Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Ignorant Intolerant and Narrow Minded Left

I used to think that description only accounted for 10-15% of the political left in this country, and the vast majority of it confined to the far (loony) left. Even that was forgivable, in a sense, because the far left has been dominated by varieties of Marxism for over a century and they, as a group, are too ideologically stupid to be anything other than ignorant, intolerant and narrow minded. However, of late ignorant, intolerant and narrow minded has gone mainstream in the Democratic party. For example, you have these morons claiming in the name of tolerance you cannot have pluralism. And for another, more distressing, example you have the main streaming of anti-Semitism called BDS:

 

What is particularly scary about this state of affairs is there seems to be no dissent from these positions in the entire Democratic party. In fact the Democratic party seems more monolithic about, well, everything than it has been since the 1860's. To be left of center in America increasingly means living in a monoculture where different ideas and ways of life are viewed as being anathema to every tenet of common human decency. Indeed you would be hard pressed to find an example of a mainstream Democratic writer who even pays lip service to the idea that one can disagree with a Democratic party policy and NOT be morally bankrupt. However, in the increasingly Orwellian newspeak of the Democratic hegemony intolerance is branded tolerance, moral zealotry is called open mindedness, and intellectual chicanery is called scholarship. I call myself frightened.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The New York Dumb Times

I have often lamented that we live in an era of degraded journalism. Journalists of today are less independent, less articulate, less well read, and less intelligent than journalists of decades past. The depth of their deficiencies comes to the forefront when you read, frankly, garbage like the following from the editorial board of the New York Times:

The Supreme Court’s deeply dismaying decision on Monday in the Hobby Lobby case swept aside accepted principles of corporate law and religious liberty to grant owners of closely held, for-profit companies an unprecedented right to impose their religious views on employees. It was the first time the court has allowed commercial business owners to deny employees a federal benefit to which they are entitled by law based on the owners’ religious beliefs, and it was a radical departure from the court’s history of resisting claims for religious exemptions from neutral laws of general applicability when the exemptions would hurt other people.
For starters, in what way does Hobby Lobby not paying for abortifacients "impose their religious beliefs" on anyone? Here is the answer: it doesn't. Hobby Lobby employees are free to spend all their spare time taking abortifacients if that is what floats their boat. They just have to pay for them. Secondly, a mandate is NOT a "federal benefit." If the federal government wants to provide cheap abortifacients to people they can fund a program to do so, if they can get the votes. The moment you require a private party to provide something via a mandate you automatically have the possibility of running against other rights. The idea that the you can make Hobby Lobby or any other private company or organization a de facto arm of the government that is forced to give up ANY constitutional protections by issuing of governmental mandates is simple nonsense. (It wouldn't be in a fascist or communist system, but we don't live in either of those... unless Justice Ginsburg has her way of course.) "The full implications of the decision, which ruled in favor of employers who do not want to include contraceptive care in their company health plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act, will not be known for some time." Of course this isn't what this case was about. None of the three companies involved claimed a right to not cover all contraceptives, nor did the Supreme Court assert any such thing. This is a product of the over-heated imaginations of the chronically stupid and insipid. And, indeed, if you are unfortunate enough to read the rest of the Times' editorial, and you have a functioning brain, you will be left saying three things: 1) What the hell are they blathering on about? 2) I wonder what color the sky is in their world? And 3) When did real journalism die?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Your Domestic Terror Update

In case you were wondering, yes, all of the suspects on the FBI's Domestic Terrorism list are still of the ideological left.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Voting "Unconstitutional"

"In any voting situation," stated the judge Ty Rant, "there is inherently the chance voters might vote for something our elites do not favor. As our elites must be catered to in every particular, being that they are better than the hoi polloi, voting must be considered outmoded and something we have progressed beyond."

Judge Sonia Sotomayor immediately signaled her acceptance of judge Rant's opinion.

Monday, June 02, 2014

It's Garbage Like This That Gives Social Science A Bad Name

From the WaPo: Female-named hurricanes kill more than male hurricanes because people don’t respect them, study finds

People don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name and the consequences are deadly, finds a new groundbreaking study.
Female-named storms have historically killed more because people neither consider them as risky nor take the same precautions, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concludes.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State University examined six decades of hurricane death rates according to gender, spanning  1950 and 2012.  Of the 47 most damaging hurricanes, the female-named hurricanes produced an average of 45 deaths compared to 23 deaths in male-named storms, or almost double the number of fatalities.
The lack of even rudimentary scientific methodology is staggering. For starters, comparing the effects of pre-1970 storms with post-1970 storms is difficult because of an important historical change, namely the introduction of satellites to accurately track hurricanes. This "study" blindly treats these two era the same. Well, they are not the same. Pre-1970 storms (oh, and all of this data was collected from their supporting data) averaged 35.4 deaths per storm. Post-1970 storms averaged 16.8 deaths per storm.

They cannot even make the Prima Facia case for their paper. Male names have only been in use since 1979. Since 1979 male named storms have produced an average of 17.9 deaths. Females storms have produced on average 15.8 deaths per storm.

Honestly, this paper took 15 minutes to completely destroy. How it could be published by the National Academy of Science is beyond me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Juliet Lapidos Is A New York Times Fascist

Just got to call them as they are. Fascist is the only appropriate label for someone who believes they have the moral right to remove people from the political process because they deem them "inferior" in some manner, be it because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or because they fail a preferred ideological litmus test.

Anyone who engages in such behavior is anti-democratic, pro-authoritarian, and 100% all scum-bag all the time.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thought For The Day

The worst thing about the internet is that it convinces me almost weekly that huge swaths of my fellow Americans are blithering morons who lack the capacity to read or think. On the other hand, they are fantastic at being moralizing prigs.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Progressive Equivalencies I

From your ongoing guide to progressive political "discourse":

Rejection of Democratic policy preference in any context for any reason = Threat to the very existence of democracy.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Intellectual Bankruptcy Of (Portions Of) The Left

Go read this long (and long-winded) piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, but only if you have a half-hour of your life you don't mind throwing away.  And why is that exactly? Well, in this piece Coates basically argues that neither whites nor blacks in America are capable of exercising moral autonomy. For Coates no negative consequence ever faced by a black person in any context can be justified because of the existence of white hegemony, the perpetual existence of which is taken to be axiomatic. Consequently, blacks are assumed to never have free meaningful choices to make which means, of course, that they lack a prerequisite of moral autonomy.

Whites, on the other hand, are denied moral autonomy simply of the basis of needing to fulfill the role as hegemonic oppressors. Whites being "wrong" has nothing to do with decisions they do or do not make, it has to do with the color of their skin. In such a view there is no difference between a white person choosing action A and another white person choosing ~A. By definition each decision is a "product of white hegemonic society" and therefore equally "wrong." So, just as in the case for blacks, whites also lack the ability to make free meaningful choices, and thus are denied a prerequisite of moral autonomy.

This is exactly the sort of situation elites like Coates want, because by denying the existence of moral autonomy in these types of questions they can claim that these issues should be above the ken of normal democratic public policy decision making. There is no room for differing opinion or disparate value judgements, there is only the role of oppressor (or oppressed) to enact.

Of course it is a dream come true to live in a world where one's preferences are impossible to gainsay, and Mr. Coates would probably be quite reluctant to leave the very same world he has constructed for himself, but there is no reason why we need to go and live there with him.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It May Be Time For A Rethink Here

I've never taken a hiatus from blogging that has felt more permanent than this one. The truth is a lot of the things that I always wanted to say on this blog I did over the years I was active, and at some point there isn't all that much that is "new" about the news.

That isn't to say I've completely run out of things to discuss. Actually, its quite the opposite. The trouble is the things I want to say don't really fit into blogging, at least the way I had been doing it. For some time I have been flirting with the idea of publishing far fewer but far more in-depth essays. A longer format is needed to get to where I want to go, at least from the standpoint of intellect.

I suppose that is the good thing about writing one of these one man dog and pony shows. At the end of the day this blog doesn't need to be all things to all people. It only needs to be something to me.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween


Have fun out there.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Let's Go Cardinals


It's now or never time.

Reason #5634 Why Politfact is Useless

So, we now all know that when President Obama said "If you like your insurance you can keep it," he was lying through his teeth. This made me wonder how those brave souls at PolitFact had graded the issue when it came up in the past.

Well, according to them the President spoke the truth! Yes, they claimed what Obama said was only half true, but that was only because, according to PolitFact, the dastardly insurance companies could change the plans, or, in a completely unrelated aside, people might voluntarily change plans. However, THAT wasn't the point. The claim was "If you like you current insurance you can keep it." . Obamacare, PolitFact insisted, wouldn't alter anything.

PolitFact was, obviously, wrong. But, of course, they had to be wrong. After all, their only source for the veracity of the statement in the first place was the Obama administration itself, which is par for the course as far as I can tell. They obfuscate that fact by prattling on about off-topic issues; a bit of misdirection which is also, sadly, par for the course.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

An Unmitigated Disaster

I know it's early, but its not too early to decide that NBC's takeover of EPL coverage in the United States is nothing but a disaster for actual FANS of the game.

I was open to the switch until today when I realized NBC Sports had zero intention of covering the deadline as news.

My disgust knows no bounds. Being a fan sucks because you perpetually get screwed over with impunity.  What am I, or any other real fan of the English game, gonna do? Stop watching the games?


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Take Your Nap Now

Sky watching fun tonight: 

The best hours to watch the Perseid meteor shower – in some ways the most viewer-friendly show of shooting stars in the northern hemisphere – will begin just before midnight Sunday and persist through Monday night. 
It is one of the annual can't-miss events for stargazers – promising abundant shooting star-sightings and coming during the height of vacation season, when late-night temperatures are pleasant and folks have more time to dawdle under the night sky. 
This year, it might be more of a can't-miss event than normal. Next year, the moon will be in a waning gibbous phase (a three-quarter moon on the way from full to half) during the the best time for viewing meteor showers – after midnight. That means the light of the moon will wash out much of the night sky right when viewing should be peak.
In days of distant past my favorite meteor shower was the Quadrantids in early January. The winter sky always seemed clearer and the Quads always seemed to offer more slow long track meteors, which are always the most spectacular. However, since I moved I've been way too far north to make being outside in the early morning hours anything but miserable.

That being the case, the Perseids have moved to the top of the list. The nice thing is there isn't too much summer haze to worry about up here (most of the time), so the viewing is generally above average. I keep thinking I should find a venue even further out to eliminate even more light pollution, but that will have to wait.

As does my bed.  I'll need a nap if I'm gonna be up to all hours. I'm not as young as I used to be.