Friday, January 20, 2012

Jonah Goldberg Still Dumb

So the other day Jonah Goldberg made with the wisecracks about kids and their stupidity because they rely on Wikipedia. He argued that with Wikipedia down for the SOPA/PIPA disaster that
[t]omorrow you should go up to a 20-something and tell them things like “the fern is the world’s most popular carnivorous plant” and “Henry VIII invented the internal combustion engine, but kept it secret to protect the environment” and they will have no choice but to believe you as they will have no idea how to use, never mind find, a “reference book.”
Those kids with their stupid stupidity. Well guess what? Today he admitted that.
the term is “shot caller” as in “he who calls the shots.” I’ve always heard “shock caller” when watching such shows as Sons of Anarchy. The term made vague sense to me in that it seems like the “shock collars” were the folks who took care of things on the inside of prison when it was time to pull some the leash on someone or some such. Before I wrote that last night I even googled “gang” and “shock collar.” There were enough results that I figured I could move on. But this morning, after being corrected by readers, I went and re-checked. I was wrong.
Some people lack all self-consciousness of their own tendency toward projection.

Friedman Unit

Thomas Friedman is, I think, the second dumbest of our nations columnists and has the most malevolent influence on policy. Like most pundits he just blurts out whatever comes to mind, as a recent book documents. So, for example we find that
[o]ne week will see Friedman calling for US aggression against Iraq so as to “create a free, open, and progressive model in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world to promote the ideas of tolerance, pluralism, and democratization.” The previous week would have seen him announcing that “we can invade Iraq once a week and it’s not going to unleash democracy in the Arab world,” while a third reflection has him describing the invasion as “the most important task worth doing and worth debating,” even though it “would be a huge, long, costly task—if it is doable at all, and I am not embarrassed to say that I don’t know if it is.”
 So there you have it, a flattened world of meaningless  opinions in the service of neoliberalism at home and neoconservativism abroad.

Missing the Point

David Brooks is. He explains that robotic sociopath Mitt Romney isn't a "cosseted character" . . .corrupted by ease and luxury" because he is "relentlessness" like many "striving immigrants" and is Romney, despite being on is does not behave like most "rich scions." How to explain this? Romney's Morman forebearers. No seriously. It seems that two of Romney's great grandpas overcame all manner of crap back in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Consequently, Brooks assures,  as far as Romney is concerned the "wealth issue is a sideshow."

It's not even vaguely clear that Romney's career of moving from fantastic wealth to untold wealth provides evidence of striving or the fact that rich people can ensure that their kids continue to get rich. Secondly, the wealth issue is that Romney, as a result of his father's and his own, wealth has no clue what the world is like and that Romney will subject America to an intensification of the economic policies that got us into this mess in the first place.

Newt Gingrich is a dimbulb who has tooted his own horn for so long that he mistakes noise for music; Romney is a rich but lucky fellow who, like George Bush before him, was born on third base and thought he it a triple with the added benefit of neoliberal rigging policy so that third base became home.

Monday, January 16, 2012

All Apologies

Various manics, including the robotic sociopath Mitt Romney have been castigating Obama for apologizing for the US. Many folks insist that's not true. Here is a list of the alleged apologies. As I read them, they are examples of Obama saying here is an error we made and we won't make that mistake again. If you think that is an apology fine; if, however,you think it's a bad thing, you're nuts.So, for example, on the whole Guantanamo torture deal, the President argues that
[t]here is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America's strongest currency in the world. Instead of building a durable framework for the struggle against al Qaeda that drew upon our deeply held values and traditions, our government was defending positions that undermined the rule of law. In fact, part of the rationale for establishing Guantanamo in the first place was the misplaced notion that a prison there would be beyond the law--a proposition that the Supreme Court soundly rejected. Meanwhile, instead of serving as a tool to counter terrorism, Guantanamo became a symbol that helped al Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause. Indeed, the existence of Guantanamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.
So the record is clear: Rather than keeping us safer, the prison at Guantanamo has weakened American national security. It is a rallying cry for our enemies.
As I read it, the Obama is  trying, although his failure to close the prison is a real disaster for his presidency, to lay out the reasons why Guantanamo was and is bad. It's not an apology; it's more of an admission of error.

If you watch this video, when MLK gets to a discussion of Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs he lays out the argument for doing what Obama did:

I have to say, I agree and I think it is high time that we went Obama and Kennedy one better and, in fact, as a state learned from our mistakes instead of just insisting we've learned. Besides which, when did dealing with reality become a sign of weakness?