Archive for June, 2013

How to Explain Conservatism to Your Squishy Liberal Friends: Individualism ‘R’ Us

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Hat tip Ace of Spades HQ.

Great article by P.J. O’Rourke. I think it’s from the 90’s based on the references he makes, but still true today.

The individual is the wellspring of conservatism. The purpose of conservative politics is to defend the liberty of the individual and – lest individualism run riot – insist upon individual responsibility.

The great religions (and conservatives are known for approving of God) teach salvation as an individual matter. There are no group discounts in the Ten Commandments, Christ was not a committee, and Allah does not welcome believers into Paradise saying, “You weren’t much good yourself, but you were standing near some good people.” That we are individuals – unique, disparate and willful – is something we understand instinctively from an early age. No child ever wrote to Santa: “Bring me – and a bunch of kids I’ve never met – a pony, and we’ll share.”

Virtue is famously lonely. Also vice, as anyone can testify who ever told his mother, “All the other guys were doing it.” We experience pleasure separately; Ethan Hawke may go out on any number of wild dates, but I’m able to sleep through them. And, although we may be sorry for people who suffer, we only “feel their pain” when we’re full of baloney and running for office.

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Television and Political Correctness’ Safe Harbor for the Stupid

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Great article on Ace of Spades HQ:

A recent Matt Lewis column mentioned a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman, which was published in 1985. Yes, It’s Old (TM). Its central thesis struck a chord with me: That freedom and reason will be lost in America not in an Orwellian way, but in a Huxleyan one. Orwell’s vision was of a government ruthlessly suppressing books and changing written accounts of the past in order to change the thinking of the present.

Rick Tempest spoke about this at the end of the most recent AoSHQ podcast. Rick doesn’t read much, so when he does finish a book, it’s like The Only Thing He Can Talk About.

Anyway, Huxley’s vision was that no totalitarian state was needed for such a descent into infantilization and restriction of thought: That all that was necessary was that the means of distraction and infantilization be provided to the population, and the people would voluntarily choose that path, no Mintruth needed, no black-armored thought police required. Orwell’s vision was therefore of a forcible lobotomy, conducted by the state; Huxley’s was one of a voluntary one, people checking in to an outpatient clinic every day to have bothersome parts of their brains excised.

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What To Do?

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Young woman who works at a place I go to accomplish my errands (food, beer, hardware,¬† etc.) and noticed she has gone from what I consider a healthy weight to another weight that might still be healthy, but is considerably less than a few months ago. I mean, she seems kind of frail. But maybe that’s all in my head and she’s happier without those pounds or maybe she is physically sick and persevering or maybe she has an eating disorder or maybe she’s playing a waif in a local theater production (or a major motion picture, as far as I know). If she has an eating disorder, I would feel remiss if I said nothing, but what to say?

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From URL to Webpage

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Presentation I did for work. Cross-posting.

http://andyhill.us/codeblog/2013/06/08/from-url-to-webpage-presentation/

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