A trip through a few days worth of my Facebook posts shows that, with little effort, I can expose Proggies to ideas and facts they usually miss or ignore.
Of late, between paying work, family demands, and a touch of the blecchies (not the flu, thank goodness, but I wasn’t feeling great), I’ve been posting on my real-me Facebook more than I’ve been blogging. Blogging requires paragraphs; Facebook requires sentences, a word here or there, or no comment at all to introduce an article.
My two goals on Facebook are to entertain people, so they keep coming back to my feed, and to place before them things that they won’t normally see as they shuffle back and forth between The New York Times, The Washington Post, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and the usual mono-ideologues who make up their intellectual world. I try to do the latter in an entirely non-judgmental way, so that people will stop and think, rather than block and argue.
To give you a sense of my M.O., here’s a sampling of things from my real-me Facebook feed over the last few days, many of which you’ll probably recognize from Instapundit and other familiar sites:
I knew that Cape Town’s imminent water shortage was its own fault because it failed to plan for drought, despite living where they regularly occur and despite a population much larger than the last time a drought rolled around. That was the same problem California had with its recent drought (and may continue to have, because last year’s big rains, rather than heralding the end of drought seem to have been just a pause). What I didn’t know was that it was South Africa’s poisonous antipathy to Israel that prevented it from saving itself. Now, when I see Cape Towners lined up with little cans at communal fountains, I don’t feel sorry for them, just as I really didn’t feel sorry for Californians (myself included) stupid enough to live in a state that failed to prepare for inevitable dry periods.
Everybody loves MacDonald’s — even Lefties. That’s why, back in 1990, when the first MacDonald’s opened in the former Soviet Union, 30,000 Russians lined up for the chance to eat there:
Emotional support pets on planes are too often a scam. I adore my dog, who makes me happy, and I’d definitely be a less panicked airplane passenger if I held him in my arms, but he’s still not medically necessary, and most other so-called emotional support pets aren’t either. The way people have abused the service pet exception to animals on planes is especially bad because it’s making things so difficult for those people who genuinely need an animal at their side to help them navigate their world or to guard them against dangerous seizures and other serious ailments. And so I said on Facebook.
Sharyl Attkisson, one of the last honest reporters, explained that the Nunes memo indicates that the FBI violated Woods Procedures. So that my friends don’t have to exhaust themselves clicking over to the article, I explain that this means that the FBI isn’t attesting to its own probity, or even the probity of the person who assembled a dossier. It needs to make a colorable showing that the person who first voiced the information — the anonymous source — is credible. I added that I was interested in learning more about those sources. Since then, of course, we’ve had intimations that the sources are Sidney Blumenthal and friends, people so devious and untrustworthy that only the Clintons could bear their presence. I haven’t mentioned those last facts to my Proggie friends.
Dilbert is always good, but sometimes it’s really more than good. The corollary, although Scott Adams doesn’t go that far in the panel to which I’ve linked, is that no bureaucracy will ever willingly solved the problem it was created to fix. Doing so means doing oneself out of a job. Heaven forbid!
The latest panic from the Department of Proggie Panic is word that the earth’s magnetic field is reversing itself, which will spell doom for all of us. I already read that almost two decades ago, so it’s old news for me. It’s also an overblown fear, fodder only for Chicken Little people. As I’ve mentioned in posts here, but naturally didn’t mention on my Facebook page, one of the characteristics of Proggies is that they’re always fearing impending apocalyptic disaster. I have a friend who, whenever something goes wrong, instantly opines, “This is a disaster” — and she means it, whether she’s talking about a hole in a shirt or dry rot in her walls. Everything is Armageddon. She’s exactly the same about Lefty politics. Her political faith is the only thing that holds off the imminent end of the world.
Ireland was poised to pass a BDS-inspired law making it a crime to buy souvenirs from certain regions in Israel. The punishment was draconian: five years in prison and more than $310,000 in penalties. The Trump administration thwarted the effort. A Proggie friend, having merely scanned the linked article, said, “Why are you blaming Ireland? They didn’t actually pass that law. Also, it would have been no big deal, because it just affected a couple of regions in Israel.” As to the first point, the Proggie had completely failed to understand that the only thing that stopped Ireland from passing the law was Trump’s pressure. As to the second point, he, being a Proggie, couldn’t comprehend that it’s wrong to boycott a liberal democracy, especially one in the center of some of the most tyrannical nations and territories on earth.
I’m with Mike Rowe in believing that we need to stop using government money to fund colleges. I would actually stop there and take all money out of higher education. With luck, that would spell the end of America’s colleges and universities, all of which (except for Hillsdale), are the pernicious source of the crazed Marxism that has spread out and infected all of America’s institutions. But I digress. Rowe would take some of that money and turn it over to trade schools because, as he frequently points, we have a severe shortage of skilled labor. In Marin, for example, there’s a serious roofer shortage. The problem in Marin is that, even if people have the skills, they can’t afford to live here. When I had some work done on my house, the painter — the nearest one available — drove two hours each way to get to my house.
A Slate writer comes to the unpleasant conclusion that Obama screwed up with the Iran deal, because the ancient schisms in the Muslim Middle East intensified the same animosities Obama thought would vanish if Iran just got treated with the dignity he thought it deserved. I snarked on Facebook that this outcome was foreseeable to anyone who has followed almost two millennia of violence amongst Muslims. No one disagreed with me.
Megan McArdle agrees with Blue staters that, on average, they pour more money than Red Staters into the federal treasury through taxes, while Red staters, on average, take more money from the government than Blue Staters through benefits. With the new tax laws preventing wealthy blue staters from deducting state taxes from federal taxes, the Blues are screaming bloody murder that this uneven exchange is grossly unfair. McArdle, though, points out that the data are much more subtle and complicated than those bare facts suggest. As always, she’s interesting. I’d love to have dinner with that woman one day.
In Scotland, after a tense 45-minute stand-off outside a cow shed in which the farmer reported a tiger lurked, someone finally figured out it was a stuffed animal. Hey, don’t judge!
An old family friend died. And when I say “old,” I mean that in two ways: he was 95 and the friendship ended in the 1970s when my parents got into a fight with him and his wife over something I’m sure was inconsequential. Had they remained friends longer, I might have learned what a remarkable life he led.
How could I keep from posting the article about Ithaca College’s new president, Shirley Collado, whom the college hired despite knowing that she was convicted for sexual abuse in 2001? Collado claimed it was just a misunderstanding: she was a licensed therapist whose husband had recently committed suicide and she invited a patient into her home because . . . well, she shouldn’t have. The patient later accused her of sexual assault. Collado claims she pleaded no contest to make the thing go away. That may be true, but that conviction is still there and it seems to me that Collado got a pass no man would ever have received.
Incredibly brave Iranian women have been casting off their veils in a country that makes doing so a criminal act. Narges Hosseini, despite facing 10 years in prison for violating the country’s dress code, refuses to repent. I, with a vision of my female Proggie friends prancing around in their asinine “pink pussy hats,” kept my mouth shut about those damn hats, but did point out that Hosseini engaged in a one-woman march of extraordinary courage.
Venezuela, once one of the richest countries in Latin America, and a country sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves, has turned into the 7th circle of Hell. I commented, as I always do with articles about Venezuela, that the wages of socialism are poverty, death, and despair. What else can one say? My Proggie friends are always peculiarly silent in the face of these posts.
Here’s a horrible debate: Who killed more? Mao, Hitler, or Stalin? I pointed out that the more power a government holds, the more easily it kills its own people. Nor should this calculation be only a numbers game. Pol Pot killed many fewer than Hitler, Mao, or Stalin, but still managed to executed 1/3 of his people. Again, silence from my Proggie friends.
A woman on the Isle of Man has found her niche: her business transcribes old and otherwise illegible documents. I think that’s pretty cool. I certainly can’t read medieval manuscripts; crossed-letters from the 18th century, when people wrote in both directions to save paper and postage; or even letters from soldiers during the Civil War or the World Wars.
I can understand a 21-year-old female teacher getting fired for having a relationship with an 18-year-old (read: adult) student because that kind of relationship reflects a potential power imbalance that schools should avoid. What I cannot possibly understand how it can happen that an adult teacher and an adult student have a relationship, and the 18 year-old’s family approves of the relationship (not that it matters, because, as I said, he’s a legal adult), but the teacher is still arrested for sexual assault. Has our world really gone that batsh*t crazy? And so I said on Facebook.
Kids will be kids. No matter where they are, their games reflect the world around them. That’s why, in Libya, they execute each other, ISIS style. It’s all in fun, of course. Again, this was one that didn’t ask for me to throw in any additional comments.
Bailey, the dog who sat at the keyboard, giving rise to the “I have no idea what I’m doing” meme, passed away a couple of years ago, news her owners are only making public now. Bailey’s pictures reveal a beautiful, good-natured animal who knew precisely what she was doing: making her owners happy.
According to Reuters, U.S. unemployment claims “unexpectedly fell last week” to the lowest level in nearly 45 years. I held my tongue and did not lecture my Facebook friends about the fact that there was nothing unexpected about this drop. Lowering taxes and decreasing onerous, unnecessary regulations was a sure way to increase American employment. I merely noted that this was wonderful news.
While I usually avoid linking to sites associated with conservative thinking, I couldn’t resist linking to the Daily Caller’s inside look at the new digs for Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Finance Protection Board. The CFPB has spent $124 million on itself so far (out-pricing square footage for Trump Tower and Las Vegas’s Bellagio) and still has plans. I merely commented “other people’s money.” I didn’t feel I had to belabor the point.
Bored Panda has a collection of Photoshop fails. Some of them are really funny.
California state assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, one of the loudest #MeToo people, now stands accused of having groped a legislative staffer. I commented that that she was either a fool, a person in the grip of incredible hubris, or the victim of a dishonest power play. My thinking is that it doesn’t matter which is true, because all reflect badly on her and/or the California Democrat party.
One of the really fascinating things about news that the FBI, DOJ, NSA, and other alphabet soup agencies engaged in political chicanery is watching the Left defend these institutions. I’m old enough to remember when the Left viewed these institutions as dangerous organizations out to destroy them. (And J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI was out to destroy the Left, through fair means or foul.) The Nation, surprisingly, remains true to its roots. It’s published an article saying that the modern FBI is indeed scarier than Watergate because it is now a rogue agency making its own calls to manipulate the American people. (My most fervent NeverTrumper claims that this is Trump’s fault, which ignores the fact that this behavior was anti-Trump When I called him on this claim, he came back with a confused narrative about Dutch spies revealing Trump’s evil plan with the Russians and help from the Australian secret service. He’s so deep in the weeds, I daily expect to see a picture of him in a straight-jacket, crouching in the corner of a padded room.)
Just yesterday, I posted about the deficiencies I saw in BYU’s online American government class. Today I learned that it could have been so much worse. Apparently a teacher for Southern New Hampshire University’s online sociology class failed a student because the student claimed that Australia is a country — and the teacher insisted it was only a continent. Just so you know, SNHU claims to be an accredited school with over 60,000 online students. I guess we know now how much those degrees are worth. This post, too, didn’t need any commentary from me.
If you want to work in the Palestinian Authority, first you have to pass the job interview. This is one I posted without comment:
Did you know that, back in 1961, futurists were already imagining TV screens only 4″ think with recording devices attached for later viewing? I didn’t know that, but it’s true:
Scientists (and what would we do without them?) have discovered to their surprise that Tuvalu, the tiny island we were assured would sink into the Pacific thanks to global warming, is actually growing. I did not highlight this as yet another failed global warming prediction. Instead, I remarked that Nature is amazingly resilient.
In Israel, a Palestinian terrorist killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who left behind a wife and six children. Israeli forces killed the terrorist and the Palestinians went into mourning, with the Mayor of the Palestinian’s home town planning a monument to inspire others. I could have gone on a riff about the fact that Palestinian leaders are committing a fraud against Israel, the world, and their own People when they pretend they want peace; that Muslims have proven themselves averse to peace over the millennia; that even fellow Arabs hate the Palestinians, and so much more. Instead, I limited myself to saying that this is why Palestinians can’t have nice things.
Having done my daily check at Don Surber’s site (because he and Scott Adams are neck-and-neck when it comes to understand Donald Trump), I learned that, back in 1995, Trump was the primary force behind a parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. Not only did 500,000 happy and grateful people attend, but both the New York Times and UPI, which reported the story at the time, thought the parade was a good thing. I confined myself to observing that Trump always did like a parade, even when he was a Democrat.
According to yet another scientific study, this one examining 20 years worth of data, by 2050 the sun, which has been very quiet of late, will be 7% cooler. Yes, it’s a predicted solar minimum. I said on Facebook that this is really scary, assuming that time proves the prediction accurate. I refrained from saying that (a) time has proven all of the hysterical global warming predictions inaccurate and (b) global cooling has always been very bad for humans because it reduces food crops.
A Stanford study that examined Uber data reveals that, in a wage environment that is completely divorced from sex identity, women earn 7% less than men because they make different choices. I pointed out politely that different choices lead to different outcomes. I did not say anything snarky about the real-world idiocy behind the Leftist claim that institutional sexism causes women to earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn. As always, I’m somewhat impressed by my own forbearance.
That’s what you would have read if you had spent a few days on my real-me Facebook page — lots of political stuff, but with me keeping a tight rein on snark and self-righteousness, coupled with innocuous stuff aimed at keeping people coming back for more.
And here’s a bonus, just for you. While I was looking at articles about Iran, I came across a story from last July about a Trump cartoon contest that Iran held. What’s fascinating is that the pictures are indistinguishable from those that routinely appear on my Progressive friends’ Facebook pages. That speaks badly of my friends.