Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, May 30, 2008

Kathryn Jean goes to the movies.

Katy Jean has taken off time from her approaching nuptials to attend a showing of Sex and the City, the movie. And why wouldn't she, with her mind on wedding dresses, converting to her new religion, and kidnapping luring meeting Mitt Romney at the Little Church Around the Bend?
Kathryn Jean finds a problem right away, no doubt to her dismay.

Here’s a movie that in many ways was a beautiful — albeit crass and p.c. and
graphic (like the late television show) — love story. Here’s a movie with
suffering and joy and life and cultural lessons, but some of the people I heard
leaving the theater didn’t seem to have been affected.

But there’s hope: Even the girls I walked out of the theater with might think twice
before they stomp all over the hearts of their Mr. Big or Steve, and they might
realize that the deeper message of the film is that it’s not hooking up but true
love and marriage and children they want.
We'll avert our eyes from the "hip" "lingo" and ask how it is that Sex and the City is able to influence the heart of even the stoniest New York gal?

The movie, like the series, is an important cultural contribution. It’s a
mirror. And you don’t have to be promiscuous or crass like Carrie and Samantha
and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) tend to be to see a

It's only a mirror if your view of the world was formed when you overdosed on Disney movies when you were ten. Otherwise it's a soap opera, Cinderella version, with all the traditional elements--romance, heart ache, best friends, cute guys, riches, nice dresses, and cool shoes. But there's trouble in Happily Ever After, and the women must decide if they really want their Prince Charmings after all. Kathryn Jean doesn't understand the problem. In Sex and the City:

There is a real focus on men, and on what women do to men: Women don’t forgive men. Women don’t think about men and their feelings. For as sensitive as the modern man is supposed to be to a women’s feelings and as sensitive as a man is supposed to look, he’s not really supposed to register an opinion. Or slip up. Or be honest.

Why would the women treat the men this way? Kathryn Jean is glad you asked. It's because "[Carrie] didn’t care about [Mr. Big's] side of the story." She and her friends are "self- and sisterhood-obsessed." The woman doesn't count. "And she doesn’t quite realize that, for her, it really is about her." How dare she think her own life was about her? Doesn't she know it's about "true love and marriage and children."? In other words, marriage is about your husband and children, what they want, not what you want. That's being selfish. And marriage and children is what all women want, according to Katy Jean. That's the only way to be happy.

The poison poured into the ear of this woman as a child must have been incredible. You don't matter. What you want doesn't matter. It's selfish to please yourself. It's promiscuous to pick your own partners. You exist to serve men and children. If a man cheats on you, take him back and forgive him; it's your Christian duty.

No wonder she's such a mess.

The state of the Snark.

It was graduation week here at the Snark, with assorted kids moving up from cabin boy to ensign and from ensign to whatever ensigns do next. But pirates never rest, so let's see what's up. Have we hit the housing bottom?

That second wave of adjustable-mortgage resets won’t even begin until next
year. And as you can see from the chart above, the quantity dwarfs the amount
that caused Wall Street, the Fed and Congress to vomit in unison already this
year. [We thank Agora Financial for sharing this with us]The Prime Mortgages can include the
ARMs, and there were many, many ARMS originated between 2002 and 2006 that are
hanging on the edge of the "reset precipice". Then in the next 3 years the many
option ARMS and "Alt-A" ARMs (Alt-A loans are the no document "liar loans"
that were originated by the millions during the housing and mortgage bubble).
These resets and expired, low interest rate Alt-A ARMs will peak in 2012...oh my
God, 2012!
This indicates that we have at least 3 more years of the
mortgage meltdown and the housing wipeout to deal with and that is not a
promising indicator of the health of the US, British, and
Canadian economies in the the foreseeable future.

Ouch. Well, at least we don't have to worry about more wars.

Russian Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of
Geopolitical Sciences, said last week the Pentagon was planning to deliver a
massive air strike on Iran's military infrastructure in the near future."I have
no doubt there will be an operation, or rather an aggressive action against
Iran," Ivashov said, commenting on media reports about U.S. planned operation
against Iran, codenamed Operation Bite.A new U.S. carrier battle group has been
dispatched to the Gulf. The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around
80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet
fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for
the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December
2006. The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

Aww, nuts. Better buy more toilet paper. And fill the car with gas.

For the last ten days in a row, pump prices set new records. And with
inventories of gas at a new five-year low, refiners are having trouble keeping
up with demand.

I remember the 1970s. They aren't worth revisting. Maybe I can go to the movies and forget my troubles. It'll be a relief to get away from Sex and the City reruns. I can't stand that self-delusional, self-indulgent airhead.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

K-Lo's To Serve the Lord List

1. Gas up car. (Ouch!)

2. Print out marriage license.

3. E-Mail podcasts of confessions to Father Benedictine.

4. Call dressmaker to see if alteration is finished on mom's wedding gown. Pick up wedding dress!!!!111!!!!.

5. Bouqet and boutaneer.(sp?)

6. Wedding rings. (Ouch! gold is expensive but your worth it "Mittens"!)

7. The Talk with mom. Yikes!

8. Negligee from the internet site mom used to block. Honeymoon, here I come!

Megan Megan's guest admits blogging can be a way to stroke one's vanity.

There are none so blind as they who will not see. Megan McArdle['s guest]:
The combined lure of easy content and personal attention is tough to
resist; [Emily] Gould didn't, and the distinction between her online life and
everything essentially disappeared. The author and the subject became
one. ... The blogosphere always pulls this way. It's magnetized toward

She's talking about someone else, believe it or not.

Megan McArdle was made for blogging. She has a heart of steel.

Added: Thanks, clever pseudonym, for the heads-up. Peter Suderman subs for Megan, and I didn't notice the difference. Which I deeply regret, because I would have made fun of Megan for having another vacation a few months after going to Puerto Rico.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

K-Lo Gets Married

Mr. and Mrs. Lopez

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Kathryn Jean


Willard Mitt Romney

on Saturday, the fifth of June

two thousand and eight

at six o’clock in the evening

Church Of The Immaculate Virgin 666 Main Street

New York, New York

Reception immediately following the ceremony

Basement of Church of the Immaculate Virgin


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is why I drive a small, fuel efficent car.

Oil prices are heading to more than $141 a barrel in the next eight years,
according to futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange, on concern
that growth in supply may fail to keep pace with rising demand.

You think? Considering oil is at $130, I expect oil to hit $141 in the next eight days, not years.

Let's say oil doesn't continue to go up $1/day. It goes up half that, 50 cents/day. By 1/09:

243 days x .50 cents=$121.5

For every dollar oil rises, gasoline rises .05 cents.

121.5 x .05=6.075 (let's say $6)

Gasoline is ~$3.50/gallon

$3.5 + $6=$9.5/gallon of gasoline

By the time Obama takes office, gas will be almost $10/gallon.

There are a lot of variables I'm not considering or don't even know about. If oil only goes up a dime a day, gas will only be about $4.70 a gallon, but that seems rather low. There could be many factors that make oil drop or rise, such as economic slowdown, discovery of more oil, release of stored oil, more/faster pumping, government action, conservation, speculation, hoarding and so on. However, most of these price-lowering factors would be temporary.

I think I'll get my bike out of the shed. I bought it two years ago in preparation, pretending I wanted the exercise. I didn't want anyone to laugh at me for predicting oil would rise to $100/barrel.

Added: Did I mention I have a dystopic view of the world?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I bring you glad tidings!

The Flying Spaghetti Monster has performed a miracle! He has appeared in a lunch box in all his Noodly Glory.

Ramen, in the name of the Noodle.

Your Democratic Party speaks.

Washington must assert to the rest of the world that if they want to be
friends with America, they need to do more to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear
weapons, visiting US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday in an
exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Pelosi said the US needed to be more "proactive" in saying to the countries of the world - including Russia, China and the Muslim countries in Asia - that "one of the pillars of US foreign policy is to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to anyone." The US needed to make it clear to everyone, including the Europeans, that their polices on this issue would be a term of friendship with the US, and a measuring stick of benefits they could derive from that friendship, she said.
The US cannot stop nuclear proliferation alone, Pelosi said, adding that "if these weapons proliferate, they are a threat to everyone, not just to the US, and not just to Israel."

God, this is depressing. When Bush bombs Iran before the election, Congress won't do a thing. Iran isn't a threat. I'd give you links but I'm too damn depressed.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

K-Lo Goes To Confession

IV Shoot the Moon

K-Lo: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's been twelve hours and fifty minutes since my last--

Father: Yes!!

K-Lo: Excuse me, Father?

Father: It's nothing, Kathryn Jean. I won a little wager, just a joke. This'll put Father Gregory's nose out of joint. He said Divine Intervention told him twenty hours and not a minute less.

K-Lo: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choo--

Father: We can get a flat screen tv for the rectory, now. If I hear one more time about Father Gregory's High Definition I'll be tempted past all redemption.

K-Lo: Father, should I come back later?

Father: No, no, Kathryn Jean. On with the sinning!

K-Lo: Father, I had impure thoughts about William Shatner.

Father: (giggles)

K-Lo: Father, are you okay?

Father: Yes, of course, go on, dear.

K-Lo: It started when I read Captain Kirk would be a conservative. Then I started to think about the masquerade party at the Buckley's, where Jonah dressed up in a Starship Captain uniform and offered to show me his phaser, if I didn't tell his mom. The next day at the office he wouldn't say a word to me when I tried to share with him our wedding invitations, but I still lust after the sight of a man in a velour uniform.

Father: Kathryn Jean, God gave us these impulses for a reason, to help a girl accept her duty to marry and raise a family in His honor. Maybe you'd better hurry.

K-Lo: I try Father, I do. But it's hard out there for a girl with intellect and a glandular problem. I want to serve the Lord, but He's making it pretty darn difficult. Oh, sorry, Father.

Father: Remember the story of Mary and Martha. Martha toiled, but Mary listened to God's word and won His favor. Listen to Him and He'll let you know what to do.

K-Lo: I think I know what to do. Since the first time I saw Mitt Romney I knew my fate was to be his second wife. As Abraham did before him, Mitt also can have a wife or two and a couple of dozen concubines. Thanks, Father. I have a lot to do before joining my future husband.

Father: No, dear, times have changed. So have laws. I have a nephew, he's not young anymore but he has a good job with benefits. Let me introduce you.

K-Lo: You're a pip, Father, but God has shown me the way. Utah or Bust!

Father: In the Name of Jesus Christ, go in peace. Oy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why I Lost the Contest

It isn't fair. The other kids had more time than me and they have faster computers. If I had a faster computer my entry would have been even better than theirs. None of the judges liked me. I bet they're all Democrats and were prejudiced against me. They were too stupid to understand me anyway. If they could understand me I would have won. They didn' t even try. One of them was a minority. You know how prejudiced they all are. Everyone was against my topic. I guess they think it wasn't politically correct enough. But I have too many principles to pander to them. I'm the real winner. Oh, yes, I am.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jonah Goldberg Says "Liberal Fascism" Was "Out of [Jon Stewart's] Depth"

At last a little tidbit on Jonah Goldberg's incoherent interview on The Daily Show. Of course, the problem was not Jonah's inability to admit he was full of it. It was just that Stewart couldn't really comprehend a book as complex as "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning."

In terms of Jon Stewart, you know, I have more sympathy for Jon Stewart
than a lot of people do. I think he made a very grave mistake which was he tried
to read the book in a day. He told me he spent all day reading the book and all
day sort of surfing around, reading about fascism. And I just think he was out
of his depth. And I'm not saying he's not smart enough to have grasped all the
stuff but you can't do it in a day. He says he went and read Mussolini's "Doctrine of Fascism" and in "Doctrine of Fascism," Mussolini says that fascism
is against liberalism and Jon Stewart thought this was just wonderfully
eye-opening and an important rebuttal to my book. But the important thing that
he didn't understand was that "Doctrine of Fascism" was written a dozen years
after fascism was already on the scene and that Mussolini was trying to restart
fascism and, more importantly, the liberalism that Mussolini was referring to
wasn't the liberalism of Jon Stewart or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama but it
was the liberalism of you and me. It was the liberalism of classical liberalism
of free-market liberalism. Manchester liberalism.
But I don't think Stewart understands or had those kinds of distinctions in mind, so he just had a really hard time with the book. And we get up there and it showed, we started knocking heads and I wasn't going to be bullied, a lot of f-bombs started flying around and I think he realized that it didn't work and that the thing he was left with was sort of this 18-minute monstrosity that he had to cut down to at 6 minutes.
And I at least have to give him credit for telling the viewers that it was this
mess and because they could have tried to cut it in such a way to make it seem
as if it was seamless and at least they telegraphed it to the viewer that it was
a hatchet job. And anybody who watched it, their reaction would be ‘what the
hell was that?' And so I think that helps. I get a lot of hate mail but I didn't get a lot of hate mail from the Jon Stewart thing because I think most
people recognize how grotesquely unfair to me and they have no idea what the
real conversation was and I think it made some people curious, I wonder what Goldberg actually has to say.
SHEFFIELD: Do you think they should have released the whole thing on the internet?
GOLDBERG: Oh, I think so, and I think some people would be kind of disappointed with it because as I said, we knocked heads from the beginning. It was just an ineffective interview. One of the things that-and I probably shouldn't have done the show until I had been more comfortable talking about the book, it was probably a little too early. But at the end of the day, he just didn't get the book and he kept trying to come at me from different directions and I wouldn't get, I wouldn't back down. So it was a lot of sort of talking past each other and knocking heads and all the rest. It wasn't like-it wasn't just a function of how it was edited, that was the reality
of it.
SHEFFIELD: Yeah, and I think that's because the prime component of his
humor style is conservatives are idiots. And in that interview, I think you
showed very clearly that he didn't know anything about what he was talking
GOLDBERG: Yeah, I think in some ways it was worse than that. I mean
he knew just enough to really be wrong about some stuff. I mean he would have
been better off if he had just sort of come in from the perspective of what my
book was about but instead he wanted to go after me.
And the interesting thing on that is that, and I'm sure you've got better evidence of this than I do, is that he does not have that approach with liberal authors. With liberal authors, it's ‘Tell me what your book is about,' or ‘Oh, isn't that
interesting,' and ‘Explain that more' and little jokes on the side. But not sort
of, you know, attacking directly the author and the author's work. He only
reserves that kind of thing for conservatives. And I think that's a
SHEFFIELD: It is. And I think there's a lot of stupidity on all sides
of politics.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, I mean Jon Stewart could be a real asset to the
culture if he hadn't sort of imbibed the ‘I am the king of the left-wing
blogosphere' persona that he has in the last couple of years, the sort of ‘I'm
the hero of the republic' persona. I think he needs to get back to what he used
to be good at which is the sort of even-handed kind of stuff. And I know he did
that thing on the Marines in California, the Marine recruiters and all that.
Because if he just gets labeled as a left-wing guy, it's going to hurt his
ratings, because I think a lot of conservatives think that at least part of the
show is pretty funny and he should just lay off trying to be an advocate for one
side of the fight.
SHEFFIELD: Yeah, and it really makes it difficult for
anybody for anybody to take him seriously as a media critic when every single
one of his points is the media need to be more liberal and talk about how Bush
is a liar.
SHEFFIELD: It's just completely unserious.

Please, Jonah, do get that interview released. I'm sure you'll be totally vindicated. Don't you want the truth to come out?

I mean, he knew just enough to really be wrong about some stuff.

Stop it, Jonah, you're killing me!

"We're Winning"

The soldier on NRO's famous "We're Winning" cover has been killed. Its author, Rich Lowry, says it is "very sad news."

I don't think soldiers would like to have their deaths politicized, so that is all I will say.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Retired general Ricardo Sanchez has pulled a Feif. He's written a book explaining how it really wasn't his fault after all and everything would have been fine if it weren't for those meanies who didn't listen to him.

From June 14, 2003 to July 1, 2004, the period immediately following major
combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was the commander of coalition forces,
responsible for all military activity in the Iraq theater of war. I was there
when Saddam Hussein was captured. I was there when the prisoner abuse scandal at
Abu Ghraib occurred. And I was there when low-­level enemy resistance
expanded into a massive insurgency that eventually led to full-­scale civil

Yes, you were in charge during those debacles, weren't you?

The sad saga of Abu Ghraib encapsulates the essence of America's failure in
Iraq. Abu Ghraib also represents America's initial abandonment of its commitment
to human rights and the Geneva Conventions—and an eventual return to reason. In
2004, I refused to sweep Abu Ghraib under the carpet. I still refuse to do

Jesus. America didn't sign orders, you did.

In Plutarch's Moralia, Dareios, the father of Xerxes, said that during
battle, he became more levelheaded. I know the feeling.

Go to hell.

Kitty's got claws.

Katy Jean goes all feminist (or jealous, and which is more likely?):

Why don't they give Chuck Todd his own show already?...Sure, it would be
geek hour, but someone with more than one camera angle (i.e. besides C-SPAN) has
to do it. We know Fox won't be anytime soon, unless they find a geek who looks
good in a bikini, on air.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Le grapes, they are sour.

Yeah, yeah, funny haha. But do you have Ann Althouse coming on to Megan McArdle? I thought not!

Morality--Reason versus Religion?

This study sounds very interesting, but I think there is a problem with its analysis. The subjects' brain activity was monitored to see if people made decisions based on emotion or reason.

This study, reported in the journal Science, suggests that emotion outweighs reason when fairness is at issue, said Michael Gill, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona.

In the study, most people's insula (a brain area "associated with emotions") lighted up when making a moral decision, but several people's insula did not.

``What this suggests is that when you see unfairness, it really bothers you, it makes you feel negative about it, and that reaction pushes you away from unfairness,'' said Quartz, an associate professor in the division of humanities and social sciences, in a telephone interview. ``Emotions seem to keep us in check, and some people don't get this response as strongly.''

But aren't they contradicting themselves? People make decisions based on emotion--except when they don't? Because another possibility is that those people have so thoroughly squashed their emotions that their insula doesn't react. People are not acting out of morality, they are acting out of empathy. And those whom the researchers say act out of reason are simply repressing their emotions to the point that they have none.

The Bloomberg article doesn't say if the scientists interviewed the non-responders to find out why they didn't respond; it seems the study might just establish the role of emotion in moral choices.

People often say we need religion to ensure morality, since moral decisions are based on teachings of God's Law. Instead, moral decisions seem to be based on emotion, and I suspect that is the case in all moral decisions, and that we use reason mostly to add authority to our decisions, just as religious people use God as the authority backing their moral decisions. It certainly explains how self-professed religious people manage to avoid actually following religious teachings about hate, money and humility.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Authoritarian leadership is out of control.

Do conservatives hate their fellow Americans and America in general? They are constantly complaining about them. Women are spoiled, blacks are resentful, Hispanics are leeches on the system, teenagers are disrespectful and violent, everyone persecutes Christians. And when conservatives see a problem they have one solution: more control.

They need someone-something-anything else to come along and make them feel secure. Security, to them, is gained through control. More laws, more priests, more guns, more guards controlling more Americans. One might begin to think that the goal is controlling others out of mindless fear, not protecting the US, which incidentally happens to be the richest* and most powerful nation on earth, in this or any other time. If women aren't controlled men will no longer be needed. If blacks aren't controlled they'll rape your women and riot in your cities. If Hispanics aren't controlled they'll take the Southwest back. If Arabs aren't controlled they'll invade your country, kill your leaders, and convert you to Islam.

Why are conservatives filled with so much mindless fear? Why do they turn to control to deal with problems? Because it is what they know. It's what they were taught from birth. Authoritarian parents demand obedience in return for love. They might do this unconsciously and in response to how they were raised, but they do it all the same. The core of authoritarianism, the rag-and-bone shop of its heart, is the need each one of us has to be loved for ourselves. Just as we are, not prettier, smarter, more religious or more obedient. Loved for our faults as well as our good points, loved the way open and giving babies and little children love, with all their hearts and minds and souls. We give it to our parents and they are either able to love this way in return, or they are not. Authoritarian parents are not able to love their children unequivocally.

They demand obedience instead of seeing the child as an equal. The child's preference are unimportant, it is what the parent wants that counts. The child can't have different opinions, especially in areas of authority such as family, religion and government. And the child grows angry and frustrated, but doesn't dare let himself feel these emotions. If he does, his parents will be angry with him and that means they don't love him. So the child denies his feelings, and soon all feelings. And he grows up, and has children of his own.

We can no longer afford to indulge the authoritarian mindset. Popes and pundits, Bushes and McCains, Democrats who vow to bomb Iran. They are dangerous, and time is running out. There is also the strange catagory of people who choose authoritarianism, some liberals who still have authoritarian tendencies in religion, for example, or fearful people who did not grow up in an authoritarian family but crave control all the same. But most authoritarians, I think, are conservative, and it's long past time everyone starting pointing out this fundamental flaw.

*Once. Now, not so much.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Pat Buchanan, bless his racist little shriveled soul, sez:

The Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans.

Oh noes!!! What do we do? Without white people the world will......Civilization will......The entire planet will shudder to.....

Actually, nothing will happen. So what if white people stop "breeding" (charming word)? The world will go on as before.

The only way it would matter is if you thought non-white people were so low, so ignorant, so stupid, so incompetant, that civilization would crash.

And who would listen to someone who thought like that? That person would be shunned, not put on teevee!