Fish, Meet Barrel

Mr Chapman of the Chicago Tribune in Sunday’s paper just exposed his liberal bias in a big way. He writes a column blasting Mr Trump’s recent push against apparent rise in opiate addiction which has been blamed on big pharma (and the Chinese?) among other factors. He claims Mr Trump’s policy are a whitewash and will be ineffective. What he fails to note is that this problem is 10 years old and Mr Trump has been in office for less than 1. Odd then that he never manages to mention that Mr Obama failed to enact any policies or even note that there was a problem. Seems that Mr Chapman instead of excoriating Mr Trump should be praising him and then pointing out the policies that might be effective and how to insert them into the conversation.

You might find it strange a that a professional columnist doesn’t know the first thing about persuasion and how to sway others to your way of thinking. Education these days, … eh?

Guns and the Real Problem

In the wake of Las Vegas shootings … this chart seems to indicate the “gun” issue is not highly correlated with the problem. Gun laws, to quote a Harvard study, are an inelastic means of controlling gun violence and the violence isn’t very well correlated with where the guns live. (and given the existence of those who “collect” stamps, guns and other things, just “counting” guns is a poor metric)

David Brin in his series of books of the “Uplift Universe” postulated among other things a push (required for species survival) to understand human sanity at a level beyond our current ability. In this universe, a psychotic shooter could, in inter-species/intra-galactic polity, damn the human race to extinction or slavery instead of just killing a number of dozens of people. For that reason, psychological tests were developed to insure that any human (sapient actually) going off planet had to be known, certified, and understood to be, well, sane. One might wonder if that sort of test or understanding is possible or plausible.

It would be more useful if, in the wake of these sorts of incidents, cries of “guns are the problem” and “guns aren’t the problem … instead pointed out that people going bug-nutz crazy is the real problem and that our treatment of the mentally ill in our society is just slightly, ever so slightly, better than debtor prison was in the 18th century as a way of treating insolvency.

So. Lets’ talk about the psychosis/depression/insanity crises not the gun one.

The Problem of the Notion of a [Diversity] Science

Replace the “diversity” tag above, with your favorite tag, be it Black, Green, Gay, Feminist or whatever. For much of science the problems are clear. What is “gay” number theory, or “feminist” crystallography besides nonsense.

A friend pointed me at this essay on First Things entitled, The Myth of Scientific Objectivity. There is much to unpack there, but I’d thought I’d offer a few thoughts. My notions of philosophy of science and how science works to put my cards on the table are much influenced by Michael Polanyi especially this book, Personal Knowledge. I think some of the insights from that book would do to criticize and quiet the problems that arise such as Mr Wilson’s example, a ‘feminist’ sociologist examining the “good” features of divorce, which requires ignoring much of the obvious. Mr Polanyi points out that much of science is, contrary to popular notions, a process which we can’t explain but have to learn for ourselves. One of the features of this explanation of how science works it that there is an essential step which Mr Wilson doesn’t mention.

Mr Wilson points out that the scientific process is not the abstract inductive or deductive process, but one of a collection of personal insights for which the advocate of that insight then gathers data to support and convinces other that he/she is correct. I think the part missing here is that the person who has this insight has become, through years of work, skilled at the ways of thinking and methods in solving problems in the particular field of research that their insight is not uninformed but instead based on a collection of personal history and knowledge in that same field. The aesthetics of what comprises good science in any particular field is taught and learned and makes an essential feature to the progress of science.

Diversity in and of itself has impact on fields of science, as you would expect, only as much as the social aspects of human life are the within the scope of inquiry in that branch of science. If you are studying how flagella propel microorganisms in fluids, then your notions of gender and race exactly irrelevant. But within sociology, psychology, and such arguably have contributions that might be possible from other social points of view. But those insights gleaned from those fields likely are as impermanent as the social conditions in which they are implanted. One the other hand, inquiry into the nature of elliptic curves over the rational numbers … not so much. The insights gleaned will not fade as social conditions change nor will the truths discovered be dependent on any features and facets of  human society.

I might note, that there is a good counter argument to Mr Polanyi’s ineffable nature of scientific knowledge, in that computer science and programming may be an answer to what is and what is not ineffable. See for example, this text. If you can teach a computer to do the thing you are trying to explain how to do, then you understand it at a level which is no longer ineffable. Your program is the explanation.

How Not To Argue

Today, google posted on my phone an article by one Dawn Stover writing a typical how stupid are you article on weather and the recent two hurricanes in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (“atomic” scientists of course know lots about climate). Her argument is that you trust weather reporting, which we don’t so therefore you should trust climate science because these forecasts are done by the same guys.  Notice those forecasts, most forecasts go out to 5-7 days, but only tomorrow’s forecast is worth a damn.  Continue reading →

No, Steve, the Unabomber Wasn’t “Right”

Instead, you’ve just penned for the Chicago Tribune opinion pages, a remarkably stupid essay. A side note, the Chicago Tribune has a stable (chorale?) of remarkably bad columnists. As part of an effort to get me back to blogging shooting these essay’s down, perhaps akin to shooting ducks in a barrel, nevertheless may get me writing regularly again. I’ve even created a category for these guys.

So, back to September 14ths essay by Steve Chapman on page 19 of the Tribune. His title “iPhone X proves the Unabomber was right”. The unabomber wrote a long diatribe (apparently) against modernity and progress. Steve writes: Continue reading →

DACA Follies

So, the left is all up in arms over Mr Trump’s decision to end the DACA program in 6 months … if Congress doesn’t pass legislation and actually make DACA, you know, a practice that is now Constitutional. Instead of the current administrative usurping of Congressional authority.

Why they complain is beyond me. In any rational world, this is exactly what they would want, given that they support the program.

After all, after finding that Presidential decree is a poor substitute for statue after their former left leaning President decided to eschew trying to get things passed and just made proclamations that were calculated so that while not Constitutional it was usually unclear who had standing to challenge them. Those things can be reversed very easily when a President of the other party arrives in power and dismantles them. Strange that they haven’t noticed that.



On Comey/Clinton “If not for Comey I would have won”

Or more rationally, if not for Comey you’d have been indicted. Comey gave her a pass because she was running for President and made noises about “no intent” in her security breaches. Oddly enough the statute makes no mention of intent. Mr Petreaus was indicted and lost his job over a security breach because he told his non-security cleared biographer his agenda for the day (which was marked classified). Did he intend for that security breach to get into enemy hands? Did the data in the breach leak to people who misused it? Answer no.

Seems pretty clear in the implementation of the law Ms Clinton should have been indicted. To pretend “I would have won” if he hadn’t brought this up is laughable.

The Silence of the Krugman-ites

So after Ms Gifford was shot, Mr Krugman, either parroting or parroted by the left wing echo chamber, decided “violent rhetoric” encouraged and caused the shooting. This turned out to be false in that case although no retraction(s) ever followed.

The f-wit that was involved in yesterday’s shooting on the other hand was more than likely encouraged by violent anti-Trump anti-GOP rhetoric the left is filled with these days.

Bet the silence against rhetoric from that side of the aisle against criticizing themselves for like rhetoric continues unabated.

Note: many others have promoted using the practice of not naming (for the 6 seconds of fame/infamy) shooters is followed here. I will not name him other than as f-wit or another similar derogatory word or phrase.

Of Gun Control “Calls” Post Shooting

So. Prior to getting any information … wanna place bets. There will be rampant calls for gun control. What percentage of those calls will not pass the stupid notion test?

What test? Either the shooter obtained his gun illegally in which case “more stringent” is not called for as his gun was illegal or equally likely the gun control suggested by the one calling for “more gun control” would not have prevented the f-wit shooter from getting his gun in which case new regulations would be irrelevant.

I’m guessing 90% of the calls for gun control by legislators and the press and commentariat will be of the “stupid notion” category. What do you think?


Of Mr Sanders “Blank Tweet”

Years and years ago, Democrat hatchet man James Carville famously remarked about Paula Jones “Look what you get when you drag a $20 bill through a trailer park.” Alas, the obvious question that raised was why Mr Clinton was getting his dates out of wedlock by dragging $20 dollar bills through trailer parks. After all, we know the Clintons to be not exactly classy folk … nice of him to confirm.

Now Mr Sanders does the same. He tweets about the GOP healthcare bill waving an empty piece of paper. Pretty apt description of his thoughts on the matter I deem.

Missing the Obvious in the Senate

So Mr Sanders demonstrates the unfortunate choice in an interview on a minor post which has gotten news. Here the term “unfortunate choice” refers to a local phrase which gets repeated on this site. A choice, as in, “Is he stupid or evil?”. So which is it Mr Sanders? Are you dumb or just playing at dumb and are actually demonstrating evil-in-action? In an interview of a minor executive post nominee Mr Sanders pretends at naivete asking the nominee if he actually believes run-of-the-mill Evangelical soteriology. The nominee falls for the gambit and seizes (poorly in this writers view) at an attempt to Christian witness and doesn’t deny his beliefs (for which we might give half a thumbs up). Alas, the “falls for” is still there. The nominee missed the chance to ask Mr Sanders two things, being firstly how is this not an obvious religious test (a Constitutional and frankly assumed to be an American ethical no-no) and secondly which none commenting on the fallout of this exchange has noticed and is perhaps more important. Secondly … what is the obvious connection assumed but not stated logical connection linking Christian, or for that matter any religious, doctrine on soteriology have to do with public policy? How do you get from soteriology => policy => bigotry? I’m missing any link there.

Just a slight jump

For Mr Sanders and those supporting his notions that this particular belief is “bad” (see for exmple this post .. I can’t figure out if the author of the post approves or disapproves of Mr Sanders’ line of questioning) … an answer to the question why do you think that particular soteriological stance (Jesus is the only path to salvation) implies particular bias in policy? How do you leap from soteriology to policy?

A analogy perhaps might be illustrative. A pre-school teacher has in her class two children. One child she believes tonight will have invited to a grand ball, comfort, and a great party. The other is returning to an abusive parent and a home of poverty. She is not in a position to affect or remark on the evening outcome. However, which child is she likely to be more solicitous to in regard to the things she can do for those children in class. Which child is she more likely to favor in her class policies?

Seems to me our nominee’s favoritism might be more not less inclined to be generous to the non-Christian that not. Bigoted indeed.

Finally. No. One is not “bigoted” if one believes only those professing faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God will be saved. One is actually bigoted if they believe those who profess such a belief are themselves bigoted or racist (and Mr Sanders that includes you). And Mr Sanders which are you? Stupid or evil? Pick one.

And a final disclaimer. My personal soteriological belief is that Jesus will decide who will be saved and that in the here and now discussions of who will and won’t be saved are fruitless and often harmful.

Backpacking in PA

So. Besides my not-exactly regular blogging schedule, my daughters and I spent a nice (somewhat wet) week in Pennsylvania (Susquehanna Trail System). It was our second backpacking trip and our first week long trip.

Good times.

Naked Bigotry is Instructive

The left, as always, keeping it classy. Example one and example two.

If these guys were on the right and two years ago had said similar remarks about the former (regrettable) President and his family, well, … woops they’d have been called racist, bigots and run out of their jobs post-haste.

But the left has decided to embrace bigotry, hatred, and prejudice. Introspection apparently is a thing rarely done.

Broken Brains

So at least two nominally intelligent people (and apparently this is not that uncommon) have the notion that there is a clear and present danger that Mr Trump may attempt a coup and try to wreck our democracy (republic more technically) and announce himself … as some sort of dictator. Mr Krauthamer had a column in the Tribune (Chicago) offering that opinion and a Chicago Boy(z) noted a historian I’ve read (like the linked author I’d found the book “Bloodlands” well worth reading). The point is both of these guys think this is a real and present threat.

Why? That remains a mystery. Neither person seems to put forth any reasoning behind the idea. There are lots of clues why this isn’t at all likely. Exhibit one is the repeated executive orders and moves by the President to relegate power to the states from federal control. A short perusal of history will show that the set of dictators prior their taking full control ever ever ever relegating authority and control is … empty.

Go figger. Why this hasn’t occurred to those who think this is a threat is beyond my ken.

Swim Log 5-8-17

So, still getting back into the swing (swim?) of non-breaststroke things. I had a lesson setup for Thursday but had to postpone just shy of a week. Did do 1 100 yard free under 1:30. Wasn’t that taxing. I’ll do more of that tomorrow. Felt good.

Total yardage: 2750 yards.

A Strange Habit of Speech

Ms Clinton today offered an odd expression. She offered (as quoted by Fox … so perhaps if Fox is as deranged as the left it’s not exactly true) … but apparently that she was “taking absolute and total responsibility for losing the election … but”.

Hello?? If what you say in the first part of the sentence. Then that of necessity obviates the possibility of a “(pause) but..” clause. 

Seriously how can she not know that? 

Swim Log 05-02-17

Getting more into it, actually my (dread/wretched) backstroke is feeling less bad than it ever had. Some habits from breaststroke seems to have improved my freestyle as well, although on the 11th I’ll have a lesson and we will discover if that is actually true. 

Total yardage: 3050 yards

Of Mr Matthews and the Wolf

CNN commetator and liberal (public) whip Chris Matthews it was noted was bragging about the headwind he and his fellow liberals in the media have been creating for the President. 

Apparently their loss of all credibilty with all but the very liberal hasn’t occurred to them.

To bad nobody told him the story about the boy who cried wolf before. By the time the next election occurs nothing the press will say about the right wing candidates will be be heard at all except by the died in the wool leftists. 

Will the Liberal (anti-Trump) Bubble Ever Snap

So a liberal commenter posted a comment on my post observing that the liberal aggression against conservative speakers which began to get bad (and rumor has it they were being paid/backed in doing so) during the election. That commenter posited the theory that the alt-right is being paid to, well, go to conservative rallies as both faux liberals and black mask wearing conservatives and attacking those alt-right who were pretending to be antifa liberals in the act of violently disrupting the event. This theory is notable only because it is so convoluted. He also claimed the term “antifa” was an invention by the alt-right to discredit the left. Apparently the blog Mother Jones is really an alt-right front (who knew?).

Take that as point one.

Point two, there is a consistent theme that Trump is a fascist. Trump has consistently when reversing Obama’s “Executive Orders” has consistently released federal control to the states. He has added a command to federal agencies that for every regulation added you need to remove two. What is fascism? Fascism is ” a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.” Authoritarian governments do not relegate … anything. Is there any actual evidence that Trump favors and is even moving in that direction at all? No. Theories that continue at this point to hold to that idea have to use logic as twisted as alt-right guys being paid to spend years building a background story as a liberal to go to a conservative rally, disrupting it so other alt-right guys can beat you up.

Maintaining this bubble should be more and more difficult as time goes on. Question is, what will happen when it does?

How Not to Report News

Via Google Now Ms Wonkette (who is apparently a man named Evan Hurst) on a blog I don’t actually follow but … , “she” reports that Ms Ivanka Trump has started a “pay for play ‘Clinton Foundation’ for the ladies” (scare quotes not quoted text btw). Just a few problems with that assertion:

  • there is no evidence anywhere in the article of any pay for play. Seems that you’d kinda needed if you make an allegation that there is some justification for the slur. Kinda like accusing a man, because he’s “naked under his clothes” of indecent exposure. Y’all know, he could take them off at any time. Just sayin.
  • It’s a charity and international donors have contributed.
  • Ivvvannnnkkaaa (?!) apparently that’s a bad thing. Alas, it isn’t.
  • And the last most damning thing. So, the Clinton’s ran a corrupt foundation for years. Wonkette has been defending the Clinton’s for years. If you ignore corruption on your team you have (kindergarden ethics 101: turnabout is fair play) no basis for attacking corruption of the same sort. You’ve already tacitly admitted it’s OK. The only people at this point able to make valid points against this new foundation are those who attacked the Clinton’s for the same thing. Alas the rub is, reliable reporting from the left no longer exists. If such evidence is (a) believable and (b) from reliable sources then I for one will attack those involved (verbally). Feel free to despise those like Wonkette for blatant hypocrisy.

So pretty much, no reason to post except to expose your bias and bigotry.

Swim Log 4-22-17 (race!) and the subsequent workouts

So Saturday I raced. The big twist was the course was meters (short course) not yards (the pool I train at is yards). I did a 44 in the 50, a 3:30 in the 200 and a DQ (bad start) on the 100. The 100 time was pretty bad as I was still shaking from the effort in the 200 before I started the 100. I think in the future I won’t sign up for 100s after a 100. Looks from the splits like I went out too fast in the 200 and barely survived. Also in the 8 weeks between this race and the last some bad habits had snuck in. Should have video’d my training some to get feedback or had a lesson. But it’s my very first year. The 3:30 by the “motivational time sheet” puts me under the “A” time which was my season goal. So I have that to fall back on.

The last few days (missed Monday) I’ve returned to a balanced workout, but my back and free are way way way out of shape. That should come back quickly if I hammer at it.

The City of Big Shoulders and Really Dumb Mayor

Maaaahr Rahm (da Rahmfather) said today “Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) is pushing more gun control for Federal Firearms License holders (FFLs) in the city.” (cite)

How many FFL holders are the cause of the high level of gun violence in Chicago. Yah, about as much as the Concealed Carry holders I imagine, which is to say just about none. Oh, wait.

So what scandal is he trying to hide I wonder. Or was it a slow news day?

Reliability and the New York Times

So, today the New York Times offered a small article reporting the New England Patriots visited the White House as has been customary for the Super Bowl winners. That was about the only factually correct part of the article. In it they reported that “only” 34 players showed up and that this was a small number. They showed a picture of the last and current teams on the steps with a substantially larger number of people in the photo from the last time they one and far fewer than this year. Except that this was all untrue. 36 players showed up the last time. In the photo of the former visit to Mr Obama’s White House, the team + othe personel lined up on the stairs, in the current photo, 40 or more of the staff (non-players) were seated on the lawn … and *that* is why they aren’t in the photo, this is an intentional misleading comparison. 

You’d think (and you’d be wrong) that the NYTimes editors realizing they’d been accused of fake news would be especially careful to be not caught easily in fabrications and lies. 

So, now when the Times reports that polls are down for Mr Trump or other “bad” news about the administration … why would you believe them. They have showed their willingness to lie openly about easily checked matters. Would you expect them to be less or more trustworthy on matters that are less easy to verify. I’d offer … less.   

Exploding Heads or Heads in Sand?

So, today it is announced that “threats of violence” have cause Berkeley to cancel Ms Coulter’s visit to campus. So the party that compares the President to Hitler copies tactics of same . They have for a year or more through the election and beyond been using SA-like tactics to shut down opposition speech.

Either these idiots threatening violence are completely unaware that they are doing the acts they accuse the opposition of thinking of doing, or perhaps more likely, they are not ignorant of the irony implicit in their actions and decide evil done for what they perceive as good is not evil. So either their heads should explode due to cognitive dissonance, or they are ignoring history and their own actions.

For those who need a history lesson, the SA (The Gymnastics and Sports Division of the NDSAP (Nazi party)) was the enforcement arm used by Hitler. In the late 20s they began violent confrontations with other parties during those parties gatherings.

History, if you are ignorant of it, repeats itself. Apparently that which one is asked to “never forget” has been forgotten.

Or succinctly if you be liberal and not standing on a soapbox denouncing this strongly then … “stupid or evil … pick one” cause you’ve run out of other choices.

In the Past Week or So …

So, a 11 ton bomb was dropped. Apparently, as a result, some have decided “Mr Trump has no strategy”. How they know that, the press forgot to ask. Oh, wait. they didn’t ask because it’s clear those claiming “no strategy” were just making crap up. Remind my why grown men and women who call themselves reporters, report as “news” stuff they know is just made up? And furthermore, when you play, say, chess, do you feel it is a good idea to inform your opponent the details pertaining to your strategy? No? Thought not. Why is this different? Another very positive outcome is that unlike the former administration which completely forgot the lessons from that undeclared war of the 60s and early 70s (that is decisions should be made by professionals in the field and not by Washington) this administration has deferred tactical and methodological decisions to those who have actual expertise. Which means finally after 8 years of misery, the primary aim of our tactics will not be driven by domestic politicking but by strategic goals set by the administration.

Attacks were made in Syria as well. Pretty clearly this had a two-fold goal, first off, unlike the former (somewhat regrettable) President Obama, when a “red line is drawn” and crossed … there are consequences. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, having done the decision in front of Chinese high officials … it sets the stage for China/North Korean negotiations. If you read around in the aftermath of that event, the obvious escapes way too many observers.

News surprising no one, although it will remain to be seen if the Clinton foundation was connected, after all they carried a lot of carpet bags to Haiti.

Sex and the student body, some young women thought not saying no implied no.  Annulled. Wonder if civil suits can recover damages?



Pascha — Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed!

Or in a few more words (by St. John Chrysostom):

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

Blogging Will Be Light

Holy week and all. I try to make most of the Holy week services, I’ll miss Thursday morning liturgy … and that’s I think. Which means I’ll be going every night, Friday 3 services, Saturday morning and Saturday night’s Pascha service.

Swim Log 4-11-2017

Slight hiatus, missed logging a workout or so, and missed two days (yesterday T-storms, Sunday working, and Thursday last week, traveling). Today, starting “taper”, which for me means shorter workout, after warm-ups, less drills, less kicking and most swimming is at race pace (although not often for full race distances).

Total yards: 1750