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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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