October 12, 2012

The TRUTH SQUAD that isn’t

John in Firestone send along the following, found on facebook and posted by “someone educated at a boarding high school and an Ivy League university, who now has a Master’s degree” — which means only that he when s/he is wrong, s/he can do so with sneering dismissiveness and a wellspring of buzzwords that serve to raise the antennae of other members of the hive mind.

That is not to say this is the condition of all “academics.” But rather, it is to say that it is the general stance taken by the vast majority of academics who have survived the ideological homogenization of most major universities, particularly in their Humanities and Social Science programs.

The mini-rant is packed full of misinformation, baseless eliptical assertion meant to be suggestive of some fraught point never truly spelled out or given any kind of factual support, and — most scary of all — a confident, arrogant, and even aggressive willingness to bracket out the obvious fact that Biden’s rhetorical strength last night, when it came, was generally built around the repetition of lies and caricaturing of his Republican opponent.

So. In the spirit of brotherhood — and for the good of the country — let’s take a few steps into this manure pile and see if we can’t take away from it maybe a diamond or two that this privileged moron may have swallowed.

Here’s the rant as it was presented to me:

Fine. Okay. Now, how to go about unpacking what is already a highly compressed piece of agitprop masquerading as righteous indignation and championing of the little guy?

And the good news is, my strategy would be a simple one. And would provide, as the left likes to say, a teachable moment. To wit:

Begin you answer with “what are the founding principles as you’d explain them? You ask if Ryan even knows them, but in order to assess that we first need to know what you believe them to be, because it is you who is questioning his understanding of those principles.” If your interlocutor replies, then you can go one of two ways, depending on the answer given: as an Ivy league grad with a Master’s degree, s/he will almost certainly realize they are being set up. And so they will likely try to avoid a gotcha by (poorly, and in a watered down manner) cite and explain natural rights, individual liberty, consent of the governed, etc. If he does, you can then point all the ways both parties routinely overstep their authority at the federal level — while pointing out that it is the left, however, which does far more aggressively, a result of their not believing in the very constraints on government and the protections of individual liberty they take an oath to uphold. As proof, point to Dahlia Litwick or Ezra Klein or Thomas Friedman or others on the left who decry the “fetishizing of the Constitution” and launch queries against its continued applicability, given that it is, like, over 100-years-old and really kinda confusing. Unlike, say, Derrida.

If, however, the answer proffered doubled down and tries to define a leftist spin on the founding principles (most likely this will include a lot of talk of positive rights couched in the language of fairness and civil rights), calmly alert him to the fact that you’ve found where the confusion in his worldview lies — and counsel him to study more and pontificate less. Then ask, almost as an aside, what is the left’s governing end game? When do we know we’ve reached that point?

Explain how positive rights granted by government — as distinct from natural rights that protect men from tyranny — rely, of necessity, on the usurpation of the labor and or private property of others. If “everyone has a right to health care,” point out that everyone has health care available to them now; the problem is, some can’t pay for it. Which is why we have safety nets like Medicaid and medicare. But the idea that the government can step in and set prices and tell doctors and nurses and private insurance firms what they must charge and who they must treat — that’s indentured servitude. It’s a form of slavery. Which of course is the natural condition of the subject under even a tyranny that considers itself benevolent.

Follow this with a discussion of Ryan’s plans and papers and budget proposals — and his willingness to work across the aisle to fix what he rightly sees as a looming economic and fiscal disaster. Point to the actuary reports from Medicare and Social Security. Point to the CBO reports noting that such entitlements are unsustainable without a serious reform. Did Biden offer any reform ideas last evening? If so, what were they? Because what he did do was demagogue the loss of certain benefits and payouts should their be reforms such as those proposed by Romney Ryan — without taking the obvious next step, which any thinking human knows is this: a decline in the amount and breadth of entitlement coverage (and Ryan noted that means testing would be a factor in determining whose returns on their lifelong investment are cut most; w/ the poor and the sick guaranteed full retention of their benefits) is preferential to the complete and utter bankrupting of the programs themselves. Which means, at first, an automatic decrease of 25% in benefits, and finally, nothing. Because the money isn’t there, and you can’t simply print more of it and expect to hold its value.

Something is greater than nothing. So when it comes to assessing empty suits, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to ascribe that characterization to the man who offered nothing while trying to attack the man who has produced detailed, vetted, reviewed plans for real reform?

As a follow up to that point, provide links to independent assessments of the Romney/Ryan plan; and a link to the WaPo piece reluctantly debunking the oft-repeated big lie of a $5 tax cut for the rich (and Stephanie Cutter’s reluctant corroboration). Point out that just because Obama and Biden keep repeating the debunked claim — and doing so “passionately” — doesn’t make it any more true. That is, unless you wish to elevate form over function, which is the very kind of superficial governance for which empty suits and demagogues are renowned. The fact is, the cuts in taxes that will lead to an initial theoretical decrease in government revenues do not need to be made revenue neutral by reforms to the tax code alone. Spending cuts, job growth, economic reinvestment, etc — all of these things provide the revenue that is “lost” by the federal government, and it does so in a way that allows people to keep more of their earnings, while teaching the federal government that all money does not belong to them, and they can determine how much of it we deserve to keep. It’s a fundamental difference: liberty vs. tyranny.

As for the “Lyin Ryan” bit. Here’s what you do: Ask, who said last evening that the Administration has no knowledge of requests for added security — keeping in mind that he made the claim it last night, long after the story broke, long after the Congressional hearing provided the testimony that solidified the veracity of that version of events. Was it Biden or Ryan who made that claim?

It having been Biden, ask: does the VP still not know additional security was requested? Because millions of Americans are aware — and it would be an astounding admission by the Vice President were he to admit, in a VP debate setting, to being less informed that the vast majority of the citizenry.

And just so your interlocutor can trust what you’re telling him, provide a link to the Libya memo calling for added security; or to the testimony of one of those in Libya so outraged that they went before Congress and expressed just such outrage, noting that the added security was both called for and rejected.

You might follow this to a link to Carney or Cutter saying, on video, that the President called the Libya attack an “act of terror within 24 hours” — and then juxtapose these statements with the President’s later appearance on Letterman, or his speech at the UN, where he is still blaming the YouTube clip. Which begs the question, if the President knew within 24 hours, how can Biden claim that the intelligence was faulty? If the State Department, which was able to monitor the siege in real time knew that there were no spontaneous protests, why was that story allowed to play out for several weeks? And why was the Secretary of State, who was among the first to know what actually happened, standing over the coffins of our dead blaming a YouTube video and scapegoating a US citizen well after the information had been assimilated? After all, some consulate members escaped and were able to report events almost immediately. So are we to believe that the Vice President hasn’t heard any of this — from the Congressional testimony to the time line claims of his Administrations Press Secretary and the campaign’s deputy director? Is that what we’re to believe?

And if so, who is operating on blind faith — Ryan or Biden?

For good measure, and to provide punctuation to the response, attach a picture of the hapless YouTube filmmaker, his face covered, being escorted from his home. Note that he’s still in jail. Note that both our government at its highest levels and our media purposely and aggressively fingered this man, scapegoating him in such a loathsome and unconscionable way that even when a Pakistani official put a bounty on his head, the US response was to keep up the ruse and run ads in Pakistan apologizing for our First Amendment — while many members of the media launched into musings about how the First Amendment might need to be altered or reconfigured to bracket out “hate” and “intolerance,” in essence, positing a revision that would invert the intent of the amendment and create a government-approved speech code within which we are permitted to speak freely. Just like the Founders and Framers wanted!

Finally, you might also point out that Biden — who made his quips about putting wars on credit cards — voted for both wars while denying he did so last evening. Those votes are easy enough to find. And in addition to those votes, I’m also certain that he pushed for even more spending than did Republicans under Bush. As did Obama, who let’s not forget has a Senate record as well.

Too, Biden backed the Presidents entry into Libya without congressional discussion or approval. Ask your interlocutor, how would s/he define an illegal war and an imperial presidency?

All of which is a way to ask, so, who’s the liar here?

Conclude thus: do you agree with JFK’s assessment that a rising tide lifts all boats. Do you acknowledge that the Reagan years reversed the Carter malaise — bringing down inflation, creating millions of new jobs, and giving the US a booming economy that lasted for 25 years? Ask about the Laffer curve. Ask if s/he believes businesses will invest where they are taxed least and if that, in his or her estimation, would have an effect on job growth and increased revenue collection. The ask if s/he’d support a flat tax, the very definition if “fair”. If not, why not? Because if we’re all to have skin in the game, isn’t it problematic that 47% of us don’t?

Too, point out that the progressive income tax comes from Marx. Which is why the left’s fidelity to using it as a wealth redistribution agent for cronies and clients both explains why we call the ideology they are operating under Marxist, and simultaneously show the inherent flaws in the ideology: once the majority can vote themselves the property and labor of the minority, we live in a full blown tyranny.

Incidentally, Ryan voted for the one-time stimulus. So naturally he would have requested stimulus money for his state. Biden’s whole attitude — that he had the almost kingly power to grant that request, for which Ryan should be grateful and not now criticize the failure of the stimulus as it was implemented — bespeaks an attitude more befitting a dictatorship than a constitutional republic.

The fact is, only 6% of the stimulus money was used on the “shovel-ready jobs” Obama promised. Biden, for his part, was supposed to track the stimulus money. Well? Where did it go? Also, that stimulus money, sold as a one-time infusion of capital into certain sectors of the economy, is now part of a baseline budget that automatically renews.

The Democrat Senate hasn’t passed a budget in three years. Meaning we’ve had 4 “stimulus plans.” It hasn’t worked. And Ryan is at least willing to say so and to look for more fiscally sound ways to revive the economy.

Even those Congressman against earmarks will accept them so long as that’s the way the system is functioning. And that’s because they have a responsibility to their constituencies. With a Bush-led (and Democrat expanded) stimulus, it is natural that each state would want a share of that money.  Just ask Ron Paul.  What Ryan planned to use it for is what matters — along with the fact that once it became not a one-time event but part of a baseline budget, he rejected it.

Meaning even Biden’s tu quoque was a colossal lie and an attempt at a gotcha moment. One that will soon be revisited on him in spades.

SCIENCE!

There. Any questions?

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:47am
66 comments | Trackback

Comments (66)

  1. I would have been out after the first word in the post – is it so hard to put that apostrophe between I and m? And yes, I am the kind of tool who automatically dismisses people’s arguments when it is apparent they have no grasp of the English language – and don’t give me the “it’s just facebook” line.

    That, and he’s obviously an idiot based on the content.

    As for Jeff’s post, it should be required reading for anyone who has to do battle with at least semi-literate lefties.

  2. Given the ranter’s unfamiliarity with punctuation I’m not sure we can parse that closing question as being about founding principles per se, but perhaps instead about some hypothetical “founding-principles dumbass.”

    I shouldn’t say “hypothetical” though; I’ve encountered more than a handful of founding-principles dumbasses over the years, and the author of that Facebook rant is almost certainly one of them.

  3. P.J.’s political philosophy primer for probies is a good text from which to draw arguments understandable to people too smart to know what they don’t know.

  4. Are the ellipses in the original? I hate that.

    Excellent post, Jeff.

  5. Geoffb should give a shout out to his interest in the Dunning-Kruger effect in here somewhere. One of the possible problems of the follow-on consequences of that phenomenon may be that the poor fellow will simply be incompetent to understand the help one may attempt to offer him.

  6. Post now update with lots of links.

    Pass it on!

  7. I keep wanting to ask the people I know on FB who were all about “lies!” from Ryan in the debate exactly what utterances they referred to. Oddly, in all the exclamations about “lies!” I saw – and there were many, from multiple people – nobody once mentioned a specific claim that was a “lie!”.

    I have the sneaking suspicion that not one statement in question would be a “lie” worthy of the name, but instead a difference of opinion on policy outcomes. People seem to have difficulty realizing that two people can have different analyses of a policy and neither one of them is necessarily lying.

    (I do not ask the people that question from the first paragraph, however, because I know the conversation would not be fruitful.)

  8. “Explain how positive rights granted by government — as distinct from natural rights that protect men from tyranny — rely, of necessity, on the usurpation of the labor and or private property of others.”

    And maybe provide an example of the early favor winning and clever insertion of positive right“the new terms of the old social contract” — into the American body political.

  9. Even those Congressman against earmarks will accept them so long as that’s the way the system is functioning. And that’s because they have a responsibility to their constituencies. With a Bush-led (and Democrat expanded) stimulus, it is naturally that each state would want a share of that money. What Ryan planned to use it for is what matters — along with the fact that once it became not a one-time event but part of a baseline budget, he rejected it.

    Or, you can decline to justify anyone’s asking for gubmint money, for any reason, and point out that gubmint handouts to the states is so corrupting that even the staunchest fiscal conservative legislators are forced to play along, even though they loathe taking the money with their whole souls.

    Of course, Ryan cannot credibly say, “I hated to do it, but I had no choice,” because who wants to hear that? I don’t.

  10. And yes, I am the kind of tool who automatically dismisses people’s arguments when it is apparent they have no grasp of the English language – and don’t give me the “it’s just facebook” line.

    Brothers of different mothers, you and I.

  11. If that writing is the result of a boarding school/Ivy League University background, he needs to ask for his money back.

  12. Would you be surprised to know his Master’s is in Public Administration?

    What about if I told you he earned said MPA at an historically black college?

    I don’t even engage him on Facebook any more because I know we’re starting from 2 totally irreconcilable points. Tbe basis for our belief systems is so different I don’t bother.

  13. This post of course won’t get much play. But feel free to crib it and use your own names on it. To avoid the credibility problems that come with using mine.

    I’m going shooting again in a half hour. Have fun.

  14. …..People seem to have difficulty realizing that two people can have different analyses of a policy and neither one of them is necessarily lying.

    – When the Left see’s they’re losing because they have no reason to argue with they run home to the ‘Alinsky debate rules’. Project, accuse, deflect, demean, filibuster.

    – These ideologues have absolutely no interest in an honest dialog and exchange of ideas.

    – Their idea of political debate is harassment and attacking the ‘enemy’.

  15. The “empty suits propped up by money and cultural bias” bit made me laugh. The Dunning-Kreuger effect is strong with this one…

  16. At Drudge: “WHITE HOUSE UPDATE: Obama, Biden never made aware of request for more security…”

    But the question is when do they become aware of the incompetence and folly of those they are responsible for appointing to do the work of the nation, and when, having learned of it, do they do something about it? What, never? Or only after the nation suffers another thousand harms?

  17. Projection is also strong with this one. If anyone could be called an empty suit propped up by cultural bias it’s Obama.

  18. And failing all that, you could just hit him in the eye.

  19. Mike, do you know how much coffee out the nose hurts?

  20. People seem to have difficulty realizing that two people can have different analyses of a policy and neither one of them is necessarily lying.

    This is more a case of the two different paradigms for “what language is for.” Narcissists and sociopaths and tyrannophiles use it as a weapon to defeat the enemy; the rest of us use it to divulge what we think or want.

    They scream “LIAR” when no lie is involved because it’s useful, not because it’s true. They don’t care whether it’s true. “Truth” is a construct used by the powerful to oppress the weak, ergo, they must eschew all pretense to truthfulness and instead go straight for the bludgeon.

  21. I wanted to retch every time Biden referred to Ryan as “my good friend.”

    I didn’t know it was good form to display such bad form when debating a “friend.”

    I personally didn’t think Ryan did that well against Biden. However, I’m willing to give Ryan a break, because it’s hard to keep your wits about you when your opponent tells one jaw dropping lie after another.

  22. These ideologues have absolutely no interest in an honest dialog and exchange of ideas.

    We’re not battling the ideologues, BBH — we’re battling the disinterested and the semi-interested among us who have been programmed by the ideologues. We’re at the point now where most of our neighbors are beginning to feel like something is wrong. It’s up to us to educate them on exactly what is wrong, what has been done to us by the Leftist political/educational/media complex, and what we can do to fight back and restore the Republic.

    It need not be as academic and well-footnoted as what regularly gets bantered around here; it can just as easily be delivered in small chunks of easily-digested truth. Our neighbors have been programmed to believe that conservatives hate poor people, sick people, old people, and black people. We need only observe that statist Democrat programs are ineffective, wasteful, and counterproductive, and that rather than seeing people suffer, we would rather use local volunteer efforts to produce twice the positive effects at half the cost. Our neighbors have been programmed to believe that Tea Partiers are a bunch of hyper-religious bigots determined to keep women and minorities in a subservient position. We need only observe that the Tea Party is trying to free women, minorities, the religious — everyone, really — from the pigeonholes that the modern Left tries to keep them trapped in.

    Fuck the dishonest ones who argue in bad faith. Concentrate on those who simply don’t know any better, and who might be redeemed. The work of the Christian evangelist and the classical liberal evangelist is not so very different — it’s just directed to differing ends. Though I don’t know a lot of Christians who would object to liberty and the dismantling of the United Church of Leftism.

  23. - BTW, somewhat lost in all the back and forth about “who won” the debate is the fact that old sloe Joe managed to set his asshole boss up nicely for Romney next Tuesday.

    * According to Biden Lamb was lying to the Congressional hearing. No requests were ever made for additional security.

    * According to Biden its not important whether Iran gets nuclear capability. (No wonder Natenyahu is worried sick.)

    – Obama said today that neither he nor Biden knew about an requests. (Maybe if he’d have attended a few Intel briefings? This is pure blatant “plausible deniability bullshit.)

    – The longer this goes on the worse it gets.

    – Now the bastards have their lap dogs out blaming the whole pile of cover-up lying crap on R&R.

  24. I personally didn’t think Ryan did that well against Biden.

    He kept his cool and didn’t let Uncle Choo-Choo get under his skin (not too much, anyway). That might not be a decisive victory, but it is almost certainly a denial of a Dem victory. I mean, what else was Biden trying to accomplish with that performance?

  25. I personally didn’t think Ryan did that well against Biden.”

    Evenso, doing well against Biden isn’t the problem exactly. Ryan’s more important task is to do well by the American people and their government, and in this I think he fared more or less well.

  26. I personally didn’t think Ryan did that well against Biden.

    That’s a tough one, Blake. How could Ryan do anything when Biden interrupts him 82 times in 90 minutes, plus another 2 dozen or so interruptions from the alleged “moderator”?

    BTW,

    How is it possible to get a Masters degree from an Ivy League school and yet be functionally illiterate?

  27. - Biden also totally torpedoed the whole faux “War on women” meme. The feedback of women nationally was best summed up in a tweet by a gal:

    – “This is why women hate to talk to men.”

  28. “How is it possible to get a Masters degree from an Ivy League school and yet be functionally illiterate?”

    It would seem to entail the student’s own unwillingness to take care of himself. It’s his life, after all.

  29. Eli Lake hits them again.

  30. di

    Or, you can decline to justify anyone’s asking for gubmint money

    How about asking back from the Feds the money they sucked out of your state in the first place?

  31. I mostly just have female friends on facebook, and it was overwhelming how much they hated Biden’s performance. Every single one of them reposted the Proverbs verse about how arguing with fools just makes them shout and sneer and be more foolish. (paraphrasing here) But then we’ve talked about this before, how women tend to dislike that sort of meanness.

    and get this: just as I was reading this post (at work, in a manufacturing plant), I can hear all this shouting coming through the walls of my office. One of the maintenance men is ripping one of the engineers a new asshole. I can hear the maintenance guy shouting about how the government is full of crooks, they should all be in jail for all the money they’ve pissed away, and the engineer is an Obama voter i think.

    (Said engineer is also the guy who’s been dating his girlfriend for 9 years but won’t move out of his college apartment even though he’s 45 years old. Plus he’s known for incompetance in general, so I think this is interesting to hear his politics mirrors everything else)

    I’ve never heard people fighting at work over politics. It’s a new day.

  32. East, Spiny. I know lots of functionally illiterate Ph.Ds. Actually, most of them are Ed.Ds, kind of the civil engineering equivalent of a doctoral degree.

    BBH, where is Obama? Has his damned plane even touched down since last week? He’s supposedly calling Biden, et al, “from Airforce One”.

    It’s going to suck to be him when he has to fly plain old Business or First class after January.

  33. As per the “Dunning-Kruger effect”, which is that the incompetent are also incompetent even know that they are.

    Mentioned at Ace here. An article on it in 5 parts, here, here, here, here, here.

    Pdf file of the study here.

    In 1995, McArthur Wheeler walked into two Pittsburgh banks and robbed them in broad daylight, with no visible attempt at disguise. He was arrested later that night, less than an hour after videotapes of him taken from surveillance cameras were broadcast on the 11 o’clock news. When police later showed him the surveillance tapes, Mr. Wheeler stared in incredulity. “But I wore the juice” he mumbled. Apparently, Mr. Wheeler was under the impression that rubbing one’s face with lemon juice rendered it invisible to videotape cameras.

    And in fact Mr. Wheeler had tested his lemon juice disguise with a Polaroid camera but was too stupid to realize that he had screwed up his test. Leading the authors to state their main point:

    Perhaps more controversial is the third point, the one that is the focus of this article. We argue that when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine. As Miller (1993) perceptively observed in the quote that opens this article, and as Charles Darwin (1871) sagely noted over a century ago, “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

  34. A little relish for to put on the hot dogs.

  35. - Ergo – Over-educated morons.

  36. White House, State, and CIA all trying to cut the legs out from one another? Methinks the next three weeks are going to be really, really entertaining.

    Who’s selling the awesome popcorn, again? I may need some.

  37. Thanks sdferr. Just as I suspected.

    Hill is doing a slow burn and may toss Obama under the bus like Biden tried to do to her and the DOS last night.

  38. Bill remembers: Les Aspin.

    And down she goes. Though it would have been far simpler and less painful for her sake had she chosen the proper out a week ago.

  39. - Throughout this entire consulate disaster I’ve been wondering just how long slick Willey was going to sit by and watch Hillery get scapegoated by Bummblefuck. Both her and Bill had to know that Obama would be sure to destroy any chance she might have had in 2016, if he knew he was going to crash and burn.

    – I think the stories are way underplayed. My guess is they totally hate each other, and if the flood gates open and the Clintons decide to go public its going to be an epic take down. Hillery has to know where a lot of bodies are buried.

  40. Who’s selling the awesome popcorn, again? I may need some.

    – Jeff’s son’s scout troop. Jeff could repost the details.

  41. Obama and company know where bodies are buried only in a small region. The burial knowledge of, eidetic memory, Bill and, raw FBI file, Hill is international in scope.

  42. Les Aspin

    *cringe*

    Yeah, she should have submitted her resignation about ten days ago.

  43. ALSO: I don’t know if the blogging community is aware of this, but a lot of American Foreign Service personnel (i.e. our very own diplomats) have blogs of their own. Where they discuss each city they live in, and all of their hard partying and swanky international travel.

    If you’ve ever read these diplomats’ blogs, a lot of them are lawyers. I’ve been reading some of the women’s posts, and surrounding the death of our Libyan ambassador I’ve seen a few “oh, that bit of unpleasantness about the Muhammed video, we’re fine, anyway we had a rocking party last night with sooooo much booze it was awesome”

    followed by general comments on the awesomeness of the more civilized Muslim countries. And their great shopping.

    I don’t much care for our diplomats, honestly. I wonder if the ones who DON’T blog are any better.

  44. @spiny–Ha!

  45. Bill and, raw FBI file, Hill is international in scope.

    That and Bill is rehabilitated as an Elder Statesman, now. Hill has earned her stripes (or not if you ask my husband who hates her guts) and they are well liked by the Cave-Dwellers in DC and by leaders in Europe and around the world.

    The Obamas? Not so much. They’ve treated everyone who crosses their paths like the help and have burned a lot of bridges. I suspect they will become untouchables after office. No book tours. No speechifying. No nothing.

  46. misfixit, http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/

    The guy who writes The Diplomad is an ex FSO, I believe.

    Check out the story Diplomad tells about meeting some tribesmen in Afghanistan who had shot down a Soviet aircraft. The story will make you laugh and cringe at the same time.

  47. White House, State, and CIA all trying to cut the legs out from one another? Methinks the next three weeks are going to be really, really entertaining.

    Obama might have to throw Holder under the Fast and Furious Bus as a distraction, lol.

  48. How is it possible to get a Masters degree from an Ivy League school and yet be functionally illiterate?

    I’d say the words “Ivy” and “League,” used in that combination, answer the question implicitly.

  49. sunshadesunshadesunshadesunshadesunshadesunshadesunshade

    “Couldn’t you see it?”

    “Oh hells no. You?”

    “Nope. Not me neither. But how the hell can you call it a strike if’n you can’t see it?”

    “The game’s got to move on son. That’s all.”

  50. OT, but leigh posted this link to Derbyshire’s Anniversary of a Defenestration, Part II yesterday, and within that, Derbyshire linked a series of four posts (Nick Land’s praise and appraisal of one “Mencius Moldbug) titled The Dark Enlightenment.

    My mind has been greatly expanded, I urge you all to read them too…

  51. Glad you liked it, Lee.

  52. How about asking back from the Feds the money they sucked out of your state in the first place?

    All those strings attached when it comes out of a bill or program.

    Refuse to send it along, is what I say.

  53. I’d say the words “Ivy”

    Boston Ivy is what covers the walls of these hallowed halls, you know. Parthenocissus tricuspidata.

    Which is in family Vitaceae, also known as the GRAPE family. Real ivy is Hedera, family Araliaceae. Not even close.

    Lies, damned lies, and misnomers aaaaall the way down.

  54. Oh, dang. There is also The Dark Enlightenment (parts 4a-4f). Back later…

  55. There is the question “What is the purpose of sending a Regional Security Officer into the field if you’re simply going to ignore his assessments of need when he makes them?”

  56. Leigh, civil engineers are real engineers and don’t deserve the insult of being groued with Ed.Ds.

  57. I know they are. I’ve just heard other engineers refer to them that way. Evidently there is a pecking order to every kind of job.

  58. sdferr, yeah, I saw that post by the Diplomad.

    Considering the Dept. of State waged unrelenting war against the Bush Admin, I don’t know which side to cheer for.

    All that aside, State and the CIA are probably going to take the Obama admin to the woodshed.

    During the ensuing bloodbath, the US will try to squeeze in time for an election.

  59. Considering the Dept. of State waged unrelenting war against the Bush Admin, I don’t know which side to cheer for.

    The crows and the buzzards, who I am cheering for.

  60. They’ve treated everyone who crosses their paths like the help and have burned a lot of bridges.

    Hillary did this too* but after the healthcare debacle and the ’94 elections it slowed and defending Bill became all the Democrats obsession and so much was forgiven.

    *Travel office firings, staff – not to make eye contact or greet her when she walks by, military – no uniforms at WH, SS to walk behind by 10 paces. Who the hell ever did hire Craig Livingstone?

  61. Hmmm. No report from the range.

    Hope the zombies didn’t feast.

  62. Yeah, geoff. I’m not trying to say the Clinton’s are any better, that’s for sure. They’re just exponentially better at grifting than the O’s.

    Unfortunately, all the impeachment stuff is so shrouded in mythology and hazy memory (for many) or known only as an artifact that was “all about sex” to the kids today who were in diapers or elementary school when it happened.

    The Ds needed a new leader after Teddy shuffled off his mortal coil, and Bill was in the batter’s circle.

    That said, that woman. . . Ms. Lewinski, has written a new book. A tell-all or so I’ve heard. All that pesky drama will be dusted off when she goes on her book tour.

    Heh.

  63. Unfortunately, all the impeachment stuff is so shrouded in mythology and hazy memory (for many)

    For me that’s the recent stuff.

    Heck the screengrabs and saved items were done in real time not dug out of archives or scanned in from dead tree versions years after the events because personal computers didn’t exist in the 60’s-early 70’s.

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