Friday, November 05, 2004

Let's try to swing voters our way by telling them how stupid they are.
Best of the Web linked to a piece called Why Americans Hate Democrats, in which the author insults 58 million people, including her own family. Nice. I have little to comment on it because it's so full of crap. Just thought I'd pass it along:
I grew up in Missouri and most of my family voted for Bush, so I am going to be the one to say it: The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry. I suppose the good news is that 55 million Americans have evaded the ignorance-inducing machine. But 58 million have not. (Well, almost 58 million—my relatives are not ignorant, they are just greedy and full of classic Republican feelings of superiority.)
So all 58 million Bush voters are dumb as rocks except for her family, which merely suffer from greed and delusions of grandeur! Then there's this:
Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.
I can see the sneer she had on her face when she wrote this. And there's this:
Progressives have only one course of action now: React quickly to every outrage—red state types love to cheat and intimidate, so we have to assume the worst and call them on it every time. We have to give them more to think about than they can handle—to always appeal to reason and common sense, and the law, even when they can't understand it and don't respond.
Oy! The arrogance is palpable. This is what I posted about earlier, the notion that they know best and those that don't see it are morons. The Democrats better find an approach other than insulting the electorate.
A bunch of lefties
are posting photo-apologies to the world for the fact that Bush was re-elected. Here's my favorite:

I wonder what the weather's like in a giant wang.

Anyway, I live in Kansas, which was solidly pro-Bush. Good for us. No apologies here; more of a Curly Moe eye-poke to the whiners in most of Old Europe.

If you feel the need to apologize to France because Bush was re-elected, that says more about you than Bush.
Has it really come to this?
Elections are so taxing we have to consult health professionals?
Healthy reactions to post-election disappointment include talking about it with others and becoming or remaining politically active, experts said.

"I think it's important to give yourself a little bit of time to grieve," said Mary McClanahan, a psychologist in State College, Pennslyvania, who volunteered along with Marshall at the local county Democratic headquarters.
Get over yourselves, people.
Mark Steyn
has a great article at The Spectator. My favorite paragraph:
One constituency that’s more or less dead after this election is the liberal warmongers — the fellows like Andrew Sullivan (of Britain’s Sunday Times) and Thomas Friedman (of the New York Times) and my compatriot Michael Ignatieff. Before the Iraq war, they were some of its biggest boosters. In recent months, they all turned, and most of them persuaded themselves that Kerry was the man to fix the mess in Iraq and see things through. I found this extraordinary. The defeat of Bush would have been seen around the world as a repudiation of his view of the war, and especially the aspect that the moulting hawks were once so keen on: his commitment to bringing liberty to the Middle East. John Kerry couldn’t have been more explicit that that was not his aim. The moulters’ willingness to abandon the long-term goal because of a nickel’n’dime jailhouse scandal and a rate of combat fatalities that any earlier generation of Americans would have regarded as the blessings of a merciful God speaks very poorly for them. Even as an armchair warrior, I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with these guys.
My thoughts exactly. Sullivan was so quick to turn on the President, it was amazing. If Iraq is Sullivan's view of an unsuccessful campaign, it's a damn good thing he wasn't around in WWII (Operation Marketgarden, anyone?).
Assuming the photo is real,
the guy they have in the Master Chief suit is too tall and too skinny. Yes, I'm being picky.
Excuse me for being a few days behind
for I have been out of the office this week. I have an Onion desk calendar and the headline from Wednesday spoke to this old D&D player:
Bill Gates Grants Self 18 Dexterity, 20 Charisma: REDMOND, WA - Microsoft head Bill Gates, already widely considered to be among the most powerful men in the world, further increased his powers Monday, augmenting several of his key statistics to near-immortal levels.

Among the most striking increases were a +2 raise in dexterity to 18 and an overwhelming charisma increase to the above-human score of 20, placing Gates in the realm of deities and demigods.
It reminds me of how caught up in D&D we were, how everything was a dice roll. If one of us, say, tripped on the way into the cafeteria, we'd say he must have missed his dexterity check. And, yes, I remember sitting around with the D&D guys guessing what our attributes would be, and how jealous the other must be of me with all of my 18s (just kidding).

Didn't I just make a post on how un-geeky I was? So much for that.
Speaking of how smart people know what's best,
the first section of yesterday's Best of the Web makes it clear that Kerry supporters think Bush supporters are morons. I'm particularly entertained by Eric Alterman:
Let's face it. It's not Kerry's fault. It's not Nader's fault (this time). It's not the media's fault (though they do bear a heavy responsibility for much of what ails our political system). It's not "our" fault either. The problem is just this: Slightly more than half of the citizens of this country simply do not care about what those of us in the "reality-based community" say or believe about anything.
Taranto sums it up nicely:
Bush voters tend to see big-city liberals as arrogant elitists, and the above quotes make clear that they are substantially correct. If those liberals were as sophisticated and open-minded as they fancy themselves to be, they would make an effort to understand why most Americans disagree with them rather than simply dismissing them as idiots.
The comment about
programmers surprises me to an extent. I'd have thought many of them would be libertarians. Particularly Microsoft employees.

Regarding vocational tendencies among the political classes, this may be cliched, but Republicans, conservatives in particular, seem more pragmatic. Reality's a certain way, and we can work around it, but fundamental truths are just that, fundamental truths. That isn't to say that they can't be visionary (Ronald Reagan was a visionary), but they have more of an understanding of the immutability of certain ideas. Anyway, this pragmatism would lead one toward the private sector.

Democrats, on the other hand, tend more toward idealism and the transformative power of government. They're more likely to tend toward a view that Bastiat derisively likened to politicians viewing people as formless clay, to be molded into something. They imagine grand theories to transform society, and ways to completely remake the American (or world) psyche in some new image. This would tend toward academia.
Joe, I spend quite a bit of time pursuing technical blogs
on programming and such. While most of them have remained apolitical throughout the election, every once in a while someone will post something about it. I've seen more pro-Kerry posts by far. Since the election, most have been of the benign "oh well, my candidate didn't win" variety, but a few have been of the "we're doomed - doomed!" sort. Now, most of these blogs are on Microsoft technology and posted by Microsoft employees who mostly live in Washington state, which went Kerry, so I'm not surprised by this. But the other blogs aren't tied to any particular vendor and they are more or less the same. Anyway, point being, in this highly-scientific review, it appears programmers tended to support Kerry. For what it's worth.

Also, I think the relationship between one's political philosophy and career choice works backward from what you have indicated. I don't think your typical person thinks to himself, "I'm a conservative, therefore I will work in the private sector" or "I'm a liberal, therefore I will work for the government or for a university". I think it works the other way around. People working in the private sector see the harm government interface can do and so tend to develop conservative views as a backlash. People working for the government want job security, want their job to mean something and so want the government to be bigger and more active. Academians simply think they have the plan to fix everything and require centralized control for help. I know that's a simplistic theory.
I've seen these kinds of statistics before, more specifically ones that show that the left has more Ph.d's and Masters and so on than the right, and I've always thought that what it really meant was leftists/liberals were more likely to pursue careers in academia, etc, while right-wingers/conservatives were more likely to enter the private sector.

Speaking purely from personal experience, I had thought about pursuing a career in academia, but ended up not doing so, partly because I wanted out of the ivory tower (I wanted to do something), and partly because I knew my political views would prevent me from ever getting tenure.

I think it would be interesting to see a study examining the political leanings, for example, of small business owners and entrepreneurs. It would also be interesting to see a break down of political leanings of graduate degrees in various fields. What's the ideological break down in engineering, economics, the social sciences, humanities, medicine, etc?
It's the statistical truth:
the un-educated voted for Bush. Smarties voted for Kerry. Bah. I don't doubt the guy's statistics, but here's my theory behind the trend: in general, highly-educated types think they know what's best for everyone, that the unwashed should not be trusted to manage their own lives. This naturally leads to socialist policies, and although the Republican party is statist in its own way, the Democrat party is all the more so. Has anyone seen any studies on this?
Okay, I'm not as geeky as I thought.
At least I don't post in binary.

Speaking of geeky things, which makes me think of video games, I purchased Fable last week. Not a bad game, but not great, either. I was expecting something on the order of Morrowind, an open-ended non-linear game that I love and took me over a month to beat. Fable is too easy and too short. It took me only two days to complete it. It took my eight-year-old son only three days without any help from me and he's already bored with it. Positives:

  • The graphics are much more colorful and lively than in Morrowind.

  • Combat is much more exciting than in Morrowind.

  • The expressions are fun. I particularly like the sneer, where your character makes a face and says "Blaaah!"

  • You can establish relationships with other characters and even convince women to marry you.

  • You can buy houses and have them decorated, live in them or rent them out.

  • The game keeps track of statistics such as how many enemies you've defeated by type, your favorite weapon, your favorite spell, how many women have fallen in love with you, how much beer you've consumed and so on.

  • Fishing is fun. You never know what you'll get.


  • It's just too darn easy and too fast.

  • It's too linear. I want more side adventures.

  • You can't go anywhere you want. The game prevents you from leaving the paths in the forests or from wading into deep water. It's very restrictive.

  • Your character's appearance changes based on how good or evil he is, but the change is not extreme enough, particularly if he's good. I've maxed him out on the goody-two-shoes scale and besides the blond hair and the halo he doesn't look all that different.

  • You can't customize your character, in that you always start out as a little boy. You can't change your appearance (other than hair styles and tattoos) and you can't play a female. Lame.

  • Some of the controls are hard to get right. For example, pressing down on the D-pad will sometimes have you teleport somewhere, but other times it'll send a command to an NPC to follow you or stay where they are. At times I'm looking at an NPC and I want to tell him to stay put, but the game thinks I want to teleport. Frustrating, particularly when there's a horde of bandits coming that you don't want the NPC to be around.

I could go on, but bottom line, Fable would be much, much better if it had more to do and was more flexible in what it let you do.

So, like I said, my son is already bored with it, so we rented Madden 2005. He spent some time practicing with it and then challenged me to a game yesterday. I had never played Madden 2005 before, but we have 2001 (or is it 2002? - whatever, it's an old version) and was happy to see that the controls were essentially the same. He takes the Patriots and I take the Chiefs. So we start playing and I'm taking it easy on him and at the end of the first quarter the score is 14-13 me. In the middle of the first quarter, one of his friends came over and wanted to play, so he ended up playing me. This kid, who I won't identity but is a few years older than my son, had an attitude, talked a lot of smack (obnoxiously so), "I'm the greatest" and all that, and would tell my son how lousy his play calling was and so on and so on. To be blunt, he was being a jerk. So I turned it on. I didn't celebrate or rub it in or really say anything at all, I just played. Final score: 82-20 me (I missed a couple of extra points, I guess I'm not a good kicker). I thought it was just.
Regarding my
previous post about leftist arrogance, here's a prime example.

UPDATE: Here's another, though more graphic. Apologies for the language.

UPDATE: Here's a Democrat who gets it.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I was saddened
to hear this news. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mrs. Edwards.
The New York Times
has an op-ed today that I interpret as a plea for comity, but on their terms. Much is made of Bush's perceived radical social agenda, and the "yearning out there, in red states as well as blue, for a government that works better and with less partisanship."

We all want government to work better, sure, and it would be nice if Democrats and Republicans could work in close quarters to get things done (though, it should be noted, I'm not against partisanship as such). However, the NYTimes needs to remind itself that the divide in this country isn't exactly President Bush's making. I think they should watch CNN or some such, or listen to the way many leftwing politicians and pundits and "intellectuals" discuss majors swaths of this country's population, namely Midwesterners, Southerners, and Evangelicals. The kind of condescending smugness with which these groups are treated doesn't fly over their heads. I'm a Midwesterner, and you can feel the faux-superiority dripping from some articles. I've seen interviews with a number of left-leaning politicians (Charlie Rangel was the worst) that made me shake my head in wonder at the bizarre dismissiveness that they give to gigantic portions of the country -- and then they have the audacity to wonder why the South, the Midwest, etc, can't stand them.

This doesn't even begin to touch on the acid-laced venom of groups like and ACT. Bush = Hitler? Please. Get some persepective, or read a book. I saw a photo recently of a protest where people were holding a sign that read something like, "We support our troops when they shoot their officers." Bush is supposed to be united with people like this?
this is why I'm such a strong supporter of the Electoral College. I know that many (particularly Gore supporters from 2000) would like to repeal or amend the EC in some way, or make the electoral votes proportional. I think that's crap. Winner take all.

Why? Because, looking at that map, it would become clear that maybe 10% (at most) of the land area of this country would possess all of the political power. Liberal candidates could count on the votes of L.A, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, etc, and ignore Nebraska, Kansas, basically the whole of the Midwest and most of the South.

I think the EC was a good compromise by the founders, in the same vein as our bi-cameral legislature -- a way to balance the power of population centers against more rural and sparsely populated areas.
What does it say about President Bush's appeal
that he won a more geographically diverse spread of states than Kerry? I would suspect the concerns of the typical Floridian differ from those in Montana (Montanians?) and that those in Ohio see things differently than those in New Mexico. I don't have an answer, I just thought it was an interesting question.

It gets even more interesting if you look at the results by county. Take a look at California, for instance. That's one very red state, except for the coastline. Or Illinois, red except for Chicago. Or New York, red excecpt for the city.

Now, if you want to see one excpetionally red state, take a look at Nebraska. Wow. It's the anti-Massachusetts.

UPDATE: It figures Joe would be posting a country-wide county map while I'm posting about it. That's a nice map and makes the geographical distribution of Bush's support obvious.
Here's a nice breakdown
of how the counties across the U.S. voted (hat tip Captain's Quarters, who credits Sean Hannity).

I think that one blue dot in Kansas must be Wyandotte County.
Speaking of assholes,
Fred Phelps is coming to my area, to Webb City, which is just up the road from here:
Children will likely be among the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who stand outside Webb City High School later this month with signs that say "God Hates Fags, God Hates America," and "Thank God for Sept. 11."

The Topeka, Kan., sect, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr., has announced plans to protest at 7 a.m. Monday, Nov. 29, in front of the school after junior Brad Mathewson twice attempted to wear gay-pride T-shirts to class.

Phelps' controversial group claims to have conducted 20,000 anti-gay demonstrations across the nation in the past 14 years. The group picketed at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming man who was beaten to death in 1998.
And let's not forget that they were just in my hometown of Lindsborg, Kansas. It's a conspiracy to (indirectly) harass the Anderson family.

The "Thank God for Sept. 11" sign is a doozy:
There are three reasons to praise the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Phelps-Roper said next.

"Because you are supposed to thank God for everything because all things flow from and depend upon the Lord, your God," she said. "The second is because he didn't kill all of us on Sept. 11. The third reason is because it is a righteous thing. If you believe the Bible and you serve the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul and all your might, you know without even a question, if you have bothered to search the Scriptures, that it is a righteous thing when the Lord, God, executes judgment in that fashion upon a rebellious people. It is a comforting thing."
They caught themselves in a trap, though. If "all things flow from and depend upon the Lord", including such horrible things as 9/11, then so would such horrible things (to them) such as homosexuality. How does God hate that which he created?

Oh, and I love this part:
At that point in the interview, a noise arose in the background. Phelps-Roper apparently then turned away from the telephone, and said, "Can anyone answer the g--d----- doorbell?" and then waited for the Globe's next question.
Oh, you are going to hell for saying that. Yes indeedy. Bwuah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Morons.

UPDATE: That's Webb City, not Carthage. Corrected.
Netscape isn't very nice.
In their article on Bush's election, they have a picture of Bush and his wife called "asshole.jpg". Nice.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Hat tip to
The Corner for this article on various world reactions to Bush's victory. My favorite comment was from Palestinian Envoy to Paris, Leila Shahid:
I am worried because President Bush has for four years been in charge of the American administration that has conducted a policy of war more than a policy of peace and which decided to put the peace process in a freezer for the last four years.
Yeah, okay, the Palestinians are going to accuse us of betraying the peace process? Who was it that started the infatada, even after all the concessions reached at the end of Clinton's term?
Go to NRO right now
and get smacked in the face. On their home page they have replaced their usual stuff with the first part of an editorial in very large type. Jarring. At first I thought I was at the wrong site.
About time he conceded.
I think everyone in the country knew it was over last night, somewhere around the time we all saw Bush achieve a 130,000 vote lead in Ohio, and then consistently maintain that lead.

I will hand it to Kerry that he didn't sue the bejeezus out of everyone. Of course, the margin was high enough that it'd be difficult to saw that 500 lost votes made a difference.

And, of course, there's Hugh Hewitt's dictum: If it's not close, they can't cheat.
And what,
may I ask, are pollsters doing today? Wiping up egg splatter? They were so consistently wrong in the exit polls yesterday, it makes you wonder if they were just rolling dice to come up with margins.

I wonder if there won't be a few revisions to calculation and polling methods over the next few years.
If not for Florida in 2000
I don't think this election would still be questionable. Maybe that's for the best, but I find it odd that Kerry won't concede Ohio. The margin in Florida was, what, 500 or so votes? That's understandable. But Fox News puts the margin in Ohio at 136,221 votes.

I see at this time CNN still has Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico up in the air, which puts the electoral votes for Bush and Kerry at 254 and 252, respectively. The good news is that Bush clearly got the popular vote (58 million to 54 million votes), so that should stifle any of that ditch-the-electoral-college crap from last time.

UPDATE: They're on the Good Day Show speculating that the election may have been stolen, you know, again. One of them says, "Surely they can't steal 150,000 votes." and one replies something like, "Why not? You can steal 150,000 dollars from a bank, can't you?" Morons.
Let's see,
election night results here.

Bush won Kansas handily. I think his margin was 20+ points. No real surprise there. Nationwide, of course, things are still in the balance, technically speaking. Kerry needs to concede, though. Ohio has chosen Bush by a margin of almost 140,000 votes. The Kerry camp is hoping provisional ballots will put him over the top. Who's he kidding?

Local races: Brownback beat his challenger pretty handily, as did Dennis Moore. No surprises there. The bi-state tax was defeated in Johnson County. In fact, the bi-state tax was defeated in every county in which it was on the ballot, except for Jackson County, MO -- which was the county that was going to get the bulk of the tax revenue. Hmmm, imagine that. Seems we Kansans don't want to fund KCMO's gravy train.

Oh, yeah, Daschle lost. I know it's not a local thing, but it's fun, nonetheless. Senate Minority Leader gets the boot. Neat stuff.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Well, we here in
hoity-toity Johnson County have the super keen computer voting machines. Haven't used one before. I thought it was rather cool. It made the retention questions quite simple, too.

I noted no attempts at creating a fracas. No electioneering, no trying to thrust anything at people. I was at the polls at 7:15 this morning, and waited maybe 20 minutes to vote.

I'm nervous but optimistic.
Voted this morning.
Very exciting, and I made sure I left not one hanging chad. We here in rural SW Missouri don't have them fancy computer systems yet. The big disappointment is the shirt I'm wearing today doesn't take to stickers well and I lost my "I Voted" sticker. Oh well.

I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody except for me because I keep to myself. The only interesting thing to say about the process is the people running the place take the rules seriously. An ancient man came in (had more folds in his face than teeth, seriously) and was asked for his ID by the elderly lady manning the Book of Names. He said, "Come on now, Mildred, you know who I am" and she said something like, "Well, Harold, maybe I don't know you as well as you think. Now show me your license!" and everyone laughed. That's about it.

So I voted straight B's: Bush, Blunt, Blunt and Bond. For the other offices, I voted Libertarian if there was a candidate and Republican otherwise. I, like Joe, voted to keep all the judges in office. Why fire a guy for no reason?
Somewhere in the great state of South Dakota,
Tom Daschle is losing his marbles. His team is suing his oppenent, John Thune, personally over (probably fabricated) reports of voter intimidation. Why do I say fabricated? Because the most serious charge appears to be "aggressive eye-rolling."

Check it out here.
I performed my civic duty
this morning and voted. Bush '04, baby.

The fun part was all the office retention questions (e.g, "Should Fred Johnson, Assistant Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Sub-Manager, be retained?"). I voted yes for everybody. No sense in throwing people out of a job simply because I've never heard of any of them.

Voted for Sam Brownback. I think his re-election is a foregone conclusion.

Voted for Kris Kobach. I was really voting for Adam Taff. I couldn't bring myself to vote for Dennis Moore. Why, you may ask? Because he's a Monty Python skit. Remember the song:
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Galloping through the sward
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
And his horse Concorde
He steals from the rich
And gives to the poor
Mr. Moore,
Mr. Moore,
Mr. Moore
My favorite verse, though, is the last:
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Riding through the land
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Without a merry band
He steals from the poor
And gives to the rich
Stupid bitch
Of course, it's not Moore's fault that he's forever burned in my head as a swashbuckling John Cleese stealing lupins and engaging in bold wealth redistribution schemes. But, hey, what are you going to do?

And I voted against the bi-state tax. I decided to think small. Actually, I decided that the black box organism that would be created wasn't worth it. I have a feeling Johnson County will be putting up a lot of funds for this, but won't get the return on investment. Plus, there's something about having a dual-state governing body distributing tax income that I find a little disconcerting.