So the Democrats Pushed the Button

They detonated the “nuclear option” and, violating the rules of the Senate, violated the rules of the Senate.

Over at someone asked the inevitable question:

The U.S. Senate Democrats have enacted the “Nuclear Option” for many judicial and executive branch nominations. What do you think of this?

My answer:

What do I think? 

I think what the Democrats thought in 2005:

They were right then.  Fascinating that they’ve all changed their minds now.

They’re so certain they’re right, that Progressivism is the equivalent of salvation and any opposition to it is evil, they practice…

…politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the  human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for  it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various  socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion,  which our future historian calls “politicism”. In all its forms, it  defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on  characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control:  ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal  relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies.  To be on the correct side of this equation is considered full moral  justification in and of itself, while no courtesy or concession can be  afforded to those on the other. Therefore, politicism has no conscience whatsoever, no charity, and no mercy.

It’s taken us two and a quarter centuries to get to this point, but the Republic is finally dead.  We’ve finally achieved “democracy,” which John Adams warned:

…while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy.  Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and  murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.

A Thumbnail History of the Twentieth Century

Welcome to the Twenty-First.  Fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Bill Whittle – The Hammer of Reality


So, there’s just one question here: are these people really so incredibly dense, out of touch, incompetent and downright delusional to think that all this was going to work, or was it destined to fail from the beginning in order to destroy the private insurance market and leave us nothing but the single payer utopia that gives progressives a thrill up their legs?

Good question.

Thomas Sowell Calls Them “The Anointed”

I ran across an interesting essay today.  Published at, it’s entitled Blame Rich, Overeducated Elites as Our Society Frays. Excerpt:

Complex human societies, including our own, are fragile. They are held together by an invisible web of mutual trust and social cooperation. This web can fray easily, resulting in a wave of political instability, internal conflict and, sometimes, outright social collapse.

Or, as the GeekWithA.45 put it some time back, “Entire societies can and have gone stark raving batshit fucking insane.”

How does growing economic inequality lead to political instability? Partly this correlation reflects a direct, causal connection. High inequality is corrosive of social cooperation and willingness to compromise, and waning cooperation means more discord and political infighting. Perhaps more important, economic inequality is also a symptom of deeper social changes, which have gone largely unnoticed.

Increasing inequality leads not only to the growth of top fortunes; it also results in greater numbers of wealth-holders. The “1 percent” becomes “2 percent.” Or even more. There are many more millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires today compared with 30 years ago, as a proportion of the population.

Rich Americans tend to be more politically active than the rest of the population. They support candidates who share their views and values; they sometimes run for office themselves. Yet the supply of political offices has stayed flat (there are still 100 senators and 435 representatives — the same numbers as in 1970). In technical terms, such a situation is known as “elite overproduction.”

Please read the whole essay, it’s not long.

The gist of it is what Thomas Sowell observed back when he wrote Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulations as a Basis for Social Policy.  (OK, one more quote from the piece):

A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions.

The “elite” and “elite-wannabes” are what Sowell refers to as “the Anointed.” They’re better than the rest of us because they went to the right schools and know the right people. As that quote from Sultan Knish in the header of this blog says, they 

…see themselves as the individuals who have been ‘liberated’ to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it’s because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it’s because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem.

Eric Hoffer observed about such people, they end up as government bureaucrats, bunny inspectors – overeducated mid-level functionaries angry at their lot in life and willing to take it out on the “great unwashed” public. And “Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.”  Listen to what he told Eric Sevareid:

The author of the piece doesn’t forecast systemic social collapse, but he does predict – well, one last excerpt:

We should expect many years of political turmoil, peaking in the 2020s. And because complex societies are much more fragile than we assume, there is a chance of a catastrophic failure of some kind, with a default on U.S. government bonds being among the less frightening possibilities.

Isn’t that cheerful news.

And now you understand why gun and ammo sales have been astronomical for the last five years.  “Less frightening,” indeed.

Well, They Finally Found Rising Gun Violence Statistics SOMEWHERE…

…other than Chicago, that is.

In PG-13 movies.

When the first “Die Hard” and “Terminator” movies landed in theaters in the 1980s, both were rated R. But their sequels arrived with PG-13 marks — even though the level of violence had actually escalated.

Critics have blasted Hollywood’s movie ratings for years, claiming that the Motion Picture Assn. of America takes a prudish view of sex and foul language but a very liberal one when it comes to mayhem and bloodshed.

A new report provides strong evidence for that critique, concluding that gunplay has tripled within PG-13 films since 1985, the first full year the rating was used. Last year, PG-13 films were actually more violent than films rated R.

Researchers found that 94% of the highest-grossing films since 1985 had one or more sequences containing violence. Of those 396 films, gunplay has tripled within the PG-13 rating, while it remained flat or declined in films rated G, PG and R.

And, of course, this cinematic violence is responsible for school shootings:

In addition to quantifying the accelerating levels of violence in blockbuster movies aimed at children and teens, the report also addressed the effect this kind of cinematic bloodshed can have on young moviegoers, which several other investigations have shown can increase hostile behavior.

“The presence of guns in films also provides youth with scripts on how to use guns,” the report said. “In addition, children no longer need to go to movie theaters to see films; films are readily available on the Internet or cable. Thus, children much younger than 13 years can easily view films that contain ample gun violence.”

As The Onion put it,

How else are children going to learn to shoot while jumping sideways?

GeekWithA.45 on Health Care “Reform”

He left this as a comment to yesterday’s QotD, but it’s too important just to leave there:

I’ve said it before. The pre-Obamacare healthcare market was already distorted by perverse, unnatural market forces, and that this sort of problem whose root cause was complexity was not going to be solved by adding additional complexity to it.

The only thing additional complexity would do would be to shake things up, find a new set of winners and losers, and generally cost everyone.

Coming off my yearly engagement with the think tanks, I’ve heard, for the first time, a series of data points coming from hospital CEOs that add up to one thing: the admission that exercising a hospital’s primary function is no longer a source of value and revenue, it is viewed as entirely cost, risk, and liability. Consequently, they are no longer building any capacity, and are in fact looking for ways to reduce their capacity and eliminate hospital beds.

The aging boomers are gonna love that when it comes home to roost.

Again, I think it bears repeating: the healthcare industry now views exercising its particular expertise and primary function as primarily a source of cost, risk, and liability.

That, as they say, isn’t sustainable.

In desperation, they’re looking to preventative care across their collective “healthcare community” (defined by what?) to save them, but at the end of the day, preventative medicine comes down to 3 things: “Don’t smoke, don’t be obese, and get a checkup once a year, do what doc says if they find something”. That will get them something, but not a whole lot. Humans being what they are, horsehair shirts never work.

The dark portent dripped across the whole thing is, of course, the premise that any lifestyle choice that potentially affects health becomes a matter of public policy, because it’s now a matter of public expense.

Welcome to the endarkenment, a peculiar state of nature.

I’m going to close this post with a quote from the Starship Nostromo’s AI “Mother”:

“The option to override detonation procedure has now expired.”

American healthcare is all over but the screaming.