Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday Whimperings

     Just a few musings “triggered” by various items in the news.

1. “Normalizing socialism.”

     As an example of doctrinaire Leftist thinking, this exchange between Joy Behar and Meghan McCain is worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the critical snippet:

     BEHAR: They have given this enormous tax break to the very very wealthy in the country. That tax break doesn’t have to be so generous to those really rich people. Does it? Because if you don't give that money to them, what happens to that money. Better schools. Better post offices. Better garbage pick ups. [ Cheers and applause ]

     MCCAIN: If you think the government is so [good at running] things — the Post Office is so great run business? The VA? I’m sorry, comparing America to a small country in Europe is delusional! And I’m sorry, some of us do not want socialism to be normalized in this country.

     Behar, of course, is incensed over the Trump tax cut bill. It doesn’t matter that the “very very wealthy” she slanders are undefined, nor that the reduction in tax rates was for persons in the middle-income band. It was a Trump initiative; that’s all she needs to go ballistic over it.

     But note this as well: According to this shrieking, fact-challenged harridan, for the government to “keep” the money instead of “giving it” to those who’ve earned it by their labors would automatically result in “Better schools. Better post offices. Better garbage pick ups” – a proposition for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Indeed, there’s quite a lot of evidence that overfunding a “public service” causes a deterioration in the services it provides. The “public” schools are a good example of this.

     But the Leftist flackster has her marching orders, they’re explicit, and she won’t disobey them. Her backers would disapprove.

2. “Need to know.”

     When I worked in defense engineering, one of the things we were regularly beaten over the head about was that mere possession of a security clearance does not authorize access to classified information: you must have “need-to-know.” That is, the information you seek must not only be classified at a level equal to or less than your clearance level; you must also have a demonstrable need for it that flows from what you’ve been assigned to do.

     The current foofaurauw over the security clearances retained by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, et alii is about everything but their need-to-know. Now that they’re no longer government employees – indeed, now that they’re actively working to undermine the Trump Administration – what need-to-know can they claim for any item of classified information?

     Note also this particularly risible argument for allowing them to retain their clearances. If I were asked to advance such an argument on network television, I’d laugh my slats off...and depart forthwith, as it’s one of my firmest principles never to argue with an idiot. (They drag you down to their level and beat you with their superior experience.)

3. “Freaks”

     This Flannery O’Connor quote really rang a bell for me:

     “All fiction is about human nature…Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”

     If I were asked “What aspect of contemporary society frightens you the most?” I would reply that we are no longer willing to call a freak a freak. Indeed, considerable pressure has been mounted on ordinary Americans to celebrate freakhood and applaud those who flaunt it. I could go on a rant about the perversion of the virtue of “tolerance,” but as it’s a nice day, I’ll spare you.

     It occurred to me that in recent years most of my fiction has been about radical departures from the prevailing norms. Some of those departures, such as the ones depicted in my futanari stories and my novel Innocents, would qualify as freaks from a strictly biological perspective...yet I’ve received a great many incredulous comments about how normally those young women think, feel, and act. But the reverse of the coin is even more striking: the great many comments I’ve received about biologically normal characters who impose rigid constraints upon themselves in the name of their Catholicism. That, according to a number of my correspondents, is at least as freaky as being equipped with two X chromosomes but male genitalia.

4. The hazards of the “payoff.”

     If there’s an instructive aspect to recent discoveries of venality and peculation, it would be that the cover-up is worse than the crime. Even a hint that you’re trying to conceal something from your past, no matter how legal or innocent it may be, is deadly to your future. The smallest drop of blood in the water can summon sharks from miles around. This is particularly the case as regards our media “sharks.”

     The current, largely manufactured flap about President Trump’s dalliances with women other than his wives is a case in point. Trump’s a womanizer. He likes beautiful women. He particularly likes their physical attentions. This is consistent with the tastes and preferences of the male half of Mankind. Given the womanizing records established by Warren Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and William Jefferson Clinton, one could say that Trump was merely one of many men of power and wealth who indulged that taste and who subsquently attained the presidency.

     But there is some evidence of a cover-up, at least with regard to one supposed paramour. Had that attempt to conceal the (alleged) affair not occurred, there would be far less chatter about it in the gutter press. Trump could have waved the allegation aside, regardless of the facts of the matter. The cover-up is what has the attention of the press.

     Were these women paid off? Were payoffs even discussed? More to the point, why does it matter? It doesn’t. Trump was legitimately elected president by an electorate that knew he’d had two previous wives and, in all probability, a lot of other fleshly fun along the way. The voters preferred him for reasons completely disconnected from his sexual proclivities. All else is mere fodder for titillation.

5. “It can’t be true because I haven’t heard about it.”

     Finally, ponder well this vignette from Nitzakhon:

     I engaged a married couple in friendly parental chit-chat. Somehow my blog came up; generically as I didn’t identify the slant of my politics or the website’s name, just the fact of it. In response to a question about the orientation of my blog, I did state that I was “hard core Conservative”. Both then identified themselves as being on the other end of the spectrum. Fair enough. Unlike the Borgleft* I don't demand that people agree with everything I say or believe.

     They did press somewhat, and for the most part it was a civil, if not necessarily friendly, conversation… but then, in the course of the discussion, I mentioned Hillary’s 30,000 emails that had apparently been forwarded to a foreign email address (with some supposition it was Chinese).

     Without missing a beat the husband said “That’s not true", and added "It can’t be true because I haven’t heard about it."

     There are still many millions of Americans who refuse to believe anything that doesn’t arrive through a “respectable” medium, where they define “respectable” according to their reading, listening, or viewing habits. Yes, there are now other channels for the distribution of information, claims, and opinions. But not everyone tunes into them, and a great many people dismiss them altogether.

     Of course, some persons will reject anything that doesn’t accord with their prior convictions, regardless of what medium has provided it. For example, there’s still a current of belief that the events of Black Tuesday, September 11, 2001 had nothing to do with planes crashing into the World Trade Center but were engineered by the Bush the Younger Administration, specifically to provide a casus belli for war in the Middle East. What about the forensic evidence, you might ask? What about United 93? What about the FAA recordings of the radio exchanges with the terrorists? All faked, they would reply.

     Yet those very same people routinely ridicule “young Earth creationists” and the proponents of intelligent design. Nitzakhon’s term Teflon intellect isn’t broad enough to cover the ironies involved. Perhaps there’s no term that would do so.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I have a list of chores that would choke an elephant, so enjoy your Wednesday and be well.


Glenda T Goode said...

As to Ms. Behar, I would ask her this:
"What do the rich do with their money?"
her answer could vary from spend it, to invest it to send it offshore.

and I would ask this one too:
"What does the government do with the rich people's taxes?"
The obvious answer is spend it.

and then this one:
"How efficiently does the government spend the money it does compared to the private sector???"
This is where truth will become hard to find. Many rationalizations will be introduced to mask the truth. The fact is all money is spent somehow or another. The private citizen probably gets more use out of their money than the government does by a factor of at least 10. Therefore, money spent in the private sector has a much bigger impact on our society.

I doubt seriously if you could get Ms. Behar to answer any questions let alone these. To a liberal, truth is a poison to be avoided at all costs.

The argument about the rich being taxed is purely emotional as there is not a shred of logic in anything that most liberals say about it. They appeal to the emotions of their viewers and facts are an inconvenient things. They will never admit that they want to punish the rich for being rich. Jealousy is a dangerous master.

As to "It can't be true because I havem't heard about it"

The same notions regarding Liberals and truth apply here too. Facts are very inconvenient things and much like the question about a cover up, if one denies any knowledge of such a thing, it must not be true.

Somewhere in the middle of the sides there must be a line that contains the truth. I tend to believe that with some exceptions, the truth lies much closer to the right side than the left. I say this simply because the truth is rarely contained in an emotional argument whereas it is almost always contained in a rational argument. Liberals appeal to emotions. Conservatives try to rely on facts if possible.

Nothing is absolute and I am sure that there have been conservatives who danced around issues and used emotional arguments as logic. I cannot think of one at present so please feel free to comment with any list you have.

SiGraybeard said...

The biggest problem with Joy Behar's comment is that it's a lie. I'd like to see Meghan McCain tell her the real numbers, but I don't expect her to be fluent in these numbers off the top of her head. (As the great sage Barbie said, "math is hard") Besides, truth doesn't sell well on TV. Not dramatic enough.

Granted that if you're aiming to cut taxes while not cutting them for the rich it's a tough needle to thread, but it seems they threaded it nicely and made it a middle class tax cut. Simply because the upper 50% of incomes pays 97% of taxes, by simple arithmetic if you give a small tax cut to upper incomes, the dollar value paid to the upper tax brackets will be larger. A 1% tax reduction to someone earning $200,000 is the more dollars than a 10% reduction to someone earning $15,000. Without a doubt, that hypothetical low income person has a much, much bigger impact from that tax cut than the higher income person, but it leaves the "tax cut for the rich" lie for useful idiots.

Trump's tax codes actually increased the progressivity of the tax code, according to the Cato Institute.

Of course, until a lot of people who got a tax cut saw it in their January paychecks, they actually believed these lies. "Who you gonna believe, Joy Behar or your paycheck?"