Monday, May 31, 2010

Precedent Is To Be Respected

Good points by Ace of Spades

Well Said

A commenter at Vox Day's:

I always find it hilarious when atheists get offended at the idea that their atheism is a form of social autism. As dedicated as they are to philosophical naturalism, one would think they would appreciate the conclusion that their philosophy is a result of impersonal biological forces. Apparently though, everyone's belief systems are the result of mere matter but their own.

The Rules Are Quite Simple

And it's heads, atheists win, tails, theists lose.

It's all amusingly laid out here, by someone who's been involved enough in the arena to have them pretty well nailed.

One of the commenters added this one:

The Law of Unprovable Miracles. We know that the miraculous events, like the Resurrection, described in the Bible aren't true because miracles are impossible. We know miracles are impossible because there is no proof of them. I mean, if someone was really raised from the dead, you'd think someone would write it down or tell people about it or something.

Yeah, and you'd also think God would hold off on it until the era of ubiquitous Flip video cameras. Because screw everyone else who came before: atheist skeptics are more important.

It's Come To This

You just gotta have faith!

But others pretend not to understand the point. An advanced degree can do that to you.

How Reasonable Of Him

Cautious admiration:

CARACAS, Venezuela — American filmmaker Oliver Stone said Friday he deeply admires Hugo Chavez but suggested the Venezuelan president might consider talking a bit less on television.

Cold, hard realism and no fear of speaking truth to power!

Saturday, May 29, 2010






Well, You Know. What Are You Gonna Do.

Bad stuff sometimes happens. What's the big deal and stuff?


A lot of righties feel like George W. Bush got an unearned share of the blame for the Katrina mess; Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco largely ignored pre-written evacuation plans and procedures during the critical hours. School buses were left unused. Several hundred cops walked off the job in the middle of the crisis. Yet somehow the lesson became, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” as we were informed during the charity telethon.

The dominant narrative of Katrina made no room for the normal human errors and snafus that mark any response to a giant problem; righties are naturally objecting to the sudden reinstatement of the “Hey, sometimes stuff happens, what can you do?” standard under a Democratic president.

Obama ran as the anti-Bush; he was supposed to be the embodiment of smarts and savvy and a pledge to get government working again. After almost a year and a half on the job, big government is behaving exactly the way it always has — accepting gifts from those they regulate and watching pornography at work, going whitewater rafting with their wives as part of “official business,” attending Democratic fundraisers, etc. Obama is far too focused on expanding the scope of government to spend much time or effort making sure existing government agencies are performing the duties they already have.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tilt Your Head

Waimea Canyon panorama taken last month on Kauai. Humongous pannable horizontal version here. Handheld four frames on a Nikon D90 with Tamron 17-50 2.8 lens.

True Dat

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

--Marcus Aurelius

Cramming The Punk-In-Chief's Words Back Down His Throat

Well done. And Carville sounds genuinely anguished.

Great Headline

"This Wouldn't Be Happening If Obama Were President"

What Exactly Is Being "Owned" Here?

Besides the average citizen, that is. Good piece by Charles Hugh Smith.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

He Said It Because He's A Muslim

Why else?

Well Said

Doctor Zero:

Why are liberals suddenly objecting to the name “ObamaCare,” forcefully enough to compel Jake Tapper to apologize for using the term? As Allahpundit noted, it’s supposed to be the crowning achievement of the Obama presidency – and, indeed, the modern Democrat Party. He should be proud to have it named after him.

The most obvious explanation is that liberals realize the ObamaCare program is deeply unpopular, a situation likely to get worse as more of the program kicks in, splattering more Easter Eggs of unforeseen consequence across the face of an increasingly angry electorate. As the President’s approval ratings plummet, his dwindling band of supporters are understandably nervous about hanging a widely reviled law around his neck… especially since it’s still damp from being shoved down America’s throat.

The sloppy craftsmanship and outrageous over-reach of ObamaCare make it a “magic eye” portrait of an incompetent president and party. As you stare at the countless little fraudulent cost estimates, unplanned side effects, and economy-killing mandates, a 3-D image of an upraised middle finger materializes. This is a deadly narrative for a Democrat Party that claims its handful of legislators and bureaucrats can run our massive economy better than millions of private citizens. Americans are understandably angry at a Democrat Congress which rammed through a trillion-dollar health-care takeover, but can’t produce a coherent annual budget.


Unless the Republicans rise to meet my expectations, and lead a successful repeal effort from 2010 through 2012, ObamaCare will be around for years after the man himself is gone. I say “years” instead of decades, because I don’t think the system infested by ObamaCare has “decades” left before it collapses entirely. One way or the other, ObamaCare will be gone before your kids are finished paying for it.

The Left can hardly afford to have the ghost of a failed President haunting the endless halls of its massive new health-care bureaucracy. They wouldn’t have wanted the Department of Education to be named after Jimmy Carter, either. These gigantic government programs are meant to be eternal fixtures of public life, far more powerful than the Constitution violated by their birth.

The Left dreams of rendering the Second Amendment null and void, if they can amass sufficient political capital. The First Amendment could be hammered into a donut, with inconvenient bloggers and talk radio hosts thrown down the hole at its center. There are sanctuary cities where immigration law can be flouted with impunity. No one will be allowed to evade ObamaCare, except the ruling class it was never meant to inconvenience. As its failures become more evident, its survival may depend on its grandeur. We can’t very well have future generations thinking it was one man’s horrible mistake, which they might be able to correct.

"And They're Not Going To Call Me A Racist"

The leftists' worst nightmare.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where Oh Where Is The Real Jesus?

And the writings that speak of him don't count, because they claim to have knowledge of him. Oh where, oh where can he be?

Mark Shea:

Now, it’s true that we are likely to believe a witness when he says things that are not to the advantage of his case. So when the evangelists include stories and sayings which are awkward for their case that Jesus is the sinless Son of God (such as Jesus’ baptism, or the fact that he doesn’t know things, or the fact that he can’t heal people sometimes, or the fact that he cries out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) that does make the case very strong that the evangelists are honest men.

Only, guys like Gopnik and his audience don’t conclude the evangelists are honest men. Instead, they mysteriously conclude that only these particular passages are honest passages, while the rest of the gospels (written by the same guys who wrote the honest passages)are still completely unreliable works of pious fraud. That’s abnormal. When normal people meet honest people willing to say things damning to their own case, we don’t believe them only about those specific things, we believe them about everything they say. They may be mistaken in their views, but they are not deceptive. When liberal NT critics meet honest men, they believe them only about things their own anti-supernatural prejudices want to believe. When they bear witness to the supernatural (like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection), they find elaborate ways of declaring them liars and fools, by the polysyllabic route of labelling them “mythmakers” or victims of mass hallucination.

How this plays out includes the standard trick of taking various gospel accounts of the same event/saying and pretending that all variations mean the thing never happened, or that it happened but is buried under a thick layer of mythology that makes the original event impossible to discover. What never occurs to liberal biblical scholars is that you could do exactly the same thing with the assassination of JFK and “prove” that JFK never existed and that the “assassination” of the Kennedy Event is a mythic construct cobbled together by later generations. Three shots? Four shots? From a dozen different directions? Kennedy said nothing? Kennedy said, “My God, I’m hit.”? And what about the Eucharistic significance of a supposed Harvard man announcing a year or two earlier “I am a jelly donut” to the crowds in Berlin? Why is there a doublet in the ancient records that announces the assassination of another “Kennedy” named “Robert”? at almost the same period of time. Clearly, we are looking at the convergence of two mythic tales from the Dallas and Los Angeles faith communities which later redactors smoothed into a single narrative.

Nobody believes such rubbish about historical characters from secular history. But when it comes to Bible characters, our leading lights in liberal biblical scholarship talk as though they are 2000 years smarter than the biblical authors and readers all the time...

A Great Question

Mark Shea:

By the way, when you speak of Galileo "et al", who is the "et al"?

Go Long, Go Deep, Go Broke.

A great Charles Hugh Smith post. The guy is sort of a libertarian who writes like a Marxist.

Monday, May 24, 2010

They'll Keep Voting For It Until They're Badly Burned

But they're starting to catch on.


It’s starting to happen all over the Western world, as inevitably as taxes and death (yes, I reversed the order for a reason). And the young who voted for Obama—or his equivalents in Europe—are beginning to realize they’re the ones left holding the (empty) bag:

In Athens, Aris Iordanidis, 25, an economics graduate working in a bookstore, resents paying high taxes to finance Greece’s bloated state sector and its employees. “They sit there for years drinking coffee and chatting on the telephone and then retire at 50 with nice fat pensions,” he said. “As for us, the way things are going we’ll have to work until we’re 70.”

The math doesn’t lie:

According to the European Commission, by 2050 the percentage of Europeans older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in the European Union will drop to 1.3 to 1.

It’s everywhere in Europe, the weaker economies having piggy-banked on the stronger and created an even greater mess. And don’t think we’re immune, either; although so far we’ve been less of a welfare state than the nations of Western Europe, Obama and the Democrats are working overtime to remedy that oversight before America catches on to the unraveling of Europe and prevents its own.

But don’t blame the leaders alone. The sad fact is that such policies were only able to be implemented because people like them. In the short run they lead to popularity, re-election, and the good life—until the bills come due. And by then the populace has become accustomed to (and demanding of) a level of benefits, leisure, and protection from the vicissitudes of life that our forefathers would have considered an unrealizable dream.

If so, that’s because ultimately it is an unrealizable dream. Now that people are catching on, they’re hopping mad. Several generations raised with expectations of cradle to grave security find it hard to accept the idea that it was all a sort of Ponzi scheme, and that they’re on the payer side of the pyramid.

But where there is realization, there might be opportunity:

In Athens, Mr. Iordanidis, the graduate who makes 800 euros a month in a bookstore, said he saw one possible upside. “It could be a chance to overhaul the whole rancid system,” he said, “and create a state that actually works.”

It could be a chance—but to succeed, politicians will have to tell some harsh truths, and people will have to accept them. So far, except for a few pockets of beginning sanity (such as, strangely enough, New Jersey) there’s been a lot of resistance and denial...

What He Said


The only measure for education that I can justify passing is one that outlaws all union representation for educators and supplies every parent with a voucher for the per-pupil state and federal spending for said child that can be cashed at an educational institution of the parent's choosing or, if they should so choose, pocketed if they homeschool and their child passes the standardized testing that the school system determines as "appropriate."

(Incidentally, that "must pass to get the voucher" requirement should apply to the formal schools too. If the kid can't pass the tests the school can't cash the voucher. Put some economic teeth into the success or failure of the educational process and I bet we get more instruction and fewer Wiis.)

Thanks Again, Federal Reserve

Charles Hugh Smith examines "How the Fed Pushed the Nation's Pension Plans--and Local Government--into Insolvency".

Also, it occurred to me last week that the Fed's zero interest rate policy amounts to this for savers: 100% taxation on all interest income, with the proceeds handed over to insolvent bankers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amusing Tautological Headline

"New financial rules might not prevent next crisis"

This is guaranteed. The very existence of the next crisis means that it won't have been prevented, by definition. Unless we never have another crisis of any kind ever again, then nothing whatsoever can prevent the occurrence of the next one, whatever it happens to be. "Next crisis" carries with it the inseparable property of not having been prevented. Preventing a particular kind of crisis is worth doing, but preventing the "next crisis" is an ontological impossibility.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

When The Press Refuses To Do Its Job, Independents Opt For Safety

Interesting thesis:

So where has the Clinton formula gone wrong? It is not that the doctrinaire Democrat base is insufficiently jubilant over the health-care victory. It is because of the independents. The independents have suddenly arisen like the zombies in a horror movie and are throwing their votes to Republicans in unprecedented quantities. You see 70 to 30 leads for Republicans among independents in states like Massachusetts, an eventuality no political consultant could possibly have anticipated.

I think the answer is that the press overplayed its hand. It has thoroughly abdicated its role in questioning government when Democrats are in office. The same press crew that challenged Bush on the economy when there was 4.6% unemployment now reports as wonderful the fact that unemployment when up from 9.7 to 9.9 in April. This proves more people are optimistic enough about the future to re-enter the job market! Imagine if we hit 11 or 12, we will have to send a ticker-tape parade down Wall Street.

This tells the independent voter there is no longer a contest between Democrat and Republican. There is a contest between charismatic leaders surrounded by naïve sycophants versus practical leaders surrounded by skeptical interrogators. The independent has to vote Republican not because he buys the ideology but merely because he thinks it healthy to have a guy who is challenged rather than venerated.


We have gotten to that point with the Presidency. It is no longer one job. There are two distinct jobs of Democrat President and Republican President. One walks into the press room to meet the lemmings while the other must face the jackals.

Germany Rising

The period of walk-all-over-Germany kumbaya is ending. VDH has a thought-provoking reflection.


In short, what will happen with Germany when it is lectured by the French, insulted by its debtor dependencies in southern Europe, and starting to become angry that only its own work ethic and productivity — not some grandiose platitudes about the EU — keep Europe going?

The Unthinkable?

Very soon German workers are going to grasp that all the financial reserves they piled away the last two decades from not doing what a Spain or Italy did are essentially gone. Someone in Munich worked 40 hours a week until age 67 for someone in Athens not to — and for someone in Athens to demand that someone in Munich do so or else. The idea that nations like Greece, both overtly and implicitly, insult nations like Germany has no basis in historical terms...

Dismantle The SEIU, And Then Salt The Ground.

Cartago delenda est.

It's Easy, Kids!

This is great:

H/T Rick.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Dangerous Game

Drink a beer every time someone with no real argument mentions "The Dover Trial". Honestly, it astounds me that these paragons of Science! aren't absolutely embarrassed to be hiding behind the robes of judges. If the trial had gone the other way, we would have been endlessly lectured about how Science! is not to be judged in courtrooms.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Good Rebuttal


Learning, expanding our consciousness, singly and universally.

As far as I can see, the three main intolerant religions in the world aren't helping in that mission.

Adam doesn't name the three religions he has in mind. If he had actually said Judaism, Christianity and Islam, I would have had a lot to say about this statement, but since he is obscure and I do not want to risk putting words in his mouth, I will only assume that one of the three is Christianity (which I am certain is the case, given Adam's intellectual roots). First, what makes him think that this mission of learning and expanding consciousness is good? He has just affirmed that a man is nothing more than a flimsy bag of biochemistry, an accidental byproduct of the interaction of solar radiation with the various chemicals on the surface of a random planet, at best possessing for a brain a biological computer that evolved to make him more successful at evading predators and impregnating females, where any potential for abstract reasoning or joy is just happenstance and is irrelevant to the underlying processes. Given this, how can you possibly argue that (1) expanded consciousness has any value, (2) life itself has any value (3) random social processes (such as religions) can be judged as less or more "good"? Adam started out to answer questions along these lines, and at the end, he just assumes the truth of his thesis.

For all their talk of charity and knowledge, that they close their eyes to so much—to science, to birth control education, to abuses of power by some of their leaders, to evolution as provable and therefore factual (the list is staggering)—illustrates a wide scope of bigotry.

Ah. I'm a bigot. Well, we've rather quickly descended from fatherly, well-meant condescension to name-calling, haven't we? Notice that I am the bigot even though it is Adam who just assumes that I don't have any reasons for my position other than that I "close my eyes". Has he ever bothered to actually try to find out why intelligent Christians believe what they do? I am reasonably certain that I, as a man of intellectual tendencies, having grown up in a society where my teachers and professors, my news media, my favorite SciFi authors, the writers of the majority of my science, mathematics, and philosophy books, and the majority of my most highly-educated friends all think I have a silly and archaic faith, that I with that background have done considerably more introspection and thinking on these matters than most of the too-smart-to-be-religious people have. When one of these people, many of whom have never met a serious intellectual challenge to their own beliefs tells me that I "close my eyes", I take exception.

As to the "abuses of power by some of their leaders", I have no idea what Adam means by this. Christian leaders outside of the Catholic church have little power and the only arguable "abuse of power" I can think of involving the Catholic church is the cover ups when homosexual priests seduced teenage boys (and once Catholics found out about that one they certainly did not ignore it), but I should not have to defend Christians against vague accusations like this. I could just as easily make vague accusations against atheists by veiled references to the excesses of Communist mass murders, terrorism, suppression of science and other things. Adam is not offering an argument here, he is bonding with his fellow too-smart-to-be-religious-ers. They will all bring to mind their own pet peeves and all nod sagely as if they were thinking of the same offenses.

Now, just to be clear. If you want to believe, or find solace in believing, that someone or something set these particular dominoes in motion—a cosmic finger tipping the balance and then leaving everything else to chance—I can't say anything to that. I don't know.

And yet he does say something to that, almost as if he thinks he does know...

Though a primary mover is the most complex and thus (given Occam's razor) the least likely of all possible solutions to the particular problem of how we got here, I can't prove it true or false, and there's nothing to really discuss about it.

The primary mover is also the only solution that is actually a solution. Every naturalist solution ever offered, when you press it far enough, eventually comes down to, "that's just what happens". This is not a solution in the normal meaning of the word.

If Daniel Dennett is right— that there's a human genetic need for religion— then I'd like to imagine that my atheism is proof of evolutionary biology in action.

This is a common conceit of the too-smart-for-relgions people, but it doesn't make much sense. Evolution is random mutation with selection by survival and reproduction. If atheism is a "proof of evolutionary biology in action" then it is a proof that atheism is not a survival trait because it is not a growing characteristic of the population. In fact it seems to have be declining. But even if it were a survival trait, that would not make it true.

At the end of The Eagle's Gift, Don Juan reveals to his student that there's no point to existence. That we're given our brief 70-100 years of consciousness by something the mystics call "The Eagle," named for it's cold, killer demeanor. And when we die, the eagle gobbles our consciousness right back up again.

He explains that the mystics, to give thanks to the eagle for the brief bout of consciousness they're granted, attempt to widen their consciousness as much as possible. This provides a particularly delicious meal for the eagle when it gobbles one up at the end of one's life.

And that, to me, is a fine mission.

Adam fantasizes that we are created by some cold, killer supernatural being and raised like poultry to sate its malignant appetites. Adam is happy to cooperate and make himself a nice tidbit for this creature and to have no other purpose in life. This hideous specter is the best that Adam Savage can come up with as a reason to live. His religious instinct is at war with his beliefs. He yearns for a greater meaning, for a purpose validated by a greatness that is beyond himself, and so he sees beauty in the ghastly nightmare of being consumed by a malicious god. Being consumed, contributing to the cycle of life --that is a noble end for an animal, but not for a man. A man is too great a thing --in potential-- to be simply a bit of spiritual protein in some grand cosmic ecosystem. God created us to know this instinctively, but when we reject the possibility that there could be a Creator who cares personally about us as individuals, then we are reduced to such pathetic fantasies as this --to end up a tidbit in the maw of some uncaring, unloving, alien thing, with no greater goal to our brief existence than to provide a really satisfying cosmic belch after the final repast. How evil. How banal.

John C. Wright

In a comment thread to one of his own posts:

The sad thing is that what Christians actually believe is so much more fantastic and wonderful and outrageous than anything a human could make up, I myself no longer believe humans made it up. You see, we DO believe that there is something more powerful than the Infinity Machine, brighter than the Most Holy Grail, and that is can heal the sick and raise the dead, and it is not buried in the Vatican but shouted from the rooftops and spread to the shining hearts of believers from China to Africa and from time to time is even seen in the gloom of Christian nations -- and that is the spirit of Christ, who is indeed the life and the Resurrection. We don't need no stinkin' zombies! We plan to raise everyone on the last day, the faithful to their reward, and, unfortunately, those who indulged in infidelity to theirs.

This is one reason why I don't understand my Neopagan friends. (I know a lot of witches.) If you are not going to be a stalwart atheist, living in a coffin the size of a universe, surrounding my a meaningless and unloving world and going into the darkness of death (which, to the atheist, is utter dissolution) why settle for merely being a witch? What do you get, a few blessings, maybe a ritual or two to cure a sick grandma? And I suppose you can look forward to reincarnation of metempsychosis -- assuming you believe even in that.

If you are not an atheist, and so you are going to believe in magic anyway, why not go for the gold? Why not dream big? Christians can cast out demons, heal the sick, help the poor, reform the sinner, free the prisoner and raise the dead! We are not afraid because of ghosts we can order them back into their graves. What can a witch and her hallucinogenic mushrooms do that compares with that? U mean, I get the idea of scoffing at ghosts, sure. But if you are going to believe in them anyway, if you've already taken the plunge and left the natural world behind to swim the seas of supernature -- why be a mere servant to the ghosts? Why be a slave to your little creepy Gods like Hecate and Odin, rather than being the sons and daughters of our God, who is brighter than Apollo and more jovial than Jove?

You get to sleep around, I guess, because the pagans want to jettison Christian sexual norms, but then again, why not be an Anglican?


Some personal testimony eloquently offered by Vox Day on his blog.

The Coffin Is Empty

The obvious defended, with atheism-induced incomprehension from the usual suspects.

Viva Arizona!

Good Jay Tea post:

There's been a lot of talk about Arizona's threatening to retaliate against Los Angeles' "boycott" of their state by cutting off their power. LA gets about 25% of its electricity from AZ, and if that were to be suddenly terminated, the City Of Angels would be in a world of trouble.

Only thing is, no such threat was made.

In Arizona, one single public official on the state's utility board sent a very politely worded letter of inquiry to the city government inquiring if their boycott would include Arizonan electricity, and kindly offering to assist them should they decide it does. No threats, no attempts at coercion, no imprecations, just an innocuous inquiry.

That, friends, is how a "threat" is best delivered.

The real threats came first from Los Angeles -- "change your laws or we won't buy your goods and services." That, however, wasn't described as a "threat," but a form of protest and social action designed to correct a perceived wrong.

The Arizonan response was classic. The best term to describe it as "calling their bluff."

What's going on in the Southwest is something we've all seen before, being played out on a macro scale.

"If you didn't have that badge on, I'd kick your ass."

"Fine, here goes the badge."


"If you didn't have your friends here to protect you, I'd kick your ass."

"Friends, would you mind standing back and staying out of things?"


"If you didn't have that gun, I'd kick your ass."

"Bob, would you hold this for me for a few minutes?"


But back to the Los Angeles case. The city's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, responded to the Arizonan's gentle inquiry with tremendous indignation, saying that he would not respond to threats. Apparently "change your laws or we'll do no more business with you" is perfectly acceptable, but "could you please clarify precisely what your threat does and does not cover, and may we help you carry it out?" is hate speech and terrorism and makes kittens cry.

Arizona's message seems pretty clear: we're tired of getting screwed over by illegal aliens, and we're fed up with the federal government not only refusing to do its duty, but forbidding anyone else from doing a damned thing. They're going to give this a try, and they will not be bullied or threatened by anyone or anything.

They're not looking for a fight, but they're not going to run from one, either.

Viva Arizona!

If We Don't Fire These Guys In November, We'll Get Everything We Deserve

They give a foreign leader a standing ovation as he trashes our country. Said foreign leader goes on to illustrate that he was probably merely reading the boilerplate that was put on his teleprompter, as he shows no recognition of certain ironies during an unusually pertinent questioning by Wolf Blitzer. Rush Limbaugh was on a real roll covering these things this morning. Ace of Spades has the audio.

Better Put Some Ice On That




Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where's The Report Card?

Anyone possessing genuine high intelligence should not have much trouble perceiving the lack of same in O.

Here's an example.

It's Not An Outrage When We Do It

Good point:


Here’s something new:

A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious — abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions.

What’s new isn’t the program, but the perfectly straight coverage from an outlet like MSNBC. When a similar program, TIPS, was proposed right after the 9/11 attacks, it was the second coming of Stasi, and was opposed by a left-right coalition of civil libertarians. Here’s how it was covered in 2002:

Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to assure dubious Senate Democrats yesterday that a new citizens watchdog program isn’t a Big Brother snooping operation.The attorney general said TIPS is aimed at reporting suspicious activity in public areas and isn’t targeted at people’s homes – a central complaint of libertarians who say the plan encourages neighbors to spy on one another.

TIPS was unveiled in President Bush’s State of the Union speech but has generated little enthusiasm. One of its primary recruiting targets – the Postal Service – has said it won’t encourage mail carriers to participate.

The plan has united liberals and conservatives in opposition. The American Civil Liberties Union contends TIPS would turn many workers into “government-sanctioned Peeping Toms.”

Of course, that was then, and this is now. Apparently we only need a left-right coalition that raises privacy objections to government policies under Republican administrations.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Question That Shouldn't Need Answering

But for the benefit of half-educated statist nitwits:

A Salon writer wonders, "What's the conservative fetish with the Founding Fathers?"

It's because we read history, my sadly ignorant friend. So did the Founders.

History is full of Obamas, and the people who idolized such power-hungry self-glorifying narcissists. The Founders understood human history in their very bones, because they read history from the Bible to the Roman Empire, Europe's bloody and tyrannical history, and the Americas. If you want to understand Obama, just look at any idolized hero in Latin America: Chavez, Fidel, Bolivar, Juan Peron. Look at European monarchs. Look at Napoleon.

They are all the famous Man on Horseback, the hero of the hour who instantly turns into a tyrant. Even today Latin America is bedeviled by its own Obamas, who all demand to be idolized and worshipped. Obamas are a dime a dozen.

The Founders knew about abuse of power by arrogant and ignorant narcissists, over and over again in human history. They read it in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. They read it in the Book of Kings, where you can find out all about Saddam Hussein, because the politics of the Middle East hasn't changed much. They saw it in the Middle East of their day, which was full of clan tyrannies and immense cruelty. Arab slavers were still raiding Britain when the Founders proclaimed the Declaration of Independence.

They read it in Plutarch's Lives of the Ceasars. They read it in the history of Athens, torn between bloody factions, and constantly raising new Obamas to power.

You see, all you Salonistas, the Founders were profoundly educated people. They were passionate believers in the Enlightenment. They understood the role of free speech, free thought, free political debate, and free trade. They saw the benefits of freedom in their own lives.


The Founders understood that liberty had to come in stages. Only tyrants claim to create instant paradise. Practical statesmen work step by step. They created the intellectual and legal framework for the liberation of the slaves. When Abraham Lincoln came along, Americans were willing to fight a terrible war to free the slaves, even if more than half a million people had to die. Read the lyrics of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and you can see the real campaign for human liberty, not the fantasy version liberals entertain today. Liberty is bought very dearly, in blood and suffering. (And it was Christian Abolitionists who created the campaign to liberate the slaves.)


Read your history, my friends. Real history, not the Leftist propaganda version.


Read a little history, my poor friend, and you will see Obamas everywhere you look. Lenin was an Obama (and the Obama campaign deliberately used Lenin imagery for its propaganda). Stalin was an Obama. Mussolini was an Obama. Napoleon was an Obama. Putin is an Obama. Ahmadinejad is an Obama. Saddam was an Obama.

America never had a rock star president until the Obama campaign. George Washington made very sure no one would suspect him of being an Obama. Lincoln never claimed to be an Obama. None of our presidents have paraded themselves as Obamas -- not until Obama came along and brought the psychology of self-glorifying narcissism to these shores. And the Left snapped to and saluted Obama, worshiped at his feet of clay in that ancient and corrupt way that humans have known for millenia.

Are rock stars your idea of an American president? If so, please go back to school and read a little history.


Conservatives love the Founders because we read history. We know that you don't read history. Obama doesn't know history.

That's why you liberals scare us.

There Are Those Who Are So Abysmally Philosophically Obtuse As To Think That A Creative Act Will Disprove Creation

Why they're wrong:

Thus linguist Steven Pinker in his Templeton essay remarks that, "traditionally, a belief in God was attractive because it promised to explain the deepest puzzles about origins." The progress of science, Pinker says, follows an "inexorable trend" by which "the deeper we probe these questions, and the more we learn about the world in which we live, the less reason there is to believe in God." The test-tube amoeba, when it crawls out of the glass, will be shaking its pseudopodia in irate refutation of outworn deity.

The anti-God argument that rides on the biosynthesis dream has four parts:

(1) A persistent basis of clinging religiosity has been the claim of believers that science can neither explain nor demonstrate "abiogenesis," or the spontaneous self-organization of living from non-living matter.

(2) This perceived deficiency of science leaves to the theistic tenet of biogenesis by divine fiat a certain lingering appeal, which impedes the progress of science in converting all of humanity to its light.

(3) Believers (the argument here ruefully admits) can point to the unachieved laboratory duplication of "abiogenesis" to strengthen the fideistic assertion that life could only have arisen through the intervention of a rational agent-creator, external to the physical world, who acted by a transparent intention.

(4) When, as inevitably they shall, scientists accomplish the feat of laboratory biosynthesis, their accomplishment will irreversibly deflate the agent-creator dogma about the origin of life and will diminish religion generally, helping to evangelize the naturalistic hypothesis.

As I stated at the beginning, however, far from having pulled off a publicity-coup for the purely naturalistic view of existence, the technicians who conjure forth a synthetic creepy-crawly will, in fact, have handed their fideistic opponents in the science-religion debate a powerful logical-rhetorical gift. How so?

Until that moment, when biosynthesis succeeds, no one will ever before have witnessed the emergence of life from non-life. From that moment forward, one will be able to say without fear of contradiction that on the one occasion so far when anyone has actually witnessed the emergence of life from non-life, the event happened, not through spontaneous processes that organized themselves without external intervention -- but rather life will have emerged from non-life only through external intervention. Moreover, this external intervention will have been entirely agential, taking the form of rational beings that implemented a carefully prepared program, at every step of which they acted according to a transparent intention.

Biosynthesis will therefore entirely support the enduring intuition of the faithful that life, when it first arose, did so not through spontaneous processes that organized themselves without external intervention, but rather through agential intervention by a rational being, external to the physical world, who acted by a transparent intention.

People of faith on that occasion will be able heartily to congratulate their scientific fellowmen for the Titanic -- the veritably Promethean -- audacity of their achievement. They will be able to look forward eagerly to further demonstrations by science that, as the old story affirms, God made man in his own image.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Public Sector Is For Those Who'd Be Fired Anywhere Else


THIS IS THE QUALITY OF ANALYSIS I EXPECTED FROM HIM: Holder admits: No, I haven’t read the Arizona law I’ve been dumping on. “Here’s the money question, prompted not just by Holder’s ignorance but the fact that Hillary criticized the statute without having read it either: Are they deliberately not reading it so that they have an excuse to walk back their criticisms later if this gets too hot politically?”

UPDATE: “The Most Transparently Irresponsible Administration in American History.” “How could the Attorney General of the United States malign a state law as raising profound constitutional questions, imply that the lawmakers who drafted it are racists, and direct a Justice Department review of the law without having read the law?”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Alexander writes: “Why does this surprise anyone? After all, this administration doesn’t seem interested in reading the laws they write and pass themselves, so why should they be expected to take the time to read someone else’s?”

Astrology, Exponentiated

Astrologists believe that our fates and actions are governed by the position and movement of stars and planets.

Militant atheists believe that our fates and actions are governed by the position and movement of atoms.

Not much of an improvement, I'd say.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Black Is White, Cats Are Dogs

Some great John Stewart here.

A Tin Ear

No doubt this will catch on. Interestingly his fan boys in the comments seem to be against him on this one.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How Dare You Be More Confident Of Yourself Than In Statist Drones?

The Other McCain:

Lilla cites an interesting example of what he means:

A million and a half students in the United States are now being taught by their parents at home, nearly double the number a decade ago, and representing about fifteen students for every public school in the country.11 There is nothing remarkable about wanting to escape unsafe schools and incompetent teachers, or to make sure your children are raised within your religious tradition. What’s remarkable is American parents’ confidence that they can do better themselves.

Remarkable, perhaps, but not mistaken. What almost every beginning home-schooling parent quickly discovers — by accident — is how much that goes on in the modern public education system is simply wasted time. Mom at the kitchen table can generally accomplish more with three hours of direct instruction as a public elementary school does in an entire day.

What few critics (or even advocates) of home-schooling fail to grasp is the extent to which its popularity reflects the democratization of education. More Americans are college-educated than ever before. Why should a mother with an Ivy League MBA suppose that she is less capable of teaching her children arithmetic than a state-school graduate with a BS Ed.? (As a proud alumnus of Jacksonville State University, I don’t intend this as a put-down of state-school graduates.)

Studies indicate that home-schooling parents generally have higher-than-average levels of education, and might therefore presumably are qualified to judge the adequacy of the education provided by public schools. If these parents reject the public system as inferior to what they can provide their own children at home, why should Lilla presume them incompetent to make that decision?


[Y]ou sense the source of liberal Lilla’s frustration. What was the point of the Left’s “long march through the institutions” if, having captured those institutions, they can’t use them to tell everybody else what to do?

And more on Lilla's piece here:

Left Wing Media Continues Struggle to Define the Tea Party Movement


It’s like watching a 3 year old struggle with a jigsaw puzzle for AGES 14 AND UP.

The 3 year old thinks he’s grown up enough to do the puzzle, but after hours of frustration, throws the box of pieces at the wall in anger and screams “RACISTS!”


Saturday, May 08, 2010

The MFM And The 15-20% Undeserved Skew

A lengthy but interesting Ace of Spades post re: the demise of Newsweek.

Friday, May 07, 2010

I Guess They Shouldn't Have Let The Chimp Out Of The Hospital

Seen at Yahoo:

Parents Assumed To Be Left-Wing Idiots

Quite the little warning label.

Is Our Citizens Learning?

I think they are, but still (from the comments):

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president. -- Author Unknown

I Got The Pride In My Ride

Gangstas are mere posers compared to these motherfathers.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Powerline via Instapundit:

UPDATE: Expropriate The Expropriators! “In Marxist theory, the Communist Party represented the interests of productive workers, the value of whose labor is expropriated by others. That was wrong, but at least it had a certain coherence. Greek Communists (and more generally, 21st century socialists) stand for something quite different: the ‘right’ to be supported by the labor of others (in the Greek case, Germans); the ‘right’ to be a sponge, forever; the ‘right’ to be an exploiter. It would be hard to think of a less attractive political program.” And yet it is generally regarded by “right-thinking” people as respectable. . . .

Spelled Out Nicely

Tom Gilson politely explains why the anti-ID Thomists (who, let's face it, haven't accomplished thing one to discomfit the atheists in the last 15 years) need to simmer down.

A Good Start

Of course to really equalize things unionized city workers should be made to contribute to the 401k's of taxpayers, with payments to stop upon dissolution of the union.


Chimpy McHalliburton's Latest Crime

The press is going to destroy him for this:

Turns out Barack Obama has gotten more money from British Petroleum than any other American politician. Not just that, but BP spent $15.9 million lobbying the Democrats and Obama last year.

The result of all that money to Obama? The Obama Administration exempted British Petroleum from an environmental drilling study.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Use Of The Phrase "So Irreducibly Complex" Simply Indicates You Have No Idea What You Are Critiquing

And Ruse used the phrase:

Not a good start. And I’m afraid it doesn’t get better. Here’s another excerpt:

In the ID case, whatever its supporters may say publicly for political purposes – in the USA thanks to the First Amendment you cannot teach religion in state-funded schools – the intention is to bring God into the causal process. ID claims that there are some phenomena (like the bacterial flagellum and the blood-clotting cascade) are so “irreducibly complex,” that to explain them we must invoke an “intelligent designer.” As they admit among themselves – the philosopher-mathematician William Dembski is quite clear on this – the designer is none other than our old friend the God of Christianity.

(1) “Bring God into the causal process”?? The notion makes absolutely no sense. According to religious believers, no causal process could exist without God in the first place. God sustains the universe in being; it would not exist, even for a second, without Him.

(2) Irreducibly complexity doesn’t come in degrees; either a system is irreducibly complex or it isn’t. Professor Ruse’s phrase “so irreducibly complex” (emphasis mine) betrays a misunderstanding of this point.

(3) Professor Dembski’s views on the identity of the intelligent designer form no part of Intelligent Design theory, as contained in ID textbooks. Intelligent Design as such is a scientific project.

(4) Professor Dembski’s religious views and motives are no more germane to the scientific merits of Intelligent Design theory than the atheistic views and motives of most neo-Darwinists are of relevance to the scientific merits of neo-Darwinism.

Professor Ruse opens his third paragraph with the following jaw-dropper:

The trouble for the Fuller analogy is that science simply does not allow God as a causal factor.

Now, if Professor Ruse had claimed that science does not explicitly invoke God as a causal factor, he would have been on strong argumentative ground. But to say that science does not allow God as a causal factor is patently absurd. Or does Ruse really think that scientists can legislate God out of existence?

Muslims Fear Backlash Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing

Title of post is from a Mark Steyn quip.

Motives can be so murky:


It is fascinating to see how the authorities and the major media outlets avoid the words “Islam” and “Muslim” in connection to the failed Times Square bombing. In both this piece in Time and in this piece in the New York Times the word “Islam” is only used in the name of the city of Islamabad in Pakistan.

The Times uses the word “Muslim” once: “At his news conference, Mr. Bloomberg warned against any backlash against Pakistanis or Muslims in New York, saying, ‘We will not tolerate any bias.’”

The authorities — Holder, Napolitano, New York Police Commissioner Kelly — also avoided the words Islam and Muslim at their press conference. They spoke about “terrorism” but didn’t define the term.

So what kind of terrorist is Faisal Shahzad if he cannot be called a Muslim or an Islamic terrorist?

Surely there must be some way to connect him to those damn Teabaggers!

Special Goggles Make Everything Look The Same

Details here.

And on the same theme, from Hugh Hewitt:

Here's a paragraph from an AP story that should be on the front wall in the museum of media bias:

Turnout was exceptionally light in Indiana, Ohio and North Carolina, a possible indication that the anger fueling voters across the country over economic woes and persistently high unemployment wasn't translating into votes — and, perhaps, the limited influence of the conservatives and libertarians who make up the fledgling tea party coalition.

This is an MSM interpretation of MSM spin.

Turnout was light because the key GOP races in all states featured only conservatives. There was no example of a Rubio-Crist race or a ballot measure that would tap into the deep voter anger with Democrats. Dan Coast is a fine conservative, and the Tea Party movement is full to the brim with traditional conservative voters who are simply expressing their politics in activism for the first time.

Note as well the writers' transparent attempt to define voter anger as a result of unemployment and economic woes as opposed to Obamacare, the vast expansion of the federal government, the soaring deficit, the failed stimulus, the takeover of GM, the pledges to close Gitmo and try KSM in Manhattan etc. Is it journalistic malpractice or just a bias so deeply rooted that "reporters" Liz Sidoti and Deanna Martin have no idea how risible their writing appears to anyone with a passing knowledge of conservative politics generally or the Tea Party movement specifically.

What is roiling the country is a massive rejection of the president's agenda and his allies in Congress. When the opportunity to express that opinion with a vote comes around, you won't have to worry about turnout.

The Protestors Really Are Advocating Violence If The Government Does Not Change Its Ways