Nixon’s was a hall of mirrors presidency. Obama’s is a through the looking glass presidency. Nixon was the willing dupe turned inside out: the unconscious dupe who thought he was going to be a historic president (he was, but not in the way he thought). Obama is a straight up deception, everything about him is a lie, including his every “and,” “the,” and “uh.” These last two years will include an attempt, a furtherance of the ongoing effort, to normalize his deceptions. For half the country this will reinforce their chains, for the other half their humiliation.
“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson, as it originally appeared in Rolling Stone, November, 1971.
The Daily Serf* out of Kingston is reporting that town of New Paltz supervisor Susan Zimet is enthusing about funding for a local “microgrid” that would stay online during big power failures. That had me scratching my head until I got to this paragraph down the page:
“The community would also have to construct an electric generating facility. Zimet said more information is needed on the location and type of equipment that would be used.”
Kingston is a tragedy. New Paltz is a comedy.
* Known to itself as The Daily Freeman.
Common sense needs to be simple, because it sometimes needs to be fast-acting, but it is also by necessity complex. It’s like a net of understanding that gets thrown forward onto immediate experience, with feedback loops working to get the right relationship between knowns and unknowns. This is what confidence men are dealing with when they run a con on someone. They have an intuitive, skilled understanding of the common sense working in someone and how to get around it. They do that by gaining the confidence of the mark.
A mark is by definition someone who has been marked for a con game. The confidence man, the con artist, works out of his own absence of conscience. And so one can infer that common sense sometimes relies on an expectation of good faith in others, which requires conscience. Indications of bad faith, by extension, should revise someone’s common sense vis a vis a particular person or entity.
For instance, a store where the workers and managers all have bad manners should put a customer on alert for untrustworthiness. In politics, given what people are willing to support, common sense seems to be all but permanently suspended. (Politics is largely a region that lies outside the reach of common sense.)
The key component of common sense is the moral sense, which forms conscience, where an individual looks to advance good and avoid evil.
How do you murder 150 people for no apparent reason? Lubitz, by early indications, was functional. Lanza wasn’t.
The cockpit voice recorder had co-pilot Lubitz silent and breathing normally right into the crash, while the pilot was banging frantically on the door to the cabin trying to get back in. Lubitz had apparently locked him out.
When did Lubitz decide to do this? The morning of the flight? Last week? A year ago? When he was twelve?
How and when was the moral sense sucked right out of him?
There’s really nothing at all like these people. Josh Earnest should get a Tony Award for his role as the Ministry of Truth spokesman in this production of “1984.”
Five years ago a swaggering big mouth on the New Paltz school board lectured local homeowners about how they were unqualified to say anything but “Yes” to a proposed $50 million renovation of the Middle School. That resulted in a resounding defeat for the measure that stung the board busybodies like a swarm of yellow jackets. It was impressive.
A similar measure with roughly the same $50 million tag, but covering repairs and upgrades for all four of the school district’s buildings, went down to defeat last October, but by a thin margin of 150 votes or so.
The school district and the civilian busybodies who pretend to govern it were not sufficiently chastened by the narrow loss. It was declared that voters had experienced a seizure of false consciousness and had failed to understand the importance of the measure. They had in fact voted against what was in everyone’s mandatory best interests.
A second vote was scheduled (and postponed once by a snowstorm) so that voters could correct their ill-informed mistake and the school district political machine could be kicked up another gear.
Today that machine turned out roughly an additional 700 votes while those persisting in false consciousness would swell their numbers by only about 125 votes. The win went to the school district and the no voters took the defeat for oppositionism, still guilty of not knowing what was good for them, but corrected by their bien pensant betters.
I feel terrible, because as a wrecker and oppositionist, I remained, until the last hours before the vote, distracted from distraction by distraction. Let me take a moment to express my personal contempt for every single individual among the bien pensant majority. I stand with the false consciousness of private property and the owners already burdened into serfdom by your rotten public school penal colonies.
There is some minor satisfaction that it took you five years to get that money, but now, I’m not so distracted. I had lost my immediate sense for what a grabby mob you are. I’ll have more to say about it and you.
My advice to voters is to not give these people one more dime. Don’t buy into the song and dance. The school district is not the community’s prize bull. It’s an overarching self-replicating cash machine that mocks the idea of private property and is endlessly on the hunt, especially in New Paltz, for a better class of taxpayer. “No” on votes like this is basically all that’s left to people who have had enough.
I’ve read them all in manuscript and this is a great, superb collection of short stories. I give it the highest recommendation.
New Water: Twelve Stories by Anthony Robinson
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” — T. Jefferson, DOI, 7-4-1776
The current “long train of abuses and usurpations” is so long now that it is impossible to see the end of it. Our inalienable rights have fallen into the hands of an alien government. The crooked line from the 1930s to now has left us impressed in service to a gargantuan state that hovers over and leans into us every moment of every day for our entire lives like an obese giant with foul breath. It has inflicted a culture of death on our posterity. It willfully acts against our every interest. It bankrupts us. It seeks to control every aspect of our lives. It seizes children from their parents and cultivates in them anathema and disease in the name of education.
My friend Fran Porretto has a new book out in paperback, titled “Freedom’s Scion.” It is a sequel to his earlier science fiction novel, “Which Art in Hope.” (“Hope” is an “ungoverned world.”) I am pretty much not a science fiction reader, and I have not read these two. But having read several of Fran’s other novels, these are guaranteed to be exciting, unusual, compelling and brilliant, like Fran is himself. Kindle editions are available as well.
It’s not that hidden.
Ed Lazear explains it:
The U.S. is not getting back many of the jobs that were lost during the recession. At the present slow pace of job growth, it will require more than a decade to get back to full employment defined by prerecession standards.
Clearly it is Bush’s fault, though all of the slightest and even cosmetic improvements belong to Barack. (That’s America’s “Soviet” joke now.)
That’s the news this morning. Tom Donilon, the current National Security Adviser, is resigning and Susan Rice is going to be named to replace him.
It has never been clear to me that Susan Rice knows anything about national security.
“THE GREATEST myth in American politics today is the view, perpetrated by the Democratic Left and elements of the news media, that Barack Obama is a political moderate. In truth he represents an ideology that is barely within the American mainstream as understood over two and a quarter centuries of political experience.”
Robert Merry slides this under the door, I assume for the benefit of those who actually believe that Obama is some sort of moderate. Merry doesn’t go nearly far enough, but he gets close to my formulation that Obama cannot be grasped within the normative terms of American politics, and that to make the attempt is to cede him ground he does not hold.
This is otherwise a very conventional analysis of Obama’s place in American political history, but at least it sees him on the periphery (though he’s way beyond that) rather than hovering near the center.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, compared DNA to fingerprints and mug shots. That is not a serious comparison. DNA is everything that you are genetically. It reveals diseases your are predisposed to. It tells people things you may not want to know yourself. And there are new developments coming along all the time that will tell an even fuller story about you. I haven’t checked to see whether a person can be tissue-typed for organ donation via DNA, but if that becomes available, anyone looking for an organ, with sufficient money, will be able to find one by either having the DNA database hacked or by bribing his way into it. And then he gets to come get the kidney or liver or heart. That’s not sci-fi anymore folks.
Scalia doesn’t go that far in his vigorous dissent, but the implications of this category error by Kennedy et al., about DNA as simply another means of identification, will now require either a future USSC decision overturning it or a Constitutional amendment. It’s bad enough to merit either or both.