Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Only Left Turns Allowed

Anarchy in the House - The New York Times:

An aptly titled article that inherently recognizes the meaning of political left and right -- control vs chaos. Somewhere, in the middle of that spectrum -- I'd argue right of center, the column author would argue left of center, lies things like "freedom", "liberty" and what used to be the vibrant United States.

The author inherently understands that we are very far left -- which in their mind is not "control", but "good" -- they are a person of the left, as the most of the country now is.  They see the direction of movement as being inherently left, and the answer to all problems being on the left -- more government, more control, more centralization. Here is what I find to be the central point of the article.
It’s true that sometimes no legislation is better than bad legislation. But the United States faces real problems, including stagnant wages, family instability, infrastructure collapse and long-term indebtedness. If Republicans can’t advance their own solutions, they’ll have to deal with Democrats — or harsh realities — impose on them. Paralysis is not a plan.
For the author of the column it is impossible to conceive that what he calls out as the real problems of the country ... stagnant wages, family instability, infrastructure collapse and long term indebtedness, could be the RESULT of government activity having unintended consequences. Such thinking has become inconceivable to him -- it is like telling an addict that it is their addiction, not "the world out there" that is their problem. If they could see that, it would break the addiction!

So the only possible answer in his mind is MORE GOVERNMENT -- and Republicans are completely insane when they do not see that. His ONLY way "forward" is to follow the same path we have been following for a century -- ever leftward! Unfortunately, on the ideological path of increased government control, there is no physical Pacific Ocean to limit the movement as there once was with our "westward ho!" national expansion.

The one remaining small hope is that the "harsh realities" -- like a bad economy, destruction of the family, increasing crime, massive debt, etc,  wake enough people up that we change direction before "Democrat" becomes "Dictator" and the answer for EVERYONE is "deal with the dictator".

That is the hope -- but a reading of this article and the recognition of how many people around you are just as blinded by addiction to government as the column author, shows that hope is miniscule.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Tontine, Bet The Other Guy Dies

It’s sleazy, it’s totally illegal, and yet it could become the future of retirement - The Washington Post:

Tontine -- a retirement vehicle where a group of people invests a sum of money something like a mutual fund at a payout based on performance, BUT with the twist that as people die, the remaining folks get their payments. It is much like an annuity where if you die the day after you put your money in, your fellow investors get the money over time, rather than the annuity provider getting it.

Turns out the tontine -- named after its inventor was once a very popular retirement vehicle, then, due to some scandals and people considering them a "morbid gamble", it was outlawed.

I can't see any reason at all they ought not be offered. Sleazy? We have reverse mortgages, payday loans and the biggest ponzi scheme of all, FICA, these seem like just another reasonable hedge.

I always expect to die tomorrow, so not very good for me, but OTOH, I expect my wife to live forever, so PERFECT for her!

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Crash Landing SR-71

Blackbird Down | History | Air & Space Magazine:

An eyewitness account of the loss of "Rapid Rabbit" at Kadena during a high crosswind landing with tire failure. Of interest only to airplane geeks. The pilot and RSO made it without injury.

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Killing Babies Born Alive, Official Democrat Policy

Killing Babies: It’s Obama Administration Policy | Power Line:

If the Democrats want you dead, you better be able to defend yourself if you want to stay alive. Innocence is no defense!

You may have thought (as I did) that if a baby got out alive, they were already a human child and murder was still murder. We are wrong -- in fact BO has promised to veto a bill that would grant them protection.

Evil has won and life has lost in this country. Continuing federal funding for Planned Parenthood is favored 2 to 1 even after the grisly videos. We are a country with more blood on our hands than Nazi Germany, we have no excuse.

Democrats want to insure that there are no more survivors of abortion like this courageous lady.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Have Less Crisis

WSJ Middle Class Squeeze

An excellent but somewhat long article on the state of the malaise of the world economic system.
Since the financial crisis of 2007-08, which Western leader could boast of spreading ownership in any important way? In the U.S. and Britain, the percentage of citizens owning stocks or houses is well down from the late 1980s. In Britain, the average age for buying a first home is now 31 (and many more people than before depend on “the bank of Mom and Dad” to help them do so). In the mid-’80s, it was 27. My own children, who started work in London in the last two years, earn a little less, in real terms, than I did when I began in 1979, yet house prices are 15 times higher. We have become a society of “have lesses,” if not yet of “have nots.”
I think the summary of the state of affairs is stated well here.
The relationship between money and morality, on which the middle-class order depends, has been seriously compromised over the past decade. Which means that the mass bourgeoisie (a phrase that Marx and Engels would have thought a contradiction in terms) start to feel like the new proletariat.
I'm not sure how learned the author of the column really is, but he said a HUGE mouthful there!

First, everyone knows that "morality" is a very difficult term in our current world. What do we "value"? As traditional morals of chastity, truthfulness, thrift, prudence, hard work, honor, trustworthiness, meekness, temperance,  etc. have fallen from favor to become terms of derision hurled at some "hypocrites" who still "bitterly cling" to such. The very concept of "morality" has left the building -- and "money" has become a primary "value" in itself -- of both good and ill. "The Party" TP-D  getting lots of funding for a campaign? GOOD ... Koch brothers providing lots of money for an R? EVIL ... Lots of money poured into TP teachers unions? GOOD ... lots of money for a CEO? EVIL ... and on it goes. "Morals" relative to your POV -- the essence of the "all things are relative" view.

So to Marx, the "bourgeoisie" were the evil -- the owners of capital. The shop, farm and factory owners -- those that hired and fired and "leeched" off from labor -- the "proletariat" who were trapped and basically slaves.

The column goes on.
But pretty much the whole of the developed world is still in the convalescent ward, and no one is sure whether the wonder drug of quantitative easing can yet be abandoned, or even whether it does no more than suppress the symptoms of disease. Despite years of supposed austerity, debt is still strikingly high. It remains possible that banks, or even whole countries in the eurozone, could collapse. And who knows whether or not China’s big banks are bust? 
There is clearly an unmet need for a politics that goes beyond mere grievance-peddling to develop a new way of thinking about what makes a society free and secure at the same time. If this were easy, we would have heard more of it by now, and I won’t pretend to have the answers. But certain basic principles seem like the proper foundation.
He is brilliant up to here, but then goes on to pretty standard ideas, that while good in general, don't really make one feel "he's got it" -- get markets working better, get stock ownership to be more responsible, get a better balance between globalization and nationalism ... not wrong, but not really a clear marching order.

I'm going to throw out a couple of generalities here, but I think the BIG deal of this article is that it does a good job of stating the core of the problem -- We have lost our moral compass and are adrift. Until we fix that, all activity is pretty much just churn! We are also very vulnerable -- to attack from without or within.

I'm working on my review of "Closing of the American Mind" -- hopefully more detail there, but I think the big point is that as the Roman Empire, and to a lesser extent, the British Empire,  found "well fed ease and leisure" is not a meaningful goal for mankind. Everyone has to believe in something and really DO something in service to that belief in order to be happy! "I believe I'll have another beer" is a cynical JOKE ... but right now it is more in keeping with the "values" of Europe, America and Japan than anything else.

 Conquest, exploration, saving souls, moral perfection, defeating evil, "truth, beauty and the American Way", etc ... those have been and in some cases still are worthy goals. Certainly ISIS believes that they are undertaking a "conquest for saving souls" -- their own, and the infidels they convert to what they see as the truth. They are "defeating evil" from their perspective -- but we are "the evil", and we have decided to stop resisting as much as we can.  It seems the Putin also sees himself as restoring Russia to it's "rightful place". I suspect that China is also in this camp.

Real morals and values are DANGEROUS! They MEAN SOMETHING! Because they move people -- and nations, and potentially worlds. The Bible as always has pure truth on this -- "Man does not live by bread alone" -- without spiritual meaning, man dies. "Without vision the people perish" ... this article does a good job of pointing out how we are perishing --- not so much how to LIVE!

We need to figure out what is worth not perishing for, if we truly want abandon the terminally ill patient that is Western Civilization -- that is unless we just want to continue to kill ourselves.

Krauthammer's Islamic Presidency

Islam, Ben Carson & Krauthammer| National Review Online:

The article makes a persuasive case that Charles Krauthammer's comments on Ben Carson relative to Islam and the presidency were very ill advised. The article is quite long and detailed, the bottom line is this:
  1. Carson didn't say the Constitution didn't allow a Muslim, he said that HE doesn't find Islam consistent with the Constitution. Those that are claiming otherwise are either being frivolous or disingenuous in attempting to smear Carson. 
  2. The Presidency is a special office -- it is one of the 3 branches of government in a single person. The basic world view of that person is critical, and since the founders were clear that it required a "natural born American citizen", it does have special requirements. Attention to that person's religion, philosophy, leanings, etc is a critical responsibility for voters. 
  3. One can claim that being a "born again Christian" is a "personal faith" -- no creed, congregation or leadership to agree with for better or worse. Not so Islam or even Catholicism. While Kennedy declared the Constitution higher than the Pope, that is a legitimate question for a Catholic seeking to be President. A supposed "Islamic President" would have a LONG list of such questions, which would involve making statements that would make him an "infidel" rather than  a "Muslim" in order to serve under our Constitution. Looking at the treatment of women, Christians, homosexuals, criminal jurisprudence, etc in Islamic countries will give you a start on how long that list would be. 
  4. Given the above, the burden really ought to be on any Muslim (or person thinking that a Muslim would make a good president) to answer a myriad of "gotcha" questions relative to their religion as Christians often now are called to do ... eg. "Islam states that the earth was created in 6 days about 6K years ago, do you agree with that?", "Islam states that homosexuals should be killed, do you agree with that?", "Islam states that all governments should serve Allah and operate by Shariah law, what is your stand?" ... etc, etc. 
The difference in the way Christians and Muslims are treated by the ruling elite gives some solid insight into what the game being played really is. Unless one is a practicing Christian, in which case one is forced to declare love for even enemies, human nature is that "Like likes like" -- in which case one is forced to understand why "liberals" like Muslims -- a seeming mystery actually easy to parse

The outcry from left and right on Carson's statement gives us yet another marker on how really really bad the state of political discussion has become in this country. Krauthammer is brilliant, but he is not a Christian. Since he is human, he tries to make the Constitution into a religious, sacred "didactic" (teaching) document.
The Constitution is not just a legal document. It is a didactic one. It doesn’t just set limits to power; it expresses a national ethos. It doesn’t just tell you what you’re not allowed to do; it also suggests what you shouldn’t want to do.
As the linked column points out ... hogwash. The Constitution WAS our base LAW -- and since we don't even follow it for that ( "right" to abortion, "right" to gay "marriage", limits on executive power, etc), it's value is more like that of used toilet paper. What it was INTENDED to do is LIMIT GOVERNMENT ... it has completely failed at that. Claiming it tells political candidates how they ought feel about Islamists heading the executive branch is a fantasy that shows how difficult it is for even an intelligent unbeliever to understand the values that founded America.

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Why Do Liberals Love Islam?

I've got my "simple theory" for at least the leftist overlords -- totalitarians like other totalitarians. Our left LOVED the USSR, they still like Cuba, China has gotten a little too commercial for them but still better loved than say England or certainly Israel.

The linked article tries out a couple other theories ... "relativism" is an all-purpose for both sides of the relationship. While the left holds to "absolute, lock them up if they disagree" relative to white christians supporting gay "marriage", relativism allows them to decide that such rules can be suspended for Muslims -- sure, they might have to avert their eyes a bit when gays are actually thrown from high places or stoned in Muslim countries, but hey -- it allows one to REALLY earn their multicultural diversity chops!

Remember, far left is ABSOLUTE rule of the State, and the State is human, not divine, so "cognitive dissonance" is required. The key skill is to be able to parrot what the party line says in the face of even massive shedding of blood. Six thousand young black men killed in the streets yearly by other young black men need to be completely ignored while marching for "Black Lives Matter" over a couple trumped up justified police shootings of blacks.

From the Muslim side, there are only two political parties -- the D's may support gays, women's rights, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, but they support it for INFIDELS! One doesn't have to be a very smart Muslim to realize that if enough Muslims can be brought in, enough kids can be had, enough dead or imaginary votes created, it would be EASY to be Muslim nation -- probably already close to having a "Muslim seat" on the SCOTUS, make common cause with the black seat and who knows?

Besides, they sure are not going to vote with heavily Christian, Jewish-loving, strong US loving and flag waving Republicans! Sure it takes a LITTLE cognitive dissonance for them to vote D, but get real!

The other theory offered is the old liberal "we are really nice to our pets" theory.
I think the issue is more that they see Muslims as a new potential mascot group that they can champion and therefore obtain that cheap sense of moral superiority that comes with riding in like a white knight. I think a lot of liberal attitudes towards minorities aren’t actually based on the good of the minorities, but how good it makes the liberals feel to champion them.
It seems completely insane to see folks that would lock someone up for not baking a cake for a gay "wedding" falling all over themselves to defend a group whose religions teachings generally make the Westboro Baptist Church look like really easy going liberals by comparison. After all, Westboro has yet to stone, throw from a cliff, behead, drown or even rape anyone! Let alone threaten to implement laws to make such the standard for behavior!

But then, these are completely insane times. 

The real situation here is exactly the same as the discussion of wealth and poverty. Poverty needs no explanation, it is the natural state! It is wealth that has to be created by systems and actions that are successful. The state of nature is poverty.

Evil is the the natural state of a fallen world, it needs no explanation. Is it REALLY hard at all for any remotely intelligent person that still has some contact with what was once the standards of Western Civilization to look at Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, etc, and not see evil? The rape and child molestation of women and young boys, the abject poverty, the repression, the violent attacks on Christians, destruction of cultural/religious icons, stoning gays, etc?

The claim of "liberals" is that the fallen world is not fallen -- but rather that it is GOOD! Their alignment with Islam is actually consistent because ultimately, the destruction of Western Civilization will bring us to a state of nominalist control by POWER. Might is right is morally arbitrary! -- any claim to what many see as "natural" (Biblical) morality is removed. "Morality" becomes whatever POWER says it is -- Islamic "morality" is no better or worse than any arbitrary morality since POWER literally IS "morality" when evil reigns.

"Liberals" love Islam because it is rule by POWER. The natural state of man is always "like likes like".

Boehner, Reign of Tears

NY Times, Bye Bye Boehner
Farewell, John Boehner, farewell.
These departures are a little wearying. It was not long ago that we said adieu to Rick Perry. And then Scott Walker. And of course we are gearing up for the moment when the political world says goodbye forever to Donald Trump. 
Good times, all.
The level of snark from the NYTs as The Party (TP-D) approaches absolute power gives one an insight into what other times were like as one party claimed victory.
However, the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, had expressed confidence that Planned Parenthood would be safe even if the Republicans “vote their alleged hearts out.” We should spend more time quoting Nancy Pelosi.
No mention of the millions of babies murdered, including as the videos showed, some who have their hearts cut out and sold. They see any who have a shred of emotion for those dead babies as beneath contempt. One can hear the echos of Himmler given details of the "Final Solution" ... we should spend more time quoting Himmler! No doubt they felt their oppositions hearts were "alleged" as well.

Boehner was not an appealing guy for the traditional rock ribbed Republican. Preening, seemingly painted on tan and blubbering at inappropriate moments. Both US Grant and Winston Churchill were men that cried -- but it wasn't what defined them.  It defined Boehner -- it was a reign with a rain of tears.

Boehner was what is still "an establishment Republican", looking at all scenarios with shrewd tactical analysis. You know they want to label you a "bomb thrower" and a "crazy", so do all you can to execute maneuvers that hold what little territory you can as quietly as you can.

It doesn't take a genius to realize that this is a losing strategy. First of all, you WILL be called a bomb thrower, crazy and worse -- you have an R next to your name. This is not a time of "reasoned political debate" from TP -- this is a time of VICTORY and abject defeat for Republicans, by any means -- legal and illegal. Folks like BO and often five justices on the SCOTUS don't have any respect for any stinkin Constitution!

When your opposition is confident and entrenched enough that grisly videos of babies being dismembered and sold out in parts are so little a concern that using a line like "vote their alleged hearts out" gives not a moments pause, you know you are living well past the point of tired old words like "morality" or "decency" or "civilized". This is a time of the raw exercise of TP power with all the smugness, leering and cackling laughter that accompanies the victory of evil.

It is hard to shed any tears for the political end of Boehner. Significantly no doubt because of his personality, but also because of the times. When babies are being sold for parts, hundreds of thousands of refugees are storming the gates of Europe, 11 million illegals walk our streets and calls for killing police are ringing out in marches across our nation, it is hard to much lament a powerless House Speaker stepping down because he doesn't want to deal with calls stop spending government money on a non-government organization that sells baby parts.

Listening to the devils at the NYTs cackle though does give one  pause as to how bad it would be to spend eternity in Hell!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Assume Surprise When Adrift

The Week of Walker and Boehner | The Weekly Standard:

Good column that points out some truth from last week  -- nobody expected Walker to drop out this and nobody expected Boehner to announce his resignation. They were surprises -- as is Trump being in the lead challenged by Carson, and Bernie Sanders supplying significant challenge to Hillary. The pundits tell us it was all obvious, but it wasn't. Their lies are an illusion of order that doesn't exist.

Most Americans feel that the country is in generally bad shape and that to the extent we have any "direction" at all, it is wrong. I'd call the problem more one of being adrift at sea on a cruise ship on which everything is still pretty much working -- the lights, the toilets, the AC, the dining halls and especially the bars -- they all are handing out booze and even weed left and right.

 But we are adrift and nobody seems in charge -- and there is no plan to get moving because there is no proposed destination.  To the degree there is "action" it seems to be deciding that some of the folks from steerage ought to be moved up to the suites with balconies -- where to move those residents is less certain, it is all a bit murky.

But other than some discussions over who ought be in what cabin and maybe how all the dining and drinking options ought to be free, there is a general unease about just how long a drifting cruise ship is "sustainable". The occasionally visible but not convincing captain just keeps saying things are fine -- but we ought to be worried about the ocean temperature if anything. He believes the ship could be entirely powered by wind.

When there is no plan, everything is a surprise. No plan, no direction, being adrift is not "sustainable" ... everyone knows that, and they know that SOMETHING is going to change it at some point. They just have a hard time imagining what it is that is worth the effort of doing something other than

But for now, just enjoy the boozy drift and wait for the next surprise. It's life in the "Lost Zone" of Central North America 2015. Eventually we will bump into something!

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Until Certain Danger Meets Uncertain Danger

John Boehner’s successor inherits a diminished role. | National Review Online:

The power of the executive has risen to monarchy, the power of the Congress has shrunk to nothing. The transfer of very little power from Boehner to "whomever" is a matter of little significance now, and it will remain to be unless something very big changes the course of what used to be America. A couple very good lines in this column ...
When they write the history of American democracy, we’ll be obliged to admit the embarrassing truth that we lost it because it’s so much easier to pay attention to one man than to a congress of them.
I'd argue that stronger House Speakers could have kept us afloat longer -- the example of Newt is discussed in the article. People can pay attention to a few people, and some real contests between real leaders. Sure, the conservative side is always hobbled by the tilt of the media, but at least every one knew who the evil Gingerich was!

The close is sobering -- it agrees with the unknown but certainly painful future that I see.
Congress no longer has the power to return the president — and the presidency — to its proper role. That power, too, is now in the hands of the president, which is why it is unlikely that our national slide into autocracy will not be reversed until the current political equilibrium is disturbed, which is to say until certain danger encounters uncertain danger.
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throw Out Baby Jesus, Keep the Bathwater

Atheism starts its megachurch: Is it a religion now? -
 "“The church model has worked really well for a couple of thousand years,” Dodd muses. “What we’re trying to do is hold on to the bath water while throwing out the baby Jesus.”"
For ages, man has uttered the aphorism "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" ... man has finally become so lost that rather than keeping the baby -- the center, the sacred, the important, the motto is changed to purposely keeping that which is unclean, unuseable, and defiled.

The Atheists are working on a church -- here is what they have against the "Unitarian Universalist Community Church" :
“The Unitarian Church has this idea of ‘radical tolerance.’ It respects everything. It’s all good. Well that’s fine on one level, but at some point it becomes a little diluted.” Dodd was looking for a more robust secularism.
This is pretty much all the information one can get out of the article. Their problem with the Unitarians as stated in the quote was not enough "robust secularism" ... but it seems that the direction the "Sunday Assembly" is going is toward avoiding in your face atheism.
As the atheist church becomes more church-like, however, it seems to be deliberately downplaying its atheism. Where the Assembly once stridently rejected theism (at April’s Assembly, Jones poked fun at the crucifixion), it is now far more equivocal. “How atheist should our Assembly be?”, Jones wrote in a recent blog post. “The short answer to that is: not very.”
Hard to define yourself purely by what you are against. Certainly those that "poke fun" at those who think differently from themselves are widely respected in secular culture depending on what it is they poke fun at -- the Bruce Jenner Halloween costume was so open mindedly received!
Either way, Sanderson Jones is confident that the model will spread. “We have the most natural human urge to do this,” he insists: to organize ourselves around institutions of meaning. I am inclined to agree that “Live Better, Help Often, and Wonder More” is a lovely motto to build around.
We live in a "Goldilocks Universe" tuned precisely to our existence ... to unimaginable numbers like 10 to the minus 128 needing to be "right on" for us to be here. Amazingly, on top of that we have this common urge to "organize ourselves around institutions of meaning" -- or, as we did for thousands of years, worship God.

The atheist looks at a universe impossibly built for his existence and declares it a matter of pure random chance against all odds. He then realizes that he has a "soul hole" -- something is missing, his life lacks meaning. So he postulates that against all odds, on top of his impossibly random universe, random selection has put a "God shaped hole" into his consciousness -- meaningless and randomness has most strangely selected to imprint a drive for him to seek some sort of "meaning" for his life in this universe that he has decreed to be meaningless and random.

So he grabs his bootstraps and pulls. The futility brings tears to my eyes ... and I'm sure to Christ's as well.

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Not With My Kids

Brooklyn Public School Battle: Progressives Are Opposing Integration | National Review Online:

"Liberals" are quick to apply the hypocrite label to any Christian that fails to live up to the moral code of Christ -- one wonders why they think Christ died on the cross if people could just live up to Christian morals by self restraint? Hypocrite is a label that the MSM never applies to "liberals" -- they never signed up to have any morals, so how could they be hypocrites?

They did however create A LOT of POLICIES and LAWS, all often screaming loudly of "equality" and "fairness"!  ... and since government is the closest thing they have to a god, one might think that "all" might apply to "liberals" as well. But one would be wrong.

The linked article is a short read -- Brooklyn has wealthy and poor citizens living in close proximity, though certainly not "integrated". The city would like to integrate a school -- the fight is joined.

Liberal policies have real outcomes -- often outcomes that are detrimental to all, but especially to those upon which the supposed beneficial social experimentation takes place -- destroying marriage and freeing women to copulate more widely was deemed especially liberating. Apparently some collateral damage has been found ...
Though children in some multi-partner-fertility families thrive, Cherry has observed that multi-partner fertility is associated with high levels of father abandonment and child maltreatment. Boys with absent fathers are far more likely to engage in aggression, rule breaking, and delinquency than boys living with both parents, and they are also far more likely to face multiple suspensions.
Liberals often like the idea of their policies being forced upon others, but are loathe to see fruits of their policy darken their doors. 

NIMBY -- "Not In My Back Yard"
NWMK -- "Not With My Kids"? 
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Historical Hockey Stick of Capitalism

Perhaps the most powerful defense of market capitalism you will ever read - AEI | Pethokoukis Blog » AEIdeas:

BS (Bernie Sanders) and the Pope gets thrown around making people believe that market capitalism is somehow "bad". The large point they totally forget is that if you want to spend a lot of time complaining about how vast wealth is distributed, you FIRST HAVE TO HAVE VAST WEALTH!

For most of history, 90%+ of people had NOTHING -- little or no shelter, regular hunger and often starvation. They didn't even IMAGINE "leisure goods", sports, travel, entertainment, etc. -- in fact, even the rulers could not have imagined the technological wealth of the common man today.

The reason for all this is Reading, Reformation, Revolution and Revaluation.
  1. Because of technology (printing press), people learned how to Read and write. 
  2. Because they could read the Bible, the Reformation happened and the hold of the centralized Catholic Church was broken. 
  3. Since the church had acted with centralized monarchy type governments, the literacy and ability to operate outside of centralized catholic doctrine allowed government to be made less oppressive. There was a Revolution from far left wing (control) kings, queens and bishops, to center right (less control) liberty -- the US was the biggest example. 
  4. Because the masses could now read and write, and the strict centralized hierarchy of Church - King - Peasant had been broken, there was a Revaluation of the worth and potential of the common man which vastly increased the productive work force. 
The effects of this DEcentralized  power and economics and the Market Economy (Capitalism) broke out the strongest and earliest in the US, then in Europe, and in just the last 30 years we have seen it reach Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China (BRIC) and beyond ... causing the curve in GDP per capita in the graph.

It is really not surprising that the Pope thinks going back to the bad old days is a good idea. Perhaps he will move to restrict reading as well "for the good of all" -- best to have "those in the know" make all the decisions! The common man might get confused!

The motivations for BS are probably just the old human standards -- lust for power, envy of those who make more than he does, wishful thinking about how things might work if he was in charge and in his case, just being a cantankerous old coot.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hillary Able To Display Facsimile of Empathy

Campaign Staffers Making Progress Conditioning Hillary Clinton To Replicate Emotions - The Onion - America's Finest News Source:

This is AMAZING progress! They were never able to get this far with John Kerry, and Obama still just lapses into meaningless self referential reveries when they attempt  to get him to recognize the presence of other humans.

We may yet have a dictator that can feign concern for others!

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Hillary Supports Stoning Gays

Ben Carson Caused a Firestorm with His ‘Muslim President’ Comments. Critics Should Look at This Map.:

Oh ... and cutting off the hands of thieves, killing those that leave Islam, women wearing burkas, etc. She disagrees with Carson that Sharia is not compatible with the Constitution and US values, so one has to assume that she thinks it IS. Right?

That is what Sharia law says, and unless you are somehow a "Muslim" that repudiates what your religion teaches, then that is what you believe. Only in the mind of the left or the insane could such a "Muslim" exist.

The left in this country believes that there is some Constitutionally mandated "separation of religion and life". They have no understanding how anyone can live by any religious tenets at all beyond the pablum of "do unto others" and "judge not". Naturally, they don't follow those either -- and believe that the "golden rule" is really "vote to have things taken from people at government gunpoint and distributed to serve the state". Oh, and on "judging", they believe that anyone that doesn't see the world as they do ought to be put in jail -- but hey, nothing personal!

The left is convinced that there MUST be "a  BIG majority" of Muslims (somewhere) that believe as they do -- that you can call yourself a "Christian", but follow none of the Bible, maybe darken the door of the church on a holiday or two a year, and otherwise "do what your heart tells you".

The same heart of which the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

Consistency is NOT an issue for the left!

But what IS an issue is POWER. So deep down, they like Sharia a lot better than a Constitution or certainly the Bible. Sharia gives the state total power -- and once the state has total power, they assume "good things will happen" ... like in Nazi Germany, the USSR, China, etc ... their "enemies" will be killed, and they see that as "the good". Or they just don't think much -- always possible.

I like Ben Carson, but we can't have another president with no executive experience of any kind like we have now. Ben would be "better" than BO, but after BO, we need someone with A LOT of capability -- we need the political equivalent of Aaron Rodgers, and I just don't see any candidate with anything CLOSE to that potential. Walker was the only (remote) shot I saw. He is gone, so the situation is grim.

Only in the current surrealistic fun-house of America could someone be attacked for saying what is obviously true -- no practicing Muslim could possibly take an oath to support the Constitution -- let alone the depraved and rotting "values" of current America. Even crazier, the ones that attack him are not asked to explain how it is in their fevered imagination that they believe that a practicing Muslim COULD take such an oath!

If you want to understand the "values" that those attacking Carson apparently espouse, go take a look at the linked article. Sanity has left the building.

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Age Of Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, Maybe the Best Ever, Makes Packers the Best Right Now | Bleacher Report:

When you live in Minnesota, you know that the warmth of summer is short and fleeting -- it makes summer special. People from Florida or California think we are idiots -- we may well be.

When we look back on life, most of us have moments of pure joy to look back on -- getting married, birth of a child, winning the big game, special degree, promotion, big fish, etc -- for a usually brief moment, the universe shone on us and "all was right with the world". As we age, we all realize that our lives are very much "lived in Minnesota". Death touches us -- grandparents, parents, friends, maybe even touches us closer -- spouses, children, near death diseases for ourselves or those close to us -- we meet the Reaper. We know that life is fleeting -- so usually, and wisely I think, we make like those of colder climates and resolve to live while alive.

Those of you that read this Blog know that this is NOT my strong suit -- I know it intellectually very very well, but my emotional makeup is that of the skeptic, the questioner, the cautious one who attempts to look at all sides of all issues. Accepting the gifts that life hands me for the moments in which they are present and being joyful and grateful for those moments -- as opposed to attempting to hold on to the fleeting, protect against the unforeseen and imagine all that can go wrong!

So we come to the linked article, "Aaron Rodgers, Maybe the Best Ever, Makes Packers the Best Right Now".  If you are a Packer fan, go read it ... over the top, yes, but you will get a smile for sure. A sample ...
As long as Rodgers stays healthy, two things are certain: Rodgers is better than anyone at the position playing now, even better than Tom Brady. And the Packers will be the best in the conference because he is the Escape Pod, whisking his team away from all flaws.
This won't change all year. 
We are in the era of Rodgers. God isn't a Packers fan. If anything, she's a Rodgers fan.
I'm blessed to be a Packer fan. It was random for me to be born in NW WI, and with my makeup, it is a certainty I would have become a fan of whatever team was prominent in my area -- my sense of tradition and loyalty to where I was planted is wired in. So being a Packer fan was a gift.

As a youngster, of course it was a dim awareness, but central to the idea was the known fact that the Green Bay Packers were the ultimate football team, Bart Starr was the ultimate QB and Vince Lombardi was the ultimate coach. Such things were obvious -- and they really were obvious to most everyone, even many who didn't like the Packers. On Lombardi at least, it seems the world decided it was indeed true.

Then, from the time I was out of Jr High until well into my IBM career, the Packers sucked! It was a soul crunching truth -- the assumption was that "small market teams" had no hope at all. The age of Dallas, Pittsburg, San Francisco, New York, -- certainly the Vikings fans were certain that tiny Green Bay would ever return to anything even respectable, let alone great! It seemed that my lot would be to always pine away for the "glorious past".

Then came the '90s ... Ron Wolf, Holmgren, Favre, Reggie White, a 3rd Super Bowl trophy and another Packer team in perennial contention. Then Rodgers, a FOURTH Lombardi Trophy, and here we are.

As the article says, "if he stays healthy" -- one of the many things that makes it hard for me to truly bask in the joy of what is happening right now. Much like MN summer or life itself, the very next play could easily be his last -- he has already had a couple concussions. But that is ALWAYS true ... for all of us. We kill the joy of the gift with that sort of thought.

The linked article makes some claims of his historical significance, and while I believe that what we are seeing at this moment is indeed the greatest example of what an NFL QB can be, he will not be remembered (by others) unless luck and fate hold out for some period of time and more trophies come to Green Bay. While Rodgers definitely pushes the envelope of possible artistry in the QB position, it is WINS that make "the greatest of all time".

Which brings us to the TRUE JOY ... the joy of POTENTIAL and anticipation, the joy of the child anticipating Christmas. While each game is a delight to be savored, the potential is so awesome that it makes one fearful to consider it.

He is 31. He claims to want to play to 40. As we saw in Seattle last January, the list of things that can go wrong is indeed infinite -- although I sincerely doubt we will ever go down again due to conservative play calling during the age of of Rodgers. I'm not going to guess a number of potential added Lombardis ... zero of course is the "smart number", but also the joyless number.

When Mr Rodgers takes the field, the number that comes to mind is ALL OF THEM!
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Pied Pontiff of Poverty

The Left Has Its Pope - Thomas Sowell - Page 1:

Not one of Sowell's best efforts IMHO, but then I hold him to a VERY high bar. It's a bit like a game when Rodgers doesn't break 100 QB rating ;-) Here is a very impressive nugget though:
Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things -- none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.
The natural state of man is poverty, with equality being maybe the only sop to a life that is pretty much equally  "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". Everyone else is in the same boat, isn't that wonderful? A lot of folks seem to believe that Hell will be OK because everyone is in the same boat ...

So we developed social organization, which right off the bat means inequality -- somebody rules, somebody "keeps the order" ( using or at least threatening violence), labor gets specialized to tasks with different rewards, etc. Technology adds to the inequality -- some invent technology, some build and sell it some are experts in it's use, some never figure it out, some get addicted to it. Once humans have anything, inequality is guaranteed -- but the alternative is the "state of nature" -- poverty.

The rise of man is based on the rule of law and technology, but then you have those who don't like the fact that rising wealth means rising inequality -- when the income was zero, everyone was equal, the greater the income becomes, zero will remain zero and the natural wage for the very bottom is zero. Any wealthy nation will have significant inequality, the more wealth, the more inequality since zero remains zero.

So along come those that have no understanding of where all the wealth came from, and seek to redistribute it -- the socialists, communists, etc. They find that the goose laying the golden eggs is "doing it wrong", so they kill the goose to be able to use and distribute this wealth as they see fit. It is a very old story.

As I've pointed out before, this Pied Pontiff is not a Biblical man ...
Matt 25:28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Remember that "talent" in the Bible is a measure of money -- but like all scripture what it really shows us UNIVERSAL TRUTH. Think of the knowledge of reading -- without that, even the knowledge you have is likely to be "taken" -- because you can't write anything down and read it later, or just refresh and deepen what you have.  The servant that knows how to EARN in the parable is given more. The one who does not, loses what he has -- in the real world, to inflation of nothing else. 

The current pope was infected with "liberation theology", the more general version of "black liberation theology" espoused by BO's old pastor Reverend Wright (Reverend Wrong). Like all attempts to make the Bible say what it doesn't, these are heresies, profitable to destroy men and nations. 

Capitalism is the "Goose That Laid the Golden Egg" and the wise servant from the parable of the talents. It is the wisdom of EARNING vs the evil of theft and sloth! 
Matt 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
Or, in a more recent example, we have the parable of the lost pontiff's own Argentina ...
A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left. 
Pope Francis' own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.
What ruined Argentina is ruining Europe with Greece being one of the coal mine canaries. We see what is happening here in "Central North America".

 Let's not follow this Pied Piper into the sea of Socialist destruction!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Question Nobody Answers

The Question Candidates Won't Answer | National Review Online:

Readers of this blog know that the US is brokest nation on earth financially and there is no plan that is even REMOTELY viable in either party to address it.

The most likely "solution" remains the standard solution of governments through all of history -- massive inflation, debauching the currency so that tens of TRILLIONS of real debt piled up with valuable dollars can be paid off with worthless paper. Maybe some of it with a picture of a woman on the front! A few 100 trillion with Susan B Anthony, Harriet Tubbs or some such fine fine lady on the front ought to make everyone feel better about seeing a million dollars buy a loaf of bread!

The article isn't really all that much help -- means testing would be a tiny start, but let's face it, nobody is even going to propose that until this pig piles into the mud a whole lot deeper than it is already.

Ah, the "Jimmuh Solution" ... always good to go back and see the wisdom of Billy Carter's dumber brother!

Hey, I'd like to be a millionaire! Wouldn't you ???

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An Allergy to Political Alternatives

The Republican Party has an allergy to facts - The Boston Globe:

The specifics of what are in this column are really not all that important -- what is important is the assumption of the author, the editors, and no doubt a good many of the readers of the column that there is one truth, and "The Party" (TP - Democrat) is its prophet. Naturally, listening to infidels makes those faithful to TP become uncomfortable. A sample ...
I seethed as one candidate after another offered more heartless and uncompassionate plans for how to treat illegal immigrants.
Here is the "money paragraph" ...
It’s one thing to marvel at the unprecedented and stupefying levels of GOP know-nothingness on display this election season — the misstatements, the untruths, the exaggerations, the falsehoods, and the straight-up lies. But these vaccine comments represent a legitimate public health menace. And it’s indicative of the allergy to facts, data, and evidence that is the real story of the GOP debate, and indeed of the Republican nominating contest — and we need to be talking more about it.
Politics, branding, advertising, sales, mythology, story telling, etc, etc are ALL much less about anything like "facts" than they are about convincing others. Marxists believe that history is "wired" by "something" (they believe in no god) so that the "progress" to communism is inevitable. "Progressives" likewise believe in "progress" -- due to "something", we are guaranteed that history is somehow getting "better". We certainly don't know what that means -- having seen something north of 100 million people slaughtered in the 20th century due to the more "progressive" forms of government -- National Socialism, Communism, etc, but their faith is not shaken.

Certainly TP would like to tell everyone that "it has the facts" -- they were confidently sure we were out of oil in the '70s, even more sure the USSR would be around forever, Reagan would be an economic disaster, the age of big government was over, if we liked our healthcare we could keep it, red lines in Syria, ISIS was the "JV team" ... and on it goes.

The point here is more that those in the dominant political party -- TP, with the media like the Boston Globe and the universities generally on their side ACTUALLY BELIEVE that they have the "facts". The real truth is that there is NOTHING about the future that is 100% predictable, even that the sun will appear to rise tomorrow AM (see major meteor impacts, gigantic solar eruptions, etc) ... precisely NOTHING in this physical world is certain, so anyone that claims otherwise is doing politics, branding, story telling ....etc.

The author of the column ends it this way ...
We joke about this stuff, but after a while it’s no longer funny. The Republican Party is dominated by candidates who are proudly, even boastfully ignorant. Rejecting the clear science on vaccines or climate change is practically the price of admission even to be considered a legitimate presidential candidate. Playing on xenophobic fears of immigrants by lying about the economic costs and threats to American workers — pro forma. It reached a point Wednesday night when a candidate actually saying something true was an event worthy of note. 
But make no mistake, the descent of the Republican Party into dishonesty, lies, and cravenness is no joke. It’s a national crisis.
Sadly, I'm guessing he doesn't realize that a whole bunch of the things he believes are "true" are -- politics, marketing, myths, etc ... he is a TRUE BELIEVER!

I'm a true believer too -- in Jesus Christ. All other information is highly questionable, often inaccurate and in many cases downright false. Often intentionally so, but also often just because people have "good intentions" that don't work out. They (for some reason) were certain that if they raised taxes a lot on cigarettes they would drastically reduce smoking, but were equally certain that they could massively raise taxes on income and profits without having the taxes cause a reduction in income and profits. They believe taxes behave according to their wishes!

The author of the column is obviously a TP true believer -- he would find my statement about taxes having the effect of reducing income or profits to be as foolish as the idea that just because Global Warming predicted more hurricanes and we got less that it somehow reflects badly on Global Warming being "settled".

The point here is I have a Religion -- Christianity, and so does he -- "THE PARTY"! It turns out that the discussion on vaccinations is an old one -- and in fact the LEFT tends to be more inclined to have concerns, (I covered it here) ... if you really want to go off to the left wing tinfoil hat set, see GMOs. Unlikely the MSM will ask Hilly or BS any such questions though.

What the left has is a STRONG allergy to political alternatives. BO has been the farthest left since Carter -- it remains to be seen if any of the Republican alternatives even has a ghost of a chance as being as much of a turn back to the right as Reagan was. No doubt this columnist thought the '80s were a "disaster", but there are a lot of very real people and very real numbers that would call that view into strong question.

That is the difference between politics and what science USED to be (before it entertained the idea of being "settled") ... politics is NEVER settled, even after you start rounding up people and shooting them to get them to agree with you -- see USSR. The author of this column apparently doesn't understand that, and THAT is the dangerous problem -- because people that make politics their religion always end up shooting the infidels sooner or later.

The American difference is that here, we SHOOT BACK!
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Arrest Those Climate Skeptics! (Power Line)

Arrest Those Climate Skeptics! | Power Line:

Short, well worth the read. Bottom line, a set of Climate Scientists ... including one who was involved in the "Hide the Decline" email scandal, think that people who disagree with their positions on Climate ought to be locked up using the RICO statutes created to attack organized crime .... "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations".

As we know, the left doesn't like to see discussion, they like to see whatever their position is codified by law, and anyone who disagrees at least fined / fired / boycotted / etc .... and if possible jailed and ultimately killed.

The odds of them being able to pull this off YET are fairly low, but as we have seen in WI, they WILL try! They are often wrong, but they are NEVER in doubt, and their willingness to use force a critical hallmark of the left.

Read it all, but if you just don't have the time, the conclusion ...
I don’t think there is any serious danger that realist scientists (let alone oil company executives who have nothing to do with the debate) will be criminally prosecuted, but the fact that liberals are so anxious to shut up their opponents, with prison terms if necessary, is the ultimate proof of the bankruptcy of their ideas.
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Britain 49th Poorest "US State", Per Capita GDP

Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi - Spectator Blogs:

I've always liked to look at simple data with proper relative scaling. Just listing the GDP of the US is misleading, we have 320 million people, Germany has 81 million, England 65 mil, Sweden 10 mil and Norway only 5 million. If one divides the wealth of nations ... and states, how is everyone doing relative to others?

Turns out England is just ahead of Mississippi and just behind Alabama. Next to the bottom of poorest US states by GDP. Norway comes in between #7 Massachusetts and #8 New Jersey, Switzerland is next between #20 Virginia, and #21 Iowa.

The article promises to tell you "why", but it doesn't really -- it is written by a Brit last summer during the Ferguson debacle, it is really just admonishing Brits to not be so smug, since for all but the very poorest, every income group in America is doing better than their counterparts in England.

Readers of this Blog know why ... European countries have different cultures and have been playing with socialism for a lot longer. We know that socialism reduces GDP -- we have over a century of evidence. The THEORY is that the "more equitable distribution" of money under socialism is worth the cost. In countries like Norway and Sweden, there is some level of truth to that -- they have cultures of reasonably strong work ethic, they have cold winters that tend to encourage people to do something productive rather than sit in "the sun" (being "the dark" up there), and they are small enough where the temptations of the elite bureaucracy doing the robbing from the productive to give to the unproductive is limited by both proximity to those being robbed, and the "take" being smaller.

Even the Scandinavian nations however have been forced to make adjustments to be more business and work friendly over the past few decades, same with Canada. "The Ant and the Grasshopper" is a fairy tale, but it is a fairy tale grounded in real principles, unlike the tales told by socialists!

Due to the power of "The Party (TP - Democrat)" and it's control over the media and education, the vast majority of Americans have no idea of simple and widely available facts like this. They are told that everyone in Europe has it BETTER than they do, and that the policies of Europe relative to government, economics, etc pretty much put the US to shame.

We are indeed marching toward shame -- but our downward trend is still behind Europe. The US is large, and it had built up a powerful momentum over 200 years. It even got a super shot in the arm in the '80s with Reagan that delayed the demise by a good 30 years.

Most of the US population has no awareness of where we are actually at economically, no idea of how we got here, and absolutely no concept of where we might want to go. Our ability to govern ourselves relative to economics has been destroyed -- we know we need an economy, but generally have no idea of how an economy works! This is exactly what TP wants -- they are happy to continue to take total control.

So we have a real danger of going from BO to BS (Bernie Sanders).

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Muslim Clock Maker Shot by Pop Tart

Ahmed Mohamed's Clock | National Review Online:

A good column covering the obvious "made for outrage" coverage of poor Ahmed Mohammed for taking a bunch of circuit boards and wires to school around 9-11.

It is worth a read, it is entertaining ... it would be more so if what was once a nation peopled by massive common sense had not become such an asylum of the ridiculous. A teaser and the conclusion ...
This is an age of overreaction. It is, unhappily, also an age of race-hustling and grievance-mongering. Thank goodness that felonious Pop-Tart in Maryland was one of the strawberry-flavored ones with rainbow sprinkles and not brown sugar/cinnamon or marshmallow hot chocolate or another of the flavors of color, or we’d be having a national discussion about white-frosting privilege.
and the conclusion ... we are mostly a nation of fools, bouncing to the beat of a "made for left wing politics"  narrative.
Ahmed Mohamed was mistreated by imbeciles, and he’ll be famous for it, for 15 Warholian minutes, and then again for a 30-second spot when he graduates in a few years and goes off to MIT or wherever. The fact is that he is not worse off because his name is Mohamed, but better off: Nobody would be paying attention otherwise, and he might very well be in jail. Being mistreated by imbeciles is the sine qua non of American public education today, but that fact is of political use only periodically, as in this case.
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Hitler the Ecologist

Timothy Snyder's 'Black Earth' Offers a New Theory of Hitler's Anti-Semitism - The Atlantic:

I'm in the midst of "The Closing of the American Mind" ... it is my 3rd or 4th reading, but it has been over a decade since the last, or I'm sure I would have blogged it, although it will be HARD to summarize since it covers the breadth and a good deal of depth of all of Western Thought ... Plato, Socrates, Hegel, Weber, Heidegger, Kant, Hobbes, Locke, Calvin, Rousseau. Marx,  Nietzsche ... etc.

One of the fundamental things that must be understood is that "reason" is a TOOL that can be used to "rationally explain" most ANYTHING! What counts are "first principles" -- the "leap of faith" ... postulates that are not testable but taken as a priori FACT  like "the universe is predictable and understandable" ... the basis for science.

The other thing that is hard to accept, but I find very true, is that it all comes back to God or it comes back to Nietzsche ... who unfortunately, although NOT intentionally, led to Hitler. If you "kill god", then you enable new "Supermen" -- creators of new myth. Men who are "beyond good and evil", but rather DEFINE the new "values" (morality) -- using the "will to power" (the scare quotes are around the statements of Nietzsche).

“There is in fact no way of thinking about the world, says Hitler, which allows us to see human beings as human beings. Any idea which allows us to see each other as human beings … come[s] from Jews,” Snyder told me in an interview. As Snyder sees it, Hitler believed the only way for the world to revert to its natural order—that of brutal racial competition—was to eradicate the Jews.

Hitler saw the idea of "man as man" -- "universals" to be a "Jewish idea" -- the idea of abstractions being "beyond nature". Hitler was a naturalist ... an ecologist. He believed "survival of the fittest" and that humans were NATURAL ... not "chosen", "specially created", etc.

There is in fact no way of thinking about the world, says Hitler, which allows us to see human beings as human beings. Any idea which allows us to see each other as human beings—whether it’s a social contract; whether it’s a legal contract; whether it’s working-class solidarity; whether it’s Christianity—all these ideas come from Jews. And so for people to be people, for people to return to their essence, for them to represent their race, as Hitler sees things, you have to strip away all those ideas. And the only way to strip away all those ideas is to eradicate the Jews. And if you eradicate the Jews, then the world snaps back into what Hitler sees as its primeval, correct state: Races struggles against each other, kill each other, starve each other to death, and try and take land.
Hitler is very wrong of course ... the idea of the world as we see it being a "projection" of universals or "perfect forms" goes back to Plato ... but Augustine, in "City of God" synthesized the Judaeo / Christian vision with Plato ... Augustine realized that the God of the Bible was the reality of what Plato apprehended dimly.

He sees the Jews as being the thing which destroys the world, which infects the world. He uses the term “pestilence” in this sense—the Jews have infected the world. They’ve made the world not just impure in some kind of metaphorical sense—he really means it. And so the only way to purify the world—to make things go back to the way they’re supposed to be, to have a natural ecology, to go back to this struggle between races, which Hitler thinks is natural—the only way to do that is to physically eliminate the Jews.
 All our "big questions" of the day come back to "God or nature" -- Religion says God, ecology says nature. Hitler was an ecologist. One needed listen to an ecologist very long to hear that MAN is a "pestilence" -- Hitler was just a more selective ecologist. He felt that once the Jews were eliminated, nature would take it's course and the fittest would reign.

I worry a little bit now about, just very generally, that with the financial crisis; with the instability in the Middle East; with the Chinese economy tanking; with Russia breaking all the rules in Europe; and with people in Russia, in Europe, in North Africa more freely expressing anti-Semitic views—I worry a bit that we are tilting towards some kind of anti-globalization where the Jews, or somebody else, could become the explanation for why things are going wrong.
Humans LOVE to have a scapegoat! The Jews, the 1%, "the right", Christians, etc

Once you abandon God ... or the idea of  the "transcendent" if you just can't buy God, then you fall into what Nietzsche so courageously but tragically discovered -- the abyss. The utter meaninglessness of existence. Then you are DRIVEN -- to self destruction,  or to "the will to power" ... the creation of brand new mythology that comes from outside of reason.

A quick glance at mythology -- be it Nazism, Islam, Marxism, Progressivism, Atheism, Scientism, Historicism  ...  or from the non-believer POV, Christianity will inform you that they are not all "equal".

You WILL pick one ... or perhaps you have a great "will to power" and will invent your own, but it is at least incumbent on any thinking person to know what they serve.

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Trump Maligns Muslims With BO Libel

At Town Hall, Donald Trump Declines to Refute Voter Who Declares Obama a Muslim - Washington Wire - WSJ:

After years as a Birther, loads of misogyny along with making inane one-liners into a virtual Brand, "The Donald" went too far and the MSM is all over him! He libeled all Muslima by allowing the false charge that BO is a Muslim to stand! This is almost as bad as the "Hitler was a Jew" claim,

No race or group should have to carry the burden that BO is "one of them"!

Just listen to him for a minute or two -- he is FAR FAR FAR above ALL of humanity! BO is like the Cheese ... he stands alone! In the audacious odiferousness of his own mind.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Philosophical Structural Trek Failure

How Star Trek Explains The Decline Of Liberalism:

This article is to philosophy as Boone's Farm is to wine. It attempts to burden the Star Trek universe with a heavy load of foggy metaphysics -- one can almost hear the "WARNING -- Structural failure imminent!" blaring in female computer monotone accompanied by klaxxon and flashing red.

If you are a significant Trekkie with a pretty good memory, it might be entertaining -- if not, don't bother.

The assertion of the article is that Star Trek had more philosophical underpinnings than I think it really had, but if it had them, it "evolved" from old relatively moral and hard headed "liberalism" to hippie age "tune in, turn on and drop out" escapism,  to the modern anarchy of lust, sensation, and total relativism.

This quote comes in discussion about the movie Star Trek VI, "The Undiscovered Country" where "peace at all costs" with the Klingons appears to be just fine. In fiction, such things sometimes work.
This represented an almost complete inversion of “Star Trek’s” original liberalism, and indeed of any rational scale of moral principles at all. At no point in the show’s history had Kirk or his colleagues treated the Klingons unjustly, whereas audiences for decades have watched the Klingons torment and subjugate the galaxy’s peaceful races
The article carries a rather mushy understanding of "old liberalism" -- which gets rather confusing, given the appropriation of the old term "liberal" via FDR and company in the '30s when terms like "progressive", "fascist" and "socialist" fell on rather hard times.  "Liberal" was once rooted in LIBERTY, as in LIBERTARIAN, meaning "right wing" with the left being tyranny and the right being anarchy. Then the Statists stole it -- theft being one of their "prime directives" (see "income inequality").

It is pretty clear that the author of the column pines away for a form of "liberalism" at least long dead, if not imaginary ...
Roddenberry’s generation emerged from World War II committed to a liberalism that believed in prosperity, technological progress, and the universal humanity they hoped the United Nations would champion. In the Kennedy years, this technocratic liberalism sought to apply science, the welfare state, and secular culture to raise the standard of living and foster individual happiness worldwide.
Ah, the optimistic world Statism of the Kennedy years! The dream of a Camelot that never was. One can dream of a "universal humanity" (no country to die for, and no religion too, (the Beatles Lennon) ...) ... let's throw in "the welfare state" and "secular culture" along with "technology" with LOTS of "hope" and call it "metaphysical hope stew"! What would a thinking person expect this stew to do rather than rot, or in his terms "evolve" into something even more random ... say the end which he closed the article with.
But that perversity is the natural consequence of the breakdown in the liberal principles that once guided the series. “Star Trek’s” romance with relativism gradually blotted them out until the franchise came to prize feeling over thought, image over substance, and immediate gratification over moral and political responsibility. What was once an expression of the Enlightenment faded “into darkness.”

Over nearly 50 years, “Star Trek” tracked the devolution of liberalism from the philosophy of the New Frontier into a preference for non-judgmental diversity and reactionary hostility to innovation, and finally into an almost nihilistic collection of divergent urges. At its best, “Star Trek” talked about big ideas, in a big way. Its decline reflects a culture-wide change in how Americans have thought about the biggest idea of all: mankind’s place in the universe.
Was the author REALLY surprised that naming "prosperity, technological progress and universal humanity" along with "the welfare state" and "secular culture" as "PRINCIPLES" failed to work out and rather degenerated into what he laments? Not just for Star Trek, but more importantly for Western Civilization?

... or did he really hope that Star Trek would save us all?

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Melting Antarctica, Did They Say When?

Scientists confirm there’s enough fossil fuel on Earth to entirely melt Antarctica - The Washington Post:

Wow, ALL OF ANTARCTICA! But one needs to remember the issue of TIME ... the sun is predicted go out as well! If you don't list the time, that also makes a good headline .. except the current estimate is 5 billion years in the future.

If you go to a bit more detailed source, you find this.
But he's a scientist, and like all proper scientists he's willing to admit inconvenient truths. In this case, the truth in question is his own prediction that no matter what humans do in the way of carbon emissions, sea levels are not going to rise by more than 8cm this century due to melting Antarctic ice. For context, the seas have been rising faster than that for thousands of years. They rose 17cm just during the 20th century, and the Antarctic cap is far and away the biggest body of ice on the planet.
Just for "startling effect", there is 8cm ... by 2100! Think future technology MIGHT be able to handle that? Consider that the Wright Brothers first flew in 1903 and we landed on the moon in 1969 ... 66 years. We have 85 until 2100. Admittedly, we SUCK compared to progress in the 20th century so far in the 21st, but really. 8cm?

Want the get a meter of rise? Even according to their rather extreme burn rates and calculations -- 2200AD. I'm betting you don't make it. Your kids don't make it either.  Maybe you will have a really old grandchild? Oh, and that assumes that the models are a whole lot more accurate than the current "on pause and holding" for 18 years models -- let alone potential fluctuations in solar, less than precise calculations on atmospheric sensitivity to carbon, etc, etc.?

People that make predictions 100s and thousands of years in the future really ought to do what I did yesterday once in awhile. Sight in a new scope on a S&W .460 magnum pistol.

You boresight it with a laser in your basement. Then you try 10 yds -- good, pretty damned close. Then 25 yards, hmm ... need a few adjustments. Then 50 ... hmm, back to 25, then 50 again ... looking better, OOPS, ran out of ammo. This is off a bench rest -- so much for the cheap .45 long colt ammo, can't even keep a tight group at 25 yds ... gotta do the buck a round Hornady! Damn, just small variation gets BIGGER at just 50 yards with a pistol. I've had it hitting dinner plate groups at 100 before with good ammo, hitting a poster size "group" at 200 yds ... going to take a while to get back to there, and I may just end up going back to open sights. Scope eye relief on a pistol is REALLY a PAIN! Makes me wonder if I'm too old for this and just put open sights back on it!

Oh, BTW, a poster sized "group" is in no way "good", but if you were being shot at by a .460 mag at 200 yds with that accuracy, it would not be a good day!

I wonder what being off by a few thousandths does at a predictive range of 1000 years? I guess the nice part is that you KNOW that nobody that has ANY remote remembrance of anything about you or your "science" is going to be looking at your groupings!

Yet another case where how information is REPORTED makes ALL the difference!

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Get Informed, Or Don't Vote!

Thomas Sowell: Misinformed Electorate, Not Trump, Is Real Danger -

Read the whole column, very short and you will be VERY much rewarded for your time! A sample.

Despite many people who urge us all to vote, as a civic duty, the purpose of elections is not participation. The purpose is to select individuals for offices, including president of the United States. Whoever has that office has our lives, the lives of our loved ones and the fate of the entire nation in his or her hands.
Do you want to have a medical diagnosis based on a vote that seeks to get the highest turnout possible, or would you rather select a medical practitioner based on training, certification and experience to arrive at the diagnosis.

Our founders purposely DID NOT create a Democracy, but rather a Republic in order to have rule by laws rather than men. They DEFINITELY were not interested AT ALL in seeing if they could round up the illiterate, the criminal, the non-citizen, etc to "get out the vote".

The population in this area of N America is insane. Sowell is wise -- the contrast is painful!

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The Trump Temptation Close to Home

So Maybe I’m Starting to Like Trump. . . | Power Line:

OK, I assume that the PL guys are being a bit light hearted on this one given the excess of attractive femininity in the picture, but I gotta admit that I'm concerned. Power Line is my favorite general "not too out there but reasonably conservative go to blog". I've always found the Power Line Blog to be very well reasoned -- it is run by lawyers, lawyers who believe you need a written basis for law (the Constitution), and the need to run a  nation on laws rather than the whim of the masses de jour.

They put in  a link in the column to a litany of all the conservative commentators criticism of Trump. The specific one of which I find compelling is this one from Jonah Goldberg (the whole thing is worth reading).
If I sound dismayed, it’s only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because “Trump fights!”
As I've covered in this blog many times, conservatism to me IS principle, and it is A LOT older than 60 years ... it is at least back to Burke, and really to the Torah and the Ten Commandments. It is the search for and the willingness to acknowledge, be enlightened by, and directed by THE ETERNAL!

Without transcendent ideas and principles there is no conservatism for me! (see "Ideas Have Consequences")

"Character" is a more fluid matter because of the fact of our humanity. To have standards is to live with some level of hypocrisy. A lot of good NFL football teams set out on the standard of the perfect season culminating in a Super Bowl win. In baseball, the perfect game is a goal for every pitcher.

The last perfect game in baseball was thrown by Felix Hernandez in 2012, the last perfect season in the NFL was Miami in 1972. The last perfect human life was Jesus Christ, AD 30ish -- absolutely unique, we separate history upon his perfection ... Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD) meaning "in the year of the Lord". To be a human that holds to high standards is to be some level of hypocrite. To the conservative, that is how improvement happens -- to the "liberal", the focus is to change everyone else, ultimately by force.

As the Goldberg article points out, it is not clear that Trump possesses any principles whatever beyond "win baby win", and his character is best summed up as "he's a fighter" -- certainly commendable, but the question of "for what"? must be asked. Money? That is clearly his track record. Fame? Power? Ego? None of these are inherently bad, nor disqualifying -- but to be a conservative, things like "smaller government", "rule of law", "sanctity of life", "religious freedom", "individual freedom", "the family", etc have to show up somewhere and at least compete strongly with the more common human motivators.

"Make America Great" is indeed a worthy objective, but the meaning of that for a conservative is a return to the lost principles that both once made "America" and then made it "great". There is no America without shared ideas -- America was a nation founded on ideas rather than mere territory or ethnicity. While the territory still exists, "America" is now only a reference to a glorious past.

Goldberg must have more faith in himself and in other humans than I do. Desperate people not infrequently even commit suicide. I'd like to completely believe that was impossible for me, but I'm not sure I know the pain that drives that permanent solution to a temporary problem -- I'm quite certain that their pain made them decide it was "the only option". I pray to never be put to that test.

That is roughly how I look at the Trump phenomenon among the thinking conservatives. These are desperate times and that makes for desperate people. The America that we once knew is GONE -- no respect for the Constitution, no respect for the separation of powers, government expanding and worming it's way into all aspects of life, the young and the old corrupted -- the young by indoctrination, the old by being bought off with "benefits". "These are the times that try men's souls" ... and for some, the goal of "winning at any cost" seems worthy. They have reached that dark night of the soul where truly ANYTHING is better than going on at the level of depravity we now see.

One of the major failings of "progressivism" is the giving in to the human temptation of "We HAVE to DO SOMETHING!". Wisdom says that often God has a plan that you may have driven you to panic, but a much more important maxim is "FIRST, do no HARM!" ... because you still believe that there is a plan beyond man's plan, so even though it appears there is no hope, God is still in his heaven. Lose that faith, and the human desire to do something --- ANYTHING, including elect a Trump, suddenly seems "good". (or the parallel analogy, take your own life)

"Progressivism" worships man -- and action. Conservatism worships God -- and ideas. "Progressivism" looks at man's navel, and at the earth -- matter. It is basic idolatry, the worship of man and material.

But all conservatives are human as well as conservative -- so when the chips are down, the temptation to fall to what is natural to fallen man is great and sometimes irresistible to many, really ALL without the help of God!  That is one of the dangers of "secular conservatism", it sounds good on paper, but in the long dark night of the abyss, it often turns out to be like Alcoholics Anonymous without the higher power. The human reaches for the bottle -- the action. The Trump!

I see the name itself as another proof of God's earthly intervention and eternal sense of humor. From the dictionary ...
trump -- any playing card of a suit that for the time outranks the other suits, such a card being able to take any card of another suit".
trump up -- to devise deceitfully or dishonestly, as an accusation; fabricate:
When I consider God's power and the fact that we know he has a sense of humor -- for we are created in his image, such things give me that little shiver of awareness. It isn't just the odds against a "Goldilocks Universe" that the atheist need compute! As I once answered a response to that linked post, I see (VERY  loosely, as an ANALOGY) our existence as a "Matrix" (of a far different sort than the movie) that is "running on God".

I can very much understand the Trump temptation (covered one aspect here), but temptation is still temptation. We must resist it with the help of God (or some other higher power) just like an alcoholic resists the bottle! Trump appears to be a solution, but he is a "Trumped up" solution -- devised deceitfully and dishonestly. We know that to be true because has no ideas and principles that he points us to, except his own image.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

CC Vs Gay "Marriage", Water and Granite

D.C. Chief of Police Won’t Issue Concealed Carry Permits… So, Why Isn’t SHE Thrown in Jail? | The PolitiStick:

The left wears away the rule of law like water wears away granite.

For YEARS we have been seeing the 2nd Amendment infringed on by government officials at all levels with no outcry from the left dominated media at all. In fact, officials who refuse to follow the LEGAL opinions of the court are treated as HEROES! I say "legal" because in Heller, the SCOTUS by a thin 5-4 margin merely upheld the plain language of the Constitution, in Obergefell vs Hodges (gay "marriage" ruling), the SCOTUS found an entirely new "right" to gay "marriage" in a Constitution that doesn't even mention marriage at all!

Creating a legal right to gay "marriage", or changing the clear text of the Constitution require Constitutional Amendments in a nation ruled by law. That is not the nation we live in.

In Heller the court merely ruled that the 2nd amendment says what everyone knew it said for 200 years. If the 2nd amendment was to actually be amended to say that "Only citizens in the US Armed Forces or official police forces may carry weapons" one could legally remove the arms from the citizenry and still have military and police forces with weapons. But if Heller had been found against the plain text of the Constitution, then any group that DID retain the right to bear arms would need special political authorization.

The OPTIMUM for the left is another SCOTUS decision overturning Heller that sets a precedent saying that citizens have no Constitutional right to bear arms, thus allowing differential treatment for "special groups" (military, police, government agencies, certain private security agencies .... ???) driven by political power.

The right wants EQUAL PROTECTION under LAW, the left wants CONTROLLED RESULTS under POLITICAL POWER because that allows them to dole out political favors which increases their political power. Our national arguments often come down to equality of opportunity and treatment under law applied to ALL, vs equality of results as mandated and determined by political POWER.

Law vs Power.

The idea of America was to radically reduce the power of politics -- allowing personal freedom, individual virtue, religion, individual work ethic, local organizations, business and entrepreneurship to thrive and create the greatest nation in the history of the world made up of individual free men. Naturally, the left, the power of tyranny, has hated the Constitution from the start -- so they attack it by all means possible, slow wearing constantly and nuclear strikes when possible.

If the left, already with very near complete control of the legal system which is no longer founded on a written Constitution can dole out the power of armament as it sees fit -- a future arm of "The Party" can issue a decree that "TP leaders in good standing can carry arms" -- but opposition would be unarmed of course. By this path a single party gains total control of a nation.

We live as boiled frogs in a TP / media thought controlled environment where MANY sheriffs / police chiefs / local bureaucrats  have refused Concealed Carry permits -- a basic right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment and further codified by state law. Here in MN, when the CC law passed, country and city officials finding ways to subvert the law were in very good standing with left wing media outlets like MPR.

"Consistency is not an issue" is one of the most powerful weapons of Lucifer and the left. The ability to deal in radically differential treatment depending on the issue and clouding the minds of people so they are unable to connect issues to see plain violation of any semblance of equal treatment under the law keeps the vast majority in a state of darkness.

We are still at the stage where "the truth is out there" -- it CAN be discovered, exposed, and understood, but it now takes HARD WORK. We have slipped to where this kind of reporting and writing becomes more and more rare -- when it is gone,  the masses shuffle under the lash of tyrannical evil and wonder "How could this happen here?".

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The BO Crime Wave

America’s Legal Order Begins to Fray - WSJ:

The damage that BO has wrought is local, national and global. Surging crime is one of the local effects.

Homicides were up 76% in Milwaukee, 60% in St. Louis, and 56% in Baltimore through mid-August, compared with the same period in 2014; murder was up 47% in Minneapolis and 36% in Houston through mid-July.
Even here in sleepy Rochester we saw a young hispanic empty a large cap mag into a group playing basketball near a school in broad daylight, killing one and wounding two others.

When the President, Attorney General, and the Justice Department largely side with the thugs, the thugs get braver and law enforcement takes cover. The reverse of what law abiding citizens want.

The lawful use of police power is being met by hostility and violence, often ignored by the press. In Cincinnati, a small riot broke out in late July when the police arrived at a drive-by shooting scene, where a 4-year-old girl had been shot in the head and critically injured. Bystanders loudly cursed at officers who had started arresting suspects at the scene on outstanding warrants, according to a witness I spoke with.
I wrote about this earlier this summer as it started to be reported in the some right wing press -- now it is up to the WSJ editorial pages -- about as good as it gets for right wing reporting. The MSM is still pretty mum -- crime is now surging. People are aware only anecdotally.

The saddest part of left wing policies and evil in general is how quickly destruction comes vs how long and arduous the path of good! After the destruction wrought by the left in the 60's, cleaning up the US cities was a HARD, SLOW and EXPENSIVE process that started in the '80s with increased policing, longer sentences, more prosecution of petty and "gateway crime", and "fixing the broken windows". We stuck to it through both the Clinton and Bush administrations and saw many previously unsafe areas of our cities become safe once again. It was not easy!

Now BO has reversed the trend, and discredited the hard work done by so many by all but directly calling it "racism". The highest percentage of the crimes were always committed by Blacks and Hispanics -- so cleaning up that crime meant jailing Blacks and Hispanics. It was ALSO Blacks and Hispanics that were MOST BENEFITED by the reduction in crime -- lives saved, property saved, property values increased as the areas that they live in became more liveable. Now they suffer the most as the progress is reversed.

The wages of BO are ultimately death -- locally in crime, loss of jobs, self reliance and self respect and the wrecked healthcare system. Globally in instability, the rise of bad actors in Libya, Egypt, Syria ... and the enhanced power of bad actors in Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, Cuba, etc. How much death? Like Pandora, once released, how far the stench of evil reaches is very hard to predict, but the time of prophesying evil is now over -- it is now on the rise for any with eyes to see.

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