The Left suffers from Desmondism

-- by Micheal

Listening to left-leaning media, ever since the election, one can still hear their disbelief that their candidate lost. "Inconceivable!" The shock of defeat is quite normal -- for a few days after the event. It's been two months now, and still they can't believe it.

They had their cozy alt-left world, their rose-colored glasses which saw only the good things about their cosmology. They had their leftist academics reassuring them that they were absolutely right.

Turned out, they were wrong after all. The entire nation did not love and approve of them. Their bull had not walked through the nation's china shop without toppling so much as a cup.

The Left's denial of reminded me of Norma Desmond. She is the character (played by Gloria Swanson) in that great 1950 film-noir "Sunset Boulevard." It's a great analogy for the Left today. If you haven't seen the film, here's a quick synopsis to illustrate Desmondism.

Norma Desmond was an over-the-hill silent film star in the age of "talkies". Hollywood had moved on since her glory days. She had not had a role in a film for years. Cloistered in her mansion, she watched private screenings of her old films, rhapsodic about the superiority of the good old days. "We didn't need voices," she scoffed. "We had faces." Desmond dreams of her dramatic return to the silver screen. She is shielded from reality by her butler-driver-exHusband, Max. Even though he's a castoff from Desmond's grace, he protects her by insulating her from reality. She earnestly believes Hollywood adores her and wants her back.

In one poignant scene, the phone rings. It is the office of Cecil B. DeMille, famous director. Desmond is ecstatic. They want her.  The crushing reality, which both Max and her writer shield her from, is that DeMille wanted to use her old car in a film, not her. Poor Desmond slips a bit further into her private world of delusion.

The bittersweet denouement is the scene in which DeMille and everyone on the set realize Desmond's delusion and play along. They let her have her comeback scene, filming her walking slowly down a majestic stairway. Everyone, but Desmond, knows the film will be thrown away. It was only an act of charity.

Listening to The Left, ever since the election, they sound like Norma Desmond. They wallow in their old 'glory days' and disparage the new world as so obviously inferior to 'their' world. The Left still cannot fathom why the nation is not in love with their "faces."

The mainstream media are like Max. They continually shield The Left from the harsh news that their faces are not so very loved.

Rather like the ending of the film, The Left got their slow walk down the majestic staircase, but the film the nation was making was not about them.  They still can't believe it.



20 Bucks and Backdoor Sexism

-- by Micheal

There is campaign afoot to replace Andrew Jackson's image on the twenty dollar bill with the image of a woman -- any woman. Apparently, it doesn't matter who, at this point.

Senator Shaheen has jumped on this bandwagon. This issue may be less substantial than the ill-fated Red-Tailed Hawk legislation on the Trite & Trivial scale. Given all the issues this nation has to grapple with, any effort spent on such triviality is proof of shirking.

The fact that the campaign does not care who the woman might be, is proof of sexism. It only has to be a woman to satisfy them. If what really matters is her sex, it's sexism. The fact that they're rooting for the pink team instead of the blue, doesn't change it.

Associate professor Stephen Mihum had an editorial in the Union Leader on this issue. He was just as sexist in his rooting for the pink team. Like a good academic, he cited history. Images of women had appeared on our money before, albeit in allegorical form (Lady Liberty, Columbia, etc.). He snarked at the fact that such allegories were young and shapely, implying that men liked the designs for libidinal reasons only. Stereotyping, anyone? Real women, apparently, cannot be young or shapely.

Allegorical women weren't enough. Mihum pointed out how real women's images had also appeared on money before too -- Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea -- but that wasn't enough either. No explanation was offered for why.

Mihum's primary criticism for why Jackson, or any other former president, should have their image on our money, is because they are "dead white men". Academics have a particular dislike for dead white men -- perhaps because they can't fight back.

Once again, the deciding factor was gender. Jackson should be out because he's a man. He's being voted off the island because of his sex and nothing else. Why isn't this sexism?

The bottom line? Sexism is perfectly acceptable, as long as you're rooting for the pink team.


New Places to Fail

--- by Micheal

Liberal materialism has never yet succeeded, yet this current administration is eager to find a new place for it to fail. State Departments spokesperson, Maria Haft, said that the solution to ISIS brutality is job opportunity. They are only evil, apparently, because they can't get good jobs. Seriously. She meant it.

This is just the newest version of the old liberal materialist philosophy.  This thinking believes that people are really only animals. If their physical needs are sufficiently satisfied, the animal will behave. People-animals do bad things because their needs are not being met. Hungry, sick, bored. Therefore, the thinking goes, if we can just supply their physical needs, they will be docile and well-behaved. They'll be good sheep.

Such thinking was behind the LBJ-era's "Great Society" programs. It lurks beneath almost every liberal program. Poor people commit crimes because they're poor (i.e. cold, hungry, bored). If the state were to house them, feed them and give them plenty of entertainment, they would be well-behaved sheep. There is no inherent evil in people, only unmet needs -- unfulfilled desires.

That's how the mind-set goes, but has it ever worked? Over the forty years of Great Society "investment" -- trillions of dollars spent to supply needs -- not much has improved. The "poor" in this country are far better off than they were fifty or sixty years ago: materially. They are vastly better off than most other people on earth. A "poor" American would be middle class in most third world nations.  Yet, life is no more peaceful than it was fifty years ago. In many ways, it's worse.

Once people internalize liberal materialism -- "I am nothing but an animal seeking to satisfy my desires" -- there is no lasting satisfaction. No matter how much the state gives people for free, they will expect more. In fact, they will riot and loot and kill to get more. Why not? They're just animals.

Now the State Department seeks to apply this failed mind-set to Islamic Extremists: ISIS. They only want to kill us because they don't have jobs. If they had steady "living wage" jobs doing menial things, enough to buy a big TV and some nice clothes, they wouldn't hate so much. They don't have money to get the things they desire, so they hate and kill -- in very animalistic ways.

Give them a guaranteed minimum income. Give them food subsidies. Give them free phones and free healthcare. (Free healthcare is expected to solve almost everything.) Give them free community college and work programs. Make sure they're entertained. Oh, and surprisingly, fix Global Warming, and they will be happy. If we just give the extremists a cushy life, they'll be good sheep.

The reason classic liberal materialism has always failed, is that its foundation is wrong. People are not simply animals with needs. (ala B.F. Skinner, et al.) Human beings have a spirit, a soul, and an innate tendency to choose evil instead of good. (The "fallen man" principle)  As proof of this, even well-fed, well-entertained people have committed terrible crimes. Lack of cushy was not their problem.

Evil does exist. It has since the Garden of Eden. People are not simply material creatures with urges, needs and desires. People are spiritual beings and as such, can (and do) choose to be evil. Pretending that evil people are simply underfed or under-entertained or under-employed is delusional.

A lack of jobs is not the problem with ISIS. A jobs program will do nothing other than look like this administration is doing something. It's a new place to fail.


The Lie of Carbon Taxes

by Micheal

Every now and then, the Tax Zealots try floating a carbon tax by the public to see if they can get away with it or not.  The answer is usually: not.  So, being clever taxists, they don't push, but sink back into the shadows to bide their time and try the exact same sales pitch a little later to see if it will work that time.

I just heard the idea floated again on the radio. The sales pitch is that a carbon tax is only fair. Why? Because energy costs (such as the price of a gallon of gasoline) does not include the "cost" of carbon emissions.  So, the Tax Zealots propose that fairness dictates that we all pay for those unseen expenses we've been incurring.

The trouble is, they never point to those supposed carbon costs or how the government is already paying for those. There's never a number. It's never explained why the government should collect these carbon costs funds. How and where has the government been paying for "carbon pollution?"  They haven't, of course. That's part of the lie.

The politician quoted on the radio obliquely admitted that the funds raised from the carbon tax could do all kinds of nice (big government, nanny state) things.  Never, did any of them say they would use the funds collected to correct the supposed carbon pollution damage. They won't fix Global Warming. They won't stop the seas from rising. They won't reverse droughts. They'll let those things go on of their own accord, much as they always are anyhow. No taxes collected on carbon will go towards offsetting anything the carbon is lamented as doing.

The real goal is simply to find another tax revenue cow they can milk. This cow is even more ephemeral than how highway taxes or tobacco taxes are already collected for one (supposed) good work, yet funneled into general fund coffers for use in just about anything but the reason they were collected. Why, on earth, would something as vague as a carbon tax be magically different?

It would be like the Tax Zealots saying that adding a tax to, say, peanuts, is "only fair" to offset the costs of damage done to farmers' fields by elephants. Except, the government is spending no money to help those farmers to fix their fields. No Peanut Tax money would ever go to the farmers. It would simply enable the taxists to buy more of whatever shiny things have caught their eye.

The lie keeps being trotted out and tested on the public. The tactic is probably to wear the public down, or keep repeating the lie long enough that enough people are fooled into believing it.

When someone suggests that a carbon tax is "fair", ask them where the carbon tax money will go -- specifically. Their evasive non-answer should prove entertaining.

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