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Sunday, January 29, 2012

'Guess the party affiliation'

'Guess the party affiliation' is an ongoing game at Bob Parks' Blank & Right. The most recent entry is here. What kind of sick puppy hides a camera in the women's restroom? I mean, really! there is nothing at all sexy about watching someone take a dump, no matter who she is. This is only one or two notches above that the guy who hid himself *inside* the collection chamber of a Port-a-Pot, the better to see where the shit in which he was swimming originated.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

She is *such* a card

Kathy Shaidle -- click the link to see her joke (*) ... unless you suffer from PCitis, in which case you're advised to not, lest you have a heart attack.

I am so glad my ancestors didn't end up on one of those socialistic hell-holes where Indians are warehoused. Or kept as pets, same diff.

(*) It's specifically about Canadian politics, but it does translate to American politics, too.

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'Unauthorized access to your account'

In my Hotmail junkmail folder, I happened to notice something purporting to be from PayPal, with the subject "Unauthorized access to your account". I, of course, didn't open it, Gentle Reader.

But, the thought occurs: this alleged attempted access was so 'unauthorized' that the unauthorized person must have had to create an account for me before he could even try to access it without my authorization!

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I told you he's a fool

William Vallicella: Sudduth, Simplicity, and the Plotinian One -- "... And a little Christian charity can't be a bad idea either, especially towards such 'apostates' as Michael Sudduth."

Michael Sudduth isn't a scare-quote 'apostate', he *is* an apostate.

Why doesn't Vallicella take his own advice and extend "a little Christian charity" toward the Christians who are criticizing the now-apostate Sudduth, rather than blogging on and on about what meanies they are?

ps. The reason for the 'atheism' tag is that paganism amongst moderns is just 'spiritual' atheism.

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Well, D'uh!

Lawrence Auster: "A reader says, not unreasonably, that he was treated somewhat unfairly in the "Gingrich vs. Romney" thread ..."

Dude, the concatenation of human nature, your own personal nature, and your "gatekeeper" approach to blogging makes it inevitable that you are going to treat unfairly at least some who send responses to you.

Even without bothering to looking at 'Reader's' statement and Auster's response, I can state with honest conviction that the only shocker here is that Auster openly says that the reader's claim is "not unreasonable".

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sometimes ... (again)

Previously, I had linked to a quotation of G.K.Chesterton, of which I said: "For all his brilliance, sometimes G.K. Chesterton could be outright childish, in the negative sense, which is an intellectual failure, or even damned foolish, which is a moral failure."

For balance, I offer Genter Reader another glimpse of Chesterton, in which his unalloyed brilliance shines: "The truth is, that all genuine appreciation rests on a certain mystery of humility and almost of darkness. The man who said, ‘Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall not be disappointed,’ put the eulogy quite inadequately and even falsely. The truth [is] ‘Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall be gloriously surprised.’ The man who expects nothing sees redder roses than common men can see, and greener grass, and a more startling sun. Blessed is he that expecteth nothing, for he shall possess the cities and the mountains; blessed is the meek, for he shall inherit the earth. Until we realize that things might not be we cannot realize that things are. Until we see the background of darkness we cannot admire the light as a single and created thing. As soon as we have seen that darkness, all light is lightening, sudden, blinding, and divine. Until we picture nonentity we underrate the victory of God, and can realize none of the trophies of His ancient war. It is one of the million wild jests of truth that we know nothing until we know nothing."

As is frequently the case with human beings, in which our virtues and vices are often two sides of the same coin, both the first quoted silliness (or even foolishness) and this profound insight are rooted in Chesterton's affinity for 'paradoxen' ;)

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

So, in summary, we get recessions because capitalism works.

James Hannam: Why Recessions Happen -- "... So, in summary, we get recessions because capitalism works. Capitalism generates economic growth. When things are good, human beings have a natural tendency to avert their eyes from future problems. But eventually we just have to roll up our sleeves up and carry out the necessary spring cleaning. The very worst thing we can do is pile up more debt, bring out new rules, raise taxes even higher and erect trade barriers."

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More difficult that it needs to be

William Vallicella addresses a (pseudo-)paradox: The Paradox of the Preface and the Law of Non-Contradiction, and I believe he misses the point, which is that the "paradox" arises from not merely an equivocation, but from an elision.

The conclusion to which the pseudo-paradox is intended to lead us is “that we need to give up the claim that it is always irrational to believe statements that are mutually inconsistent”. In other words, this pseudo-paradox is intended to get us to believe that the Law of Non-Contradiction is itself irrational. Or, to put it more bluntly, that reason and logic are themselves irrational.

Here is my simpler solution of the paradox:

Points 2) and 3) which define the "paradox" are misstated. It is not that "some statement in his book is not true", but rather that "some statement in his book [may be] not true".

Properly stated, there is no paradox, and one is left with the utterly unremarkable, and totally non-contradictory, observation that the author believes that every statement he has made is true, but nonetheless realizes that he may have made a mistake, somewhere.

For, after all, there is no contradiction at all between (and thus no paradox in) believing that one has made no mistake while simultaneously believing that one may be wrong in that belief. Why, even I once thought I had been wrong about something, but, as it turned out, I was mistaken.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

'This is what a feminist looks like'

Vox Day: You've come a long way, baby
One needn't fail to feel genuine sympathy for the victims of a stupid showboating Italian cruiseship captain to nevertheless be amused at the complaints from women who suddenly find they aren't so keen on that all-important equality when push comes to shove:
This was not so much predictable as predicted. Women have methodically attacked the concept of male duty and honor through every possible means for the past ninety years, and now they are whining that they don't get special treatment simply because a ship happens to be sinking. ...

Those big, burly crewmen shoving aside women as they prioritized their own escape should have been wearing t-shirts that said "this is what a feminist looks like". Enjoy the crash.
Every choice has a price. As VD says, (Western, and especially Anglo-American) women have consistently and constantly scorned and hated and belittled men and masculinity since early in the 20th century. This is an example of the price.

I'd bet that under normal circumstances the vast majority of those "big, burly crewmen shoving aside women as they prioritized their own escape" are indeed 'feminists'; that is, that they would be among the first of persons to viciously attack a traditional man, such as myself, as a "knuckle-dragging troglodyte".

I rarely bother with even trying to read the comments on VD' blog, but here are two comments I'd like to share with Gentle Reader (emphasis added):
alexamenos: ...
b) A very common theme in the Mail article comments is that it's perfectly fine that the men didn't help those oh so able and independent women, but those men were quite deplorable in not sacrificing themselves for the elderly and, of course, the cheeeeldren.

This is an understandable view, but I think it misses the bigger picture: You can't change a man's role in society without....

....wait for it....

...changing a man's role in society.

A society can tell it's men that 'we appreciate, respect, and reward your strength and ability to respect and provide for women and children', or it can chose to tell it's men, 'it's all you're goddamned fault, stop acting like men.' Whichever message it is that a society delivers, the society shouldn't be surprised to learn that it can't pick and choose the behaviors it desires at its whim.

Alternatively stated, blaming these men for not helping the children and elderly is a bit like blaming an insurance company for not paying on a claim when you never paid the premium in the first place. If you want men to be prepared to sacrifice [themselves for the good of others, strangers no less], you better pay up front.

Stickwick: You reap what you sow.

The really crappy thing for some of us women is that we get the same treatment even though we respect and honor men and desire the traditional roles. I think I'll punch a feminist in the nose today.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sometimes ...

For all his brilliance, sometimes G.K. Chesterton could be outright childish, in the negative sense, which is an intellectual failure, or even damned foolish, which is a moral failure. The blogger 'Codgitator' approvingly supplies a quote of Chesterton being -- at best -- outright childish, in the negative sense: Or rather a second ...
"Communism is that form of Capitalism in which all workers have an equal wage. Capitalism is that form of Communism in which the organising officials have a very large salary. … Both presuppose property not personal, but Worked from a centre and distributed as wages. There is a third ideal; or rather a second. It is that individuals should own and be free. … The right and essential thing [is] that as many people as possible should have the natural, original forms of sustenance as their own property.

The division of labour has become the division of mind; and means in a new and sinister sense that the right hand does not know what the left hand doeth. In the age of universal education, nobody knows where anything comes from. The process of production has become so indirect, so multitudinous and so anonymous, that to trace anything to its origin is to enter upon a sort of detective story, or the exploration of a concealed crime."

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Most 'conservatives' ... aren't

Michele Malkin: The abysmal incompetence of the non-Romneys; Huntsman, Gingrich, Perry all go Occupier; Santorum declines

As I keep saying, very few persons, whether politicians or regular citizens, who think themselves 'conservative' really are -- most self-identifying 'conservatives' are "unprincipled liberals", in much the same way that most self-identifying "liberals" are (using Lawrence Auster's apt terminology) "unprincipled leftists".

The "unprincipled" means this: the "liberal" accepts the premises of leftism, or most of them -- he just doesn't care for, at any rate not yet, some of the destinations to which those premises logically lead. So, to avoid (for now) a particular (currently) unwelcome conclusion of the premises from which he starts, he makes an "unprincipled exception" to those premises; that is, he asserts an exception to those premises, which exception cannot be ground in those same premises or the principles of them. And, thus, when the socio-political winds blow -- when the leftists who are pulling his strings -- decide that now it is time for that particular (currently) unwelcome conclusion to be affirmed, the "liberal" always caves; for he has no principled reasons upon which to oppose the conclusion.

Likewise, most 'conservatives' are "unprincipled liberals" in similar manner; and they always cave to "liberalism" for a similar reason: they have no principled reasons upon which to oppose "liberal" conclusions.

As I keep telling Gentle Reader: if you say you are conservative, and you do honestly wish to be conservative and to work against the on-going and intentional leftist scheme for the destruction of America, then you *must* learn to recognize the "liberalism" in which you have been marinated your entire life, and reject it utterly.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I get so tired of his dishonesty!

'Vox Day', that self-proclaimed big-brain, once again falsely and dishonestly -- and knowingly so -- equating 'open borders' with 'free trade'

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

A 'liberal' principle in action

The "principle" to which the title refers is the great and (in)famous "liberal" dictum: "Don't just stand there, do something!"

CBS News: New Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
CHICAGO (CBS) - A new state law requires those who buy drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log.
The law, which took effect Sunday, requires those who seek to buy caustic or noxious substances, except for batteries, to provide government-issued photo identification that shows their name and date of birth. The cashier then must log the name and address, the date and time of the purchase, the type of product, the brand and even the net weight.

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) obtained passage of the new law following attacks in which drain cleaner was poured on two Chicago women, badly scarring them.
So, *two* women in Illinois were attacked with caustic chemicals of the sort that nearly every household in the entire nation has purchased at least once ... and, in consequence, *all* Illinois residents must be treated as though they were convicted criminals who must report all their activities to their probation officers?

As John Ray quipped: "I guess that tracking drain cleaner buyers is a lot more important than honest elections"

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Doing Well vs Doing Good

This post is about why "liberals" hate 'free market capitalism', but there is some groundwork first to be laid.

"Liberals" and conservatives are very different, I think all can agree. It's not just that the two groups disagree on specific policies; it's that they see and understand the world in different ways, and indeed in contradictory ways (the "liberals" see the world falsely, and generally *refuse* to see it clearly/truly, but that's not the immediate point here).

At the root of the different world-views is this: sin -- specifically, beliefs about, or approaches to dealing with, human sinfulness --

Conservatives understand that all men -- including themselves -- are sinful, are ultimately and inescapably flawed -- even those few 'atheists' (who thus tend to deny, at least on a surface viewing, the reality of sin) who are also conservatives share this understanding. Conservatives have a tragic view of human nature; we understand that all humans are flawed and no individual, nor group, nor social tinkering, can cure us of it.

"Liberals" deny the reality of sin and human sinfulness -- at any rate, as applies to themselves -- and even those Christians who are "liberals" ultimately deny that all human beings are inescapably sinful. "Liberals" have a sentimental view of human nature (and, it's a cheap sentimentalism, at that; though, in the end, it tends to be expensive in human lives); they imagine that with the right social tinkering, they (the individual "liberals" acting collectively) can cure the rest of us of our flawed nature.

Conservatives look at the "crooked timber of humanity" and say, "OK, this is what we are given to work with: what beautiful and enduring thing can we build of it?" In contrast, "liberals" look at the "crooked timber of humanity" and shriek, "No, no, no! This will not do! We must straighten these timbers before we can commence building anything worthwhile!" To put it another way: conservatives try to work with the readily observable reality of what human beings really are like when they go about designing social structures; "liberals" are always trying to design social structures which can be used to force human beings to be other than they really are.

Here is how the above applies to 'free market capitalism' and the hatred "liberals" have for it --

The concept -- and implementation -- of 'free market capitalism' is utterly conservative and antithetical to “liberalism” because it is grounded in the recognition that all human beings are inescapably self-centered, and not infrequently, selfish. So, rather than trying to change human nature so that people will “do the right thing”, with respect to economic matters, merely because it is the right thing to do, 'free market capitalism' is purposely designed to induce men to “do the right thing” because it is in their own self-interest to do so. This has the seeming paradoxical effect, over time in each individual’s life, of training the individual to be less selfish, and even less self-centered.

That is, rather than trying to force human nature to be other than it is -- a task, could it be done in the first place, never-ending, for each new generation starts from the same place -- the conservative approach to economic matters (as in all matters) is to work with, and redirect, the innate self-centeredness (and selfishness) of human individuals to achieve non-selfish public ends.

"Liberals" look at the resulting public goods and have conniptions: "But, but, but! They’re doing this public good for private and probably selfish reasons!" the “liberal” freaks-out. For, as usual, "liberals" are more concerned with attitudes and motivations than with results -- this is the same dynamic which allows "liberals" to continuously push for all sorts of public policies, with inevitable and quite foreseeable terrible consequences, on the grounds that "my intensions are pure".

'Free market capitalism' allows and encourages individuals to strive to "do well" ... with the result -- paradoxical to the "liberal" insistence on what reality is really like -- that they also "do good" thereby. "Liberals" cannot, or rather, will not, understand how this works, and thus are compelled to try to destroy it; for, to begin to admit that it works and to understand how it works would be to begin to cease to be "liberal".

Conservatism, recognizing the unalterable self-centeredness (and frequent selfishness) of human nature, seeks not to eradicate the self-centeredness, but rather to tame and harness it toward the creation of public goods. "Liberalism", refusing to recognize the unalterable self-centeredness (and frequent selfishness) of human nature, sets it rampant ... with the inevitable result that public goods are diminished, and ultimately destroyed; but, hey! at least their "hearts are in the right places".

Understand, this is not a criticism of Mother Teresa, and certainly not in the evil and wicked spirit in which the late Christopher Hitchens condemned her, but the truth is that that worthy woman, for all her lifetime of good works, didn't do nearly as much good for mankind as does the meanest, must unremarked, honest businessman.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

'Standing' Established

The reason that 'standing' is so important here is that some of the courts which have previously ruled on the issue -- which is to say, that have refused even to consider the question -- had based their refusal on their claim/ruling that a mere US citizens, whether civilian or military, has no 'standing' to petitioned the courts to order the political branches of the US Federal government to ensure that a specific provision of the US Constitution be enforced and be seen to be enforced.

Think about this "legal reasoning", Gentle Reader!

By way of Vox Day, Karl Denninger: Oh Hoh Hoh -- Standing ESTABLISHED
Ok, here we go.

The charges and specifications are two-fold:
  • Is Obama's "birth certificate" valid? Quite simply now we get discovery, where the original microfilm and bound book pages can be inspected (and they better be there, and in order. I will note that it is extremely difficult to tamper with microfilm without being detected!)
  • What's the story on the Social Security Number? Oh that could be a problem eh?
Maybe there's nothing to all this, and maybe there is. But thus far Obama has managed to deflect attention from the facts with procedural maneuvers (and one has to ask why when it would be simpler -- and rather more final, to dispose of the facts instead.)
At the same time, the real issue here under the US Constitution is not *where* Obama was born, but what was his US citizenship status -- as relates to the citizenship status of his parents -- at the time of his birth. While his birth certificate -- which, of course, has never been released -- is an important question in its own right, it has served as an effective distraction from the real Constitutional issue. One has to wonder whether that is intentional.

John McCain was not born on US soil ... but he is a "natural born (US) citizen", because at the time of his birth, both his parents were:
1) US citizens;
2) adults.
These conditions are not held to be true of Obama.

President Chester Arthur (perhaps one should say "President" Chester Arthur) was born on US soil, of that there was no question, as had been his mother and all her people for many generations. BUT, his father was born a subject of the British crown. SO, his political opponents, in an attempt to disqualify him from standing for election -- especially the Democrats, one might add -- raised the legitimate question of whether Chester Arthur was a "natural born (US) citizen". Apparently, Arthur diffused the issue in politics (but not in truth) by lying about when his father attained US citizenship, that is by dishonestly providing "evidence" that his father was a US citizen at the time of his birth ... and there were enough Americans who were satisfied with being lied to to let it pass.

But, what do Obama and today's Democrats do? Do they even have the decency to honor the Constitution to the extent of providing false information concerning the citizenship status of his parents? No, not at all: setting the obvious pattern for his entire Administration, they declare that the Constitution's requirements are irrelevant ... and far too many Republicans and "conservative" pundits are willing to go along with so gutting the Constitution. [edit: Ann Coulter is only one of just about all of them who are willing to punt on this issue, I linked to her piece only because it's the most recent instance I've come across]

ONCE AGAIN: the Constitutional issue is not "Where was Barack Hussein Obama II born?", it is "Does Barack Hussein Obama II meet the minimal US Constitutional requirements for holding the office of US President, among them that of being a 'natural born citizen' of the United States?"

And, of course, the "liberals" and, to the extent there is any difference between the two groups, the Democrats -- the very party of legal and institutional (and violent) racism -- are going to try to distract attention from the substantive issue by raising the red-herring of this ruling having come from a court of a State of the former "Deep South".

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In which I become 'certified'

... as a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 developer ... and, if Microsoft says one is certified, then what man dare say, 'Nay'?

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Yet another blogger

'Foxfier's' husband, 'Elf': True Blue

I understand that 'Kit' is next up. ;)

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