July 31, 2013

Phony scandals

Posted by Hube at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What a difference two years makes

... and why the New Media is so important. Check out this screed from Media Matters from May 2011:

Proving once again that there's no standard by which many mainstream media outlets are willing to hold sloppy propagandist Andrew Breitbart, CNN this afternoon invited the discredited blogger on the air to discuss the Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY- D) Twitter story.

Conveniently setting aside the fact that virtually every attack campaign that Breitbart has launched in recent years has collapsed under the weight of modest scrutiny, CNN presented the fatuous blogger as some sort of expert who could walk people through the Weiner story, which he's been hyping for days. (The whole right-wing blogosphere launched itself into a creepy tizzy over the holiday weekend regarding the story.)

OOPS.

Also check out here. And here. And here.

(h/t Ace's and Taranto's Twitter feeds)

Posted by Hube at 10:46 AM | Comments (188) | TrackBack

July 30, 2013

Teaser of Sentinels from next year's Days of Future Past

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How will Ultron emerge in Avengers sequel?

As we noted here, the next Avengers [film] villain will be the dreaded mechanoid Ultron. But the powers-that-be have stated that the robot will not be created by Hank Pym, aka Ant Man/Giant Man/Goliath/etc. So, how will Ultron come about? Bleeding Cool offers up some suggestions:

Could J.A.R.V.I.S. be Ultron? Modelled on the brain waves of Tony Stark?

Next, we have the return, somehow of Agent Coulson in Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. And there’s a mystery something that “he must never know.”

Is Agent Coulson a Life Model Decoy? Could he be an artificial intelligence.

Could Agent Coulson be Ultron?

Of these, the first one is great possibility in my view. A commenter to the B.C. article offers up this:

I love how all these comics news sites are publishing articles "predicting" that Tony Stark will be Ultron's creator in the movieverse, when Whedon pretty much spelled that out already. (I haven't read where Whedon has alluded to that. -- Hube)

And not a single one of them mentions how the movieverse Iron Man helmet kind of resembles the Ultron helmet, or that having Stark accidentally create Ultron finally gives everyone a reason to put Tony back in the Iron Man suit (once you can control an army of Iron Men from a distance, it'll take a reason like this to explain why Tony would *ever* want to risk his life stepping into an Iron Man armor again; having the AI gain sentience and try to take over the world would certainly make ME think twice about ever allowing an Iron Man suit to leave the house without me again).

Perfectly logical. I'm sold.

Posted by Hube at 12:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 29, 2013

As well it should

Courtesy of the Philly Inquirer: Zimmerman case hurt media's image.

Posted by Hube at 11:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: What Effect Do You Think Barack Obama’s Presidency Has Had On Race Relations? Why?

Yours truly has an entry.

Posted by Hube at 10:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 28, 2013

A perfect illustration of how the calls for a "national conversation on race" are a crock

Just read this sadly hilarious Patterico thread all the way through to the end for, as noted, a perfect example.

UPDATE: It gets even better.

Posted by Hube at 06:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 27, 2013

What happens when you hire complete nitwits

... and because you're obsessed with race:

Yep, that's the nitwit, Touré, a man whose obsession with race is only surpassed by Michael Eric Dyson. He indeed said "that Republicans are 'talking about black-on-black crime to block the conversation around a Peruvian-American, not a Hispanic, a Peruvian-American shooting a black man.'"

Got that? George Zimmerman, because of his Peruvian ancestry, now isn't "Hispanic." Except that, of course, he most certainly is:

Hispanic (Spanish: hispano, hispánico; Portuguese: hispânico, hispano, Catalan: hispà, hispànic)[1][2] is an ethnonym that denotes a relationship to Spain or, in some definitions, to ancient Hispania, which comprised the Iberian Peninsula including the modern states of Andorra, Portugal, and Spain and the British Crown Dependency of Gibraltar.[3][4][5] Today, organizations in the United States use the term as a broad catch all to refer to persons with a historical and cultural relationship either with Spain and Portugal or only with Spain, regardless of race.[6][7] However, in the eyes of the US Census Bureau, Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race, any ancestry, any ethnicity, or any country of origin.[8]

Cripes, first this idiot network selectively edits the 911 call Zimmerman made which was the real catalyst in turning this whole tragic affair into a national "racist" incident, then ABC does the same with an interview with the one minority juror in the murder case. Now, we've descended to denying that Zimmerman even qualifies as the ethnic background that he actually is.

What should we expect next? A member of the Peruvian-American Society on MSNBC claiming that, since Zimmerman has never visited Machu Picchu, he cannot claim Peruvian ancestry? That Zimmerman's genealogy shows him to be a descendant of Francisco Pizarro, and this proves his inherent hatred of "dark" people?

Don't laugh. I wouldn't be surprised to see something exactly like those ridiculous hypotheticals above appear on the usual channels in the near future.

Posted by Hube at 10:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Land of the L.I.V.s

Via Jim Geraghty's "Morning Jolt":

Sydney Leathers, the woman at the center of the latest Anthony Weiner sext scandal, told Inside Edition that the New York City mayoral candidate told her that he loved her, and that she said told him the same. Leathers had the following exchange with Inside Edition's correspondent:

Q: "You told Anthony Weiner that you loved him?

A: "Yes"

Q: "Did he tell you he loved you?"

A: "Yes."

"I cared about him a lot," she said in an exclusive interview set to air tomorrow, but admitted she didn't quite love him at the time. "He was very important to me."

Leathers says her feelings have since changed, especially after watching the disgraced former congressman at Tuesday's press conference with his wife, Huma Abedin. "I'm disgusted by him. He's not who I thought he was," she said.

Who, precisely, did she think he was?

She's a freakin' L.I.V., for heaven's sake. You'll never be able to figure it out!!

Posted by Hube at 06:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Headline of the Day

Ah, the WaPo: What motivates a lawyer to defend a Tsarnaev, a Castro or a Zimmerman?

WTF? As a reader at Insty wrote, "Tsarnaez = Castro = Zimmerman? Why not just throw in a Hitler? That’s usually how the question is posed at cocktail parties.”

Posted by Hube at 05:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 26, 2013

Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Facing Facts about Race.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The MUST READ of the day

Steve Newton does yeoman's work showing how you now live in a surveillance state.

I saw one of these pernicious vehicles on Otts Chapel road not too long ago and I was more than a little curious. I meant to google for it later as I didn't know what they were. Now that I do, I'm even more creeped out. They assure us that we can trust them and the data is carefully controlled and used only for felony cases. This from the same people who kept an illegal database on gun owners for 7 years.

We have two responses to this: either we get this law repealed and have that equipment sold and the database wiped or we go full Alinsky and start tracking movements of both regular police cars and undercover. Better yet, follow them when they're off duty and record them speeding, running lights, no seatbelts, talking on the phone. You know, all the stuff they ticket you for.

If there was ever an issue that both left and right in this state should be in full agreement this is it. The fact that they are not tells me neither party should be taken seriously.

Posted by Duffy at 01:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A winning GOP platform

If you were to rewrite the GOP platform what changes would you make that you think would ensure they win the next election?

Posted by Duffy at 01:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chicago schools and funding

Chicago teachers staged a walkout last year regarding funding and teacher pay etc. This is nothing new. I submit that if they are truly underfunded, they can start by cutting trips to Venezuela to learn about the "Honduras Resistance Movement".

Posted by Duffy at 10:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2013

It's pretty clear

Between the liberals praising Huma Abedin for standing by her husband while he humiliates her publicly multiple times and their unbridled support for free contraception and abortion on demand that they really believe a woman's responsibility is to provide and permit her man (or men) as much commitment and consequence free casual sex as they can get.

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 06:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is Jim Geraghty right?

Regarding the ridiculous (and pathetic) Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger mess, he writes (in his e-mailed "Morning Jolt"):

Yes, you can find plenty of folks on the Right who fail to live up to their own ideals or general standards of acceptable behavior. But thankfully, for all of our flaws, you don't see a lot of conservatives arguing that certain creepy behavior has to be accepted out of party loyalty. And that represents a key philosophical difference with the Left, at least in practice.

Whether you come from a more socially conservative perspective or a more libertarian one, your philosophy gives you some strong arguments about why this sort of behavior is unacceptable.

If you're socially conservative, your values are likely shaped by a Judeo-Christian teaching that every person is created by God and thus deserving of respect, etc. So besides the usual Biblical/Torah-based teachings -- don't commit adultery, etc. -- sexually harassing your underlings, using an employee as a sexual plaything, or using your wife as a human shield during an embarrassing press conference is to objectify them and is pretty obviously not in line with God's teachings.

If you're libertarian, one of your core tenets is the value of the individual and the need to protect the rights of the individual -- and sexual harassment undoubtedly represents an infringement upon the rights of an individual. You may have less of an issue with adultery between consenting adults or even with prostitution (freely agreed contracts!) but ultimately whatever happens must be agreed upon by both/all parties. Cheating on one's wife and humiliating her in a public scandal isn't usually part of an agreed contract. (Someday we may have a political power couple in an open marriage, and it will be interesting to see what the public reaction will be.)

Geraghty goes on to say that, since modern liberals place the needs of the group ahead of the individual, it's therefore important to have the "correct" individuals in place to manage and effect their preferred policies. What these individuals do is relatively immaterial so long as they continue to do their job for the philosophy ... and party. Think "Ted Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Bob Filner, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards and Al Gore" as examples. Not to mention Bill Clinton. And naturally, since the mainsream media always favors liberals/Democrats, the trangressions of folks like these are overlooked, while those of the opposition are never. I mean, it took the National Inquirer to investigate John Edwards, for cripe's sake, mainly because the MSM didn't give a sh**.

And take a gander what we see currently: Lib pundit Tamara Holder said about Carlos, er, Anthony Weiner: "Public service has nothing to do with bedroom service. 98.4367% of men cheat. I do know a few good men who don't. Leave Weiner alone." Out west, former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña said regarding San Diego mayor Bob Filner "I blew the whistle on this two years ago to the Democratic Party leadership." Party leaders, she said, "made it clear that if people didn't support Filner they wouldn't receive their support again."

And what conservative/Republican would get this sort of MSM coverage after admitting -- after vehemently denying and angrily denigrating opposing voices -- to sexting young women??

But back to the post title: Is Geraghty right in this assessment?

Posted by Hube at 01:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Media disgrace

This is a must-see vid detailing what an absolute farce we have for a media these days:

RELATED: Family rescued by George Zimmerman from car accident cancels press conference in fear of “blowback.”

Posted by Hube at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2013

Detroit's problems are all solved!

They must be -- the city council took the time to pass a resolution calling for the feds to investigate George Zimmerman.

It'd be hilarious if it weren't so damn pathetic.

Posted by Hube at 09:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Women everywhere panic

CNN anchor says dildos hunted to extinction by man:

Posted by Hube at 09:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 23, 2013

Here he comes again

With a hat tip to the Daily Caller's headline, it appears Anthony Weiner is a victim -- again -- of shrinkage.

Posted by Hube at 04:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Question of the Day

CNN's Don Lemon Thinks Non-Blacks Cannot Fairly Report on Blacks ... So Why Can All-Liberal Media Report on Conservatives?

Posted by Hube at 03:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The rapid demise of unions

People who are not left of center frequently argue that the unions (and esp. public sector unions) create a feedback loop for Democrats. They write closed shop laws that force people to join unions which forcibly collects dues from members which is uses to fund Democrat campaigns. Democrats are elected and beholden to unions so they expand union influence and control which means more money etc.

They fought very very hard against Scott Walker in Wisconsin because they knew the outcome if they lost. They knew that they cannot convince people that joining a union is a net benefit for them.

What has happened in Wisconsin since the law was changed?: In 2010 — the year that Walker was elected governor — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 48 was thriving, having enrolled more than 9,000 workers and reporting income exceeding $7 million.

By the end of 2012, District Council 48 was down to just under 3,500 dues-paying members — a loss of nearly two-thirds of its represented workers.

The local also reported its net worth had plummeted, so it is now more than $650,000 in the red. This was the case even after AFSCME's international headquarters pumped $250,000 into the Milwaukee's union's coffers last year.

Rich Abelson, the longtime head of District 48 who recently left for an AFSCME job in Washington, D.C., did not return calls.

Other public employee unions are faring only marginally better. Most have lost between 30% and 60% of their members in the past two years.

Emphasis mine.

Think of that. Workers are fleeing the unions in droves. They know they have no value for them and they don't need them. Unions cannot make their case with logic and reason. They have to force people to join them to survive.

I believe unions were, at one point, necessary for workers. They kept them from dangerous working conditions and predatory practices (company towns). The courts have addressed most of these problems and the regular joe has more options today and it is much easier to either move or seek redress through the courts. Unions, IMNHO, have failed to change with the times. They still act like it's 1962. I also believe people should have the right to form unions and use collective bargaining to their advantage. They should not, however, be able to force anyone to join them in order to work. Unions are a private entity. Imagine if you told a liberal that you were going to turn control over a school district to a private entity. They'd go bananas. Somehow this logic flies out the window when you tell them the entity is a union. They have this weird notion that not for profit entities are run by angels. Unless it's a church 'cause those guys are charlatans and crooks. Doubly so if they're Catholic.

Posted by Duffy at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Defining success

How do you define success? Do you consider yourself successful? If so, what are the metrics? How would you define success for your child(ren)?

If your child(ren) are less aspirational/ambitious than you think they ought to be, would you be disappointed?

(i.e. You and your wife are college educated and white collar workers and your child just wants to be a tradesman and raise a family.)

Posted by Duffy at 02:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thanks for the black eye

It's gonna be an interesting beginning of the school year what with the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case still hanging over us. Robby Soave notes that the Hairpin, "a prominent liberal women’s blog," asked what teachers and counselors plan to teach about the case. Here's a sample of some of the replies:

An anonymous English teacher in Alabama said that she would be hesitant to formally “teach” the subject, but nonetheless thought it could be brought up in relation to vigilantism in literature such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” and the works of William Faulkner.

“The thing is, I see Trayvon Martins everyday,” wrote the teacher. “I worry about young black men and their prospects in a world where a man is able to kill one without being convicted of something. Even if it isn’t as simple as that, kids will see it that way. Rednecks are holding their heads a little higher and tapping the guns on their holsters eager for a stand your ground moment.”

Lovely. Then there's this:

... another teacher cited the verdict as evidence of the “fact that Florida law allows people to hunt and kill black youth,” and said that it was important to talk about it with students.

It's gonna be an interesting school year. Hopefully, there will be a decent number of sane teachers out there to counter this bullsh**.

Posted by Hube at 09:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 22, 2013

It's called capital flight

Some people who are economically illiterate and keep thinking we can tax and spend our way out of this mess should, perhaps, read this:

Tim Hortons Inc. is returning to the land of hockey, where seemingly every street corner houses, well, a Tim Hortons.

Tims, the coffee and doughnuts icon, is currently incorporated in the United States, but it's returning to its Canadian roots to take advantage of falling corporate tax rates.

See? Capital has legs. It will move the the most advantageous place. There's a reason offshore banking havens exist. There's a reason Texas is kicking the ever loving crap out of California in the job creation department. There's a reason mainland China looks more like Hong Kong than the other way around.

Government spending is a drag on economic activity. That is true whether it is a person or a corporation.

Regulation is a drag on economic activity. That is true whether is is a person or a corporation.

Neither of these statements is in dispute. Rather, whether or not they are proper or necessary is the argument.

I'm a fan of This American Life podcast. Yes, it frequently veers into leftwing politics but one thing that amazed me. They polled a dozen or so of the top economists in the country to create a consensus of the best economic ideas to create the ultimate centrist candidate. The one thing they all agreed on: Eliminate corporate taxes.

Posted by Duffy at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What gerrymandering?

Whenever anyone expresses some concern that maybe we ought to make sure there isn't any voter fraud and, perhaps, we should re-examine the way districts are composed there is much hue and cry and rending of garments about racism and Jim Crow and on and on.

I present to you the 4th District of Illinois.

fourth-district-of-illinois-map1.jpg

Proponents will tell you this is so that certain groups are "represented". This is nonsense on stilts. This district is to ensure they can create a representative that will vote properly and not go along with the will of the people. Well the will of the wrong people. You know, the ones who think maybe government isn't the answer to everything.

Posted by Duffy at 03:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: Who’s Your Favorite Talk Show Host and Why? Which One Do You Like Least?

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"What it's like"

NBC's (the network largely responsible for the racial shenanigans in the Zimmerman/Martin trial) Andrea Mitchell earlier this morning claimed Boss Obama was a "moral leader" in his Friday remarks on the case, stating he "taught white people in America — those who were unaware — what it is like to be a black male."

Indeed. And Mitchell's network, especially its white "progressive" anchors, loves to lecture us all on just that. Perhaps it's to assuage their very own racial guilt:

On a warm weekday evening in 2003, a group that can fairly be described as representative of the media elite gathered at one if its favored venues: the garden behind the Manhattan apartment of journalists Tina Brown and Harold Evans.

The occasion was the publication of "The Clinton Wars," by Sidney Blumenthal, a former aide to President Bill Clinton. Editors from the New Yorker and the New York Times were in attendance along with media figures like Steven Brill and Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner. The guests mingled and sipped wine. Even Clinton showed up, instantly becoming the epicenter of attention.

I had not been invited but attended the event as the "plus one" of political columnist Eric Alterman, who wrote about the party in The Guardian on Thursday. At the time, I was a freelance journalist not yet employed by The Wall Street Journal. Eager for an opportunity to find a good story or meet an editor who might give me work, I accepted Alterman's invitation to join him at an event littered with literati.

Standing by myself I noticed, on the periphery of the party, a man looking as awkward and out-of-place as I felt. I approached him and introduced myself. He was an Illinois state senator who was running for the U.S. Senate. He was African American, one of a few black people in attendance.

We spoke at length about his campaign. He was charismatic in a quiet, solemn way. I told him I wanted to pitch a profile of him to a national magazine. (The magazine later rejected my proposal.)

The following year I watched as he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, and then won his Senate seat that fall. On Tuesday, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States.

But what I will always remember is as I was leaving that party in 2003, I was approached by another guest, an established author. He asked about the man I had been talking to. Sheepishly he told me he didn't know that Obama was a guest at the party, and had asked him to fetch him a drink. In less than six years, Obama has gone from being mistaken for a waiter among the New York media elite, to the president-elect.

Whaaa ... how can this be? Look at who was in attendance at this gig: Tina Brown and Harold Evans, Sidney Blumenthal, Steven Brill, Jann Wenner and Eric Alterman. As Jim Geraghty notes in his Morning Jolt today:

Liberals all, and I'm sure that all of those folks would consider themselves not only not racist, but particularly enlightened to the plight of minorities in modern America.

One of the reasons that discussions about race relations in the United States are so tiresome is that the tone is often, "I'm not racist, but you people are racist, and you people are the problem." Yet here we have a gathering of some of our most prominent and influential media voices, a crowd that undoubtedly would claim to be our society's smartest, most progressive, most enlightened, most open-minded, and most free from prejudice. And a future president of the United States gets mistaken for a waiter.

This is a perfect illustration of why you should turn around and walk away if/when you're being lectured to about race by a self-proclaimed "progressive." That is, after you laugh in their face and point out how condescending and paternalistic he/she is ... not to mention possibly racist as well.

SEMI-RELATED: Boss Obama voted to strengthen Illinois's "Stand Your Ground" law in 2004.

Posted by Hube at 10:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2013

Huge comics movie news

Via Screenrant, the biggest news (for me, at least) out of Comic-Con this year is the title of 2015's Avengers sequel: The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Why? Well, frankly, many (most?) consider the evil robot to be Earth's Mightiest's greatest enemy of all-time. He was recently the nemesis in a multi-title Marvel epic, but for me the best tale featuring the dastardly mechanoid is Kurt Busiek and George Pérez's from early volume three Avengers.

Ultron was created by Hank Pym (as seen way back in Avengers vol. 1 #58) and amazingly quickly gained sentience and turned on its creator. Once having escaped, it (he) "evolved" himself, and created the Vision. The idea was to use Vision against the Avengers, but much like Ultron did with Pym, Vizh turned the tables -- and ended up joining the team!


Ultron holds Ant Man's (Hank Pym's) helmet. (Image via Screenrant.)

Ultron subsequently has menaced the Avengers many, many times. What has made him so formidable since their first battle is the fact that he managed to steal a supply of adamantium (y'know, the same stuff Wolverine's claws and skeleton are made out of) and "evolve" himself again -- this time with a body made of the stuff (Avengers vol. 1 #66-67). He at one point even managed to infiltrate the so-called "sentient" Iron Man suit. This he was able to do, along with his many other re-creations/rebirths, via to the so-called "Ultron Imperative." In essence, the Imperative is a "suggestion" implanted deep within an electronic/computer system, and at a designated time activates. Then, its victim is compelled, however necessary, to reactivate Ultron.

This movie announcement is also somewhat of a surprise as we saw in the post-credit scene in The Avengers the smirking visage of Thanos. Thus, we expected him to be the bad guy in the sequel. He still may show up, of course (maybe be responsible for activating Ultron?), but it's a lot more doubtful now.

Posted by Hube at 11:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The "new normal," huh?

Unsurprisingly, our own News Journal joins the typical bandwagon with Sweltering will become new normal. Because, y'know, we just had a heat wave.

Now, where have we heard such proclamations before? Oh, right. Remember "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past"? Yeah, that turned out to be quite prophetic, didn't it?

*Sigh*

Posted by Hube at 09:41 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 20, 2013

It's come to this

Saw this via a comment at Patterico: Dry asparagus prompts questions about racial discrimination. And even despite this from the complainer --

[David] Olander admitted to being in an “ornery mood” the day he visited the store. “I just felt like stirring it up a little bit, letting them know that somebody cares,” he said ...

-- such nonsense gets printed as a story worthy of coverage.

Posted by Hube at 12:14 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Laugher of the Day

MSNBC's self-described* Caucasian Chuck Todd said -- with a straight face, mind you -- that his network has been more "mature" about covering race issues than its rivals. He actually stated “Some portions of cable news try to use an incident like this in the wrong ways.”

A person could spend a day, writing straight through, about the numerous times MSNBC has used racial incidents "in the wrong ways." Sheesh.

(*See here.)

Posted by Hube at 11:36 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Why Boss Obama gave that speech yesterday

... in three images.

(h/t to Insty.)

Posted by Hube at 10:00 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Perspective

Posted by Hube at 09:32 AM | Comments (44) | TrackBack

July 19, 2013

Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was Mark Steyn with A Dagger at the Heart of Justice.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 01:32 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack

Delaware's own Joe Biden's advice is followed

... by a dude in Vancouver, WA:

A man in Vancouver, Washington has been arrested for taking the advice of Vice President Joe Biden and blasting away with his gun at his home to scare off intruders.

“I did what Joe Biden told me to do,” Jeffrey Barton, 52, told a local TV station. “I went outside and fired my shotgun in the air.” Barton pleaded not guilty Wednesday to one count of of illegal aiming or discharging a firearm.

In February, Biden, who is leading White House efforts to curtail people’s access to multiple-round weapons, suggested all anyone needed to do to combat a home invasion was buy a double barrel shotgun and fire it off the balcony, something he said he had advised his wife Jill to do.

(Image h/t to Jawa Report.)

Posted by Hube at 12:00 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Chris Matthews speaks for all self-identified* Caucasians

Via the Washington Examiner:

(*See here.)

Posted by Hube at 11:30 AM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

July 18, 2013

Christine O'Donnell victim of I.R.S. targeting

As you probably well know, I'm no fan of COD, but this is absolute bullsh**, man:

On March 9, 2010, the day she revealed her plan to run for the Senate in a press release, a tax lien was placed on a house purported to be hers and publicized. The problem was she no longer owned the house. The IRS eventually blamed the lien on a computer glitch and withdrew it.

Now Mr. Martel, a criminal investigator for the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, was telling her that an official in Delaware state government had improperly accessed her records on that very same day.

Beyond that, Ms. O’Donnell and Senate investigators who have tried to help her have run into a wall of silence, leaving more questions than answers about whether abuses of the IRS system extend to private individuals and not just the tax-exempt groups already identified as victims.

Cripes. I remember that lien story and many [local] bloggers and commenters made issue of it. I can't recall if I did, but if so I and everyone else should have blamed the freakin' Boss Obama IRS. COD's vociferous objections to this story were spot-on.

I still think O'Donnell is a deeply flawed candidate with many other problems; however, this IRS abuse garbage is incredibly frightening. Everyone should be worried about it for, once the GOP regains the White House, would you want to face "payback?" Be honest.

UPDATE: Rep. Darrell Issa Has Information That Will Link IRS Scandal Up Into the White House.

UPDATE 2: Go figure -- Delaware's largest news source has zippo on this story.

UPDATE 3: Commenter "anon" wrote in the comments:

The Tax Lien on O'Donnell dated back to 2006, you can pull up the documents and verify that fact. The Lien was never on her house, she posted a transcript of a conversation she had with the IRS in March of 2010 and the agent on the phone repeatedly tells her the lien wasn't on the house. The Lien was never called a "glitch" or a "mistake" by anyone but O'Donnell, again, the letters between her and the IRS prove that, and the Lien was never "withdrawn" she was claiming deductions with no documentations, and she did, in fact, end up paying the IRS some amount that was never disclosed.

Wow. Interesting information that is at odds with the article. Much more information regarding this is available here.

UPDATE 4: The News Journal covers the story today.

Posted by Hube at 11:42 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Rolling Stone 150 years ago

h/t to Jim Geraghty's e-mailed "Morning Jolt":

Posted by Hube at 11:17 AM | Comments (115) | TrackBack

July 17, 2013

No justice, no peace?

Via Insty: Boy, does this whole scenario sound familiar: Jury Finds Roderick Scott Not Guilty

Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.

But check it: Scott is a (self-identified*) black man. [Christopher] Cervini was (self-identified*) white.

Be sure to read through the entire [four year-old] article. It sounds amazingly like the whole Zimmerman-Martin affair. It didn't get any national coverage 1) because it doesn't fit the NarrativeTM, and 2) won't get coverage now for the same reason -- namely that, in Zimmerman's case, if he was black, he'd have been found guilty.

(*See here.)

Posted by Hube at 11:26 AM | Comments (51) | TrackBack

July 16, 2013

Get the popcorn

Remember when we had to "pass the bill to find out what's in it"? I do. That was the moment that let me know we truly were a banana republic. There wasn't even a pretense of responsibility. I did admire the Senator for both the audacity and the honesty.

Now, it seems that we're finally reading all eleventy billion pages of Obamacare and lo and behold, the Unions don't like it one bit.

In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.

Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

(snip)

First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.

Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.

There is none so blind as he who will not see. They thought Obama was their guy. He's a Chicago pol. He was going to make Unions strong again. Bring Big Business to heel. Nope. He just needed their votes. Once he had that, they become dead weight.

This is gonna be great.

Posted by Duffy at 03:14 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Still waiting...

I remember when several prominent liberals threatened to move out of the US if George Bush was re-elected. Now, this douche is telling all black people to move back to Africa. No, he's not a white supremacist (as least I don't think so); he thinks the injustice of the Trayvon Martin case is reason for all black people to leave for Africa. Somehow I doubt he'll be leading from the front.

Posted by Duffy at 02:49 PM | Comments (235) | TrackBack

Maintaining your "progressive" cred

The 'net, newspapers and magazines are now awash with "progressives" making crazy statements like "Young black men cannot walk the streets anymore" due to the [self-described Hispanic*] George Zimmerman verdict. We've already seen what several contemporary comics creators ("progressives" all) think; predictable libs are following suit. Some Facebook friends have even posted stuff like "Don't let your kids grow up to be brown boys ... keep them inside if you do." It's certainly predictable, whether the writer identifies himself* as African-American or white; however, especially with the latter, much of the heated post-verdict rhetoric is about ... "maintaining their liberal cred" ... letting their ["progressive"] peers know they're "hip to the theme" for lack of a better saying.

Just consider the sheer stupidity of statements like "Keep your [black] boys inside" -- because the law in Florida allowed a self-identified* Hispanic to protect himself in a scuffle against a black teenager, whom he ultimately ended up killing. The sad fact of the matter (sad for "progressives," that is) aside for the tragic death of a young boy, is that this instance is actually a rarity in contemporary society. For decades now, young black men have had lots more to fear from "going outside" and "walking down the street" ... from other black men. Fact. And, sadly, some "progressives" even play down this fact in an effort to further the silly NarrativeTM that America hasn't changed one iota in terms of racial progress since the Civil War.

For "progressive" self-identified* whites, they retain their "progressive" credentials by focusing on the modern -- and rare -- instances like the Zimmerman/Martin matter and claiming that racial progress is really a façade. They ignore the wildly disproportionate crime statistics among black men, again most of which are focused within their own community. (There were 2,447 murders of blacks by other blacks in 2011, which is almost the same figure as white-on-white murders; however, the former group is just one-sixth the size of the latter.) Why do they do this? If they are so concerned about the value of young black lives in America, why is this fact so anathema to them?

As Patrick Brennan writes,

And that’s exactly what many are saying about the Trayvon Martin trial — that racially motivated murders in America aren’t common, but murders of black men are. But those ("progressives") highlighting Martin’s death and downplaying the phenomenon of black-on-black crime would like you to think the former is a common-enough but neglected type of event that Zimmerman had to be charged, despite the weak case against him.

It's all mind-boggling, really, to a clear-thinking person. But, again, it doesn't fit the NarrativeTM. To modern self-identified* white "progressives," it's unfair to bring up the vast amount of black-on-black crime ... because African-Americans cannot be held accountable for it. The inherent racist political, cultural and legal system here in American has, and continues, to keep black Americans down. That, and there must be a lot of unspoken and purposely ignored guilt among these self-identified* whites, since it is their social programs which have been largely responsible for the disintegration of the black family.

One last thing for any potential "progressives" who may be obliged to comment: As noted yesterday, just because someone may agree with the verdict doesn't necessarily mean he/she thinks Zimmerman is a great guy and/or are "pro" Zimmerman. Nor does agreement with the verdict indicate a belief that there is no more (white) racism, or that there are no further social and legal injustices that need to be rectified in our country. Calling such folks "racists," "white hegemonists," or any other such nonsense certainly isn't going to help/solve anything.

*See here.

Posted by Hube at 01:25 PM | Comments (44) | TrackBack

July 15, 2013

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: Is America’s Culture Dysfunctional? How Would You Change It?

Posted by Hube at 07:09 PM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

Common Sense Comment of the Day

Jim Geraghty, who identifies himself as Caucasian*, in his e-mailed "Morning Jolt":

But even if we look at everything that was said and presented in this trial, and like the jury, we conclude Zimmerman did not commit second-degree murder, and in fact acted in self-defense . . . that doesn't mean we have to lionize him. Being anti-racial-demagoguery doesn't necessarily mean we have to be pro-Zimmerman.

Geraghty also notes that "some jurisdictions" have "different types of self-defense" one of which is called involuntary manslaughter. Apparently this isn't part of Florida's jurisdiction, which answers my question why Zimmerman wasn't prosecuted/convicted of such.

*See here.

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July 14, 2013

A sampling of what your contemporary comicbook creators think about "The Verdict"

And if you differ with them, well, you know by now.




Posted by Hube at 08:26 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack

The obligatory

... post Zimmerman verdict post. And that would be not much. Even many "progressives" believed the state overreacted and the murder 2 prosecution was nuts. The usual suspects are screaming about "how nothing has changed" in American society, etc. and this is all nuts, too. Regardless of what you think about the whole thing, face it -- the mainstream media is the biggest a**hole in this whole deal. It created a complete monster and NarrativeTM that once again divided us all and will now lead to further violence.


Posted by Hube at 08:07 AM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

July 13, 2013

Punked

This is damn funny (the fact that the reporter is so clueless, OK?):

Posted by Hube at 09:48 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack

Post-racial America

In Audio Recording, Department of Justice Official Urges Protesters to Seek ‘Justice’ for Trayvon Martin.

Posted by Hube at 09:40 AM | Comments (288) | TrackBack

July 12, 2013

College to offer class on Trayvon Martin

George Mason will offer a course titled “Race and Politics, Trayvon Martin” in the fall. In it,

the Martin case will be presented alongside historic cases such the Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision. Martin will also be discussed alongside African-American figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Emmett Till, and Rodney King.

It's a sociology class which will examine “why, and in what ways, did racial feelings, fears, and animosities surface as they did, how were intragroup and intergroup relations affected by such attitudes and behavior, and what were the short and long-term societal consequences of these attitudes and behavior.”

Got it. But there's no word on whether there will also be a class titled "Race and Politics, Joshua Heath Chellew" in the fall. Not PC enough, I guess.

Posted by Hube at 11:48 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

A fresh voice on comicbook "diversity"

Furious D takes it to contemporary comics creators for going out of their way to accommodate the demands for "diversity" in their pages:

It seems these days that there isn't a genre character that people aren't calling for a change of gender, race, and sexual orientation, in the name of "fairness." Folks are also fond of saying that anyone who disagrees with that idea is a racist sexist homophobe who is totally and completely unfair.

While some of the opposition to these seemingly weekly brainstorms can be called racist, sexist, and homophobic, those noxious trolls, who are in the minority, are being used as a cudgel to stop any serious critical discussion of the issue.

Chief among the undiscussed is: Just how fair would this be?

Indeed, you may have heard how Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield recently asked: "Why couldn't Spidey be gay?" Umm, let's see ... because he's not?? As Furious asks, how fair would that be -- just to satisfy the radical diversophiles?

Furious says "it's a form of tokenism." And, not surprisingly, you'll rarely see people who demand such changes agree to changes in their own characters. They also fail to realize that their tokenist views mean that already established minority characters are somehow "not good enough to make it." Changing a well-established character is only good for a short-term bounce "... because the most such changes generate are some brief flurries of media hype, but not much when it comes to increasing the audience," Furious writes.

100% correct. He also alludes to the fact that doing this sort of thing is just to make diversophiles feel good about themselves (this surely isn't surprising) -- not so much because they're doing something "good" for culture and society, but because the "racist, sexist, and homophobic ... noxious trolls, who are in the minority, are being used as a cudgel to stop any serious critical discussion of the issue." We've already seen this sort of thing regarding news that the role of Johnny Storm may be played by a black actor in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie reboot.

At least creator Gail Simone, whose politics I feel are noxious, has been busy doing just what Furious recommends -- that is, creating new characters that are diverse (well, at least "diverse" as the diversophiles demand them). Her The Movement is a good example.

(Thanks for Nate W. for the tip on this!)

Posted by Hube at 11:26 AM | Comments (56) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

The non-Council winner was Andrew McCarthy with Elections Are Not Democracy.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 10:23 AM | Comments (38) | TrackBack

July 10, 2013

Our own Justice Department working against George Zimmerman?

Un-freakin'-real:

JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requested with the DOJ on April 24, 2012; 125 pages were received on May 30, 2012. JW administratively appealed the request on June 5, 2012, and received 222 pages more on March 6, 2013. According to the documents:

March 25 – 27, 2012, CRS spent $674.14 upon being “deployed to Sanford, FL, to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.”

March 25 – 28, 2012, CRS spent $1,142.84 “in Sanford, FL to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies related to the shooting and death of an African-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.

March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent $892.55 in Sanford, FL “to provide support for protest deployment in Florida.”

March 30 – April 1, 2012, CRS spent an additional $751.60 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31.”

April 3 – 12, 2012, CRS spent $1,307.40 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford.”

April 11-12, 2012, CRS spent $552.35 in Sanford, FL “to provide technical assistance for the preparation of possible marches and rallies related to the fatal shooting of a 17 year old African American male.” – expenses for employees to travel, eat, sleep?

Wow. Just ... wow. Geez, it's a shame the whole Martin-Zimmerman matter wasn't about a late term abortion doctor. Then, the national media would have totally ignored it, calling it a "local matter." Which means, then, Boss Obama and co. wouldn't have cared less either.

Posted by Hube at 08:04 PM | Comments (44) | TrackBack

Bin Laden re: Biden -- "Don't bother"

Too funny:

Newly released papers from Osama Bin Laden's hideout reveal a frustrated al-Qaeda leader struggling to control an unruly network, the US military says.

The documents seized during the raid on the Abbottabad compound were posted online by the research wing of the US military academy, West Point.

The papers show he was unhappy with affiliates' attacks on fellow Muslims, urging them to target the US instead.

Seventeen documents were released from a cache of more than 6,000.

Other papers suggest Bin Laden ordered his militants to look out for opportunities to assassinate President Obama or David Petraeus during any of their visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mr Petraeus, now CIA director, formerly commanded international forces in Afghanistan.

But Bin Laden warned them not to bother targeting Vice-President Joe Biden because "Biden is totally unprepared for that post [of president], which will lead the US into a crisis."

Which makes me wonder if bin Laden and some of his al Qaeda henchmen spent a significant amount of time here in the First State! Not that they'd actually need to to come to the conclusion OBL did ... !

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July 09, 2013

Tweet of the Day



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Why most apocalyptic TV ends up failing

The latest example is Falling Skies, the alien invasion TNT series that is now (if you can believe it) into its third season. io9's Charlie Jane Anders looks into this problem.

I gave up on the show in the middle of season one. Initially, of course, I was all like "Alien invasion series?? Sign me up!!" But sadly, the series quickly degenerated into what we saw in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (though, admittedly, with BSG it took roughly three seasons to do so): Nonsense plots in an attempt to "build characters." In Skies' case, it's as Anders says:

But forget about the fact that this show has a yawning gap between the things it tells us are important, versus the things it spends time on. I don't know, thematically, what this show is about — except, in a vague sense, "family is important."

With BSG you know the ship and the fleet are escaping the Cylons and searching for Earth. With Skies you know ... well, I don't have a f***ing clue. Look, I know that TV demands inter-character drama and all, but why can't it be just a tad realistic?? Are we so inundated with a clueless public these days that they'll buy anything?

Posted by Hube at 09:49 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

July 08, 2013

The top cars with the most obnoxious drivers

Doug Ross @ Journal nails it again. This list had me cracking up from start to finish, and it's scary how much Doug and I think along the same lines in this regard. The best narrative is #10's -- the Prius:

They should have called it the Toyota Sanctimonius. That sidelong glare you get when you pass one? It means you're driving too fast. Wasting precious gasoline. Defiling Gaia. Reveling in your carbon footprint. You, my friend, are the enemy of mankind. And all Prius drivers.

Runner-up #1, the Buick LeSabre:

You're stuck behind a car that is signaling right, but won't move. You're following a car going 20 in a 35. You're shouting at the car in front of you, which refuses to turn right on red, despite the fact that there isn't another car in sight. You are behind a 2004 Buick LeSabre driven by a person old enough to have known Ulysses S. Grant.

Runner-up #2, the BMW 3-Class:

It would seem that every single, self-absorbed, 20-something male college graduate with a steady job feels like the world owes him a BMW 3-series. And, with said purchase comes the requisite disregard for traffic signals, lane-changing courtesies, and any semblance of manners. Should you pass one, even accidentally, you will find yourself the subject of a street race that will often end up with the BMW screeching ahead of you, only to narrowly avoid rear-ending a panel truck at the next red light.

Here's my own additions which Doug didn't use:

Souped-up Dodge Neon with a spoiler bigger than my townhouse. This is very much akin to Doug's #9 entry, the 1990's-Vintage Modified Honda Civic. Except newer. Any driver and passengers within eyeshot of this car is supposed to "ooooh" and "awww" at the supposed fanciness. The drivers are wannabe Tokyo Drifters but only come off as Marcus Hook Sliders.

Smart Cars. OK, their drivers are probably laughing at me because I'd be damn lucky to be getting 25 mpg highway in my [real] sports car. But c'mahn dude -- the freakin' thing looks like it oughta be out on a g**damn golf course, for cripe's sake.

Pick-up trucks with massive wheels. I've seen a lot of these since I've moved closer to rural Maryland. They're a lot like those who soup up Dodge Neons or Honda Civics, except that they like country music. I mean, am I supposed to be impressed that your tires are as tall as my entire car? Why?? I feel like I'm in that Speed Racer episode where he goes up against the Mammoth Car.

Posted by Hube at 05:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Something's wrong -- I didn't make the list

The Hottest Conservative Supermen in America. Maybe it's because I'm more libertarian. Yeah, that's it ...

Posted by Hube at 03:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Asimov's robots as a metaphor for understanding human nature

Who knew? I've written about this -- sort of -- in passing before, but an author who was allowed to "play" in sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov's Foundation/Robot/Empire Universe has expounded upon the theme to a much larger degree. But first, a quick synopsis:

In Asimov's interconnected stories and novels, humans developed positronic robots in the early 21st century. (The film I, Robot pretty much highlights this, and Star Trek: TNG's Data's positronic brain was a big hat tip to Asimov.) As more and more robots took over the work of humans, resentment against the mechanical men grew widespread. On Earth, robots became delegated to doing work well away from humans (usually outside of the huge, domed underground cities -- see The Caves of Steel) while the first wave of interstellar travelers, the so-called "Spacers," made optimum use of them.

Over the course of a few thousand years, the Spacers ended up settling some fifty new worlds, and their societies became heavily dependent upon robot labor. Back on Earth, robots remained despised. Spacer society came to despise the home planet as backward, and Earthlings as even "sub-human." Ironically, it took two of the most advanced Spacer robots ever created to drastically alter this dynamic. For, the Spacer worlds' societies were slowly dying out: Their dependence on robots for just about every aspect of their lives was destroying basic human initiative. Indeed, the typical Spacer had innumerable robots to tend to every conceivable chore: cooking, waiting meals ... even dressing and bathing their masters!

These two robots -- R. Daneel Olivaw and R. Giskard Reventlov (the "R" standing for "Robot") -- devised a plan by which to circumvent the embargo placed upon Earth by the Spacer planets: the "Zeroth Law" of Robotics. This law supercedes the legendary Three Laws of Robotics created by Asimov, and which were deeply embedded into each and every robot ever created. (Well, not exactly every one, but that's a post for another time ...) This law permitted robots to consider the greater good of humanity over that of individual human beings. Olivaw and Reventlov concluded that, if the status quo were allowed to continue, humanity would eventually perish as the Spacer worlds dissolved, and Earth continued its one-planet stagnation. What was needed, they argued, was for Earth to generate a second wave of interstellar settlement -- one without robots. And, one that would depend solely on human drive and initiative.

And this plan was put into effect. But it came at the cost of Earth. After all, as humans always do, people needed an incentive to leave their planet. A mad Spacer had devised a means to eradicate the hated Earthers, and even though the robot Reventlov had discovered the plot, he allowed it to proceed. That "Zeroth Law," after all. This plan would make Earth's crust permanently radioactive, a poision which would only continue to increase, slowly killing out Earth's teeming billions. Except that, with the aid of Daneel and Giskard, Earth's second wave of settlement -- the "Settlers" -- would vacate the planet and spread forth into the Milky Way.

And this they did. Over the course of some twenty thousand years, the Settlers established a Galactic Empire and eventually the Foundation, as depicted in Asimov's Empire and Foundation books. And all without robots. (Except one notable one, of course, as noted here.) Because the fifty Spacer worlds showed what would happen if humans were dependent.

Author Roger MacBride Allen, in his Caliban, probably described in the most intricate detail the effect robot slave labor would have on human society. Allen is the aforementioned author allowed to "play" in Asimov's universe, and his first novel takes place as those "second wave" Settlers are busily spreading through the stars, while the Spacers continue to just hang out on their fifty worlds. One of the Spacer planets, Inferno, is facing ecological ruin, and its inhabitants have to swallow their pride and call in Settler expertise and assistance to literally save their world. The planet's society eventually becomes an uneasy hybrid of Settler and Spacer cultures, with the Settlers constantly attempting to demonstrate that robots are a detriment to human development.

And no person in the novel does that better than Dr. Fredda Leving. Allen uses an academic presentation by her -- to a group of Settlers and Spacers both -- to show just how robots have disintegrated virtually all human drive and initiative. As Caliban's Wiki entry states, "It is her thesis that the superabundance of robotic labor has caused humans to become indolent and nearly incompetent at accomplishing even trivial tasks." Allen does a good job at illustrating this at a personal level, too: though there is a Spacer protest group interrupting Leving's speech and which eventually leads to a riot, these Spacers are shocked at the pain inflicted upon them by rival Settlers during the scuffle ... even the most trivial of injuries are barely withstood by the Spacers -- because they have been completely coddled all their lives by their robot servants.

Does this sound familiar in contemporary society? I believe so. "Progressives" have been successful in cultivating a similar culture of dependency among some of the poorest of our society. No one I know seriously argues that this segment of the population is "well off" or even "very comfortable" like the Spacers in Asimov's books; however, the problem is that too often they are "comfortable enough." They are given (yes, given) just enough have all their needs provided -- food, shelter, and even communication and transportation -- so that the incentive to "go beyond," if you will, decreases or evaporates altogether. And then the so-called "cycle of dependency" slowly becomes entrenched. There's no more "What can I do to better my situation;" instead, it's merely "What can you do for me?" Gone is even the most remote sense of shame about getting any sort of governmental/state assistance; now it's "I'm entitled to it." And people (especially politicians) who attempt to limit such aid, or who may ask for something like, say, means testing, let alone cut off aid, are derided as the devil incarnate. "How dare you?" "Don't you have a heart??" "You're so callous!!" And it's not just individuals. Corporate welfare has a similar effect. With politicians of all stripes in their back pocket(s), and guaranteed markets and/or prices for their products (every wonder why milk and sugar, for example, are so damn expensive?) businesses lose their motivations too.

Human incentive may be the most misunderstood (purposely or otherwise) aspect of our nature, especially by "progressive" academic theorists. Communism, for example, posited that the New Man would be "altruist in spirit, communal in outlook, sacrificial in his labour for the common good." But as economist Bryan Caplan notes,

The classic argument against socialism is that it gives people bad incentives. What’s the point of working, conserving, saving, quality control, and/or taking out the garbage if they don’t pay? The classic socialist reply is that capitalism creates the selfishness it purports to benevolently channel. Socialism will give birth to a “New Socialist Man” who loves his neighbor as himself....

I’ve always considered the New Socialist Man position to be not just weak, but absurd. Ever heard of Darwin? People are selfish because of billions of years of evolution, not capitalism. End of story...

I take hindsight bias seriously. Many mistakes really are hard to see until you actually make them. But socialism wasn’t one of them.

Indeed. Asimov's and Allen's tales are only [science] fiction, but they rightly understand human nature. One of the more guffaw-inducing lack of such understanding occurs in a different sci-fi universe, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Does anyone recall Capt. Picard's lecture to the rescued 20th century capitalist in the episode "The Neutral Zone"? "We're no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things," he tells him. 24th century humans may no longer be obsessed with such, but you can bet your bottom dollar they'll still be important to them. But even more absurd is the notion that, with things like replicators and holodecks available to anyone, that folks in their right mind would freely volunteer for an organization like Starfleet and put their lives in jeopardy against races like the Klingons and Romulans. Face it, the vast majority of humanity would gladly hang out all day inside their holodecks and only come out to eat the food and drink the beverages provided by their replicators. "End of story," as economist Caplan said above.

Alas, as with anything else, the only way we'll change is when a tragedy or emergency hits us. With communism it was the lack of freedom, the grinding poverty, the secret police, and the millions killed. In Asimov's Robot societies it was ecological and planetary decay. With our own society it will be the crushing debt and economic collapse. Would that we rectify the situation before it's too late.

Posted by Hube at 11:54 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: Do you agree with recent legislation in several states limiting late term abortions?

Posted by Hube at 08:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 06, 2013

Whiteness, liberalism ... and race

From Rasmussen (via Taranto):

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of American Adults think most black Americans are racist, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% consider most white Americans racist, while 18% say the same of most Hispanic Americans.

Among black Americans, 31% think most blacks are racist, while 24% consider most whites racist and 15% view most Hispanics that way.

After looking at the beliefs based on race and political ideology, Taranto concludes:

... the results for blacks are a big surprise. Blacks are more likely (by 7 percentage points) to think most blacks are racist than to think most whites are. Moreover, they are 11 points likelier than liberals (regardless of race) to think most blacks are racist, and 9 points likelier than Democrats. And blacks are 3 points less likely than liberals to think most whites are racist.

All of which suggests that the people likeliest to believe most whites are racist and most blacks are not are those who are both liberal and white. Which reinforces a point we've made often in this column: that a lot of what drives the futile debate over race in America is white liberals' psychological need to feel morally superior to other whites.

Indeed. And look no further than the MSM coverage of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case down in Florida, especially the [mostly] white and [totally] liberal network MSNBC. Remember how they doctored Zimmerman's phone call to 911 to make it seem he was an anti-black racist. Or them constantly referring to Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic." And perhaps most telling, MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews admitting that everyone who "surrounds" him believes Zimmerman is guilty (all white liberals, natch).

*Sigh* Largely as a result of this usual NarrativeTM, anything less than a guilty verdict of 2nd degree murder (which is what the state is prosecuting) is likely to produce social unrest. And watch out if Zimmerman is acquitted.

Meanwhile, the overwhelming number of black Americans who are killed through purposeful violence is committed by ... other black Americans. And guys like Chris Matthews could care less.

Posted by Hube at 10:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 05, 2013

We're in the very best of hands

After repeatedly denying that Secretary of State John Kerry was aboard his boat in Nantucket, the State Dept. conceded that ... Secretary of State John Kerry was aboard his boat in Nantucket.

Posted by Hube at 08:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was Barry Rubin with As Slander and Hatred Mount: Where is the Rallying for Israel?

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2013

Nobel Peace Prize update

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"Progressive" compassion

Posted by Hube at 03:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council nominations

Honorable Mentions:

And the non-Council submissions are here!

Posted by Hube at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2013

About those unread bills being passed.

If the GOP were, in any way smart, they'd start tacking riders on to these Obamacare bill that would do all sorts of things they can't otherwise pass. Defund the EPA, IRS, Dept. of Education. Fortunately for the Democrats, they aren't very bright.

Posted by Duffy at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack