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 →

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 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.

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.

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.

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?

 

 

Which Is Worse?

Item 1. Judicial malpractice, some judge thinks Mr Trump can be “held liable” for incitement to violence. Not surprisingly the rhetoric cited is mild at best when compared to the former President and his cabinet. This post, same theme (bad judges) notes the “living Constitution crap-on-a-stick” and some likely consequences. Apparently as Mr Obama trampled on Constitutional protections as he was President (example not enforcing laws that didn’t suit him and his many questionable “executive orders”) those who thought his actions OK didn’t think that a President could be elected and use these same standards towards ends they didn’t actually agree with.

Item 2. This essay (missing the point slightly) … in which “aiming at the intelligence community” for allowing itself to be used to partisan ends “weakens the intelligence community”. Duh. And using the IRS for partisan ends does too, or should I say … the IRS allowing itself to be co-opted for partisan uses weakens it.

Item 3. This little snippet of a “reveal” by the left misses the point I think. And I’m not going to pretend this ass-hattery isn’t done on both sides of the aisle. Look. When you know something isn’t true or without basis and you are in position of influence then it is immoral and highly dishonest to push that lie for short term political gain. If you do that you lack integrity. If lacking integrity is common … then we’re screwed.

So. Which of these three items will do the most harm? The judiciary overstripping overstepping its bounds? Partisan corruption of essential government services and agencies? Or the loss of integrity being touted as a virtue?

Slightly related question. I searched but found no responses or hits on search terms. There are about a dozen to 20 (not including former Senators like Mr Obama and Ms Clinton) who voted unanimously for Mr Gorsuch for the federal bench. I have seen no answer to the question of why they all voted for him before but won’t now.

Opportunity is Knocking

Some young journalist who’s idealogy is less important to him/her than ambition could make a lot of money right now. There is a market opportunity in journalism for someone who will report unbiased news. Rignt now the mainstream journalists have sold themselves out for (mostly) the left slanting news, biasing news, distorting news for idealogical reasons. The few media outlets the right has are polarizing the same way, but for the other team. 

What and who can one believe? Right now polsters, cricket race chasers, tell us that the nation is polarizing more and more. When we are reading two versions of the news, two narratives in which neither sides “storytellers” ever get off script. 

So. Wanna make money in journalism? Print the truth without bias. Verify your story. If you can’t verify, don’t print. A trusted news source right now is what we hunger for but can’t find. 

Parallel Lives: Allegedly Unfounded Investigations

The left felt that inquiries into “Benghazi” were unwarranted. As the investigation was done it was in fact unfounded. The actual “scandal” as far as I could tell with Benghazi were two scandals, neither of which got much press. The first part isn’t actually actionable, but should be scandalous. That was the part in which the administration and cabinet on the night the scandal happened, purely because it didn’t fit the foreign policy narrative they were trying to sell, decided to lie about the cause and what occurred. They knew clearly immediately that this was an organized attack, yet repeatedly told the public that these “riots” were a reaction to a year old video exposing and mocking abhorrent practices that Egyptian Muslims had done against Coptic Christians in Egypt. The actually actionable piece was another bold face lie by Ms Clinton who under oath at Congress claimed to know nothing and have no input or knowledge about the security measures at the Embassy. This was in fact against the law, as Congress had enacted a law that all embassy security needed sign-off by the Secretary of State after, I think, the Cole bombing. So. She had no knowledge (under oath) of security measures for which she was legally required to have personal responsibility. Seems to me that’s not strictly, or not-strictly, legal.

Now, in parallel, the Dems are pushing for investigations into Mr Trump and the current administration’s Russian connection. Nobody, if you ask them, thinks anything the Russians did affected the election outcome. What little evidence has been made public is very weak. Sometimes you see, “We see this person talked to a Russian ambassador”. Uhm, that’s not actually actionable and more importantly what is an ambassador’s job? An ambassador’s job is to make contact with officials in the government in the county he/she is posted within to address issues relevant to the relations between the two states. That an ambassador talked to people in or likely to be in a position of influence in the government isn’t surprising. It’s expected. Furthermore, on the face of it, it was probably more in Russia’s interest that Ms Clinton be elected over Mr Trump. It is likely that, like the press and the left, a Clinton landslide was what they expected and therefore what would their “tampering” motive be? What Russia might have wanted as well, was to weaken the position of whomever was elected. Oddly enough, just as in the cold war period, the left continues its role as useful idiots and acts apparently unknowingly to support the Russian regime (well, to be honest “unknowing” wasn’t really a factor in the 70s and 80s … idiots however still applied).

So. What is the goal of the Democrats here? Do they really believe collusion with Russia? On what basis and to what end? That part never reaches their statements on the matter and I suspect isn’t one they’ve considered.

Swim Log: 3-17-17

Main set: 2×50 on the 1:00 repeated three times with a 1 minute break. Trying to keep :44 on the swim part. I think I’ve figured out how to practice pacing. The start interval was consistently :43 and the 2nd :45 on the above set. I need to work towards being able to complete 4×50 on the 1:00 keeping the time steady through all four 50s on the :46 or :47, not too fast on the first, and managing to hold the speed on the last 50 still at :46/:47. I’ll work on that in the next three weeks. Did 9×100 kicking with a final tempo (1:35 100). All breaststroke except for warmup. 4 weeks to my next meet.

Total yardage: 2500

Nationalism and Common Sense

Our former sexual predator-in-chief, err, former President Clinton recently pontificated quoted here as saying, ““taking us to the edge of our destruction.” Mr Trump’s campaign slogan “make America Great Again” and the left reaction that this is tantamount to fascism stems from some pretty wobbly thinking on the left’s part. It is a common and not unrelated economic judgement/mistake by liberals to think that economic transactions are zero sum. Zero sum economic transactions are in fact very rare. Usually they are not zero sum, but both parties benefit from the exchange. I benefit from my customers from their paying me, they benefit from my work as a programmer for example. Both of us come out ahead in the transaction. America “being great” is also not a zero-sum exchange with other nations. Other nations don’t have to have their “greatness” diminished for America to be a healthier stronger nation. One would think that to be obvious. If America’s education system, roads and infrastructure, and pride of place was among the best in the world … this would not come at the expense of the infrastructure in China or France. But both China and France could benefit from medical and technological developments that came from here. And likewise, if China became “great” in those areas as well that would not mean our freeways would be in worse repair.

Liberal elite similarly tout that education should be equalized. They go to great efforts to reduce suburban parents ability to assist their local school district because there exist urban school districts who don’t have parents with the same interest or resources. At the same time, oddly enough, the liberal elite members pretty much universally send their own (actual) children to the best private schools available.

The instinct to get the best for your children is not far from the instinct to wish for the best for your own nation ahead of other nations. It isn’t wrong. Doing otherwise is what is unnatural (which is why those liberal elite fail so often to put their own children in public schools).

The actual Nationalism that liberals would be right in fearing is if Mr Trump desired or thought, like the Nazi Germany they allude to in their responses to Mr Trump, that our Nation should rightfully be conquering or ruling other countries. Alas, all lack of evidence of this motivation has not in any way hampered the liberal mindset in their allergy to National aspirations.

Of Bigotry and the Left/Right Divide

For three to five decades the left has been hammering the right on racism and sexism. And for the great majority it is clear that this programme of theirs have been successful. After all, if it wasn’t successful then we wouldn’t be seeing the goal posts shift so violently in the last decade adding numerous other “isms” as well as adding such thought crimes like “micro-aggression”. Clearly, if macro-aggression was a thing that was a big issue micro- wouldn’t be discussed. However, unnoticed certainly by the left, the left has become as bigoted as the right ever was. It’s just that the left isn’t bigoted and horrifically biased against a particular race or gender. Their target of hatred is the GOP and conservative Christianity. Don’t believe me. Take the following thought experiment.

  1. Scan the headlines today, tomorrow, or over the past week. Look at a dozen articles (can’t find one? here’s a humdinger … note absolutely no evidence is given for the outrageous claim) making over the top claims against Trump or the right. (How about the person who claimed Mrs Trump was a prostitute? as another example)
  2. Now .. replace Mr Trump with Mr Obama and modify the insult to match (with as much basis in fact) and pretend a conservative said that new statement.
  3. Is your immediate reaction that the speaker must be racist?
  4. Guess what. You’d be right.
  5. And if you found yourself not being outraged by the original article or perhaps agreeing with it.
  6. Then guess what? You are just big a bigot as the mythical conservative (who you might note, most of whom never ever said things that outrageous about Mr Obama)

Midnight terror raids have been replaced by beatings and violence at rallies, burning and rioting at speeches, and paid thugs disrupting political rallies (a side note, while the Dem right now have been quick to equate our President with Hitler … paid thugs to disrupt rallies, beatings at rallies, riots to disrupt and so on … where the tactics used by actual, not pretend Nazi party members). This is however just a symptom of the bigotry noted above.

Question then is, how best to show to liberals their own growing bigotry? Here’s one small suggestion. Many times you’ll hear statements made by liberals to the effect “Conservatives say/believe/think XYZ” and the XYZ statement is one that you as a conservative is ridiculous (for example, conservatives want the poor to have no access to healthcare). You might try pointing out that you’ve heard that if one would say,

I’ve heard that if one was to say ‘Black women just have babies without marrying their husbands for the welfare checks’ that the liberal response to this is that that this statement is both untrue and racist. Many have those children for a variety of reasons, they have numerous different ways of approaching the opposite sex in their communities and making derogatory generalizations like that is racist.

And you know what, you’d be right. Statements like that are evidence of bigotry.  So … why do you think it OK to generalize about conservatives in the same manner? Why do you pretend that it isn’t just as an egregiously bigoted statement that you just made?

Academic Insanity

Noted. Seriously, how dumb can you be. Although perhaps he was just repeating a common left wing meme.

Now, in the last two terms Mr Obama was secure from the threat of impeachment largely for two reasons. The first being that the GOP learned after impeaching Mr Clinton if that tact fails, it strengthens the impeached and doesn’t weaken him. The second reason is … after impeachment Mr Biden would have been President … and nobody in their right mind would want that. However, apparently the left has forgotten exactly how impeachment works. While any House member may suggest proceedings, you need a majority in the House to start impeachment. Hello liberals? The GOP has a strong majority in the House … and then … if impeached he’d be tried in the Senate, which is also has a GOP majority.

The left is also blind to the notion that their strident and, frankly, horrible and unjustified reactions against Mr Trump are pushing people exactly in the opposite the direction that they desire. Worked for me. I was lukewarm at best over the notion of a Mr Trump presidency. The left is every day convincing me more and more to support him more and more. Go figger.

Mr Trump and the Wiretap

So, several things were proven by the latest round of “Obama wiretapped me”. One of the main takeaways is that left wing reporters can’t use google. See this “8 point” review. Point 2 quoted although I think “diving deep” is an exaggeration:

Diving deep into Roget’s Thesaurus, media outlets were quick to call the President’s charges “baseless,” “unfounded,” and “without evidence.” What they seem to mean is that he didn’t footnote his tweets. But any halfway decent reporter could have found the source of the President’s charge—a Breitbart article that built on earlier reports by the BBC and Heatstreet. These articles make quite specific claims that the Obama administration used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to investigate alleged Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

“Any decent reported” aka one who’s heard of google … kinda a low bar, eh?

The final point is the real salient takeaway, btw.

Kentucky Cloaking, err, Clerking Devices

So, the lone Kentucky clerk is now in jail. On charges? Of contempt. Well, h*ll, I’ve bushels contempt for a whole lot of jurists, elected officials, and public scalawags pretending to serve the people while most assuredly not doing so. I hadn’t realized holding in contempt those well deserving of same is actionable.

Her jailing is apparently (“bad optics”) is a meme going around. Ya think?

But aside from that, this jailing is done by the feds. This is a state (actually county) clerk enforcing state laws. Her failure to do so doesn’t violate federal statutes, but state ones. Apparently the state hasn’t decided to censure her or prosecute. What is odd that … those who think this sort of thing is wrong, fully supported those who decide that the biased non-supporting of federal immigration statutes by just deciding not to is in the purview of the federal law enforcement and prosecutors is just peachy.

Either supporting the law (all of them) is the job of the President, the Attorney General, and every public official on regards to immigration and every other statute on the books … as well as by county clerks or disobeying such statutes because they are inconvenient or against some personal principles is ok. Both are wrong nor neither. You cannot and maintain any principles declare that these statutes can be disobeyed by those you like and those you don’t like can’t.

Which reminds us, why exactly is Ms Clinton not being arraigned on security related charges? Hmm. Could it be politics. See above. If the clerk goes to jail, so should Hilary. They could share a cell. Last thing I read about Ms Clinton’s “emails not marked confidential” included an email detailing all the known locations of North Korean nukes. On what planet does anyone pretend that isn’t confidential or higher in security clearance (answer apparently: Democrats with inactive grey cells).

Sometimes You Can’t Complain

Oracle is suing because Google “ruined” Java for mobile devices. Uhm, Google created their own version of Java because Oracle (having bought it from Sun) wouldn’t open it up enough that they could afford another companies controlling the development language for their devices. You can’t complain that others took a concept that you wouldn’t open up to others that they went and played in their own playground instead of your tightly controlled one.

It’s akin to the people living by the O’Hare airport who complain about noise abatement because of jets. When you a buy a house that’s a steal because of noise, then when you own it … trying to press for noise abatement isn’t something about which you can justly complain.

The principle is clear. When you make a choice which has advantages and drawbacks at the time you make your choice. Complaints about drawbacks should be ignored.

Right?

Regarding Inside/Out

My wife and I had a “date night” cinema viewing Saturday. We saw the Pixar Inside/Out at the dollar theater.

I thought the notion that the “joy”-self was identified as the primary ego/self driver for the pre-teen child an interesting notion that might be plausible for most healthy happy kids. Also plausible is that emotional maturation consists in part (mostly?) with bringing a more complex emotional group to drive “self” image.

I’m less certain that emotional selves get lost in the inner mind in times of emotional crises.

Of Heresy and Marital Ontology

Well, Doug just posted some excellent thoughts on marriage and the recent High Court ruling. Here’s my 2 cents (the going rate I might add, a bargain? You decide)

Over and over and over from the Christian opposition to SSM we hear that they (we) oppose same sex marriage (and indeed relationships) because homosexual sex is sinful. This is the wrong reason, I think. Yah yah, that’s a sin. But … look at it this way. If you have one individual, in one universe he gets married to another dude. In another he doesn’t. It’s not unlikely that he has a similar quantity of sex in both universes, but in the first … its less random, less disconnected, with fare fewer people, and possibly ultimately less sinful. That homosexual sex is sinful isn’t what is wrong with same sex marriage. It’s not like you and I don’t breed sin in our lives like Fibonacci’s rabbits ourselves (don’t look at me like that). What is wrong with it is that it promotes and continues to solidify a wrong conception of what marriage is about (this post says more about this point better than I could, so go read it, then come back).

If you study church history, you will discover that every historical Christological heresy (the nature of Christ, human, divine and such) was and often is still being recapitulated as an ecclesiastical heresy (That is to say, what is the Church?). There is a good reason for this. The reason for that is pretty obvious when it comes down to it. The body of Christ on earth (after Ascension) is in fact, the Church. So there should be no surprise that heresies (wrong notions) of “what is this called Christ” copy over to heresies of what is this same thing (Christ) here still on earth. What does this have to do with marriage? Well, for the current marital discussions we recall Paul teaches us, in marriage after some subtle instructions on how to treat with each other, that the husband is to the wife as Christ is to the Church. Furthermore that this relationship is a mystery. Now, first off, don’t get too worked up about the term “mystery”. Remember the best definition of mystery is a thing that you can’t explain very well, or at all, in words but must experience to understand. But the connection to Christology is the same. We are discovering that these Christological hersesies? Well, they are recapitulating as “What is marriage” heresies for exactly the same reason. Fortunately, as in the prior paragraph, another author at the site linked above explains that point from the Orthodox perspective far better than I can.

Ultimately this is the reason Christians, cannot back down on the marriage question (for there is little question about balancing the small good of perhaps less sin, if the consequence and mechanism for that is promulgating heresy). This thing the state and for that matter the left elite and many others calls marriage. How they define it. How they understand it. Well, it’s a is indeed a”thing”. But that “thing” isn’t the same as what we understand the word marriage to mean. It might have been better if the Supreme court had nationalized a legal structure called fleem. In which two persons, the glissord and the fleeger are contractually (until they choose to dissolve the fleem) bound together and enjoy the following state privileges (and it will be up to the legislature now to go to their chambers and define for us what privileges are granted to those joined in fleemhood.) Well, actually they did exactly that. But instead they chose to confuse all of us and not use a new word. They didn’t call it fleem or even iglifu. They used a word that used to and for many still does mean something completely different. Keep that in mind in the discussions that follow.

Of Sign, Symbol, and Culture

In 1977 I was passing through Chicago with my family (I was just finished my first year of High School), we’d gotten off the train and were wandering around downtown Chicago prior to renting a car and driving up to Wisconsin to visit grandparents (both my mother and father’s family lived south of Madison in a small town and a farm … for kids, the farm was way way more fun). There was something of a kerfuffle near city hall. Seems some KKK boys were having a parade. Do you think that parade would be allowed today? I’m doubtful.

A decade or so later, PBS had a hour long program that I recall about four small sub-cultures in retreat. French speaking Quebec and their separatist movements, the Basque, and two others which escape my memory. At the end, they had an editorial verbal essay about how cultures often go to separatism and similar gestures to maintain a cultural identity in the large wash and mix of our modern Babylon.

Seems pretty obvious that events and symbols which evoke pride in accomplishments past are one of the obvious means of doing that. Sometimes these symbols are not quite untarnished, but it seems uncharitable in the extreme that those who hold to those symbols are not remembering the good, but the bad instead. That some evil and some insane men cling to those same symbols on account of the tarnish does not change that we should remain charitable.

Hitler was not a good man. In fact, in the 20th century he was one of the top ten in the “most evil” category. However, during WWII the Wehrmacht (literally Defense Force) especially the Heer )(army) were unparalleled as a fighting force. If you consider the quality of armed services from officers to privates of any of the services in WWII that the Wehrmacht was unquestionable by a large margin far far better than the rest. It is a sign of how ashamed of Hitler’s regimes great crimes that this is not remembered positively at all in the modern era. In part that is because Germany is not, like some other cultures, in danger of losing their identity. We Westerners are somewhat puzzled when Russians want to bring back their memories of Josef Stalin, who joins Hitler in that top evil ten list; but who while he brought them so so much pain and suffering with his endless purges, mass executions, imprisonment and enslavement of his own people also lead them through a time of testing. For those who want to remember and honor him do so, in spite of his evil, but because of the great things that they in his time accomplished by modernizing their nation and surviving and overcoming by dint of pure stubbornness that superior Wehrmacht noted previously.

Similarly many in the South remember the Civil War and their brief fight for independence in the same manner. All but a few of those who would fly that flag are not concentrating on the evils of slavery but on the valor and bravery on the battlefield. They recall that they were few against many and they stood. They recall they were greatly outnumbered, had far less industry, and little commerce when compared with the Union and yet their armies fought far far better man for man, and their quality of leadership/generalship far exceeded that of the Union. Being proud of such as that is not a bad thing. It is in fact, good. Seems to me we should be charitable to those who would fly that flag are doing it for those reasons and not assume instead that they are evil or insane.

Today’s repudiation of the flag of the Confederacy is uncharitable. It is a sign that Americans, at least those in the opinion generating elite, have lost our typically enthusiasm for the stubborn underdog. It is a sign that that the liberal cultural elite no longer believe in the multi-cultural values that they used to profess.

But this is a failed essay. John Adams derided Thomas Paine as a wrecker and not a builder. He (Paine) could point out the flaws in a government and raise people to insurrection, but he was not a builder. He had no interest in suggesting a better path, of building a new better place. Like Mr Paine, this essay fails, because I don’t know how to reverse this, admittedly, horrific trend on the left, our tendency these days to exclude from conversation those ideas found wanting. How are we to return to people to can at the same time, know that slavery is wrong, but at the same time welcome men and women who want to honor their brave honorable predecessors who wore the Gray.

Baseball Silliness

So Max Scherzer almost pitched a perfect game (stymied apparently by a guy leaning into a pitch to get a hit-by-pitch call). Now a perfect games is all good (9 innings 27 batters). You could of course improve on that.

  • Impossibly perfect game of the first degree, nine innings 27 strikeouts.
  • Impossibly perfect game 2nd degree, nine innings 27 pitches … all hit in play for an out on the first pitch.
  • Impossibly perfect game third degree. Pitchcount exactly 81 pitches. All strikes, three pitches per batter, with no foul balls on the third pitch, just strikes.
  • Impossible virginal perfect game, Pitch count exactly 81, all strikes no batter makes contact with a thrown pitch.

Any more suggestions for improvements?

Manfred and the SSM Debate or Riddle Me This Mr Liberal

Recently at Symphony I was privileged to hear Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, which is  loosely based on a Lord Byron poem of the same name. And while I am unfamiliar with the poem, I did in fact read the program notes. And what I read there spurred a question to which I have no answer with respect to the modern liberal position vis a vis marriage and who is allowed to partner in such arrangements.

The liberal position with respect to homosexual partnerships is that they should be allowed to marry even though the relative numbers of such partnerships is very small and the there is no possibility to have children. These are not dis-qualifiers for the state to sanction marriage in their view.

So here’s my problem. Manfred by Lord Byron is (we are told) is an expression of his forbidden sexual desire for his sister though the eponymous hero as proxy.  So to put a point on it, in the context of reasons the liberal arguments why can two men or women may marry but a man cannot marry his sister? Or let’s put it concretely. In a state where gay marriage is allowed, what argument could you muster for me not to marry my sister? What reasons for gay marriage are there that do not apply equally well to my marriage with my sister (or for that matter, my brother, my mother, my father, or grandmother/father …. if they are currently not married to anyone else)? It might be added that I have had a vasectomy, so no progeny are possible so the “genetically damaged offspring” argument does not apply and cannot be used. Also, the numbers of people desiring such relationships are not relevant (apparently). (side note: I have no sister so no siblings have been harmed by the this test case).

The non-religious conservative case, that marriage should privilege heterosexual marriage because children are both hard to raise and required to continue society forbids all these newfangled relationships. The exclusion of religious arguments depends both on the insistence that the Declaration of Independence separates law from morals/ethics and that the Habermas/Ratzinger debate is a clear Habermas win. I’ll concede the first half of this “both/and” but not the second, but note that most American’s although they should concede the first half, typically don’t.

So. Riddle me this Mr Liberal? What reasons for two men to marry don’t apply to me and my sisters’ desired nuptials? Or should we be planning seating charts and ordering a cake from a Islamic bakery (and will you condemn and attack said bakery for bigotry because they won’t deliver said cake because they object to our being wed in admittedly not-holy matrimony)?

Money In A Mattress

Is apparently illegal. I never knew that. Mr Hastert is obviously being defended vigorously by the Bill Clinton defenders who seem to think lying to government official in order hide embarrassing  events in ones’ past is a thing that is permitted (note, that they never seem to remember that attempting to tamper with witnesses is not that). Oh, wait. that’s not happening.

But actually, the only things Mr Hastert has been charged with so far .. are hiding money in a mattress (which is as noted illegal, … but who knew? I certainly did not) … and lying to the FBI about being blackmailed.

I do have another question about that. Look. You are being blackmailed. It is almost certain that when the authorities approach you some sensitivity is required by the authorities if they want to stop the crime of blackmail. Well. That failed utterly.

Random Things I Don’t Get

  1. Syria. So a year or so ago, our President “drew a red line” in the sand taking a “hard stand” against the use of poison gas. Assad (and/or the opposition) used said gases after he said that. Turns out that “red line” meant, “let’s talk”. Supposedly back then Mr Putin hornswaggled the President diplomatically and brokered a wonderful deal which satisfied everyone. Except, now there are reports that weaponized chlorine gas has been in use for some months in Syria. Why isn’t that bigger news? Why isn’t it talked about. I don’t get it.
  2. So the Clinton’s both of them, are scum. They’ve been involved and complicit in so many scandals and have so many items of pure greed and corruption laid to their feet that the mind boggles. Yet somehow, because “they’ve done it before” nobody except the opposition party seems to care. I really really don’t get it. I’m not saying that they need to go to jail (though that would be nice) but … that seems a very low bar. “Not going to jail” is no reason to listen to speeches or pretend you’d vote for them.
  3. Mr Schraub (and lots of other people especially on the right … which Mr Schraub certainly isn’t … ) get affirmative action exactly backwards. Affirmative action is wrong not because it “helps” minorities at the expense of other (mostly missed minorites, e.g., Asian Americans) but because it is harmful to those it supposedly benefits. Those on the right gripe about aff/action for the wrong reasons. Read Clarence Thomas’ remarks on why he thinks his Yale law degree wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Or watch (or recall) the movie “Tuskegee Airmen”. The critical error by the openly bigoted people running the training squadron was that making things very very hard creates an elite unit. And how do you destroy the moral and capabilities of a group? Lower the expected standards. Aff action is wrong because it is harmful to those it pretends to help. This should be obvious to everyone observing it. So the point regarding Ms Clinton and Mr Obama gets it hind end foremost. They overcame the deleterious effects of affirmative action. This, on their part, is commendable … but any advantages they received from it is likely dwarfed by the disadvantages (again, read some Thomas on the subject and learn).
  4. And a last snipe  at his post… Mr Schraub writes “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were and are every bit as qualified and meritorious as your typical President before them” … hmm. Mr Obama was less experienced and qualified as Ms Palin and as qualified as Mr Cruz and about Ms Clinton, well, we the prior point and remind everyone that for example selling US Uranium ore rights to Russian plutocrats to raise money for your PAC is the apparently exactly the kind of qualification Mr Schraub applauds. I remain ignorant of the methods and metrics people use to determine (and those on the left seem very very sure about this sort of things) how “qualified” or “smart” a politician is. As above, I don’t get it.

 

Experts Believe

Experts believe Iran is 3 months from a nuclear device now … and if the Kerry/Obama agreement is kept honestly by Iran (and you can take that with a grain of salt(peter)) then they will be a year from having a device.

These same experts were the ones who said Iraq had lots of poison gas, where taken completely by surprise by Egyptian uprisings, the Russian Crimean adventure, and pretty much every uprising and event in the last decade. The question really is, who are these experts? Why does anyone believe them when they say anything? Who pays these guys? And …

The kicker, Mr Obama has on many occasions spoken of his (secret because details are never given) plan to proceed to a non-nuclear weapon world. How does giving Iran (probably) a weapon faster and more resources to fight conventionally (see their recent overthrow of the Yemen government) … get you to a safer place.

Not seeing it.

Mr Obama. You can complain about us in the States not having faith in you. But you see, you have to actually make arguments for the things you believe. That argument has not once been made publicly . So, don’t just ask us to trust you. ’cause we have no reason to trust anymore. You’ve told too many baldfaced lies for that.

Confusing Tactics

So, the Grey Lady has decided enough water has passed under the bridge to have an article pointing out that … indeed there were WMD in Iraq. I guess they figure the “lied/died” meme is entrenched.

I remain confused on two points. Why release this now? And, why did (apparently) the Bush admin hide information about the WMD during the last years of his Presidency?

“Islam is not the Problem” … Is that Right?

Many of our intellectual elite keep (White House, others) keep repeating that Islam is “not the problem” behind the terrorism, violence and so on in the Middle East and elsewhere (France for example). What is not said in those pronouncements is, if Islam isn’t the problem, exactly then where does the problem lie? It seems likely that the statement Islam is not the problem is only half right. People who claim “Islam is the problem” (or not the problem) can be compared with people who claim “germs cause disease” (or that they don’t). Stating that Islam is or isn’t “the problem” isn’t useful. What are some more useful remarks or questions that might be raised instead? Such as, what does a more complete story/picture look like? What are useful ways of approaching this matter, not that the President and the left elite don’t have a useful way, they just are very very coy about what that way is, as “it’s not X” does not explain “it is Y”. Continue reading →

Off the Cuff

So, Dr Gruber, not a politician. Ya think? This gets much mileage in the press and the liberal politicians are going distance themselves from him as if he he were scalding acid. Abortion as eugenics, to be applied to minorities, hmm. That’s palatable, albeit Ms Sanger was in the camp too I think. Regarding Mr Gruber, the outrage is confusing. I mean, here is a guy who admits selling Obamacare on falsehoods. But I mean, why is the right acting all put out? Those lies were not believed by the right, but by the left. Why is the left not outraged that they were sold a bill of goods? Politics remains very confusing for me.

Some IQ specialist thinks he has evidence that intelligence is not nuture but nature, which will alas irk the (mostly racist) race theorists no end (see this too). So, if it comes out that intelligence (and therefore success in school) are due to nature not nurture, can we stop with the stupidly high inheritance taxes that the left thinks are necessary to stop the “rich” from having unfair advantages?

I wonder what this sort of graph but instead for the WWII Germany/Soviet Eastern front wars would look like. It would be appalling I think. Appropos of that and in the discussion which mention Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo. But like most of the Western canonical history forget that Russian led armies sacked Paris in 1814. The same poster (rightly) mocks those college students of today who are so so so ignorant of history it seems.

Regarding Ms Feinstein and her “release” of CIA investigations on torture. The left’s thesis (which is badly flawed) is (a suggested thesis of her report) is that torture doesn’t work, ergo we shouldn’t do it. Actually historically it seems very very likely that when done efficiently with an understanding of what you are up to, it works and works very well. See Mr Fernandez excellent book  No Way In (or read about the Gestapo and well, anywhere they operated). Look. Every single time a resistance cell loses a member to the torture using establishment everyone has to find a new safe houses, move and so on. Why? This wouldn’t be so if torture was ineffective. But. It is. The argument against torture is not that it isn’t effective or cost effective but that is immoral. It is wrong. That is the only argument needed or which should be used against it.

 

A Few Remarks on the Comet/Shirt Kerfuffle

Ms Althouse has some interesting remarks regarding this kerfuffle (I’m going to assume those readers aren’t hiding under baskets and know the actual subject of this particular kerfuffle, which dealt with particular details on an engineer’s shirt during a press release after the successful landing of a satellite on a comet). Mr Reynolds (Instapundit) points that the landing on a comet by a satellite is more important than what a person wears and the “feminists” (or some feminists) were hijacking this event. Ms Althouse in an attempt to “be provocative” suggests:

And I will be more provocative: In the broad span of human culture, fashion is more important than space travel.

She is in some ways correct, in other ways not. I will return her provocative remark by noting that which is important about fashion, is exactly the same as what is important about “space travel” or landing on comets. What is important about fashion is man’s search for beauty. This is the central search in science, space travel, and much of engineering. The search for a beautiful solution is not far adrift from the cathedral (architectural beauty) or fashion (beatiful people/clothing). Beautiful clothes and in general the quest for beauty is precisely what was achieved in a different field (aerospace engineering) as what is sought (and I’d offer rarely found) on the fashion runway. Fashion is not “more important” than space travel. Landing spacecraft on comets is the height of fashion for those who don’t do color and form, but instead do maths.

And I disagree that wearing that shirt is “an attack on feminism”. Feminism celebrates such displays, witness vagina displays, slut walks &c. I’ll also disagree with Ms Althouse that he intentionally “made a statement” by wearing that shirt. More likely, given the engineering culture, is that is was the top “button down” (read as ‘fancy’) shirt in his drawer or closet.