Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You All Suck (Example #22 - Things I've Noticed Lately)

"Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power.” --C.G. Jung
Where to begin?

Just a few things that have crossed my mind this last week. Some general observations and such, and one tale of woe involving a Snowflake.

Let's start with the Snowflake.

I have been working, after a fashion, for it is difficult to actually get this young lady to work at all, with a young thang of 19 years this week. She is a trainee, although I get the distinct impression that training her is going to be a waste of time, for she seems to have no interest at all. I'm doing a favor for a friend, though, and for this reason, I must make something of an effort.

Sally (not her real name) is a bright young lady, but when I say "bright" I mean only by comparison with other 19 year olds of my acquaintance. She at least does not use filler words like "like", "you know", "whatever", and such when speaking; she seems capable of reading; she does not require a calculator to perform simple mathematics; she asks reasonable questions which do not include excessive use of the words "I", "Me" "Mine".

She's just not cut out, at this stage in her life, perhaps, for a career in IT. My personal opinion is that her attention span is too short, and she finds the fine details a little too aggravating. She's not unreasonable, however, and much more pleasant to be around than most people her age. if she has one flaw, it is the ability to speak, abundantly, out of her ass on a variety of topics. She hasn't yet learned the lesson that you really should know what you don't know. Cut her some slack; she's young, yet.

Anyway, during lunch one day last week, Sally noticed that I was reading (I should say, "re-reading") The Second World Wars by Victor Davis Hanson. Sally suddenly showed some interest in something; she told me that she was fascinated by "that Hitler guy", and on occasion watched Hitler documentaries on The History Channel (does the History Channel have any other kind?). She knew all about the Second World War, she told me.

Except that she didn't.

She didn't know that Stalin and Hitler had once been allies and had divvied up Poland between them; she did not know that the United States made common cause with fascists like Chiang Kai-Shek (she'd never heard of him); she did not know about things like the Rape of Nanking, the bombing of Rotterdam, the Katyn Forest slaughter, the destruction of Manila, and much more. The conversation later in the day turned to the Cold War (she did not understand what this was about). Besides, her "teachers" had told her that Communism was good, so we must have been the bad guys, right?

Normally, my head would explode at this much dumbass, but maybe it's because she's a lady, or cute, or a friend's daughter, so I was gentle. It began to dawn on me as I described (to the best of my ability) what the Cold War was all about that Sally was not so much dumb as she was misinformed and lacked a historical frame of reference.

She does not know of "Duck and Cover" drills. She has lived in a world without a Berlin Wall. She's never heard of Mutually Assured Destruction, never heard anyone speak of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She thinks SALT is something next to the pepper on the table. "Star Wars", to her, is a movie franchise.  She has never seen a sign indicating the location of a "Fallout Shelter". She thought KAL007 had something to do with James Bond (only half-joking). She has never lived in fear -- a real fear -- of mushroom clouds and massive fireballs, or had to face the thought of KNOWING that you may only have about 20 minutes to live, and really, did you want to in the aftermath?

Now, Sally just may be uneducated (and to be fair, she still has plenty of time to become so), but then again, her educational experience hasn't probably focused upon subjects that require context. She's been raised in a non-competitive environment where everyone got a trophy, no one was stupid all points of view are perfectly valid and moral, and judgments are something we never, ever make.

Just something to think about when you want to wring the neck of the little fucktard in designer Antifa urban guerrillawear protesting for Socialism because "it's better". The little bastard has no context; he has no experience; he has no knowledge; he has no motivation to overcome these handicaps because he always got a Certificate of Almost Getting It Right so as to not crush his pwecious feewings.

Sally may not last the summer, but I do hope her curiosity, even in it's roundabout "no way!" form continues.

Speaking of other fucktards with no frame of reference and a lack of intelligence, I see the old bugaboo of "Term Limits" is making the rounds again.

The surprising thing, this time, is that BOTH Left and Right are almost on the same page, but for mostly different reasons. Except one:

The call for Term Limits is really about a few individuals who otherwise would never in a billion years be voted out of office, and therefore, have no reason to ever leave, save illness or retirement. It is about personalities, not legalities, nor democracy.

The Right has it's bugbears of Maxine Waters, Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and a few others, who cannot be defeated at the ballot box. The Left has it's pantheon of Gauleiters in Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and everyone else with a R next to their name,. However, the nature of the system insures that Maxine will always be re-elected in the same way that Ted Cruz will; given the constitutional rules and the realities of proportional representation and  geographical considerations, finding challengers in order to flip a seat in an area where one party holds a voter advantage, or where the population is stratified into monolithic voting blocs, the only way to get rid of the person you dislike is to ensure you give them an expiration date so that your side may one day have a chance in a clean race with no incumbents.

I won't go into the Pro-Term Limit arguments here because most people already know them, or think they do. I'm here to tell you it's a bad idea, for several reasons:

To begin with, we already have Term Limits. They're called "elections", and they occur in regular cycles. If your "guy" or your side can't win one, it's probably not because someone else has had the job since Christ worked in the Congressional Mail Room, but because the demographics do not favor your political point of view, or you're choosing really terrible candidates, or your party has nothing to offer, or fails to make a persuasive argument for what it does offer, or, most likely,  because YOU as a voter and citizen, have failed in two primary duties.

The first is the duty to yourself to be involved. If you don't like a candidate, then do the work necessary to get one you do like: get the petitions signed, knock on doors, hand out flyers, volunteer for the campaign.

The second is a your duty as a citizen to figure out WHY your "guy" or party doesn't win, and raise a ruckus for people and positions that CAN win.

Because from where I'm sitting we seem to have an awful case of Cognitive Dissonance here: People HATE the institution of Congress, but they seem to love their own Congresscritter...because they keep sending him/her back. Repeatedly.

Don't depend upon Congress to break it's own rice bowl; the last time you did that we got the monstrosity of the McCain-Feingold "Campaign Finance Reform Act" which was ten pounds of bullshit in a five pound bag. If you thought that tour de force of Congressional crap was effective in "eliminating the money and special interests in American politics" then you must have missed this last presidential election, where both parties spent $3 billion, PAC's proliferated, and we somehow still wound up with a trio of entrenched septuagenarians -- Clinton, Sanders and Trump -- vying for office.

Don't tell me Trump wasn't sponsored by special interests -- Donald Trump WAS one of those special interests long before anyone ever heard the term "special interest".

Secondly, if your objection is that Congress is full of "crooks" and that what we need is "fresh blood" to purify the system, then three obvious questions:

a) If the job attracts crooks, why let them know just how long they have to steal? If I was a crook and knew I had an expiration date I'd be grabbing all that much faster. Worse, I'd be collaborating with the other crooks -- on both sides -- so that we could all grab before the clock ran out. If the goal is to steal as much as possible, why do I need to even worry about a term limit? I only need to win ONCE.

b) What makes you think the "fresh blood" would be any more capable of resisting the trappings and enticements of power? Human Nature being what it is, no human is capable of resisting temptation forever. Even if it is only "the small stuff" it is still unethical, and we all have a capacity to occasionally justify our outrageous behavior, cloaking it in the mantle of some "greater good", because humans are born hypocrites, too.

c) At what point does the desire for the shiny and new become self-defeating? What happens when you DO get an effective advocate, who does the right thing, and who takes her responsibility seriously? Do we now have to lose that sort of person to a term limit? What damage does that do to The System?

Besides, people also have a right to send a crook or an incompetent back to Congress 26 times, if that's what they want. You are taking away the people's right to freedom of choice and the right to select others who best represent their views (even if you do not agree with those views, or the people who promulgate them, or see them as a baboon in a tie. The People have a right to send a chimpanzee in a clown suit to Congress if that is their wish).

Don't change the rules just because you can't win.

Fuck, the left has been trying to do just that since last November, threatening and questioning the Electoral college, nullifying federal law in local jurisdictions, shutting down political speech, pitching riots in an effort to intimidate their opposite numbers, according to a set of fluctuating "rules" that are more indicative of a mental disorder than a form of justification. If you're on the Right, don't help the Left win so that they can pack the Supreme Court (which they speak of often, these days), or change congressional Rules on the fly to get the vote they want (like they did with Obamacare).

And if you're on the Left, just remember that one day you will have to play by the same rules you've changed, like when you can't stop a judicial nominee with a filibuster because Harry Reed eliminated it, or you get a cherished regulation destroyed by Executive Order (because that's how it got to be a cherished regulation). If you're pissed off now that the Evil Triumvirate of Trump/McConnell/Ryan can piss in your Wheaties all day long -- and there isn't a thing you can do about it -- just remember who re-wrote the rules, and their names were Obama, Reed and Pelosi.

If you attempt to change them again to suit your immediate needs, you'll only engender another round of retaliation when you eventually lose power once more.

The last thing we need is more laws written by the self-interested charged with limiting their own self-interest: we need better citizens and voters.

Don't be stupid.

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