Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Would It Kill You To Stay Out Of My Vagina?
Shorter Kathryn Jean Lopez: Neither can I.
Republicans Help Save (Bad) Marriages
Some divorce lawyers say that business has slowed or that clients are
deciding to stay together because there are no assets left to help them start
Who knew that the plan to extract as much money from American suckers as possible before swanning off to Switzerland's private banks was really a plot to help marriage?
Next: Republicans put lead, thallium and aresenic in the water to kill babies in the womb and prevent them from becoming teenagers and having sex. Thanks, Bush!
Lisa Schiffren Is So Much Fun
Sometimes celebrities make a big show of giving the baby pix money to charity.
If I were advising the couple, I'd tell them to have a nice little wedding as
soon as possible.("Soon" being the operative word here.) And use the rest
for college for both of you — including whatever babysitting you need to pay
for. If there is any left, put it away for Trapp's [sic] education. This is blood money for your personal humiliation — and if you are smart you will use it to build a solid
future. It's purely a side benefit that that path would annoy the media most.
You mean the little miss hasn't married her fiance yet? But--but--Sarah Palin said they were going to get married, way back in September. If Bristol didn't care enough to give her baby a name and to have the child be legitimate, which conservatives really, really supposedly care about, why would she marry now?
Baby Tripp, who was reportedly due on December 18, takes the surname of his
18-year-old father, Levi Johnston, who said last month he plans to marry Bristol
sometime in 2009.
Oh, okay. I get it. You don't have to be married if you have a child, you just give them the father's name anyway. And you don't have to marry the mother of your child, as long as you say that some day you will do so. Seriously, I doubt anyone in Alaska will care; they have a free-wheeling reputation there. Illegitimate kids are only bad when they're the product of a teenage mother. Ummm, unwed teenage mother. Ummm, unwed teenage mother being supported by the taxpayers. Ummm, jobless unwed teenage mother without an education. Wait--I have it---jobless unwed uneducated teenage mother who is black! There you go!
Such a Nice Man
I wish that more people could have seen the president the way I experienced him.
Even if you don’t agree with him or respect his opinions or his decisions—strip
that away, if you’re able to—he is a caring human being.
I brought my mom to
the White House, to get a tour the day before Thanksgiving. The president came
in and greeted her—it was a total surprise. And on the spot he invited us to go
to Camp David for Thanksgiving. Of course, we went, and it was Disneyland for
adults. We went to chapel services before dinner. I remember we got there early.
A few minutes later the president walks in with Mrs. Bush and the family, and
you could see him looking around, and he sees my mom in the distance, and he
literally shouts at her from across the chapel, “Grace, come sit over here with
me.” And at dinner, again, he sees her, and he says, “Grace, you’re going to sit
over here next to me.” And he tilted the chair against the table so that nobody
would take her place.
That reminds me of something...What could it be?
Hitler Was Nice to His Dogs -- and Maids
From the Daily Mail:
History has condemned him as the megalomaniac who brought death and
misery to millions. But for one woman, the name Adolf Hitler evokes a smile not
a shudder. She is Rosa Mitterer, who worked as a maid for the Fuhrer at his
mountain retreat in Bavaria in the 1930s. Rosa is 91 and until now has kept a
vow of silence about her experiences. She has chosen to break it after realising
she is the last survivor of the circle who served the tyrant in the years before
he launched the Second World War.
nd [sic] her verdict on her former master: 'He
was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work
for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us.'
remembrances of life at the court of the tyrant make gripping reading. She saw
leading Nazis come and go. Himmler, the evil party secretary; Bormann, whom she
described as a 'dirty pig'; and the club-footed, sexually-obsessed propaganda
Rosa went into Hitler's service at the age of 15 in 1932
when she was Rosa Krautenbacher. Her sister Anni had worked as a cook at
Hitler's Berchtesgaden retreat since the late 1920s.
'She said he needed a
housemaid and I would fit the bill,' Rosa recalled. 'I remember so clearly the
first day I spoke to him in the kitchen. I said I was Anni's sister and that
made him smile, because Anni was his favourite. I only ever knew Hitler as a
kindly man who was good to me.'
12/08 10:05 AM
Oh yeah, the Hitler-mitigating crap that Jonah Goldberg likes to print because he hopes to drag liberals down by
Monday, December 29, 2008
The Mona Charen Marriage Laws
Where do you draw a line? Once traditional marriage — supported by centuries of
civilization and the major Western religions — is undermined in the name of
love, there is no logical or principled reason to forbid polygamy, polyandry, or
even incest. Gay activists recoil from incest. But on what grounds exactly?
Suppose, after we formalize gay marriage, two 25-year-old sterile (to remove the
health of offspring argument) twins wish to marry? Let’s suppose they are loving
and committed. What is the objection? That it offends custom and tradition? That
it offends God? Isn’t that just bigotry?
The customary and traditional definition of marriage, endorsed by God in the Bible, is of a man and as many women as he can buy. But there's no arguing with this attitude because it's the truth. If two men marry, why not three? Or two women and one man? Or one man and a dozen women? Children are verboten, but if two adult siblings decide to marry, who can stop them if consent is the only deciding factor?
Steps must be taken, and fortunately we have a model to follow to forbid our society from going down the polygamy and incest crapper. All we have to do is substitute a word or three.
Proceedings for annulment may be initiated only by the Public Prosecutor.
A person who acts contrary to the prohibition of Section 1 will be punished with hard labour.
A person who acts contrary to the prohibition of Section 2 will be punished with imprisonment or with hard labour.
A person who acts contrary to the provisions of Sections 3 or 4 will be punished with imprisonment up to a year and with a fine, or with one of these penalties.
The law will become effective on the day after its promulgation; Section 3, however, not until January 1,
Angels and Minister of Grace Defend Us!
The theory makes intuitive sense, of course, and dovetails with my empirical
In other words, her intellectual process consists of a gut check and looking at Flicker. She might be joking, but that really is her process.
America, I know only a couple of you are reading this, but aren't you both embarrassed? This woman is extremely successful, by would-be writer standards. She's David Brooks' favorite economics blogger. She's published in major venues. And she's an idiot, with no intellectual curiosity or depth and breadth of knowledge. She's Little Jackie Horner, who puts her thumb in the pie of economics, pulls out a moronic plum, and says, "What a good girl am I." (I know, dumb, but the pills have worn off and the brain is not fully operational here. Not that my brain was working on the pills, but I was too high to care.)
Sigh. It is to depress.
Megan has been babbling about how bankers won't deliberately make decisions that would harm their banks and therefore their jobs. There's so much evidence that contradicts this view that it's embarrassing to see Megan's words in print. Bankers collected lucrative fees and/or earned bonuses that would set them up financially for life. Here Megan is, jokingly telling us that taller people are smarter, portraying herself as someone who can explain and advise and should be well-paid for it, while ignoring information that is necessary to do her job.
Megan, I give you advise not because I'm nice or even because I'm mean, but because it's getting past irritating and approaching humiliating, and I really do hate to see that happen to people. I can't even watch tv shows that show women taking pratfalls and being publicly humiliated. I have to avert my eyes during old Meg Ryan movies. I'm begging you, McArdle, to work harder, study more, think more, and try harder. You rent a house sight unseen, no doubt because it doesn't occur to you that people fuck each other over all the time and even the Special can be harmed, out of someone's venality or greed or wishful thinking or callousness. Now, maybe my guess is wrong and Megan rejected the house for trivial matters, such as a tacky paint job or a dishwasher that doesn't work. But it all comes down to the same thing--we all have faults and failures. We all disappoint ourselves and have room to grow. We can accept that and try harder, or we can la-la-la on our merry way and never see the coming storm.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Don't Say Another Word
In this case, too complicated=we still might have to sue.
Posted by Megan McArdle December 28, 2008 7:20 PM
Please, no more. Do not tell us about the landlord or your issues with him or her, your legal quandary, you mother's opinion, dear little Dan Drezner's take on your legal issue, or the dress you will wear to small claims court. Frankly, it will provide far too much information for mocking.
The Best and Brightest
Roger L. Simon whines about being ignored by the New York Times. He writes a book whining about being ignored, and then whines that the book is ignored. Next up: Simon whines that his whining about his book about whining about being ignored is being ignored.
Instapundit links to Megan McArdle and David Drezner's Bloggerheads about "the coming global recession." The video is fact-and insight-free, and you have to look at McArdle preen and little David Drezner pontificate. It's just sad. It's like watching a Great Dane and Boston Terrier try to discuss Sartre, and makes just as much sense.
Rich Lowry beats his chest in despair, saying that the United States as we know it will end unless all immigrants abandon their own culture for White Anglo Saxon Protestant culture. I certainly hope Mark Steyn doesn't read this, or he'll have Lowry waterboarded for advocating conformity. It's too bad that the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Mayans and many others I don't know about weren't American, or they could have had great civilisations also. Damn shame, that.
Mona Charen feels left out of all the Christ-worship her conservative friends are glorying in, and displaying as ostentatiously as possible, the better to worship the poor babe born in a stable. Hanukkah has lights and special foods and presents and that dreidel song, so there, says Charen. It's can't be easy to be Jewish among people who consider Christmas a chance to rub it in that they belong to the dominant religious group in the US.
My own private Jesus says grow a spine, for the shit is about to hit the fan and only the people who know how to think, laugh, love and dream will survive.
Oy, The Pain: Your Daily Megan McArdle
"Life Imitates Art"--Actually, Art Satirizes Life. Or maybe Art Imitates Life. But Life is not imitating Art. Stop being stupid, woman. You're middle-aged and it's not cute anymore.
Also, although this is irrelevant, a little black dress is not always appropriate wear. Walking around in the day shooting blogginghead intros in a cocktail dress makes you look like vicious hag Ann Coulter, McArdle, and that's not a good look.
There's also a post that blathers on and on for no reason but to dismiss regulation. That's so last year. Much like her dress.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Viagra Pundit Strikes Again; Lying Freak Discusses Economy
First, incredibly, Steyn blames a Kelly Clarkson song that wishes for world peace. Next, he blames Barack Obama.
What was it that then Senator Obama said on the subject? “We can’t just
keep driving our SUVs, eating whatever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees
at all times regardless of whether we live in the tundra or the desert and keep
consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources with just 4 percent of the world’s
population, and expect the rest of the world to say you just go ahead, we’ll be
And boy, we took the great man’s words to heart. SUV sales have nosedived,
and 72 is no longer your home’s thermostat setting but its current value
expressed as a percentage of what you paid for it. If I understand then Senator
Obama’s logic, in a just world Americans would be 4 percent of the population
and consume a fair and reasonable 4 percent of the world’s resources. And in
these last few months we’ve made an excellent start toward that blessed utopia:
Americans are driving smaller cars, buying smaller homes, giving smaller
And yet, strangely, President-Elect Obama doesn’t seem terribly happy about
the Obamafication of the American economy. He’s proposing some 5.7 bazillion
dollar “stimulus” package or whatever it is now to “stimulate” it back into its
bad old ways.
Yes, Obama said we have to consume less, and therefore the nation bought fewer toys for their children. This does not have any relationship to reality, in which people are losing jobs, worried about losing jobs, or helping relatives who are losing jobs. It has nothing to do with the credit crunch or shrinking stock portfolios or vanishing retirement funds. It's such a stupid thing to say, but of course it's not his last. Steyn also says the rest of the world wants America to consume, to keep them afloat. "The message from the European political class couldn’t be more straightforward: If you crass, vulgar Americans don’t ramp up the demand, we’re kaput," said Steyn. He offers no numbers, quotes or even personal anecdotes to support this statement; he seems to assume that to read his words is to experience undiluted Truth. And he's still not done.
Steyn finally returns to innocent Kelly Clarkson, and her lyrics that call for peace, at the birthday of the Prince of Peace. A desire for peace is childish, he says, as if killing is a proof of maturity, and the words of Jesus of Nazareth never existed. Mark Steyn actually says, "A state in which lives aren’t torn apart will be, by definition, totalitarian: As in The Stepford Wives or The Invasion Of the Body Snatchers, we’ll all be wandering around in glassy-eyed conformity." As you all know, this is an utterly stupid, senseless, callous statement. Obviously Steyn either doesn't have the faintest idea of the meaning of totalitarianism or doesn't care. He seems to think it is the same thing as being replaced by robots or alien pod people. He does not think about the lives that are being torn apart, and he unthinkingly assumes he will never be one of them.
That's the strange part. For a man who fears the sight of a pregnant Muslim woman the way George Bush fears horses, Steyn doesn't seem afraid for himself, as if his anti-Muslim paranoia is nothing but musical comedy dialogue, with a sweet, innocent soprano ingenue (the US) and Fu Manchu-like foreign villains (everyone else). It's the fertility of the Muslims that bothers him. The erect, hard will to successfully reproduce little Muslims. Europe, however, is limp. 'To Martin Wolf’s list of a Europe “too inert, too complacent, too weak,” we might add “too old...”' Steyn says. But the US, Steyn's adopted homeland, is different, which is "why economic recovery will be driven by the U.S., and not by Euro-Japanese entities long marinated in Obamanomics." To Steyn the US is, indeed, a hard-driving, forceful and fecund nation.
Finally Steyn drags pedophilia into the mix, for little discernible reason other than to up the ante on fear of sexual penetration.
The Viagra Pundit is a very strange and off-putting bundle of sexual obsessions, who still fits seamlessly into The Little Corner at National Review On-line, where they laud him as hilarious and brilliant, the worthy colleague of Jonah Goldberg, Cliff May, Victor Davis Hanson, and so many others.
McArdle For Rent; Attic Empty, Basement Full of It
For reasons too complicated to go into, I'm back on the rental housing market,You know what? This really doesn't matter. Sure, it's symptomatic of McArdle's lack of competency, knowledge of how the world works, and grasp on reality, but in the end, it only affects her and whomever is putting her up and storing her copious personal possessions until she finds a place.
and it's basically impossible to find anything on Craigslist because of all the
listings responding to, as far as I can tell, a surging demand that exists only
in urban legend.
Good luck, McArdle. Knowing you, you're going to need it.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Jonah Goldberg is Beneath Contempt
This article from 2003 is a stunning yet also predictable example of Goldberg's opportunism and dishonesty. This article was written around the time he started working on Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, his learned tome devoted to comparing liberals to Hitler.
We may be living in the worst period of Holocaust denial since the Nuremberg trials. I'm not referring to the twisted morons who insist that the Holocaust never happened the way the Monty Python guys insisted the parrot wasn't dead. I'm referring to the legions of Holocaust deniers in the Democratic Party, on the Web, on college campuses, in the mainstream press and, most acutely, in my e-mail box every morning, who reduce to the Holocaust to a triviality.Comparisons of Bush to Hitler denigrate the Holocaust. Yet comparisons of liberals to Hitler do not, because----Goldberg says so. Goldberg has made a career of doing just what he is decrying here in 2003. What further proof is needed that Goldberg is nothing but an ideologue with connections whose career is spent lying, manipulating and denigrating his imagined enemies for beer money and tv time?
In America today - never mind Europe and the Middle East - ostensibly sophisticated and enlightened people see nothing particularly controversial about comparing George Bush to Adolph Hitler and the United States of America to Nazi Germany.
The examples are everywhere. Vanity Fair magazine asks if Richard Perle and Joseph Goebbels were "separated at birth." Whole Web sites are dedicated to the most astoundingly stupid and superficial comparisons between George Bush and Hitler (they both liked dogs, for example).
At every event protesting war, Bush, America, this, that and the other thing, one can find pictures of various administration officials in SS garb or bearing Hitler mustaches.This statement come from the man who put a smiley face with a Hitler moustache on the cover of his book. Goldberg has no shame and no intellectual honesty. None. It's a personal insult to each and every liberal that he gets away with comparing liberals to Hitler.
If your son is murdered and I claim that it never happened, I am denying the existence of a crime. But if your son is murdered and I compare that tragedy to losing your car keys, that is a form of denial, too. And this is precisely what the "Bush equals Hitler" crowd is doing.Let's try this with the word "liberal" instead of "Bush." "And this is precisely what the "Liberals equal Hitler" crowd is doing." See how that works? It could go either way, couldn't it?
Because when you say he's no different from Hitler, you are also saying thatThe funny thing is, Goldberg is doing just that . By quoting emails and others supporting the idea that liberals are descendants of fascists, Goldberg, a Jew, is saying Hitler really isn't all that bad. For instance, he quotes Hitler's maid:
Hitler is no different from George Bush. And that means that Hitler's crimes
were no worse than George Bush's "crimes." And whatever you think of what George Bush has done or might do, if you think any of it is the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, you are in effect saying the Holocaust really wasn't that bad.
'She said he needed a housemaid and I would fit the bill,' Rosa recalled. 'IWhy on earth would Goldberg print this post and others mitigating Hitler? Because he thinks it shows the connection between liberals and Hitler, between attempts to help society and attempts to put society under the utter control of a militarist, totalitarian state. And he does this for money and fame. Never forget that. By his own definitions, he betrays fellow Jews for money.
remember so clearly the first day I spoke to him in the kitchen. I said I
was Anni's sister and that made him smile, because Anni was his favourite. I
only ever knew Hitler as a kindly man who was good to me.'
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men
Shorter Jonah Goldberg
More Jonah The Philosopher:
This may sound like the usual conservative caterwauling about social unraveling and balkanization. But it isn’t.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Small Note, Big Topic
Monday, December 22, 2008
A Match Made in Heaven
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Breaking! Porn Stalks Land; Males At Risk!
[...The world of hard-core porn that was once the province of dingy “adults only” stores in the harsher parts of town but is now available to everyone at the click of a mouse.
My god! I had no idea. There's porn on the internet? Dam! We better tell President Clinton. Forget the oncoming Depression/Deflation-Inflation/Shithole of Economic Terror. Red alert! Red Alert! Danger! Sing it, Sister Mona!
Mothers of River City!
Heed the warning before it's too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of corruption!
The moment your son enters the house,
Does he turn on his computer, lock the door and grab a sock?
Is there carpal tunnel syndrome on his right hand?
A Playboy hidden under the mattress?
Is he starting to memorize jokes from Penthouse and Playboy?
Are certain words creeping into his conversation?
Words like 'hot Asian teens?"
And "live web cam?"
Well, if so my friends,
Ya got trouble,
Right here on the internet!
With a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P"
And that stands for Porn.
We've surely got trouble!
Right here on the internet!
Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
Oh, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.
That box for cocks that calls for socks is a devil's tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
With a "T"! Gotta rhyme it with "P"!
And that stands for Porn!!!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Peaceful Life of the Battered Child
Someone is going to be angered and feel alienated by what decision he makes, by the outcome, and symbolic paeans to inclusion are unlikely to soothe that. Those who are eager to escape confrontation, divisions, and angry disputes can probably do so only by renouncing any actual political principles, and are probably best advised to avoid politics altogether. Because of the very nature of politics -- to say nothing of the nature of the contemporary American Right -- politics is highly unlikely to exist without angry, often ugly, conflicts of that sort.
Reasonable arguments can certainly be advanced in defense of the virtues of Obama's post-partisan theory of politics. But it's simply unreasonable to depict any of it as new. It's exactly what Democrats have been clinging to, desperately and mostly with futility, for two decades at least. Trans-partisan harmony comes only when Democrats agree to sacrifice what they claim their beliefs are and to show contempt for the "Left," and even then, the "harmony" is fleeting, insatiably greedy and inch-deep. It's certainly possible things will be different this time around, but in the absence of actual evidence, it's really hard to understand why so many people have become so intractably convinced that it will be.
If fighting makes you stressed and disagreement makes you uneasy, stay out of politics (or the military). You don't want them and they don't want you. Find some puppies and children to rescue instead; it'll be a better use of your abilities and temperment.
Democrats can be authoritarian too. When someone says that Obama's choices shouldn't be questioned because he knows what he's doing, that's authoritarianism. Authoritarians will sell you down the river to feel like part of a group, safe and wanted.
There is no sudden disappointment in Obama; there are people who knew what he would do because they read and listened to him speak, and there are the perpetually surprised authoritarians who thought that they and their leaders had the same goals and aspirations, just because they were in the same group. Obama is a religious authoritarian and he doesn't care about gay rights. This is not a surprise, and anyone who is shocked and angered was fooling himself before, and should be ignored.
Added: If he actually passes equality for gays, I will eat my words.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
McClatchy reports that university students in the Sunni Arab city of Fallujah west of Baghdad held a demonstration on Wednesday in which they waved their shoes and threw stones at US troops. McClatchy writes:
' Students raised their shoes and threw rocks at American soldiers, who reportedly opened fire above the crowd. Protesters said that indirect fire wounded one student, Zaid Salih. U.S. forces haven't confirmed the account. "Wedemonstrated to express our support for Muntathar al Zaidi, but we were surprised with the entrance of the U.S. military," said Ahmed Ismail, one of the protesters. "Unconsciously, we raised our shoes expressing our support for al Zaidi, but they attacked us." '
Yes, the shoe-throwing incident shows that Iraqis are free to protest, as long as they don't mind broken bones and gunfire.
Christmas Shopping List!
Pony Tail Holders--Regrettably I seldom wear make-up, but I do put my hair up in a cute little ponytail using colored bands from the dollar store. Make sure you get the right kind of bands; some are too thick and tight for my skinny (but soft!) hair.
Skagen watch with broken crystal--This is a very nice, if socialist, watch that looks good on my left wrist. If you want to be just like me you have to accidentally break the crystal, however, or you will look like someone who just ran out and bought a not-very-expensive but good quality watch.
Merlotte's tee shirt--You can get this at the HBO gift store. It is in the modern style, slender and very long and made of a thin white cotton. It has "Merlotte's" silk-screened on a green oval on the left shoulder. I realize that not everyone wants tv show souvenirs, but you need to learn to like them if you want to be like me. I wear it when I do housework; it's very comfortable, although you do have to wear a good white bra under it. (Bras are optional for men.)
Baby Blues Page-a-Day Calendar--First, you need to give birth to several children who enjoy comics. Then you need to wait for them to grow up enough to give you this for Christmas. Then you need to yell at your kids for constantly taking your daily calendar to read the comics. It's time consuming but worth it.
Acer computer monitor--It always works when I turn it on. "Nuff said.
Scripto Gold Marker--I haven't used it yet but it looks pretty.
Merry Christmas, you lucky shoppers!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Let's Read Some Stupid
Advent, in spite of all that twinkly tinsel and lights, is a penitential season. Maggie GallagherNo, it isn't. Spare me from all the Buckley Catholicism, because very few of you know what you are talking about.
I have a new story up on the ways in which the Blago scandal could damage the incoming Obama administration, even if no one on Team Obama has engaged in any pay-for-play dealings with Rod Blagojevich or his circle. Byron York
Obama did nothing wrong, but the Blago scandal could still damage him. Blago was taped saying that Obama will give him a pat on the head and send him home, but he could still be damaged. I fully expect eight years from now to read York predict that Obama could be seriously damaged by his post-presidency plans, and then liberals will be sorry they elected him.
I'm pretty sure there's never been a period in human history when certain people
haven't had this particular kind of unrealistic expectation when it comes to
love. We typically refer to those people as women, and they also happen to make
up a majority of rom-com-watchers. If there's a connection, it's that
women enjoy these films because these films show guys acting like women want
guys to act, i.e. irresponsible and hopeless at first before their love for the
female lead transforms them into stable, romantic (and telepathic) adults. Stephen Spruiell
I had no idea The Corner let 13-year-olds write for them.
Jesse Jackson Jr.'s loud protestations seem designed to assure the audience he was terrified of wiretap transcripts to come. Victor Davis Hanson
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Right now we have only the teaser; a quote from Julian Sanchez about authoritarianism and the bailouts. I do not know anything about Mr. Sanchez except McArdle's excerpts, but those glimpses aren't exactly impressive. Money quote:
The only question is whether workers in a particular industry are naughty
children who need to be sent to the corner for a time-out, or well-behaved
children who should get a gold sticker for effort. This is, as I hope goes
without saying, a pretty authoritarian frame on either side.
No, Mr. Sanchez. Authoritarianism is not the same thing as what you would probably call the nanny state. The word has an actual definition, and if you and McArdle are going to discuss it, it would be nice if you looked it up. I don't say that to sneer. I very frequently look up common words, because they tend to gain various shades of meaning over the years and it's easy to misunderstand someone's particular interpretation.
When looking at political authoritarianism I use the definition of Bob Altemeyer, University of Manitoba professor.
Authoritarian followers usually support the established authorities in
their society, such as government officials and traditional religious
leaders. Such people have historically been the “proper” authorities in life,
the time-honored, entitled, customary leaders, and that means a lot to most
authoritarians. Psychologically these followers have personalities
1) a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate
2) high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities;
3) a high level of conventionalism.
Because the submission occurs to traditional authority, I call these
followers rightwing authoritarians. I’m using the word “right” in one of its earliest meanings, for in Old English “riht”(pronounced “writ”) as an adjective meant lawful, proper, correct, doing what the authorities said. (And when someone did the lawful thing back then, maybe the authorities said,
with a John Wayne drawl, “You got that riht, pilgrim!”) 1 (Click on a note’s number to have it appear.)
In North America people who submit to the established authorities
to extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, 2 so
you can call them “right-wingers” both in my new-fangled psychological
sense and in the usual political sense as well. But someone who lived in a
country long ruled by Communists and who ardently supported the Communist
Party would also be one of my psychological right-wing authoritarians even
though we would also say he was a political left-winger. So a right-wing
authoritarian follower doesn’t necessarily have conservative political
views. Instead he’s someone who readily submits to the established
authorities in society, attacks others in their name, and is highly
conventional. It’s an aspect of his personality, not a description of his politics. Rightwing authoritarianism is a personality trait, like being characteristically bashful or happy or grumpy or dopey.
You could have left-wing authoritarian followers as well, who support a
revolutionary leader who wants to overthrow the establishment. I knew a few
in the 1970s, Marxist university students who constantly spouted their chosen
authorities, Lenin or Trotsky or Chairman Mao. Happily they spent most of
their time fighting with each other, as lampooned in Monty Python’s Life of
Brian where the People’s Front of Judea devotes most of its energy to
battling, not the Romans, but the Judean People’s Front. But the left-wing
authoritarians on my campus disappeared long ago. Similarly in America “the
Weathermen” blew away in the wind. I’m sure one can find left-wing
authoritarians here and there, but they hardly exist in sufficient numbers
now to threaten democracy in North America. However I have found bucketfuls of
right-wing authoritarians in nearly every sample I have drawn in Canada and the
United States for the past three decades. So when I speak of “authoritarian followers” in this book I mean right-wing authoritarian followers, as identified by the RWA scale.
That's a lot of definition, but both parties must agree on basics before discussions. I would add one aspect, maybe correction: While certain personalities might be more amenable to authoritarianism, it is something installed during childhood, by one's parents. Parents who demand absolute obedience, forbid questioning and disagreement, and refuse to acknowledge the separate identity of their child are authoritarian, and their children, who want love and acceptance, obey and grow to demand obedience in turn from their own children. Authoritarian children who are eventually thwarted in their need to control others as they were controlled can become very dangerous, as these incredibly strong drives send them outward, to either find someone to obey or force strangers to obey them.
Liberals can be authoritarians also, but tend to only get mild versions of the disease. Rigid people are not drawn to the amorphous, unfettered nature and goals of Democrats. They want rigid rules to follow, so they will know that they are correct in their behavior. They demand that nothing around them changes, for they can't cope with change. It was never allowed, and now it is unfamiliar and frightening. Liberal authoritarians, who also cling to authorities such as a religious, political or cultural group, however, are still authoritarians. They wouldn't side with the workers because the workers are not the leaders; management and the owners are. The "naughty children" aren't in charge, and insisting that they need help isn't authoritarianism.
Megan promises more, and I wait with bated breath.
Who Could Have Known?
McArdle Says: No Deflation
Talking heads on CNN are solemnly discussing the possibility of deflation. This remains, however, just a possibility. The fall in the CPI was driven almost entirely by energy prices, without which the price index was flat.
This is still good news for households that will be paying less for their energy, at least until OPEC gets its act together. But it does not necessarily herald a general fall in the price level, which is what creates the deflationary traps economists worry about.
Oh, god, sometimes she's too much. There's a fine line between being controversial and raising a stink because you're always wrong. Everyone who has been right so far--which most certainly does not include our Megan--says deflation is becoming a serious problem. Here's Krugman, Yves Smith, and Fortune on deflation.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Christmas Comes Early
Spite and Consequence
I don't know that bankruptcy will destroy the UAW, but they probably won't have a lot of members and money left to campaign for Democrats in 2010.
Nobody will have money to do anything they need to do, including you. Your little hero Greenspan really effed us up but good, along with Wall Street and Bush's White House.
Some things can't be fixed.
The American experience for a few generations has produced an adult population with very childish instincts, increasingly worse each decade. For instance, the desperate power fantasies among the younger tattooed lumpenproles -- those with next-to-zero real economic power -- suggest a certain unappetizing playing-out of resource competition when the supply of Cheez Doodles and Pepsi starts to dwindle. But even the heretofore gainfully employed middle classes are pretty lost in fantasies at least of comfort an convenience. For years now, I have wondered how their sense of grievance and resentment will be expressed when the supermarket shelves run bare and the cardboard signs get taped over the local gas pump and the cable TV gets cut off for non-payment. You wonder, to put it bluntly, how far gone we really are.
I Need To Know
I wonder what would happen if every gay person came out of the closet on the same day. Like with victims of sexual abuse, the secrecy helps perpetuate the abuse. We all want to feel "normal," but at what cost, to ourselves and future victims?
A Small Announcement
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Get Out Of Here!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Analyst Henry Blodget wrote on his blog Friday that some savvy investors figured
Madoff was up to something because his returns were so high. "Many Wall
Streeters suspected the wrong rigged game, though: they thought it was insider
trading, not a Ponzi scheme," Blodget wrote. "And here's the best part: That's
why they invested with him."
Who know, maybe there will be some funny in this disaster after all, as a few rich people are forced to deal with that constant companion of the poor; consequences for one's actions.
Sucks To Be You
However, in fact, workers in the banking industry are taking a massive
hit. CEOs were forced to take huge paycuts, and if their bank is in
trouble, they've already lost the greatest portion of their personal net
wealth. The banks are firing huge numbers of people, and the ones who are
left can count on their paychecks looking pretty anaemic this year. I know
that many of you would like to see every single one of them have their paycheck
reduced to that of a Nissan line worker, but it doesn't work that way. The
good people at those banks have better alternatives than being a Nissan line
worker, and have usually invested substantial amounts of time and money in
building human capital, rather than hitting the line after high school. If
you cap their pay there, they will leave to pursue those other
opportunities, leaving you a firm staffed with the rejects who can't work
elsewhere. Given that we are trying to save the banking industry, not
destroy it, that's not a good idea. A UAW worker, on the other hand, has
alternatives that are generally much worse than the wages on a Nissan line.
It makes me sick at heart to read this, because I know there are millions of people in this country who think the same as this post's author, our own Megan McArdle. I see them all the time, driving their SUVs and Hummers to take the kids to school, McCain/Palin stickers proudly decorating the back windows, where they can be easily removed. They support light rail in the neighborhood a few blocks away from them, but are enraged at the possibility of an apartment building in their area. They worked at Enron and work at Exxon and Haliburton. They can be overheard in shops talking about money or sex, and little else. They proudly stand in line to get in the latest restaurant or buy the latest gadget but will scream at service people if not helped fast enough. They truly make me sick.
You see, the bankers are worth more money because they invested time and money in improving themselves. Well, their parents did, but that's the same thing. The line workers just went straight to work after high school, and their parents didn't spend vast amounts of money on them for an education. By virtue of being born into affluence instead of poverty or relative poverty, the line worker is therefore of less value as a person and therefore doesn't deserve good middle-class pay, benefits or security. That is for superior people like McArdle.
Rejects. Fellow human beings are rejects to her.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Flotsam & Jetsam
Shining like a diamond in the slop, however, is a precious post about Chuck Colson, whom she piously declares deserves credit for what he's done since being released from prison for Watergate crimes.
In his Christianity Today columns, for example, Colson has opposed same-sex marriage, argued that Darwinism is used to attack Christianity, and
claimed that the Enron accounting scandals were a consequence of secularism. He has also argued against Darwinism and in favor of intelligent design, saying Darwinism helped cause forced sterilizations by eugenicists.
Colson has been an outspoken critic of postmodernism, believing that, as a cultural worldview, it is incompatible with the Christian tradition. He has debated prominent Post-evangelicals, such as Brian McLaren, on the best response for the Evangelical church in dealing with the postmodern cultural shift.
In the early 1980s, Colson was invited to New York by David Frost's
variety program on NBC for an open debate with Madalyn Murray O'Hair, the famous atheist who, in 1963, brought the court case (Murray v. Curlett) that eliminated official public school prayers. More recently, Colson has been a strong proponent of the Bible Literacy Project's curriculum The Bible and Its Influence for public high school literature courses.
In other words, he has spent his time since release trying to turn the US into a theocracy instead of a republic. He was given a second chance, and used it to continue his drive for power and control.
Someone who used to call herself Jane
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Disgusting Hack Strikes Again
America’s racial story begins horribly with slavery but has become one of unfolding success.
Jonah Goldberg tells us that since white people are able to elect a black man as president and a Las Vegas jury is able to send red-handed O. J. Simpson to jail, racism no longer exists. The implication is that blacks no longer need help and therefore have no reason to vote for Democrats any more.
Because Obama wanted to project a non-threatening image to whites, Goldberg is able to quote from Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech.
“The profound mistake of Rev. Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country . . . is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know — what we have seen — is that America can change. That is the true genius of this nation.
Of course, Goldberg doesn't care about blacks. He despises them.
ATTN: SUPERDOME RESIDENTS [Jonah Goldberg]I think it's time to face facts. That place is going to be a Mad Max/thunderdome Waterworld/Lord of the Flies horror show within the next few hours. My advice is to prepare yourself now. Hoard weapons, grow gills and learn to communicate with serpents. While you're working on that, find the biggest guy you can and when he's not expecting it beat him senseless. Gather young fighters around you and tell the womenfolk you will feed and protect any female who agrees to participate without question in your plans to repopulate the earth with a race of gilled-supermen. It's never too soon to be prepared.
Suborned under the Edgar Rice Burroughs Ubermensch fantasy is the clear implication that blacks are lawless, violent criminals that will turn on each other without the police to keep them constantly in check. No, Goldberg's only interest here is harming a group of people he despises, fears and hates. The celebration of equality, digs at the "liberal media," obligatory mention of Rev. Wright, and consideration of "white guilt," which is what conservatives call empathy, are all just padding, comforting conservative tropes to soothe disappointed feelings and earn his salary.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The League of Extraordinary Bloggers
Part II: A Fresh Face
Part III: And The Band Played On
Part IV: Strange Bedfellows
In a Secret Location, deep beneath the bowels, entrails and colon of Pennsylvania Avenue, a Meeting of Diabolical Minds takes place. It is the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, each a hero (or a heroine or a Coulter) in his (or hers, or Coulter's) own sphere. They are:
Col. Glenn Reynolds—famous defender of guns, wherever they are needed to fight the Brown Menace.
Michelle Malkin—a creature of the night, with an insatiable thirst for blood under her modest, cheerleader-clad façade.
Jonah Goldberg—A barefoot man-boy with cheek, famous for being so lazy he got his research assistant to paint his fence.
Megan McArdle--a woman of mystery, of disguise, of charm, which hides an unscrupulous and greedy heart.
Ann Althouse—A respectable professor who digs deep into the evil aspects of her psyche when she drink an experimental potion know as “Merlot.”
Reynolds: Bloggers, I called this emergency meeting because we face an urgent new peril.
McArdle: Where's Ann?
Reynolds: She's kind of stuck on a problem at home. She's trying to figure out how many people it will take to change her light bulbs. We're here to discuss Mr. Goldberg's recent actions.
Goldberg: It's not my----.
Reynolds (coldly): Let me finish, Goldfish. Thanks to this dimwit here (points at Goldberg), we have a serious problem. Some Neo-Nazi group has adopted the boy genius and is hunting us down as I speak.
Malkin thwacks Goldberg upside the head.
Goldberg: Oww! What was that for?
Malkin: We're supposed to be stalking people, not getting stalked by your rabid fans.
Goldberg: It's not my fault. I never wanted to write the stupid book anyway. Do you know how many episodes of tv I missed to work on that damn book? My wife only lets me watch two hours of tv a week as it is. Fortunately, she has to go to work sometime.
McArdle: I liked the book.
They all turn to look at her.
McArdle: There were lots of footnotes and I recognized some of the people he talked about and I felt really smart when I was done, although I skipped that entire part about Hillary Clinton. I've hated her ever since she stole that poor intern's career away from her. How is a girl supposed to get ahead if she doesn't network?
Reynolds: Nazis, people, Nazis! Coming here! With their German guns and their German Shepherd attack dogs and their scary German boots! Concentrate, for Heinlein's sake!
Goldberg: Just a minute, Reynolds. This is important. So tell me, Megan, what did you like best about my book?
McArdle: I love the way you equate liberal policies with fascism. It's such a bold, groundbreaking theory. If you help someone, you are forcing someone to pay for the help, and forcing someone else to receive help. It's genius! The minute I read the first chapter I stopped donating to charity. How---.
The Bloggers freeze at the sound of footsteps.
Reynolds: Those are jackboots, I know it! Quick, Malkin, pop out those fangs. McArdle, Goldberg, to your weapons. And hide!
McArdle and Goldberg pull out daggers and press themselves to a shadowy recess of the cave wall. Malkin crouches and Reynolds unholsters another gun. A small crowd of men swarm into the rooms. They all all bald and dressed in chinos and golf shirts.
Neo-Nazi: Come out Goldberg! We have a surprise for you!
Goldberg (falsetto): There's nobody here by us girls. Get out, we're not dressed!
Neo-Nazi: We just want to talk to you, sir.
Reynolds steps out in front of the Neo-Nazi.
Reynolds: You hear the geek. Get lost before you get a taste of old Betsy, here. And mark my words, you don't want to taste her barrel when it's dirty. You see, there's this real strong gunpowder taste and it's kind of greasy, and hard to get off your tongue.
Malkin: (coughing) TMI.
Neo-Nazi: But we don't want to harm him, sir. We want to give him a medal. He's our new hero. We read his blog Liberal Fascism every day, and on the rare occassions that he posts we always rejoice to see the kind words he has for our Leader.
Goldberg and McArdle step out of the shadows.
McArdle: I don't care how how preppy he looks, bald is not in. It lowers your desireabiliy number on the Marriage Index at least fifteen points.
Goldberg: Okay, give me the medal. I want to go to lunch.
Neo-Nazi: For service above and beyond the call of duty in attempting to clear and clean up the image of our most glorious leader, Adolph Hitler, we, the Georgia Hitler Institutional Society and Museum, award you with this token of our esteem.
He hands the medal to Goldberg, who drapes it over his neck.
Goldberg: What's it made out of? Gold? Silver?
Neo-Nazi: I'm not sure. We got the metal by melting down our retainers. Our tongues once carressed that metal.
McArdle: Ewww! That's disgusting.
Goldberg flings the medal onto the floor.
McArdle: You are so not my kind. Unless--
Neo-Nazi: Sorry, no trust fund.
Malkin: What did mommy's clever boy do to deserve this award?
Neo-Nazi: He's written how Hitler was nice to dogs and maids, and how he was only kind of racist and he quotes from our fair dinkum friend down under, John Ray, who loves to talk about race superiority.
Malkin: By the way, you do know Goldberg is Jewish, right?
Neo-Nazi: I'm sorry, what did you say?
Malkin: Jewish. Him.
Neo-Nazi: I'm sorry, Miss, but that can't be right. His mother is Episcopelian, therefore he can't be Jewish.
Malkin: Are you Jewish, Jonah?
Goldberg: Malkin, don't I owe you a hundred dollars?
Malkin: It was two hundred.
Goldberg: That's my entire allowance for the week!
Malkin whistles "Hava Nagila". Jonah hands over a wad of money.
Reynolds: Okay, you're done, all Neo-Nazis get out. We have work to do, Bloggers.
McArdle: Jonah, you were so brave, the way you leaped out of the shadows to face those Neo-Nazis. Tell me you don't practice a protectionist marriage, and that you'll join me on the capitalist free market of Love!
Goldberg: Sorry to break your heart, but the money all belongs to my wife.
McArdle sighs again.
Reynolds: The missus would chain you up in the basement and feed you my body parts, inch by inch, while I was still alive.
McArdle: Okay never mind I have to run.
Malkin: Next time you call an emergency meeting, Reynolds, make sure someone more valuable than Goldberg is at risk.
Reynolds: Sorry, Malkin. I just feel lost without Bush, you know? Nothing feels the same anymore.
Malkin: Show some spine, Reynolds. As long as we have weapons to buy and immigrants to hunt, America will endure.
A Statistics-Based Disagreement Between Professionals
I expect [nature] also explains the visceral pleasure that most women get
from gossip, which most men really don't seem to enjoy nearly so much--the
perhaps sad truth is that I feel closer to my female friends when we have gotten
through a really good round of "what's wrong with everyone else". 30
Jun 2008 02:47 pm
I've always thought that Linda Hirshman had a tenuous grasp on reality, but
not this tenuous. ...
Girls will be girls, I guess. Drezner asks for suggestions as to how
Hirshmann could have gotten it so totally, bizarrely, utterly,
If you figure it out, please do let me know. 09
Dec 2008 09:01 am
Monday, December 8, 2008
No Mas, Por Favor
But a USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted December 1, undermines the suggestion of significant disappointment with Obama. That poll found that in addition to Democrats' approval of Obama's handling of the transition and their support for Obama's selections of Clinton and Gates, 77 percent of Democrats indicated that Obama's administration will be "more effective" because he has chosen individuals who held positions in Bill Clinton's administration, with only 3 percent saying those choices will render his administration "less effective."
We will note that once again McArdle has not checked her pet theories with relatively unbiased facts, and completely understand why. A girl's got expenses, you know.
But theory isn't enough in the demanding blogosphere. It requires entertainment as well, and McArdle delivers it in generous amounts. Ann Coulter does this kind of thing much better, but McArdle better fits into the magazine's image.
Some progressives apparently shocked to discover that they elected a
politician, not (awesomely wise secular teacher!) Jesus. Clip at eleven.
Did progressives really think they'd woken up in Sweden on November
And when you do buck the will of the voters in order to do something that
most economists agree is vital to the health of the nation, apparently, many
progressives get mad and say ridiculous things[.]
Frankly, the knowledge that there are such lunatics out there, but that
Obama is ignoring them, has heartened me greatly.
McArdle has quite a talent for throwing red meat to the audience without getting her hands bloody.
McArdle also returns to another favorite tactic, her studied air of weary cynicism while she lecture to the kiddies about The Way Things Really Are In The Real World.
Enacting legislation is not a matter of getting a president and a
fillibuster-proof majority, unless you happen to have a congress filled with
career-suicide bombers. It is a matter of getting a fillibuster-proof
majority and a bill that either no one cares about, or is supported by close
to a majority of voters. (Actually, it's much more complicated than
that. But as a general rule, this simple model is much more effective than
believing that shortly before electing Barack Obama, America collectively
read Gunnar Myrdal and shifted about 20 points to the left.)...
Fear not, McArdle doesn't neglect class warfare.
First rule of politics: small groups get favors from the politicians
they support only to the extent that it does not annoy large groups who voted
for those politicians. Check the progressive agenda. See which bits
do not annoy large groups who voted for Obama. That is what the
progressives are going to get.
Oh, yes, Barack Obama couldn't have been elected without progressives. He also
couldn't have been elected without lower-middle class Moms who like to drive to
Wal-Mart in their SUVs to buy enormous flat-screen televisions for the family
room. Guess which group is larger?
When she is done with seven paragraphs and a quote about the failures of progressives and progressivism, she tosses in a token paragraph about Republican. It's actually quite an efficient post, fitting a considerable number of conservative tropes into a pseuolibertarian screed.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Are You Ready To Be Strong?
"Any individual who rises to the national political level is, of necessity
and by definition, committed to the authoritarian-corporatist state. The current
system will not allow anyone to be elected from either of the two major parties
who is determined to dismantle even one part of that system."Arthur Silber
The veteran diplomat [Henry Kissinger], 85, said he was impressed by the heavyweight national security triumvirate created by Obama. It includes Robert Gates, who is staying on as defence secretary, and General James Jones, the 6ft 5in former Nato commander, as national security adviser, as well as Clinton. “It took
courage for the president-elect to choose this constellation and no little inner
assurance,” Kissinger wrote.
The war machine and the security apparatus are not shrinking; they are
growing by leaps and bounds, and Obama has promised to make them even larger.
The economic disaster doesn't threaten the position of the imperial elites at
all. On the contrary, as we have seen in the last few weeks, the Obama-backed
"bailout" plan has enriched the already rich and powerful to a staggering
degree. As CNBC reports, the government has spent more on saving the rich from the consequences of their greed than it spent in winning World War II: more than $4
trillion so far, with much more to come. This astonishing theft – the largest
gobbling of public loot by a rapacious elite in the history of the world – will
only further cement the powerful in their entrenchments on the commanding
heights of society. The nation may rot beneath them, may be roiled by storms of
blowback; but that is not their concern, it is no defeat for them. You can lose;
they do not.
This is not to say that our elites don't tell themselves any number of
flattering, self-justifying fairy tales about the boundless nobility and
righteousness of their intentions. They can do this because they identify the
interests of the system of elite rule (and the comfort, power and privilege they
personally receive from the system) with the common good of the nation, or the
world, as a whole. This allows them to pursue truly monstrous policies without
regarding themselves as monsters. This allows them to order actions, such as the
escalation of the destructive, destablizing conflict in Afghanistan, which they
know, with absolute certainty, will needlessly murder innocent women, children
and men -- and still talk earnestly and sincerely about their hopes for peace,
their concern for humanity, their deep, abiding faith in a loving God.
But again, as we have said over and over here, what matters are not the
rhetorical justifications of power or the stated intentions of power -- or the
charisma, likeability or compelling story of the wielders of power; what matters
are the operations of power, its actual effects on the human beings on the
receiving end of its machinations. Like love, power is what it does, not what it
says. Any discourse that omits this perspective seems to me to be lacking in
rigor and realism, and leaves one highly vulnerable to delusion and manipulation
-- and complicity in evil. Chris Floyd
I suppose my recent malaise stems from the general liberal refusal to
engage me over the Dem war machine, people who I know have read "Savage Mules,"
but want nothing to do with it or me. I'd hoped to engage as many prominent libs
as possible, clearing the ground, in a sense, for the next phase of Dem
governance. The excuses I received from those few who replied to my queries were
naturally Obama-centric, the great mission of making him president more
important than my little tome or petty arguments about business-as-usual. I
accepted this for a time; but now that Obama's going the way a handful of us
predicted, you'd think that this would be a perfect moment to begin debating the
Ha. According to "pragmatic" liberals, most noxiously Tim Wise, it's much
too soon to pick at the Anointed One. Sure, he's loading his cabinet with
well-known commodities like Hillary Clinton, while retaining the services of
Robert Gates; but who knows what behind-the-scenes magic Obama is fomenting. It
could all be a clever ruse, a necessary cover for whatever progressive moves the
Savior-elect has in mind.
Yes, there are actual adults who seem to believe this scenario, or at least
want those who remain skeptical to buy it, so debating these fantasymongers
would be a waste of time -- assuming they were keen to debate. Most that I know
of don't want to hear anything negative about Obama, and I seriously doubt this
will CHANGE three months, eight months, two years into his administration, much
less when his re-election campaign cranks up. Based on available evidence, the
most critical these people will get will be some resigned sighs, shrugged
shoulders, and bleats about working within the system, taking what you can get,
In other words, either get with the winning team or shut the fuck up. Dennis Perrin
I do not know what the future will bring but I do know there will be war, poverty and suffering ahead. We will be crushed if we don't do something to protect ourselves and each other. The government works for us, but we have weakly sat and accepted whatever we were told. It's time to get off our knees.
It's time to take a stand.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Nature Versus, Uh, Nature
This New York Times article suggests that doctor arrogance is a significant cause of medical error. I certainly wouldn't be shocked if this were true. Still, given the thinness of the data, I have to wonder: [article excerpt] The observation that some people are jerks, and that jerkiness does not enhance performance, is not exactly
surprising. What I want to know is whether disruptive doctors actually account for a notable percentage of medical errors. I'm sure if you surveyed doctors, 20% or so could report an error caused by a lazy LPN, incompetent PA, or pigheaded nurse. But I'm skeptical that "nurse pigheadedness" is actually a major problem that America's healthcare system needs to address.
Megan McArdle is attracted to articles declaring that the people who do services for one are inferior, shoddy and arrogant. Yet doctors are of her social class are are often wealthy, making them elites and thereby immune from criticism. Who knows if it will be a doctor who finally gives Megan the McMansion and child(ren) and upper-class life she so richly deserves by virtue of birth and breeding? All Megan can do is point and quote, yet mitigate the article away to nothingness. It's kind of funny.
And Megan? Use plastic kitchen gloves.
UPDATE: Megan comments on her blog:
I wore gloves, but the latex isn't so good for my skin either.
Posted by Megan McArdle December 4, 2008 3:46 PM
Then why did she say, "After scrubbing my house from top to bottom after the move, the skin is literally peeling off my hands from all the chemicals."? Is it the chemicals or a latex allergy? And if it's a latex allergy, why didn't she say that? "Isn't so good for" is meaningless.
stupid mistake corrected
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Mining For Nuggets
Maggie Gallagher is concern trolling about Today's Youth, not even noticing that the youth today have been corrupted by the Republican culture of greed and ruthlessness, not postmodernism. Jonah Goldberg is as dumb as ever, but does link to an unprepossessing young man who complains, with great earnestness and pique, that if Democratic women are supposed to be so rebellious, why aren't they sleeping with Republicans?
Of course the sexual psychology of all this fails. First, cheap talk. Second,Yes, I can't imagine why Democratic girls aren't throwing those studly young Republicans onto the nearest bed.
there is more than a whiff of pathetic desperation in “Blue Balled” to brand
sensitive intellectual artsy guys as the guys you really ought to want to screw.
But the best sex is dirty, dirty transgressive sex. All this lame agitprop could
just as easily redound to the benefit of the Young Republican with the popped
collar who promises to give appalled Obama girls “the surge.” And an “I Only
Sleep With Democrats” shirt on a guy might turn out to be a great way to pick up
Republican lasses. Oh, the paradox that is the sexual mind!
It's interesting that this poor young man is so eager to get a Democrat to sleep with him. What's wrong with Republican girls? Doesn't he want to sleep with them?
Although I am thinking of embroidering " The best sex is dirty, dirty transgressive sex." on a pillow.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Megan McArdle sings the praises of crazy Bobby Jindal. Is she really that desperate for a chance to feel all hip and post-racial? Sorry, concern troll, you lost your chance when you decided Obama was disappointing you.
McArdle links to a criticism of Krugman and Keynes. Fortunately Krugman is well-qualified to speak for himself:
Why do people still fail to get Keynes, after all these years? Keynes might
have said that it’s the inherent difficulty of the concepts:
For—though no one will believe it—economics is a technical and
But there’s also the Upton Sinclair theorem:
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary
depends upon his not understanding it.
McArdle babbles about something irrelevant so she can complain about being criticized again. I suspect McArdle is about to start banning even more people.
In which McArdle gets off on exposing some poor cuckolded woman named Susan. I have no idea why she would do so.
The Jindal post is especially stupid. I hope to go mining for nuggets later.
UPDATE: Oh, wow. Sometimes she surprises even me. Megan in comments:
Keep in mind that it's very unlikely that Jindal himself believes in
creationism, or anything like it; creationism is not Catholic doctrine.
Supporting it is a political, not an ideological move. Would I rather he didn't?
Yes. But I would also rather Obama didn't support card check. Politicians cater
to the people who elect them.
Posted by Megan McArdle December 2, 2008 11:05 AM
Let's see what the man actually says:
I don’t think students learn by us withholding information from them. … I want
them to see the best data. I personally think human life and the world we live
in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. … Now the way
that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best
science. I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from
them because of political correctness.
Creationism is the belief that (a) God created the earth. Jindal is a Biblical literalist. Obviously Catholics can be fundamentalists too, only someone with no knowledge of the modern Catholic Church could make such a statement. More important is McArdle's statement that she's fine with messing with children's education and hurting their chances to attain higher education and for economic gain. It's not like she or her lucky, lucky progeny would go to a public school or state college, after all. And what does she care what happens in Louisiana? She's in DC.
Next is the equating of union regulations with the destruction of a pillar of democratic society, the separation of church and state. And finally we are favored with a cynical, dismissive bit--all politicians pander, so what does it matter if a nut wants to inflict his extremist views on his state?
And this is just one comment! You should see the entire post!
Megan McArdle is the Singularity of Wingnuttia.
Monday, December 1, 2008
The Rewards of Failure
Bill Kristol warns us that the total failure of governments to control individual acts of terrorism means that governments should continue to try to control individual acts of terrorism. Jonah Goldberg fantasizes about not paying income tax this year, despite an acknowledgement that it would destroy his party. His imaginary President Obama would then make all the cuts on (public) spending that the Republicans couldn't get for themselves, since they didn't finish looting the treasury before the cops showed up at the vault door. Maureen Down is gloomily wondering how much longer she'll be employed once a Clinton returns to office. Roger Cohen is also thinking about Clinton, pulling his lip and worrying his brow, telling her that she must commit political suicide by being critical of Israel, since he would not.
They will enjoy being out of power. The opportunities to be wise and dreadfully concerned will be endless.
Greed or Laziness?
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Woman and Superwoman
So while yes, part of this story has been simple greed, a willingness to believe that we could and should massively increase consumption no matter what, I tend to take this desire as a given. The question is how you design an institution that channels those given desires into productive ends. Markets, for example, channel self-interest into exchanges that result in gains to both sides; government lobbying channels that same self-interest into rent-seeking that makes society as a whole, and at least one major party to the exchange, worse off.
Megan ignores power inequalities that inevitably arise if self-interest goes unchecked. McArdle's dominant drive is self-interest, and fortunately for her, others have refined it into both a political and moral philosophy. Lack of charity and empathy is encouraging self-reliance. Callousness is individualism. Greed is supporting free markets. Elitism is rewarding hard work and innate superiority. There is always an excuse for what would be considered moral underdevelopment and self-indulgence in a child, but is found acceptable in an educated, privileged middle-aged woman.
McArdle's frequent excuse for the exposure of her philosophy's failure is that nobody is smart enough to know what went wrong, and it's useless to try. This is an incredibly weak and patently false lie. For three years a few economists and journalists warned of the coming storm. I read them every day; John Hussman, Bill Fleckstein, Mish, Bonddad, Calculated Risk, The Big Picture, Angry Bear, The Oil Drum, and of course Nouriel Roubini. They warned and explained, showed graphs and charts, but were mocked and vilified, often by McArdle herself. People knew, and to say otherwise is a lie. People were just making too much money to care. As long as the party continued, Wall Street could siphon off as much money as possible. When the party ended they demanded more money to clean up the mess, and McArdle supported that too. Then they ran off without cleaning up and again, nobody who isn't paid to look the other way is surprised.
We are in deep shit. McArdle is nothing but the Magician's assistant put on stage in a short skirt and low-cut top to distract the audience while he pulls off his magic act of disappearing the audience's money.