Time Doesn’t Exist – and other Sophist nonsense

So I sawtime this on Facebook.

It’s very deep, of course.

The argument goes like this:  Time doesn’t exist because the units we use to measure it can’t be found in nature. (They can, actually, we may get to that later).

But of course, this is absurd.  The same logic could be used to argue that distance doesn’t exist because centimeters are a social construct, or that mass doesn’t exist because grams are a social construct.

The fact that 3:02 PM on a Tuesday is just a social construct doesn’t mean that time doesn’t exist.  This is an important distinction.  Failing to make the distinction leads to all sorts of logical folly.

In a conversation with Severian a while back, we noted that sophists started this whole deal (or more accurately, perhaps, popularized and formalized it) where we confuse the words we use for things for the things themselves.

I commented on the photo, basically saying what I just wrote above, adding “trust me, time exists.”

To which my friend replied, “we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.”

Now I know he’s intelligent enough to understand what I’m saying and just wasn’t following at the time and was not interested in trying, so I just dropped it.  But it was clear he was stuck on the language of the photo posted and saw what the truth in it is — and went with the conclusion.  I wasn’t arguing the facts stated in the post.  I was arguing with the two conclusions, that 1) Time doesn’t exist, and 2) that time as a social construct makes us slaves to it.  Time, that is.  The thing that doesn’t exist.

My immediate thought was “we’ll have to agree to disagree”.  By “we’ll” I assume he means “we will”, which means starting at some point in time and going forward.  In time.  Which doesn’t exist.

If time doesn’t exist, then not only is there no future, there is no now.  And if there is no “now”, there is no “is”.  So I, who apparently do not exist in the first place, just “proved” that nothing exists.  Which is a tall order if you parse that sentence at all.

I recall a story from Zen Buddhism that basically went like so:

The master asks the student some koan (I forget what it was), and days later the student comes back and proudly answers that nothing exists.  The master then slaps him across the face and asks, “then what was that?”

Confusing language for reality gets us in a lot of trouble, quickly, especially when we start substituting reality for language — which is the direct opposite of what language does.  Reality is reality, language is the abstract.  It doesn’t mean reality is abstract.

It gets us into lots of trouble in all sorts of subject areas.  And politicians, the main consumers of sophistry, use this to great advantage, every day.

As far as the “slave” thing goes … the social construct of 3:02 PM on a Tuesday was created so we, who are by nature social beasts, can better cooperate with each other. If anything, we are slaves to our nature.  But that should come as no surprise.  Everything is.

More specifically, we are really slaves to agreements – but agreements are necessary for social behavior whether it’s “you must do this by such and such time or I will have you flogged” or “if you do this by such and such time I will pay you … something.”  The nature of the first “agreement”, of course, is coercive and immoral.

But if time doesn’t exist, then morality certainly doesn’t exist.  We can find no physical evidence of it in nature, right?  So who cares?  I digress.

The same thing is being done with gender right now.  In nature, humans are male or female (there are a few biological aberrations, but everyone by and large is one or the other).  Now, there are certain personality traits we associate more with one gender or another, and we have taken to some standardized ways of expressing ourselves accordingly.

But what have our modern sophists done?  They have taken these expressions, this “language”, and substituted them back into the reality of gender, claiming that gender is just a social construct.  But no, it is the expressions that are social constructs.  Gender remains what it always has been.  But the sophists insist that it is not.

What this boils down to is a war on society.  The assumption is that social constructs are arbitrary and therefore worthless.

But “worth” is also a social construct.

So I guess I can officially opt out of this conversation.

*note: 3:02 PM on a Tuesday does, in fact, exist.  It just had no name.  The name is an abstract.  The point in time is a reality.

Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor….

The main reason I got into political blogging back in, what, 2003 …. was I needed an outlet.  I needed to speak up.  I found myself yelling at NPR on the way to work … (I know, I know, my first mistake was listening to NPR, right?  But you know that’s what all the intuhlektualls taught me to listen to.

At any rate, I just found myself privy to a conversation that absolutely blew me away.  A man and a woman I know, talking.  One says she took her grandson to Chick Fil A … because they had things for him to play with and on.  The man says he doesn’t go to Chick Fil A  The woman is curious, why not?

So he answers her … “when religion and politics get brought into the workplace, I just can’t go there.  In their case, it’s both.”

W.      T.         F.        ???????????

Ok, let’s review.  A few years ago, the late owner of Chick Fil A disclosed his personal convictions on traditional marriage in an interview when he was asked. And, according to his convictions, he donated money to one or more organizations that fought to preserve traditional marriage. Vocal, pro-gay-marriage activists took offense to his position and decided to boycott his business.  Which is all fine and good, they have a right to do that.

If you want to avoid going there because you disagree with the convictions of the owner, that’s your right.

But let’s be clear.  Chick Fil A did not bring religion or politics into their workplace.  The activists brought it to them.  There was not, and is not, any policy or practice within Chick Fil A which discriminates against people on the basis of gender, creed, race, or even sexual preferences.  None.

I can’t really say anything to the person in question for a couple of reasons, and one is that I believe he has a gay person in his immediate family … I don’t want to come off … and I would come off that way to him if I did, I’m sure … as attacking this person’s family member.

But it just blows me away that this is what people, even relatively centrist people, came away with from that whole ordeal.

I guess it shouldn’t.  The media sure spun it that way really hard.

Sticks in my craw.

Community Organizing in Columbia, MO

Back in 1985 or 86, I – a white, straight male – (unless someone wants to categorize me as a WOP, a Kraut, or a Mackerel Snapper) was walking alone on campus on a Friday or Saturday evening.  Carload of girls cruised by.  A few of them leaned out the window as they all yelled “LOSER!!!!” at me for reasons that aren’t clear to me.

I wasn’t exactly the most self-assured young man.  I’m not gonna lie.  It didn’t feel good.  Hurt, really.  But in the end, it was just a bunch of asshollettes in a car who didn’t know a thing about me but what I looked like, or perhaps that I was walking alone on a Saturday night … or both.

Point being, the world has an abundant supply of assholes and asshollettes.

Always has.

Always will.

I was talking to some people about what just happened on the University of Missouri campus.  And more than one of them seemed to be of the opinion that as long as there’s racism, that means we tolerate it.  I remember a similar discussion on the web about rape recently … when it was pointed out that it was acceptable in some cultures, even sanctioned … to rape women of other religions or cultures especially if they are not living up to those men’s cultural standards for women.  It was pointed out that rape happens here (implying we’re just as bad), — the attitude again was that if it happens here, we must be tolerating it.

Which, of course, is absolutely ridiculous.

One wouldn’t say we tolerate murder.  And yet murder still happens here.

The existence of sociopaths in a society doesn’t mean the society is ill.  The fact that we can identify sociopathic behavior in and of itself means that it is not normal and discouraged.

Now it is alleged that Mizzou’s MSA president … who happens to be black… let’s just stop right there for a minute and let it sink in.  This University … where racism is allegedly pervasive … the Student Association President is black.  Oh.  And gay as well.

But back on topic here.  He alleges that a truck full of white students drove by and shouted racial slurs at him.  I’m not saying it didn’t happen.  See the above personal experience I had.  There are assholes in this world.  But when you get down to the facts here, we don’t know who they were.  We don’t know if they were students.  We don’t even know it really happened, either — again, not saying it didn’t — but that possibility cannot be ignored in any complete assessment of the situation especially considering the numerous fake hate crimes we’ve seen over the years.  Many times perpetrated by activists who don’t feel they’re getting enough attention.

I’ve mentioned before that I read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to get an insight into how leftist activism works.  And I got it in spades.

What we just saw here was textbook Alinsky.  Which means this was most likely not a spontaneous reaction by students to a facebook post about a racial slur.

The timeline of events shows there was allegedly a swastika drawn with poo in a dorm bathroom which kicked it off around Sep 14. (Earlier in the year a swastika was actually found scrawled on the wall of another dorm in charcoal.  That kid was expelled and arrested for vandalism). Then there was the truckload of racial slurs.  Followed by another allegation that a drunk student yelled a racial slur as he was passing by a Legion of Black Collegians preparing for a homecoming play.  Then during the homecoming parade, a group calling themselves Concerned Students 1950 blocked the President of the University’s car, claiming that Mr. Wolfe “allowed” his driver to “hit” one of the protesters.  Then a student, affiliated with BlackLivesMatter, decided that he’d go on a hunger strike until Wolfe resigned. Then the big coup for the activists was getting a good chunk of the football team to boycott practices and their games in support of the hunger striker.  Which made it national news.  Which was the goal all along.  And that precipitated Wolfe’s resignation … a big scalp which amplified the story.

Poo swastika.  Very Alinsky.  The inventor of the Fart-In.  Not saying this is what the poopstika was, but personally, I think it’s a better explanation than a person using his own poo (or anyone else’s for that matter) to threaten Jews rather than using a sharpie or spray paint.

From an Alinsky interview in Playboy:

“Another idea I had that almost came to fruition was directed at the Rochester Philharmonic, which was the establishment’s — and Kodak’s — cultural jewel. I suggested we pick a night when the music would be relatively quiet and buy 100 seats. The 100 blacks scheduled to attend the concert would then be treated to a preshow banquet in the community consisting of nothing but huge portions of baked beans. Can you imagine the inevitable consequences within the symphony hall? The concert would be over before the first movement — another Freudian slip — and Rochester would be immortalized as the site of the world’s first fart-in.

PLAYBOY: Aren’t such tactics a bit juvenile and frivolous?

ALINSKY: I’d call them absurd rather than juvenile. But isn’t much of life kind of a theater of the absurd? As far as being frivolous is concerned, I say if a tactic works, it’s not frivolous. Let’s take a closer look at this particular tactic and see what purposes it serves — apart from being fun.

First of all, the fart-in would be completely outside the city fathers’ experience. Demonstrations, confrontations and picketings they’d learned to cope with, but never in their wildest dreams could they envision a flatulent blitzkrieg on their sacred symphony orchestra. It would throw them into complete disarray. Second, the action would make a mockery of the law, because although you could be arrested for throwing a stink bomb, there’s no law on the books against natural bodily functions. Can you imagine a guy being tried in court on charges of first-degree farting? The cops would be paralyzed. Third, when the news got around, everybody who heard it would break out laughing, and the Rochester Philharmonic and the establishment it represents would be rendered totally ridiculous. A fourth benefit of the tactic is that it’s psychically as well as physically satisfying to the participants. What oppressed person doesn’t want, literally or figuratively, to shit on his oppressors? Here was the closest chance they’d have. Such tactics aren’t just cute; they can be useful in driving your opponent up the wall. Very often the most ridiculous tactic can prove the most effective.

As for the Wolfe car “hitting” a protester, watch this video from Monday of CS1950 by Mark Schierbecker and imagine how that probably went down.

UPDATE: You don’t have to imagine it, here’s THAT video:

Alinsky #4 – the Decent Human Being Trip-Up Rule

 “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

Arguably, this is what tripped Wolfe up the most.  This combined with not understanding that he was the symbolic target of a coordinated attack.  I seriously doubt he saw this coming until it was too late.

But the timing of all of this seems a little bit like a full-court-press that started in mid September.  The racial slurs.  I do not doubt they happen.  Assholes, remember?  Did they actually happen, conveniently during this short timeframe?  Maybe.  There’s no way it can be proven, though.  And during all of this (Aug 7), the same group protested the Thomas Jefferson statue on campus (Jefferson’s first tombstone is also on campus), calling for its removal.  And after watching the video it is very clear the people were well coordinated and well-trained and/or coached.  With at least two professors (Richard Callahan & Melissa Click — both white) clearly in the organizational forefront.

Alinsky #8

“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

And the timeline was pretty condensed … a couple of months.

Alinsky #7

“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

Community organizing was behind this.  This is an extension of BlackLivesMatter, which was very organized by the Community Organizing Community.  This was a manufactured crisis.

Wolfe was just a scalp. He was the chosen target.

Alinsky #12

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

Of course, the coup de gras was the football players strike, which was likely precipitated by the hunger strike.

Alinsky #1

“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

The campus chancellor is also stepping down. He was not well-liked by the faculty, especially the more radical ones. And radical ones were involved in this whole operation, there is no doubt — watch that video again … there are two faculty members, one of which was calling for “muscle” in the end to remove the student photojournalism photographer from the venue.  Yeah, Melissa Click’s PhD dissertation from the University of Massachusetts Amherst was about the “commodification of femininity, affluence and whiteness in the Martha Stewart phenomenon.”

If I were looking for an ACORN-ish connection, I think I’d start with Melissa Click.  You know, if I were some sort of investigative journalist interested in the larger story.  Like maybe Sharyl Atkisson?

I know from experience that pressure is high to recruit and retain minority students and faculty — and that this is difficult for various social and economic reasons.  Demand is high.  Response is frustratingly low.  If anything, University campuses, including the University of Missouri, bend over backward to recruit and retain.  American College campuses are the absolute safest places on the planet for minorities, and the University of Missouri is certainly no exception.

But the University’s president, nor its chancellor, can eliminate every anonymous asshole, and — if they happen to be phantom assholes made up by zealous activists, they have zero chance of catching them.

And the only thing we can do about the inevitable assholes, just like the inevitable murderers — is to catch them and punish them as fits the crime.

In the case of the hurler of racial insults, a mere loss of anonymity would probably suffice.  Inappropriate use of free speech may not get you shunned if you hurl insults at a white boy from the country.  But especially on a college campus, the social cost of being a known racial slur-er would be very high.

Obamify Democrats Pathetic Meme

Obamify DemocratsOf course, it’ll work if nobody counters it.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to counter.

When you take office at the low point of a the kind of recession caused by the housing bubble popping and things rebound naturally, you would expect this. After the stock market fell by 2/3, it WILL rebound back to where it was … usually in 18 months or so. Why did it take 6 years under Obama?

Same thing with unemployment, with the added benefit of so many people just plain giving up and leaving the job market altogether skewing the numbers downward to help you out.

Presidents rarely have jack to do with gas prices – and this is particularly rich from a guy who WANTS energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket”.  Because ManBearPig.

Bush_Obama_Deficit_2014At best, the Obama deficits are now about the same as Bush deficits were before the big TARP bailout — which Obama voted for — which drove the deficit tremendously high just before Obama took office – and also drove the *average* Bush Deficit up as a result. Pretty rich to blame your predecessor for something you voted for, then take the credit for NOT borrowing as much in subsequent years — because you have the benefit of the graft you blamed on your predecessor to fall from. The graph tells the story.

insuranceInsurance … insurance … Obamacare… 57% of those ENROLLED in Obamacare plans were previously uninsured according to this study.  I can see where the mathematically challenged might take that as half of the uninsured are now insured.  But really, it’s only half of the enrollees were previously uninsured.  That’s different.  In reality, it’s only dropped the “uninsured” rate by 2-3%.  Not half.  And at what cost?  We haven’t even begun to see what this is going to cost, especially after the unintended market consequences kick in.

You “got” Bin Laden largely because of efforts you opposed. Word has it you could have gotten him much sooner, but you were hesitant to pull the trigger and others basically pressed the issue until you said “yes”.  Either way, it’s not like it was some sort of bold decision.  Well for YOU maybe.  But I’m pretty sure any normal president at war in this kind of war would have taken out the enemy once found.

IRAQ-SYRIA-UNRESTYou also managed to lose everything that was gained in at least one of those wars, leaving a power vaccuum into which ISIS has stepped. In addition you’ve agreed to drop sanctions against Iran if they’ll promise (*snicker*) that they’ll stop working on their nukes for a while – while retaining their capacity to do it. And not allow anyone to check to see if they’re even holding up their own tiny end of the bargain.  I think we’ve seen this movie before.

The housing market crash was a market correction, so of course it stablized. It crashed to back to a relatively stable position. And there are signs of a new housing bubble building. This is what happens when you fail to address the underlying issues that led to the previous one.

As for the redefinition of marriage — of course you wanted it and your allies campaigned hard for it, calling it “marriage equality”. What it really is is the re-definition of a social institution, and it was done in response to a majority of people in several staLyingtes voting to keep their social institution defined the way they wanted it rather than to have courts impose a different one on them. So it went to the Supreme Court where the intense activist political pressure caused 5 judges to invent a new “right” out of thin air — which will ultimately lead to the de-definition of family. But that’s what Big Brother wants ultimately, anyway. Surprise!

FAIL. All around. But this is the kind of naked spin community organizers do every day.

I Have a Right!

Education is a human right. Share if you agree.

So this came across my desktop yesterday.

I think my head is going to explode.

Oh yeah. It’s free. *If* you’re accepted. And that’s a big IF.

Even in Europe, you have to be put in an academic track school by about age 12 to hope to make it in to one of these colleges.

Since this “Free in Finland” word has gotten out, Finland has had to clarify that while tuition is free, you have to pay your own way for room and board. And hey, if education is a right, aren’t food and shelter yet more basic rights?

Why does Finland HATE students????! “Finland Starves Students – Leaves Them in the Cold!” That would be the community organizing headline from the Chicago school of politics.

All colleges in Germany have had “free” tuition since way way back in … October. Jury’s probably still out on how sustainable it is, or the effect it will have on the quality of education you can get. As it stands, America pretty much has a headlock on top universities in the world so maybe there’s something to this not-so-public approach.

I think the main difference between America and elsewhere has been that your education was something you were expected to get — so much so that state charters mandated that a certain size plot of land in every township be set aside for a school which would be funded by the community. But the attitude was that an education isn’t something that is given to you or provided to you — since we as a people have required that you get one from the beginning, we’ve considered it a duty of society to provide the opportunity – up to a point.

I’d argue that we don’t have to provide you an opportunity for a degree in “Gender Studies”.

occupy girl2

It’s not “your” car anyway, because you didn’t build that.

This provision of opportunity is there with the expectation that you will be obligated, if physically and mentally able, to go out and pull your own weight when it is said and done – and perhaps if you do well enough create something that will help others pull theirs. But to the people at “US Uncut”, it’s about “rights”, not “obligations”. “Rights” mean somebody OWEs *me*. “Obligations” are for chumps. Now feed me or I’ll cr*p on your car. It’s not really “your” car, anyway, because you didn’t build that. Oppressor!

We do have an over-emphasis on a college degree as a credential in our society. College is fine — you can get a great education if you want one, and you can get lots of financial help getting one if you need it and show an aptitude for it. And I think there is something to a Financial/Education complex where they rub each others’ backs. Universities cost 5x more than they did in 1985, but inflation has “only” cut they buying power of a dollar in half. I think Universities charge more because they can get it, and banks make the loans because they can make money off the interest. Kind of like what health insurance did to health care costs.

The whole “10x what ‘they’ charge banks” thing is just emotionally charged rhetoric that takes advantage of, as someone once put it, “the stupidity of the American voter”. Any amount banks get charged for loans to them is ultimately passed on to the consumer, and student loan rates aren’t out of line with most other loan rates.

I think Mike Rowe & his Mike Rowe Works is on to something. Degrees are overrated, and inflated – in grades, cost, and subject matter. There is lots of honorable, even decent-paying work out there that does not require a college degree, and it’s work that needs doing.

Tax Day WalMart Bashing

walmart Nonsense

Walmart receives billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks, both for the corporation and for the Walton family. When it pay its workers so little that they must rely on services like food stamps to get by, the rest of us end up picking up Walmart’s tab.

These people really are clueless, aren’t they?

Well at least their useful idiots are.  And many of the perps probably are as well.

Saw this going around on facebook … idiotic nonsense … yeah.  The meme is, WalMart costs us money, because … all money belongs to the Government and we think all of WalMart’s profits should go there.

Wal-Mart Stores Tax Total: $7.1 billion
U.S. federal: $5.3 billion
U.S. state and local: $677 million
International: $1.1 billion

Where to begin?  How much more would we be paying in taxes for people who aren’t on unemployment because they work for WalMart?   It payed 32.5% of its profit in taxes and it payed low-skilled employees money from a private source that would otherwise be paid by … taxpayers — if they were sitting at home on welfare or unemployment — and while doing this work they are getting the opportunity to gain work experience and establish a reputation to better their position in life (which would include higher wages, thus higher income taxes, plus better benefits, health care, etc?  I made minimum wage once, too.).

Our precious proggies wanna add that 7.8 Billion back in and make it 67.4%, because, “progress”, I guess.  They can’t (or won’t) see that  WalMart adds value to the economy, employs people, and pays $7.1 Billion in corporate income taxes — and they talk like it’s COSTING the government money.   All money generated by any economic activity is apparently owned by the government (because, you know, “you didn’t build that”), and if they’re nice they’ll let you keep some of it, I guess.

And let’s remember that 7.1 billion is just corporate income tax, it doesn’t include the percentage of the wages it creates that goes into SSI (plus the equally matching amount 6.2% +6.2%=12.4% …. but since only 6.2% of that comes out of technical wages it’s more than 12.4% of wages generated), plus the enormous amount of sales tax it generates, or the income tax that employees pay … from revenue generated by … WalMart.

More from CNN and Forbes.

If you see this bullsh*t out there, please call people on it!

Syllogisms and Identity Politics

Philmon and I had an exchange below that needs further expansion.  Phil wrote:

I’ve long been suspicious that the modern liberal is typically nothing more than someone who is proud of the “ability” to string multiple syllogisms into what they ultimately consider a de facto valid “argument”.

As have I.  As I wrote in that post, liberals’ confusion about whether or not astrology is scientific comes, not from misunderstanding either of the terms, but from skipping over meaning entirely.

I’m going to ignore the “astrology” part, mostly because I really don’t know what pops into people’s minds when they hear that word.  But “science,” now…. that I get.  It means

knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

Or, at least, that’s what it should mean, used as a standalone word.  The problem is, as Phil noted, Our Betters tend not to use it as a standalone word.  Rather, “science” is part of the definition of another word: Liberal.  A liberal is someone who likes science.

From there, liberals tend to “argue” in bastard syllogisms, like so:

  • I am a liberal.
  • Liberals like science.
  • Therefore, things I like are scientific
  • Therefore, things I dislike are unscientific
  • Therefore, people who disagree with me hate science.

I think this was once known as the fat cattle fallacy — the notion that a cause must be like its effects.  We don’t need to look at the evidence for, say, global warming — it’s “settled science,” and therefore we believe it, and it’s settled science because we believe it.

It’s nothing new that liberals like to poach on the authority of science; it goes back at least as far as Marx himself (his socialism, unlike the gassy love-the-world-ism of guys like J.H. Noyes, was “scientific”).  But Marx was also a philosopher, and he could browbeat folks into submission with verbiage about “dialectical materialism.”  Our modern leftists lack this, and because they do, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they’re using themselves as the starting point for all their arguments.

Which makes sense, given the left’s identity politics uber alles attitude.  But this makes communication with them very, very difficult, as they’re automatically going to assume that their preferences are both metaphysically true and universally applicable.  And in any conflict with the real world, the real world is likely to lose.

A good example of this comes from the supposedly conservative side of the aisle. I didn’t really follow politics much back then, but I recall that Andrew Sullivan used to call himself a conservative, and graciously allowed himself to be used as the face for the new, open, tolerant right….

His feud with National Review Online was semi-amusing, back when I cared about what any of those hacks thought, but I think they missed a trick when it came to the origins of Sullivan’s “conservatism is whatever I feel it is today” schtick.  It wasn’t George W. Bush’s objections to gay marriage that sent him over the edge; it was the Pope’s.

Now maybe Jonah Goldberg and the crew saw this clearly, and I’m misremembering.  Again: didn’t care, don’t care.  The point is that Andrew Sullivan subscribed to two different identities simultaneously — Catholic and Gay Crusader — and, when they inevitably came into conflict, spent years insisting that he was right and 2,000+ years of Church history was wrong.

That the Catholic Church needs to embrace leftism is one of the rottenest of all chestnuts, of course, but when the hipster dimbulbs at places like Salon.com say it, you know it’s just a nervous tic.  They’d be much happier if the Catholic Church didn’t exist at all.  But from what I could tell, Sullivan really meant it.  He continued to insist he was a good Catholic — indeed, perhaps, the only good Catholic — while rejecting one of the oldest and strongest of Church dogmas.  His endless contortions to square that circle only make sense if he’s “arguing” fat-cattle style — I’m Catholic, I’m gay, therefore the Catholic Church is ok with every item on this minute’s gay agenda, no matter what the supreme and infallible successor to St. Peter says about it.

How to break this thought-complex up beats my pair of jacks.  I can’t enter into that mental world very easily, or stay there for very long.  Like many conservatives, for instance, I’ve abandoned the Republican Party — they just don’t fit with my values anymore.  And while I do understand the urge to change it from within, to get it back closer to what I think its values should be, that’s not what I’m talking about (noble though that pursuit may be).  The fat-cattle version would be, I guess, to insist that the Republican Party is the party of Reagan and Calvin Coolidge, and that there’s no conflict at all between my limited-government preferences and the big-government activism of the GOP establishment, because I’m a small government guy and a GOP voter and therefore Republican plans to “fix” Obamacare are actually shrinking both the scope of government and the debt…..

Any thoughts?

Crazy Idea

arottenchestnutThis goes along with the bumpersticker politics of the, as Dear Leader says, “false choice” between schools and bombs.  But this time, it’s schools and prisons.

But the big question here I want to ask, and Morgan has asked it as well, what do they mean by “fully funded”?  What percentage of funded are they now?  What dollar amount would make them “fully funded”?  They don’t have a concrete answer.  It’s pretty much always “more”.

Not to mention the fact that … if you did this, you might have your schools overrun by criminals.  Just a thought.

Nailed It

Blog-friend the Nightfly explains one of the rottenest chestnuts of them all.

One of the saddest things I’ve learned in my trips around the sun is that most people put a very low price on facts and logic.  What people feel about a statement — or about the person making the statement — is orders of magnitude more important to most folks than whether or not the statement is true.

Nightfly uses the example of Obamacare’s ur-lies (I know, it’s lies all the way down, but he’s talking about the original whoppers).  That the central premises are not just faulty, but impossible, is just…. obvious.  There’s really no other word for it.  I remember almost literally banging my head against the wall when I heard some office-mates talking it up– no, you idiots, there is no way a huge new entitlement program will save the taxpayer money.  Zero, zip, nada.  It’s un-possible.  Math don’t work that way.

And yet they wanted to believe it, and they wanted to believe they were smart folks (and informed voters!), and so they did believe it, logic be damned.

The question now — and this is really the only question that matters, if we have any hope of digging ourselves out of this hole — is how to point this blithering idiocy out without making those blithering idiots feel like the blithering idiots they are.  Since they weren’t reasoned into their position, they can’t be reasoned out of it, and the more you attack an emotional attachment the stronger it gets.  We have to devise an emotional tactic to get them to see the light.  Something like “it’s ok, you were lied to by a very smooth con man”…..

….without tacking on “whose lies were so fucking obvious even a concussed chimpanzee could’ve seen through ’em.”

Obviously I shouldn’t be the guy in charge of counter-propaganda.  But you get my point.  Any suggestions?


I’ve only seen it once, but I recognize a cut and paste talking points memo when I see one.  This one was in the comments section of a facebook post.  And said post ironically was about how most of us really don’t want to hurt each other and how that is a good thing.  But it devolved from there, and an Obama-bot posted


I didn’t spend THAT much time on it, but … did a quick-fisk.  They’re not all bad.  Most of them are pretty mundane.  “GREAT” … not so much.  So here they are.  My comments in italics.

1. Passed Health Care Reform:

A monster of an expensive, massively intrusive trojan horse regulatory nightmare that encourages people not to hire or hire full-time, and that over 50% of the people don’t want.

2. Passed the Stimulus:

Spent yet more money that we don’t have and got nothing in return but a big bill for our children and grandchildren

3. Passed Wall Street Reform:

How reformed is Wall Street really?

4. Ended the War in Iraq:

Because it wouldn’t have ended without him.

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan

Again, all part of the plan before he got there.

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden

Using intelligence he campaigned against.

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry:

Ford did fine without bailout money.  What he did was bail out UAW’s unaffordable benefits plans.

8. Recapitalized Banks:

Bailed them out.

9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:


10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi

Um … I think the Libyans had a bit more to do with that than we’re giving them credit for here

11. Told Mubarak to Go:

And look what that got us.

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies:

But claimed credit for the eventual fruit of the two actual cases of waterboarding.

13. Improved America’s Image Abroad:

Laughable!  The whole world is laughing at us.

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending:

And this is good why?

15. Created Race to the Top: schoolspending

More money ostensibly thrown at education that may be well-meaning, but will, in the end, likely have the same kind of result that tripling what we spend on each student since 1970 has.  Which is, pretty much nothing.  The only thing that’s racing to the top is the amount of money we’re spending.

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards:

Unfunded demands on the economy, raising costs for consumers

17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis:

Spend huge sums of money we don’t have expanding government more

18. Passed Mini Stimuli:

So he gets credit for doing the same stupid thing twice.  Nice.

19. Began Asia “Pivot”

What the hell does that even mean?

(update:  apparently it means we’re “pressuring China” on civil rights.  Because 1) “Pivot” sounds cooler, and this Lakoffian administration certainly couldn’t just come out and say what it means on anything, like who we’re pressuring and on what … and 2) of course NO president has ever pressured China on civil rights before. EVAH!!!!)

20. Increased Support for Veterans:

Golf clap for whatever this might be referring to.

21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran

Which are having what effect?

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants:

Had a meeting to plan meetings to talk about a series of meetings to begin …

23. Passed Credit Card Reforms:

We keep using that word “passed” … as if the President “passes” anything.  Congress “passes” things.

24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws:

Golf clap.  Not that the federal government should have anything to say about compensation outside of what it pays its own employees.

25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court:

Which is awesome, if you’re a liberal bent on Fundamental Transformation.  Yes, honey, I love you so much that I want to change you into someone fundamentally different that who you are.

26. Improved Food Safety System:

Golf clap.  I know, people were dropping like flies from our unsafe “food system”

27. Achieved New START Treaty

Whose terms were in dispute before the ink dried.  Basically, it says if Russia doesn’t like how much anti-nuclear missile defense we develop, it reserves the right to pull out.  Quite ambiguous, arbitrary — not much of a treaty.

28. Expanded National Service:

More government programs to spend money on.  Government-funded community organizing.

29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection:

I like those things.  But in politics, and especially with this guy (he’s turned it up to 11) — things aren’t always what they say they are.  Hopefully it’s not too draconian on property rights.  If we’re talking about harmful amounts of pollution, everybody’s for a clean environment.

30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco:

Truly a great accomplishment.  I mean, wow.  </sarcasm>

31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders

Sounds great.  What does it mean?  And how much did THIS cost us?

32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act:

Reduced penalties for crack possession.  Ok, that’s fine.

33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense:

Reoriented?  That could mean lots of things.

34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown:

I assume this means post Iraq/Afghanistan war build down.  Well good job, then.

35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Mission:

Changed the once great NASA to MASA … Muslim Appreciation Social Administration

36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology:

And lost our shirts in the process, gaining us … nothing.

37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests

Seriously? Crafted? Personally?  My my, this man is talented.

38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges:

Because profit is bad, and there’s no way the market could take care of this dangerous scourge.

39. Improved School Nutrition:

Golf clap.

40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections

All crimes are essentially hate crimes.  Crimes are actions. The actions are punishable. Motives should not be punishable.

41. Avoided Scandal:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Fast & Furious, Bengazi, IRS, Journalist wire-tapping, Solyndra, New Black Panther voter-intimidation dismissal, Pigford  ….

42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill:

Well that is part of the job of the exective branch, good for him for faithfully executing this as he swore to do.

43. Created Recovery.gov:

Really, we are definitely scrounging for “Great Accomplishments” here, aren’t we?

44. Pushed Broadband Coverage:

Which government has no business pushing. 

45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children.

Ah, that’s that Affordable Health Care trojan horse again

46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide

Signed on to the religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming, despite the mounting evidence that it is overblown at best, and even the IPCC recognizes there’s not much would be able to do to even slow it significantly without slashing the world’s standard of living by 80% – and it’s 50 times more expensive to TRY to stop it than it would be to adjust to and deal with any warming.

47. Expanded Stem Cell Research

Meaning providing government FUNDING for EMBRYONIC stem cell research, I assume.  Meaning the government will fund research using babies killed by abortion.

48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers:

Another racially determined government cash cow for cronies to abuse.  See “Pigford Scandal”

49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence:

Really?  They somehow couldn’t form the words themselves?   “Two words.  First word.  Sounds like ‘eclair’ …. “

50. Killed the F-22:

That might be a good thing.  It did seem a bit Industrial Military Complexy.  On the other hand, if development were finished on it under Obama, it would likely show up here as a “Great Accomplishment”.  Cause that’s how they roll.