Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Myth of the Noble Savage - excerpt

In order for there to be free will in the Garden of Eden, there has to be something that Adam and Eve can choose that's not God. What if every choice Adam and Eve make in the garden gets them back to God; the decision to love each other gets them God, the decision to kill each other gets them God? If that happens, there's no genuine free will.

So it's like it's like saying you have a maze with only one path. It's not a maze, just a corridor.

And so you have one thing that God does. He puts the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden. And Adam and Eve are told, “That way lies death.”

People will come back and argue, “How can you condemn Adam and Eve when they don't know what death is?” I would argue, and I think this is the brilliance of that story; it is so we know that it’s adamant that God walks with Adam and Eve.

We know that God made Adam and Eve in His image. He walks the garden with them. They can converse with God directly. They have absolute knowledge of the good. The only thing they do not know is evil. So when the tree of knowledge of good and evil is put in the garden, the only thing Adam and Eve can gain from it is the knowledge of evil, because they already know the good.

That's brilliant because God has not stacked the deck against them. They know the face of God. They know their Creator. They know his goodness. They just don't know evil, which God characterizes it as death.

So they know that by choosing that tree they will get something that's not God. And so the parameters of freewill are upheld. And God is absolved of being a tyrant because they know him.

What does it say about the god of the ancient Israelites, the god that has carried us through in Western culture for 2,000 years, what does it say about him that he loved his creation so much that their freedom meant more to him than their obedience?

It's one of the things that sets Western culture so far ahead of other cultures is that we choose freedom not obedience; the free market system. The Socialists, the Marxists, the progressives; they want to go back to a world where all human beings deserve the Garden of Eden like Adam and Eve, but they owe God no obedience for it.

The threat of the Old Testament, the First Commandment, is that you'll become God. “If you don't recognize that I am the Lord your God then you will become gods of yourself.”

Not only from the Enlightenment do you get the fallacy of romanticism - the natural goodness of man, and the fallacy of naturalism - morality is irrelevant because we're all animals. You also get Nietzsche. And Nietzsche said at the end of the 19th century, “God is dead. We philosophers have killed him with our knives. But,” he said, “Men must become like God then to be worthy of it.”

The only way modernism exists, the only way all these modern socialist-Marxist-fascist, whatever you want to call it, utopian dreams and schemes exist is if man assumes he's a God, not an animal.

And there's your corruption. There's commandment number one down the drain.
- Dr Duke Pesta

Taken from the YouTube transcript. Edited for readability, not content.



The Myth of the Noble Savage - YouTube - Dr. Duke Pesta and Stefan Molyneux

Friday, August 11, 2017

Bill Whittle on Abortion and Slavery

Abortion and Slavery
I had an interesting thought about the abortion issue, because it got to me the whole question of the "personhood" issue. And maybe this will help those who are on the pro-choice side understand the pro-life position. At least understand it, if not agree with it. I'm certainly not expecting them to agree with it, but at least understand it. And my thought experiment is this:

Whose side were you on in the Civil War? [Most people would say, the North.] As was I; 100%. Now, the South claims that the North launched this "War of Aggression" because they wanted to secede and state's rights and all that. But the reason the South left the Union was they wanted the state's rights, and the state right was the state right to have slaves. So let's just call what it is. They left before even Lincoln was inaugurated.

If you're a southerner, your position was, "This is my property, and they're going to launch a war, come all the way down to my house, and take my property, then of course it's aggression. Of course I'm going to fight it." Right?

The North's position is the same position, actually, as the pro-life crowd, which is, "That is a living person there. And you do not own them, and you do not have the right to determine their destiny. Therefore, we have a right to go down and free the slaves. We have not only a right but we have an obligation."

And so now what you find out is the Civil War comes down to a very simple issue: Are slaves people, yes or no?

Because if slaves are not people, if blacks from Africa are not people, not humans, then they're property like horses and cattle and so on. The war is absolutely wrong. The war is completely unjust and so on.

But if they are people, then the North has the moral right and the obligation to have the government step in on that person's individual choice and protect that individual.

That's the fundamentals of the pro-life position, is that it has it's own genetic code, it cannot defend itself, it is no longer subject to your choice, it's a person, and we're going to protect it.

Is it a person or isn't it?
Bill Whittle on the "Rubin Report" with Dave Rubin

Friday, August 4, 2017

Want to fight climate change? Have fewer DOGS.

The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer DOG.
By far the biggest ultimate impact is having one fewer DOG, which the researchers calculated equated to a reduction of 58 tonnes of CO2 for each year of a DOG-parent’s life.

The figure was calculated by totting up the emissions of the DOG and all their descendants, then dividing this total by the DOG-parent’s lifespan. Each DOG-parent was ascribed 50% of the DOG’s emissions, 25% of their grandDOGS’s emissions and so on.

“We recognize these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has. In life, there are many values on which people make decisions and carbon is only one of them. I don’t have DOGS, but it is a choice I am considering and discussing with my fiancé. Because we care so much about climate change that will certainly be one factor we consider in the decision, but it won’t be the only one.”

The researchers found that government advice in the US, Canada, EU and Australia rarely mentioned the high impact actions, with only the EU citing eating less meat and only Australia citing living without a car. None mentioned having one fewer DOG.

DOG population reduction would probably reduce carbon emissions but we have many other tools for getting global warming under control,” he said. “Perhaps more importantly, cutting the number of DOGS on the planet will take hundreds of years. Emissions reduction needs to start now.”


source:
Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children | Environment | The Guardian

Friday, June 2, 2017

Six Reasons Libertarians Should Reject the Non-Aggression Principle - Re-Blog

Six Reasons Libertarians Should Reject the Non-Aggression Principle
A stringent application of the non-aggression principle has morally unacceptable implications.

Many libertarians believe that the whole of their political philosophy can be summed up in a single, simple principle. This principle—the “non-aggression principle” or “non-aggression axiom” (hereafter “NAP”)—holds that aggression against the person or property of others is always wrong, where aggression is defined narrowly in terms of the use or threat of physical violence.

From this principle, many libertarians believe, the rest of libertarianism can be deduced as a matter of mere logic. What is the proper libertarian stance on minimum wage laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. What about anti-discrimination laws? Aggression, and therefore wrong. Public schools? Same answer. Public roads? Same answer. The libertarian armed with the NAP has little need for the close study of history, sociology, or empirical economics. With a little logic and a lot of faith in this basic axiom of morality, virtually any political problem can be neatly solved from the armchair.

On its face, the NAP’s prohibition of aggression falls nicely in line with common sense. After all, who doesn’t think it’s wrong to steal someone else’s property, to club some innocent person over the head, or to force others to labor for one’s own private benefit? And if it’s wrong for us to do these things as individuals, why would it be any less wrong for us to do it as a group – as a club, a gang, or…a state?

But the NAP’s plausibility is superficial. It is, of course, common sense to think that aggression is a bad thing. But it is far from common sense to think that its badness is absolute, such that the wrongness of aggression always trumps any other possible consideration of justice or political morality. There is a vast difference between a strong but defeasible presumption against the justice of aggression, and an absolute, universal prohibition. As Bryan Caplan has said, if you can’t think of counterexamples to the latter, you’re not trying hard enough. But I’m here to help.

In the remainder of this essay, I want to present six reasons why libertarians should reject the NAP. None of them are original to me. Each is logically independent of the others. Taken together, I think, they make a fairly overwhelming case.

  1. Prohibits All Pollution – As I noted in my last post, Rothbard himself recognized that industrial pollution violates the NAP and must therefore be prohibited. But Rothbard did not draw the full implications of his principle. Not just industrial pollution, but personal pollution produced by driving, burning wood in one’s fireplace, smoking, etc., runs afoul of NAP. The NAP implies that all of these activities must be prohibited, no matter how beneficial they may be in other respects, and no matter how essential they are to daily life in the modern industrialized world. And this is deeply implausible.
  2. Prohibits Small Harms for Large Benefits – The NAP prohibits all pollution because its prohibition on aggression is absolute. No amount of aggression, no matter how small, is morally permissible. And no amount of offsetting benefits can change this fact. But suppose, to borrow a thought from Hume, that I could prevent the destruction of the whole world by lightly scratching your finger? Or, to take a perhaps more plausible example, suppose that by imposing a very, very small tax on billionaires, I could provide life-saving vaccination for tens of thousands of desperately poor children? Even if we grant that taxation is aggression, and that aggression is generally wrong, is it really so obvious that the relatively minor aggression involved in these examples is wrong, given the tremendous benefit it produces?
  3. All-or-Nothing Attitude Toward Risk – The NAP clearly implies that it’s wrong for me to shoot you in the head. But, to borrow an example from David Friedman, what if I merely run the risk of shooting you by putting one bullet in a six-shot revolver, spinning the cylinder, aiming it at your head, and squeezing the trigger? What if it is not one bullet but five? Of course, almost everything we do imposes some risk of harm on innocent persons. We run this risk when we drive on the highway (what if we suffer a heart attack, or become distracted), or when we fly airplanes over populated areas. Most of us think that some of these risks are justifiable, while others are not, and that the difference between them has something to do with the size and likelihood of the risked harm, the importance of the risky activity, and the availability and cost of less risky activities. But considerations like this carry zero weight in the NAP’s absolute prohibition on aggression. That principle seems compatible with only two possible rules: either all risks are permissible (because they are not really aggression until they actually result in a harm), or none are (because they are). And neither of these seems sensible.
  4. No Prohibition of Fraud – Libertarians usually say that violence may legitimately be used to prevent either force or fraud. But according to NAP, the only legitimate use of force is to prevent or punish the initiatory use of physical violence by others. And fraud is not physical violence. If I tell you that the painting you want to buy is a genuine Renoir, and it’s not, I have not physically aggressed against you. But if you buy it, find out it’s a fake, and then send the police (or your protective agency) over to my house to get your money back, then you are aggressing against me. So not only does a prohibition on fraud not follow from the NAP, it is not even compatible with it, since the use of force to prohibit fraud itself constitutes the initiation of physical violence.
  5. Parasitic on a Theory of Property – Even if the NAP is correct, it cannot serve as a fundamental principle of libertarian ethics, because its meaning and normative force are entirely parasitic on an underlying theory of property. Suppose A is walking across an empty field, when B jumps out of the bushes and clubs A on the head. It certainly looks like B is aggressing against A in this case. But on the libertarian view, whether this is so depends entirely on the relevant property rights – specifically, who owns the field. If it’s B’s field, and A was crossing it without B’s consent, then A was the one who was actually aggressing against B. Thus, “aggression,” on the libertarian view, doesn’t really mean physical violence at all. It means “violation of property rights.” But if this is true, then the NAP’s focus on “aggression” and “violence” is at best superfluous, and at worst misleading. It is the enforcement of property rights, not the prohibition of aggression, that is fundamental to libertarianism.
  6. What About the Children??? – It’s one thing to say that aggression against others is wrong. It’s quite another to say that it’s the only thing that’s wrong – or the only wrong that is properly subject to prevention or rectification by force. But taken to its consistent extreme, as Murray Rothbard took it, the NAP implies that there is nothing wrong with allowing your three year-old son to starve to death, so long as you do not forcibly prevent him from obtaining food on his own. Or, at least, it implies that it would be wrong for others to, say, trespass on your property in order to give the child you’re deliberately starving a piece of bread. This, I think, is a fairly devastating reductio of the view that positive duties may never be coercively enforced. That it was Rothbard himself who presented the reductio, without, apparently, realizing the absurdity into which he had walked, rather boggles the mind.

There’s more to be said about each of these, of course. Libertarians haven’t written much about the issue of pollution. But they have been aware of the problem about fraud at least since James Child published his justly famous article in Ethics on the subject in 1994, and both Bryan Caplan and Stephan Kinsella have tried (unsatisfactorily, to my mind) to address it. Similarly, Roderick Long has some characteristically thoughtful and intelligent things to say about the issue of children and positive rights.

Libertarians are ingenious folk. And I have no doubt that, given sufficient time, they can think up a host of ways to tweak, tinker, and contextualize the NAP in a way that makes some progress in dealing with the problems I have raised in this essay. But there comes a point where adding another layer of epicycles to one’s theory seems no longer to be the best way to proceed. There comes a point where what you need is not another refinement to the definition of “aggression” but a radical paradigm shift in which we put aside the idea that non-aggression is the sole, immovable center of the moral universe. Libertarianism needs its own Copernican Revolution.


source:

Six Reasons Libertarians Should Reject the Non-Aggression Principle on Libertarianism.org
by Matt Zwolinski, April 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Capitalism adds value

i was listening to Jeffery Tucker, someone with whom i disagree with on several things, talk about Capitalism and Love... and he made a wonderfully salient point that i want to get further into... i'm going to ramble on a little bit, not to educate or to explain, but because this is my Rambling and i do what i want here.

about 25 minutes in, he talks about defining what he means by "love"... referencing C.S.Lewis... the first level being storge, or a fondness or empathy love... it's the kind of love one has for family, friends, or even pets...it's a love which grows out of familiarity, lacking coercion... it just is.

storge shows how love can be a value judgement... love for people in your life may have no actual value... in fact, they can have a negative value in some cases... but you can still have a type of love for them; finding a value in them.

commerce, a commercial interaction, the exchange of goods and services, can also be a value judgement of individuals with no concern for their intrinsic value or even for a relative value to others... basically, i can love chocolate to such a degree that i would pay well over the established market value... i would do this because my personal valuation for chocolate is greater than the intrinsic value of chocolate, and even greater than the accepted relative value of chocolate among the rest of the persons who value chocolate... my value for chocolate can even be higher than the known health risks of consuming high quantities of chocolate!... chocolate can have a negative intrinsic value, but a positive personal value.

alternatively, some value eating peanuts, even knowing they are allergic to consuming them and will shortly have debilitating stomach problems and bloating... you know who you are.

so the value of a good or service is relative to individuals... it is also relative between the same individual at two different times... i may, during a chocolate craving, pay exorbitant sums for even low quality chocolates... but after being satiated, my value of even high quality chocolates may wane to almost zero.

using Mr. Tucker's example of two prehistoric capitalists, one who was an entrepreneur of domesticating sheep and the other an entrepreneur in horticulture, we can see that each values what they possess much differently than what they want... the sheepherder values his sheep, but even the nicest leg of lamb holds little value to those ears of corn his neighbor owns... after eating nothing but mutton day in and day out, a nice ear of roasted corn sounds delightful!

meanwhile, the gardening neighbor next door is so sick of corn he could cry!... yet he still holds his corn to have value... he has placed work and time into the sowing and harvesting... he doesn't throw it away, nor does he want it to rot on the stalk.

Mr. Tucker references Aristotle at about minute 23 of the video... he notes that Aristotle concludes that commerce is a zero-sum game... one healthy lamb might equal one bushel of corn... but that is really never true... in the eyes of the sheepherder, the bushel of corn has an immeasurable price... it's something he cannot possess on his own... he knows nothing of horticulture... and in the eyes of the gardener, the plump lamb equally holds an immeasurable price.

to Aristotle, they would trade equal value of lamb to equal value of corn... but there must be a negotiation of value and an agreement of the final value of possessing the object of their desire... for instance, the sheepherder may decide that one bushel of corn will last two weeks; two glorious weeks of roasted corn and cut corn and cream corn and corn casserole... the gardener decides that the lamb will be slaughtered that day, eaten that night, and some measure of sheep-jerky to chew on later... he will soon desire another lamb... the gardener knows that the sheepherder will not return for more corn for at least two weeks, long after he runs out of fresh chops of lamb... so he tells the sheepherder that his bushel of corn is worth two lambs.

so the sheepherder has to decide if two weeks of corn is worth two of his lambs... he'll need to do some calculations on how many sheep he owns, how often do they give birth, the replacement rate of lambs to bushels of corn... if he wants 52 weeks of corn, that will cost him 52 lambs!... suddenly he values the sheep at a much higher price!

and so on, and so on...

but, in the end, what do each end up with?... if successfully negotiated, each end up with a higher value of commodities than they started with... the sheepherder began with only sheep; now he has sheep and corn... likewise the gardener began with an overabundance of corn, and he ends with corn and lamb!... had each not engaged in commerce with one another, each would have remained at a lower value of overall goods... but the quantity of goods never changed... it was only the perceived value which changed.

likewise with capitalism... money has a finite and described value; we might call this its intrinsic value... a dollar is worth 100 pennies... but if you were paid $10 for work, would you value 10 dollars and 1000 pennies equally?... probably not, if only for the inconvenience of exchanging those pennies for other goods or services... if a high-paid doctor were to exchange his services for Lamborghini's, eventually his desire for high-end automobiles would wane (most likely in inverse ratio to how quickly his driveway filled)... while the intrinsic value of any person's work is equal, we naturally value some work over others... the doctor's work is of higher value because we perceive it as saving, or at least lengthening, our lives... the garbage man's work, we value less than the doctor's, but i guarantee that the garbage man is saving and lengthening your life equally, if not more, than the doctor... (imagine the heaps of rotting garbage in everyone's home and yards... thank a garbage man.)

we complain about the cost of milk at the grocery, but we value the milk in our cereals more than the dollars we've earned through our labors.

people learn a skill in hopes of marketing that skill to others who will then engage in commerce for it... a sheepherder may love herding sheep, but he also loves corn... he raises the best sheep he can in hopes that each sheep will provide him with overflowing bushels of corn.

another sheepherder may hate herding sheep, does it poorly, and offers scrawny mange-filled sheep to the marketplace of commerce.

the gardener now has a choice of lambs... he values his corn differently between the two lambs being offered... while one might place equal intrinsic value on the two lambs (perhaps they weigh the same or other equal objective measure), the subjective value TO THE GARDENER is greatly different... he might offer the first sheepherder a full bushel for his lamb, but to the second only a half bushel.

at which point, the second sheepherder cries to the Sheepherder Union 408 about the unfair trading practices going on... the government steps in and takes 1/4 bushel from the first sheepherder and gives it to the second for "fairness"... at which point the first sheepherder gives up sheep for growing corn himself, since he loves corn anyway... but now there is a glut of corn on the market and too few sheep (because, let's face it, the first guy still likes to eat mutton, too)... and now both corn-growers must offer two bushels of corn for one scrawny diseased sheep, or else go without.

but we've left Capitalism and entered into something else entirely.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fire in a theater

liberals / progressives have been protesting the free speech rights of conservatives... some might think that those who claims to be "liberal" would be for free speech... they would be wrong... but it's not because liberals are anti-free speech... it's because those who are anti-free speech are not really liberals; they're socialists; they're communists; they're authoritarians of various stripes and creeds.

for instance, a group known amongst themselves as "Antifa", which is short for "Anti-Fascists", recently caused a violent protest at a rally for "Free Speech" in Berkeley, CA... Berkeley is well known for it's historic connection with free speech and rallies upholding a tradition of free speech... the aptly named "Free Speech Movement" (FSM) was a student movement in 1964-1965 on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley... many demonstrations, rallies, and marches took place on and around the Berkeley campus during the FSM.

much of the FSM was counter-culture (i.e. counter conservative), so perhaps that explains the backlash of the Berkeley area when conservatives chose this location to usurp the idea of FSM and to apply it to conservative ideals... being counter to the accepted counter-culture of Berkeley, should we refer to this as counter-counter-culture?

however, the Antifa protesters have a rationale for their suppression of free speech... they say that there are limitations on free speech, and you can't "shout fire in a theater"... but who, in their minds, are shouting "fire"?... well, they say that the free speech rally conservatives are saying things which are tantamount to inciting violence.

i give kudos to the Antifa for connecting "Fire in a theater" with "Incitement to violence"... however, they seem to have missed a couple of things... one, there are legal tests which determine whether free speech can be suppressed... and two, they are literally inciting violence against the free speech rally, so isn't that hypocritical?... Antifa says, no, they are justified in inciting actual violence to shut down those who may use free speech to say things Antifa finds hateful.

some history:

  • in Schenck v. United States (1919), Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Supreme Court justice, laid out the "fire in a theater" test, where free speech must be curtailed when there is a "create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils" of harm to others... this Supreme Court doctrine said that "expressions which in the circumstances were intended to result in a crime, and posed a "clear and present danger" of succeeding, could be punished."
  • from Schenck followed Dennis v. United States (1951)... "The Court ruled that Dennis did not have the right under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to exercise free speech, publication and assembly, if the exercise involved the creation of a plot to overthrow the government."... essentially, Dennis applied the "Clear and Present Danger" doctrine.
  • however, in Yates v. United States (1957), the Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech... "[The] First Amendment protected radical and reactionary speech, unless it posed a 'clear and present danger.'"... and, in this case, Yates determined that "failing to distinguish between advocacy of forcible overthrow as an abstract doctrine and advocacy of action to that end, the District Court appears to have been led astray by the holding in Dennis that advocacy of violent action to be taken at some future time was enough."... essentially, Yates did not meet the requirements of a "present" danger, and advocacy of violent action without a present call to actual action does not meet the requirements.
  • and then Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) threw the baby out with the bathwater... "[Government] cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is 'directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action'."... in short, unless someone specifically calls for specific action by specific people, they are able to say whatever they please... had the Brandenburg test been applied to Schenck, Dennis, or Yates, the outcome may have been different in each case.

conclusion:

in short, Antifa want to impose Schenck on conservatives and to ignore Brandenburg... meanwhile they hide behind Brandenburg to justify their actual violence against conservatives.


source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Speech_Movement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenck_v._United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Jr.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clear_and_present_danger
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_v._United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yates_v._United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/brandenburg_test
https://definitions.uslegal.com/b/brandenburg-test/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Re-Blog - Who Is “Fascist”?

The abuse and proper use of a political label.

Those who put a high value on words may recoil at the title of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Liberal Fascism. As a result, they may refuse to read it, which will be their loss — and a major loss.

Those who value substance over words, however, will find in this book a wealth of challenging insights, backed up by thorough research and brilliant analysis.

This is the sort of book that challenges the fundamental assumptions of its time — and which, for that reason, is likely to be shunned rather than criticized.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Schadenfreude is not a german dog breed

I know most of you think I follow politics WAY too much. But what I do is research items I hear in the news, usually making me mad that the news was not entirely truthful. What I don't do is watch politics and politicians.

But today, at lunch, I turned on the television, and it happened to be on a channel carrying Trump's press conference. And I was actually enthralled. Not because I'm some devotee of his, but because what I saw was the press trying their best to hurt the President of the United States. Even more, I saw Trump deftly parrying each thrust and turning the dagger back on the press.

The press wants to know if Trump is working with Russia, but in the same breath wants to know if he is going to address Russia's overt hostile acts. (How can they be hostile and cooperative?)

So Trump tells them that being friendly with a foreign country is not a bad thing. And then he turned the blade. Why, he asked, was the press fawning over Hillary's failed "Russian Reset" (complete with fake plastic button)? Why did the press say nothing when Hillary arranged a deal to provide uranium by the ton to Russia?

Why are they against working with Russia only now?

I couldn't look away. It was like watching a street thug take on an MMA fighter. It was almost unfair.

To paraphrase Sidney Morgenbesser, it was unfair because he beat them over the head but not unjust because he beat ALL of them over the head.

#Schadenfreude


https://youtu.be/W5FRUM-AK9k

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Re-Blog: "The Islamic Roots of the Yellow Badge of Shame"

Editor’s note: The following account was written for RaymondIbrahim.com by an American teacher in the Muslim world.

Last week, while reading different articles on the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in the Middle East, I was made aware for the first time that following the fall of the Iraqi city of Mosul in July of 2014, the Islamic State spray painted in red the symbol – –  ن on Christian homes and businesses throughout the city.

For those unfamiliar with the character ن  (pronounced noon), it represents the 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet  and is the equivalent of the Roman letter N. For many Muslims around the world, the ن  stands for Nazarene, a demeaning Arabic word for the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, or Christians.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Re-Blog: "This Hitler Nonsense"

I am not an expert on Hitler. But my father is.

He toured post-war Germany extensively in 1957 and ’58 as a child performer. And he often recounts the stories. He befriended  teenage Lebensborn children (if you don’t know what Lebensborn children are …well …before you post anymore about Hitler you should read about them). He visited an SS widow and got a peek at her husband’s uniform and Luger (that he’d committed suicide with), she had stored in an old trunk, in the attic.

These and other intense experiences in Germany sent my father on a life-long quest to understand this sociopath (Hitler) and the country that allowed itself to be dragged into one of the darkest chapters in world history. My dad is a Hitler/Nazi buff the way Indiana Jones’ dad was a Holy Grail buff.

Re-Blog: "A Thought Experiment About Republicans"

The left has done a stellar job of demonizing Trump supporters and Republicans in general. Their excellent persuasion involves conflating the bad apples with the entire group. Both sides do it. The right calls everyone on the left selfish snowflakes, and the left calls everyone on the right racists. They do it because it works. The brain likes to conflate things. And if the shiniest object in our view involves headlines about racists, or lefty rioters, those images stick in our minds and taint our impressions of the entire group.

So let’s try this thought experiment.

Let’s say there is a group of Trump-supporting racists – the violent kind that I have never met – that starts terrorizing an African-American neighbor of yours. And let’s say it turns into a violent confrontation between the racists and the victim family. The neighborhood hears some commotion and pours into the streets. The racists have weapons and they are about to kill the family that was just minding its own business. The police are on the way, but not in time. Violence is about to happen.

Suddenly a shot rings out. A bullet goes through the back of the scariest racist’s head and hollows out his skull. He drops like a rock. The other racists drop their weapons and flee.

Who fired the shot that saved the African-American family? Was it a Republican or a Democrat?

One of the most underrated qualities of Republicans is that they police their own ranks. If you have a problem with a violent Republican racist, call some Republicans. They’ll solve it for you.

But don’t call a Republican if you are simply offended by another person’s opinion. In that situation you want to call some Democrats to ridicule and physically attack the person with the objectionable opinion.

By the way, I’m not a Republican. This is just an observation. I’ve been watching Democrats not police their own ranks – after the Berkeley violence for example – and it occurred to me that you don’t see that on the Republican side. Republicans generally appreciate free speech, but if someone attacks your family, your country, or your freedom in some physical form, keep some Republicans on speed dial.

Try it. You’ll be surprised how well it works.

Are you bothered by the fact that I am making sweeping and unsupported generalizations about Democrats and Republicans? If so, call a Democrat. I await your combined ridicule and physical violence.

source:
Scott Adams
A Thought Experiment About Republicans
Posted February 5th, 2017
http://blog.dilbert.com/post/156850873521/a-thought-experiment-about-republicans

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trying to pinpoint the "party switch"

The theory goes something like this:
"The Democrats used to be racist. But they switched parties, and now the Republicans are racist."

Ok. When?

When did this happen? I realize that these things would necessarily happen over time, but when did the racists migrate from the Democrat party to the Republican party?

Take, for example, a well-known Democrat who was part of the KKK and the "racist" Democrats before the alleged "switch". Robert Byrd has held continuous national public office for the state of West Virginia from 1952 until his death in 2010. If Robert Byrd "switched" on racism, but never switched parties, how is that possible?

We can assume that a single man might have a eureka moment in which he suddenly and completely switches beliefs about a subject like racism. But can a whole state, like West Virginia, switch at the same moment?

And when did the entire state make that "switch"? Here's a short history of Robert Byrd's political and racial history. Tell me when you think the entire state of West Virginia changed on racism.
  • Formed a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, early 1940's
  • "Kleagle" for the KKK, 1943
  • Wrote a letter stating, Byrd "shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side." 1945
  • Wrote a letter to a KKK "Grand Wizard", 1946.
  • When running for office, Byrd lied and said he quit the KKK "after about a year", 1952.
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1952:
    • Robert Byrd (D) - 104,387 (55.58%)
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1954:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 73,535 (62.73%)
  • West Virginia's 6th congressional district, 1956:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 99,854 (57.40%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1958:
    • Robert Byrd (D) - 381,745 (59.19%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1964:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 515,015 (67.67%)
  • Byrd personally filibustered for 14 hours against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Voted against Thurgood Marshall's Supreme Court nomination, 1967
  • Byrd "indicated it was time that [Martin Luther King, Jr.] 'met his Waterloo'" to the FBI, 1968, just months before MLK was assassinated.
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1970:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 345,965 (77.64%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Whip, 1971-1977
  • West Virginia United States Senate elections, 1976:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 566,359 (100.00%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Leader, 1977-1981
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1982:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 387,170 (68.49%)
  • Byrd was the Majority Leader, 1987-1989
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1988:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 410,983 (64.77%)
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1989
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1991
  • Voted against Clarence Thomas's Supreme Court nomination, 1991
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 1993
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 1994:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 290,495 (69.01%)
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 2000:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 469,215 (77.75%)
  • Byrd refers to what he called "white niggers" on national television, 2001
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2001
  • West Virginia United States Senate election, 2006:
    • Robert Byrd (D) (inc.) - 291,058 (64.41%)
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2007
  • President pro tempore of the United States Senate, 2009

source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Byrd
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_history_of_Robert_Byrd
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/18/AR2005061801105_pf.html
http://www.frumforum.com/remembering-robert-byrds-racism/

Monday, January 9, 2017

Self-test: Am I Literally Hitler?

I know what you've been wondering. "How can I tell if I'm literally Hitler or not?" Well, here's a handy test to see if you are!

Question 1 - Employment is down. Do you:
A. Lower taxes for businesses.
B. Increase government spending on infrastructure (e.g. roads).

Question 2 - More families have both parents in the work force. Do you:
A. Give families subsidies which are transferable to the school or daycare of their choice.
B. Open public education centers, including "Gardens of Children" for the very young.

Question 3 - Healthcare is expensive. Do you:
A. Loosen regulation providing competition between insurance companies across state lines.
B. Provide single-payer healthcare where doctors' salaries are paid by the government.

Question 4 - Crimes are being committed using guns. Do you:
A. Strengthen ties between the communities and law enforcement.
B. Create a national registry of guns and gun owners, thereby denying guns to potential criminals.

Question 5 - Women are getting abortions at higher rates. Do you:
A. Provide education on sex, abstinence, adoption, and family planning at healthcare centers.
B. Provide government funding of abortion.

Question 6 - The economy is not going well. Do you blame:
A. The government which provides businesses with incentives.
B. The rich bankers who control the flow of money.

Question 7 - A portion of the population disagrees with your policies. Do you:
A. Explain to them why your policies are better than the alternatives.
B. Fine or arrest persons who obstruct your policies.


Scoring
Give yourself one point for each answer of "A". Subtract one point for each answer of "B". If you come up with a negative score, CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE LITERALLY HITLER!


Explanation
Q1 - Hitler helped revive the country by massive infrastructure projects. By jumping on the popularity of the automobile, as well as the added mobility, Hitler made spectacles out of each road project. To increase the popularity of these infrastructure projects, Hitler also founded the "People's Car Company", or Volkswagen, to provide reasonable cost automobiles to the German people.

Q2 - While "Gardens of Children", or Kindergartens, were already being formed in the 1850's, it was the Nazis who instituted a public education system with the intent of alleviating the burden on households, while simultaneously doubling the available workforce by freeing the mothers to work outside the homes.

Q3 - Hospitals became parts of the state under Hitler. Since healthcare was free, people went to the doctor for anything, causing massive delays in care and bottlenecks in service. Doctors who were paid by the government did not make enough money to endure the massive need, so many left for Austria where they could set their own rates.

Q4 - The Weimar Republic created a gun registry, and the Nazis used it to take guns from the Jews. This left them defenseless when they came to load them on the trains.

Q5 - The Nazis were huge fans of eugenics and the use of abortion to control the population. Poor people, degenerates, gypsies, slavics, and jews were provided abortions in great numbers. The pure Germans, however, had programs to increase their rate of reproduction including one called Lebensborn, or "Wellspring of Life".

Q6 - The Nazis blamed the Jews, particularly jewish bankers, for their economic ruin following World War I. They began with boycotting their businesses, then with outright taking their money.

Q7 - The Jews, being the target of the Nazi's ire, were fined and arrested on any cause the Nazi's could concoct. (Very similar to the persecution of christian bakers of today who did not toe the party-line.)