Saturday, July 20, 2013

Why Are You Even Coming Here?

Oakmoor's Revenge has fallen; we have set up camp at Trial of the Century. All of your favorite posts and comments have already been moved, so there's nothing to see here, move it along, folks.

You should be redirected to that page shortly; bookmark it to avoid this pesky detour. See you at our new home!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Obligatory Trayvon Martin Verdict Post

Rachel Jeantel, the improbable anti-media darling of the Trayvon Martin trial, recently gave America a linguistic seminar:
Jeantel explained to Morgan that “the whole world say it’s a racist word” but the version of the word that she testified Martin had used in reference to Zimmerman, spelled “n-i-g-g-a” doesn’t mean what most people think it means. It doesn’t mean a “black male” as Morgan assumed, she said, but rather any kind of man, including “Chinese” for example. Morgan helpfully pointed out that that’s the version rappers use in their music.

“But nigger,” Jeantel said, stressing the “-er.,” is a “racist word.” She said “I’d advise you not to be by black people” when you say that word, Jeantel explained, “because they’re not going to have it like that.”

"...they're not going to have it like that." Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?

Honestly, I don't know if she's speaking the truth here. One is tempted to give her the benefit of a doubt, but it would strike me as unfathomably audacious to call a black man "nigga," even if I knew him well. I'd probably get my white ass whooped (deservedly so, I think). And while I agree that "nigger" is more offensive, I really don't think there's a whole lot of difference, at least when one gets down to the nitty-gritty of things.

For some reason this odd semantical justification got Rush Limbaugh all hot and bothered:

“So, ‘nigga,’ with an ‘a’ on the end — well I think I can [say it] now. Isn’t that the point — because it’s not racist? That’s the point. I could be talking about a male, I could be — a Chinese male, a guy at the laundromat — I could be talking about a man. That’s what she said it means."
Seriously, a Chinese guy at the laundromat? I'm not one for political correctness, but that seems a bit much.

Anyways, I got an e-mail from MoveOn yesterday (yes, dear readers, I subscribe to their mailing list---all for you, all the time). "Tell AARP to stop advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show," it implored me. Petitioner Carol Wallin stated breathlessly:
AARP advertising is filling dead air on the Rush Limbaugh Show. Limbaugh calls women "feminazis," "infobabes," "sexretaries," and, worst of all, "sluts" and "prostitutes." Limbaugh calls Latinos "weak," "lazy," and "unskilled."

And, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder trial, Limbaugh even used the "n-word" and claimed it was not racist.

Emphasis not added! I'm no fan of Limbaugh (though I do find the term "feminazi" to be inexhaustibly hilarious), but come on. Limbaugh did not "use" the "n-word" in the "wake" of the Martin murder trial; he spoke it in response to a woman's discussing it on a nationwide, widely-viewed news broadcast. And it was not he who claimed it was not racist---it was Jeantel! MoveOn can't get its facts right, let alone spell out a simple slang word; they not only have to resort to a pitiful genteelism, but they even couch the euphemism itself in scare quotes. So apparently MoveOn "won't have it like that," either.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Birds and the Bees 101

Apologies for the dearth of posts---I spent a long weekend in Vegas for my brother's bachelor party, and then had to do the whole re-entry thing once I arrived back in Richmond. Did you know food goes bad in the fridge if you leave it in there too long?

Anyways, catching up on my reading once I returned, I came across a fascinating article in the New York Times devoted entirely to a lengthy treatise on women's college hook-up experiences: Sex on Campus - She Can Play That Game, Too.

Can she now? Well, who knew. A certain Casanova (or would that be Casanovette?) claims that "she [enjoys] casual sex on her terms --- often late at night, after a few drinks, and never at her place, she noted, because then she would have to wash the sheets." One wonders: does she ever wash her sheets at all, or is she that lazy?

Well, it's a clever sexual stratagem, and justified thusly:

“I definitely wouldn’t say I’ve regretted any of my one-night stands,” she said.

“I’m a true feminist,” she added. “I’m a strong woman. I know what I want.”

At the same time, she didn’t want the number of people she had slept with printed, and she said it was important to her to keep her sexual life separate from her image as a leader at Penn.

There's just so many confusing things going on here, it makes my prudish head spin. What does being a "feminist" have to do with "knowing what you want?" Does she think non-feminist women simply have no idea what they want? And what does being a "strong woman" have to do with not regretting your choices? I'll concede her strength but raise her a non sequitur. I consider myself a "strong man," or whatever, but I've done plenty that I regret.

The last bit is golden, though. She "doesn't want the number of people she had slept with printed" because she's worried it will interfere with her "image" as a "leader." So she's a non-regretful strong feminist who is nevertheless aggressively demure about how many people she's gone to bed with; consequently, if we're to take her at her word, she's telling us that the tenets of feminism are incompatible with those of leadership! What a weird lady.

The article later details the story of another female student:

In November of Haley’s freshman year, a couple of months after her first tentative “Difmos,” or dance-floor makeouts, she went to a party with a boy from her floor. She had too much to drink, and she remembered telling him that she wanted to go home.

Instead, she said, he took her to his room and had sex with her while she drifted in and out of consciousness. She woke up with her head spinning. The next day, not sure what to think about what had happened, she described the night to her friends as though it were a funny story: I was so drunk, I fell asleep while I was having sex! She played up the moment in the middle of the night when the guy’s roommate poked his head in the room and asked, “Yo, did you score?”

Only later did Haley begin to think of what had happened as rape...

Now, if indeed the young woman was taken advantage of in such a way, then one certainly feels an immense amount of compassion for her, at least insofar as a non-rape victim like myself is able to feel. But of course she neglects to mention the critical detail of the entire encounter, which is whether or not her male companion was himself drunk. If he wasn't, then he is certainly guilty of rape. If he was drunk, however---a detail that, again, Haley apparently never even considers---then it becomes terribly ambiguous. If she was drunk, and drunk sex equals rape, then what if her quasi-lover was also wasted? Did they somehow rape each other? How on earth would that work?

Hardline feminists often like to claim that if the woman is drunk, then the sex is rape, no exceptions. They never seem to address the possibility of the man's being drunk, as well; instead they seem to depend on the male to safeguard the female's sexuality, akin to the puritanical social impulses they once hoped to shed: even if he's hammered out of his mind, it's still his responsibility. It's an incredible double standard, and one that perfectly encapsulates the fundamental hollowness of modern-day Western feminism. You've come a long way, baby.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rent-Seeking for Dummies

Businessweek has a real whopper of a shocker: Walgreen, Blue Cross Want You to Join Obamacare. Really!

Actually, that's something of a non sequitur. One does not simply "join" Obamacare---one signs up for a dense, overpriced health care plan guaranteed (and mandated) by Obamacare.  "Joining" Obamacare is akin to ordering a McDonald's for lunch. But I digress with these grammarian affairs!

As the White House scrambles to get all the Obamacare pieces in place by October and to hold off those who would repeal the law, two big health-care companies have given their support to the rollout. Walgreen (WAG) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association—both of which stand to profit from more people getting insurance—have launched a website to explain “how the new health care law affects you.” Walgreen will also provide information to shoppers in its 8,000 stores, Bloomberg News reports...

Naturally, insurance carriers and health-care providers want as many people enrolled as possible—especially the young and healthy, as well as people who qualify for subsidies. That means more premiums for insurers such as Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and more prescriptions sold at stores like Walgreen. If healthy people skip coverage, insurers will bear the higher costs of covering sicker populations, which would drive up premiums.

Well. The first, best step would probably be to have less "sicker populations," which means eating less garbage and exercising more. Are we given to wishful thinking? Maybe. In any case, Businessweek apparently got the memo three-and-a-half years too late. Why shouldn't Anthem be foaming at the mouth over the PPACA? Picadilly's would do the same thing if there were a Buffet Eater and Affordable Gluttony Act on the dock. 

Anyways, it's just an hilarious piece of irony for the progressive crusaders who wanted to pass this law in the first place. Walgreen's and Anthem---they're the "bad guys," the "corporations" and "one percenters" and "fat cats" and whatever else has been said about them. If they were so gung-ho about this law, that should tell you something---the first being that lefties simply don't know where to turn to solve their problems. 

Meanwhile, the government has launched a new website,, to help the little guy navigate the perils and pitfalls of health insurance. Sayeth Leviathan on catastrophic coverage:

These policies usually have lower premiums than a comprehensive plan, but cover you only if you need a lot of care. They basically protect you from worst-case scenarios.

Sounds like the definition of "insurance." Maybe comprehensive plans are part of the cost-raising problem to begin with. Or perhaps "free" birth control really is the way to go.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A House of Cards --- Made of Chickens!

Uh, oh, the entire backyard chicken movement is falling apart before our very beaks:

Despite visions of quaint coops, happy birds and cheap eggs, the growing trend of raising backyard chickens in urban settings is backfiring, critics say, as disillusioned city dwellers dump unwanted fowl on animal shelters and sanctuaries.

Hundreds of chickens, sometimes dozens at a time, are being abandoned each year at the nation’s shelters from California to New York as some hipster farmers discover that hens lay eggs for two years, but can live for a good decade longer, and that actually raising the birds can be noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive.

“Many areas with legalized hen-keeping are experiencing more and more of these birds coming in when they’re no longer wanted,” said Paul Shapiro, spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States. “You get some chicks and they’re very cute, but it’s not as though you can throw them out in the yard and not care for them...”

“It’s the stupid foodies,” said Britton Clouse, 60, who admits she speaks frankly. “We’re just sick to death of it.”

I resent that. The proper term is "stupid urban farmers." Get it right. 

In reality, grumpy old Clouse isn't far off the mark. It's no surprise that there are a lot of "stupid" urban chicken farmers out there who didn't realize what they were getting into. Not that it's particularly difficult to raise chickens; I don't know where the reporter got the idea that it's "noisy, messy, labor-intensive and expensive" to do so. It is not. But chickens do stop laying after a few years, at which point it becomes necessary to cull them (or, to abandon euphemism, kill them). Unless you want a bunch of designer pets running around your backyard, there's really no point in keeping egg-less chickens around; best to slaughter them for soup birds, or else give them to a local farmer who will make the difficult choice for you. 

In effect, dropping them off at the nearby animal shelter is an essay in cowardice and inept farming, because the hard reality of animal husbandry is that it is made of hard realities. Death is inevitably a part of a farm animal's life, and a farm animal that does not produce does not really fit into the grand scheme of things. It's sort of brutal, but it need not be made of brutality: a spent chicken can be easily and almost-painlessly killed and put to better use, making way for the next chicken who will lay more eggs. It is, as Elton John once said, the circle of life. Trendy, squeamish urban farmers who can't be bothered to kill their own birds are not practicing the correct form of urban animal husbandry; they are doing it wrong, meaning there is an indisputable right way to do it . Why would people pretend otherwise?

Elsewhere, further mistakes are made:

When [chickens] get sick or hurt, they need care that can run into the hundreds of dollars, boosting the price of that home-grown egg far beyond even the most expensive grocery store brand. 

Well, I've got a solution for such egg-price-boosting fiascoes, and it's spelled "chopping block." Now, don't get me wrong: it wouldn't be a joyous decision. Chickens can be weirdly endearing, and sort of sweet, if you've got a good imagination. But they're not "normal" pets; they are genuine working parts of any responsible household economy, and the niche they occupy demands a firm resolve when they stop occupying that niche.

Here's the most hilarious part of the article: 

People entranced by a “misplaced rural nostalgia” are buying chickens from the same hatcheries that supply the nation's largest poultry producers and rearing them without proper space, food or veterinary care, [Clouse] said.

 "Rearing them without proper space, food or veterinary care?" Uh, what does Clouse think the nation's largest poultry producers do? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Chuckleheads Unite

Given that I'll soon be back in the darkness of NoInternetLand (a constituent entity of BlackoutTopia), I thought I'd throw up a bonus post today, sharing an hilarious link that my brother sent me over Twitter: The Straight, White Dudes' Guide to Discussing Diversity.

See, the title is coldly sarcastic. If there's one group that "open" "minded," "tolerant" people nakedly despise, it is straight white men. Your humble correspondent is an insouciant member of said faction, so I'm hard-pressed to feel personally attacked by such parochial rhetoric. Nevertheless, I'm a bit miffed at the double standard: imagine if someone wrote a derisive "guide" for gay black women. Of course, the point isn't that we should be able to openly make fun of homosexual minorities, but that the brazen mocking of all heterosexual white males as a group is self-evidently stupid.

Aw, it's like yelling at a brick wall, though. I'm the enemy! Thus the guide, and its bizarre, confused advice as how how My People can avoid "earning [ourselves] a big, old eye roll." Hey, I have feelings too! Wait, dial that back a bit:

5. Not every one of your opinions is a magical snowflake.
Sometimes you really will make a valuable contribution. When you do, I know that, personally, I will be really, really thankful for it. You’ll earn yourself a place on the Mantle of Allies for engaging respectfully and offering thoughtfully. But, you also have to appreciate that we are frequently going to come at issues from different perspectives, with a different set of cultural values. Not everything you’ll suggest will work in my cultural context. Not every one of your brilliant ideas is going to be a magical snowflake, saving the world and liberating us all.


Actually, all of the items on the list are probably good advice for everyone, not just straight white dudes. But Dr. Isis apparently thinks women, minorities and non-heterosexuals are immune to the types of mistakes that us straight whities evidently make all the time. "Being a straight, white dude does not automatically make you an asshole," the good Doctor assures us---thank God. Just the same, we apparently need a "guide" to navigate basic human interaction. So being a straight white male just makes us stupid.

Revenge of the Third Amendment

I've moved apartments in the last week, and have been insanely busy getting everything together (it's my first single apartment, so I needed to get furniture and essentials). To top it off, my Internet is not active, and Comcast is taking a week to come repair it (hel-LO pro rate!). Thus the dearth of blog posts.  I should try and make up for lost time by throwing in some buzz words: Tea Party, liberty, socialism, Obama=Stalin, Stalin Was Better Than Obama, gun rights, raw milk. Watch the traffic escalate!

Anyways, I feel terribly out of the loop. Yesterday, though, my girlfriend's mother alerted me to a fascinating Third Amendment violation, the first of its kind that I've heard of (Carrie's mom and I are of very similar political bents, a fortuitous aligning of kismet on par, I think, with DiMaggio's legendary hitting streak). Did you ever imagine Americans would need to call upon the Third Amendment to the Constitution? Now you can!
Remember that whole business in the Third Amendment about not having quarter soldiers in private homes without the owner’s consent or that stuff in the Fifth Amendment about takings of property or that other stuff in the Fourth Amendment on unreasonable searches and seizures. It does not appear to apply to police in Henderson Nevada. The City of Henderson is being sued with its police chief Police Chief Jutta Chambers (left) as well as the City of North Las Vegas and its Police Chief Joseph Chronister (right) for a bizarre takeover of a home for a stakeout. Anthony Mitchell says that he was told that police needed to occupy his home to get a “tactical advantage” on the occupant of a neighboring house. When Mitchell refused, the police ultimately, according to his complaint, busted through his door, hit him with pepper balls, and put him into custody. The lawsuit also names Officers Garret Poiner, Ronald Feola, Ramona Walls, Angela Walker, and Christopher Worley.

Mitchell says that the ordeal began with a call from Officer Worley demanding access to his home. He refused to allow the police to do so and the call ended...

Sure, the "call" ended, but not the charade; there was still plenty of "busting" and "hitting" with "pepper balls" to deal with.

If there's one thing an agent of the state doesn't like being told, it's "no." As Turley points out, the incident also touches on the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, which have been more robustly challenged (and defended) over the course of the Republic's history. But why on Earth would that matter to any of the police officers concerned? It's anyone's guess as to whether or not they've heard of the concept of city statutes, let alone constitutional restraint.