Archive for July, 2012

My National Car Motivational Poster on Malaysia Chronicle

July 31, 12

Lol, another of my Malaysian Politics Motivational Posters makes the rounds years after I stopped making them, unattributed again, at Malaysia Chronicle:

The full size (click on image):

NationalCarMotiva

But I actually think that my other one suits the theme of ‘wasted public monies’ better:

ComatoseTigerMotiva

Thanks to tip from J.

See also more on PROTON:

For Just RM70,000 PROTON Saga EV Lets You Drive ALMOST From Ipoh to Penang and Die on the Expressway

Outrageous – Saudis Pay Tens of Thousands Less Than Malaysians For PROTON Cars

Dr M: Proton Plans Exports ‘Cos Foreigners Like Them (Srsly!)

Hypocrite Dr Drama Mahathir Says Bank Bailouts Wrong, Ignores His Own Past Bailouts of ‘Failed Institutions’

And other appearances of my posters:

Scott’s PENDATANG Demotivational Poster on Youtube

Excerpts from Zombie’s Dissection of The Little Blue Book

July 20, 12

Via AosHQ, poignant excerpts from an article by Zombie at PJ Media:

The Little Blue Book: Quotations from Chairman Lakoff

A prime example of Lakoff’s ruinous recommendations can be seen in the debate over abortion, which never seems to get resolved despite a trillion words being expended on it every day. The “conservative frame,” to use Lakoff’s language, is that a fetus is a human being who has not yet been born; thus to “abort” the fetus is to kill it, which means a human being has been killed, which is tantamount to murder. In response to this frame, Lakoff recommends — a recommendation that liberals dutifully follow — that those on the left completely ignore the conservative argument, and instead “reframe” the issue with metaphors like “freedom of choice” and “women’s independence” and “reproductive rights.” All those positive words — “freedom,” “independence,” “rights” — recast the entire debate in a different light, allowing liberals to “win” the debate by not acknowledging that the opposing side has even made a statement.

According to Lakoff, liberals should in no way challenge the claim that abortion is murder; in fact, they shouldn’t even acknowledge that such a claim is being made. (True to form, Lakoff himself never mentions this position in his discussion of abortion.) But here’s the problem for Lakoff: It’s a really really convincing argument. And it’s also a concept that every woman on some gut-instinct level knows is at a minimum somewhat true, if not entirely true. Of course a fetus is human or a near-human; the only valid question (one which Lakoff forbids even asking) is when does it acquire individual human rights? Conception; birth; or somewhere in the middle?

So the Lakoffites can yap about “freedom of choice” and “women’s independence” and “reproductive rights” all day long, yet the listener will think: But you aren’t addressing the fundamental question. Is it murder? “Stop thinking in those terms,” cries Lakoff. But the public can’t stop, because the idea of abortion as murder has already been stated, and the idea of fetus as human existed even long before the modern political debates. Even if there were no Republican party, no conservative movement, a great many people would still have moral compunctions about abortion, because the controversy is rooted in biological realities, and was not fabricated out of thin air by reactionary rabble-rousers.

And this same insuperable problem bedevils every aspect of Lakoff’s thesis: Most of the countervailing “conservative” arguments he seeks to suppress are rooted in inescapable economic, biological or physical reality that can’t be euphemized out of existence, no matter how hard you try. This brings us to the fundamental difference between “progressivism” and “conservatism”: Progressives and their various ideological brethren have a deep belief that human nature and human culture are “constructed,” that there is no biological determinism, that mankind is a blank slate, and that human nature and human culture can be molded at will whichever way we want, if we just put our minds to it and manipulate the language cleverly enough; by contrast, conservatives and their various ideological brethren believe (correctly) that human nature is “innate,” not fabricated, not random, and arises from genetic realities that willpower cannot dissolve, no matter how hard we try. Furthermore, much of the misery we’ve experienced in the last century comes from futile attempts to create utopian societies by denying the immutability of human nature and attempting to change it by force.

Backfire

While Lakoff’s foolish insistence that liberals never repeat conservative frames means that conservative notions never get directly rebutted, this insistence backfires in other ways as well. Why? Because conservatives take the diametrically opposite strategy: They seize on every utterance that liberals make, and repeat their “frames” as loudly as possible to demonstrate how deceptive they are. So while liberals studiously avoid analyzing anything conservatives say, conservatives meanwhile are avidly dissecting every single thing liberals say. The end result is that conservatives, to their own satisfaction as least, successfully challenge and de-fang every liberal notion; but liberals never challenge or de-fang conservative notions, instead seeking to snuff them out with a lethal dose of Silent Treatment.

But it gets worse, because it is the very euphemisms and other ludicrous “conceptual metaphors” recommended by Lakoff which give conservatives so much grist for their mill. Every time a liberal talking head gets up and uncorks another howler in the Lakoff style, conservative fiskers and deconstructionists latch on and tear it to pieces, trumpeting it as further evidence of liberals’ cluelessness or mendacity. So not only does Lakoff recommend holding fire against conservative frames, the ammunition he saves only ends up being used against the liberals themselves.

And this man is considered their master strategist?

To show just how out of touch Lakoff is, when analyzing core conservative values on pages 50-1 of The Little Blue Book he still cites of all people James Dobson (an evangelical Christian whose political influence peaked thirty years ago in the early ’80s) as a leading conservative philosopher; even worse, to prove his “strict father conservatism” thesis, Lakoff quotes a book that Dobson wrote back in 1970 about disciplining children, as if it was relevant to the 2012 election. Rather, it’s more likely that Lakoff almost certainly knows that Dobson is now at most a minor gadfly, but he’s useful to hold up as an example of extreme social conservatism, since there are no similar current examples informing the 2012 campaign. My guess is that Lakoff first formed his theory about “strict fathers” back in the early ’80s, and his thesis remains frozen at the historical moment when Dobson and the Moral Majority lorded over America as puritanical tyrants. Or something.
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But the conservatives are way, way ahead of Lakoff, who doesn’t seem to fully grasp that an entirely new paradigm has emerged.

There’s a new frame in town: The nanny state. In a masterful maneuver of political aikido, conservatives have taken Lakoff’s antediluvian “strict father conservatism” frame and completely reversed it. Conservatism now stands for freedom from authority, while is it progressivism that seeks to implement the new scolding parent metaphor, now known as the “nanny state.” It’s liberals who want to tell you what to do and what is allowed, not conservatives.

And this frame is widely accepted by the general public not simply because of superior conservative messaging, but because there is evidence backing it up. It is mostly liberal politicians, not conservative politicians, who pass laws and regulations telling citizens what they can and cannot do, what they must and must not buy, what they are and are not allowed to say.

Who seeks to impose the “strict parent” paradigm now? Liberals. And everyone knows it. Yet still there’s George Lakoff off by his lonesome still pounding his fists about “strict father conservatives.” All the rhetoric in the world can’t hide the fact that conservatism now stands for unintrusive small government, and that progressivism stands for intrusive big government. The “nanny state” frame is so powerful and self-evidently true that it can’t be ignored away, and can’t be euphemized away.

Yes, there has long been tension within the Republican Party between social conservatives, the “strict fathers” of Lakoff’s frame, and fiscal conservatives. Long long ago, social conservatives briefly seized the spotlight and for a while got all the attention, but that seems like ancient history now. The small government/libertarian/fiscal conservative/laissez-faire/Tea Party wing of conservatism is ascendent, and this rise to power and prominence dealt a death blow to Lakoff’s “strict father” thesis. There’s been a magnetic reversal of the poles, but Lakoff’s compass is still pointing south.

Revolver-Armed Carjacker/Kidnapper Caught in Johor, Plus Other Crimes

July 16, 12

From The Star 11 July 2012:

Quick action helps cops nab car thief who drove off with woman
By YEE XIANG YUN

JOHOR BARU: Alert bystanders led to the arrest of a man who had jumped into a Mini convertible and driven off, taking its female driver with him.

A police team rushed into action and managed to rescue the woman about an hour after the incident.

The 35-year-old man was arrested and a revolver was seized from him.

State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ismail Yatim said the drama began when the 26-year-old businesswoman was getting into her car in Taman Sentosa.

The woman was believed to have just returned from a late supper.

“The man who was armed with a .38 pistol hopped into the convertible and forced her into the passenger seat.

“He then sped off with the woman still in her seat. Fortunately, we were informed by the public and immediately launched a manhunt.

“The car was found in Jalan Tampoi Lama, about 16km away. We arrested the suspect and seized a .38 Revolver along with three live bullets,” he said, adding that the victim was unhurt.

In another case, a 42-year-old man was arrested for allegedly possessing 57 rounds of ammunition and dismantled parts of four fake pistols during a raid at a house in Taman Larkin Idaman last Friday.

The suspect, who was nabbed at the house in the 4.30pm incident, was remanded for four days to facilitate investigations.

Meanwhile, a retired teacher was robbed of RM40 by a man who rushed into her house just after she had completed her morning walk.

The 71-year-old woman said she was about to close the front gate of her house in Permas Jaya when a man stopped his car in her driveway, exited the vehicle and rushed into her house.

“He then held a parang to my neck and demanded money. I gave him RM40 but he asked for more. I was about to get my purse from a nearby table, but when I turned around, he was gone,” she said.

Every State That Elected a GOP Governor in 2010 Saw a Drop In Unemployment

July 16, 12

Via AosHQ via Breitbart.com:

Kansas – 6.9% to 6.1% = a decline of 0.8%

Maine – 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

Michigan – 10.9% to 8.5% = a decline of 2.4%

New Mexico – 7.7% to 6.7% = a decline of 1.0%

Oklahoma – 6.2% to 4.8% = a decline of 1.4%

Pennsylvania – 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

Tennessee – 9.5% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.6%

Wisconsin – 7.7% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.9%

Wyoming – 6.3% to 5.2% = a decline of 1.1%

Alabama – 9.3% to 7.4% = a decline of 1.9%

Georgia – 10.1% to 8.9% = a decline of 1.2%

South Carolina – 10.6% to 9.1% = a decline of 1.5%

South Dakota – 5.0% to 4.3% = a decline of 0.7%

Florida – 10.9% to 8.6% = a decline of 2.3%

Nevada – 13.8% to 11.6% = a decline of 2.2%

Iowa – 6.1% to 5.1% = a decline of 1.0%

Ohio – 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%

On the other hand, the unemployment rate in states that elected Democrats in 2010 dropped, on average, as much as the national rate decline and, in some states such as New York, the unemployment rate has risen since January of 2011.

But remember, vote Obama and his party, because, uh, coincidence.

See also related which have tons of graphs:

Obama’s Economic Successes: A Roundup

Republican Led Economy VS Democrat Led Economy

Singapore Family Kidnapped in JB, Now Free

July 2, 12

Excerpt via NST 2 July 2012:

Singapore family returns home safely after kidnapping in Johor

By Stacey Chia

A Singaporean family is now back home safely after a kidnapping incident in Johor early on Sunday morning.

Ms Rita Zahara, 37, her sister, two children and maid were travelling back home after a family reunion at her eldest sister’s house near Larkin in Johor.

Before heading back to Singapore, slightly after midnight, Ms Rita Zahara, stopped about 40m away from some fruit stalls to buy fruits. The stalls were about 3km away from the Woodlands checkpoint. Her sister, children and maid remained in the car with the doors locked.

According to Ms Rita Zahara, she parked her car further away from the stalls, which were quite dark, as she did not want to obstruct traffic. Almost immediately, two men armed with a gun and a knife demanded that Ms Rita Zahara’s family open the door. They then drove off.

Excerpt from The Star 3 July 2012:

Hunt for man in kidnap bid
By DESIREE TRESA GASPER

JOHOR BARU: Police are looking for a man involved in the attempted kidnapping of a Singaporean family early Sunday morning.

Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Amer Awal said the suspect, believed to be armed, had driven off with the family’s Nissan Sunny after hijacking the car while the driver was buying fruits along Jalan Susur Larkin at around 12.45am on July 1.

Rita Zahara, 37, a former television journalist in Singapore, got down from the vehicle, leaving her 19-year-old sister, her two children aged 11 and six and her maid in the car.

Moments later, the kidnapper knocked on the window.

When one of the passengers unlocked the vehicle, the man jumped into the driver’s seat, threatened them with an object that looked like a pistol and drove off with them inside.

When Rita realised that her car was missing, she called her sister’s mobile phone but it was the kidnapper who answered, demanding for money in return for her family.

The negotiations went on for a few hours and the suspect finally released the group and drove off with the car and valuables worth a total of S$80,000 (RM200,000).

SAC Amer said the passengers, who were left at a residential area in Ulu Tiram, were helped by some residents there.

“None of them were hurt during the incident and the family has returned to Singapore,” he said, adding that police were on the lookout for the suspect and the stolen car with a Singaporean registration plate.

“We urge anyone with information to contact the Johor police hotline at 07-221 2999,” he said.


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