Saturday, January 14, 2017

Washington thinks America is stupid

Now that Trump's first Congress is sworn in, the big debates about what is worth keeping in the Affordable Care Act have begun.

So it seems like a great time for a little reminder of just how little regard the Washington establishment has for the average American ...

Washington has been selling us shit sandwiches for decades now, and we've been buying them and asking for more. This is nothing new.

What is new: admitting it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Empathy - have we reached peak stupid on this yet?

An interesting essay by Bulldog at Maggie's Farm - a site which should be a daily read for you - on empathy and whether people can use it as a weapon to shame you into agreeing with somebody else's, um, stupidity: Has Lack of Empathy Been Pathologized?

I posted the following comment there (copied here with a slight edit for style):

Empathy is important, but it cannot be used to disallow all disagreement with someone else's opinions. That's um, crazy and ridiculous. 

A person's opinions exist independently of who they are as a person. The fact that those opinions are "theirs" is true enough, but they can also change their opinions over time (let's hope so!) so while today you might disagree with their opinion on Trump or whatever, someday their opinion might change and at that time you might agree with them. So ... we agree and disagree not with the emotional center of a person, via empathy, but with the opinions they express, their rational side. 

I'm with you Bulldog - people who so strongly tie their entire identity to their opinions and insist that any disagreement with any of their opinions is automatically an affront to them *personally*, well, sorry, that's 7th grade. I've moved on from 7th grade.

Friday, January 06, 2017

The synthesizer comes SO close to ruining this song. But it doesn't.

Starbuck - Moonlight Feels Right

You know the song, just not the name of the band. Now you do. You're welcome.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Obama:, smart or not?

Commenter Michael at this Althouse post hit on something I too have noticed before:  Like her husband, Mrs. Obama is not all that smart. (8:57 AM)

Some people are impressed by the Obamas in the same way that they are drawn to the Left in general: platitudes favored by intellectuals, with lots of "ten dollar" multi-syllabic words. Makes 'em feel smart and stuff.

I used to be one of those people. I know how they think, and what they read, and the sources of news they cultivate. I also know how far off base they can be when it comes to policy and fixing real-world problems.

The office of president is an executive position, requiring leadership, decisiveness, commitment and fortitude. Just sounding smart is not good enough. Using big words that impress intellectuals is great, but it needs leadership behind it, or it's more than useless, it's deceptive.

The contrast between what Obama sounds like off-teleprompter, vs. on-teleprompter, is instructive. He's a real trainwreck when he's off-teleprompter. It's embarrassing to even listen to it. I'm not sure what the problem is. Is he simply too dim-witted to think on his feet? Tongue-tied from thinking too much like a lawyer i.e., an obsession with parsing every word to death? Maybe both.

I remember very distinctly listening to a Fresh Air interview with actor James Woods back in the 1990s - he sounded like a borderline genius. Very impressive. One of those IQ 150+ people, able to think very quickly and express those thoughts concisely. No "ums" or "uhs". Pretty impressive, especially among the celebrity set.

Obama thinks he's one of those people. So do millions of others. He's not, and it isn't close.

He sounds nothing like those people. He sounds dull-witted, timid, lacking any confidence in his "ideas", whatever those might be, and a complete inability to express them coherently. Shouldn't we know by now what they are, after 8 years?

Soaring speeches are nice but worse than meaningless if not backed by the actions that implement the ideas. The number of people fooled by this in 2008, 2012, and into the current day is distressing.

It's pretty clear that we need more people who can distinguish between meaningless b.s. and actual evidence of leadership.