29 February 2008

The play's the thing

I have to note (via WizBang) this story of Code Pinko Medea Benjamin calling out for rescue by the Marines she had but a few minutes before been insulting as cold blooded killers. What mades Benjamin different from normal, sane people is that she won’t achieve the level of introspection needed to see why the rest of us find this so amusing and emblematic.

Good spouse, bad spouse

With all of the buzz about Michelle Obama, one is left pondering the parade of recent Democratic Party Presidential candidates who are smooth talkers with … noticeably less personable spouses. Is it because the husbands had to be easy on the eye and ear or the marriage wouldn’t have lasted? Is the nastiness part of the standard MAL inchoate anger, in effect the private side of most MALists, it’s only that the husbands, being candidates, have learned to control it in public? GOP candidate wives seem to be quite a bit more aurally pleasant, or least not nearly as gaffe prone.

26 February 2008

Throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater

As long as we’re talking about college and how utterly disconnected I was / am from normal social activity, I must admit being completely puzzled by the discussion in this article about the ‘Campus Rape Myth’. The article is a good one about how radical feminism and the theraputic state combine to create a massive support network for a relatively rare phenomenon, and the contradiciton of that and promoting casual, promiscuous sex. But what I found bizarre was its portrayal of women on college campuses.

College girls drink themselves into near or actual oblivion before and during parties. That drinking is often goal-oriented, suggests University of Virginia graduate Karin Agness: it frees the drinker from responsibility and “provides an excuse for engaging in behavior that she ordinarily wouldn’t.” A Columbia University security official marvels at the scene at homecomings: “The women are shit-faced, saying, ‘Let’s get as drunk as we can,’ while the men are hovering over them.” As anticipated, the night can include a meaningless sexual encounter with a guy whom the girl may not even know. This less-than-romantic denouement produces the “roll and scream: you roll over the next morning so horrified at what you find next to you that you scream,” a Duke coed reports in Laura Sessions Stepp’s recent book Unhooked.

Let’s skip over the question of why a woman would enjoy receiving the intimate attention of a drunken frat boy to note that the end result of this process is a woman remembering all the negative aspects of promiscuity, and none of the good parts. Any pleasure from the act is lost in alchohol induced amnesia, while the dross is left to be seared in to memory during the morning “roll and scream”. Is this sort of sexual encounter like a painful duty, best done quickly and with little memory? But duty to whom? It sounds like a “lie back and think of England” thing, which is rather an odd result of putative feminism. And if it’s just a social requirement, why not don’t and say you did? Who’s going to have been sober enough to contradict you?

24 February 2008

Political idolization

Now that Senator Clinton is flaming out, one is left wondering about her impact on our future. Given the kind words Senator McCain has had for Clinton, perhaps she has a future in his administration, as part of his reaching out across the aisle, so to speak.

In another related thought, it has been noted by others that the GOP tends to be far more forgiving of electoral failure than the Democratic Party. In particular, failed candidates for President can come back in the GOP, but not in the Democratic Party (e.g., once Gore and Kerry lost, it was over for them). I suspect this is because the GOP is more about principles / ideals, and the Democratic Party (probably since the end of WWII, certainly since JFK) has been a cult of personality and once an idol has fallen, there’s no picking it back up.

It's all about me chronicles

There’s lots of buzz about Michelle Obama’s senior thesis, which I think is a lot of tizzy about very little. The problem attitudes have either changed, in which case the thesis is irrelevant, or they haven’t, in which case you have contemporary evidence making the thesis irrelevant.

What struck me, though, was her view that she didn’t feel part of the university community because of racism. Well, I spent over a decade in a university during those same years and I never felt part of the university community either. It was the least socially bonding time in my entire life, in fact. I wonder how she’d explain that.

22 February 2008

Like me calling someone "ugly"

Bob Krumm is worried that the current wave of attacks on Senator McCain from the GOP conservatives will provide fodder for the Democratic Party in the fall campaign. I just can’t see that — what, they’re going to run anti-McCain advertisements that say “McCain — he’s not tough enough on illegal immigration” or “McCain — he won’t appoint another Alito to the Supreme Court”? Even the comment by Senator Reid —

The thought of him being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper, and he worries me.

is not one that I would want to use if my candidate was Senator Clinton. Further, given how such complaints seem to have made McCain popular with the moderates and independents, I don’t see why that would be different when it’s the other fringe saying it.


So Senator John McCain is having serious problems with campaign finance laws. He signed up for public financing when his campaign looked dead, and now that he’s winning (and therefore doing better at raising money) he wants out. Meanwhile, the FEC won’t let him go because they don’t have a quorum of members because of … dang, it’s hard to type while laughing like this … Senate resistance to new nominees to the FEC. I thought McCain’s across the aisle, bi-partisanship leadership would be able to grease those through.

Much is made of Senator Clinton’s inability to even concieve of unfortunate event being her fault, in no small part because of her self image as the archetype of righteousness, but it seems to me McCain is not so different in that regard. I have no doubt that somehow, his problems with campaign finance law will turn out to be someone else’s fault and not bad law he created.

11 February 2008

Here after all these years

Tim Blair has post on the deep cold that hit Central Asia in January. All I could think was “at last the Brutal Afghanistan Winter has shown up”.

05 February 2008

Collective voting

I thought the chart in this post was very interesting. Basically, it graphs the absolute number of votes for President for Democratic and Republican Party candidates from 1980 to 2004. The interesting part is that the GOP vote totals go up and down massively, while the Democratic Party vote is almost straight line. You can’t see where Mondale, Perot, or Clinton had any effect. The conclusion drawn by the author is that there are no “swing voters”, only “contingent voters”, and effectively all of the latter are on the political right. People who vote for the Democratic Party candiate just vote, without regard to issues or candidates. The GOP side has to provide a basis for enthusiasm to win. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise that the political faction that favors collectivism and machine politics votes mechanistically. It would be interesting to see if this holds up for Clinton — I have little doubt that Obama will get the votes.

04 February 2008

Why I am not in advertising

I have seen several very positive comments (e.g.) about this unauthorized Obama campaign video. I found it tedious and managed to watch to the end only with a strong effort of will. Between that and crying about me from Senator Clinton, it seems that I just don’t fit in to the current political paradigm.

03 February 2008

My brain hates me

Augh. Reading this post I realized that there is one good thought experiment which makes me more favorable to Senator McCain.

Others have noted McCain’s similarities to former president Nixon (the paranoia, the vengefulness, the liberalism). Like Nixon, I expect McCain to taint the GOP for a decade or two after his term, just like Nixon. Here’s the question, though — if you could go back to 1972, knowing what you do now, would you vote for McGovern on the same theory as voting against McCain now?

When you don't have great men, you ride the tides

One of the points brought up by proponents of Senator John McCain as a presidential candidate is that he wouldn’t surrender in Iraq, unlike either of his likely opponents. However, it’s certainly far from given that either Senator Obama or Clinton would, in fact, surrender. Both are on record as not committing to withdrawing the troops during their (presumed) entire terms. Moverover, even during 2007, when the war was presumed lost by the MAL, legislation to surrender faired so badly that the defeatists gave up trying. If even that level of moonbat sees flat out withdrawal as electorally unacceptable, it’s difficult to see why Obama or Clinton would. Further, given the improving situation in Iraq, I can’t see how support on the American Street fo surrender will increase. As a result, this doesn’t strike me as compelling at all in favor of McCain.

So powerful an evil it is not bound by time

Orrin Judd writes, in one of his typically bizarre rants,

It is, of course, the point of transnationalism to do away with those pesky liberties so that elites can impose their will. And, while nationalism is, indeed, pernicious, it is also an inevitable pathology of secular Darwinism, so will be the opposing pathology which prevents the transnational project from coming to fruition.

Because, of course, there was no nationalism before Darwin published his work.