Category Archives: Uncategorized

Random Thought 5/4/2020

I see that the new conspiracy going around this side of the Internet is that Wuhan Flu was an American bioweapon attack. How else would we have known about it back in November, these people ask, when the Chinese authorities didn’t?

Or, you know, when the Chinese authorities say they didn’t.

This is one of the key diagnostic criteria of a conspiracy theory: It assumes good faith on the part of actors who have never — not once, ever — acted in good faith.

Funny how it all comes back twice, the second time as farce (I think Snoop Doggy Dogg said that). Back in the days, it was the Radical Left who was willing to publicly swallow the USSR’s most absurd and obvious lies. Now it’s the Radical “Right” who treat Commies as paragons of probity. The goal is always the same, though: Bash America, because you’ve confused “America” with “your Daddy.”

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Adios

I won’t be posting much here anymore.

It’s been a long, strange trip, y’all, and we’re just about at the end of the road. I’ve said pretty much everything I have to say, often at great length (and repetitively to boot). The last thing anyone needs at this point is more talk.

Let me quote one of the best writers in Our Thing, the Z Man:

This is the trick of alternative politics. It’s not about grand plans or sophisticated meta-political discussions. It is about offering an alternative community. Libertarians, despite the ridiculousness of their cause, hang together because membership in the community provides a sense of belonging and bestows upon them a sense of dignity. That sideline they imagine to be the high ground is not a lonely place. Imagine a similar movement built around something based in observable reality.

There it is. Get to building your community, or shut the hell up.

I’m trying to build an alternative community. It might not be the right way of life, but it has to be better than this. I hope you’ll join me, but if you don’t, I appreciate you reading for as long as you have. Best of luck, comrades.

 

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Credo

I believe in the right of free association.  All other “rights” — of free expression, to private property, etc. — derive from the right of free association.  The only stable form of human organization is the community.

I believe in justice, not Justice.  Only communities can decide what justice is, in and for their communities.  Any social organization larger than the community, which does not leave the administration of justice to the community, is tyranny.

I believe in the person, not the process.  The administration of abstract, universal “Justice” requires treating individual men as means, not ends.  Fealty to abstract “Justice” sees men not as individuals with their own needs, or as members of a sovereign community, but as the outcome of a mechanical, judicial process.

I believe in the fundamental value of the human person, not his fundamental worth.  All humans are equally valuable in God’s eyes, and communities must respect that value.  A man’s worth, however, is a function of his social role.  It is determined by his community.  Abstract “Justice” denies this, which is why attempts to administer it always end up focusing on equality of outcome.  This violates the right of free association, and is therefore tyranny.

I believe in evolution, also called “descent with modification.”  Abstract “Justice” denies this, because it presumes that all men are equally capable of understanding the Good.  Men have different capacities for understanding the good; these capacities are largely inherited.  Forcing “equal” outcomes on people who are incapable of understanding it is tyranny, as the rights of those capable of knowing and acting on the Good are necessarily violated thereby.

I believe in the value of Culture.  It is the duty of those more capable of knowing the Good to arrange matters in their communities to check the worst tendencies of those less capable.  Any attempt to do this outside the community is a violation of the right of free association, and therefore tyranny.

I believe in the fundamental autonomy of the individual.  A man who will not, or cannot, adapt himself to his community is free to find another.  If he cannot find another, he may form his own.  As Thomas Hobbes said, the end of virtue is to be sociable to those who would be social, and formidable to those who will not.  This is the position of the autonomous individual.  Every man has a right to free association with himself, if no other.  Any attempt to constrain this is tyranny.

 

 

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What’s the End Game?

I, like a lot of people, have immersed myself in the COVID-19 pandemic and our reaction to it, including my friends’ reactions to it, which has been eye-opening.

Everything from conspiracy theories for overthrow of our government to big pharma or even the president staging it all to make a buck. On the left side of my friends there’s this idea that the US was uniquely caught flat-footed and had the worst reaction in the world, on the right this was cooked up by an evil cabal.  The Feds are “holding back” needed equipment, out of spite or wonton incompetence.  “We’re hearing …. ”   “People are saying ….”

Now … I would NOT rule out an escaped virus from the bio lab in Wuhan. But by that I mean if we found that to be true down the road I wouldn’t be completely shocked. I just don’t think that’s what happened. Not only have epidemiologists been warning us for decades about outbreaks like these, they’ve also been warning us about the almost perfect conditions some of the practices in Asian wet markets, particularly in China with respect to the wild animal trade in many of them — create. And we’ve seen it happen there before, recently, with a very similar virus, in 2002 in a different area of China. It was even a corona virus. SARS-COV. As with SARS-COV2, it broke out in November, the CCP was less than forthcoming about it through December and January. And it spread to many countries from there.

This one is worse, it appears to be more contagious, and is particularly nasty to the lungs in late-stage severe cases.

Countries all around the world have basically followed China’s and South Korea’s lead in implementing very strong social distancing measures, which has crippled the world economy — only not as severely as China did, especially in Wuhan.

That’s all for the most part, the facts. Now on to more opinion.  Mixed in with supporting facts.

I think the big social shutdowns were done largely because by the time symptomatic cases started breaking out world-wide, too many people were already infected and it was too late for early-outbreak contact tracing. This was largely due to China’s dragging its feet for 6 weeks, even destroying lab samples of the virus, arresting doctors who sounded the alarm to other doctors, not allowing Western epidemiologists to come in and both assist and learn about the virus, and denying human-to-human (H2H) transmission of the virus until late January. You know, about the time it was pretty obvious because cases started popping up in country after country and they could no longer deny it. Oh, and they kicked all at least Western journalists out of the country, if not all non-Chinese journalists.  That’s not fishy at all.

Ah, the journalists. If it bleeds, it leads, and the early predictions were bad. Really bad. 2.2-4 million dead in the US alone. Now of course this was a new virus and we had very little data on how it actually behaved outside of what we could garner from China and South Korea at first. There is no other way it could happen. As I’ve said many times, models are not reality. Dr. Fauci said it better yesterday. “Models are hypothesis. Data is data.” Good data makes your model more accurate. But you can’t have good data at the beginning of an outbreak of a brand new (to humans) virus.  Journalists make much out of saying “but two weeks ago, you said this, now you’re saying that.”  As if it were intentionally misleading.  Well, duh! we freakin’ know more about it now.  “At first you said it was nothing to worry about.”  Yes.  So did China, to which it was mainly confined and without foreign observers.  And the WHO said the same thing.  The we got more data.

I think Hollywood has a lot of people thinking that we can (maybe this is a bit of an exageration, but not much) merely ask, “Computer! How many people will die from this virus? “And the computer will quickly answer “if nothing is done, 2.2 million people will die” and that’s the answer and it is right because it came from a computer and computers “know”.

Well they don’t. They “know” only what we tell them. They can just do math faster than we can in our heads. That’s it. And if we tell them garbage, their answers will be garbage, only they can do it really fast and sometimes with errors exaggerated exponentially. Don’t confuse fast answers with certainty.

I can tell the journalists have no clue what’s going on by virtue of the questions they ask. For instance, there seems to be this idea that we can’t be safe until every single person is tested. All 330,000,000 of us in the US. Finally, yesterday one of the task force members essentially said, “we’re not going to do that”. Of course we’re not going to do that.  It’s impractical and unnecessary. We’ll test sample populations and model the rest, like we do with pretty much everything else.

I’ve said from the beginning that the so-called “lockdown” is simply a measure to buy us time to catch up to the virus. Not to stamp it out.  It was nearly two months before H2H transmission was confirmed, with tens of thousands of people from China flying all over the world during flu season with flu-like symptoms (sometimes) when nobody was looking for a new virus.

It had to have been sometime in January that our CDC started working on a test for it. They wanted to take it a step further and test for mutations in case this virus started to do that. That was a good idea. They shipped it out to 50 state and local labs in very early February, but only 8 of the 50 labs could get it to work. It turned out that it worked fine for detecting the virus itself, but the third vial, to test for mutations … was faulty.

Now government regulatory agencies are not built for speed. Regulation, by its very nature slows things down. Which is normally (within reason) a good thing (“Dont be hasty” – Treebeard). But not in an emergency. It took the FDA another 16 days to ok the test’s use without the third vial. THEN mass production could begin.

So we basically lost January to China, and February to a mishap and a slow regulatory response. Too late for contact tracing. And this thing happened all over the world.

By mid March, the NYC area was exploding with the virus. Mardi Gras. Spring Break. Ski-trips to Colorado. You know the rest.

The world economy is shut down, and we can’t keep it that way for too long or the cure may be literally be worse than the disease. Here’s the problem. We don’t know how bad the disease is. And we may never know how bad it is. If we do, it will be from looking back at what happened and piecing it together. Why is this?

Because it began as an unknown, and the more we found out about it, the more we were able to react to it, which in turn changes what we know about it because we are tinkering with R0 through social distancing and with mortality rates with new treatments.

So as a good friend of mine sincerely asked me yesterday, “What’s the end game?” — speaking to the economic shutdowns, specifically.

And here’s the bare, naked, honest answer.

We don’t know.     [yet]

Why don’t we know? We don’t have enough data to figure out what we’ll have to do, and to what extent — to contain this when we lift the restrictions. We’ve all basically agreed to stay shut down through April. In the mean time we are quickly getting that data and coming up with new ways to get more and better data, and developing medical mitigation (treatments) and developing and testing vaccines. Like I said, we’re buying time.

As Fauci said yesterday when we do open up, it won’t be like flipping on a light switch and everything goes back to normal, ESPECIALLY not uniformly, everywhere. But the end game is starting to come into form out of the fog as we get data in. If you listened to Dr. Birx yesterday, she talked about smaller communities, specifically about our Inidan Nations, but smaller areas like where I live where there are now few enough cases where full contact tracing is plausible again. That’s PART of the plan.

The whole thing depends on 1) controlling the spread 2) making the disease less deadly with treatment 3) protecting our most vulnerable until we either (back to 2) have treatments that make it less deadly or (back to 1) we develop a vaccine.

But we’re not making nuts and bolts here. When you’re developing something, you can’t say, like you can with making nuts and bolts “We can have 50,000 nuts manufactured by Friday”. You can’t say “In 13 days, we will have a sure treatment that will keep people out of the ICU”. But we CAN be optimistic that we will get it figured out, and soon. We just can’t tell you what day that will be right now. Over the next few weeks, we will have a MUCH better picture and can start saying more definite things.

We have multiple people, multiple companies and organizations, myriad doctors in the field working to figure this thing out and how to beat it.

People are motivated. People are motivated right now, partially out of alturism (yes, we do have some semblance of it, despite what Ayn Rand says). And partially for profit. Yes, that’s right. It CAN be both. But the motivation is pushing hard on both sides of that coin right now and I’m confident it will be done.

Fauci and Birx and the other task force members have all given us a little glimpse of what the unfolding will look like.

Less infected areas will have stay-at-home orders lifted first. There will still be guidelines to follow when we’re out and about. These guidelines will be informed by the data that is rolling in and will continue to roll in over the next few weeks. Yes, you can go back to work BUT … you should do these things until we get a vaccine. Yes, you can have gatherings and concerts BUT … take these precautions. And in the more infected areas they will be lifted more slowly as the numbers get down to some sort of at least rudimentary contact tracing is possible.

The “end game” isn’t really an “end”.  It’s more like “the rest of this will be managable from this point forward”.

That’s why we must, as they are saying, keep our foot on the gas over the next couple of weeks to drive those numbers down as low as we can get it before we start lifting restrictions. It will most definitely NOT mean the disease is beaten. Only beaten back to where it can be better managed. It will flare up in spots. The forest fire analogy is not a bad one. And if good enough treatments come out, and I think they will, that make getting this thing literally “no worse than the flu”. At which point restrictions become less warranted, and things will literally get back to “normal”. But socially, at least, it may be a new “normal”, where we wash our hands more, are more encouraged to stay at home when we’re sick, etc.

If you want to know what’s going on, watch the daily briefings. Pay no attention to the press – most of their questions are not insightful at all. It’s stupid cat-and-mouse “gotcha” games mixed with sheer ignorance about how things work, and an inability to listen.  That’s because most of them didn’t come to listen. Some of them are clearly agenda-driven, and are statements rather than questions. Don’t get your information from the media. Yeah, I know Trump rambles and repeats himself. Just wait for the various task force members to get up to the podium. Watch the entire breifings. Trump is trying (badly) to echo what he’s gotten from them tempered with some of his own judgement, and he’s just not a good speaker. But the other task force members are. They will tell you what they’re thinking, individually, and those things are driving what direction the group is headed, and the president’s job is just to gather that and make decisions when you get to the point of “well, it’s either A or B, we can’t have both”. As a facilitator and decision maker, I think he’s pretty good, and I think that’s what task force members are saying when they say he’s doing a good job.

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Epic Pandemic

I know.  I really suck as a blogger anymore.  I haven’t posted here in … a year?  Time was, I was on it. I think part of it is there are a lot more conservative voices out there now than there were when I started in 2003, so I don’t feel as compelled to vent and “philosophise” as I used to be.  So many more people out there are better at it than I am.  (Not the least of which is our own resident blogger who suggested this blog in the first place, the venerable Severian.)

And that’s a GOOD thing.

I end up combatting people more on The Hello Kitty o’ Bloggin’, as our own Morgan Freeberg calls it … facebook these days.  I do most of my echo stopping there.  I really WANT to get back into this I suppose – it’s worthwhile.  But my voice is now drowned in a sea of better ones.

Still …  I made some observations today I’d like to share, and I’m gonna share them here.

I watched the President’s press conference from the Rose Garden today.

I’m just going to start out by conceding that our president is an ineloquent man. There’s no getting around that. And by nature he’s a bit of a carnival barker salesman, an optimist, and clearly he has a bit of an ego. I’d argue that all of our presidents, some more than others, have a bit of an ego. Don’t get me started on our last one, Trump has nothing on him when it comes to that.

All that being said, where this guy excels is … getting expert advice and making sound decisions.

For all the hand-wringing about his “slow” response to the virus … it isn’t HIS response. It is our system’s response. And I’m really not blaming the CDC, here, either – this is probably the most apolitical government organization we have, and it’s filled with professionals, many career, long-term professionals that monitor this stuff all over the world every day and make decisions based upon that vast experience. Yes, they can make mistakes — they’re human — and yes, there can be and are glitches in the system. But these are the best people we have, and they take their jobs very seriously.   And honestly, the response has been pretty fast given the realities under which we operate.

The President doesn’t tell them what to do, they tell the President what they’re doing, and sometimes what they NEED to do and what they need to do it if they can’t get it under the current system.

To my eye, the President listened to them and talked to a variety of private sector players and had them put together a plan that could be implemented quickly and effectively. Their plan required that he move some government regulations out of the way, and when the President was made aware of them, I’m sure in consultation with a lot of government agencies — he saw fit to remove those barriers.

THAT … is the President’s job. Not deciding when and whom and where to test or how fast a vaccine will be developed, or what events will be shut down or who will be quarantined. His job is to get advice, reccomendations, and remove obstacles in emergencies.

This is what Trump does best.

So despite his bumbling, repetitive and too often hyperbolic words … he’s doing his job, and doing it well especially in this case.

We’ve had, what, 40 some odd deaths from this virus. 22 of them in a single nursing facility. Average age of the dead — 80.

Population-wise, I’ll stack that up against any country. Yes, it will go up. Significantly. Don’t kid yourself. But it will go up in those other countries as well. This is what viruses do. We will minimize it here, especially considering our population and highly mobile infrastructure and numerous high-density population centers.

What disgusted me at the press conference was the presumptuousness of many the press corps, more interested in scoring political points than getting actual, useful perspective for their viewers and readers – the American public — about what we’re facing. Forunately, many of the professionals behind him, none of whom seemed to be the least bit concerned about being near the President even though he had apparently stood next to someone who later tested positive for a few seconds for a photo — filled in very well for him in this area.

Seriously, this is the damned President of the United States. If his physicians were concerned, they’d have him tested and isolated. Would it LOOK better if he’d been tested? Sure. But if there were reason to be concerned, trust me, that concern would be acted upon. The health of the President of the United States is closely monitored.  And honestly, if he HAD been tested, I’m sure the question would be wasn’t it selfish for him to be tested when others couldn’t be? I am tired of these people.

A lot of the questions centered around giving an exact date when “everyone” would be able to be tested. Last I checked, the population was 320 million people. No, we don’t have the capacity to test 320 million people. We will, shortly, have better capacity to test people who have a good reason to be tested, though. And we can’t say, “Sunday night at 7:43 pm”. Stupid, stupid questions.

There was even one stupid question someone asked as if we were looking into why this virus was worse for older people. As if this were unique to this virus. Anyone with any sort of a brain knows that ALL diseases are worse for older people. (I have to wonder if they were trying to paint the administration as “ageist” for not looking into this).

I also read somewhere that “We” refused a test offered by the WHO. I don’t know the details but I do know this. If “We” refused a test from the WHO, “We” — those experts, had a reason. The general we out here may not understand that reason. But it wasn’t arbitrary, and it wasn’t malicious or selfish.

So what I got out of this is that a decently large, but not TOO large (the bigger the group, the worse it is at coming to any concensus) group of people have been highly involved for the last two weeks, analyzing and advising and discussing what to do and how to do it. The widespread closing of many institutions for the next two weeks, at least for now — and other measures like it we heard yesterday and the day before, likely came out of this through back channel reccomendations before this press conference.

It’s not a bad idea. One of the questions was how quickly the president was going to have additional respirators necessary.

Although the President later said that they were requesting additonal respirators, it is clear the general approach here is to render extra ones unnecessary by dulling the epidemic peak. If we don’t have as many patients at a time, we don’t need more respirators. Though we’ll produce some just in case.

In short – I’d rather have an ineloquent guy up there who knows how to get people together and can make sound decisions based on input than some eloquent pie in the sky dreamer who will mandate sunshine from cucumbers.

I was skeptical of this guy at first. But man … he isn’t bad.

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In Diversity™ We Trust

Severian’s last post was on History vs the leftist narrative, specifically on Civil Rights.  Then Morgan asked on The Hello Kitty of Bloggin’,  after watching the Democrat Debates …

“Is there an agenda to popularize the Spanish language in the United States? If so, is the vision that more people should be knowledgeable about it, or that fewer people understand English? Or both?

Or, is the agenda to balkanize the country, get as many languages in active use as possible, so that there’s.more confusion, less clarity? What’s the goal here exactly?”

Well lemme ‘splain.

It’s because Diversity™, of course.  That is the whole purpose behind the United States of America.  Let’s review our history, shall we?

You see, centuries ago diversity was banned in Europe, so a bunch of enlightened people said, “Hey, I want to go somewhere where I can be diverse!”

And so they boarded rickety ships to bounce across the treacherous ocean for weeks, and when they landed they saw there were only Americans of Asian Descent (the land bridge between Asia and North America — before Lewis and Clark hegemonically traversed the continent in their SUVs).  They thought to themselves, “here, I can finally be diverse!” Indeed, Diversity™ doubled right then and there!

They wanted to be more diverse so badly that they imported brown people from diverse tribes in Africa. Sadly, in a dark era where no white person was even remotely against slavery, they were treated poorly and relegated to slavery because of a line Donald Trump had slipped into the Constitution in 1787.  This went on until JFK and the Democrats freed them in 1964. (when the Whigs and the Democrats switched sides after the Whigs lost a drunken bet with the Democrats in a bar the night before the bill was passed.)

Meanwhile people from other parts of the world had heard about this wonderful place where they, too, could come and be diverse, and they started coming… from China, from Japan, from Mexico, and the Middle East, with only the distant dream of Diversity™ on their minds.

We also created great UniDiversities to increase our knowledge and awareness of Diversity™ (especially after the Democrats freed the slaves!)

But in 1972, the Republican (aka, “Nazi”) Party was founded by Richard Nixon specifically to ban Diversity™ and put to everybody who wasn’t white into concentration camps. Fortunately, the Democrats came roaring back with Jimmy Carter in 1976, who created the Department of Education that has vastly improved Education in the United States by teaching us all to be more Diverse™.  Since then our education has become the best in the world! And! he graciously let 52 Americans be the guests of some nice Iranian students for more than a year just so they could become more diverse.

But then Ronald Reagan inexplicably won the election of 1980 (due to a clerical error at Trump, Inc*) and he immediately started a nuclear war with Russia. This was because he was not diverse and they were … well never mind, but it greatly reduced the Diversity™ in the world. Plus, Toxic Masculinity. Which is not Diverse™. Everyone should be more like women. That would be Diverse™.

After 12 years of cruel, oppressive Republican rule during which Reagan coerced some Germans to vandalize an historic, diverse wall, the great Bill Clinton was elected the First Black President™, which Americans thought finally ushered in Diversity™ once and for all.

But alas, it wasn’t to be, because G.W. Bush (aka “Hitler”) stole the election 8 years later by cleverly winning a majority of the votes in the Electoral College (like that was even legal!) and had the CIA fly planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon so that he could attack Iraq.  This was clearly because they were brown and he hated Diversity™, and also for oil. The United Nations had asked Saddam Hussein nicely 17 times to stop killing his own people, but it turned out he was doing it to reduce Iraq’s carbon footprint. Well this was the last straw (before California bravely banned them). Bush viciously attacked and removed Hussein from office because racism. And also blood for oil. Halliburton!!!! By the time he left office he personally had 100% control of all Iraqi oil, which he quickly lost to Dick Cheney (aka “Darth Vader”) in a drunken bet at a bar the night before the next election (Cheney then poured the oil all over Grand Teton National Park just so it could be drilled up again — also because he hates nature and especially fly-fishing).

After that, America came to its senses and elected Barack Obama, Savior of the Universe™, to be the Second First Black President™. Under his wise and kind rule, Americans began to get along Diversely like never before. Some people in Ferguson, Missouri even burned and looted a bunch of minority owned business just so they could get insurance money which they were owed by their former oppressors, who were now forever banished. It was almost the Paradise that Michael Moore proved Iraq was before G.W. Bush (aka “Hitler”) went in and started terrorism as we know it today (and stole all their oil).

Obama even stopped the oil that Halliburton had re-drilled out of Grand Teton from covering the Gulf of Mexico with his bare, diverse hands.

But it wasn’t to last forever. She Whose Turn It Was to be the Third Black President™ and The First Female President was stunned by her totally unfair loss to Donald Trump (aka “Hitler”), a Russian agent who was heretofore known only for grabbing pussies, and whose wife’s arms could never measure up to the previous first lady’s.  She was also an immigrant who spoke only 6 languages, plus she immigrated legally, which really isn’t very Diverse™.

She Whose Turn It Was to be the Third Black President™ graciously left her supporters waiting while she drank the entire wine supply just to save them from themselves when she gave her concession speech the next morning after drinking 163 cups of coffee in 21 minutes. This was very diverse of her. It was a sad day because this meant that no woman could ever be elected president. Ever. This was indeed confirmed when Donald Trump (aka “Hitler”) decreed it was so as he squashed a kitten under his foot, because kittens represent Diversity™. Crunch!

Hitler (aka Donald Trump) had the audacity to try to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, which included putting people who crossed the border illegally – including children — in the cages Barack Obama (Savior of the Universe™) had diversely built for people who crossed the border illegally. Building them was diverse, but actually using them for their intended purpose was not. And it was just like Auschwitz, only 50 times worser.

All brown people began leaving the United States in droves, fearing for their lives, but they were overwhelmed by the flood of poor confused brown people coming in the other direction. Why were they coming? Didn’t they know?

Ah, but this was all part of Trump’s (aka “Hitler’s”) evil plan to End Diversity™ Forever! – to cleverly keep brown people from leaving by encouraging more brown people to come in to his concentration camps. Plus he outlawed being gay, and ordered all bakers NOT to bake wedding cakes for them, and he and his evil minions began driving Democrats out of restaurants and spitting on them for being so Diverse!

Since America was founded specifically to be The Most Diversest Country, Ever!™, he must be stopped at all costs, even if it means going through the Russians to procure a fake dossier to spend two and a half years in the headlines telling everyone proof he colluded with the Russians — was JUST around the corner!

Therefore it is more important than ever that we rally around our national motto,

“In Diversity™ We Trust!”

 * This was an error on Trump’s part as a Russian agent, which proves his incompetency.
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Gender and the co-opting of language

You know, I was sitting thinking about the 87 “gender” thing, and the “I F*cking Love Science™” crowd.

It hit me that once again, a word is being co-opted by the sophists.  A word that means one thing, and they pretend it means another — simultaneously coasting on the actual meaning … social reputation … of the word and denying that very meaning.

You know, I could grant them the word “sexuality”.  Maybe there are eleventy jillion “sexualities”.  The vast majority of them a result of nurture (or lack thereof) rather than nature.

But there are only two genders, scientifically, in nature.  Oh, sure, sometimes nature screws up and produces a person here or there who has some physical attributes of both genders.  And that’s certainly no reflection on those people any more than being born deaf or blind or with three arms is.  It is not “normal”.  It is what it is.  A good term would be “neither, but we’ll try to fit you in as best we can.”

But hijacking the word “gender” (which is, in fact, a scientific term) to essentially mean “sexual preference(s)” or “self-identification” is intentionally dishonest.  Pretending you’re still talking about science while using this word is a special kind of stupid dishonesty.

The progressives did the same thing with “liberal”, and myriad other words.

We shouldn’t let them get away with it.  Causes all sorts of problems.

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The Genie

This needs to be preserved. Because it’s just too brilliant.  The cartoon, not my piddly words.

I brought it up again in an argument over illegal immigrants.  And watching people argue endlessly over the taxes they do or don’t pay.  Kind of like Charlie Gard.  It wasn’t a medical issue.  It was a moral one.

Similarly, here, this is not an economic issue. You either do or you don’t believe that a nation has the right to determine who joins it and who can enter it and under what conditions.

If you don’t, you don’t really believe in nations and you should just be honest and say so in our open conversation.

If you do, then follow this nation’s rules, including its rules about how it makes rules about such things. If you believe in rules and the natural rights they’re based on, how about we follow them?

If not…

Genie No Rules

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Charlie Gard

Good friend of mine posts, “Have you heard of Charlie Gard”?

I reply, “Yes. Very sad story. A story of a death panel.”

Another person jumps in and derides the response:

Yes. Poor baby. No cure for his horrible genetic disease. It’s best to let him die peacefully.
In this country, he could very well become a ward a the state and the same decision be made on his behalf. So stop already about death panels. What the Republicans are proposing is death panels at the hands of insurance companies CEOs.

Remember when Mrs. Palin said she didn’t want some death panel deciding whether her son lives or dies? (Trig was born with a genetic condition as well … who gets to decide whether his quality of life is sufficient to fight for?) she was derided and laughed at. Oh, that dumb hick! (how non-judgmental and tolerant!). The words “death panel” do not appear anywhere in the document! Ha ha! Ho ho! (Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon … where did I read that? Hmmm).

They spent a LOT of energy on that one.

That would never happen, they said. You’re just fear-mongering. LIES!

So in one of their most vaunted examples of Medical Utopia™, exactly what Mrs. Palin was talking about actually happens, the response is “stop talking about it”. “Shut Up!”

As Mr. Klavan pointed out years ago, “Shut Up” is typically the central thesis of their argument when anyone argues back.

They have lots of different ways of saying “shut up”, though in this case, one of the commenters here basically just came out and said it point blank.

But racist, sexist, intolerant, whatever-o-phobe, ignorant, hick … my experts are smarter than yours, yours are just greedy money-grubbers at best.

These are all different things they use to say “shut up”.

And through it all, it was almost lost that what they’re really exposing here — when you read between the lines– is not so much that they thought Mrs. Palin was wrong. No.

It’s that they were OK with the death panels from the beginning.

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PC Bizzaro World

I know it’s Melissa Harris-Perry and very few people care what she thinks … but she thinks a lot of things that a lot of other people think.  Things that are wrong-headed.  And our President is one of them.  So it’s relevant.  Here she’s talking about the picture of one of the “suspects” in the San Bernadino shooting.

“Also, right next to it [is] an image of the shooting suspect there in an hijab,” Harris-Perry said. “And the idea that, okay, this is what terrorism looks like, I…for me, that is a difference, and it is a material and meaningful difference in how we…so on the one hand again, I want to be able to talk about what the thing is that is terrorism. On the other hand, I have to reflect that this happens only for specific communities.”

cyclops

Abstract depiction of suspect

This is what denial looks like. You’ve convinced yourself that it can’t possibly have anything to do with the religion itself, and therefore any recognizable fact that might point to it must be questioned past the point of marginalization even though you know it’s staring you right in the face, day after day. This is the woman who did it, this is what she looks like, and, in fact, there are no publicly available pictures of her not in a hijab. If it was a Muslim who saved someone’s life, would it be wrong to show her in a hajib if that’s what she wears? Or are we just going to post generic clipart pictures like the weird cyclops Windows 10 person icon — with news stories with the caption “abstracted depiction of suspect” so nobody gets the “wrong” idea?

Reflect, for a bit, on why “this happens only for specific communities” … and even that is a form of denial. It is one specific community. And that community is the Islamic community. The numbers blow all other causes out of the water. So you bend over backward to relate it in any other way to other violent acts so that you can specifically factor religion out of it so you can retain your worldview. God forbid you alter your worldview to fit the facts. And here’s why.

If you believe in your heart that all religions are equal, you simply cannot answer the question “why is terrorism so disproportionately prevelant in Islam?” You have to go to other explanations, like poverty, oppression, or “climate change”(!?).

Only poverty, oppression, and “climate change” affect people of all religions, and somehow we don’t see people from those other religions killing innocent people (never mind explicitly in the name of their religion) in anything remotely in the same ballpark (or “sport”, for that matter) to the numbers we see out of the Islamic population.

If you admit that one religion can produce a better society than another, you also have to admit that a religion might also produce a better society than one that has none. Or claims to have none. Because we *all* have belief systems, atheist, agnostic, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist … Ba’hai …

And then you’d have to have a serious discussion about it. But political correctness isn’t about talking about things. It’s about avoiding things.

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