Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Very Best Basketball Player In The 1950s

... had to have been LeBron James. I mean, just look at this highlight video!


Wait, what's that you're saying? He didn't play in the 1950s? WELL, GET LOST, HATER! I DON'T CARE ABOUT HISTORY! EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, AT ALL TIMES MUST BE COMPARED TO LEBRON! LEBRON IS THE BEST!

That's kind of what I hear when I see that people are tearing down monuments and holidays to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The critics aren't comparing those two giants to their contemporaries, they are comparing them to the standards of today. If you look at who else is available as a paragon of virtue and heroism from their era, there really isn't much competition.

Mankind is in a constant state of technological, moral, political and artistic evolution. Passing judgment on individual people from the 1700s using the standards of the 2010s or even the 1200s doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

As L. P. Hartley said, "The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Pagan Prayers

I was listening to my favorite podcast, Clerically Speaking, yesterday when they made an interesting point about prayer. Prayer is not my strongest suit, to say the least.

Pagan prayer is where you pray and expect results. That is, if I say this incantation, God will love me or I'll get some benefit. Or, perhaps, if I sacrifice this chicken, my team will win the big game.

If the chicken sacrifices me, there's no telling what might happen.

In any case, they discussed contemplative prayer which is where you exist in the moment and let the moment wash over you as you contemplate and listen for what God has to say to you. I did this the other day in Adoration. Mother kitteh is doing quite poorly and I was exhausted and stressed. I was told to just love.

Leaving my mom yesterday, I tried contemplative prayer as I drove and I thought about the love and peace I had brought her by setting up some additional care. I was on my way to do some shopping, so I vowed to try and bring some smiles to the clerks and other folks at the stores. I think I managed to do it.

It happened because I opened myself up to what God wanted of me in the moment, not because I performed a certain rite and said certain words. I think those have their place, but not the same as the one they hold in a pagan world.

Does that make sense?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Escalator To The Cliff

... and over into the abyss!

I'm a bit pressed for time today, so I'll leave you with two things that juxtaposed nicely for me today. First is this tidbit from a Rich Lowry piece.
Beto O’Rourke — the losing Texas candidate for the US Senate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate — had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole.

The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville last week: “This country was founded on white supremacy. And every single structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression.”
I haven't seen anyone on the left disavowing him or his primary opponents using the stupidity of it to attack him, so I'm guessing they all pretty much agree. That leads me to these tweets from Richard Fernandez, aka Wretchard the Cat.
To me, it looks like the machine is out of control. The rate at which accusations of racism are flying is getting faster and faster every day. There's no one on the left trying to rein it in, they're all either keeping their mouths shut or rushing to join in the, err, fun.

This isn't going to end well.

Here are some of the things we can expect if we keep going this way.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ilhan Omar? Seriously?

Sometimes you can get so caught up in the moment that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Not seeing the forest for the trees and all that.

The most recent series of eruptions from the insane asylum known as "The Squad" - AOC, Ilhan Omar and two or three other deranged mutants - is a good example of it. Ilhan is a cultural Somali. On what planet does it make sense for Americans to take advice, any advice, from someone from that still clings to the belief systems of that violent, benighted place? Honestly, is there not a single scrap of humility in these people?

I guess not.

Yeah, about those complaints against America, Ilhan ...

Bonus Snark

Objection: But George Washington owned slaves!

Rebuttal: I don't care if he had non-consensual sex with underage bats, the dude was an absolute giant. Bite me.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Octopus

... is delicious. I know because we ate some in Spain. I'm not sure how it was prepared, but I know it was better than when I tried to cook some about 35 years ago. That time, it was like eating a fan belt.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Mathematics Of Mentoring In Baltimore

Yesterday, I posted a video wherein Amanda Brown, a teacher from Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, told what it was like to teach there and elsewhere in that distressed city. It was a litany of horrors including everything from homelessness to abuse to hunger to violence to rape. If memory serves, she said that the average reading level for their high school graduates was below 5th grade.

In short, those kids are royally screwed. Given their demographics, it's practically guaranteed that almost none of them come from traditional, married families. Her anecdotes suggest that as well.

Amanda is smart, experienced and tough. She also seems to be a reflexive lefty, which isn't surprising given that she works in the education industry and comes from deep, deep blue Baltimore. When she gets to the prescriptive part of her talk, she blames racism and society and says we need lots and lots more mentors. As I've said before, if racism is the problem in Baltimore, then the Secular Lefties are the racists because there's no one else there. However, let's ignore that and look at the mentoring idea.

Let's assume Amanda teaches 5 classes. Each class has 25 students. That's 125 different students a year. Let's assume the illegitimacy rate is 70%, which is optimistic, both because the national average for blacks is higher and it's also higher in poor communities since broken homes lead to poverty. In any case, that leads us to 87 students from broken homes. Let's assume, again, optimistically, that only half of them need mentors because the other half are coping. That means that just for Amanda's students, you need about 44 mentors every year.

Multiply that by the number of high schools in the area with similar catastrophic problems and a factor to account for the number of Frederick Douglass students who don't cross paths with Amanda and you get a staggering number. Say 5 schools and in any one year Amanda only sees 10% of the student population. We end up with 44*5*10 = 2200 mentors required.

2200 mentors aren't going to cut it. There are grades below high school and the kids coming into Frederick Douglass are at a 3rd grade reading level. You'd better get involved and stay involved starting in, oh I don't know, how about kindergarten? Just using an offhand factor, let's triple the need for mentors which now gives us a need or 6600.

That's insane. It's not possible. It can't be done as in "cannot" as in "no way, Jose" as in "fuhgeddaboudit."

Now think about the task of the mentor. Amanda tells us that the kids are working on survival and school is a secondary concern at best. The mentor isn't only there to tutor, they are there to provide security, money, love and discipline.

If you think there is any chance at all that you will be able to find 6600 people, unrelated to the students, who are going to have the time, energy, know-how and willingness to take on that task, please contact your local mental hospital and schedule a straight-jacket fitting session.

There is a solution, however. Like I said in yesterday's post, those mentors are out there. We just have to be willing to demand they do the job.
I know where we can find the necessary volunteers to act as mentors for the kids. Mom's bed. The men found therein can be given a special title. We'll call them "husbands." We can give them a special token of appreciation. Maybe it could be a ring they could wear. We could also give them a certificate acknowledging their volunteer status. We'll call that a "marriage license."
That is the only solution to the problem. There is no other. All of the screaming about flags and statues and white supremacists and Trump and Tucker Carlson and the far-right and the alt-right is simply irrelevant noise. It's like blaming leprechauns for the suffering of these kids.

Next time someone brings up those topics, tell them to get real.

I'm not holding out hope for explaining my calculations to this nitwit.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Just Wow

Pondering a post discussing how charges of racism are a dishonest distraction from the real problems facing children of all races who grow up in single-parent homes, I found the video below. It's about an hour long, but you can move the scrub head to random points in the video and get the idea pretty quickly.

Kids growing up in Baltimore, read: black children, desperately need love and attention. They desperately need traditional families. Borrowing from a post of mine on the topic, the issue isn't racism and the solution isn't politics.
Navon's classmates are essentially illiterate and unemployable. They're growing up in a war zone. I didn't look it up, but illegitimacy rates must be near 80% in their neighborhoods. For all intents and purposes, there are no whites, asians or hispanics around them. The entire government is made up of Democrats and has been for decades.

The problem cannot be political because there is only one side present.

The problem cannot be racial because there is only one race present.
If you loved the children of Baltimore, if you loved them as images of God, as equals, as people deserving of the same opportunities as you and I, if you want them to grow up and be productive and accomplished, there is no way on Earth you'd be screaming about racism. It's all a lie. The topic is a lie. The accusations are lies.

No one cares about these kids. The Secular Left only cares about playing make-believe and the right has been cowed into silence.

These kids need to be the topic of conversation, not statues, flags or dog whistles.


Assessment of her prescriptions: She's a good SJW progressive. She wants other people to volunteer to help the kids and she wants more money for school. She blames "society" for the kids' failures and brings up racism. Assuming that she's right, the society hurting the kids is pure progressive. That means the Secular Left are the racists.

Whatever the shortcomings of her blame game, I know where we can find the necessary volunteers to act as mentors for the kids. Mom's bed. The men found therein can be given a special title. We'll call them "husbands." We can give them a special token of appreciation. Maybe it could be a ring they could wear. We could also give them a certificate acknowledging their volunteer status. We'll call that a "marriage license."

OK, that's enough for today.