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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spreading the wealth

When I got into town Friday evening, I discovered that sometime afer Monday (Memorial Day) some people had taken it upon themselves to spread some of my wealth (slight though it is): my house has been burgled. They stole things (*) and thoroughly trashed the house. They didn't go out of their way to smash things up, and for that I am grateful. I still haven't repared the damage from the burst water pipe in January; now this.

Also, the local police don't (so far) seem all too concerned with solving the crime, even though the very individual officer who came out knows nearly as well as I do where the criminals live (**).

(*) including a 32' ladder and a 24' ladder ... and food out of the freezer and every can of pop in the house (and I was so thirsty when I got here)

(**) after he left, I found the recently-made beaten path through the woods to the house wherein lives the trog on whom I had called the cops last weekend after he set a vicious dog on me after I told his girlfriend I didn't want her parking on my property. He was one of the officers who had responded to that call.

edit 2014/08/16:
This morning, a neighbor (*) stoped by and told me that the fellow who broke into my house had recently brokrn into theirs and stole a couple of swords he had and then sold them to a woman down the street. I'm getting this second or third-hand (it was hos sister and girl-friend who dealt with the police, since he and his brother-in-law were out of town), but as he put it, the police are "watching" the fellow now.

And I'm thinking, watching him? Why aren't they watching him from behind bars? They now have witnesses that he was selling stolen goods. They now have not just the people from whom he stole the goods, but also those whom he defrauded of $200 in selling them stolen goods. Why isn't he already in jail and on his way back to prison?

(*) who is only the fourth person I've met in my entire life who has the same Christian name as I do; it's a bit disconcerting when he's talking to me and one of his relatives calls out his name.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Leftists' creative relationship with truth

Leftists are so damned dishonest: even when they''re saying something that's literally true, they're lying. Consider this --
Michael Egnor has a recent post, Gosnell's Banker, linking to a news report that Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to abortion groups.

I commented:
"Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to abortion groups."

It figures.

Well, at least we finally know what he will spend his own money on -- I'm referring to his politicing with the Dems and RINOs to force you and me to pay more in taxes, even as he very aggressively protects his own wealth and income from taxation.

One of the leftists-atheist trolls who infest Egnor's blog 'corrected' me:
Warren Buffett pays the legally required amount of tax. He's on record as stating that it's intrinsically unfair that he pays a lower percentage in tax than many of his employees.

He's a major philanthropist, donating a lot of money to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He's also on record as advocating inheritance tax (I agree - I wonder if that's what senile old fart means when he refers to me as a 'trust fund socialist' as an insult - and neither of which are true).
So, let's deconstruct (as leftists like to do) this "correction":
Reported fact: Warren Buffett has given $1.2 billion to abortion groups.

Me: ... I'm referring to his politicing with the Dems and RINOs to force you and me to pay more in taxes, even as he very aggressively protects his own wealth and income from taxation.

Lying Leftist: Warren Buffett pays the legally required amount of tax.
So, does claiming that "Warren Buffett pays the legally required amount of tax." contradict what I said, "... even as he very aggressively protects his own wealth and income from taxation"?

Of course not: it's another way to say the same thing! This is an example of a rhetorical trick much beloved by leftists (and atheists, and Darwinists), by which they "disprove" some truth one has stated by saying the same thing in a different way.

[more later]

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

That should work out nifty!

K T Cat Drafting Frauleins Into The Wehrmacht

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Monday, May 26, 2014

This *is* socialized medicine

Laura Rosen Cohen: Welcome to Socialized Medicine: Disabled Boy Denied Life Changing Operation to Stop Debilitating Pain, Boob Job Approved (the "boob job" was actually two: an enlargement ... followed by a reduction)

Here (again) is a comment by the blogger 'Wintery Knight' explaining *why* socialized medicine does and must produce such monstrous results -- Wintery Knight: Doctor shortage: how Obamacare makes Americans lose their doctors
The problem is that when government controls health care, they spend the money on things that will buy them more votes. People who need expensive care like this definitely do not get treated. In government-run health care, government takes control of the money being spent by individuals on actual health care in the private sector. They then redirect that money into public sector spending on “health-related” services. Instead of helping people who are really sick, government-run systems cut lose those sick people and concentrate on buying perfectly healthy people things like condoms, abortions, IVF and sex changes. They spread the money around to more people in order to buy more votes. The main goal is to get the majority of people dependent on government so that they continue to vote for bigger government. The few people who need expensive health care? They can just go die in a ditch.

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It's a trap ...

Some willfully ignorant anonymouse said:
You say:
"...if the consequences of not believing in that worldview are everlasting and unchangeable, then you have very powerful pragmatic reasons to believe in that particular supernatural worldview rather than not."

- All arguments along that line rely on the premise that beliefs can be freely chosen. They cannot. If you believe that the resurrection of Jesus is true beyond any reasonable doubt given the evidence that you are aware of, then you cannot choose out of the blue to believe that it is much more likely that Jesus was not resurrected. The consequences of such a belief are completely irrelevant, if it could be demonstrated that not believing in the resurrection of Jesus would have desirable consequences, you still couldn´t choose to believe the opposite of what you actually believe. What could change your beliefs is becoming aware of new evidence, new arguments etc. This is how beliefs are formed, they are not chosen based on the consequences they entail.
And I responded:
But, of course, not only *can* one freely choose one's beliefs, but one does. Always.
Can you see the trap I set him? ...

The "trap" is that he can convince others of the truth of his claim ("All arguments along that line rely on the premise that beliefs can be freely chosen. They cannot.") only if the claim itself is false; and secondarily, that even in the act of trying to convince others of the truth of his claim, he's going to have to retreat into self-contradiction and incoherency.

[this is a marker that I hope to find the time to expand upon that]

As others who commented after me have noted, he's denying the freedom (and effacacy) of the will. And, when you get right down to it, denying the reality/existence of the will itself: he's denying that we are persons. His argument, such as it is, is that the evidence (that one is aware of) related to some issue forces one to believe this or that regarding it. The argument is that "belief" is just something that happens to a person (*), that one is a passive non-agent acted upon, rather than an actor who actively evaluates and chooses.

Part of what makes his claim seem plausible until one looks closely is that it ignores that people can and do lie, not only to others, but also to themselves.

Victor Reppert has a recent post that has bearing on this issue: What happened to C. S. Lewis. Could it happen to you? -- Being that we are persons (rather than, say, robots) -- being that we *are* free wills -- we are always free to discount, ignore, or lie to ourselves about whatever evidence there is, or that we are aware of, concerning some issue.

Though I didn't watch the Jerry Seinfeld show, I could not escape some exposure to it. One of the scenes I do recall seeing involves George Costanza telling Jerry, "Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it" For me, this has always seemed a perfect encapsulation of what I'm talking about: people can and do choose to believe this or that without good reason to do so, and then carefully avoid learning knowledge/evidence that may show the belief to be false, and consciously disregard such contrary evidence as they fail to avoid.

Now, if one wishes to say something like, "Well, ok, but what you're talking about is intellectual dishonesty", I would reply, "Welcome to my world" Why do you think I'm always banging on that drum? I do so precisely because so many people *do* use various intellectually dishonest strategies as tools to protect their chosen beliefs from critical scrutiny.

Perhaps one wishes to say something like, "Well, ok, but what you're talking about is not *real* beliefs". I would reply, "And?" Why do you think human languages have so many ways of denoting the subtle differences in the epistemic status of beliefs? It's because the absolutizing language Mr Anonymouse wishes to use doesn't really work.

(*) This, by the way, is an echo of the false belief that people (especially women) love to love with regard to love: people love to deny that love is a choice, that one chooses to love and chooses to not love. People especially love this denial when they have chosen to love (or "love") inappropriately.

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On tatoos

Oh, my! overheard

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Leftists luuuuuv them some 'Science!'

V J Torley, at Uncommon Descent: Science illiteracy on the liberal left: PZ Myers and Amanda Marcotte can’t face the facts of life

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There is no law

Vox Day: The ever-moving goalposts
... My police friends told me long ago that there is no such thing as a "law-abiding citizen", that the traffic laws were explicitly written to permit them to exercise their judgment and pull over anyone, at any time. But it's interesting to see that virtually no one has even a theoretical chance of knowing what the law is, given the way that interpretive case law not only trumps black-letter written law, but is susceptible to behind-the-scenes editing at any time.
Of course, the US Constitution *nowhere* gives the US supreme Court (look it up, that's the spelling in the Constitution), nor any other court, the authority to "say what the Constitution says/means".

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Alan Keyes on sexuality and marriage (with natural law reasoning)

Bob Parks: The B&R Tuesday Skim -- see the embedded video (56 minutes)

I've read many things written by Mr Keyes, but I've never watched/listened to him speak at length. Man, he's good.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

A curiousity

Isn't it curious that prominent sports stars are more concerned with seeing to the humiliation of that fool, Sterling (who, by the way, is a Democrat), than in being seen to object to the humiliation being heaped upon Don Jones for the thoughtcrime of not approving of Teh Ghey?

LeBron James to lead boycott in 2014-15 if Donald Sterling still owns Clippers

It looks to me like this LeBron James is a woman, for he seems to "reason" like most of them do -- by which I mean having the mindset of a junior-high girl, rather than that of a mature man (or woman) -- despite his alleged possession of a Y chromosome.

Donald Sterling didn't *harm* anyone -- I mean, other than via his long-time support of the "liberal" Democratic Party (which is to say, Historically Organized Racism) -- he merely expressed personal bigotry regarding blacks.

Meanwhile, Sports Inc, is going to stomp all over Don Jones and anyone else with the temerity to express a normal masculine antipathy to being forced to see on national television two so-called men kissing.

Where are the boycotts over this? Or, where are the other football players insisting that they, too, be fined and suspended? And, while he's a basketball player, where is Mr LeBron James; why is he not concerned about a *real* civil rights issue?

Michael Egnor: Coming out of the closet, pushing others back into the catacombs

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fun with statistical correlations

Spurious Correlations -- the correct response to *any* claim that relies primarily (and especially if solely) on statistical correlations is, "Yeah, right! Come back when you have some evidence."

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Friday, May 9, 2014

There is no place for racists on the Supreme Court

Michael Egnor: There is no place for racists on the Supreme Court

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

On burearcracy as ecumenicalism

Douglas Wilson: Keeping the Cathedral

Douglas Wilson: Two Cheers for Tribalism
So in the negative sense of tribalism, the reforming tribe is likely to be the most tribal. I remember one time making the mistake of referring to the Church of God as a denomination, and being corrected by someone associated with them. No, they were not a denomination — they were the answer to denominationalism. No doubt it seemed that way to somebody once upon a time, but now they are just one more denomination. The same goes for all those highly denominated non-denominational churches. It is a good thing we quit denominating them — that might have caused us to sin.

One last thing. When a non-denominational zeal reaches its zenith, as it does with the Church of Christ and the Local Church, that claim necessitates that they read themselves right out of Protestantism. Groups that see themselves as “the one true church” can’t be Protestant, any more than the Roman Catholic church can be Protestant. This is because Protestantism cannot be sectarian to such an extent, by definition. When churches like the Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist confess themselves Protestant, they are confessing that their particular tribe is part of a larger confederation of tribes. The Protestants are like the Iroquois Nation, and I think we should let the Lutherans be the Mohawks.

The campus ministry I attended at university was one of these "we're not a denomination" denominations. Right. That's why (later, when I was part of the student staff) the associate campus minister didn't care for me collecting some money to send to World Vision (before it lefted-out) because "They're not affiliated with us". Now, they were good people ... but incoherent on this point.

Several years ago, I attended their "we're not a denomination" denominational church a time or two with a retired boss and her husband (raised Catholic and with a very negative opinion of Catholicism). It was all I could do to keep from rolling my eyes when I heard the partor's wife taling about "teh denominations". Again, these were good people ... but incoherent on this point.

And incoherency on one point has a way of twisting all sorts of other seemingly unrelated things, such is the price of protecting the incoherency.

Douglas Wilson: Some Doctrinal Triage

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The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

The WSJ: The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

Just a taste of the article
After the AHA advised the public to eat less saturated fat and switch to vegetable oils for a "healthy heart" in 1961, Americans changed their diets. Now these oils represent 7% to 8% of all calories in our diet, up from nearly zero in 1900, the biggest increase in consumption of any type of food over the past century.

This shift seemed like a good idea at the time, but it brought many potential health problems in its wake. In those early clinical trials, people on diets high in vegetable oil were found to suffer higher rates not only of cancer but also of gallstones. And, strikingly, they were more likely to die from violent accidents and suicides. Alarmed by these findings, the National Institutes of Health convened researchers several times in the early 1980s to try to explain these "side effects," but they couldn't. (Experts now speculate that certain psychological problems might be related to changes in brain chemistry caused by diet, such as fatty-acid imbalances or the depletion of cholesterol.)

We've also known since the 1940s that when heated, vegetable oils create oxidation products that, in experiments on animals, lead to cirrhosis of the liver and early death. For these reasons, some midcentury chemists warned against the consumption of these oils, but their concerns were allayed by a chemical fix: Oils could be rendered more stable through a process called hydrogenation, which used a catalyst to turn them from oils into solids.

From the 1950s on, these hardened oils became the backbone of the entire food industry, used in cakes, cookies, chips, breads, frostings, fillings, and frozen and fried food. Unfortunately, hydrogenation also produced trans fats, which since the 1970s have been suspected of interfering with basic cellular functioning and were recently condemned by the Food and Drug Administration for their ability to raise our levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Yet paradoxically, the drive to get rid of trans fats has led some restaurants and food manufacturers to return to using regular liquid oils—with the same long-standing oxidation problems. These dangers are especially acute in restaurant fryers, where the oils are heated to high temperatures over long periods.

The past decade of research on these oxidation products has produced a sizable body of evidence showing their dramatic inflammatory and oxidative effects, which implicates them in heart disease and other illnesses such as Alzheimer's. Other newly discovered potential toxins in vegetable oils, called monochloropropane diols and glycidol esters, are now causing concern among health authorities in Europe.

In short, the track record of vegetable oils is highly worrisome—and not remotely what Americans bargained for when they gave up butter and lard.
I wonder when people in general are going to realize and admit that 'Science!' does not, and by its very nature cannot, deliver truth -- except accidentally, in which case it cannot be known to be truth?

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