Category Archives: Strategy

Practical tips for fighting the culture war

Chamber of Commerce Republicans?

A while back, I went searching for the huge agribusinesses that supposedly own half the Republican Party.  We’d have closed borders in a heartbeat, I’m told, if only the GOP weren’t half-owned by Monsanto and ADM.  I didn’t find much.  Here’s Monsanto’s direct giving to Federal candidates so far in 2018 — a grand total of $192,000, with about 1/4 going to Democrats.  Here’s ADM — $254K, 1/3 to Democrats.  Admittedly, that’s two companies and a 5 minute trawl through, but we all know that’s how lobbying works — you may favor one party or the other, but you’d best hedge your bets in case the other guy wins.

I’m willing to be corrected, in other words, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have a hard time proving that the GOP is in agribusiness’s pocket exclusively.

But forget ADM for a sec.  The other half of the GOP, we’re told, is owned by the Chamber of Commerce.  That one, I’m willing to buy (though even there, note the #4 recipient, who received just $960 less than their supposed golden boy, !Yeb!).  But therein lies the opportunity.  Unlike Monsanto and their lobbyist butt boys (Akin Gump et al), the Chamber of Commerce is a distributed outfit.  There are local branches everywhere.  If I were the leader of an underground guerrilla organization like the Sons of Valley Forge — and I am not, and never will be, this is entirely hypothetical, I disavow it all — I’d study my local CofC membership roster closely, and…. go say hi.

Nothing illegal, nothing even close to illegal.  Just…. say hi.  Vigorously.  The constant presence of a strapping young man sporting a white Patriots hat and various Fight Club-esque contusions would concentrate their minds wonderfully….

One would think, anyway.  Hypothetically.  You ain’t gonna get to Akin Gump, and you’re sure as hell not going to get to Monsanto, but the local CofC?  They live right around the corner.  Lots of them probably mow their own lawns.  Their wives shop at the local supermarket.  Those are the folks to go say hi to.

Just remember the rules from Road House: Be nice.*





*Or, better yet, don’t do it at all.  Because this is all hypothetical.

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Rethinking Democracy

Just like video killed the radio star, HBD killed democracy.

Democracy, representative government, (classical) republicanism, whatever you want to call it (hereafter, “democracy”) is the best form of government, not because it leads to the best results — look around you! — but because it’s the most legitimate form of government.  A modern nation-state requires significant buy-in from the majority of its population in order to defend itself, because modern nation-states require mass armies.

The feudal system worked fine with a small, decentralized, agricultural population.  When sixty miles a day was the absolute max speed of a courier and knights were the effective fighting arm, you could defend “France” with a retinue of a few thousand men-at-arms.  Which was good for them, because in an without mass communication (and with illiteracy near-universal), nobody outside of Paris knew what “France” was in the first place.  One might theoretically trace his feudal dues all the way up the pyramid, but in practice, very few people knew or cared who their lord’s lord was.  Why would it matter, when the next village over had a different lord, a different system of measurement, and probably spoke a different dialect?

And then the Renaissance happened (as my students would say), and communication got much faster.  Literacy was more widespread.  Most important, effective firearms made knights useless in battle, and with that, the whole feudal system lost its justification for existing.  An Early Modern army was a mass army, an infantry army, and would need to be in the field year-round.  It would need to be paid and supplied by the State (no mean feat, and itself a driver of all kinds of other changes), and, most importantly, it would need motivation.  You can keep a small retinue of archers and pikemen in the field for a campaign season or two if you promise them lots of plunder and a discharge by harvest time.  Modern armies stay in the field full time — something has to hold them there.

Democracy fits the bill.  It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that modern representative government came out of the Putney Debates in Cromwell’s New Model Army during the English Civil Wars.  “One man, one vote” is the bedrock principle.  Only a government that respects its people’s interests in peacetime will have their loyalty in wartime.

Fast forward a few hundred years.  It’s no slander on the New Model Army to say that just about any old peasant could be trained to use an arquebus, and it’s no slander on that peasant to say that the issues he’d be voting on weren’t much more complex than his weapon.  “One man, one vote” presumes rough equality between all men, and in the England of the 1640s this was true enough.  Modern life, though, is as complicated as modern weapons.  Very few of us have the brainpower (or the free time!) to cast an informed vote on just about anything.

That’s an argument for disenfranchising the dummies, BUT: By what right, then, do we send them off to war?  Remember, the key is legitimacy.  Why fight and die for a country in which you have no stake?  Unless you’re willing to limit military service  to +2SD IQs (or whatever the figure is), you’ve essentially turned the American military into a giant mercenary company (read Machiavelli if you want to know how that works out, if it isn’t incandescently obvious).

The tl;dr: If aristocracy is illegitimate because such a government by definition doesn’t respect the interests of the people, then any “democracy” that acknowledges the reality of HBD is likewise illegitimate.  Modern political science — the whole schmear, from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke down to now, whether absolute monarchist or absolute libertarian — presumes that all men are roughly equal.  But they just aren’t, and the more we know about HBD, the more we realize just how UNequal we all are.

Democracy or HBD.  Pick one.

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How to Fix the Universities

We got into this mess from the supply side — with “college degree or equivalent” now required for every job short of janitor, colleges had to start cranking out the graduates, standards be damned.  We can fix it from the demand side.

The cutout is “or equivalent.”  Griggs v. Duke Power said it’s rayciss to give your employees intelligence tests.  But Griggs was decided in 1971, long before collecting Diversity Pokemon became the national hobby (in 1971, the few Blacks with college degrees had them from real colleges, in real subjects, and wouldn’t be working for Duke Power).  Thus, “or equivalent.”  The courts effectively mandated a quota system, and it was up to the private sector to figure out just how to make one work (and in the process throwing a bone to the lawyers, who could endlessly sue over just what “or equivalent” was supposed to mean).  So businesses did what academia itself would be forced to do a few years later, after the Bakke decision (1978): Make “being Black” worth the equivalent of 600 SAT points (or whatever it was).

Still, a loophole is a loophole.  Colleges obviously can’t re-establish standards.  90% of the student body– and at least 75% of the professors — would fail out, and then they all go broke.  Nor is it possible to start a new college with real standards, because a) you’ll be forced to admit a bunch of substandard students to comply with “diversity” guidelines, and b) if you try to do it any other way, e.g. online, you won’t get accredited, because the accreditation scam is run by the existing colleges (this is why “for-profit” colleges immediately devolved into a scam).

So what I’m thinking is, start a new online “college” that doesn’t need to be accredited.  Call it a “basic skills training program,” and call passing the basic skills certification course the “or equivalent” the Supremes allowed under Griggs.  Our Basic Skills Cert Course would offer a test — call it the Diverse Undergraduate Matriculation Baseline Assessment (DUMBAss)– and intense online remediation for failed sections.  A pass on the DUMBAss makes you eligible for hire.  (Heck, you could lawyer-proof it further by doing a contingency hire — you’re hired pending a pass on the DUMBAss — and make contingent employees take it at company expense.  It’s cash up front, but in the end it’s far cheaper than hiring an essentially un-fire-able “employee” who can’t do basic math).

So long as everything is done with a random number ID, such that nobody at the Basic Skills Cert Course ever sees any identifying info, you can’t possibly be accused of rayciss (that certain demographic profiles fail the DUMBAss at much higher rates is not a problem until somebody sues… at which point it becomes hilarious, watching lawyers telling the Supreme Court that math itself is rayciss).

You’d probably have to set it up overseas — ideally right next to one of those Caribbean medical schools, but anywhere the Feds can’t touch you would do.  Incorporate in Bermuda (or whatever) and US diversity laws don’t apply to you anyway.  Do it all online, such that Basic Cert employees could “teach” their remedial sections from anywhere, and you’ve set up the educational equivalent of one of those online casinos… except providing a real service.  Not only would this get real companies half-educated employees, but it’d drive all but the biggest name brand colleges out of business.

You could set the whole thing up for about a buck fifty.  Why is nobody doing this?


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Friday Quick Take: Saving America with Old Photos

Chateau Heartiste has a brilliant suggestion.  Saving America might be as simple as showing Americans old photos.

This is the world we had:

This is the world we have:

How did we get here?  And which one would you rather live in?

I’ve written about this before, at greater length.  Aesthetics is a seriously underrated part of politics.  Fascism was appealing at the polls in no small part because it looked cool and menacing.  Consider this

versus this:

Himmler is a doofy-looking guy no matter what he’s wearing (which is why I picked him for the illustration), but a doofy-looking guy in that uniform is extra-terrifying — especially if you’re better-looking, or more popular than he was in high school.

It works the other way, too:

North Korea is a nuclear-armed state with perhaps the largest per-capita army in the world, but we simply can’t take them seriously because of stuff like this.

Aesthetics matter.  “Pepe the Frog” was effective counter-propaganda because it was instantly recognizable — and because the Left lost their shit so hyperbolically — but a real movement needs to have counter-propaganda that’s both effective and appealing.  Fortunately, the Left has made it easy for us.  Take those pictures from the Fifties, caption them “it’s OK to be white,” and plaster them all over social media, then sit back and watch the fun.  Don’t reply, don’t engage in any way… until the furor subsides a bit.  Then ask them just why everyone is freaking out.  Their responses — complete with pictures of the commenters — is all the counter-propaganda you’ll ever need.

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Nail. Head. BAM! Flush to the board

Just thought this needed bookmarking (via Chicks on the Right)….

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas (who is an Iraq War veteran) had this to say in response to those questions and it is the best response I’ve heard from anyone about this –

“Knowing what we know now, I absolutely would have sent the Pacific Fleet out of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 4 to intercept the Japanese Fleet,” Cotton told the Washington Examiner during an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “I say that to highlight how foolish the question is. You don’t get to live life in reverse. What a leader has to do is make a decision, at the moment of decision, based on the best information he has. George Bush did that in 2002 and 2003 and he was supported by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden and John Kerry and every western country’s intelligence agency.”
“There are lessons we can learn from the early days of the Iraq war. One is that we clearly should be more critically analytical about our approach to intelligence assessments,” Cotton added.


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Maybe Lakoff is Right

Y’all are familiar with George Rhymes-With-Jackoff, the guy behind “frames.”  You know, if we call it “economic patriotism” rather than “socialism,” people won’t realize that it’s socialism, even though it completely and totally is, down to the last detail.

Those of us who read conservative political blogs think this is stupid, but as National Review‘s Jim Geraghty points out (via Ace’s overnight thread), this stuff does seem to resonate with the Low-Info Voters:

We political junkies love political philosophies, and keep subdividing ourselves into smaller and more precise groupings. (Crunchy Cons! Neoconservatives! Libertarian Populism! Reform Conservatives! Eisenhower Anarchist!) We love these labels and terms, because we feel that they help explain a coherent way of looking at the world, government, the Constitution, human rights, society, etc. But to a lot of people, they might as well be Dungeons & Dragons character classes. They don’t know which political philosophy best matches how they see the world because they flat-out don’t understand the terms and, perhaps most maddeningly, are not convinced that they need to know them — nor much about anything else.

The D&D metaphor is a good one.  Now, this is not a knock on D&D, or “gamers,” or whatever.  Please keep your nerd rage bottled up over the next few paragraphs.  But: Everybody knows D&D has no real world consequences.  Lots of people don’t want to learn the arcana of the game because, hey, if I wanted to put in hours and hours of study, I’d take a night class and actually learn something I can use to pad my paycheck.  Right?  There’s just no cash value there.

This is a rational economic decision.  Yeah, ok, the non-gamer doesn’t know D&D; he only knows the stereotypes, and yes, of course, all those stereotypes are wrong.  But there’s one thing he does know that’s indisputably true for him: He’s got better things to do with the 6-20 hours it would take to become minimally proficient at D&D.  Economists call this rational ignorance, and it’s an important concept.  P.J. O’Rourke explained how it works in politics in The CEO of the Sofa:

The danger with political issues, for liberals, is that you might try to understand them.  This would bum you out.  Big government, that you’re so fond of, is as complicated as airline fares.  You’d go nuts if you really tried to fathom all of Washington’s programs, regulations, restrictions, discounts for seniors, and frequent campaign-donor upgrades.  So you do with the U.S. what you do with US Airways: you hand over the money and let yourselves be sent to hell by way of Pittsburgh with nothing but peanuts on the trip.  Economists call this “rational ignorance,” meaning that you could go to hell for $20 less (and get two bags of peanuts), but the time and effort wouldn’t be worth it.

The point of “frames,” I’m coming to realize, is to play up the rational ignorance, to use it in a bait-and-switch.  We readers-of-conservative-political-blogs tend to use “low-info voter” as a synonym for “dumbass.”  But they’re not.  They’re rationally ignorant.

It’s an important distinction.  LIVs don’t want to have to think about that wonky stuff.  “Socialism” is wonky — ask someone who knows what he’s talking about to define “socialism,” and within five minutes you’re deep into “modes of production” and the whole 19th century schmear.  But “social justice,” now… and “progress”… we all have an instinctive idea what those words mean.  That our vague, fuzzy ideas are quite different from — in fact, usually diametrically opposed to — their specific, precisely defined policy goals is the whole point of the exercise.

The buzzwords, the “frames,” are designed to communicate one single, simple idea:  We got this.  You don’t need to put in the hard work of thinking about how “social justice” is to be achieved.  Oh, sure, you could –and, of course, if you did, you’d find yourself agreeing with us 100% — but why bother?  Don’t you have better things to do with your time?

One could, in fact, expand this maximization-of-rational-ignorance thesis to a lot of leftist attitudes.  Their cult-like faith in “experts,” for instance.  Data?  You don’t need to see the data.  Our guys have seen the data, and they’ve spent decades in college, racking up fancy degrees and reading articles in The Peer-Reviewed Journal of Peer-Reviewed Journals.  They know what big words like “heteronormative” and “cisgendered” mean.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  And besides, American Idol is on.  Did you hear Jennifer Lopez is back this year?

indexIt’s important for us not to get frustrated with these people.  We want to say — because it’s true– that rational ignorance of the small picture is dangerous, irrational, wildly irresponsible ignorance of the big picture.  We don’t fall for baloney like “frames” because we’re accustomed to thinking in big picture political terms.  When we hear political buzzwords, our first instinct is to ask for clarification:  “Ah yes, comrade.  ‘Social justice.’  And what policies do you plan to implement to achieve this?  Oh, I see.  So ‘economic patriotism’ is, in fact, just the same ol’ marxoblather that has been impoverishing millions since the 1840s.  Got it.”

LIVs don’t do that.  They don’t hear this guy

358599871_rachel_maddow_031009_300x296_answer_1_xlargeblathering on and hear propositions to be dissected and debated.  Instead, they hear “this person is an expert.  Look at those glasses!  Listen to those big words!  He must know what he’s talking about, because Rhodes Scholar.”

Because they themselves aren’t very good at it, garden variety liberals know how tough thinking is.  How time-consuming.  How boring.  To someone like George Lakoff, who is good at thinking, this difficulty is a feature, not a bug.  He teaches the notso-hotso reasoners among his disciples a technique for playing that up.  And it works.

Geraghty suggests a possible line of counterattack, a possible reframing of liberal frames:

A little while back, I talked about celebrities who are not closely identified with the Republican party or conservative movement, who can articulate a conservative approach to an issue, and enjoy widespread applause: Adam Carolla, HGTV host Nicole Curtis, CNN host/chef Anthony Bourdain, Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs,” Gene Simmons of KISS . . . They say what they think, directly, but they rarely if ever frame their arguments in terms of political philosophies.

Which argument is likely to be most effective?

A) School choice is a good idea because it is consistent with the conservative principles that the government that is closest to the people is most likely to make the best decisions, is most accountable for those decisions, and is easiest to correct those decisions.

B) School choice is a good idea because it is consistent with the libertarian principles that the power of the state should be limited and the power of the individual should be maximized.

C) School choice is a good idea because it puts decisions in the hands of parents, who know what is best for their children.

This is the way to do it.  Stealing another page from the liberal playbook, I’d highlight the speaker over the message.  Ok, maybe Gene Simmons isn’t the best spokesmodel, but Mike Rowe can certainly deliver simple, effective, timeless messages about independence and free choice.  He’s clearly a masculine guy, articulating, both consciously and subconsciously, the message that real men look after their families.  They don’t turn them over to the nanny state.

The first step is admitting that Lakoff was right.  The next step is to steal his idea and make it better.

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Syllogisms and Identity Politics

Philmon and I had an exchange below that needs further expansion.  Phil wrote:

I’ve long been suspicious that the modern liberal is typically nothing more than someone who is proud of the “ability” to string multiple syllogisms into what they ultimately consider a de facto valid “argument”.

As have I.  As I wrote in that post, liberals’ confusion about whether or not astrology is scientific comes, not from misunderstanding either of the terms, but from skipping over meaning entirely.

I’m going to ignore the “astrology” part, mostly because I really don’t know what pops into people’s minds when they hear that word.  But “science,” now…. that I get.  It means

knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

Or, at least, that’s what it should mean, used as a standalone word.  The problem is, as Phil noted, Our Betters tend not to use it as a standalone word.  Rather, “science” is part of the definition of another word: Liberal.  A liberal is someone who likes science.

From there, liberals tend to “argue” in bastard syllogisms, like so:

  • I am a liberal.
  • Liberals like science.
  • Therefore, things I like are scientific
  • Therefore, things I dislike are unscientific
  • Therefore, people who disagree with me hate science.

I think this was once known as the fat cattle fallacy — the notion that a cause must be like its effects.  We don’t need to look at the evidence for, say, global warming — it’s “settled science,” and therefore we believe it, and it’s settled science because we believe it.

It’s nothing new that liberals like to poach on the authority of science; it goes back at least as far as Marx himself (his socialism, unlike the gassy love-the-world-ism of guys like J.H. Noyes, was “scientific”).  But Marx was also a philosopher, and he could browbeat folks into submission with verbiage about “dialectical materialism.”  Our modern leftists lack this, and because they do, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re using themselves as the starting point for all their arguments.

Which makes sense, given the left’s identity politics uber alles attitude.  But this makes communication with them very, very difficult, as they’re automatically going to assume that their preferences are both metaphysically true and universally applicable.  And in any conflict with the real world, the real world is likely to lose.

A good example of this comes from the supposedly conservative side of the aisle. I didn’t really follow politics much back then, but I recall that Andrew Sullivan used to call himself a conservative, and graciously allowed himself to be used as the face for the new, open, tolerant right….

His feud with National Review Online was semi-amusing, back when I cared about what any of those hacks thought, but I think they missed a trick when it came to the origins of Sullivan’s “conservatism is whatever I feel it is today” schtick.  It wasn’t George W. Bush’s objections to gay marriage that sent him over the edge; it was the Pope’s.

Now maybe Jonah Goldberg and the crew saw this clearly, and I’m misremembering.  Again: didn’t care, don’t care.  The point is that Andrew Sullivan subscribed to two different identities simultaneously — Catholic and Gay Crusader — and, when they inevitably came into conflict, spent years insisting that he was right and 2,000+ years of Church history was wrong.

That the Catholic Church needs to embrace leftism is one of the rottenest of all chestnuts, of course, but when the hipster dimbulbs at places like say it, you know it’s just a nervous tic.  They’d be much happier if the Catholic Church didn’t exist at all.  But from what I could tell, Sullivan really meant it.  He continued to insist he was a good Catholic — indeed, perhaps, the only good Catholic — while rejecting one of the oldest and strongest of Church dogmas.  His endless contortions to square that circle only make sense if he’s “arguing” fat-cattle style — I’m Catholic, I’m gay, therefore the Catholic Church is ok with every item on this minute’s gay agenda, no matter what the supreme and infallible successor to St. Peter says about it.

How to break this thought-complex up beats my pair of jacks.  I can’t enter into that mental world very easily, or stay there for very long.  Like many conservatives, for instance, I’ve abandoned the Republican Party — they just don’t fit with my values anymore.  And while I do understand the urge to change it from within, to get it back closer to what I think its values should be, that’s not what I’m talking about (noble though that pursuit may be).  The fat-cattle version would be, I guess, to insist that the Republican Party is the party of Reagan and Calvin Coolidge, and that there’s no conflict at all between my limited-government preferences and the big-government activism of the GOP establishment, because I’m a small government guy and a GOP voter and therefore Republican plans to “fix” Obamacare are actually shrinking both the scope of government and the debt…..

Any thoughts?

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Idiots Ruin All the Good Theories

Further to Morgan’s thoughts on the duped (with which I 100% concur):

Leftwing ideologies are a kind of psychological cutout. They let you will the ends without putting yourself on the hook for the means.  Pick any leftie cause — global warming, say.  It’s obvious that the earth shall not be saved without drastic measures, the kind that no democracy could ever implement and even most dictatorships would blush at.  It’s also obvious that global warming doomsayers don’t take their own prophecies seriously.  For instance, this is Al Gore’s house:

Gore Mansion 3

That’s, like, half the carbon footprint of Bangladesh right there, even with compact florescent lightbulbs.

I used to think this was just because cognitive dissonance is bullshit.  But then I realized: This is why they’re always talking about government action!  If you delegate all your responsibilities to the state, your own lifestyle is off the hook.  Huge, pollution-spewing McMansions haven’t been outlawed yet; therefore it’s fine for global warming Jeremiahs to buy them.*

Once you start looking for this psychology, you see it everywhere.  For instance, here’s silly internet humor site on why The Dark Knight Rises sends the opposite of its intended message:

Because Bane’s anarchy-plagued Gotham works better than a lot of American cities.

Oh sure, we get a little montage of wealthy people getting dragged out into the street, and yes, there are some unfair trials going on. But for the average Joe Gothamite on the street? Life seems to be going pretty well.

Now, I used to think that most folks would realize that when you’re rationalizing your good life with “oh, it’s just a few _____ who are being lined up against a wall and shot,” you are, in fact, a horrible person.  But maybe not.  After all, you got what you voted for.  Der Fuhrer promised law and order and he delivered.  Had I gotten to vote on the whole “lining people up against a wall and shooting them” thing, I would’ve said no — of course I would have! — but I didn’t get the chance.  So I’m not to blame.  Heck, I didn’t even get a chance to vote for Bane.  And meanwhile the streets are safer….

The problem with this theory is that most people are idiots.  And since MPAI, attacking them on the ideological level won’t work.  Abstract thinking’s not their bag, baby, so it’s useless to point out one’s moral responsibility to at least consider the means before voting for the ends.

Instead, we’ve got to counter with specifics, drawn from their own lives.  Forget the whole earth for a sec – have you, personally, noticed even a drop in your electric bill from those new bullshit light bulbs?  No?  Then what possible good are they doing?

We could avoid a lot of debacles this way.  ObamaCare, for instance.  Jimmy Kimmel’s great, but where was all this before the law passed?

Always remember that most people are morons.  Big abstract theories are great — I’m rather fond of them myself — but most people need the nuts and bolts.  “Uh huh, that’s a great idea, Moonbeam.  But now how exactly, specifically, will that be achieved?  Let’s consider what we’re actually empowering the government to do before we do it, mmmkay?”


*And of course there will always be exceptions to the McMansion laws for guys like Al Gore.  Every proletariat needs a vanguard.

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The Conservation of Misery

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades advances a theory which explains a lot: The Conservation of Misery.

[The] theory of Conservation of Misery which posits that most people have a more or less fixed amount of angst/anxiety/anger hardwired into them.

Now in the past this emotional energy was expended on such real and worthwhile concerns as wolves, starvation, murder, sorcery, and barbarians. But today in a world of vastly more health, wealth and safety we still have this free-floating mass of concern inside us which demands catharsis. So we end up focusing it on ever more trivial and rare (or even non-existent) targets such as global warming, food preservatives, rampant child abduction, people wrong on the internet, and the existence of male-targeted potato chips. Oh THE OUTRAGE!!

Frankly, I’ve always marveled at how much white-hot anger liberals can gin up at the drop of an insufficiently sensitive pronoun.  Which is not to say I necessarily believe them when they proclaim something the Worst Outrage Evar!!11!!eleventy — liberals are, shall we say, scale four types to the bone– but I don’t think I’ve ever been as worked up about anything as liberals are about everything.  Even if we discount this barmy woman’s outrage by a factor of fifty or so (I think that’s reasonable), she’s still got more emotional energy invested in potato chips than I’ve put into a good 80% of my romantic relationships.

Which can’t be good for society.

Just as some of us are shorter or dumber or have slower metabolisms or whatever, these folks just came out of the box with an excess of angst. We need to come up with some way for them to channel it that doesn’t bother the rest of us.  Liberals like soccer, right?  Maybe we can get some “football firm”-type stuff going over here — people who are getting Man U midfielders’ faces tattooed on their bums aren’t going to have much angst left over for global warming.

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Nailed It

Blog-friend the Nightfly explains one of the rottenest chestnuts of them all.

One of the saddest things I’ve learned in my trips around the sun is that most people put a very low price on facts and logic.  What people feel about a statement — or about the person making the statement — is orders of magnitude more important to most folks than whether or not the statement is true.

Nightfly uses the example of Obamacare’s ur-lies (I know, it’s lies all the way down, but he’s talking about the original whoppers).  That the central premises are not just faulty, but impossible, is just…. obvious.  There’s really no other word for it.  I remember almost literally banging my head against the wall when I heard some office-mates talking it up– no, you idiots, there is no way a huge new entitlement program will save the taxpayer money.  Zero, zip, nada.  It’s un-possible.  Math don’t work that way.

And yet they wanted to believe it, and they wanted to believe they were smart folks (and informed voters!), and so they did believe it, logic be damned.

The question now — and this is really the only question that matters, if we have any hope of digging ourselves out of this hole — is how to point this blithering idiocy out without making those blithering idiots feel like the blithering idiots they are.  Since they weren’t reasoned into their position, they can’t be reasoned out of it, and the more you attack an emotional attachment the stronger it gets.  We have to devise an emotional tactic to get them to see the light.  Something like “it’s ok, you were lied to by a very smooth con man”…..

….without tacking on “whose lies were so fucking obvious even a concussed chimpanzee could’ve seen through ’em.”

Obviously I shouldn’t be the guy in charge of counter-propaganda.  But you get my point.  Any suggestions?

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