Sunday, May 31, 2015
Q: That's the slogan for: Imperial Japan (ca 1940) or Fascist China (ca 2015)?
Japan frequently referred to their expansionist program as the creation of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and along with that went the phrase "Asia for the Asians". It was meant to portray a vision of Japan leading Asian nations in looking out for Asia.And this:
SINGAPORE—A senior Chinese naval commander has claimed new islands his country is building in the South China Sea will benefit the region, while stressing that such activities “fall well within the scope of China’s sovereignty.”There's that weasel word, "mainly" again. I guess if the islands provide China the ability to claim territorial waters way out to sea, that's an unexpected bonus for them.
Noting the military usefulness of the islets China is constructing in the disputed Spratly Islands, Adm. Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army’s general staff, said they would mainly enable China to provide “international public services,” including maritime search and rescue, disaster relief, and scientific research.
I also like the "scientific research" part. For a country who has taken pollution to a whole new level, the phrase, "scientific research," brings up images of them constructing the Island of Dr. Moreau out there.
|Asia for the Asians!|
Err, Asian animals.
Err, mutant Asian animals.
Oh, never mind.
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Many times at Catholic Charities I ran into people, almost all men, who just wanted a job. They didn't care if it paid $7 an hour, they just wanted to work and be useful and have a purpose. They would have been willing to live 10-to-an-apartment if only they could show that they were earning their own way.
Here's my prediction for the future in LA: As the minimum wage rises, low-income workers will be laid off, perhaps to be replaced by machines, perhaps to be replaced by sheets of plywood nailed to the outside of shuttered businesses. The progressives who dominate LA will want to help and will create make-work public jobs programs. In order to fund these, the government will borrow money. After a while, the city will go bankrupt.
All through this process, a basic, masculine need will go unfulfilled - the need to work at something meaningful.
We'd be much better off reducing the minimum wage than increasing it.
Friday, May 29, 2015
And talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and talked.
Or maybe not.
U.S. surveillance imagery shows China has positioned weaponry on one of the artificial islands it is developing in the South China Sea, American officials said, supporting their suspicions that Beijing has been building up reefs for military purposes.For those graduates of Harvard and Columbia who need trigger warnings when they read children's stories about Roman gods, here's what artillery looks like when it's doing those things artillery was meant to do.
The U.S. imagery detected two Chinese motorized artillery pieces on one of the artificial islands built by China about one month ago. While the artillery wouldn’t pose a threat to U.S. planes or ships, U.S. officials said it could reach neighboring islands and that its presence was at odds with China’s public statements that the reclaimed islands are mainly** for civilian use.
* - Read: Nations ruled by people who graduated from Ivy League universities.
** - Why is this a problem? The weasel word "mainly" gives it away. You'd think that this crowd with their "living" Constitution as a weasel word for seizing dictatorial powers for El Presidente would have figured this out.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Today, at the auto parts store to get something else, I picked up a package of 10-12 ga butt connectors. Since my wires are about 16 ga, I can easily get two in per side, giving me a four-wire splice with no more work than stripping the wires, sticking them in and crimping the butt connector tight. It works like a champ.
|Behold the power of this fully operational butt splice!|
Forget that soldering nonsense, I'm a butt man from now on!
Err, wait, I didn't mean it that other way...
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
If you ever had to take a comparative religions class and this was offered in contrast to Judaism or Christianity, consider retaining a lawyer and suing. This stuff is nothing more than Jersey Shore with some magic and a slap-dash creation myth thrown in. Everyone is banging everyone else, husbands and wives are yelling at each other and once in a while someone gets turned into a cow or a tree. There's no moral theme to the whole thing other than to let you know that the gods exist and they're not much different from you except that if you tick them off, they can make your life a mess.
They're the Gaystapo (or maybe the Clintons), but with a little more class.
|These are your gods, citizens. Worship them!|
If you look at the stars at night and need a creation myth to help you sleep, we can tell you about Saturn and the Titans or the Multiverse. Take your pick. It's all the same since it has no impact on your life at all. Somebody, somewhere knows something or other about those sparkly dots up above and that's good enough. Let's hit the clubs on Friday and see if we can bag some chicks, OK? After all, everyone from Jupiter to Vinny are doing it.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Until about 6:30AM. If I sleep in past that, she declares the agreement null and void and makes a ton of racket until I get up and the morning breakfast ritual begins. Since I like to get up early anyway, it's usually not a problem.
In any case, here's the Cheezburger. Enjoy!
Monday, May 25, 2015
Happy Memorial Day and thanks to all veterans for their service.
|A South Korean attraction, made possible by American veterans who fought to keep it from being conquered by the communists.|
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Listen to the roar of the crowd as the ball goes in. Awesome.
Saturday, May 23, 2015
By "religious," I mean that they believe in things not supported by evidence or science.
In pondering what might be the larger themes in the gay marriage wars, the evangelism of the new atheists and even the campus trigger warning craze, I keep coming back to the same thought: these are religious wars, not political ones. I'm becoming convinced that politics follows culture which itself is founded on a dominant religious belief.
The reason I think everyone is religious is simple. Chemistry does not allow for the self. I know this is an old argument of mine, but it keeps jumping out at me in the context of finding the bigger themes. Here is the argument again in case you missed it before.
From a Gonzaga website, Gonzaga itself being a Jesuit university and as such, like the Jesuits, could be considered either Catholic or secular depending on which fad the Jesuits are following today, offers up this web page for one of their chemistry classes containing the diagram below.
This is an energy state diagram for a chemical reaction. The reaction is well-understood. Subject to the caveats of statistical chemistry, this is the way it always behaves. The same reactions are constantly occurring in your body, governed by similar rules. "You" have nothing to do with them. They simply happen.
There is no evidence for "you." There is no science that supports free will. There is nothing in anything we understand, and what we understand increases every day, that suggests anything other than nihilism. I've heard plenty of counter-arguments in the comments of this blog, but none of them undermine the diagram above and the diagram above and ones just like it are the basis for everything in the Universe.
If you argue, if you cajole, if you hold "beliefs," if you take positions, if you talk about "individuals" or "people," you are religious because you believe in things that are not supported by evidence or science. Everyone, everywhere must be religious in order to function. You have to believe that "you" exist and "you" are making decisions, despite the evidence to the contrary.
Secularists are not devoid of religion, they are devoid of a coherent cosmology. That is, they wave their hands about when discussing Creation, the meaning of life, the purpose of existence and so forth. They're religious, but in a primitive sense like the Apaches. The Apaches had a vague creation myth which secularists replace with the Multiverse, repetitive Big Bangs, or whatever hip creation myth they heard on NPR last week. It doesn't have much of an effect on them other than to release them to do whatever they want, which is the key to the post-modernist belief system.
That's the key. Attacks on Christianity or Islam or Judaism are not attacks on religion itself because we are all religious. They are attacks on particular cosmology by people who want to replace it with their own, their own being essentially a retreat back in time to something closer to the creation myths of the most primitive humans.
The Great Spirit forming the world out of the foam at the bottom of her tub after washing her hair isn't substantially different from the sparkly unicorns of the Multiverse. The important thing is to get all that out of the way so you can get on with the important tasks of robbing and killing the Navajo or worshiping your crotch, whichever tickles your fancy.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015
It meshes well with BDaddy's post on Gay Marriage and craft beer which contains this tidbit.
Destroying traditional pillars of culture and morality results in the need for more government control to make up for the lack of self-control in the population. This is a feature, not a bug, of the process of destroying the culture and is embraced by the left. For example, rampant sex between undergraduates on college campuses is the norm today, or so we are led to believe. While perhaps that has always happened to some extent; it was far less in degree and done with far greater discretion in times past. But since this behavior gives rise to sex under questionable circumstances, we have the California have the California State Legislature considering how to regulate sex on campus.It's kind of what I was driving at in my snarky mock-caption of a photo of rioters in Baltimore.
The whole sexual assault prevention craze is another symptom of this problem. We did away with religion-based objective morality, but not the need for it. Now we're trying to derive that same morality from first principles when those first principles are suffused with total individual freedom.
That doesn't seem to be working out so well.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
|Here, a group of married men who go to church every Sunday destroy a police car.|
Monday, May 18, 2015
Chicago Public Schools, already $6 billion in debt, passes $700M borrowing plan 6-0: http://t.co/VtKXcya8rc— Heather Gillers (@hgillers) February 25, 2015
I discovered Heather by searching and clicking around the Chicago Tribune's site. Her Twitter feed was easy to find and scrolling down through time, she's produced one honest report of the school finances after another.
If you think awareness of government debt would make much of a difference in the fiscal trajectory of cities, states or the nation in general, her tweets and articles should give you pause.
Glenn Reynolds had a series a while back with the theme, wealth and income are markers of behavior. I'd suggest that debt and borrowing are markers of culture.
Sunday, May 17, 2015
In it, he describes the systemic corruption of the American government that has arisen as a result of the government regulating and managing more and more of the economy. For example, if a business objects to interpretations of regulations by a part of the government, its primary recourse is to go before the regulatory agency itself. That's highly unlikely to have any effect and the fallback position is to get the intervention of elected officials. That intervention comes at the price of campaign contributions and other paybacks.
The more the government regulates and manages, the more opportunities there are for graft by elected officials, their staffs, lobbyists and the like. It's independent of political party. When everyone in Washington and the state capitals know this, they naturally seek to regulate more and more of the economy so more people can take a cut.
Chicago is going bankrupt. Over many years, they've spent more than they could afford, building up massive debts until their bonds have now been reduced to junk status. It's not racism, sexism, homophobia or greed, it's just math. Everyone knew it was coming and no one tried to stop it. Instead, they all kept grabbing all the money they could while peddling absolute rubbish to the rubes that voted for more government goodies.
The bankruptcy is going to have real consequences to real people. Retirees, with names and addresses and families and everything, are going to find themselves without income. Services to citizens will be cut so infrastructure will decay, business dealing with required regulatory agencies will find themselves delayed and much more.
At the very least, anyone who received briefings from the Chicago comptroller's office has known this was coming for years. Despite that, they all kept grabbing.
In the press, there are plenty of lapdogs of the current political overlords who continue to parrot the party line about needed services, compassion, sexism, racism, homophobia and whatever else the talking points of the day might be. I'm less clear on what they're getting out of the whole situation. Two possibilities come to my mind.
- They are true believers in the progressive secular-religion nonsense about the benefits of an all-powerful State.
- They desire to maintain access to elected officials who feed them stories and make the task of filling column-inches in the newspaper trivially easy.
* - Actually, I'm listening to it.
Saturday, May 16, 2015
From now until October 1, San Diego typically gets about a third of an inch of rain. In the last two days, we've gotten more than an inch and a half. Very unusual, but very welcome.
|We're now at 88% of normal.|
Friday, May 15, 2015
Over at Breitbart.com. there's an excellent blog post entitled, 6 Reasons Pamela Geller's Muhammad Cartoon Contest Is No Different From Selma. It's the first thing I've read on the topic that made me think that Geller was something other than an attention-seeking, narcissistic bonehead. The grabber for me was the first reason: The Oppressor Chooses the Form of Protest, Not the Protester.
Pamela didn't seek to blaspheme Islam, she blasphemed Islam because Jihadists told her, through threats of violence, that she was not permitted to do this. Had they told her she was not allowed to paint her house pink, she would have painted her house pink.
The other part that got me was this:
The 1965 Democrats and today’s Democrats are also bigots. The same CNN that protects Islam from offense by blurring the Muhammad cartoons, does not blur the Piss Christ.Dear progressives - if you didn't want us to blaspheme Islam, maybe you should have avoiding blaspheming other religions in the first place. Whereas I laid the fault (and I still do, to some extent) at the feet of Pam Geller for organizing a blasphemy party, really, she was just playing by the rules set by the progressives in the first place when they lionized that no-talent cretin Serrano and his juvenile Piss Christ. They doubled down on it with their patronage and critical acclaim of The Book of Mormon. You made the rules, punks, we're just living by them.
I guess what I'm objecting to is this. The problem isn't Jihadists, it's the culture that thinks blasphemy is some kind of badge of honor. When this is performed at a major cultural awards event, blasphemy is no longer speaking truth to power, blasphemy is the power. Pamela Geller jumped in and joined the powerful in attacking what's left of the sub-culture that still believes in honor and respect for symbols of faith and nation.
When a conservative rebel like Geller allies herself with the forces of cultural entropy, the results will be good in the short run (publicity for the fight against Jihadists), but bad in the long run (one more voice saying that anything goes). In a way, she strengthened their hand.
Jihadists are strong because they stand for something against an American culture that stands for nothing. If we are united only in our desire for the freedom to do whatever we want, we stand for cultural chaos. They stand for something positive. We cannot rally to the flag because we've burned the flag. We can't stand for America because we've dissolved the nation by opening our borders. We can't stand for a moral code because morality is now utterly personal. They've got solid alternatives to all of that, ones their side can rally around.
Yes, Pamela Geller followed in the footsteps of great revolutionaries of freedom. Unfortunately, she allied herself with great enemies of civilization.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Just as the human brain didn't evolve to cope with Internet porn, it didn't evolve to cope with drugs, either. For the next 40-50 years, this guy is going to have to find a way to keep out of the clutches of chemicals designed to ensnare him with a brain that has been warped to crave them.
Everyone doing their own thing and discarding objective morality in favor of ultimate personal freedom sounds good until you watch human lives thrown into the meat grinder of drugs and porn. Secular humanist theory falls apart in the face of biological reality.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Of course, as we all know, freedom isn't free. No, there's a price to be paid for freedom. We must maintain eternal vigilance lest the dark powers of Christian morality and its wretched partner, chivalry, attempt to come back.
Well, vigilance and affirmative consent rules ruthlessly enforced by the State, that is. After all, we need something to do the job of a national culture based on Judeo-Christian objective morality.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Of course, the problem works both ways.
* - They, however, can tell each other apart. Don't believe me? Go tell a Korean that you think he's Japanese. Let me know how that goes.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Interesting aside: The Jesuits are the priestly order having the hardest time with vocations. That probably comes from being so open-minded that their brains have fallen out*. Having a reputation for questioning Church teaching in favor of whatever's hip at the moment doesn't help when the faithful are faithful because the Church stands as a bulwark against the idiocies of the modern world.
In any case, Bishop McElroy has spoken about the need for the Church to care for immigrants, even those here illegally. I'm in favor of a border fence, border control and repatriation of illegals. I'm in favor of an enforced, deliberate, immigration process. Having said that, I completely agree with the Jesuit from Berkeley when it comes to caring for illegal aliens.
Immigration control is a political issue. Once the speeches, blog posts and voting is over, the people have spoken. If the rest of you are stupid enough to dissolve the border and let illegals come streaming in, I've rendered all I can to Caesar and he's decided to ignore me. Now it's time to render unto God.
In the eyes of God, illegal aliens are no less valuable than I am. Illegals who come hungry to Catholic Charities, I'm happy to feed. Illegals who live in crude encampments, I'm happy to support through donations to Church charities. Illegals who have medical bills, I'm happy to pay with my tax dollars. I don't want them here at all, but if the politicians are going let them in, the question changes from one of border policy to one of Matthew 25.
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’Just as it is with gay marriage, unfettered sex, rampant drug use and the rest of the glories of the libertine world we live in, our job as Catholics is to speak out against it, but once that's done, we're called to clean up the mess as best we can.
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
|It's not OK for them to be here. It's also not OK to let them live like this,|
Sunday, May 10, 2015
|Finally! We can take long showers again and water our lawns until they drown!|
Saturday, May 09, 2015
If women do the same work for 73% of the cost, why don't companies hire nothing but women?
Ah. So easy.
Friday, May 08, 2015
The response tweets were instructive. People who had good experiences weighed in - "NHS saved my eyesight!" "NHS saved my mum's life!" and so on. Then there were the anti-business responses wailing that at some time in the future, the health care system might become profitable for someone through the horrors of privatization. "Profiteers" were attacked and "business" lambasted.
After my emotional reaction subsided, I thought that the reasoned response would be to point out that the entire government runs on profits. Without someone making a profit, there are no taxes. Ergo, if the government services are good, profits are good.
I wonder what the replies would be to something like that.
* - How's that for an unsourced story?
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Especially when you read things like this.
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Just like Charlie Hebdo's trash publications, there was nothing substantive to her event. She was simply out to hurt people. It wasn't a positive evangelism, it was the equivalent of a schizophrenic screaming obscenities at passers-by. In the end, people died and the country was divided yet again.
The progressives and Islamic fundamentalists Pam sought to provoke learned nothing at all from the exercise. The Islamic faithful now have one more reason to feel besieged and pay a little more attention to the voices in their midst telling them how awful the West is. The progressives now have one more reason to sneer at conservatives for being knuckle-dragging, hateful morons.
You can shout "FIRST AMMENDMENT!" all you want and no one's mind is going to change. If I'm wrong, point it out. Twitter has been intolerable with hate since the Pam Geller event. Convincing people of the need for freedom of speech is a sales job and you don't make sales by publicly defiling your prospects' most treasured icons.
If you want to move public opinion and affect the way people vote, political leaders talk and the direction laws take, you're not going to do it through deliberate acts of angry blasphemy. It was a total waste of time, money and effort, cloaked in self-righteousness.
The sooner the whole thing fades away, the better.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
It couldn't get more than 2" off the ground when it tried to fly and I didn't see any parents around. The sidewalk was reasonably well traveled, so someone else would eventually come across the little guy. I called a friend who takes in raptor chicks for Project Wildlife and she recommended I take it in to the local office.
In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. While I was at the Project Wildlife office, I found that bird parents will frequently kick fledglings out of the nest to teach them to fly. They will feed their children while they are on the ground trying to work things out. In all likelihood, I had gotten in the way of the natural progression of things.
The folks at Project Wildlife took in the tiny dude and will raise him to flight (probably about a week) and then will release him near where I found him. In the end, no permanent harm was done, but I'm sure I made a couple of hummingbird parents very unhappy.
The moral of the story is that fledglings on the ground aren't always in trouble. Your best bet is to back off and watch for a while to see if the parents are around.
Monday, May 04, 2015
Sunday, May 03, 2015
Aside: We've got friends who recently attended a lesbian wedding. They'd known the, err, bride (?) for years and had seen her have many boyfriends, including one particularly serious relationship that lasted for 4 years. When she announced her engagement, they were shocked to find it was to a woman. Two thoughts leaped into my mind almost immediately.
- So much for being born gay.
- It reeked of surrender. When they guy didn't commit, she found commitment wherever she could.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
I'm getting ready for a dinner party and spent the day elsewhere so I didn't have time to blog. I've never done an open thread, in part because I don't have many commenters. With that said, have at it in the comments here. Diatribes, requests, conundrums, accusations, whatever turns you on.