you it wasn’t Republicans who made that ad.” I, as a former Republican (now Tea Party), kind of liked the ad even though it was a bit heavy handed on the lack of racist white people.
     
    2. “Thank God for Colbert and Stewart showing us how politics and power really work in America.”
     
    You can’t make this stuff up and it’s pointless to interfere with somebody when she’s reciting duckspeak. It only confuses, not enlightens, the duck.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    As for P Caroll, based upon the article you linked Book, he sounded like he was searching for information. Which is what, above all else, conspiracy analysts must do in order to verify their beliefs and theories.
     
    Being thorough is a good thing for individual spines and will. If he had just stuck to one theory though, we might suspect him of being on a band wagon and not wanting to get off.

  • Charles Martel

    Redwood High School, which I live behind, is a reliable feeder of properly adjusted ruling class wannabes to the various elite colleges. My son, whom I now thank God was an indifferent student, hated high school and laughs at the ignorance and lack of reasoning abilities among those of his friends who went through four years of higher-education indoctrination.
     
    While they were busy getting their heads crammed with useless theories about an imaginary world, he got real-world bona fides as a store manager, salesman, butcher, studio music track designer, rock band drummer, music tutor, and principal in a startup music tech company. His many jobs along the way certainly seem much like what your typical queer studies PhD barista would put on a resume—except for the $100,000 of debt and the overweening sense of superiority mysteriously coupled with feelings of uselessness.

  • Libby

    Another example of not going along with the entertainment industry groupthink: a young actor tweeted that Hoffman’s death was in fact stupid and senseless. After backlash he reiterated that it was not what he considered to be a tragedy. Many HuffPo readers agree: http://tinyurl.com/l6c45az
    Sadly, no one in the industry has yet to take on Woody Allen after Dylan Farrow’s open letter in the NYT.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    In the Left’s new Zero Sum World, we have to have ruling classes. Just as we must have zombie and livestock to serve the rulers. It is, after all, the zero sum they proudly proclaimed to be the Utopia.

  • Charles Martel

    Libby, Woody offered up the perfect defense years ago during the brouhaha over his romance with Soon-Yi Previn: “The heart wants what it wants.”
     
    Case closed.

    • Libby

      That’s the perfect motto for any deviant relationship, eh?

  • Libby

    Sorry for another druggy celebrity story, but Miley Cyrus said, “I love weed, I just love getting stoned.” Gee, you think that may have contributed to the many bad choices she’s made over the last year?
     
    Normally I wouldn’t care, except that I am now witnessing this insanity take over my state (Colorado), and you don’t have to be psychic to see that pot use is going increase amongst children, not to mention the new hazard of unknowingly ingesting marijuana-laced foods. And it does affect developing brains – I saw many pothead teens dead-end while growing up in Boulder (with less potent weed) and it will not be good for this state or this country.

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      Weed makes her easy to control and abuse, for the ones pulling the strings.
       
      If I was operating a mass zombie farm and propaganda campaign, I would want the subjects weeded up. Other than truth serum administered via the food, it’s one of the cheapest ways to control the masses. No free will, no dissent and no protests.

    • Kevin_B

      I don’t think the question is whether weed is bad; I think we can unequivocally say that it is. The question then is: just how bad is pot?
       
       
      Is pot the same kind of bad as other, so-called ‘hard drugs’ like cocaine and heroine? I tend to think it probably isn’t. Is it ‘only’ as bad as the ‘legal drugs’ alcohol and tobacco? I tend to think that too is not the case. With pot, the bad effects are inherent and manifest in a relatively short term, and to add to that, the “bad effects” i.e. getting stoned is the very basis for using pot. With alcohol, the bad effects can be short, mid of long term are usually the result of problematic use or use of inordinate amounts, or of performing activities that are not compatible with alcohol consumption (i.e. driving). The bad effects of tobacco are largely unavoidable long-term side effects. I tend to think pot does not easily compare with either ‘legal drugs’ or illegal hard narcotics.
       
       
      Anyway, a while ago, I watched a – I believe British – documentary called “America’s Stoned Kids” that specifically dealt with the state of Colorado and the legalization of pot in that state. The documentary certainly contained material that gave reason for grave concern about pot and for questioning whether legalizing is in fact a good idea. What is happening in Colorado is certainly a very large scale societal experiment and I think there are good reasons for grave concerns about the outcomes. I don’t think we can expect much good from it.
       
       
      That brings me back to the question of just how bad cannabis is. In my mind it is unquestionable whether it is bad. It should be avoided. However, is it bad enough to be illegal and to wage a war against it? I’m not sure about that. I’m not sure what countries and societies should do about cannabis. Some here at Bookworm favor the libertarian position of legalization, other do not. I have questions about the war on drugs, but also grave questions about cannabis.  Of course there is also the question if and to what extent the government should be involved in regulating the substance use of its citizens. Recently in my own country our government developed and tried to put into operation a national plan to combat alcohol abuse and limit alcohol consumption through amongst others increasing the legal drinking age (from 16 to 18 for beer and wine) and limits on the sale of alcoholic beverages i.e. no more booze from vending machines or  nightshops. The plan, however, was shot down by one of the parties in our coalition government (one of the big guys of that party also happens to be the head of the federations of Belgian brewers and distributors of booze) and was not put into operation.
       
       
      Many questions and concerns, but very little answers.

  • JKB

    This morning I read Ed Driscoll’s  Interview: Fred Siegel on The Revolt Against the Masses   The book seems interesting.  Siegel offers a good argument covering the century long attack by “American intellectuals” on the Middle Class.  It tied a lot of things together for me.  The indoctrination of the upper middle class kids to have the “right” opinions.  The efforts to destroy the lower middle class families as has happened with the poor.  The denigration of the Trades.  
     
    Use it to understand Greenfield’s discussion of the charity push.  It’s part of the reprogramming.  Same with the visceral hatred of the Tea Party.  I’ve seen those “protests”, you don’t get more middle class than that.  And not dirty snot-nosed upper middle class kid rebellion either.  Full bore, mom, dad, kids, grandparents, who pick up after themselves and are likely to mow the grass as well.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Of course I’m not in favor of government Drug Wars. They’re ridiculous. I’m also skeptical of government going into the drug trade.
     
    Precisely because marijuana has longer but less extensive negative side effects, is why it is the better drug the government will use for tranquilization of the masses. Similar to opium, people will get addicted to it and need it, thus they will need the government drug lords. It’s just a different kind of dependence. Of course, marijuana can be home grown, but that’s why the gov is cracking down on home grown weed, even in beautiful drug friendly California.
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Usage of drugs and being on welfare, are two things that are personal abdications of human free will. Those individuals should not be given equal legal or civic status to someone who is economically independent and free of external influences.
     
    The issue isn’t letting people do whatever they want. The issue is that they tend to get gathered up in a tax farm, producing zombie drones and Democrat politicians that eventually end up infecting and killing the resting of us. That’s the problem with “it ain’t hurting anyone for me to wee weed up”. If people want to use drugs and give up part of their humanity, then they should give up their voting, their ability to send money to (basically anyone), and so forth.

  • Kevin_B

    The question remains: are the negative effects of marijuana (which, as I and other have previously explained are both inherent and intended) on individuals and society bad enough to make marijuana illegal? There are many problems with the ‘war on drugs’ approach, but do those provide a definitive argument against the illegality of and legal action against drugs?
     
     
    In places where marijuana is legalized, in many cases that legalization takes the form of some kind of government regulation. Therefore, the government gets, to a more or lesser extent, in the drug business. Is that even remotely a good idea? I don’t think so. Besides, given the starting conditions, it is highly uncertain, I think, whether regulation of marijuana would work. Even with alcohol, for example, the regulatory approach taken on after Prohibition ended, has only worked to a certain extent. It is not my intent to argue against government regulation per se, but to question whether is a good or workable idea in the case of marijuana. Add to that the passivity and ‘zombie’ attitude that may well be fostered by marijuana and the abdication of free will noted by Ymar and we have a load of problems to consider.
     
     
    Also, finally, could not the illegal nature of marijuana to some – albeit likely limited – extent work to caution people (it’s illegal, so it might actually not be a good thing) or play a role in actions taken by parents, teachers, family members et cetera to deter especially young people from using marijuana? Legalization takes away that negative stamp – does it not to an extent say ‘it’s not so bad’ or ‘it might just be ok’ as well as taking away the argument of illegality and potential arrest and sentencing from parents and society. 
     
     
    The war on drugs approach has a large number of issues and raises grave questions. The legalization approach however seems to me to, at least in most cases, be either motivated by bad intentions or be fueled by a great naieveté. It is not an approach I can in good conscience favor. I do not have a definitive answer to these questions and in the mean time applying some form of repression of drug use, production and distribution seems prudent to me. 
     
     
    I think we can unequivocally say it is probably best for societies and communities to discourage narcotics. What is, however, highly unclear is what is the best approach for doing so. What should we do with drugs? In the area of drug policy, there seem to be lot of questions and perhaps not enough answers. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

     There are many problems with the ‘war on drugs’ approach, but do those provide a definitive argument against the illegality of and legal action against drugs?
     
    It’s equivalent to a misdemeanor charge concerning legality. But then election fraud is also a misdemeanor charge. The way the fed gov handles legality is to reward those with connections and punish those without, so the laws won’t matter until DC is purged and fixed first.