Friday, August 31, 2012

Towards a More Feminine Union?

Does this strike anyone else as… (fill in the blank)?

Sometimes awkward, yet always steadfast, a genuine bromance is today’s modern way for two straight dudes to say, “I love you, man!”--a close, platonic friendship of love, support and deep affection between two males. If you're a guy who's never had a male BFF, though, finding your bromate can be challenging. Whether you're interested in finding the Robin to your Batman or you've recently met a potential best friend, knowing exactly how to start a bromance will get your relationship off to a good start. (How to start a Bromance)
I was going to say, “does this strike anyone else as gay,” but I have nothing against gay men that would cause me to smear them like that. Reading Wikihow is sometimes informative and often entertaining. This one reads like a parody, but, alas, I fear it is serious.

Here are other excerpts I found cringe-worthy:
Adhere to the unspoken dude code that although you may be having a bromance you don’t have to talk about it (first rule of Fight Club).
Try to find a fun activity you can do together regularly, a manly ritual of sorts: weekly poker night, daily trips to the gym, going to see your favorite band together every time they come through town. (How to start a Bromance)
I guess I must be getting old, because stuff like this strikes me as creepy and pathetic. I belonged to a real fight club:  A Dojo.  We put on MMA gloves and pounded the crap out of each other, and then we'd go to Old Chicago for beers and some laughs.  My son trains there now (as does my teen daughter), and he talks like a man and isn't looking for a bromance.  

When I wanted to go out drinking with my buds we just called it going out drinking, and when we hunted we just called it hunting. Had someone called it a “manly ritual,” or used the word “bromance,” we’d of probably beat the crap out of him, or teased him about it for the rest of his life.

Are men younger than me really so socially stunted that they need this kind of advice? More importantly, is our culture changing, becoming more feminized?

Victor Davis Hanson Wonders as Well...
Why can’t any of our actors talk like a Humphrey Bogart, Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Bill Holden, or Gregory Peck? I’m not asking for Jack Palance or Fess Parker, just a normal male mainstream voice. I know there are Al Pacinos and Robert De Niros, but they too seem to fade before the new wave of DiCaprios.
Today’s male’s voice is often far more feminine than that of 50 years ago. Sort of whiney, sort of nasally, sort of fussy. Being overexact, sighing, artificially pausing, all that seems part of the new elite parlance. In terms of vocabulary, the absolute (“he’s no damn good,” “she’s a coward,” “he ran the business to hell”) is avoided. Pejoratives and swearing resemble adolescent temper tantrums rather than threats that might well presage violence. (VDH – Postmodern cultural Elite)
He expands on this theme in another column…
Something has happened to the generic American male accent. Maybe it is urbanization; perhaps it is now an affectation to sound precise and caring with a patina of intellectual authority; perhaps it is the fashion culture of the metrosexual; maybe it is the influence of the gay community in arts and popular culture.
Maybe the ubiquitous new intonation comes from the scarcity of salty old jobs in construction, farming, or fishing. But increasingly to meet a young American male about 25 is to hear a particular nasal stress, a much higher tone than one heard 40 years ago, and, to be frank, to listen to a precious voice often nearly indistinguishable from the female.
How indeed could one make Westerns these days, when there simply is not anyone left who sounds like John Wayne, Richard Boone, Robert Duvall, or Gary Cooper much less a Struther Martin, Jack Palance, L.Q. Jones, or Ben Johnson? I watched the movie Twelve O'clock High the other day, and Gregory Peck and Dean Jagger sounded liked they were from another planet. I confess over the last year, I have been interviewed a half-dozen times on the phone, and had no idea at first whether a male or female was asking the questions. (VDH – 10 Random Politically Incorrect Thoughts)
I’m no Gary Cooper, and my voice is closer to a Jeff Foxworthy than to a John Wayne, but I read this stuff and I can’t help but nod my head, thankful that someone else besides me has noticed this.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

GOP Convention Unhinges the Left

Watching the left convulse into the galloping heebeegeebies over the goings on at the GOP convention is way more entertaining that watching the convention itself

Juan Williams’ attack on Ann Romney after her convention speech spurred Opus at American Perspective to repost an excerpt from William Sullivan’s American Thinker article, Juan Williams Spreads Democrats’ Racist Narrative.

That same day, Shaw reminded me that I am a fan of Dr. Michael Savage and that I often repeat his famous quote... 
“Liberalism is a mental disorder.”
Liberal DNC pipe organs love intoning, ad nauseum, that the Romneys are not “ordinary people,” with the implication that like a Martian, Mitt’s not “one of us,” and is therefore not qualified to be president. It’s a jarring piece of psychological projection, given the left’s constant accusations that we on the right emphasize Obama’s “otherness” in order to marginalize and delegitimize him because we don’t like being ruled by a Marxist, black Muslim from Keyna. It’s helpful to remind our fellow citizens clinging to the unstable left fringes that the arugula-eating, metrosexual, well-connected, Ivy League Obamas didn't exactly jump out of a Dickens novel.

Those are the Wrong Kind of Rich People...

Why is it liberals have no problem with rich people who inherited it and then serially philander and disgrace themselves, driving their wives to alcoholism and in some cases suicide? Fat Teddy Kennedy was a drunken lout, callow woman-killer and serial rapist, but he gets a pass because he advanced the progressive agenda. Ducky is one of the few leftists honest enough to say this out loud.

How about rich liberals like Jon Corzine, who "lose" billions of dollars of other people's money and walk free because they are politically well-connected?

John Kerry has married up into money twice, and parks his yachts in other states to avoid taxes, yet he's a hero.

Bill Clinton plays hide the cigar with a barely legal intern, and "feminists" everywhere lionize him.

Compare this with Joe Liebermann, a pious and good man (even though I disagree with much of his politics) who is despised by his fellow Democrats because he won’t mindlessly march in lockstep with them.

The Romneys are good, God-fearing people, not a hint of scandal or bad behavior, and the liberals heap scorn upon them. Their only sin is being rich and Republican.

That contrast says a lot about the modern-day American left, doesn't it?

I’ll say it again: Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Surprise! Wall Street Banksters Won't be Prosecuted

The Federal government will not be prosecuting the Golden Sacks.

 It’s no surprise. Their latest escapade was nothing compared to the Great Treasury Robbery of 2008, when Goldman sleeper mole Dirty Hank Paulson infiltrated the highest echelons of government and unlocked the treasury so his Wall Street cronies could loot it of trillions in broad daylight. It was a brazen and brilliant heist, carried out in front of TV cameras complete with the President of the United States telling us it was for our own good.

The MF’ers at MF Global, including the Chief MF’er, Democrat Jon Corzine, also will not be prosecuted.

In our pay to play government, it pays to be politically well-connected, and paying bribes, er… campaign contributions to the crooked bastards holding the reins of power doesn’t hurt either.

Jon Corzine was a big bundler for the Obama campaign back in 2008, so that gives him immunity, and the Golden Sacks at Goldman Sachs have acquired the US Treasury in a friendly takeover:
In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama’s top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman’s suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800. (Daily Beast)
And those naive lefties thought Wall Street corruption was the exclusive domain of Republicans. Silly rabbits, tricks are for all politicians.

But never fear, Peter Schweitzer tells us that Heinrich Holder’s Ministry of inJustice has been busy chasing down financial malefactors:
$ “Three Connecticut Women Charged with Overseeing ‘Gifting Tables’ Pyramid Scheme.” Three women in their 50s and 60s were indicted for conspiracy, tax, and wire-fraud charges.
$ The owner of a Miami company got 46 months in prison for creating fake loan applications.
$ In March, 2012, the DOJ sent a property appraiser in Washington, D.C., to the slammer for 65 months for fraudulently inflated prices in a scheme to “flip” properties. The scheme was a small-time $1 million operation, a sharp contrast with the billions on Wall Street.
Source: Why Goldman Sachs and Other Wall Street Crooks are not being Prosecuted

Feel safer now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When Governments Attack

Go read George Will’s column, Federal Leviathan, and you’ll see just one example of how out-of-control our lumbering, frightful, feral government can get.

Will Writes...
...our unhinged government, with an obsession like that of Melville’s Ahab, has crippled Nancy Black’s scientific career, cost her more than $100,000 in legal fees — so far — and might sentence her to 20 years in prison. This Kafkaesque burlesque of law enforcement began when someone whistled.
In 1980, federal statutes specified 3,000 criminal offenses; by 2007, 4,450. They continue to multiply. Often, as in Black’s case, they are untethered from the common-law tradition of mens rea, which holds that a crime must involve a criminal intent — a guilty mind. Legions of government lawyers inundate targets like Black with discovery demands, producing financial burdens that compel the innocent to surrender in order to survive.
Gulag America

Forget fevered rantings about FEMA camps and UN takeovers, we're all subject to arrest at any time.
The protracted and pointless tormenting of Black illustrates the thesis of Harvey Silverglate’s invaluable 2009 book, “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” Silverglate, a civil liberties lawyer in Boston, chillingly demonstrates how the mad proliferation of federal criminal laws — which often are too vague to give fair notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed — means that “our normal daily activities expose us to potential prosecution at the whim of a government official.”
Such laws, which enable government zealots to accuse almost anyone of committing three felonies in a day, do not just enable government misconduct, they incite prosecutors to intimidate decent people who never had culpable intentions. And to inflict punishments without crimes.
Jon Corzine can steal billions from others and walk free because he's politically well-connected, but government will destroy scientist Nancy Black because somebody on her boat whistled at a whale.  Just wait and see what Big Brother does to us when he's got 30,000 drones in the sky.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Romney: A Man Who Has a Record of Getting Things Done

I’m sure the Massachusetts liberals will chime in and crap all over this, but WaPo did a nice, balanced story on What Romney’s run with the Big Dig tells us about how he’d manage America.

The story talks about how his CEO style didn’t go over well with state lawmakers, and that is a downside (or maybe an upside.  Do we really need one more unctuous backslapper in our nation's capital?). Another downside is the accusations that he took his eye off the ball towards the end of his term. But it also mentions how he balanced the budget and lowered unemployment.*

The article centers around that Big Dig tragedy where a woman lost her life…
“It was his finest hour,’’ Trimarco said. “He immediately took charge. He really was starting from ground zero, and he was up to 60 miles per hour in like three seconds.’’
This is what caught my eye:
Romney took advantage of the newly receptive mood among legislators shocked by the accident. Dispatching aides to Boston’s Beacon Hill, within 72 hours he pushed through legislation giving him control over safety inspections and reopening the tunnel.
This is a man who runs to the sound of the guns, not away from them. How many politicians fight to take responsibility for something so big and fraught with political peril?

DC is a city where politicians seek glory and fame while assiduously avoiding any taint of responsibility or blame.  Romney could be a refreshing change for the District of Criminals.

* Here is a dimmer view of Romney's record as governor.  He did lower unemployment and he did balance the budget.  All they can pin on him is that he overstates his record and doesn't put it in proper context:   Fact Check - Romney

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Teach Your Children Well

Like all activities involving interaction with other human beings, parenting is an art, not a science. Like maintaining a good marriage, it takes work.

A very wise woman named Rhonda Robinson wrote an article entitled, Five Ways Parents can Transform their Wild Boys into Mature Men. It's a good article. Here are her five ways:

5. Replace His Sense of Entitlement with an Opportunity.
4. Give Him a Code of Honor to Live By.
3. Show Him the Power of Bridled Strength
2. Teach Him to Reject a Disposable World
1. Expect Him to “Pull His Own Weight.”

It's all good advice, and her article elaborates on each point. It is important to teach children to focus on the world around them, and not just themselves and their toys. A code of honor, or morality grounds us and guides our actions. Teaching a child self-control and self-discipline will pay a lifetime of benefits, for them, for you, and for those around them.

Good things take time and effort!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nike to Test the Limits of Consumer Stupidity

MIAMI - Nike is selling LeBron James' newest sneaker for over $300.

According the Wall Street Journal, LeBron's next shoe, the "LeBron X" will cost around $315.  The shoe debuted at the 2012 Olympic gold-medal game between Spain and the United States.

A Nike spokesman told the Journal that it is passing along price increases because of the increased cost of materials like cotton.

Then, no longer able to hold it in, he shot coffee through his nose as he let loose a giant guffaw.

“Let’s face it, we’re talking two dollars worth of cheap rubber and fake naugahyde. We pay Cambodians a nickel a pair to assemble them. We’re cleaning up! Marketing to Obama voters who can't screw their hats on straight is like shooting fish in a barrel.”

LeBron James Sneakers

Friday, August 24, 2012

Political Potpourri

Here are a few political tidbits for the weekend, apparently unrelated and in no particular order...

Obama Spokesmouth Stephanie Cutter is a Shameless Liar

Here's what the lying liar said:
"you know, 27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private sector jobs. That’s more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery"
It's a brazen lie. Past servants of totalitarianism are applauding from graveyards all over the world.  James Pethokoukis sets the record straight:
From the end of the recession in June 2009 through July 2012 — the first 37 months of the Obama recovery — the U.S. economy has generated 2.7 million net new jobs. From the jobs low point in February 2010, the U.S. economy has generated 4 million net new jobs.
From the end of the 1981-82 recession through the end of of 1985 — the first 37 months of the Reagan recovery — the U.S.created 9.8 million net new jobs. And if you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the comparable figure is more than 12 million jobs.
Go read the whole article here. He includes pictures for the illiterate left who won't pause to read the truth.

The Crisis-Solution-Crisis Cycle
Politics now consists almost exclusively of a negative cycle: Government enacts a “solution” that causes a crisis, necessitating another “solution” that causes another crisis…  Repeat ad infinitum, ad nauseum, ad bankruptcy.

Obama's solution to the drought?  Drive the price of food even higher!
Campaigning in Missouri Valley, Iowa, yesterday, President Obama announced yet another government spending program -- this time designed to inflate meat prices in Midwest swing states. "Today the Department of Agriculture announced that it will buy up to $100 million worth of pork products, $50 million worth of chicken, and $20 million worth of lamb and farm-raised catfish," Obama explained to reporters in front of a drought-stricken cornfield.
"Prices are low, farmers and ranchers need help, so it makes sense," Obama explained. "It makes sense for farmers who get to sell more of their product, and it makes sense for taxpayers who will save money because we're getting food we would have bought anyway at a better price."
None of this makes sense. In fact, Obama's move only harms American consumers while protecting a corrupt federal program. (Obama to the Rescue!)
This on top of the Ethanol mandate that starves people to feed cars. If he wanted to do some good, he would end all money-wasting government subsidies and mandates for inefficient corn-based fuels. No wonder we’re all sick of politics.

Politifact – Lie of the Year 2011:  Republicans Voted to End Medicare
PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.
The headline is from last year, but it's important because the hysterical Hottentots on the left will continue to demonize Paul Ryan with their fear and smear agitprop.

I suggest you go read it and then bookmark it.  We'll need it handy to repel the left's serial assaults on the truth throughout this campaign.  

It is particularly useful because Politifact doesn't just debunk that one lie, they unravel the entire ball of democrat party lies on this subject.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

The Washington Post has a nice wrap-up of the recent Welfare Debate. The Romney camp went a little too far claiming Obama had removed the work requirement from the law.

What Obama did was make it optional. See the difference?

Romney got four Pinocchios. Obama got three

Lost in the debate was the important question: Where in the constitution does it say a president can unilaterally tinker with federal laws he doesn't like?

Voter Fraud in Pennsylvania

John Fund has written a useful article on voter fraud in Pennsylvania and that state's new voter ID law.
Last month, City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, issued a 27-page report on irregularities he found in a sample of Philadelphia precincts during this year’s primary. The report, which looked at only 1 percent of the city’s 1,687 districts, found cases of double voting, voter impersonation, and voting by non-citizens, as well as 23 people who were not registered to vote but nonetheless voted. Schmidt also found reports of people who were counted as voting in the wrong party’s primary.
Liberal critics here have pointed out that voter ID laws won't solve the whole problem, and they're right.  States also need the power to purge voter rolls.

Even worse for liberal democrats, almost nobody agrees with their come one, come all, vote early vote often attitude.  Guilty white far-left liberals are alone in their majority opposition to common sense voting laws. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Divide and Conquer

Who's the bigger sexual predator?
The lefties are climbing all over a dim bulb Republican from Missouri like a gang of diseased chimpanzees.  Their goal is to make him the face of the Republican Party.  Any day they can get Americans talking about anything other than our incompetent president's dismal record is a good day for them.

Poll of the Day

In light of this Akin' Ass's stupid comment and selfish behavior, as well as the GOP's war on women, I've devised a poll question of the day.

Who was the greater sexual pervert?  Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton?

Please leave your answer in the comments.  As an aside, I googled Bill Clinton sex scandals and came up with a Time article titled Top 10 Political Sex Scandals. I was disappointed to see that he was only one of the top 10. I thought the whole article was going to be about him...

Imagine This...

From the Romney-Ryan campaign’s White People for Romney get out the vote effort:

Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the wrong choice for White Americans -- plain and simple.

Their vision for America would be devastating to our community, putting the economic security of millions of families at risk and rolling back major victories that we have fought for together.

It's up to all of us to make sure they don't get the chance to put their vision into action. Here's what you can do right now: Help get the truth out about their agenda. Join White Americans for Romney, an online forum where we can come together and organize over the coming months.

It is a place you can make calls to talk with white voters about the issues, plan events, find ways to volunteer and help get out the vote in your neighborhood -- because everyone needs to know what's at stake this fall.

Obama’s czars represent the most extreme elements of his party, and by surrounding himself with them, Obama has doubled down on the left’s radical ideology.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ryan: Mad Slasher or Timid Reformer?

Liberals are gleefully pointing out what a big spender Paul Ryan has been, and it’s true.  They also scream about how he will dismantle government, brick by brick, all in service to his goddess Ayn Rand.

This presents a problem for the incoherent liberals: They’re talking out of both sides of their mouth.  He cannot be both a radical slasher and a big spender. Which is it? They can’t have it both ways.

Libertarian Gene Healy leads us out of the woods: Ryan does have a big spending history, and his roadmap to fiscal sanity is weak tea.

Ryan's spending history:
Ryan was a loyal soldier throughout the free-spending George W. Bush years, voting for No Child Left Behind and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, among other debacles. At the dawn of the Tea Party, Ryan lent his support to the auto and bank bailouts. He voted for TARP and gave "one of the most hysterical speeches" demanding others do the same, as Michelle Malkin observed in 2009.
[...] in 2003, Ryan voted for Bush's prescription-drug entitlement, adding over $16 trillion in unfunded liabilities to the national tab. (Ryan Hype)
Ryan's plan:
In May, FreedomWorks' Dean Clancy usefully compared Ryan's budget to the much bolder plan introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Ryan's budget "would achieve balance in 26 years;" Paul's, "in five." Ryan's plan is short on specific cuts, whereas "Mr. Paul eliminates four Cabinet agencies -- Commerce, HUD, Energy and Education." Tellingly, "Mr. Ryan increases defense spending. Mr. Paul does not spare the Pentagon from scrutiny."
I bring this up not to damn Ryan, but rather to lay out the facts and put them in context. Senator Rand Paul’s spending reduction plan is much better and puts us back on firm fiscal footing much faster, but it is not politically viable at this time. Unfortunately, Ryan’s plan is about as radical as a plan can be while still having a a ghost of a chance to ever see the political light of day.

More importantly, Ryan’s plan beats no plan, which is all Big Empty Obama’s got.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Carts and Horses

While looking back through the archives to catch up on what I missed while on vacation, I discovered a rather animated conversation on the topic of Rights. I kept finding among the comments of some our friends the curious assertion that our rights are somehow given to us by the government.  I’d like to ask those who hold that notion to explain how that could be the case?  

If it were so, where did the government acquire them to give away? Not from the text of the Constitution, as it provides for the organization of the government itself, delineating the roles of the various branches, and enumerating and restricting the powers of each. 

Not from the Bill of Rights, as its purpose was to preclude the government from infringing on the liberties of the people which were, by its very language, already assumed to exist.  “Congress shall make no law…” is not a bequest to the people, but a clear boundary on the reach of the government. In modern parlance: “Don’t even go there!”

The answer to the founders was so ‘self-evident’ that some of them even argued against any need for expressly stating them.

 "We the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." Here is a better recognition of popular rights than volumes of those aphorisms which make the principal figure in several of our state bills of rights…”    Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #84

Fortunately for us, Mr. Hamilton’s more wary colleagues prevailed and took no chances on either the memories or good will of their descendants. With the Bill of Rights they specified those areas upon which the government may not trespass, and did so in language that left no doubt regarding their suspicions.

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses, should be added: …Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Their caution was not misplaced then, nor is it now, particularly when many among us have been led to believe the cart came before the horse. The government the Founders designed was established to protect our rights not to bestow them. Their origin is still “We the People”.

Monday, August 20, 2012

MSNBC: Theater of the Absurd

Your Daddy's Politics

Toure's Syndrome

An affliction causing fact-free spasms of liberal nonsense, usually inflammatory and race related. It is triggered and exacerbated when egged on by the gape-mouthed, guilty-white leftwing levellers at MSNBC. 

MSLSD features a Show called The Psycho, and apparently its hosted by our pseudointellectual racism expert TooRay.

He’s an obscure little spotlight hog who says inflammatory things.  It's his specialty, and it seems reflexive, kinda like a toddler pulling his pants down or saying a bad word for the shock it elicits from the grown ups.

I watched the video of his latest sophomoric riff on Romney's speech telling Obama to take his hate and anger back to Chicago, and I can’t believe people take him seriously.
“That really bothered me,” he said. “You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the ‘otherization,’ he’s not like us.”
“I know it’s a heavy thing, I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization,’” TourĂ© said to the apparent shock of his co-panelists. “You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.”
He sounds like Louis Farakkan going on one of those conspiracy rants. This clown gets paid to be on TV and write books? I weep for our nation.

One of the other panelists was named Krystal Ball, so maybe all of this is just some kind of Derrida-esque post-modern put-on and I’m just too old to get it…

Possibly Related: Democrats’ Nerves Start to Show

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Too Many Salome's

Picasso:  Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Where are our John the Baptists?

FreeThinke’s post, On Love, Death, Smut, Sex, Violence, Exploitation, Exaltation And Cheap Sensationalism In Western Culture and Politics really got me thinking.

 He began by talking about experiencing the graphic violence and unseemly sex scenes in the movie Bonnie and Clyde over 40 years ago…

“I remember too being genuinely shocked, and hurt at what I saw on the screen. I felt like throwing up –– I was literally stunned.”
We are bombarded with multimedia images and memes that ricochet around our pop culture.  They leech into our consciousness, cauterizing our souls, searing our imaginations and rotting our souls. Sex, violence and stupid, brutish behavior that diminishes our humanity. But unlike the young FreeThinke, we are no longer self-aware, or perhaps all of this has coarsened us and fundamentally changed our society and changed each one of us as well, to the point that we are desensitized.

... Porn Nation, Under God...

Our culture has pornified everything, even the non-sexual. The mystery is gone, the pleasure drained. We are a gray, dessicated husk. I don’t know what kind of adult I would have become had I grown up in this generation my children are growing up in. Everything has been stripped of its mystery. A boy, or girl, can now see anything in the world on the internet. That’s got to take the wonder out of life.

In his post, FreeThinke describes scenes from Strauss’s opera, Salome:
“Richard Strauss's Salome portrays a young pagan princess in the court of King Herod who becomes obsessed with lust for John the Baptist –– a prisoner at Herod's palace. Her behavior in attempting to seduce John the Baptist, who is locked up and therefore helpless to escape her unwanted attentions, starts out as that of a young girl who is experiencing her first crush, but soon becomes openly lewd as the captive male shows more and more resistance to her attempts to woo him. Towards the climax Salome moves beyond lewd, sheds every semblance of self-control, and in a frankly obscene, frenzied display of desire and fury at his rejection removes all her garments (during the famous Dance of the Seven Veils) and stands before him naked.
His horror and loathing at this spectacle causes her to demand his head to be brought to her on a platter. When finally this grisly deed is accomplished, she kisses his dead lips and sings one of the most oddly moving passages of vocal and orchestral music ever written. Gruesome and depraved as this scene may be it is also heartbreaking for she realizes that her victory is bitter, and that she has lost herself forever.”
I couldn’t help but recall the teaser I saw over at Mediaite about the trailer for Octomom Nadya Suleman’s sex video.

I remember when she first posed nude, and I also remember sadly wondering aloud how soon it would be before she entered the porn business. It always has to come to this nowadays, doesn’t it? The celebrity without a sex tape is the exception. What’s wrong with us? 

I say this not as a prude, but as a sinful, lustful man who enjoyed a long, wild bachelorhood before marriage. A few years after getting married, a found shoebox of old pictures coupled with gossipy encounters with women who knew me back in my single days sparked my wife to tell me that if she had known all those details about my past, she never would have married me. That hit me hard, and I thanked God that she believed in the sanctity of marriage.

We all need redemption, and we also need forgiveness, not just from God, but from those around us. It takes fellow human beings raising one another up, and also doing the right thing and standing up for all that is good. For ourselves and just as importantly, for one another. We are monkey-see, monkey-do; not just in a negative way, but in a positive way as well.

Reductio ad Nauseum

Nadya Suleman is channeling Salome, only following today’s trend, her dance doesn’t have seven veils. That takes too long. Alas for her and for us all, there are a scant number of John the Baptists, men who forcefully reject such grotesque derogations of femininity and sexuality. No one is there to break her fall; our society is a burgeoning market for stomach-turning human degradation. Not too many years ago, I would have eagerly sought out the pictures and the video, but now, even as it does titillate a part of me (I’m a man after all), things like this turn my stomach and sadden me.

The Preacher in Ecclesiastes was right, “There is nothing new under the sun.” 

The difference is that acts formerly done in private dens of iniquity are now brazenly conducted in the broad light of day, and we cheer them on.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Government Institutions

I never liked school.  In fact, I hated it.  I hated the cinderblock walls and the anesthetic flickering fluorescent lights.  I resented being controlled by bells, marched and herded and prodded, scolded and knuckled by stern-faced old women with harsh, pack-a-day voices.

I thank God my kids do not hate it as much as I did, and I only write this with the confidence that nobody in my family reads this blog.

My new favoritest writer, Rhonda Robinson scores another hit with her funny and true article, Five Ways Public Schools Prepare Us For Prison Life

Here is her list:

Lesson #5. Intimidation and Violence Make You Important
Lesson #4 Powerful Cliques Rule
Lesson #3: Violent Insurrection Is the Only Agent for Change
Lesson #2: Only the Government Can Keep You Safe
Lesson #1 Accept Your Sentence

Public schools are progressive institutions from a progressive era, designed to hammer us all into good little servants of the state. It's time to tear down the Bastille and build a 21st century model.

And this is not an attack on teachers.  Almost every one I've interacted with outside the school environment agrees with me.  They hate the system.   It is sclerotic, over-bureaucratized and hostile to real innovation.  

If we want to compete in the 21st Century, we need to fire the army of desk-sitting, money-sucking educrats, decommission the department of education and let the entrepreneurial young teachers take over.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dispatches from the Campaign Trail

Anybody else noticing how angry and shouty Obama and Biden have become?

Mitt Romney has:

"Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago," – Mitt Romney


How do we know Obama has robbed $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare?

By listening to his own words. From a 2009 Jake Tapper interview:
TAPPER: One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it — one third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare.
TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?
OBAMA: Yes. I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t meet that criteria. The full transcript of the interview can be read here. (ABC News)
Every Court Needs a Jester…

VP Biden continues to provide comic relief to an otherwise unfunny campaign, warning black folks about that slavery plank in the GOP platform.

When Hairy Reed said “He’s light-skinned and doesn’t speak with a negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,” we had no idea he was talking about Biden.

Romney Rocks the Vote! or Live by the Change, Die by the Change...

John Zogby polling has Romney receiving a surprising 41% of the youth vote, bad news for Obama. Zogby concludes:

"They want change,"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Worst. Recovery. Ever.

Sickly GDP

Mark Steyn, as always, sums up Obama's "accomplishments" beautifully...
"Obama has added $5 trillion to the national debt, and has nothing to show for it. Do you know how difficult that is to do?
Personal debt per citizen is currently about 50 grand, but at least you got a La-Z-Boy recliner and a gas-fired barbecue out of it.
Obama has spent America's future, and left no more trace than if he and his high school "choom gang" had wheeled a barrow of five trillion in large notes behind the gym and used them for rolling paper." (Mark Steyn)
Since Obama has been a dismal failure, the Democrat party is marching Bill Clinton back out, reminding everyone how good the economy was when he was president. What they won’t mention is how he was smart enough to leave Reaganomics alone and allow the unprecedented economic boom continue.

Trouble for Obama: Voters have their priorities straight
PRINCETON, NJ -- Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for the next president to address. Americans assign much less importance to increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and dealing with environmental concerns. (Gallup)
A whopping 92% say creating jobs is extremely important. 87% put reducing government corruption in that category, and 86% say reducing the federal budget deficit is extremely important.

President Obama is on the wrong side on all three issues. He's destroying jobs, increasing government corruption, and exploding budget deficits.

Forward!  Into the abyss...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's the Ideology, Stupid!

Charles Krauthammer, bete noir of the howling mad left, has struck gold once again, noting... "There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology."

Attacking the President's stewardship is easy, he explains:
"worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of an additional $5 trillion of accumulated debt." (WaPo - Krauthammer)
Throw in the crony crapitalism of Solyndra, those non-union auto workers he ripped the pensions away from during his above-the-law auto industry bailout (Which still leaves us $25 billion in the hole), Eric Holder's serial malfeasance, and this White House looks downright Nixonian.

Add to that the $1.68 trillion of new expenditures Obamacare will cost us, and making a case against Obama's disastrous stewardship of this nation should be a slam dunk, but his press flunkies and the leftwing mudball brigades are out in full force, acting as Obama's gargoyles on the parapet of the Progressive State.

Play "You Didn't Build That!" in Context

Krauthammer says we need to attack Obama's ideology, and I agree. The good doctor also recommends we...
... play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama’s Roanoke riff telling small-business owners: “You didn’t build that.” Real credit for your success belongs not to you — you think you did well because of your smarts and sweat?
Yes!  Is the Romney campaign listening to Charles Krauthammer?

President Obama Holds us in Contempt

Not just the president's words, but his tone betrays a contempt for smart, hardworking people who put everything on the line to fulfill a dream. And it's not a selfish dream, it's a capitalistic free-market dream, which means these men and women find creative ways to make the rest of us happy by providing us goods and services at an attractive price. Unlike Obama's blundering, bureaucratic, imperial government, private businesses have to compete for our money, and that is where the contempt and the resentment comes in.

Statists like Obama and his minions hate businesses and the people who run them, unless they can milk them for bribes, er.. campaign contributions. The average business owner is smarter and more hard working that Barack Milhous Obama. Before the country elected him Prom King, he'd never run anything larger than the Choom Gang, a collection of teenage Honolulu potheads.

So here again, as a public service, is el Jefe Maximo doing his best Hugo Chavez impersonation...

His contempt is palpable, and can anyone remember any other president publicly mocking his enemies the way this man does?  And listen to that crowd hooting and cheering on his demagoguery.  It's shameful.

So yeah, let's keep playing this, over and over, and make sure every voter sees it, in context.

Related:  Western Hero - Demagogue in Chief

Monday, August 13, 2012

Minnesota Math Adds Up to Voter Fraud

Hillary and Me

We've been hearing quite a bit of complaining lately about new Voter ID requirements in several states, my own Pennsylvania among them.

South Carolina and Texas are in court fighting to overthrow a peremptory Department of Justice order, imposed under the 1964 Civil Rights act, barring implementation of their new requirements.

Pennsylvania's law is currently 'under investigation' by the DoJ, which is presumably waiting to see if a pending ACLU suit succeeds in blocking it's implementation, or if they'll have to try to stop it themselves. Florida is being besieged once more by the DoJ over it's efforts to purge the dead, missing, and otherwise disqualified from it's records.

We've all heard the dismissive argument that there is not enough voter fraud to justify enacting photo ID requirements, and purging the rolls of ineligible entries . Not so fast say John Fund and Hans Von Spakovsky in their new book "Who's Counting".

Do the Math

Among other cases where proven fraud has had a direct effect on the outcome of elections, they highlight the story of the 2008 Minnesota Senatorial race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Coleman was initially declared the winner by 725 votes, a recount cut that margin down to 206. After eight months of litigation Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast and took the seat in the Senate. Then came an independent investigation of the voter rolls which uncovered the fact that among other problems, 1,099 convicted felons, disenfranchised by reason of their crimes, had participated in the election. 

"So what?" says the left. "That's only a tiny fraction of the votes cast! 0.03789% There's more important issues to deal with!" 

Or are there?

Obamacare by Felony

While it's a tiny fraction of the total vote, it is 352% of Al Franken's margin of victory. It may be open to question how all of those criminals voted, but the consequences of that election are not. Franken became the 60th member of the Senate voting Democratic, giving them a filibuster proof majority, and securing the passage of the single most contentious piece of legislation of most of our political lifetimes, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

If 1,099 illegally voting felons gave us Obama-care, affecting every single American, and encompassing one sixth of our entire economy, then the cries of ‘statistical insignificance’ pale in the face of practical effect. When the only direct control we have over our political representatives is at the ballot box, elections, like Caesar's wife, must be above reproach.

H/T to the ever-excellent blog, GeeeeeZ!

Byron York: When 1,099 Felons Vote
True the Vote 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mediscare 2012

Paul Ryan is an excellent choice for VP. To steal from Hairy Reid and Palooka Joe Biden, Ryan is clean and articulate, light-skinned, and he speaks "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."  What more could we ask for?

Romney made a serious choice and I commend him for now making this election a national referendum on our nation's future. Do we continue down the progressive path of ruin, ending up as the Argentina of the north?  Or do we face facts and begin dismantling the creaking, fiscally-unsustainable statist model?

From Paul Ryan's speech:
We won't replace our founding principles...we will reapply them!
We will honor you, our fellow citizens, by giving you the right and opportunity to make the choice:
What kind of country do we want to have?
What kind of people do we want to be?
I thank Mitt Romney for putting the all-important questions front and center. Finally, American citizens will be forced to make a choice.

Ryan's Medicare Problem

Trouble lurks, though. Paul Ryan could scare away older voters and moderates with his dangerous meddling with medicare. Here's some analysis from the Medicare Chief Actuary:
* In his analysis accompanying the recently released Annual Report of the Medicare Board of Trustees, Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary, noted that Medicare payment rates for doctors and hospitals serving seniors will be cut by 30% over the next three years
* ... by 2019 Medicare payment rates will be lower than under Medicaid. Mr. Foster notes that by the end of the 75-year projection period in the Annual Medicare Trustees Report, Medicare payment rates will be one-third of what will be paid by private insurance, and only half of what is paid by Medicaid.
* (The plan) cuts $818 billion from Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) from 2014-2023, the first 10 years of its full implementation, and $3.2 trillion over the first 20 years, 2014-2033. Adding in [...] cuts for Medicare Part B (physicians fees and other services) brings the total cut to $1.05 trillion over the first 10 years and $4.95 trillion over the first 20 years.
Slashing $5 trillion from medicare over 20 years!  That's unconscionable!  Anyone proposing such draconian cuts should be run off the national stage and declared unfit for anything higher than municipal dog catcher.

Ryan's problem?  No.  Obama's problem.  The above projections, stated by Medicare's chief actuary, are about Obamacare, not Paul Ryan's common sense plan.

Source:  Forbes - Ferrara

More Links:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Western Hero Welcomes Viburnum

I am pleased to announce that the erudite and plain-spoken Viburnum will be blogging here at Western Hero.

Here is how the native Pennsylvanian describes himself:

"A rather conservative libertarian with a keen interest in the restoration of Constitutional government in these United States."

His first post will be up Monday, and he'll be talking about voter fraud.

Here's a question to get people thinking ahead of his post:

If no ID should be required for for voting, what other activities should be an ID-free zone?

* Getting a passport?
* Buying cigarettes or booze?
* How about buying a firearm?  Should that be a No ID Required activity as well?

Friday, August 10, 2012

They’re Homeless for a Reason

I hope this wasn't Ducky...

A Massachusetts man visiting his sister here in Colorado Springs thought he’d assuage his liberal white guilt by bringing a homeless bum into his sister’s house. As a thank you, the homeless miscreant stabbed him.

From the CSPD Blotter:

Record ID 16890
Incident Date August 4, 2012 Time 7:02:00 AM Division Falcon Shift I Title Assault Location 1000 block of E. 4th St. Summary On 08/04/2012, at 0702 hrs., 

Officers from the Falcon Division were dispatched to 1000 block of E. 4th St. to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that the victim, a 49 year old male, who was in town from Massachusetts visiting his sister, was stabbed once in the upper chest at about 0330 hrs. 

The victim met the suspect at the 7-11 at Fillmore St. and Hancock Av. The victim felt sorry for the suspect because he was homeless, so he invited the suspect to his sister’s house in the 1000 block of E. 4th St. The victim and suspect were drinking when they started arguing. The victim told the suspect he had to leave and an altercation ensued. The victim pushed the suspect out of the gate and the suspect left the area. The victim then realized he had been cut on the upper chest. The wound was superficial and the victim was treated and released at a local hospital. 

The suspect is described as a white male, tall with long gray/brown hair wearing small framed glasses. The suspect left on a bicycle pulling a small trailer with many pots and metal items on it.

But there's also happy news in the Police Blotter...

Record ID 16878
Incident Date August 2, 2012 Time 3:28:00 AM Division Stetson Hills Shift III Title Burglary Location 2624 Oro Blanco Dr. 

Summary On 8-2-2012 at approximately 3:28 AM, Colorado Springs Police Officers from the Stetson Hills Division responded to 2624 Oro Blanco Dr. on a report of a burglary in progress. It was reported to the 911 operator that the home owner had confronted a burglar in his home and had the suspect on the floor of the kitchen while the home owner was armed with a 12 gauge shotgun. Officers quickly arrived on scene and detained a juvenile male while the homeowner put away his shotgun. 

Thanks to Colorado's liberty-loving gun laws, the crook who broke into that house on Oro Blanco in sitting in jail, and the homeowner is alive and well, enjoying the weekend with his family. Life is good!

Have a happy weekend!

Police Blotter

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Obama is desperate to cling to power, and he's resorting to bald-faced lies to do it.

From Time Magazine:
That new Priorities USA ad which effectively blames Mitt Romney for a woman’s cancer death is a strange beast. It is at once the most dishonest and substantive ad of the summer.
Narrowly judged, the ad is scurrilous. It implies that a Romney-led takeover of GST Steel company in Missouri by Bain Capital left a GST worker, Joe Soptic, and his wife, Ilyana, without health insurance; that she delayed seeing a doctor for cost reasons; and that she received a fatally late diagnosis as a result. But a CNN fact-check severely undermines this narrative. (Dishonest but Important)
Despite the ad’s bald-faced lies that the liberal author acknowledges, he still likes it…
But at least a story like the Soptics’ illuminates the kind of policy choices that lie at the heart of this election–certainly more so than advertisements about Romney’s foreign assets, or a distorted quote from the president.
Ahhh... There it is.  We stung their messiah with the truth.  Those damned conservatives replayed Obama’s words, in context, showing him mocking business owner for having the temerity to think that they were “so smart,” and to dare to say they “work hard.” Obama’s gargoyles in the press hate us for pointing out that his “You didn’t build that” comment is false even if he were talking about roads and bridges, because business owners are revenue generators, much more so than that crowd he was preaching to, whose resentful hooting egged Obama on to Chavez-esque heights during that infamous tirade.

Fear and Smear is All Obama has Left

So here is where we’re at this campaign season. Obama has no accomplishments to run on, so it’s fear and smear 24/7, with him being introduced in Denver by a 30 year old woman who had the unabashed gall to go on national TV and demand the rest of us pay for her to get her freak on. Meanwhile, a Democrat party attack machine runs ads here in Colorado saying Romney is dangerous for women.

Another Bald-Face Obama Lie: The Bogus Romney Tax Increase

Heard the one about Romney’s plan to raise taxes on the middle class? As a WSJ editorial proclaims, it’s a Romneyhood Fairy Tale:
So this is hardly news, except that the media are treating this joint Brookings Institution and Urban Institute analysis as if it's nonpartisan gospel. In fact, it's a highly ideological tract based on false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. In other words, it is custom made for the Obama campaign. (WSJ)
Using this report against Romney is bogus because the report critiques what the authors imagine his plan to be, not his plan.

Here are the authors' own words from the report:
We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail, nor do we make assumptions regarding what those components might be. (Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center)
So there we have it folks. Mitt Romney did not kill that man’s wife, and he has no plan to raise taxes on the middle class. But why let a few facts get in the way of Obama’s Second Coronation?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

American Energy: Our Gain is China's Pain

Tapping our own bountiful energy resources is our chance to be blessedly free from that inbred madhouse known as the Middle East, while screwing China at the same time.

While our dependence on Middle Eastern oil goes down, China grows increasingly dependent on the region.

Here’s a statement from a Chinese oil company researcher:
We understand that the United States' presence and influence in the Middle East is a key factor behind that region's stability, but China is the single greatest purchaser of Middle Eastern oil. The major reason that the United States is seeking energy self-sufficiency is its desire to reduce or even end imports of Middle Eastern oil...
...Nor do we wish to see the United States completely withdraw from the Middle East. We really don't want to see the Americans "transform" the Middle East or allow the region to fall into disorder once they are no longer reliant upon its petroleum. China has but little influence on the Middle East and even less power to control the region, but we need its oil, and we need a stable Middle East. (as quoted in The Atlantic)
Heh heh heh…

Yeah, lets continue wasting blood and treasure so China can reap all the benefits...

We need to get out. People hate the US because of our hegemony? Great! Let’s get the hell out of the Middle East and go home! Let China and Russia move in and provide stability.

While the Middle East snakepit writhes and lashes out at the new suckers on the block, we can sit back on our natural resources and enjoy flipping them all the bird as China and Russia struggle to keep the lid on the world’s out-of-control monkey house.

What a dream…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Obamacare Nightmare

Nat Hentoff, who was too radical for the stodgy, propaganda-sodden Village Voice, has written an excellent piece on the economic stupidity of Obamacare.

He explains how Obamacare’s tax on medical devices is driving the industry out of the US, and his regulatory stranglehold is keeping new devices that are currently available in Europe from coming onto the American market.

House Republicans have voted to repeal the tax, but…
The Democratically controlled Senate was not likely to agree with the House, and in any case, Obama pledged to veto it because he’d much rather those billions in tax revenues go to cutting health care costs. (Hentoff)
Who in their right mind would think that taxing something will make the price to the consumer go down? That’s nuts!

Obamacare will create scarcity and drive up costs, while stifling innovation by taxing it to death and removing the profit motive. Our state-run healthcare system will look like Nurse Ratchet’s ward in less than a generation.

Hentoff, who is now in his old age, ends his article with a request for Mitt Romney…
I beg Mitt Romney to tell us how he will end this trade in American lives for broad cuts in health care budgets. We do need to save money, but raising taxes on lifesaving medical devices while cutting potentially lifesaving tests strikes me as not the American way.
Will the outcome of the November elections tell us and our kids and grandkids whether we still are in what used to be called America, where individual doctors prescribed for the futures of their individual patients? (Hentoff)
There’s Hope…
SA Today/Gallup released a poll of adults which found that, by more than 2-1, 63%-29%, voters felt Romney's tenure at Bain would cause him to make good decisions about turning around the economy and creating jobs.
61% of adults felt that government was doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. The poll also found that Romney was viewed as better able to control government spending. (Bain Attacks may be helping Romney)
Romney may be a milquetoast moderate, but unlike our current president he understands business and the economy, and hopefully voters are seeing that. We don’t need more agenda-driven progressivism--we need free-market pragmatism.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Estonians Teach Krugman a Lesson in Economics

Another day, another Krugman crapweasel trick uncovered...
Should the government have borrowed money to keep unemployment low? “No,” he says. “We don’t want to be like Greece.” (Estonian quoted in Bloomberg)
The country of Estonia saw what was happening with Ireland and Greece, and its people were determined not to go down that road.
In May 2009, months after the passage of a $787 billion stimulus package in the U.S., Estonia’s government took the opposite tack: the hard line. It did not dip into the country’s reserves or borrow money. (Krugmenistan)
Paul Krugman excoriated their fiscal rectitude...
On June 6, in a blog post titled “Estonian Rhapsody,” Krugman took on what he called “the poster child for austerity defenders.” In his post, he graphed real GDP from the height of the boom to the first quarter of this year to show that, even after a recovery, Estonia’s economy is still almost 10 percent below its peak in 2007. “This,” he wrote, “is what passes for economic triumph?” (Krugmenistan)
That earned some pushback from the nation's president, but their economic recovery is what really got them the last laugh over the Pontificator of Princeton.

This chart exposes a classic Krugman crapweasel trick: Take a little slice of data, in this case only the blue line, and use it to show that Estonia's GDP sank after their austerity. The author of Krumenistan plotted it out further, showing that they experienced a bubble, as everyone did, right before the crash. Because they acted responsibly, they are growing again, and faster than their European cousins who are blowing money like there's no tomorrow.

In his blog post, Krugman started his graph—and his logic—when Estonia’s GDP had reached its peak, in 2007. Wages were high, and unemployment was low. Good for most citizens, and for most citizens now things are still worse than they were then.
But if you move Krugman’s graph all the way back to 2000, you see slow, steady growth in GDP, then a short boom, then a hard crash, and now growth leveling back off to where it would have been without the boom.
In the boom years, says Varblane, “GDP growth was not real. It was artificial,” fueled by cheap debt from abroad. The peak, Krugman’s point of comparison, was not “real,” he says. That Estonia has not reached it again is a good thing, Varblane and Ligi say. It never should have been there in the first place. (Krugmenistan vs Estonia)
Take away the cheap tricks, and Krugman's Keynesian arguments collapse. The austere Estonians are out of the woods, while the rest of us are still lost, foolishly trying to spend our way to prosperity.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Courage: "I have a Choice"

27 year old Jenn Gibbons is a good and brave young lady. I don't know why her story hasn't gotten more media attention.

She set out to row the 1,500 mile perimeter of Lake Michigan to raise money for breast cancer and ended up being sexually assaulted by a sub-human piece of garbage.

The Battle Creek native is raising funds for breast cancer survivors on a rowing team she runs in Chicago, but her own story of survival and perseverance has inspired readers around the country.
Gibbons began her 1,500-mile trip last month, making good time as she reached Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she was attacked in the early morning hours of July 22 while sleeping on her boat near Mueller Township.
The 27-year-old chose to identify herself in the days following the assault, hoping the public would help find her attacker, who remains at large, and vowing to continue her trip by bicycle until she felt safe enough to return to the water. (MLive)
She was updating the status of her journey on Facebook so fans and well-wishers could track her progress, and that is also how the creep saw his opportunity, waiting until she was in a remote area to strike.  She escaped the attack by locking herself in an outhouse and calling the police.  The would-be rapist remains at large.

It was noble of her to start her own charity, "Recovery on Water, a non-profit rowing team that trains recovering cancer patients to 'get fit and fight back," and she's given us all a lesson in bravery as well, continuing her quest only a few weeks after the attack:
"I could focus on those few terrible moments," Gibbons wrote yesterday. "I could let those few minutes take away more seconds, more minutes, more days and weeks and years of my life. But I won't. Why? Because I have a choice." (MLive)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Muchas gracias to Z and Mustang!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Facing Unpleasant Facts

I mentioned Orwell the other day, and Ducky cautioned me, “Have to watch it with Orwell. He doesn't go for the simple answer. He was no Libertarian.”

This is what’s wrong with America. Everybody is supposed to stay in their own camp and only listen to their own orthodoxy. A libertarian reading a socialist? Careful! It’s also telling. The shabby arguments of the left reveal that they rarely crawl out of their dark, cramped ideological box.

I am an Orwell fan, having read many of his essays and a few of his lesser-known works.  Of course I know he cannot be properly categorized as a libertarian.  He was a man of the left who believed in using the power of the state for the good of humankind, but being a lover of liberty, he also looked upon government with a jaundiced eye.

Facing it, always facing it!

Orwell's greatest gift, perhaps even greater than his pen, was his power of observation and clear-eyed analysis.  Christopher Hitchens writes...
‘Facing it — ’ as Captain MacWhirr says so memorably in Joseph Conrad’s ‘Typhoon’,‘always facing it — that’s the way to get through.’
‘I knew,’ said Orwell in 1946 about his early youth, ‘that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts.’ Not the ability to face them, you notice, but ‘a power of facing’. It’s oddly well put.
A commissar who realizes that his five-year plan is off-target and that the people detest him or laugh at him may be said, in a base manner, to be confronting an unpleasant fact. So, for that matter, may a priest with ‘doubts’. The reaction of such people to unpleasant facts is rarely self-critical; they do not have the ‘power of facing’. Their confrontation with the fact takes the form of an evasion; the re-action to the unpleasant discovery is a re-doubling of efforts to overcome the obvious.

The ‘unpleasant facts’ that Orwell faced were usually the ones that put his own position or preference to the test.  (Christopher Hitchens - Why Orwell Matters)
George Orwell did not write from an ideological position and he was blessedly free of dogma. If anything, he could be called a humanist.  A man of the left, he went to Spain to fight the fascists and came away disgusted with communists.
The whole barracks was in the state of filth and chaos to which the militia reduced every building they occupied and which seems to be one of the by-products of revolution. In every corner you came upon piles of smashed furniture, broken saddles, brass cavalry-helmets, empty sabre-scabbards, and decaying food. There was frightful wastage of food, especially bread. (Homage to Catalonia)
Being caught in a communist purge of the organization he belonged to sealed the deal for him. He went from being a fascist-fighting combat veteran to a hunted criminal, in danger of being jailed and shot by the people he thought he had been fighting for. Despite this, he stated that he held no animus towards Spain or Spaniards.  Indeed, what has struck so many upon reading Homage to Catalonia is his emotional detachment from it all.

For an even greater example of writing with emotional detachment, to the point of displaying sympathy for your tormentors, see his memoir of boarding school life, Such, Such Were The Joys.

He forever remained a socialist, but spent much time examining and plucking the motes from his own eyes. Although perhaps not consciously so, he also helped his larger society do the same. He could write painful observations about the poor and the downtrodden, but he did it without the sentimentality of a Steinbeck, and he did not fetishize and coddle them as nanny-state progressives do today.

He faced unpleasant facts and adjusted his views accordingly. Have you ever changed your mind or abandoned a cherished view after facing unpleasant facts?