Why Are Political Ads So Awful?

The Czar will posit, straight up, that the more educated you are, the less you like political ads.

The Czar is willing to bet you loathe them but that’s a safe bet. In fact, the Czar is willing to assume you’ve never been swayed to vote for a candidate because of their television or radio ad. You may well have been repulsed by the content of an ad, but that isn’t too likely to sway you.

And sway you how, exactly? That’s the crux of the issue: for whom are these ads even intended?

Look, if you’re a straight-voting Republican, you’re not going to suddenly jump for a Democrat except in a strange circumstance you will fully understand and justify.

And unless that candidate is Ronald Reagan, a straight-voting Democrat is not going to switch to a Republican vote.

And God knows the libertarians are not going to vote at all, because they’re too busy sending messages to both parties that no one can hear, not even dogs.

So once again, all the stupid stuff in politics revolves around the Independent voter. You already know the Czar thinks “independent voters” are a myth. These people know for whom they will vote—they just don’t want to admit it to pollsters.

A small chunk of them may be undecided. “I voted for a Republican last election, but this time I might go for that Democrat.” The Czar once met a physical therapist who voted for Obama because she thought he looked like Denzell Washington, whom she thought was dreamy. That isn’t independence: that’s stupidity.

So political ads are really written for the sliver of voters who are too dopey to get into the issues and probably don’t understand the fundamental differences between parties.

And that’s the big thing: political ads are doomed to inanity because you have about 15 seconds to convince someone who’s a moron.

You don’t do this with profound philosophical difference: “Democrats are allegedly in favor of a $10 an hour minimum wage; Republicans want everyone to make much more than that.” You can’t summarize the historical and sociological differences between Democrats and Republicans in 15 seconds. Hell, it would take you 30 minutes just to run through the Ku Klux Klan.

So if you already don’t understand the differences between, say, a Greg Abbott and a Wendy Davis, 15-minutes won’t help you, let alone 15 seconds. Therefore, the advertiser is forced to reduce things down to your level: My Guy Good, Their Guy Bad.

Political advertisements fall into two categories: the positive ad and the negative ad.

A truly positive ad is pretty rare and treasured. Remember Ronald Reagan’s ”Morning in America” ad? What a joy: it never acknowledged Democrats or strawmen or bad guys. Just why it was a good thing to vote for Reagan. Obama’s Hope and Change was a similar idea, and obviously effective: it never said a word for or against Republicans.

The typical positive ad, though, lacks this simplicity. It’s a sort-of negative ad.

Minor chord, sustained celli and basses. Doug Flemm is a tool for the Democrats. He supports eating children and animals. He once poked a bird in the eye. Everyone knows he has no crotch. Major chord, sustained woodwinds and trombones. Republican Bob Thwaites is a friend to all, including cuddly creatures. He once picked up his yard waste even when it blew onto your lawn. He routinely returns rental cars will full gas tanks.

The giveaway is the change in the music smack in the middle of the ad. Literally: seven and a half seconds into the spot, you hear the music change just as they talk about Their Guy. This is pure Us versus Them reductionism, and it’s ugly as hell.

But not as stupid as the negative ad.

Republican Bob Thwaites once laughed at a dick joke. He loathes and detests you. He’s raised taxes several hundred percent while paying no taxes himself. He thinks women belong in prison, making fighting movies, and minorities need to live elsewhere. God, how I hate him. I just can’t stand Bob Thwaites. Say NO to Bob Thwaites. Say NO to prison fight movies.

You might get the vox populi going in either direction: a worried homeowner talking about how your candidate saved him from a French kiss (positive), or a disgruntled factory worker talking about how the other guy came into his factory and stuffed a wooden shoe into the gears, just to get the whole shift fired (negative).

Again, these are written on the same premise: My Guy Good, Their Guy Bad. Because when you’re too dumb to realize you pay too much in taxes, you need something simple.

Educate the voters, of course, and not only do political ads get less dumb…they go away.

Czar’s Ultra-Sciency Guide to Eclipses

The Czar, like you, was all excited by last week’s solar eclipse in the Midwest, which—if you missed it—looked like this for nearly everyone:

An eclipse, as you know, is when the moon moves in front of the Earth and starves us of sunlight, in another one of the moon’s crazy attempts to kill us. Eclipses happen on other planets, too, which is why sometimes you don’t see the moon in the night sky: it’s off bothering Mars or Jupiter at the time.

The next eclipse scheduled for your area is sometime in the future, so we really recommend you see it. Remember, even though the moon blocks the sun’s light, you shouldn’t look at the sun directly because, of course, the moon only gradually moves between us and the sun. Your eyes could wind up like this:

One of the best ways to look at an eclipse is to use a magnifying glass, which has the added benefit of burning ants. Of course, the sun seen through a magnifying glass can be just as deadly to your eyesight as pouring gasoline into them and lighting them on fire, while running around screaming and attempting to hug other people. The Czar really wishes he could remember what his point was, here, but he’s only now getting around to writing directions on viewing an eclipse that didn’t happen a couple weeks ago.

Here is a picture of an ostrich.

During an eclipse, lots of nature gets screwed up. Bats come out, birds go to sleep, coyotes howl at the night sky, armadillos come out, ducks eat flesh, rubber bands stretch, and Danny gets all sloppy drunk and tries to hit on the cab driver, as well as other activities you associate with at night time.

Sometimes, in the shadow of the moon, stars come out; other times, spectacular night-time astronomical events can be seen. For example, you can see the Southern Hemisphere’s stars from the North, and vice-versa, or other transdimensional gateways open up.

And then, several seconds or days later, the moon gets bored and moves on, returning us to 6 more weeks of Winter.

As you know, the rarity of eclipses is the direct result of global climate change. As mankind poisons Earth with dangerous pollutants like nitrogen, you can expect fewer and fewer eclipses. There wasn’t one today. There won’t be one tomorrow.

If you see an eclipse, you will remember it forever. Be sure and send a polite thank you note, as this is a free service the moon still provides, although rumors of spending cutbacks may make them rarer still. Astronomers to a man believe that by 2036, eclipses will be extinct, and students will learn about them only from grainy 1960s National Geographic photographs.

Losers, murder, and the Jihâd

taxi driver

Yeah, I’m reusing this.

Ralph Peters writes a good column on NRO today, headlined “The Joy of Killing for Allah: Why our ‘messaging’ won’t stop terror.” It’s worth your time.

Loyal readers of the Gormogons will not be surprised by much in it, however, as the critique of our feckless response is right out of Confucius’s Fallacy of Foreign-Policy Egocentrism (three links there), and we’ve discussed the problem (and grim solution to) the problem of loser fantasists in the grip of power fantasies.

That said, Peters’ article, with its acute diagnosis of the relative rewards on offer to a grandiose schmuck between losing himself in a cosmic drama in which he is granted with power and dispensed from morality or conversely continuing on in the humdrum reality he can’t stand, inspires another couple observations.

First, the secular religion which rules the West is great if you’re at the top of the social pyramid. Not having to worry about the morality or purpose of your life is a manageable problem if you’re vacationing in Vail, drinking really good Cabernet (and getting your legislators to legalize weed for you), and using your new tablet to streaming Cosmos and Bill Maher yukking it up over the rubes back in Des Moines (Like you, Dad! See, I’m in New York now! I’m important!). However, for the folks down the pyramid, a world defined by “lifestyle choices” in which they’re condemned to second- and third-class options—and are acutely conscious thereof—is a cruel, embittering joke.

One of the principal consolations of religion (particularly the Abrahamic religions) is their assertion that every individual matters and is (or can be) equal in the sight of God. The position of Christopher Hitchens, et al., that we can do away with religion and yet cling to this maxim in the godless guise of “universal human rights” is obviously untenable. Because the reason religion (or God, if you’re a believer) must assert the equality of souls is that humans are glaringly unequal in body, appearance, mind, etc., and very naturally set up hierarchies on one or all of these bases, as even a passing acquaintance with ancient history beats into one. Obsessed with what we don’t like about Judaism and Christianity, we forget what a cruel and cold world they reformed. Secularism looks an awful lot like ancient paganism with glibber PR.

Second, the psychic rewards Peters points to are very real and echo the phenomena that John Douglas, et al., argue for with regard to serial killers. One of the motives that most serial killers have is that they are essentially losers who aren’t particularly good at anything. Drawn to killing by some factor, they come to enjoy it not merely for the adrenaline rush of violence, sadism, or whatever else they get out of it, but also for the sense of mastery it provides them. Not only do they get to play God, for once in their lives they actually become good at something. One strongly suspects that evil freak who’s ISIS’s Westerner-beheading internet celebrity is exactly this type of personality, feeling profoundly successful at his grisly, demonic task.

Third, Peters points (mostly implicitly) to the fact that the media’s role covering the DIY Jihadists (like the guy in Canada) rests on the same, morally problematic ground as does its coverage of mass murderers. While such events are quite newsworthy, coverage of them, particularly of the biography and psychology of the perpetrator, almost certainly drives copycats.* (This copycat factor seems even more crucial for school shooters, who are overwhelmingly adolescents and therefore more emotionally impulsive, driven by the perceptions of others, and sensitive to popular culture.) The problem is even thornier however: in theory, though they show no sign of wanting to, major media could anonymize school shooters and other madmen with some effectiveness. However, the jihadists have set up a whole alternative media complex, one of the functions of which is to recruit and glorify “martyrs,” by which they mean suicide attackers. Even if they’re made nameless and faceless in the wider culture (and there’s no obvious sign of that happening), the jihadi world may provide exactly the grandstands they profoundly desire to play to.

*The major study of what policy choices inhibit multiple-victim public shootings showed that conceal-carry laws were the sole deterrent, which the authors related to the psychology of the killer, roughly: he’d likely be shot dead before he had the chance to make the ‘statement’ he wanted, so why bother? See: Lott, John R. and Landes, William M., Multiple Victim Public Shootings, Bombings, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handgun Laws: Contrasting Private and Public Law Enforcement (April 1999). University of Chicago Law School, John M. Olin Law & Economics Working Paper No. 73. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=161637 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.161637

A Time for Choosing – 50 Years Later

The case for the conservative political philosophy was never made better than by then actor and former SAG president, Ronald Wilson Reagan:

Given how far afield we’ve wandered since 2008, let alone 1981, it’s good for us to have a reminder the week before election day. If you have 30 minutes, watch or listen. Doctor’s orders:

A Taste for Disaster

seth-godinI subscribe to a number of blog feeds, email digests, etc. for work and personal interests.  A co-worker turned me on to Seth Godin’s daily emails from his blog – they’re short (usually) and specific to a single topic.  While I don’t buy into everything Seth professes, I found today’s of interest:

Munchausen by Proxy by Media

MBP is a particularly tragic form of child abuse. Parents or caregivers induce illness in their kids to get more attention.

The thing is, the media does this to us all the time. (Actually, we’ve been doing it to ourselves, by rewarding the media for making us panic.)

It started a century ago with the Spanish American War. Disasters sell newspapers. And a moment-by-moment crisis gooses cable ratings, and horrible surprises are reliable clickbait. The media rarely seeks out people or incidents that encourage us to be calm, rational or optimistic.

Even when they’re not actually causing unfortunate events, they’re working to get us to believe that things are on the brink of disaster. People who are confident, happy and secure rarely stay glued to the news.

The media is one of the most powerful changes we’ve made to our culture/our lives (I’d argue that the industrial revolution and advances in medicine are the other two biggest contenders). And yet because we’re all soaking in it, all the time, we don’t notice it, don’t consider it actively and succumb to what it wants, daily.

Steven Pinker’s brilliant book makes it clear that the world is safer than it’s ever been. A large reason his thesis feels wrong to so many is that the media wants us to think that we’re on a precipice, every day. Paradoxically, the cultural-connection power of the media is one reason why things are actually safer. [Check out Matt Ridley's optimistic take as well].

I’m fascinated by this paradox. By connecting us, by integrating cultures and by focusing attention on injustice, the media has dramatically improved the quality of life for everyone on the planet. At the same time, by amplifying the perception of danger and disaster, the media has persuaded us that things are actually getting worse. It creates a reason for optimism and then makes a profit by selling pessimism.

I don’t think the media-industrial complex has earned the pass we give it. They built what we wanted, they built what worked, but the race for attention often is conflated with a race to the bottom. It takes guts to say, “no, we’re not going to go there, even if the audience is itching for it.”

We’re the media now, and we can do better.

Two thoughts on this:

First, I think he’s spot on.  The media has decided, consciously or unconsciously, that creating a sense of impending doom (government shutdowns, a healthcare system that is completely broken, warmongering political candidates, etc.) they’ll captivate an audience.  It’s akin to the over-dramatic, misbehaving child.  Or the melodramatic “squeaky-wheel” employee.  It consumes our time and attention but if we stepped back and took a more objective (and by some perspectives, a harsher stance), it may nip the issue in the bud.

Second, I wonder if there is a parallel between Seth’s comment, “the race for attention often is conflated with a race to the bottom” and the Race to Nowhere film concerned our competitive societal focus on our children’s success at all things including youth sports.

Yosemite Vlad

Lenin

Dr. J. updated his computers to Yosemite (aka 10.10) the other day and was admiring the default wallpaper on his desktop computer from across the room.

There was a profile in the side of the mountain.

Circle Lenin

Not only that, the profile has an uncanny resemblance to Vladimir Lenin.

lenin_red

Coincidence or communist conspiracy?

Hillary and the Democrats’ War on Women

‘Puter’s hopping mad. Well, either that or he’s hopping because his intestines are trying to crawl out of his bunghole after chugging an entire 18 ounce jar of Huy Fong chili garlic sauce* on a dare from Czar.

‘Puter made the mistake of watching the gang on Morning Joe discuss this Wall Street Journal editorial on Hillary Rodham Clinton and l’affaire Lewinsky. The WSJ’s editors remind readers that despite Ms. Lewinsky’s claims of internet abuse at the hands of Matt Drudge and the New York Post, it was actually the Clinton White House led by Mrs. Clinton herself that inflicted the greatest damage on Ms. Lewinsky and her reputation.**

The assembled thought leaders on the Morning Joe set were aghast at the WSJ’s temerity to raise Mrs. Clinton’s past acts against her. Mika Brzezinski was uncomfortably torn between donning her media kneepads to protect the Clinton legacy and breaking out her feminist pitchfork and marching on Chappaqua. Not to be out-feministed by a mere woman, idiot man child Sam Stein chimed in, claiming Mrs. Clinton’s actions were old news, completely irrelevant to Mrs. Clinton’s qualifications to be president.***

Notably, Joe Scarborough was the rational voice in the room, stating Bill Clinton’s acts had nothing to do with Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 run. However, Mrs. Clinton’s own actions, including using the resources of the federal government to destroy a 22 year old intern her husband had sexually abused (using feminists’ own differential in power criterion), are relevant to Mrs. Clinton’s race.

And this exchange got ‘Puter thinking, which is never a good thing. With Mrs. Clinton’s looming candidacy, we are certain to hear more and more about Republicans’ War on WomenTM. The media takes it as a given Republicans and their policies are harming women.  To hear one prominent female Democrat tell it, Republicans are “grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.” Maybe in Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s sado-masochistic porn fantasies, but in the real world, it’s the Democrats tying women up and treating them as sex objects.

You don’t believe ‘Puter? Read on for a few examples of Democrats screwing women, and not in the enjoyable, mutually consensual manner we all know and love.

  • Modern feminism is nothing more than liberal identity politics writ large. Witness the cadre of women around Bill Clinton, including his wife Hillary Clinton, taking on and destroying women Bill Clinton had abused if not raped. Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, not to mention Ms. Lewinsky. Mrs. Clinton and leading Democrats went out of their way to destroy these women, allegedly sexually assaulted by then-President Clinton, in order to keep a man in office. Democrats sold out women in order to keep power. To Democrats, it’s fine for a man to abuse specific women so long as he’s doing great things for the majority of women. In other words, the ends justify the means. Liberal Democrat feminists aren’t very feminist when push comes to shove, are they?
  • Democrats treat women as nothing more than a reproductive tract, brains be damned. Witness Democrats’ insistence on marching into political battle, lustily singing “Abortion, Abortion Über Alles.” Democrats insist all women must care solely about so-called reproductive health, to the exclusion of all other matters. Democrats will fight to the death for women’s absolute right to kill their offspring, regardless of the father’s wishes, up until such time as the child emerges breathing from the birth canal. Abortion has deprived generations of women of children and grandchildren, ultimately making their lives less full.If we are to defer to science in setting policy as liberal Democrats insist, our abortion laws would be much stricter. See, for example, screamingly liberal Europe, where nearly all countries limit abortion on demand to the first trimester except in certain limited circumstances. Many European nations also require a doctor’s authorization for abortion in most instances. When you’re to the left of Europe, you’re doing it wrong.Insistence on abortion on demand has not made the practice “safe, legal and rare,” as Democrats claim to want. In fact, women die during abortions, states’ health inspection regimes are a joke, and charnel houses such as the Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia continue with impunity. Women are harmed by Democrats’ unscientific, benighted “abortion now, abortion tomorrow, abortion forever” fundamentalism.
  • Liberal Democrats have maintained a war on poverty for nearly 50 years now. Hell, ‘Puter wasn’t even alive when the war started, and he’s not sure he’ll be alive when it ends. All in all, the war on poverty has failed women, children, families and America. Welfare rewards recipients for not working, not marrying and having children. ‘Puter may be stupid, but he’s pretty sure you get more of what you subsidize, and here we’re subsidizing sloth, broken families and serial out of wedlock births. Study after study has shown that women and children suffer most from the breakdown of the family unit in our culture, and liberal Democrat welfare policies have destroyed and continue to destroy families.
  • Women are the majority of college graduates today. Liberal Democrats insist against all economic evidence that subsidized student loans make college more affordable. In reality, the wide availability of federally guaranteed student loans allow colleges to jack up tuition to above market rates at no risk to themselves. After all, colleges always get paid. It’s the students who get screwed with non-dischargeable debt larger than a home mortgage, and these students are predominantly women.
  • The current Democrat held White House pays its women pennies on the dollar compared to men. If Democrats were truly pro-women, wouldn’t the leading Democrat insist women in his employ receive equal pay for equal work? Democrats don’t care about women, they care about using the equal pay issue as a cudgel against commonsense Republican retorts that women of equal experience who work equally hard receive equal pay. But statistics aren’t sexy and low information voters abound, so Democrats’ false charge endures.
  • America’s culture has coarsened, led by the Boomer’s four horsemen of societal apocalypse: feminism, rewarmed Marxism, post-modernist culture relativism and free love. In an anything goes 1960s hippie-inspired culture like today, women and their unique contributions to society are diminished.Women are treated like sell-out pariahs by liberal Democrat feminists if they choose to stay home to raise a family. Heaven forbid a sister be pro-life!**** Democrats treat women and their votes as a means to an end, maintained in the liberal Democrat column through a never-ending campaign of lies and fear. Liberal Democrats’ insistence women be just like the worst men, drunkenly sport-f*cking their way through their late teens and twenties, trained men to think of women as nothing more than “f*ck buddies” or sex objects to be used and jettisoned at will. You’ve come a long way, baby.

Were it up to most Republicans, women would be free to go about their business without government interference or judgment of their choices. Want to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Great! Go get the experience and compete. Want to be a stay at home mom? Great! It’s wonderful that you choose (and are able to choose) to raise a family. What a wonderful contribution to America! Republicans may think abortion and divorce are bad for the country, but we’re not looking to ban either. We believe women are human beings, entitled to the same treatment as men, for better and for worse. Women can and do compete on a level playing field, and Republicans believe intervention is only necessary when that playing field is unfairly tilted against women because of their sex.

Don’t fall for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats’ rhetoric. Republicans don’t wage war on women, Democrats do.

* Huy Fong garlic chili sauce is the preferred colon cleanser of your Gormogons. Pick up a 12 pack on Amazon for only $41.18! Between ‘Puter and Czar, we usually kill the 12 pack in a weekend, but most people don’t have our intestinal fortitude.

** ‘Puter would remind his readers that reporting facts, no matter how embarrassing to individuals, related to the president’s activities, is not internet bullying, no matter how much one may wish it were. In some remote corners of the globe, reporting facts about presidential activities is known as “reporting.”

*** How Sam Stein is qualified to opine on the Clinton Administration, being in diapers for most of Mr. Clinton’s first term, is beyond ‘Puter. However, the liberal media solons have declared Mr. Stein an expert, so there you have it.

**** Strident feminist hypocrites: “When we said pro-choice, we meant you were free to choose to completely agree with us!”

‘Puter’s Day

Hello, children. Hello.

The Mandarin knows many of you like ‘Puter here on this site as well as on the Twitter machine, and wondered if you all had any idea what he’s really like outside of the Castle.

So your Mandarin followed him for a couple of minutes with a camera yesterday, and thought you’d want to see what he does in the course of a late morning.

Playtime at the Castle

The Gormogons are all fans of getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and some healthy exercise.  Some of the castle dwellers wanted more variety around the grounds for our enjoyment so our official contracts officer, ‘Puter, put out a solicitation for playground equipment that we could install on the premises.  We reviewed them as they came in:

enhanced-buzz-11950-1412762870-16Wow.  Not sure what to do with this one.  Maybe we just got some oddball trying to prank us.

A few days went by and we went about our usual business.  Then, the mail came flying over the castle wall and ‘Puter excitedly ran into the rumpus room announcing that we got two more responses to the request.

enhanced-buzz-3302-1412763107-15Dr. J and the Mandarin just stared blankly at the proposals and then at ‘Puter and then back at these images.  Volgi put his head in his hands and began uttering something in a dialect that none of us recognized.  It seems like Sleestak really was looking forward to the rainbow-colored arches with figures…but held back as the Czar started getting red-faced.  GorT’s laser eye started glowing brighter.

“What in all that is holy did you put in the request for proposals, ‘Puter?” demanded the Czar.  ‘Puter searched around the messy table looking for the request and finally found a coffee cup stained copy and began to read a section:

 

enhanced-buzz-19191-1412782961-11The Gormogons seek proposals for exciting and unique equipment suitable for various aged persons to enjoy in an outdoor setting.  The goal is to enable frolicking and fun in a fraternal setting.  Design should make great use of color and incorporate a sense of humor that the client would appreciate.

“Seriously?  You put that out to companies?”

After the shoving and yelling ceased, we all stalked off to our respective areas of the castle.  It remained quiet for a few days with little discussion and no acknowledgement that this project was even under consideration.  A few more responses trickled in but none really took hold and garnered any support.  The Czar did tack the following idea on ‘Puter’s door with the following caption, “Dude, I would so support having public restrooms on our playground if they were like this”

enhanced-buzz-23225-1412782811-8

‘Puter just stuck the following sticky on the Czar’s door.postit4_www-txt2pic-com

Digamma and Other Aging Letters

The Czar has discovered some emails floating in his networked world that should have seen the light of day earlier, and so he apologizes that some of these may not be topical by this point.

First up, Boneman writes in, having spent the day doing stingray archery. Have you tried this? No, you don’t shoot stingrays from a boat using a bow (in fact, no boat is used at all); you fire stingrays out of bows into dry targets.

Oh great and dread Czar,

Your trembling minion on the plains is loath to wade in on a topic on which so many words have already been spewed for fear of appearing to bloviate on dated topics. Howsomever, since Boneman has been around the track a few times and knows him some “stuff” about chemical, biological, and radiological stuff, he feels obligated to address Ebola even at this late date. Boneman had a saying (although Boneman did not invent this saying) for when the government was obviously pumping sunshine onto a situation (“Don’t panic! Everything’s under control! The contagion was contained within the base’s perimeter”) that they were “peeing down my back and calling it rain.” Due to this administration’s proclivity for deception, even pointless deception, this phrase boxes up Boneman’s suspicions quite nicely. What we are hearing from the CDC certainly feels like rain. Ebola is obviously a spectacularly “catchy” and immensely lethal bug. The government knows this and is deep obfuscation mode.

Well, no problem now—the President has selected someone with no immunological or epidemiological experience to head up the Ebola effort based on ths size of the dude’s checkbook. Wouldn’t we wish the Czar was being sarcastic about this. Here’s what Operative BJ has to add on the subject:

Your Highness, Dr. Tom Frieden, the head of the CDC, has changed his tune on Ebola more than once. First it was “we know everything we need to know about it.” Then it was “we may have to revisit what we know about it.” Now it’s “we don’t know how a nurse in full protective gear got it.”

This is the same government, run by the child-king Obama, that told us that Nidal Hassan’s attack on Ft. Hood was not a terrorist attack even though he was screaming Islamic war chants while shooting unarmed soldiers. And the same government that blamed the (ahem) “spontaneous” Benghazi attack on protests over a film even though on-the-ground observers knew it was terrorist-based from the start. And the same government that gave weapons to Mexican drug cartels and is now shocked – SHOCKED – to find out that the murders of two US Border Control Agents were committed with those weapons.

Now, this same government expects us to believe Dr. Frieden when he draws a “red line” around the communicability “rules” of Ebola. We are told that the Ebola virus can’t be spread by [method redacted], and then hear *from a news organization* that someone contracted Ebola by [method redacted]. That report is then reluctantly confirmed by an official government spokesman, and Dr. Frieden redraws the Ebola communicability “red line”.

Moreover, this same government is now restricting domestic air travel rights of certain Americans who are “suspected” of having “possible contact” with people who “may have been exposed” to the virus, while continuing to allow international travelers from the Ebola “hot zone” to freely travel to the United States. The excuse is that we may need to get medical support into those “hot zones”. If it was really about “getting medical support where it’s needed”, I’m sure that chartered flights or military transports could provide that service on an as-needed basis.

To make matters worse, some of the same well-known individuals who once espoused that “we need to operate as normally as possible” are now saying that perhaps – and ONLY “perhaps” – we should consider whether flights from the “hot zones” should be curtailed. Another example of “closing the barn door after the horse is gone?”

Your Greatness, I wasn’t aware that foreign travelers had the absolute and irrevocable right to enter our country. A visa doesn’t grant a right of entry: it only grants permission to enter. A visa can be revoked or canceled at any time. And a visa is issued by the host country after an application is filed: nobody can demand a visa to enter the US and expect that demand to be honored.

Perhaps it is time to revisit whether those in Ebola “hot zones” should have the unabridged and uncontrolled ability to enter this country without a full medical examination to determine whether they carry the Ebola virus. Why? If Thomas Eric Duncan can falsify the emigration form in his country of origin and travel here when he is already sick, perhaps it is time to stop all travelers from Ebola “hot zones” and fully examine whether they are, as Duncan, fleeing an area without advanced medical care for a country where they have a better chance of survival.

Rats flee a sinking ship. The United States should not be the life raft for the rest of the world, because even a life raft can be capsized when overloaded.

The Czar will miss Thomas Eric Duncan. He was awesome in The Green Mile.

Not to forget this, from Operative KL5:

Czar, do you think President Carter is more likely to watch Starsky & Hutch or Charlie’s Angels, and why? A buddy of mine has a bet going worth a case of Oly.

Some emails have been floating around a while. Sorry. The Czar did not watch either program, really. During August of 1978 (and really, the whole year), the Czar was focused on the upcoming maiden flight of the F-18A Hornet, and its weird and thus-far undocumented link to the Kiss solo efforts.