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Visit the BatesLine Op-Ed Page for today's batch of columns from TownHall, National Review, American Spectator, and the Wall Street Journal.
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Before you vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, check out...
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the Oklahoma 2014 General Election,
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Full archive of BatesLine coverage of the
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Complete coverage of SB 906 and the ongoing effort to fool the Oklahoma legislature into giving away our electoral votes by means of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact:
- Betrayal: Oklahoma Senate passes National Popular Vote bill
- Stanislawski recants National Popular Vote support
- Allen, Brecheen recant National Popular Vote support
- Oklahoma legislators invited to electoral vote "seminars" in exotic locales
- National Popular Vote's Ray Haynes lobbies Oklahoma grassroots activists
The trick is to put the special-character delimiter in single quotes, preceded by a dollar sign, per the ANSI-C quoting facility of the bash shell.
The harsh truths are delivered with foul language, but that just might be what it takes to reach its intended audience. Some expurgated highlights:
"Either you will go about the task of seeing to [the] needs [of others] by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving, and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.
"Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness -- don't those things matter? Of course. As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can't get elsewhere....
"...I'm asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don't say that you're a nice guy -- that's the bare minimum.... Saying that you're a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn't make you sick. You're like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is 'The actors are clearly visible.'...
"Because that's the step that gets skipped -- it's always 'How can I get a job?' and not 'How can I become the type of person employers want?' It's 'How can I get pretty girls to like me?' instead of 'How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?' See, because that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance, and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality....
"...Because in my non-expert opinion, you don't hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don't do anything. Not even you can just "love you for you" -- that's why you're miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.
"Do the math: How much of your time is spent consuming things other people made (TV, music, video games, websites) versus making your own? Only one of those adds to your value as a human being....
"Being in the business I'm in, I know dozens of aspiring writers. They think of themselves as writers, they introduce themselves as writers at parties, they know that deep inside, they have the heart of a writer. The only thing they're missing is that minor final step, where they actually [-------] write things....
"How many of you are walking around right now saying, 'She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!' Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can't read your mind -- they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?...
"And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It's why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.
"Also, courage. It's incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don't create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created...."
He concludes by calling on his readers to pick a skill that would be valuable to others and work hard enough at it in 2015 to get good enough to impress others. "You have nothing to lose, and the world needs you."
Brief and unsopisticated, but fairly on point. "It's nothing more than a Utopian vision: Things aren't perfect now, but when WE are in charge of them, then we can make them perfect. The fact that perfection is impossible never enters their minds.... We have a preexisting social infrastructure as a nation, and if they mean to replace it with big government, the existing structure must be destroyed. Government must be the only answer to the question 'Who takes care of the people?'... The Progressive elite, the white upper and upper middle class, they don't practice what they preach. By and large, their lives are still structured around the traditional family.... They know that the family is the key to prosperity...." A point that he missed: Families (and larger-scale mediating institutions, too, like extended families, churches, neighborhoods, small towns) offer help in the context of standards of responsible behavior -- we'll bail you out, but we expect you to change the way you live so you won't need this kind of help again. The Lefty is content to help people who continue to wallow in irresponsibility, as long as they vote to keep him in power.
"Left-wing Jews live, work, and socialize with left-wing non-Jews; and they believe that they are -- to their great regret -- identified with the Jewish state in the eyes of fellow leftists.... But with Israel's Jews repeatedly electing conservative governments, American Jews on the left believe that they must make it as clear as possible that they in no way support a right-wing Israel. Their moral self-esteem needs it and their left-wing credentials need it....
"The Left lives in John Lennon's song "Imagine." Thus, the Left imagines that if Israel completely withdrew from the West Bank and allowed a Palestinian state to be created now, it would be completely unlike Gaza and completely unlike Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and Libya; it would be a peaceful Arab Muslim island in the midst of the cruel sea of Arab Muslim countries that surrounds it."
The story of the one and only Weird Al movie, filmed in Tulsa in 1988 and released in 1989, as told through its execs and stars, including Michael Richards, Anthony Geary, Gedde Watanabe, Emo Phillips, and Weird Al himself. Topics include why they filmed in Tulsa and what they thought about the place.
A comprehensive collection of documentation for the once ubiquitous VMEbus single-board computer.
An ER Doc takes competitive parents to task:
"I know, I know. Your family is different. You do all these things because your kid loves to compete, he loves the travel basketball, she loves the swim team, it's her life, it's what defines him. Part of that is certainly true but a big part of that isn't. Tens of thousands of families thrive in this setting, but I'm telling you, from what I've seen as a clinician, tens of thousands don't. It is a hidden scourge in society today, taxing and stressing husbands, wives, parents and children. We're denying children the opportunity to explore literally thousands of facets of interests because of the fear of the need to "specialize" in something early, and that by not doing this your child will somehow be just an average kid. How do we learn to rejoice in the average and celebrate as a whole society the exceptional? I'm not sure, but I know that this whole preoccupation is unhealthy, it is dysfunctional and is as bad as alcoholism, tobacco abuse, or any other types of dependency."
"The previous year, a chain-smoking, nervous-looking Tony had been very self-critical in a Face to Face television interview with John Freeman. 'It was the biggest mistake he ever made,' Roger reflected later. 'I think it all started from that, really. Self-analysis - that was his killer.'"
Roger Hancock represented many of the prominent comedic actors and writers of the 1960s, including Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, the Monty Python team, and Terry Nation.
"Thirty years later the BBC repeated Face to Face and sent the radio psychiatrist Anthony Clare (of In the Psychiatrist's Chair fame) and me to California to film an introductory interview in which the roles were reversed. The programme was a failure. Freeman had an intimidating physical presence and a manner that combined an old-fashioned, somewhat insincere charm with his thoroughgoing put-downs: 'I'm sorry, I don't want to sound rude to you - but that's the sort of portentous question I don't think I want to answer.' As always, he gave nothing away. An old friend of his had warned me: 'John has a capacity to put up the shutters that is excelled by nobody except a shopkeeper during a time of riots.'...
"Barbara Castle travelled around the country with [Freeman], expecting him to take a lead in arguing the 'Keep Left' case to Labour supporters, but she was disappointed. 'In one stormy meeting after another he stood against the wall, almost hiding himself behind the window curtains, but did not speak. After years of studying his complex personality [on intimate terms it should be added as they were lovers] I decided he was afraid of giving himself too fully to anything or anyone. I once told him his motto ought to be "Je me sauve" ("I protect myself").'"
Perhaps best known for his 1959-1960 talk show, Freeman was a Desert Rat in World War II, was an MP after the war, a diplomat, editor of the New Statesman, High Commissioner to India, Ambassador to the United States, managing director of London Weekend Television, chairman of Independent Television News, and professor at UC Davis.
A book by the late-16th-century English preacher, author, and Cambridge fellow on the Bible's teaching about work and calling:
"Now, in every calling we must consider two causes. First, the efficient and author of it. Secondly, the final and proper end of it. The author of every calling is God Himself; and therefore Paul says, "As God has called every man, let him walk," verse 17. And for this reason, this order and manner of living in this world is called a Vocation, because every man is to live as he is called by God. For look as it is in the military camp: the General appoints to every man his place and standing; one place for the horseman and another for the footman; and to every particular soldier likewise: his office and standing in which he is to abide against the enemy, and to live and die in that place -- it is even so in human societies. God is the General, appointing to every man his particular calling, and as it were, his standing. And in that calling He assigns to him his particular office; in performance of this office he is to live and die. And just as in a camp, no soldier can depart his standing without the leave of the General, nor more may any man leave his calling unless he receives liberty from God. Again, in a clock, made by the art and handiwork of man, there are many wheels, and every one has its several motions -- some turn this way, some that way, some go softly, some apace -- they are all ordered by the motion of the watch. Behold here a notable resemblance to God's special providence over mankind, which is the watch of the great world, allotting to every man his motion and calling; and in that calling, his particular office and function. Therefore what I say is true, that God Himself is the author and beginning of callings."
The book was typed, formatted, and spelling modernized by William H. Gross of OnTheWing,org
A word of encouragement from 1936 that deserves frequent review:
"Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job -- in fact, he had asked for it -- but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so -- if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start -- was there any sense in starting it? 'Ah,' the Lord said, 'you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.'...
"The certainty that the Remnant will find him, however, leaves the prophet as much in the dark as ever, as helpless as ever in the matter of putting any estimate of any kind upon the Remnant; for, as appears in the case of Elijah, he remains ignorant of who they are that have found him or where they are or how many. They did not write in and tell him about it, after the manner of those who admire the vedettes of Hollywood, nor yet do they seek him out and attach themselves to his person. They are not that kind. They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard -- that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions....
"Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centered in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. "
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