Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why voting Republican matters.

I think the outcome since the last election should make one thing clear: those who say that both political parties in America are basically exactly the same, beholden largely to the same interests, should take a good look at what's transpired since 2014.

In particular, what has taken place since the Democrats took control of the house and the senate:

An utter capitulation to plans to tolerate, even encourage, illegal immigration in America.

The prioritization of foreign workers over American workers.

 The unwillingness to even consider any restrictions on abortion, even after 20 weeks.

 Total capitulation and even demands for support of same-sex marriage.

 Near total capitulation in the fight for religious protection, such that now it's acceptable to destroy businesses that refuse to provide service to same-sex weddings.

 All this, not even a year since the election results! Really, how can anyone seriously maintain that voting for the Republican party in the house and the senate makes no difference, seeing what Democrat control of the house and senate has wrought in so short a time? How blind can we be? 

Does anyone seriously believe all this would have taken place if it was the GOP who won last November? How in the world could anyone be so naive?

(Note: I'm still waking up here, and I have the nagging feeling I got something wrong in my evaluation of all this - but I can't place my finger on what. I'm sure it'll come to me later.)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ted Cruz on journalists asking about gay marriage

Between this event and Rand Paul's abortion response, I have at least a faint hope that the upcoming election features months of outright hostility from the GOP towards journalists.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Magical Realism Inquiry

This one's out of left field, but I'll throw it to whoever stops by here.

Does anyone know of a work that makes use of 'Magical Realism', yet which is not A) pretty obnoxious, and B) not clearly written with a leftist/SJW bend? All the better if C) it's written with a conservative bend.

I'm curious of something along those lines.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

General Thoughts - 5/19/2015

* Well, that didn't take long. The Game of Thrones author went from the celebrated King of the SJWs aiming his cannon at the Sad and Rabid Puppies to being blindsided by feminists furious at a rape scene in Game of Thrones. The moment I heard of this, I was skeptical there would be any blowback to speak of - I don't watch GoT, but I have enough friends who watch it to know it's a show filled with violence, mass murder, sex, and a midget who's apparently King of Fucking. Is rape really going to tip the scales there? Silly me, of course it was. I notice that Martin in his response makes the very subtle move of saying 'Wasn't me, it was the TV guys, go yell at them'. Personally, I hope he's forced into an apology. Walk Tyrion's actor in front of the camera, still in character, and have him explain that rape is never acceptable, even among the Game of Thrones characters, and all good people in Westeros or whatever the hell it is find it deplorable.

* Speaking of rape, get ready for its next generation. There's announcements that Facebook doesn't plan on blocking porn made with the Oculus Rift - that's an eventuality in this culture - but believe me when this is the tip of the iceberg. These devices are coming fairly soon, and believe me, hackers are already thinking of ways to not just spam people with porn-popups using them, but ways to actually drag users into 3D simulated gang-rape events. Granted, all you have to do is take the device off your head - but all you have to do to stop the Game of Thrones rape is turn off the TV. Mark my words - this will happen, lawsuits will come from it, and the whole thing is going to be insane to behold.

* I read about the Pope calling the Palestinian prime minister an 'angel of peace'. This turns out to have been mistranslated bunk, but considering it was happening on the eve of the Vatican recognizing Palestine as a state, it's easy to see where the plausibility came from. Still, this was clearly just a translation error, and I think we can forgive both the press and the Pope for saying something that gets mistranslated once in a blue moon. I'm sure this is the last time we'll be confused about this kind of thing. (Is my sarcasm coming through? I'm not the best with subtlety.)

* For the record, I've got little concern for the Israel-Palestine conflict. I know, I know - I'm conservative and I'm supposed to be rooting for Team Israel as a result, but I mostly root for Team America, or at least I did once upon a time. Besides, I tire of the utter hypocrisy of jewish political culture, which has culturally sabotaged America and Christians every which-way, yet which has a completely different set of rules for Israel. That said, I'm still sympathetic to the Israelis, who routinely get it on the chin for daring to attack the people who try to blow them up and talk of wiping them off the map.

* I can't find the article right now, but I recently read about how 'Red States' are starting to go on the offensive increasingly against universities - doing little things like forcing their professors to teach full class loads and more. Please, may this be a portent of things to come.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Russian police detain LGBT flash mob

So, here's a happening in Russia:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police detained 17 protesters on Sunday as they gathered in central Moscow to release colorful balloons into the air to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, an organizer of the failed flashmob said.
Some 50 people assembled on a square outside a Moscow theater but crowd control police drove up a bus and started shoving the protesters inside before they managed to unfurl any banners or chant any slogans.
On one level, I think this is reprehensible. It's something I would oppose normally, and I would have opposed in the past. I favor free speech. I think people should be allowed to gather, make their points, give their arguments - unless they're actually and inappropriately bothering people (blocking traffic, rioting, etc). Even if I disagree with them.

Now, consider a complicating factor.

The LGBT movement in the US, with every advance, has attacked and silenced those who disagree with them. They've shut down adoption agencies that don't want to place children with same-sex couples. They've backed the firing of people who have opposed same-sex marriage in the past. They've gotten the Boy Scouts shunned in society for simply not approving of sodomy, and done so in ways which squelch speech - and in a broader way - than the russians are squelching it.

Here's the puzzle.

If I were russian and I cared about free speech, or civil rights in general, would I support or oppose the russian authorities - having seen the effect of the LGBT movement in the west?

I remember what Vox Day said about libertarianism. Basically: he can't be a libertarian, because the very things which are required to maintain a libertarian society (in a maximal sense) requires, in his view, taking positions which libertarians would oppose (controlled borders, etc.)

Is something similar in play here? Morally, intellectually, do I oppose or do I support the russians?

I will say one more thing. The fact that they apparently caught this protest and shut it down before they could engage in any theatrics... that's some funny shit right there. It's institutional-level cockblocking, probably in more ways than one.

Friday, May 15, 2015

LGBT people commit no sexual crimes

Or so the media likes to act.

Notice how far down you have to dig to get the idea that yep, this guy was gay/bisexual.

Do you think if it was a Catholic priest, you'd have to dig? (Of course, there, the sexual orientation would be omitted completely.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

General Thoughts - 5/13/2015

* Massimo Pigliucci has gone on record as disavowing the 'atheist movement', such as it is. Apparently the straw that broke the camel's back was Sam Harris' performance with Noam Chomsky, which Harris and his fans saw as an embarrassing non-attempt by Chomsky to engage with Harris' studied views about war, and everyone else saw as Harris acting like a jackass. I admit, I've been skeptical of Harris' transcendental meditation crap, especially his insistence that he's peered deep inside and found no 'self', but admittedly the Chomsky affair at least supports the claim that the man has no self-awareness.

* Christianity down, irreligion up in the latest Pew Forum poll. One prediction of mine seems to have been borne out, namely that the spread of irreligion is primarily taking place among the less educated portion of the population. That's the dirty secret of the New Atheism: it largely attracted idiots. Unfortunately, idiots are a pretty sizable population bloc.

* Amused by the GOP as usual, who cannot declare immigration, abortion, gay marriage and everything else as 'lost causes' fast enough, but holy hell, they will go to bat for "free trade" even after going down in flames. It's not even a bitter surprise anymore.

* Are people going to recognize yet that Hillary Clinton is not the inevitable president in 2016? She has a shot, but let's face it - if she was unstoppable, she wouldn't have been stopped in 2008. People don't seem to realize that while Bill Clinton is a master bullshitter and good at building support, that ability doesn't get transferred to Hillary by marriage.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New Scientist: Can we engineer the universe?

The paywalled article.

Here's a thought, New Scientist: if we can do it, on what grounds do we assume that it hasn't already been done yet?

This would be a great article for the ID Community to capitalize on, since the entire thing screams Intelligent Design in principle. But they'll ignore it or even bash it, because the current curators of ID thought - aside from Behe, Berlinski and a few others - can't really be trusted with it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Crude Art Critique

Man, I don't even know. To me it's just 'not my thing'. I can't even imagine where the art inspiration is coming from here, though whoever decided to put the text along the left like that really should have been told 'Knock it the fuck off and make it easy to read'. Seriously, that's just annoying.

On that note, enjoy another case of a creative logo gone awry:

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Magic of Naturalism

Victor Reppert has a post up about atheists and magical thinking. The gist: atheists (I'd specify, materialist atheists - the predominant kind) believe in brute facts, in something coming from nothing, in consciousness arising from the non-conscious, from normativity arising from the non-normative, etc. When you get down to what atheists really believe in, it's not just weird, nor 'surprising'.

It's more magical, and certainly more irrational, than theism.

And I know, I can say that to theists. But sometimes I think many theists get confused when they hear something like this, because man, does it ever run counter to the narrative. We hear we're the crazy ones, the magic-embracers, day in and day out. There has to be a grain of truth to that, right? Because otherwise, why would everyone be saying it?

But it's simply not true. And all you have to do is appreciate - really appreciate - what naturalism (such as it is) entails.

I'll go further than Victor. If someone is willing to embrace materialist atheism - if they're really planting their flag in the belief that sometimes things come from nothing, things exist or occur with no explanation whatsoever, that things brutely emerge (or worse, that consciousness and the like simply doesn't exist at all)... then the opposition to theism, the adamant belief that there exists no God or gods, seems bizarre.

Once you're opening the door to so much coming from naturalist magic - to brute facts, to just-is explanations, to strong emergence, and/or to the grand duplicity of a world without consciousness or intentionality despite every appearance that it is exists (and appearances are even the proof it does exist)... then on what grounds does theism get denied?

Lack of evidence? You've already established you'll believe in things that not only lack evidence, but that could never have evidence in their favor.

Because it seems incredible and inexplicable? You've got a worldview where the incredible and inexplicable are pretty well guaranteed.

In other words, naturalism provides a world that makes theism - and more - possible, with conditions we can't hope to evaluate.

Confidence in atheism sits in some serious intellectual tension with naturalism.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Peter's Sword and Vox Day

Vox Day pointed this out semi-recently, and I have to admit, it caught me off guard.

Most people are familiar with the point in the New Testament where Christ is being arrested, and Peter responds by pulling out his sword and slicing off the ear of the high priest's slave. Jesus immediately rebukes him, which most people typically take as a rebuke against violence in general from Christ.

Vox's view seems to be that it was a specific criticism of violence in that situation, since Christ had to be crucified. His point: if Christ objected to violence, period... then why was Peter carrying a sword to begin with? Apparently Christ had no objections to that.

I am sure someone can fire back with some kind, any kind of answer to this. But I admit, that one struck me as interesting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The "progressive" worry with Hillary

I get the feeling that the real reason "progressives" are souring on Hillary Clinton comes down to the limits of cognitive dissonance.

Hillary is awkward and unconvincing. Sure, she's a bullshitter, but unlike Bill, she's not very good at it. Beyond that, it's pretty clear that the Clinton family is ridiculously corrupt - even if you argue that there's no laws they've technically broken, the wealth they've sucked in and the terms on which they've sucked it in is transparently foul.

But as president, Hillary would be the Pope of their religion. In fact, more than the Pope, because at least Catholics can regard the Pope as wrong on political or moral questions - but neither can be questioned by the progressive. The prospect of having to spend eight years pretending that Hillary is the champion of the poor and downtrodden, and a pristine moral example besides, has to be daunting.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A simple, peaceful plan for Baltimore

I already wrote that I have little trouble caring about what really happens to Baltimore. But now is a good moment to explain exactly why that's the case.

But to understand some of where I'm coming from, I recommend you scroll down to Bob's 5/4/2015 1:38PM comment.

I'll summarize: "It's not their fault. I feel nothing but sympathy for those people who rioted, who robbed stores (destroying them in the process - by the way, these people merit no mention), who looted and set fires. Because it's everyone's fault BUT theirs. It's totally understandable why they terrorize people and cause crime, while it's utterly unthinkable you'd ever call them a bad word!"

Now, I could go to town on this comment. I could point out that in all of Bob's soul-searching, terrorized shop-owners, burning buildings (including places where people lived) and more didn't make any appearance. I could opine about what it means when - to quote Bob - 'the bluest of the blue states' has a situation like this on its hands, STILL.

But I'm not going to bother reasoning with Bob, because really - reasoning with him is not possible. That ended the moment I caught him in yet another contradiction, and his response was simply to produce the quote about he contains multitudes so contradicting himself is okay.

Reasoning is no use.

So this isn't for his edification, or really, anyone else's. I write here simply to explain my view about these things. And my view is as follows.

I don't really care about Baltimore.

See, Baltimore is relatively far away from where I live. I'm sure there are invisible connections between myself and that place - I know Syllabus, who I respect,  lives there to study, I'm sure there are economic and other links. But at the end of the day, it's far away from me. So long as they do not try to pass laws where -I- live, they can decide however they please with how to run their cities. You can say that that's a bad way to think about things, since we're all part of these United States of America, but really, I have my own problems in my own neighborhood. Caring about distant cities is optional.

My concern about Baltimore is purely one of containment. It's like an Ebola outbreak - there hits a point where my primary concern is 'whatever they have, I don't want', so hey.

In fact, I'll go further. I think Baltimore should be extraordinarily lenient when it comes to rioters. I think it's unfortunate that the national guard was activated at any point whatsoever. Really, it's a tremendous disappointment that they had cops out there trying to control things.

See, that's a key thing about these riots. Oh sure, they ruin lives. People are assaulted, businesses are ruined, livelihoods are lost, buildings burn. But the fact is, this is all a bit of show. At any time you can just activate the national guard, send in the men with guns and weapons, and stop it in its tracks. It always stops before the wealthy liberals take too much of a hit. Oh, the rioters can - and will - burn down liquor stores, corner stores, all manner of businesses scraped together by inner city (usually minority) citizens. But those nice, upper class suburbs filled with people who had a collective tingle running up their legs when Obama was elected and re-elected? They're shielded.

I would like that to stop.

In fact, I would like there to be reverse racial profiling in Baltimore. So a poor black man rapes a woman from a nice, cozy suburb. Look at the disadvantages he faces in his life. Look at how The System has let him down. Poor thing, how can we hold him responsible for his bad choices in life?

Let him walk.

So a man breaks into a house with his friends - a nice one, out where the cops used to patrol - and they tear the place apart looking for money. A man - a good man, why he voted for Obama - tries to defend his family, and the end result is he'll be spending the rest of his life walking with a limp and a speech impediment.

Let him walk.

In fact, let them all walk. Three strikes law? I think you should get three crimes that you can be guilty of and walk free from, no questions asked, in Baltimore. But only for eligible minorities. Whites of all classes, and anyone of the upper class - YOU shall be punished to the full extent of the law. And don't say 'self-defense'. Stand Your Ground laws are racist, even within your own homes.

Let us have this for a decade. And on top of it all? Let's have those fine citizens of Baltimore pay their fair share. I think 'half of everything' - a one-time (so we'll say) wealth transfer from everyone owning more than 50k in assets will do the trick. Between that and an appropriately 50% tax level for everyone in the same bracket - along with, of course, waived taxes (including sales) for the eligible minorities - well, it would go a long way towards making things fair.

Of course, I don't believe any of this would be fair at all. Nor do I think it would help. In fact, I am describing as close to hell on earth as can be had right now - in this brief window of time - for the West.

But I am describing what many in Baltimore would apparently regard as radical progressivism, fairness and tolerance, and a number of other things.

And by God, I think that's exactly what they should get. All that I ask - my only request - is that we have a good number of cameras in the cities and suburbs, broadcasted online.

It will be a learning experience, don't you think?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Crude Thoughts 5/3/2015

* As much as I sympathize with much of GamerGate, I can't turn a blind eye to the fact that it's got a whole lot of New Atheists in it.  Of that number, you've got a lot of people who were entirely on-board with treating the religious exactly the way the MSM and SJWs are treating GG and company now. That doesn't hurt my GG sympathy, and I hope the experience made them learn a lesson - but I'm too cynical to put much stock in that.

* Three of the six officers charged in the Freddie Gray case are black, and one is a woman, which is going to make the entire case go away in the public eye before long. It's almost as embarrassing for the MSM as finding out that a man named George Zimmerman can be latino. If there's one thing "progressives" hate, it's whipping up a whole lot of angst and outrage only to have their script flipped.

* I can only wonder why Sam Harris thought it was a good idea to openly publish his "debate' with Noam Chomsky. He has to have thought he'd gain something by it - 'Look at me! I'm an intellectual, and you can tell because I'm carrying on a documented exchange with the legendary Noam Chomsky!' But is that really a plus when Chomsky's estimation of Harris amounts to 'Wow, you're quite dishonest and not too smart. Also a bit of a weirdo.'?

* It's usually claimed, rightly, that boycott claims won't work for conservatives and Christians, because there's just too many targets that deserve a boycott. That's true. But I wonder if it isn't nevertheless possible, simply by picking a target from the list - even at random - to make an example out of. If everyone conservative boycotted Disney, even while still using Google, would that have an effect? Of course the problem there is that if you have just a single target, it makes it easier for the opposition to support them as well. Still, experiments are necessary at times.

* It may well be a heretical view, but I tend to assume the resurrected body is going to have work to do. Now and then when talk of the Beatific Vision comes up, it almost sounds as if the eternal future of the saved is going to be 'standing in one place, forever, being happy'. I cannot help but suspect there's going to be more to it than that, even with the Beatific Vision.

* GoFundMe's decision to not allow donations to groups targeted by the LGBT Jackboots isn't too surprising. More surprising is the lack of a clear alternative to the site for conservatives. This is something that is sorely needed - is there nothing else out there? I don't mean a mere alternative to GFM, but one which will expressly serve conservatives.