Why Is President Obama So ‘Smart’?
November 29, 2010, 5:31 pm
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I have two competing theories about why people decided, and (seemingly) still continue to believe, that President Barack Obama is some sort of brilliant, ‘Smart’ genius.

1. They want to debase the standards. Let’s face it, if Barack Obama is genuinely, really smart, then so is like 50% of the population. Which would probably make 50% of the population really happy! Essentially this theory says that under certain circumstances, people can have a psychological motivation to scribble out someone’s “73” and write in “100” on their final exam, so as to re-center the curve accordingly. This theory has people cheering on Obama’s supposed ‘brilliance’ for essentially the same reason that women cheer on and encourage other women to cut their hair short.

2. Ideological needs and historical forces demand it. Barack Obama is a suave, well-groomed black man who wears a suit well, spouts warmed-over Marxist jibberish dutifully, and became the first black President of the United States. Which is to say: He must be a genius. The march of history demands it. It is unthinkable to even suggest that someone in this position wouldn’t be brilliant; that doesn’t fit the storyline. In the lexicon of TV Tropes, this is more like giving Obama an Informed Ability (‘A character’s skill and abilities are frequently mentioned by the cast, but are nonexistent in practice’) to someone who is a Designated Hero, than it is giving him the Smart Ball (since he never actually does, not even briefly/unexpectedly, demonstrate the Intelligence he supposedly has).

I lean towards #2 but don’t discount #1. What’s your vote?

Summaries Needed
November 29, 2010, 5:12 pm
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Could someone be a dear and summarize some things for me.

  1. Just what exactly we learned of importance from this ‘wikileaks’ thing. That US diplomats send cables and whatnot that concern international relations and events?
  2. Which TV show(s?) the various Palins(es?) are on? Not that there’s any danger of me watching them I guess.
  3. All the ‘Smart’ things that President Barack Obama has done on account of his ‘Smartness’. (I’m sure the list is millions-of-items long, so feel free to edit it down to the top 10,000 or so as needed for space)
  4. Where the heck is Parks & Recreation. Because that was a funny show! Why would the only funny show on TV seemingly not be on TV? Or am I just failing to find it.
  5. Why North Korea shelled some island of South Korea’s for no reason. Ok nevermind that one.
  6. Just how many of these ‘The Girl With’ books there’s gonna be. Will they anthologize it, farm it out to other authors, and turn it into like Nancy Drew for the ’10s? I think they should!
  7. The plot of that ‘Twilight’ thing. Just so I don’t have to pay attention to it. Is it like ‘Dawson’s Creek’ with vampires? It is, isn’t it?
  8. And of course, just WTF ‘net neutrality’ is. Even after reading (well, looking at, anyway) the wiki page, I still don’t feel like I know.

The Historic, “Progressive” Struggle Marches On

There’s a pleasing symmetry at work in the recent decision by San Francisco & some neighboring cities to ban happy meals. Once again, as with 100 years ago, we find “progressives” cheerfully and self-congratulatorily on the side of pseudoscience-based public-health initiatives. Although I’ll grant that this go-round is a bit more benign than the fashion for eugenics and preventing ‘imbeciles’ or inferior races from overbreeding and swarming the nation, or even than the teetotaling and sex-paranoid movement of dessicated nannies – oops, I meant to also say “progressives” there – who helped bring us the wonders of Prohibition.

However, the spirit is much the same. It’s so retro it’s almost charming. Like one of those old-timey bicycles with two different-sized wheels.

In this case there’s also an apt symbolism to the whole thing. “Progressives”: literally banning “happy”. Talk about upping the ante! Taliban’s got nothing on “progressives”.

I don’t even know what else to say except to bask in it. Ah, “liberals”! Without their oh so deep-seated love of liberty and individuality who would there be to think up things to ostentatiously and symbolically ban in the name of the common good, and then who would there be to pat them on the back for their “progressive” stance in doing it? You gotta admit: there’d be nobody!

A chill goes down my spine just thinking of a world in which I were free, if I wanted, to buy my kid a box with some tasty food he’d like and a special toy inside that his eyes would light up upon seeing. Thanks, “progressives”, for your neverending and heroic (and lucrative) struggle to make sure that world gets ever further away!

How To Make Me More Right-Wing
November 28, 2010, 7:42 pm
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Close, forced proximity to the following in any combination has a predictable and inevitable tendency to bring out the parochial, insular, reactionary right-winger in me: 1. left-wingers, 2. foreigners, 3. academics.

If you want to see me sign up for Free Republic and join the Tea Party, force me to live in Berkeley.1

This insight came to me in my years-long, historically-significant email correspondence with “Anon.” – which, once it has run its course, is sure to be archived by a loving, understanding editor (Anon.’s mistress?) and posthumously-published in a special leatherbound edition suitable for the finer libraries and literature collections of the world. Till then, the world will just have to wait.

1For the record, I actually liked living in Berkeley just fine. But, I did sign up for Free Republic.

Our Boldest National Jobs Program
November 27, 2010, 8:56 pm
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Via Megan McArdle, another example of our brave TSA in action:

My operating hypothesis: Although this is not publicy acknowledged, the TSA is, by design and construct, a jobs program for otherwise-functionally-useless people: primarily, stocky unpleasant middle-aged women and slow-witted, unskilled men.

Granted this is a bold and perhaps speculative hypothesis, but I have never encountered any evidence to the contrary. In particular the alternative hypothesis that scattering all these stocky unpleasant middle-aged women and slow-witted, unskilled men across all airports nationwide is going to protect us from something is certainly risible and ought to be rejected on its face.

Dumb/Moron In ’12
November 25, 2010, 10:28 pm
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I think part of what’s lurking underneath the whole great Palin debate of 2008-201? is a tacit dispute over the role of government, and of the President in particular.

It’s occurred to me that part of the reason this idea that the President need necessarily be “smart” offends me so much is that I fundamentally don’t want the Presidency to be of a size and scope as to require “smartness” in the first place. Put another way, if the position of U.S. President can only be done by the “smart” (which I don’t think is the case, but even if it were), then we’re doing it wrong and need to redefine the President’s powers and responsibilities accordingly. Perhaps rooting for a “dumb” person to be President is a way of forcing the issue – or calling the left’s bluff.

The Presidency was never meant to be a position of national smarty-pants who knows everything and controls everything via the Washington DC control room. George Washington was not this sort of President; indeed, I suspect if he were around today, the left would be aghast at his “dumbness”. In fact the biographies of most of the better of our Presidents would be chock full of family connections, luck, a certain industriousness and character strength in the better ones – but conspicuously lacking in “smart”. And meanwhile it’s hard to ignore the fact that Barack Obama, a complete empty suit whose ideas are all cribbed from various Marxist mentors and whose tangible accomplishments amount to diddly fucking squat worth mentioning, passes muster as “smart”. This alone should make it clear that “smart” is a fucked-up metric by which to be judging anyone.

That is why I say: Dumb/Moron in ’12!

The Left’s Statocracy
November 25, 2010, 4:20 pm
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Via Power and Control via Vodkapundit via Treacher, here’s lefty and Nation writer Mark Ames complaining that libertarians are “enemies of the state”.

Anytime anyone says anything libertarian, spit on them. Libertarians are by definition enemies of the state: they are against promoting American citizens’ general welfare and against policies that create a perfect union. Like Communists before them, they are actively subverting the Constitution and the American Dream, and replacing it with a Kleptocratic Nightmare.

Because as everyone knows the left loves “the state” and is all about smashing its “enemies”! So they must be “spit on”. Also, they are as bad as Communists.

I think we need some new sedition laws. We could revive the one passed under liberal Woodrow Wilson.

Fascists in The Nation. Who would have ever guessed?


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