Archive for March, 2014

If your hero is a criminal: payback?

“There is a growing toxic movement in some corners of the country that are perfectly willing to accept criminal acts in the election and furtherance of a broader progressive agenda,” former Justice Department Voting Section attorney J. Christian Adams said during a March 25 interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

One of the arguments often offered against voter ID laws is that there isn’t any voter fraud so there’s no need for laws to prevent it. Then there are cases like that of Melowese Richardson. KNIGHT: Vote fraud as ‘payback time’ Ballot abuse strikes at the heart of self-government takes up the reality.

“A criminal investigation in Iowa turned up 80 cases of potential voter fraud. Many recent legislative races in Iowa were decided by fewer than 100 votes, including 10 decided by fewer than 50 votes.

“A similar report by a Philadelphia city commissioner in 2012 chronicled multiple instances of voter fraud through impersonation, double voting and voting by noncitizens.

“To all of this, the left’s election think tank, the George Soros-funded Brennan Center at New York University, has a uniform answer: There are so few prosecuted cases of vote fraud out of millions of ballots cast that it makes no difference.”

“When someone like poll worker Melowese Richardson is feted after being convicted of fraud, it strikes at the heart of election integrity — and self-government.

“She’ll probably turn up next in Chicago, where she could go beyond poll work and get herself elected to something or other.”.

The list of heroes for the left is long and sordid. The spilling of blood and a lack of integrity seem to be honored rather than despised.  What would happen if society went this way?

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Feeding the Zombies and doomsday movements

Russell Cook on Smearing Climate Skeptics

“As even die-hard enthusiasts for the global warming scare campaign begin to admit that they are losing the battle to keep the public alarmed, it is time to examine how this doomsday movement has been sustained for two decades.”

Then Don Boudreaux quotes Cassidy on Piketty on Income Inequality

“First, by repeatedly describing the incomes of the rich as being “taken” and “took,” Mr. Cassidy misleadingly suggests that income is a fixed-size pie. Why not, instead, describe incomes more accurately, as being “produced” and “earned”?”

Common tactics in both arguments. Demonize and smear the opposition. Misrepresent reality. Feed uncertainty and feer and envy and hate. Distort the language as need be. Assume a mantle of hubris. Insist on moral authority and be persistent in attacking any opposition anywhere, anytime, anyhow and anyway.

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Trust expended

Victor Davis Hanson describes an Untruthful and Untrustworthy Government and wonders about how “The massaging of critical data undermines our society.

“The Benghazi, Associated Press, and National Security Agency scandals are scary, but not as disturbing as growing doubts about the honesty of permanent government itself.”
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“There is a pattern here. Changes in data collection seem to have a predictable result: Inflation and unemployment rates become lower. Economic growth becomes greater. The IRS focuses on government skeptics. The Affordable Care Act is not in trouble. Illegal immigration is not such a problem.

“If the people increasingly believe that bureaucrats try to alter reality to reflect preconceived ideologies or the goals of the particular regime in power, then America as we know it is finished.”

Agreements between people are all about trust. Democracy and Capitalism in the U.S. both depend upon a basic underlying trust between people. The rule of law is about a standard for trust. The value of trust these days seems to be diminishing. 

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The propaganda war against willing believers

This example is from the opposition to child vaccination for common diseases. Steven Novella describes More Measles Myths.

“Antivaxxers spread misinformation.” … “Countering anti-vaccine misinformation can be almost a full time job. It is the proverbial game of whack-a-mole, especially in the social media age where old debunked anti-vaccine memes can resurface over and over again” … “Anti-vaccine sources make demonstrably incorrect claims about diseases and vaccines.” … “This is the pattern of behavior of an ideological group engaging in motivated reasoning [wikipedia]. Some of them, however, have computers and spread their misinformation like a virus.”

There is a pattern here, and a correlation with other beliefs that evidence based medicine is a conspiracy or unhuman or not natural or whatever. This one kills children but that is OK as belief is not to be threatened by reality. Defense must be made and such things as denial, projection, and irrational construct are used to maintain the fantasy. worried yet?

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Behavior demonstration

It is one thing to disagree but another to judge. techdirt provides an example of how a defense drives behavior in the title to a post: Wacky Snowden Haters Pile On The Bandwagon Claiming Snowden Is Somehow To Blame For Russia In Crimea. You see, if you don’t hold Snowdon as a persecuted whistleblower like us, then you must be a “wacky” “hater” who piles on a blame bandwagon.

Read the post (and the comments) for a smorgasbord of logical fallacies right in line with the post title’s promise. Then consider that they are serious. Worried yet?

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Is this really science?

Cosmos, again. It was popular but was it telling the real story about science? Daniel Greenfield thinks it is The end of science.

“Carl Sagan was the country’s leading practitioner of the mythologization of science, transforming a process into a philosophy, substituting political agendas for inquiry and arrogance for research. Sagan was often wrong, but it didn’t matter because his errors were scientific, rather than ideological or theological. He could be wrong as many times as he wanted, as long as he wasn’t wrong politically..”

Science has become absolute and a belief rather than a process of discovery and learning. It has become something different than natural or human. The term is used as a weapon in the form of the logical fallacy of argument by authority.

“Science works as a process that utilizes a set of tools. It does not innately confer superiority on anyone. A scientist who does not utilize the scientific method is as much use as a carpenter who cannot make chairs or a plumber who cannot fix toilets. A science that exists as a fixed absolute, whose premises are not to be questioned, whose data is not to be examined and whose conclusions are not to be debated, is a pile of wood or a leaky toilet. Not the conclusion of a process, but its absence.

“It isn’t science that gives a thing legitimacy, but the processes of thinking and testing that do. The only authority worth mentioning is also worth questioning. That is as true of science as it is of government. An authority that answers to itself, that derives its power not from an open system, but from a closed system is a tyranny and prone to a failure-denial cycle in which each failure is then covered up by greater abuses of power until the disaster can no longer be covered up.”

“There is nothing to cheer about the return of Cosmos. It’s not science, instead it’s more of the popularized punditry that distorts science into an absolute dogma with a cynical agenda.”

It is ever seeking the priests who answer all questions than seeking out the answers oneself, it is accepting the edict of authority rather than the plebian search for limits and extent of knowledge and its sources.

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Picking your villains

The Senate Majority Leader got going on his favorite villains on the floor of the Senate despite propriety or reason. That was just another episode of attacks the left has been using to personalize the debate. Murdock thinks the Liberal critics of Koch brothers ignore their philanthropy.

The Kochs’ critics are free to disagree with the Kansas industrialists and their libertarian ideas. However, most who despise the Kochs would be shocked by what these “greedy capitalists” do with their profits, beyond campaign donations.

Medicine, arts, environment, education … The real story is one of the typical successful American Capitalist. It stands in contrast to the story of the wealthy individuals in most of the rest of the world, how they acquire their wealth, and what they do with it. Take Russia, for instance …

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Lawfare: the war on weapons

Reason.com cites Five gun rights cases to watch. NRA v. BATFE is about who can legally obtain guns. Drake v. Jerejian is about where you can have and use your gun. Cooke v. Hickenlooper is about the size of magazine you can legally insert into your gun. Wilson v. Cook County is about the kinds of weapons you can own. New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York demonstrates the picayune restrictions on a core constitutional right that localities still indulge in after Heller—even when the laws in question will reduce the safety of citizen gun ownership,

The breadth and scope of these lawsuits indicates the creativity and denial of reality behind the efforts to force a fantasy on others no matter the harm. It is no insignificant phenomena.

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The ol’ AGW extreme weather thing.

“Is the president giving orders to his science adviser to make the case that carbon-dioxide emissions are the cause of weather disasters in the United States despite the best science that argues otherwise? Or is his science adviser misinforming the president as to what the collection of science actually says, leading him to pursue carbon-dioxide regulation where it is not needed?

In either case, the situation is badly in need of repair.”

The common view, accepted as axiomatic by many, is that it is Republicans that are “anti-science.” KNAPPENBERGER: Mainstreaming fringe science with John Holdren – “The White House science adviser confuses global-warming fact and fancy” is yet another explanation that belief isn’t necessarily reality, especially on the left.

The Anthropogenic created and caused Global Warming side of ‘humans are a cancer on the planet’ religion has taken a hit recently as there hasn’t been any global warming for a decade or more and there hasn’t been a rise in the incidence of severe weather. That tends to make the proponents anxious and defensive which shows in dissonance behaviors. That gets ugly. Jeffrey T. Brown describes the resulting behavior in Zero Tolerance, Evil Objects, and the Psychosis of the Left

“Indeed, in the example of guns, they expressly believe that some firearms possess quantifiably greater evil than others, depending entirely on their appearance, despite being lifeless objects. An equivalent belief would be that a paring knife is certainly evil, but a carving knife is purely demonic. To a rational person, such an unhinged thought process more than merely hints at lunacy. Inanimate objects do not possess inherent evil. It can’t be built in, absorbed or grown inside a gun. In fact, the only things on Earth that have that ability are people. And yet, despite living in a world defined by reality, evidence, facts, logic and physics, progressives deny all truths that conflict with their beliefs. They practice pure, unadulterated anti-intellectualism. They have substituted magic and mythology for truth.”

The issue is one of control over others and that is why the ‘anti-science’ behavior is primarily a behavior of the left. Sometimes, whether it is climate or guns or medicine or nutrition, the need to force others to behave in accord with fantasy completely overwhelms reality.

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Nature needs some distance. Technology provides it.

A book review by Harriet Hall: Nature vs. Technology.

“For those who dismiss advocates of the “natural” as ignorant of science and deluded by the logical fallacy that natural = best, Nathanael Johnson’s new book is an eye-opener: All Natural: A Skeptic’s Quest to Discover if the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier.”
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“He had been taught that good health resulted from forming connections with nature, but he found that nature “generally wanted to eat me.” Now an adult and a journalist, he understands science and how to do research. He tried to read the scientific literature with an unbiased mindset, asking questions about the subjects in his book’s title rather than looking for evidence to support any prior beliefs, and he arrived at pretty much the same conclusions we science-based medicine folks did. But he still appreciates that a natural approach has value, and he seeks to reconcile nature with technology. He calls his book a comfortable refuge from people who are driven to extremes.”
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“He counters the argument that we have insufficient proof that vaccines are safe by citing Wendell Berry’s advice that the trick is not to find certainty, but to act thoughtfully with partial knowledge.”
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“Conventional medicine is concerned with helping pragmatically, using the information available to accomplish what it can…you don’t have to know why a fire started to put it out.”

One of the children of the baby boomers struggles to find reality. This is an interesting contrast to Dennis Prager’s comments about Noah: One of the most moral stories ever told. That is about the role of man in nature compared and contrasted to the modern ethos. In Biblical terms, nature serves man. In the modern era it seems that many are trying to turn that upside down.

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People are getting worried. Some go too far.

“Does anyone honestly believe that if they’re upset about the NSA revelations, they can’t also be outraged that an American leaker has fled the country and is in the public protection of the same Russian dictator who is flouting international law by invading the Ukraine? These false choices are poisoning our politics and depriving our nation of serious, adult leadership.”

Gilmore: Revisiting Snowden’s betrayal. There is need to worry. Intelligence agency overreach is just one government infringement of many. Civil disobedience is one thing. Treason is another. A citizenry who can’t tell the difference is in trouble.

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The Nixon legacy

“There are a few differences, however, between the transgressions of Nixon and Mr. Obama, and America’s reaction to them.

The old watchdogs of civil liberties that took on Nixon — the America media of the Watergate era — are now silent. For them, Mr. Obama is not right-wing, easily caricatured, unappealing or an old anti-communist agitator, but an iconic liberal, charismatic, and in the past, an experienced community organizer.

A Democratic Senate majority now has little interest in auditing Mr. Obama, though it once zealously pounced on Nixon’s misdeeds.

If you once suggested that Nixon’s team was violating constitutional principles, you were hailed as speaking truth to power. Try that with the progressive Mr. Obama and you are likely to be caricatured as some sort of embittered Tea Party zealot at best, a retrograde racist at worst.

Nixon ended impeached and disgraced; Mr. Obama may well enjoy a lucrative and in-demand post-presidency.”

HANSON: Obama walks the trail blazed by Nixon. “The president’s abuse of power matches his predecessor’s.

Fonda, Kerry, Snowdon, Clinton, Reid, Obama – who your heroes? They define you. Is that really what you value and admire?

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A crusade for intolerance

“The Constitution is not an atheist manifesto. Despite constant agitation, the cross will continue to stand to honor the fallen, for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“A small but vocal band of agitators should not be allowed to dishonor the heroes who have fought and died for our freedom.

“At the American Center for Law and Justice, we’re fighting back, and the American people are standing with us. We are filing amicus briefs in a number of these cases, and more than 40,000 people have signed our petition to defend the cross and honor our heroes.”

Jordan Sekulow and Matthew Clark describe how Atheists’ zealotry in dismantling crosses dishonors the fallen. “Militant nonbelievers pursue obsession with eradicating symbol of historic sacrifice.”

This is another case of a group trying to foist their beliefs on society at large for reasons that are buried deep in the emotions.

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IRS behavior and the Lerner problem

“Lerner apparently believed the Obama administration needed to do something to undermine the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, that wonderful pro-First Amendment ruling that drives left-wingers into fits of apoplexy by opening the door to corporate campaign contributions.”

Famously, President Nixon tried to use the IRS as a political tool but the IRS wouldn’t go along. Things have changed. Lois Lerner’s Lies and Cover-Up Revealed describes a Congressional report on IRS behavior about targeting right of center 501c4 nonprofit advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycle.

The defense against proper action on such evidence is awsome, unified, and horrific. Consider, as one instance, Elijah Cummings well publicized stunt after Lerner plead the fifth, again. Massive corruption, the abuse of political power, and other threats to proper governance are on display. The effectiveness of the defense will be seen and the prognosis is questionable.

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Reed thinks they are evil: delusion and denial

John Hinderaker wonders if it is A New Low for Liberal Haters. David Koch gave the New York-Presbyterian Hospital $100 million toward construction of a new outpatient facility.That effort has generated all sorts of protest.

“A rational person would wonder: if David Koch is opposed to affordable health care, why would he donate $100 million to a hospital? Won’t his contribution help to make health care more affordable?”
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“David Koch is a cancer survivor who has given hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer research and to improve the treatment of cancer and other diseases, out of love and concern for his fellow man. Liberals try to block improved health care because they are consumed by rage and hate. This episode tells you, really, all you need to know about modern liberalism.”

What is it that drives one to such self destruction.

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Venezuela

It is a country with massive natural resources in terms of oil and gas yet its citizens are suffering the plague of the left. SHTF Lessons From Venezuela, by CSR provides an inside view from the perspective of a survivalist. A survivalist is one who prepares for TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) while the prepper is one who prepares for a week or so of natural or man made disaster disrupting the benefits of civilization. In Venezuela, it is the survivalists who have the edge.

“The news media here in the U.S. have completely missed the boat on the Venezuelan situation. Suffice it to say at this point that the conditions over the past 15 years have deteriorated so much that between one and two million out of 30 million citizens have fled the country. Violence has spiraled out of control. Some estimates indicate that during the period of 2003 and 2011(the same period as the Iraq war) the number of murder victims reported in Venezuela rivals the number of people killed in Iraq.”

“So the people of all classes now find themselves in a situation in which electric power is no longer reliable, blackouts are common, and diseases that were eliminated are returning. Inflation can run up to 50% per month, rendering the Bolivar fiat currency nearly worthless. Since the government had forcefully expropriated (through the Venezuelan socialist version of eminent domain) huge tracts of productive domestic livestock and then given it “to the poor” who didn’t know how to farm it, domestic food production crashed.”

CSR provides a number of observations from Venezuela. He notes that “foolishness is the norm in the faxe of slowly advancing tyranny.” It seems people have trouble realizing just how abnormal things can get. They want “normal” and expect “normal” and anything very far outside of that is almost impossible to imagine or accept.

Social Chaos can be a tool applied for the organized groups that want to prey on individuals. Once the social structure is torn apart and there is no organized social structure to enforce behavioral norms, smaller organizations from gangs to organized crime can act with near impunity and further terrorize the citizenry. The means that creative community defense is vital. This is where the U.S. 2nd ammendment debate comes in. Food, water, and power become weapons. Communications become vital to avoid panic and rumors.

“Faith is Key to Survival. I will wrap this up by pointing out that the majority of Venezuelans are devout Catholics, and their devotion to their faith has been inspiring. They have been far more patient and peaceful than I can fathom. In most cases, when their children have been murdered, they respond not with violence but with a peaceful gathering, holding open-air masses and prayer. Their faith gives them optimism and strength. Not surprisingly, because Venezuelan women are typically the ones who instill religious faith in God to the children, they are absolutely key to keeping the community morale high, and make up greater than 50% of the people marching. It is quickly becoming a nation of “Mother Grizzlies,” who are on the front line of the struggle.”

It should never get to that point. But it did. There are those who are worried that the U.S. may follow the same path. You can take the survivalist approach to be prepared. Perhaps better is pre-emptive action as that tends to be less traumatic and less expensive in many ways. It starts with politics. That means helping others understand the implications of their views. That means supporting campaigns and voting for political candidates who show an awareness of the problem. It is time to stand up rather than to stand down.

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About public accommodation rules

“When the hardcore logic of the libertarian freedom philosophy collides with the larger emotion-based responses to real world discrimination, arguments sometimes go utterly nowhere. There isn’t a debate that can be had when the two sides don’t even agree on what words like slavery and freedom even mean.”

Scott Shackford says Nobody, Gay or Straight, Has the Right to a Wedding Cake. “Rather than arguing over who can discriminate or why, look at what goods and services actually need government protection through public accommodation laws.”

The issue is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the expansion of its definition of public accommodations. In the process, topics such as historical abuse of property rights and the concept of the government forcing selected behaviors are mentioned. The emotional burden in the debate is described as clouding progress.

“Maybe instead of arguing who should or shouldn’t be exempt from certain public accommodation laws, perhaps we should be looking more closely at what’s included in public accommodation laws. That’s really where the wiggle room is.” … “What we should take from that is that perhaps our public accommodation laws are too broad. There is a place in the American consciousness that allows for respect for property rights and freedom of association even if it leads to behavior many agree is bigoted.”

The question is that of just how much one citizen must bow to the preferences of another. That becomes a more significant problem when one citizen is demanding behaviors that help him confirm the validity of what he knows is likely deviant.

 

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A liability to be a Bible believer in America?

“Many Christians have been martyred for refusing to bow to human authority, which places itself above God. Therefore, in spite of liberals and homosexual activists slanderously likening our stand to slavery and Jim Crow, we will continue to love them and, at the same time, oppose their efforts to make us bow to same-sex marriage.

In the past, standing up for the truth of God’s word has cost Christians their jobs, businesses, reputations and even their lives. It may come to that again, but we will never be silent, and we will not bow.”

E.W. Jackson talks about Opposing the rising tide of homosexual intolerance and does not think “The same-sex lobby must not be allowed to trample religious liberty.”

In regard to the discrimination accusation, Jackson assumes a mantle of authority “as a decendant of slaves” which tends towards the PC idea that slavery victimhood belongs only to those of black African decent – perhaps the Bible’s content on slavery needs to be read as well as the content on homosexuality? He does highlight one characteristic behavior of the left:

“The recently vetoed Arizona religious-freedom law brought this into bold relief. The legislation was not inspired by hatred of homosexuals, as some would have us think. It grew out of the potential liability that arises for the Christian who conducts business in keeping with the belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.”

There was a malicious misrepresentation of the proposed law that was egregious – but, as usual, that didn’t seem to bother anyone. That leads to wondering just what is the larger problem: intolerance or apathy?

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What was that about insane? Round the Koch bend for HR

“Reid’s delivery today was even worse than usual. In fact, he sometimes was so incoherent as to cause one to wonder whether he had been drinking”

John Hinderaker describes why he thinks Dirty Harry Reid Goes Around the Bend.

“But now let’s get to the main point:

I believe in an America where economic opportunity is open to all. And based on their actions and policies they promote, the Koch brothers seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy.

This is really what it is all about, and Reid gets the point exactly wrong. It is Harry Reid and the Democrats who believe in a rigged system that benefits the wealthy. Reid himself is a bribe-taking, corrupt politician who has gotten rich on, supposedly, the modest income of a public employee. His sons likewise are on the lobbyist gravy train. Reid and the Democrats are all about cronyism–to take just one example, sliding hundreds of millions of dollars in “green” energy subsidies to billionaire Tom Steyer, who is reciprocating with a $100 million campaign on the Democrats’ behalf. It is the Democrats who have made Washington, DC, the last boom town in America. Washington is now, by far, America’s richest metropolis. Why is that? It is because that is where Harry Reid and his cronies operate. The provinces be damned.

The Koch brothers, on the other hand, stand for equal opportunity for all. The free enterprise system, which they endorse, is the great equalizer. No cronyism, no preferences, advancement based on merit, not political influence. That system is what made America great.”

It seems there is a case of projection being described. That and the obsession with a constructed villain — contrast and compare to the issue with George Soros, for instance — should be enough to cause you to join John “to wonder whether he had been drinking.” And then there’s the crowd that sees nothing strange, what about them?

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Voice of reason surfaces now and then … and wonders

“They’re living in a fairy-tale world,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Patrick Moore surfaced again as a witness before a Senate committee. He says he can handle the heat that results. Ex-Greenpeacer Patrick Moore questions climate change, challenges liberals tells the story.

“Teaching children that “the human species is a separate, evil thing from nature is extremely damaging to their orientation of life,” he said.”

“The climate change argument “gives them an overarching policy framework to dictate human civilization,” said Mr. Moore. “It basically allows them to say what the energy policy should be, which is the key policy underlying the whole of modern civilization.””

Every now and then, someone speaks up about the insanity. The result is often ugly. It seems to be getting worse.

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