Archive for March, 2008

God Save America from Conservatives

Posted in Blind Elephants vs Donkeys on March 31, 2008 by ragnard

Today, The Corner at National Review Online published a small expose on how the government is wasting our money pretending to dispose of nuclear waste.

Great for them.  From the sound of it, this program is just fraud to take taxpayer money and probably dispose of it by giving it to contractors.

But it wouldn’t be a blind elephant (or a typical conservative rant) without conceding an important moral point to the leftists:

…while other programs have worthy goals but poor execution or program design, this program doesn’t even have a worthy goal.

This means, in plain English, the following goals are worthy:

  • attacking humans in the name of animals
  • attacking humans in the name of plants
  • attacking males in the name of females
  • attacking whites in the name of non-whites
  • attacking people who earn money in the name of
    • the poor
    • the children
    • the old
    • the sick (especially with politically-favored diseases)
    • everyone with his hand out for a handout

It’s just that we haven’t executed well(!)

I know, I know.  Perhaps it’s not these goals that the author meant.  Perhaps it’s other, ineffable, goals…

If I could accomplish just one thing for now, it would be to convince those who really want to roll back the welfare state that it’s OK to say it’s wrong period.  But then they would have to roll back their own beliefs in original sin, unearned guilt, duty, and all the other junk that makes good, productive people give moral sanction to evil.

At least I can say it.  Armed robbery at gunpoint is never a worthy means.  Giving the unearned loot to people who haven’t earned it is never a worthy ends.  And even if it were, it would never justify the means!

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Car Footprints

Posted in Pseudo-Science on March 27, 2008 by ragnard

In most conflicts, there are the Good Guys and there are the Bad Guys.  Each typically behaves according to form.  The Good Guys are honest, reflective, concede mistakes, and even change their positions when they are shown to be wrong.  The Bad Guys are defensive, aggressive, hostile, and seldom admit error let alone abandon a position*.

So in the Great War on the Environment, the automotive industry are the Bad Guys and the selfless “scientists” and politicians are the Good Guys.

I don’t have my magazines with me, but both Motor Trend and Autoweek have recently published editorials on the topic of global warming.  They took a sheepish tone of, well, driving a fast car is fun, but well, we have to be responsible and reduce our “carbon footprints”.  If the earth is really headed towards a catastrophic warmening, these people stand to lose their jobs and their whole businesses!

Here are quotes from two a well known enviro-scientist and politician:

“We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

 – Stephen Schneider (leading advocate of the global warming theory), Discover magazine, Oct 1989.

“Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous (global warming) is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are…”

 – former Vice President Al Gore, Grist Magazine, May 9, 2006

OK.  Pop quiz.  Who is behaving like the Good Guys and who is behaving like the Bad Guys? 

To be clear, I think the “science” of so-called global-warming is complete fraud.  Obviously, the editors of the car magazines don’t realize this (yet).  My point is that they are trying to be fair and honest.  Mistaken though they are on the facts, they have the right virtues.

What about Gore and Schneider?  What about Hansen at Nasa’s GISS, who declared that 1999 was the hottest year in 1000 years (and it turns out it wasn’t even the hottest year of the 20th century)?  Do they show any signs that they are willing to acknowledge their errors and change their positions?

*Re-positioning as a political tactic is not the same thing as abandoning an erroneous position.  For an example of the former, look at Obama saying one week that he never heard a racist comment from Wright and the next week saying he’s heard a few things “that some people might consider controversial”.  For an example of the latter, look at how Intel handled the floating point Pentium bug.  This is very old news, I know, but it’s a clear example.

Spam

Posted in Mercy, Not Justice on March 26, 2008 by ragnard

On Little Green Footballs today, Charles Johnson writes about spambots sending a massive volume of unwanted emails to him.  It seems the spammer has taken over the computers of many people around the world.

The spammers have discovered that the Internet lets them scale up their crime.  Breaking into houses does not scale.  You have to do it one house at a time, and spend at least an hour or two including driving time.  But breaking into computers scales.  It’s possible to write a small computer program that can break into a computer.  Then you run that program on thousands of computers at the push of a button.

We don’t need new laws that create new categories of crimes.  We need enforcement of the existing ones.  So far as I know, fraud is illegal under existing statutes, as is breaking and entering, theft of services, and of course stealing information or causing any monetary damage.

Here’s a radical idea.  How about scaling up the punishment phase of criminal trials to match the scale of the crime itself.  How about convicting a spammer of 1,782,903 counts of fraud, tresspass, etc.?

Then the question becomes: “what do you do with a 1,782,903-time loser?”

I don’t think the answer is “slap him on the wrist.”

Faith-Based Thinking

Posted in Rule of Unreason on March 26, 2008 by ragnard

Jack M. at Ace of Spades writes that Hillary Clinton’s faith is a virtue:

“…the one commendable aspect of Sen. Clinton’s persona: her religious faith.”

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, faith is motivating people to nail themselves up to crosses.

The connection doesn’t get any clearer than this.  Altruism (self-sacrifice), mysticism (faith), and collectivism (socialism) comprise the great axis that continues to try to grind America down into the dark ages.

I had to think twice about whether to put this under “blind elephants and donkeys” or “rule of unreason”.  The case for blind elephants is that Ace is an elephant finding common ground with Hillary, a donkey.  They both evolved from a common ancestor.  I ultimately decided to put it under the rule of unreason, because that’s what faith is: unreason.

Faith is believing in something without evidence, or sometimes despite contrary evidence.  For example, some people believe that the climate is warmening.  It’s not actually any warmer (the hottest year on record was actually 1934), but once someone is in the grip of faith, he is innoculated to facts.

Socialized Science Education

Posted in Blind Elephants vs Donkeys on March 21, 2008 by ragnard

Christina Hoff Summers writes about the revolution that is underway now in science education.  In brief, everything you always loved about “affirmative action”, quotas, litigation, mandatory re-education sesstions, chilling politically correct environments, and heavy-handed regulators is starting to come to the world of hard science.  Unlike the humanities, hard science has been neglected by radical deconstructionists.

Until now.

I put this under “blind elephants and donkeys” because while Summers is quite good at cataloging the evils about to fall, and identifying the proximate cause, she completely misses the root cause.  I will say it for the record.

The root cause is government funding, and hence control over, education.

Absent government control, there is a market that determines who gets money and who does not.  This is just another way of saying that each person decides where he wants to work, and what he wants to spend his money on.  Toyota is more successful than Mercury because their cars offer what more people want.

But government control eliminates freedom of choice.  The government gets its money through taking it by force.  It doles it out to some, and withholds it from others, based on any means other than the quality of the product.  Bureaucrats are not spending their own money for product that they use themselves.  They are spending other people’s money for product that they will force others to use.

In short, government control means replacing freedom of choice with the force of a gun.  It means replacing merit with politics.

Since most normal people have lives to lead (and would be repulsed by dishonest politics), this means putting people like Elliot Spitzer, Hillary Clinton, or Rev. Jeremiah Wright in charge of what you get for your money.

The only solution to this problem is something that either Summers did not think of, or did not choose to address:

the separation of education and state

We need this for the same reasons as the separation of church and state.  As soon as the government controls the content of education, it will use that control to train sheep to become obedient serfs of the state.  The travesty documented by Summers is just the next step on this path.

War “Protest” in San Francisco

Posted in Hate America First on March 21, 2008 by ragnard

The picture at the top of this page says it all.

Sometimes, our enemies don’t bother with the thin veneer of love for mankind and we can see them naked, at their best.

I would just like to note the overlap between people who are:

  • against the war
  • believe in global warming
  • advocate animal “rights”
  • push class, race, and gender warfare
  • want socialism

This is what we need to fight to take America back from!  Right now, they are way ahead in the media, education, entertainment, and the culture.

VDH’s Problem

Posted in Blind Elephants vs Donkeys on March 20, 2008 by ragnard

Victor Davis Hansen writes:

Whence Obama’s problems? It is not that he believes in the venom of Rev. Wright, or that when he says something stupid like a “typical white person” he means to imply a stereotyped distasteful race. He doesn’t. 

It isn’t?  He doesn’t?

Hansen’s thinks the problem is that the lefty environment has rubbed off on Obama so thoroughly that he can’t tell the difference between “extreme” and “normal”.  Not to pick on Hansen, but I’d like to use him as an example of why the elephant is so blind, so often.

Hansen’s approach is thoroughly anti-ideas.  Rather than looking at Obama’s ideas, he dismisses them as irrelevant.  Of course, Obama doesn’t actually believe that nonesense.  Ignore the time and money he’s spent to listen to it, and of course let’s overlook the fact that Obama invited the hate-monger Wright to officiate at his wedding and his daughters’ baptisms.  He does not believe it.  Just take it on faith that he doesn’t believe it.

Obama problem comes from the fact, according to Hansen, that his views are “extreme” (outside the mainstream).  And the worst part is he does not realize this.  Oh my God, he doesn’t realize it!  Someone call in a firing squad, the man has lost his perspective!

With all due respect, Mr. Hansen, you are guilty of presumption just as any “liberal” who offers excuses for the welfare queen or crack addict or criminal.  Maybe it’s just a way to try to expiate the guilt of the original sin of slavery?