Thursday, January 10, 2013

Guns Saving Lives

Google map with stories.

Peruse these stories that the media doesn't promote!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Philosophical Foundations

This blog post searches for the philosophical foundations of left-wing politics, asking this question:
The conservative movement rests on a series of great thinkers: Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Burke, Mill, Hayek, von Mises, etc. Where are the intellectual foundations of the Left?...There is an intellectual tradition behind the contemporary Left, stretching back to Plato’s Republic and including Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, Marcuse, Alinsky, etc. But it’s a deeply totalitarian tradition. It’s the political philosophy that dares not speak its name in an election season, for it would garner few votes, and for good reason. 
The real intellectual vacuum underlies not the Left as such but people who style themselves liberals, but not socialists—i.e., I’m guessing, most Democrats. 

Lee Reynolds from the Tempe Tea Party adds these comments:
Liberalism is sold on the premise that by embracing its sentiments and assorted affectations, you will become an enlightened and wise individual. A kind and knowing person, a better person, and get to sit at the cool kids’ table. Those who do not embrace Liberalism are cast as selfish and uncaring, greedy and bigoted, emotionally grotesque, shortsighted, foolish, stupid, blind, and most of all uncool. 
In real life those who embrace Liberalism end up parroting cliches and earnestly promoting half-baked nonsense that ranges from the frivolous to the intensely destructive. Meanwhile those who are not beholden to Liberalism tend lead happier and more productive lives.
The vast majority of what is called Liberalism is nothing more than the effort and desire to make human beings equal. I don’t mean equal before the law, or possessing equal rights, I mean equal period. 
This is quite impossible because human beings are fundamentally unequal. 
Some people are smarter than others. Some people are of better character than others. Some people possess specific traits and abilities that others lack. In general, if there is a way in which people CAN differ from one another, they DO differ from one another. We are defined as a species by the variance of our individual abilities and inclinations. 
Liberalism is the heartfelt desire to wish all that away and replace it with a universe in which everyone is cut from the same cloth. 
This is why Liberals tend to focus so much on the dregs of society. They wish to pretend that mental patients and convicts are the same as the rest of us, just unlucky. 
This is why we hear so much from Liberals about the “less fortunate.” This term was not fashioned as a polite euphemism for idiots and losers, but represents how Liberals truly see people whose deficits of ability or character prevent them from meeting the challenges of life.
This is also why Liberals are so keen to endorse environmental or social explanations for human differences. If a difference is the result of an external influence upon a person, then this difference can be eliminated by altering or removing that influence. In contrast, a difference that is innate cannot be. 
Unfortunately 80% or more of our differences are innate. Who we are is who we are, not what happens to us. Our nature is not malleable. The axe murderer didn’t chop up people because his daddy didn’t love him enough, he chopped up people because that is his nature.
But that doesn’t stop Liberals from trying. Hence the recent promotion of gender-neutral toys, especially in places like Sweden. These futile efforts will not make boys and girls the same. Furthermore, the children subjected to them will be harmed in the process. 
This is also why Liberals are so keen to bestow the appurtenances of a middle class existence to those who are not capable of middle class behavior. The most famous example of this was their effort to give mortgages to people who didn’t have what it took to qualify for one. The hope and belief was that home ownership would somehow magically bestow these new homeowners with the characteristics and abilities that traditionally defined someone who owned their home. Instead we wound up with “liar loans,” the housing bubble, starving animals locked away to die in foreclosed houses sold to human trash, and all of the other ill effects and externalities for which Liberals still so strenuously seek to blame others for. 
So it is no surprise that Liberalism is without any sort of intellectual foundation. Liberalism is the obsessive denial of human difference, which cannot be substantiated or justified in the real world. It isn’t so much a house of cards as it is wishful thinking masquerading as a philosophy.
Wishful thinking masquerading as a philosophy!  Now it all makes sense!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Origin of Political Correctness

How the Left creates and maintains the Narrative, from the Marxist Frankfurt School to the takeover of academia and the development of Critical Theory, all in a handy, engaging discussion from Bill Whittle:

Link to YouTube

Read all about the hideous Frankfurt School here. Note it became affiliated with Columbia University in 1935, and the infection of higher education in the US was complete. Here is just one example of how art, music, and all "studies" programs at universities have been corrupted or created with malice aforethought by these Marxist thinkers:
Philosophy of modern music Adorno, a trained musician, wrote The Philosophy of Modern Music (1949), in which he, in essence, polemicizes against beauty itself ― because it has become part of the ideology of advanced capitalist society and the false consciousness that contributes to social domination. It hence contributes to the present sustainability of capitalism by rendering it "aesthetically pleasing" and "agreeable". Only avant-garde art and music may preserve the truth by capturing the reality of human suffering. Hence: "[...]Musical language is polarized according to its extreme; towards gestures of shock resembling bodily convulsions on the one hand, and on the other towards a crystalline standstill of a human being whom anxiety causes to freeze in her tracks [...] Modern music sees absolute oblivion as its goal. It is the surviving message of despair from the shipwrecked." This view of modern art as producing truth only through the negation of traditional aesthetic form and traditional norms of beauty because they have become ideological is characteristic of Adorno and of the Frankfurt School generally.
The higher education bubble can't burst soon enough!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Obama's New Blasphemy Rules

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Promise Kept!

Spotted on a gas pump in PA:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Prime Post

Today this blog turns 7 years old, which is a prime number.

And, this marks the 1,013th posting, which is also prime.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Bad Luck

On the campaign trail in Iowa, Obama says:
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas -- the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises -- which set the economy back.
How the Arab uprisings hurt the economy isn't quite clear to me, but be that as it may, recall Heinlein wrote in 1973:
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."
UPDATE: Great minds thinking alike? Surely independently, Instapundit posted the exact same juxtaposition exactly one hour after I did!
Posted at 10:00 pm by Glenn Reynolds

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2012 Via Palantir

Here is a hilarious guide to the 2010 election campaign, as seen through the lens of Middle Earth.
Orcs are public sector unions, ACORN, anyone who writes for Huffington Post, and every other evil, statist minion ever identified by Glenn Beck. Speaking of Beck, his closest equivalent is Denethor, Steward of Gondor — well-spoken and intelligent but more-than-slightly crazed.
The photographic juxtapositions alone are worth hitting the link and reading it all.

For extra credit, don't miss this "unused dvd commentary" dialogue by Zinn and Chomsky on the Fellowship of the Ring...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Judicial Engagement

Perhaps some good news from the judicial branch:
In striking down Obamacare’s individual mandate today, the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals used the term “judicial engagement” to describe the proper role of courts in deciding constitutional cases. The Institute for Justice coined that term and today marks the first time a federal court has used it in this context. Instead of deferring reflexively to Congress as courts so often do, the Eleventh Circuit correctly observed that “the Constitution requires judicial engagement, not judicial abdication.” Institute for Justice president Chip Mellor praised the ruling: “We have more government at every level than the Constitution authorizes. This decision is an important step towards the direction of limited government.”
If Judicial Engagement is the opposite of judicial activism, by reining in government power to accord with the structure of the Constitution, rather than to arbitrarily expand it for the sake of expediency, I'm all for it!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Saving The Republic

At the close of the Cosntitutional Convention in 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, "what have you given us, a republic or a monarchy?"

To which he responded, "A republic, Madam, if you can keep it."

And there are plenty of signs we are not keeping it, with far too much unbridled democracy leading to socialism leading inevitably to bankruptcy.

On this Independence Day, it is worthwhile to reflect upon solutions to restore the Republic.

Here is a link to a short paper from the Tennessee Law Review Symposium on proposed Constitutional reforms, entitled Divine Operating System.

Amongst the ideas are:
- adding the addendum, "And we really mean it!" to the 9th and 10th amendments;

- adding a House of Repeal, whose members are tasked only with repealing legislation, thus giving some politicians an actual incentive for smaller government

- the idea of "No representation without taxation", meaning that everyone should pay at least some income tax

- some kind of balanced budget process, or at least a line-item veto when the budget is out of whack

- a reduction of gerrymandered districts
These ideas are all good. I would add a few more.

1. Far too many people can now vote. Luckily, many choose not to exercise this right, and that genie is out of the bottle. We should at least endeavour to re-introduce a grounding in civic history in the schools, or in other words, remove the Marxists from the process

1a. As a symbolic gesture I would support raising the voting age back to 21, with an exception for members of the Armed Forces and Coast Guard.

2. The author of the above law article is not keen on term limits. I disagree. As for the cry that "we already have term limits -- just vote them out!", that's not the point, to simply turn them out. The idea is to change the incentives. Right now politicians have a strong incentive to avoid being voted out, by promising whatever is expedient in the short-term to the mob, which usually involved spending someone else's money (i.e., mine). Knowing that a career cannot be made out of false promises in perpetuity, a different class of person might be attracted to politics, and the ones there would perhaps at the margin think longer-term.

3. Repeal the 17th Amendment, which provided for direct election of Senators - Senators shouldn't be uber-representatives, who now get campaign cash from who knows where, and thus don't even represent the people of their states, let alone the states themselves as separate sovereign entities. I'm sure the process of appointing them by the states was corrupt, but so is the current process. At least we'd have one corruption in competition with another, which is the point of checks and balances.

For example, according to the Washington Post,
Harry M. Reid needed money, and lots of it....The senator began dialing old and new friends across the country, asking for their help. Many had one thing in common: They had a financial stake in legislation that Reid, as the most powerful member of the Senate, helps control....Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, which monitors campaigns, said trial lawyers and other Democratic-leaning donors probably want to help Reid stay in power -- but other new outside interests may want something else from him.
Having him beholden to a Nevada political machine at least isolates the interests that control him, and pit them against others. Right now, one single big corrupt influence can buy any number of senators.

4. Term limits for the Supreme Court. This interesting idea I read elsewhere, in which members can serve up to two 18-year terms, with one new member appointed every two years. This has the added benefit of giving every President exactly two appointments per term, which distributes this power more fairly among Presidents, instead of opening the system to the gaming of ideological justices attempting to time their resignations to the administration of a favorable party.

5. The national popular vote movement needs to be stopped in its tracks.

Nearly 100 years on, it's time to start fixing the excesses of the Progressive Movement, and revive the Republic. Too much democracy is a bad thing.

Happy 235th Birthday, America!

May there be many more!

And let us honor those of an earlier, more confident age.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Marx Is Dead

A simple evisceration of Marxist economic theories:

I read somewhere, written by a more literate person - I believe an economist - that the weakest point of the Marxist theories was that Marx, as an economist, was such a bizarre failure he never understood the role of resellers.
This would only make sense for an academic who has lived in the city his whole life and is NOT aware of where his veggies come from. If you think your pasta grows on trees, you probably can imagine sauntering down to the local park and picking a bushel full. At worst, if you know it has to be made in a factory, you figure you should get it at factory price. Of course.

But the people who transport it have to make money too.
But you really, really, really cannot study Marx for any length of time without seeing other holes.
To Marx value was raw material plus work. The means of producing that work (machinery, etc) were just sort of there. And he made no allowance for invention. (Which is why though Marxist revolutions often recruit intellectuals they're the sort of intellectuals who never had an original idea in their life.) Of course in our day and age, invention and original thought are at least as important as machinery in creating product.

Also, the raw material fallacy means all the countries who have nothing else to sell feel "exploited" because we're taking their "value" away. Imbuing raw material itself with value means that it's sort of like stealing national treasure. This has given rise to an entire colonialist-exploitation-theory of history which has held more people in misery in developing countries than the most brazen robber baron could manage. And no one, NOT ONE seems to realize that their raw materials mean absolutely nothing if not used.
I don't have time to go into all the crazy things that idea has caused, because the work=value thing fascinates me even more.

This is an idea SO loony only an exceedingly well educated person could believe it. We've all heard of the famous "if I take a month to polish a dog turd, can I charge by the hour of my labor?"
This also discounts things such as human knowledge. Humans get better at tasks they do most often. This is the idea behind training. So, let's suppose what we're making is clay cups. I will undoubtedly take longer to make a clay cup than a master craftsman. I also - hey, I know myself - will end up with a lumpy product full of thumb marks. But I took longer. Therefore it's worth more, right? (Suddenly I understand how certain artsy shops charge for things.)

Now you're laughing and telling me no one believes that. Ah, but you're wrong. First of all people believed that - absolutely believed that, until they were in the place where they set production quotas and all the shoes available for sale were size twenty six and for the left foot.
Good old Marx is also responsible for that most insane of ideas, the minimum wage. Dictating a minimum wage people have to be paid is the same as saying that labor has an intrinsic, minimal value. And before you scream I'm cruel or heartless, what the heck do feelings have to do with economics? Economics is the science of value. Value is what someone is willing to pay for something. NOT "but they need this to survive." THAT is an idea that work in itself has a value.

If that were true, we could hire an army of unemployed workers to polish dog turds for the international market. We'd be rich, rich I tell you!
Read it all!


An unusual discovery. Whether forgery or authentic is as yet unclear, but it is potentially very interesting:

Lead Codex Found In Desert
If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him.

The tiny booklet, a little smaller than a modern credit card, is sealed on all sides and has a three-dimensional representation of a human head on both the front and the back. One appears to have a beard and the other is without. Even the maker’s fingerprint can be seen in the lead impression. Beneath both figures is a line of as-yet undeciphered text in an ancient Hebrew script.

Astonishingly, one of the booklets appears to bear the words ‘Saviour of Israel’ – one of the few phrases so far translated.
The samples were then sent to the Swiss National Materials Laboratory at Dubendorf, Switzerland. The results show they were consistent with ancient (Roman) period lead production and that the metal was smelted from ore that originated in the Mediterranean. Dr Northover also said that corrosion on the books was unlikely to be modern.

Meanwhile, the politics surrounding the provenance of the books is intensifying. Most professional scholars are cautious pending further research and point to the ongoing forgery trial in Israel over the ancient limestone ossuary purporting to have housed the bones of James, brother of Jesus.

The Israeli archeological establishment has sought to defuse problems of provenance by casting doubt on the authenticity of the codices, but Jordan says it will ‘exert all efforts at every level’ to get the relics repatriated.

The debate over whether these booklets are genuine and, if so, whether they represent the first known artefacts of the early Christian church or the first stirrings of mystical Kabbalah will undoubtedly rage for years to come.
The director of Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, has few doubts. He believes they may indeed have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

‘They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ he says. ‘The initial information is very encouraging and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery – maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology.’

If he is right, then we really may be gazing at the face of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Gut Speaks

Bacteria rule the world in more ways than we know:
Researchers have found several reasons to believe that bacteria affect the mental health of humans. For one thing, bacteria produce some of the same types of neurotransmitters that regulate the function of the human brain. The human intestine contains a network of neurons, and the gut network routinely communicates with the brain. Gut bacteria affect that communication. “The bugs are talking to each other, and they’re talking to their host, and their host talks back,” Young says. The phrase “gut feeling” is probably, literally true.


For example, it’s been known for a while that sick people get depressed and anxious. This seems so obvious as to be a no-brainer, but research suggests that some of the fear and fatigue associated with infections stems from immune responses affecting the brain.


“For a long time, these deep sediments were thought to be devoid of any life at all,” he says. There’s life down there, all right, but talk about slow metabolism: When Parke analyzed 4.7 million-year-old organic sediment in the Mediterranean, he estimated the average time it took for resident microbes to reproduce by cell division at 120,000 years. And he reported finding living bacteria just over a mile below the seafloor, in sediments 111 million years old and at temperatures of 140 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

These and other new findings suggest that microbes deep in submarine rock may play a heretofore unrecognized role in the regulation of not just the oceans, but the global environment.


But just how smart are they, really?

Giovannoni stops short of claiming that bacteria are actually thinking. But the litany of bacterial talents does nibble at conventional assumptions about thinking: Bacteria can distinguish “self” from “other,” and between their relatives and strangers; they can sense how big a space they’re in; they can move as a unit; they can produce a wide variety of signaling compounds, including at least one human neurotransmitter; they can also engage in numerous mutually beneficial relationships with their host’s cells. Even more impressive, some bacteria, such as Myxococcus xanthus, practice predation in packs, swarming as a group over prey microbes such as E. coli and dissolving their cell walls.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Glenn Reynolds CONDEMNED!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Here's an amusing thought experiment.

If I proposed to burn an American flag, would Obama, the MSM, and the ACLU vigorously support my right to do so?

Now, what if it happened to have a Koran wrapped inside of it?