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MNF | Main | Top Headline Comments 11-20-12
November 19, 2012

Overnight Open Thread (11-19-2012)

So how about a palate cleanser of....

Some Juicy Liberal Schadenfreude: Peace Corp Guilt

Esther Katcoff is a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay and apparently a well-meaning, compassionate person who just wants to help people. And I think you're all aware of the magnitude of harm this kind of person can inflict on those whose lives they decide to improve. But this isn't about them - it's about Esther and her guilt problem.

Because being a bien pensant liberal means feeling guilty about everything - even guilt itself. And it turns out that helping others is really all about you and your feelings....of guilt.

Read and savor the sweet, sweet tears of indulgent, narcissistic liberal self-flagellation here.

People all over the world are dying. They are suffering and we are watching. It is immoral, says Peter Singer, not to do everything in our power to help them. iPods, spankin' new cars, vacations to Disney World... we spend money on these things instead of paying for life-saving surgeries, feeding hungry children or investing in third world economies. According to Singer, the fact that we dont need to watch the poor suffer doesn't change the fact that they are drowning and we know it. And we let them.

...But what to do about all that? Well, I started by not buying a new iPod after my old-school Nano broke. But would that help the hungry children of Africa? I couldn't just donate the money saved. I was an Urban Studies major. I knew about the complications of development work, the band-aid solutions, the causes that just sound good, the charity that unmotivates the beneficiaries, the money that doesn't always reach the ground. The only way, I told myself, the only way is to understand completely what the people need to fish themselves out of their lake. Then I could support them with my iPod money.

I tell people I joined the Peace Corps to understand what it means to be poor, but that's just part of the story. I joined the Peace Corps to figure out how to escape the guilt of having so much while other people have so little.

But alas even working in the Peace Corps did not fix her guilt problem:

All this seems to me a pretty depressing lose-lose situation. Either I ignore the hunger of a child, or I create jealousy amongst her peers. And either way she will be hungry again next year after I go back to America. How do I cope with all of this burden? How do any of us cope?

I feel like the go-to answer is to try drop it behind somewhere on our two year journey. Just throw that heavy sack in the arroyo. Remind yourself of the hours of work you put into that project, the tears you shed as you squatted homesick in your host family's overflowing latrine. The opportunity cost of doing the Peace Corps, all those tens of thousands of dollars you like to think you could have made if you were employed these two years in the U.S.

But unfortunately, that reasoning doesn't do it for me. Nor does the argument that extreme wealth needs to exist because people need a goal to strive for. I mean, what would Maria say if I told her I'm going to the Lady Gaga concert in Asuncion so that she can strive to have enough money to do that too some day? She doesn't get enough to eat, can't read and lives in a wooden shack with no water.

So how did she finally overcome her tragic guilt? By redistributing it of course.

For me, this is the solution to the heap-ton of Peace Corps guilt clamping down on my shoulders.

Goal 3: to help people back home understand human need and realize their responsibility to throw that lifesaver. In a sustainable way, of course. Because the guilt that we are allowing people to drown is not mine. It is ours.

Well I for one am sad that we live in a world where thousands of people suffer from First World guilt everyday but aren't lucky enough to have an entire village of Paraguayans to help them work out their guilt issues.


The Fiscal Cliff Through the Eyes of a Small Business Owner

The Wall Street law firm Davis Polk has created a new business of simply keeping track of the seemingly infinite number of rules that will need to be written to complete the process of financial regulation put into place by Dodd-Frank. Sadly, only 33% of the 398 required rulemakings have been finalized. (Only 265 rules to go!) Another 33% have yet to have even been proposed.

...What are we doing as a company in light of this uncertainty? We've put on hold business expenses short of pencils, and any capital spending we were considering, including an update of the men's bathroom some have begun to call "the latrine." Instead of calling clients and focusing on our research, we are scheduling, probably in vain, conference calls (read fees) with our attorneys and accountants to try to create contingencies against potentially bad outcomes for us in the tax code. It has forced us to ask ourselves questions that seem at odds with economic growth, like, are there any unintended consequences of employing more than 50 people?

Meanwhile the Democrats are rubbing their hands in glee since taxes will go up and defense spending will be cut without any action at all from Congress. Oh and guess who will get the blame for it all:

The Republican Party took the rap for the debt ceiling and is under suspicion for the fiscal cliff. A new Washington Post-Pew Research poll has 53 percent of Americans ready to blame Republicans if America actually goes over the edge and only 29 percent planning to point fingers at President Barack Obama

On the other hand what people say they're going to do and what they actually do are not always the same. But if you're gonna be demonized anyway, you might as well be demonized for principle.

Rice vs. Rice

It's always sexist to question a female administration official except when it isn't.

What is obvious to anyone with an IQ above 80 is that Susan Rice either lied about the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the consulate in Benghazi or allowed herself to be used to transmit other people's lies about the attack. Questioning whether, due to this fact, she is qualified for the position of top diplomat of the most powerful nation on Earth is neither sexist nor is it racist.
Condoleezza Rice was accused of lying by many Democrats; she was accused so many times that it is now accepted wisdom on the Left that she did, in fact, lie. As a result, many on your side of the political spectrum have decided that this accepted wisdom gives them license to shamelessly use against her some of the nastiest racist and sexist language ever witnessed in the history of political rhetoric in this country.

...The fact is that the non-existent, imagined sexism and racism against Susan Rice from the Right is unacceptable to the Left while the Left's own very real sexism and racism against Condoleezza Rice was, is, and always will be acceptable, and so it goes with every single instance of a "strong woman of color" who strays from the Democratic plantation.

Plus a change, plus c'est la mme chose

A cartoon from 1912.


Are You Man Enough to Deep Fry That Turkey?

Yeah it's a repeat - but this is a matter of moron manhood and safety. It's also why I hire day laborers at Home Depot without any families to do my frying for me.

The Atlantic Covers Up the Huma Abedin-Muslim Brotherhood Connection

I've been informed it's un-American to be concerned over Huma's mother and brother's connections to the Muslim Brotherhood or her membership in the same organization as an Al Qaeda fundraiser. So maybe the Atlantic was being extra, super patriotic by avoiding these details and making her relationship seem more tenuous that it is.


Update on the Walker vs Kimberlin Case

John Hoge's latest news in the Virginia case of Aaron Walker v. Brett Kimberlin, et al., is that Walker's attorney Dan Backer has filed motions for default judgments against Kimberlin's co-defendants Ron Bryanert and Neal Rauhauser. Backer is requesting that the court in Prince William County schedule the hearing on this motion for Dec. 4, the same date as a hearing on Backer's motion for procedural sanctions against Kimberlin.

Furthermore, Backer has filed notice that Brett Kimberlin has breached the court's order on the sealed discovery for the fifth time.

It's fun being a pro se jailhouse lawyer - right up until you run into someone with a team of actual lawyers, money, a valid case, and a grudge.

All Your Thanksgiving Cooking Questions Answered

    If turkey is roasted well in advance of guests arriving, or there is a delay, what's the best way to re-heat? To what temperature?-SaqibSaab

If tented with foil and left in a warm place, a turkey should stay warm for at least a couple hours-at least internally. The real danger is the skin getting soggy and the surfaces getting cold. The best way to fix this? Just pop it in a 550°F oven for 7 to 15 minutes until the skin is crisp and piping hot again. The rest should take care of itself.


The Inner City Wizarding School

Not all students are lucky enough to be zoned for Hogwarts and some of the more urban ones end up at Clortho.

Women Spend More Time Checking Out Other Women Than Men


Half of the 2,000 women polled by online retailer Swimwear 365 said they 'enjoy' comparing themselves to women they work with, befriend or pass in the street.

And the beach is the place where most female ogling goes on, with 80 per cent of those polled saying they love having a good look at other women when they are sunbathing.

...On a day to day basis 42 per cent of ladies said they dress to impress their female peers and not the opposite sex - and even on big nights out its girls they are trying to impress not men.


The Yahoo AoSHQ group. Bla bla bla.

And my twitter thang.

Tonight's post brought to you by old school fun:


Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.

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