You are currently browsing the daily archive for 24 September 2009.

It’s 11:15 as I begin. Total revenues for the day: $0. Hit that tip jar, folks!

Meanwhile, let’s do a little reach-around on the blogroll.

Babalu discusses the highest form of patriotism as seen in Cuba, things lost by St. Barbara (mainly food, yum), and ACORN’s suit against Breitbart & Co.

Dan Collins goes briefly ballistic about Obama’s speech at the UN. The hits keep coming.

Charles discusses empowerment: Diesel fuel or boobies? Donna helps him a bit.

Half Sigma continues to follow the Annie Le murder case, and continues to make new and surprising forays into the New Racism (or is it?)

Hot Air is its usual self. Top posts at the moment are about ACORN’s lawsuit and Young Pioneers. In the Green Room, among other things, Legal Insurrection looks wonderingly at Zelaya of Honduras. Which reminds me: Legal Insurrection ought to be on the blogroll. I’ll get to it shortly. (done!)

Little Miss Attila quotes the Anchoress on Sunday Go-To-Meeting attire. Verily, they have their reward…

Totten discusses Syria, with a jump to Commentary Magazine. It’s almost a week old, now. More and newer, Michael!

LTC John shows us some happy people. He should post more.

PACO discusses P. G. Wodehouse. Ah, the joys of the Literati.

R. S. (“the other”) McCain sneers at Fritz Mondale, who deserves it, and continues with the what’s all this Racism stuff, anyhow? theme.

serr8d doesn’t much like Obama’s UN speech and subsequent insolence. Neither do I.

Kate is off dealing with large live animals, but the Captain offers a seminar on defending capitalism that is definitely worth a look.

Stop the ACLU notes that Speaker Pelosi is having discipline problems. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

The Old Grouch grouches about sloppy journalism. Redundant phrase, really.

Tim Blair thinks warmenists should get some more recent material.

Kim is on about recent rains. It’s a metaphor, folks.

The Weasel Times and Stoat Intelligencer continues the PhotoShop fun.

Norm discusses church and proper behavior theirein. Does he read Little Miss Attila, perhaps?

Another Black Conservative is incredulous at the Young Pioneers Video. Well, so am I.

Baldilocks thinks the Left isn’t consistent on Afghanistan. Of course they aren’t. They don’t recognize the concept.

The Black Commenter discusses the Administration’s whining about ‘disrespect’ with much (and deserved) snark.

The captain has a new post from FL 390, about turbulence that hasn’t much to do with air flow. Read this guy, folks, except he doesn’t post enough.

Mostly Cajun wonders at the latest Green outrage. Is this for real?

Steve Graham is trying to buy a truck, and is out with Diogenes’s lamp looking for an honest used-car dealer. Take plenty of oil, Steve.

Happy days, folks. 12:30 — now with almost $15 in sales! Yay!

…does not exist in the United States, for any practical purpose.

What does exist is a strong strain of anti-Elitistism (to coin a clumsy word; suggestions welcome). The two are easily confused, because elitists are typically educated beyond their real intellectual capacity. Their reasoning isn’t any better, and their conclusions are often worse, than anyone else’s, but they know all the keywords and historical quotes needed to armor-plate their errors. This borrowed rhetorical facility they attribute to intellectual superiority, because that allows them to lift their noses above the stall AOA and and sneer, “You rubes just don’t understand.”

The United States was originally founded and populated by people who had become disgusted by dealing with that attitude in people who claimed authority over their lives but absolved themselves of any responsibility to demonstrate competence in exercising that authority. It’s not an accident that disrespect for the attitude is a large countercurrent in American thinking.

When elitists get the bit in their teeth and start galloping, history demonstrates that the same thing always happens. The details are different from case to case, but broadly:

1) They start grabbing with both hands. All the resources are theirs by right, to dispose of as they please without regard to origin or source, and they please to distribute them to and among themselves.

This does not mean that direction, management, and leadership aren’t desirable or necessary, or that we want such to emanate from the stupid and ignorant. The metaphor I like is “somebody’s got to drive.” Furthermore, good management is hard work even if it doesn’t normally raise a sweat, and deserves to be rewarded appropriately.

It also does not mean that the driver and associates get the ham, haunch, and side-meat, and the rest must subsist on trotters and snout-gristle.

2) They always fuck it up, and they always fuck it up in the same way.

Returning to the “driver” metaphor, the way elites get behind the wheel is by assuring the passengers that they needn’t worry, they’ll get where they want to go and the ride will be smooth and problem-free; just sit back and relax. There’ll be an announcement when we get there, and occasional notes on the scenery we pass, and the bar is well-stocked with drinkables and snacks to nosh on. We have a map! The road ahead is clear!

Trouble is, they drew the map without reconnoitering the territory, and in fact have no more notion of what’s ahead than anybody else, because like everyone else their future-looking time machine doesn’t work except in unreliable fits and starts. Furthermore, the territory they’re driving us into changes — see my notes on the fractal nature of the Universe. Unexpected intersections and roundabouts pop up continually, and their Plan, their infallible map, either leaves out some of the side-branches or fails to show the intersection altogether. Nevertheless they bull ahead, all the while issuing reassurances.

When the passengers complain that the Sun is on the wrong side for the direction originally proposed, or that the speed is too high for road conditions, the elitists sneer. Shut up and sit back! Everything’s fine! We have the map and you don’t, and anyway we’re driving and you aren’t! Eventually the vehicle runs out of fuel, stranding everybody at the back of nowhere with no way forward or back, and the elitists grab the picnic hamper and scream, It’s all your fault! You jogged our elbows!

The one, teeny, dim, un-reassuring light ahead is that, this time, the elitists have restricted their educations to an extremely limited and narrow view, and produced a map with no intersections or rough pavement on it anywhere. It means the crash when they plow into the unexpected tee at maximum speed will be catastrophic, but maybe, just maybe, it means the survivors will be close enough to home to walk back.

Via memeorandum, I see The Huffington Post has picked up David Cay Johnston’s essay yesterday in FireDogLake: “The GOP favors public option for property, not people.”

The essay itself is a masterpiece of apples vs. oranges “thinking” smoothed over with some impressive rhetoric. I don’t have posting or commenting privileges over at Arianna’s; if I did, I would comment (as I did at FDL) that if this contretemps results in elimination of the preposterous boondoggle that is Federally-subsidized flood insurance, it will create huzzahs from this quarter. I’ve been involved, both directly and peripherally, with mapping, including flood-plain mapping, since the mid-Seventies, and I know perfectly well that the bulk of the money goes to people who build half-million-dollar vacation homes on evanescent sandspits, wait for the perfectly predictable (and in fact inevitable) hurricane and flood, then claim their “insurance” bonus and go back and build another one, bigger, fancier, and more expensive, in the same place or one even more certain to flood in the near-term. The result is environmental and economic damage ‘way beyond anything reasonable, plus allowing or encouraging rich people to restrict access to recreational beaches by the mere proles.

What’s interesting to me is the process, at least partly because I’m trying to force my words in edgewise. FDL is a medium-big Leftist blog; by dint of heroic expenditure, Huffington has built a gigantic concentration of Leftoid thinking. It looks like Breitbart is trying to do something like HP on “our side” with Big Government and Big Hollywood, but does he promote from the minor leagues in this way?

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September 2009