Democrats and the 5 Stages of Grief

As we approach the four-month anniversary of the election, I’ve realized that along with screwing up the economy, foreign policy, health care and being able to declare a Best Picture winner at the Oscars, the left has also screwed up the stages of grief.

I was a young man when I first heard of the Kubler-Ross grief cycle. I was riding a lousy little Yamaha 400 then, with aspirations to move up to a Harley, but you can imagine my excitement that I could end up on a Kubler-Ross! I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but it had to be German. And a “grief cycle!?” Can you imagine the reactions of the young women in my small Midwestern town when I cruised by in a leather jacket on one of those? I sure could. I figured I’d put some loud pipes on mine, and paint some flames on the gas tank.

Imagine my disappointment when I found out that Kubler-Ross was an academic, and the cycle of grief had to do with how we deal with loss. You know the process: first denial, then anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

Not that I was thinking about any of that on election night. I went into the evening thinking that Hillary would win, mostly because my fellow citizens had broken my heart in 2012 when they re-elected Obama. (I could see voting for him in ’08, when he was young and new and biracial, and McCain was old and cranky and bipartisan. But after those 4 years, and $6 trillion in new debt with nothing to show for it, and against the manifestly decent and competent Mittster? Ugh.)

But then the glass ceiling fell on Hillary like the house falling on the Wicked Witch of the East, and I shifted into the Simpson-Bailey giddiness cycle.

Named after me and Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life, the stages are as follows:

1. scotch

2. dawning euphoria,

3. running through downtown in the snow screaming maniacally (“Yeah! Merry Christmas movie house! Merry Christmas red states! Yyyeeeaaahhhh!”)

4. Conan’s “What is best in life?” meditation (“To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentations of their metrosexuals in the Javits Center.”), and then

5. a schadenfreude-induced reaction about which you are supposed to call your doctor if it lasts more than 4 hours.

Good times.

Anyway, that night I saw the Dems head into their cycle. Their denial lasted for days, after which even the most die-hard, true believers had to admit that the Trump-ocalypse was upon them. Then their strong suit: anger. All Trump voters are racists, the electoral college is an abomination, break out the vaginal headgear and let slip the dogs of war, etc.

Then bargaining: a dozen empty-headed celebrities make a video pleading with the electoral college members to go faithless, and vote for Hillary. Depression was there too, but was hard to detect, since it is pretty much a default setting for many leftists. (If you believed that the climate is going to kill you, and so are guns, and so is our health care system, and free market capitalism and red meat and Steve Bannon and micro-aggressions and almost literally everything else… You’d be depressed too.)

But here’s where the Dems get stuck: they never get to acceptance. They keep spinning their wheels in the anger phase, and that’s not good for anyone except professional politicians (who make their living and perpetually fund raise off of it).

I was initially inclined to cut my Democrat and leftist friends a lot of slack when it comes to their Trump hatred, because I think he ran as an unusually acerbic and insulting candidate. His tweets often sound like something from a high schooler, he speaks without a filter more than any president should, he’s almost as narcissistic as Obama or Hillary, etc.

But as I’ve watched Trump make some good decisions and good appointments and a great SCOTUS nomination, and the Dems go into an ever-escalating cycle of anger since the election, I realized something I should have always known: it doesn’t matter who the Republican/conservative is. The left is going to smear and attack and spew bile at any conservative who runs for office, and any decision he or she makes. Their anger has nothing to do with its object.

Consider that they’ve not just tried to eviscerate more abrasive conservatives like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich or Ted Cruz; they’ve reacted the same way toward mushy moderates like John McCain and Jeb Bush. They’ve driven the Hitler comparison into the ground, applying it to every Republican president and presidential candidate in my lifetime. (Another pet peeve of mine: Hitler heads a socialist workers party, creates an all-powerful government and exalts the collective, and the left calls him a right-winger! See Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism for a detailed run-down of how idiotic that smear is.) They ran tv ads showing a Paul Ryan imitator pushing a grandma off a cliff in a wheelchair!

In 2012, Joe Biden warned black Americans that Mitt Romney’s Republicans “probably want to put ya’ll back in chains.” Mitt Romney! Maybe the best example was their pre-printed signs before Trump picked Gorsuch for SCOTUS. If you’re holding a sign that says “I oppose” with a blank after it, into which you are going to print whichever name Trump chooses, you’ve lost your mind.

That’s how I think of the professional protesting left: they’re like Will Farrell’s dimwitted anchorman. They’ll say anything that comes across their teleprompter. If the Koch brothers were anything like they are cracked up to be, they could have hacked into a DNC conference call with instructions, and a small army of far-left dopes would have been standing on the steps outside the Supreme Court holding signs over their heads which read, “Go f**k yourself, San Diego!”

I don’t think the left realizes how self-defeating their knee-jerk smears and fury are, and how much they turn off all but the farthest left fringe. On the other hand, maybe they do – but they’re just so darned angry that they can’t help themselves.

Either way, they’ve got to get a handle on their emotions, or it’s going to be an even longer four years for them. And if they keep up this level of outrage every day from now until November of 2020, the predictable result will be their worst nightmare — Trump II: the re-Trumpening.

On the Narcissism of Presidents: Trump v. Obama

Last week CO posted a piece I wrote about how the left has been responding to Trump. When I pointed out Obama’s narcissism, several lefty posters somehow took that to mean that I didn’t think Trump is narcissistic. They argued the point vigorously, and one poor soul took the time to look up and source a dozen egotistical Trump quotes, to prove the point. Although some of their posts were troll-y (trollish? troll-esque?), they did make me think more about that topic:

1.Some degree of narcissism is inherent in running for president. Not many people ever look in the mirror and think, “You know what I’d probably be a good leader of? The entire free world!” By definition, all of our presidents have had that moment in their lives, and that strikes me as very weird, and more than a little off-putting. On the other hand, if I had to choose one type of narcissism over another, I’d rather see Trump’s cartoonish, often juvenile style – slapping his name on everything in sight, going on about how terrific each of his actions is going to be – than Obama’s style of deadly serious pomposity that led him to think that he could do anything he deigned to put his hand to, including replacing our health care system and our immigration laws, and taking it upon himself to “fundamentally transform” our society.

2.Just to be clear, I know that Trump is a narcissist. CO knows that Trump is a narcissist. Single-celled organisms living in the lightless depths of the Marianas Trench know that Trump is a narcissist. The point is that Obama is also a colossal narcissist, and somehow the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself) failed to notice that for the last 8 years, only seeming to begin objecting to narcissism on 1/20/17.
If any lefties would dispute the point, let me throw out a little evidence off the top of my head:

  • Obama wrote 2 autobiographies by the time he was 45, at which time the sum total of his accomplishments was a law degree, a nebulous community organizing gig, and 20 minutes spent in the IL state senate and then the US senate.
  • He suggested a causal link between his election and the slowing of the oceans’ rise and the healing of the planet. (Insert your own King Canute joke here.) (Then give yourself an extra point for getting the tricky-to-pull-off relevant King Canute reference.)
  • His favorite words in almost all of his speeches were “I” and “me.”
  • He had fake Greek columns built in the Denver football stadium for him to stand in front of as he gave a speech. (To his credit, he did not wear a toga with a laurel wreath, though both were implied.)
  • At a state meeting with the Queen of England, instead of the traditionally thoughtful gifts that are exchanged on such occasions, he gave her an ipod loaded with HIS OWN SPEECHES!

And how about that Nobel Peace Prize? Nominations for the award in 2009 closed 11 days after Obama was inaugurated, which means that some unbalanced European sycophants thought that Obama had done something worthy of that award during his first 11 days.

For comparison, a fast food manager or rental car employee is on probation for at least 30 days, and they’ve likely had to deal with at least one drunk vomiting in the salad bar or returning a massively damaged Ford Focus by day 11. And yet, to date, no probationary Shoney’s managers or Avis employees have ever won even a single Nobel Peace prize! Not one! (I looked it up, so feel free to fact check yourself.)

By the way, here’s the text of the letter that an even marginally self-aware non-narcissist would have written if a bunch of fawning Scandanavian dopes tried to give him a manifestly unwarranted Nobel prize for work done in his first 11 days in office:

“Dear Sven and Hrothgar et al,

You have got to be shi**ing me. I know you hated the Bushie, and you and I are sympatico on the whole ‘America is not exceptional’ thing. But you’ve got to give me a chance to do something first. What kind of colossal douche would I look like if I accepted this award now?! You’re making us all look bad.

Now go find some double amputee who has spent the last 10 years defusing landmines in a battle zone or something, and give him the award, you freaking tundra monkeys.

Sincerely,

Psychologically Well-Balanced New President.”

To his credit, Obama did give a pretty humble acceptance speech, but how do you accept that award at all, after 11 days?!

Finally, I’m sure you remember that during the campaign, Trump said that he knows more about ISIS than the generals do. We all agree that that is an absurdly self-important quote, right?

I give you His Eminence, Barack Hussein O, who said in the fall of 2008 (that is, before he had won the White House, and began the 11 Days that Shook the World): “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters…. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

3. I would argue that leftist ideology tends to exacerbate and weaponize the narcissism that all presidents are prey to. Small government, free market conservatism teaches humility, stressing that no bureaucrat in Washington knows as much about any area of the economy or society as those who specialize in those areas. (Hence, “That government is best which governs least.”) Yes, I know, very few pols live up to that ideal, we are all flawed and etc. But at least a conservative pol who begins to over-reach has an ideology that will serve as a check, if s/he’ll try to be true to it. (I’ll grant you that Trump has not so far been… how should I say this? … particularly dissuaded by that check.)

Not so, leftism. An ideology that sees a huge role for a centralized, omnivorous governmental bureaucracy cannot help but tempt already egotistical pols into ever greater power grabs.

You say you don’t know a redwood from a crape myrtle? Doesn’t matter. You’re in the Interior Department, so you are WAY more qualified to set logging policies than those idiot families of little people who have only been in the logging business for 3 generations.

You’ve never had a job in the private sector? By all means, set fiscal policy for 330 million people.

You’ve never been a security guard, or touched a real gun, or done anything more than watching a couple of seasons of NYPD Blue? Please tell our nation’s police forces exactly how they should be doing their job.

You wouldn’t know a pancreas from a uvula? (which sounds like something dirty, but disappointingly, is not) Feel free to take over 1/6 of the US economy, and give doctors and nurses a helpful little 9600-page, rule-filled tome dictating how health care should work, down to the last mammogram and tongue depressor.

Look, I’m concerned about Trump’s ego, too, and I hope that the responsibilities of his office will temper that. On the other hand, if all he does is appoint Gorsuch, replace Obamacare with something workable, find a way to discourage illegal immigration, and cut taxes and regulations, I’ll gladly overlook 4 years of his yammering about the size of his crowds and how amazing his next deeds are going to be.

And if you just spent 8 years raising no objections while King Hussein Canute and his merry band of Lerners and Grubers ran roughshod over our laws and checks and balances, we hope you will forgive us for not losing any sleep over your objections now.

Best of February 2017

Another month has passed, so it’s time to list my 5 favorite thing that happened in February:

1.Favorite writer’s name of the month: While listening to Andrew Klavan’s excellent podcast, I learned about a feminist writer who contributes to the unintentionally hilarious Everyday Feminism (I would give the site two thumbs up, except that I’m sure for some reason that I cannot articulate that that would be really offensive in this context). The writer’s name, Klavan said, was “Tori Truscheit.” So I immediately went to the site, and flipped through several stories looking for Ms. Truscheit, hoping and praying that her last name was spelled as it should be. Only to be disappointed by “Truscheit.” Still, the homonym is pretty sweet. (And if there were ever a movie called “Looking for Ms. Truscheit,” I would not see it, even if it were on cable for free.)

By the way, during my brief search for the “Truscheit” (ha!), I learned a lot. For example, I saw an article entitled, “No, trans women are not ‘biologically male’.” (Invoking my invention, on the spot, of Simpson’s First Law of Grammar: if you find it necessary to deploy scare quotes around a phrase like “biologically male,” something has gone horribly wrong in your thinking and writing.)

I also learned that there is a numbered list for every occasion. For example, you probably didn’t know that there are “3 Harmful Ways Ableism Shows up in our Everyday Language.” (I didn’t read the article, but if it doesn’t include Joe Biden telling wheel-chair bound Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham to “Stand up [and] let ‘em see ya,” at a rally, I’d be severely disappointed.) (If you haven’t seen that video, you owe it to yourself to drop everything and watch it right now.)

And there are “9 Things Not to Say to a Non-Binary Person.” (But, I guess maybe those could be 9 things TO say to a binary person, if I remember my double-negatives rule correctly? Ugh, grammar!) And by the way, Everyday Feminism editors, if you’ve got an extra set of scare quotes lying around the office, how about rolling them out when you are discussing “non-binary” folks? I’ve got no idea what that means, but it’s got to be scarier than “biologically male,” doesn’t it?

2. Trump dress upends the charts: Joy Villa – which, though it sounds like a dandy little retirement community, is actually a singer whose latest release was sitting somewhere around 530,000 on Amazon. Then she wore a Trump-themed dress to the Grammys. I am not a fashion critic – I’m just a humble “biological male,” and a “binary” one at that, I think – but I know what I hate. And I hated that dress.

However, I love that after wearing it, her album (or release, or cd, or glip glorp, or whatever the kids these days call what we used to call “records”) went to #1. Beautiful! I almost went online and purchased a copy of her glip glorp myself, before I remembered that I have no idea how to do that. Also, that I haven’t liked anything recorded since Johnny Cash died. (Except for some stuff from Kings of Leon. Those guys are good. And I haven’t heard CO’s band, but I’d make an exception for them, too.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, Joy Villa. From 530,000 to #1 after wearing a Trump dress. Stick it, the rest of you marginally talented doofuses (doofi? Grammar!) who feel compelled to use your award acceptance speeches to virtue signal about politics. I hope you pass Joy Villa on your way down into the 530,000 rankings.

3. Terrorist Creep Dies: Original Twin Towers bombing planner and all-around terrorist scumbag Omar Abdul-Rahman — known primarily for his hate-filled jihadist screeds and for his much-loved imitation of Ray Charles in a Santa Claus hat (see his pic on Wikipedia) – died on 2/18.

I know that we traditionally have a moment of silence to mourn the passing of good and honorable people. So can we have a moment of raucous noise to commemorate the passing of this hateful, milky-eyed weird beard? I suggest that we make a recording of a jet engine, overlaid with the guitar open from the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage,” overlaid with wolf howling, overlaid with one of Yoko Ono’s (“She’s history’s greatest monster!”) hideous vocalizations. (On the other hand, let’s replace Yoko’s sample with a recording of two mountain lions in coitus, just to make sure that Yoko doesn’t somehow get a royalty out of this brilliant idea.)

4. A Day without Immigrants: In what parents throughout the saner precincts of the nation celebrated as the most teachable moment that their kids could ever have, the “Day without Immigrants” (2/16) was followed immediately in many areas (starting 2/17) with “A Future without Employment,” created when many employers decided that they could do without employees who don’t appreciate being employed. I know that many immigrants who participated aren’t here illegally, but many are – I mean, that’s the point, right? To show us how much we need all of the many workers who are living and working here illegally?

So leave it to the reliably thick-headed Atlantic magazine to publish an article on the topic, with the subtitle, “Around 100 workers were reportedly fired for participating in last week’s strike. Whether that’s legal remains to be seen.“ Yep. We’re not sure that it’s legal to fire people who are working here ILLEGALLY. Yikes. You keep doing you, brilliant leftist magazines.

While I don’t usually enjoy seeing people lose their jobs, I certainly used this example to give a little “this is how the world works” life lesson to my two now-teenaged daughters. Not that they needed it, however. When my second daughter was born, my oldest was 4, and I had the talk with her that I’m sure all good dads have with their kids: “Honey, we now have an auxiliary daughter. Should you be unable to carry out the duties of the primary daughter, your mother and I are going to move her up to the gold medal stand. Now get back to your pre-K homework, because those state capitals and days of the week are not going to memorize themselves.”

I can only hope and pray that soon we will see a “Day without Lawyers,” followed by “A Day without Federal Bureaucrats.” I would wish for “A Day without smarmy leftist Air America hosts,” or “A Day without President Hillary Clinton,” but then I remember that EVERY day is a day without those. And I can’t stop giggling.

5. Sweden proves Trump right: After Trump made a mis-statement on the troubles “last night” in Sweden on Saturday, 18 February, a bunch of nice folks in a few Swedish “migrant suburbs” (and yes, I think those scare quotes are justified!) start rioting, burning things and assaulting people. The beauty of that schadenfreude-tastic (word copyrighted by me, right now) turn of events was in the timing. Because the cherubic immigrants didn’t start rampaging for 36 hours, which gave the US leftist media just enough time to work themselves up into a frothing lather of sweet, sweet Trump-hatred, before having the (Persian) rug pulled out from under them. I love the image of a couple of smirking leftist commentators interrupted mid-bloviation:

Leftist Hack 1: “I’m sure that the few adult Republicans in DC are mortified by President Cheetoh’s latest delusional statement about non-existent social tensions in the earthly paradise that is Sweden.”

Leftist Hack 2: “You’re absolutely right. How much longer can we endure the world’s well-justified contempt for our Islamophobe-in-Chief before saner heads prevail, and we get on with the inevitable impeachment proceedings?”

Hack 1: “I know, right? How dare he suggest that uncontrolled immigration from unstable Islamic theocratic states would produce anything other than an Edenic multi-cultural social tapestry of joy and—“

Hack 2: “Our producer is telling me we have a breaking story. Apparently, Malmo is in flames.”

Hack 1: “Oh my God! The red puppet character beloved by children everywhere has been burned?”

Hack 2: “No. That’s Elmo. This is Malmo.”

Hack 1: (pause) “What’s a Malmo?”

Hack 2: (fiddling with his earpiece) “I’m told that it’s a city.” (much more quietly) “In Sweden.”

Hack 1: “Oh s—t!” (slaps the desk in disgust, then composes herself) “Well, it’s probably happening in a hotbed of tall, blond, white, neo-Nazi right wingers, right? All wound up by Trump’s hate speech until they started to—“

Hack 2: (swallowing) “I’m told that the rioting and violence is taking place in a ‘migrant suburb.’”

Hack 1: (shuffling some papers, then coughing) “Migrants from Norway?”

Hack 2: “Migrants from Syria, and several of the other countries mentioned in Trump’s evil and unconstitutional executive order.”

Hack 1: “Son of a– ! Come on!”

And, scene.

Advice for my Lefty Friends: How to React to Donald Trump

No, none of my lefty friends has asked my opinion on this topic. But should that stop me from giving it?

After all, no sentient being anywhere has ever asked, “I wonder what Ashley Judd thinks about this political issue?” or “Why won’t alleged funnyman Al Franken give us his criteria for a successful cabinet pick?” or “How long must we wait for Meryl Streep’s next condescending lecture?”

Yet those savants have shared with us their deathless wisdom. So why shouldn’t I do the same? Here goes:

Tip 1: If you start with the outrage meter pegged to 11 for every garden-variety bonehead comment that Trump makes, you’re going to lose your voice, burst a blood vessel, and be thoroughly ignored when Trump does something truly egregious. One of my favorite Simpson’s moments was when the mayor unveiled a presidential statue; the townspeople expected Abraham Lincoln, but Springfield could only afford Jimmy Carter. When the statue is revealed, one character points and says, “He’s history’s greatest monster!”

Trump is likely to be an inconsistent president, but he’s not going to be a Stalin, or a Mao, or an Asmodeus, Destroyer of Men. Don’t be the boy who cried Carter.

Tip 2: Stop calling yourself The Resistance. It’s creepy, and self-dramatizing, and it makes you sound like a 15-year old. (And not a popular, well-adjusted 15-year old.) Trump is not a Star Wars villain or a dictator, and he didn’t come to power by force. He’s there largely because the right track/wrong track numbers last year were upside down, and you ran a shrieking harpy with the personal warmth of a dyspeptic time-share saleswoman and a plan to double-down on the policies that had produced the afore-mentioned ballooning wrong track numbers.

Look in the mirror. Wait, first pull off your ski mask, and then look in the mirror. Doesn’t that black trench coat look ridiculous? The Resistance? Really? C’mon.

Tip 3: Don’t think you are going to get any mileage with most Americans by pointing out how badly Trump is treating the press. Do you not know how despised the press is? Their approval rating is just above ISIS, and below testicular cancer. (The internals are even worse: CNN is only ahead of chlamydia because of Jake Tapper, and his numbers are eroding, so…) Work on improving the accuracy of press coverage, and you might eventually earn a public hearing again.

Until then, the press is the anti-Sally Field: We don’t like them. We really don’t like them.

Tip 4: Consider not insulting everyone you are trying to persuade. Most people voted for Trump not BECAUSE he made crude comments or verbal gaffes or behaved boorishly, but DESPITE those qualities. He promised to reverse the direction of the last 8 years, and you need to come to grips with why so many people found that prospect enticing enough that they would vote for someone with Trump’s flaws, as the first step to a mature reconsideration of your own past actions and positions.

Or, you can just scream that we’re all racist/sexist/bigoted moronic evil-doers, and see how that works. (Spoiler alert: President Trump.)

Tip 5: We remember Obama. And we remember that you spent the last 8 years getting him his pipe and his fuzzy slippers, and giving him a soothing tongue-bath each time he said something like, “I’m going to stop the rise of the oceans,” and “I don’t know the difference between a rectal thermometer and the other kind, but I’ve come up with the best health plan ever,” and “I don’t know what makes a rifle a semi-automatic, or which end goes in the rectum, but I know exactly how many guns you should have,” and “Thank you for this well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

If you now complain that Trump is a narcissist, we are just going to laugh at you.

Leftism Doesn’t Work

In this season of political argument and division, I can understand arguing over relatively minor differences, like optimal tax rates or the details of how to best vet would-be immigrants. What I can’t understand is how we can still argue about the big picture, which (at the risk of oversimplifying just a wee bit) is that leftism doesn’t work.

Since the Russian leftists pulled off their revolution in 1917, we’ve had a century to watch the competition between the big ideas of the left (a gigantic, centralized government controlling most aspects of life from the cradle to the grave that will allegedly give the most help to most people) and the right (that government is best which governs least).

The leftist cause looked good on paper in 1917, and sounded more compassionate, but in real world practice, it was a dumpster fire.

Speaking of dumpster fires, look at the American cities that have been governed almost exclusively by leftist policy for decades – Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, DC. Sure, parts of each town are nice, and there are good people in all of them, and God bless them for swimming against the tide. But would you put your kids in the public schools of any of them? Would you buy property in any of them?

Look at the bluest states: NY, CA, IL, MA, NJ. Even with everything they’ve got going for them, they’re bleeding productive citizens, and their budgets are as unbalanced as Ashley Judd with a microphone in front of her.

Look at nations. When a free market democracy builds a wall it’s because tons of people want to get in; when a socialist workers’ paradise builds a wall it’s because the workers want to get out. When socialists take over an island nation, there is soon a small flotilla of desperate people scissor-kicking out into shark-infested waters, pushing vessels that look like Gilligan and the Skipper made them out of coconuts and twine.

And you can’t get a better empirical experiment than the one that happened in Germany. The same people – with the same culture, history, language and ancestry – are divided in two, with the East being run on leftist principles and the West on at least quasi-free market ones.

Forty years later, the West was prosperous and advanced, and crawling with BMWs and Mercedes. The East was an impoverished rust belt with gulags, crawling with… less pleasant crawling things. (And even those crawling things were crawling toward the wall, hoping to get out.)

In the West, adorable brunette lip-syncing women were going on about 99 luft balloons in a German-language video that you should all stop and watch on Youtube right now. I’ll wait.

There. Was I wrong about her being adorable? Sure, she spells “Nina” wrong, and the guys in her band have horrible 80s clothes and haircuts. And the keyboard player is a poor man’s Leif Garrett at best. (And has anyone anywhere ever been damned by fainter praise than “the poor man’s Leif Garrett?” Leif Garrett himself was the poor man’s Leif Garrett. He was seven iterations down the talent scale from Peter Frampton, and Nena’s guy was a notch below him. But in East Germany, the second-rate Leif would be a rock god.)

But here’s the thing: our bands had haircuts and clothes that were just as bad back then. Those were the best we could do, for some reason.

But how were they doing in leftist East Germany? Who was the (really, really) poor woman’s Nena on the other side of the wall?

Nobody. Because they couldn’t afford skinny jeans, or lip gloss, or sparkly, dangly earrings. (God, I love Nena! Has anything ever been cuter than the way she says, “Captain Kirk?” She brings an erotic frisson to German song lyrics. Which is a phrase connecting two things that you’ll never hear together again if you live to be 106.) Or smoke grenades. Or reliable electricity to power up that wicked keyboard. Or even balloons.

That’s the measure of leftism vs. free markets in a nutshell. Leftism produced a grand total of zero Nenas. And capitalism produced one, which is just the right number. (I mean, she was singing about her fears that the West was going to start a nuclear war, or something. Which is why no one has ever said, “As a sophisticated political thinker, that Kierkegaard is no Nena.”)

Anyway, I know that my leftist friends will dispute my contention that leftism produces a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland entirely devoid of Nenas, and thus does not work. But even they, when confronted with the old, hoary chestnut about “If you could choose to be born anywhere in the world, which country would you pick?” would have to admit that they wouldn’t pick a country run entirely by their fellow leftists.

Thus, I will close with my illustration of that point, in the form of a conversation between God and a soon-to-be-born baby:

God: I’ve got two options for you. The first is The People’s Republic of—
Baby: I’ll take the other one.
God: What do you mean?
Baby: Let’s go with door number 2.
God: But you don’t even know what that second country is. Don’t you at least want to know its name, or where it is?
Baby: What difference would that make to me? I’m a baby over here – we’re horrible at geography.
God: Okay, we’ll just call it Country X. But aren’t you even a little curious about what daily life there is like?
Baby: (thinks about it) All right. What would be my over/under on life expectancy?
God: 22 years.
Baby: How is the infrastructure?
God: Dirt roads and open sewers.
Baby: What would I eat?
God: Plantains and crickets.
Baby: Would I get any skin diseases?
God: Probably.
Baby: Any local animals?
God: Two baby-eating big cat species, and a breed of snake that the locals call the “crib strangler.”
Baby: Yikes. What’s the local language.
God: A series of clicks and whistles.
Baby: GDP?
God: Three goats and an iron cooking pot.
Baby: Wow. How about entertainment options?
God: There’s a local game played with rocks and sticks. But there are seasonal stick shortages. So…
Baby: Ouch. Any colorful indigenous music?
God: No. But cover bands sometimes tour the mid-sized village that’s a two-day walk away.
Baby: Cover bands?
God: Yes. Myron Goldsteen and the Z Street Band came through last fall, and everyone is looking forward to the Fred Nugent tour this summer.
Baby: So if I make the two day walk, what kind of venue will I be able to see Fred Nugent in?
God: Well, it’s a crumbling concrete open-air soccer stadium, so the acoustics aren’t great. And don’t ask them to play “Stranglehold” or “Cat Scratch Fever,” whatever you do.
Baby: Because of the strangling snakes and dangerous big cats?
God: Exactly. It’s always too soon for infant-death-related lyrics in Country X.
Baby: That doesn’t sound so good. Any chance I could see Buddy Holly and the Bilingual Entomologists there?
God: No way – they’re huge. But they’ve got a cover band who came through last year. “El Chirpo.”
Baby: Are they any good?
God: Not really. There were a lot of walk-outs, and afterwards some of the locals said they should change their name to “Click whistle click click.”
Baby: What’s that mean?
God: That’s the sound the indigenous crickets make in an empty open-air soccer stadium. Right before the hungry local children devour them.
Baby: (skeptical) Are you sure this place isn’t a people’s republic?
God: I’m sure.
Baby: Because it sounds like a people’s republic.
God: I know. But it isn’t.

Baby: (after a long silence) Okay, let me make sure I understand. I’ll be choking down crickets, trying to keep from scratching my skin lesions, fighting off an angry panther with a series of menacing clicks and whistles and any sticks that might be in season, and my best case scenario is that I can walk for two days on a dirt road alongside an open sewer to see Fred Nugent play a bunch of B-sides, and I drop dead at 22?”
God: Yes.
Baby: But it’s not “The People’s Republic of X?”
God: Nope.
Baby: I’m in.

And, scene.

Best of January 2017

I’d like to introduce what I hope will be a recurring series of posts, in which I review my favorite things to happen in the previous month.

I give you The Best of January, 2017

1. Chuck Schumer crying. When Trump’s perfectly justifiable but badly handled executive order temporarily banning foreigners from terrorism-riddled countries rolled out, Chuckie actually cried about it. In public. I was raised in the Midwest a hundred years ago, where there was a code about grown men crying. A few tears were acceptable if your spouse died in childbirth, or your son died in battle, or you lost a limb in a farm accident. If my sister or I had ever seen my dad in tears and ran to tell mom, I can predict her response: “Oh lord! Which arm is it, and can we pull it out of the thresher so the doctors can re-attach it?!”

You know what she would NOT have asked in a million years? “Good God, how many foreigners have been momentarily inconvenienced at an airport?!”

2.Barack’s new rental. Shortly before the inauguration, media reported that the Obamas were going to be renting a big house in DC for a year or so while his youngest daughter finishes high school. News reports mentioned that a team of workers would be adding an architectural feature to the former president’s new rental. I assumed that it would be a bridge, which would obviously give the common people greater access to make their way right up to Obama’s front window, where they could press their filthy faces against the window like Dickensian orphans, hoping to catch a glimpse of the great man, muttering into his New York Times as he read about Trump dismantling his legacy.

Imagine my shock when I found out that it was – wait for it – a wall!

That’s right, the things that are despicable, and don’t work, and are Not Who We Are. Yet somehow, when it comes to his own family’s security, Obama is building not a bridge but a wall.

What’s next? Will we find out that the secret service team assigned to protect him for the rest of his life will be doing so not with sweet reason and strongly worded letters to the editor, but with filthy, horrible firearms? (And if so, can we say that he is going to be bitterly clinging to his guns, from behind his wall, the big racist xenophobe?)

3.Chelsea Handler insults Melania. When someone was inexplicably interviewing human train wreck Chelsea Handler, and asked whether she’d ever have Melania Trump on the show that she apparently has for some reason, Handler’s response was the ne plus ultra of unearned leftist condescension: “Melania? To talk about what? She can barely speak English!” Just for the record: Melania speaks five languages, while Chandler speaks almost one. Almost two, if you count “slurring” as a language.

4. How will the new CIA Director deal with global warming? When questioning the CIA head honcho nominee, brilliant Dem senators rose to the occasion by getting right to the question of the age: “What are you as our nation’s spymaster going to do about global warming?” I’m not making this up. The CIA Director. Asked about the weather.

Because you know how often you turn on the news and hear about the troposphere screaming “Allahu Akbar” before blowing itself to bits on a crowded street, or an occluded front blasting away inside an Orlando gay nightclub, or an extra degree of ocean temperature over a century blowing up the Boston marathon.

5. Inauguration day. And not primarily because of Trump. It was an amazingly great inauguration solely because the hand on the Bible was NOT Hillary Clinton’s. If you pushed me, I’d have to say that I’d rank the best inaugurations in our history as follows: 1. George Washington’s.

2. Abraham Lincoln’s.

3. Anybody’s who was not Hillary Clinton’s. (And yes, that includes William Henry Harrison’s, whose speech might still be going on right now had not a merciful God struck him dead 30 days into his inaugural oration.)

6. The Atlantic article about ultrasounds. Moira Weigel wrote an article in The Atlantic about how creepy right wingers have used ultrasounds as cruel political tools. The thrust of the article is that by showing more clearly and accurately the fetus in the womb, ultrasounds give the impression that the entity in the pregnant woman’s womb is a baby.

In other breaking news that is sure to shock the savants at The Atlantic: Telescopes give the impression that the sky is full of stars. And taste buds give the impression that ice cream is delicious. Also, functioning human eyes give the impression that Melania Trump is attractive.

Like many leftist attempts at persuasive argument, the article unintentionally insults its target audience, casting women as gullible dopes, susceptible to falling for deceptions at the hands of their wily, so-called “doctors.” (See also: “Of course African Americans can’t possibly be expected to attain photo id so that they can vote. Who do you think they are, sentient adults who can tell time and respond to verbal requests and find a DMV all by themselves?!”)

The best part of the article is the corrections list at the end. There are 5 corrections to this short article, and they’re not counting the part about saying that a baby is not a baby as an error. In the original presentation, each error was listed separately, with “We regret the error,” following it. But someone at the Atlantic must have seen how much that repetition hurt, so they re-formatted them – now all of the errors are listed in a long paragraph, with one, “We regret the errors,” at the end.

If political philosophies had mottos, you couldn’t do better than that: “Leftism – We Regret the Errors.”

Except that they don’t appear to actually regret the errors, I mean. (You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, etc.)

7. “Lunatics, start your engines…” In preparation for the announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, some leftists had pre-printed signs made up, with a red band across the top with the word “Oppose,” and a blank white band below. The idea was that the perpetually aggrieved lefties could just write the nominees’ name in as soon as it was announced, and thereby not lose any precious pre-protest time to wasteful, unnecessary processes like informing themselves about the nominee, or thoughtfully considering his or her judicial record.

8. More women’s march signs. Speaking of brilliance expressed on a poster, here is my personal favorite sign spotted at our local women’s march the day after inauguration: “Don’t like abortions? Don’t have one.”

Move over Aristotle, because that is one philosophically unassailable bit of magic marker on a piece of cardboard right there.

Cut to me, using the time machine that I definitely do have (take that, leftist fact checkers!) to transport myself back to 1861, where the local Democrat great-great-grandmothers of the anti-Trump marchers are also marching, with pieces of slate on sticks, onto which they’ve written their brilliant thoughts:

“Don’t like Slavery? Don’t own a slave.”
“My chattel, my choice.”
“Get your rosaries off my n-words.”

The only way to make those marchers’ messages more convincing? You guessed it: vaginal bonnets.

Thoughts on the Inaugural Protest March

I’m sure that there were lots of well-meaning, good-hearted people who took part in the march in DC; I know at least one of my coworkers who did so, and she’s a good person. And I know that it’s probably tough to police the group yourself, and to keep idiots from joining your group and discrediting it.

But Man o’ Manischewitz, what a menagerie. The usual black-masked anarchists destroying property. Unattractive people of indeterminate gender carrying signs forbidding evil males from impregnating them or telling them what to do once they are impregnated. (I speak for all male-kind when I say, don’t lose any sleep over the possibility of the former. Because, nope.) Crude drawings of female organs, internal and external. Obscenity-scrawled signs alongside marching children who should be taught not to say those words. Shrieking celebrity harridans hollering about blowing up the White House. Formerly attractive actresses screaming poems about incest.

And by the way, no decent poet ever had to scream his or her poetry. No one in Christendom ever said, “Hey, you want to come down to the coffeeshop? Emily Dickinson is going to give a high-decibel poetry wail.” Or “Save the 15th, because Alfred Lord Tennyson is doing a standing-room only couplet yelping at the top of his lungs.” Or, “You know what I like about Shakespeare’s sonnets? They’re f**king deafening!”

(And yes, English majors, I’ve read self-proclaimed poet Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl,” and it’s no exception: it might as well be screamed, and it’s terrible. I’ve read the best minds of your generation too, and there’s a good reason they were starving. No one in their right minds would buy that crap.)(To get that last joke, you may have to re-read the opening of “Howl.” But don’t hold me responsible for any ill effects.)

Who exactly do the marchers think they are reaching with their subtle, persuasive message? Think about it: a bunch of women marching in vagina-simulating hats? Because if anything connotes well thought-out moral seriousness, it’s genitalia-evoking head gear! Can you picture the impact of a million male march, all of us wearing phallic-symbol chapeaux? (The ear flaps mimic testicles! Get it?) THAT would really make the matriarchy stand up and reconsider our point about the appropriate size of government!

Or would it just make us look like an army of un-telegenic lunatics? And launch a thousand late-night comics’ routines about whose hats were flaccid, and what the guys in the 10-gallon-size phallic hats were insecure about. And what that Jenner person was doing there in a phallic hat and a vaginal scarf?

I know that I’m biased. (“What? You?!” I can hear you saying.) And I know that both sides of the political aisle contain some good and bad actors. But it seems to me that the Left has a strain of bullying deep in its DNA, of which these protests were just one more example.

Consider: Many conservatives enjoy listening to right wing radio (Limbaugh, Ingraham, Hannity et. al.) and watching a right-leaning news network like Fox, just as lefties enjoy lefty radio (NPR) and tv (PBS). But it never occurs to righties to try to force non-righties to subsidize their radio and tv preferences, while lefties have for decades been forcing all taxpayers to fund their choices. (I’m not even running down NPR or PBS in their totality, since there is some good stuff on both.)

Or consider their approaches to the constitution. Conservatives are fond of the second amendment, but we’d never dream of forcing our fellow citizens to pay for our guns. Leftist are fond of the non-existent amendment that magically grants the right to abortion, but are they satisfied with the right to have their abortions?

Spoiler alert: they are not. The rest of us must be forced to pay for them, even if we have a basic biological understanding of what is being ended in abortion. And we have to pay for their condoms, which they were apparently using to make balloon animals at the birthday parties of the children they don’t have. Since we also have to pay for their abortions, I mean.

Or consider Obama’s unilateral wiping out of the country’s laws against illegal immigration. Faced with a congress and populace opposed to open borders, did Obama get down to the hard work of patiently reasoning with and persuading the American people to his point of view?

HA! He did not. Instead, he proclaimed, “I have a phone, and I have a pen.” He used the pen to scratch through the offending sections of our nation’s laws, and he used the phone to call Tijuana and holler whatever is Spanish for “Olly olly oxen free!”

Think about how the left would feel if right after Trump got sworn in, he went on tv to announce that since the GOP believes that our corporate tax rates are too high, and inheritance taxes are immoral, he’s using his big gold pen (“It’s huuuuuge. The gold is the best quality ever. You’ve heard of 24 carat? This one is 25 carat, believe me.”) to write an executive order eliminating both taxes?

The MSM talking heads would explode, and rightly so. But how did they react when Obama pulled his pen-and-phone routine?

“El chirpo. El chirpo.” (Which, as the bilingual entomologists among you know, is the sound made by a Mexican cricket, in a village that is silent and empty because everyone got Obama’s phone call and vamoosed for ”El Norte.”) (Which is also Spanish.)
(For “the north.”)
(You’re welcome.)
(Also, I defy you to think of a better name for a band than “Buddy Holly and the Bilingual Entomologists.”)

And there’s my entry for “Best Comedic Use of Parentheses in a Political Facebook Page.”
Please vote early and often.

Addendum:

After the above post appeared, I received a great deal of positive responses, along with an aggressive fact-checkers who insisted that I was wrong about Planned Parenthood getting taxpayer dollars.  I wrote the paragraphs below as a follow-up:

I can’t tell you all how gratifying it is to read your kind comments – I really appreciate them all!  For years I’ve dashed off little rants like this for my own amusement, and for that of a couple of friends.  But when the Great and Powerful CO asked if he could share them on his site, I jumped at the chance, and it’s great to know that other people are enjoying them.

Because I’m nothing if not a humanitarian — Ask my fellow cabal member Mr. Trump: “Simpson’s a huuge humanitarian.  The best.   Mother Teresa looks like H.L. Mencken next to him.  He really puts the ‘human’ in ‘humanitarian,’ believe me!”  — I also feel compelled to share a few words with the tireless left-leaning citizen who took time out of his busy schedule to fact-check my last post.

Sir, let me confess a few errors, to save you some valuable fact-checking time:

  1. There is no such thing as a “vaginal scarf.” Nor is there a fallopian cravat.  But I’m almost certain that there IS an ovarian sweater.   I think Lady Gaga wore it on stage during her last tour.
  2. Emily Dickinson never yelled her poetry in a coffeehouse.
  3. Mexican crickets do not in fact chirp in Spanish.

However, I made one point that apparently stuck in your craw, and that I feel compelled to defend.

Planned Parenthood does receive federal funds (i.e. taxpayer dollars) from sources such as Medicaid and Title X.  And contrary to its name, “Planned Parenthood” is not a think tank filled by people in lab coats, working with charts and graphs and protractors and space-age polymers, engaged in a tireless pursuit to unlock the mysteries of how one becomes a parent.  (“Dammit man,” they do not say to themselves in frustration, “we’ve put a man on the moon, we’ve refined the 46 defense, we’ve developed the spork.  But we just can’t crack this ‘where do babies come from’ conundrum!”)

No, contrary to your confident assumptions, that’s not what they do at P-squared.  They do abortions.  Lots of abortions.

And before you say it, I know: the federal dollars never, ever go to fund an abortion.  Those dollars  parade through the front door, chastely averting their eyes, and take a hard left down the hallway, where they swan dive into neatly stacked piles to pay for tongue depressors and utility bills and mounds of “I’m with Her” posters, while totally, pristinely separate dollars pay for the abortions.  (wink, wink.)  If I can interrupt your fact checking, could I humbly suggest that you google “money is fungible?”

And then, hold on to your non-genitalia-evoking hat, because you are going to be shocked to learn that… wait for it… taxpayer dollars pay for abortions.