Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dangerous Data

Revenge of the Sociologists | The Weekly Standard

Nial tends to be wordy, basically this the old news story of "don't mess with the shibboleths of the the dominant culture". Gay has been decided to be good, gays raising kids was summarily judged to be good, maybe even better than "traditional families". End of story, woe unto all that would dare to question that "settled science".

For those of us of a certain age, we well recall when "divorce had no negative impact on children, and may even be positive because of the reduction of tensions". Much like the requirement to delay an hour after swimming to avoid cramps, this view has been "reassessed".  Naturally the reassessment came well after any chance of deciding to "make do" or "work it out for the kids" was far from as stupid as we were told in the 60's and 70's. I'm still sore about the swimming I missed.

In the '70s, the energy crisis was caused by the FACT that we were OUT of oil -- today, the reserves are many times larger than they were then. The climate was cooling in the '70s ... well known, but not as "settled" as the warming, er,  "change" today. Change would seem to cover it.

In the '70s when EO Wilson questioned the Blank Slate, he was a bigot, a neanderthal, a zealot. Today, the Blank Slate is considered absurd -- nature seems to have the strange idea that success breeds more than failure, and carrying along a few tendencies that turn out to be adaptive in the DNA is beneficial.

I'm not so concerned about "content" here -- it seems likely to me that when two sexes are required for procreation, and the idea of a "family" being one man and one woman having been by far the norm for at least a couple thousand years,  the outcomes for children MIGHT be better in that situation, but I certainly can't prove it.  I'm sure we will see much more evidence on at least the opposite view, with maybe some on the "common sense side" depending on the ability of the dominant culture to suppress pro man/woman family results vs Man-Man, Woman-Woman, etc. But that isn't the point here.

The point is the danger of massive politicization of research, science and common sense,  and the sort of environment that is engendered by that course. When the price of having and stating beliefs, hypothesis,  data, statistics, results, etc that are in disagreement with "the dominant elite culture position" becomes too high, many people shut up, claim to believe what they don't, or even just throw up their hands and actually switch sides. I seem to be one of the very few that actually enjoys being stupid.

If you are aligned with the dominant culture view, your response to this thought is likely "good, I don't really care how the fools that disagree with us get on board, but they have to!".

All well and good, but just try to recall the discomfort you may have had after 9-11 when 80-90% of the population was in support of attacks on terrorist bases in Afghanistan, and nearly the same numbers were behind the removal of Saddam Hussein under the suspicion of WMDs. When radio stations were told by their listeners to stop playing the "Dixie Chicks" after they disparaged the president overseas. When Tim Robbins didn't get some invite to a forum after one of his anti-Bush screeds. Remember how quickly the spectre of Nazi Germany and Hitler was raised by the left elites at that point?

Please realize that the real problem in Nazi Germany was UNlimited Government -- the kind that you get when you allow the government to say, force you to buy a product -- say, insurance. The kind you get when THE GOVERNMENT tells you that certain kinds of speech are "hate speech", or that certain kinds of religion are "not our values" indicating that you ought not hold those religions views (Rahm Emanuel , Chicago, Chick-Fil-a). The kind that you get when you are penalized for what you DON'T do ... today, "buy insurance', then "Heil Hitler". The kind where the government tries to remove you from your tenured university position because they don't like what your research shows. You know, the kind of government our Constitution was supposed to guard against.

What was being called "Fascism" in '02-'08 was private citizens making decisions on who they listened to on the radio or invited to some event. It wasn't the government or government officials. In a free country, people used to be allowed to hold even very unpopular views. The idea was that freedom of thought and speech went together and needed to be heavily protected.  ESPECIALLY unpopular speech!

That was the law, but more importantly it was part of the shared mores of a free country. Tolerance of free thinking may have even been the American "Prime Directive" for you Trekkers. Oh, POPULAR speech sometimes needs to be controlled according to the left as well -- if it looks like a Republican might win, then the amount of speech (money) they are allowed must be curtailed.

It was once expected, even considered honorable that your brother, your dad, your neighbor, your boss, the guy at work or down the street would have some crackpot and maybe even really bad ideas ... racism against Blacks, Jews, Irish, Italians, Orientals, Polish, etc.  Lots of folks thought that Communism was "inevitable" (pretty much up to '89 MANY DID, some still do), Socialism was clearly the answer -- right up to when "National Socialism" took a very bad turn in Germany under Hitler. Eugenics suffered a similar fate -- it was a really good idea for the left elite (Margret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood for example), and then, uh, not so much.

Wouldn't it be great if we could "educate" everyone to be a BO Democrat, or maybe a Christian ... or a Buddhist, or a Capitalist, or a Minimalist ... or ??

Why don't we just ostracize, marginalize, harangue the people that don't line up with our view of "correct"? Oh wait, I guess many DO do that now ... but we didn't used to do it as much. It was considered to be against our shared values as Americans. Even when the subject was ACTUAL sympathy and working with a foreign sworn enemy with nuclear weapons pointed at us, pushing to hard on that was considered a "dark period in American history" ("McCarthyism). My how far we have come with Chick-Fil-a and the whole Gay Marriage issue!

or is it just the ever present problem of it VERY much depends on whose Ox is being gored?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Understanding Leviathan

George Will: Blowing the whistle on Leviathan - The Washington Post

Good column by George. I've read "2 Felonies a Day", a very good and sobering book.

The statutes are already in place for the government to declare you a felon any day they want. Without even having a thought in your head of committing a crime, you have run afoul of some statute ... maybe a claim on your taxes, maybe some chemical that you use ... for cleaning, for crafts, for lawn care. Maybe your religious views somehow crossed the line to "hate speech" ... or somebody is willing to testify that they did. Maybe you transported the wrong thing ... or person across state lines. The list is endless.

The list is way too long and getting longer every day. For now, the government can only TAX you for not buying the proper type of heath insurance. But the slope is greased -- the path to criminalizing what you DON'T do is well established.

Face it, get on the wrong side of the wrong people and you are CURRENTLY a criminal.

Oh, you trust the government? What if the "other side" wins ... do you trust Mittens? Do you trust  Boehner? Michelle Bachmann?  No?? As you applaud the adding of  more and more government power,  remember you have NO guarantee of what idiot will wield it.

That is why our founders specified LIMITED government. They thought that EVERYONE could see the dangers in UNLIMITED government and that limiting government would be a bipartisan AMERICAN issue.

 But we don't understand that, do we??

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Guns?

Fear drives opposition to gun control -

Frum seems really certain that it is fear.

In the last 10 years motorcycle sales have skyrocketed

The biggest growth area is riders over 50. Since I've bought both an assault rifle and a motorcycle in the last 10 years, and Frum points out that this group is also the biggest gun purchasers, perhaps he is missing a factor or two?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that people over 50 are aware that motorcycles are dangerous. Even the many that ride without a helmet are aware that motorcycles are dangerous.

Somewhere around 50 it becomes clear that one is not going to live forever, and in fact, your time to do things you might like to do in life is far more limited than mere age of death demographics would suggest. As parents and others age and pass on, it becomes very clear that your quality of life for the last decade or two of your potential life span is likely to be much less than you are used to and might have hoped for.

Guns go bang. Some of them go bang a lot of times. Being able to keep them on a target at all can be challenging -- when it gets less challenging just add  more targets, time the firing, put the targets farther away, make them smaller ... you get the idea.

Guns are male jewelry. Especially handguns. They are a combination of beauty and power, yes, with some danger mixed in. (See motorcycles). Guys like Frum and a lot of others that "know better" don't like them and want them banned. There are a lot of folks that have a lot of similar ideas about motorcycles.

Sauce for the goose. You may or may not have had some rebellious tendencies when you were a teen, but by the time you are 50 the idea of some supposedly brilliant somebody having power over your choices is completely different. When you are 20, you are likely to do something just because someone says you can't ... or even just because someone else (eg your parents) does or doesn't.

After 50 years, you have no doubt spent a lot of time making or being forced to make choices on the basis of things like "gotta raise the kids", "gotta keep a job",  "wife won't let me" (maybe for some of those reasons), "no time, too much work, kid raising, etc... ". Some of those very real considerations start to lift in the 50s and you realize you can reasonably make some different choices ... and that the time when you can is not likely to last a whole lot longer.

You have also seen the clay feet of the "elite". Like all people, while they are telling you what to do, it turns out they have their own problems --- wine, women, weight, gambling, smoking, drugs, ... the list is long. Likely you yourself have wrestled with one or more tendencies,  maybe you still are and always will be. "The brilliance of man" often tends to fade somewhat as age advances. Turns out that none of us are nearly as smart as we once thought we were.

Twist the throttle, pull the trigger -- as long as you are still breathing, life can go on, and guys like Frum? Well, they can still get their jollies still being certain that they have the world all figured out.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Random Thoughts - Thomas Sowell - [page]

Good column, but the last paragraph is priceless.
There seems to be something "liberating" about ignorance -- especially when you don't even know enough to realize how little you know. Thus an administration loaded with people who have never run any business is gung-ho to tell businesses what to do, as well as gung-ho to tell the medical profession what to do, lenders whom to lend to, and the military how to fight wars.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Overwhelming Femaleness of Quilters

The overwhelming maleness of mass homicide -

or macrame fans, lovers of too many pillows to see the bed, romance novels, etc. etc.

Damn, sex differences still exist! The obvious solution? Let's see if we can fully feminize men, that ought to make us one big frilly, chatty, giggly fun bunch a sistahs!

Ah yes, the "Martians" ("Men are from Mars, Women from Venus"). News at 11, there is a "downside" to maleness. Who better to pick it up than a woman.

We keep trying to get boys to behave as girls, but they just don't seem to get it. Guess we will have to work harder ... or maybe there is some sort of backlash to the "maleness is bad" approach?

Nah, can't be ...

Facts on Gun Control and Violence

News Versus Propaganda - Thomas Sowell - Page 1

Sowell hits one out of the park as he so often does. Any person that reads this and doesn't at least have a basic understanding of why we have such a wide divide in world view in this country has simply been brainwashed.

There is ALWAYS another side to the story, and often the other side is quite difficult or even impossible to refute. Many views "have a point" --- it may not be the right point or the optimum point, but it is often "a reasonable point".

If you can't argue the opposite side of your position well enough so the average guy in the street would be convinced that you hold that view, then you don't know the issue well enough.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Biased "Secrets"

Mitt Romney's other tax secret - Jul. 23, 2012

In 2008 the media was remarkably incurious over policy relative to BO. "Hope and Change" was his platform and to even consider a "detail" like what kind of things might be in a BOnomics or BOcare plan was completely unnecessary. He was going to close the evil Gitmo and fix the economy in 3 years or be a one term president. What more did people need to know?

Release any information about BO's past? Take a detailed look at where he went to church for 20 years, or who his close associates and helpers were (eg. Tony Rezko ... sweetheart land deal for BO's house among many other political money "favors. Rezko is in prison). There was just no critical interest in "the one" -- the job of the media was to add a brighter lustre to whatever spewed from his massive campaign juggernaut.

Now the media is fantastically interested -- in Mittens, but strangely only in items that they can call "questionable".

In Al Gore's tax returns from when he was VP, his charitable giving was $350 on $300K of income one year ... wide open info, one would have thought it was a state secret relative to media. There are millions of deductions for charity in Mitts taxes ... lots to the church, but he has also done a lot of other pretty amazing charitable giving / work.

For some reason, I'm not expecting CNN to be doing any stories on that.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

33rd BOcare Repeal Fable

SPIN ALERT: The House Did NOT Vote to Repeal Obamacare 33 Times

I heard the "33" on MPR a number of times -- with the appropriate derisiveness from the announcers for the "symbolic show having been done 33 times".

While I strongly suspected the truth, I really didn't care enough to check it -- I already knew they were biased. Heck, every Democrat "Close Gitmo", "Defund Iraq", etc shenanigan was treated as if it were holy writ by MPR, no matter how many times they had floated some DOA stunt when W was in WH.

So it turns out, complete fabrication. If you are an opposition party, voting for repeal after you take over and after the SCOTUS upholds is pretty normal political behavior.

Of course so is treating it derisively and fabricating false numbers to try to make the other side look bad. Which I have ZERO problem with!! If NPR, NYT, CBS, etc would just truthfully label themselves with something like the following:

"We are Progressive Statist Propagandists -- we believe in ever larger government controlling more of our lives. We abhor the Constitution and see it as a document standing in the way of government doing unlimited good. We see government as a total force for good in the modern world, and human nature as infinitely malleable through education and government incentives. "

Or some such. Cigarettes have to have warning labels, and they are FAR less dangerous to the future of America than the MSM!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Post Post America Energy Picture

Energy Revolution 2: A Post Post-American Post | Via Meadia

Some good news for a change. I love it when "Nature" ... or I believe God, does a little "pundit mocking".

Remember Negative Ads Being ... Negative??

Barack Obama’s high-risk, high-reward campaign strategy, and how Romney should respond | Power Line

This is a good little strategy discussion, but it reminds me of how things work in US Politics / Media today. Prior to 2008, negative ads were TERRIBLE -- any politician that "went negative" needed to be asked a lot of questions as to "why". It was considered to be part of the legacy of such evil geniuses like Reagan handlers Lynn Nofsinger, Ed Rollings, etc. -- unseemly and bad for politics.

Then BO spent more on negative ads against McCain than had been spent in the previous history of campaigns, and we were off to the races. Now, going completely negative is SUPER strategy as far as the MSM is concerned -- what else is BO going to do? If he runs on his record it would be a short campaign -- "As I promised 4 years ago, if I didn't fix this economy I'd be a one term president -- so I guess I will be".

So he is out defining Romney as negatively as he can -- uh, "maybe he's a Felon"?, but of course we know that BO **IS** an admitted Felon. He STATED that he heavily used marijuana, cocaine and who knows what else in his first book -- oh, wait, he is a Democrat, nobody cares.

One would STRONGLY hope this backfires big-time, and maybe it will. There isn't anyone that looks much  cleaner than Mittens, and one doesn't need to look very hard for BO pictures that show a very much darker side of the old "Hope N Change Guy" ... but media and the massive BO attack ads are powerful. The outcome is anything but certain.

Contrasting Election Columns

First we have Krugman ... personal attacks are OK if are directed against Romney, since real issues are complicated and Republicans are liars. BTW, the "heavily tilted to rich" W tax cuts provided $3T in tax relief for people making < $250K and $700B for those making over $250K. Oh, and "lowest taxes" are lowest tax RATES ... which nobody paid. In actual and inflation adjusted dollars, those that make $250K and above are paying far MORE in actual dollars and percentage of total taxes than they have ever paid before -- but we can trust Democrats and Democrat columnists.

Then we have Ferguson ... as we have know for 200+ years, the engine of growth is  capitalism, competition, free markets --- then and now, stagnation AND government cronyism with public unions and the wealthy. There are MORE people in the .1% that are BO supporters than Romney supporters. Why? They already GOT their wealth!! It is the people from "$100K - $500K" in INCOMES that want competition and lower regulation -- they want to pay off all their student loans and get wealthy so they can afford to be Democrats as well!

There is no reason that Romney ought not win by double digit popular vote numbers if people would vote their pocket books!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stay Married, Avoid Poverty

Two Classes in America, Divided by ‘I Do’ -

For anyone that supplements their media diet with just a tiny bit of off-MSM seasoning, it is no news at all that a very significant amount of the "rising inequality" is due to the damage that sagging morals and government stepping into the roll of "daddy" (provider) has decimated the lower and lower middle classes.

They say 40% here -- I'd say it is much higher than that because the societal crackup came in the 60's ... we have had a couple generations of pagans in some cases -- and it shows.

But maybe if the NYTs prints it, more people will start to believe the obvious.

Finish HS, get married and stay married, raise a family -- IN THAT ORDER! Those are the biggest keys to you and your children not living poverty!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Demographics and BO

Why Doesn't Obama Have a Bigger Lead? | Mother Jones

Mother Jones reporter can't figure out how a President with persistent 8.2% unemployment and the weakest economic "recovery" since the Depression doesn't have a big poll lead -- to which one might just dope slap your forehead and loudly say DUH!!!

The MSM and the Democrats are perpetually talking about how Hispanics are a rising percentage and they are huge Democrat voters -- so Republicans are toast.


I see a lot of mixed Hispanic-White marriages, and many of them seem awfully religious / conservative, and seem to be having a ton of kids. Are they all counted as "guaranteed Hispanic / Democrat" voters??

The Democrat constituency for a long time has been "birth control, abortion, Gays,   no or maybe one kid to save the planet, etc.". Not a way to increase your voting block in general. Meanwhile, at least at our church (relatively conservative LCMS), there are a number of larger families coming up, and in some cases already voting age. Seems to be even a bigger trend at more conservative evangelical churches.

I've heard that the groups that have the most offspring eventually "win" in this evolution thing? Likely just a myth though -- all the geniuses with "evolve" on their bumpers are certain that not having any kids is the smart move. They gotta be right!

Kill Brad Pitt's Mom?

Brad Pitt’s Mother Fears For Her Life …After Her Conservative Statements - Independent Journal Review

Reagan said it best; "A liberal will defend your right to agree with them to their dying breath".

What he didn't say was that "liberal", ISN'T. It is a stolen term -- prior to WWII it was "Progressive, Socialist, Fascist or Communist". WWII changed that because "Progressive, Socialist and Fascist" all became "unpopular" for some reason -- "Communist" wasn't so bad -- the USSR was our ally.

So the left stole "liberal" ... meaning "laissez faire",  libertarian, individual liberty, open minded, etc

Progressive, socialist, fascist" are distinctly NOT "liberal" in the proper meaning of the word. They are elitist and absolutely certain that they have all the right answers -- oh, and if you don't agree? You should either be silent or SILENCED ... your pick.

I REALLY applaud Brad Pitt for standing up for his mother! It is courageous, because "liberal" ideology certainly doesn't recognize mothers as special and worthy of the unconditional support of their sons. Also because many liberal sons would not  take the position that blood is thicker than ideology, and would just side with the attackers.

Note, Pitt doesn't have to say he AGREES with his Mom to support her! "Liberals" have a gigantic tendency to confuse "support/care/respect/etc" with "agreement", because they really believe that their thoughts and positions are "sacred". Since most conservatives have a higher power (God), they tend to be more tolerant of opposing thought, since they don't see man's temporary thinking as sacred.

Walter Williams, Some Economic Common Sense

Difficult Economics Lessons - Walter E. Williams - Page 2:

Excellent article from Williams. Between him and Thomas Sowell, I'm a bit prejudiced in favor of Black Economists.

I loved the following quote. One problem with the fuzzy thinking of liberalism is that they provide very little logic that is invertible (ie. if this is a "good idea", why doesn't it work both ways?) or universal -- "if campaign finance restrictions are important, why wasn't it an issue when BO broke all records in '08?" or "If Gitmo was so horrible, why isn't it still an issue since it is four years later and it is still open?".

 "But what is equal opportunity, and how could you tell whether it existed? I've asked students whether upon college completion they will give every employer an equal opportunity to hire them. Most often, with a puzzled look on their faces, they answer no. Then I ask, "If you are not going to give every employer an equal opportunity to hire you, why should employers be forced to give you an equal opportunity to be hired?""

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Unions Really Spend

Higher Political Spending by Unions:

Organized labor spends about four times as much on politics and lobbying as generally thought, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, a finding that shines a light on an aspect of labor's political activity that has often been overlooked.

For those of us that attend the MN State Fair and see the giant Union Booth on the corner opposite the giant Democrat Booth, this is no surprise. The Union Booth is just another Democrat booth -- fully staffed by union members and supporting exactly the same candidates. The Democrat Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Unions, and as we have seen in the auto bailouts, vice-versa. A very cozy relationship.

Naturally, while the MSM is INCENSED about "Citizens United" and "The Koch Brothers", union political spending, "volunteers", etc are no problem at all. It's a free country after all -- for folks that agree with the left at least.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Retired Extreme Conservatives Happiest

Conservatives Are Happier, and Extremists Are Happiest of All -

Well, I made the retired part up, but I really suspect it us true.

Not a lot of new news here, people are happier when they know where they fit and have solid relationships in that fit -- which the more extreme you are, the more likely you are to hang together. Flat Earthers and Moon Landing Deniers soon end up finding each other in the internet age.

Turns out that actual multiple thousand year old religions tend to work a lot better than those thought up yesterday in the happiness department.

Should we care? Well, I'd argue that we don't have a choice -- we are wired to seek happiness, it really isn't an option for this relrase of humanity.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Acceptable Tolerance

Symptoms of a sick culture - Jonah Goldberg - Page 1

Interesting take on the lifeguard fired for saving a life, worth the read.

I'm struck by how much outcry we get from the media on things like "zero tolerance" for drugs, alcohol and such, but for union work rules actually defining who gets saved and who doesn't, it is a "don't care".

Everything we do has both intended and unintended consequences, "side effects". When what we do is as big as a national health law, the side effects are likely to be bigger than the act itself -- and nearly as unpredictable.