Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Joan Walsh's Speech At Danzig

In the process of having some fun at Dean's expense, I spent a little time going over Hitler's pre-war and invasion of Poland speeches. I'd previously read that Hitler was a great devotee of the atheist Nietzsche and to one extent or another was a fan of Darwinian natural selection. In 10 Books That Screwed Up The World, Benjamin Wiker describes Hitler's obsession with racial and cultural fantasies. Finally, I came across Hitler's speech at Danzig following the invasion of Poland. It's racial and cultural lunacy. Dig these passages.
One thing has been clearly proved in the last twenty years; the Poles who had not founded that culture also were not able to maintain it. It has been shown again that only he who is himself culturally creative can permanently maintain real cultural performance.

Thirty years would have been sufficient to reduce again to barbarism those territories which the Germans, painstakingly and with industry and thrift, had saved from barbarism. Everywhere traces of this retrogression and decay were visible... 
There is a difference whether people of lower cultural value has the misfortune to be governed by a culturally significant people or whether a people of high cultural significance has forced upon it the tragic fate of being oppressed by an inferior.

In this inferior people all its inferiority complexes will be compensated upon a higher culture-bearing people. This people will be horribly and barbarically mistreated and Germans have been evidence of this fate for twenty years.
Now check out Joan Walsh's loopy, race-crazed screed at Slate, The Year In Whiteness.
Maybe it was the very fact of enjoying a wonderful Christmas with my family and friends, against the manufactured backlash to a nonexistent “War on Christmas,” that let me appreciate the perilous mental state of a small but noisy and paranoid swath of white America. Somehow over the holiday it became clear: 2013 was the year white grievance mongering became an uglier and even more lucrative racket.
It goes on and on with only the Koch Brothers and Dick Cheney left out of the hate fest. There's Phil Robertson, Sarah Palin, Fox News, the whole panoply of  "people of lower cultural value" leading the way for paranoid whities. It's fascinating, in a perverse, demented sense.

I suppose I ought to offer some kind of alternate take on the data points that Frau Walsh interprets through racialist eyes, but why? Does anyone actually think the Poles were somehow culturally inferior? OK, I suppose I'll give it a half-hearted try.


There, that's as much as she's worth, probably more.

Update: A white Christian singing happily about inter-racial marriage? Consider Joanie's little racialist mind blown. One can just see her rocking back and forth on her bed, biting into her pillow, screaming into it, begging for the image of conservative Christians of all races happily singing together to go away.

In the end, there's only one possible response to the crimes of the culturally inferior whities.

Monday, December 30, 2013

How Many Fiancées Do You Need, Anyway?

The Puppy Blender is at it again, agitating about the War on Boys. Meanwhile, feminists are yapping at each other about who is the most feministy or something like that. Our buddies at Legal Insurrection are chiming in as well. Apparently, the war between the sexes, such as it is, has reached a critical phase.


When I read about this or that school outlawing gun-shaped waffles or some educator prattling on about how we desperately need more female scientists and engineers, I have to shrug. As the head of a family of four unwed young adults, these changes alter national statistics, but don't alter the general equation.

Our boys need to find young women who will make good wives and mothers and our daughter needs to find a young man who will make a good husband and father. One apiece. That's it. If Tiffany in El Cajon happens to have been taught crystal healing and aspires to be a career-obsessed lawyer or Daniel in Normal Heights is in touch with his sensitive side and is studying Medieval Literature with a minor in living at home and downloading porn, good for them. That's two candidates down. Two out of ten million or so.

Instead of freaking out every time some poor sap who's been indoctrinated into the current rage of political correctness blathers on about victim groups or bans some Christian symbol, it would probably be a lot better to just smile and move on. In the end, strong men and nurturing women who have needed skills, spend less than they earn and go to church will win out. We always have.

Bell bottoms came and went, too. Western civilization didn't end.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Too Manly To Blog

I'm using power tools, drinking beer and watching football in my garage. Theology, cats, economics and general carping and whining will resume tomorrow.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Don't Wait To Give Of Yourself

... because you'll be missing too much fun.

My most recent session at Catholic Charities started with an elderly Russian fellow who spoke only broken English. He was so delighted when I said "Thank you" to him in Russian that he fished around in his pockets and gave me one of those chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. And I thought I was there to give him things.

Later, there was an elderly black man wearing a N'awlins Saints ballcap who talked football with me. He wasn't really a Saints fan as he was from Texas. He told me that he stopped rooting for the Cowboys when Roger Staubach retired. I almost fell out of my chair! He said he was now a Tomboy as in a fan of Tom Brady. That was great.

Seriously, it all went downhill in Dallas when he left. Image source.
The best customer of all was an older British gentleman who was from Middlesborough, a town just a few miles south of ... Newcastle. Howay the lads! He was so happy to have someone listen to his stories that he spent a good ten minutes regaling me with tales of English accents. He said the people from the very southern end of England had accents so severe that he couldn't make heads or tails of them. He said that in the 1950s, there was a British movie about these people that actually had English subtitles. Hilarious!

I should pay to work there, I swear.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Post On Camden, Probably Because I Lack Imagination

... and can't think of anything else.

One of our sons read the Rolling Stone piece discussed earlier and had an interesting take on it.

What's the plan here? Essentially, as soon as the police presence was reduced due to budget cuts, the residents of Camden fell upon each other like wild beasts. The only thing keeping them from turning Camden into Mogadishu is a subsidized military presence. What's the path to a future where the Camdenites aren't continuously straining at the leash, striving to get at each other?

When I mentioned that the most recent graduating class of high school seniors managed to have only three students test as "ready for college" on the SAT*, the reaction was even more pronounced. The people of Camden aren't even trying. The SAT isn't nuclear physics and it's not written in ancient Aramaic. "College ready" isn't a hopelessly high bar to average students.

I agree with those sentiments. I'd suggest that the answer to our son's question of how to achieve some kind of sustainable success in Camden lies in missionary work. The post-modern, Ivy League, secular culture has turned Camden into a nest of self-destruction through self-gratification. The experiment in secular morality has failed and failed miserably. Now that we're two generations into this, cultural memory of better times and a better way to live are mostly forgotten.

To get it back, we're going to have to go full Marquette and Joliet on the place.
* - That's three as in uno-dos-tres out of something like 1200-1500 882.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Androcles And The Smaller Catican Guard

I had something else to blog about, but a medical emergency within the Catican staff took precedence. Out on maneuvers with the Catican Guards (we must keep them fit and ready at all times, you know), the smaller Guard picked up some thorns in her paw while hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Through expert medical techniques, a thorough understanding of paws and some Benadryl liquid, we managed to remove all the thorns.

The smaller Guard is now resting quietly* and will be able to return to her normal duties tomorrow.

* - This is a bit of a stretch. The smaller guard doesn't do anything "quietly" as she is quite the wiggly little thing. Let's just say she's wiggling quietly. Or something like that.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Every Good Thing

... by The Afters. It's a great song for this time of the year when we've got family all around, but are really busy doing ... what is it we're doing this time of year other than loving those around us and rejoicing in the birth of Christ?

Oh yeah, shopping*.


* - In our family, we've told the kids not to shop for presents. My wife and I take care of all of that so the kids can relax. The youngest is 17, two are in college and the fourth is starting out in his career. They don't mind fewer gifts and they love the chance to enjoy every good thing without the stress of shopping.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Camden, Yet Again

Rolling Stone has decided to get into the Camden act with a lengthy article, Apocalypse, New Jersey. It's pretty standard liberal fare, with budget cuts and union contracts and race discussed, ad naseum. It's also a pretty good hit piece on Chris Christie, who slashed state subsidies to the city, resulting in mass police layoffs.
On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town.

After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight. Some enterprising locals made up T-shirts celebrating the transfer of power from the cops back to the streets: JANUARY 18, 2011 – it's our time. A later design aped the logo of rap pioneers Run-DMC, and "Run-CMD" – "CMD" stands both for "Camden" and "Cash, Money, Drugs" – became the unofficial symbol of the unoccupied city, seen in town on everything from T-shirts to a lovingly rendered piece of wall graffiti on crime-ridden Mount Ephraim Avenue.

Cops started calling in sick in record numbers, with absenteeism rates rising as high as 30 percent over the rest of 2011. Burglaries rose by a shocking 65 percent. The next year, 2012, little Camden set a record with 67 homicides, officially making it the most dangerous place in America, with 10 times the per-capita murder rate of cities like New York: Locals complained that policing was completely nonexistent and the cops were "just out here to pick up the bodies." The carnage left Camden's crime rate on par with places like Haiti after its 2010 earthquake...
As expected from a hipster rag like Rolling Stone, there's nothing whatsoever in there questioning why the residents voluntarily turned feral. It's bad form to criticize things you love to do yourself, so sleeping around and smoking blunts is not the problem, the problem is a lack of subsidies and media attention. The author, Matt Taibbi, clearly has no interest whatsoever in being labeled a prude and his article is suffused with the foundational assumptions that underlie the kinds of attacks that our friend Renee faces all the time.

What's missing from the article is any kind of vision for the future where Camden is self-sustaining. The residents are little more than wards of the State and pitiable creatures who, quite naturally in Taibbi's mind, turn to crime and depravity as a matter of course. Nothing else can be expected of them, and the rest of us seem condemned to support and absolve them for the rest of our lives.

That's not going to happen in a nation where massive government borrowing is being financed with printed money. Whether Mr. Taibbi likes it or not, the residents of Camden are on their own and people like Matt need to start factoring that into their articles.

This is all your fault because you aren't giving them enough money.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Camden Revisited

Camden, NJ, is the large city with the highest percentage of single parents. It's an outstanding example of the fruits of moral relativism. Yesterday, I saw this.
(NEWSER) – Just how bad are things in Camden's schools? So bad that only three students there managed a "college ready" SAT score in 2013, new superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard revealed yesterday. He called the number a "kick-in-the-stomach moment."
There are 80,000 people in Camden. Assuming a life expectancy of 80 years and a linear population distribution, both making it seem better than it is for these stats, that's 1,000 high school seniors.

And only 3 are college ready.

If it weren't for southern, white Christian prudes, more Camden kids would be ready for STEM careers.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Everyone Is Suffering

... and the NAACP will freak out if you say otherwise.

Phil Robertson had this to say about his relationship with blacks in his life:
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person," Robertson told GQ writer Drew Margary. "Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
For his apostasy, the NAACP labeled him a racist. The very thought that he got along with blacks and they were happy! Outrageous!

One of the things I've enjoyed working with the poor and the homeless is how un-racially-conscious they are. It's nothing to see a young black man sharing some of his food with a Hispanic dude or to see a black woman making sure that an elderly Asian woman gets seen first, even though the Asian can't speak a word of English and the black woman could have gone ahead of her. When the whole Zimmerman thing was going crazy and we all needed to have a National Conversation on Race, nothing changed downtown. Everyone got along just fine in that little, very racially diverse world. Also, despite being poor to the point where they needed to come to us for food, they were a pretty cheerful lot.

Hmm. I seem to be speaking heresy, just like Phil. Can this be our little secret? I'd really appreciate it if none of you told the NAACP that I'd written these things.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Crisis Is Happening Long Before STEM Decisions

There's a good article in IEEE Spectrum debating the notion that there's a crisis-level shortfall in the number of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM). I would argue that such shortfalls come and go as people respond to economic incentives. If there aren't enough truck mechanics, the pay will increase until enough people become truck mechanics. At any point in time, there are career fields that have too many people and some that have too few. That's not a crisis, that's normal.

Arguments in favor of Doing Something and Making It A Priority talk about wasted human resources and the like. I agree with the concern for wasted human resources, but it's happening long before any career decisions that might lead to work in the STEM fields. The more I work with the poor and homeless and talk to my friends in the prison ministry, the more I see how the destruction of marriage is snuffing out successful lives before the kids even get to kindergarten. The lost souls we see on the street escaping abuse, turning to drugs, relying on prostitution or robbery to make a living and the folks in our overflowing prisons are totally dominated by this crisis demographic.

With some work, I can help a kid with math and science capabilities get into a STEM career, provided he has a stable and supportive environment at home. If he doesn't have that environment, no matter how much I push STEM, my friends and I are far more likely to see him in prison or down at the food bank.

In related news, Phil Robertson was suspended from his A&E show, Duck Dynasty, for supporting the crucial building blocks of STEM.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On The Irrelevance Of Robert Fulton

Pondering yesterday's visit to my daughter's school where the teachers were focused on the racial aspects of their topic areas and whose classrooms were festooned with racial posters, I wonder what has come of learning about the lives of people like Robert Fulton.

Fulton is best known for his work on steamboats, but he was also a pioneer in submarines as well. He was quite the entrepreneur, seeking funding from anyone who happened to be nearby, swearing allegiance to them if he thought it would bring him financial backing. He studied as an artist and then an engineer and his accomplishments were considerable.

Unfortunately for the children of my daughter's generation, it's doubtful she will hear much more about him than to associate his name, in a dim and distant way, with steamboats. Her classes are so full of tales of bigotry and how people suffered under racial discrimination that there's not much room left for businessmen, inventors or explorers.

In this video, Robert Fulton gets his groove on.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why The Black Santa Matters

A short post on a topic I hadn't planned to touch, but whose meaning seemingly just leaped out at me and grabbed my legs*.

I stopped by my daughter's public high school just now to talk to the History and English teachers. I was looking for some extra credit she could do over the Christmas break. Both teachers discussed race. In History, I was encouraged to have her see movies and write about slavery. In English, it was slavery and Hispanic discrimination. There was nothing aggressive about it, it was all very matter-of-fact as if that's the sort of thing that should take up at least 85% of all class time.

Of course people who marinated in the public education system for 16+ years think Santa doesn't have to be white. Just how weird would you have to be to even suggest otherwise?

St. Nicholas of Myra. A black man, to be sure. Just like George Washington.
 * - I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Little More On David Brooks And Authoritatianism

Yesterday, I had some fun with Dean's excellent post wherein he was shocked to see yet another NYT columnist come out in favor of authoritarian rule. I linked to Leni Reifenstahl's Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. Doing a little more digging today, I came across this wherein was this tidbit.
The film's most enduring and dangerous illusion is that Nazi Germany was a super-organized state that, although evil in nature, was impressive nonetheless.

In reality, Nazi Germany was only well organized to the degree that it was a murderous police state. The actual Reich government was a tangled mess of inefficient agencies and overlapping bureaucracies led by ruthless men who had little, if any, professional administrative abilities. From the Reich's first hours in January 1933 until the end in May 1945, various departmental leaders battled each other for power, and would do anything to curry favor with a superior Nazi authority and especially with Hitler, the ultimate authority.
I found that interesting as I had always associated organization and efficiency with the Nazi state. Clicking around the Interweb, I found lots of corroboration. Why I had thought that the Nazis were any different than the Soviets, the Peronists or the Italian fascists, I'm sure I don't know.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

NBC Sports For The Win!

In the past, I've been harsh on the way NBC Sports managed its English Premier League rights. My biggest complaint was that unlike Fox Sports, which owned the rights last year, NBC didn't offer games on demand. This meant that for those of us on the West Coast too tired to get up at 4:30 AM to watch Manchester City vs. Arsenal, we'd never have a chance to see the game.

Things have changed. Dig this.

All of this weekend's games, on demand, held for a full week for our viewing pleasure. NBC's video quality has always been stellar, so the replays are excellent. Also, there's a new feature on the site where you can turn off the scoreboard ticker tape at the top of the screen so none of the games are spoiled for you.

NBC Sports, I love you again!

Leni Reifenstahl Refutes Dean

Our normally coherent buddy Dean over at the Monastery of Miscellaneous Musings has managed to blow a gasket and has come down hard on the inimitable David Brooks. David, who writes for the race-obsessed New York Times* and is famously known for enjoying snappy dressers, has come out in favor of more power for the Administration. Together, race obsessions, snappy uniforms and total power handed over to the State add up to a classic tale of success and effectiveness, documented by dear old Leni Reifenstahl.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer, Deano. Get with the pogrom. Err, program.

* - Under the definitions laid out in the Nuremberg Race Laws, Zimmerman is most certainly a white-Hispanic.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Let's Pretend

So here we are, it's December 13, and there's been nothing even remotely like the number of complete transactions required to make ObamaCare work properly for the insurers in terms of creating balanced risk pools or even enough completed transactions to recover from the millions who have lost their health insurance. The latest banana republic decree from La Casa Blanca by el presidente and his henchcreatures is that insurers should deem that people who have completed some minimum amount of registration on the website to have actually paid their premiums.

Sort of the way the law was deemed passed instead of actually, you know, voting on the thing.

In a nutshell, if you are, say, Aetna, you have to pretend that Jim Schwartz in Topeka has paid his first premiums not because he actually did, but because somewhere in the system someone created the vestiges of an account for Jim Schwartz. Reality has been swept away at one more layer, this time at the private sector. As I see it, the stratification is something like this.
  1. Government borrowing. In reality, we don't have enough tax receipts to cover all of our "compassion." Let's pretend that handing out cash to people with no requirements on their part save need is an investment and we'll get that money back in the future somehow.
  2. Government printing. In reality, there's not enough idiots in the world with dollar bills falling out of their pockets to lend us the money we need for our "compassion," so we'll just print what we need. Some day in the future, we'll sell this debt on the open market because at that point, the number of idiots with cash will be much, much larger.
  3. Fake payments to private companies. In reality, we can't tell who has signed up for insurance and who hasn't, who can afford their premiums and who can't, but we have an obsessive need to show our "compassion," so we're going to pretend that the payments have been made and everyone can get the healthcare we think they should.
#3 has just been reached with the latest set of fixes to ObamaCare. The next logical step will be for the government to force banks to accept pretend deposits from the insurers so they can make payroll.

Playing "Let's Pretend" is fun.

It's real if we say it is.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Biggest News Story Of The Year, Bigger Even Than ObamaCare

... is this one, where California's high speed rail project has been blocked by government regulations.

Government has become so huge, so intrusive, so permeating that it has created a set of regulations that even it can't follow. While ObamaCare is Chernobyl, something spectacular and stunning, the growth of government regulations is more like the Dust Bowl - all-encompassing and stifling.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

If It's Tuesday, This Blog Post Must Be About Japan's Debt Crisis

This can't be good.
TOKYO—Japan's $1.2 trillion public pension fund should start selling domestic bonds, and could unload more than two-thirds of its holdings of such debt, the head of a pension-reform panel said Monday.
To review, here's the Japanese plan for success:

  1. Run up a monstrous debt
  2. Raise taxes and spend all that money and more on "infrastructure"
  3. Print money at warp speed and buy government bonds, trying to increase inflation 
  4. Hold interest rates on government bonds at ridiculously low levels so that any inflation at all makes them total losers as investments
  5. Watch your major bond holders sell them and take their money out of the country
  6. Print more money to buy that government debt as well
  7. mumble mumble mumble
  8. Win!
PS - I'm not sure why Tuesdays have become Japan debt crisis blog post days. It just happened that way.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Open Thread - What Does It Mean To Be A Man?

Driving home from my folks' house after Thanksgiving, my 21-year-old son and I were alone in the car when he brought up the topic of what it means to be a man. I'll leave my own definition out of it right now because I'd like to hear yours without my input. So here's the question for you to answer in the comments:

What does it mean to be a man?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

PS - OK girls, if you think there aren't any good guys out there, the lad is about to finish an engineering degree, he surfs and plays sports, plays guitar and bass in a garage band and he goes to church.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

You're On Your Own, Herschel

The leader of the world's only remaining superpower said this recently:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are times where I, as President of the United States, am going to have different tactical perspectives than the Prime Minister of Israel -- and that is understandable, because Israel cannot contract out its security. In light of the history that the people of Israel understand all too well, they have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves. And we respect that. And I have said that consistently to the Prime Minister.
It's probably not a good idea to tell a nuclear power who has credible reasons to feel existentially threatened that America isn't totally on board with its basic fears. (T)hey have to make sure that they are making their own assessments about what they need to do to protect themselves translates into don't expect us to help.

Message received, Mr. President. You can go back to your golf game, we've got this one covered.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

You've Got To Have Passions

This morning, I got up at 4:30 AM to catch the Newcastle United - Manchester United game. I made my coffee, poured it in my Newcastle mug, put on my Jonas Gutierrez jersey and hung out with our Toon Army-colored Maximum Leader and watched the game on my laptop.

We won, 1-0. It was the first time Newcastle had won at Old Trafford, ManU's home field, since 1972. When Cabaye's shot went in, midway through the second half, I was screaming soundlessly, bouncing around the room. I sat there biting my nails for the last 15 minutes of the game, praying they'd hold on. It was electric.

I've never been to Newcastle. Up until the 2010 World Cup, I wasn't even a soccer fan. My daughter's soccer coach in 2010 gave them homework to watch two complete World Cup games every week and I got hooked. When the World Cup was over, I latched on to the English Premier League because it's simply the best sports league in the world. When picking a team, I went for someone who wore black and white - with our Maximum Leader being a tuxedo cat, what else could I do? Newcastle it was and so it began.

Now I read the Newcastle United blog, know all the players, have Newcastle shirts, a sweatshirt, the mug and the jersey. When they lost this week to Swansea, it was awful. Right now, life is rainbows and sunshine. Tonight, our Maximum Leader will get celebratory tuna and I'll still be walking on air.

Yohan Cabaye after scoring the winning goal today. Note: the yellow jersey is not their normal colors.
In some ways, this craziness is a waste of time and money. I could be doing more productive things with all of this energy.

But it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Pelican Sunset

I'm up early to watch the Newcastle - Manchester United game, so I thought I might as well blog early. This week the sunsets have been fantastic and yesterday I was finally in a spot where I could capture one. I love the way the pelicans are skimming across the water right in front of a glorious sunset. I left it large, so I think it's worth a click to see the full image.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Never Mind, Japan Is Saved!

They've gone and done it! They've cracked the code over in Tokyo. Those crafty Japanese have figured out how to get their economy going full speed. They're going to raise taxes and have the government spend the money.
TOKYO—The Japanese government on Thursday unveiled details of a ¥5.5 trillion spending package to mitigate the expected drag on the economy from an upcoming sales tax increase in April, bundling steps to encourage corporate investment and employment, as well as handouts for low-income households.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Drawing Strength From Unexpected Places

Last week, Catholic Charities was closed the day after Thanksgiving so I didn't get to hang with my homies downtown. Adoration was closed for the weekend as well at the local church that usually has it 24/7. I was surprised how much these two little things affected me. My family was all around and we all had a good time with positively no drama. Still, there was something missing.

Listening to Pandora, I found this song that hit that spot of melancholy just right.

Update: Catholic Mom has something similar about how her faith has changed her life. Good stuff, that.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Your Tuesday Japan Update

Japan continues to print mountains of money, monetizing their out-of-control government's debt. The goal is to finally see some inflation as they've had recessionary deflation for years and years.

TOKYO—Prices in Japan posted strong gains in October while the labor market also improved, indications that the country is on its way to shaking off 15 years of deflation.

The government said that the core consumer price index, which excludes fresh food prices, rose 0.9% in October from a year earlier. That was the highest since November 2008, matching the rise forecast by economists. It marked the fifth straight month of increases.
Err, don't get excited just yet.
Many economists say recent rises in core CPI are largely due to increased costs of energy and other imported goods on the back of the yen's depreciation rather than growing demand for products
All that inflation must mean a growing economy, right? Not really.
TOKYO—Japan's economic expansion appears to be back in slow motion, with new figures showing corporate investment, a key driver of broader growth, yet to take off as the government hoped...

According to the survey, capital spending declined 0.5% from the April-June period on a seasonally adjusted basis, instead of growing modestly as estimated in the preliminary GDP data released on Nov. 14. That suggests the GDP figures for the quarter will likely be revised down.
This seems to indicate that there might be something more complicated at work and that piles of printed money may not make an economy flourish after all. Crazy, I know, but it could be true.

Meanwhile, our genius vice president, visiting a nation in a total demographic death spiral where they're selling more adult diapers than baby diapers, is praising Japan for putting more women in the workforce.

He's brilliant. Just brilliant.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Public Schools As Rube Goldberg Machines

Laurel Sturt, a brave and caring 10-year veteran of teaching in some pretty gnarly public schools, gave an interview published in the Atlantic. Here's part of what she had to say:
How did your attitude towards teaching evolve over your ten years in the Bronx?

I went in as an idealist. I’d seen all the movies, seen all the poor kids and heroic teachers. But those movies were fake. They started out with a real story but turned it into a happy ending when there wasn’t one. It was grueling. You had to save these kids, but if one was running around the room or dancing on the tables or beating another kid up, you had to deal with it yourself. They’re unhappy kids and they’re going to look for fights to express their frustration. We need legions of psychologists in the school to get the kids the therapy they need. We need wraparound services, community services that give mothers prenatal care, home-visits, teaching parents to read to kids, health services, food. It has reached an emergency level.
Emphasis mine.

Err, you know those legions of psychologists and social workers and community organizers you say we need? We might be able to replace them with married parents.

Married parents? That's just crazy! You might as well say we just need to drop an apple out of our hands to witness gravity at work!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Judge Judy's Agony

Signs wrong line on legal form, sends self to gas chamber. Under her TV show rules, no appeals are possible.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm Paying For It, I Might At Least Consider Using It

Thanks to ObamaCare, our health insurance rates are going up by four figures.

On the plus side, my insurer has informed me that my coverage now includes sex change treatments.

Here within the Catican Compound, we're trying to figure out how to best make use of this.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Who Knew It Was This Easy?

President Obama has just decided that ObamaCare implementation ought to be delayed for small businesses. Just like almost everything else he's done with his signature bill, it's purely dictatorial. Charles Krauthammer has a great piece on it today with this payoff line.
The law remains unchanged. The regulations governing that law remain unchanged. Nothing is changed except for a president proposing to unilaterally change his own law from the White House press room.

That’s banana republic stuff, except that there the dictator proclaims from the presidential balcony.
Who knew making laws was so easy? Apparently, if a president is provided a sufficiently broad framework, he can simply wave his royal scepter and make decrees based on some foundational bill. Where does it stop? If Congress passes a budget, can he declare to the country that he's decided to move $50B in spending from this department to that?

Who is going to challenge any of this?

It seems to me like Congress is spineless and supine. If they cared about the role laid out for them in the Constitution, there would be a crisis right now as they demanded a ruling from the Supreme Court on the legality of all of this. I don't get the impression that they care one whit.

On the plus side, El Presidentes tend to be snappy dressers.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

An Obamacare Talking Point For Your Thanksgiving Dinner Conversation

Following the lead of our Peronist President and his minions, lots of people are coming up with Obamacare talking points so we can have an ... interesting time at the Thanksgiving table, screaming and gesticulating and quoting figures and statistics at each other. Here at The Scratching Post, we wanted to join in the fun, so here it goes.

Your Official Feline Theocracy Obamacare Talking Point For Thanksgiving Dinner
Matthew 25:40 - ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
If you want someone to have healthcare, take care of it yourself. In the end, you have to do that anyway. The heart of Obamacare is that the healthy and wealthy will pitch in to take care of the sick and needy. Nothing is stopping any of us from doing that.

When the thing finally falls to the ground in flaming wreckage and is dismantled, the needy will still be there and you will still be there. If you were so hot to pitch in a couple of thousand bucks of your own cash to take care of another person's health care, do it without the government. In the end, what difference does it make to either you or the needy person whether or not the government is orchestrating it? You weren't planning on doing anything else with that money anyway. If you need everyone else to be forced into the program before you'll lift a finger, you've got bigger problems.

If the needy person requires expensive care, then governmentalize yourself* and get a group together to pitch in. After all, government is the name for things we all do together. You don't need el presidente to gather up $20K from 10 friends, do you?

At this Thanksgiving, stop talking politics and start talking action. The parable of the Good Samaritan is not about the creation of an inter-governmental working group on road safety, it's about you, personally, taking care of someone else.

What better time than Thanksgiving to make plans and get going with something real?

Tomorrow, let's all visit the local homeless shelter and find out who we can help with the $8,439 we've collected!
* - Be careful with this talking point. Governmentalizing yourself is somewhat autoerotic to certain political persuasions.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Conversational Inigo Montoya

Making some espresso today, I wondered how charming it would be to serve it with an Inigo Montoya twist.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. Here is some espresso. Prepare to die.
It's so versatile! It could be used for almost any occasion to make it more, err... festive!
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. Welcome to our dinner party. Prepare to die.
Imagine if your kids' teachers greeted you with this.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. Welcome to back to school night. Prepare to die.
At work, it would really pack a punch.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. Sit down for your annual review. Prepare to die.
The ways to use this are practically limitless. When this starts sweeping the nation in a viral manner, remember that you read it here first.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Clouds Over San Diego - With A Surprise Ending!

I shot and uploaded this in 1080p, so it might be worth a full screen viewing. If it isn't, you've only wasted 60 seconds of your life.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's All About You

So the NYT's resident hate-filled spinster has spun a new, sneering column against men. It's not particularly fascinating with the exception of this little snippet at the end.
Which brings us to a recent Sarah Silverman tweet: “Dear Men, Just b/c we don’t need you anymore doesn’t mean we don’t WANT you! Love forever, Women.”
An appropriate reply from a similarly misogynistic man would read something like,
"Dear Sarah, thanks to the abundance of other women putting out and making porn, we don't want OR need you any more. Go away."
That's not a very good response as it only applies to the smirking Sarah, something that Sarah herself is unable to see. Her tweet should have read,
“Dear Men, Just b/c I don’t need you anymore doesn’t mean I don’t WANT you! Love forever, Sarah.”
That change is the essence of modern, secular morality. You have found what works for you and do it, regardless of what happens to others when they follow your lead. Dig this.
Children living in households with unrelated adults are nearly 50 times as likely to die of inflicted injuries as children living with two biological parents, according to a study of Missouri data published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2005.
50 times is a whole lot. It's kind of telling, actually. If, for example, you looked in a friend's freezer and found two quarts of ice cream, you might not think much of it. If you found 100 quarts, you'd wonder if he was a loony.

50 times difference, illustrated by neckerchiefs*.
Fear not, however, because Sarah isn't bothered by any of this. After all, it's not her kids getting abused. Nor is it Maureen Dowd's. So Sarah and Maureen don't need men. Those abused kids need men, married dads to be exact, but not our two harpies. They're not big on worrying about such things because their time is spent mocking traditional marriage and men in general. There's no need for them to be concerned about it.

After all, they're compassionate and non-judgmental.

Well, when it comes to themselves, that is.

* - You thought I was going to say dogs, didn't you?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sunset Surfer

This was the scene last night at the appropriately names Sunset Cliffs.

I left the original large, so it's worth a click!

Friday, November 22, 2013

On Failure And Its Lessons

So my daughter didn't make her high school's varsity soccer team. She had played 6 years of club ball, worked out on her skills on her own using what I'd taught her about deliberate practice and even worked with a private trainer on her speed over the summer and fall. I have no doubt in my mind that she put in far more effort than any other girl on that team.

My girl is 5' 3" tall. When we played club games, almost everyone else on the field was a good 4" taller than her. A taller girl means longer legs, longer legs means greater speed. After he cut her, the coach told me that the only thing that held her back was her speed. She just couldn't keep up with the pace of the game.

She was distraught when she learned that she hadn't made the team. She'd missed out on club teams before, but she'd never had a rejection like this one. She really wanted it and had worked like crazy for it. She wondered if all of her work had been a waste of time. As her dad and her biggest fan, I had to suppress the pain I felt and help her pull lessons out of the wreckage all the while letting her know that I couldn't be prouder of her or love her more. I had hoped that her soccer career would end with a celebration of her senior year participation on the varsity team. Instead, it's ended in her junior year before the season even begins.


Among the lessons I'm hoping to help her learn are these:
  • How good you have to be to rise to the top of your field
  • Hard work doesn't guarantee success, but the lack of hard work guarantees failure
  • Deliberate practice works - she saw this in the dramatic change in her skills when she started using it
  • Life was richer and more passionate when she was pursuing her goal even if she didn't make it
  • Eventually you may be limited by your innate abilities, but you can go a lot farther than others expect through hard work. Her last two seasons of club ball had her facing off against opponents much larger than her and she was always able to hold her own
  • You can outsmart many of your limitations. She played outside defender and while she was never able to leap frog the midfielder in front of her and play offensive ball, she learned how to play defense so that her lack of speed wasn't much of a disadvantage
Finally, there is pain and failure in life. You can only avoid it by never trying to accomplish anything and in the end, that way leads to inner despair. She's a tough girl and I'm convinced she's going to have a happy and successful life. This is just a new turn in the road, not the end of everything.

On the plus side, she went full Cheick Tiote on a bunch of girls during tryouts and flattened them. She may not be fast, but, by God, you know she's on the field.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I loved this.

I Wonder If They're Reading Peter Drucker In The White House

With so few Administration appointees actually familiar with running a project where a deliverable other than a research paper was expected, do you suppose they're all taking crash courses in project management right about now?

Dig this.
They are letting it be known that House and Senate Democrats are increasingly frustrated, bitter and angry with the White House over ObamaCare’s botched rollout, and that the president’s mea culpa in a news conference last week failed to soothe any ill will.

Sources who attended a meeting of House chiefs of staff on Monday say the room was seething with anger over the immense damage being done to the Democratic Party and talk was of scrapping rollout events for the Affordable Care Act.

“Here we are, we’re supposed to be selling this to people, and it’s all screwed up,” one chief of staff ranted. “This either gets fixed or this could be the demise of the Democratic Party.
That doesn't sound too good. I'm picturing the icy hand of fear gripping them as they all realize that none of them have ever done anything like this before. Now that the wheels have come off, they're probably desperate to learn how to make this thing work, the way an explorer would be tearing through his translation book trying to communicate with the cannibals who are about to cook him, bouilli dans du vin aux petits oignons.

I would imagine that Compassionate Commie Valerie Jarrett would agree with Heartless Capitalist Pete on this one.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Eventually Things Get Better

... because reality can't be denied forever. Dig this piece over at Cafe Hayek about the link between the breakdown of the traditional family and the rise in income inequality. Good stuff. Once you're exposed to that linkage and you start to think about it, it's pretty tough to go back to using racism / theft / oligopoly / deregulation / leprechauns stealing my money as excuses for the inequality we see.

We prude-bloggers won't be lonely for too much longer. As the State collapses and social safety net budgets get slashed, the smoke screens that concealed the situation will vanish.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why Reinstate The Canceled Plans?

So King Obama waved his royal scepter the other day and decreed that if you liked your plan you may keep it again and anyway it was never his fault that you lost it in the first place. Now the insurance companies can opt to untie the Gordian knot of risk calculations and regulatory hurdles and reinstate the plans.

Why would they?

Dig this.
The health-insurance companies...would be deluged with lawsuits by insureds who claimed that the policies were illegal and wrongly denied coverage for this or that treatment. The insurance companies themselves would get into the act, filing suits to be compensated for payouts they’d made based on the illegal policies. The Obama “waiver” would avail them of nothing in a court, where a judge would be obliged to follow the law, not Dear Leader’s enforcement preferences.
Obama has no constitutional leg to stand on in violating — and, by his waivers, encouraging violations of — the Obamacare law. The insurance companies have no hope of immunity.
Anyone want to bet that the Administration would send briefs in support of the insurance companies to any and all court cases covering consumer lawsuits based on blatantly illegal health care plans? Perhaps it's more likely that the progressives infesting the White House, who hate Big Insurance like it's a tool of the Devil, would relish the chance to finish off those for-profit schweinhund once and for all and would actually encourage lawsuits behind the scenes.

If she wants to hook up with that super cute, vegan guy from the Queer Film Studies class, she can sue her insurer for not providing the necessary unguents, antibiotic poultices and latex doohickeys as required by law.
And then there's this.
“It’s a whirlwind, my friend,” says David Oscar, communications chair of the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters. “I’ve been dealing with Jan. 1 renewals since the beginning of November. Now I’ve got to go back? For me as a broker, as a person who represents insurance carriers, I have egg on my face, because now I have everybody sending me an e-mail saying, ‘Hey, Dave, I heard on the “Today” show this morning that I can keep my old plan.’ ”
How do you explain to your old customers that they can have their old policies back, but at much higher prices without looking like a predator? The prices will have to go up as the renewed policies will take the place of the overpriced, healthy person policies mandated by the ACA so the insurers can remain solvent. It would be far easier to simply point to the ACA legislation and all of the state-specific regulatory hurdles and wistfully say that as much as you'd like to, there's no way to bring the dead policies back to life.

Meanwhile, you cut off all funding to Democratic candidates and pour money like water into Republican coffers to get this toad of a law utterly repealed. It's either that or bankruptcy and then single payer.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Serving The Underserved

... or is it the undeserving?

Earlier this week, I worked at Catholic Charities Food Resource Center. There was the usual assortment of lovable folks - a 78-year-old Filipina who was delighted to be selected for a Thanksgiving prize basket, a hapless, mid-40s couple who were married earlier this year but were now homeless*, an elderly, obese black woman in a wheelchair who was sunshine itself and so on. There was one guy in particular that stuck out in a different way.

The dude was a Hispanic gangsta. Mid-20s, a real tough guy. He had two tears tattooed under each eye, marking him as someone who had killed a person, served four terms in jail or both. He knew I saw the tattoos and could tell from my face that I knew what they might mean. As I helped him through his choices, I marveled at the surreal aspect of it all. Here was a guy who had preyed upon others coming in to receive love and support from Catholic volunteers. It was like sandpaper meeting cashmere.

For all the windbaggery on this blog about marriage and morality (Dean calls me his favorite moral scold), I was so grateful to God that I had a chance to show affection and warmth to this guy.

I even got him to smile a few times.

I pray that I brought him a little closer to You.
* - More on this in another post. Serving the homeless can be so unbelievably gut-wrenching.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Simplified: Why It's Only Going To Get Worse For Obamacare

Obamacare is coming apart faster and more comprehensively than anyone could have believed, like three Hindenburgs colliding over a melting-down Chernobyl while the Titanic sinks in the Pripyat River nearby. Yesterday, President Obama held a news conference where he offered a fix that effectively added a massive train derailment into the mix.

We can expect more of this. Much more of it. Progressives academics have no clue at all how anything works and the government right now is being run by progressive academics. Every interaction with managing and creating real things provides new shocks to them. Yesterday was the perfect example. People are losing their health care because the monstrous law we passed torched millions of existing policies? No problem! We'll tweak the rules so you can keep your coverage! Now it's off to the golf course for a relaxing round or two!

That particular 175-car freight train of toxic chemicals went off the tracks and crashed in flames within a few hours. State regulators in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere refused to go along and insurance companies, probably using sock puppets and squeaky voices, tried to explain to the graduates of Harvard and Princeton in Washington, DC that the infrastructure behind health insurance plans is slightly more complicated than picking out the right organic endives for Michelle Obama's Victory Salad tonight. You can't turn policies on and off like flipping a light switch.

Again: the president's proposed solution to a total catastrophe was revealed as unworkable within hours.

Obamacare is going to get worse and worse for a very simple reason. It now exists in reality and not in some fantasy world dreamed up by the Committee for Social Justice at Dartmouth. The people proposing solutions don't understand how anything works and they're in charge of the nation's entire health care financial apparatus which is coming apart right before our eyes. There is zero chance that naive, egotistical, ignorant academics are going to manage an insanely complex, multi-dimensional, real-world crisis that's evolving as fast as this one.

On the plus side, the flames will provide light to the workers trying to stop the radiation leaks at the reactor!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Proposition 13 and Obamacare

So Slick Willy came out and said that President Obama ought to allow people to keep their health insurance if they like it, just as he had promised. The President agreed. Say they did that and allowed all policies to be grandfathered in.

What happens to the new policies, the ones with no grandfathering?

Here in California, we have the same kind of thing with property taxes under Proposition 13. Rate hikes and reassessments were limited due to government abuse back in the 70s and now we have identical houses right next to each other with wildly different tax bills because one has remained in the same hands and the other has been sold at least once - selling being one of those times when the state can reassess your property.

Very quickly, the inequities of grandfathered health insurance will be obvious. Some middle-aged men will be paying for Sandra Flukey coverage - birth control, abortions, mental health treatment for delusional disorders - and some won't. How's that going to play out and for how long? Do you get to keep your grandfathered policies forever? Do 70-year-old widowers see gynecologist coverage slowly phased in over 5 years so that their non-grandfathered poker buddies don't get too upset over their higher premiums?

Crazy stuff to think about, man.

The coolest thing of all is that whatever exceptions and modifications are being written, they are happening in the middle of a huge crisis where the time to react is short. That's bound to result in some fun unintended consequences.

Change things? Nonsense! Everyone needs ho-surance!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How I Found Livingstone in Detroit

... or something like that.

After being inspired by the book Willpower to read some of Henry Stanley's African adventures*, I picked up How I Found Livingstone in Central Africa on Audible. I'm a half hour in and the book is terrific. Having marinated in illegitimacy statistics and scoped out the resulting videos from cities where civilization has collapsed along with the traditional family, I was struck by a passage from the second chapter of Stanley's book.
I remember what Capt. Webb, the American Consul, told me on my first arrival, when I expressed to him my wonder at the apathy and inertness of men born with the indomitable energy which characterizes Europeans and Americans, of men imbued with the progressive and stirring instincts of the white people, who yet allow themselves to dwindle into pallid phantoms of their kind, into hypochondriacal invalids, into hopeless believers in the deadliness of the climate, with hardly a trace of that daring and invincible spirit which rules the world.

"Oh," said Capt. Webb, "it is all very well for you to talk about energy and all that kind of thing, but I assure you that a residence of four or five years on this island, among such people as are here, would make you feel that it was a hopeless task to resist the influence of the example by which the most energetic spirits are subdued, and to which they must submit in time, sooner or later. We were all terribly energetic when we first came here, and struggled bravely to make things go on as we were accustomed to have them at home, but we have found that we were knocking our heads against granite walls to no purpose whatever. These fellows—the Arabs, the Banyans, and the Hindis—you can't make them go faster by ever so much scolding and praying, and in a very short time you see the folly of fighting against the unconquerable. Be patient, and don't fret, that is my advice, or you won't live long here."
Modern translation: don't be too harsh on the folks who live in Detroit or East St. Louis or Newark. Immersed in a culture of self-destructive behavior, you'd find it pretty hard to resist the tide, too.

* - Stanley is a first-ballot inductee into the Willpower Hall of Fame.

Thanks, Obamacare!

It looked fake. It wasn't.

The road to Detroit is paved with stuff like this.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Like generations before them, many young women like Ms. Gadinsky are finding that casual sex does not bring the physical pleasure that men more often experience. New research suggests why: Women are less likely to have orgasms during uncommitted sexual encounters than in serious relationships.
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." (Matthew 19:4-6)
Devout, married Catholics have the best sex of any demographic group, the Family Research Council said at an event Wednesday, pointing to a collection of studies from the last several decades...

The notion that Catholics have better sex isn't a new one, especially coming from Catholics. In 1994, Andrew Greeley, a Catholic sociologist and priest, published "Sex: The Catholic Experience," which released a litany of new statistics: 68 percent of Catholics professed to have sex at least once a week versus 56 percent of non-Catholics; 30 percent of Catholics had bought erotic underwear versus 20 percent non-Catholics; and 80 percent of devout Catholic women approved of having sex for pleasure alone.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Well, That Explains The Guy With The Eyepatch Following Me On Twitter

Time Magazine has a site where you can find out how much you're worth to Twitter. I'm worth $114, but the more interesting thing is the potential eyeballs per day for my Twitter feed.

It's an odd number.

Well, OK then.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Comment Of The Year, Finalist

This comment is as full of teh awesome as you might hope to find on the web.

Preface: Article about only one person in North Carolina managing to sign up for Obamacare.

Standard Progressive Comment: Quit complaining...why have the Republicans not unveiled a Health Plan?

The best reply of all time: The plan for freedom does not require a website. Bite me.

My day will be full of sunshine and happiness because I read that.

Married, Middle Class People Are Racists

... and here's the proof.
  1. Extremist teabaggers are racist.
  2. Ken Cuccinelli is an extremist teabagger
  3. Married people voted for Ken Cuccinelli 
    Extremist teabaggers in red, fact-based people in blue
  4. Middle class people voted for Ken Cuccinelli 
    Bigoted rednecks in red, open-minded people in blue
  5. Ergo, married, middle class people are racists.
It's a good thing we're working so hard to destroy traditional marriage. When you think about it, this makes the gay marriage thing a double win for civil rights!

H/T: Mollie Hemingway