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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Notice Me! (but only as I want you to)

Denis Mangan: Hipsters Ask for Criticism, Want Only Praise -- "For the record, this woman does indeed look disgusting. "

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Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm honored

I'm honored, or at least flattered, that you've asked me to be a contributor to your blog. But, I'm going to have to decline, at least for now.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer'

I recently realized that the whole point of 'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer' *isn't* that "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose", nor is it that "and if you ever saw it, you would even say if glows".

No, no, no, Gentle Reader: the whole point of 'Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer' is that the other reindeer had brown noses.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

I had long been sure

I had long been sure that 'Vox' Day' isn't really a Christian, no matter what he calls himself, and now he admits it (while claiming to actually be a fundamentalist Christian). Yet, somehow, while I'd noticed that his "little godism" of "Open Theology" accords neither with Christianity nor with reason, and that it accounts for many of his other failures of understanding, I hadn't known that he explicitly denies the Biblical doctrine -- and the very basis of Christianity -- that Jesus the Christ, a human man, is Lord, is God, [edit: and that Jesus, 'the Son of God', is distinct from 'the Father', both of whom are distinct from 'the Holy Spirit'.]

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Monday, December 12, 2011

On 'Energy Efficient' Light-Bulbs

Or ... About those "Mercury Vapor Bombs"

Michael A. Walsh in the New York Post: Gray Dawn: Green Bulbs, Black Hole --
On New Year’s Day, in addition to a hangover, America will wake up in the pale winter light to one grim consequence of the Bush administration’s never-requited desire to be loved by the left: the traditional 100-watt light bulb will be banned for sale in the United States.

At the height of the panic over “man-caused global warming” (one of history’s greatest frauds), lawmakers felt compelled to be seen to do something, and Edison’s bright bulb made a handy fall guy.


Even with all the evidence to prove that the 2007 stampede was a mistake, those “radical” House Republicans couldn’t muster a majority for their July attempt to reverse the ban. So the standard incandescent 100-watt bulb - like booze during Prohibition - will disappear from store shelves come the first of the year, to be followed in turn by lower wattages until the lowly 40-watt bulb goes the way of the dodo in 2014.

The mercury-filled CFL bulbs will still be available, and advanced halogen-incandescent bulbs that meet the new standards are already available. An executive at Philips, which is making the new bulbs, claims that the ban has “created more choice for consumers.”

More revenue for the manufacturers is more like it - the new incandescent bulbs will cost about a buck apiece more than the old ones.

As far as “choice” goes, Energy Secretary Steven Chu was more frank: “We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money.” This, from the guy who green-lighted the $535 million taxpayer loan guarantee to Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar-panel manufacturer, among other “green jobs” black holes.

For these luminaries, the only good choice is one that wastes other people’s money.
Beware when government officials are keen to be seen to do something -- the result will all but inevitably make things worse for Everyman ... while funneling funds from his pocket into the pockets of select constituents of those government officials. -- "For these luminaries, the only good choice is one that wastes other people’s money."

Also, isn't it odd -- we're supposed to freak out about *any* mercury used in industrial processes, which can be monitored and potentially improved, lest even a smidgen of mercury "escape" into "the environment"; yet the mercury-based CFL bulbs are to be used by the billions, in conditions in which their "safe" disposal cannot be ensured, nor even monitored. I wonder, is the next step a monthly "inspection" of all homes, so as to ensure compliance with "proper" (i.e. expensive, both in terms of money and of time-and-effort) disposal of CFL bulbs?

House votes to block enforcement of light bulb rules -- but, until Congress overturns the particular law, that 'ban' hasn't gone actually away.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Women's Hair

This is a link to an *old* post at Drew's blog: Women's Hair. I link to it so as to draw Gentle Reader's attention to the comments left by some women in response, most of which are irrational-bordering-on-insane.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Don't be fooled again

By way of Vox Day -- ESR: Seven Eight Warning Signs of Junk Science

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nothing wrong with anything anymore

I'd meant to link to this excellent essay some days ago -- Venerable Beads: Nothing wrong with anything anymore

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Why Dems can’t quit Occupy Wall Street

On HotAir: Why Dems can’t quit Occupy Wall Street "... If progressivism stops being a jobs racket, it loses much of its power."

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The never-ending distinction battle

Vallicella on 'less' vs 'fewer' "My only quibble is her failure to observe the distinction between 'less' and 'fewer.' Use 'fewer' with count nouns; 'less' with mass terms. I don't have less shovels than you; I have fewer shovels. I need fewer shovels because I have less manure."

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's a crock

By the way, you know those Verizon ads touting their "blazing 4G speed"? Well, it's a crock. It's not just that my Verizon 4G network card service really isn't that fast compared to my DSL service (which happens to be the slowest speed offered), it's that the connectivity I get is so unreliable ... especially now that their 4G network has been expanded into the area(s) in which I use the card. Mind you, I didn't buy the card and service expecting "blazing 4G speed", I bought it expecting reliability.

I took me over half an hour last night simply to successfully post the above, because my Verizon so-called service kept dropping the connection ... that is, if I was able even to get a connection.

I can't begin to tell you how greatly I am learning to despise Verizon, due to the horrible service/connectivity I get. I'm not out in the boondocks, either.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Should the Rich Be Condemned?

Walter Williams: Should the Rich Be Condemned? -- Unfortunately, far too many people do not want to know these truths.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Cain Mystique

The thought occurs to me that if Herman Cain wins the presidency (or, for that matter, even so much as the Republican nomination), then "liberals" and Democrats may finally be able to tell two black men apart.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On Capital Punishment

In recent days, Victor Reppert has written a number of posts against imposition of capital punishment (see here and here and here and here and here). I have written a number of responses, and intend to post at least one more (which is already mostly composed), and could no doubt write and post much more than I will.

In the meantime …
Serendipitously, I came across this (lengthy) article, which I urge Gentle Reader to read, and which brings out many important points: If the Death Penalty is Constantly Sabotaged, Should We Officially End It?

One of the things touched upon in the above linked article is this: in refusing, on principle (co-called), to execute the murder, one is declaring that the murdered is not a member of one’s society - is not a member of one’s extended family - to whom one has certain natural and inescapable moral obligations by virtue of that social relationship.

When a polity is organized on this anti-moral “principle”, the decision-makers of that polity have destroyed and abrogated its moral legitimacy: no polity which refuses to execute at least the very worst offenders against the persons of the society it rules can long endure - and, it must and will resort to tyranny in attempting to stave off its inevitable collapse. It would be as though the father of a family refused, “on principle”, to justly defend those souls placed in his charge: what sort of family would that be? how long would it last? what sane person would want to be a member of such a family? how can he hold his so-called family together other than by bullying and personal tyranny, seeing that he does not love them?

Of course, the article's conclusion is exactly the result that leftists aim at with their continuous muddying of the waters; and, ultimately, the leftists’ aim is to bring about the collapse of our polity due to moral illegitimacy, as their acts are geared toward making our state unwilling and unable to uphold and deliver justice.

And here is yet another relevant post on matters raised; Lawrence Auster: A TERRIBLE INJUSTICE IN TEXAS, AND WHY LIBERALS AREN'T INTERESTED (I do not mean to imply that VR, personally, would be unconcerned with this particular injustice; nor do I think Auster would). The main point here is that “liberals” in general, being mostly puppets of the hard-core leftists (and a tawdry sentimentality), don’t really care about justice and injustice. Oh, sure, “liberals” have “good intentions” … and we all know what excellent pavement those make.

And, as chance, or the workings of God, would have it, here is another relevant post by Lawrence Auster: FRENCH GIRL RAPED AND MURDERED BY REPEAT OFFENDER. This one is relevant because it touches upon the “execution is immoral, *because* we can always lock them away for life, instead” objection that “liberals” love to advance.

But, there is no such thing as “throwing away the key”, expect for very special cases, such as a Charles Manson or a Sirhan Sirhan -- that is, for special cases which made special waves in polite “liberal” circles -- and we all know this: the animal who viciously murders you or me may, possibly, perhaps, be sentenced to "life" ... and he will be paroled in twelve or twenty years. This is because, to "liberals", their minds being subsumed by inhuman and inhumane leftism and materialism, a person who has died is no person, doesn't exist, doesn't matter; you know, the same as with persons who are not yet born (and soon, the same as persons who cannot speak for themselves).

If only Victor Reppert could allow himself to understand that knee-jerk opposition to capital punishment is merely another manifestation of the same mind-set and world-view which approves of and pushes for abortion and euthanasia. Knee-jerk opposition to capital punishment, far from being a reflection of one's commitment to life and justice and morality, is an outgrowth of "the culture of death".

It is *because* we value all human lives that we must be willing to execute the murder. In refusing, "on principle", to execute any murderer, we are implicitly asserting that the murderer has the ability and right and moral authority to declare, by his act of murder, who is and is not a member of our society, who is and is not a person, who is and is not real.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

'Let Them Eat Bread'

One of my pet peeves is the "Let them eat bread" thing; especially when conservatives (or, those who imagine that they are (*) ) uncritically repeat it.

I recently encountered it, yet again (and from a self-identifying conservative): "Was Maria Antoinette booed only for her dietary recommendations, too?"

1) Marie Antoinette never said, "Let them eat cake";

2) It's doubtful that *any* French queen ever said, "Let them eat cake";

3) Even if one had said it, everyone is misunderstanding the meaning within context as as being some sort of Scarlet O'Hara-esque "Oh, fiddle-de-dee! Why don't they just go get some cake? That's what I'd do", when, in fact, it was something quite different --

France had an ancient law requiring bakers to sell bread made of fine/expensive flour for the same price as bread made of coarse/inexpensive flour whenever they ran out of common bread.

So, the meaning of what Voltaire's unnamed queen allegedly said -- before the time of Antoinette -- is this: well, if the bakers are not supplying the common people with as much regular bread at regular prices as they want to buy, then let the law be enforced and make the bakers sell them expensive bread at common prices. In a word: socialism.

(*) Most American self-identifying conservatives only imagine that they are conservative; they are actually unprincipled "liberals". That is, they accept the premises of present-day leftism/"progressivism" ... they just reject, for now, some of the destinations to which those premises logically, and inevitably, take one.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Republic or Empire?

Jordan179 (on LiveJournal): Class and Politics in America

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I'll Raise you a 'Social Credit Movement'

Foxfier at 'Headnoises' links to an article on 'The American Catholic': What Makes Those “Conservative Catholics” Tick?

I counter with the very "socially conservative Catholic" Jeff Culbreath at 'What's Wrong With The World', and his The Social Credit Movement. One can find any number of similar posts by some of the "socially conservative Catholics" at WWWW and at other blogs by "socially conservative Catholics".

Also, consider also this post by the Australian Mark Richardson (who is RC), and consider it in the context of his OP (and of the thread as a whole).

As I've said before, Roman Catholic "intellectuals" tend to be socialists at heart ... and it comes from a serious flaw in Catholicism, The One True Bureaucracy, itself: a distain for individual freedom, and a related hatred for wealth not controlled by bureaucrats or "the right people".

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

When ‘Taking Responsibility ‘ is Anything But

Ed Driscoll: When ‘Taking Responsibility ‘ is Anything But

(h/t: Kathy Shaidle)

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Bible … and The One True Bureaucracy

There is an obnoxious, and absurd, argument - or, perhaps one ought call it merely an assertion - concerning the source, and authority, of the Bible favored by some Catholics and some Orthodox, and (in my experience) especially Catholics of the sort I call “Rah-Rah Catholics” (*), which might as well have come straight from the Dan Brown School of Theology. Essentially, it is the assertion that ‘The Church’ (meaning the hierarchy of The One True Bureaucracy) created the Bible … and, therefore, that the hierarchy of The One True Bureaucracy is the Sole and Dispositive Authority concerning any meaning or teaching of it.

As mentioned, this “argument” (I don’t recall that I’ve ever actually seen an argument, but rather just the mere assertion) is obnoxious and absurd, but I hadn’t yet given any thought to formulating an argument to demonstrate its absurdity. And, now, I don’t need formulate such an argument, as I’ve just read one offered by Alan Roebuck that does the job nicely:

... D. also said what Catholics and Orthodox always say about the Bible: the Church created it, and therefore the Church is a higher authority than the Bible.

If the Bible is solely the work of man, this view would be correct. But if the Bible is God's communication to man then it cannot be correct. A verbal communication from God has a higher authority than a human being or institution simply because God is higher than man.

Also, to say that the Church created the Bible is a serious error. The Church identified the books of the Bible as God's word and rejected other "candidates" as not being God's word, but it did not make the Bible. The church was not analogous to a legislature, it was analogous to a scientist.

What I mean is that a legislature has the authority to make up laws that would not exist otherwise, and the analogy would be the Church making up Scripture that would not exist otherwise. But a scientist only identifies a reality that exists independently of him. The Church did not write the New Testament. The Apostles (or, in the case of Luke, Acts and Mark, their associates) did. The Church only recognized the books of the New Testament to be Scripture. They did not make them Scripture.

Consider: Would it have been possible for the Church to have declared the so-called Gospel of Thomas to be part of Scripture? If the Church is the highest authority, the answer would have to be "yes, if the early Church leaders wanted to." But if the answer is "No, the church could not have declared Thomas to be Scripture, and it could only have declared the actual books of the Bible to be Scripture," then Scripture is higher than the Church. Which it would have to be, if it really is from God.

(*)“Rah-Rah Catholics” are an annoying and obnoxious sub-species of Roman Catholic who quite mirror an equally annoying and obnoxious sub-species of Protestant (for which I haven’t yet a distinctive name). Among other oddities, “Rah-Rah Catholics” believe in their heart of hearts (even if they will not always publicly admit it) that salvation comes via being “in communion” with the Supreme Overseer of the Prime Overseers of the Ruling Overseers of the Overseers of the petty/local bureaucrats of The One True Bureaucracy; whereas the equally annoying and obnoxious sub-species of Protestant which mirrors them believes that that is where damnation comes from.

And, by the way, I came up with that (possibly annoying, especially if you're Catholic) 'The One True Bureaucracy' out of annoyance at a "Rah-Rah Catholic" banging on about the RCC being "The One True Church" ... as though the Body of Christ has anything to do with a human bureaucracy.

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A Bold, New Concept to Eliminate Poverty

The "bold, new concept" I describe here is a reductio ad absurdum, of the sort of Keynesian economic "thought" so belovéd of "liberals", which I had thought of some time ago, but just hadn't yet expressed to anyone --

Victor Reppert:On the highest levels people don't earn money from work, they earn money from investments. Unearned income is taxed at 15%, which is a lower rate than what it taxed for the money you work for. Why is this?

adc: "... Economies are made up of people - and people respond and act according to incentives (Not "Animal Instincts" like Keynesians tend to claim.). ... If you can't create jobs from investing - then you won't collect much money from "working," now will you? ;)"

Ilíon: Indeed, it isn't "working" (or "creating jobs") that is important and that is what a rational policy aims at, it is, rather, the creation of wealth.

Consider this thought experiment -

IF having the government "create jobs" were enough to generate prosperity in our society, and make everyone economically comfortable, THEN we ought, immediately, to set up an office (probably at Cabinet level) tasked to ensure that all able adult Americans are given a “job” at a “living wage”. For example, of those who currently have no a job, half could be assigned to dig holes, and the other half assigned to fill back in the holes that the other half dug.

Such a scheme is fool-proof, is it not? There are no down-sides to it, are there? It’s perfect!

But, of course, such a scheme is not only *not* fool-proof, it is very fool[s-]bait; it is the height of foolishness and social self-destruction; and I expect any half-way rational being to be able to spot at least some of the serious flaws in it. And, thus[, since it is fools-bait], one expects socialist fools to be intrigued by the idea, as a “bold, new” concept for “eliminating” “poverty” - perhaps not understanding that the scheme I have laid is just a restatement of the same old, decrepit policies they already favor, and which already are destroying our polity.

In fact, the above foolish, self-destructive scheme is essentially what we are currently doing, and have been doing since the New Deal era. The only difference between that self-destructive scheme and what we are in fact doing is that we have skipped over the steps of actually digging the holes and filling them back in.
IF we wanted to have a rational tax regime, we would not be taxing income, of any kind, at all; rather, we would be taxing consumption ... as we used to do in the early days of the Republic. But, of course, "liberals", and the green-eyed monster that rules them, would never stand for elimination of income taxes. After all, whatever could they use as the basis for their demagoguery if they couldn't periodically promise that *this time* they were really going to "soak the rich (those 'evil' bastards!)"?

Another reason, over-and-above the economically rational one that 'adc' discusses, that in the US investment income is taxed at a significantly lower rate than earned income is that the “liberals” would never stand for taxing the two sources at the same rate. Compared to conservatives, “liberals” get significantly more of their income from investments than earnings - working is for “the little people”, after all - and to tax investment income at the same high rate as earned income would put a real crimp in their further accumulation of wealth.

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Caring for Your Introvert

Jonathan Rauch: Caring for Your Introvert
How can I let the introvert in my life know that I support him and respect his choice? First, recognize that it's not a choice. It's not a lifestyle. It's an orientation.

Second, when you see an introvert lost in thought, don't say "What's the matter?" or "Are you all right?"

Third, don't say anything else, either.
I have wanted to commit murder what constantly ordered to "Smile!" by some passing moron or constantly queried "Why are you always so sad?" or "Why are you always so serious?" by people who clearly were not interested in really knowing anything about me.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

'Intellectual Curiousity'

The point of curiosity is to learn something, is it not? Isn't it curious that the hive-minded and self-congratulatory "intellectually curious" amongst us seem never to learn anything?

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Monday, October 31, 2011

God is morality

This post duplicates a comment I made in a recent thread on Victor Reppert's blog, which comment I think deserves to be directly shared with Gentle Reader. It is a fuller expansion on this exchange:
Ilíon: "Because I said so" isn't the entirety of Christian ethics; but neither is it contrary [just as this is the case when a parent says "Because I said so" to a child].

Victor Reppert: Do you think God can make something right by commanding it?

Ilíon: I believe God cannot command what is wrong. There is a difference.

Ilíon: Or, to look at another way ...

If God were to lie, then God, being Truth Itself, would die.

If God were to command the immoral, , then God, being Morality Itself, would die.

And *everything* would not exist.

KingAnon: "truth" and "morality" are not agents. they are static, abstract entities like numbers. they cannot do anything.

Ilíon: That's just one more way of asserting the falsehood that there is no truth nor morality.

[deumrolls] And here is the post (it’s pretty lengthy; I expect it must have just slipped under Blogger’s character-limit for a commbox post):
Morality is inter-personal and relational (*) -- it exists only between persons, and its specific content with regard to those persons depends upon the precise relationship between them. To deny these two points shows one merely to be one who has not, or will not, think about the issue. For, rocks don’t have moral obligations to persons nor moral expectations of persons; fathers have different moral obligations to, and expectations of, sons than sons to/of fathers; kings have different moral obligations to, and expectations of, subjects than subjects to/of kings.

But, morality is also transcendent – it exists independently of any human person or of any human relationship. To deny this point is to deny that morality even exists … and the claim that morality is not is self-defeating, besides being blatantly false: fathers and sons, kings and subjects, *do* have moral obligations to, and expectations of, one another, and we all know this.

Now, IF one imagines that one can judge God as being immoral or having acted immorally, THEN one must be appealing to some (true/objective/transcendent) standard of morality; just as one must be if one judges some human person(s). That is, IF one imagines that one can judge God as being immoral or having acted immorally, THEN one is saying that there exists some true and objective universally binding standard of morality that exists independently of God. But, morality is inter-personal and relational – it cannot exist independently of persons in relationship.

So, if one wants to condemn Jehovah as immoral, than one must be saying that Jehovah isn’t actually God, but is rather, like human beings, a morally flawed creation of the real God; one must be appealing to the standard of morality which exists by virtue of this “real” God. And then, the same “logic” which first led one to claim that Jehovah is immoral must all-but-inevitably lead one to claim that this “real” God is immoral, and that there is a “realer” God behind him. It’s pretty much a vicious infinite regress.

If one wishes to deny that Jehovah is God, then one must be very careful in one’s argument, especially if one wishes to argue this by appeal to his alleged moral wickedness.

(*) Which fact, by the way, can show us, independently of the Christian revelation, that God, while One, is a multiplicity of Persons.

Morality is real, and is universally binding – we *all* know this; even the persons who explicitly deny the reality of morality know this, and they always appeal to this reality in the very act of denying it.

Morality is interpersonal and relational – it does not (and cannot) exist independently of persons-in-relationship.

(Getting back to the OP), Morality is not arbitrary – it is not the power, nor mere say-so, of the person asserting a moral obligation or expectation which makes it so.

Morality is transcendent – it exists “above” or “beyond” any particular human persons or human relationships.

Pulling all these things together, our moral obligations and expectations are not real merely because God has so commanded it, but rather because God is God; morality cannot be separated from God – God *is* morality, just as God *is* being, just God *is* love.

Those who understand what they’re talking about already know/understand that love is morality
[and that morality is love -- betrayal, for instance, so violates/outrages our sense of morality, such that all men despise the traitor who aids them, and hurts us so deeply when we are the victims of it, precisely because it so deeply violates love].
The deeper context of the above is several threads on VR’s blog over the past few weeks trying (for, as almost always, once ‘atheists’ jump into the conversation, it is almost impossible to have conversation) to deal with the common atheistic assertion that the God of the Bible is an immoral monster.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Truro Cathedral

Mark Richardson, Oz Conservative: Truro Cathedral -- do check out the video at the end of the post.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The intersection of unions and politics

2 teachers union lobbyists teach for a day to qualify for hefty pensions
SPRINGFIELD [Illinois] —— Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and fellow union lobbyist David Piccioli were the only people who took advantage of a small window opened by lawmakers a few months earlier. ...

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A Herman Cain video

I'm pretty close to deciding that I cannot support Herman Cain. Nevertheless, I can see that this is an excellent political video, despite (or because?) that it doesn't say a damned thing, and the flash to Mr Cain at the end is the best part.

Unlike That Interloper, does Cain understand Americans, or what?

As the commentor, Casey Abell says:
But let's get back to something resembling reality. Herm continues to bumble and stumble...I'm pro-life and pro-choice and let's not talk about abortion any more! My economic plan is the number nine! Except when it's the number zero! Lighten up! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mark Steyn: When the ’Stan Hits the Fan

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Monday, October 24, 2011

At it again

The One True Bureaucracy is at it again.

Kathy Shaidle's succinct response is, "Dear Catholic Church: We’re breaking up. This time I mean it. It’s not me. It’s you."

My slightly less succinct reaction is this:
By and large, socialism is Catholicism without "all that bothersome God-talk." Certainly, there are multitudes of Catholic persons who abhor socialism, but modern Catholicism itself explicitly supplies the theological and moral justification for socialism (*). That it’s a false theology and a false morality is a different matter. Further, while the man-in-the-pew may tend to abhor socialism, just as with the “liberal” Protestants, the more a Catholic person regards himself as an intellectual, the more likely he holds to socialism … eventually making of it a substitute for Christianity, just as the “liberal” Protestants do.

(*) I strongly suspect that this is because way back in the mists of time, the RCC made a virtue of poverty -- and thus, today, the One True Bureaucracy hates wealth … when it’s owned and controlled by private parties.
There are, after all, reasons that many, perhaps most, “low-church” Protestants do not, and never will, trust the One True Bureaucracy; it’s not just about mutual bloodshed 500 years ago, it’s about what the RCC is to this day, about what its bureaucrats advocate and what they condemn.

Being wholly contrary to all of human nature - being contrary both to virtue and to vice - socialism can never be achieved, and all attempts at it must inevitably involve windrows of human copses. For a bureaucracy that claims to “think in terms of centuries,” the One True Bureaucracy sure does seem to have a glaring blind-spot regarding actual lived history.

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The Flea Party ... and the Flee Party

It seems that the "liberals" and other leftists see the "Occupy [whatever]" movement (such as it is) as their answer to the Tea Party movement. So, apparently, we have a Tea Party, for liberty from tyrany (including the "nice" kind) and for personal responsibility for one's own life and choices, and a Flea Party, for liberty from the tyrany of soap and for living at someone else's expense.

As a response to (or reaction against) the Tea Party movement, there is *also* a "Flee Party" contingent to the Democrats; I refer to the elected legislators in multiple States who this past year fled to other States so as to deny the Republicans a quorum in the respective legislatures as they attempted to deal with some of the issues which gave rise to the Tea Party.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

No limits on self-defense

Vox Day: No limits on self-defense -- I totally agree (which doesn't happen often) with Vox Day's expressed opinion on this.

Moreover, consider this (NYC Cashier Who Beat Customers Claims Self Defense):
Video recorded by a customer showed two furious women vaulting a counter to attack McIntosh after some sort of dispute.

McIntosh grabbed a metal bar and fought back with savage force, continuing to deliver crushing blows even after the women were incapacitated on the floor.

The video begins *before* the beat-down. What are the odds? How often do people just randomly film other people placing their orders at McDonald's?

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Richard Dawkins is an inveterate liar

Dawkins, now: Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig -- This Christian 'philosopher' is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him

Dawkins, then: There are no such things as 'right' and 'wrong'

Ilíon, then and now: Dawkins is an inveterate liar (and even admits as much in print)

Tim Stanley: Richard Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for refusing to debate William Lane Craig (Dr Tim Stanley is a research fellow in American History at Oxford University.)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Euthyphro Dilemma

The "Euthyphro Dilemma" is not, and never has been, a real dilemma, and especially is not for Jews and Christians. Doug Benscoter provides a simple-to-grasp explanation of why: The Euthyphro Dilemma

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Edge of 'The Universe'

The Edge of 'The Universe', or thoughts about "meta-verses" and "multi-verses" --

Aside from the fact that these silly concepts are dishonest equivocations -- for these and all similar concepts are but attempts to redefine the term 'universe' (*) without giving notice -- in seeking to demote the concept "the universe" from referring to *all* physical things to referring *some* physical things, the equivocators are also asserting that there is such a thing as "the edge of the universe". Yet, according to modern physics (and do not these persons *always* assert that their assertions are grounded in science?), the very idea of an edge of the universe is incoherent.

Let's explore these ideas ...
(*) The term, and the concept, 'the universe' has always referred to "all things existing in physical space-time". The specific material and physical entities and relationships to which the term and concept is applied have changed -- expanded -- over the centuries, as human understanding of the physical world has increased. But, all such change in application is wholly consistent with the unchanging content of the concept.

For example, in ancient times, when "the fixed stars" (and for that matter, also "the wandering stars", and the sun and moon) and the galaxy were thought to be lights and objects affixed to or embedded in crystal spheres of immense size surrounding the earth in concentric circles, the meaning of 'the universe' didn't stop with the earth or the moon; the "fixed stars", believed to be so distant that in relation the earth was as a mathematic point, were also included in 'the universe'.

Later, when it was understood that "the fixed stars" were like the sun (or, alternately, that the sun was another star), and that the galaxy was not one object, but was rather innumerable stars so distant that they appearto us as a mist, rather than as discrete points of light as "the fixed stars" do, 'the universe' was understood to refer to all that, too.

Later, when it was understood that certain nebulae were not simply gas-clouds or "fuzzy stars", but were actually masses of stars at vast distances from other masses of stars, 'the universe' was understood to refer to all that, too. For a time, these galaxies (as we now call them) were referred to as "island universes"; but that was a poetic or metaphorical usage, it was no more to be taken literally than referring to the Western Hemisphere as "the New World" was ever meant to be taken literally.

Many Worlds
Now, in these days, there are many persons asserting that the may be, or even that there are, "other universes", perhaps even infinitely many. Some of these persons even assert that their claims are scientific -- yet, definitionally, no such claim, nor argument for such a claim, can ever be scientific. For, definitionally, science deals with empirical evidence, and, definitionally, any empirical evidence asserted for any purported "other universe" shows simply that the so-called "other universe" is really just a previously unknown part of this universe. It's like "the Old World" and "the New World" in this regard.

So, What About This 'Edge' of 'The Universe'?
The Solar system has an 'edge', a limit-in-space; the Galaxy has an 'edge', a limit-in-space; the universe does not. Now, to be sure, the 'edge' of a solar system, or of a galaxy, is quite imprecise; setting exactly where it lies is wholly arbitrary. Nevertheless, one can in honesty say of *this* volume of space, "This is the Solar system" or "This is the Galaxy", and of the remaining volume of space, "but that is not". One cannot say the same about 'the universe': it has no 'edge'; there is no volume of space "out there" which is "outside" 'the universe'; there is no place one might theoretically go such that to one's back is 'the universe' and before one is 'not-the-universe'.

But, when one claims that there are, or simply claims that there may be, "other universes" or "a meta-universe" containing a multiplicity of "universes", then one is precisely claiming, or implying, that there is a physical "outside" of 'the universe' -- that is, that it has a limit-in-space, an edge (**). One is likening "the universe" to a specific raisin nestled in a raisin pudding.

Now, if one were to claim or argue that the present-day conception of 'the universe' is too small -- in the same way that previous conceptions were too small -- that would a very different thing from asserting that there are "other universes".

At one time, we thought that The Galaxy was the full extent of The Universe; then we discovered Other Galaxies and realized that the concept 'the universe' refers to far more than we had previously thought -- in effect, galaxies are like individual raisins in the raisin pudding (of which there is no "outside").

But, as that 'the universe' refers to "*all* things existing in physical space-time", to claim that there are "other universes" is exactly analogous to calling the other galaxies "Island Universes", or calling the Americas "the New World", and insisting upon meaning either literally, rather than as poetic metaphor. In asserting that there are "other universes", one is saying that "the universe" is a discrete raisin pudding contained within a pudding of other discrete puddings (which are not necessarily raisin puddings).

(**) This is quite a different thing from metaphorically speaking of God as being "outside" of time-and-space.

Edit (2011/09/28):
The reason I keep writing "the universe" in quotes is that there is no such entity. The term 'the universe' is a concept, and it is a meaningful and useful concept, at any rate, when it isn't muddled with equivocations; but the word and concept don't actually refer to a physically existing thing. The concept 'the universe' is analogous to the mathematical concept "the set of all sets".

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Vox Day will have a field day

Vox Day will have a field day with the reported study -- MailOnline: Is atheism linked to autism? Controversial study points to relationship between the two

From the article:
The study, from University of Boston, speculates that common autistic spectrum behaviours such as 'a preference for logical beliefs' and a distrust of metaphor and figures of speech, could be responsible [for the higher incidence of 'atheism' amongst "people with high-functioning autism".
The paper, 'investigates the proposal that individual differences in belief will reflect cognitive processing styles, with high functioning autism being an extreme style that will predispose towards nonbelief.'
Two points:
1) Not so as you'd notice 'a preference for logical beliefs' amongst 'atheists'.
2) What they're saying, by saying "could be responsible", is that such persons probably do not have reasons for their espousal of atheism, but rather that their atheism is likely caused by something non-rational. That is, that their 'atheism' is more likely the result not of their minds, than of their brains. Or their livers ... it's so hard to tell, sometimes.
2a) What they're saying, by proposing that the conclusions persons reach "reflect [their] cognitive processing styles", is that no one believes what he believes because he has reasoned soundly from true premise to true conclusion.

But, of course, they are also offering conclusions: they are false conclusions and the reasoning behind them, being merely a restatement of reductive materialism, is atrocious, but they are conclusions.

Here is Vox Day's discussion of the reported study, as reported: TIA: it is science (and it's well worth the read)

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Monday, September 19, 2011


The accusation that ‘So-and-So is greedy!’ is almost always -- and when the accusation has political ramifications, always -- intended as an attempt to provide moral cover for, and sanctification of, the accuser’s own covetousness. That is, and to use his own terms, the accuser hopes to disguise his own greed as a righteous thing, and indeed as a just thing -- the accuser means "I want what you have", but he phrases it as "It is 'unfair' that you have what you have, but that someone else doesn't".

edit 2011/11/11:
VR, in 'Cafeteria conservatism and the New Testament ': "The treatment of wealth and poverty in the New Testament fail to rule out all conservative positions as unChristian, but some versions of it strike me as unacceptable. For example, the ethics of Ayn Rand and the ethics of Christ simply can't be reconciled. Greed is not good. ..."

How is someone else's alleged greed any of your damned business? [Do you not have enough to concern yourself with in your own shortcomings and sins?]

How does someone else's "greed" -- whether the term is used to refer to real greed, or whether it is used to refer to the false "liberal" redefinition of the term -- harm you or anyone else?

It wasn't "greed" -- it wasn't citizens wanting to keep for their own use as much as possible of the fruit of their own labor -- which rounded up, stole the wealth they had created, and deported to the wilds of "Indian Territory" a significant number of my ancestors; it was government which did that -- it was democracy (and, in fact, it was Democrats!) at the behest of actual greed who did this. [Fourthermore, it was not simple greed which motivated those Democrats all those years ago -- it was not *simply* an unbalanced desire to possess more than they already possessed; no, it was covetous greed which motivated them, for they coveted what others already possessed and desired to take it from them.] Yet, this [covetous] actual greed was itself powerless to harm my family, it required government guns to round them up and steal their farms and homes and wealth.

And, just as Democrats of 170-180 years ago (in the life-time of my great-grandfather) were actually greedy for the wealth of others, and used the force of the US government to dispossess those people, so too, today's Democrats are actually greedy for the wealth of others, and seek constantly to use the force of the US government to dispossess those persons. Those old Democrats used all sorts of false reasons and reasoning to justify their theft; but they were pikers compared to today's Democrats, for today's Democrats seek to turn reality on its head when they declare: "That you keep resisting our efforts to take from you what is your just proves how 'greedy' you are!"

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

The primal source of liberalism?

Lawrence Auster: The primal source of liberalism?

Ed H. writes:
Your insights into Gnosticism as the origin of liberalism are stunning. Thank you for sharing these.

I would like to offer an even more primal source for liberalism. This would be the reasoning that Judas Iscariot gives when he decided to betray Christ. This act is the primal sin of the world and the reason Judas commits it is clearly stated and it is the reason behind every secular world view. When the woman with the jar of costly ointment pours it over Jesus' head, the other apostles say, "That ointment could have been sold and the money given to the poor." Jesus replies, "Leave her alone, she does this to commemorate my death. For you will have the poor always but me only a little while." But Judas is incensed and cannot be reconciled. His sense of "social justice" is outraged and he cannot understand the transcendental vision that Christ is unfolding. The two ways of valuing the world are brought into direct opposition, the transcendent and the secular. Judas chooses the secular, "social-justice" value scheme and goes to the chief priest to denounce Christ.
LA replies:
Isn't that amazing? The most famous single sin in the history of the world (other than Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit) was about a man valuing material equality and the sustenance of the poor over God,--was about placing secular liberalism over the transcendent--and this is never pointed out.
Ed H's insight is deep and meaningful, as is Auster's further thought from it, and thus I wish to share them with Gentle Reader.

However, it's not exactly true that this is never pointed by anyone. For example, when I say that "liberalism" is all about posing oneself as being holier and more moral that God Himself (even when said "liberal" is a so-called atheist), I am making the same point that Ed H draws to our attention.

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Sengoku Release Trailer

I've bought and quite enjoyed (and have been simultaneously frustrated by) several games from Paradox. I think I'd like this one very much (*) ... but I also think I'll not think about buying it (at least, not for now).

(*) and, after all, 'Ilíocentrism' is "about things Ilíon likes".

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Me no speak-ah Christianese-ah

Aunt Haley (Haley's Halo): Me no speak-ah Christianese-ah -- For once, miss Haley isn't writing from the anti-Christian, to say nothing of false-to-reality, perspective of "Game". And, she's making a criticism I often, with rolled eyes, think, but have never articulated.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

DNC Chairman - 'Democrats are racists'

Bob Parks: Quote Of The Day
About a New York district that’s voted Democrat for 91 years…
In this district, there is a large number of people who went to the polls tonight who didn’t support the president to begin with and don’t support Democrats - and it’s nothing more than that.
-- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee
You simply can’t make this stuff up.
OK: we all know that, at the present time, when Democrats and other leftists say that "So-and-So doesn't support the president", what they mean is that So-and-So is a racist. So, since this district is reliably Democrat, what this foolish and useless woman is *really* saying is that Democrats are racists.

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PSA Of The Day

Bob Parks: PSA Of The Day

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Now, he's just incoherent

Vallicella (again, about 'Original Sin'): Two Opposite Mistakes Concerning Original Sin

Vallicella claims:
One mistake is to think that the doctrine of Original Sin is empirically verifiable. I have seen this thought attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. (If someone can supply a reference for me with exact bibliographical data, I would be much obliged.) I could easily be mistaken, but I believe I have encountered the thought in Kierkegaard as well. (Anyone have a reference?) G. K. Chesterton says essentially the same thing. See my post, Is Sin a Fact? A Passage from Chesterton Examined. Chesterton thinks that sin, and indeed original sin, is a plain fact for all to see. That is simply not the case as I argue. ...
Simultaneously, Vallicella claims:
... So on the one hand we have those who maintain that the doctrine of Original Sin is true as a matter of empirical fact, and on the other we have those who maintain that it is false as a matter of empirical fact. On both sides we find very intelligent people. I take this disagreement as further evidence that we are indeed fallen beings, 'noetically wretched,' to coin a phrase, beings whose reason is so infirm and befouled that we can even argue about such a thing. And of course my own view, according to which OS is neither empirically true nor empirically false, is just another voice added to the cacophony of conflicting voices, though, as it seems to me, it has more merit than the other two.
And, he concludes:
So we are in deep caca, intellectually, morally, and in every which way -- which is why I believe in 'something like' Original Sin. Our condition is a fallen one, and indeed one that is (i) universal in that it applies to everyone, and (ii) unameliorable by anything we can do, individually or collectively. ...
In case Gentle Reader has not worked out for himself what the point of incoherency is, it is this: Mr Vallicella asserts:
1) the doctrine of Original Sin is not empirically verifiable (nor empirically falsifiable);
1a) yet, somehow, the fact that we even argue about whether the doctrine can at all have an empirical basis both is and is not an empirical basis for the doctrine;
2) the effects of Original Sin can be directly observed daily, everywhere, in all things we do or do not do;
2a) nevertheless, these observations do not count as empirical verification of the doctrine.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

He Does ... and Doesn't ... Get It

... but, mostly, he will actively decline to get it.

Original Sin and Eastern Orthodoxy
... But both 'events' are also 'states' in which post-Adamic, postlapsarian man finds himself. He is in the state or condition of original sinfulness and in the state or condition of fallenness. This fallen state is one of moral corruption and mortality. This belief is common to the Romans, the Protestants, and the Orthodox. But it could be maintained that while we inherit Adam's corruption and mortality, we don't inherit his guilt. And here is where there is an important difference between the Romans and the Protestants, on the one hand, and the Eastern Orthodox, on the other. The latter subscribe to Original Sin but not to Original Guilt. Timothy Ware: "Men (Orthodox usually teach) automatically inherit Adam's corruption and mortality, but not his guilt: they are only guilty in so far as by their own free choice they imitate Adam." (229)

I conclude that Farrell should have said, not that the Orthodox do not accept Original Sin, but that they do not accept Original Guilt. Or he could have said that the Orthodox do not accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of Original Sin which includes the fomer idea. Actually, given the context this is probably what he meant.

There is something repugnant to reason about the doctrine of Original Guilt. How can I be held morally responsible for what someone else has done? ...The more I think about it, the more appealing the Orthodox doctrine becomes.
Neither the Roman Catholic church, nor generic Protestantism, teach "Original Guilt" -- as though we are somehow guilty of/for Adam's specific act of sin -- though, certainly, there may be "liberal" schools within Catholicism and "liberal" Protestant denominations which may teach something very like it -- you know, something like "You are 'white' and some 'whites' enslaved some 'blacks' ... therefore, if you are not a "liberal", you are a vicious racist", or some similar bullshit.

Serendipitously, Michael Flynn, who is Catholic (as I am not), and who cares about/for the Roman Catholic denomination (as I do not), has a recent post touching upon, among other things, R.C. teaching about Original SIn and "Original Guilt".

Another thing Vallicella doesn't get (sorry, I'm not going to spend my time digging up his post that made it clear he does not understand) is this truth: we are not sinners because we commit sin(s); rather, we commit sin(s) because we are sinners.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The test before us

David Warren, Perrywinkle:
I'm not saying the generation of wealth should be the sole purpose of human existence. I am saying it is one of the purposes, and further, that by politicizing economic activity we actually mire ourselves much deeper in materialism than we would ever do by just going out and earning a living.

The Texas model works, and the California model fails. Quite apart from whether anyone in the States should vote for Rick Perry, they must choose between these models.
America has been playing footsie with leftism and socialism for a good century; the time to choose, once and for all, between the ever-promised leftist Utopia and our own natural tradition, is now upon us. It is not enough to vote Obama and a few Democrats out of office next year; if the nation does not decisively, once-and-for-all, reject the leftist Obamanation, then the leftist puppet-masters of the "liberals" and "progressives" will try again in just a few years.

To "compromise" with that which is wrong is simply choose to become oneself wrong ... and to set the stage for the next "compromise".

[Mind you, neither Mr Warren nor I are saying "vote for Perry"]

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Where all this sophistication has got us

David Warren, Perrywinkle:
Observe, where all this sophistication has got us.

There are some issues that are too simple for intelligent people to understand. Most moral issues are like that. The problem isn't distinguishing between right and wrong. That is not always as plain as day, but usually it is. The problem is finding a way to justify doing the wrong thing. And once you think you have found it, the people still arguing for doing the right thing may be dismissed as "simplistic."
Exactly. The "problem" in moral issues is not that it is so difficult to know the right from the wrong, but rather that so many people want to do what they know is wrong while still calling themselves "good people".

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

A righteous Crude rant

Crude: No, I won't call you intellectually honest -- I've explained the same thing, many times, in many places, though never so well.

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An attempted refutation

Has my "YOU are the proof that God is" argument been refuted, after all? I mean, really refuted, logically? I mean, hell! so far, all the "refutations" of it I've seen have been mere assertions that there *must* be a fatal flaw in it ... since the conclusion is "wrong".

I am confident that the answer will be no; after all, it's not as though I didn't myself do my best to find a flaw in it long before I posted it. I'm also relatively certain, based on past "refutations" of it, that this attempted refutation will involve assertions of scientism (whether consciously made or not), and of hidden or unrecognized assumptions, and quite possibly of question-begging.

While I haven't yet read it, and have only partially skimmed the comments made to it, I present for Gentle Reader's consideration a post by Elizabeth Liddle, which she says will demonstrate a fatal flaw in my argument.

But, I pray you, tread gently in the comments section of her thread, for much of the commentation is, well, sad.

When I've had time to read and think about Mrs Liddle's argument, I'll post an analysis of it, showing (at least some of) her error in reasoning. Or, per impossibile, acknowledging that my argument was itself in error.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Matteo on Determinism

I don't know why I didn't think to share with Gentle Reader Matteo's onservation when he first made it, as it's just the sort of thing I made the "overheard" category for.

Matteo on Determinism: "But for too many, the tastiest cake is the one you can have and eat, too. I suppose a lot of folks want just enough determinism to make God an impossibility, but not so much as to make themselves an impossibility."

Here is the context in which Matteo originally made the observation.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

'The buck stops here'

Our Zero, Who art The Won, has (in)famously ascribed to himself that saying of Harry Truman: "The buck stops here."

And, every sentient being (*) knows that he never meant a word it.

Nicholas has a recent post in which he makes good points about some of the blather coming out of the HopenChangen MagickalBusTour; I wish to share with Gentle Reader a small thought I had in reading his thoughts:
The Won: "We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck."

Nicholas: "What the...?! A run of bad luck?!! Oh yeah, Obama had it all going his way, and then, whoopsie, things went a little caca. But he doesn't cite the things that you or I or any reasonable thinking person would ascribe as impactful on the American economy. Nope, it was that darn tsunami in Japan, some trouble in the Middle East and then that crazy European debt crisis. We'd just be going like gang busters if it weren't for the hand of fate. Sheesh. ..."

Ilíon: Quite so. But there is more -- Let's overlook, at the moment, that those good things he asserts never actually happened in reality, and focus on the meaning of what he said: "Don't judge my administration (or me!) by a consistent standard! Credit me the good results of my policies (even if they never happened), but never, never, never hold the bad results against me!"
Gentle Reader may recall that I sometimes refer to The Won as a "child-man" (**) -- by which I mean something like "werewolf" -- I mean: he may look like a man, but at best, he's a little boy.

A man would never have said what Our Zero has said above.

(*) I intentionally wrote 'sentient', rather than 'sapient' or 'rational'. What I wrote is intentionally over-the-top, and literally means that even slugs and cockroaches know this truth.

(**) I meant to write "child-man", rather than the more commonly used "man-child". A "man-child" is a child who is male, that is, a boy, and will, in due course, be a man. A "child-man" is a(n apparent) man who remains a child.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Emergence, Again

'Emergence' is a totemic word amongst materialists (whether they claim to be "theists" or claim to be 'atheists'); that is, (they believe that) the word has Magickal Powers to solve, by its mere utterance, the logical difficulties of, and contradictions inherent in, materialism.

Earlier today, 'The Deuce' (who really ought to get back to blogging, rather than facebooking) and 'Crude' each made a comment about 'emergence' that I'd like to share with Gentle Reader.
The Deuce: ""Emergence" is one of my big pet peeves too. It's simply a throwaway term. All "emergence" means is "X comes from Y somehow". When a materialist responds to an argument [which shows] that it is logically impossible for X to come from Y by citing "emergence", all they're really doing is reiterating their belief that X comes from Y (the very issue under contention) in spite of any logical difficulties. It's not even a counterargument."

Crude: "Re: emergence, absolutely. I also see the gimmick of 'If you stack all these legos in the shape of a circle, the circle 'emerges' from the lego shapes. See? Now, that's how mind emerges from the brain!'"
Crude's comment neatly captures the essential meaning ascribed to the word 'emergence'.

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There are three types of 'ignorance' to be found among human beings:
1) simple ignorance -- which may be corrected; another term for this is 'honest error';
2) incorrigible ignorance -- which cannot be corrected; another, more crass, term for this is 'stupidity';
3) willful ignorance -- which will not be corrected; at its worst, another term for this is 'intellectual dishonesty'.

One may reason with the man who is simply ignorant, who is in honest error; one may be able, in patience, to reason with the man who is stupid (*); one cannot reason with a man who is on the spectrum from disinterested in the matter to actively hostile to understanding it.

(*) For, it is probably the case, not that his ignorance really is incorrigible, but rather that it takes noticeably longer for him to properly understand new concepts than it does the average person. It is my firm belief that stupidity is more a function of the so-called stupid person's frustration at his slowness coupled with the impatience of the less stupid persons in trying to deal with that slowness, than it is of an actual impossibility of that person learning/understanding.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Enough is Too Much

When my nephew was about four or five, he'd always mangle the saying, "enough is enough" to "enough is too much" (*) -- which, when you think about it, is really what one means by the phrase.

(*) If full, what he'd say was, "enough is too much ... for a boy", by which he meant that something or other was too much for him.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There are probably no elevators; now stop worrying and have a nice chat

There are probably no elevators; now stop worrying and have a nice chat

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

OK, so we conservativs are 'terrorists'

OK, so we conservativs are 'terrorists' because we want to effect a cure for "liberal" tax-and-spendicitis, before it destroys the nation ... but, that just means that you "liberals" are pedophiles.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Allen West slams tea party 'schizophrenia'

I think I no longer have a favorable opinion of Allan West. It seems to me that it didn't take him long at all to turn into just one more Go-Along-to-Get-Along Republican; and Congress is already full of that sort.

The Laura Ingraham Show - Allen West slams tea party 'schizophrenia'

As a nation and polity, we have already spent our grandchildren's futures, And so, the choice before us now is not between "Support John Boehner's Plan to Spend Our Great-Grandchildren's Future, Now" versus "Support the Pelosi-Reid-Obama Plan to Spend Our Great-Great-Grandchildren's Future, Now". The choice is between doing the right thing or doing the wrong thing.

Conservative Americans, at the behest of our supposed leaders, have spent the past 50 or 60 years "declaring victory" each time the votes in Congress were there to effect a 'compromise' with the totalist demands of the "liberals" and their leftist puppeteers. That is, we have spent 50 or 60 years telling ourselves that "we must be thankful for what we can get" when the people *we* elect to office make sporadic and half-hearted efforts to slow down, but never to reverse, the implementation of the irrational and ultimately destructive-to-the-nation demands of the leftists.

And thus, the nation has spent the past 50 or 60 years lurching toward the edge of the cliff that will be our doom. And our "conservative leaders" tell us this whole time to rejoice and focus on all their good work of sometimes converting full-steps toward the drop into half-steps.

Well, the cliff-edge is here at our feet, now; if we don't full-stop and back away from the edge, then we will go over the edge. Whether the next step is a full-step or a half-step, we will go over the edge.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tax on breathing

David Warren: Tax on breathing -- Gentle Reader shall surely want to read it entirely.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Stupid 'Atheist' Tricks II

I sometimes present the observation that when hard-pressed logically, 'atheists' (*) will always retreat into illogic and even outright anti-reason, so as to protect their God-denial from rational criticism and evaluation.

In this "Stupid Atheist Trick", the 'atheist' isn't even particularly pressed ... and he still makes a point of planting his flag in the swamp of anti-reason --
statement by a 'theist': "When the findings of physics point to and give probative confidence for believing in a Super Intelligent Creator Being, then it is unreasonable and somewhat not fair to claim a leap is being made when the evidence, the evidence gives us the probative confidence. Not the final reason for believing, but good probative confidence."

response by an 'atheist': "It sounds like you’re suggesting that we can use the evidence to infer a Super Intelligent Creator Being, but this doesn’t really do anything for us - I can infer anything from any evidence, after all."

Evaluation by Ilíon: --

Translation: if I can reason falsely, then you cannot reason truly.

Further translation: it is impossible to know that one has reasoned truly from known facts or truths to presently unknown truths.

Ultimate meaning: it is impossible to reason … or to know any truth.
What our 'atheist' seems to be doing is taking the known fact that "starting with a false premise, one can imply anything ... and its denial" and turning it into something like, "no one can reasonably infer a 'new' truth and *know* that it is true".

And, notice, as I said, the 'atheist' isn't even particularly hard-pressed here before he makes his dash for anti-reason. Here, the 'theist' (*) isn't presenting an argument that God is, much less an irrefutable one; rather, he is countering the frequent twin assertions of 'atheists,' those self-proclaimed Paragons of Reason, that belief in God is both unreasonable and utterly lacking in evidence.

And, of course, when 'atheists' make the above claim, their generally unstated companion assertion is that only "scientific evidence" can ever count as real evidence. One can see this line of "reasoning" in the linked thread. So, the 'theist' -- still attempting the logically impossible task of reasoning with persons who give themselves permission to say just anything, including the denial of what they have just said -- has responded, in effect: "well, you know, the findings of physics, that hardest of the hard sciences, are compatible with 'theism' and even seem to make more sense in a created world than in an accidental world."

(*) When referring the the run of the mill so-called atheist, I generally put the word 'atheist' in quote-marks, because there are passing few real atheists in the world. A real knows that nothing at all makes any difference, whatsoever -- we all die, our societies die, our civilizations die, our species will die, our universe will die; and that's the end of it.

The reason I frequently put the word 'theist' in quote-marks is because the word is generally used to lump the classical pagan polytheists with the modern Hindu polytheists with the Judeo-Christian monotheists -- as though these were points on a continuum. In point of fact, classical paganism and most (if not all) strains of Hinduism lump with materialistic atheism, not with "monotheism".

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That's the way you do it

Raymond Ibrahim -- Zakaria Botros: Islam's Scourge Returns

A reader of Lawrence Auster's blog comments: "... As much as the problem with Islam is political, social, and religious, it is fundamentally a spiritual problem. As St. Paul said, our struggle is ultimately not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual evil. It is from spiritual evil that political, social, religious, and other worldly evils arise. This is something important for defenders of the remnants of Christendom to remember."

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If It Was Good Enough for Washington and Hamilton, then

If it (*) was good enough for Washington and Hamilton, then it's good enough for me.

Walter Williams: Framers distrusted, loathed democracy -- "... If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given, or natural, rights, they would not have provided those protections. I've always argued that if we depart this world and see anything resembling the Bill of Rights at our next destination, we'll know we're in hell. A bill of rights in heaven would be an affront to God."

(*) "it" being distrust and/or loathing of "democracy."

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Stupid 'Atheist' Tricks I

I've been toying, for months, with the idea of doing a "series" of posts about the amusingly, and amazingly, stupid and/or absurd things that so-called atheists say when they "argue." You know, sort of like "Kids Say the Darndest Things" crossed with "Stupid Pet Tricks." But, it seemed so crass, and so I just never did.

But, today, I saw a "Stupid 'Atheist' Trick" that I just couldn't allow to pass without mocking --

The context is this (Gentle Reader may find the full context here) -- over at Victor Reppert's blog, a 'hopeless' of God-haters (that's the term for a herd of 'atheists', sort of like a "murder of crows") are arguing (snicker) that it's unreasonable to believe that Gods is, or that the fundamental claim of Christianity -- that God raised the Christ back from death to life -- is true, because, you know, "there is no evidence" ... and, in their strange world, the testimony of the people who say that they saw him alive -- physically/bodily alive, not some sort of ghost -- after he was murdered, and who submitted to terrible deaths, which they could easily have escaped merely by denying what they'd said, doesn't count as any sort of evidence. One or two 'theists' are trying the logically impossile task of reasoning with these so-called 'atheists'; the particular point the 'theists' are trying to get across to the 'atheists' is that their tactic of discounting trust in the testimony of others is unsound (for, it is illogical and irrational) ... and, that they, themselves, constantly trust the testimony of others.
Question from a 'theist': "That's the question I'm asking you and DL regarding statistical data and various other facts you spout on this blog. The answer seems mostly to be that you were taught those facts, or you read them somewhere - which ususally is fine, if your reasons are sound.

For example, if you haven't done the experiments, how do you know that F=mA? I've done them. Those that haven't done the experiments are trusting others that it's not really F=mA +C. They likely have good reasons for giving their trust so there's nothing wrong with trusting others.

Answer from an 'atheist': "Because it’s a stated scientific fact, and is not the subject of scientific controversy, and because scientific facts that aren’t the subject of scientific controversy have an awesome track record of staying true."
Evaluation by Ilíon: Sometimes, one does begin to wonder whether one really ought to automatically discount, as one does, massive stupidity as being the reason/cause that so many 'atheists' constantly say so many stupid things. After all, if one allowed that perhaps they really are that stupid, one wouldn't be forced, time and again, to conclude, by a process of elimination of logical possibilities, that they are/tend-to-be intellectually dishonest.

Also, 'grok' this clause separately:
Answer from an 'atheist': "... and because scientific facts that aren’t the subject of scientific controversy have an awesome track record of staying true."
This is how 'atheists' really "think" and "reason" -- one simply *must* put scare-quotes around the words, for that is not an example of, you know, actual reasoning. And, by the way, the "reasoning" I have highlighted here is not the only flawed/false thing about just that one sentence fragment.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Shape of Things To Come

Charles Hugh Smith: The Shape of Things To Come (h/t to Matteo) -- "... To the degree a nation gets the leadership it demands, then the U.S. is in trouble. We're now a nation of spoiled teens who get to elect their parents. No surprise, the 'rents who never enforce any rules, never challenge their own bosses (the kleptocrats) and who dole out the most allowance win every time."

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

I've written before about the foolish -- and economically destructive -- focus of politicians on, and distraction of the public by, concerning themselves with "Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!" In this piece, I will address the issue again, by reference to a recent pronouncement of The Smartest Man In The World --

Our message today comes from The Book Of Barack (where else!), 2 Obamacles 99:150 (the Man can talk on!), wherein Our Zero, Who art The Won (hollow be His Fame) deigns to share with us His Wisdom. Let us bow our heads and prepare to receive the Word of The Won:
a video clip
"There are some structural issues with our economy, where a lot of businesse have learned to become much more efficient, with a lot fewer workers. You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller."
So, if we follow the logic of what The Smartest Man In The Hostory Of The World has said in diagnosing the "structural issue" of our ecomony -- that which is, he notifies us, the cause of unemployment -- how shall we solve the problem of unemployment? Why, by making the economy -- that thing which supplies all our bread and butter -- more inefficient. I trust Gentle Reader understands that "economic inefficiency" is more simply called "wastefulness."

How like a "liberal," how like a socialist, to imagine that the waste of wealth can generate wealth!

How like a "liberal," how like a socialist, to assert that in finding ways to become more economically efficient in their creation of the goods and services that you wish to purchase from them -- that is, in finding ways to offer you those goods and services at reduced price -- companies are screwing-over someone, and by implication, that someone includes you.

What The Won is calling a "structural issue[] with our economy" -- what he is asserting is a flaw in the working of our economy -- is precisely one of its major and foundational strengths: the principles of our economy are such that we are able to harness the natural (and inescapable) self-centeredness exhibited by all human beings, such that in our economy, those who wish to become more wealthy can do so only by pleasing, and serving, their fellow man.

The Won is not attacking a "flaw" in our economy, he is attacking our very liberty. And our ability to generate future wealth.

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Sunday, July 3, 2011

There are no good arguments ...

... against capital punishment. For, all arguments against it, if ever applied consistently, must make human society, and the exercise of justice, impossible. The blanket opponents of capital punishment like to pose as exemplars of a “higher morality,” but they are, in fact, merely nihilists.

William Vallicella: Farrell, "Tookie," Hannity and Colmes, and Bad Arguments

Some years ago, I offered the same argument (see here) as Vallicella does in the above linked piece. And what I found is that almost no one, including "conservatives", is willing to attend (*) to it.

(*) A similar pattern can be seen in this thread on Victor Reppert's blog; in which most comment is directed at mindless opposition to one of the few correct (if controversial) moral propositions that Sam Harris asserts. And, it's controversial precisely because almost no one is willing to understand why it is correct, regardless of whether Harris himself understands either why it is correct or how it may correctly be applied to life-as-we-live-it.

Wm.Vallicella: … So the logical level is low out there in the Land of Talk and I repeat my call for logico-philosophical umpires for the shout shows. But I suspect I am fated to remain a vox clamantis in deserto.
Dude! You’re not a “voice crying (out) in the wilderness;” you are a fool -- you demand a level of respect, bordering on the obsequious, toward you and yours that you are not willing to extend to those who may offer real criticisms of the (false) positions that you and yours may take. Oddly (*), you are more respectful toward those who offer asinine criticisms of valid/correct positions that you and yours may take.

(*) not so odd, really, once one understands the psychology of it.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Dueling Neuroscientists

Via Michael Flynn: -- Dueling Neuroscientists "Patricia Churchland, who devotes her mind to demonstrating that she has no mind, versus Raymond Tallis, who rather thinks he does."

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tradition Protects The Younger Generation From Themselves

K T Cat: Tradition Protects The Younger Generation From Themselves

I quite understand what he is saying.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vox Day on a Particular Slippery Slope

Vox Day: And here I thought the slippery slope didn't exist

"Liberals" -- and libertarians -- are as capable of seeing a 'slippery slope' as any normal human being is. Further, they (both species) constantly make 'slippery slope' arguments when it serves the purpose of advancing their (insane) causes. It's only when recognition of a potential 'slippery slope' might cause "the masses" to pull back from reordering society to suit them that they (again, both sorts) start asserting that all 'slippery slope' arguments are, ipso facto, invalid or even asserting that there are no 'slippery slopes' in the first place.

Myself, while I grew up in a "conservative" church which strongly taught against female ordination -- while still giving women who wanted it far more *actual* responsibility than the "liberal" denominations did at the time -- I'm not fully persuaded by the arguments I've encountered either for or against female ordination. At the same time, as a practical matter, I've long noticed that *any* human organization, including churches, which becomes feminized always pushes the heterosexual men away; at first informally and unintentionally, then intentionally and with a vengence.

To put it another way -- and to really offend the sob-sisters amongst us -- any society which is dominated by the sort of thought processes and "logic" to which women seem naturally to gravitate, unless those (seemingly) natural tendencies are countermanded by "male" insistence upon actual logic, is not a society that any sane person, man or woman, wants to be a part of. Think of the problem this way: what sane person wants to be a member of a lesbian "marriage."

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Missing the Big Picture

Missing the Big Picture

Via Bob Parks, I encountered this audio segment of Mark Steyn (standing in for Rush Limbaugh) ... and I have to say, Steyn really missed the boat on this one. He shows himself here to be Not Serious -- not serious about respecting and enforcing the US Constitution, and thus not serious about preserving either the United States or America (the two are not *exactly* the same thing, thus the "or").

As Steyn rightly says, Obama is not the disease, he's but a symptom of the disease. But, likewise, and contrary to what Steyn says, the fact that "53% of your fellow Americans voted to put him in office" is also a symptom of the disease, and not the disease itself.

Furthermore, in contrast to the assertion he makes here in apparently rebuking a caller to the program, Steyn does not know that Obama was born in a Hawaiian hospital (*). At most, he assumes it ... and, clearly, he's totally incurious about actually knowing the truth of the matter.

Hell! We don't know that Obama even *is* a US citizen, much less that he meets the Constitutional requirement to occupy the presidency.

(*) And, whether Obama was or was not born in Hawaii maters only because his father was not a US citizen, and his mother was apparently a minor. Had both his parents been adult US citizens, he could have been born on Mars and he'd still be a "natural born" US citizen.

The Big Picture
The disease that is destroying the United States is not simply that 53% of the voters are willing to vote for whichever scumbag politician will promise them that in exchange for their votes he will enable them magically to live off the work and effort of other citizens. Socialism, too, is just a symptom of the disease.

The disease is that most of us -- including most, if not all, of the so-called conservative punditry -- refuses to understand the US Constitution, much less to honor it. One cannot actually be a conservative if one will not free oneself from the "liberal," which is to say, leftist, assumptions which control both "acceptable" public discourse and the very thoughts one allows oneself to think.

The disease destroying America is not economic, and it's not political; it's spiritual. The disease is that we are faithless: just as we are not keeping faith with the God of our Fathers, so too, we are not keeping faith with our Fathers.

To paraphrase what Someone said 2000 years ago: "If you will not honor the least points of the law, you will not honor the greater."

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Book Galileo Was Supposed to Write

Michael Flynn: The Book Galileo Was Supposed to Write

My comment: The more I learn of the actual historical facts of the case (and the era), the more I think it fitting that the 'Science!' worshippers have latched upon Galileo as their patron saint.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Carter 2.0?

Some people speculate and/or believe that Obama 1.0 is really just Carter 2.0 (which is just Carter 1.0 with a newish skin). While I can certainly see the plausibility of that view, I don't think is quite captures the dire essence of the situation: I think Obama 1.0 (and God, let that be the end of it!) is a unique, and uniquely dangerous, entity.

In a nutshell, I think that Obama 1.0 is a virus (of the worm or Trojan horse sort) that thinks it's an OS.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An education in futility

Kathy Shaidle frequently points out that a "college education" is generally a severe waste of time and money for most persons who are tricked into taking on the debt load; as does Vox Day, in his own inimitable way; as do, no doubt, many others.

Myself, I realized at the time that in the eyes of the university, I was just a cash-cow, or a sheep to be sheared. And I realized that most of my "college education" was (or would have been) high-school material in a previous, more adult, generation. I mean, specifically, there was nothing at all I was taught in college, including the more technical and field-specific aspects of it, that I could not have learned in high school.

Here (h/t to Matteo), is Charles Hugh Smith explaining the situaltion -- Students: You Are Exploited Debt-Serfs

A real education isn't something that just happens to you, as a passive "consumer" of the "educational system" ... at most, that just gets us to indoctrination; or, these days, more generally, propaganda. Rather, an education is something you intentionally do to yourself; it's kind of like love in that regard.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ain't It Always the Way?

I started a new job (yeah!) a couple of weeks ago; sadly, it's a good hour and a half drive from home. I expected that, as there just isn't that much demand for computer programmers in this area.

I have to learn a bunch of new-to-me stuff for the job. So, I'd been looking for a book on one of the things (MS BizTalk, if that means anything to Gentle Reader).

The Borders Bookstore near where I work didn't seem to have anything, so after I got home last Friday (1.5+ hour drive) and failed to find anything at the local Barnes & Nobles, I went to my favorite computer store (in Columbus, another one hour drive). No luck finding a book, nor could the people there find anything in their system.

The next day, I called both the Borders stores in Columbus: the clerk at the one said she couldn't find anything on their system; the clerk at the other said they were no longer doing phone look-ups, as the store is closing.

So, I ordered a book from the little bookstore downtown here where I live; I came in sometime this week and I picked it up this morning.

Then, this afternoon, I went back to Columbus to try to find some books on other (computer) subjects ... and, wouldn't you know it, there at the computer store was the very book I'd just special ordered. If I (or the clerks) had been able to find it last time I was there, I could have had it a week sooner and for a few dollars less.

But, this story gets better. Or worse.

After I left the computer store, I decided to go to the Borders store nearby, the one I'd been told was closing (it turns out that both are closing due to the corporation's bankruptcy). And, wouldn't you know it! there, with a clearing-out-the-store 50% markdown, was a copy of the very book for less than half what I'd paid! But, at least I did find a book I can use, and a couple more at the other store.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

A perfect definition

In passing, Mike Flynn offers a perfect definition [or, more precisely, "characterizarion"] for "libertarian" -- "A libertarian is an absolute monarch with a very small kingdom."

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cowardice dissected

Venerable Beads: 'Cowardice dissected' -- an analysis and dissection of the BBC's "reporting" of the recent murder of a Israeli family. Other than a spot where it appears that Mr Beads' atheism over-speaks his reason ["... What is the point of finding a reasonable, sympathy-engendering motive, if the act you are attempting to reconcile with understandable human emotions is an attempt to blow up innocent people with exploding cars packed with nails? No normal or decent person would ever do such a thing under any circumstances whatever: only religious fanaticism could ever account for such behaviour"], it is a very good critical examination of the nihilism and intellectual dishonesty at the root of the BBC's reportage, and and the attitudes western leftists and "liberals" in general, towards Israel's existential struggle.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thomas Sowell on 'Blacks and Republicans'

Thomas Sowell on 'Blacks and Republicans'

Part of the root-cause of the problem Sowell addresses at the end of the piece [the GOP's continuous failure to make the case to black Americans that "liberal" policies are ultimately harmful to their interests] is due to the fact that most GOP politicians are professional politicians, which makes them fundamentally indistinguishable from Democrats, for professional politicians see the public fisc primarily as the means by which they are enabled to buy the votes of the public, and thus attain or continue in office. GOP professional politicians are "me-too" Democrats; they are the "tax-collectors for the welfare-state," rather than opponents of it -- Democrats are concerned primarily with growing the welfare-state (at the expense of your and my liberty and freedoms), while "me-too" Democrats (as the majority of GOP politicians are) are concerned primarily with the fundamentally impossible task of making the welfare-state fiscally responsible or sound.

Most "liberal" policies are immoral, for they have the entirely forseeable result of destroying the polity, and all for cheap and tawdry (and short-term) personal gain. Politicians -- and voters -- who do not oppose such policies are immoral persons, for they are willing to destroy the Nation, or the State, or the community, in the long-run (which is now not so far off for many States nor for the Nation as a whole) for their own immediate personal gain at the expense of their fellow so-called citizens.

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