Friday, January 30, 2015

Democrats Are From Mars, Republicans Are From Venus

How Did Politics Get So Personal? -

Reading the linked article reminded me of the '90s relationships book "Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus" and the difficulties of shoving the complexities of humans into neat pigeonholes -- but I guess that just "proves" I'm a conservative because I have difficulty with such neat analytic ordering of people! As stated in the article:
Conversely, these researchers define holistic thinking – which they consider more typical of conservatives — as “seeing scenes as a whole and seeing people as a product of situations.” Talhelm described this style of thought as “more automatic, caught up in emotions, and in some ways less adherent to the rules of logic.”
As opposed to "liberals", who:
Analytic thinking, in this view, “emphasizes slicing up the world and analyzing objects individually, divorced from context — much like scientific analysis requires thinkers to separate complex phenomena into separate parts.” Talhelm elaborated in a phone conversation: The analytic thinking typical of liberals is “more conscious, more focused on the rules of logic.”
So "conservatives" are pretty much like the women of the '90s ... intuitive, holistic, emotional, etc, where "liberals" are more like '90s men ... analytic, compartmentalizers, objectivizers, etc.

At first blush, this seems more than a little surprising, but it gets more so, he goes on:
Talhelm wrote me in an email that “analytic thinkers tend to do better in engineering, and they hold more patents for inventions. But holistic/intuitive thinkers tend to do better in more social fields, such as early childhood education and marketing.” One study in the 1960s, he said, “found that analytic thinkers were more likely to have long hair (for men) and short skirts (women).
So have you noted the preponderance of conservatives in "early childhood education and marketing" yet?

Having spent over 3 decades in software engineering, holding over 20 patents, and being male, as well as associating with at least 10's of gentlemen of similar political and technical ilk, the apparent "fact" that conservatives are now supposed to be pretty much from Venus is somewhat difficult to fully process -- but I'm certain that is also just another aspect of my unwillingness to think deeply, and my requirement for "simple solutions" as explained in the following snippet.
a stronger preference for deep thought and a rejection of simple solutions. Liberals are more tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and they have less of a need for order, structure and closure.
Gee, the author must be a conservative? Isn't putting people into two groups somewhat of a  "simple solution"? (rejected by liberals of course!) So let me try to help the author out here. What he MEANS is that "liberals" are smart and conservatives are stupid -- but he doesn't want to give in to what the article is ostensively about, "Why left and right are so damned divided, hostile and increasingly personal about it!".

I was very disappointed to see Jonathan Haidt's name associated with an article that was not available to read which was apparently a lot of the basis for this "analysis". I felt that Haidt did MUCH more to explain something of the potential for the emotional underpinnings of liberal / conservative in the "The Righteous Mind" -- to put the thesis of that book very simply.

--- If you inherently know that it is wrong for grown siblings to have consensual protected sex and will admit it, you are by nature "conservative". If you would answer on a survey that you "don't have an opinion on it", even though, if hooked up to a brain scanner while giving that answer, the parts of your brain that signal DISGUST and I'M LYING are overloading, you are a "liberal".

So why are we so "divided, hostile and increasingly personal"?

Well, because prior to say "Wilson", 80%+ of Americans were practising Christians and believers in the basic tenet of what made America exceptional -- Constitutionally Limited Government.

As what I call "TP" (The Party-D) has increased in power, America has become increasingly non-Christian and Statist -- meaning UNlimited government, Political Correctness, higher taxes, more regulation, a growing welfare state, entitlement vs responsibility, etc, etc

As we have covered in this blog many times,  modern "liberals" are NOT liberal. They are Statists, and while there are plenty of conservatives that are technical, scientific, analytical, etc., to be a "conservative" means that one also believes there is "something more" -- usually God, and in the US, usually Christianity,  but essentially it is the idea that the universe is "teleological" -- it has a goal/purpose.

We used to be a nation (and indeed a Western Civilization) that believed in a teleological universe with rules -- specifically in our case, the Bible and the US Constitution. Conservatives still do, Statist TP does not. TP believes that **IT** (TP) is the "measure of all things".

Unfortunately, compared to this level of divide, slavery was a minor issue. The vast majority of the North and the South believed in the Bible and Constitution but were divided by freedom of choice on the specific issue of slavery. The cause of the Civil War was much more akin to Abortion than to fundamental difference in worldview that now divides us.

*** Slaveholders saw slaves as less than fully human. Proponents of abortion see unborn babies as less than fully human. "States Rights" would allow some states to have slaves / allow abortion, while others to not do so. TP is totalitarian in its "moral" pronouncements, they can't allow some States / people / etc to choose to believe other than what TP decrees. ***

So we are indeed between a very big rock and a very hard place. Our founders wanted to allow quite vast differences between States, so they enumerated limited powers to the Federal Government and the reserved the rest to the People and the States. Starting in a big way with the Civil War, the nation has seen fit to step by step allow the Federal Government UNlimited power and therefore make the States increasingly just "administrative districts" rather than significantly sovereign entities.

As TP continues to increase in power, the natural tendency -- one which we have seen murder over 100 million people in the past century -- is to "define the other" (eg. "conservatives", "Republicans", "Non Party Members") as "defective" -- stupid, uninformed, deniers, reactionaries, etc. Increasingly we will see organizations like the IRS, NSA, FBI, etc target "conservative groups", and the "scientific community" will publish papers that indicate that conservatives are somehow "mentally deficient" -- emotional, illogical, unable to "think deeply", unable to deal with the "ambiguity / complexity / uncertainty" of "modern life", etc.

It's an old story. Define humans into classes and then use the power of the State to "re-educate", "concentrate", "cleanse" -- or just "terminate". 

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

American Economic Ills Explained from Aspen

Sturm: The real deflate-gate: the depressed state of our union |

Aspen CO is commonly thought of as a upscale hideaway for the rich, famous and usually far left politically. The linked article is proof that they have some people with actual minds there as well! Go read the whole thing, not that long and WELL worth it! I'll throw in a couple teasers.

The bottom line is that much like someone being over-medicated, our economy is being killed by bloated government acting in concert with the biggest businesses and public entities that can lobby government to aid themselves and hobble competition.

"When profits accrue for those with the most to invest in politics — and the most to lose in the free market — wealth and opportunity shift from ordinary people to the government and its friends. That’s why Americans struggling to maintain living standards must contend with ever-increasing prices in government-controlled sectors — housing, health and education.

And this little history lesson ... 
Free to pursue their individual life objectives, American entrepreneurs — and immigrants fleeing societies where one’s start predetermined one’s end — transformed an agrarian backwater into human history’s greatest economic wonder. Between 1800 and 2007, economic well-being (real gross domestic product per capita) increased 32-fold in America compared with 14-fold in Great Britain and fivefold in India. 
It’s not a miracle; it’s the free market, where rivals meet in open competition, generating a continuous stream of innovation, choice and value. In return for pleasing customers and being good corporate citizens, entrepreneurs earn profits

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Picard Is Not a Liberal, Morality and Power

The Survivors (Star Trek: The Next Generation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

I happened to watch "The Survivors", one of my more favorite Star Trek Next Generation (STNG) shows last night in which the Enterprise answers a distress call and shows up at Delta Rana IV to find what was once a colony of 13 million to be now devastated and devoid of life save for two elderly humans, Kevin and Rishon. They are living in an all too perfect plot of land with a home and while saddened by the loss of life, seem none the worse for wear.

There are a number of twists and turns in the story to fill the hour, but eventually Picard figures out that Kevin must be more than he appears to be. When confronted on the Enterprise, Kevin breaks down and admits that he is a "Douwd", an exceedingly powerful immortal being. He can take multiple forms (or none), and while in human form, fell in love with Rishon and spent his life with her. When the violent warrior race the "Husnock" attacked the colony he tried to fool them with his powers and keep Rishon out of the fight, but as she saw the destruction, she moved to fight the attackers and was killed.

When Kevin saw her broken body that even with his vast powers he was unable to restore to life, he was enraged and attacked the Husnock even though the Douwd are pacifists by nature.

Picard indicates that such a a response is understandable -- but Kevin, shaken with grief and guilt, lets him know that he does not understand -- he killed ALL the Husnock, everywhere in the galaxy, some 50 billion -- they no longer exist. He committed genocide on a universal scale. The embedded clip is 5min long, but is well worth it and I suspect you will "get it" even if not a Star Trek fan. 

I know Picard is not a liberal, since his response is; "You are free to go, we have no courts or morality with which to judge you". Were he a liberal, he would have applied whatever the current liberal "morality" of the day was -- OBVIOUSLY the most "advanced", as liberal thinking always is -- and either praised or sanctioned Kevin's action with the kind of smug certainty that only liberals can have! 

<<  I've got my tongue in cheek a bit ... even a "liberal" would likely feel a nasty fear in the pit of their stomach when faced with such power, and be anxious to get "away" (whatever that might mean in the case of such a being), as fast as possible! ... although I may be giving them too much credit, for that would require COMMON SENSE, and it often appears that liberals completely lack that! >>

So Picard is a conservative -- he understands that the beginning of wisdom is the recognition that you (and your species, your country, your philosophy, etc) are less than "God". In fact, we are SO FAR from "knowing God", that it is hard to even imagine what is "moral" to some intermediate power between us and GOD, like the imagined "Douwd" species.

There are a number of things I love about the concept of the show. The vision of the Douwd species as having a sense of right and wrong and being able to love and feel emotion deeply. Their having a vast amount of capability compared to humans, but still not being able to restore "life". Their near total power of death/killing, somewhat analogous to humans with the atomic bomb.

We can destroy so much , but our creative powers are severely limited in comparison. The same is so of culture and tradition  as well -- we can easily destroy millennia of culture with cheap technological tricks  and "progressive" ideas, but are completely powerless to replace it, since that would require an alternate past to provide a connection, and that is FAR beyond our capability. For the important things, we only have the power to destroy.

I enjoy the idea of a species vastly more powerful than us, but still being infinitely short of God. The sense that "morality" definitely exists, we can emotionally sense it, it has some sort of relationship to power/capability, but our ability to sense what it means "beyond our pay grade" is missing. We however can possibly (though I suspect with imperfection and risk) apprehend that for lesser creatures, there is much less to be said of the moral imperative.

As Picard says in the end of the show -- we have no answers to such questions. But isn't it an interesting fact that even though we KNOW we can't answer for such a being, we also KNOW (in our hearts) that there does exist some form of "right and wrong" beyond simple "might is right" or "the greatest good for the greatest number" (Bentham).

Or I guess Christians, and probably most conservatives know that. Based on experience, it appears that "liberals" do not, and rather believe that morality begins and ends where they say it does.

Narcissus Speaks in India

Our Self-Obsessed President | Power Line:

BO's speech on leaving India was yet again primarily about BO. What's new?  The top reason for him going was to get some sort of fake "climate agreement" like he inked with China a few months ago, but he failed to get that, so in his mind, there wasn't anything to talk about other than how great he is.

As I've written before, my HOPE is that BO is only a narcissist, but I suspect he may be a psychopath.

Our "sound of a left hand clapping" media is naturally unconcerned about having a president who claims he can't meet a world leader because it is "too close to an election", and then sends a team to try to defeat that same leader in the election that he supposedly "didn't want to influence"!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Maps, Models, Territory, Blizzards, Reality Denial

Blizzard 2015: What Went Wrong With the Forecasting? - WSJ:

We just had a nice solid example of the fact that "The map is not the territory", or in this case "The model is not reality".

Those of us that use maps or GPS units have had the experience of finding that the road has changed, the place we are looking for has moved, or the GPS unit is just having "a bad hair day". We are then forced to operate in the actual territory and abandon our faulty "aid".

Likewise, forecasters used models that they had a high degree of confidence in, but it turned off that the models were "off by a bit". Nothing very new here, it is STILL a lot better to know "there is going to be a pretty good storm in the area", even if it doesn't hit where predicted.

As we have seen, the super confident "settled" predictions of Global Warming have been "off" for at least 18 years -- but for power political reasons, the elites / MSM refuse to recognize that their models have not accurately predicted reality, so are therefore flawed. Nothing unusual there, ALL models / maps / plans / narratives / etc are flawed -- they MAY predict reality to "some margin of error".

Over longer periods of time, greater distances, more precise requirements, those errors become larger -- and the storm hits Boston rather than NYC, oil production goes up vs down, and temperatures may go down 2 degrees rather than up 2 degrees in 100 years. No biggie -- the climate will have "changed", it always does.

Such is the real world. We certainly don't throw out our models, maps, plans, etc, but what we DO need to do is realize that they are useful, but flawed. When the map says that we need to make a turn, but the turn is not there, we look around a bit, and if needed, ask directions.

Anyone that claims otherwise is the worst kind of "denier" of all -- a reality denier.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Palin, NPR, Winning and Losing

As 2016 race begins, GOP faces its Palin problem |

I generally like Sarah Palin. She is no intellectual, but compared to Joe Biden, she is a genius in intellectual terms and a comparative god of common sense! She would certainly be a better president than BO, but then pretty much anyone that isn't a anti-American Marxist with any level of basic real-world experience, would be -- someone with some leadership / management experience like Palin would be 100x better.

But she isn't going to be president or vice-president, that train left in '08.

Heading down to the RAC this AM, NPR covered this story a bit in their "political junkie" discussion in the oddest of ways -- they quoted Palin as talking about the old saw "If you want something said, get a man, if you want something done, get a woman", which they promptly took to be "an endorsement of Hillary"!

The "marginal candidate" issue is a problem for Republicans alone. The left is LOADED, and always has been loaded with batshit crazies -- Biden, Boxer, Pelosi, Kucinich, Nader, Wellstone, Sharpton, Kerry, Franken etc, etc, quite commonly either have, or still do, utter statements that make any sane person wonder what their planet of origin is -- but such statements are barely reported, or if they ARE reported, they are written off as "slips", "misquotes", "out of context", etc.

Being left means never being called stupid -- NPR has constantly harped on the supposed zaniness of Palin, yet they think nothing of taking her quote out of context and applying it as an "endorsement of Hillary". So you take a quote from someone you have no respect for and somehow think it is interesting to apply it to your cheerleading for Hillary? No problem -- it's NPR, they are shills for TP, so they can say what they want.

So Republicans have to HYPER police their own, and do it under GLARING SCRUTINY. Maxine Waters can get up at any TP function, including the convention, and ramble on about race, reparations, police brutality, need for guaranteed income for blacks -- etc, etc and there will be ZERO national coverage of it. More importantly, there will be ZERO cases of reporters asking party officials, let alone actual candidates questions like "It seems like you / the Democrats are ignoring / trying to hide, etc important Black voices like Maxine Waters?? Can you comment on this ??

But when Palin, or someone like her starts talking, the MSM is all over it and ANXIOUS to get the "Tea Party" or other parts of the party as riled up as possible, and LOVE to put the microphone in the face of party leaders or candidates and get them to either comment favorably on the farther right speech -- in which case they point out how RADICAL the party / candidate is, or to comment Unfavorably on it, in which case they work to help create a rift in the party, or better yet splinter the party to cut votes for Republicans.

Lose, lose for R, win, win for D and MSM! That is just the way the current world is, and anyone that wants to get the nation back on track has to be aware of it and deal with it.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Losing Your Sense of Small, Bump World GDP by 20%?

Billionaire Greene Bets on U.S. While Bemoaning Jobs - Bloomberg:
“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”
Billionaire Jeff Greene flew to Davos on a private jet with his family and two nannies. He really feels that the little people in American have WAY too high of expectations. He and BO may have a slightly different view of "hope and change" than what a lot of Americans were thinking -- but don't expect the MSM to be helping that to be recognized!

Something like 1700 private jets flew into Davos to discuss pressing issues like Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and Income Inequality -- Slick Willie, former fornicator in chief of the US, whose primary area of expertise is walking the halls of power with his pants around his knees, spoke on income inequality while wearing a $60K watch. Hypocrisy is not one of the topics on the agenda.

Here is another great article from NRO on the conference that is well worth reading. Davos is a great way to get just a little bit of insight into how much contempt the world wide elites really hold those of us that can't even afford a limo, let alone multiple nannies, high class homes around the globe, and a beautiful jet at our beck and call to take us wherever we desire.

These ridiculous hypocrites deserve every syllable of abuse that comes their way. I instinctively write off all denunciations of the wicked 1 percent coming from anybody unwilling to live at or below the median U.S. household income, which amounts to less than Clinton’s Rolex is worth. But there is something worse at work here than hypocrisy: stupidity. And stupidity is, like private-jet travel, shockingly expensive.
The primary reason to read the NRO article is Williamson's attempt to deal with the horrible issue that I so often try to deal with here -- just how stupid even the smartest of humans are, and even worse, the nasty phenomenon that the smarter one is,  the greater the temptation to believe in your own smartness. Couple that with a level of intelligence that is enough to fake your brilliance to a higher and higher percentage of people, add in power and wealth, plus the fact that enough similarly "smart people" will turn into toadies around you and you have a recipe for historically large egos and massive Dunning-Kruger effect!

Even worse, as evidenced the 1,700 private jets, which universities they attended, what they eat, what they wear, etc, etc, a LOT of those "elites" think very much alike -- they are pretty darned sure that is because there aren't all that many options on how to think once you are so super smart.

Perhaps if you don't  lay out at night with a couple of beers staring at the stars, you lose your sense of small?

Add enough money, power, intelligence, safety in the herd, etc mentality, and you ALSO can get 2,633 of the (at least in their own minds) "most important people on earth" in a little town in Switzerland at the same time. It is as if all the trophy bucks had an annual ritual where they were all congregated in a small area -- a trophy hunters dream!

I can imagine that security is "stellar", but then I would have never imagined that a guy could jump the fence at the White House and get in the front door, nor would I have imagined that White House computers could be hacked and down for a significant amount of time.

Obviously a very small nuke could take out the whole kit caboodle, but who knows ... a few well placed charges for an avalanche? any dams in the area? I'm not a very malevolent sort and I don't have much interest -- heck, maybe they are their own best protection!

The smart bad guys all realize that taking out the entire Davos herd would likely raise the world economy by 20%!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper

'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize | Rolling Stone:

I saw the movie tonight, Solid, entertaining, patriotic, memorable, well done, patriotic,  true to the book and events as known in the real world. Well worth seeing. Highly recommended.

So I did a Google and ran into the lovely linked article.

One needs to remain aware of the Rolling Stone, and  whole sectors of the American "elite". These people, BO included, would fold like wet paper bags in the face of reality if ever forced to face 1/1,000tth of what heroes like Kyle faced, but they remain a clear and present danger. As the article makes plainly clear, their hatred for America and anything good is total, while their faith in their own intellect and smugness may be a lot less real than they want us to believe, it is a pose that their egos demand, so it is dangerous.

One looks at the title of the article and thinks of the genius of Jessie Ventura  sueing Kyle's widow because "he wanted to be treated better at SEAL reunions".  The author of the article seemed to think that making fun of Forrest Gump is an easy target that somehow relates to Sniper -- "Stupid is as stupid does".

The message of Forrest Gump, and indeed the message of Christianity and to some degree Western Civilization is that there is "book smart" and then there is "transcendent intelligence and meaning". "Book smart" is often foolishness that is completely certain that it is genius in it's own mind, confines of the classroom or Rolling Stone, but often falls on very hard times in the real world. In fact, much like Commodus in "Gladiator", the pseudo sophisticated intellect tends to be certain right up to the end that it's malevolent self aggrandizing is actual reality, rather than the figment of it's own imagination that it really is.

Mayor Bloomberg and the entire NYPD turning their backs to him comes to mind. The author of "the too dumb to criticize" article, Michael Moore, and a couple of other "intellectuals" walk into a bar and decide to kick a couple of Navy SEALS asses ... cuz they are REALLY smart!

Sure. No doubt before anything even started the "brilliant ones" bowels, bladders and stomachs would have spilled all contents on the floor from just looking the reality of actual character in the eye. Now, what they would really like to do is find some way to charge the SEALS with some "crime" -- say running afoul of the IRS, and take them down behind their backs.

"Brilliance" often ends up with it's head cut off in an orange jumpsuit if it is not protected by  Sheepdogs of the ilk of Chis Kyle. If such arrogant "brilliance" was forced to actually face either the evil that Kyle faced down in doing his duty, or God forbid, SEALS of the calibre of Kyle, such "brilliance" of the sort of BO, the writer of the column, or the Hollywood "elite:" would grovel on the floor in their own bodily fluids t as opposed to the preening and swagger they try to fake in protected public pronouncements.

The movie has to be hated by the left  because among many other hated by the left aspects, it points out the truth of Al Zarqawi and Al Qaeda in Iraq, and along with the now known WMD, these are facts that MUST  not be exposed to the tender ears of the sheep in the thrall of the mythology of TP. Even worse, it shows the outpouring of emotion and gratitude of thousands of Americans in recognition of service and sacrifice of Chris Kyle in the closing scenes of actual footage surrounding his memorial and funeral.

The "heroes" of the left are guys like Marx, BO, Castro, Bill Ayers, and BO -- "the brilliant". They know they have no hope of receiving the kind of honest respect of decent people like a Chris Kyle, so they hope for dependent masses and fear. Their hope is that they can gain control of massive killing machines on the order of the USSR and Nazi Germany and take out all Sheepdogs like Kyle  -- ideally in some Gulag, or in some torture chamber like those of Saddam and his sons. I suspect that the author of this article would dearly enjoy a nice electrocution session with a SEAL hanging on a meat hook. It would give him a strong sense of "intellectual superiority" -- of the sort all too regularly on display in the world.

Keep the ARs clean and sighted in. So much better to die with your finger on the trigger than at the hands of the elite moral relativists or Islamic zealots of the world.

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Entitlement, It's Not the Plays Called, It's the Attitude Created

George Will: The harm incurred by a mushrooming welfare state - The Washington Post:

My analysis of NFC Championship loss by my beloved Packers is if you play so conservative that your DBs are sliding down with 5 min left to play, you deserve to lose. It isn't so much the conservative play calling as it the attitude in the team that is engendered by the calls -- they stop playing to win and start playing not to lose. Their mental energy is focused on NOT losing -- which is like NOT thinking about a pink elephant. Just as you immediately think of a pink elephant, the team becomes focused on LOSS, which is very commonly just what happens.

So to to the attitude engendered by "entitlement" in the US:

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America’s “fastest growing source of personal income,” growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.
The explosion of "welfare" programs in the last 50 years as turned America from a vibrant merit based nation focused on growth, advancement, success and the future, to a declining debt ridden nation where over 50% of the people receive some sort of transfer payment and the exorbitant tax rates to pay for only a portion of the largess are paid only by the top earners. Never before have so few been so burdened so a corrupt political party could destroy the will to work of the majority of a once great nation!
More than twice as many households receive “anti-poverty” benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments.
Why do we do such things? Because 70-80% of those 67 million people vote for TP (The Party -D)!! This is vote farming! Much as we fill the news and march in droves over the lost lives of a couple black youth killed while resisting arrest, but totally ignore the 6K black youths killed in black on black violence every year, the cost for converting a nation to abject dependency is no issue all all. WHAT MATTERS are votes for TP!
... the structure of U.S. government spending “has been completely overturned within living memory,” resulting in the “remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state.” In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.
The government is great, the government is good, we thank it for our daily bread. God, fathers, and the family have been replaced by the "benevolent" government as being the source of bread. TP has succeeded in creating a nation of dependent children (many of advanced age) who are beholden to it for their very sustenance.

Like conservative play calling or NOT focusing on a pink elephant, human nature is sickeningly predictable. The primary cost is destruction of the winning attitude -- the destruction of the spirit of a people :
“... the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it.” As a growing portion of the population succumbs to the entitlement state’s ever-expanding menu of temptations, the costs, Eberstadt concludes, include a transformation of the nation’s “political culture, sensibilities, and tradition,” the weakening of America’s distinctive “conceptions of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-advancement,” and perhaps a “rending of the national fabric.” As a result, “America today does not look exceptional at all.”

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SOTU, The Party As Employer

Woman Showcased by Obama in SOTU is a Former Democratic Campaign Staffer | Washington Free Beacon:

Somehow I missed out on seeing BO flap his lips on TV this week, watching a paid liar lie just doesn't capture much interest for me. Turns out, he is lying even when he is NOT talking, as in the "optics" of the event. The woman that he held up as example of how his policies are working for "average Americans" was a Democrat Party employee.

As we slip more and more to single party state with a higher and higher percentage of people drawing support from the government or directly from "The Party", does not the "Party Worker" become the rule rather than the exception?

So I guess in BOistan, having a DNC person up there is just fine.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little MSM Compare, Reid Slingshot vs Cheney Shooting

Badly Injured Harry Reid Just Fitness-Shamed America - The Daily Beast:

Cheney Shooting (4 years later) 

I've paid little attention to the Harry Reid story. It might well be as stated, a VERY strong elastic band somehow flung him across the room and did all the damage claimed. It might be something else -- it was reported on New Years Day, Harry would not be the only person in America that had too much to drink some New Years in case alcohol was involved.

As I've often said, I don't really care how the press decides to treat these sort of things -- they could treat them as they treat them when an R is involved, or they could treat them as they do when a D is involved. My only beef is that they ought to have SOME thought of treating them THE SAME!

Which they don't.

We barely know of the Harry Reid accident, while at the time of the Cheney accident it was plastered all over, including late night shows, etc. As we see above, even four years later in 2010 it is worthy of a multi-page retrospective from the Post full of "unanswered questions".

It isn't very hard to read the accounts of Reid's accident without a few "questions", but nobody is really asking them, and I'm fine with that. For PERSONAL issues, I think both parties ought be treated that way so that a higher caliber of people would be willing to go into politics. EVERYONE, independent of party has a PERSONAL life that includes personal failings, family failings, failings of friends, accidents, etc..

Bill Clinton saw fit to harass Paula Jones, an employee and to have a sexual relationship with an employee at the WH, both of which would have been the end of the line for a low level manager at McDonalds or any other US corporation. That ought not be confused with "personal" for EITHER party -- and by the way, if low level managers lose their jobs over such things, so ought presidents irrespective of party. (** Note, I'm NOT saying that low level managers necessarily SHOULD lose their jobs, just that it is the law of the land that they do, and the fact that law was signed by one Bill Clinton should give one pause)

Both Reid and Cheney were on their own time, not on official government business, their accidents were personal. Reid apparently injured himself, Cheney injured a friend. Both cases are are private / personal, but the difference in treatment is glaringly obvious.

We can't change how the press operates, but we CAN pay enough attention to realize that there is a very transparent attempt at a form of brain washing!

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl

link to book

Personal events of the past week have yet again brought this book off my shelf and I realized that I have never directly reviewed it in the blog.

Dr Victor Frankl, trained as a psychiatrist before suffering years of life in the brutal concentration camps of Nazi Germany where he lost his young wife, parents and of course millions of others (including many more of his friends and associates), has a level of authority that is hard to ignore.

Beyond his experience in the horror of the camps, he founded a school of psychotherapy called "Logotherapy", derived from the Greek "logos" or "meaning". It is considered the 3rd school of Viennese psychotherapy, contrasted with Freud's "will to pleasure", and the Adler/Nietzsche "will to power", it talks of a "will to meaning" in the existential manner similar to Kierkegaard.

Logotherapy speaks of "existential frustration", where the term "existential" has 3 related meanings:
  1. Existence itself in the way that humans experience it.
  2. The MEANING of existence
  3. The PERSONAL SEARCH for that meaning
Where Freud, and largely the American Founders thought that "happiness" or "pleasure" is what is to be pursued, Frankl believes that life provides each of us a task that is specific and unique for each person. Every human has value because each has a unique task that will likely fall under one or more of three headings:

1). The completing of a "work" -- art, innovation, a family, ideas, business, etc ...

2). Experiencing or encountering someone or some thing -- the love of your life, care for the poor, the elderly, the sick ... or maybe just "baseball", or "riding motorcycle"

3). Suffering -- facing inevitable suffering and turning it to triumph. Very much looked down on today where we tend to make people "ashamed for being unhappy". Note if the suffering CAN be removed, then that is what should be done, but if it is a terminal painful condition, or someone close to you is lost -- or if you are in a concentration camp, then human suffering CAN have dignity.

A well known quote from Nietzsche comes up a couple times in the book "He who has a why can bear with almost any how." The message of the book is that it is meaning that is primary (the why). Happiness is a RESULT not the immediate objective, and in fact, the pursuit of happiness as a primary goal is often destructive as it fails to realize that RESPONSIBILITY ... inescapable responsibility to answer the question that life asks us, is the natural human state and it REQUIRES tension ... effort, risk, loss, pain.

The idea that happiness is a worthy "pursuit" and some would even say "a right" is a sham, because of what Frankl calls "the tragic triad" that is part of each of our lives:

Pain, Guilt, and Death. 

Part of each of our "question" is how do we say yes to life in the face of Pain, Guilt, and Death. His basic answer is "A human being is not one in pursuit of happiness, but rather in search of a reason to become happy".

I'm going to include his "imperative", even though it is one that does not speak to me as well as much of the book does:
 "Live life as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now". 
To try to give readers a chance to follow this better than possibly I do, I will quote a bit more:
" In fact, the opportunities to act properly, the potentialities to fulfill a meaning, are affected by the irreversibility of our lives. But also the potentialities alone are so affected. For as soon as we have used an opportunity and have actualized a potential meaning, we have done so once and for all. We have rescued it into the past wherein it as been safely delivered and deposited. In the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured. To be sure, people tend to see only the stubble fields of transitoriness, but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past which they have brought into the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity." 
My belief is that the reason this does not speak to me to the same extent is that I did not suffer in a concentration camp, nor lose a young wife that I loved, all my family and most of my friends to the Holocaust. To Frankl, his life prior to, and even the experience of the horror of the camps is so much a part of his soul that he has had to integrate that as "treasure", somewhat in order to live, but possibly more so in order to honor and keep alive the memories of those he knew and loved that were lost so early in his life.

The book is not directly a "religious book", although to believe that "life" asks each a meaningful question, there is only a short step from "life" to "God". If one has Christian Faith, much in the book is quite easily to translate to that context.

Needless to say, I highly recommend the book, ESPECIALLY for those suffering ... and in human life, eventually, that includes all of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Young Earth Science, History Began in 1880

2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics -

Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880.
Fundamentalism is endemic to humans. Fundamentalist Secular Humanists love to poke fun at religious fundamentalists to who extrapolate from the genealogies in the Bible to a 6K age for the earth, but by comparison, the religious fundamentalists have a VERY old earth compared to the "settled science" of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming)  faithful who use 1880 as the beginning of time.

Note though that the 130+ years used for this startling historical dart to the souls of anyone that maintains any skepticism relative to "settled science" is somewhat aged compared to the time we actually have actual satellite global data, which begins in '79 ... and shows no statistical warming since '98, ranks 2104 as the 3rd warmest by a tiny statistically insignificant amount since '79.

Wow, time for a headline!! THIRD warmest year since 1979!!! We are talking a FULL 36 years here folks, a span of time virtually impossible to even conceive of in scientific history! Perhaps with immense scientific advancement, far in the future, humans will even be able to recall what life on this planet was like 36 years in the dim and distant past!!

Unlike the evolutionary crowd who like to talk about "great age", the AGW crowd has to contend with quite a few living human specimens that actually lived in such dim and distant past ages as 1979! Although given the distractions of TV, Rock Music, the Internet, Cell Phones, etc, I guess the assumption is that very few of them will  be able to recall such dim historical ages.

As noted here before, those of us of apparently exceptional memory recall the '70s and early '80s were pretty chilly times, when science was "nearly sure" (although less political about it) that an ice age was in the early stages. "Settled" is a bit of a short term phenomenon in modern "science".

From the amount of play this pronouncement of 2014 being "the warmest in history" is getting, it is fairly clear that the warmist faithful are feeling rather concerned about their religious faith.

Skepticism of science! We all know that science is a matter of FAITH! Something which can NEVER be questioned!

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An Islamic Mallard Walks Into a Bar

The Conversation Obama Doesn’t Want to Have | National Review Online: "’"

A good discussion of the collateral damage of the BO admin's 3 card monte "It wasn't anything Islamic" dodge.
Think of it this way. A bird waddles into the room. It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck, it gives off every indication of duckness. If Josh Earnest says, “That’s not a mallard,” well, okay. You can have a reasonable conversation about which species the bird might be. But if Earnest says, “That is not a duck. It has no relation or similarity to anatine fowl in any way, shape or form, and any talk of ducks is illegitimate. . . . ”
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Is Jimmy Carter Laughing at Jewish Safety?

Jimmy Carter: Jews Safer in France than Israel | Washington Free Beacon:

Watch this video, it's damned spooky. Why is the question of Jewish safety somehow funny? Why do Carter and his interview buddy find the idea of Jews being safer in Israel than France to be so entertaining?

Iranian nukes come to my mind as something that vermin like Carter may have in the back of his mind.

As Carter says in the video -- these attacks provide a great opportunity for the West to discover what makes Islam "great"! Sure, it must a single minded will to power -- just imagine how super an opportunity a couple nukes to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would be with that same logic!

PowerLine had a great little bit of Carter humor in the same vein of his laughter on the tape ...

Jimmy Carter went to a fortune teller and asked when he was going to die. The fortune teller responded: "On a Jewish Holiday".  Carter responds, "Which one?".

Fortune teller responds, "Whatever day you die will be a Jewish holiday".

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Fox News Snubs French, African Lives Matter?

Group says satellite images show destruction of Nigeria villages by Boko Haram | Fox News:

More proof of the racism and anti-TP bias at Fox. They are providing some coverage of damage so severe that is shows up on satellite, along with the potential of 2k deaths in Nigeria.

Clearly, yet another case where Fox has missed the memo -- thousands of deaths in Africa matter far less than 12 deaths in Paris, just as 2 black youths killed in Grand Jury reviewed police matter, while 6K young black men gunned down by other young black men do not.

The rules of TP (The Party-D) are very specific -- go outside those rules and you will be considered "biased, racist, stupid, etc".

Somehow I suspect that Nigerian estimates of casualties vie with BO administration estimates on BOcare for accuracy.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When Reagan's Approval Hit 35% and the Left Was Right

Robert Samuelson: Volcker, Reagan and history - The Washington Post:

I remember these times very well -- Reagan was the first Republican I had voted for. I listened to A LOT of NPR in those days since I drove more, and their positions on Reagan were quite simple -- idiot, warmonger, destroyer of the economy, etc. Of course their positions on America were pretty much as they are now -- too wealthy, too much consuming, too much income inequality, too much military, too many stupid red state people that don't know what is good for them, too much religion, best years behind it, etc.

At that point in my life I had suspicions that NPR might be right, but being in your early 20's is a time when it is hard to look at the future as a "deserved decline" to everyone living in European sized condo flats, no consumer type toys (boats, snowmobiles, etc), dinky little cars, no real reason to look to "advance" in your career since any increase would just go to tax, etc..

But in '82, it looked like NPR was right and "Reaganomics" was a huge disaster.
Reagan rejected this futile path. As the gruesome social costs of Volcker’s policies mounted — the monthly unemployment rate would ultimately rise to a post-World War II high of 10.8 percent. Reagan’s approval ratings plunged. In May 1981, they were at 68 percent; by January 1983, 35 percent. 
Still, he supported the Fed. “I have met with Chairman Volcker several times during the past year,” he said in early 1982. “I have confidence in the announced policies of the Federal Reserve.”
I can remember listening to NPR, seeing the evening news, and reading "Time" magazine thinking that I was learning an important lesson -- the High School and College instructors really had been right!  In the "modern world", massive government was the ONLY way -- the buying a home and having it go up in value, or investing in the stock market era was over. The best years of a more economically free and vibrant US economy were behind us -- time to turn down the thermostats, shut off the Christmas lights, and learn the life of austerity.

The US stock market had been essentially flat from '62 - '82. The home I would finally purchase at 12.5% interest in '83 was built in '60 and was still "current" in '82, other than the electric heat, which meant I lived in the basement and very cold to save money. The fact that in the '60s the "experts" were so certain that electricity was going to be "too cheap to meter" was a little reminder that the "experts" always quoted by NPR were not ALWAYS correct as I shivered under my blanket reading "Time" in the basement.

But NPR, Time, NBC, ABC, NY Times, etc could not ALL be wrong, could they? It was obvious the climate was cooling at the time, we had harder and harder winters pretty much every year. We CERTAINLY were out of oil -- of that there was ZERO doubt, only a complete idiot would think otherwise, and hunger + "the population bomb" were the issues that would CERTAINLY be gigantic issues the next decade. ("The Population Bomb" had been published in '68, and was known by anyone with any education).

Then of course, the USSR was on the march ... Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Africa -- the inevitability of communism was well, "inevitable". NPR regularly covered with glowing and gushing terms the marvelous healthcare in the USSR and Cuba, the superb free day care for kids, and the complete equality of income. Why should the US even have ANY defense budget agains the inevitable?  The inevitable that was in fact better!

Reagan was not only a fool -- the disaster of "Reaganomics" had been proved by '82, but he was DANGEROUS. To claim that the US would consign the mighty USSR, the inevitable winner of the cold war to "the ash heap of history" was simply insane. The ONLY way that would happen is by a nuclear war that would destroy the planet -- winter was a big theme in those days, so "nuclear winter" fit right into the cold and getting colder ambiance of the time.

But as we know now, the "certainty" that all the experts, media and academia were completely certain of was 100% false. The "stupid actor from California" was WAY smarter than all the PHDs, pundits, economists and columnists. By '84, it would indeed be "Morning in America", and not even the MSM could fight the reality. Reagan would be re-elected by a landslide.

I learned TWO giant lessons:

1). The obvious -- the "experts" are always certain and frequently wrong. If you just have your eyes open that will be obvious MANY times in the course of a lifetime.

But maybe more importantly!

2). The objective of TP is POWER -- not success for the nation, better conditions for the people, or even the continued existence of the US in anything like the state it was founded to be. The expectation that that "the experts will learn", or even that the people that support the "Standard Media Narrative of the Day" will learn is completely false. They will not! "Learning" has never been on their radar except in the case of better ways to gain POWER!

TP (The Party-D) and their supporters in the MSM  learned precisely NOTHING about communism, oil, climate, economics or anything else from the '80s, '90s, and the continued growth of the US up to 2008. Because all of those things that I thought were important -- jobs, homes, economic growth, etc. were not even on their objective list!

They learned nothing because their desire is for POWER and that means MORE GOVERNMENT! No matter who that hurts, how much freedom is destroyed, no matter if people go hungry,  no matter if thousands of young black men kill each other every year, no matter if the nation is sold off in pieces to the Chinese or whomever,  or simply ceases to exist as an entity as it sinks under a horde of illegal immigrants and debt.

For TP, POWER is the ONE singular driving lust that trumps all else, and "facts" relative to things like strong families, individual rights, economic growth, opportunity, innovation, a meaningful life, etc for the masses,  will NEVER mean anything.

The masses living in government mandated cinder block high rises riding public transportation, getting public healthcare with no alternatives, watching government run media and entertainment -- maybe even "enjoying" a 5th of vodka or even few joints as "recreation", while the "deserving" TP elite have their "Dachas" in the Hamptons, Palm Springs, Upper East Side, etc and live the deserved life that elite "servants of the people" ought.

That is the "utopia" that TP sees, and no mere "facts" are ever going to change their minds!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Myths, The Center of the Universe

The Biggest Myth About Debunking Myths | RealClearScience:
"To successfully impart knowledge, communicators need to understand how people process information, how they modify their existing knowledge and how worldviews affect their ability to think rationally. It’s not just what people think that matters, but how they think," he says.
It's a recursive (self referential) universe if you are human. All you CAN know is banging around in your head if you are a pure physicalist,  and while Descartes thought that the beginning of all knowledge was "I think, therefore I am", it is earlier than that ... 

Man always wants to be the "center of the universe" ... and today, science and humanist thought are the latest to claim that mantle. They are CERTAIN that THEY think "rationally". Even true brain scientists could tell them that what all humans do is RATIONALIZE -- we are so beset with confirmation bias and selective "facts" that none of us are remotely objective. 
Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
FIRST, you have to recognize your human place in the universe -- tiny, temporal, needy, dependent, emotional, fragile, easy to confuse.

From there, you can pretty much decide "it is all meaningless, I prefer to not think about it", **OR** you can decide "there is more to me and what I see around me than mere randomness, I want to believe there is a purpose, something in my core SCREAMS there is more, and I think I'll look for it".

From that point, Christianity is a pretty quick and easy to understand answer -- none of the other religions offer anything like the success in history of Christianity, nor anything like a God that cares enough for man to take human form and die to save him. What's more, we have 11 Apostles and hundreds of people that saw the risen Savior. Ten of the 11 Apostles died martyrs declaring that knowledge to the end, along with many others. 

To die for what you believe when you THINK it is true, but have no way of verifying it, is one thing. To die a horrible death for something you know to have been a lie -- as the 10 Apostles would have if Christ did not rise, is beyond comprehension or belief.  But that is what you MUST believe if you are to deny the Resurrection!

Our thinking is often in error, as is the thinking of the dominant political parties, scientists, journalists, thinkers, etc.

The beginning of knowledge and wisdom has always been and will always be the fear of the Lord! It is the only escape from human centric thought.

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Millions Support Slandering the "Prophet""

Array of world leaders joins 3.7 million in France to defy terrorism -

Before the UN General Assembly in 2012, BO stated:
 "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."
 ... it was a part of a moral equivalence litany that equated anti-Islam statements with abusing women, making too much money, destroying the environment, and other things which BO on some occasions finds to be "bad things". 

 The administration also condemned Charlie Hebdo  for publishing cartoons that might be offensive to Muslims in 2012. 

BO put the man that made the anti-Islamic movie that was used as his first cover lie for Benghazi in jail. There doesn't seem to be much question that his heart lies with having people like Charlie Hebdo SHUT UP! 

One can imagine that BO is ambivalent at best about the happenings in Paris. You notice there are no calls for more gun control as there would have been with pictures of men dressed in black swaggering down streets and executing a policeman with a full-auto burst in the US. Such pictures in a country with completely oppressive gun control serve to remind the average American sheep that the idea that a government -- even one as massive and  entrenched as the one in France, is ever going to keep you secure is just one more "you can keep your life if you like it" lie!  

BO attended an Islamic school in Indonesia. He was well read and connected to Nation of Islam as documented in "Dreams", expunging white blood is a problem:
As I imagined myself following Malcolm X's call, one line in his book stayed me. He spoke of his wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged. I knew that, for Malcolm, that wish would never be incidental. I knew as well that traveling down the road to self-respect my own white blood would never recede into mere abstraction. I was left to wonder what else I would be severing if and when I left my mother at some uncharted border.
BO also connected with Nation of Islam politically  in Chicago.

Since the "Dreams" which BO documents as picking up from his father in the book are the dream of destroying the colonial overlords, it is easy to understand why going to France (full of white blood) to march in solidarity with the colonial powers is just not something BO feels comfortable with.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Charts of Religious Devotion to Error, The False Prophecy of TP

Eighteen Years, Three Months With No Global Warming | Power Line:

One of the common laments of TP (The Party-D) and it's media arm is "Christians are science deniers, if we allow Christian beliefs to be followed, our country will be unable to compete in a scientific world". Yet another "scientific" prediction of the future.

Usually this hand wringing has to do with evolution / intelligent design, which are explanations for the PAST, and quite meaningless for the future. Francis Collins, the man who headed the human,  genome project and is now head of the NIH is a practicing Christian, seems to be doing fine in science as a Christian.

For some reason, those of the scientific faith are yet to show us any graphical evidence of the "false course" caused by Christian belief in our culture, but science continues to give us such evidence of how false their beliefs are.

Just look at that chart and think how well you would like the autopilot on your boat or plane if the red line was the projected course with the colored area being the maximum projected deviation, but the actual was the blue line. Not likely you would rely on that autopilot.

But this is standard stuff! Michelle Bachman was derided as dangerously stupid in 2012 for talking about $2 gas, Mitt Romney was derided as "being stuck in the Cold War" for thinking that there could be issues in the Ukraine as a trouble spot.

When you are the dominant party in control of the government bureaucracy, education, and media like TP, you select what stories get reported and which don't, and rely on the usually quite short memories of most people, plus their unwillingness to stand up as a minority and likely to be called "stupid" or "brainwashed by Fox News" and such for pointing out the truth.

So often, the ship of state of the US meanders rudderless being driven by false models and ends up damaged on dangerous souls while those in charge issue stern warnings about "deniers" of one sort or another -- "denier" meaning someone that refuses to just follow as a blind TP sheep.

TP is a religion -- false, often in error, and demanding devotion no matter what the error or costs of continuation in the error.

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DHMO, EPA Regulation Needed!

Facts About Dihydrogen Monoxide:

Long term readers of this blog know that I typically don't recommend panic nor government intervention, but I think this substance warrants it, just look at the many harmful effects of DHMO (DiHydrogen MonOxide) !

  • Death due to accidental inhalation, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid form causes severe skin burns.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns
  • Corrodes and oxidizes metals, leading to many mechanical / infrastructure failures
  • Causes electrical failures 
If you want to research it more, you might want to use H2O or "water" in your search, but with these sorts of known negative effects, it seems only right that it should join CO2 on the EPA list of hazardous compounds! 

After all, the main claim for the CO2 inclusion is that it is predicted to cause a couple degrees more warmth in 100 years (no luck for the past 18 years ;-(  ) , something that seems less negative in January than drowning, frostbite, or even having a bridge fall down! 

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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Mia Love is a White Supremacist

How to Be a Walking 'Confirmation Bias' (Role Model: Mia Love):

I know TP (The Party-D) and it's media arm are going to attack Mia Love -- they have to, a Black Republican Woman MUST be destroyed, and besides, their hate meters have gotta be off the charts, she is a MORMON as well!!  When "liberals" wake up in the middle of the night envisioning the embodiment of evil, Mia has to pretty much be what they think of!

What is really harmed by people like Mia Love, Allan West, Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice, Tim Scott, etc is the TP false narrative that "Republicans are racists". This narrative is extremely important to TP -- it keeps black voter loyalty at something over 90%, AND it allows TP zealots to feel superior and GOOD! Feeling good (and moral and smart and popular, etc) is a very significant part of the TP sales pitch.

So to start the new year, the MSM has fabricated a story about Steve Scalise -- which will now be treated as fact, even though Politifact, a generally left leaning "fact checker" has this definitive statement and the end of a long column of hemming and hawing trying to do all they can to not just state the obvious that what was reported never happened, and even if it had it is WAY less "proof" or even insinuation that that Scalise is a "white supremacist" than BO attending an avowed black supremacist church (Rev Wright for 20 years)!
From the evidence, we know Scalise attended … something. 
Wow, sounds like they may as well string him up -- he attended "something".

So we have a "story" that is very likely false, and meaningless if true. But the MSM makes it SEEM like a real story that means just what they say it means -- Steve Scalise either is a white supremacist himself, or he "associates with them". THEN the the classic tar baby, we tar Mia Love and for some reason Allen West with the same false brush!
Writing off Mia Love and Allen West as out-of-touch right-wingers is easy, but the truth is that these very visible blacks hurt the cause—the ongoing quest for equality. As long as they continue to disregard racism, and side with those who would pander to white supremacists, racists with an agenda will always have a valuable token to confirm their biases.
Got that? See, "Fox news is inaccurate"! Just how inaccurate is it? Does it make up stories and then use those false stories to make doubly false accusations about minority representatives? Especially ganging up on one aht has ben

Oh, and there is certainly no "bias" of any sort, let alone "confirmation bias" on the left!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

"A New Science of Politics": Eric Voegelin

A very important work that I'm not going to claim to understand -- a great book for developing some personal intellectual humility.

Although not particularly long, the scope of the book is vast -- describing the problem of developing and discussing a theory of politics, "Political Science" if you will, as part of history. The idea that through the use of political symbols and texts, man tries to create a meaning for his political systems / cultures / etc in history as some sort of representation of a transcendent truth.

The attempt is to make political science a study of the context of how humans exist and develop politically in various epochs of history in which the symbols and thus the order are relatively stable.

Three are identified:
  1. The Hellenic Crisis -- Plato and Aristotle. 
  2. The Crisis of Rome -- St Augustine and Christianity
  3. Hegel's philosophy of Law and History
The assertion is that man will demand SOMETHING that extrapolates his very limited existence into some whole that transcends his life -- religion, politics, society, culture, etc. There are 3 ways that man has historically defined this -- in some ways each is the same, we just like to think the current is more "advanced". These are Rite, Myth and Theory. Depending on context of course, a person will think one or more of them vastly superior due to "tradition", "emotional content", "science" (really "scientism"), "sacredness", or some other value system, which will include emotional attachment. 

My biggest learning from the book (outside of looking up a bunch of long words, latin words, etc) relates to the the vast changes caused by Christianity and it's bastard child Gnosticism (the worship or divinization of "special knowledge").

Prior to Christianity, the entire world and everything in it was "divine" and cyclical. There were "gods" everywhere which explained everything, and history nor even existence had much "direction" other than cycles -- seasons, life, etc. However the "meaning" of everything was "divine". 

Then came Christ with a a separation of past and "known" future in that it had an end, a way for man to be completely unique and eternal, OUTSIDE of "nature", and even more, with an ending -- the eschaton (end of the world, heaven on earth), and the idea of eschatology -- the study of how things would (if you were a believer) end, or OUGHT to end, if you were not a believer. (much of this is also in Judaism, but it wasn't universal -- it was just for the Jews). 

Christianity "de-divinized" the world. God/Christ/Holy Spirit were divine -- and the idea of the Trinity itself as a symbol was applied to many things. Including many cases of "three epochs" "ancient, medieval, modern", Hegel's dialectic, the three phases freedom, Marxism with primitive communism, class struggle and final communism, and of course one of the most "successful" applications of gnosticism, "The Third Reich". 

One of the connections made very clear is the application of "divinity" / "teleology from some unknown source" in the case of Marxism -- history is supposed to "inevitably" be going the communist direction, because "that's the way it is". Much like "science", or really "scientism", it is an application of gnosticism -- attempting to make the secular somehow "divinely" (and therefore uniquely correct) "known". 

All of the supposed "modern" isms -- communism, socialism, etc are about "immanentizing the eschaton" -- using gnostic magic to create "heaven on earth". The last greatest attempt was Germany, but the attempts go on, including Obama's "Hope and Change" here early in the 21st century. 

This book was published in '52, I'll close with his quote on the German attempt to create heaven on earth -- you can see if you see any similarity with attempts today: 
"The German Revolution, finally, in an environment without strong institutional traditions, brought for the first time into full play economic materialism, racist biology, corrupt psychology, scientism and technological ruthlessness -- in brief, modernity without restraint."

BO Discovers Terrorism

Obama’s statement on Paris attack | Power Line:

I'm rather amazed that he called this "terrorism". What about "workplace violence"?, the official designation of the shooting at Ft Hood that killed 13 and wounded 32?

Even though the shooters claimed to have "avenged the prophet", it was not of course classified as "Islamic". Hell, ISIS has "Islamic" in it's name, yet BO knows more than they do, so says they are neither Islamic or a State -- while using the designation  "IL" for "in the Levant" to recognize their claim to Israel  rather than the more restrictive "Iraq and Syria". BO is just so much smarter than ANYONE!

I think the thing that struck me the most was the nonchalant demeanor of the guys with the auto weapons on a Paris street. One would hope that in say Dallas or Oklahoma City they would at least have their guns up and be looking around because like 20% of the folks walking on the street are packing.

A double tap center of mass would soften  the "Allah Akbar" and give it a nice gurgle.

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Harvard Discovers BOcare -- Spending Money Like Trophy Wives

Whining Harvard Professors Discover Obamacare - Bloomberg View:

The Harvard Faculty is up in arms after discovering that BOcare applies to THEM! Oh the humanity!

One more reason the reflect on wisdom of the William F. Buckley quote: "I'd rather be governed by the first 2K names in the Boston Phonebook than the Harvard Faculty".

The quote has naturally received a lot of charges of "anti-intellectualism" and "know nothingism" relative to the Right, which yet again makes one wonder if those making the charge knew who Buckley was, or are just intent to prove his point.

The point of the quote is that being book smart has nothing to do with having any wisdom at all, or even common sense. The Harvard Faculty's  appreciation for the real world is very limited, and they are far more certain of their own superiority than anything else in their comprehension.

The Wisdom of PJ O'Rourke on how money is spent  is quoted in the article, but then a big hunk of the meaning of the quote is not understood:

1. You spend your money on yourself. You're motivated to get the thing you want most at the best price. This is the way middle-aged men haggle with Porsche dealers. 
2. You spend your money on other people. You still want a bargain, but you're less interested in pleasing the recipient of your largesse. This is why children get underwear at Christmas. 
3. You spend other people's money on yourself. You get what you want but price no longer matters. The second wives who ride around with the middle-aged men in the Porsches do this kind of spending at Neiman Marcus. 
4. You spend other people's money on other people. And in this case, who gives a damn?
The Harvard Faculty are indeed unhappy because they moved a tiny tiny bit from 3 to 1, which is actually FINE with those of us opposed to Government, and thus more in favor of reality.

The PROBLEM is that BOcare (and even Medicaid) is largely #4! The GOVERNMENT spends other people's money (ours) on other people, and how much they care about either those providing the money or those receiving the "benefit" is often very evident.

Worse yet,  due to the government aided monopoly aspects of health care, the insurance and the government,the whole unholy trinity  lives at 3 and 4 -- they do everything with other people's money, including paying themselves!  At least 2nd wives have some competition!

Remember, the real purpose of BOcare is to move to "single payer", which means a total lock for government at 3 and 4 (where it always is, which is why it MUST be made SMALLER!), and getting rid of the insurance companies so government and health care can divide up the spoils, happily pay themselves whatever they want, and just not give a damn!

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Monday, January 05, 2015

Red State Life Better, New York Times

Is Life Better in America’s Red States? -

This is an article that everyone ought to read and think about. Rarely does TP (The Party-D) let this much honesty out. For those that merely want the punchline, the article admits (in it's own foggy out of touch way) that Red States are winning economically, socially and politically -- their populations are growing, they have less income inequality, their people enjoy a better lifestyle, etc, so like the Grinch,  the Blue States have to find a way to stop this from happening! They don't really say how, but one wonders if putting up a wall to prevent Blue State serfs from leaving might be on their minds!

Well worth reading it top to bottom for full effect, but here are some segments and analysis.
Blue states, like California, New York and Illinois, whose economies turn on finance, trade and knowledge, are generally richer than red states. But red states, like Texas, Georgia and Utah, have done a better job over all of offering a higher standard of living relative to housing costs. That basic economic fact not only helps explain why the nation’s electoral map got so much redder in the November midterm elections, but also why America’s prosperity is in jeopardy.
"Finance, Trade and Knowledge".  Hmm. Basically they move piles of increasingly other countries and a smaller and smaller percentage of peoples money and stuff around and charge fees. They believe that the universities on the coasts are "better", but  based on actual results, that is getting more and more questionable.  However, the fact that Red States are doing a better job is increasingly not questionable -- and the people migrating from the failing Blue States to the Red States is getting impossible for them to ignore no matter what they want to "believe" about it.

But why does this jeopardize prosperity? What it jeopardizes is BLUE STATE / TP Prosperity! They KNOW that TP political and economic policies are "right" and Red State political policies are "wrong", that is "settled science", but horror of horrors, the RESULTS (as in climate) just don't show that! In fact, they show the opposite! So "something is wrong", or it must not be "sustainable", because (as in "The Princess Bride"), it is INCONCEIVABLE that TP could possibly in any way be wrong!! (one doesn't look at evidence when your positions are settled!)
Red state economies based on energy extraction, agriculture and suburban sprawl may have lower wages, higher poverty rates and lower levels of education on average than those of blue states — but their residents also benefit from much lower costs of living. 
Hmm, "Energy extraction" -- Fracking, horizontal drilling. No "innovation or knowledge there, right?" I'd really like to see MIT genius Jonathan Gruber, BO, or the brilliant author of this column  for that matter try to set up a successful oil extraction operation.

"Agriculture" they said ...  Lots more applied science and engineering in agriculture today than in moving piles of money and stuff around and charging fees, or even in lying about what BOcare is accomplishing. What's more, you grow the stuff  in agriculture -- in NY the piles of money and stuff are mostly created and owned by other folks, increasingly non-US folks, and a tiny percentage of people (hmm, I wonder if that has anything to do with the increasing Blue State inequality? Nah, never mind)

So the residents "benefit from much lower costs of living" --- wow, why is that? Well, because they aren't saddled with as much massive TP mismanagement, bonehead regulations, gigantic inefficient unionized costs, carrying as many people on welfare, public transportation boondoggles, etc, etc, but don't expect TP to mention that.

I'm not exactly sure how someone considers "urban sprawl" a product. There is a lot of land in fly over country as the coasties are wont to call it -- seems reasonable to put up some houses on some of it as long as it is there! What the article fails to mention is that a lot of manufacturing is going on in the heartland as well -- non-union, small shops, lots of innovation. There are a good number of very high ranking universities in Red States, not to mention a number of medical centers and other important parts of the economy that don't meet the TP elites idea of "sophisticated" I guess. Maybe because they are in the "wrong states"?
For blue state urbanites who toil in low-paying retail, food preparation and service jobs, for the journeyman tradespeople who once formed the heart of the middle class, for teachers, civil servants, students and young families, the American dream of homeownership — or even an affordable rental apartment — is increasingly out of reach. Adding insult to injury, rapid gentrification in these larger knowledge hubs brings the constant threat of displacement of creative workers. For even the much better paid techies, engineers, financiers and managers who are displacing them, the metropolitan version of the American dream is a cramped condo or a small house and a long commute. Many are opting to move to cheaper red states instead, further driving their growth.
Blue state knowledge economies are also extremely expensive to operate. Their innovative edge turns on a high-cost infrastructure of research universities and knowledge institutions — a portion of which demand public subsidy. Their size and density require expensive subway and transit systems to move people around. Blue state cities like New York and San Francisco are booming, but they are hampered by potholes and crumbling infrastructure, troubled public school systems, growing inequality and housing unaffordability, and entrenched poor populations, all of which mean higher public costs and higher tax burdens.
Here we have the basic admission that TP politics don't work slathered over with the air of inevitability and mistaken cause and effect. Yes, it is extremely expensive to live in highly zoned, regulated, unionized, taxed, rent controlled, corrupt, high energy cost, high crime, etc urban centers like NYC, Chicago, DC, LA, SF, etc. There is no reason it really has to be, any more than Des Moines, Dallas, Salt Lake City or Oklahoma City, but the TP politics engender a lot of high costs, and lets face it, TP isn't about to recognize that!

We are given the article of faith that "research and knowledge institutions" demand public subsidy. Really? Other than as a TP pronouncement, why is that? They "demand" subways??? Other than TP having a fetish for public transportation, it is difficult to see why this is so. Yes, yes, the poorly managed TP cities, schools and general infrastructure are always "failing", but that is because graft, featherbedding, incompetent leadership and counterproductive policies administered and carried out by vastly overpriced and entrenched public and private unions are guaranteed to fail in the most expensive manner possible.

The system that TP created causes a lot of entrenched poverty, troubled school systems, huge expense in housing, etc, so they do a lot MORE taxing, regulating, subsidization of problem groups, so they get more of all of it and thus add yet more taxes and TP mismanagement in a vicious cycle! And DAMN! The serfs are deserting the sinking Blue State TP ship!

These expenses and failures aren't due to natural forces, they are due to mistaken TP ideas that tend to produce the exact opposite outcome from what was promised. The article does point out that the more Blue states have INCREASING income inequality -- not surprisingly, the OPPOSITE result from what TP constantly harps on as a problem they are going to FIX, when in fact by their own admission in the areas that they have the most control they are MAKING IT WORSE!
And yet for all that, they are pioneering the new economic order that will determine our future — one that turns on innovation and knowledge rather than the raw production of goods.
Despite their longstanding divisions, red state and blue state economies depend crucially on one another. Just as Alexander Hamilton’s merchant cities ate and exported the harvests of Thomas Jefferson’s yeomen farmers, and New England textile mills wove slave-harvested cotton, blue state knowledge economies run on red state energy. Red state energy economies in their turn depend on dense coastal cities and metro areas, not just as markets and sources of migrants, but for the technology and talent they supply. 
Wow. Even in '12, Michelle Bachman was completely derided as a fool for suggesting that $2 gas was a real possibility -- by the super intelligent kinds of folks that write articles like this. Hydraulic fracking and lateral drilling are very much knowledge driven and they were not produced in these highly expensive supposedly impossible to live without centers of TP political brilliance. The idea that all, or even most of our innovation and knowledge is coming from Blue States is just plain old wishful thinking from our self appointed elites like the almost always close to bankrupt NYT.

Who really needs who the most? If there is no energy or food for NYC, Chicago, DC, SF, etc  and all the police turn their backs on the confident and brilliant TP elites, how is that going to go for them? Perhaps they may suddenly turn just a wee bit less confident in their superiority and irreplaceability?

But here comes the punchline!
The allure of cheap growth has handed the red states a distinct political advantage. Their economic system may be outmoded and obsolete, but it is strong enough to blight the future. The Democrats may be able to draw on the country’s growing demographic diversity and the liberal leanings of younger voters to win the presidency from time to time, but the real power dynamic is red. As long as the highly gerrymandered red states concerted federal action on transportation, infrastructure, sustainability, education, a rational immigration policy and a strengthened social safety net will remain out of reach.These are investments that the future prosperity of the nation, in red states and blue states alike, requires. Heightened partisan rancor is the least of our problems. The red state-blue state divide threatens to kill the real American dream.
Ah, the working Red State model that is showing results while the TP managed Blue States are sinking into debt and losing people. Therefore,  the WORKING model must be "outmoded and obsolete"! I guess it is obvious if you are a TP true believer at the NYTs.

The TP model is essentially "Nazi Germany / USSR Lite", but there certainly isn't anything "outmoded and obsolete" about those models, right? Again, maybe the best thing for TP to do is to put up a wall around their states -- or perhaps militarily attack the Red States (how well do Financiers, Global Traders and University PHDs shoot?).

Those are classic leftist ideas of "reasonable things to do" when it becomes clear that others are not only successful but your serfs are voting with their feet!

I love their ideas of "what is needed" -- "transportation, infrastructure, sustainability, education, more immigrants (read TP voters) and more "safety net"" ... EXACTLY the policies that they push more heavily in the current Blue States causing exactly the problem that the article points out.

Again, we see the TP / Socialist / Communist way -- our polices WORK! Agree with us or we will lock you up or shoot you! Got it?

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