Sunday, December 2, 2007

My quote for today

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." - Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 26, 2007

A plague on both your houses

"Thou shalt not bear false witness."

This is something that the creationist crowd seems to have forgotten. They are like the pharisees. They lie about their own ideas and they lie about the ideas they are opposed to.

If they were to be honest then, while I might not agree with them, I would respect them. If someone honestly believes something, is being honest about why they believe it, and is honest about the nature of other ideas which contradict what they believe, then there is no fault to be found with them. They are pursuing the truth through honest means.

Unfortunately that is not what your creationist/creation-science/intelligent-design crowd does. They're very well aware of what they believe and why they believe it. It is no secret that biblical scripture is the foundation of their point of view. That is fine...if they were to be honest about it. When they take their beliefs and make a pseudo-science out of them, they are bearing false witness.

Their duplicity does not end there however. If ID were an actual scientific theory or hypothesis, its proponents would be in the business of creating experiments to test it. They would be busy doing research and trying to find data that might contradict this idea. Because you see science isn't founded on ideas that are proven correct or true, it is founded on ideas that have been able to withstand our attempts at proving them false. All of science is a working assumption, a best guess. It is subject to change and revision as new information comes to light.

This is exactly why ID is not a scientific theory. There is NO RESEARCH being done on ID by anyone. ID is not a scientific effort or area of inquiry, but a poorly disguised propaganda effort whose purpose is to destroy human knowledge. This is why you don't see ID proponents working to promote their ideas within the scientific community, but are instead trying to slip them into 9th grade biology textbooks. Why do they do this? Because trained scientists aren't going to be fooled, but your average high school freshman doesn't know any better.

Perhaps worst of all however is the way in which they lie about the theory of evolution through natural selection. This is where they engage in the most obvious and blatant hypocrisy. They complain that evolution is "just a theory." Well they are of course correct, evolution is a theory. So is gravity, and electricity, and all the other things that comprise our scientific knowledge of the world. The term "theory," in scientific parlance, does not imply a pipe dream or a fantasy or a flight of fancy. It describes an idea or set of ideas that have withstood scrutiny and multiple attempts at proving them wrong. When the creationists say "just a theory," they are engaging in what is known as amphiboly. Another term for this is equivocation. They're saying something whose interpretation hinges upon the understanding of a single word or term in the hope that you will choose the interpretation that is incorrect. Once again, they are bearing false witness. This is just the most obvious and egregious example of them doing this, but it is hardly the only one. In fact it is hard to pin down a time when they say anything true about evolution, other than that they don't agree with it. Telling the truth about something does not mean you have to accept it. I don't accept leftism, but I gain nothing by lying about it. In fact I lose a lot. Arguments against something must, if those arguments are to be believed, be based upon a fair and honest assessment of the topic in question.

In short, they lie. They bear false witness and they engage in hypocrisy. They lie about what they believe and why they believe it. Then they turn around and lie about the things they don't believe.

The sad thing is that they are not alone. On the flip side you have atheists who are at least as dishonest as the creationists. They want to make God illegal. Some are evil, others are just stupid, while still others are foolish enough to think they know something. Normally this wouldn't matter. There are always nutjobs looking for other nutjobs to go to war with. Unfortunately for us, these two nutjobs are using our school systems as their battlefield, and dragging the rest of us into their bullshit.

I say this to them all: A plague on both your houses.

Take your pseudo-science and your rabid anti-theism and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The demonization of adolescent sexuality

I originally posted this as a response to the following entry on LaShawn Barber's Blog:

"Something that I think I need to address here is the disturbing trend towards labeling consensual sex between two teenagers as abuse and/or pedophilia.

In one particular case in Utah, a 13 year old girl and her 12 year old boyfriend were both found guilty of delinquency (the juvenile equivalent of a felony) and labeled as sex offenders for the "crime" of having consensual sex. This is a perfect example of why hysteria never leads to anything but sorrow. In this case both were simultaneously labeled as "victim" and "perpetrator," a mutually exclusive arrangement whose preposterousness could not have been lost upon officers of the court involved.

I'm 34 years old now. Back when I was a teenager in the late 80's and early 90's, sex between teenagers was seen as an undesirable but ordinary fact of life. If a young couple was found to be sleeping together, they might be in trouble with their families, but they would not be in trouble with the law. Somewhere along the line this changed. Now in many places a young couple who sleep together are risking serious jail time, callous and even malicious misidentification as "victim" or "abuser" by mental health professionals and the judicial system, and the life-long stigma of being painted as a sex offender. All for doing what everyone else has done throughout human history.

I grew up in the south, and I'm just barely old enough to have gotten a sense of how teenaged sexuality was seen and dealt with in years past. My generations that my grandparents and great-grandparents belonged to didn't have any illusions about when sexual desire began to manifest itself in a person's life. In those days the biggest problem with teenaged sex was not that two teenagers were having sex, but whether they were married at the time they were having it. In other words the issue was not sex at a young age, but sex outside of marriage. If the couple was married, which in those days many teenaged couples were, their sexual relationship was not a problem.

In today's world, the idea of two 15 year old's being married is almost absurd, and in many placed would likely land their parents in legal trouble. Today people that age are not seen as young adults, but as children, which is dreadfully unfortunate. They are infantilized and forced into mental and emotional roles that they have either already outgrown, or are quickly in the process of outgrowing. Part of this mischaracterization is the demonization of their sexuality. Children are not supposed to be sexual after all. Those children who are sexual are seen as having something wrong with them. When teenagers are miscast as children, their sexuality is similarly labelled a dysfunctional. Those teenagers who defy this label and express their sexuality are punished and made to feel that their normal sexuality is an emotional and mental disfigurement, a sign that they are mentally diseased and tainted with the indelible stain that comes with being branded a sex offender.

Don't believe me? Watch the news.

The sexual abuse of children is a serious crime, among the worst that society has to deal with. But when society begins gnawing upon itself in trying to deal with this problem and begins persecuting the innocent for the crime of being young, the only thing that is created are more victims. "

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Melanie Phillips: Liberalism vs. Islamism

Once again Melanie Phillips demonstrates the profound insight that made “Londonistan” such an impressive book.

The problem with the west is that we have forgotten who we are and where we came from. What do we stand for? What do we believe? Ask people nowadays and you’ll get many different answers, and many people won't even be able to answer the questions, or understand why these questions are important. Of those who do answer, you'll get some who will describe the principles and ideas that our great republic was founded upon. Others will answer with ideas and notions that are the result of cultural marxism and are in fact the ideas of our enemies. Some of this latter group will actually understand and believe what they are saying. Most however, are victims of leftist propaganda with no actual understanding of what they espouse. They hold to these beliefs, if you can call them that, for their emotional potency rather than for their logical consistency or empirical validity.

Monday, May 14, 2007

From Jefferson's Notes on Virginia

"The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have no authority over such natural rights, only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God... It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself... But is the spirit of the people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it government? Is this the kind of protection we receive in return for the rights we give up? Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion."

Hayek gets it right in 1944

I just found a passage from Friedrich Hayek that I think is particularly insightful. He accurately described, in 1944's The Road To Serfdom, a tactic that has since then become one of the Left's most commonly used tools of deception:
    “The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognised before. (…) The most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of words by which the ideals of the new regimes are expressed. (…) Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.”

The best example of this is how the word "liberal" was co-opted by the left and twisted into a grotesque caricature of its genuine and classical meaning. They took a word that once described the quest for freedom and equality, and turned it into a euphemism for the destruction of western civilization. In the 19th century, being a Liberal was a good thing, but by the late 20th century it had become a very bad thing to be indeed.

One aspect of this tactic which Hayek did not go into was the discarding of terms as soon as the emotional associations that they once held have been lost. The term liberal, having lost all of its glimmer, has fallen out of favor with leftists who now often describe themselves as "progressives." Same ideas, same agenda, new feel-good word to pass out to the public. The funny thing is, this is not the first time that they've used this term. It was in vogue many decades ago when they stopped calling themselves communists, but hadn't quite gotten around to calling themselves "liberals" yet.

I was at a party last night where a very bright and lovely young lady had the temerity to tell me that the term "minority" described anyone who wasn't white, male, and at least nominally Christian. At the time this really disturbed me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on exactly why. Now I know. She had fallen victim to this precise form of deception. Sadly enough, she seemed quite eager to defend it. It saddens me that her talents and energies are ensnared by a belief system base on harmful lies. Blessed with a clearer understanding of things, I have no doubt that she could help with the work of bettering this world.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The right choice, but one that still troubles me

The New York Post has an interesting article that tells the story of a young man who did the right thing recently. He works at Circuit City and one of the jobs that he performs there is transferring video tapes to DVDs. Back in January of 2006 a tape was brought to him to be transferred. What he saw on that tape, bearded Islamic men firing guns while screaming "God is Great!," was enough to make him call the police. Thanks to him, the men and women of Fort Dix was saved from a terrorist attack.

What troubles me though is the moral calculus that he used before ultimately making the right decision:
    "Dude, I just saw some really weird s-," he frantically told his co-worker. "I don't know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?"

Actually it isn't being racist. Racism is the belief that human nature is a matter of pedigree, and that individuals of one pedigree are significantly or fundamentally different in important ways from individuals of other pedigrees. In its more noxious form it is the belief that individuals of some pedigrees are more deserving of freedom, civil liberties, or economic opportunity than individuals of other pedigrees. Racists are retards, nuff said.

In this situation race, and therefore racism, were never a factor.

Islam is not a race. Islam is a religion. Being a muslim implies adherence to a belief system. Being a Muslim is a choice, and one that has a profound impact on an individual's character and the choices they are likely to make. Being cognizant of these facts and utilizing them when trying to judge a person's intentions does NOT make one a "racist," it simply means that you are intellectually honest.

So he wasn't a racist, per se, but wasn't he a bigot instead then? Bigotry is the irrational fear, resentment or even hatred of others based upon their ethnic or cultural background. Had this man expressed an irrational fear or distrust of Canadians then I'd have to say he is a bigot because Canadians, as a general rule, aren't looking to rape or kill anyone. They just want to watch hockey and drink "blue."

Prior to 9/11 most Americans had little reason to fear Muslims because there was little reason to assume that they were going to hurt anyone either. Well that illusion collapsed along with the World Trade Center. Today it is a dead certainty that there are muslims in this world who want to hurt us, want to kill us, and who are willing to blow themselves up in the process to achieve that goal. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that they are not a fringe minority but comprise a sizeable portion of the Muslim world. (If the Muslim world is unhappy with this perception then it should take steps to change the reality it is based upon.)

To be alarmed over a video of bearded men in Islamic garb screaming "Allahu Ackbar!" while discharging weapons isn't racism and it isn't bigotry, it's basic common sense.

This is why I am troubled that this man's conscience has been trained to make him pause and fret over whether the entirely legitimate and rational concerns he had, somehow make him a bad person.

This is the world that our children are being taught to create, one where tolerance means the tolerance of evil and where the judgement of someone's behaviour is dependent upon which racial or ethnic group they belong to. If someone belongs to a designated "victim" group, then their choices and behaviour are not subject to investigation or consideration. In the bizarro world of the left, islamic terrorists are designated as "victims." They are so designated because their actual status as perceived allies to the left would not go over very well with the rest of the country. As designated victims their genocidal intentions are transmogrified into noble struggles against a designated evil oppressor, namely us. This is why this man was hesitant to do the right thing. He has fallen victim to the propaganda and institutionalized brainwashing of the left.

This is why I'm troubled.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Al Gore's favorite foreign film....NOT

Channel 4 in the UK has created a documentary that shocks me in how honest it is. Someone must have drugged the PC police when this was made. It is called "The Great Global Warming Swindle" and the link to it is below.  Even if you don't read the rest of this, please watch this video, it speaks for itself.

After watching this video I can't help but wish I was smart enough to come up with this stuff.  Unfortunately I'm only smart enough not to be fooled by it...most of the time. Communism, once the shining hope of the left, failed so spectacularly that an alien observer might be tempted to assume that it was on purpose. Did this lead to a crisis of faith and a critical reassessment by the left? Not really. Any lefties who were that intellectually honest got out long before then, back when it became painfully obvious to even the comatose and newly deceased that communism tended to create the very conditions its advocates claimed to be working to prevent. So when communism failed, you now had this vast horde of recalcitrant communists and communist sympathizers without a flag to rally around, but unrelenting in their hatred of liberal democracy and capitalism. Some, not all but some, drifted into the environmental movements and these movements slowly changed from being FOR the protection of the environment and the conservation of our natural resource to being AGAINST capitalism, and especially its spread into the developing world.

What a lot of people don't realize is the the ideas and theories that define communism and related ideologies have never been static. They have been augmented and amended as time has gone by in a futile attempt to reconcile them with reality and make them work, square pegs and round holes being what they are. Marx believed and promoted the idea that the oppressed masses who were being enslaved by the evil capitalists would eventually wake up, start working together, and start a revolution that would result in an egalitarian utopia. Marx expressed this idea best when he said "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains."

Well this didn't happen on schedule, and some among the left started to wonder why. Lenin decided that the fruit of industrialized capitalism, namely a higher standard of living, was interfering with the rise of the proletariat by making their oppression less of a burden, their chains less heavy. He also decided that the masses were simply too stupid to realize that they were being oppressed and that if a revolution were to come, it would have to be under the direction of a political vanguard. This would not be the last time that a leftist decided that the people were too stupid to look after their own interests. The Germans thought that these were wonderful ideas...for the Russians, with whom they were at war, and so in what is the most successful example of intelligence warfare in history, they sent Lenin off to start his revolution. The Germans were also tired of Lenin trying to start his revolution in Germany. The result was the Bolshevik revolution and the founding of what Reagan aptly described as "The Evil Empire."

Why is this important? It is important because it establishes the link between the communism of the 20th century, and the anti-capitalism of the 21st that is masquerading as environmentalism. The anti-capitalists can't really sell communism anymore, no one is buying. Their ability to promote that as a solution to mankind's problems is about on par with my ability to sell pig shit as air freshener. They'll always have their followers, just like there are people who believe that the earth is hollow and that the moon landings were done in a TV studio, but wide spread support for Communism is long gone and it isn't coming back.

Here is where things get interesting, to me at least. Their product, communism, won't sell, but they're still bound and determined to dissuade people from buying their competitors product, namely capitalism. They are, quite literally, anti-capitalists. They cannot be understood or defined by anything they are in favor of, only by what they are against. They can't use Marxism as an argument against capitalism anymore, at least not directly. So instead they couch their arguments in terms of environmentalism, which is far more palatable. This is little more than a bait and switch. They're selling environmentalism, but delivering Marxism.

Why does this matter? Because, as this film demonstrates, industrialization and economic development is something that the 3rd world needs more than Shane MacGowan needs an orthodontist. Lenin's theories are an acknowledgment of the fact that capitalist industrialization improves the standard of living in a society. The meanie greenies and their comrades in the "anti globalization" movements KNOW that the spread of capitalism will improve the lives of people in the developing world, just as it improved the lives of Europeans and American in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lenin's ideas were formulated as a response to this improvement, and his ideas are no mystery or secret to our crypto-communist friends. They're trying to prevent the spread of capitalism and industrialization PRECISELY BECAUSE it will improve the lives of people in the 3rd world. This improvement would be a validation of capitalism, and that is just not something they can live with. Even though communism failed, they still can't stand to see capitalism win. These are sick and evil people, and the world would be a much better place without them in it.

They don't care that industrial and economic development will improve the lives of billions of people and bring the 3rd world out of the middle ages and into the modern age. They're true believers of a religion that during the 20th century directly lead to the deaths of tens of millions of people, and the misery of countless more. They're now hard at work trying to follow up that first act with a second that will perpetuate the death and misery of millions, maybe even billions.

I don't know if there is a God, but I have no doubt that there is a devil. I don't know his name, but I do know his politics.

Capitalism is of course not perfect because nothing is, but it is a better system and method of harnessing and allocating resources than anything else that has ever been tried or developed. Those who would do nothing but criticize it would do well to remember that no one has ever been able to replace it with anything better. One of the tricks that the left likes to pull is to hold up capitalism and liberal democracy to impossible standards while at the same time holding their own ideologies and systems to no standard at all. But that is a topic for another long rant that few people will read.