Thursday, April 30, 2015

Or does the map make a silly method more laughable?

Map based on number of Google searches containing the slur n****r

A method with cred only because it gives a desired finding.

If you were looking for racist sites, mightn't you search using "nigger"?

Why do that?

Foo.

If you see a kid on the bus reading Mein Kampf do you take him for a neo-Nazi or a studious type digging into politics and history?

Door number 2, for me.

Parts of Baltimore are broken

Maybe nobody knows how to fix them.

Lack of ‘Investment’ Is Not the Problem in Baltimore

If the spinal severance was at his neck, that changes the picture

As they say in the commercials, "This changes everything."

Previously I took it that Gray died of a broken back, which could have been due to the police kneeling on him as reportedly shown in the video, or to that and then bouncing around in the van.

I suppose his broken neck could be due to the cops kneeling on Gray's back, but it seems not very likely.

That he died of a broken neck makes the idea more plausible that he injured himself bashing his head on the walls in the van, or was injured by being tossed around in the van in a rough ride, if indeed there was a rough ride.

Original reports say there was no rough ride.

Not so clear a case of police misconduct, after all, it appears.

Baltimore police investigation finishes

At some point, Mr. Gray suffered a severe neck injury, which caused his death. 

Among the crucial unanswered questions are how he was hurt, whether it was before or during the van ride, and whether the ride exacerbated an earlier injury. 

The police have acknowledged that he was not wearing a seatbelt, contrary to department policy, and that he should have received medical attention sooner.

In another place, a liberal writer expressed outrage that running away from police might of itself provoke police pursuit, subdual, and arrest.

To me, that seems not at all outrageous, especially given the neighborhood they were policing, even if at the time police had no knowledge of Gray's criminal record, which to me properly makes his flight more suspicious, yet.

I think, so far as that goes, they did right to pursue, subdue, and detain, though of course Gray might well have later been released if nothing came of it, had he not died.

But it does not surprise me the ACLU takes a different view, and I would not be surprised if others took their side.

As to the case at hand, the truth is we could easily end up with insufficient evidence to support any particular charge of wrongdoing "beyond a reasonable doubt," or even to the point of being more likely true than not.

And then perhaps we will hear more racist noises from black officials and their allies about lowering standards of proof for the express purpose, and no other, of allowing successful prosecution on flimsy evidence of white cops for harming or killing black civilians.

As if we don't have enough innocent people being punished, already.

Alternatively, absent supporting evidence for anything else, it could come down to some people demanding the officers be punished solely because they pursued, subdued, and arrested Gray only for "running while black."

With that demand and the racial suspicion and hatred it expresses I have no sympathy at all.

Whoops, again.

Breaking news, as they say.

ME report on Gray

Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

Details surrounding exactly what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van was unclear. 

The officer driving the van has yet to give a statement to authorities. 

It’s also unclear whether Gray’s head injury was voluntary or was a result of some other action.

If he was given a rough ride I suppose that might be negligent homicide or manslaughter, maybe, assuming that was the cause of the injury.

If there is no evidence there was a wild ride and some evidence he was banging his own head (the statement of the other prisoner), then I don't see how any cop could be prosecuted, though some degree of fault might attach for not tying him in with a seat belt.

Guess we'd better shut up and wait and see, though, eh?

Two good ideas bogged down

Not sure why or how these are legitimately federal issues, but they're good ideas all the same.

Police body cams and limits on "taxation by citation."

Frustration mounts in Congress

It is annoying, of course, that Democrats and their sympathizers continue committed to the fiction that the problem of police violence is a race issue.

It is a crime issue, the police being the criminals and the rest of us their victims.

Bernie is in

The Guardian

If he's still in when we get to the Pennsylvania primary I would vote for him over Hillary, for sure.

Need I point out that that does not mean I agree with his whole agenda?

But I agree with parts of it.

Bernie on Free Trade at The Guardian

Sanders sounds like a nationalist in the sense in which that word is opposed to "cosmopolitan."

Sooner or later, the left will take him to task about that, using cosmo moral arguments to defend the neoliberalism he opposes, hidden behind the tattered fig leaf of "fair trade."

"An acorn is not an oak tree."

To quote a very old article on the topic that I read in grad school, in the fictitious discipline of normative moral philosophy.

A Defense of Abortion

Frozen Embryos Have a Right to Live

It's pretty clear that the doctrine folks rely on in asserting personhood of the embryo and in fact of the zygote from conception is that personhood attaches to the immaterial human soul, or that it attaches to the body in virtue of the presence of such a soul.

Hovering in the background, of course, is the doctrine that rights attach to persons, and only to persons.

It's also pretty clear that a pretty strong majority of Americans accept these doctrines as well as personhood from conception.

But perhaps someone should tell Nick Loeb that the Supremes who decided Roe did not accept personhood from conception, so (I suppose) according to current law the assertion that embryos have a right to life is false.

Too, something can perfectly well be both alive and property.

Consider your goldfish, if you have one; or someone else's, if you don't.

Fortunately, these false claims made by Loeb have nothing to do with the merits of his position or of his arguments.

I sympathize with his protest that men have no rights in such cases, and women have all the rights, though not with his claims that embryos do or should have rights.

Update, 8/7/16.

In several of my posts I find I have mistaken how very early in pregnancy the growing individual is already a recognizably, albeit tiny, unborn human child.

Zygotes are clusters of relatively undifferentiated cells.

Acorns, if you please.

Embryos after a couple of weeks are visibly very tiny baby humans.

Tiny and fragile saplings, then.

And a sapling is a small tree, and not merely a fertilized seed.

As to viability, well, that is only a matter of technology, eh?

Liberals lie about WAPO

This lie, debunked by the quotation they cite to prove it, is all over the web this morning.

Washington Post, citing anonymous Baltimore PD document, says Freddie Gray severed his own spine

This is what they quote the Post saying, to support that claim.

A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray “banging against the walls” of the vehicle and believed that he “was intentionally trying to injure himself,” according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.

As for myself, it seems to me the witnesses reported belief Gray was "intentionally trying to injure himself" derived from a possibly mistaken and baseless interpretation of the noise of Gray "banging against the walls," assuming that actually happened at all, a point I set aside for now.

The point here is that reporting the contents of a document is not citing it as proof of anything, much less its own contents.

What is the liberals' real problem?

That the Post did not express sufficient skepticism about the contents of the document, or spend enough effort convincing readers they ought to be suspicious of the blue gang suborning perjury.

To fill the gap, a famous blogger of the left, Steve M, provided these reasons for suspecting the testimony was thus mendacious and arranged.

Jesus, you don't have to be an angry young demonstrator to be skeptical of this Washington Post story by Peter Hermann. 

Do you have even a passing familiarity with mid-century noir, James Ellroy, Richard Price, John Gregory Dunne? 

That should be enough. 

Has it not penetrated your consciousness in all your decades on this earth that police departments circle the wagons when one of their own is accused of wrongdoing -- especially when the accusations are accurate -- and that it's routine to promise favorable treatment to a dumb schlub in lockup who'll play ball?

See?

It happens in some of the best fiction of our time, so it's a pretty good bet it's happening in Baltimore.

That's all the Post writer had to say.

As for me, my takeaway from that Post story is a bit different.

From the story it certainly seems likely to me that the police broke or at least severely damaged Gray's back by kneeling on him before they put him into the van.

And leaving him to bounce around during a rough ride ("banging against the walls," as that witness statement says), a gratuitous act of cruelty, might have finished the job begun by the kneeling officers and severed his spine.

If, on the other hand there was no erratic drive and Gray was quiet in the van as originally reported then it appears the damage to Gray's spine was done entirely by the police before the ride.

Obviously the kneeling was intentional, though the video cannot tell us whether the officers intended such or any serious damage.

Manslaughter, at least?

It's tricky because it's the job of police to use force the use of which would be illegal for civilians.

Standards for criminal or civil liability for consequences may be different, too.

But I certainly would hope that does not amount to carte blache.

Lately, we have seen cops let go without even a slapped wrist in too many cases of police killings, and given our own past experience and public knowledge of how this stuff goes we have to think that handful of cases, given high publicity only because the victims were black and the cops white, are only the tip of a much larger iceberg in which both the perpetrators and victims of police thuggery and even murder come in all colors and sexes.

About Doonesbury and Charlie Hebdo

Cartoon: Doonesbury's Charlie Hebdo problem

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Really?

Prison for life is cruel.

Is transportation for life less cruel, or similar punishments like exile to Siberia?

2130 hrs EDT

A bit cloudy, 63 degrees F.

Lilacs are in flower, propellers are developing on the big maples, the grass has already needed cutting twice.

Baseball without spectators

Orioles Play in Eerily Empty Stadium, Sirens in Distance

The game was re-scheduled from a night game, and the public was locked out.

Japan offers "deep repentance" to the US for WW2

Japan PM Abe offers 'deep repentance' over war with US

Could this be because nobody actually asked him to, but he felt the need to help get Americans to accept a new and more aggressive regional role for Japan in its own defense and the defense of others allied us to in the far Pacific?

Defense against Chinese power and Chinese aggression, it's perfectly clear.

About which Koreans as well as Aussies and New Zealanders may be ambivalent, surely.

What would change this statistic?

Assuming (as I don't, really) that this is not a wild exaggeration, if all the police in America were black, how much would that change this annoyingly and suspiciously imprecise statistic?

An unarmed black person is six times more likely to be killed by police than is a white person who carries a weapon.

How far would any of the suspicious and carefully selected statistics she quotes?

Put another way, how far are these disparities accounted for by the fact that black America is a hotbed of crime and violence of every kind not involving a white collar, that black Americans are much more likely than any others to be victims of crime and also perpetrators of such crimes?

But then, why bother to ask?

All of that is ofay's fault, too, isn't it?


And is police thuggery a bigger problem for black America or Baltimore than black on black crimes, than the crimes against blacks that the police working black neighborhoods are there to prevent?

Pretty close to sheer bluff, right now

Today, this is hot air and bullshit.

It will get real if and when governments attempt coercion of the churches as to their teaching or their practice.

But we are certainly not there, yet.

‘We will not obey’: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

That would be Gomer and Donohue and some others of their like, and the promised civil disobedience is billingsgate.

A black radical mendaciously interprets the Baltimore riots as political violence

And that was pretty much his line about Ferguson, too.

Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray's death, and so they appeal for order.

To be clear, Coates does not quite openly here attempt to justify the rioting.

But he comes close enough, and no doubt there are plenty of more bold others to cross that line.

In fact, right now, all over the web, other liberal racist spin doctors are declaiming about root causes and what is the real problem in Baltimore, which of course is not that hundreds or thousands are rioting with all the violence and destruction that entails, and not that decades of liberal racist propaganda have legitimated black violence and black hatred of white people.

All the same, Coates himself has made a career of being a black radical propagandist.

That's his role in the media world.

In the present case I note for example these remarks that hide the unhappy and inconvenient truth of which he may, I suppose, be genuinely unaware.

I grew up across the street from Mondawmin Mall, where today's riots began. 

My mother was raised in the same housing project, Gilmor Homes, where Freddie Gray was killed. 

Everyone I knew who lived in that world regarded the police not with admiration and respect but with fear and caution. 

No doubt he is telling the truth, but that truth hides another, that nobody regards the police with respect and admiration, and everybody regards them with fear and caution.

Cops are armed, cops are brutes, cops regularly break the law, and cops get away with murder - literally get away with murder - all the time.

You don't have to be black to know these things or to be on the wrong end of police crime, and anybody of any race with an ounce of sense is glad of efforts that show some sign of correcting any of that in any noticeable degree.

Coates writes in his concluding paragraph,

When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. 

But the cases of police violence he cites are cases of entirely banal police brutality, with nothing political about them.

When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. 

But of course, there is no war and there is no aggressor, not even as metaphor.

The black people of Baltimore are not at war with the black city administration or its 43% black police force, nor are any others of the people of Baltimore.

Nor are the black people of Baltimore or all America at war with the lawful authorities, anywhere or everywhere in the country.

Nor are they at war with America's whites, though that is how Coates, himself at least metaphorically at war with whites whom he, along with perhaps most black Americans, hates quite literally, sees the situation.

When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con. 

Routine police misconduct is not state violence against the citizenry, though state violence against the citizenry may be carried out through the police.

Police misconduct in Baltimore, or indeed anywhere in America, is not state violence against the citizenry.

And the civilian violence in the streets of Baltimore is not directed at the state, not even the violence of criminal gangs that may be seizing the moment to target police out of racism, professional enmity, or just for the fun of it.

The Baltimore riot is not a political act, it is a criminal act and perhaps in a measure also a racist act.

But Coates' claim that it is a political act and his implicit justifications for it as a political act are themselves political acts - specifically, acts of racist political spin-doctoring.

Some people think black riots, especially if spun as political acts, can have political consequences fortunate for some of the worst off black Americans.

Some generalize and make the same claim for black violence more generally, including expressly political violence.

But black racism and black violence in America have never got blacks anything but funerals and more distaste, more contempt, and more political dismissal from white people.

Think of the Panthers, of Malcolm X, of Louis Farrakhan, and of Rev. Wright.

Speaking as one white person, all my life black people have time an again claimed that wrongs done to them or even just to their ancestors by other whites justify special demands on and black violence toward whites in general, and potentially or actually such demands on and violence towards me and mine.

All my life, some whites have endorsed that argument.

Right now, white liberals are doing that all over the web.

But that has not been the reaction of the overwhelming majority of white Americans or whites beyond America.

All the same, when the rioting is over and the black residents and administration of the city assess the damage and then seek money and cooperation from white America (where else?) in coping they will get both.

But it won't be as much as Coates and his supporters think is due, and they will point to that as yet more white racist injustice in the future, when they want to justify more violence or more demands for reparations.

Forever and ever, world without end.

PS.

All over the web, conservatives are blaming the rioting on failed liberalism and proof that the conservative agenda is good for what ails America.

Too, they are making as much as they can of this outburst and of the liberal spinning of it, seizing the opportunity to fish for white votes.

I hear America spinning.

PPS.

And media that live by sensationalism are spinning all this as a colossal race crisis with big, screaming headlines

What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nukes are safe. Uh huh.

Fire breaks out near Chernobyl plant

Damned scary when it happened.

Still scary.

BBC blooper

1 % of trees  < >  1 % of tree species.

Amazon: 1% of trees store 50% carbon

No, no, no.

So, a tie, then?

Bill Maher, American atheist hero

“Properly read,” declared the science-fiction author and biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov, “the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.”  

He was right.  

The same may be said of the Quran[.]

All the same, a surprisingly vigorous defense of atheist free speech (and hurt feelings be damned), for Salon.

Jeffrey Tayler flat rejects the apologists for and exculpators of Islam in many of a whole series of vigorous atheist articles.

Lots of good stuff here including several defenses of Bill Maher.

I repeat that I am truly surprised to find this fellow at Salon, a site so drenched in PC orthodoxy.

JT's take on the Chapel Hill murders.

Why the Chapel Hill shootings weren’t about Islamophobia

Rushdie, no great hero himself, denounces "PEN Pussies"

Salman Rushdie digs in

The big story for Salon is that he denigrated dissenters as "pussies," which provoked feminist ire for sexism.

Has anyone ever risen in PC ire because some SOB (is "SOB" sexist?) got called a prick?

Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo

The resemblance is startling

Stop Tom Cotton


The pro-riot left is back

The Other Side of the Argument

They took a couple weeks off after Ferguson, I think.

But they're back.

Riots and burning cities in the late 60's and early 70's gave Democrats an opportunity to be perceived by the public, perhaps for the first time, as harboring a significant pro-riot as well as a pro-Communist faction, willing at once to incite and to justify black hatred of whites and violence toward them.

Such teachable moments have continued at intervals since that time, doing their part in the alienation of the white working class from the party and in the exacerbation of racial hostilities in the country at large.

Strangely, to this very day, liberals totally misunderstand the political impact of such events, the more profoundly unfortunate the more extensive the media attention.

Jon Stewart Rips CNN For Covering WHCD During Baltimore Protests

Baltimore is a city with a black majority population and government.

Wikipedia says the police department is 43 % black, which does not mean whites are a majority or even a plurality.

Given all this, you might think it would occur to someone other than Mark Steyn to notice that the problem of police lawlessness, violence, and brutality in America is not, or is by no means only or even primarily, a race problem but a police problem.

You would be mistaken.

Baltimore awakens to devastation

The role of young men not normally any more criminal than the general run of kids, with their incompletely developed brains and hormone-disordered personalities, should be noted.

The media are already challenging the city administration on its handling of the crisis, even as lawlessness continues.

The mayor asked the state governor to send in the National Guard, which he has done.

The White House and the new AG Lynch have offered assistance.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Global National Health

No life-saving surgery 'for billions'

BBC joins The Guardian in the cause.

The 2nd Chechen War

Putin says US spies helped Chechens

True?

As China watches

Japan and US unveil defence deal

A greater role for Japan.

Meanwhile, some continue unhappy with an arrangement that goes back to WW2.

Okinawa wants US military far away

Lots of black thugs in Baltimore

Curfew as Baltimore protests spread

The Mayor, a black woman, attributes the violence to thugs.

They are wrecking the Inner Harbor and nearby areas.

The bill will be quite something, and they will not pay it.

The Guardian and Chris Rock on baseball

An anti-white paper and a black racist say the sport needs to be "more black."

Try to imagine this paper publishing anyone whose patter was that the sport is now too black.

As I believe has been recently said and reported with the extreme disapproval you would expect.

Chris Rock, Mets fan, on baseball

By the way.

Ben Affleck doesn’t want to feel guilty about his slave-owning ancestors.

What Chicago cops have to deal with

Any white shooters among these?

Chicago gun violence leaves four dead and 22 injured over the weekend

The Guardian chooses to show a picture of a gun rather than of one or more gunmen.

So far as I know, they never do that when the accused is a policeman and the victim a black civilian.

Stories of cop shooters are part of their campaign against American cops and American whites.

Stories of civilian violence are most certainly not part of a campaign against crime, and least of all against black crime - overwhelmingly the most common kind in America, which some have claimed would have about the same murder rate as Finland were it not for our black population.

These stories are part of a campaign against civilian gun rights.

Black crime gangs of Baltimore

Freddie Gray: Gangs make 'credible threat' to police

In prison and out, they are racist thugs as surely as white criminal race gangs.

Given the gasoline the usual suspects have poured on the fire for months, this is no surprise.

I predict more white flight from Baltimore.

A single tax plan

Eliminate all but the income tax.

Fund everything that needs funding out of state and federal income taxes.

All regressive taxation will be thus abolished at a stroke, and all taxes will be at least proportional to income if not as fully satisfactory to a progressive as the graduated tax.

Or we could spend the rest of our lives reading crap like this defending schemes to impoverish government to keep billionaires happy by shafting the public.

And to shove as much of the cost of government onto the lower orders as humanly possible.

How to Cut Taxes and Fund Infrastructure

Recall that one of the most regressive taxes possible is the simple head tax, each person being liable for exactly the same dollar amount regardless of means.

When someone proposes privatizing a public resource currently free to all comers or at any rate partly subsidized by government, or that it be financed in future entirely by user fees to which all are liable, he is saying rich people would like a really, really special break, please, and that the cost of the resource be thrust way, way disproportionately onto the backs of the non-rich.

If you don't trust someone, don't act like you do just to be polite.

On Good Friday the wife and I went to a nearby church we have never been to before to pick up fish sandwiches.

The church was close to the street on a corner and cars were parked all over both sides of both streets, even in areas painted yellow or under No Parking signs.

There was an open, illegal spot and the nearest alternative looked to be more than a block away.

I took the illegal spot.

As we went into the church some cross looking old fellow warned us the police were giving out lots of tickets.

Instantly, I didn't trust him.

Without even slowing I down I looked at him and smiled and said something like "Uh huh, thanks," and we walked right on by, into the church.

The place was packed and it was about 15 minutes before we got back to the un-ticketed car and drove off happily home.

The thing is, the evidence was all against him and he lacked the proper tone and demeanor for a man giving a friendly warning.

I had no particular belief as to what he was doing instead, but I believed he was not doing that.

I was confident enough he was lying to pay no mind.

Most likely, I suppose, he was trying to keep that last remaining nearby space open for someone he knew was coming, for whom he was waiting.

But he could have been lying for the heck of it, or because somebody had crossed him somehow and he needed to get back at somebody.

Or for some other reason or reasons I have no idea of.

Thing is, I didn't need to understand what he was doing.

I only had to know what he was not doing.

He was not giving a friendly warning; he was not telling the truth.

If you don't trust someone, don't act like you do just to be polite.

You don't need to be rude about it.

But don't play along.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

O, the cosmolib?

The free trade trade-off

Now, more than 20 years after NAFTA and 14 years after China joined the World Trade Organization, there is no real question among economists that expanding trade has been good for the world and has helped reduce poverty. 

It has also unquestionably been good for U.S. corporations as they grow their global reach. 

But there is equally no doubt that trade liberalization has hurt low-skill manufacturing workers and aggravated income inequality, which is now at its worst since the 1920s.

Good for foreigners and very rich Americans at the expense of most other Americans, and especially of the most vulnerable, least well-off, and least powerful Americans.

DM proposes some pathetic cushions including the usual "re-training" bullshit for another treaty that will dry up employment opportunities for the low-skilled, ignorant, untrained, stupid, and lazy who will always be among us and who cannot, by any means, be turned into high-skilled, educated, trained, smart, and enterprising folks who will then be able to compete for and drive down wages for higher-end jobs that don't exist, anyway.

Now that's hypocrisy

Liberal berates conservatives for presuming to "school" the pope on his use of his and the church's moral authority.

Steven D

They find something they cannot forgive in Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner Blasted Online After Coming Out As a Republican

This does raise the interesting question of the conservative attitude toward gender dysphoria and sex re-assignment.

So far as I know, they don't oppose surgical repair of cleft palate or congenital hernias or heart defects.

Nor do they seem to have any problem in principle with medical interventions to make the blind see, the deaf hear, or the lame walk.

But they both support therapies aimed at altering sexual orientation and oppose sex change.

As to the former, they insist it's both possible and desirable.

As to the latter, they deny both, all the while protesting the currently possible and customary mutilations and their role in the social game of "let's pretend" they equally deplore.

The former is linked to religiously and traditionally morally forbidden behavior, homosexuality.

But there is no mention of either dysphoria or sex change in the Bible, I suspect.

Still, homosexuality and dysphoria both signal, I think, in their eyes, an impious refusal of the body and sex role they take to have been divinely assigned at birth.

BBC more than usually obtuse

Why don't Americans mark their Civil War like the British do WW2?

No complaints from the more radical anti-abortion folks?

'Twin' tumour found in woman's head

Snow on the cars and porch roof, yesterday morning

Forgot to mention.

Not much on the ground.

It was 30 degrees F but the ground was too warm.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Why would this die in the senate?

Democrat filibuster, I suppose.

Cruz Files Constitutional Amendment To Ban Same-Sex Marriage

The story belies the headline, but that's getting to be par for most news stories.

That is not what the proposed amendment would do.

Cruz filed two bills this week, one of which would establish a constitutional amendment protecting from legal action states that define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to Bloomberg News. 

The other would stop federal courts from considering the same-sex marriage issue until that amendment is in place.

While the legislation isn’t likely to make it far in the Senate – similar legislation Cruz introduced last year also failed – the freshman senator is sending a message to evangelical voters by proposing the bills early in his campaign.

The Jenner saga in the media is propaganda

As I said once before.

I'm not the only one who says so.


And who but a boor would contradict him?


After months of speculation, Bruce Jenner has said he is transgender and identifies as a woman.

"For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," he told Diane Sawyer on ABC.

Jenner was speaking in a two-hour interview on ABC News where he confirmed that he'd been wrestling with his gender since childhood.

The US Olympic gold medallist, who won the decathlon at the Montreal games in 1976, is seen as the highest-profile American to come out as transgender.

"That female side of me is part of me. It's who I am. I was not genetically born that way.

"As of now I have all of the male parts. So in a lot of ways we are different," he added.

An absolute propaganda feast.

Entertainment channel E! has said a new documentary series will follow Bruce's life as a transgender woman, starting in July.

And there's this.

Another source says Jenner will be a lesbian after surgery.

He has always been attracted only to women and expects that will continue.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Honduran judge acts like an American, rules in defiance of constitution

It isn't always a good thing, constitutional disobedience.

Honduran judges throw out single-term limit on presidency

The stronger the office, the more important the limit.

We should try something like that for judges.

Update, 4/26, 0740 hrs EDT.

Burundi protesters clash with police

Deadly protests in Burundi capital

Another president wants to overstay his welcome.

Kazakh leader seeks five more years

And another.

Hypocrites of the cradle of the Taliban

Pakistan uses hostage killings to underline risk of US drone strikes

Happy and safe homeland of OBL until Obama nailed him.

Happy and safe homeland of the Mumbai massacre terrorists.

Happy and safe homeland of many, many others whose careers as murderers this state has for long financed, encouraged, and condoned.

Mumbai Massacre

Hillary shows what it's going to be like

Hillary runs as a girl.

One hell of a lot more than Obama ran as a black man.

Hillary Clinton rouses women's summit with first big speech of presidential run

Because when women are happy everyone is happy.

The "Just War" view of collateral damage

His position is morally orthodox.

But the orthodoxy was devised for wars supposedly purely defensive and fought, as it were, against threats at least in the same league as "existential" ones, much as the justifications for "enhanced interrogation techniques" offered in the aftermath of 9/11, Krauthammer's and Dershowitz's apart, tended to rely on scenarios involving radiological, if not nuclear, terrorism.

And that this is not.

And, anyway, the methods of the so-called "war on terror" may contaminate ordinary law enforcement.

Do we want cops thinking this way?

Do cops think this way?

End the moaning about the ‘morality’ of US drone strikes

30 degrees F at 0500 hrs EDT

It snowed in some areas.

It's not the couch, after all

Exercise, schmexercise.

We have good news and bad news, couch potatoes.

First, the good news.

It's not what you do.

It's what you eat.

Now the bad news.

It's the same as the good news.


Dr Malhotra said: "An obese person does not need to do one iota of exercise to lose weight, they just need to eat less.

"My biggest concern is that the messaging that is coming to the public suggests you can eat what you like as long as you exercise.

"That is unscientific and wrong. You cannot outrun a bad diet."

But it's not just about total calories.

But despite this public health messaging had "unhelpfully" focused on maintaining a healthy weight through calorie counting when it was the source of calories that mattered most - research has shown that diabetes increases 11-fold for every 150 additional sugar calories consumed compared to fat calories.

The article confirms that exercise is important for lots of reasons, as is proper regard for what you eat.

But not for obesity control or weight loss.

No effective Ebola drug

Ebola drug cures infected monkeys

Radiological terrorism?

'High level' radiation in Tokyo park

Odd and alarming.

Somebody's idea of resistance to Japan's nuclear regime?

Drone on PM's roof

Update, 4/26, 0845 hrs EDT.

Guessed right.

Arrest over Japan radioactive drone

A difference of values

Some people think it a great loss when wild nature is brought to accommodate human civilization.

Super-rat history extracted from DNA

A power move on behalf of female elephants


Dr Love Dalén at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm told BBC News that the first ever publication of the full DNA sequence of the mammoth could help those trying to bring the creature back to life.

"It would be a lot of fun (in principle) to see a living mammoth to see how it behaves and how it moves," he said.

But he would rather his research was not used to this end.

"It seems to me that trying this out might lead to suffering for female elephants and that would not be ethically justifiable."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crappy, chilly week

Never even made it out of the 40s, today.

Not worth finishing

For now, anyway, I regret I bought it at that price.

Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy against the Human Race.

Hi-minded pusher man

The crusade against e-cigs

Baptists and bootleggers agree, prohibition is great.

Safe places. The perfect metaphor.

Attack of the Leftist Snowflakes

Heather Wilhelm.

If you've ever been to a junior high slumber party, you might recognize the following scenario: In the midst of high jinks and general good times, suddenly one girl will drift off to a corner. 

Her feelings, somehow, have been hurt. 

Slowly, a few sympathizers, clear suckers for drama, make their way into her corner. 

They rub her back, ask why she’s crying, and, even if the answer is absurd, spend the rest of the evening casting baleful looks at the rest of the girls, who are oblivious, living large, sucking down Mountain Dew, and gleefully watching movies their parents would never allow them to watch. 

(In my case, this was almost always “Dirty Dancing.”)

. . . . 

Sadly, huge swaths of today’s college campuses, supposedly pinnacles of higher learning, have morphed into a giant preteen slumber party with an alarming population of sulking corner girls.

Coming up, GM people

Updated much on 4/26.

The ethical debate is just the secular priesthood talking itself into being comfortable with this.


Pay particular note to the bits about the biological implications of germline modification.

Social acceptance begins with the promise of removal of tragic genetic disorders.

So far as that goes, this is going to be a very expensive and socially unnecessary means of enabling people who cannot otherwise have undisordered children to have at least one undisordered child, a child whose progeny will perhaps also be undisordered.

This is not about some once and for all fix that would ensure all of the children of "fixed" parents would be undisordered.

Who benefits?

Parents who will, by having a procedure, be able to have undisordered children that are biologically theirs, flesh of their flesh, rather than disordered ones or none at all, perhaps settling for adoption.

Future society that will not have to deal with disordered people who would otherwise have been born.

Will there be any individual person who would otherwise have been disordered but who will not be, thanks to this intervention?

Yes, a child C of parents having the procedure will so benefit if (1) there is an embryo that would, unaltered, be allowed to develop into a disordered individual A but, because of the alteration, will instead develop into an undisordered individual B, and (2) B is the same individual as A, but without disorder, rather than an entirely different person, and (3) C is the same person as both A and B.

(1) is almost certainly false, leaving it practically unnecessary for us to puzzle out (2).

Remoter descendants of a couple who had the procedure would also personally benefit provided they, the same individuals, will exist and be undisordered if the original couple have the procedure but will exist and be disordered if not.

For an ontology without immaterial souls, (2), above, is necessary for this, but not sufficient.

And even apart from that, again for an ontology without souls, it seems if there were some such descendants of a couple who had the procedure - identical individuals who will descend from the original couple whether or not they have the procedure - there could not be many and there would be none, for example, if the couple would have no children if they did not have the procedure.

But in any case that is not where the real impact will be felt.

Eventually it will all get to be a lot more interesting than that, and there is a real chance this science will produce - intentionally produce - diverse races (strains, varieties, variants) of humans for diverse fates.

Let your sci-fi imagination go.

Cui bono?


Here's the bait.

Dr Marita Pohlschmidt, at charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: "We welcome this exciting new technique, which could benefit thousands of women worldwide who risk passing on mitochondrial disease to their children."

They will go there.

But not without resistance.

And David King, of the group, Human Genetics Alert, had his own warning.

"This research is unethical. It threatens to usher in the future of genetically modified designer babies.

"We must extend the ban on human genetic engineering to create a global treaty."

Meanwhile, other research from China involving separate technology on the more abundant DNA found in the nuclei of human cells, has led scientists to question how far such technology should ethically go.

Jonathan Glover has the jump on this one.

30 years ago he wrote a book asking what sorts of people should there be.

They might as well have eaten him.

100-Minute-Old Newborn Baby Becomes Youngest Organ Donor In The UK

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What did you do the evening of March 10th?

As for me, I have no recollection at all.

But I checked a calendar and that was a Tuesday.

No help.

Most likely I was home all night with the wife.

But that's not a memory.

As to that, I have none.

It's always good for a laugh when police ask that question in polars.

And people answer!

Reading Keigo Higashino, The Devotion of Suspect X.

Why?

Is he deeply in debt?

Robert Downey Jr. is a fine and intelligent actor throwing himself and his talent away on trash.

Fun for the more stupid audiences, sure.

But trash.

If it's just for the millions it's a bad deal.

How many 30 room mansions with their own swimming pools and golf courses do you need?

That's odd.

I don't even need one!

A twist on Voltaire

Shades of old Hegesias, known to the history of philosophy as "the Death Persuader."

Who, of course, did not kill himself.

To borrow from Voltaire, the pessimists are not a sect of philosophers but a sect of liars, frauds, deceitful cranks, drama queens, serial killers, and mass murderers by remote control, miniatures of Hannibal the Cannibal talking Miggs into killing himself out of sheer malignity.

Reading Thomas Ligotti, a more transparent fraud, huckster, and malign prankster than most.

The Conspiracy against the Human Race.

"Philosophers" like these are not so different from cult leaders, carnival fortune tellers, notorious spirit mediums, or other sociopaths remorselessly exploiting human weakness.

Ligotti is such a boob he really thinks people could be better or worse off for having been born.

I am a restrictionist

Immigration is far from the top of my personal list of political concerns, but it is there.

I would prefer to shut down all immigration to the US for a few decades, at least.

Revision of birthright citizenship to cover only those born in the US to at least one American citizen strikes me as a good idea in the face of the phenomenon of anchor babies and the flood of illegal pregnant women.

Too, given the climate of racial hostility carefully cultivated in America by the left, I fear the personal and political consequences of a non-white American majority, and do not fear to say so.

I would prefer immigration policies and quotas aimed at preserving a euro-white majority in America.

Europe and immigration

Thing is, both in Europe and America the establishment right hasn't the courage to stop immigration and the left at all levels doesn't want to.

A circular firing squad of racist clowns of the leftist buffoon parade

“Calling Obama a ‘global George Zimmerman’? No. No.”: Michael Eric Dyson sounds off on Cornel West, Obama & his critics

Joan Walsh ("White folks"? Really?) wrings her hands.

Democrat oppo research goes deep for the war on men

Remember the endless squibs, wholly mendacious for all I know, about Romney bullying somebody in high school?

That is how the campaign will go this time, too.

But the focus has changed to suit Hillary's alleged intent to "run as a woman," a not at all subtle declaration the campaign - for the sisterhood, for the girls - will be an uninterrupted and merciless war against men.

Ted Cruz, creepy misogynist: The “hymen” joke that perfectly reflects his odious worldview

And Katie McDonough is just steaming about it.

Why is he doing it?

Oskar Groening, The Bookkeeper of Auschwitz

Though he was investigated twice before and no charges were brought, Groening was indicted under a new line of German legal reasoning that anyone who helped a death camp function can be accused of being an accessory to murder without evidence of participation in a specific crime. 

Groening, who worked for an insurance company after the war, has testified as a witness in other Nazi trials.

Outside court, Kor said she wished Groening would use the trial to try and dissuade 'misguided young people' today from becoming neo-Nazis but she was still satisfied with his testimony.

'I'm going to take whatever confession he gives - it's better than no confession,' she told reporters. 'Maybe this is the best thing he has ever done in his life. Isn't that sad?'

The details will do much to undermine Holocaust denial.

Assuming it doesn't later emerge he is embellishing significantly.

Groening has said he is "morally guilty" but does not concede legal guilt.

So who is not guilty, on this new theory of the law?

The people who cleaned the offices and took out the trash at night?

Janitors who cleaned the toilets?

Plumbers who repaired the toilets?

Cooks and mess workers?

Is Auschwitz Guard Oskar Groening Guilty by Association in Holocaust Deaths?

Sloppy journalism or sloppy legal blathering?

Pendas said the prosecution can argue that the death camps were, in their entirety, designed for the sole purpose of mass murder, and therefore, anyone whose contribution was indispensable for the extermination operations can be considered co-perpetrators of murder.

. . . . 

The German government has been committed in the past couple of decades to go after not only those who played a major part in the Holocaust, but also "ordinary people" who helped Auschwitz and other notorious Nazi death camps function, Goda added.

None of these spear-carriers or other "ordinary people" were individually indispensable, of course, though it was indispensable that there be spear-carriers, cooks, and janitors at the camps, that there be someone, anyone, doing such work.

So, prosecution and punishment are to reach right down to the lowliest illiterate and retarded schmuck who spent the war peeling potatoes in a camp, the potatoes for the staff and the peels for soup for the prisoners.

Apparently it does not interest anyone to ask, either, what might have happened had any such folk tried the experiment of principled refusal to do their jobs.

To empty the wastebaskets, say.

Or wash the turnips.

Say what you like, but this looks to me like remorseless, relentless vengeance to buy German officials and self-righteous middle-class bien-pensants a good conscience.

Nobody dares to demand this stop, to denounce it, to say "No."

Who would take such a risk in Germany, where it is a serious and prosecutable crime to say anything that derogates from the uniquely monstrous moral horror of the Holocaust?

A win for Peter Singer and others of a like ilk

New York court issues habeas corpus writ for chimpanzees

A judge in New York has issued a writ of habeas corpus in a case brought by animal rights activists on behalf of two chimpanzees.

The order means the university holding the chimpanzees will have to respond to the activists' petition in court.

The activists said the court had "implicitly determined" that the two chimpanzees are legal "persons".

But unborn babies in the last trimester are not persons, according to American jurisprudence.

Peter Singer is beaming with pleasure, now.

The sexual revolution in the law of the last 60 years or so has put the state out of the business of enforcing Christian morals and metaphysics.

And it has put the state into the business of enforcing the morals and metaphysics of liberal, secular philosophers.

Much as it has put the public schools out of the business, to the extent they were ever in it, of teaching Christian morals, metaphysics, and natural history and into the business of teaching the morals, metaphysics, and natural history of liberal secularists.

White victims are invisible to liberals. They are blackwashed out of the picture.

The Whiteness Fairy

White victims mess up their narratives of white skin privilege and the eternal victimization of blacks by whites.

Don't want to muddy those waters, you know.

And then they complain about the extent and ferocity of racial polarization in American politics.

But, of course, they lay that entirely at the door of white racism, too.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever their fault.

Or ever will be.

A Clinton/McCaskill Ticket?

The vanity of great wealth

Epicurus teaches that some desires are vain, such as those that create this market.

They are also motivated by vanity - and malice.

Flawless diamond sells for $22.1m

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Clouds of Sils-Maria

Well, that will ring bells for anyone who's read Nietzsche.

So why?

The left is rallying against the death penalty for the Boston Bomber

Well, that's their thing, you know.

Judge tells Boston Marathon bombing jury: Keep an open mind

Feeling unsafe on campus

Seven Other Things That Have Been Declared ‘Unsafe’ at Colleges

Hillary isn't FDR. Or LBJ. Conservatives want everyone to know that.

Hillary Clinton ignores Social Security expansion calls, mum on own benefits

Hillary Rodham Clinton stuck with her centrist persona Monday when her presidential campaign delved into the Social Security debate, ignoring liberals’ calls to expand benefits even as she bemoaned the plight of a New Hampshire woman forced out of retirement and back to work because of skimpy benefit checks.

The former secretary of state pressed the woman during a roundtable discussion to reveal her monthly Social Security income to highlight the problems faced by seniors. 

She asked for the financial information even though her campaign repeatedly refused to say whether the 67-year-old candidate collects benefits herself or how much she pockets.

Mrs. Clinton said only that as president she would be “100 percent committed” to providing retirees a good quality of life.

. . . . 

She has been under intense pressure from her Democratic Party’s left wing to embrace a plan to expand Social Security benefits and pay for it with increased taxes on wealthy Americans.

As a senator in 2007, Mrs. Clinton opposed a plan to raise the cap on income subject to Social Security tax in order to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund, which is projected to be depleted in 2035.

The Washington Times is targeting retirees who will resent her crass and arrogant behavior toward the poor woman and her opposition to increasing Social Security benefits, which are indeed too small.

Massive hypocrisy


An Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in jail for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his rule.

Victor's justice, weaponized history

So small is this small fry you can barely see him.


If this guy deserves this sort of thing for two months holding doors at Auschwitz, what about Günter Grass?

Günter Grass, Haruki Murakami and the importance of national guilt

Wow, guilt-trip politics that shouts its own name.

Who is Peter Thompson (the Howard Zinn of Britain?) and why does he have the megaphone?

Oh, right, it's The Guardian.

If you really believe the lie that it's  a question of whitewashing the past versus accurate history you are a fool refusing to see what is before your eyes.

"Culture of contrition," indeed.

Why would you want to empower the emerging, biggest thug on the block, China, to bully Japan, cynically exploiting guilt-trip politics for its aggressive aims?

This is typical: Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media

(Don't hold your breath while you wait for someone to push the Chinese off those illegally occupied islands in the South China Sea on which they are rapidly digging in.)

Gunter Grass Was a Finger-Wagging Scold

But even this fellow in the midst of criticizing Grass for being a scold goes pretty far along with the too, too PC CMW (conventional moral wisdom), himself.

As The Guardian’s Jonathan Steele remarked is his obituary, Grass “spent his life reminding his compatriots of the darkest time in their history, the crimes of the Nazi period …” 

This sounds like an admirable position—the ordinary Germans who allowed their country to be seized by criminals and became accomplices to genocide should be constantly reminded of their complicity—but everywhere he turned Grass heard the clicking heels of jackboots. 

And everything with which he disagreed was a harbinger of resurgent Nazism.

It is remotely possible that the ordinary folk of Germany, taken as a mass, might have prevented Hitler's rise to power, though it was not in fact their doing but, Hitler and his Nazis aside, that of the octogenarian president of the German Republic.

Hindenburg

Though 84 years old and in poor health, Hindenburg was persuaded to run for reelection in 1932, as he was considered the only candidate who could defeat Hitler. 

Hindenburg was reelected [president] in a runoff. 

Although he opposed Hitler, he played an important role in the Nazi Party's rise to power, due to the increasing political instability in the Weimar Republic. 

He dissolved the parliament twice in 1932 and finally appointed Hitler Chancellor in January 1933. 

In February, he issued the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties, and in March he signed the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler's administration legislative powers. 

Hindenburg died the following year, after which Hitler declared the office of President vacant and, as "Führer und Reichskanzler", made himself head of state.

It is as close to certain as one can get that no individual ordinary citizen could have stopped Hitler's rise to power, unless perhaps means are contemplated (assassination) that liberals have repeatedly assured us are exactly as wrong and useless as the enhanced interrogation of Muslim terrorists.

Art is a scam

Except for actual art, of course.

See the latest episode of Backstrom.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It isn't always tyranny, democide, and a Gulag

Sometimes it's just really stupid and incompetent.

The surreal world of Venezuela's queues

China rising

China's Xi Jinping to unveil $46bn super highway to Pakistan

It's a complex of highways and rail lines through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea.

Map in the article.

What liberals want of the Church

The changes they want would kill it as they have fatally wounded every Protestant denomination they have touched.

To the liberals, that would be fine.

But the Catholic hierarchy is built the way it is to prevent such radicalism.

Revolution is not what you should expect from any pope.

Will Pope Francis Break the Church?

The answer is "No."

Is the pope Catholic?

Yes, indeed.

But I would guess these lying redskins and their paleface enablers and fans are not.

Vatican Defends US Saint Junipero Serra Against Protests From Native Americans

I have no doubt many other Native Americans will react with proper Catholic faith, ethnic pride, or both.

Hitler. Munich. Khamenei, war and nukes.

"This is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe."

"Iran will never invade another country."

Juan Cole. Informed Propaganda.

In a word, "No." It is not genocide.

Note that he does not ask whether the crews that abandon them in the middle of the Med are guilty of genocide.

But the Sicilians seem to think so.

Italy holds two over migrant deaths

Or the North African authorities who make no effort to prevent their embarkation or police the seas to find, rescue, and return these folks to North Africa from whence they came.

Juan Cole, Informed Propaganda

Just another facet of the global collusion between illegal immigrants, people smugglers, and liberals.

Premeditation

So it's still self defense in cases of spousal abuse, even if it's blatantly planned, premeditated homicide?

OK.

So why not in cases of bullying?

Bullying can be pretty extreme, physically, and it's sheer hell, psychologically.

Bullies don't stop and adults don't help, often effectively joining the bullies, taking their side by blaming or scorning and refusing help to their victims.

If you can't accept that schoolyard bullying should end in murder then stop the bullying.

Reading Echo Burning by Lee Child.

Let me know when there's a single novel that handles the desperate violence of bullying victims as sympathetically as this and many others handle that of battered wives.

In his Enneads, somewhere, Plotinus, writing of Providence, saves the honor of the gods by saying bullying victims deserve to be bullied, though no bully or abusive husband ever picked a victim with the least chance of beating the shit out of him in a "fair fight."

A "fair fight."

That's when the heavyweight champ pounds a seventeen year old nerd into a small puddle of blood, isn't it?

Anyway, that the victim of bullying deserves his fate is a not at all uncommon view in Western, or other, history.

By the way, Lee Child has a Mexican wetback quote Balzac and Jack Reacher, his stone cold killer and peerless thug hero, quotes Marcuse.

Not sure Tom Cruise got any of that.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Give me the simple life

Breakfast:

6 ozs of cold V8
16 ozs of hot, black Columbian coffee
2 fresh baked corn muffins with butter
2 slices of chilled honeydew melon

Lunch:

Beef baloney and American cheese with iceberg lettuce and tomato on white bread with mayo and light mustard
12 ozs of cold white milk
6 ozs of cold V8

Supper:

1 baked restaurant potato with butter
1 10 oz spencer steak, rare, with a bit of Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce
1 boiled ear of frozen sweet corn with butter
1 can of sweet peas, heated and drained, with butter
12 ozs of cold white milk

Nightcap:

Four cold 12 oz cans of Pabst, poured over lightly salted ice

For President Obama, remove the beer and either remove the corn, corn muffins, bread, potato, peas, and butter or add 3 hours of basketball

Liberals and, uh, their claim to be "reality based"

Checking Charlie Hebdo’s Privilege

Gary Trudeau wags his finger at the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.

Good bit on the global madhouse from Ross Douthat.

And who says politics is bullshit?

The British prime minister says he would be "heartbroken" if his country's Jews ever felt compelled to leave home.

Heartbroken?

Is that really the right word?

Not, say, shocked, surprised, astonished, or even perhaps annoyed?

On the other hand, there is something to this.

Maybe not quite what JG says, but something.

He [Brit PM David Cameron] stressed that he is worried that the international movement to declare Israel an illegitimate state—with its contention that Israel’s existence as an independent, Jewish-majority safe haven is morally unsupportable and should therefore be brought to an end—shares characteristics with anti-Semitism. 

How can anyone seriously consider the question of the fundamental moral legitimacy of the Zionist idea without looking at the totally PC conventional moral wisdom of the Occident about European colonialism and settler states?

And in particular about the fate of the settler states in Africa?

And at the total rejection of ethnicity and race as morally legitimate objects of concern or bases of loyalty, for white people though not for others, equally unshakably part of the totally PC conventional moral wisdom for at least the last 60 years?

If the PC conventional wisdom about these things and a couple of others having to do with interventionism and global responsibility is accepted then it must also be accepted that Israel is indeed an illegitimate state that ought to be brought to an end.

And so?

How on Earth can David Cameron or anyone else demand approval for the post-WW2, post-colonial success of European states in accepting multi-racialism and multi-culturalism while defending or even tolerating the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine, made and maintained by those same European states with the help of America and some others?

If the rejection of multi-culti in European countries by ethnic nationalists and racists who insist, for example, that France should be for the French, is too immoral to even be spoken of without cursing and spitting in polite society, how accept the Jewish State?

And yet DC does seem to manage that trick, damning anti-Zionism as both morally illegitimate and morally intolerable by tying it to anti-Semitism, which, of course, and ironically like racism, is among the blackest of sins, according to the conventional moral wisdom.

French Prime Minister: If Jews Flee, the Republic Will Be a Failure

Manuel Valls: "If 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France."

Wow. LOL.

Valls is himself a Spanish immigrant, by the way, who came to France in his teens.

The perfect message for Maureen Dowd

Bitch is the new black

CSI is just propaganda

Forensics is crap.

Not the science, the people.

When Ooops Won't Really Do

Gorgeous day

Had to return early from the weekend with the kids in Pasadena, MD.

Gorgeous day in the 'burgh.

67 F and clear and bright, flowers and dogwoods and magnolias all over.

The music of Sunday lawnmowers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Is Pat reading him right?

Obama Cuts Loose Old Alliances

The pope believes. So should you. Besides, he has moral authority except when he rejects gay marriage, divorce, and the like.

He believes in the Trinity, too. The Virgin Birth. The resurrection. Transubstantiation. And on and on.

We're supposed to believe things on his say so?

Pope Francis to Host Major Summit on Climate Change

It's a scam to justify massive wealth transfer from global North to global South.

Right up his alley.

Agent causation

Suppose the brain is the Ego, the mind, the soul, the intellect, the self, that mental events are distinct from physical events, and non-redundant interactionism is true (think philosophical swerve).

Then in a case of interaction we can think of physical events as input and other physical events as output that the input physical events do not themselves cause; they are caused by intervening mental events, singly or in chains or in complexes, that themselves originate with the input physical events.

If a particular physical brain event as input causes a particular thinking event, do thinking events ever cause such physical brain events as output?

Are thinking events correlated with physical brain events in such wise that the occurrence of either causes the other?

Are any of those that seem to be voluntary choices not caused by preceding events, physical or mental, but instead simply by the self?

Update, 12292015.

The above supposed that the physical and mental events in question are distinct from one another.

But what if all mental events are also physical events?

Like this?

Then the picture is slightly different from the more or less basic interactionism of the above.

Fetal murder

Meet The Real Abortion Extremists

Shoot him down for what? Lèse-majesté?

Scarborough on DC Gyrocopter Activist: 'Shoot Him Down... Shoot Him Down!'

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough went on a tear during Thursday's "Morning Joe," saying that security at the U.S. Capitol should've shot down the 61-year-old man who flew his helicopter onto the Capitol lawn.

"Is it just me?" Scarborough said. "Shoot 'em. Just shoot 'em."

"If you're in charge of security for the Capitol do you let him fly around or do you shoot him down?" Scarborough continued. 

"Shoot him down. Magical pony flying through the sky? Shoot it down."

Hardly seems that should be an offense in our republic.

The dark side of the doc fix

It is not true that the cuts to Medicare adversely affect only the rich.

Some of the cuts do that.

Others do not.

Obama Is About To Sign The Biggest Health Care Bill Since Obamacare

[I]t cuts billions of dollars from Medicare. 

It requires seniors who earn between $133,500 and $214,000 a year (and couples making twice that amount) to pay more for insurance and prescription drug coverage, and cuts spending on supplemental Medigap plans in order to discourage over-utilization of services on the taxpayer dime. 

It also modestly reduces long-term spending on providers of hospice care, home health services and nursing homes.

The Democrats gave that to the Republicans in return for extension of the CHIP program.

The mutual estrangement between seniors and Democrats continues to grow.

Maybe that's what it takes

De Blasio seeks to lead shift to left

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio is closer to the radical left than to the mere progressives.

But given mere liberals are not that hot for class issues, maybe this is what it takes.

Backstrom awaits the axe

Through its cutesy, airhead feminism and its constant mockery of its eponymous hero, even in the midst of what were presented as serious murder investigations, often with lives hanging in the balance, the show fell between two stools.

See, for instance, episode five, Bogeyman.

On the one side, it wasn't a cop sitcom.

On the other, it wasn't a crime drama with a dark main character somewhere between the Sherlock Holmes of the first Elementary season and Rust Cohle in True Detective, season one.

The wife tells me it most likely won't be renewed.

(I noticed two actors from the show in commercials, Dennis Haysbert for Allstate and Rizwan Manji for Geico. Did you see more?)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Confused? I am.

Last I heard, breeding populations A and B are of the same species just in case a male from either can sire fertile offspring with a female of the other.

Now, recent stories in the press have shown Neanderthals and Homo Saps did plenty of that.

So why do biologists/anthropologists still class the two as different species rather than merely different varieties, aka races, of humans, as they do all living varieties of humans?

Would it play too unpleasantly into our modern politics and PC taboos about race?

Particularly if they keep up the story that Neanderthals were dim bulbs with thick heads.

But maybe they won't.

Keep up the dim bulb part, I mean.

Guest workers and unemployment in South Africa

Unemployment is at or above 25 %.

Malawians to be evacuated from SA

An unconstitutional deal

Treaties cannot be made without the president submitting them to the senate, winning the approval of two thirds of the senators present for a vote.

The House has no say in the matter.

According to this unconstitutional agreement between O and the Congress, O can have his treaty by another name unless two thirds of both houses are opposed.

If BBC has this right.

US Congress to have say on Iran deal

Some are more optimistic about Hillary

Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election

Does it come down to this?

Center left writers, more or less OK with the Hillary we know, say she's in good shape.

Progressives and others further left say her chances are poor if she doesn't move left to fire up their support.

Is she less the Alinsky radical the right tries to paint her as than the very judgmental Methodist from the Midwest a former White House aide says she is?

Hillary announces

I didn't see her ad but it sounds like there was not one white male worker in the whole thing.

Odd, considering the anti 1 %, anti-inequality appeals in her ad.

The people she showed in the ad as "everyday Americans" were mostly women and minorities, the only white guy in there that I know of being a small businessman.

More about Hillary

The more you know about her as an individual the less you think of her.

Her reaction to 9/11 bodes ill.

She will be easy to provoke to really, really big stupid wars.

Chusid quotes Beinart.

NONE OF THIS is to suggest that Hillary would be an ineffective president—only that her successes and failures would look different from Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s. 

Bill’s failures often owed to indiscipline. 

Obama’s have stemmed in part from aloofness. 

If past is prologue, Hillary’s would stem in significant measure from unwillingness to change course. 

Hillary does learn from her mistakes. 

But only after the damage is done.

Swell.

Think of LBJ, Nixon, the entire US establishment, and Vietnam.

It occurs to me she will do better among whites and white men than O did.

How much better will be diminished by open association with the wars on Christians, men, and whites conducted with such enthusiasm by some segments of the Democratic base, or with anti-union, anti-worker moves. 

It will be increased by any overt support shown for unions and white working men.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday night at the movies

Just saw Predestination on COMCAST on demand.

In what must be the ultimate causal loop story, a Temporal Agent is his own mother and father, both, and kills his own future self for being a terrorist whose activities gave birth to the organization of Temporal Agents, devoted to using time travel to prevent crimes.

A foundling goes from girl to woman to mother by a time traveler from the future, who is herself after a sex change, duped into fathering the child by another time traveler from the yet further future who is a Temporal Agent whose job is to prevent crimes, and who is also him/her self after an incident causing facial disfigurement beyond recognition.

The child is stolen in the hospital from the mother by that same disfigured time traveler from the future (she does not know who stole the child), who takes the child into the past and leaves it to be discovered as, yes, the foundling.

The disfigured time traveler from the future them maneuvers the male time traveler from the future who fathered the child into becoming a Temporal Agent and on his first mission disfigures him beyond recognition.

Then the disfigured time traveler from the future goes to another time and kills his own distant future self for having made a career as a terrorist he will undertake after killing that future self, completing his career as a time-traveling Temporal Agent.

I think.

Confused?

Great movie.

It's all in the shipping charge

Can you really make a living by selling used books on Amazon for a penny?

Sure.

What's it all about?

Top Democrats Torch Christie For Proposing Social Security Cuts

Closing the barn door after . . . ?

Looks like he's well past it, anyway.

What's the point?

Propaganda?

Still crying themselves to sleep about the dodo, are they?


The silence is deafening

Remember those odd and mysterious bits in the media yesterday about a capital lockdown connected with a shooting?

It was this.

Man commits suicide in front of U.S. Capitol Building holding ‘Tax the 1 percent’ sign