Then read this. The obstinance- and jackassery-induced head explosion will solve your problems. I would expect to find more nuanced, fair-minded reporting in a Pravda article covering a pro-capitalism rally at Red Square.
David Goldman, aka Spengler, has written a book, How Civilizations Die (and why Islam is Dying Too). It’s an interesting read, and worth a longer review than it’s getting here. But the book is worth reading, if only for his elaborations on “Spengler’s Universal Laws,” given below:
- A man or a nation at the brink of death does not have a “rational self-interest.”
- When the nations of the world see their demise not as a distant prospect over the horizon, but as a foreseeable outcome, they perish of despair.
- Contrary to what you may have heard from the sociologists, the human mortality rate is still 100 percent.
- The history of the world is the history of humankind’s search for immortality
- Humankind cannot bear mortality without the hope of immortality
- You don’t know who’s naked until the tide goes out (courtesy of Warren Buffett).
- Political models are like automobile models: you can’t have them unless you can pay for them.
- Wars are won by destroying the enemy’s will to fight. A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women.
- A county isn’t beaten until it sells its women, but it’s damned when its women sell themselves.
- There’s a world of difference between a lunatic and a lunatic who has won the lottery.
- At all times and in all places, the men and women of every culture deserve each other.
- Nothing is more dangerous than a civilization that has only just discovered it is dying.
- Across epochs and cultures, blood has flown in inverse proportion to the hope of victory.
- Stick around long enough, and you turn into a theme park.
- When we worship ourselves, we eventually become the god that failed
- Small civilizations perish for any number of reasons, but great civilizations die only when they no longer want to live.
- If you stay in the same place and do the same thing long enough, some empire eventually will overrun you.
- Maybe we would be better off if we never had been born, but who has such luck? Not one in a thousand.
- Pagan faith, however powerful, turns into Stygian nihilism when disappointed
- Democracy only gives people the kind of government they deserve.
- If you believe in yourself, you’re probably whoring after strange gods.
- Optimism is cowardice, at least when the subject is Muslim democracy.
- The best thing you can do for zombie cultures is, don’t be one of them.
So go out and buy a copy.
Hubbard posted this at 4:00 PM CDT on Monday, September 26th, 2011 as Uncategorized
What’s the reasonable way to interpret this slip?
Apollo posted this at 8:50 AM CDT on Monday, September 26th, 2011 as Barack Obama Couldn't Persuade a Bear to Crap in the Woods
…when they seem bothered by this. A vast fortune being used to perpetuate privilege, completely immune to taxation. Indeed, subsidized by federal taxpayers through income tax deductions. Think of it – just as every profitable sale of a Volkswagen Jetta helped to subsidize the money-losing sale of a Bugatti Veyron to Simon Cowell, so too does every working American subsidize Richie McSnob III’s Totally Awesome Four Year Drinking and Fornication Binge at Haavaad.
I was extremely skeptical of the $16 muffin story when I saw it this morning, and Kevin Drum shows that my skepticism was warranted. It’s exactly what I presumed – funny invoicing on the part of the contractor. With the 250 $16 muffins and 300 $10 cookies came “15 gallons of coffee, 30 gallons of iced tea, and 200 pieces of fruit for free.” It’s like if a car dealer charged you $3,000 per gallon of gas but then gave you a free BMW to hold your 16 gallons.
How did I know this story was phoney from the beginning. 1.) I’ve been to some pretty nice bakeries and hotels, and I’ve never seen anything remotely approaching $16 for a muffin. 2.) Chuck Grassley is quite possibly the biggest blowhard in the Senate, which would place him high in the running for biggest blowhard worldwide.
Apollo posted this at 2:17 PM CDT on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 as Buffoon Watch
I’m no fan of St. Sarah of Wasilla, but Joe McGinniss’ book isn’t going to provide any insight into Sarah Palin. If you hate her you’ll love the book, if you love her you’ll hate it. Does the book have any merit? Up until this point I honestly didn’t know. Then I saw that Mr. McGinniss called Andrew Sullivan “about the only responsible journalist to express any interest” in Trig Birtherism. (emphasis mine)
Mr. McGinnis. Credibility. You have none.
If you can figure out why they rate this Rick Perry statement false, you’re a better reader than me. As best I can tell, Perry said to Romney, about Social Security, “You said if people did it in the private sector it would be called criminal. That’s in your book.” They rate this statement as “Mostly False” because Mitt Romney only said that the funding mechanism of Social Security – i.e. tax people today, write some I.O.U.s, and then pay them later with money taxed from other people – would be called criminal. Ah. But Social Security doesn’t exist apart from its funding mechanism. So… I guess Perry’s statement is false because Romney doesn’t believe the ideal of Social Security is criminal? Really?
I also saw this paragraph, summarizing a previous Politifact:
We’ve run several looks at Perry’s Social Security descriptions in his 2010 book, Fed Up!, rating False his claim that the government program is a Ponzi scheme. Unlike such a criminal enterprise, Social Security is obligated to pay benefits and participants are aware of how the system operates; it’s public. Unlike a Ponzi scheme, too, Social Security is accountable to Congress and the American people.
I refuse to read the linked piece because that summary tells me that it’s a pile of dunderheaded moronacy unfit for human consumption. “Social Security is obligated to pay benefits” is nonsense. “Social Security” is a government program that can be cut off at a moment’s notice, and the Supreme Court has ruled that no one has a right to any future payment. That’s like saying that “welfare is obligated to pay benefits.” It is, until it isn’t. Much like a … wait for it … Ponzi scheme!
And “participants are aware of how the system operates”? Every year I get a letter in the mail from Social Security telling me how much I’ve paid in over the years and how much my benefits would be if were able to retire tomorrow. And it’s only been very recently that people have stopped talking about the I.O.U.’s in the “trust fund” like they’re real money. And why is a penniless account called a “trust fund” if not to make people think there’s money in there waiting for them? Whether “participants” (this is like calling prisoners “residents”) are aware of what’s going on or not, the people who run Social Security sure have put a lot of effort into making it sound legitimate. Much like a … wait for it … Ponzi scheme!
And “Unlike a Ponzi scheme, too, Social Security is accountable to Congress and the American people”? Accountable to Congress? That’s like saying Ponzi’s scheme was accountable to Ponzi – he created the damned thing! And what does it mean to say that it’s “accountable to … the American people”? Really, I don’t know what that means. Can we throw Social Security in prison when it doesn’t pay out? I think the only way that it’s “accountable” is that we can vote to shut it down and cut our losses. Sounds to me like Social Security is “accountlbe” in much the same way as a … wait for it … Ponzi scheme!
Social Security : Ponzi Scheme :: State Lottery : Mob-run Numbers Racket. To paraphrase Nixon, when the government does it, that means it is not illegal.
Mitt Romney thinks he has a winning issue against Rick Perry. Good luck with that.
I find the current Social Security “debate” to be ghastly. Everybody is pledging to “save” it, even those like Perry who seem to want enormous changes in the system. There are cries that it is unfair to the young and that it is inefficient in its rate of return. Yet everyone seems to believe that we can simply “strengthen” the system so that future generations will enjoy its benefits.
Well phooey on that. Social Security was created in the 1930s, when most people had very little or no investment, when making intelligent investment decisions was beyond the capability of the vast majority of individuals, when very few people lived many years after becoming old enough to receive benefits, and when the ratio of workers to retirees was high.
I find the notion that this system could still exist on the 100th anniversary of its creation (and lots of long term projections analyze its financial outlook on its 150th anniversary) to be horrifying. Is it really the case, given the enormous gains in wealth, knowledge, and technology that have occurred since the 1930s, given that everybody and his brother now has a personal retirement account (and those without one are that way because they actively choose to be that way), given that the knowledge required to make sound investment is widely disseminated and freely available, that financial advisors are a dime a dozen even in small poor towns, and that life spans are much longer and appear set to get much longer in the near future - is it really the case that a system created in the 1930s even vaguely approximates a good system in the modern world?
We’ve structured our federal government around supporting a system that, at best, provides the elderly with the bare minimum income required to keep eating. That may have been fine in the 1930s, maybe even into the 1990s, but can it really be the case that a rational person can want this system to still be in place in the 2030s? The 2090s? Can you picture Capt. Kirk looking forward to his Social Security check in the 23rd Century? To me, that’s a mortifying vision of the future.
There are good reasons to keep the payments in place for current and near-future beneficiaries. But for the love of God, taking my money now and promising me that I’ll have a bare trickle of income in forty years is offensive, and it shows a complete ignorance of the modern world. If Mitt Romney wants to make his campaign about the brain-dead policy of preserving Social Security to infinity and beyond, I hope he loses. This is not a forward-looking conservatism.
Gail Collins commenting on how provencial Rick Perry is:
RICK PERRY has never spent any serious time outside of Texas, except for a five-year stint in the military. Nobody sent him off to boarding school to expand his horizons.
So aside from the five years that he spent flying around the world (his website states that he flew to “South America, Europe and the Middle East”) he’s never been outside Texas? Does one have to hate the place one is from and be a rolling stone to spend “serious time” away from the place of one’s upbringing?
And let’s clarify what “outside of Texas” means. Perry is from Paint Creek, but has mostly lived in Austin since 1991. I guess both of those places are “in” Texas, but they’re 268 miles apart. For reference, it’s 250 miles from Woodbridge, Virginia to Manhattan.
So let’s rehash. Rick Perry grew up in the smallest small town on the Texas prairie, spent four years 325 miles away (it’s 328 miles from Woodbridge, Virginia to Yale) at a college whose enrollment was literally thousands of times the size of his high school class, spent five years flying to four different continents and almost certainly being exposed to people from every state and dozens of countries, and has spent 20 years living in a city of about a million people hundreds of miles from where he grew up.
But his horizons weren’t expanded because he didn’t go to boarding school.
Apparently Maureen Dowd thinks that if you get bad grades in college you should crawl under a rock and die in shame. If I were pandering to readers of the New York Times, I would probably write a similar thing.
But if I were instead a thinking man, I might realize that stupid is as stupid does. Query:* If Rick Perry’s so dumb, how come he’s been so successful? And if Barrack Obama’s so smart, why has his presidency become a universally recognized disaster?
Obviously, if I were reallya thinking man I wouldn’t care about what grades presidential candidates got in college. But what if I were a half-way thinking man? I might wonder why I was judging Rick Perry based on knowledge of his college grades, but I was judging Barrack Obama in without knowledge of his college grades. That ponderance might spark some additional self-reflection.
* See, I went to a highly selective liberal arts college and graduated with honors from a borderline prestigious law school (and I even believe in evolution!), so I’m allowed to say terribly pretentious things like “Query,” even when questioning my intellectual betters at the Times.
The Main Stream Media’s boner for Barack Obama has never been so clear:
The realities of governing as opposed to the unrealities of presidential campaigns may have made President Obama a much more human figure compared with the almost messiah-like status he had in the eyes of many supporters in 2008.
But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t the occasional moment reminiscent of a Bible story.
At a rally on the campus of North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. Wednesday where President Obama went to drum up support for his jobs bill, this happened.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Barack!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.) But first — but if you love me — if you love me, you got to help me pass this bill. (Applause.) If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill.
Here’s John 21:15, the New International Version, describing a scene between Jesus and his disciples:
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,”Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
That’s right folks. Obama speaking at a rally is the equivalent of Jesus speaking to his disciples.
You really can’t make this shit up.
Jamie posted this at 9:36 PM CDT on Friday, September 16th, 2011 as Journalism
You can read what Angelo Codevilla wrote immediately after 9/11:
Common sense does not mistake the difference between victory and defeat: the losers weep and cower, while the winners strut and rejoice. The losers have to change their ways, the winners feel more secure than ever in theirs. On September 12, retiring Texas Senator Phil Gramm encapsulated this common sense: “I don’t want to change the way I live. I want to change the way they live.” Common sense says that victory means living without worry that some foreigners might kill us on behalf of their causes, but also without having to bow to domestic bureaucrats and cops, especially useless ones. It means not changing the tradition by which the government of the United States treats citizens as its masters rather than as potential enemies. Victory requires killing our enemies, or making them live in debilitating fear. . . .
Let us first examine the attitudes and policies of the U.S. government that guarantee defeat—in fact, are defeat itself. Then we will be able to see more clearly what victory would look like, and how it could be achieved.
Read on for a useful thought experiment about what might have been.
Or you can see a similar point made by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
Dear Dr. Krugman,
Dear New York Times Editorial Board
Fire this moron.
Jamie posted this at 10:27 PM CDT on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 as Buffoon Watch
In watching the coverage on this 10th Anniversary of 9/11 I am struck by one thing – the tone is all wrong.
10 years after WWII we certainly remembered the tragedy of the lives lost, but we also remembered that we kicked a lot of Axis ass.
Where is the acknowledgement that in the 10 years since that terrible day we have killed two important enemies (Hussein and Bin Laden), dismantled most of Al Queda’s leadership and sent terrorists around the world running for their lives.
10 years on we appear to be learning the wrong lessons. We still place outrageous burdens on our own citizens in the name of safety. We have ceded to our president the power to assassinate our own citizens. We are mired in foreign nation building exercises that do nothing to make us any safer.
Yes, remember the dead, but don’t forget to learn the right lesson.
Don’t fuck with America.
Jamie posted this at 1:36 PM CDT on Sunday, September 11th, 2011 as Liberty and/or Security
Nine years and 364 days ago, America was attacked. This was so important an event that most of the journalism this weekend will discuss where the journalists were when it happened. You can find many, many people who were in interesting places, so this blog post is about where we weren’t.
We weren’t on the planes. We weren’t in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon. Physically, we weren’t any place interesting.
We weren’t thinking about Iraq or Afghanistan. We weren’t thinking about promoting democracy or defending civilization. Mentally, we weren’t thinking about the big questions.
We weren’t afraid that today could be it. We weren’t wondering what long wars would do to our souls. Spiritually, we weren’t preparing.
It seems as though Al Qaeda hadn’t planned a serious follow up on their spectacular attacks. 9/11 was less a formal declaration of war than it was a primal scream; it was the sort of scream that unexpectedly starts an avalanche. We thought it was the well planned Chess move of a geopolitical grandmaster. We resolved to hit hard and fast, and then hope that we need hit no more. Hence our “light footprint” plan. One can fight a conventional war against a conventional nation. But this threat to our nation wasn’t conventional.
The American military is the most precise and lethal killing machine the world has ever seen. Nothing is its equal in conventional war, so we can’t exactly blame our enemies for declining to fight conventional wars. Guerrilla insurgencies are cheap, nasty, and effective. A fifteen pound weapon, the RPG-7, in the hands of a foolish teenager, can cripple an M1 tank. The RPG-7 is less than a thousand dollars; the M1 costs at least two million and sometimes more than four. You do the math. This war can be won, but not the easy way of using superior firepower. By the way–these wars weren’t budgeted for, but were handled in emergency supplementals.
We weren’t thinking that flying from DC to NYC would begin at the airport with theater. They pretend to check for terrorists, and we pretend that we’re safer.
The terrorists clearly weren’t expecting that 9/11 would inspire a generation. But we must be on guard. Our intentions are good, but virtually all intentions are. Good intentions are the best justification for ruthless evil, for sacrificing today’s generation for a greater future. Good intentions are the only pavement that goes anywhere, to heaven or hell or Utopia. At least we know there’s no such place as Utopia.
Hubbard posted this at 8:46 AM CDT on Saturday, September 10th, 2011 as Amer-I-Can!