Quick Roundup 513

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Banning Salt?!?

A New York legislator has introduced a bill to ban the use of salt in restaurants.

[Felix] Ortiz [D-Brooklyn] has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be.

"In this way, consumers have more control over the amount of sodium they intake, and are given the option to exercise healthier diets and healthier lifestyles," Ortiz said, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report. [minor format edits]
As if simply boycotting "salty" restaurants or avoiding salty menu items doesn't constitute control...

More on Sarah Palin

Regarding yesterday's post, Jim May debunks the story of Sarah Palin "hustling" over to Canada (as an adult) for looted medical care and madmax asks the following very good question:
[Why does] the Left hates her so much? I know they hate all Conservatives, but why the extra, extra, hate for Palin?
My first stab boils down to the hatred being both a manifestation of the inherent contradiction of altruism and sort of burning of the messenger. The inherent contradiction comes from the leftist moral ideal of service to the less fortunate -- many of whom they despise. Palin, partly for cultural reasons, brings this contradiction out easily for many leftists, and so is, in addition, a hated bearer of bad news on one level.

I'd be interested in your further thoughts.

How Safe is Pelosi's Seat?

It's so safe that her closest opponent in fourteen years was Cindy Sheehan, who garnered 16.2 percent of the vote in 2008.

And that was the first time since she was elected that she ever won with less than three quarters of the vote.

I discovered this by accident. I doubt that even if she actually had to worry about reelection, she would be any more concerned about whether her party retains its majority in Congress this fall should it legalize physician slavery.

How Big Are Stupak's Problems?

Jay Cost of RealClear Politics takes a look at how hard it's going to be for Bart Stupak's bloc of "pro-life" Democrats to get its amendment into any final physician slavery bill via reconciliation.
I think the only solution for Stupak is somehow to find a way for the Senate to act first on abortion. This is the most important point: when Stupak and his bloc cast their votes in the House, their leverage is completely gone. That's the only power they have in the process. If they are induced to go first, they will lose to the Senate liberals.
If my life weren't affected by the outcome, I'd find this intrigue among altruists very amusing.

Objectivist Roundup

Based on a reminder post on a mailing list, I think this week's Objectivist Roundup will be hosted by Titanic Deck Chairs. At the moment, the Blog Carnival site is down once again. Such intermittent outages happen to be one reason I haven't participated in many of these myself for some time.

Random Post from the Past

Using "crude," the output of this random word generator, and the first Google search result for this blog, I found the following very old post: "It Finally Made the Paper," about Kuwait possibly building the first new U.S. oil refinery in thirty years.

Nearly four years on -- in August of last year -- word was that Kuwait "may revive [its] Louisiana refinery project."

Today, it seems far easier to enslave an entire profession in America than to build new and much needed industrial capacity.

-- CAV

13 comments:

Snedcat said...

Yo Gus, you write, "My first stab boils down to the hatred being both a manifestation of the inherent contradiction of altruism and sort of burning of the messenger. The inherent contradiction comes from the leftist moral ideal of service to the less fortunate -- many of whom they despise." I was going to comment on this earlier but lost Internet.

I think that's part of it, but it doesn't explain the sexual overtones of so many of the attacks on her. There's an interesting article on that at the following link; I certainly don't agree with all of what appear to be the author's positions and I hardly idolize Palin as she does, but it's right on the mark about the Left's demonization of Palin as essentially a brainless yet dangerous sex object:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/the_wilding_of_sarah_palin.html

Another example she doesn't mention: Shortly after Palin's run for VP was announced, Larry Flynt (a devoted liberal) rushed into production a porn flick called "Nailin' Palin." I first ran across it on a feminist site, and the comments were quite interesting. Many of the commenters approved, and there was a great deal of back and forth about obvious questions like, "What if someone on the Right made a porn flick about Hillary Clinton? [Shudder.] Would that be fair political commentary?"

After all, porn flicks are the ultimate in the objectification of women as sex objects, thereby denying their agency and dignity as human beings (or whatever the phraseology du jour might be), and to that sort of person it's very very bad to do this. So surely one's immediate response would be to decry this dehumanization of a woman one disagrees with--after all, that's what the big bad patriarchs do to uppity women, right? Well, not necessarily, and then the rationalizations come out, essentially reducing to the claim that by being a conservative Palin has already dehumanized herself and thus cannot claim the dignity and humanity her political opinions have stripped her of. It's the usual tactic of dehumanizing one's opponent so as to make it easier to destroy er and what she stands for, and it's a tool in trade of Leftists (and not just of them--the emotionalists on the Right, which is many of them, do exactly the same thing; witness Ann Coulter).

This goes with another point I was going to post on a week or so ago. In brief: An elightening way to see the collectivist nature of the term "feminist" as it's used in modern life is this way--what does "feminist" mean, anyway? Generally, it means the view that the sexes should be equal. Equal in what way? Good question. But more than that, it's not a basic view of humanity, since there are many different ways that the sexes could be equal, depending on what you view as the nature of human beings. Thus, saying you're "feminist" doesn't tell you much; it allows a wide variety of ethical and political views to coexist under one term, and thus allows for the tactic frequently used by the more stridently collectivist feminists to decry feminists with different ethical or political views (usually more individualist ones) as "not really feminist." Such debates usually degenerate into arid name-calling very quickly, since no one seems to really want to go into more fundamental issues, and dismay on the part of the targets that feminism is being used to "silence" certain women, just like the big bad patriarchs do. All of this founded on wanting to be part of a group in intellectual gang warfare, essentially, and politically to get a hefty serving at the communal cannibal pot.

In any case, I'll just sum up my response to the whole thing by saying that the trouble with emotionalists is that their emotions are so often so damn sordid!

Grant said...

The reason why the Left's hatred of Palin is uniquely strong is because she's a woman. You have to keep in mind that the only reason why Palin is on the national stage is because McCain, in last minute desperation, was trying to "me too" Obama by putting someone who isn't both caucasian and male that close to the Presidency. His plan was undercut the popular notion that anyone who's opposed to the mainstream (ie: liberal) political ideas in this country is only that way because of some prejudice (namely racism and sexism).

He was simply trying cost Obama votes from the "It would be nice to have someone other than a white male" segment, but what McCain adding Palin to his ticket did was to implicitly, unintentionally communicate the message that there is an intellectual opposition to liberalism. That isn't not all just the emotional eruptions of angry white men. If it were, why on earth would a woman believe the same things?

Now, I'm not saying that Palin is anywhere near complete in her intellectual opposition to liberalism, but her very existence reminds everyone - left, right, and middle - of that realization they had the moment they found out she would be McCain's VP. That's why the left hates her so much: it calls into question their unexamined "confidence" that their ideology is the rational, scientific, intellectual one. They sense that it has to be one or the other, and instead of examine each one independently - in reference to reality - they'd rather beat up on Palin. That's why, when they do beat up on her, it's usually shots at her intelligence. They've resorted to the rationalization that the only possible explanation for why a woman could support the ideology of sexism is because she's either uniquely stupid or brainwashed.

Jenn Casey said...

Blog Carnival is really shaky, alas. It gets on my ever-loving-last-nerve, if the truth must be told (and it must!).

If you are ever dying to participate in a carnival and just don't want to fool with BC, send your post to me and I'll forward it to the host. I'd love to have more posts from the estimable GVH in the carnival!

Steve D said...

“Why does] the Left hates her so much? I know they hate all Conservatives, but why the extra, extra, hate for Palin?”

They may be reacting on a emotional level with very little logic here. Also if the left is as unprincipled and pragmatist as the right (which is certainly true) then they may think she much more efficacious or principled than she really is.

“And yet she's plainly an ignorant hick.”

To us yes but to them I am not so sure. If they really believed this then would they feel that much hatred? Do they actually fear her?

It’s hard to figure out the precise motives of people who don’t think properly.

Gus Van Horn said...

Hi,

Just brief replies. Left work at eleven...

"a brainless yet dangerous sex object"

Ah, a Bushitlerette!

"[T]he trouble with emotionalists is that their emotions are so often so damn sordid!"

Amen, brother!

"McCain adding Palin to his ticket did was to implicitly, unintentionally communicate the message that there is an intellectual opposition to liberalism."

That's an excellent point, and a very important one, too, I think.

"[S]end your post to me and I'll forward it to the host."

Thank you, Jenn!

"It’s hard to figure out the precise motives of people who don’t think properly."

That is quite true, but often, it is very instructive.

Bill said...

Consider Clarence Thomas. They hate him just as much. I think it was Harry Reid who characterized his opinions as dumb. This from someone who has to pretend to respect the likes of Sharpton and Jackson. Keep in mind that the thought policing works on them as well as their opposition. Pretending that some of the women around you, who are obvious mediocrities, deserve the respect due competent people, must be difficult. Maybe they are just letting loose with a lot of pent-up frustration. Call it displaced misogyny.

Gus Van Horn said...

I think I'd just call it "misogyny."

The idea that all good women/blacks/whoever surrender their own minds to whatever the left decrees is exactly sexism/racism/whateverism and exactly what the left pretends to be against.

Jim May said...

The quick and dirty answer:

1. The Left is the opposite of liberalism, most importantly in its collectivism versus Enlightenment liberal individualism.

What well-known doctrines are opposed by liberalism on individualist grounds, that therefore are a natural fit for the Left?

Why, instances of collectivism, of course!

No one should therefore be surprised to discover that Leftists are:

1. Racist
2. Sexist
3. Tribalist

etc... in the crudest ways, too.

There are no exceptions to this pattern. Ideological causality is a bear.

If you think the reaction against Palin is bad, remember what they tried to do to Clarence Thomas? If Palin were black too, I think you'd see damage to the space-time continuum from all the exploding heads.

The Left has no place at the debating table of any civilized nation.

Gus Van Horn said...

"If you think the reaction against Palin is bad, remember what they tried to do to Clarence Thomas? If Palin were black too, I think you'd see damage to the space-time continuum from all the exploding heads."

I was about to say, "Nice line, but what about Condi Rice?"

At least I was, until I saw these cartoons after a Google image search...

madmax said...

"If Palin were black too, I think you'd see damage to the space-time continuum from all the exploding heads."

Excellent!!

I was thinking the same thing. The Left is characterized by it fierce commitment to victim ideology. If any person who is supposedly a victim of white, patriarchial, capitalist oppression actually defends that system then they are by definition a traitor to the cause and must be destroyed. A black non-Leftist would be hated more than a female non-Leftist because blacks are considered to be greater victims to the Left.

Analyzed thusly, the Left really does make complete sense.

Gus Van Horn said...

Madmax, I am glad you found your answer, and I am glad Jim stopped by to fill in the blanks.

Jim May said...

If we put all the info in these comments together, we have the concise summary of how the Left prioritizes its targets:

If they recognize someone as dangerous, they attack.

What defines "dangerous" in this context? Any individual who breaks their narrative -- any individual who wanders off the plantation.

Apostates lik David Horowitz, and genuine intellectual foes like Ayn Rand fit this pattern. But the Clarence Thomases and Sarah Palins hit a much more raw nerve.

Why is this? It's because Palin's a woman, and Thomas is black. These are perceptual-level facts that break their narrative.

That makes them much more dangerous, because now it's a contradictory fact that any idiot, including the useful ones in their rank and file, can see.

It is when dealing with such perceptually inconvenient proof of individualism that they find themselves digging down to the crudest collectivisms that are their bedrock, as we see in the language they use to identify these "perceptual" apostates.

Examples include "oreo" for independent blacks (black on the outside, white on the inside), "banana" for Asians etc.

Gus Van Horn said...

"Palin's a woman, and Thomas is black. These are perceptual-level facts that break their narrative."

I think you've nailed it, Jim. Thanks, as always, for commenting here.