Archive for ‘Cthulhu’

June 6, 2009

I’m not sure this was part of the narrative

by Smitty (h/t Instapundit)

The Weekly Standard reports:

Senator Lamar Alexander introduced the “Auto Stock for Every Taxpayer Act” today, which would “require the Treasury to distribute to individual taxpayers all its stock in General Motors (GM) and Chrysler within one year following the emergence of the companies from bankruptcy proceedings.”

I see a few problems with this:

  • The Treasury Department stole those shares fair and square. Loss of the asset could have deleterious effects on various graft, kickback, and corruption schemes. Distributing shares has not been deemed The Right Thing to Do.
  • If people have something to lose, they may cease to vote as if they’ve nothing to lose. Thus, this is a violation of the ‘total enslavement’ doctrine.
  • Some of the lumpentproletariat may even figure out the game, and become harder to manipulate. Heaven forbid, they may even become as educated as someone who went to Yale or Havard, given enough generations. This would not do.
  • Lamar Alexander is a Republican, and thus cannot be permitted to diminish the glow of The One.
  • He Who Must Not Be Named would be displeased.
April 11, 2009

Pax Americana Fugit?

by Smitty

Philo of over at The View from Alexandria posts a review of the POTUS world tour and summarizes:

it became clear that, as Caroline Glick says in a brilliant article, Obama was announcing that America will no longer act as the world’s policeman. Pax Americana is over.

By all means, pay attention to the lips. But do not ignore the wallet. At the moment, the US still allocates the lion’s share of the global defense budget. Past performance is no guarantee of future outlays, however. Badly as some might wish to resurrect the Monroe Doctrine, the rest of the world may not permit it. You can’t have tsunami relief without a navy, for example. And how do you fund the chronic boredom while you await the acute crisis?
Philo’a analysis gets more critical:

There are several lessons to take away from all this, I think. First, it’s become clear that the left really is fundamentally hostile to human freedom. Leftists talk as if they are the defenders of civil liberties, human rights around the globe, etc. Yet in every global conflict they take the side of those who quash civil liberties and violate human rights. I can only conclude that the talk is either insincere or based on the foolish fantasy that if the United States were friendly to bullies they would stop being bullies and become like us.

Come on, Philo: the Renaissance and Enlightenment were but fads. We now have the velvet handcuffs of Socialism to give us happiness in slavery. Lighten up and dig the cookbook, man.

Second, the Obama administration is at best naive, operating on the basis of such a fantasy. But it may something much worse than that. Glenn Reynolds famously said about some opponents of the war in Iraq: “they’re not anti-war; they’re just on the other side.” Think about the peace movement of the 1920s and 1930s. Some of those people were naive, thinking that if Britain and the United States disarmed and made enough concessions to Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler, there would be peace. But some were Soviet or Nazi sympathizers. Some were Soviet agents. Is Obama naive enough to think that if America disarms and appeases aggressors they will stop being aggressors? Or does he want the aggressors to win? Is he, in short, on the other side?

If he is Gödel’s incompleteness theorem applied to the US Constitution, then we have to calmly admit that we got here over decades. Then we have to rip our eyes away from the inferior distractions like the League of Ordinary Milquetoasts and muster at the Tea Party for some principled, Constitutional opposition. Toughen up for the 2010 elections. This administration is only the Thing That Should Not Let It Be if we do nothing.(Stacy will flog me for that, no doubt)

April 10, 2009

Do you remember when…

by Smitty

…dealing with the bank didn’t make your wonder WTF? Case in point:

Our records indicate that you have made zero (0) transfers/withdrawals month-to-date.
Federal Regulations limit transfers from savings accounts, including Money Market Savings Accounts (MMSA), to a total of six per calendar month by means of preauthorized, automatic, telephonic (FAX, Touch-Tone Teller, or oral) or Internet instruction. Please note: From MMSAs only three of the applicable six transfers can be by means of check. Transfers made in person, by mail, or by ATM are exempt from these regulations.

<rant>
Thanks a lot, government. First you turn travel into a godforsaken nightmare. Now it seems that some beancounter is going to lean on me if, for some unforeseen reason, I need to make a seventh transfer.
Would such a request mark me a terrorist? Do you have rationale for this? For the tax money spent letting you spineless nitwits think up this nonsense, I should at least enjoy a YouTube link to some pencil neck geek explaining to me WTF this means, including:

  • What metrics demonstrate that this inanity adds to national security.
  • How Madoffs and sub-prime mortgage crises will be averted.
  • Where the limit on the prostate exam is to be found–the tonsils?

This is Cthulhu does finance.
</rant>

March 28, 2009

Thoughts on the ‘Ransom-Note Method’ and the Twelfth Commandment

Ed Driscoll says he doesn’t know whether it was me or Kathy Shaidle who coined the term “Ransom-Note Method” to describe the way the Left uses selective quotation to smear its targets.

It was me, but with a caveat: The Ransom-Note Method was actually first labeled such by another one of its victims, a friend of mine who hasn’t claimed credit for the coinage and whose name I therefore can’t reveal.

The term derives from the way the smear merchants typically assemble their smears by quoting a phrase here, two words there, and two sentences from something else, and then gluing it together with their own perjorative interpolations and a bit of guilt-by-association, much like a kidnapper cutting out words from a magazine to paste together a ransom note.

This was how Rush Limbaugh’s “I want him to fail” remark became such a scandalous thing. As Jeff Goldstein has pointed out, if you read Limbaugh’s remarks in context — I actually heard the whole monologue as Rush did it live on the radio — it is very clear the point he was making:

Obama is trying to implement a liberal agenda. I am not a liberal, and I think liberalism is bad for the country. Therefore, I hope Obama fails in his attempt to implement it.

The only thing really “controversial” in Rush’s monologue is the belief that liberalism is a bad thing, which is something that every real conservative ought to believe. And Limbaugh, as he made clear from the outset, was responding to a “major American print publication” which was “asking a handful of very prominent politicians, statesmen, scholars, businessmen, commentators, and economists to write 400 words on their hope for the Obama presidency.”

Stimuli and Responses
The fact that Limbaugh’s “I hope he fails” was a response to such an insipid inquiry — this newspaper was actually framing their inaugural commentary in terms of “Hope,” the Obama campaign’s own propaganda slogan — has received too little attention. One of the basic tactics of the Ransom-Note Method is to separate the stimulus from the response in this manner. In other words, someone sees or hears something outrageous, says or writes something outrageous in response, and the smear merchants then isolate the response, so that it is presented without adequate reference to whatever stimulus produced it.

BTW, sometimes conservatives are guilty of using the same technique, turning a 15-second audio clip into an hour’s worth of a talk-radio denunciation. Unfair rhetorical methods are unfair rhetorical methods, whoever employs them. (Where I come from, I never heard of a “fair fight.”) But the way the Left uses this tactic is wicked. What makes the Ransom-Note Method so lethally effective? Three things:

  • Liberal dominance in major media. Having worked more than two decades in the news business, I never had a real newsroom argument about politics until I stopped being a Democrat. The extent to which the Democratic hegemony among journalists actually produces bias, well, you can argue that with Bernie Goldberg if you want. My point is that journalists in general are more receptive to negative reports about Republicans, and therefore smears against Republicans get more traction in the media. George F. Allen’s “macaca” ran on the front page of the Washington Post for seven consecutive days. QED.
  • The imputation of bad faith. One of the tricks of effective propaganda is to connect a new accusation to what “everybody knows” — that is, to present new information in a way that reinforces the pre-existing beliefs of Conventional Wisdom. Liberals have labored mightily for decades to convince Americans that Republicans are evil racist sexist bigoted homophobes, and so when a conservative says something that can be construed as reinforcing that perception, the smear-mongers say, “A-ha! See? We told you so!” The issue then becomes not so much the specific facts of the latest accusation, but rather the larger question of bad faith (mala fides). No one ever credibly suggested that George Allen hated Indian-Americans, but “macaca” was contextualized as part of the “Republicans are racists” meme, an accusation of bad faith, so that nothing Allen said in his own defense could get a fair hearing.
  • Republican cowardice. Few things infuriate me so much as the cringing defensiveness of Republicans who think they can concede every premise of the liberal syllogism and yet expect voters to come to some other conclusion than “Vote Democrat.” Too many Republicans have that cowardly punk reflex where, whenever there’s a fight, their first concern is for their own safety, rather than trying to win the fight. So when they saw George Allen under assault for “macaca,” too many Republicans were silent and did not stand up to denounce the unfair and untrue accusations of racism against him.
You see this “punk factor” in the GOP all the time, but never so much as when unfair charges are leveled against a prominent conservative fighter like Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. A cowardly punk never admires or strives to emulate success, but always envies and resents it. The punk’s habitual modus operandi is to encourage others to join his efforts to undermine the prestige and authority of successful leadership. The punk assembles a coalition of losers, an army of naysayers who sit around griping and grumbling about everything, telling each other how unfairly they’ve been treated, and blaming all their woes on the successful people.

Opportunities for Opportunists
Success is attractive. But any successful effort also attracts cowardly punks, who desire to benefit parasitically from the vision and hard work of others. And so during what we might call The Golden Age of Conservatism — the 25 years from Reagan’s 1981 inauguration to the GOP debacle of the 2006 election — the conservative movement attracted a lot of shrewd self-interested people who saw the “conservative” label as a vehicle for their own personal ambition. Hello, David Brooks.

American Spectator publisher Al Regnery was born and raised in the conservative movement and worked in the Reagan administration. His father, Henry Regnery, published many of the classic works of conservatism, including William F. Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale. Last spring, I interviewed Regnery about his book Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism. I asked Regnery for his thoughts on how the movement had seemed to lose its way in recent years, and his reply was memorable:

“You look back in the earlier times, there were no opportunities, so there were no opportunists,” Regnery says, noting how liberals heaped abusive epithets on Buckley, Goldwater, and other early conservative leaders. “Later on, you have all these people who figure it’s probably a pretty good political thing to do. And so they start talking about being conservative when they’re running [for office], but they really aren’t. So when they get to Congress or wherever they go, they’re pretty easily dissuaded.”

Regnery was speaking specifically about Republican politicians, but what he said could be applied with equal truth to “conservative” intellectuals like David Brooks — parasites who latched onto The Movement for the opportunities it offered, rather than from any courageous conviction of the need to stand athwart history and yell, “Stop!”

The Crapweasel Coalition
When the chips are down, when the GOP is hurting from electoral disaster, when the conservative movement is discordant and demoralized, nothing helpful or constructive can be expected from the David Brookses, the parasitical opportunists, the pathetic fleas who ride on the elephant’s ass.

Brooks revealed himself as a worthless punk with his “National Greatness” nonsense in 1997, which ought to have resulted in his immediate disfellowship as a heretic to the faith. Yet because he was deemed useful to the ambitions of others — having kissed all the right asses in his sycophantic ascent — Brooks was allowed to remain in the congregation, sowing discontent and promoting heresy among fellow congregants, which brought him to the attention of the New York Times.

Here’s a clue for the youngsters: If the New York Times ever offers to publish you, you’re doing something wrong.

It is cowardly punks like David Brooks, and all their sorry crapweasel imitators, who make the Ransom Note Method such an effective weapon for liberals. What has become known as “the 11th Commandment” — Thou shalt speak no ill of a fellow Republican — is usually, and wrongly, attributed to Ronald Reagan, and it is also widely misunderstood.

The 11th Commandment was actually coined by California state Republican Party chairman Gaylord Parkinson during the 1966 GOP gubernatorial primary. Parkinson had seen how, during the fight for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination, the milquetoast moderate opponents of Barry Goldwater had done the Democrats’ dirty work for them, by labeling Goldwater a radical warmongering demagogue. Thus, once Goldwater won the nomination, all LBJ’s henchmen had to do was to repeat the accusation: “Barry Goldwater is a paranoid wacko extremist — as even his fellow Republicans agree!”

David Brooks is not a candidate for public office and is therefore not covered by the 11th Commandment. Thus to denounce him is no sin and, as a neutral objective professional journalist, my first obligation is to the write The Truth: David Brooks is a crapweasel.

Furthermore, the next time some genuine conservative who’s trying to accomplish something useful says something subject to misinterpretation and thus finds himself under attack by the Ransom Note Method, I will invoke what I call the 12th Commandment:

Thou shalt have no mercy on a crapweasel.

Don’t say you weren’t warned, punks.

UPDATE: “Read the whole thing,” says Kathy Shaidle, and aren’t you glad you did? Think about it: Would any wise man risk The Wrath of Kathy by disobeying her?

UPDATE II: Another woman whose righteous wrathfulness reminds me of my wife, Monique Stuart advises, “It’s well worth a thorough read!”

UPDATE III:If you don’t read it, my Irish wife will hunt you down and kill you.”

UPDATE IV: “The Other McCain once again enlightens on the nuts-and-bolts of the manipulation of thought through the manipulation of language.”

UPDATE V: Dad29 praises “this perceptive observation.”

UPDATE VI: James Fulford links and comments.

UPDATE VII: WELCOME, INSTAPUNDIT READERS! Please leave a comment, buy a book, check out Britney Spears, or watch this inspirational video.

UPDATE VIII: Now a Memeorandum thread (Rule 3), we’re linked by Pat at So It Goes In Shreveport and Chris at Point of a Gun. Meanwhile, No Sheeples Here came up with this artwork:

UPDATE IX: Speaking of artwork, Lady Godiva invokes Commandment XII, even if she’s a little confused as to the Seventh Day.

March 23, 2009

Quick note on site traffic

Just making a quick note mainly for my own purposes: Late on Feb. 13, we passed 1 million cumulative visits. About 2 a.m. today, we passed 1.2 million, meaning it took about 37 days to add 1/5th of our second million. If that pace of traffic can be maintained for another 148 days, then . . . well, a goal of 2 million by Labor Day would seem reasonable, eh?

(Quick, Smitty — more Cthulhu!)

But in the wee A.M. hours (when I’m writing this, for later publication), traffic slows down for political blogging, and the SiteMeter tells you very interesting things about what keyword combinations the freaks are Googling for.

(Quick, Smitty — more Miley Cyrus!)

Hey, what the heck, some celebrity gossip:

Totally random. But at 3 a.m. sometime months or even years from now, when a freak is Googling “miley+cyrus+hooker+bikini+gay+photo,” I’ll get that random Google hit. And hits is hits, beyotches.

March 6, 2009

Where Did the Pleasant Cthulhu Go?

by Smitty
The poor wee Cramer:

I also made it clear in a New York magazine article that I favored Obama over McCain because I thought Obama to be a middle-of-the-road Democrat, exactly the kind I have supported all my adult life, although I will admit to being far more left-wing during my teenage years and early 20s.
To be totally out of the closet, I actually embrace every part of Obama’s agenda, right down to the increase on personal taxes and the mortgage deduction. I am a fierce environmentalist who has donated multiple acres to the state of New Jersey to keep forever wild. I believe in cap and trade. I favor playing hardball with drug companies that hold up the U.S. government with me-too products.

Oh, it must have been pleasant in that closet, Mr. Cramer. Not that we’re the least bit interested in the rituals. Now, however, you can reap the whirlwind with the rest of us:

So I will fight the fight against that agenda. I will stand up for what I believe and for what I have always believed: Every person has a right to be rich in this country and I want to help them get there. And when they get there, if times are good, we can have them give back or pay higher taxes. Until they get there, I don’t want them shackled or scared or paralyzed. That’s what I see now.
If that makes me an enemy of the White House, then call me a general of an army that Obama may not even know exists — tens of millions of people who live in fear of having no money saved when they need it and who get poorer by the day.

No, Cramer, the truth about world-class evil is that it can afford to devour the worshippers as well, knowing that there will always be a supply of useful idiots, until humanity itself is gone, which is the other big win. Your consolation prize was also eaten, but here is a free clip upon which to ruminate:

UPDATE (RSM): Dang, Smitty’s got the blog-fu goin’ on, don’t he? Give the man kudos. And he got ‘Lanched!