Sunday, January 30, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
"To Bemoan The Dearth Of Grass-Roots Activism In America Without Even Acknowledging The Tea Party’s Existence Suggests A Detachment From Reality Bordering On The Clinical"
Taranto as quoted by Reynolds:
JAMES TARANTO: The Politics of Bloodlust: Barbara Ehrenreich, Hendrik Hertzberg and the left’s disturbing preoccupation with violence. “America’s liberal left is preoccupied with salacious fantasies of political violence. These take two forms: dreams of leftist insurrection, and nightmares of reactionary bloodshed. The ‘mainstream’ media ignore or suppress the former type of fantasy and treat the latter as if it reflected reality. This produces a distorted narrative that further feeds the left’s fantasies and disserves those who expect the media to provide truthful information.”
Of course, nowadays that last group is known as “suckers.” Taranto continues:
But wait. How has it escaped Ehrenreich’s notice that the past two years have seen the greatest flowering of grass-roots democracy in America since the civil rights movement? We refer, of course, to the Tea Party movement. To be sure, you won’t see any Molotov cocktails at a Tea Party gathering. You may see some guns–a normal part of life in most of America–but they will be borne lawfully and not used violently.It’s never too late for one more shot at blood libel, I guess. Read the whole thing. And remember: One could ask Joe McCarthy “Have you no decency?” With Piven, Hertzberg, Ehrenreich, et al., there’s no need to ask.
Since the Tea Party advocates individualism and not socialism, we may assume that Ehrenreich strongly disapproves of it (as does her pal Piven). But to bemoan the dearth of grass-roots activism in America without even acknowledging the Tea Party’s existence suggests a detachment from reality bordering on the clinical.
Even odder, many on the left have advanced a false narrative in which the Tea Party is violent. The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg did so in a column last week, in which he was still trying to justify the media’s falsely blaming the right for the attempted murder of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. . . . Hertzberg is saying no more than that liberal journalists like himself are justified in perpetuating the myth of conservative violence because they promulgated it in the first place.
Perhaps he is right that it is not the product of opportunism but rather of sincerely held prejudice. But would it be a defense of, say, Theodore Bilbo or Joseph McCarthy to say that they sincerely believed the prejudices and falsehoods they espoused? What’s more, Bilbo and McCarthy were politicians. Why is it so hard for journalists to remember that their job is to tell the truth?
THE AMERICAN NOMENKLATURA: “Increasingly our nation is divided, not between Rs and Ds, but between TIs and TBs: tribute imposers and tribute bearers. The imposers are gigantic banks, agri-businesses, higher education Colossae, government employees, NGO and QUANGO employees and the myriad others whose living is made chiefly by extracting wealth from other people. The bearers are the rest of us.”
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Chris Christie is absolutely magnificent in this video. Don't miss this one.
Listening to him makes you realize that almost every single other elected official in the entire country is missing either common sense, or the balls to employ it.
Listening to him makes you realize that almost every single other elected official in the entire country is missing either common sense, or the balls to employ it.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Or so says Richard Dawkins.
There's a big difference.
The full text of one of the comments quoted by Instapundit is:
RICHARD DAWKINS ON THAT KENTUCKY RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION CASE. All I can say is, Dawkins’ views on what the law should be bear little or no resemblance to what the law actually is. Interesting to see the BoingBoing commenters pushing back. I like this one: “I can’t help but think of the equally-religious beliefs held by adherents of particular operating systems, text editors, and programming languages.”Dawkins is not devoted to reason above all. He's devoted to atheism above all.
And this: “Oh, just come out and say it, you want to discriminate against a certain class of people even though there is no real objective logical reason to do so. You get an ick factor. Which is eminently stupid.”
And as far as I can tell, Dawkins is going out of his way to suggest — without quite saying — that a man who writes about the Big Bang as possibly divinely inspired is nonetheless some sort of Young Earth Creationist. But here’s what Gaskell says in the very passage truncated by Dawkins: “I have a lot of respect for people who hold this view because they are strongly committed to the Bible, but I don’t believe it is the interpretation the Bible requires of itself, and it certainly clashes head-on with science.”
Dawkins seems to have completely misrepresented Gaskell to buttress his argument. Really, one would expect better from someone devoted to reason above all.
There's a big difference.
The full text of one of the comments quoted by Instapundit is:
Oh, just come out and say it, you want to discriminate against a certain class of people even though there is no real objective logical reason to do so. You get an ick factor. Which is eminently stupid. Competence is by definition the ability to get the job done in a satisfactory or better than satisfactory manner. If the person is competent, but somehow throws you off personally because of cultural predilections, that's frankly a problem and a weakness of your comfort level. Imagine a world where you could hire and fire based on that. I would certainly like to see what you'd have to say when someone refuses to hire an Atheist, because "it tells you something about him."
Great Charles Hugh Smith piece (actually from a guest writer).
Here's a taste:
Here's a taste:
Reading Charles Hugh Smith’s “Cry in the Wilderness” for Individual Solutions ( As Public Policy Fixes Are Impossible, Focus on Individual Solutions) to our present crisis, I’m struck by the Kubler-Ross model. You know the one:
She doesn’t say how long each stage takes, but in a body the size of a nation, it must take a very long time indeed.
Is there anybody out there who doesn’t know the financial system is broken? That home prices need to fall at least 30%--if not 50%--more? That Social Security is already in deficit? That they won’t be retiring in the manner in which they’ve desired?
And the solutions, Oh, the solutions!
4.More lying, cheating, and stealing
5.More government orders
More of everything we’ve done that got us here. Is there anyone who doesn’t know you can’t solve a debt-and-spending problem with debt-and-spending?
So why is it still going on?
This is the wonder of Denial, of lying to ourselves, or in the American parlance, of Bull----. Bull---- is different from lying in that it isn’t technically untrue, but it’s effectively untrue. Second requirement is that it’s invariably selling something, getting you to do something for the bull------- —power or money. Third is that everyone knows that it’s bull----. They know it’s a lie, but they’re willing to be complicit in the lie anyway, for their own reasons. Like all Cons, Bull---- can never work without the complicit help of the so-called “victim.”
The only reason all these things can still go on is Denial.
I was at a Tea Party meeting (I know, I’ve already admitted it) where one of the participants asked, “Are you willing to give up Social Security?”
“What?” I asked stupidly.
“If you cut these taxes and reduce government, it’ll end Social Security. I want to know who here is willing to have their own check cut.”
I stared, staggered at the obviousness of this simple statement.
“Sir,” I stuttered, “It’s already gone. There IS no Social Security. You’d be lucky to get checks for even two more years.”
My words did not compute so I let it slide, turning to other subjects.
The unsustainable nature of the numbers surrounding Social Security and Medicaid have been obvious since the Baby Boom generation was done being born in 1966. The scam was fully apparent by at least the (non)re-structuring of withholdings with the Greenspan-Boskin Commission in 1983—and at least by 1984, as even the increased revenues were spent, with nothing saved.
It would be self-evident that it wouldn’t matter in any case, since an entire nation cannot buy special pixie dust through its whole life without driving the price up—not Stocks, not Bonds, not even gold—and then sell it through their whole retirement without driving the price of that asset back down to zero again. That is, you can’t all put $10 into a hat, and have everyone pull $20 back out. That’s what Social Security, 401k privatization, the Stock Market, Investors, all propose to do.
Since 1983, there have been commissions every few years, headlines in every major newspaper, including most recently G.W. Bush’s front-page quote,
“There Is No Trust Fund.”
I mean, exactly what kind of warning were you looking for? Do they have to come to your house and shake you by the ankles?
Moving into the new decade, we find ourselves with a $1,600,000 Million deficit --per year--and the now-common knowledge that Social Security doesn’t exist—it’s just a budget item that is paid like any other: through borrowing. Borrowing on top of that $1.6 Trillion. Per Year.
And you STILL think that you have something to lose? That there’s the slightest chance Social Security will be paid?
…And I’m not following the arcana of the way governments reliably o ver-promise and default in history from Weimar to France, the close examples of Russia in 1997 and Argentina in 2001, that in 1776 Adam Smith had already declared “No government ever pays off their debts,” or any of the other second-level study that is easily found.
Now that’s denial.
So what’s my point with this?
Would you rather, as with NJ Governor Christie, be told that there is no money in the known universe to pay what is owed in pensions, on bonds, in stocks, or in real goods, and thereby be able to adjust your life accordingly? Or would you rather, like GM Union workers and Enron employees, wake up one day and find that you have no pension whatsoever, but since you didn’t expect it, lose both house and pension at 70 because hadn’t saved on your own either?
Here’s some help: one way you’ll have a retirement, however modest, and the other way you’ll be eating dog food under a bridge in East L.A. That’s what lying does. Lying to others or yourself. That’s why there is a thing called “morality,” and that’s why it’s wrong.
But this is the bull---- we still tell ourselves, 5, 10, 30 years after the truth is obvious, and this the bull---- they’ll continue to sell you—with your own stolen money—until you stop buying it.
Which leads me to Part Two.
What comes after Denial?
That’s right, Anger, and this country will rip itself apart with recriminations and blame. Blame the Left, Blame the Right; Blame the rich, Blame the poor; blame the insiders, blame the outsiders; blame the government, blame the anti-government; blame the old people who set it up, blame the young who won’t pay for it. Blame, acrimony, anger…and violence. In these still-rosy times perhaps you might have seen what I’m talking about.
Who’s really to blame? Well, people who broke the law—especially that highest law, the Constitution—need to be tried and punished, and in keeping with that law, with real charges, real evidence and by a jury of their peers. There’s plenty of room for that. But what does that do? They only committed the crimes we allowed them to with our own sloth and indifference, with the same immorality we’ve let spring up in ourselves.
We’re to blame. And being responsible, now we’re the ones who are about to take the inevitable consequences of our own immoral and irresponsible actions. There don’t need to be any trials for us: our punishment is already certain. But in the midst of that Anger and Blame, history says there will be wrenching in-fighting between groups, violence, and often even insurrections and war.
What’s next on history’s Kubler-Ross model?
Sunday, January 23, 2011
It's all about women's rights:
But the real point here is this: Dr. Gosnell's charnel house was not some aberration. No, it was the entirely-predictable and nigh-inevitable consequence of the tactics and rhetoric and philosophy as they have played it for decades.Hey, if you don't like back-alley abortions occurring in unregulated abortuaries, then don't have one.
Ever since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land, every single time a measure was proposed that would limit or curtail or restrict or regulate put any kind of conditions on abortion, the pro-choice side said the same thing: this was an assault (often "stealth" or "open," depending on the mood of the side at the point) on Roe v. Wade, an attack on the rights of women, and would lead inevitably to back-alley abortions and the relegation of women to the status of chattel.
Every restriction. Every regulation. Every limitation. All of them fought fiercely by the pro-choice side, because nothing could ever interfere with a woman's right to choose.
Such as, say, regular inspections of abortion clinics to make sure they met the standards of any other medical practice that performed invasive surgical procedures.
When Pennsylvania had a pro-life governor, those clinics were inspected the same way any other medical facility was. Only when a pro-choice governor came in did they cease, in the name of not "suppressing" or limiting or restricting women's access to abortion.
The pro-choice made a conscious decision in Pennsylvania: they could have maintained the inspections of the clinics, putting the safety of the patients ahead of the principle of "maximizing access to abortions." They could have kept the previous policy of "maximizing access to safe abortions," but they decided "safe" (in the context of the health of the woman involved) was too high a standard.
So the women went to Dr. Gosnell for abortions, which were readily accessible. And many of them suffered for it, and some even died.
So what if they were wounded, maimed, or even killed? At least they had their abortions.
But it really isn't that big a deal, really. Gosnell's victims weren't that important. They were poor, they were black or Hispanic or both. They really aren't important. By getting rid of their unwanted [baby] (and, occasionally, them as well), we was doing society a favor. He was taking out the trash.
When you demand that there be no restrictions on abortion whatsoever, when you insist that any attempt to regulate or control or impose any kind of standards are completely unacceptable, and fight attempts to enforce those few that do manage to get into the law, then you have no business being surprised when some alleged doctor performs such butchery as Dr. Gosnell did.
The most horrifying thing about the Gosnell case is not that it happened. Nor that it went on so long without being uncovered.
No, the most horrifying thing is that the circumstances that allowed it to develop and continue for so long exist all across the country. In every major city, the very same climate exists: poor people wanting abortions, and public officials utterly uninterested in challenging the pro-choice side's demands for no restrictions, no limitations, no regulations whatsoever on those who provide those abortions.
Like it or not, the pro-choice lobby owns Dr. Gosnell and his charnel house. They encouraged him, they sheltered him, they funded him, they enabled him. He couldn't have done all he did, for as long as he did, without their support.
And instead of trying to distance themselves from their creation, perhaps they should start looking among their other "heroes" for more such butchers.
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”
Friday, January 21, 2011
These [objections] can be paraphrased thus:
1. Bad things happen, so there is no God.
2. Things work fine without God, so there’s no God.
That’s it. That’s all. Those are the only two decent arguments for atheism in the whole history of human thought. Every atheist argument either rings the changes on these two or else atheists pad their case by introducing a lot of non sequiturs and lousy arguments. In the case of each of the two examples my reader cites, we have a mixture of Objection 2 and some pseudo-scientific padding. Both a) and b) are reassertions that nature (i.e evolution/the existence of lots of other universes) can explain everything, so there’s no God. The padding comes in when specific “just so” stories are concocted in order to make the leap from a) “X might have happened, therefore it did happen—and therefore there is no God” and b) “there might be a lot of other universes, therefore there are a lot of other universes, therefore there is no God.”
The answer to both of these objections is the same, When you get rid of the padding of just so stories about “How the Human Got His Sense of Morality” and the science fiction accounts of multiverses we have zero evidence for, you have the naked proposition, everything works fine without God. To that, Thomas replies:
Reply to Objection 2. Since nature works for a determinate end under the direction of a higher agent, whatever is done by nature must needs be traced back to God, as to its first cause. So also whatever is done voluntarily must also be traced back to some higher cause other than human reason or will, since these can change or fail; for all things that are changeable and capable of defect must be traced back to an immovable and self-necessary first principle, as was shown in the body of the Article.In short, when we blithely glide over the question “Why is there anything?” we are burying the lede. Likewise, when we avoid the question “Why do things work at all? Who wrote the rules by which they work?” we are rather avoiding the issue. There could be a gazillion other universes and that question would still demand answering. Every single gap and problem in the evolution of life on earth could be plugged with elegant proofs demonstrating each and every physical and chemical law that inexorably led to the proliferation of species across the globe and we would be no closer to answering (or even asking) the question “Why are there physical and chemical laws and why do time, space, matter and energy obey them? St. Thomas does ask and answer those questions. Materialists remain mute or give answers that are rubbish because they hold, as my reader notes, a dogma which forbid them from giving a rational answer.
Here's the latest from the world's best science blog:
First, never quote Mother Teresa at me — she was an evil hag who worshipped poverty, who did not help people except to encourage them to suffer more for her faith, while she lived in comfort and traveled far and wide to receive the accolades of the gullible. I would never find the words of that wicked woman persuasive.
Secondly, the standard bullying tactics of waving bloody fetuses might cow the squeamish, but I'm a biologist. I've guillotined rats. I've held eyeballs in my hand and peeled them apart with a pair of scissors. I've used a wet-vac to clean up a lake of half-clotted blood from an exsanguinated dog. I've opened bodies and watched the intestines do their slow writhing dance, I've been elbow deep in blood, I've split open cats and stabbed them in the heart with a perfusion needle. I've extracted the brains of mice…with a pair of pliers. I've scooped brains out of buckets, I've counted dendrites in slices cut from the brains of dead babies.
You want to make me back down by trying to inspire revulsion with dead baby pictures? I look at them unflinchingly and see meat. And meat does not frighten me.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
According to Ace of Spades:
NYT Ten Years Ago: We don't like you.
Us Ten Years Ago: Oh? Why?
NYT Eight Years Ago: We really don't like you.
Us Eight Years Ago: You don't even know us. Maybe you should try to get to know us.
NYT Six Years Ago: We really still do not like you.
Us Six Years Ago: Yeah. You said that.
NYT Four Years Ago: We really do not like you.
Us Four Years Ago: Whatever.
NYT Three Years Ago: We don't like you.
Us Three Years Ago: --
NYT Two Years Ago: Did you hear us, we don't like you.
Us Two Years Ago: --
NYT One Year Ago: Are you getting this? We don't like you!
Us One Year Ago: --
NYT One Month Ago: We repeat: We really do not like you! Please acknowledge if you have received this message.
Us One Month Ago: --
NYT, This Week: MURDERS! KILLERS! SOCIOPATHS!!! AAAAUGH!!! PAY ATTENTION!! PAY ATTENTION, KILLERS!!!
Us, This Week: What is your problem, psycho?
NYT: Oh, thank God! We thought you'd gone!!!
MEDIA: Sarah Palin directly and knowingly caused the murders of six innocent human beings.
PALIN: No, I didn't.
MEDIA: Stop making it all about you!!! This is about the people who were shot!!!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Vox Day lays it out for militant atheists who just don't seem to understand why they are so unliked.
As a commenter sums up:
As a commenter sums up:
Why does it make you idiots angry when we call you idiots? Why? Why do you idiots not like us? We never did anything to you idiots who've ruined the world and caused every problem there is.
Lifted from a comment at Rick's:
For Immediate Release
DNC press spokesperson Lennie Wryfin-Stalled issued a press clarification on earlier statements by Democrats blaming the Arizona tragedy on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and people who refuse to watch MSNBC.
"In light of new evidence that accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner had been obsessed with Congresswoman Gifford since 2007, we wish to apologize for saying a graphic used by Sarah Palin's PAC led to the tragedy.
"Clearly it was instead Sarah Palin's inaugural speech as president of the Wasila, Alaska PTA that is responsible."
Ass. Dir. Communications
Democratic National Committee
430 S Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003
Monday, January 10, 2011
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Friday, January 07, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Good comment at Uncommonon Descent:
Dr. Fuller, I agree with you to the extent that, all too often, theologians make unnecessary concessions to scientists. The question, though, is why? I suspect that many of them are not very well educated in sound philosophy and, do not, therefore understand the metaphysical foundations that underlie modern science. I think that the problem is not so much that they are “ashamed of their knowledge base” It seems more likely that the knowledge they have does not really constitute a base at all.
If, indeed, these hesitant theologians were grounded in the metaphysical fact that truth is unified, that is, if they understood that no scientific truth, properly understood, could ever conflict with a theological truth, properly understood, they would not be so intimidated. Remember, these are supposed to be theologians. On a related matter, if they understood that Christianity’s metaphysical assumptions made possible they very same scientific enterprise that sneers at Christianity today, they would be far more qualified to enter into the fray and slap down such irrational notions. You have made the latter point many times.
On the other hand, I disagree with your assertion that many people in the ID camp seem to think that “admitting any theological support for ID is tantamount to denying its scientific merit.” Again, this gets back to the fact that truth is unified. ID proponents typically understand that Romans 1:20, which teaches that God’s handiwork in nature is perceptible, is obviously consistent with a scientific inference to design. Of course the Bible supports the design inference. How could it not?
What we DO deny is the false claim that ID must PRESUPPOSE theological truths in order to make the design inference. That the scientific inference is CONSISTENT WITH Biblical teaching is not the same thing as saying that the scientific inference DEPENDS on Biblical teaching. This is the key logical point that Judge “copycat” Jones missed at the infamous Dover trial, as he explicitly used the phrase “depends on” in his final decision.
Most in the ID camp are quite ready to acknowledge the point that ID has religious implications. Indeed, if your have read many of our posts on this site, you will find that several of us have argued that Aquinas proofs for the existence of God are perfectly compatible with ID science. It is our adversaries, especially the “Christian Darwinists,” who want to say that theology should be put in one corner and science in another. The only thing ID proponents ask is that their adversaries differentiate between scientific methods and Christian beliefs, an intellectual challenge that most have failed to meet even at this late date.
With respect to your point that both sides assign different weights to different sorts of evidence, I offer this thought. ID proponents insist that evidence should be interpreted according to the first principles of right reason. Darwinists do not believe that there is any such thing as a standard for reasonableness. For them, evidence can interpret itself. How can anyone interpret evidence reasonably while denying reason itself? In fact, it can’t be done. What does one say to a Darwinist who claims that quantum physics has invalidated the laws of non-contradiction and causality? (Yes, they do, in fact, say that). In fact, evidence does not inform reason’s rules; reason’s rules inform evidence. In this sense, philosophy illuminates science and provides rational direction for the ways that we interpret observed data. When pressed (and they must be pressed) Darwinists will, indeed, argue that something can come from nothing. To begin with such an irrational premise is to forfeit any possibility of interpreting evidence in a rational way. Science is, after all, a search for causes. If effects can occur without causes, all scientific investigation and all rational discourse come to an end. It would be the equivalent of a police detective trying to solve a homicide case while, at the same time, believing that a murder can occur without a murderer.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Vox Day in response to a study which finds that religious people are far outbreeding irreligious people (and hence are evolutionarily more fit):
The spandrel explanation for religion has always looked like little more than willful blindness combined with wishful thinking on the part of anti-theists. In the same way that most atheists are reluctant to admit the unavoidably nihilistic conclusion to their material reductionism, (hence the "irrational atheist" appellation), many irreligious evolutionists so dislike religion that they will concoct any number of far-fetched hypotheses to avoid concluding that even from their own godless perspective, religion has great utility and provides a reproductive advantage. As anecdotal evidence, the 12 or so couples who made up our old Bible study in Minnesota and who were all just beginning to have their first children now have between three and six non-adopted children per couple. The average is probably around 3.8; even with the Christmas cards I can never keep them all straight.
But then, as I have repeatedly pointed out, scientists tend to be much worse than one would expect them to be at correctly applying logic. Although I suppose they really should not be expected to do it well; after all, the entire raison d'etre of the proper scientific method is to avoid relying upon logic in favor of reaching conclusions that are based firmly upon experimentation and observation, confirmed by replication. The problem, of course, is that logic is still required with regards to interpreting the significance of the conclusions provided by the scientific method and I have observed that very few scientists, if any, appear to have received any training in logic as part of their professional education.
Now, please feel free to correct me with actual curriculum-related facts if I am wrong about my conclusions here, but based on the many arguments I have seen put forth on various subjects from numerous individuals holding science-related PhDs, I very much doubt that many science majors devote any time to learning either history or logic. A look at the M.I.T. Department of Biology's graduate and undergraduate programs shows no sign of requiring either beyond the standard Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement for all undergraduate majors. While it is entirely possible that MIT science majors are choosing to study history or philosophy as part of their grand total of eight (8!) elective courses, they could just as easily be taking courses in Comparative Media Studies or Theater Arts. And given the astonishing inability of science majors to anticipate the supply and demand curves for PhDs in their chosen fields, one is forced to conclude that very few of them elect to study economics.
What this suggests is that scientists, on average, are at least as ignorant of history, economics, philosophy, religion, and logic as they believe non-scientists to be of science, and for precisely the same reason. Therefore, barring any convincing individual demonstration to the contrary, their opinions outside their professional discipline are ignorant and should be taken no more seriously than they believe the opinions of non-scientists are to be regarded within their field.