Sunday, December 28, 2014

What Jeff's talking about

This is such old stuff I'm bound to have forgotten much of it. But here goes…

The first Big Problem was Rush's "I hope he fails" comment and the conservative commentariat's scramble to distance themselves from it, based mostly on an egregious misinterpretation of Rush's intent, which was actually crystal clear.

Jeff responded with the Hot Air article, which demonstrated in great detail that many on "our side" were more concerned with being tarred by the left's always-broad brush than with declaiming the truth. Because Jeff had shined an unflattering light on people (including [said blogger]), he caught a lot of flak for it. That's about when Malkin stopped returning his calls.

The next Big Problem was with [said blogger]'s insistence on calling Obama a "good man" after his first election, despite the mountains of evidence that he was anything but. Jeff deftly exposed [said blogger] as a shallow sycophant who was angling for the croc to eat him last rather than declaiming the Known Truth about Obama.

The worst Big Problem was when [said blogger] decided it was time to put Stacey McCain in the dunking stool to distance himself from the Left's inevitable accusations of RAAAAACIST after something Stace posted.

Using nothing but theories of language, Jeff calmly identified [said blogger]'s ass-covering witch hunt as resting on corrupt, left-wing assumptions about how language works.

What ensued was a days-long dialog — mostly between Jeff and [said blogger] but a lot of us regulars chimed in — about Jeff's bailiwick: intentionalism, which is a description of how language works, that also identifies many of the Left's dishonest and incoherent attempts to hijack meaning and mold it to fit the mob's hysterical demands.

Jeff's demeanor for the first few days would make Job look like a hysteric. He used naught but logic, naught but explanatory language, eschewing utterly personal invective or insinuating that his interlocutor was a moron.

I still cannot tell if [said blogger] got what Jeff was saying but refused to accept it (he'd keep repeating back Jeff's ideas in a distorted way) or if he really could not grok what Jeff was saying. (Lawyers often do, because their concern is what you can prove, not what is.)

This dialog took place at proteinwisdom, at Little Miss Attilla's blog, at [said blog], and on a late-night IM chat involving me, Jeff, [said blogger], and a few of [said blogger]'s peeps.

After days of going back and forth, Jeff commented on [said blogger]'s blog (in response to some trash talk from [said blogger]'s peeps) that if they were going to hang him, he'd be glad to bring the tree.

[said blogger] went ballistic with glee. Finally (in his mind) he'd caught Jeff employing a violent threat, right there online, where Jeff couldn't delete it. He began to express his happiness at repeating the phrase that "JEFF GOLDSTEIN IS A LYING LIAR WHO LIES" (something to that effect). He described the satisfaction he got in typing those words and reveled in the chance to destroy Jeff both as an internet presence and as someone who could make a living as a writer.

[said blogger] got even weirder after that. He "Google-bombed" a lot of dead threads over at Protein Wisdom with links to allegedly awful things about Jeff. He circulated toxic emails to other bloggers on the right about Jeff's perfidy (Pablo can hook you up with those).

[said blogger] claimed that his efforts to destroy Jeff were a means to "protect himself." The only other time I'd seen similar behavior was from a bipolar lawyer (with Paranoid Personality Disorder) who went off her meds during a manic phase and did all kinds of crazy stuff to destroy an internet forum that had wronged her. She also claimed she was "protecting herself."

[said blogger]'s behavior was WAY out of proportion to the "offense" Jeff had delivered. Later digging shows that [said blogger] often pulls this kind of crazy shit behind the scenes when he feels that his honor has been sullied. His ties to Barrett Brown and Anonymous don't speak well of him.

So yeah, he's perfectly reasonable in most contexts, but when certain of his buttons are pushed, he goes apeshit.

And because of his reputation with the rest of the 'sphere, his smearing of Jeff's reputation stuck.

And that's as short as it gets.

Friday, December 19, 2014

This is why our "discussion" is so frustrating

Listen, Skeezix.

After going several rounds with you on Twitter/Facebook/wherever-we-were, it's clear that I am punching far below my weight.

This is what our convo feels like from my perspective:


[dicentra]: I wouldn't do that if I were you.

[you]: It's not "I were." It's "I was."

[dicentra]: Actually, "I were" is correct in that context.

[you]: Do you also say "I were at the party?" What about "I were sad today" or "I were going to the store yesterday?"

[dicentra]: I'm using the subjunctive because the second phrase contains the conditional tense.

[you]: Oh sure! All that fancy palaver is just there to obscure your ignorance.

[dicentra]: Seriously, this is an example of the subjunctive in English.

[you]: It's "I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were."

[dicentra]: Unless it's describing a hypothetical situation, followed by the conditional tense. Then it's "I were." I can also say, "If he were here, he wouldn't do that."

[you]: Do you even speak English? I bet you also say, "They come over last night but I wish they hadn't came."

[dicentra]: That's a common inversion in rural dialects…

[you]: So is "I were."

[dicentra]: No, just in northern England for the imperfect past. Look, I'm a professional writer. I speak Spanish and I've studied Romance philology. I know how the subjunctive works.

[you]: News flash, moron. English isn't a Romance language.

[dicentra]: And yet the subjunctive exists in English. We just don't identify it as such very often because there's no distinct subjunctive verb form like in the Romance languages.

[you]: Damn, you're obtuse. Repeat after me, "I was, you were, he/she/it was, we are, they are."

[dicentra]: You're arguing from a smaller, less-sophisticated knowledge base than I am. This is going nowhere.

[you]: You can't just make stuff up to justify your poor grammar skills and call it sophistication. You've gotta be the worst writer on the planet.

[dicentra]: (headdesk)


See that? Because you've never heard of the subjunctive, my using it sounds like bad grammar to you, and then my explanation sounds like I'm making stuff up to justify my bad grammar.

You keep repeating those present-tense conjugations as if I didn't understand them, but I understand them perfectly well — better than you do, in fact, but because you aren't familiar with the subjunctive, it's easy (too easy) for you to conclude that I'm the moron.

Try this for yourself: write -7 + 9 = 2 on a piece of paper and show it to a 2nd grader. Now see if you can explain how you can add a seven and a nine and get two.

Chances are the kid will eventually get it, but then the kid isn't invested in the fact that you're an evil ignoramus, the way you are with me, so the kid is open to new information.

You don't seem to be, which is sad, because there's lots of stuff out there (including new perspectives) that are far more interesting than our little spat, and yet you'll go away from our convo convinced that me and mine are exactly as awful as you originally thought.

Nice work if you can get it, I guess. Saves the actual work of learning about the people you hate.

Now that the pub is gone…

…I'll have to do my long-form stuff here again. P-dub crashed mightily once and restoring the pub has always abended, so …

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Where's Dicentra?

I post over at the Protein Wisdom Pub now.

Better traffic, see.

To see a list of my posts only, click here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Take on the Jeff vs. Patt Kerfuffle

Boy: Here boy!

Dog: In case you haven't noticed, I'm a black lab, and I take offense at the racial epithet directed my way.

Boy: Uh, you're a male dog, right? It's well within mainstream speech habits to refer to a male dog as "boy."

Lassie was a boy, but they called her "girl." Put that in your OPM pipe and smoke it!

Boy: Don't bring the federal budget into it, plzkthx!

Dog: And 86 the LOL speak. I hate cats!

Black Man: What? Is this how white people act when there's no one around to slap 'em upside the head?


Saturday, September 27, 2008

How thing like THIS happen

Once again, one of my comments over at PW grew arms and legs, so I'll post it here to save Jeff's bandwidth.

I was responding to this comment, and my response starts out here.

So here's the problem:

Many progressives see the requirements to getting a mortgage — credit checks, asset evaluation, collateral, down payments — as the equivalent of the poll tax; in other words, it was a means of keeping the non-privileged down by creating an arbitrary, pseudo-legitimate bar that they knew the "undesirables" could not clear.

The aforementioned barrier to voting was genuinely discriminatory. But because progressives understand economics less than I do, they don't get that the qualifications for a mortgage are not arbitrary at all but instead are a real index of whether someone is able to handle the long-term responsibility of a mortgage. And then there's the bit about when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Very inflexible paradigms in progressivism, see.

Think about it: if you're a greedy bastard, you're not going to lend your precious money to someone who will likely default, because foreclosures are expensive and messy. Merely repossessing the house and the car does not sufficiently compensate you for the trouble, and you lose money in the deal.

So the bar that lenders set is designed to reduce their risk, which is what all greedy bastards do: protect what's theirs while making a buck.

Without the implied guarantee of government bail-out, no greedy bastard worth his salt would lend all that money to people who didn't meet those requirements. I mean, people on welfare could get mortgages. The artificial interference of the CRA and Fan & Fred and its agitators permitted the greedy bastards to pursue a path to filthy lucre that was not open before.

But as usual, progressives don't understand the real causes of poverty, so their solutions are entirely wrong-headed and usually hurt more than help. (Cancer? Use cyanide!) They think that people are poor in the U.S. because greedy bastards are hogging the finite pie and won't share.

But in this country, if you're poor it's because you don't possess the habits and beliefs and attitudes that permit you to function as a bread-winner. The poor often are not responsible for the fact that they don't have the chops to be wealthier, but the fact remains that if you want to help people not be poor, you have to help them acquire the necessary habits and attitudes for getting and keeping a steady, reasonably good-paying job, and then to wisely manage the money they earn.

But those kinds of skills are difficult to teach, especially in our I Want It Now culture. And many of the poor also have serious emotional, psychological, and/or physical problems that make it unlikely that they'll ever be able to support themselves, or if they do, it will be years before they've learned how.

And don't forget those who are caught in the endless cycle of dependency that has prevented them from internalizing the rhythms of responsibility — you get up, get to work, on-time, every day, whether you want to or not. You do what the boss says, even if he is a first-class moron. You tolerate slights. You hold up under pressure. Unless you grew up in a home where at least one person did that, it's hard to acquire that rhythm yourself. Most people can't do it without help, and some people actually don't want to become solid citizens, for reasons only they understand.

As usual, the progressives took the easy way out as they relied on their caricatures of Evil White Lenders and and on their confidence in the utter purity of their motives.

They just handed out the mortgages like leaflets in Vegas and figured that that would be all it took to get people out of poverty and into the mainstream of life.

But because their plan was not founded on How Wealth Works, this is the result: the collapse of the credit market and possibly a big recession or the D word for the rest of us. They tossed a bunch of people into icy, deep water without teaching them how to swim. BECAUSE OF THE COMPASSION!

Did a bunch of greedy bastards contribute mightily to the problem? Oh hell yes. There is no shortage in human society of predators who never miss an opening to exploit someone or something. They're the flesh-eating bacteria of society, always present, always awaiting the opportunity to invade a paper cut and gangrenate your whole hand or leg.

But the paper cut — or gaping wound, in this case — was inflicted by excessively wrong-minded do-gooders (or those who pose as such) that profoundly misunderstand the consequences of their actions and refuse to acknowledge them when they're pointed out. And whose cooperation has usually been bought by the greedy bastards who are benefiting the most from the racket.

This crisis was both foreseeable and foreseen, and Cassandras have been sounding the alarm for years. But if you've invested all your ego in how Good you are and how Evil society is, then you're not going to rethink your positions.

Especially if taking down the current system is the end game after all, the rubble upon which you will build your Perfect Society for all to enjoy. As long as they toe the line, that is. All else need to be moved from their place, by any means necessary.

UPDATE: Oh, look. Corroboration.

UPDATE II: How ACORN intimidated lenders into compliance.

Monday, September 22, 2008


That's the key bill, isn't it? S.190, "A bill to address the regulation of secondary mortgage market enterprises, and for other purposes," sponsored by Chuck Hagel and cosponsored by Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu, and John McCain.

On 26 Jan 2005, Hagel gave the following speech on the senate floor:
S. 190. A bill to address the regulation of secondary mortgage market enterprises, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Mr. HAGEL. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce, along with my colleagues Senators SUNUNU and DOLE, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005. This is needed regulatory reform at a critical time for the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

There is no doubt that our housing government sponsored enterprises GSEs, have been successful in carrying out their mission of providing liquidity for the housing market. The market has remained strong through tough economic times, and homeownership in this country is at an all-time high.

The housing GSEs, however, are uncommon institutions with a unique set of responsibilities and stakeholders. Fannie and Freddie are chartered by Congress, limited in scope, and are subject to Congressional mandates, yet they are publicly traded companies with all the earnings pressure that Wall Street demands. Additionally, Fannie and Freddie enjoy an implicit guarantee by the Federal Government that has aided them in developing substantial clout on Wall Street. With their influence in the markets, their ability to raise capital at near-Treasury bill rates, and their use of the most sophisticated portfolio management tools, Fannie and Freddie today are no longer simply secondary market facilitators for mortgages.

The significance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to our economy cannot be overstated. Together, the companies own or guarantee roughly 45.6 percent of all mortgage loans in the United States. The companies combined have issued over $3.9 trillion in obligations comprised of $2.2 trillion in mortgage backed securities and $1.7 trillion of GSE debt.

It is clear that the recent revelations at both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae precipitate the need for Congress to address GSE regulatory reform. In 2003, Freddie Mac found itself treading through a wave of accounting problems and questionable management actions. That led to an income restatement of $5 billion, a penalty of $125 million and the removal of several members of its executive management. One year later, a similar surge of questionable practices was discovered at Fannie Mae. That led to the retirement and resignation of two of Fannie Mae's top management officials, as well as last month's ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, that Fannie could face a $9 billion income restatement.

At a minimum, the bar for a GSE should not be held lower than it is for any other company. In fact, given its congressionally chartered mission to serve a public interest, the bar should be held significantly higher. The operations of such companies should be managed with uncompromising integrity and unabridged transparency.

Our legislation would create a new independent world class regulator for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. Our bill provides the new regulator with enhanced regulatory flexibility and enforcement tools like those afforded to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. Furthermore, the bill would:

  • provide the new regulator the authority of receivership to close down a failing GSE and protect against a taxpayer bailout;
  • provide the new regulator greater discretion in raising capital standards to protect against insolvency;
  • provide the new regulator approval power over new programs and activities proposed by a GSE;
  • provide the regulator with greater authority to limit exit compensation packages or golden parachutes for executives removed for cause;
  • require the annual audits of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's affordable housing programs to ensure that these programs support the enterprises' affordable housing mission;
  • end presidential appointments to the board of directors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and would require all Federal Home Loan Bank directors to be elected.

This reform is important to restoring and maintaining the confidence that investors and the markets require. In light of the recent problems at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it is even more important. I urge my colleagues to support this reform effort and invite them to cosponsor our bill.

Emphasis and formatting mine.

Here's the text of the bill, and it was killed in the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Here is a list of all congresscritters who got $0 from the Fan-Fred PAC from 1989 to the present, as shown on Open Secrets:

John McCain (R-AZ)
Wayne Allard (R-CO)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sander Levin (D-MI)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
James T Walsh (R-NY)
Robert E Andrews (D-NJ)
Jerry Weller (R-IL)
Chuck Hegel (R-NE)
Betty McCullom (D-MN)
Ron Paul (R-TX)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Joseph R Biden JR (D-DE)
Jane Harman (D-CA)
Patrick J Kennedy (D-RI)
Dave Hobson (R-OH)
Walter B Jones Jr. (R-NC)
Mike Ferguson (R-NJ)
James Oberstar (D-MN)
Edward J Markey (D-MA)
Jerry Morgan (R-KS)
Ralph Regula (R-OH)
Tom Allen (D-ME)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
Heather Wilson, Heather (R-NM)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
John Linder (R-GA)
Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Robin Hayes (R-NC)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Bobby L Rush (D-IL)
Robert C Scott(D-VA)
Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Lee Terry (R-NE)
Tim Walberg (R-MI)
Elizabeth S Dole (R-NC)
Frank R Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Donna D Christian-Green (D-VI)
Jay R Inslee (D-WA)
Brian P Bilbray (R-CA)
Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Donna Edwards (D-MD)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Connie Mack (R-FL)
Denny Rehberg (R-MT)
John Sarbanes (D-MD)
John Shadegg (R-AZ)
Dave Weldon (R-FL)
David WuH (D-OR)
Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Warner, John W Warner (R-VA)
Robert B Aderholt (R-AL)
Arcuri, Michael Arcuri (D-NY)
Chris Carney (D-PA)
Norm Dicks (D-WA)
Nick Lampson (D-TX)
Don Manzullo (R-IL)
Todd Platts (R-PA)
Diane E Watson (D-CA)
Anthony D Weiner (D-NY)
James W DeMint (R-SC)

I am not pleased to see that none of Utah's congresscritters appear. Here's the skinny on them:

The columns are Total, PAC, Individuals

Sen. Robert F Bennett $107,999 $71,499 $36,500
He's #4, after John Kerry. Way to go Bob. He's also on the Senate committee mentioned above. I can't find out what his vote was, though. His web site doesn't mention S.190 at all.

Rep. Jim Matheson $24,500 $24,000 $500

Sen. Orrin G Hatch $18,250 $12,500 $5,750

Rep. Chris Cannon $2,500 $2,000 $500