August 27, 2010

"The last refuge of a liberal"

Krauthammer, crystallizing several years worth of postings here into a single column:

Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed. Just yesterday it was all hope and change and returning power to the people. But the people have proved so disappointing. Their recalcitrance has, in only 19 months, turned the predicted 40-year liberal ascendancy (James Carville) into a full retreat. Ah, the people, the little people, the small-town people, the “bitter” people, as Barack Obama in an unguarded moment once memorably called them, clinging “to guns or religion or” — this part is less remembered — “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.”

That’s a polite way of saying: clinging to bigotry. And promiscuous charges of bigotry are precisely how our current rulers and their vast media auxiliary react to an obstreperous citizenry that insists on incorrect thinking.

– Resistance to the vast expansion of government power, intrusiveness and debt, as represented by the Tea Party movement? Why, racist resentment toward a black president.

– Disgust and alarm with the federal government’s unwillingness to curb illegal immigration, as crystallized in the Arizona law? Nativism.

– Opposition to the most radical redefinition of marriage in human history, as expressed in Proposition 8 in California? Homophobia.

– Opposition to a 15-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero? Islamophobia.

Now we know why the country has become “ungovernable,” last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?

Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities — often lopsided majorities — oppose President Obama’s social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.

What’s a liberal to do?

Ooh, I know! Scream “bigot” and “argument ad populum” as if you understand what the terms mean, then sprinkle in some tripe about being all for FREEDOM! — while secretly hoping no one notices that the freedom you’re all for never really extends to your ideological opponents, who frankly don’t deserve freedom anyhow, their being such hateful and pig-ignorant proles in the first place.

[...] When the Tea Party arose, a spontaneous, leaderless and perfectly natural (and traditionally American) reaction to the vast expansion of government intrinsic to the president’s proudly proclaimed transformational agenda, the liberal commentariat cast it as a mob of angry white yahoos disguising their antipathy to a black president by cleverly speaking in economic terms.

Then came Arizona and S.B. 1070. It seems impossible for the left to believe that people of good will could hold that: (a) illegal immigration should be illegal, (b) the federal government should not hold border enforcement hostage to comprehensive reform, i.e., amnesty, (c) every country has the right to determine the composition of its immigrant population.

As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays — particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

And now the mosque near Ground Zero. The intelligentsia is near unanimous that the only possible grounds for opposition is bigotry toward Muslims. This smug attribution of bigotry to two-thirds of the population hinges on the insistence on a complete lack of connection between Islam and radical Islam, a proposition that dovetails perfectly with the Obama administration’s pretense that we are at war with nothing more than “violent extremists” of inscrutable motive and indiscernible belief. Those who reject this as both ridiculous and politically correct (an admitted redundancy) are declared Islamophobes, the ad hominem du jour.

It is a measure of the corruption of liberal thought and the collapse of its self-confidence that, finding itself so widely repudiated, it resorts reflexively to the cheapest race-baiting (in a colorful variety of forms). Indeed, how can one reason with a nation of pitchfork-wielding mobs brimming with “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them” — blacks, Hispanics, gays and Muslims — a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, “just downright mean”?

The Democrats are going to get beaten badly in November. Not just because the economy is ailing. And not just because Obama over-read his mandate in governing too far left. But because a comeuppance is due the arrogant elites whose undisguised contempt for the great unwashed prevents them from conceding a modicum of serious thought to those who dare oppose them.

As I tried to make clear yesterday to Middle Tennessee State’s facile-minded Professor of Reverb, William Yelverton, his (admittedly third-rate) attempts at trying to shame the 70+% of Americans he has taken to labeling “Christian teabaggers” into falling in line behind the social and political desires of self-styled progressive “elites” no longer carried much sting; that Americans had reached their threshold for being held hostage by the PC mandates of a phony and cynically self-serving “multiculturalism” that insisted, for its force, on denigrating the legitimacy of an American/Western culture born out of classical liberal ideals.

For the progressive agenda to ascend, the ideals of classical liberalism — those concerning individual autonomy, natural rights, Enlightenment notions of truth and the foregrounding of logic over rhetoric as a bulwark against the will to power — need to be deconstructed and then de-legitimized. Identity politics must replace individual autonomy, with the various factions within identity groups vying for what will become that group’s sanctioned narrative (with the losers in that battle cast out as inauthentic, or race-traitors, or sufferers of false consciousness, etc.); natural rights need be “separated” from the secular rights that are then decided upon by the ruling class; truth must always be “contingent,” subject to perspective and narrative frame for its relative rhetorical power, and never absolute; interpretation becomes such that the message of an individual becomes the property of an “interpretive community” whose own intentions then take precedence over the intentions of the individual — and are allowed moreover to determine the intentions of that individual.

To beat back the progressive agenda is to beat back the kernel assumptions of leftism itself — to reaffirm the very principles upon which this country was founded, and which the left has been steadily hoping to erode through an institutional takeover of language, be the offshoot of such a linguistic coup the idea of a “living Constitution” or identity politics as reinforced by such benign terms as “diversity” and “multiculturalism.”

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t recognize what is happening at the structural level. Fortunately, they seem to be waking up to it on a gut level.

This infuriates faux-sophisticates the likes of William Yelverton, who photograph themselves at artistic leisure and who for years has been able to advance their supposed intellectual superiority without having to do much beyond learn a few key phrases, then argue by accusation and haughty dismissal, buoyed by an academic and media culture that both supports and enables them. Our job is publicly to undress these pseudo-intellectual frauds and would-be petty despots, to expose them for the shallow and lazy “thinkers” that they truly are. Beyond that, it is our job to detail the structural takeover of this country by ever-parasitic leftism so that the brush strokes become evident to anyone intellectually curious enough to take the time to look.

Yelverton was an easy takedown, his being a rather low-hanging fruit on the “progressive” tree. But that doesn’t mean we need to let the boot of his miserable neck, either.

Applesauce.

(h/t JHo)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:17am
91 comments | Trackback

Comments (91)

  1. It’s FASCISM!!!!
    It’s RACISM!!!!!
    It’s FASCISM!!!!
    It’s RACISM!!!!!
    It’s the New Left mantra
    Tastes terrific and look at that shine.

  2. Great Stuff.

    I don’t need to point out, but I will, that Little Willie won’t understand where he fits in the argument, even though it was spelled out clearly. His first reaction will be along the lines of “Jeff is trying to shut down debate again” because that’s what the straw-Jeff in his head is doing. It’s really pathetic.

  3. Or somehow (left unspecified) you’re infringing on their right to worship.

    Or possibly they’re feeling intimidated. That’s a bad thing.

    Except when it’s an SEIU thug doing it, or a pro-mosque thug screaming at someone old enough to be his grandfather. Then it’s not intimidation; it’s freeing a marginalized minority from the boot of the oppressor.

    Who, in this case, is in his eighties, and a survivor of being imprisoned by actual Nazis.

  4. When referring to any democrat, I think it appropriate to lead off with: “tax-dodging democrat…”

    “Today, tax-dodging democrat Tim Geithner said he was puzzled as to why the economy was not recovering. He stated that ‘we’ve burned over 2 trillion dollars in various trash cans around the D.C area and it seems to be making no difference, the GDP will just not budge.’ President Obama could not be reached for comment.”

  5. Professor Yelverton:

    What’s a “loose canon”?
    Differing from a “loose cannon” which means – an irresponsible or reckless person, a “loose canon” refers to a loose set of rules, in this case … my rules. Unlike many conservative bloggers that stifle debate and delete comments, I don’t!

    That’s deep. Enough to labor over.

    Anyway, except it’s contradictory and moreover, simply not true. Professor Yelverton, dare it be said, does!

  6. delete comments, I don’t!

    Can’t delete what you don’t get.

  7. JHo, he only deletes comments from people who frequent this site (they being his only commenters lately), and since Jeff deletes comments willy-nilly (in Prof Y’s mind), he can delete our comments and still be self-righteous.

  8. I don’t have the chops to do much more on the language front than to echo Jeff.

    However, there need to be other, parallel efforts, and I have a modest proposal…

    Regards,
    Ric

  9. Can we refer to him as “William of Yelverton, Viscount of Tremolo”? Please?

  10. “Professor of Reverb.”

    Heh.

  11. Blackholed again. Damn.

  12. Ain’t it a terrible thing when ideological blinders get in the way of an individual’s perception of the world? The cosmos is a tough enough place to try to understand on its own terms, nevermind when absurdities are imposed upon it a priori.

    It’s so terrible that one might think that the sufferers themselves would notice the harms that befall them and attempt to do something about eliminating them, paring away their self-imposed impediments as they are encountered. Often enough though, ideologues are quite merry as they go about their work, tearing down the places around them, ultimately to their own injury. It’s an odd dynamic, human interaction and self-interest.

  13. What is it about liberals of the non-classical bent who are under the impression that an education of any kind makes one an expert in all fields related to politics? Is it a profound lack of understanding? Is it a stunted ability to judge one’s own knowledge and abilities?

    I don’t condemn Prof Y’s education in the musical arts in and of itself, and it seems to have worked out fine for him, which is great if one is just talking about music. What I don’t understand is this idea that once one has the equivalent of a PhD in anything that one is an expert in anything political. I have a few degrees lying around, and I will claim knowledge to many things related to mechanical engineering such as fluid flow and solid mechanics, and I will claim a deep knowledge of data mining and programming, but those abilities don’t translate to any other field, and I know it. I’m a baby in most other subjects, with much of what I know being gleaned from the Discovery Channel or the History Channel or nature documentaries or whatever, beyond whatever I had to learn as an undergrad or the smattering of knowledge from grade school.

    If I were a progressive I would be shouting my “qualifications” from the hilltop while telling everyone what was right and good, and people might listen, not because I had anything new to say, but because I have the right pedigree. That is not only ridiculous from a qualifications point of view, it is dangerous because it will usually create a distortion of the facts. The best thing to happen to that ilk for classical liberals is the wholesale reveal that the progressive educated class will lie to advance their cause.

    Are classical liberals just more self-aware? Is blindness to one’s own limitations a prerequisite for being a progressive? It might be something to ponder on the days I don’t want to just sweep progressives into the ditch as we attempt to fix this mess, but those days are fewer and further between and I get older.

  14. Holding up signs saying “OBAMA’S PLAN = WHITE SLAVERY” and outright lying about non-existent “immigrant crime waves” is stupid but not necessarily racist.

    There, is that any better?

  15. The last line of 14 should be, “… as I get older.”

  16. Good summary, Jeff.

    Strong comment just now, cranky.

    (All I have at the moment.)

  17. Are classical liberals just more self-aware? Is blindness to one’s own limitations a prerequisite for being a progressive?

    This may just be a chicken and egg question…

  18. Check out the Ion cranky-d. This sort has been around forever.

  19. There, is that any better?

    Not really, no. Because the implied assertion is that such is a viewpoint that represents the vast majority of Obama’s opponents, rather than some outlier who happens to disagree with Obama, too.

    Much like accusing you of wanting to shoot school teachers and leave them in Asian ditches because you happen to agree with progressive policies.

    And that just wouldn’t be fair, would it?

  20. As I have said repeatedly, sdferr, it is a matter of whether or not the mental model of Universe we all must carry in our heads corresponds, even one-to-many, to objective reality.

    If you deny that “objective reality” exists, in favor of “democratic” adoption of the same model in as many heads as possible, you are engaged in the oxymoronic activity “democratic solipsism”, and cause and effect won’t matter to you; you are then free to attack causes whilst assuming that effects will continue, or vice versa.

    If you don’t believe that “production” exists as a process, it is easy to attack any point in that process while assuming that the outputs of production will continue to exist.

    And if you believe that wealth is distributed randomly by lightning strikes or the whim of an arbitrary God, it is easy to justify confiscation of any particular example of wealth, while continuing to assume that there will always be another such to grab. After all, if the wealth possessor (who, axiomatically, had nothing to do with whether or not he/she does possess it) attempts to hold on to it, the only possible motive is selfishness and greed, and such sins must be discouraged, no?

    Regards,
    Ric

  21. “OBAMA’S PLAN = WHITE SLAVERY”

    That is a terrible, disgusting sign, AJB. Let me fix it:

    OBAMA’S PLAN = SLAVERY

    There.

  22. Boot off neck? Oh no, certainly not. A progressive is like how Churchill described the hun as ‘either at your feet or at your throat’. I prefer we keep the miserable cur cringing at our feet.

  23. Jeff, it’s kinda like AJB just kinda skims your post, is unable to address the ideas, so throws up some stupid non sequitur.

    That’s my theory.

  24. Darth, I humble suggest:

    Obama plan = Slavery of the productive members of society

  25. so throws up some stupid non sequitur

    In a way reminiscent of Mr. Creosote, as mentioned yesterday.

  26. I’d tend to agree, Carin. But it’s tougher to get your version on a sheet of posterboard.

  27. I needn’t even think in material terms though Ric. I actually had in mind what I witnessed take place this morning on Joe Btfsplk’s show on MSNBC as a number of people stumbled their way to idiotic insufficiency one after another. Human interaction after all, is greatly a matter of opinion or estimates of standing. We’re watching Obama’s, for instance, sink daily and with it, any hope he may have had of wielding power toward his chosen ends. He has shot himself with the dummmy-gun.

  28. Carin, he doesn’t need to even skim the post to throw up the stupid non-sequitor, he just has to hit his macro setting or whtever and pop! there’s the non-sequitor of the day.

  29. “….non-existent “immigrant crime waves”

    - You will no doubt have a good “redefinition” of the 450,000+ non-criminal criminals that Arizona alone has shipped back to Mexico.

    - Oh, that’s right. The Lefturd contingent holds that America “criminalizes” these innocents who are merely looking for a better life.

    - I don’t remember calling anyone in Mexico and begging them to come here and break our immigration laws, but maybe you could further explain that seeming disconnect as well.

    - While you’re at it why not lobby for absentee ballots for deported illegals. After all, we shouldn’t stomp on their Constitutional rights, as embodied in the “Special Extension of American citizens Bill of rights” to the whole fucking world.

  30. Professor Yelverton’s latest:

    Flying a confederate flag is seen as a symbol of hate for many, but if it does not serve to endanger, intimidate, violate local ordinances, or impede a goup’s right of the pursuit of happiness or freedom to worship, then go for it.

    So yes: The First has hidden but wholly selective terms that relate to who invokes it.

    In other words, at least two unstated and undefined terms and a myriad of outcomes related to another unstated term that relates to some unique privilege.

    That’s Professor Yelverton, Framing historian.

  31. Willy is a seccesh?
    Who knew?

  32. cranky-d,

    “What I don’t understand is this idea that once one has the equivalent of a PhD in anything that one is an expert in anything political.”

    It’s a box to stand on, a badge of status, and a presumption most common among the academic left. It also gives one access to lots of soft student brains.

    Judith Butler, for instance, played the role of political guru at a 2006 UC Berkeley “Teach-In Against America’s Wars,” during which she told students that it’s “extremely important” to “understand” Hamas and Hizballah as “social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left” and so, by implication, deserving of support. These sentiments were, of course, applauded by her young admirers.

    It isn’t obvious to me why someone known primarily for tendentious speculation about gender should be viewed as some kind of authority on an entirely unrelated matter. But apparently she is. Though the limits of Butler’s “expertise” should be obvious from her inversions, and from her subsequent claim that her words had been distorted and taken out of context. Despite being filmed and repeated verbatim.

    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2010/07/it-pays-to-be-unobvious.html

  33. Human interaction after all, is greatly a matter of opinion or estimates of standing.

    Well, sure, but it comes back to the failure (or, rather, the insufficiency) of Newtonianism.

    Universe is much too vast for an individual to apprehend, much less comprehend. It is absurd to imagine that a couple pounds of goo can include all of TRVTH, including the state vectors of all the particles comprising the fifth planet of the solar system at r=5019.7300922, omega=0.000097736 in the galaxy just to the left of the brightest star in the Hubble Deep Field. Newton offered a consolation prize: that if it could be done once, forever after it would be a trivial matter. Bohr and Heisenberg put paid to that notion; it is clear that the best we can do is an approximate model, one which by its very nature is insufficient and prone to error, and therefore must be updated frequently.

    We gain estimates of standing by observing behavior, and from that behavior deducing how well the observed person’s mental model corresponds with what is laughingly called “reality”. Models have inputs, internal interactions, and outputs; when the internal dynamics no longer map inputs to outputs, the model is defective, and that shows up in behavior (=output of the internal model).

    Relativism, the fundamental basis of all modern Progressive mental processes, replaces the input mechanism with a submodel. Input to the submodel is not transferred to and processed by the main model, which may be as correct as any; instead, the input data is transformed by the submodel into a much more limited set before transfer. The result is that the mental model may process its input data into behavior with complete fidelity — indeed, the main model might be a correct Newtonian calculation — but, because the input is corrupt, the outputs fail to correspond.

    AJB’s is a weak, and perhaps even salvageable, example. His input filters simply reject the majority of the data, allowing only the subset that corresponds to a previously-established database to pass, and the conclusions reached from there are correct and rigorous; it’s the filter, not the processing. Our romantic lute-picker’s filters are much more strict. They pass no data at all; when a datum arrives it serves as a database query, returning only whatever previously-stored material might hash to that index. Observed from outside, it appears at first that Mr. Y cannot think, but in reality he thinks very well — he simply doesn’t respond to outside stimuli. Sad, and probably uncurable by any easily visualized extension of present-day medicine.

    Regards,
    Ric

  34. I’m not exactly seeing how modern physical science plays a role in the political interactions of men who lived before any modern physical science existed, let alone was contemplated.

  35. I think Mr. Locke is making an analogy, and a jokey one at that.

  36. Pingback: Cranky-D »

  37. Pingback: Cranky-D » Liberals are Bent on Destruction

  38. Not precisely an analogy as such, Slart. The set [politics] is a subset of Universe, one which, though smaller, is still too large for a brain (mind, soul) to apprehend in its entirety, and thus must be modeled.

    Regards,
    Ric

  39. Even after almost six years, I still don’t have the hang of this blogging thingy.

  40. The set [politics] is a subset of Universe

    Only in the sense that all fictions are a subset of Universe. Politics, you see, is wholly manufactured by the minds of humans.

  41. What isn’t when we get right down to it?

  42. Two chunks of U235 form a subset of Universe, and bringing them together has consequences. “Politics”, as such, is the reaction resulting from bringing two or more human minds in contact, and may have consequences as well. As a rough rule of thumb, anything that can kill you is a subset of Universe, though that’s not the only rule for forming a proper subset.

    Regards,
    Ric

  43. Two chunks of U235 are going to react in a statistically predictable way regardless of your opinion of things. Two people, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as predictable, or repeatable.

    I mean, you have a certain point, but it’s mostly by analogy.

  44. how can one reason with … a nation that is, as Michelle Obama once put it succinctly, “just downright mean”?

    Didn’t we always accuse our parents of being downright mean when they told us “no”?

    No, you can’t stay up until 3 a.m. on a school night.

    No, you can’t eat a tub of ice cream for dinner.

    No, you can’t take the car on a 3000-mile roadtrip with 6 of your friends and only a learner’s permit.

    And if you’re my very mean sister:

    No, you can’t have a blowtorch for your 7th birthday.

    No, you can’t saw a hole in your bedroom floor and install a seismometer in the crawlspace.

  45. No, you can’t saw a hole in your bedroom floor and install a seismometer in the crawlspace.

    I would have gone for the full secret underground laboratory, myself.

  46. It’s so terrible that one might think that the sufferers themselves would notice the harms that befall them and attempt to do something about eliminating them

    They are incapable of perceiving that kind of harm. It’s as if they were living in null gravity and exulting at the loss of bone and muscle mass because hey! They’re losing weight!

    What is it about liberals of the non-classical bent who are under the impression that an education of any kind makes one an expert in all fields related to politics?

    FTFY.

    That really bugged me while I was at Cornell: people seemed to believe that jumping through those particular hoops made them in all ways superior to the great unwashed. Even at BYU–with the LDS church’s tenet that it’s Christ’s True Church–the Mormon students and profs didn’t possess that kind of arrogant certitude about their place in the world, nor did they see “outsiders” as people who were too stupid (or sinful) to be bothered with.
    Rather, all LDS are vividly aware that our beliefs are hard for most people to buy into, and that non-LDS beliefs (and those who hold them) are not stupid or evil or threatening or incomprehensible. In fact, we usually get where non-LDS are coming from and can sympathize with their perspectives.

    Not so with the Left, who not only don’t accept the other side, they can’t even perceive it accurately.

    We all know the feeling: like trying to explain color coordination to the congenitally blind, who yell back that color doesn’t exist and is a lie told by the allegedly “sighted” to oppress Teh Other.

    Where do we get these people? Why does the world make so many of them?

  47. I would have gone for the full secret underground laboratory, myself.

    So would my nephew, but the neighbor gave him only an old seismometer.

  48. If you don’t believe that “production” exists as a process, it is easy to attack any point in that process while assuming that the outputs of production will continue to exist.

    And if you don’t understand farming, you’ll insist on confiscating all of the farmer’s seed corn that he’s saving for the spring (SELFISH BASTARD!) and then curse him the following harvest for not growing anything.

  49. they can’t even perceive it accurately

    To me it looks more as if information that conflicts with their worldview (I’m thinking Dr. Y, here) simply caroms off, imparting zero change to the (purported) observer.

    That’s what makes the anti-science accusations so outlandishly funny. Science is all about readjusting theories to explain, or at least not prohibit, phenomenon that conflict with said theories. To Bill, that conflicting information simply never happened; doesn’t exist. His mind simply cannot latch it. He’s like Leonard, minus access to needles & ink, or pens and paper: it just goes away.

  50. Bloomberg speaks:

    “The difference is we’re in an election season. And this whole issue, I think, will go away right after the next election. This is plain and simple people trying to stir up things to get publicity and trying to polarize people so that they can get some votes. And I don’t think that most of these people who are yelling and screaming really care one way or another.”

    Bloomberg is also saying: Stop yelling and screaming bitter clingers. You are against freedom and unamerican. And lay off the trans fats and cigaretts or we will make you lay off them.

  51. Bloomberg seems to be one among the people who cannot see past his narrow drawings of the world, and hence cannot capture the thoughts of other people with serious views different from his own.

  52. I blame globalization … too many well paying blue collar jobs went away leaving nothing for would be the next generation of Union rank and file to get hack PHds and (worse) MBAs from degree mill colleges (I’m looking you U of Phoenix) and enter the world as lawyers, philosphers and hack business men.

    Look around you – the world is full of them and now they have reached maturity and tenure to start running corporations, selling dieting & self help books, communityorganizers and congress critters. They know nothing, learned nothing and are not even interested in closing that gap. They have bullshit credentials and are destroying the country one institution at a time.

    Here’s a tip. Scan every fortune 500 ceo and if he/she was an accountant or an MBA and came up through the finance organization – sell that company short …. for size. Chances are he or she will buy another company that shouldn;t be bought, and wind up selling pieces of the company off one by one or in a firesale as they run it into the ground. Guaranteed. They don;t know how to build shit.

  53. Heck not just to pick on the diploma mills, I would also lay the blame on the IVY leagues and other institutions of repute as well. They have killed wall street, and poisoned Washington just as effectively.

  54. he just has to hit his macro setting or whtever and pop! there’s the non-sequitor of the day.

    I think somebody gave him a Non-Sequitur of the Day® calendar for Christmas.

  55. DarthRove, your sign is why I call them Copperheads. From the plantation to the collective, pro-slavery always.

  56. Okay, I went and read Prof Plagiarism’s site again today. He is now posting and linking to such scholarly articles as mediamatterz blaming xianists for well, everything bad in the world, and thinkregress calling Fox homophobes for not running story after story about a gay republican. Together, mediamatterz and thinkregress have proven you to be evil violent racist homophobes, because, you are! Shut up!

  57. It strikes me that this whole “pursuit of happiness” is either misunderstood or misapplied, or both. Heinlein pointed out this illogicality quite simply in Starship Troopers (one may condemn as much of the “message” of that book as one wishes, but one cannot fault his verbiage):

    “The third ‘right’?- the ‘pursuit of happiness’? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is simply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore. Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can ‘pursue happiness’ as long as my brain lives – but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it.”

    (Hey Yellow Bill! That is called “attribution”. Learn it. Know it. Live it.)

  58. A Fast Times reference. Wow.

    You guys are so tits.

  59. dicentra, here’s what you get for saying nice things about li’l Willie:


    Hey Dicentra, do you think maybe you and me, like Carville and Matalin? …. nah, never mind.

    For praising the guitar, you win…a come-on! Well, you did rub his ego…

  60. Darth – Your IQ drops 10 points while that website loads. Then, another 5 points every 5 minutes. Spend a couple hours there, and your IQ will still be twice as high as William Yelverton, plagiarist extraordinaire could ever dream of having. thinkregress and mediamatterz are what he calls facts.

  61. The sad part of living in Nashville is how many Professor Guitar Hero’s there are who think their musical degree somehow has an intellectual component worthy of bestowing them with politically insightful opinions. They think they are the damn music department at Harvard, when in fact most of them teach music because they’ve failed miserably at their musical careers. Nashville is a wasteland of broken musicians dreams, I should know since this is where mine ended.

    Also, Professor Guitar Hero would be a great name for a band.

  62. I think that I would be inclined to give the guy a little deference, but I grew up with a fellow who has a bit more stature in the halls of classical music.

    Maybe a lot more stature. Anyway, we’re all just people, under our respective jackets of skill. No one’s ass needs to be kissed, just because they happen to be good at something that’s completely unrelated to the topic of discussion.

    Still cracks me up when Dr Y lectures me on science. They guy wouldn’t know science if it was a festering boil on his left buttock. I’ve got gobs more formal training in science, and I use the scientific method nearly every day on the job.

    It’s like lecturing a citrus grower on tree grafting, almost.

  63. One of the harder parts about being classically liberal is that you know that, unlike Ayers et al, there is absolutely zero probability you would ever consider rounding up your political opponents and herd them all into ‘re-education’ camps.

    Sigh…

  64. Slarti – Did you like his Republicans hate science post and how conservatives are anti science as opposed to william the plagiarist yelverton who only discusses issues with fact and logic and reason because he is good and pure and conservatives and Fox are racist bigoted lying violent homophobes.

  65. That picture at #1 is hysterical.

    I just spent about an hour reading thinkprogress and mediamatterz. I am now going to go stick my head in a microwave for about 45 minutes.

  66. “Did you like his Republicans hate science post”

    If it had been on newsprint, it might have been worthy for use as toilet paper. The guy is relatively unacquainted with logic, and the concept of logical fallacy.

  67. Perhaps the happiness in ‘pursuit of happiness’ is best understood as eudaimonia. That is to say that any just government will recognize that human beings should always be free to live their life in a manner of their own choosing; the one manner they believe best suited to their own particular goals, desires, and opinions of what is judged to be most virtuous in life. With the always noted caveat that this method of living must not unjustly impinge on the lives of any others.

    Which may seem rather unsurprising today, but was anything other than a ‘universal condition’ in the mid Eighteenth century. And still is not one in several corners of the globe, corners where the mass of people remain chained to modes of existence that place their lives wholly in the service of some enforced higher authority, be it Islam or a Dear Leader.

    Is it really any wonder why they hate us? Our finger is embedded deep in their collective (heh) eye, yet we are by and large blissfully oblivious of our grave insult to their worldview.

  68. His knowledge of science is comparable to my knowledge of Aboriginal tribal dancing.

  69. Hey Dicentra, do you think maybe you and me, like Carville and Matalin? …. nah, never mind.

    Where in blazes did that show up? At Yelverton’s place?

    Heh. I am a sucker for a man with artistic talent, but then that’s the problem. All my boyfriends have turned out to be some combination of the following:

    narcissist
    mama’s boy
    homosexual

    I’m too female for the gay men, too bruised by my father to endure a narcissist, and the mama’s boys eventually inspire nothing but contempt. Which Prager and others observe is something a relationship cannot survive.

    TESTIFY!

    Add LEFTIST to that list and I’m bound to head into the woods with a shovel and quicklime.

  70. UPDATE III: The “anonymous ankle-biting cowards from Protein Wisdom and their unemployable manbaby of a leader” can’t give it up. Is it jealousy, or are they gay? Demagoging is a way of life for the “manbaby”. (Kudos to Turkelson on that one).

    Hey Dicentra, do you think maybe you and me, like Carville and Matalin? …. nah, never mind.

    Thus spake William of Strange.

    Oh, and as for me? Jealousy. (nttawwt)

  71. Hey, I found these cool images via David Thompson’s Friday Ephemera: time-lapse photos of fireflies.

  72. I think it’s that we’re jealous gays, guinsPen. Simultaneously.

    See? Everything doesn’t have to be either/or — unless you happen to be a sawed off dullard with thinning hair, fingers on your wood, and a futon full of the wrong kind of pussy.

  73. I can’t get over how the drooling midget calls people anonymous cowards when his own fucking stupidity is the only reason we know his identity.

  74. I think you’ve answered your own question, Abe.

  75. That is, he’s a drooling midget who’s long on stupidity and short on a sense of irony.

  76. EPA may decide to help Mr. W win his bet.

  77. Clan Chief: It is our tradition to sacrifice a man’s widow at his funeral. Surely you wouldn’t ask us to violate a tradition.

    British Official: Of course not, old bean, but you must understand that it is our tradition to execute those who sacrifice a man’s widow at his funeral, and you wouldn’t want us to violate our traditions.

    Clan Chief: When you put it that way…

    My point?

    A tradition has no value in and of itself, any value it may have comes of it being right or wrong. That a man and woman find value in joining together in a life-long partnership is a good thing, but to say that only a man and a woman can find value in a partnership is to deny same sex couples the opportunity to join together in a binding agreement. By saying that some tradition precludes two mature responsible adults from entering a binding agreement you are denying a segment of society a basic right for no good purpose at all.

    I agree with Glenn Beck, it harms me not it is no concern of mine. I go further and say that as long as two mature adults are involved it is not my right to tell them no simply because it’s new and has not been done before. As soon say that flying violates some tradition of land bound travel, or that tradition once approved of the ownership of other humans.

    To reinforce my point, a tradition is not sacrosanct simply because it is a tradition. A tradition is not right just because it is a tradition, and long held traditions can be overturned when a better way comes along.

    Allowing two men or two women to wed is not going to make it impossible for a man and a woman to wed. Don’t think it will. Allowing same sex marriage will not cause all marriages to fail catastrophically and end in bitter divorce. How each marriage ends depends on the two people involved, and any marriage that ends in divorce had problems whether Joe and Bob down the street wed or not.

    We’ll get used to it and our descendants will think nothing of same sex marriages, mark my word. Humans are capable of adapting to some amazing things, and I’m sure that same sex marriage is one of them.

  78. “Eddie, he went behind the rubber, Eddie.”

  79. but to say that only a man and a woman can find value in a partnership is to deny same sex couples the opportunity to join together in a binding agreement.

    Who is denying the same sex couple an opportunity to join together in a binding agreement? Can you please point to the pending bills that would make same sex unions illegal?

    Understand, the vast majority of those that oppose same sex marriage have no problems with civil unions/domestic partnerships and/or all manner of legal contractual agreements.

    But it does not make a same sex couple exactly the same as an opposite sex couple because the sexes are not fungible.

    Even in past historical societies that have tolerated or accepted homosexual behavior, marriage has always been a joining of two sexes. Marriage has, indeed, looked different from society to society — ie the number of individuals that could join — but it has never been mono-sexual.

    The legal mischief that has already gone on — lawsuits against eHarmony, the photographer sued for declining a SSM gig, the church that lost its tax exempt status for declining to allow a SSM on its grounds, the Catholic Charities forced out of the adoption services in Boston and D.C. — have actually made me, personally, much more adament against same sex marriage. I used to consider civil unions as a viable alternative until the people themselves voted for SSM; but I believe as long as the elements of the Left that have seized on this issue as a way to legislate out of existence those they hate (i.e. any non-left church or synagogue), then I will oppose it.

    Also, I have yet to hear any pro-SSM advocate advance a coherent argument against allowing legal polygamy. Or brother/sister marriage.

  80. A heh for each of you.

  81. btw Alan?

    Allowing two men or two women to wed is not going to make it impossible for a man and a woman to wed

    You’re arguing in the micro. For those opposed to SMM, it is the macro we are discussing.

    And let me put it this way, for many of us we would rather the Government withdraw from marriage completely … ie stop issuing licenses to anyone, absolutely take no stance on family makeup whatsoever … than codify a fiction that same sex couples are exactly the same as opposite sex couples.

    That would leave businesses free to offer or decline how they would divy out their benefits, church/synagogues couldn’t be sued for declining to perform same sex ceremonies, etc.

    And certainly the marriage penalty in income tax (will make its reappearance here in Jan) would never be an issue again.

  82. Alan, it might be worthwhile to examine how Dr. K phrased this:

    As for Proposition 8, is it so hard to see why people might believe that a single judge overturning the will of 7 million voters is an affront to democracy? And that seeing merit in retaining the structure of the most ancient and fundamental of all social institutions is something other than an alleged hatred of gays — particularly since the opposite-gender requirement has characterized virtually every society in all the millennia until just a few years ago?

    Emphasis mine. The thrust is clear, especially within the overall context of his piece. That the progressives, finding their policies extremely unpopular, ignore all good faith explanations for disagreement and instead substitute bigotry.

  83. The current prevailing definition of marriage is not an empty tradition, as proved by the stated desire of SSM proponents to have access to it; if it were only an empty tradition that could be overthrown without significant consequence, there would be no demands for same-sex marriage in the first place.

    Opposite-sex marriage exists as it does because it is logical that a marriage involve one member of each sex. Same-sex marriage changes it in two ways: allowing something to be called “marriage” while excluding one of the sexes from the bond, and allowing it to be called “marriage” while admitting more than one member of one sex.

    Of these, the latter is what threatens more significant consequences; if a marriage can include more than one member of one sex, why not three members? Ten? A hundred? Where does the word “marriage” cease to have meaning? The only argument SSM proponents can offer to counter this danger is the same one they claim, wrongly, is the only one to which SSM opponents have recourse: “Because we say so.”

    It makes far more sense to say that “marriage” ceases to have meaning the first time you try to redefine it. If it’s simply a matter of overthrowing a pointless tradition, don’t redefine it — ignore it.

  84. Excellent job, Jeff. Just to add – he is truly a certifiable “Caresser of Frets” our Perfesser. He has lots of frets and does caress them, lordy lordy.

    Carry on.

  85. #66 Slart – It is so strange is the saying that Republicans are anti-science when without science there would be no Napalm.

    Or Ohio class submarines with the ultimate boomstick.

    Science!

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