Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Never Experiment On Your Guests

... it can lead to horrible results like on the Island of Dr. Moreau.

Last weekend, I was chief cook for a men's retreat and one of the dishes I served was my own recipe, Catican Bayou Gumbo. I had made gumbo several times and this was a synthesis of my favorite parts, at least those that could easily be scaled up to huge quantities and made in a sub-par kitchen.

When I went to the wholesaler who provides us supplies, he said he had andouille sausage in addition to the smoked sausage I normally use. Like an idiot, I got excited at the thought of using andouille and went with it despite never having cooked with it before.

Andouille sausage is significantly saltier and spicier than my standard polska kielbasa. It threw the taste of my gumbo completely out of whack. I stood there in the kitchen in a panic, wondering how to deal with the situation. In the end, as the gumbo simmered, the flavors melded and the andouille's influence waned. The end result was devoured with gusto by the men and I received many compliments, but it was not what I had hoped.

Don't experiment on your guests. You never know what you'll get.

That gumbo was horrible!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Civilization Without Faith

... isn't going to be much of a civilization at all.

Andrew Klavan penned a lovely piece on the topic that deserves a full read and a better discussion than the one I have for it today. Here's a tidbit.
These thinkers see the great days of the West ending, while a violent, intolerant form of Islam infests its ruins. They believe that Europe has lost the will to live and that the loss is linked to a loss of faith in Christianity. But while they yearn to see the West revived—and while they may even support Christianity as a social good or a metaphorical vehicle for truth—they cannot themselves believe.
He's mentioned this on his excellent podcast many times and I myself have seen it play out in the writings and speeches of several secular conservative pundits. It goes something like this:
  • Christianity has all kinds of benefits
  • Christianity was foundational to Western civilization
  • (stats and quotes are then given - "marriages are 28.3% more successful if you go to church" or some such rubbish)
  • I myself don't believe
I just got back from working as the chief cook on a men's retreat for 100+ Catholic dudes. I haven't worked that hard for that long in years. The men attended talks while my team prepped the meals and served them. At the end, they told us that they had been given the tools and motivation and shown the love that will help them be better husbands, fathers and men. It was beautiful beyond words. They always are.

Here's where the pundits are wrong. We didn't gather because our marriages would be 28.3% more successful. Our marriages are 28.3% more successful because we gathered. We gathered for Jesus. Take Jesus out of the equation and we won't ever get together. 

What happens if lots of the currently strong marriages fail?

Faith doesn't just improve civilization, it's a necessary component.

Catican Bayou Gumbo for 100.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Saturated Red

These roses from my mom's garden are so red that I think they blew out my camera's sensor. It certainly looks saturated to me. I left it fairly large, so it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Lavender

Flowers from my mom's house. I left the photo large, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Enlightenment No

... not Enlightenment Now.

Steven Pinker, who for all I know is a marvelous fellow, has penned a book called Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. I haven't read (listened to) it, but just on the face of it, there seems to be no case for the publisher's blurb.
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.
I think it fails under it's own metrics. Think in terms of evolution. In order to flourish, a species needs to:

  1. Reproduce
  2. Not consume more resources than are being created
On both counts, the modern, secular world is failing. One, we're reproducing at below replacement rates while Muslims, no creatures of the Enlightenment, are reproducing above replacement rate. That means that in Western democracies, it won't be long before Sharia is enacted, first locally and then nationally.

Second, all of the Western nations, Japan included, are running structural fiscal deficits. Money is a proxy for resources. If you're spending more than you earn year after year, you're doomed.

The Enlightenment as modeled by the Secular Left certainly looks good in the short run. In the long run, no.

And then there's ANTIFA, the goon squad of the Enlightenment. No. Just no.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jesus Is Not Love

... He is love on a foundation of logic and objective Truth.

Example - Mark 3:22-27

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,”* and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house."
Note that He doesn't say, "Dude, it is through love I drive out the demons. Don't be such a hater!" Note also that he uses if-then statements, the primary tool of logic and philosophy.

Is He all about love? You bet He is. He's all about love in a world that makes logical sense where there are objective facts and life can be analyzed rationally.

If you love the lamb, you treat it with medicines developed with objective science.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I'm Evil

I must be, because I am not primarily driven by regards for others' feelings. Or should I say, I'm driven by future feelings more than current ones. That's a distinction I make, but not one made by the SJWs of the Secular Left.

Take, for example, my kids. I made them do things they didn't want to do because their lives would be better in the future. Things like studying. I believe that achievements drive feelings. In a way, I'm more driven by regards for others' feelings than I would be if I'd just let my kids slack off and get poor grades. I was trading good feelings at the time for better feelings in the future.

Note: This is a follow-up to the post from two days ago. In that post, we took a look at how Tulsa University prioritized the immediate feelings and made policy and curriculum changes based on that.

Since they prioritize current feelings, the implication to the SJWs and the Secular Left is that disagreements with them can only come from people who don't care what others feel. That makes me evil. It also makes those who lecture on uncomfortable topics or with uncomfortable points of view evil as they clearly don't care about others' feelings.

What kind of monster capriciously hurts the feelings of those around him?

The kind of monster who says that facts don't care about your feelings.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Without Enemies, It's A Cold, Lonely World

This made things clearer for me.

It's so weird that it brought into relief what's really going on with all the yelling by the Secular Left and the SJWs. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out why they focused on white supremacists and racism when in places like Baltimore, people of color are suffering terribly with nary a supremacist in sight. This tweet made it all obvious for me.

They only care about white supremacists.

That's it. That's the only thing that matters. You can have black bodies stacking up like cordwood in Chicago and Baltimore, you can have appalling school performance in those neighborhoods, you can have massive unemployment there and none of it matters. It's all about the white supremacists.

The reason for this is simple. Without someone to fight, without a supervillain to oppose, the Secular Left can't parade around in their superhero costumes, cosplaying their ongoing battle against the scourge of racism. It's all about the cosplay. The "victims" they are pretending to rescue are nothing more than mannequins, a backdrop for their play-acting. They can die, flunk out or despair without jobs, it's all one to the Secular Left.

Everything that matters to them depends on not just the existence, but the assertion that racism and white supremacists are a serious threat. And I mean everything. If a story has even the remotest chance to be twisted into supporting evidence, it's used.

When there's a real white supremacist, like the loony in New Zealand or the losers in Charlottesville, they run with it for weeks like a hit Broadway show. When Christians are attacked like they were in Nigeria, France or Sri Lanka, the word "Christian" is avoided or downplayed and the possibility of revenge attacks by white supremacists or their hench-Christians quickly becomes the topic of conversation.

I'm going to stop asking why they focus on one kind of crime and not on another. It's pretty clear that the only thing that matters is how they can continue their superhero cosplay. It gives their lives its ultimate meaning.

Monday, April 22, 2019

It's The True Believers

... that are wrecking our institutions.

The premise of Ben Shapiro's new book, The Right Side of History, is that, driven by the Secular Left, American culture has discarded our foundational principles from Athens and Jerusalem in favor of a pagan culture which values feelings over everything else. The ancient Greeks of Athens gave us philosophy and logic as well as the concept that life's meaning could be derived from those two elements. Jerusalem gave us Judeo-Christian morality which is predicated on the concept that we are all equals because we were all made in the image of God. Our lives draw purpose from doing God's will.

The book is way deeper than that, but this is a daily blog, not a New Yorker article. Read or listen to it, it's great.

Today, I came across an article by a Tulsa University professor lamenting the decline of his school. Two paragraphs leaped out at me.
Gerard Clancy, a psychiatrist served as president of the University of Oklahoma–Tulsa from 2006 to 2014... His therapeutic sensibilities have informed all his work as TU’s president, starting with the university’s Strategic Plan for 2017–2022. Entitled Building the Foundation for a Great Story and a Greater Commitment, the plan asks not what we want students to learn, but “How do we want TU students to feel?” The answer consists in the four pillars of the new TU Commitment: accepted (“physically, emotionally and spiritually safe”), engaged (“not talked down to, you have a voice and a desire to be heard”), empowered, and launched on a voyage of self-discovery.
Emphasis and links in the original.

This is exactly how you would alter a liberal arts school if you considered feelings more important than knowledge or reasoning. Let's take a concrete example of how you might modify your curriculum. Reading a speech by Jefferson Davis on the virtues of slavery or one by Bernie Sanders on the virtues of socialism* would undoubtedly make many people feel unpleasant. If your goal is to make people feel accepted, then you'd discard them. If teaching students to reason was your primary goal, you'd have them read it and engage with the concept of an all-powerful State depriving people of their freedom under the guise of kindness.

So pick one. Feelings or reasoning? If you choose feelings, then you must discard the classics. It's not driven by hate as I and others have stated so many times in the past, it's simple logic.

Here's the action plan to do just that.
Integral to the TU Commitment is fostering a “culture of justice” on campus. “We seek out complex problems and injustices in our society,” the strategic plan declares, “and engage in work that promotes justice.” The document also lays out a Diversity Action Plan for building “an inclusive, safe, and diverse community,” which it describes as “the primary foundation on which all [the university’s] objectives will be realized.” Clancy’s approach is aggressive or paternalistic, depending on the group addressed. Faculty resistance to the moral and therapeutic imperatives of the new institutional super ego is presumed to be so extensive as to require something only a few steps short of A Clockwork Orange-style reeducation. On top of an anonymous, online-bias reporting system, Clancy has mandated training in “unconscious bias” for all employees. (We’ve already done harassment and “microaggressions.”) And just to be sure, TU’s new Institute of Trauma, Adversity, and Injustice also regularly surveys “exclusionary, intimidating, offensive, and/or hostile conduct” at the university.
Again, if you valued feelings more than facts, this is a reasonable and comprehensive approach.

There's a huge implication to all of this which I'll discuss tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a picture of a dog because pictures of dogs are soothing and I care about your feelings.


* - The speeches would be virtually identical, save for the fact that Jeff only wanted to enslave blacks while Bernie wants to enslave everyone.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Tearing Down Crooners While San Francisco Burns

For the love of God, we need Donald Trump to win reelection in a landslide. Every part of our elite institutions needs to be burned to the ground.

Today's outrage from the elites is the discovery that Kate Smith recorded possibly racist songs in the 1930s.
The voice of singer Kate Smith is rapidly disappearing from the world of professional sports. The New York Yankees reportedly confirmed Thursday that they were no longer playing Smith’s version of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning of home games, after the team learned of a Depression-era song she’d recorded that raised questions of possible racism. The Philadelphia Flyers followed suit Friday, distancing themselves from Smith by taking her famed rendition of “God Bless America” out of their playlist and covering a bronze statue of the singer near their arena as they investigate the matter.
Meanwhile, the flagship city of the Secular Left, San Francisco, lacks a functioning sewage system.

The sewage system isn't working if your streets are littered with feces.

Baltimore's illegitimacy rates are so high that it's reasonable to say that the intact family is effectively irrelevant to the culture.

In Baltimore, married families, the basic building block of civilization, are less than 50% of the total.
I'll leave it to you to scour the lyrics of the top hip-hop and rap songs.

When the elites are talking about unknown songs from the 1930s while your sanitation systems, family structures and popular culture are in flaming ruins, that tells you that academia, the media, entertainment industry and politicians from both sides of the aisle need to be reduced to ashes and rebuilt from scratch.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Ben Shapiro Is Unclean

Imagine Ben as a leper under Old Testament rules and you get an insight into why he and his kind are banned from speaking on campus.
The Torah teaches that during the early stages of what seemed to be a serious skin affliction, a sick person would stand before a Kohen (priest) who would diagnose the illness. If it was determined that the person was a leper, he or she would be expelled from the community for the duration of the recovery process.
A primary job of the Secular Leftist priests is to prevent the spread of infection - the infection of the rational thought of Athens and the moral thought of Jerusalem as discussed in Ben's excellent, new book, The Right Side of History. Their attempts to ban Ben, Dennis Prager, Candace Owens, Michael Knowles and Andrew Klavan and the rest is to protect the faithful. It's not "Shut up!" so much as it is "Don't listen!"

In yesterday's post wherein we looked at Tucker Carlson taking on a transgender-rights activist, we saw the futility of a Secular Leftist arguing with Tucker.
Check out his reactions when faced with (simple, logical questions). He gets flustered and emotional and accuses Tucker of "having issues." Why not? That's always worked before. No one in his circle wants to be accused of damaging someone else's self-esteem. He plays the moral superiority card because it's the one that trumps all as far as he knows. When it turns out to be the three of clubs, he's completely at sea.
 You can find all kinds of examples of Secular Leftists trying to stump Ben and others on YouTube and being similarly squashed. It's not just that the conservative speakers are brilliant, it's that the Secular Leftist hasn't encountered the questions they raise.

When you watch #WalkAway videos, you hear one former Secular Leftist after another talk about how they heard a talk or watched a Prager U video and that was the first time they had encountered a legitimate, sensible, alternative point of view. The banning of speakers is an effort to prevent that first encounter. It's like tying a bell around the neck of the leper and clothing him in distinctive rags so that all may see him and avoid him long before any interaction takes place.

No one is trying to convert the unclean, either. As a redneck Catholic, I can guarantee you that no one from the Secular Left sees me as worthy of evangelization. At least I've never encountered it. Instead, I'm one of Hillary's deplorables or one of Barack's bitter clingers. There is no hope for my redemption and so the only alternative is to make sure the faithful close their ears.

Clinton supporters on election night as everything started to go wrong. As they watched the map turn red at the county level, I wonder how many of them thought they should have spent more time listening to the concerns of rural voters and white men. My bet would be not many of them, given the tone of the elites since then.
If you wanted to convert someone, you'd speak to them in their language. When their language is the problem, all you can do is declare them unclean and inform your true believers that any contact will bring the risk of infection.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Transgender Hysteria

I was enjoying some Tucker yesterday when I came across this video wherein Tucker questions a trans activist from the DNC. At issue is how the public determines someone's sex for the purposes of participation and benefits. I excerpted the section that illustrates a point I want to make.


The issues Tucker raises are ones that someone governed by logic would ponder almost immediately upon hearing that it's permissible for you to simply declare your sex. The best is the Small Business Administration set asides where women and minorities get preference when it comes to government contracts. If I can declare my sex then there is no way on Earth I'm not a woman when I compete for Federal business. I'd be crazy if I didn't.

The trans advocate dude, at least I assume it's a dude, has clearly never considered these questions. How do you get to the point where you're on national TV without having thought about this? What kind of world does he inhabit where no one asked these? A world of hysteria, that's what.

Check out his reactions when faced with them. He gets flustered and emotional and accuses Tucker of "having issues." Why not? That's always worked before. No one in his circle wants to be accused of damaging someone else's self-esteem. He plays the moral superiority card because it's the one that trumps all as far as he knows. When it turns out to be the three of clubs, he's completely at sea.

The trans advocate dude is just another cosplay hero. In this case, he thinks he's saving transgender people from hate and violence. He puts on his cape and mask and runs around all day playing make-believe and then he goes home feeling good about himself.

Meanwhile, trans people, being mentally ill and treated in the worst possible way with confirmation of their psychoses, are suffering and dying.

Not to worry, that's all objective logic and objective logic never pierces the bubble of the Secular Left. They're superheroes fighting oppression, you see.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

More Pink

... and I mean lots more pink. I don't know what this Virginian tree was, but it was determined to show me just how PINK pink could be. I left the image large and even amped up the colors a bit to make up for the overcast day. I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Burning Down France

... would not be a good thing.

I've never been to France so I've never seen Notre Dame Cathedral. Still, I was deeply moved by the sight of the fire there and when the spire fell, I felt a sharp shock of pain. Horrible!

I've heard that other Catholic churches in France have been desecrated and some even burned during Lent this year. The implication of this is that we need to be suspicious of the Notre Dame fire. Was it arson? Who knows, but we've got to be aware of the pattern, they say.

That sounds like a bad idea to me. The last thing you want is to help wild rumors get started with the strong possibility that France will break into factions that will take to the streets to address their differences with violence. If it was arson, then they need to know, but until that's established, speculation would seem to be asking for serious trouble indeed.

Update: Uh oh.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Pink

I shot this last week while I was in Virginia. I think it's an Eastern Redbud. I left the image large, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

If Michael Knowles Was A Muslim

... he wouldn't have been attacked or heckled when he tried to speak at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. The speech was entitled "Men are not Women."

If you haven't heard, conservative podcaster and author, Michael Knowles, was invited to give a speech at UMKC and ended up being physically attacked and then loudly heckled during his speech. The attacker was wrestled to the ground and arrested by police, but the hecklers managed to ruin the event.

I found the speech on YouTube, converted it to MP3 and tried to listen to it, but the screaming by SJW activists who had infiltrated the audience for just this purpose was so severe that it effectively wrecked the talk. It was like Michael was giving a talk at an insane asylum. Below is a snippet.


A couple of things occured to me.
  1. Where was the Catholic Church? Knowles is a Catholic and his assertion that men are not women is in complete accord with the teaching of the Church. If he can't speak Truth, then the rest of us can't, either. Where are our defenders in the clergy? They have no problems yapping about Global Warming Climate Change, open borders and such like, but when it comes to protecting the laity, they take a powder.

  2. If Knowles had been a Muslim, the protestors would have skipped the talk. First, he would have been considered a victim of white, patriarchal oppression and therefore off limits. Second, the protestors would have been afraid to give him a hard time. If Knowles was a muslim and brought along Mohammed, Achmed and some of the boys, their glares and physicality would have been more than enough to shut up any SJWs who tried to heckle.

  3. One of the reasons civilized people don't do this is that they don't want their own events ruined by hecklers from the other side. At our universities, however, the other side, Knowles' side, is effectively muzzled. The lefties have a monopoly on power and have no fear of reprisals.

  4. The mob's veto power over speech is a capricious thing. Today it's all about transgender rights. Tomorrow, it will be ... whatever the mob wants. 

  5. Why do people go to talks and think they have a perfect right to scream at the speaker? What happened to good manners? Good manners are predicated on respect for others. If the only thing that matters is how you feel, which is what Ben Shapiro argues in his recent book, then good manners don't apply if you feel threatened or you think others do. When feelings trump rational discourse, you get Knowles speaking in front of a pack of psychotics.
Sad.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Forgiveness, Acceptance, Barack Obama And Robert E. Lee

This is kind of a blog post to myself, but I hope you get something out of it as well.

I'm a big fan of Robert E. Lee. To me, he's second only to George Washington as the greatest American of all time. I won't go into the reasons here. Let's just leave it at that. I understand that Lee fought for the Confederacy and they were trying to preserve slavery. I still love the guy.

Some people are big fans of Barack Obama. Barack never met a type of abortion he didn't support, including the type where the baby is about 7 pounds and you have to suck out its brains and then crush its skull to get it out of the mother, dead. A lot of people who love Barack know that and love him anyway.

If I want people to respect my preferences, then I need to respect theirs. I wouldn't make their choice and they wouldn't make mine, but in the end, how big of a deal is it anyway? Loving Robert E. Lee doesn't mean you support slavery and loving Barack doesn't mean you think crushing the skulls of babies is fine.

Maybe we'd be better off if we learned to respect each other's preferences even if we don't fully understand them.

The Big Man himself.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Too Cute For Words

I'm getting on a plane to go back to San Diego in a few hours, so I don't have time for a regular post, so I'll use the YouTube cop out. Still, I think you'll agree, it's a cute cop out. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Jobs Americans Won't Do

... would be what, exactly?

I'm on the east coast this week and walking around at lunch, I spotted these guys.


Way back in prehistoric times, I had a job like this. I loved it and I loved the guys on the road crew. When I saw this, I immediately thought of the border. The whole point of keeping the border open is to put these men out of work by bringing in a labor force who will work under the table.

Why are we doing this?

I know why the elites are doing this. The Republicans want their business donors to have cheap labor and the Democrats want ignorant voters to make up for the votes these racist homophobes cast, but why do we want it?

A real value of social media is the ability to get around the elite gatekeepers in the media and the academy and ask each other these questions. God knows they don't want this discussed. That's why they talk about "opportunities" on the right and "racism" on the left. Screw that. I like walking by fellow Americans working hard like this. A part of me remembers that work and I want to be back with them again. I certainly don't want them out of work.

Build the wall and protect these guys and their families.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"Worrying," "Should" And Other Telltales

Shock of shocks, an Islamist political party has sprung up in a European country and is starting to win elections. It's also calling for Sharia. The effete Belgian elite are having a hard time processing it. Dig this.

"It's worrying," the wussy, little Belgian says. "People coming to the EU should adopt our values!" You can hear the fear in his voice. It wasn't supposed to happen this way. All of the academics, educators and media types said multiculturalism was a fine thing. Only the "far-right white supremacists" thought differently from the herd and that was because they were mentally ill. Different cultures manifested themselves in dress, food and dance, not ideas!

Whoops.

Better get used to this, Phil. Unlike modern, progressive Belgians, Muslims are having babies and in 20 years, their babies will vote. In contrast to the Catholics in Belgium, whose leadership is happy to roll over to get a tummy rub from the secularists, the Muslims have a bit more spine and will happily tell you and your latte-sipping weiners just where to get off.

You can see his brain trying to cope with this contradiction to his accepted world-view, like one of those Star Trek episodes where Kirk and Spock force a computer to deal with a logical conundrum. He practically starts speaking in gibberish with smoke coming out of his head while staggering around in a circle. "How can this be happening? Why can't I just go back to the cafe and discuss Herbert Marcuse with my friends? I'm so very, very open-minded and accepting! Why don't they see that and love me?"

Poor sod. He's in for a rough ride.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Chicago's First Alien Mayor

... might be interesting or of some value. Chicago's first black, lesbian mayor isn't.

It's 2019. Rainbow flags are all over the place. There are Pride parades, Pride weeks, Pride months and who knows what else. It's just not a big deal any more. Still, that was the front page banner when Lori Lightfoot, identifying, this week at least, as a black lesbian, won the election for mayor of Chicago.

Who cares? Lori does. The media does. Activists do. How about the rest of us? Not so much. As I scanned through the news headlines for the event, all I could think was that if I were a resident of Chicago, I'd be more concerned about crime, insolvency and public transport. Lori could be a one-armed Eskimo or a Peruvian dog trainer for all it mattered. After the speeches and announcements and the media drooling over one more "disadvantaged" person holding office, the work still needs to be done and in Chicago, what a lot of work there is.

Hasn't all of this "first" stuff gotten old yet?

I don't know who she's going to fight. Her party has dominated Chicago politics for many decades.

Monday, April 08, 2019

You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Shot:

Chaser:

Come on, people. This isn't hard. You've been calling us Normals racists and homophobes and misogynists and transphobes and Islamophobes and blaming us and our ancestors for everything under the sun. We'll vote for you when the moon turns into green cheese.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Something Beautiful For You

This might be my favorite cloud video of all time. I shot this off our back balcony today after a drizzle as the sky was clearing. It's shot in HD and looks awesome, if you'll excuse me praising my own video, in full screen.

Have a great weekend and ... enjoy!

Friday, April 05, 2019

Creepy Uncle Joe Is Going To Get A Pass

You can tell because the media is covering for him.

There's another way to tell that this is all going to blow over. The top three Democrats in Virginia were all accused of racism or sexual assault and they are all still there. It's doubtful that they will ever feel any real blowback from the blackface and assaults they committed. It's all good because they're on the Right Side of History™.

Getting back to Joe Biden, I think the guy is a mental lightweight and a total creep. When I've watched what he does in public, some of which is in the video below, it really turns me off. At he same time, he's been all about the #MeToo movement. It would be he ultimate just desserts for him to get blown away because of his gross behavior, but I don't see it happening.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

It Takes Longer To Build

... than to destroy.

Extending my blog post from yesterday about the utter destruction of Venezuela by socialism, another thing that keeps jumping out at me is how comprehensively their nation has been ruined.


I was in N'awlins a year after Katrina there were still a lot of places boarded up. That was in a functioning nation that was doing its best to rebuild the place. What would it have looked like if everywhere in America had been Katrinaed?

Now pile on that the emigration of 10% of the population. That would be the 10% with foresight and skills, in case you were wondering.

Socialism hasn't just wiped out what they had, it wiped out their skill base to rebuild.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Intervening In Venezuela

... doesn't seem like a rush job.

The Russians have sent in about 200 troops and I've read pundits blathering about whether or not we should intervene and how that would go. I've also heard the situation described as the Venezuelan economy "worsening."

Huh?

What Venezuelan economy? They don't have electricity or water. You could have 4 fully-equipped Russian infantry divisions there and it wouldn't make a bit of difference. This isn't an economy in decline, it's one that has hit rock bottom.

Most of their skilled workers have fled. With the electricity out, just where do you go from here? What's the rush? Next week will be worse than this week. Maduro, if he can stay in power, will rule over a neolithic nation. Good for him.

It's a good idea for the media to report on the place, provided they describe it as a socialist nation in its steady-state condition. Other than that, there's no real rush to intervene. They're not going anywhere.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Tantrums, Ben Shapiro And Transgender

I just finished Ben Shapiro's excellent new book, The Right Side of History. One of his conclusions is that the Secular Left is a religious movement centered around self-esteem. That last bit filled in a key missing piece for me - what was the function being maximized by the Secular Left? Looking at the world with this lens, things make more sense. It's not perfect, no mathematical model of complex reality is, but it gets very close.

The trangender movement is insanity. Men can't become women and women can't become men. However, to each individual tranny, it is crucial to their self-esteem that you agree that they can make that change. Thus, to the Secular Left, to cling to biological facts is to reduce their key metric, self-esteem. The reaction to disagreement isn't a conversation, it's a tantrum thrown by people who cannot stand anything that doesn't boost their self-worth.

Who exemplifies this better than toddlers? Dig the way the little dude below* goes out of his way to make sure you see his displeasure.


* - This is actually a relatively painful video for me to watch as my impulse when it comes to toddlers, dogs, cats and other charming things is to give them lots of love. When I experience this behavior from an adult, like I do from my transgendered friend who I've blogged about in the past, it gets old very quickly and I just want to shake them and yell.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Jesus Freed The Slaves

I'm about 2/3 of the way through A Short History of Africa and I have a confession to make. I was reading it for racial reasons. When it occurred to me, I was surprised and then not surprised. It's an easy thing to do.

I found the book following a conversation I had with a friend who had just attended a social justice talk at a Catholic gathering. The speaker was a light-skinned black priest who discussed the effects of slavery. As my friend recalled, the speaker began his slavery history after the Portuguese ships had left the docks, filled with slaves. When you frame history in that way, you're deliberately putting all of the sins of slavery of whites. It drives me batty. My daughter was taught the same thing in public school. I can still recall her reaction to finding out that blacks were responsible for the slaves being sold in the first place. "They sold each other?!? Then what the ^&#& are we learning about this for?"

She actually swore, which was very uncommon for her and she also ended her question with a preposition, which is a matter of great family shame to this day.

In any case, as I heard my friend's social justice story, I realized I didn't really know what was going on in that part of Africa ten years before the Portuguese arrived. I feel like so much of the way we discuss inter-racial matters is racist because it turns blacks into the extras on The Truman Show. Just as those actors didn't spring into "life" until Truman came by, blacks in Africa in the 1500s and blacks in, say, Chicago, don't exist as humans until whites appear to oppress them. That also drives me batty.

So I got the book and listened to it. When it came to the British evangelicals driving the abolitionist movement, I felt gratified. When I later discovered that the British also sent delegations to the slave-trading African kingdoms to ask them them just sell their slaves eastward instead of westward, I actually laughed out loud at the thought of British people asking the Africans to stop selling each other into slavery. It was so wildly different from what's drilled into us every day by the media, entertainment and the academy. I found it hilarious.

Yesterday, I realized what I was doing.

Life is about ideas, not about skin color. The evangelicals didn't free the slaves because they were white, they freed the slaves because of Jesus. They would have done the exact same thing if they had been American Indians, Ivorians or Chinese. It was the Jewish idea that we are all made in the image of God and the Christian idea that we must love the least of us that drove the movement.

My next thread to pull will be the history of the abolitionist movement in England. I would bet you dollars to donuts that if you asked the evangelicals who freed the slaves, they would give the credit to Christ.

And that's what we should do, too, if we're going to be honest.

He sets the captives free.