Thursday, August 17, 2017

Boycotting Praeger

Santa Monica Symphony Roiled by Conservative Guest Conductor -

Seems rather odd that an attempt to boycott a fund raiser in LA because Dennis Praeger was going to guest conduct is a bit tepid to be "NY Times" level news, but it was.

The boycott worked about as well as your standard left-wing cause -- the concert sold out.

See if you have "divisive" political views, you ought to be boycotted ...
His political views are divisive. Just last month, Mr. Prager posted on Twitter that “the news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.” In 2014, he wrote that the “heterosexual AIDS” crisis was something “entirely manufactured by the Left.” That same year, Mr. Prager suggested that if same-sex marriage were legalized, then “there is no plausible argument for denying polygamous relationships, or brothers and sisters, or parents and adult children, the right to marry.”
I'd love to hear the "reason" to deny polygamy, brothers/sisters, etc? As far as I can tell, if they declared themselves gay, bi, or something else, the relationships are in fact ALREADY legal. Like what would a "bi-sexual marriage" (already legal), look like if it doesn't involve at least 3 people?

What grounds does one deny things from the left like this? "Morality"???? What the hell is left wing "morality" ... epsecially on anything remotely related to sex? And it's basis would be ??? "Well, we don't like THAT!!!!!"

While we are at it, isn't "bi" a little outdated with at least 58 genders and rapidly rising?

Well, while allowing lots of genders is certainly NOT divisive fromt the left, having different opinions from the left is VERY divisive, and likely "bigoted" as well.

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Debbie Does Suicide?

The Exploding DNC IT Scandal Is As Crazy As Fiction:

This barely hit the news at all, and is LONG gone at this point. Nothing here folks, move along, Debbie is a **D** !!!!!  No reason to do any reporting on this!

In a plot Tom Clancy might have dreamed up, an IT staffer who’d worked for Democrats in Congress was arrested by federal officials and charged with bank fraud. Fox News has reported that officers and agents from the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and Customs and Border Protection, were involved in the arrest of Imran Awan at Dulles International Airport not far from Washington, D.C., as he tried to fly away to Pakistan.

Small potatoes ... a little under $300K, some security exposures and ALL DEMOCRATS! Why would one expect this to be "news"?

Politico has reported that Awan is “at the center of a criminal investigation potentially impacting dozens of lawmakers.” Awan was arrested after wiring $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to Pakistan, says The Daily Caller.

Just in case it turns out that Debbie becomes a liability, she will likely not wake up, finding herself the victim of an unfortunate "suicide".

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Totalitarianism, Orgasims, Social Change

It is important in the understanding of the Secular Humanist mind to realize that this is the NY Times, not "The Onion".

I read tons of books, meditate, think and pray on the topic of "meaning". Do we have a purpose? How do we discern it? What have great men of history had to say on this topic?  What is "the good" in life? I often lament that our Declaration of Independence says "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" as opposed to "pursuit of meaning, or service, or God's will, etc" ... Happiness is a byproduct, it can't be obtained by direct pursuit ... it is a very unfortunate mistake.

The Secular Humanist view is different. I open with their closing paragraph:
Those comrades’ insistence on government intervention may seem heavy-handed to our postmodern sensibilities, but sometimes necessary social change — which soon comes to be seen as the natural order of things — needs an emancipation proclamation from above. 
That is a good paragraph to ponder -- LOTS of "government intervention" ... gulags, secret police, building walls to keep people IN (the left was never bothered so much by that!); was worth it ... because? Well ...

A comparative sociological study of East and West Germans conducted after reunification in 1990 found that Eastern women had twice as many orgasms as Western women.
A rational person with any tiny understanding of human behavior, statistics, accuracy in self reporting / recollection" of different groups, etc, MIGHT find this "a bit" questionable. However, I'm going to to with it as gospel truth.Women in totalitarian socialist states have more and better orgasims! It's true! It's true!

While we are discussing "Havana", as in "baby I'm not from",  this wistfulness for socialist paradise reminds me of the joys of Castro lowering heart disease in the '90s. How did he accomplish this brilliant health success? Well, famine and starvation --- but hey, less heart attacks! Socialist success!

If one believes that material is all there is, and that love and consciousness, since non-measureable , are just as meaningless as "God", "Truth", and other unproveable things, then maybe they are "right"? In a purely physical, materialist world,  sexual release is probably as much an approximation for "the good" as anything else -- and likely better than many. For example, the "joy" of ritualistic killing of young virgin women, children, etc in rites almost as common in pagan cultures as various temple protitutes.

I suspect that many, even on the left, find it odd that the "big issues" of modern lefty "morality" come down to more and different sexual release. The pill! Abortion! freeing women to have more sex! Gays! Bi-sexuals! genders beyond belief (and imagination)! Perhaps that is the answer -- in a purely materialst world, sexual release is the "highest good" that can be scientifically verified and documented ... therefore,  the left dedicates themselves to more sexual release, even if it may need a little "heavy handed" state control as sort of a "totalitarian sex aid".

I did actually read the whole tedious article, and it is pretty easy to develop a hypothesis as to "why" ... guess what, most babies are born in July, August and September. Why? There tends to be less going on in the winter, nights are longer, days are shorter and, "things happen".  Give western women fullfilling jobs, lots of stuff to buy, lots of cool stores and malls to buy it in, health clubs, hair salons, all sorts of entertainment, etc, and sex is "one star in the sky" ...  when you are standing in line for toilet paper all day OTOH, there are next to no entertainment options, and there is nothing waiting for you at home except ...

Oh, and yes, I caught the "emancipation proclamation" allusion ... women are slaves, once the all powerful state issues the proclimation to free them, they can blissfully stand in line dreaming of  basic necessities and better orgasims! Socialist paradise!

Guesss what, the "revolution" is not likely to stop at tearing down statures of Civil War heroes!

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlottesville, Alt-Right, How To Think

As an avid NPR listener, I DO know how I am SUPPOSED to think about Charlottesville. Charlottesville is FINALLY the turning point for Trump. It unmasks him completely as the racist he has always been and shows once and for all that conservatism is racism! It's SIMPLE, as the positions of NPR tend to be -- oh, and if you refuse to agree with this obvious truth, then you too are a RACIST -- end of story. There are correct thinking progressives -- Democrats, the MSM, etc, and then there are the racists. We live in a very simple and easy to understand world -- at least for the standard NPR listener.

The linked article gets long, but it can be summarized in a valid fashion pretty easily -- you won't get it all from here, but you will get the sense of it.

The ALT-right is the modern equivalent of the campus radical left "Weathermen", etc from the 1960's. Accolytes of Saul Alinsky -- rebel revolutionaries and faux revolutionaries like Tom Hayden, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama (Obama worked as a "Community Organizer", the main footsoldier in the Alinsky revolutionary vision). The key words are YOUNG, radical and transgressive ... as the young often are.

The '60's lefty revolutionaries grew up and became Senators, Presidents and such -- somewhat less rabid than when they were young, but still with the same far left views. The left grew up, suffered under Reagan, then mostly took over the levers of power and gave us a stagnant economy, gay "marriage" and gender confusion -- not everyone was excited about these developments, so now the youth are "Alt-Right".

These young rebels, a subset of the alt-right, aren’t drawn to it because of an intellectual awakening, or because they’re instinctively conservative. Ironically, they’re drawn to the alt-right for the same reason that young Baby Boomers were drawn to the New Left in the 1960s: because it promises fun, transgression, and a challenge to social norms they just don’t understand.
Of course, just as was the case in history, the parents and grandparents just won’t understand, man. That’s down to the age difference. Millennials aren’t old enough to remember the Second World War or the horrors of the Holocaust. They are barely old enough to remember Rwanda or 9/11. Racism, for them, is a monster under the bed, a story told by their parents to frighten them into being good little children.
Naturally, the dried up leftist old fogies like Hillary, BO, Bernie, Nancy and their buddies at all the major news outlets want to go as negative as they possibly can on the Alt-Right, so it is important for them to link the group with skinheads, National Socialists, white supremacists, etc, and those groups of course DO exist, just like the Black Panthers, Students For a Democratic Society, SLA (kidnapped Patty Hearst), Charlie Manson, etc existed in the '60s ... and the "right" attempted to tie them to the general anti-war, peace, free love movement. (when the media is on the other side, it never works)

Repudiating National Socialists, skin heads and actual white supremacists is great and correct. We don't want to be like the left is with "Black Lives Matter", Nation of Islam and Islam itself. BLM is obviously a black racist group that needed to be repudiated from the left a thousand times over, but of course it has not been. Likewise, the difficulty which BO had with uttering the term "Islamic Terrorism" would be funny if it were not so sad.

The problem is that since the left media is domninant, and the left are EXPERTS at identity politics, Trump is on very dangerous ground here. He would have been FAR better off sticking with his initial statement about "ALL SIDES".  Absent the old world of actual principle -- eg "we all revere God, Country, the Constitution, Apple Pie and Chevrolet", the "burn your bad actor "allies"" strategy is only demanded of one side. BO can cozy up to BLM even when they are yelling "Pigs in blankets, fry em like bacon!" with no MSM outcry to "repudiate BLM"!.  (why would the media want to repudiate BLM? they are on the same side!) In a world wtih no actual shared values, WINNING is the only "value" that counts.

Racism is indeed wrong, although it is inherent in the human condition. "White Privlige" is the current black equivalent of calling whites the equivalent of the N-word. Every white has it, they can't escape it, it is evil, it invalidates whites, etc ... They are a bunch of white N-words! We all have racism in our DNA -- the magic for the left is to be allowed to use it for their side BOTH to make their own identity groupls (BLM) feel superior, but to label the other side as "bad racist", while blacks braying about "white privilige" have "dog whistle privlige".

So what is a "true conservative", the sort that has values beyond economic success to do? The article covers the "true conservative" (they call it "natural conservative") definition pretty well.

 For natural conservatives, culture, not economic efficiency, is the paramount value. More specifically, they value the greatest cultural expressions of their tribe. Their perfect society does not necessarily produce a soaring GDP, but it does produce symphonies, basilicas and Old Masters. The natural conservative tendency within the alt-right points to these apotheoses of western European culture and declares them valuable and worth preserving and protecting."

Needless to say, natural conservatives’ concern with the flourishing of their own culture comes up against an intractable nemesis in the regressive left, which is currently intent on tearing down statues of Cecil Rhodes and Queen Victoria in the UK, and erasing the name of Woodrow Wilson from Princeton in the U.S. These attempts to scrub western history of its great figures are particularly galling to the alt-right, who in addition to the preservation of western culture, care deeply about heroes and heroic virtues.
So the Alt-Right has a strongly shared value with "natural conservatives" -- which is likely whay we more natural conservatives are reticent to throw the whole Alt Right movement out with the bad apples travelling with them.  We are perfectly willing to repudiate David Duke, skinheads, National (and other) Socialists, but draw the line at tarring the whole Alt-Right with that broad brush.

The left OTOH, won't even repudiate BLM -- let alone tar NAACP, Black Caucus, "White Privilege" intellectuals,  etc with a validly repudiated negative label! In fact, they cowtow to BLM because they know how identity politics is played! Repudiation rhetoric is for SUCKERS -- which means Republicans to them.

I found this paragraph to be very intrigueing:

Some alt-righters make a more subtle argument. They say that when different groups are brought together, the common culture starts to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Instead of mosques or English houses, you get atheism and stucco.
Sadly, this is often the case. Decide you want "Christian Unity", and soon you have women ministers, gay ministers, ministers that can't tell you what they are, atheist ministers, no historical Jesus ministers, etc, etc. As long as America was a "melting pot" where everyone signed up for AMERICAN values -- hard work, self-reliance, reverance for the Constitution, Christianity, speaking English, etc, etc (ie. "American Culture"), it was fine to be an "Italian AMERICAN" who did some different dances, drank some different wines, and served some tasty food -- but spoke English and revered America.

The current sort of BOistani balkanization is more like the Italians would own a section of the city, speak Italian, throw out non-Italians,  and the Mafia would be in charge -- and that was OK, cuz it was "their culture", and there was no thought that there was any sort of "American culture". (why would there be? We live in BOistan).

If the left Davos elite succeeds in defeating Trump,  natural conservatives and assorted disenfranchised Christians, workers, misfits and hangers on (the likely outcome), the Alt-Right will be less than a footnote in a few years. 

**IF** however by some amazing luck, act of God, etc, "America" -- or something like it rises from the swampy wasteland of BOistan, then the Alt-Right likely contains the leaders of the future -- 30, 40, even 50 years in the future, as the Alisky left contained the leaders of todays now "mainstream left" -- even including avowed socialists like Bernie. 

Will Natural Conservatives stick around as researchers like Haidt would say they must because the position is "wired in" to everyone ... and dominant in many? 

The conservative instinct, as described by Haidt,includes a preference for homogeneity over diversity, for stability over change, and for hierarchy and order over radical egalitarianism. Their instinctive wariness of the foreign and the unfamiliar is an instinct that we all share – an evolutionary safeguard against excessive, potentially perilous curiosity – but natural conservatives feel it with more intensity. They instinctively prefer familiar societies, familiar norms, and familiar institutions.

At one level, all humans want to "go home". I argue that "home" is actually Heaven (and the Garden of Eden), and the evolutionary psychology ideas of "Darwin's Cathedral" are VERY specialied wishful materialist imagination. Christ is the difference that allows Christian Conservatives to make the best attempt in world history at actually loving their enemies and viewing history / reality through the transcendent eyes of eternity.

Or we may just be deplorable white privilged racists as the left has confidently labled us.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Understanding The Anarchist Tribe

What draws Americans to anarchy? It’s more than just smashing windows.:

As the failed state of BOistan continues it's decent into chaos, we need to get a handle on the combatants. The "anarchists", "antifa",  "resistance", "BLM",  etc are pretty much "aligned", to the extent that term can ever apply to "anarchy".
 “The main principles of anarchism is solidarity and the importance of solidarity within society,” Petrohilos said. “So I think it’s incredibly important that people are showing up for each other when we are seeing the harshest state repression in a generation.” 
The problem wuth such a manifesto is always "solidarity with WHAT?". Sure, anti-xxxx, with xxxx being Trump, capitalism, money, religion, decency, etc can last for awhile, but what's an anarchist to decide on as "solidarity FOR"? Destruction, anger, hatred, etc tend to be self limiting -- creation is hard, destruction is much easier, but the end result is a meaningless smoking ruin.

I like to consider "end states" -- I see the anarchist end state as basically one final guy sitting in a totally destroyed world proudly stating "I won, it IS all meaningless and there is no hope at all!" ... as he puts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger. "Mission Accomplished".

So how does a budding anarchist move from just normal "progressive" liberal; sullen whining and complaining, to truely getting some nasty destrction done? Here is one of those people describing her journey.

They would rant on Facebook about the latest news, then do little to solve the problems that vexed them. When people started rioting in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, she recalls some of her classmates being shocked by the violence and saying they could no longer support Black Lives Matter. 
“I was like of course they’re breaking windows, they’re mad,” she said. “That’s going to make you stop supporting Black Lives Matter?”
What constitutes "doing something"? Well, rioting, breaking and burning stuff! What did you expect, they are ANARCHISTS! We can take heart though, they do take part in normal left wing "positive activity" as well ...
The election was still months away when Carrefour and a friend were in a District rowhouse in June 2016, drinking beers, smoking pot and lamenting the exhausting presidential race. With Hillary Clinton the clear front-runner, they decided it was time to begin planning inauguration protests.
I'm pretty sure this is the mantra of all left wing groups ... "drinking beers, smoking pot, and lamenting".  The standard "silent majority" conservative right mantra might be "going to work, going to church and drinking beers with buddies" ... so at least we have beer in common!

I suppose we ought to give the anarchists credit for going actually going out PERSONALLY and breaking and burning stuff. It IS more active than much of the typical "progressive action" which boils down to "let's have more highly paid government workers take even more money from more productive people, give more to us, and some more leftovers to people even less productive than us so we can feel righteous about it!"

The linked article gets a litte tedious (like exhausting presidential races), but I really think I've captured the essence of the anarchist "movement".

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Blackout! Thomas, Sowell, Williams

The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams - Larry Elder:

All three of these black men are giants amoun men -- of ANY color! Their intellect, their charcter, their ability to communicate and their accomplishments put them in a position where all three ought to be role models fo millions of young people of any color, but especially blacks.

Why are they not recognized? Because they are CONSERVATIVE thinkers, and to be a brilliant conservative black man is something that the plantation owners of "The Party" (TP-D) simply do not allow! You will speak as your TP masters tell you to speak, and if you do not, they will marginalize you!

The bottom line of TP is that "diversity" is wonderful as long as it is racial or sexual -- when it is diversity of ideas as in there being at least two sides to nearly every discussion, well, that is NOT something that TP wants people to hear.

To have a brilliant black man be able to defend conservative positions to any audience no matter how learned? No way -- better to do all that is possible to hide that such thinkers even exist!

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Officer Shot On Camera, The Price of BLM

Pretty much every story has at least two sides. For the past few years we have been being innundated on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) side of the story -- racist trigger happy cops shooting young black men for no reason whatever. "Murder", "assassination", "genocide" ... all sorts of nasty descriptions.

The police side of the story is is rarely told at all, and when it is, it is often tinged with "the officer panicked", "why did he even have his gun out", "he ought to have just tased him", etc, etc. We see often shown parts of videos that look especially incriminating relative to the officer involved. Videos like this tend to be FAR from universally seen.

Please take the time to watch this video and then imagine that you are the officer, or the officer is your husband, wife, son or daughter. When the shooter sees that all the officer has in his hands is a tazer, do you think that makes a difference to the shooter? If he was staring down the barrel of a .40 or .45, would he feel less "luckly"?

Consider this in comparison:

I strongly suspect that if you are looking at the business end of a major handgun vs a taser, your quick draw confidence is reduced due to the increased price of overestimating your speed.

Why did the officer select his taser rather than his handgun? Why did the shooter think it was acceptible to ignore the repeated commands of an officer of the law?

THIS is what BLM is building. Police are not in a "fair fight", they have no way of knowing why the person of interest has their hands in their pockets. They MUST consider it is for the reason we see in the video above. As a nation, we need to ALL understand that when you disobey direct orders from a police officer, you are RISKING YOUR LIFE! You are risking your life, because you are risking the officers life!

You have a choice -- you can comply, and in many situations you made the choice to be there. Like Philandro Castile ... you got high and drove around, you decided to carry a weapon, you deciced to yell out "I've got a gun!", you decided to keep reaching for whatever you were reaching for ...

The officer decided to be a police officer, and now it is part of his job to answer calls and enforce the law. The OFFICER deserves the benefit of the doubt when he chooses wrongly at the last instant -- in this case, a wrong choice in the other direction (taser vs gun) nearly cost his life.

Certainly police should be scrutinized, but BOTH sides of the story need to be told. There really is a risk to an officer when somebody will not take their hands out of their pockets. Now you have seen it -- quit denying it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

No Ground To Stand On, Post Modern America

This somewhat longish column is a poster child for an attempted left wing analysis of "what went wrong"? How did they discover that something went "wrong"? Trump was elected. The wordy article leads us on a merry chase of how this terrible thing might have happened -- it is written by Kurt Anderson, who is a writer that graduated from Harvard and founded "Spy" magazine. An example of what "Spy" was about:

Founded by Kurt Andersen and E. Graydon Carter, who served as its first editors, and Thomas L. Phillips, Jr., its first publisher. After one folding and a rebirth, it ceased publication in 1998. The magazine specialized in irreverent and satirical pieces targeting the American media, entertainment industries and the mocking of high society.[4] Some of its features attempted to present the darker side of celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Steven Seagal,[5]Martha Stewart, and especially, the real-estate tycoon Donald Trump and his then-wife Ivana Trump.[6] Pejorative epithets of celebrities, e.g., "Abe 'I'm Writing As Bad As I Can' Rosenthal", "short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump",[7] "churlish dwarf billionaire Laurence Tisch", "bum-kissing toady Arthur Gelb", "bosomy dirty-book writer Shirley Lord" and "former fat girl Dianne Brill" became a Spy trademark.
Strangely, although Anderson finds Trump to be a disaster of the first order, a quick read of the paragraph would indicate that Kurt and Donald ought to be bosom buddies ... "former fat girl Dianne Brill"?  Indeed. So what IS the shape our peril according to Kurt?

By my reckoning, the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half. Only a third of us, for instance, don’t believe that the tale of creation in Genesis is the word of God. Only a third strongly disbelieve in telepathy and ghosts. Two-thirds of Americans believe that “angels and demons are active in the world.” More than half say they’re absolutely certain heaven exists, and just as many are sure of the existence of a personal God—not a vague force or universal spirit or higher power, but some guy. A third of us believe not only that global warming is no big deal but that it’s a hoax perpetrated by scientists, the government, and journalists.
Kurt certainly seems to have a solid view of "reality" -- to the extent we can discern it's base, the key point seems to be strong materialist atheism -- creation, angels, heaven, and "a personal God" (we will assume he means Jesus) come in for special snark. For those of us that believe in Christ being God made Man, the "Word of Kurt" (WoK) calling him "some guy" seems just a bit presumptions.

Kurt goes on a long discussion of how "America" has gone "haywire". So why is it that Kurt's ideas on this are supposed to be of interest to anyone at all?  Kurt does a great job of answering the reason for that right up front -- there is really no reason to read the rest of it.
Why are we like this?

The short answer is because we’re Americans—because being American means we can believe anything we want; that our beliefs are equal or superior to anyone else’s, experts be damned. Once people commit to that approach, the world turns inside out, and no cause-and-effect connection is fixed. The credible becomes incredible and the incredible credible.
 So what are the qualification of one of the founders of "Spy" magazine to give us a psuedo-intellectual tour of history? He is admittedly Ivy League educated, but certainly not philosopher, theologian, scientist, or even sociologist; on what does he stand to provide us the answer for the deep meaning of "haywire". Clearly KURT believes that Trump defines "haywire", however what expertise, philosophy, revelation, equation, data, "standard", dream, etc is Kurt standing on as he says it? I'd argue it is exactly like Potter Stewart's definition of pornography ... "you know it when you see it'.

Kurt HIMSELF has clearly stated "expert's be damned" -- The WoK is being proffered as usegful because he himself finds his own views to be "equal or superior to anyone else's". He invalidates his own case right up front.

My view is that we forgot that "the fear of God is the BEGINNING of all wisdom". Transcendence, something unchangeable and beyond mere matter -- TRUTH. A book that points out where we left the track is from my perspective is "Ideas Have Consequences" and the point and which we first became unglued was in the 14th century.

"This was a change that overtook the dominant philosophical thinking of the West in the fourteenth century, when the reality of transcendentals was first seriously challenged."

Without SOMETHING that is at least very close to an eternal principle, we ALL lack any place to stand to make any sort of judgements at all. Science leaps from the precipis that says "the universe is ORDERED, and results that we see today are assumed to be repeatable across time and space". The foundation of science is INDUCTION -- "it worked today, it will work tomorrow, and it will work anywhere for all time".

The difficulty with this is PERSPECTIVE. The Thanksgiving turkey postulates that humans are a benevolent species that cares and provides for turkeys. On the very day in which the turkey's "proof" has gained the status of maiximally proven scientific "fact", the induction crashes and the turkey finds himself as the centerpiece of a meal in which he is the guest of honor. The turkey lacked the perspective of a larger view -- as do we humans relative to eternity.

The other problem is of course that right/wrong, beauty, consciousness, love, etc are completely outside the realm of science, as science is about STUFF ... material, matter. Human life is founded on human consciousness -- right, wrong, up, down, inside out, or non-existent, it IS what WE perceive as humans!

Kurt certainly views HIS consciousness as a superb basis for analysis ... as do we all unless we recognize a power greater than our own perspective (eg. "the fear of God").

Let's look at Kurt's "analysis" a bit":

Meanwhile, over in sociology, in 1966 a pair of professors published The Social Construction of Reality, one of the most influential works in their field. Not only were sanity and insanity and scientific truth somewhat dubious concoctions by elites, Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann explained—so was everything else. The rulers of any tribe or society do not just dictate customs and laws; they are the masters of everyone’s perceptions, defining reality itself. To create the all-encompassing stage sets that everyone inhabits, rulers first use crude mythology, then more elaborate religion, and finally the “extreme step” of modern science. “Reality”? “Knowledge”? “If we were going to be meticulous,” Berger and Luckmann wrote, “we would put quotation marks around the two aforementioned terms every time we used them.” “What is ‘real’ to a Tibetan monk may not be ‘real’ to an American businessman.”

Therefore, Kurt's "reality" would also be relative ... however, since he wrote this long article, we are to understand that it isn't really. Somehow, "The WoK" is privileged. (See "reality based" above}.

So what kind of heresy has failure to accept the WoK unleased?

Even the social critic Paul Goodman, beloved by young leftists in the ’60s, was flabbergasted by his own students by 1969. “There was no knowledge,” he wrote, “only the sociology of knowledge. They had so well learned that … research is subsidized and conducted for the benefit of the ruling class that they did not believe there was such a thing as simple truth.” 
Ever since, the American right has insistently decried the spread of relativism, the idea that nothing is any more correct or true than anything else. Conservatives hated how relativism undercut various venerable and comfortable ruling ideas—certain notions of entitlement (according to race and gender) and aesthetic beauty and metaphysical and moral certainty.
Ah, "simple truth" --- or as we can see from the column, the WoK. Sadly, the evil American Right thought that there WERE ultimate truths ... like the Word of God, which included Genesis, now known to  fail the "reality based" test, accoring to the WoK. So the decried "relativism", as now apparently so does Kurt -- it's just that he finds any "relativism" according to the WoK to be bad.

"Just before the Clintons arrived in Washington, the right had managed to do away with the federal Fairness Doctrine, which had been enacted to keep radio and TV shows from being ideologically one-sided. Until then, big-time conservative opinion media had consisted of two magazines, William F. Buckley Jr.’s biweekly National Review and the monthly American Spectator, both with small circulations. But absent a Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh’s national right-wing radio show, launched in 1988, was free to thrive, and others promptly appeared." 
Here I think we arrive at the crux of the matter. As long as whatever was being stated was duly approved by a part of the Adminstrative State lodged comfortably in the womb of the Federal Communications Commission, all could be certain that only Administrative State, Union Approvced, Ivy League vetted, Davos Certified, "truth" would be provided to the masses. Everything was "ideologically SINGLE sided", which was "the good", and the idiots that provided the alternative comic relief -- Bill Buckley and the American Spectator, were "fringe" --- as heritics ought to be!

Did his voters know that his hogwash was hogwash? Yes and no, the way people paying to visit P. T. Barnum’s exhibitions 175 years ago didn’t much care whether the black woman on display was really George Washington’s 161-year-old former nanny or whether the stitched-together fish/ape was actually a mermaid; or the way today we immerse in the real-life fictions of Disney World. Trump waited to run for president until he sensed that a critical mass of Americans had decided politics were all a show and a sham. If the whole thing is rigged, Trump’s brilliance was calling that out in the most impolitic ways possible, deriding his straight-arrow competitors as fakers and losers and liars—because that bullshit-calling was uniquely candid and authentic in the age of fake.
Perhaps there really were consequences to Slick Wille having BJs in the oval office, lying about it, and skating. Maybe calling a vast power grab and re-distribution scam called the "Affordable" Care Act, "affordable" even though it added a grab bag of new benefits to health INSURANCE thus being certain to radically increase the cost, was slightly disingenuous. However, saying that "If you like your doctor you can keep him", "if you like your insurance plan you can keep it", etc was TOTALLY a direct lie which anyone that paid any attention understood to be a LIE ... or to put it in Kurt's words, "a show and a sham".

I personally know MANY people that budgeted for retiring with healthcare TOTAL costs (insurance + deductables + co-pays) of $8K for a 60 year old couple, finding that they needed $22K for insurance along, PLUS, another 8-10K for deductables and co-pays. $30K vs $8K ... PER YEAR!

Slick Willie ushered in the age of fake. BO made it the standard.

So what do I believe caused America to "go haywire", and turn into BOistan?

We have to stand on SOMETHING! As John Adams said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other". That morality was founded on Jesus Christ --  we never had any other rock to stand on, and sorry to say, the WoK isn't much of a subsitute.

So what does the "word of Kurt" say on this point?
What is to be done? I don’t have an actionable agenda, Seven Ways Sensible People Can Save America From the Craziness. But I think we can slow the flood, repair the levees, and maybe stop things from getting any worse. If we’re splitting into two different cultures, we in reality-based America—whether the blue part or the smaller red part—must try to keep our zone as large and robust and attractive as possible for ourselves and for future generations. We need to firmly commit to Moynihan’s aphorism about opinions versus facts. We must call out the dangerously untrue and unreal. A grassroots movement against one kind of cultural squishiness has taken off and lately reshaped our national politics—the opposition to political correctness. I envision a comparable struggle that insists on distinguishing between the factually true and the blatantly false.

What is "reality"? Is it matter only, with meaning defined by induction? Kurt, founder of "Spy" magazine firmly believes in the reality of Kurt ... if you follow Kurt, you too can be "reality based". Isn't that special?

Choose ye this day whom you will serve ... Kurt? or something larger? Trump is only a very temporary occupant of the highest office in what is at this point the failed state of BOistan. I brelieve that God is bigger than Kurt, Trump, and BOistan, so God is my choice as the basis for reality -- eternal reality. 

What about you? 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Who's The Fakest News Of All?

New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story - The Washington Post:

In a wild case of the pot calling the kettle black, the left leaning WaPo goes after the competitive lefty NY Times! So which do lefties prefer? Fake news, or REALLY Fake News?

That correction, which sits at the foot of the story, dutifully straightens out the record. Yet given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.
Sure. The REAL "faulty and damaging premise" is that you get an actual sound from only a left hand "clapping". Other than maybe a little "whoosh", there is just no "clap".

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Logic And Diversity

The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond - Quillette:

The internet allows us to run into such wonderful concise definitions of our modern retreat from philosophy and theology that one bows in appreciation of why we are intellectually dead.

Here, I just want to take a step back from the memo controversy, to highlight a paradox at the heart of the ‘equality and diversity’ dogma that dominates American corporate life. The memo didn’t address this paradox directly, but I think it’s implicit in the author’s critique of Google’s diversity programs. This dogma relies on two core assumptions: 
1). The human sexes and races have exactly the same minds, with precisely identical distributions of traits, aptitudes, interests, and motivations; therefore, any inequalities of outcome in hiring and promotion must be due to systemic sexism and racism; 
2). The human sexes and races have such radically different minds, backgrounds, perspectives, and insights, that companies must increase their demographic diversity in order to be competitive; any lack of demographic diversity must be due to short-sighted management that favors groupthink.
Got that? The races and sexes are totally the same and totally different. Deny that and you are not welcome in our dominant culture! You MUST believe!

Our modern society is rife with this kind of thinking because the dominant political world view is forced to ignore paradox and declare that consistency is not a matter of concern -- ENDS are what count, and the fact that those ends are often logically inconsistent is a point that must not be made under threat of excommunication from the Secular Humanist religion (firing as per the google empoloyee, fines as per not baking a gay "marriage" cake, etc)

Theology always alllows there to be truth that transcends our condition, and wherein paradox from our perspective is perfectly reasonable -- virgin birth, fully God and fully man, etc

Some philosophy allows this as well, Plato for example.

Science however claims to NOT allow paradox -- so in a world actually based on science, transcendence, love, beauty, consciousness are excluded ... at least until they can be measured.

So, "diversity" has to EXCLUDE logic and therefore diversity of thought  -- because the theology of  Secular Humanism demands that diversity is an "ultimate good", stated to be effectively transcendent in the old fashioned way. By DEFINITION, and heritics must be burned to enforce it as "truth". (that part is painfully old)

That is our world -- and thanks to the exclusion of thoology and philosophy from the knowledge of most of our people, the vast majority of our people find themselves as a man blind from birth trying to explain "red" to you.

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North Korea, Talk vs Action, The "Un Kim Jong"

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons, Richard Perle & Negotiations | National Review:

An excellent SHORT article on the failed decades long "negotiation" with NK -- the money paragraph.
But here’s the thing: If you go into negotiations with an enemy who sees negotiations as nothing more than a stalling tactic (or shakedown operation) in its pursuit of a goal, then you have to decide how far you’ll take negotiations.
Assuming that all the "intelligence" is true (and I'm forever skeptical of that) and NK does actually not only have a nuke, but a minaturized one they can put in a warhead, then negotiations have clearly failed.

The form of the decision seems very easy:
  1. Hope and pray that the latest Kin Jong nutcase isn't really a nutcase -- although "un" has a very bad ring in english for the "end of the line" -- the "UNcola" comes to mind. If he really is a nutcase, then he is going to nuke someone on HIS terms -- which given the nutcase designation is pretty random. Guam? Really? Hank Johnson, a sitting Democrat House member is on record as being concerned it may "capsize " (that level of intelligence is OK if you are a Black Democrat)

  2. Stop him. Of which the ways are nasty and long, but what needs to really be thought is the "worst case", which gives us: 
    1. Conventional -- Good summary from the Military Times. Basically, bloody, long and expensive. 
    2. Nuclear -- Which we have been taught is "unthinkable", however see top bullet 1. 
We have highly paid people that have been thinking a really long time about I assume ALL the options ... although Republicans claiming they were going repeal BOcare for 7 years and not having an agreed to plan doesn't really give one that much confidence. 

The saddest part about "success" is that much like I found at IBM, until things REALLY blow up -- and by that I certainly DON'T mean you start bleeding revenue, market share, people, relevance, etc; talk often really IS believed to be a subsitute for action. No, it takes something MUCH more immediate than that ... like a nuke in the face for a country, or bankruptcy / being purchased for a company. We humans are much more prone to talk smart than act smart. 

I suspect the most likely near term outcome here is the "bluster and hope" from both sides. Longer term? 

Well, "someday" I believe that somebody is going to use nukes again. We live in a world of Comunism having killed over 100 million in the 20th century, abortion killing 60 million in the US since '73, Hitler killing 6 million, Pol Pot 3ish. It is an extensive litany that just goes on all the time ... "ethnic cleansing, genocide, jihad, ..." killing and "unthinkable" are not really terms that are related in the human mind. Pretty much any sort of killing is VERY thinkable, and historically, always doable as well. The Kim Jong line seems like a likely candidate to take the "unthinkable" out of our lexicon relative to nukes. 

This cartoon covers my views on the press and much of the left in the US ... Trump is their enemy, they recognize no other. , if nuclear war is a negative for Trump, it has gotta be good! 

Can a nation struggling with gigantic issues like which bathroom to use take ANYTHING, including nuclear war, seriously? Count me skeptical.

If I was Trump? I'd go on TV and do a very short speech that went something like this .... 

"We have looked at the options remaining relative to NK and have decided that there are no options that are likely less costly than living with a nuclear NK. That is extrodinarily regrettable, but it is the direct result of failure to act for decades across many administrations. 
If NK launches missiles toward destinations that are protected with ABMs, we will do our best to shoot them down. If we succeed, if we fail, or if a nuke is used against an unprotected target, NK will cease to exist. We will do our best to choose a time where wind currents minimze effects to other populations in the area, including giving advance warning and evacuation of areas close to NK. 
I have instructed the State Department to establish plans with all nations in close proximity with NK. I very much regret that this is the only option remaining. Let us resolve to never allow good intentions to bring us to this perilous juncture again. "
What will Trump choose? I have no idea -- but I sleep well at night secure in the knowledge that I *MUCH* prefer having him and his cabinet in charge than I would if Hillary was working on how to best build Clinton Fund cash and arrange for Chelsea to succeed her. We had BO for 8 years, and this is only one of the horrors  it brought us. 

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Friedman FIred From Google

Tom Friedman Has a Stopped Clock Moment | Power Line:

I'm thinking Tom is on vacation and mailed this one in after a bit too much fine wine. He AGREES with Trump on four major points and thinks that Democrats should too!

Yes, yes, Fiedman works at the NY Times, and it was a nerd at Google that got fired for saying that women might have needs for different things if we want to be successful in tech -- if you read this blog, you must be smart enough so I just insulted your intelligence.

It's short, just read it.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

Google "Diversity"

Google Fires Author Of "Outrageous" Memo Slamming Company's Anti-Conservative Culture | Zero Hedge:

Why do cultures die? Because "diversity" of race, gender, ??? gender uncertainty ???, and sexual preferance become mandatory "values", and diversity of thought is prohibited!!!

Man can neither live by bread alone, nor by his gonads alone. The essence of humanity is somewhere in the region of the soul, consciousness and intellect, not between the legs or painted on the skin. Is it really important if there are 58 "genders", or 5800? There are really only two and we all actually know it. If one has to swear fealty to some other nunber in order to work, the shallow basis for a grasp of reality slips even more. People forced to ascribe to nonsense become more and more able to live with nonsense rather than reality. (a potential degree change in temprature in 100 years is a greater crisis than $20 T debt, $ 150T unfunded liabilites TODAY!)

I'll go read what the guy wrote eventually, but seriously, if he can do his job well, is it not remotely possible that he could be allowed to believe that other people as well would be better served in doing their jobs rather than being "stylish"?

Have we come to the point where saying "women better suited for conceiving and bearing children than men" is "inappropriate? Note, I DID NOT say ONLY having children!

BOistan is certainly not a very factually oriented place.

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Seven Million Prime Working Age Men Home Watching TV

America’s Ghost Legions of Idle Men | Intellectual Takeout:

According to a recent paper by Princeton economist Alan Krueger nearly half of the men who are not looking for work are on painkillers and many are disabled. They "experience notably low levels of emotional well-being throughout their days and ... they derive relatively little meaning from their daily activities," Krueger found. And there are 7 million of them.
When did this trend start?

If there is a Year Zero for Male Infantilization it is 1965, the year President Johnson launched the American welfare state by rolling out the “Great Society”. Eberstadt also identifies it as the year when the Great Incarceration began. A crime wave started which was handled by jailing more and more criminals. Nowadays the US has the highest incarceration rates in the world.
 Strangely, the author of the column can't figure out any really good ideas to fix this.

I have a couple:

  1. Stop rewarding sloth with free stuff. 
  2. Stop penalizing work -- maybe even SUBSIDIZE IT a bit, IMMEDIATELY ... that is the kind of gratification that we have trained our youth to expect. 
  3. Start penalizing sloth -- you go to a work camp if you "need assistance". That is the BEST assistance that could be provided! 

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

32K Is "Small"?

Rural towns in the eclipse’s path are bracing for a flood of smartphone-toting visitors - The Washington Post:

I grew up on a dairy farm 8 miles from Barron WI ... at that time, population < 2K. Poskin was the closest town -- population "40". Rice Lake was the BIG town, population 7K, Eau Claire, population 45K was the BIG CITY ... Minneapolis and St Paul were just too big to contemplate. Chicago? Beyond anything but being "named", comprehension impossible.

I'm headed for York Nebraska, population 7.7K right on I-80 in Nebraska for the big eclipse. 7.7K still seems like a decent sized town to me. Our lake place is near Emmetsburg IA, 3.9K people -- hey, it's bigger then where I grew up, it seems pretty urban to me!

Perspective makes a lot of difference -- While I have lived in the area, Rochester has grown from being the size of Eau Claire when I moved in to a 100K behemoth today. My God, I drive around Minneapolis and St Paul as if THEY were the Eau Claire of my youth, and have driven in New York City, Boston, Miami, Dallas, LA, San Fransisco, Chicago and many others. I may be jaded, but 32K is STILL a decent sized city in my mind!

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