Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Gay Marriage Fight Continues

I have written before about my opposition to gay marriage. It is, in my view, as simply impossible for two people of the same gender to marry as it is for Bruce Jenner to "be" a woman. He can never '"be" a woman. He is a man, now and forever.

That he wishes to imitate being a woman is fine with me. If gay people wish to imitate being married that is also fine with me. They cannot ever "be married" in any traditional way.

Which brings me to the kerfuffle in Kentucky. Kim Davis, Rowan County, KY clerk of courts is probably going to jail for refusing to marry gay people in defiance of the Supreme Court and a contempt citation from a local Federal Magistrate.

This is what happens when 9 people in robes decide to make policy rather than interpret the law. See Roe v Wade. 40+ years of controversy still going strong.

There is an interesting side note to this wee circus.

Those of us on the right have long been playing a game that has come to be called, "Name that Party". It stems from our almost universal observation that the main stream press, when dealing with malfeasance of Republicans, immediately mentions their party affiliation. When dealing with malfeasance by Democrats, well, not so much.

In this story and many others covering the controversy, the political affiliation of Ms. Davis is never mentioned. Name that party? Why, Democrat, of course.

Given the nature of her objection the MSM gets a bonus by not naming her affiliation.
 Based on the subject matter of the controversy, not naming her party affiliation allows most people to default to the position that she must be a Republican.

After all who else could possibly be mean and stupid enough to oppose gay marriage. A two-fer.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

All Men are Created Equal

It came to my attention during a discussion not long ago that the context of the phrase may have been lost.

The person I was speaking to, not an American, pointed out the obvious: All men are not created equal. Her example was that the son of a prostitute was not at all equal to the son of a doctor. True, except in one regard; we are all created with unalienable rights given to us by our Creator (see previous post for my use of Creator).

At the time that the Founders proclaimed our independence the civil rights regime of every society that I know of was based on God's direct relationship with the various monarchs extant then. The religion practiced by the monarch did not appear to matter. The structure was always the same.You have heard, I am sure, of the Divine Right of Kings. Further, the rights of his subjects were mostly comprised of the rights he chose to confer on them. For the most part they could be given and taken away at the whim of the monarch. (Until after WWII for example, the Emperor of Japan was believed to be the son of god.) There were some exceptions, the Magna Carta, for example, but not many.

For the first time, as far as I know, the American system disengaged the monarch and put the people, all of them, in direct relationship with their civil rights. The first time, ever.
In this respect, and this respect only, were the Founders asserting the equality of men. This was an incredibly revolutionary assertion.

The then existing institution of slavery does not, in my opinion, invalidate their assertion. At that time those who condoned the practice did not consider slaves human. That they were wrong is beside the point. At that time women were generally not considered the equal of men. That they were wrong is also beside the point.

In their context, in their time, the views they held were commonplace. That they were not as enlightened as we are today is entirely predictable and irrelevant. In case it has gone unnoticed, we evolve. Were it otherwise our creation would have been accompanied by the invention of cars, planes, telephones, modern medicine and personal computers. 10's of billions of us lived and died during the thousands of years that humans were such slaves to our needs and environments that there was no time for meaningful innovation.

When did that state of being change dramatically? The Industrial Revolution and the soon to follow establishment of the United States of America, where all men are created equal and a reliable rule of law, not the whim of monarchs, governs. At the time, the only such place on Earth.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why We Have Rules

I have written often about human nature. It is obvious to me that any policy or political philosophy that ignores human nature is bound to fail. How do we know what human nature is?

Its most objective definition is actually stated in the reverse, in my opinion. That definition is the 10 Commandments. After all, who, if not The Creator, would be in a better position to evaluate the character of characters he created.

The first four command us not to do what we naturally do; extol ourselves. These commandments then posit that left to our own unchecked preferences we would all insist that we are god and prefer our own rules to those laid down by others. Thus, the other, laying down the rules must be far more powerful than mere mortals. You can  use your own experience to evaluate the success of the first four commandments.

The fifth commandment instructs us to honor our parents. I'm guessing that whoever wrote this commandment had noticed that children, particularly teens and young adults, routinely consider their parents to be complete idiots and often treat them accordingly. The author was likely the parent of more than one of these offensive beasts.

Later in life parents tend to become a burden to their children. Another appropriate time for the application of the commandment in an effort to ensure that the children, no longer young, are sufficiently afraid of other-world complications that they will abide by the injunction. You can use your own experience to evaluate the success of the fifth commandment.

Numbers 6,7 and 8 tell us what god thinks is part of our nature but commands that we not succumb to our nature and; murder, commit adultery and steal. Considering the current pace of murder, divorce and theft it looks to me, once again, as though The Creator knows his customer. Given the astonishing rate of incarceration and divorce in this country, it seems, once again that he understands our character.

Number 9, "Thou shalt not bear false witness..." points to the fact that many of us are liars. That is apparently so basic and pervasive a human trait that any important document tells us that we must swear that we are not lying.

It is so basic a feature in fact that several words and phrases have been developed to be used to persuade our friends, absent a sworn declaration to the contrary in support of the veracity of our assertion, that we are not lying. These words and phrases include, "frankly", "honestly", "to be perfectly honest", "to tell you the truth" and so on. Don't ever use them.

Number 10 addresses covetousness. As we have all observed humans are extremely jealous creatures. Disastrously so in many cases.

So, our Creator, the bible tells us, for reasons left completely unexplained, decided to create a bunch of creatures who:
1) Have little respect for anyone but themselves;
2) Treat their parents like crap;
3) Murder, steal and commit adultery;
4) Lie constantly; and
5) Live lives fueled by being jealous of their fellow men.

That is the judgment of human nature according to the 10 commandments. Although I refer to god and The Creator, I do so for convenience only. It is clear to me that there is no god and that some other method of creation produced us. Imagine the spectacular idiocy of knowingly creating a group that you know in advance will be severely flawed. Ridiculous. Whoever the authors of the old testament were, they were simply creating a blueprint for socialization using a bogey man as their weapon for forcing compliance. Not a unique tool. Every religion created before and after Judaism proceeds similarly.

The lesson here is that we cannot create policies and/or political philosophies that rely on honesty, respect, fair dealing or selflessness and expect them to succeed without the simultaneous application of severe penalties for transgression.

The spectacular abuse of every social program in this country is evidence enough to prove this point.

Socialism fails at every turn because it must rely on an absence of covetousness to succeed. Can not happen. Capitalism works because it appeals to our true nature. Covetousness, for example, is rewarded if it is accompanied by hard work. Of course, there are those who choose to substitute murder and/or dishonesty for hard work and are also rewarded. The Mob, for example.

So conduct yourselves accordingly. Plan for those you interact with to be liars and cheats if they can get away with it. Your planning will protect you from many of the usual human behaviors. Ronald Reagan may have said it best: Trust but verify. A few moments of thought will lead you to the conclusion that this phrase actually restates, politely, a very old saying: I don't trust him as far as I can throw him.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Capitalism's Creative Juice, the Threat of Failure

Over the last few years I have added a new name to my list of favorite opinion writers, Kevin Williamson of National Review. An article he published today is, in my opinion, a must read. He is an unabashed supporter of Capitalism and seems to me to understand its workings with more clarity than most.

"One of the rarely appreciated aspects of the capitalist model of innovation is that the wealthy subsidize the development of products for everybody else: The mobile phone is a case study in that process, as is the electric car, as indeed were ordinary cars. The firm that developed the first automotive air-conditioning and power windows was a high-end marque that despite its landmark innovations is no longer with us: Packard. The Bonfire of the Vanities–era financiers who carried the first mobile phones paid for much of the research and development that made them ordinary products for non-gazillionaires. My own financial means at the moment do not, alas, afford the purchase of the new plug-in hybrid from Porsche — which is a million-dollar supercar — but the technologies developed for the 918 Spyder will make their way through the marketplace the same way that the automatic transmission (Oldsmobile, 1940), the supercharger (Mercedes, 1921), and the independent suspension (Mercedes, 1933) went from being expensive options on cars for the rich to being standard equipment on your Hyundai."

This, to me, is an excellent insight and might be valuable knowledge for the Occupied crowd to have as they talk to each other on their cell phones castigating the evil rich. But for the evil rich they would have no cell phones or much else for that matter. Anyone remember the Lhada? No? That is because it no longer exists. It was a car built in the USSR. My sister bought one back in the 70's. Predictably the worst car ever manufactured. There is a good reason for its failure and Williamson explains it below.

Williamson's piece is actually a response to a comment made by the US Government's Chief Technology Officer. She said,

“Why can’t the federal government have websites and digital services that are awesome?”

He proceeds to answer her question. In his penultimate paragraph he explains:

"Non-performing federal agencies do not go bankrupt, federal bureaucracies do not see their shares tank when they do poorly, and government entities do not have their assets acquired by more effective competitors. Political bureaucracies are creatures doing violence to the evolutionary equilibrium — dinosaurs running amok in modern technological civilization, and Jurassic Park taught us how that turns out."

Read more at:
Read the whole thing if you have the time and the interest.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Lies, Always

The gender wage gap has been getting a lot of press recently. Of course, as we all know if we give it a moment's thought, there is no such thing. Would any of you tolerate doing the same job, with the same skills, dedication and outcome for less money than the person sitting beside you doing the same job? No you wouldn't. Do you know anyone who would? It has been the law in this country since 1965 that wage discrimination by gender is unlawful.

The famous "Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men" is true. It is also entirely meaningless. That statistic is arrived at by adding up all wages earned by women and dividing that number by the number of women in the work force, doing the same for men and comparing the results. Given the career choices that women and men make for various reasons the outcome is entirely predictable. Teachers and Librarians are deemed to be less valuable to our economies than Doctors and Lawyers. They just are. I doubt it surprises anyone that Doctors earn more than Teachers.

The Left is heavily invested in their "War on Women" trope and so they cannot let this go. And so they do what they always do...Lie.

This reminds me of a recent Michelle Obama story. When asked during an interview with People Magazine last winter whether  she had experienced racism personally she answered in the affirmative and related the story of having gone to Target "in disguise" and being asked by another customer to reach something on a shelf for her. Implicit in her telling is that the customer just assumed she was a lowly Target worker because Michelle is black. It was a terrible experience.

The following is copied from the linked story. This is how she told the story somewhat earlier during a Letterman appearance.

“That’s my Target run. I went to Target,” she said. “I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said — I kid you not — she said, ‘Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,’ and I thought, ‘Oh, cover’s blown.’ She said, ‘Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?’  I kid you not.”
As the audience laughed, she went on, “And the only thing she said — I reached up, ’cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down — she said, ‘Well, you didn’t have to make it look so easy.’ That was my interaction. I felt so good. … She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up — I was with my assistant, and I said, ‘This is it, it’s over. We’re going to have to leave.’ She just needed the detergent.”

So, a short person (color of skin not noted) asked a tall person  to get something off a high shelf for her.  Just a normal human interaction. No racism, no nothing. Michelle just "felt so good".

Disgraceful liars, all of them all of the time. There is an element of very good news here. A 50 year old black woman cannot point to a single act of racism in her life. That is real progress. We should be congratulating each other on our accomplishment. So congratulations. You will not hear that from these black libs because many of them would be out of business if they confessed to their lies.

They Never Take Ingenuity into Account

There have always been Malthusians among us, even before there was a Malthus.

These are people who look at the present and extrapolate it to the future without considering that historically humans have shown that we learn as we go along. An essential part of being human is being creative and adaptive.

Despite the evidence of the last 200 years of technological breakthrough after breakthrough the same people continue to predict man-made disaster from over population and over industrialization without a moments regard for our innovative history.

At the link you will find an excellent exposition of the complete failure of  the Malthusians predictions since 1970. All the predictions were reasonable if you choose to think of the human race as one that never learns anything.


Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Good Faith

Quoting from Black's Law Dictionary:

"The phrase 'good faith' is used in a variety of contexts, and its meaning varies somewhat with the context. Good faith performance ....excludes a variety of types of conduct characterized as involving "bad faith" because they violate community standards of decency, fairness or reasonableness..."

Good faith is a basic requirement for civil discourse. Without it there is no point in discussing anything. If your opponent in a debate is constantly lying about his position, or having changed his position fails to note that change and/or claims he has not changed positions at all it is impossible to reach any meaningful conclusion, other than that your opponent is acting in bad faith.

At the link
is an excellent example of how and why liberals operate in bad faith. Always.

In a three month period of time Matthews' opinion changes 180 degrees. The only apparent  reason for the change is that the actor being described has changed from a left wing publication to a right wing activist.

Matthews does not bother to tell us; 1) What his original opinion was; 2) Why he changed his mind; nor 3) Which of his two diametrically opposed positions is his real opinion.

This is standard procedure on the left. See my earlier post regarding the 2013 SOTUS.

One of my favorite examples of this tactic is courtesy of the NY Times. When republicans controlled the Senate in the mid-1990's NYT editorialized that the Senate filibuster rules were the cornerstone of American political freedom. 10 years later, with republicans now in the minority and making things difficult for the democrat majority the NYT editorialized that the filibuster was an anti-democratic construct that threatened the very cornerstones of American political freedom. No reference made to the earlier editorial on exactly the same subject  and no explanation for their change of heart. Bad faith actors all. ( is a story about a third incarnation of their thinking based on their 2005 position and their 2013 position)

It must be so when your only principle is the quest for power and your determination to make sure your opponents are kept from it.

Chris Matthews was a speech writer for Jimmy Carter during the latter's Presidency.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

SOTU 2013

Back in January 2013 I was surprised to hear from my daughter (a 21 year old college student at the time) that she and her boyfriend had decided to watch Obama's SOTU speech. She told me what a wonderful speaker he is and that he had some good ideas. I was shocked. Below is my deconstruction of several parts of the speech written for her benefit.

"Verbatim excerpts from 2013 State of the Union speech with my annotations in italics.

In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They'd devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That's why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as "the sequester," are a really bad idea. A really bad idea proposed by Obama, not that he would do other than pretend he had nothing to do with it.

After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. Yes we do. However this is in spite of, rather than because of Obama. We are producing less oil on Federal Lands which he controls access to. The increase has come exclusively from state and private land production. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs right to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone's energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen. Yes, they have fallen without any need for Kyoto or any other climate change nonsense regulation. Our emissions have fallen because the economy stinks and we have found and produced fantastic amounts of cheap natural gas causing the conversion of many factories from coal (dirty) to gas (much cleaner)  Keep in mind that most of the new gas is available because of fracking which Obama and his minions oppose! Does that stop this lying piece of crap from taking credit for it? Of course not.
But for the sake of our children (the use of the preceeding phrase should always cause you to become more vigilant. It actually means that we are going to propose limiting your freedom and you would never go for it unless we invoke “the children”) and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it's true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15 ( Maybe. There are a lot of questions about the baseline data and since the world leaders in this research refuse to release their raw data, in stark violation of non-proprietary scientific endeavors,  who knows. There is one thing we do know if we concede the assertion. 11 of the 12 took place between 1998 and 2007 which means that only one has occurred in the last 6 years.   Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense complete nonsense . We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades nonsense , and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it's too late.
As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. Right. Researchers from Harvard University and Tsinghua University have found that the People's Republic could meet all of its electricity demands from wind power by 2030.[5]
Despite this, Wen Jiabao Premier of China stated in a March 5, 2012 report that China will end the "blind expansion" into wind and solar energy, instead developing nuclear power, hydropower, and shale gas.[6]  Why? Because solar and wind are unreliable and unpredictable. We don’t know when the sun will shine or when the wind will blow.

That's why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. More lies.  . Whenever Obama talks about this stuff you must keep in mind that his stated goal is that energy prices of all kinds should rise dramatically. Here he is talking about electricity )
Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. ( As stated above, almost none of the new production comes from Federal Land and, overall production is down on Federal lands that “we, the public, own together”.
Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. enough said on this in our earlier communication.
Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. (Costs are soaring because of tax credits, loans and grants. It is the same phenomenon as we see in the medical care business. Government money skews the economics of the market. If there were fewer students able to “afford” college then the colleges would be forced to be more competitive. Easy government money means they do not have to be competitive so they hire more and more people to do less and less work. Ultimately, it is these poor saps taking out these loans who pay the price for “affordable” college”.
But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. Minimum wage is paid for entry level jobs. Your first job might be minimum wage but if you are a decent employee, an employee your employer considers valuable, your wages will increase steadily. You saw that dynamic in action yourself at City Tan. You did a good job and got raises because your employer didn’t want you looking elsewhere for a better paying job. As a high school student working part-time or a recent graduate working full-time at an entry level job you should not be married with two kids! So, if you spend year after year making minimum wage it is your fault, not the fault of the minimum wage and making that wage more “livable” will make the problem worse, not better. Also note the real agenda here, as with mandatory pre-school. Most union contracts define wage levels as a function of the minimum wage  so a raise in the minimum wage means an increase for almost all union members, a democrat constituency. I negotiated a union contract years ago and this is exactly how it works.
Tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. Indeed. It will also raise prices on many things, including many that this guy now making $9/hr will have to buy since business owners do not take the money for the increase out of their pockets, they charge more for goods and services to make up for their increased costs.
When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right (to vote) simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.
We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read "I Voted." ( Wow, what a story. Ancient woman goes to vote on election day and stands in line for hours and hours. Terrible. Of course, that is not what happened. What happened was that some democrat booster wanted to make sure this woman voted and so took her to a polling station on the first day of early voting, not election day. There was no reason for her to be there at all. Early voting was intended to allow people who would not be in their district on election day to cast their ballots early. Dems have since used early voting to ensure as many of their voters as possible cast their votes without the excuses for failing to vote on election day coming into play. “had to work late; kids had a soccer game” etc. There are very few polling places open for early voting and even they would be adequate but for democrats taking advantage of the system. If they had an ounce of decency they would have arranged an absentee ballot for this 102 year old woman and she could have voted without ever leaving her home. By the way, what sort of people stand in line for hours ahead of a 102 year-old women? Would you not have given up your place to her? Do you know anyone who would not have done the same? Me either. 
In the linked article you will see that the longest wait times in the country on election day were actually in Florida. How long? 3 hours, no; 2 hours, no; 1 hour, no; 45 minutes, yes and that was the longest wait time in the entire country! The article does say that blacks and Hispanics had the longest wait times. Big surprise since a much greater proportion of them live in urban areas which are, by definition, more crowded.
So, that’s all for now. Please note that links to CNN, Reuters and AP are links to media wildly in favor of Obama so they do their best to minimize his transgressions but even they, as you have seen from reading the links, have to reluctantly concede that he is lying.


Human Nature 2, Civility and Gridlock

You will often hear politicians and pundits complaining about government gridlock.

Anytime you hear this be assured that the speaker either has no understanding of the nature of the history of the founding of our Constitutional Republic or is a Democrat trying to shut up any opposition to their grand plans. Unfortunately, usually both.

Our system of government is designed to be slow and cumbersome. Checks and balances are in place to prevent humans from being human. It is supposed to be very difficult to move legislation through the House and the Senate and get a President to sign it into law.
If it was easy the route from a Constitutional Republic to an Authoritarian State administered by the political elites would have been a quick one. We are seeing, in Obama's Executive actions, what the Founders were trying to prevent. Not being able to get Congress to go along with his wishes he has invoked "Gridlock" (the prescribed state of normal for a Constitutional Republic) in order to justify his actions.

It is demoralizing to watch supposedly informed policy makers and their critics display their utter lack of understanding of our Constitutional Republic. The Founders were very clear that they were creating a system where getting anything done politically would be very difficult. Persuasion and compromise would be the only paths to legislation. That was the point. Every new law infringes our liberty. It was never their intention that we should have 51 legislatures filled with career politicians doing nothing but passing laws day and night.

Civility has never been part of American politics. Today whenever the admonition to be civil in politics is issued it is from the mouths of Democrats and actually means Republicans should shut up and go along with whatever it is Democrats want to do.

Politics were so "civil" around the time of the Founding that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr fought a duel with pistols.  Hamilton died of his wound.

Things were so civil when Lincoln was elected President that political cartoons portrayed him as a monkey.

In 1856 things were so civil..."In 1856, a South Carolina Congressman, Preston Brooks, nearly killed Sumner on the Senate floor two days after Sumner delivered an intensely anti-slavery speech called "The Crime Against Kansas".[2] In the speech, Sumner characterized the attacker's cousin,[3][4] South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler, as a pimp for slavery.[5]"

Brooks never suffered any real consequences for his attempted murder. 

 " Although an attempt to oust him from the House of Representatives failed, and he immediately resigned his seat, he received only token punishment ( a $300 fine. A fairly large sum at the time) and was re-elected by the people of South Carolina."

In fact, Southern newspapers  applauded his actions and suggested there should be much more of the same.

George W Bush was routinely vilified in and out of the press as a Nazi, warmonger, war criminal and everything else under the sun by every Democrat with a mouth.

"Politics ain't bean bag" has been a saying in active use since 1895.

Civility and Gridlock lamentations have only one goal, as I stated earlier: To bully us into going along. My advice? Don't.

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