What’s My Metric?

In a comment to Oh, I Thought I’d Answered That, Joe Huffman misunderstands the point of the post:

Then your measure of how our ideals are better is, in essence, a vote of sorts. That so many want to be here, that our armies were not feared when they marched into a conquered city.

And my devils advocate response is, “What makes you think voting proves anything?”

Joe had asked by what scale I measured the superiority of the Western, particularly American philosophy. Err, no, Joe. It’s not voting that’s the metric, it’s the pursuit of happyness.

Joe says:

I want a number or set of numbers. I want science to answer the question of what type of society is best. Using this measure we can more easily compare and perhaps explore new society types that have not yet been tried.

The best number I can come up with is a measurement of the ability of of individuals to pursue their happiness.

I remember seeing a sentence carefully painted in large blue block letters on the white wall of an Assemblies of God church building: “Happiness is Submission to God”. Here in America, if that’s what floats your boat… On the vacuous side, “He who dies with the most toys – WINS!” America is the place where you get to pursue your happiness, and its success – spiritual, material, financial, medical, and all other metrics – is all related to that. People achieve the most when free to pursue their personal desires. I thought the quote from Dinesh D’Souza’s piece was the key, which is why I put it first.

It’s not what people vote to come to, it’s what they do once they’re here. Check the numbers.

My 2ยข On the Kerry Kerfuffle.

Everyone else has had something to say, and on top of that, everyone is entitled to my opinion, so here goes:

Initially, all I saw was the YouTube video clip of Kerry’s idiotic statement. My immediate response was the same as pretty much everyone who was not an apparatchik of the Democrat Party – he was insulting the intelligence and education of the troops serving in Iraq.

It was not until later that I heard the context of the comment, specifically what he had said immediately prior to the insertion of his foot into his mouth past the knee. I’ve searched the interweb high and low for the sentences that preceeded those words,and haven’t found them, which I find fascinating in itself. However, this afternoon on the way home I was listening to the local Christian radio station – they carry the Hugh Hewitt show. Their newscast, which I have no reason to doubt, related that just prior, Kerry had made comments about having just been in Texas, and other comments about Bush having lived there. Given that preface, I can believe that he unintentionally left out one, critical word: “us.” As in:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get us stuck in Iraq.”

Arrogant as he is, I don’t think even Kerry would deliberately say something that stupid in a speech, in front of cameras.

It was, I think, a Freudian slip. I’m convinced that he thinks that way, and that’s what caused the slip. Given what he’s said in the past, I don’t think he respects military personnel at all.

On top of that, the intended joke was the height of lame. The thing that came immediately to mind after his first protestations of meaning the joke as an insult to Bush was, “So, if you don’t study hard, do your homework, and make an effort to be smart, you get to be a two-term President?” Who’s he insulting there?

No, either way John Kerry is merely exhibiting what I see as the overwhelming condescension the Democrat party holds towards those who disagree with it:


UPDATE: Via Dr. Sanity: