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The media — defending Obama yet again

by Greg Krehbiel on 24 February 2015

Ed Rogers has a fairly tame article in the Post today — The Insiders: Why would anyone think Obama doesn’t love America? Plenty of reasons — that makes a couple of good points, but it also raises some interesting issues, starting with his self-description.

I’m a sufficiently intimidated, mostly tame Republican

That would describe most Republicans, of course, but you have to ask why he would say something like that? We all know why, but some of us hide the truth behind a mountain of excuses.

We all know how it works. If anybody challenges a liberal talking point or questions the (by definition good) motives of someone on the left, the harpies in the media reflexively gang up on that person. As they’re doing right now with Giuliani’s comments. Then they start a McCarthy-style witch hunt asking everyone to distance themselves from the remarks. Then they completely misrepresent the answers they get — as they’re doing right now with Scott Walker.

Funny (as in queer, not amusing) how they don’t report on crazy leftist remarks or badger liberals to distance themselves from them.

The media are in full-throttle attack mode against anyone who gives pause to Giuliani’s statements.

Of course they are. It’s what they do. It’s so normal and expected that the media would defend Obama that nobody even thinks twice about it. It’s become so much a part of our culture that we don’t even notice it any more.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-24  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The moral implications of crossing the street

by Greg Krehbiel on 23 February 2015

As a general rule I think it would be better if everybody, including pedestrians, obeyed all the traffic laws all the time. But that’s generally regarded as a hassle in the city and few people do it.

There are times when it’s clearly safe to cross the street, but the light is against you. We expect cars to wait in that situation, so why is it so unreasonable to expect pedestrians to wait? It’s not, IMO, but that’s not the way it us. Everybody seems to accept that pedestrians will break the rules. In that situation — with so many people regularly breaking the rules — it seems unnecessarily scrupulous to worry too much about following them.

In a way it’s like driving 5 mph over the speed limit just because you know the cops won’t enforce the rule that carefully.

But there is another moral aspect to crossing the street that is more interesting to me, and that’s the influence you have on other people. When you cross the street, other people around you assume it’s safe to cross and they go too.

Someone could argue that he’s not responsible for what other people do. “I didn’t tell them it was safe to cross,” the jaywalker might say. “They made that decision themselves.”

Well …. Not really. Whether you like it or not, whether you intend it or not, your actions influence other people. How culpable you are for that influence will vary by the situation, but it’s just being intentionally obtuse to claim that you don’t have some responsibility.

I think that same principle applies in lots of areas.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-23  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“No one knows what goes on behind closed doors”? Really?

by Greg Krehbiel on 23 February 2015

This weekend I watched most of Cassablanca. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all the way through, and the last time I saw any of it was probably 30 years ago. Or more.

Generally speaking I’m an ornery fellow and have an aversion to anything that everybody has to do or has to see. I don’t like to use the hip slang, or follow trends. They irk me. You will never hear me saying “my bad.” I don’t watch the Oscars and I don’t care about bubble-headed water cooler conversation.

Anyway, I didn’t know about some of the undercurrents of Cassablanca — like the similarity between the moral dilemma faced by the Bulgarian gal and by Ilsa. It was very interesting — and they didn’t have to show any skin! There was no sex scene. Even when Ilsa shows up in Rick’s room in the middle of the night, clothes remained where they belong. And nothing about the movie suffers because of it.

In a few decades we have become a nation of voyeurs. In the modern consciousness, if two people have a relationship, we have to see it or it’s somehow “not realistic,” or prudish, or … something.

It’s really quite sick.

-- 7 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-23  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Giuliani is right

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 February 2015

Our president is a disgrace.

Giuliani’s speech is well worth listening to.

Obama is a naive, weak fool.

-- 24 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Weird anti-Starbucks tea snobbery

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 February 2015

I like tea. A lot. I usually drink it black, but there’s a shop in D.C. that serves a really good chai tea. I go there every once in a while to get a cup.

I’ve never had Starbucks’ chai tea, but this article grabbed my attention: No, Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte is not real chai. Which, of course, begs the question, what is real chai?

It seems that real chai is whatever someone in India does, however weird or nasty, unless they happen to do what Starbucks does, in which case nevermind.

The article says that people in India make chai a million different ways, and it’s hard to see what they all have in common. Except maybe the tea. And it’s even harder to figure out what disqualifies the Starbucks version — except, of course, that it’s American and successful.

There is a weird attitude about foreign ideas that wash up on our shores (to paraphrase Brad Paisley). It seems to be something like “whatever is successful is bad and inauthentic.” So if an American takes an idea from another country and makes it better, he’s somehow cheating. It would be so much more authentic if it was made in a crappy, unsanitary way by a poor person who’s standing in cow manure and hasn’t washed his cookware for 20 years.

My beef is mostly with the headline, which was not written to be informative, but to get clicks. In my case it worked.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Ron Paul is a goof, but I’m glad he’s talking about secession

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 February 2015

Ron Paul: “Good News” That Secession Is Happening

Paul’s rhetoric about the fed and the gold standard seem a little far out there to me, but I agree that states are going to start pushing back against the federalization of everything.

(BTW, no word yet on the switch to the new host. I thought they’d get started on it yesterday, but no such luck.)

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Site may go dark

by Greg Krehbiel on 19 February 2015

I’m going to change hosting companies, so if the blog disappears for a bit, I apologize. Things should be resolved soon.

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-19  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What becomes of global warming if the sun goes through a down cycle?

by Greg Krehbiel on 18 February 2015

I’m imagining a time — maybe ten years from now — when it’s clear that the climate is on a cooling trend, and all the AGW scare statistics have been laughed to scorn. (I’m not predicting this, I’m using this scenario to make a point.)

The cooling trend will be due to the sun. It will go through a cycle where it’s not blasting us with quite as much radiation.

The AGW crowd will say, “Well, our predictions would have been right except for the changes in the sun.”


And now I’m imagining an alternate scenario where the Earth warms far more than even the wildest AGW models predict, because the sun goes through a cycle where it really socks it to us.

The point is that “all other things being equal” is rarely the case. The climate will go up or down based on long-term trends that we don’t understand and can’t control.

We are currently in an interglacial period. We might slip back deeper into the ice age, or we might come out of it. Nobody knows which direction we’re heading, but either change would completely dwarf anything man-made CO2 might cause.

It’s somewhat like a man deciding to lengthen his day by driving. He knows that if he drives farther west, the sun will set later, so he’ll have more daylight. So he drives towards the sun. The trouble is that it’s morning and he’s driving east.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-18  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The new coming of age for women

by Greg Krehbiel on 18 February 2015

I saw an article about yet another former Disney kid who — in order to shed her “I’m still a kid” image — has decided to do a partially nude shoot in some magazine.

The message is clearly that “becoming an adult female star” essentially means “being willing to expose yourself.”

Isn’t that so liberating for women? Something old-fashioned and patriarchal like a “coming out party” would be so … backwards. You’ve come such a long way, baby.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-18  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Get your ash over here”?

by Greg Krehbiel on 18 February 2015

You know that today is Ash Wednesday. There were some folk at the subway station with signs saying “Get your ash over here” — to encourage people to come to services.

Is that appropriate?

-- 14 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-02-18  ::  Greg Krehbiel

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