A Keyboard for Progressives

PC PC Peripherals is proud to announce their new keyboard. It’s specially designed to withstand the rigors of lefty facebooking, tweeting and blogging.

For years our friends have have to replace keyboards with worn out R, A, C, I, S and T keys. Their 1 key wears out even faster, from typing so many exclamation points.

The great minds at PCPCP have created a solution to this nagging problem. Our keyboards are specially designed for far lefties. They feature heavy duty R, A, C, I, S, T and 1 keys! Now you can smear all your opponents without worrying about wearing out your keyboard!

And the future is built in. We’ve also beefed up the M, O, G, Y, and N keys, so when Hillary or Elizabeth Warren take the oval office, you’ll be able to call anyone who opposes their policies a misogynist over and over again!

You can enjoy this long lasting keyboard for just $69.99. As an added bonus, we’ll include a free subscription to Mother Jones!!!!!

(See? We can use multiple exclamation points without fear!!!!!!!)

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Move To Somalia

You have been directed here for saying “Move To Somalia.”

It can be amusing, entertaining, and sometimes enlightening to have conversations with a wide variety of personality types. People who are smart or stupid, joyful or cranky, lovers of the state or lovers of liberty, people with good taste, poor taste or no taste at all, can all be worth the time and effort of a conversation. The only people who aren’t, who are a complete waste of time (not to mention oxygen) are the tedious, unimaginative drones who spew clichés they’ve stolen from someone else in a pathetic attempt to appear clever. People like you.

You are tedious. You don’t deserve a moment of my time, which is why you’ve been sent here for a boilerplate reply. You’re simply not worth anything more.

You are ignorant. You think Somalia is an example of a libertarian society. If you had a clue, you’d know it is an example of an anarchist society, an entirely different beast. This has been explained on the Internet to millions of your ilk, tens of millions of times. The information is readily available on something called “search engines,” so your ignorance is inexcusable.

You are proud of your ignorance. You are arrogant about it. You have no idea how pathetic that makes you.

Why should someone who believes in the basic principles of liberty and peace have to move? This country was founded on my principles, not yours. I, and many others like me, are trying to live by those principles and convince others to do the same. We despise government force. You, on the other hand, love it, and want to use it to destroy our few remaining freedoms at every level.

Why should I move? It would be better for everyone if you would move to a place that has already implemented the polices you endorse. I can’t suggest Cuba, as they’re experimenting to with capitalism to rise above the horrible economic funk socialism has imposed on them for decades. I’d love to see you go to North Korea, but you don’t have the balls for that. No, the perfect place for you is Venezuela. They’ll be happy to have you, and we’ll be happy to be rid of you.

Just be sure to bring your own food. And medicine. And toilet paper. And everything else. But it should be worth it to live in the socialist utopia you crave.

So just move. Move out of the country. Move out of the conversation. Move off the Internet. Move somewhere you belong, because you don’t belong here.

No one will miss you.

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Liberals, The Recent Anti-Gay Laws Are Your Fault

Everyone on the left is appalled at states passing anti-gay legislation. And you’re right, it is appalling and evil.

And it is entirely your fault.

When a very few bakers and photographers said they wouldn’t service a gay wedding, you could have responded without force. You could have spread bad publicity and organized a boycott. You’d get lots of support, including mine. It’s a non-violent solution to unacceptable behavior. And it works – at least one bakery, when all of this crap started, lost so much business it closed.

But bert-ernie-cake-topperyou just had to bring government force into the picture. You demanded Big Brother punish them with huge fines, and in some cases mandatory sensitivity training and onerous reporting requirements. You initiated aggression. And people who are aggressed against fight back. They also become heroes to people who agree with them.

Their defense against being punished for their {wretched} behavior was to go to the very government you cheered on and demand that government leave them alone. You used to government to get your way, and you did for a while. Now they’ve done the same thing.

If they hadn’t been attacked by their government, these laws wouldn’t exist. The ass-hats would have been legally allowed to remain ass-hats, and boycotts and bad publicity would have taken care of the problem. It might have taken a little longer, but that just makes it more effective.

So while you’re sharing your outrage at these bills (and don’t get me wrong, you should be outraged) take a moment from your seething to admit that your clan is the only reason they were passed.

***

Check out an earlier article on this subject.

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Justice Theater

To outward appearances, the US has one justice system that serves everyone. But if you pay close attention, you’ll see that it’s a two-tier system which operates differently depending on who is being processed through it.

Tier 1 is reserved for police officers. (Politicians and the very wealthy may also receive Tier 1 treatment, although that is not guaranteed.) The goal of Tier 1 is to protect cops from being prosecuted or convicted. The rest of us, The Little People, AKA you and me, always get Tier 2, where the goal is a conviction.

Little People are subject to tens of thousands of laws, rules and regulations,. Violating any of them can lead to us losing our money, property and/or freedom. It’s estimated that, peacefully going about our business and harming no one, we commit three felonies a day, along with dozens of misdemeanors.

The police have a much simpler set of rules:

#1) You can do anything you want, up to and including murder.

#2) Never say anything even slightly critical of your fellow officers, or we’ll turn you into one of the Little people.

#3) There is no number three. One and two are pretty much it. They do have lists of rules and regulations, but they’re just props they wave around as part of the show.

When a cop’s violence attracts public attention, it’s time for some Justice Theater. The story’s ending is predetermined; the prosecutor only decides the length of the show.

They prefer a one act play. The cop is given a paid vacation. The police investigate themselves, and justify whatever happened. The prosecutor declines to press charges, and the show is finished.

If the public is in a foul enough mood over the incident, he’ll add Act II: The Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury was designed as a check of government excess. In practice they serve as a prosecutor’s rubber stamp.  As an experienced attorney explains, “…the adage that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich is an understatement. A better description would be that the prosecution can show a grand jury a shit sandwich and they will indict it as ham without looking up from their newspapers.”  The prosecutor usually wants an acquittal, and they always give him what he wants. If anyone complains about the results, most of The Little People chant, “But he was cleared by a grand jury!”

Very broken_systemoccasionally. if there is a huge public outcry, the prosecutor decides to put on a three act play. He’ll procure an inditement from the grand jury, then stage a show trial.

First a jury is carefully hand-picked to insure a “not guilty” verdict. Then the show begins. The jury and the rest of us Little People are treated to masterful performances, full of carefully tailored evidence and objections and raised voices and show and tell. It’s all impressively dramatic as it works it’s way to the inevitable, predictable, finale: the officer is declared Not Guilty.

And most of the audience claps and cheers in appreciation of the fine Justice Theater they’ve just witnessed. It doesn’t matter if it’s one, two or three acts, most Little People unwaveringly support the police, and will point to the performance as proof of the cop’s innocence.

Very, very occasionally, about as frequently as a poker player is dealt a royal flush (once out of every 649,739 hands) a cop will be convicted of a crime. Defenders of the status quo say, “See, the system works!” They’re wrong. A cop being convicted is a system failure – it’s just not supposed to happen. But when it does, it’s time for the encore: extremely lenient sentences. When a cop commits a crime that would cost one of us Little People twenty or thirty years of our life, he’ll usually get two, maybe three years. It’s the way the system apologizes to him for accidentally getting a conviction.

When you see the endless stories of cops getting away with murder over and over and over and over and over again, be outraged. Be disgusted. But don’t complain that the system is broken. It’s not. It’s working exactly the way it was designed to.

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Blurry Lines

Immature artists copy. Mature artists steal – Variously Ascribed

The verdict on the Blurred Lines lawsuit is ridiculous. emilyThe style of both songs is similar, but you can’t copyright style. The bass lines are similar, but not the same. The melody is entirely different. The lyrics are different. This isn’t one artist going after another artist for theft, this is the family of a dead artist making a money grab and, unfortunately, succeeding.

Blatant, verbatim plagiarism is the unforgivable sin for musicians, writers or comics. It’s a line no self-respecting artist would ever cross intentionally. But borrowing, being inspired by, or influenced by other artists are often blurry lines. While we should condemn Led Zeppelin for stealing nearly every song they ever recorded (they should be considered a cover band), should we denigrate Lady GaGa for stealing Madonna’s shtick?

The net is full of videos about song plagiarism, so I won’t go into that here. Here’s a rather good one, though, which includes the bizarre case of John Fogerty being sued by his record label for sounding too much like himself on a later song.

***

People who aren’t involved in the creative arts have no idea how easy it is to rip something off unintentionally. You’ll hear a tune or lyric, or read a line that you like, and then forget it. Then one or two or ten years later it pops into your head, posing as your own inspired brilliance, and you eagerly share it with the world, only to find out you’ve inadvertently stolen it from someone else.

I’ve done this myself. A few decades ago, I amused myself by writing and performing funny songs, interspersed with stand-up commentary on current events. My talent was in the lyrics – my music was never anything special.

I had a poem I wanted to turn into a song, but couldn’t come up with the music. But one day, while noodling around, inspiration struck. I came up with a great tune. It not only fit the words perfectly, it was much, much better than most of my other music.

I practiced it, proud of my accomplishment, and looked forward to performing it at my next gig.

Three days later I realized the music was, note for note, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies. Fortunately, I figured it out before I went on stage and embarrassed myself.

It is also quite possible, in fact, likely, for two people to come with the same idea at the same time, and expresses it the same way. Many times I’d write a joke about a current event, and before I could perform it, hear it on the Tonight Show. I didn’t think Carson was stealing my stuff – his writers just came up with the same idea.

Many years ago I came up with a throw-away line about politics and pets that I’ve used ever since, sometimes expounding on it a bit. The other day I saw a blog post that used my line as a title, and then expanded on it with a short whimsical article. Did the author steal that from me? Did he hear it from someone else who had repeated it? Did he independently come up with it on his own?

I don’t know or particularly care. But I might not be so nonchalant if I could turn it into a seven million dollar lawsuit.

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Net Neutrality Passed. Congratulations, Idiots

Congratulations to those who clamored for Net Neutrality. You’ve helped hand control of the internet to a federal agency that, just a few years ago, went absolutely batshit over TV showing less than a second of a forty-five-year-old nipple. Gee, if you only had the foresight to do that in 1995, today we’d have a much smaller, cleaner internet that we’d be accessing with 100k baud dial-up modems.

And it’s all because one multi-billion dollar company we love had a spat with a different multi-billion dollar company we despise. Netflix was sucking down 34% of Comcast’s bandwidth during prime time. Comcast demanded payment, Netflix flipped them off, so Comcast started throttling their signal. The two companies battled and bartered and came to an agreement, which is what companies do, but that provided the impetus to espouse Net Neutrality, a nice sounding phrase that let the government get their nose into the internet tent.

Rather than create a regulation that simply forbid throttling, the FCC used this as an opportunity to expand their tentacles deep into the net. Their regulations are in a 332 page book that, as of this writing, has not been made available to the public. I bet it’s just full of freedom.

 ***

About a hundred years ago, radio became available to the public. The first stations were licensed by the Department of Commerce. Civilian use of radio was shut down during WWI, ostensibly so the government could use it for the military.

In 1917 Lee De Forest set up a station in New York that broadcast music and news, only to be shut down by the government which declared “there is no place on the ether for entertainment.” Lee moved to San Francisco and started a new radio station in 1918.

Theradio number of stations exploded, and the spectrum was gloriously chaotic. Pretty much anyone could get a license and broadcast whatever they wanted to. Radio became so popular that broadcasters were stepping on each other’s frequencies, so in 1927 the Federal Radio Commission was formed. Instead of just dealing with the problem of interfering frequencies, they declared all stations had to act in the public interest. The name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission in 1934. They weren’t just going to control radio; they were going to control all communications.

As stations proliferated, some became more successful than others. Some banded together into networks, to syndicate content. The FCC broke up some networks, and allowed others to remain intact, essentially picking the winners and losers. Throughout this time, they also regulated content.

When TV came along, they started licensing that, also regulating content. It was essentially illegal to even show a double bed in a married couple’s bedroom. Breaking any of their rules resulted in huge fines and the threat that the station would lose their license.

The Fairness Doctrine required stations to offer equal time to opposing views. Rather than time every opinion or political piece with a stopwatch and carefully doling out equal air time to opposing views, for free, radio simply avoided any controversy. As a result, talk radio consisted of dull shows about gardening and cooking. This changed in 1969, with the Red Lion case, when the Supremes recognized that the first amendment (the one amendment they seem to like and understand) should apply to radio (but not too much). Conservatives, who had been ignored by the mainstream media of the day, seized the opportunity and created talk radio that expressed right, and often far-right, viewpoints. The left is still pissed about this, and some lefties still advocate for a return to the fairness doctrine. They’ve never been fond of free speech.

The FCC continued, and still continues, to regulate content on broadcast radio and TV. Fortunately, their attempts to regulate cable content were defeated. Imagine if they had succeeded. We’d have never seen The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Breaking Bad, or any of the other groundbreaking shows that have flourished on cable, out of their reach.

In a free country, anyone could start a radio station as long as it didn’t interfere with someone else’s station, or nearby electronics. But in the US, licensing and regulations make starting a station prohibitively expensive, creating a huge barrier to entry that guarantees existing stations are spared the trouble of actual competition. When you lament how lame radio has become, be sure to thank the FCC.

 ***

NN supporters brush aside the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences while endlessly spewig unlikely scenarios that haven’t happened as the reason we need Big Brother to step in. The idea that we shouldn’t fix things that aren’t broken has never appealed to them – their statist mindset and nanny nature compels them to clamor for government to run in and protect them from every imaginary danger. And now they’re getting their way.

Having a hugely powerful, unelected government agency slapping down regulations is going be a disaster. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of our lives. Given their history of censorship and stalling innovation, we can only guess what horrors are in store for us.

But not for that multi-billion dollar company you like. They’ll do just fine.

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Politically Correct Club

It’s great fun to watch progressivism eat itself. (“You can’t perform The Vagina Monologues, because some women don’t have vaginas!”) So when I read Jon Chait’s article “Not A Very P.C. Thing to Say,” my first thought was “Right On!” (Us old people say things like that.) My second thought was “This is going to be fun to watch.” Sure enough, within hours of the article’s publication, the blogosphere exploded with condemnation.

The first rule of Politically Correct Club is “Don’t talk about Politically Correct Club.” Anyone who does will be attacked and vilified for the crime of being self-critical. The article generated a predictable shit-storm of calumny, along with denial of the reality he dared to discuss. As expected, most of the reactions weren’t critiques of the content, but name calling, attacks on his writing style, insisting he’s wrong without explaining why, and vilifying him for the unforgivable sin of being a white male.

Of the several I’ve read, this one is the most entertainingly ironic. He starts out with the required insults: “Jon Chait is a jerk who somehow manages to be both condescending and wounded in his piece on political correctness. He gets the basic nature of language policing wrong, and his solutions are wrong…” He then provides several specific examples of people who were driven from their movement for not being PC enough, proving Jon’s point, perfectly.

Andrew Sullivan is of the few bloggers who didn’t attack Jon – instead he expanded on the central idea of the article.

And the paradox of this within the gay rights movement is an astounding one. For the past twenty years, the open, free-wheeling arguments for marriage equality and military service have persuaded, yes, persuaded, Americans with remarkable speed that reform was right and necessary. Yes: the arguments. If you want to argue that no social progress can come without coercion or suppression of free speech, you have to deal with the empirical fact that old-fashioned liberalism brought gay equality to America far, far faster than identity politics leftism. It was liberalism – not leftism – that gave us this breakthrough.

Ten or twelve years ago I held that opinion that gays should be able to marry, but we should reserve the world “marriage” for heterosexual marriages, and use a different word for gay couples. I said that in a forum, and someone replied, “How well has separate but equal worked in the past?” I realized they were right, and changed my mind almost instantly. They Smartenized me.

Anyone expressing that opinion today will be screamed at, and called a patriarchal privileged cisgendered homophobe. Will that help enlighten them?

***

Observing the reaction to Jon’s article reminded me of an unfinished piece that’s been sitting on my hard drive for too long. Originally intended as an addendum to the Stupid Meter article, it’s a glossary words RadFems and other PC pundits have concocted or perverted. I’m not sure if it’s dated, or appropriate, or both – I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Privilege: Any white male with any advantage of any kind is guilty of abusing their undeserved privilege. Do you have a penis? Then you have privilege. Do you have degree that you worked hard for, and that your parents helped with by working two extra jobs? Privilege. Did you happen to be born white? Then you’re guilty of privilege, you rat-bastard. Do you have some skill or talent that you’ve honed and improved upon? Privilege privilege privilege, and you should be ashamed.

In such conversations, if you replace the word “privilege” with the much more accurate word “advantage,” the entire perspective changes. It becomes more reasonable and realistic. “You got where you are because of privilege” is an insult that says a person’s achievements are undeserved. “You had advantages getting where you are,” is a simple statement of fact. Everyone has different advantages. Some people have more than others. Some are better than others at making the most of whatever advantages they have.

There is no question that being a white male provides significant advantages over any other gender/race combination. But the idea that it guarantees success can be dispelled with a short visit to any WalMart.

Check Your Privilege: Shorthand for, “Shut your honkey yap. You’re privileged and so nothing you say on any subject matters.”

Microaggression: A deep investigation (three seconds on Google) taught me this word was coined in the 70’s to refer to subtle racism. Now it refers to failures of political correctness that are so subtle, minute, trivial, and unintentional, that no normal grown-up would even notice them. But the politically correct are not normal, nor grown up. They devote an inordinate amount of time searching for things to be offended about, finding them everywhere, then endlessly screeching about them.

How long before we hear complaints about Nanoagression? Picoagression?

Cisgendered: The first time I saw this I had to look it up. It’s a technical term psychologists use to describe people whose psychology matches their gender. In other words, males who are happy to be men and females who are happy to be women. In other words, about 99.5% of the population. But now it’s used as an insult, further a proof of “privilege.” If you’re content to be a man or a woman, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Rape Culture: Rapists are universally despised in our culture. Even in prison, other inmates consider them the lowest of the low. The merest hint that someone may be a rapist is enough to destroy their reputation and ruin their life. RadFems insist that somehow this means we live in a rape culture.

There are cultures where women are forced to cover themselves, head to foot, because they believe men are too rapey to control themselves. In some of these cultures, when a woman gets raped, she’s buried her up to her neck and then stoned to death, while her rapist goes free. That is a rape culture, but RadFems pretty much ignore it. They’re too busy redefining oggoling as “stare rape.” Yes, that’s a thing, according to them.

John Cusack playing a love song on a boombox? Rape culture. Seriously.

Mansplaining: Originally, a useful term referring to a man confidently explaining something to a woman who is more knowledgeable about the subject than he is. About twelve minutes after being used, it was co-opted by the left to mean “any time a male opens his mouth.”

Manspreading: A man who sits with is legs apart, especially on public transportation, is guilty of this heinous crime. Yes, it’s rude and inconsiderate on a crowded vehicle if he’s taking up an extra seat, but that’s not what this is all about. A man who doesn’t sit like a woman is deeply, deeply offensive to RadFems.

Mangina: A subspecies of male who, for unfathomable reasons, sides with RadFems.

OK, that’s not a PC word. It’s an anti-PC word that I liked too much to leave out.

Trigger Warning: Any word can trigger an emotional breakdown, so any article or conversation that might upset a RadFem (i.e. pretty much anything) should be preceded by the words, “Trigger Warning.” Neglecting the warning is aggression, and not a mere micoaggression, you insensitive privileged cisgendered scum.

***

PC vocabulary is not intended to improve a conversation. It is intended to condescendingly and smugly shut it down. Unless I’m in a poke-the-village-idiot with-a-stick mood, I’ll give them exactly what they want, and exit the discussion. Pursuing it is simply a waste of time.

It sure can be fun to watch, though.

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