Friday, January 30, 2015

Democrats Are From Mars, Republicans Are From Venus

How Did Politics Get So Personal? -

Reading the linked article reminded me of the '90s relationships book "Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus" and the difficulties of shoving the complexities of humans into neat pigeonholes -- but I guess that just "proves" I'm a conservative because I have difficulty with such neat analytic ordering of people! As stated in the article:
Conversely, these researchers define holistic thinking – which they consider more typical of conservatives — as “seeing scenes as a whole and seeing people as a product of situations.” Talhelm described this style of thought as “more automatic, caught up in emotions, and in some ways less adherent to the rules of logic.”
As opposed to "liberals", who:
Analytic thinking, in this view, “emphasizes slicing up the world and analyzing objects individually, divorced from context — much like scientific analysis requires thinkers to separate complex phenomena into separate parts.” Talhelm elaborated in a phone conversation: The analytic thinking typical of liberals is “more conscious, more focused on the rules of logic.”
So "conservatives" are pretty much like the women of the '90s ... intuitive, holistic, emotional, etc, where "liberals" are more like '90s men ... analytic, compartmentalizers, objectivizers, etc.

At first blush, this seems more than a little surprising, but it gets more so, he goes on:
Talhelm wrote me in an email that “analytic thinkers tend to do better in engineering, and they hold more patents for inventions. But holistic/intuitive thinkers tend to do better in more social fields, such as early childhood education and marketing.” One study in the 1960s, he said, “found that analytic thinkers were more likely to have long hair (for men) and short skirts (women).
So have you noted the preponderance of conservatives in "early childhood education and marketing" yet?

Having spent over 3 decades in software engineering, holding over 20 patents, and being male, as well as associating with at least 10's of gentlemen of similar political and technical ilk, the apparent "fact" that conservatives are now supposed to be pretty much from Venus is somewhat difficult to fully process -- but I'm certain that is also just another aspect of my unwillingness to think deeply, and my requirement for "simple solutions" as explained in the following snippet.
a stronger preference for deep thought and a rejection of simple solutions. Liberals are more tolerant of ambiguity and uncertainty, and they have less of a need for order, structure and closure.
Gee, the author must be a conservative? Isn't putting people into two groups somewhat of a  "simple solution"? (rejected by liberals of course!) So let me try to help the author out here. What he MEANS is that "liberals" are smart and conservatives are stupid -- but he doesn't want to give in to what the article is ostensively about, "Why left and right are so damned divided, hostile and increasingly personal about it!".

I was very disappointed to see Jonathan Haidt's name associated with an article that was not available to read which was apparently a lot of the basis for this "analysis". I felt that Haidt did MUCH more to explain something of the potential for the emotional underpinnings of liberal / conservative in the "The Righteous Mind" -- to put the thesis of that book very simply.

--- If you inherently know that it is wrong for grown siblings to have consensual protected sex and will admit it, you are by nature "conservative". If you would answer on a survey that you "don't have an opinion on it", even though, if hooked up to a brain scanner while giving that answer, the parts of your brain that signal DISGUST and I'M LYING are overloading, you are a "liberal".

So why are we so "divided, hostile and increasingly personal"?

Well, because prior to say "Wilson", 80%+ of Americans were practising Christians and believers in the basic tenet of what made America exceptional -- Constitutionally Limited Government.

As what I call "TP" (The Party-D) has increased in power, America has become increasingly non-Christian and Statist -- meaning UNlimited government, Political Correctness, higher taxes, more regulation, a growing welfare state, entitlement vs responsibility, etc, etc

As we have covered in this blog many times,  modern "liberals" are NOT liberal. They are Statists, and while there are plenty of conservatives that are technical, scientific, analytical, etc., to be a "conservative" means that one also believes there is "something more" -- usually God, and in the US, usually Christianity,  but essentially it is the idea that the universe is "teleological" -- it has a goal/purpose.

We used to be a nation (and indeed a Western Civilization) that believed in a teleological universe with rules -- specifically in our case, the Bible and the US Constitution. Conservatives still do, Statist TP does not. TP believes that **IT** (TP) is the "measure of all things".

Unfortunately, compared to this level of divide, slavery was a minor issue. The vast majority of the North and the South believed in the Bible and Constitution but were divided by freedom of choice on the specific issue of slavery. The cause of the Civil War was much more akin to Abortion than to fundamental difference in worldview that now divides us.

*** Slaveholders saw slaves as less than fully human. Proponents of abortion see unborn babies as less than fully human. "States Rights" would allow some states to have slaves / allow abortion, while others to not do so. TP is totalitarian in its "moral" pronouncements, they can't allow some States / people / etc to choose to believe other than what TP decrees. ***

So we are indeed between a very big rock and a very hard place. Our founders wanted to allow quite vast differences between States, so they enumerated limited powers to the Federal Government and the reserved the rest to the People and the States. Starting in a big way with the Civil War, the nation has seen fit to step by step allow the Federal Government UNlimited power and therefore make the States increasingly just "administrative districts" rather than significantly sovereign entities.

As TP continues to increase in power, the natural tendency -- one which we have seen murder over 100 million people in the past century -- is to "define the other" (eg. "conservatives", "Republicans", "Non Party Members") as "defective" -- stupid, uninformed, deniers, reactionaries, etc. Increasingly we will see organizations like the IRS, NSA, FBI, etc target "conservative groups", and the "scientific community" will publish papers that indicate that conservatives are somehow "mentally deficient" -- emotional, illogical, unable to "think deeply", unable to deal with the "ambiguity / complexity / uncertainty" of "modern life", etc.

It's an old story. Define humans into classes and then use the power of the State to "re-educate", "concentrate", "cleanse" -- or just "terminate". 

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

American Economic Ills Explained from Aspen

Sturm: The real deflate-gate: the depressed state of our union |

Aspen CO is commonly thought of as a upscale hideaway for the rich, famous and usually far left politically. The linked article is proof that they have some people with actual minds there as well! Go read the whole thing, not that long and WELL worth it! I'll throw in a couple teasers.

The bottom line is that much like someone being over-medicated, our economy is being killed by bloated government acting in concert with the biggest businesses and public entities that can lobby government to aid themselves and hobble competition.

"When profits accrue for those with the most to invest in politics — and the most to lose in the free market — wealth and opportunity shift from ordinary people to the government and its friends. That’s why Americans struggling to maintain living standards must contend with ever-increasing prices in government-controlled sectors — housing, health and education.

And this little history lesson ... 
Free to pursue their individual life objectives, American entrepreneurs — and immigrants fleeing societies where one’s start predetermined one’s end — transformed an agrarian backwater into human history’s greatest economic wonder. Between 1800 and 2007, economic well-being (real gross domestic product per capita) increased 32-fold in America compared with 14-fold in Great Britain and fivefold in India. 
It’s not a miracle; it’s the free market, where rivals meet in open competition, generating a continuous stream of innovation, choice and value. In return for pleasing customers and being good corporate citizens, entrepreneurs earn profits

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Picard Is Not a Liberal, Morality and Power

The Survivors (Star Trek: The Next Generation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

I happened to watch "The Survivors", one of my more favorite Star Trek Next Generation (STNG) shows last night in which the Enterprise answers a distress call and shows up at Delta Rana IV to find what was once a colony of 13 million to be now devastated and devoid of life save for two elderly humans, Kevin and Rishon. They are living in an all too perfect plot of land with a home and while saddened by the loss of live, seem none the worse for wear.

There are a number of twists and turns in the story to fill the hour, but eventually Picard figures out that Kevin must be more than he appears to be. When confronted on the Enterprise, Kevin breaks down and admits that he is a "Douwd", an exceedingly powerful being, probably immortal. He can take multiple forms (or none), and while in human form, fell in love with Rishon and spent his life with her. When the violent warrior race the "Husnock" attacked the colony he tried to fool them with his powers and keep Rishon out of the fight, but as she saw the destruction, she moved to fight the attackers and was killed. 

When Kevin saw her broken body that even with his vast powers he was unable to restore to life, he was enraged and attacked the Husnock even though his Douwd are pacifists by nature. 

Picard indicates that such a a response is understandable -- but Kevin, shaken with grief and guilt,  lets him know that he does not understand -- he killed ALL the Husnock, everywhere in the galaxy, some 50 billion -- they no longer exist. He committed genocide on an interplanetary scale. 

I know Picard is not a liberal, since his response  is; "You are free to go, we have no courts or morality with which to judge you".  Were he a liberal, he would have applied whatever the current liberal "morality" of the day was -- OBVIOUSLY the most "advanced", as liberal thinking always is --  and either praised or sanctioned Kevin's action with the kind of smug certainty that only liberals can have! 

So Picard is a conservative -- he understands that the beginning of wisdom is the recognition that you (and your species, your country, your philosophy, etc) are less than "God". In fact, we are SO FAR from "knowing God", that it is hard to even imagine what is "moral" to some intermediate power between us and GOD, like the imagined "Douwd" species.

There are a number of things I love about the concept of the show. The vision of the Douwd species as having a sense of right and wrong and being able to love and feel emotion deeply. Their having a vast amount of capability compared to humans, but still not being able to restore "life". Their near total power of death/killing, much the same as humans with the atomic bomb. We  an destroy so much , but our creative powers are severely limited in comparison.

I enjoy the idea of a species vastly more powerful than us, but still being infinitely short of God. The sense that "morality" definitely exists, we can emotionally sense it, it has some sort of relationship to power/capability, but our ability to sense what it means "beyond our pay grade" is missing. We however can possibly (though I suspect with imperfection and risk) apprehend that for lesser creatures, there is much less to be said of the moral imperative.

As Picard says in the end of the show -- we have no answers to such questions. But isn't it an interesting fact that even though we KNOW we can't answer for such a being, we also KNOW (in our hearts) that there does exist some form of "right and wrong" beyond simple "might is right" or "the greatest good for the greatest number" (Bentham) ?

Or I guess Christians, and probably most conservatives know that. Based on experience, it appears that "liberals" do not, and rather believe that morality begins and ends where they say it does.

'via Blog this'Douwd,

Narcissus Speaks in India

Our Self-Obsessed President | Power Line:

BO's speech on leaving India was yet again primarily about BO. What's new?  The top reason for him going was to get some sort of fake "climate agreement" like he inked with China a few months ago, but he failed to get that, so in his mind, there wasn't anything to talk about other than how great he is.

As I've written before, my HOPE is that BO is only a narcissist, but I suspect he may be a psychopath.

Our "sound of a left hand clapping" media is naturally unconcerned about having a president who claims he can't meet a world leader because it is "too close to an election", and then sends a team to try to defeat that same leader in the election that he supposedly "didn't want to influence"!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Maps, Models, Territory, Blizzards, Reality Denial

Blizzard 2015: What Went Wrong With the Forecasting? - WSJ:

We just had a nice solid example of the fact that "The map is not the territory", or in this case "The model is not reality".

Those of us that use maps or GPS units have had the experience of finding that the road has changed, the place we are looking for has moved, or the GPS unit is just having "a bad hair day". We are then forced to operate in the actual territory and abandon our faulty "aid".

Likewise, forecasters used models that they had a high degree of confidence in, but it turned off that the models were "off by a bit". Nothing very new here, it is STILL a lot better to know "there is going to be a pretty good storm in the area", even if it doesn't hit where predicted.

As we have seen, the super confident "settled" predictions of Global Warming have been "off" for at least 18 years -- but for power political reasons, the elites / MSM refuse to recognize that their models have not accurately predicted reality, so are therefore flawed. Nothing unusual there, ALL models / maps / plans / narratives / etc are flawed -- they MAY predict reality to "some margin of error".

Over longer periods of time, greater distances, more precise requirements, those errors become larger -- and the storm hits Boston rather than NYC, oil production goes up vs down, and temperatures may go down 2 degrees rather than up 2 degrees in 100 years. No biggie -- the climate will have "changed", it always does.

Such is the real world. We certainly don't throw out our models, maps, plans, etc, but what we DO need to do is realize that they are useful, but flawed. When the map says that we need to make a turn, but the turn is not there, we look around a bit, and if needed, ask directions.

Anyone that claims otherwise is the worst kind of "denier" of all -- a reality denier.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Palin, NPR, Winning and Losing

As 2016 race begins, GOP faces its Palin problem |

I generally like Sarah Palin. She is no intellectual, but compared to Joe Biden, she is a genius in intellectual terms and a comparative god of common sense! She would certainly be a better president than BO, but then pretty much anyone that isn't a anti-American Marxist with any level of basic real-world experience, would be -- someone with some leadership / management experience like Palin would be 100x better.

But she isn't going to be president or vice-president, that train left in '08.

Heading down to the RAC this AM, NPR covered this story a bit in their "political junkie" discussion in the oddest of ways -- they quoted Palin as talking about the old saw "If you want something said, get a man, if you want something done, get a woman", which they promptly took to be "an endorsement of Hillary"!

The "marginal candidate" issue is a problem for Republicans alone. The left is LOADED, and always has been loaded with batshit crazies -- Biden, Boxer, Pelosi, Kucinich, Nader, Wellstone, Sharpton, Kerry, Franken etc, etc, quite commonly either have, or still do, utter statements that make any sane person wonder what their planet of origin is -- but such statements are barely reported, or if they ARE reported, they are written off as "slips", "misquotes", "out of context", etc.

Being left means never being called stupid -- NPR has constantly harped on the supposed zaniness of Palin, yet they think nothing of taking her quote out of context and applying it as an "endorsement of Hillary". So you take a quote from someone you have no respect for and somehow think it is interesting to apply it to your cheerleading for Hillary? No problem -- it's NPR, they are shills for TP, so they can say what they want.

So Republicans have to HYPER police their own, and do it under GLARING SCRUTINY. Maxine Waters can get up at any TP function, including the convention, and ramble on about race, reparations, police brutality, need for guaranteed income for blacks -- etc, etc and there will be ZERO national coverage of it. More importantly, there will be ZERO cases of reporters asking party officials, let alone actual candidates questions like "It seems like you / the Democrats are ignoring / trying to hide, etc important Black voices like Maxine Waters?? Can you comment on this ??

But when Palin, or someone like her starts talking, the MSM is all over it and ANXIOUS to get the "Tea Party" or other parts of the party as riled up as possible, and LOVE to put the microphone in the face of party leaders or candidates and get them to either comment favorably on the farther right speech -- in which case they point out how RADICAL the party / candidate is, or to comment Unfavorably on it, in which case they work to help create a rift in the party, or better yet splinter the party to cut votes for Republicans.

Lose, lose for R, win, win for D and MSM! That is just the way the current world is, and anyone that wants to get the nation back on track has to be aware of it and deal with it.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Losing Your Sense of Small

Billionaire Greene Bets on U.S. While Bemoaning Jobs - Bloomberg:

“America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.”

Billionaire Jeff Greene flew to Davos on a private jet with his family and two nannies. He really feels that the little people in American have WAY too high of expectations. He and BO may have a slightly different view of "hope and change" than what a lot of Americans were thinking -- but don't expect the MSM to be helping that to be recognized!

Something like 1700 private jets flew into Davos to discuss pressing issues like Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and Income Inequality -- Slick Willie, former fornicator in chief of the US, whose primary area of expertise is walking the halls of power with his pants around his knees, spoke on income inequality while wearing a $60K watch. Hypocrisy is not one of the topics on the agenda.

Here is another great article from NRO on the conference that is well worth reading. Davos is a great way to get just a little bit of insight into how much contempt the world wide elites really hold those of us that can't even afford a limo, let alone multiple nannies, high class homes around the globe, and a beautiful jet at our beck and call to take us wherever we desire.

These ridiculous hypocrites deserve every syllable of abuse that comes their way. I instinctively write off all denunciations of the wicked 1 percent coming from anybody unwilling to live at or below the median U.S. household income, which amounts to less than Clinton’s Rolex is worth. But there is something worse at work here than hypocrisy: stupidity. And stupidity is, like private-jet travel, shockingly expensive.
The primary reason to read the NRO article is Williamson's attempt to deal with the horrible issue that I so often try to deal with here -- just how stupid even the smartest of humans are, and even worse, the nasty phenomenon that the smarter one is,  the greater the temptation to believe in your own smartness, coupled with, a level of intelligence that is enough to fake your brilliance to a higher and higher percentage of people.  Add in power and wealth, and enough similarly "smart people" are going to turn into toadies around you, never pointing out your basic stupidity.

Even worse, as evidenced the 1,700 private jets, which universities they attended, what they eat, what they wear, etc, etc, a LOT of those "elites" think very much alike -- they are pretty darned sure that is because there aren't all that many options on how to think once you are so super smart.

Perhaps if you don't  lay out at night with a couple of beers staring at the stars, you lose your sense of small?

Add enough money, power, intelligence, safety in the herd, etc mentality, and you ALSO can get 2,633 of the (at least in their own minds) "most important people on earth" in a little town in Switzerland at the same time. It is as if all the trophy bucks had an annual ritual where they were all congregated in a small area -- trophy hunters dream!

I can imagine that security is "stellar", but then I would have never imagined that a guy could jump the fence at the White House and get in the front door, nor would I have imagined that White House computers could be hacked and down for a significant amount of time.

Obviously a very small nuke could take out the whole kit caboodle, but who knows ... a few well placed charges for an avalanche? any dams in the area? I'm not a very malevolent sort and I don't have much interest -- heck, maybe that is their best protection. The smart bad guys all realize that taking out the entire Davos herd would likely raise the world economy by 20%!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper

'American Sniper' Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize | Rolling Stone:

I saw the movie tonight, Solid, entertaining, patriotic, memorable, well done, patriotic,  true to the book and events as known in the real world. Well worth seeing. Highly recommended.

So I did a Google and ran into the lovely linked article.

One needs to remain aware of the Rolling Stone, and  whole sectors of the American "elite". These people, BO included, would fold like wet paper bags in the face of reality if ever forced to face 1/1,000tth of what heroes like Kyle faced, but they remain a clear and present danger. As the article makes plainly clear, their hatred for America and anything good is total, while their faith in their own intellect and smugness may be a lot less real than they want us to believe, it is a pose that their egos demand, so it is dangerous.

One looks at the title of the article and thinks of the genius of Jessie Ventura  sueing Kyle's widow because "he wanted to be treated better at SEAL reunions".  The author of the article seemed to think that making fun of Forrest Gump is an easy target that somehow relates to Sniper -- "Stupid is as stupid does".

The message of Forrest Gump, and indeed the message of Christianity and to some degree Western Civilization is that there is "book smart" and then there is "transcendent intelligence and meaning". "Book smart" is often foolishness that is completely certain that it is genius in it's own mind, confines of the classroom or Rolling Stone, but often falls on very hard times in the real world. In fact, much like Commodus in "Gladiator", the pseudo sophisticated intellect tends to be certain right up to the end that it's malevolent self aggrandizing is actual reality, rather than the figment of it's own imagination that it really is.

Mayor Bloomberg and the entire NYPD turning their backs to him comes to mind. The author of "the too dumb to criticize" article, Michael Moore, and a couple of other "intellectuals" walk into a bar and decide to kick a couple of Navy SEALS asses ... cuz they are REALLY smart!

Sure. No doubt before anything even started the "brilliant ones" bowels, bladders and stomachs would have spilled all contents on the floor from just looking the reality of actual character in the eye. Now, what they would really like to do is find some way to charge the SEALS with some "crime" -- say running afoul of the IRS, and take them down behind their backs.

"Brilliance" often ends up with it's head cut off in an orange jumpsuit if it is not protected by  Sheepdogs of the ilk of Chis Kyle. If such arrogant "brilliance" was forced to actually face either the evil that Kyle faced down in doing his duty, or God forbid, SEALS of the calibre of Kyle, such "brilliance" of the sort of BO, the writer of the column, or the Hollywood "elite:" would grovel on the floor in their own bodily fluids t as opposed to the preening and swagger they try to fake in protected public pronouncements.

The movie has to be hated by the left  because among many other hated by the left aspects, it points out the truth of Al Zarqawi and Al Qaeda in Iraq, and along with the now known WMD, these are facts that MUST  not be exposed to the tender ears of the sheep in the thrall of the mythology of TP. Even worse, it shows the outpouring of emotion and gratitude of thousands of Americans in recognition of service and sacrifice of Chris Kyle in the closing scenes of actual footage surrounding his memorial and funeral.

The "heroes" of the left are guys like Marx, BO, Castro, Bill Ayers, and BO -- "the brilliant". They know they have no hope of receiving the kind of honest respect of decent people like a Chris Kyle, so they hope for dependent masses and fear. Their hope is that they can gain control of massive killing machines on the order of the USSR and Nazi Germany and take out all Sheepdogs like Kyle  -- ideally in some Gulag, or in some torture chamber like those of Saddam and his sons. I suspect that the author of this article would dearly enjoy a nice electrocution session with a SEAL hanging on a meat hook. It would give him a strong sense of "intellectual superiority" -- of the sort all too regularly on display in the world.

Keep the ARs clean and sighted in. So much better to die with your finger on the trigger than at the hands of the elite moral relativists or Islamic zealots of the world.

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Entitlement, It's Not the Plays Called, It's the Attitude Created

George Will: The harm incurred by a mushrooming welfare state - The Washington Post:

My analysis of NFC Championship loss by my beloved Packers is if you play so conservative that your DBs are sliding down with 5 min left to play, you deserve to lose. It isn't so much the conservative play calling as it the attitude in the team that is engendered by the calls -- they stop playing to win and start playing not to lose. Their mental energy is focused on NOT losing -- which is like NOT thinking about a pink elephant. Just as you immediately think of a pink elephant, the team becomes focused on LOSS, which is very commonly just what happens.

So to to the attitude engendered by "entitlement" in the US:

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America’s “fastest growing source of personal income,” growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.
The explosion of "welfare" programs in the last 50 years as turned America from a vibrant merit based nation focused on growth, advancement, success and the future, to a declining debt ridden nation where over 50% of the people receive some sort of transfer payment and the exorbitant tax rates to pay for only a portion of the largess are paid only by the top earners. Never before have so few been so burdened so a corrupt political party could destroy the will to work of the majority of a once great nation!
More than twice as many households receive “anti-poverty” benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments.
Why do we do such things? Because 70-80% of those 67 million people vote for TP (The Party -D)!! This is vote farming! Much as we fill the news and march in droves over the lost lives of a couple black youth killed while resisting arrest, but totally ignore the 6K black youths killed in black on black violence every year, the cost for converting a nation to abject dependency is no issue all all. WHAT MATTERS are votes for TP!
... the structure of U.S. government spending “has been completely overturned within living memory,” resulting in the “remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state.” In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.
The government is great, the government is good, we thank it for our daily bread. God, fathers, and the family have been replaced by the "benevolent" government as being the source of bread. TP has succeeded in creating a nation of dependent children (many of advanced age) who are beholden to it for their very sustenance.

Like conservative play calling or NOT focusing on a pink elephant, human nature is sickeningly predictable. The primary cost is destruction of the winning attitude -- the destruction of the spirit of a people :
“... the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it.” As a growing portion of the population succumbs to the entitlement state’s ever-expanding menu of temptations, the costs, Eberstadt concludes, include a transformation of the nation’s “political culture, sensibilities, and tradition,” the weakening of America’s distinctive “conceptions of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-advancement,” and perhaps a “rending of the national fabric.” As a result, “America today does not look exceptional at all.”

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SOTU, The Party As Employer

Woman Showcased by Obama in SOTU is a Former Democratic Campaign Staffer | Washington Free Beacon:

Somehow I missed out on seeing BO flap his lips on TV this week, watching a paid liar lie just doesn't capture much interest for me. Turns out, he is lying even when he is NOT talking, as in the "optics" of the event. The woman that he held up as example of how his policies are working for "average Americans" was Party employee.

As we slip more and more to single party state with a higher and higher percentage of people drawing support from the government or directly from "The Party", does not the "Party Worker" become the rule rather than the exception?

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little MSM Compare, Reid Slingshot vs Cheney Shooting

Badly Injured Harry Reid Just Fitness-Shamed America - The Daily Beast:

Cheney Shooting (4 years later) 

I've paid little attention to the Harry Reid story. It might well be as stated, a VERY strong elastic band somehow flung him across the room and did all the damage claimed. It might be something else -- it was reported on New Years Day, Harry would not be the only person in America that had too much to drink some New Years in case alcohol was involved.

As I've often said, I don't really care how the press decides to treat these sort of things -- they could treat them as they treat them when an R is involved, or they could treat them as they do when a D is involved. My only beef is that they ought to have SOME thought of treating them THE SAME!

Which they don't.

We barely know of the Harry Reid accident, while at the time of the Cheney accident it was plastered all over, including late night shows, etc. As we see above, even four years later in 2010 it is worthy of a multi-page retrospective from the Post full of "unanswered questions".

It isn't very hard to read the accounts of Reid's accident without a few "questions", but nobody is really asking them, and I'm fine with that. For PERSONAL issues, I think both parties ought be treated that way so that a higher caliber of people would be willing to go into politics. EVERYONE, independent of party has a PERSONAL life that includes personal failings, family failings, failings of friends, accidents, etc..

Bill Clinton saw fit to harass Paula Jones, an employee and to have a sexual relationship with an employee at the WH, both of which would have been the end of the line for a low level manager at McDonalds or any other US corporation. That ought not be confused with "personal" for EITHER party -- and by the way, if low level managers lose their jobs over such things, so ought presidents irrespective of party. (** Note, I'm NOT saying that low level managers necessarily SHOULD lose their jobs, just that it is the law of the land that they do, and the fact that law was signed by one Bill Clinton should give one pause)

Both Reid and Cheney were on their own time, not on official government business, their accidents were personal. Reid apparently injured himself, Cheney injured a friend. Both cases are are private / personal, but the difference in treatment is glaringly obvious.

We can't change how the press operates, but we CAN pay enough attention to realize that there is a very transparent attempt at a form of brain washing!

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl

link to book

Personal events of the past week have yet again brought this book off my shelf and I realized that I have never directly reviewed it in the blog.

Dr Victor Frankl, trained as a psychiatrist before suffering years of life in the brutal concentration camps of Nazi Germany where he lost his young wife, parents and of course millions of others (including many more of his friends and associates), has a level of authority that is hard to ignore.

Beyond his experience in the horror of the camps, he founded a school of psychotherapy called "Logotherapy", derived from the Greek "logos" or "meaning". It is considered the 3rd school of Viennese psychotherapy, contrasted with Freud's "will to pleasure", and the Adler/Nietzsche "will to power", it talks of a "will to meaning" in the existential manner similar to Kierkegaard.

Logotherapy speaks of "existential frustration", where the term "existential" has 3 related meanings:

1). Existence itself in the way that humans experience it.
2). The MEANING of existence
3). The PERSONAL SEARCH for that meaning

Where Freud, and largely the American Founders thought that "happiness" or "pleasure" is what is to be pursued, Frankl believes that life provides each of us a task that is specific and unique for each person. Every human has value because each has a unique task that will likely fall under one or more of three headings:
1). The completing of a "work" -- art, innovation, a family, ideas, business, etc ...
2). Experiencing or encountering someone or some thing -- the love of your life, care for the poor, the elderly, the sick ... or maybe just "baseball", or "riding motorcycle"
3). Suffering -- facing inevitable suffering and turning it to triumph. Very much looked down on today where we tend to make people "ashamed for being unhappy". Note if the suffering CAN be removed, then that is what should be done, but if it is a terminal painful condition, or someone close to you is lost -- or if you are in a concentration camp, then human suffering CAN have dignity.

A quote from Nietzsche comes up a couple times in the book "He who has a why can bear with almost any how." The message of the book is that it is meaning that is primary (the why). Happiness is a RESULT not the immediate objective, and in fact, the pursuit of happiness as a primary goal is often destructive as it fails to realize that RESPONSIBILITY ... inescapable responsibility to answer the question that life asks us, is the natural human state and it REQUIRES tension ... effort, risk, loss, pain.

The idea that happiness is a worthy "pursuit" and some would even say "a right" is a sham, because of what Frankl calls "the tragic triad" that is part of each of our lives: Pain, Guilt, and Death. Part of each of our "question" is how do we say yes to life in the face of Pain, Guilt, and Death. His basic answer is "a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness, but rather in search of a reason to become happy".

I'm going to include his "imperative", even though it is one that does not speak to me as well as much of the book does:
 "Live life as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now". 
To try to give readers a chance to follow this better than possibly I do, I will quote a bit more:
" In fact, the opportunities to act properly, the potentialities to fulfill a meaning, are affected by the irreversibility of our lives. But also the potentialities alone are so affected. For as soon as we have used an opportunity and have actualized a potential meaning, we have done so once and for all. We have rescued it into the past wherein it as been safely delivered and deposited. In the past, nothing is irretrievably lost, but rather, on the contrary, everything is irrevocably stored and treasured. To be sure, people tend to see only the stubble fields of transitoriness, but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past which they have brought into the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity." 
My belief is that the reason this does not speak to me to the same extent is that I did not suffer in a concentration camp, nor lose a young wife that I loved, all my family and most of my friends to the Holocaust. To Frankl, his life prior to, and even the experience of the horror of the camps is so much a part of his soul that he has had to integrate that as "treasure", somewhat in order to live, but possibly more so in order to honor and keep alive the memories of those he knew and loved that were lost so early in his life.

The book is not directly a "religious book", although to believe that "life" asks each a meaningful question, there is only a short step from "life" to "God". If one has Christian Faith, much in the book is quite easily to translate to that context.

Needless to say, I highly recommend the book, ESPECIALLY for those suffering ... and in human life, eventually, that includes all of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Young Earth Science, History Began in 1880

2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics -
Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880, 
Fundamentalism is endemic to humans. Fundamentalist Secular Humanists love to poke fun at religious fundamentalists to who extrapolate from the genealogies in the Bible to a 6K age for the earth, but by comparison, the religious fundamentalists have a VERY old earth compared to the "settled science" of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming)  faithful who use 1880 as the beginning of time.

Note though that the 130+ years used for this startling historical dart to the souls of anyone that maintains any skepticism relative to "settled science" is somewhat aged compared to the time we actually have actual satellite global data, which begins in '79 ... and shows no statistical warming since '98, ranks 2104 as the 3rd warmest by a tiny statistically insignificant amount since '79.

Wow, time for a headline!! THIRD warmest year since 1979!!! We are talking a FULL 36 years here folks, a span of time virtually impossible to even conceive of in scientific history! Perhaps with immense scientific advancement, far in the future, humans will even be able to recall what life on this planet was like 36 years in the dim and distant past!!

Unlike the evolutionary crowd who like to talk about "great age", the AGW crowd has to contend with quite a few living human specimens that actually lived in such dim and distant past ages as 1979! Although given the distractions of TV, Rock Music, the Internet, Cell Phones, etc, I guess the assumption is that very few of them will recall such dim historical ages.

As noted here before, those of us of apparently exceptional memory recall the '70s and early '80s were pretty chilly times, when science was "nearly sure" (although less political about it) that an ice age was in the early stages. "Settled" is a bit of a short term phenomenon in modern "science".

From the amount of play this pronouncement of 2014 being "the warmest in history" is getting, it is fairly clear that the warmist faithful are feeling rather concerned about their religious faith.

Skepticism of science! We all know that science is a matter of FAITH! Something which can NEVER be questioned!

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An Islamic Mallard Walks Into a Bar

The Conversation Obama Doesn’t Want to Have | National Review Online: "’"

A good discussion of the collateral damage of the BO admin's 3 card monte "It wasn't anything Islamic" dodge.
Think of it this way. A bird waddles into the room. It walks like a duck, it talks like a duck, it gives off every indication of duckness. If Josh Earnest says, “That’s not a mallard,” well, okay. You can have a reasonable conversation about which species the bird might be. But if Earnest says, “That is not a duck. It has no relation or similarity to anatine fowl in any way, shape or form, and any talk of ducks is illegitimate. . . . ”
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Why Is Jimmy Carter Laughing at Jewish Safety?

Jimmy Carter: Jews Safer in France than Israel | Washington Free Beacon:

Watch this video, it's damned spooky. Why is the question of Jewish safety somehow funny? Why do Carter and his interview buddy find the idea of Jews being safer in Israel than France to be so entertaining?

Iranian nukes come to my mind as something that vermin like Carter may have in the back of his mind.

As Carter says in the video -- these attacks provide a great opportunity for the West to discover what makes Islam "great"! Sure, it must a single minded will to power -- just imagine how super an opportunity a couple nukes to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem would be with that same logic!

PowerLine had a great little bit of Carter humor in the same vein of his laughter on the tape ...

Jimmy Carter went to a fortune teller and asked when he was going to die. The fortune teller responded: "On a Jewish Holiday".  Carter responds, "Which one?".

Fortune teller responds, "Whatever day you die will be a Jewish holiday".

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