Friday, March 31, 2017

Daisies As Far As The Eye Can See

I've got a really good series of posts in my head, but don't have the time to share them right now, so this will have to do. On Fiesta Island, where the Catican Guards are sometimes taken for training maneuvers, there is a massive daisy bloom. I took this photo at the daisy-head level, trying to make them seem endless. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Odds And Ends

Seen in La Jolla

Wait, what?

Training

I've been in training for work all week. It was 90 minutes of information crammed into 4 days. I thought about hiring a Mafia hit man to come in and kill me, but I was afraid he'd walk in the door, get some notion about the class and kill himself. I'd be out $20,000 and would still have to complete the thing.
Me: But he didn't kill me!

Don Ferrini: Listen you wanted someone killed and someone was killed. You owe us $20,000.

Rubbish from the bookshelf

Matthew Kelly: Resisting Happiness. Good Lord, Matthew, turn on some sports and have a couple of beers. You've gotten so mopey! You used to be a lot of fun, but now you're a stone drag.

Rod Dreher: The Benedict Option. Rod's book, The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming is awesome. This one is an abject surrender to the modern world. Rod wants us to crawl into a Catholic bunker to weather the storms of modernity. I don't think so.

Saul Alinsky: Rules for Radicals. Reviewed in depth here. Simply horrible. He writes like der F├╝hrer, only without the charm. I'm guessing he didn't know what an editor was. It must have been abject ignorance, because there's no way you could produce that amount of chaff and not have some idea you needed someone to cull about 90% of it.

There. That's it for today. Normal ranting and raving will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When Prayer Finds A Silver Lining

Blogging from my phone today so I apologize for the unsophisticated format.

I mentioned a while ago how a dear friend of mine had been diagnosed with cancer and how I had taken up prayer and abstinence from my favorite vices for his sake. I don't know how things will end for him, but devoting part of my day to someone else has brought wider benefits.

During my prayers, as my mind wandered, I meditated on a variety of things - family, life, relationships and more. As a result, I've had conversations with my wife and children that I would not have had otherwise.

My friend's illness might be cured or not, but his suffering has been used to increase love and support far beyond those who know him well through prayer and sacrifice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Women Will Not Be Silenced Any More!

... confuses the living daylights out of me.

Dig this.
Hillary's campaign spent, what, a billion dollars on ads? She blew through that much cash screaming at all of us what a swine Trump was, morning, noon and night and the women's, err, rights (? I can't figure out what it is they want, either) are howling at the top of their lungs that they refuse to be silent? How much louder could you get?

I think things like this are what gradually turn guys my age into mumbling, old, bearded dudes, rocking on our front porch, drinking beer with our hound dog, complaining about how things have changed and world don't make no sense no more.

"Can't take no more women complainin'. If'n you got somethin' to say, say it from the street, little miss, if'n you don't want a load of buckshot in your backside."

Monday, March 27, 2017

The State Of College Intellectuals

... described in one link.

Here it is.

Ritual denunciations of Charles Murray are de rigueur. College administrators and professors who allow him to speak on their campuses are quick to let everyone know how much they disagree with him and how they acknowledge he's a crazed racist.

But he's not and no amount of combing through his copious writings will reveal that. In fact, as that link shows, he's quite the opposite and his research and data are excellent.

It's not the philosophical disagreements that cause me to despise the modern academy, it's the anti-intellectualism. The foundation of being an intellectual has to be research and data. If research easily shows that your assertions are wrong, strictly for the sake of honesty you must recant them and reconsider your positions. Without honesty, academia is worse than useless, they are profoundly evil.

That's where we are today. An utterly dishonest and willfully ignorant professoriat. Is it any wonder why college students spout nonsense?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saul Alinsky Violated The Geneva Convention

... because reading his book is torture.

For reasons to be explained in a future blog post, I'm wading through the sludge that is Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. It's horrible. In fact, it's recursively horrible or maybe mutli-dimensionally horrible or perhaps it's over-horribled as it's crammed with examples of every kind of horribility that a book might ever have.

It also reveals why Obama was such an obnoxious and tedious bore. The book is all about community organizing and after you've sampled what bits you can stand, you see a class of people who are at once pompous, hyper-intellectual, unreflective, ignorant, incompetent and completely useless.

First, there's the prose. Alinsky writes like Hitler. He makes broad, sweeping statements based on ignorance and ego that immediately call to mind reams of contradictions.
We approach a critical point when our tongues trap our minds. I do not propose to be trapped by tact at the expense of truth. Striving to avoid the force, vigor, and simplicity of the word "power," we soon become averse to thinking in vigorous, simple, honest terms. We strive to invent sterilized synonyms, cleansed of the opprobrium of the word power— -but the new words mean something different, so that they tranquilize us, begin to shepherd our mental processes off the main, conflict-ridden, grimy... blah blah blah blah blah...
Then there's the description of his life. Here's a bit of the nth Level of Hell that he not only inhabits, but wants you to inhabit as well.
Frequently personal domestic hangups were part of the conferences. An organizer's working schedule is so continuous that time is meaningless; meetings and caucuses drag endlessly into the early morning hours; any schedule is marked by constant unexpected unscheduled meetings; work pursues an organizer into his or her home, so that either he is on the phone or there are people dropping in.
Meetings, meetings, meetings. That's what organizers do. Sit around and talk. It's enough to make you tear gas yourself.

Then there's the utter insipidness of the thing. Here's a real Deep Thought Alinsky feels the need to share.
Communication with others takes place when they understand what you're trying to get across to them.
Please, just stop.

It dawned on me as I listened to this word hash spray out of the speakers of my car that the only people this would resonate with would be college students. Feed this trash to a 40-year-old plumber with a wife and 3 kids and he'll listen for 90 seconds and then find a way to go do something else. Alinsky himself talks about it when he mentions how some organizers finally get a clue and bail out.
Much of an organizer's daily work is detail, repetitive and deadly in its monotony. In the totality of things he is engaged in one small bit. It is as though as an artist he is painting a tiny leaf. It is inevitable that sooner or later he will react with "What am I doing spending my whole life just painting one little leaf? The **** with it, I quit."
Of course they quit. It's all horrible. Alinsky, however, was too in love with his own self-importance and all the meetings to quit. He was the guy who never left college while the rest of his friends grew up and went out into the real world. He was the campus radical with his pony tail turning gray and his hairline receding and his clothes 30 years out of date, lecturing the kids about how this revolution thing is done.

That led me to an explanation of modern college faculty. The majority of the people they interact with are each other and student-children who don't have the experience to see through their drivel. It's all self-reinforcing. That's why Shapiro, Murray and others are driven from campus. It's protection of their tiny world, insulation from people who will be able to point out their nonsense.

Maybe the riots on campus are really acts of mental self-defense, a fanatical spasm of protection of a world-view they know deep down is idiocy.

The idiot himself. I think the glassy stare is my favorite part of this picture.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The London Attack

... was a minor sideshow. Not to the victims, of course, but as far as the outcome of the ongoing civilizational struggle is concerned, it was meaningless.

The real combat is occurring in the maternity wards. Western democracies have made the ballot the primary and almost only weapon. It's all about the votes. Muslims are having babies and Europeans are not. When the Muslims can elect the government of their choice, the war will be over.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Book Of Job

... was the straw that broke the camel's back, causing me to quit reading the Old Testament.

Having said that, it had some interesting things to say. Up to that point, the rule of thumb was that if you were a righteous man, God would pay off with good fortune. When a king was upright and moral, his troops won battles. When he was a pig, his troops lost. Not much was said about the troops who died in combat and their widows, but, hey, we're talking about the kings here, OK?

Job is the answer to the question, Why do bad things happen to good people? It takes five dudes to hash this out. Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite and Elihu the Dude What's Got the Answers.

The scene starts with Job knocking back cheap whisky because his life has gone to pieces despite having been righteous and good and moral and returning all of his library books on time. Eliphaz shows up with a case of Pabst, Bildad with a pair of fifths of Seagrams and Zophar with a loaf of bread. The other three then ask Zophar, "What are we going to do with all that food?"

The four of them proceed to complain about their wives, kids, jobs and the Cleveland Browns. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" they ask. Bildad maintains that the people of Cleveland suck and they deserve it. Eliphaz says the people of Detroit suck worse, yet the Lions have had some decent seasons lately. Job starts talking about the Cavaliers and King James, but has a coughing fit and no one can understand him. Zophar stuffs his mouth full of bread in a fit of pique.

Elihu then shows up, ticked off because he thought the party started at 7 instead of 6 and by now most of the booze is gone. He kicks the dog and then goes on a rant about how no one can understand the ways of God because he's all-powerful and does amazing things we can't explain like oceans, wind and Michael Jordan. "Give it up, you guys. You'll never understand it. And Job, would it kill you to have some orange juice in this dump? I brought a bottle of vodka and there's nothing to mix it with."

"You ended your schentensche wif a preposchistion, you loser. No juische for you," replies Job who then falls off his chair onto the floor.

Or it went something like that. I have to admit I was tuning in and out as the thing droned on and on and on. In any case, that was the conclusion: How the heck should we know why bad things happen to good people? It's all way too hard to understand, kind of like algebraic topology.

So now you don't have to read the beastly thing. You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Frank Rich Drops The Mask

... in the title and tagline, no less. Dig this.
Title: No Sympathy for the Hillbilly

Tagline: Democrats need to stop trying to feel everyone’s pain, and hold on to their own anger.
He then goes on at length to endorse bigotry, rage, hate and tantrums. It's not cloaked or allegorical or anything, it's just raw screaming.

The wheels are coming off the progressive movement. The compassion, open-mindedness, tolerance and understanding were never there, but now there isn't even a fig leaf with the words stitched on it. Worse than the article are the comments. It's nothing but enraged progressives whipping each other into a frenzy as far as the eye can see.

Well, this is what we all wanted, I guess. Bigger government means more politics. More politics means more arguing. More arguing means more rage on the losing side.

Scary stuff, amigos. If you dive into politics on Twitter once in a while like I do, I recommend cutting back and interspersing a lot more non-political content in your timeline. It's in all of our best interests to dial things down a bit.


Take it from Tiny Hedgehog. You can do this!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Surrendering To The Old Testament

I've given up. I was trying to listen to the entire Old Testament, but it's finally beaten me. I got through Job and started on Psalms and I just can't do any more. The Koran was a total drag, but this is the Koran times a hundred. At least the Koran was relatively short and full of repetitive chaff where you could tune out or yell at the windshield in unison with the Koran's endlessly repeated boilerplate paragraphs.

I've got some thoughts on the Old Testament that I'll leave for another blog post. In the meantime, I've decided to move on to something more modern and relevant - Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).

Edmund Burke. A smart guy and a snappy dresser.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Going Through Life Confused

... by some of the things I see coming out of the progressive left. Dig this billboard in Phoenix, reported by a news guy over there.

Wait, what?
Dollar signs block-printed and rotated so they resemble swastikas and two mushroom clouds? What pharmaceuticals in what quantities do I need to ingest for this to make sense? It's like the images were chosen at random. Here are some other combinations that would be equally coherent:
  • Broccoli and Venetian blinds
  • Fire hydrants and hamsters
  • Toaster ovens and trees
I'm sure you can think of some yourselves. 

Sigh.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Deep Fried Cornish Game Hens

I used my deep fryer for a third time a few nights back and this proved to be the best dinner yet. I had a pair of Cornish game hens and wanted to give them the hot oil bath treatment. I did some research and the consensus was 375 degrees for 12 minutes, one at a time.

This time, I overcame the whole cooling-oil issue by warming the hens ahead of time. I heated the oven to 200 and popped them in while the oil was heating. I had butterflied one and left the other whole, just in case 12 minutes wasn't enough for a complete hen. By cutting it in half, I made sure the cavity wasn't going to be a reservoir of cold, preventing some of the meat from cooking. I needn't have bothered.

By preheating the meat, the oil temperature barely moved when the hens went in. I pulled them at the requisite 12-minute mark and they ended up perfect. I hadn't seasoned them under the theory that the seasoning would either burn or wash off, polluting the oil I wanted to reuse. That worked out fine as well. The end result was two excellent hens, crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. My wife didn't like it as much, saying the white meat was too tough, but I'd attribute that to the hens themselves and not the fryer.

Delish!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Married Priests

I'm all in favor of them. If Pope Francis is so inclined, and I've read rumors saying he is, I say, the sooner the better.

First, it will make the Church younger and more masculine. There's nothing the Catholic Church needs more right now than big infusions of energy and testosterone. Young people have always left churches as a part of them finding their own way apart from their families of origin. Having said that, it's pretty hard to bring them back when they're ready if your priests are 60 years old and effeminate.

Second, I don't think the theological arguments are all that strong against it. I've always had the feeling that they're kind of explaining the reasoning after the fact instead of deriving catechism from first principles. If you want a knock-out punch, there's Matthew 8:14-15.
Jesus entered Peter’s house and found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever. He took her by the hand and the fever left her,
If Peter is the rock upon which He built His Church and Peter was married, it seems perfectly fine to allow married priests. On counterpoint, here's the response from Catholic Straight Answers.
Note that the passage does not mention St. Peter’s wife, but only his mother-in-law. The Gospels, however, make no mention of St. Peter’s wife, living or nonliving. Therefore, St. Peter’s wife must have died before Jesus called him to be an apostle.

For full disclosure, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, III) (c. 202), said St. Peter was married, had children and witnessed his wife’s martyrdom in Rome. These terse points were recorded, citing Clement, in St. Eusebuis’ The History of the Church. Given the silence of other church fathers about St. Peter’s wife and children (who would have had some prominence in the history of the early church), and the lack of any archaeological evidence of ancient Rome, which holds the burial sites of St. Peter and so many other early martyrs, one would conclude St. Peter’s wife died before he had been called as an apostle.
Meh. That's pretty ambiguous data upon which you'd build a crucial point of Catholic doctrine.

Heck, if you really want to go all-in, reclassify priests' wives as nuns and ask that they go through formation as well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How Do You Fight The Lizard?

Some time ago, while having fun at poor Sam Harris' expense, I posted this tidbit.
We all have limbic systems that drive our animal appetites. Sex n' drugs n' rock and roll are desirable because the primitive lizard brains that sit inside of our glorious human brains says they are. Your limbic system is what drives you to do both the things necessary for survival and the things you really oughtn't like lust and gluttony. For Christians, we face a constant fight with our limbic systems as we strive to be what the Bible tells us to be. When we fail, we're hypocrites. We preach one thing and do another.
In my continuing effort to pray and practice abstinence for my friend with cancer, I still find myself tempted to surrender to gluttony, sloth and more.  Last night, I came home craving a beer or three. It was even worse after I did some paperwork at home that I really didn't feel like doing. Usually, I'm very self-indulgent. I like to give myself limbic treats for overcoming even minor problems. I've done an order of magnitude less of it during this period of abstinence and last night, I successfully resisted temptation.

What happened? What was the mechanism by which success was achieved? I was so busy cracking open the can of V-8 as a substitute for the IPA, that I wasn't mindful of the mechanism by which I won the fight. Is it even possible to pinpoint the sequence that led to winning? Can you pick out the moment when the game was over? I think it was when I picked out the V-8 from the pantry because from there, I wasn't going to head out to the garage fridge to get the brewski.

Is it when you begin to do something that makes sin too difficult? Substitution is a commonly-mentioned way of getting past addictions and temptation in general. Is that how it works? Is it just the act of getting the substitution chain started?
  1. Go to pantry
  2. Get V-8
  3. Open it
  4. Make the traditional Monty Python reference, "Crack tubes!"
  5. Drink the first sip
For each step, here's the corresponding step that will put you back on the path to sin.
  1. Close pantry door and head to the garage. (Easy)
  2. Put V-8 in kitchen fridge and go get a beer. (Relatively easy)
  3. Put the full, open V-8 on the counter and go get a beer. (Unlikely. Open beverage containers are often the target of house pixies who love to tip them over.)
  4. Say, "This is the wrong tube!" (Even more unlikely as you've sounded the bugle and the troops have begun their charge.)
  5. Put it down and go get a beer. (Almost impossible. Beer after V-8 sounds dreadful.)
Hmm. Is going to the pantry and grabbing a V-8 right when you get home the answer?

House pixies. They're all fun and games until they tip your V-8 so it spills all over one of the dogs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

White Privilege, Explained

I have to admit, I did not understand white privilege until today. Now that I know what it is, I see it everywhere. It's like the air we breathe.

This morning, I'm going to make sardines on toast for breakfast. I want to add some sliced mushrooms to the mix, but I can't find the Internet recipe I used once upon a time, so I'm going to have to shotgun the thing. Here's the plan.

Using one of my cast iron skillets, I'm going to drain the oil from a tin of sardines into it and heat it on my stove. While it's warming, I'll slice some whole, brown mushrooms I got from Costco. After it's hot, I'll saute the shrooms with some minced garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes, adding the sardines at the end to warm them up.

While I'm doing this, I'll toast my bread.

At the end, I'll take the bread, put the sardine / mushroom mix on top and eat it.

And that, my friends, is white privilege. It affects you every day. Positively if you're one persuasion, negatively if not. I'm sure that if you work at it, you'll learn to notice it in your own life, like the next time you change a tire, buy some shoes, teach your son to hit a baseball or look for your car keys between the cushions of the couch.

You're welcome.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Rot Of Grubs

I don't know what a group of grubs is called, so I coined the term, "rot." It works on multiple levels. Grubs eat rotting things and it's also great for cheap laughs as you do a crude, Japanese accent.
American: "What are these things?"

Japanese: "A rot of grubs!"
Ha ha.

Ahem.

Yesterday, I was planting our new season's herbs and veggies when I came across a rot of grubs in one of our raised beds. I ended up spending an hour going through the soil by hand, pulling out the grubs as I found them. I must have ended up with about 50. Here they are in all their disgustingness.


When I harvest grubs, I like to throw them out into the middle of our cul-de-sac. It gives the birds and nocturnal varmints something to eat. It's fitting since the grubs were going to eat our plants and now they're dinner for someone else instead.

I've never tossed this many and after I did so and went back into my yard, some of the neighbors spotted them. Excitement and conversations ensued as they tried to figure out how all those grubs ended up in the street. I felt a glow of pleasure for giving them an interesting mystery to solve. Eventually, one of them figured out that it was the crazy guy next door and the conundrum was solved.

KT - bane of grubs, benefactor of neighbors, that's me.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hide The Data!

Andrew Sullivan, of all people, has finally discovered the cultists on the left. These are the sort of people who use violence to prevent speeches by people who hold different views. In short, they oppose diversity, in this case, of thought.

While that's interesting, here's a snippet that opens up a different line of inquiry entirely. As Andrew is a member of the cult himself, he has to intone the catechism about race and show his ritual disapproval of Charles Murray. Professor Murray wrote a book called The Bell Curve which discussed IQ and presented reams of data. One chapter out of the book shows the data broken down by race. He doesn't draw any white supremacist conclusions about it, he's just a scientist looking at numbers. That makes him an infidel in the eyes of the cultists. Here's Andrew's reasoning.
(P)rotests against Murray are completely legitimate. The book he co-authored with Harvard professor Richard Herrnstein more than 20 years ago, The Bell Curve, included a chapter on empirical data showing variations in the largely overlapping bell curves of IQ scores between racial groups. Their provocation was to assign these differences to both the environment and genetics. The genetic aspect could be and was exploited by racists and bigots.
The problem isn't that Murray was lying or trying to feed bigotry. The problem is that he published the data at all. Opinion isn't the enemy, science and data are. When that happens, you're in trouble.

How do you hide data? Do you keep it in a jar in a locked cabinet so no one can ever find it? What happens when the data is out in plain sight, like the ethnic makeup of the NBA and NFL? How about data published by the FBI or Justice Department on crime stats? Even if you suppress those, a short drive around town reveals plenty. Where are there bars on the windows and barbed wire on fences?

The way to fight bigots of all kinds is not to suppress data. That's a hopeless task. You need to make the data irrelevant.

If you ask a girl to marry you and she turns you down, who cares if the guy she eventually marries is your race? You didn't marry the girl and that's that. If you apply for a job at an insurance company and you don't get it, who cares if the person they hire is your race? Will you get a percentage of his paycheck as a part of some kind of racial hegemony?

It's not the data, it's the utter irrelevance of the way you parsed it. We are individuals and our lives are mostly governed by our actions. Race plays almost no role in it at all and yet we make a huge deal out of it. Heroin has the same effect on Eskimos as it does on Puerto Ricans. So does getting an Electrical Engineering degree. So does marrying before you have kids.

We've picked a characteristic that's, at best, a third-order effector on our lives and turned it into a religion. So Professor Murray publishes a table of average IQ as a function of race. So what? Did it make you smarter if your race is higher up the table? No. By turning discussions of race into legitimate topics and giving them weight far beyond their actual value, we're arming bigots with the only weapons they will ever have.

In short, obsessing about race creates the bigotry we're all trying to stamp out. It's not the data in the table, it's the row and column headings. The data will be there whether we want to hide it or not. Publish the data or don't, it's irrelevant. Just stop making it such a big deal.

I always knew oranges were inferior. Now I have the data to prove it!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Is It Legal To Protest Eric Clapton?

Sort of a follow up to yesterday's post.

What if I was George-Soros-rich and thoroughly hated Eric Clapton? If I bought front-row concert tickets for a bunch of crazy ANTIFA protesters and told them to rush the stage like they do when Professor Murray and Milo or Ben Shapiro try to give talks, what would happen?

Is it illegal to purposefully disrupt a concert? Does it matter if the attendees paid or not? Is it strictly the jurisdiction of the venue to make sure this doesn't happen? How far can the venue go in enforcing its rules?

Is this like the legal issues involving bouncers at clubs?
Generally speaking, bouncers can only use force if it is first used against them. These are the same rights as any ordinary citizen (i.e. the right to self-defense). On the other hand, bouncers are legally allowed to perform such tasks as:
  • Issue verbal warnings
  • Ask you to leave
  • Check for ID
  • Refuse entry if the patron is too intoxicated, fails to comply with establishment policies, or engages in aggressive behavior
  • Call the police
  • Protect innocent bystanders from violence
  • Break up fights that are not involved in
  • Respond with equal force if necessary
Bouncers cannot initiate physical conflict, but they can respond to it. If my valiant Social Justice Warriors protesting that fascist Clapton never did more than chant and wave signs, it doesn't seem like the security team could do more than call the cops. Pondering that, wouldn't chanting and waving signs be breach of the peace or disorderly conduct? That still doesn't allow the security guards to give my ANTIFA goons a whuppin, but it would allow the cops to clear them out and bring them down to the station.

Back to the real examples, if ANTIFA maniacs stop someone from speaking and the cops do not enforce the laws regarding keeping the peace, can the police department be charged with civil rights violations as they conspired to deprive the speaker and audience of their right to freedom of speech?

Hmm.



Eric Clapton, positively dripping with white, male, cis-gendered privilege. Doesn't he enrage you?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Yelling Back Isn't The Answer

I've restrained myself, although it might not seem so, from posting and tweeting on politics. Having an opinion on everything in the world, and the correct one at that, all of the turmoil in the country today is an absolute sumptuous buffet for me.

What gives me pause is the level of incoherent rage on the left. The recent attack on Charles Murray is just one example. I've read most of Professor Murray's books, seen many interviews with him, catch him on podcasts as much as possible and download his talks from YouTube to listen to as I walk or drive. I am, in short, a Charles Murray groupie.

The one thing I can say without fear of contradiction is that there is no academic alive who has greater compassion for the poor, independent of race, creed, sex or orientation. To my taste, he is the gold standard for intellectuals working to improve the lot of the poor. As far as I could tell, the violence he suffered at Middlebury was at the hands of people beyond the reach of reason and argument.

What do you do about such people? Since they are immune to logic and incapable of conversation, do you scream back at them? Do you call them names? Do you create memes and mock them? I don't see that any of these actions will have a desirable outcome and will only serve to increase the overall level of fury in society. Instead, they need to be charged, prosecuted, convicted and jailed.

What they did broke the law. In fact, I recently discovered that conspiracy to deprive a citizen of their right to free speech is itself a crime, meaning that the school professors who encouraged this and the administrators who knowingly allowed it to happen could face charges. And they should. All of them.

This is no longer about debate or discussion, this is about maintaining the rule of law. This is why we have police, court systems and jails. Instead of trying to convince people that Charles Murray isn't a white supremacist or whatever deranged fantasy they've cooked up, these people need to be locked up.

My recommendation is to agitate not for mockery or disputations, but to agitate for law enforcement to do its job. While the Christian side of me wants to stay quiet so as not to contribute to the violence, I don't see that conflicting with upholding standards of behavior codified in our laws. With the people prone to violent protests behind bars, we might be able to move on to rational discourse. Until then, you can forget about it.

A Hot Wheels Paddy Wagon. A slightly larger, more functional version needs to be employed with consistency and regularity on American campuses until the children (and faculty) learn to use their words.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Why Don't The Citizens Of xxx Ever Learn?

I met a very nice young man the other day who works for the San Diego Unified School District. SD Unified, like most local government institutions, is going through the first wave of self-inflicted budget crises. I'd do the standard link-and-excerpt bit here, but my source is the Union-Tribune and it seems they're having a bit of bother managing a safe website these days,

Mainstream Media Fail.
In any case, the school district is laying off about 1,000 people because their pensions are eating them alive. To avoid being called racistsexisthomophobes, we gave the teachers everything they wanted a few years back and now we're firing teachers as the bills come due. I would say this serves everyone right, but if my young friend is any guide, we're not learning from the event, so it's just a dark cloud with no silver lining.

If you've ever wondered why socialism lives on or why Argentinians have never learned to stop hitting themselves on the head with the hammer of social justice fascism - Peronism - this is the perfect example. The young man is watching friends lose their jobs and has no idea why. Not only that, he's not very curious about it. He had some vague notion that there was corruption involved somewhere or "bad investments," but the whole thing was pretty uninteresting to him.

Math is hard.

People of faith prefer to stick with their faith. They don't go looking to become apostates. If the Pope or the Imam or the Teachers' Union President says something, then that's good enough. Getting over the resistance to changing a belief system requires a lot of disruption. If it requires math or learning new skills like budgeting, you can pretty much forget it for most people.

Noting that this is becoming a tl;dr post, I'll try to wrap it up.

The young man is a standard prole. He has faith in the progressive religion and "knows" his positions are morally right. When teachers, who care only about children and have the most important jobs in the Universe because the youth are the future tell them that the Democrats are kind and Republicans are greedy and evil, they ingest their catechism without critical thought and go back to their lives.

The fact that the progressivism has sold us all into debt slavery cannot pierce the bubble of faith encasing this fellow in a warm feeling of moral righteousness. Even if he loses his job because of debt loads inflicted on us all by the left, it's doubtful he'll ever do the hard work of learning how and why it happened. He has his progressive religion and it gives his life meaning and value even when things fall to pieces because of it.

And that, my friends, happening on a large scale, is how the wheels of compound interest mathematics can repeatedly grind the citizens of Argentina, Venezuela and California like grist without said citizens ever learning and changing their minds.

Related: The "Repeal and Replace" of Obamacare is similar religious insanity. It should just be "Repeal." We're $20T deep in debt slavery at the national level. We have no money for promising still more temporary benefits.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

It's Turning Out That I Really Didn't Like Those Vices After All

I blogged recently about a friend of mine who is going through cancer treatments and how I've taken up praying and fasting from certain vices for him. Abstinence is getting easier as I discover that some of my vices weren't really all that much fun.

Taking beer as an example, the first couple of days were hard, but last night, day 12, was pretty easy. I'm not going completely cold turkey, but I'm not getting much of a buzz any more when I do drink and most days I skip it completely. I've yet to find myself regretting it.

I don't know about you, but you could set a watch by my temptations. At about 4:45 PM, I'm usually craving a beer. If I take a pass, by 6:00 PM, the craving is gone. I never find myself wanting to start drinking at 7 or 8. By then, I'm enjoying whatever it is my wife and I are doing that night. Beer was always the transition from the work day to the evening at home. It turns out that transition happens on its own without any help from me.

Whatever comes of this prayer and fasting and whether or not I keep up with my abstinence for the rest of my life, the act of changing my behaviors has been very educational. It's probably a good idea to switch things up dramatically in your habits once in a while just to see what happens.


This might be one of the weirdest videos I've ever seen. How many intoxicants did it take to come up with this one? I love it! Appropriate music and you can never go wrong with Scooby Doo.

Monday, March 06, 2017

This Could Be Fun

I installed a meme creator on my phone yesterday. At a friend's house where they have grandchildren, I found a children's book about the ocean. The rest, as they say, is history.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

I Never Did Find The Problem

Our Hoover vacuum cleaner stopped working. You'd flick the power switch and nothing would happen, not even a groan or rattle or vibration. Simplicity itself, right? Probably a broken switch.

An hour later, some 20+ screws removed and the entire thing disassembled to the point where it wasn't going to go back together, having surrendered on the concept of repair and determined to find the issue, I got access to the power switch. It was fine.

Looks like it's time for a new vacuum cleaner.
I don't get it at all. A vacuum is a pretty simple device. If power is getting to the electric motor, which it was, you should at least get a hum or some vibration. The only thing I can think is that there was a connection broken within the motor housing, before it reached the coils for the electromagnetic motor.

One thing I did learn is that assembling one of these beasts is extremely labor-intensive. As I took it apart, I imagined someone on a factory floor putting it together. No snaps, lots and lots of screws, each having to be done by hand, given the complicated design of  the plastic body parts. Good jobs at good wages?

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Japan Is Doomed

... was a theme on this blog when I used to write lots of economic posts. Their population is declining and aging, they've got insane levels of debt, their government can't stop borrowing and spending and more. And yet, there's this.

Doomed! They're doomed!
Wait a minute. The Nikkei is doing pretty well.
There's an old saying in economics - you can tell what's going to happen, just not when. All of those serious, structural problems still exist, but somehow, they continue to defy gravity. Crazy, man. Just crazy.

'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.' - Yogi Berra.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Donald Trump Is A Fascist In League With The Russians

... or something like that. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to believe. I think I should be outraged about Jeff Sessions or Trump being so Trumpy, but it's all very vague.

Trump is a fascist!


Mussolini said, "Everything within the State, nothing without." When Trump pushes for removing regulations and taxes, isn't that taking power and control away from the State? What kind of fascist does that? I don't get it.

Jeff Sessions mumble mumble mumble the Russians!


Trump OK'd the oil pipeline, making it much easier to extract oil out there where the bigots live in flyover country. Russia's primary source of hard currency is raw materials, specifically oil. If we produce more, the price goes down and the Russians are harmed.

Trump is asking for a defense build-up which will make us more able to face off with the Russkies in places like Syria and Ukraine. That's bad for Russia.

Trump is asking NATO to do more than hire hairdressers in their military and finally have armies worthy of the name. Those armies pose a direct threat to Russia's imperialist aims in Ukraine and the Baltics. That's not good for Ivan, either.

What am I missing here? It looks to me like the whole Trump thing has been bad for Putin and his goons. Why should I worry about whether or not some Senator talked to the Russian ambassador, particularly when they all did it as a matter of their normal jobs?

This is why the press can't have nice things


Finally, here are just two examples of yesterday's standard avalanche of lefty propaganda from our news media. Please, tell me again why we should pay any attention at all to what these people report.



Thursday, March 02, 2017

What White People Talk About

... is the same as what anyone else talks about, if my parties are any guide.

We threw a Mardi Gras bash on Tuesday, hosting about 20 people from Cursillo as well as all of our kids and a girlfriend or two. San Diego Catholic demographics being what they are, the population was split about 50-50 between whites and Hispanics. It's actually hard to tell with this crew, inter-marriage being so common.

The conversations were about food, wine, beer, music, faith, the upcoming retreat weekends, sports, cars, friends, family and other odds and ends. Having hosted lots of parties with guests drawn from a fairly large pool of candidates, these are the conversation topics every time. Sometimes the parties are "whiter," sometimes they're more "Hispanicky." It never matters. I suppose the most racial topic of conversation is where we grew up with the El Centro contingent mentioning it in passing. If you closed your eyes, the only telltales would be stories about what mom cooked when you were a kid.

Whenever I hear race discussed in the media or watch movies about racism, I try to square it with my own experience and end up feeling like I must be some kind of weirdo. Yeah, there are cultural differences in food, accents and interests, but they don't manifest themselves in any significant way. If one of our kids wanted to marry one of the Hispanics' kids, we'd be over the moon with joy because they were marrying Catholic.

Being devout Catholics, most of us are pretty conservative politically. I know a few true-blue progressives, but given the Democrats embrace of Planned Auschwitz, they are quite rare. Again, what am I missing here? If I draw people from this political persuasion, aren't I supposed to find racists? Shouldn't we be discussing, err, "white" things when we get together?

And just what is a "white" thing, anyway? My cuisine is Southern and Caribbean, both thoroughly influenced by, um, "people of color." Shouldn't I be making casseroles instead of gumbos? For the party, I made a Pandora station seeded with Buckwheat Zydeco, John Lee Hooker and Dr. John. Should it have been Pat Boone or Whitesnake? What am I doing wrong here as a white? I don't get it.

I sometimes feel the way scientific atheists must feel when dingledorks like me start talking theology. If it's so real, why can't I see any evidence of it in my life? My response as a Catholic to that topic has gone on ad nauseam on this blog, so I won't repeat it here. In any case, that's not a perfect analogy, but it's close enough to dismiss the topic and move on.

Ta-Nehisi Coates. He lectures a lot about racism in America. To me, he might as well be lecturing about the Easter Bunny.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Could You Not Skip One Beer For Me?

My prayer journey continues.

Saying a daily Rosary for my friend, I'm using this site for the Mysteries. It's the best one I've found for meditating on said Mysteries. Yesterday, I was doing the Sorrowful Mysteries when I came upon the section about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He brought the disciples with him, but they fell asleep while He prayed, anticipating His torture and crucifixion. When He found them asleep, He said, "Could you not watch one hour with me?"

That made me think of the times I've come home from work and had a few pops*. One is fine, two is better, three is great! And then I sleep on the couch. Not exactly a scintillating conversationalist for my wife. She never complains and doesn't bug me about it. I'm not angry or abusive, I just knock myself out from time to time. The quote above transformed itself into, "Could you not stop at one brewski for Me?" It works equally well for anger, porn, stinginess or what-have-you. Here He is, sweating blood over the coming trials and tribulations and I'm knocking back a 22 oz Hangar 24 Iconic double IPA followed by a 12 oz Firestone Union Jack.

Alternative modified quotes:

  • "Could you not take a break from porn for Me?"
  • "Could you not stop gossiping about that woman at work for Me?"
  • "Could you not say something loving and supportive to your daughter for Me?"
And so on.

There was something else that occurred to me, but I'll leave that for another post. I've been doing too many tl;dr posts lately.

An unrelated, funny picture. It can't all be serious stuff, you know.
* - Rereading this post, I realized that it makes me sound like a lush. That's the wrong impression. It doesn't happen very often, maybe once a month. In any case, the beer is just a stand-in for your own, personal, favorite vice.