Friday, May 17, 2013

Are the Wheels Finally Coming Off This Thing?

Even Chris Matthews apparently thinks "The Thrill is Gone"


Of course, apparently as recently as a couple of days ago Chris still thought that opposition to Obama is rooted in the idea that "The White Race Must Rule" - not saying the man has suddenly gained sanity or anything, just pointing out that the rats just might be jumping ship.

I've gotten my hopes up before, and the MSM may yet decide to square the wagons and protect when they realize that any shred of credibility they have left is tied up in the illusion they themselves have created around the President.

Who knows, maybe even Jon Stewart, who still can't seem to come to terms with the fact that the administration blatantly lied about what happened in Bengazi right ahead of the 2012 election and has put a lot of effort into covering it up will come around.

This all comes, ironically, a week after Obama, in a speech, told us all not to worry about our Founders' warning that government abuse is always just around the corner (no wonder he has such contempt for them).

Maybe the biggest reason for hope is the tapping of the Associated Press phones. It's one thing to piss off your enemies. It's quite another to piss of your virtual body guards.

Your kids don't belong to you. You don't have a right to homeschool. The second amendment is obsolete. The first amendment is obsolete.  The fourth amendment is obsolete.  The equal protection clause is obsolete.   The IRS will enforce Obamacare.   This is a pattern.

Fundamental transformation.  Is it starting to make sense now?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bill O'Reilly Gets Stop An Echo Award

If Bill's serious about this, I applaud him, and in advance I give him my "Stop An Echo" Award.
"Every time, every time -- a high-profile person starts to spout gibberish about deadly terrorism, I will embarrass that person on this broadcast. Public opinion is the only way to stop this madness." - Bill O'Reilly
Acoustic Tiles.  We need more of them.  That's what I should name the award.  Only people won't get it :-/

Monday, April 22, 2013

You Don't Need to See His Papers ....

Just when I thought my jaw couldn't hit the floor any harder, I ran across these headlines yesterday:

This is insane.

It really illustrates that the truth in this spoof video is really pretty much on the money.

Of course, we're not saying that having an Arab name makes you a terrorist. But there is a pattern, and it's a pattern that people are apparently more than just a little eager to refuse to see. Political correctness has rendered our news media impotently incurious when it comes to certain subjects.

I have a Muslim co-worker who told me, not terribly long after 9/11, that her teenage daughter had come to her and said, "Mom, I know not all Muslims are terrorists, but it does seem like most of terrorists are Muslim".  So it's not just me.

There is a difference between religions. Even staunch Atheists Bill Maher and Penn Jillette acknowledge that.  Sure there are crazy people of all faiths and non-faiths who have murdered and who were even inspired by their beliefs in many cases -- but there is only one major world religion that has an extremely well-established pattern based not only on the relgious writings upon which their religion is based, but is rife with religious leaders who preach violent jihad and has myriad organizations world-wide to do violence, in the name of their God and their religion and who regularly carry it out.  Can we just say that?   Really?  We can't?

It now appears that our well-mannered Chechens who blew the legs off of Boston Marathon spectators and acually killed three ... were likely recruited as disaffected teens with Muslim sympathies by a Saudi Islamic Radicalizing agent Abdul Rahman Ali Al-Harbi.  This is exactly what terrorist organizations do in the middle east.  Now they're finding ways of getting it done here (helps get around immigration inquiries if your disaffected youth are already here before they are radicalized).

But you're not hearing about Al-Harbi in the media, because ... the Media is deeply invested in this idea that Islam is just like any other religion when it comes to violence, and it is also in thrall with this administration and will apparently do anything to protect it.

We are in big trouble, folks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Forced Approval

Once again, we're having the wrong argument.  We're having it because it's the argument the Gay Rights crowd wants us to have, and has suckered the rest of the country into.

To my knowledge, there are no laws that prevent two adults (or more for that matter) to enter a relationship, live together, do whatever together, share everything, raise any resulting children etc.

There may be laws that don't recognize the special relationships even friends might have, that, for instance, allows only "immediate family" to visit someone in a hospital, or to put someone else on their health insurance policy.

These are all issues that can be addressed without redefining the word "marriage" for a culture that rejects the proposed new definition.  These kinds of solutions have been proposed, by creating "legal unions" or "civil unions" as contracts and knit social units recognizable by the state.  But that is, again and again, not what the activists want.  They've rejected that route. They want the word.  It may sound trivial, but it is not.  The word, once it becomes a legal definition, will be used to bludgeon those who don't recognize the unions as "marriage" and as a result refuse to treat it as such.

Rand Paul espouses a solution I have talked about on many occasions.  Take the word "Marriage" out of the tax code - and just enforce contract law, of which marriage is one of many.

The problem is, is that the proposed solution, the only one anybody but a few like Rand Paul are talking about, is to literally change the definition of the word for a a culture that roundly rejects that redefinition. It is the ultimate in cultural insensitivity. But if it were just that, I would have much less of a problem with it.

Now I'm not saying people cannot call their own relationships anything they want to call them, but it is quite another thing to force someone else to call it something they don't recognize it as. This is a special interest group using government power to stomp on existing culture.

If you don't think this is a problem, read Ed Morrisey's article -- I'll excerpt the part I'm talking about here.  File it under "Oh, THAT'LL Never Happen".
"Tolerance, it seems, works only in one direction — and that brings us to the religious argument, but not in the manner one might think.
While as a practicing Catholic my definition of marriage involves its sacramental character, I understand that others may not share my faith and perspective on its meaning or value. That, however, will not work both ways, as recent examples have made plain. For example, a baker in Oregon faces potential criminal charges for refusing to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs. What happens when churches refuse to perform such ceremonies for the same reason?
Most people scoff at this question, but religions have partnered with the state on marriages in a way that bakers have not. Priests, ministers, rabbis, and imams act in place of the state when officiating at wedding ceremonies, and states that legalize same-sex marriage are eventually going to be forced by lawsuits to address that partnership, probably sooner rather than later. In similar partnerships, that has resulted in pushing churches out of business."
Got that? If you don't agree with the government definition for religious reasons, tough luck, buddy. Bake 'em a cake, place kids with them even if you believe it is wrong according to your religion -- or go to jail. The First Amendment means nothing.

And apparently neither do legitimate democratic public referendums.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Climategate III is here ....

Climategate 3.0 is in progress.   }--- link

The government-scientist media complex has proven strong.  But this, along with the debunking of the re-bunking of the hockey stick and with the IPCC itself noting that temperatures (data!) are looking to fall out of the 95% certainty band of alarmist predictions, this thing really does look to come crashing down.

Still, if the media continues to refuse to cover this, there are masses out there who have adopted it as their religion who will remain unconvinced.

Ran into an exchange on facebook where a friend said her son had to hide behind her during certain parts of the movie "Ice Age" ... cute enough.

But another friend of hers then commented "[He] knows climate change is scary ... and REAL."

We pray in Gore's name, forever and ever, amen. (eyes roll)

Monday, March 18, 2013

I'm sure the "science" will still be "settled™"

Sooner or later the IPCC was going to have to deal with the fact that it's been over a decade since the earth has shown any warming to speak of.

As I pointed out with historical vs predictive charts a few years back, what we've seen climatologically is not out of the ordinary... I'd say by any stretch of the imagination, but some people's imaginations have proven extraordinarily elastic of late.

Looks like they're thinking about it.
A version of the graph appears in a leaked draft of the IPCC’s landmark Fifth Assessment Report due out later this year. It comes as leading climate scientists begin to admit that their worst fears about global warming will not be realised.

Academics are revising their views after acknowledging the miscalculation. Last night Myles Allen, Oxford University’s Professor of Geosystem Science, said that until recently he believed the world might be on course for a catastrophic temperature rise of more than five degrees this century.

But he now says: ‘The odds have come down,’ – adding that warming is likely to be significantly lower.

Prof Allen says higher estimates are now ‘looking iffy’.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Where to Find Me

I have definitely slowed down posting over here.  You might hear occasionally from jeffmon, and I'm sure some posts from me will show up here occasionally, but not too many that won't also show up at a joint blog some friends and I are cranking up over at our joint blog,  Rotten Chestnuts.   It's Morgan, Severian, CylarZ, and myself.

This is kind of the Rotten Chestnuts Charter here.

The Free Online Dictionary defines “chestnut” as “An old, frequently repeated joke, story, or song.”  Miriam Webster calls it “something (as a musical piece or a saying) repeated to the point of staleness.”
Put simply, chestnuts are those things “everybody knows.” For instance, “everybody knows” that Republicans hate women, that revenues go up as taxes go up, that Sarah Palin’s an idiot, that George W. Bush hates black people, that “corporate personhood” is some kind of evil Wall Street scam, that the “Palestinian peace process” exists (and when it breaks down, it’s all Israel’s fault).
Put bluntly, chestnuts are what people believe when they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about.
At Rotten Chestnuts we aim, in our own small way, to change that. To educate. To inform. To praise the praiseworthy and mock the mockable. To entertain, and — dare we hope? — to inspire.
If you’re tired of being labeled ignorant, or a “hater,” or simply uncool for using the brains God gave you to examine the world, then this is a site for you.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Made a New Word

alwarmist \ˈalˈwärm-ist\  - A Global Warming alarmist.

I particularly like that the first syllable is "Al".

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Hobbit, and the return of ancient evil

I went to see the Hobbit with my son Christmas Night, as he wanted to see it.  I generally have something against commerce on Christmas Day, but it was a "Cats in the Cradle" In Reverse moment.  I went.

A particular scene struck me.  More than one, really, but this one more than the rest.  It was not in the book, but it was suggested by refrerences in Tolkien's lore of The White Council.   It was, to say the least, a little too familiar.

So much so that I wanted to see the film again.  I went again with my wife the night before last [she hadn't seen it yet].  

Here's the scene:

Galadriel: The dragon, has long been on your mind.

Gandalf: It is true my lady. Smaug owes allegiance to no one. But if he should side with the enemy: A dragon can be used to terrible effect!

Saruman: What enemy? Gandalf, the enemy is defeated. Sauron is vanquished! He can never regain his full strength.

Elrond: Gandalf, for four hundred years we have lived in peace. A hard-one watchful peace.

Gandalf: Are we? Are we at peace?! Trolls have come down from the mountains. They're raiding villages, destroying farms. Orcs have attacked us ON the road!

Elrond: Hardly a prelude to war.

Saruman: Always you must meddle. Looking for trouble where non exist.

Galadriel: Let him speak.

Gandalf: There is something at work beyond the evil of Smaug. Something far more powerful. We can remain blind, but it will not be ignoring us, that I can promise. A sickness lies over the Green Wood. The woodsmen that live there now call it Mirkwood. And…eh…they say…

Saruman: Well? Don't stop now. Tell us what the woodsmen say.

Gandalf: They speak of a necromancer living in Dol Guldûr. A sorcerer who can summon the dead!

Saruman: That's absurd. No such power exists in this world. This..necromancer, is nothing more than a mortal man. A conjurer dabbling in black magic.

Gandalf: And so I though too. But Radagast has seen…

Saruman: Radagast?! Do not speak to me of Radagast, the Brown. He's a foolish fellow.

Gandalf: He's odd, I'll grant you. He lives a solitary life…

Saruman: It's not that. It is excessive consumption of mushrooms! They've addled his brain. And yellowed his teeth. I warn you. It is unfitting of one of the Istari woadering the woods [continues unintelligible in the background]…

Galadriel: (to Gandalf telepathically) You carry something. It came to you from Radagast. He found it in Dol Guldûr.

Gandalf: (to Galadriel telepathically) Yes.

Galadriel: (to Gandalf telepathically) Show me.

Saruman: (still going on and on) …I would think I was talking to myself. With intention of (not understandable). By all means…

(Gandalf picks up the sword given to him by Radagast wrapped on garment and places it above the table)

Elrond: What is that?!

(Elrond uncovers the mystery wrapped in cloth)

Galadriel: A relic … of Mordor!

Elrond: The Morgo blade.

Galadriel: Made for the Witch-King of Angmar. And buried with him! When Angmar fell, the men of the North took his body and all that he possessed and sealed it within the high fels of Rudá. Deep within the rock they buried him. In a tomb so dark, it would never come to light!

Elrond: This is not possible. A powerful spell has upon those tombs. They cannot be opened!

Saruman: What proof do we have this weapon came from Angmar's grave?

Gandalf: I have none.

Saruman: Because there is none! Let us examine what we know. A single orc pack is dead across the Bruinen. A dagger from a bygone age has been found. And a human sorcerer who calls himself the Necromancer has taken up presidence in a ruined fortress. It is not very much, after all. The question of this dwarfish company, however, troubles me deeply. I am not convinced, Gandalf. I don't feel like I could condole such a quest. If they had come to me I might have spared them of this disappointment. I will not pretend to understand your reason and hopes….

Absolutely every bit of evidence Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel say here is dismissed one way or another by Saruman.  Always dismissing danger, ridicule, ad hominem, oversimplification.  Sounds a bit ... familiar, no? 

Look at all these things he's hiding.  Look at the influences in this man's past.  Look at the things he says and does and how one supports the other.   Look at what is happening.

And the response is, Progress! [Sauron has been vanquished!]

Hardly a prelude to war! [Isolated, unrelated incidents!]

Radagast! [Fox News!  Dismiss all of the above!]

No such power exists! [There is no evil!]

What proof do you have?! [Unfortunately, myriad relevant documents have been sealed.]

I will not pretend to understand your reason and hopes. [You are an irrational idiot.]

I do not know what Peter Jackson's (or whoever wrote this script's] worldview is ... but Andrew Klavan was right.  Conservative values sell, and Hollywood knows it either conciously or subconciously.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

10% Facts, 90% Snark

I've long thought that part of our problem as conservatives is that we're generally serious people when it comes to making important decisions in life -- and that when we argue we actually make arguments. This means the person making the argument has to actually take the time to construct one, and the person listening has to listen to and digest an often complex and more often than that boring rhetorical structure that takes more brain power than emotional reaction.

In other words, I find that most liberal arguments are about 10% fact and 90% snark. And snark is cool. Snark is fun. Snark puts down the other guy, which, by Einstein's theory of relativity, puts "up" the snarker. Not only is it easier to be a liberal, it's more fun - and you can always blame the consequences on someone else.

So this link was given specifically to me and my friend Whitehawk via facebook for us to respond to....
Phil, Gavin-we need this why?
The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next -- by their count the fifth -- generatio...n of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-…
The "challenge" was thrown down because he perceives I am against any cuts in defense spending, ever (I point out to him that this is an erroneous assumption). He gets to point to cost overruns and development problems during the R&D phase of a new weapon and snark, "We need this, why?"

And I have to talk about pros and cons. Which is much less fun to read or to repeat. But here it is:

If you look carefully back on everything I've said in the past about cutting defense spending, you'll not find one place where I said I was unilaterally against it, especially where waste and fraud are concerned.

What I am against is cutting defense spending just because it's defense spending and it's n% of the budget or the GDP or that it's more than the GDP of some country or that it's designed [duh] to kill. What I have said is at least it is one of the enumerated powers of the Federal Government, and it isn't where I would look first. But show me waste and fraud, and I'll be right there with you voting for the axe.

Now ... do we need this plane?

From what I've read, it would be a plane that would be nice to have, except for the fact that it doesn't exist. This article makes it sound like it is never going to exist, and it may be right, I don't know.

A half-billion per plane indeed sounds shockingly ludicrous if that is in fact what they'll end up costing -- which the article indicates could well be the case (right now they're figuring the $161 million will likely triple, in part because it thinks we won't buy as many of them which will up the R&D cost per plane). I would hate to watch as one of them malfunctions and crashes, or gets shot down ... seeing a half billion literally go up in smoke.

On the other hand, I'd like to see it compared (inflation-adjusted) to the R&D phases of the F-16's and F-22's they are being built to replace as well as the handy B-2 "Stealth" -- I imagine they were fraught with cost overruns and problems as well and there were probably articles written about what a waste of money they were and that they'd never live up to expectations.

There is some irony in watching people who crow about all of the tangential technological advances that have come out of R&D that happened to be Government funded (both in military and space programs) as an argument to why Government spending is superior to private-sector spending suddenly get all wobbly-kneed when it comes to defense. Wasn't it Paul Krugman who in the past couple of years suggested with a straight face that preparing for a Mars Invasion that everybody knows isn't coming would produce a massive economic boom? What if these fighters could fight off Martians? Sounds like they'd be better able to do it than F-22's, at least, and what difference does it make anyway since Paul's premise included the knowledge that the Martians would never come and it was the spending that mattered?

That all being said, since I disagree vehemently with Mr. Krugman on stimulus spending ... can we get by with F-22's for now -- and by that I mean, could we buy 2,500 new f-22's to replace the old planes for a lot less? Yeah, I think that should be looked at. But I don't have all of the arguments pro and con available to me immediately to make an informed decision on it this morning.

Crossposted at Rotten Chestnuts

Saturday, January 05, 2013

It's Not Just "You Didn't Build That"

No, it turns out there is no "you", either.

I’m reading this book, “Vindicating the Founders” ... I think by some prof at Hillsdale ... nice place. (Imprimis. I look forward to it in the mail, I think twice a month. It's worth signing up. But you can just read it on the web as well.)

Anyway, as an Atmospheric Science/Computer Science major, I really didn’t dabble in polisci or philosophy ... not formally, anyway. And over time, I’ve come to realize ... probably largely due to Thomas Sowell’s writings, that there’s this fundamental difference in worldview ... the tragic vision and the “progressive” vision of man.

I thought it was just an observation ... a distillation of the assumptions that have to be being made for “progressives” to hew to their view and for classical liberals to hew to theirs.

I had no idea that they literally spelled this out.

John Dewey, according to this book, and they quote:
“Social arrangements, laws, institutions ... are means of creating individuals. Individuality in a social and moral sense is something to be wrought out.”
They literally believe human nature is a product of social institutions (and apparently this goes back at lest to Rousseau). They literally therefore see social institutions as The Creator. As God. This makes their actions make perfect sense, if you look at them in that light.

Our worldview sees the Creator as something or someone outside of ourselves. That we have a nature the same way as a dog has a nature ... something all dogs are born with. Dogs have no social institutions to “create” individual dogs. No... in our view, social institutions are there to constrain and channel human nature, a nature that is already there just like dog nature is already there. But humans, humans have self-awareness – and thus a conscience. Which is a part of human nature, and it is the part that is susceptible to social constructs ... but it does not negate the animal nature we were born with. If social constructs don’t recognize and accommodate to some extent that part of our nature, the are doomed to fail. We know that.

But to the progressive, they are literally creating new humans, new individuals ... themselves. No wonder they eventually justify genocide ... or maybe “ideocide”, and simply try to advance the natural, Godless evolution of man by killing off those who profess any opposing belief.

They are God.

If the individual is born of “social constructs”, then we are not born with natural rights ... our rights are merely “social constructs”. At that point, we are only entitled to life, liberty, and property (pursuit of happiness) .... as long as government says so.

Ours are supposedly derived from our natural rights. The progressives say we have no natural rights. Our rights are what they say they are, depending on their mood this year.

Crossposted at Rotten Chestnuts.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

At Last, Gun Free Zones!

This is pretty darned close to a video I've been thinking about making for years. (hat tip to Morgan via Facebook)