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.
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.
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.
Archive for the ‘Words’ Category
Good and sensible insights by Nobel Prize for Economics winner and supply-side economist, Milton Friedman.
Of note is his Permanent income hypothesis, which states that consumers buy not based on their current income, but on their expected long-term income.
That is, they plan ahead. This is why short-term ‘gifts’ and ‘freebies’ like one-time Stimuluses fail to boost the economy (see graphs here), whereas long-term tax cuts succeed (see paeans to Reaganomics at here, here, here, and a bit at here).
10 Of The Best Economics Quotes From Milton Friedman
8.) “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
7) “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union — like public housing in the United States — look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”
5) “When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.”
4) “Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.”
2) “The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly — whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.”
1) “(T)he supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number — for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs — jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”
And more via Townhall.com on his 103rd birthday:
20) “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
19) “Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.”
18) “It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.”
14) “Two major arguments are offered for introducing socialized medicine in the United States: first, that medical costs are beyond the means of most Americans; second that socialization will somehow reduce costs. The second can be dismissed out of hand — at least until someone can find some example of an activity that is conducted more economically by the government than private enterprise. As to the first, the people of the country must pay the costs one way or the other; the only question is whether they pay them directly on their own behalf, or indirectly through the mediation of government bureaucrats who will subtract a substantial slice for their own salaries and expenses.”
10) “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent – William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged – but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”
8) “I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere.”
7)“We economists don’t know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.”
6) “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”
5) “Workers paying taxes today can derive no assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits from when they retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one sided ‘compact between the generations,’ foisted on generations that cannot give their consent, is a very different thing from a ‘trust fund.’ It is more like a chain letter.”
4) “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”
3) “Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”
1) “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”
As always from Mark Steyn, a very good read on America’s decline in world power and standing. Tons of quotable quotes. Via AoSHQ.
Selected excerpts from The Case for Pessimism follow:
– if you’re on an Indian Ocean island when the next tsunami hits, try calling Libya instead of the United States for help and see where it gets you.
– the preeminent economic power on the planet will be a one-party state with a Communist Politburo and a largely peasant population, no genuine market, no human rights, no property rights, no rule of law, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom of association.
– The politico-media class of this country seems to think it entirely normal that we should spend two months in tense, difficult, painstaking negotiations over how to go seven billion steps forward—and then breezily spend 20 minutes going 447 billion steps backwards.
– Today, the government of the United States borrows $2 billion every 11 hours. We could have 220 Savings and Loan scandals for the cost of the Obama jobs bill. We could have 500 Savings and Loan scandals for the cost of one Obama stimulus package. We could have 850 Savings and Loan scandals for the cost of this year’s budget deficit.
– Here’s another example of the kinds of dollars that are being thrown around now. The Obama administration’s $38.6 billion clean-technology program was supposed to “create or save 65,000 jobs.” Half the money has been spent, $17.2 billion, and we have 3,545 jobs to show for it. That works out to an impressive $4,851,904.09 per green job created. A world record! People say America can’t be number one anymore, but mister, we’re number one at this. The previous world record was held by Spanish taxpayers who subsidized every job on a solar panel assembly line to the tune of $800,000 per post. I’ll bet Spain thought that record was safe for a couple of years. Not so fast, amigos. The American taxpayers took it and sextupled it—not $800,000 per green job, but $4,800,000 per green job. I’d like to see those cheeseparing Spaniards reclaim that record any time soon!
-Now consider the people who went rampaging through the streets this summer in London. These are the children of dependency, people who have been marinated in stimulus within an inch of their lives, and they’re good for nothing but lobbing concrete through store windows so they can steal the latest models of electronic toys. … These are the great-grandchildren of a tiny island that stood alone against the Germans during the Blitz in that terrible year after the fall of France. If those Britons of mid-century were to come back, they would assume they had landed in some bizarro alternative universe—until, like Charlton Heston rounding the corner and seeing the shattered Statue of Liberty poking up out of the sands, they realize that the Planet of the Apes is their own. The evil of big government is not that it is a waste of money, but that it lays waste to people.
– Israelis are on the military call-up list until 55—or about the age a Greek hairdresser gets to retire on full salary. … Israel implemented the terms of the Oslo accords, and in return Israelis got an Arafatist terror squat on their Eastern flank, suicide bombers on their buses, Iranian proxies to their north and west—and, in the wider world, isolation, demonization and delegitimization accompanied by a resurgent and ever more respectable anti-Semitism.
– Washington and its geriatric EU allies wanted the Copenhagen climate change deal in 2009, the biggest exercise in punitive liberalism ever mounted, an embryo exercise in global government. Brazil and India joined with China to block it. It’s a mark of the perversity of the age that it takes the Politburo to save global capitalism.
-For as the past few years have taught us, the great thing about the United States is that it is not Europe. When the economy headed south in 2008 and 2009, everywhere around the planet, people besieged their parliaments, asking them, “Why didn’t you, the government, do more for us?” They did it in Iceland. They did it in Bulgaria. They did it in Lithuania. They did it in Greece. They did it in the United Kingdom. They did it in France. The United States is the only country in the world where a mass movement took to the streets in 2009 to say we could do just fine if you, the government, stayed the hell out of our pockets and the hell out of our lives.
– Every time Barack Obama stands at his teleprompter and is forced to pretend that he’s interested in deficit reduction, we have taken a step toward that Milton Friedman reality. You have to create the conditions, as the Tea Party and the town hall meetings did, whereby the wrong people are forced to do the right things.
“Ride My Dragon”
(The WarSong of the UnDaunted DeathFury)
A Heavy Metal Epic in Three Movements
Steven “Little Stevie” Weber
Ocala Regional Middle School
Mrs. Noonan’s “Creative Expressions” Class
War-drums echo over the Orcish plain
the giants bludgeoning each other
their froth-flecked teeth are bared
stuck knee deep in sludge, begin to spatter
the tiny people at their feet with blood, bile and bilge
Ride My Dragon
Yeahhhh, Ride My Dragon, baby
Well My Dragon can take a mount baby
and it might as well be you.
It might as well be you.
Werewolf knights charge on raging bearsharks
The population has just come to
Eleven vile virgins scream in ecstasy
those most adept at hurling invective-laced loogies
are doing so with bewilderingly less commitment
and a significant decrease in phlegm
Well Ride My Dragon Baby
Yeahh-eahh, Ride That Dragon Baby
Well My Dragon Can seat two baby
So you might as well bring a friend.
Yeah, baby, you can bring a friend.
the Old Guard has collected its booty
(Ride that Dragon)
in a stained pillow case and simply gone AWOL
(Ride it, ride it)
every volley of vitriol seems to slow in midair
(no I don’t like it when you play with my a$$)
and fall to the ground with a tinny clatter
(I didn’t say I was mad, I just said stop)
Ride my Dragon, Baby
Whoahhh, Ride that Dragon Baby
You got a pretty nest in your girl-forest
Where my weary Dragon can rest his head.
Yeah, My Dragon needs to rest his head.
Deep in the dark oblivion of spite, and/or Mordor
(Ride on, ride on)
I spy a light at the end of the Halliburton-constructed tunnel
(Grind on, grind on)
deceptively drawling ferocity
(Lay down, lay — what? what did he say?)
a neutron bomb of change is about to detonate
(is this guy making no sense or is it just me?)
formerly fertile fields of fetid fibbery
(wow. just… wow)
Well Pet My Dragon baby
Stroke that Dragon — right under his chin. Yeah.
Well My Dragon’s about to spit fire
You might want to shield your eyes.
Yeah baby, you might need to shield your eyes.
[quiet, slow fade; whisper:]
Cover your eyes baby
Cover your eyes
Warned you about that.
[hold on last note; end]
Actually does sound like the kind of stuff Megadeth sings. (And I still think that era of double entredes was more creative than today’s R&B “I think you sexay let’s f***” direct lyrics.)
Throughout my entertainment experience, I’ve come across a few speeches that stuck with me for their way with words – that is, a combination of the actual words used and the way they are delivered.
Here are my favourites:
Starcraft – Arcturus Mengsk’s Coronation Speech
I’ve covered this before, with screenshots, but here it is again. That time the transcript was done personally by ear.
Fellow Terrans, I come to you in the wake of recent events to issue a call to reason. Let no human deny the perils of our time.
While we battle one another, divided by the petty strife of our common history, the tide of a greater conflict is turning against us, threatening to destroy all that we have accomplished.
It is time for us as nations and as individuals to set aside our long-standing feuds and unite! The tides of an unwinnable war are upon us, and we must seek refuge upon higher ground, lest we be swept away by the flood.
The Confederacy is no more. Whatever semblance of unity and protection it once provided is a phantom; a memory. With our enemies left unchecked, who will you turn to for protection?
The devastation wrought by the alien invaders is self-evident. We have seen our homes and communities destroyed by the calculated blows of the Protoss. We have seen firsthand our friends and loved ones consumed by the nightmarish Zerg. Unprecedented and unimaginable though they may be, these are the signs of our time.
The time has come, my fellow Terrans, to rally to a new banner. In unity lies strength; already many of the dissident factions have joined us. Out of the many, we shall forge an indivisible whole, capitulating only to a single throne!
And from that throne… I… Shall watch over you.
From this day forward, let no human make war upon any other human. Let no Terran agency conspire against this new beginning. And let no man consort with alien powers. And to all the enemies of humanity, seek not to bar our way, for we shall win through… No matter the cost.”
Especially like: The way Mengsk’s Southern accented speech slowly increases in intensity, until And from that throne… Whereupon the music cuts off for a truly regal sounding I shall watch over you. Said like a true emperor. It’s easy to see how he managed to turn most of the former Confederacy to his side (along with judicious propaganda and black ops).
The Lord of the Rings – Kings Théoden’s Arise, Riders of Theoden
Specifically, from The Return of the King as the the Rohirrim prepare to (what looks to be suicide) charge against Sauron’s armies besieging Minas Tirith.
Forth, and fear no darkness!
Arise! Arise, Riders of Theoden! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered!
A sword day. A red day. ‘Ere the sun rises!
Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride to ruin and the world’s ending!
Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)
Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)
Death! (Rohirrim echo: Death!)
Especially like: The first few times I watched Théoden say ‘Ere the sun rises!, I found it powerful and inspiring – almost optimistic. Although re-watching it I don’t seem to find it as powerful as I remember, it still strikes a chord somewhat.
And of course, the way he manages to rile up his berserker Vikings to gleefully embrace Death!.
Contrast this to Aragorn’s speech at The Battle at the Black Gate:
Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers.
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day!
This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!
It’s actually much more of an actual ‘speech’ than Théoden’s ad-hoc rallying cry, but the way Aragorn delivers it in the film is rather lacking.
Bioshock 2 – Andrew Ryan’s Journey to the Surface
Not a single speech per se, but rather several short narrations to mechanically-animated museum displays. Taken together, they can be read as one whole piece of propaganda.
The title makes me think of an adventure along the lines of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon or A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Actually a more descriptive title would be Reasons Why the Surface World Sucks (Because of Parasites).
I am Andrew Ryan. Welcome to Ryan Amusements. Please, enjoy the park.
Why, hello there, my name is Andrew Ryan. I built the city of Rapture for children just like you, because the world above had become unfit for us. But here, beneath the ocean, it is natural to wonder if the danger has passed, if those we left behind will ever come to their senses. So, let us imagine, you and I, what might befall us… On the surface.
On the surface, the farmer tills the soil, trading the strength of his arm for a home and lands of his own. But the parasites say NO! What is yours is ours! We are the state, we are God, we demand our share.
The Parasite makes nothing for itself. Its only tools are taxes and tithes, meant to trick you into offering what it has not earned. In Rapture, we keep what is ours.
On the surface, the scientist invests the power of his mind in a single miraculous idea and naturally begins to rise above his fellows. But the parasites say NO! Discovery must be regulated! It must be controlled and finally surrendered.
On the surface, an artist strives to frame his ideals in an image, to challenge his audience and make his vision immortal. But the parasites say NO! Your art must serve the cause! Your ideals endanger the people!
Lacking its own ingenuity, the Parasite fears the visionary. What it cannot plagiarize, it seeks to censor; what it cannot regulate, it seeks to ban. Rapture was founded on an idea, and here they are held inviolate.
On the surface, your parents sought a private life, using their great talents to provide for you. They learned to twist the lies of church and government, believing themselves masters of the system. But the parasites said NO! The child has a duty! He’ll go to war and die for the nation.
Unable to provide for itself, the need of the Parasite grows until war is made to justify it. Your parents brought you to Rapture, where you need never fear the Parasites again. So you see, there is no place for you on the surface, but you may bring the world to you! If you know someone who belongs in Rapture, write a letter to the Ryan Industries mailroom. And you never know! The next new face… might be familiar.
Especially like: Each time the giant Hand of the Parasite appears to a resounding NO!!!, which is progressively more ominous with each display in the series.
If Journey to the Surface were taken in isolation as all that we knew about the world outside Rapture, Andrew Ryan’s Randian objectivist disdain towards the taxing, redistributing world above would be quite convincing.
I often object on factual or ideological grounds to the columnists in The Star, but when I read this piece I was taken aback by the sheer presentation.
The odd sentence structure, the schizophrenic swapping between singular/plural, the overall clunkiness of the prose!
Excerpts from The Star 22 July 2011 – When great nations go broke and my remarks which follow. See what I mean…
And in a third country, the government is in a tussle with its elected representatives as the country hurdles towards defaulting on its US$14.5tril (RM43.4tril) debt.
The term is hurtles, not hurdles. Though I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that the process is full of obstacles that have to be jumped.
The British claimed the industrial revolution as its own and is rightly credited for turning manufacturing into becoming the mainstay of the global economy.
The British is plural, but is referred to as the singular its.
Turning = Becoming, why the redundacy? Read the whole sentence out loud and hear how clunky it is.
It is now a shadow of its glory days and at best is the rabble rousers in the European Union (EU) zone. Gone are its colonies in every far-flung corner of the world that kept its super economy running.
Again, first it denotes singular, then rabbles rousers turns it into plural.
And like, what kind of, y’know, languageyness is, like, super economy? Like, let’s go shopping!
Now the British have even got to putting for sale its huge Chancery in Kuala Lumpur because it would be cheaper for the High Commission to operate out of a commercial building.
Singular becomes plural again.
As for the United States, wasn’t it the leader of the free world and the fatherland of industrialisation where hardwork is always rewarded with ample financial gain?
Goodness. The above sounds like a bad parody of Nineteen Eighty-Four Newspeak.
Go to the website http://www.usdebtclock.org/ and you will get the real time feeling of how much the land of the brave and free owe the rest of the world.
Sigh, again with the singular and plural.
The land as the subject here is singular, so you’re supposed to use owes. ‘The brave and the free’ would be plural if used by itself.
It will probably take hundreds of PhD thesis to explain what went wrong for these three nations but suffice to say that successive governments did not do enough to prevent their economies from falling into such a dark hole.
On top of that politics has played a strong role in pushing these economies into even darker places.
What is the plural of thesis?
Much of my gripe is with the terms used. So… Unimaginative. I just feel there are so many better choices of words or metaphors that could be used. Like in the above case, ‘a fiscal black hole’ or ‘a financial Sisyphean pit’ would be more interesting choices than ‘such a dark hole’.
And when a fancy metaphor is used, it seems shoehorned in at an awkward angle.
Finally, on the factual side, any layperson should be able to see what went wrong: Far too much government spending. (In fact, read on and witness teh hypocrisy!!!1one!)
But wasn’t it their foolhardiness that brought Greece to this position in the first place.
Where did the question mark at the end get lovelessly flung to?
The same can be said of Ireland, Spain, Portugal and many of the old eastern block countries.
The term is Eastern Bloc. No ‘k’ at the end. Good grief!
As for the United States, the rivalry of Republicans and Demo-crats is threatening to send the world into possibly the biggest depression ever as there is less than 10 days left before America defaults on that huge debt.
10 days left is plural and so demands ‘are’, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt again that he means a ‘period of less than 10 days’. But Demo hyphen crats?
The Republicans, who control the House of Representatives are refusing to approve President Barack Obama’s proposed budget on the debt ceiling because they claim it would hurt the American economy (read the rich).
I’m bashing the grammar and language here, not the politics, but I can’t let this just slide.
The USA is $17 trillion in debt, and Obama refuses to consider meaningful cuts in spending. And what budget plan proposed by Obama? It’s the Republicans who are the ones proposing plans while Obama hides in a corner!
As for whether the economy or the rich would benefit from debt reduction, see plentiful graphs here and read Thomas Sowell’s piece here. While for just who the rich really are cosy with, see GORDON GEKKO IS A DEMOCRAT.
In any case, liberal-leaning pieces are run of the mill for The Star.
Yes, surprisingly our country’s debt is not a huge mountain as some people would like us to believe, but what is worrying is the lack of support for efforts to reduce it further.
A sure way of doing it is by reducing subsidies.
Liberal-leaning is one, and hypocrisy is another.
If you follow Wong Sai Wan’s reasoning, the Republicans are the real meanies who would rather default than hurt their rich pals. (Conveniently, no mention of the fact that the insane US debt threatening the default is caused by massively wasteful spending.)
Meanwhile, reduce subsidies to save Malaysia!
And recall, just a short while ago the claim was that ‘hundreds of PhD thesis’ (sic) would be needed to find out why the Greek, British and American economies are in trouble!
What a shill.
The most popular comments against Malaysia’s spending cuts has been to ask the Government to reduce the leakages before even thinking of cutting back on subsidies.
Comments = plural.
Has = used for singular.
What a hack.
> Executive editor Wong Sai Wan has been through three recessions and fears the fourth the most.
Yes, because with this shoddy level of writing, we all know who is already marked for downsizing.
Don’t think the overall quality of writing is that bad? Go briefly read that piece by Thomas Sowell again and then come back to Wong Sai Wan’s piece.
The contrast is startling.
UPDATE: Okay, some of his other work is much better. It makes me wonder if today’s piece was actually slapped ghost written by an intern and he slapped his name on it for appropriation.
What Netanhayu says makes perfect, logical sense to me. But of course, there are hundreds of millions in the world who will not accept the two state solution simply, because.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s epic speech before Congress
We’ve already seen the beginnings of what is possible. In the last two years, the Palestinians have begun to build a better life for themselves. Prime Minister Fayad has led this effort. I wish him a speedy recovery from his recent operation. We’ve helped the Palestinian economy by removing hundreds of barriers and roadblocks to the free flow of goods and people. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. The Palestinian economy is booming. It’s growing by more than 10% a year.
Palestinian cities look very different today than they did just a few years ago. They have shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, banks. They even have e-businesses. This is all happening without peace. Imagine what could happen with peace. Peace would herald a new day for both peoples. It would make the dream of a broader Arab-Israeli peace a realistic possibility.
So now here is the question. You have to ask it. If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us? Because all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state. Myself included. So why has peace not been achieved? Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.
You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews said yes. The Palestinians said no. In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers, to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War.
They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.
My friends, this must come to an end. President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said – “I will accept a Palestinian state”. It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say – “I will accept a Jewish state”.
Jews from around the world have a right to immigrate to the Jewish state. Palestinians from around the world should have a right to immigrate, if they so choose, to a Palestinian state. This means that the Palestinian refugee problem will be resolved outside the borders of Israel.
As for Jerusalem, only a democratic Israel has protected freedom of worship for all faiths in the city. Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel. I know that this is a difficult issue for Palestinians. But I believe with creativity and goodwill a solution can be found.
In recent years, Israel withdrew from South Lebanon and Gaza. But we didn’t get peace. Instead, we got 12,000 thousand rockets fired from those areas on our cities, on our children, by Hezbollah and Hamas. The UN peacekeepers in Lebanon failed to prevent the smuggling of this weaponry. The European observers in Gaza evaporated overnight. So if Israel simply walked out of the territories, the flow of weapons into a future Palestinian state would be unchecked. Missiles fired from it could reach virtually every home in Israel in less than a minute. I want you to think about that too. Imagine that right now we all had less than 60 seconds to find shelter from an incoming rocket. Would you live that way? Would anyone live that way? Well, we aren’t going to live that way either.
And Hamas is not a partner for peace. Hamas remains committed to Israel’s destruction and to terrorism. They have a charter. That charter not only calls for the obliteration of Israel, but says ‘kill the Jews wherever you find them’. Hamas’ leader condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden and praised him as a holy warrior. Now again I want to make this clear. Israel is prepared to sit down today and negotiate peace with the Palestinian Authority. I believe we can fashion a brilliant future of peace for our children. But Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by the Palestinian version of Al Qaeda.
So I say to President Abbas: Tear up your pact with Hamas, Sit down and negotiate! Make peace with the Jewish state! And if you do, I promise you this. Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. It will be the first to do so.
He’s so quick on the draw, he even used an attempted dirsuption by a pro-Hamas Code Pinko to contrast true democracy and democracy-pretending despotism!
To the tune of It’s My Party (And I’ll Cry If I Want To)
It’s my birthday and I’ll swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
You would swear too, if it happened to you
Everyone knows where RPK has gone
He’s thrown into Kamunting jail
He’ll be held there for two years
No trial, no charges, no bail
It’s my birthday and I’ll swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
You would swear too, if it happened to you
One by one people are caught in their raids
We already know BN’s style
Til Petra’s blogging and free
I’ve got no reason to smile
It’s my birthday and I’ll swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
You would swear too, if it happened to you
Na-na na-na-na, na-na na-na-na
Syed Azi, Tan Hoon Cheng, Teresa Kok
They’ve been released at long last
Now Namewee’s facing the charge
But Ahmad gets a free pass (WTF?!)
Swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
You would swear too, if it happened to you
Swear if I want to
Swear if I want to
You would swear too, if it happened to you
And my selection of the most snarky and piercing quotes:
From her speech:
But you know, if they wanna get rid of overbearing, out of touch despots… Could we start with Janet Napolitano?
Mubarak supports US policy, used his army to fight Islamic terrorists, and he recognized Israel’s right to exist. Or as liberals call it: Three strike and you’re out.
In some pro-Ahmadinejad districts the voting was over 100%… Oh no, wait, I’m sorry – I was thinking of Al Franken’s election in Minnesota.
But Egyptians take to the streets and start decapitating mummies, and Obama says “We hear your voices.” He hears their voices? He couldn’t even hear our voices and we were protesting on the streets on Washington D.C.!
For 50 years, Democrats have harbored traitors, hobnobbed with America’s enemies, attacked America’s allies, lost wars, lost continents to Communism… As Joe McCarthy put it, if they were merely stupid, the laws of probability would dictate that at least some of their decisions served the interests of the United States.
Under mean, divisive George Bush, a nuclear sub was named after Jimmy Carter – the USS Jimmy Carter. It’s a good sub, but there were some problems – its periscope works only in hindsight, life rafts are subject to hyperinflation, and whenever it’s in a US port it immediately attacks the United States.
For the young people in the audience, now you know why when people compare Obama to Jimmy Carter, it’s not a compliment.
[Obama] got into office and immediately turned over our healthcare to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now, those interminable lines at the DMV, imagine you’re standing in one of the lines but this time you’re in one of those hospital gowns that’s open in the back – that’s Obamacare!
Obama says the price of health insurance will come down if only it’s mandatory. It’s like the guy has never ordered food from a hotel before. When you have no choice, does the price go up or down?
And now Republicans are gonna have to repeal national healthcare just so we can find out what’s not in it.
I love this argument that we need a ‘path to citizenship’. Path to citizenship – we have a path to citizenship, it’s called legal immigration.
From her question and answer session (which has more serious discussion than her for-amusement speech):
Q: What is more important though to American values – being friends with Israel still, or knowing that there are jailed dissidents and journalists?
A: ……….What do you mean, knowing that there are journalists? I think there should be MORE jailed journalists! [Said with a completely straight face!]
Ann: That’s why you need an observant electorate – very bad for the Democrats, very good for the Republicans.
Ann: Don’t be like a politician and take a poll and then decide what your position is – the truth is inherently appealing.
Q: Who is your least favourite Democrat?
A: Oh boy! That’s like asking my least favourite disease!
Ann: And by the way, congratulations liberals, you just about destroyed the black family with these brilliant promotions of single motherhood policies.
Ann: I was always friend of the gays… Then liberals come with this idea no one’s thought of for a thousand years – gay marriage. And I go to sleep one night being friend of the gays, I wake up the next day [a] homophobe! No! You can’t do that – you just made up this gay marriage thing.
Ann: [Gay marriage] has nothing to do with [liberals] liking gays – they don’t mind their little pals the Islamic terrorists dropping walls on gays. No, only to use gays as a cat’s paw to attack the family. Because liberals want the family destroyed, they want religion destroyed, because then you have loyalty directly to the state.
Ann: God is saying to gays what He said to Abraham – give up something you love for Me. That’s a tough cross to bear and I admire gays who do it.
Ann: The left is trying to co-opt gays and I don’t think we should let them. They should be on our side – we’re for low taxes, we’re against crime, we’re against the terrorists who wanna kill gays. Gays are natural conservatives.
See also two years’ worth at Ann Coulter’s Most Piercing and Snarky Quotes of 2010 & 2011.
Cussing warning, but here’s some excerpts with * inserts into the cussing by me:
Oh, you’d be surprised, Chris.
But a lot of things surprise you, don’t they?
That’s the advantage of being a f*cking retard. The constant surprise and amazement at the unexpected glory of life.
Wet Work really sucked. I need you to understand this. At no point was I entertained, nor did I believe the book at all. It was about some kind of rich fat f*ck (that part I believed: Write what you know) going all Rambo and sh*t on some drug smugglers or some other trite villain.
When I say I put it down like six times before powering through this slight, annoying, noxious little fart of a book, I need you to understand: I finished American Psycho after putting it down only four times.
Just saying, Gee, it’s not like he got his book deal based on his connection to his father or anything.
It’s just he’s a real fucking talent and sh*t.
How, Rara Avis, do you do it? You’re like playing four-dimensional chess with the written word. You’re like playing chess like… well, like it’s a f*cking symphony, and you’re a maestro, except not a real maestro, but a maestro who moves chess pieces in between writing crappy lurid wannabe potboilers…