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Race riots come close to home

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 April 2015

Baltimore is just a skip and a hop up the road from here, so the recent news about protests and riots is affecting people I know. I have friends in Baltimore, and so do my kids.

I don’t know what happened to Freddie Gray. The story looks bad for the police, but we should remember that almost everything we were told in the week following the Ferguson mess turned out to be wrong. I think it’s prudent to wait before we start assigning blame.

We should also be very skeptical of the media coverage. There is no national registry of cops shooting civilians. We really don’t know how many times white cops shoot unarmed black people, or black cops shoot unarmed white people, or whatever. We simply don’t know. It is very possible — likely, I would say — that we are getting very selective coverage. Coverage that fits with an agenda.

What we do know is that that “white cop shoots unarmed black guy” sells newspapers, so we should expect the news to have a bias towards stories that follow that trajectory.

There could be a lot prejudice against blacks among police officers. That is certainly possible. But there are other possible explanations of what we’re seeing, and I don’t think we should rush to judgement.

I also don’t believe anything that comes out of Eric Holder’s Justice Department. That man is a disgrace.

Right now there are curfews in Baltimore. I hope they enforce them — strictly. In my opinion, a strong hand is necessary to prevent violence. Dealing with rioters and looters is like dealing with dogs. You have to show them who’s boss.

Like everybody else I want peace and justice, although I think the path to peace and justice is often very different from what other people think.

I hope things settle down with no more fires and bloodshed. I hope we find out what really happened to Freddie Gray. And if there was police brutality or misconduct, I hope those people are punished. In the meanwhile, I wish everybody would go home and watch hockey.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel

‘Don’t tell me what to do with my body’

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 April 2015

I just overheard somebody down the hall. He said, “she said, ‘don’t tell me what to do with my body, right?'”

We all suspect what that conversation was about.

I’m not saying this is precisely analogous or anything, but as soon as I heard it a weird image leapt into my head.

There were young men, going about their business, getting ready to get a job, or get married, or something, but they got notices in the mail to report for duty. In this crazy dream of mine they were getting their heads shaved, being forced to wear certain clothes, to get up at a certain time, to do certain exercises, to eat lousy food, to get on a plane and fly across the ocean, and then to run up a hill where angry people were shooting at them. And if they didn’t do it they were shot.

In short, they were very definitely being told “what to do with their bodies.”

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The line between “cool” and “jerk”

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 April 2015

Apparently Obama is starting to let people know how he really feels. At correspondents dinner, Obama lets second-term anger out

Some people will read this and think, “gosh he’s cool.” Others will read it and think, “what a petty, small man.”

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Who has stolen Eleanor Clift’s column?

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 April 2015

Many years ago I used to watch The McLaughlin Group every Friday night. I liked Buchanan and Germond, but didn’t think much of Morton Kondracke, and thought Eleanor Clift was the worst sort of toe-the-line liberal.

So imagine my surprise when she comes out saying there is something fishy with the Clinton Foundation, and that an investigation is a good idea.

She’s very cautious in her criticism, but the simple fact that she’s critical of Hillary at all surprises me.

Or maybe she’s changed since when I saw her on McLaughlin’s show.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-27  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Idiot Young Turks

by Greg Krehbiel on 26 April 2015

On CSPAN radio today I heard an interview with some guy who was (I think) one of the founders of the TYT network. I didn’t catch his name. (TYT stands for The Young Turks.)

He sounded like a generally intelligent guy until he committed one of the Standard Liberal Lunacies. (I need to start numbering them.)

While addressing a question about the separation of church and state, he spoke as if the threat from murderous, insane Muslims in the Middle East is just the same as the threat from Evangelical Christians, like Michelle Bachmann, who sometimes mention that they think such and so event might cause Armageddon.

This is standard fare from the left (particularly the secular left), and it’s ridiculously stupid.

ISIS and similar bands of lunatics are trying to usher in their version of the apocalypse by committing horribly evil acts of aggression. These people are monsters in human form who should be hunted down and killed.

It is true that Michelle Bachmann is also religious, and she also believes that Armageddon will happen one day. The secular left seems to think that makes them the same. But Bachmann is not trying to cause the end of the world, and she’s certainly not using violence to try to cause it.

People who can’t make such basic distinctions should be laughed off of television programs until they learn to shut up on topics they simply don’t understand.

Of course I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt by saying that they don’t understand. It is equally possible that they do understand and they’re simply lying bastards.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-26  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Accounts deleted

by Greg Krehbiel on 26 April 2015

A while ago I had my wordpress settings a little too loose, and as a result I have literally thousands of “user” accounts on this blog that are just hacker junk. I’m deleting them. Of course I’m trying to avoid the good folk, but if I accidentally delete your account, please let me know and we’ll fix it. Thanks.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-26  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What does “extremist” mean?

by admin on 25 April 2015

I was watching a video this morning of an interview with a popular but controversial blogger. I believe the word “extremist” was tossed around a couple times in the interview, but whether or not it was used in the interview, I know the word is frequently used about this fellow.

“Extremist” is one of those five cent words that gets used without much thought. What does it really mean to be an extremist?

A statistician might graph all opinions on a certain subject and call the views on both ends “extremist” views. But I don’t think that’s what people mean by the term.

One problem with the statistical approach is that “extremist” is a hate word. If you were to graph all opinions on the production of broccoli, certain views might be statistical outliers, but nobody would call them extremist views. They might be odd, or out of the mainstream, or something like that, but not “extremist.” Because “extremist” implies not only odd and out of the mainstream, but vile. And while some people believe that broccoli is vile, I don’t know if they think the same about the methods of production.

So one condition of an “extremism” view seems to be that some section of the population is really bothered by it.

Some seem to think that is the only criterion. For example, some pro-choice people would call most pro-life people “extremists” — despite the fact that lots and lots of people are pro-life. Partisans on all sides are regularly labeling as “extremist” a view that 30% or more of the population holds. That doesn’t seem fair.

Clearly the word is mostly used as a cuss word. It has little content beyond “I hate you.” But … if we were to try to be fair about it, how would we use the word?

I think it would have to combine two elements, on somewhat of a sliding scale.

First, the view would have to be held by a small minority. Second, it would have to be the kind of view that really bothers a not insignificant group of people.

If we tried to apply that sort of rule to “extremist,” I think the label would be tossed around a lot less frequently. Of course I don’t expect any such thing, because as I said before, “extremist” is really just a cuss word.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-25  ::  admin

Hillary calls for change

by Greg Krehbiel on 25 April 2015

I get a daily email from The Week called “10 things you need to know today.” It’s a pretty good service.

Today’s email has this headline: “Hillary Clinton calls for change in ‘deep-seated’ abortion beliefs”

Sure she does. IOW, all the conservatives need to change their minds to agree with her.

The arrogance of these people is astonishing.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-25  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Is a head transplant immoral?

by Greg Krehbiel on 24 April 2015

You may have heard that some crazy doctor is about to transplant a head. Or — at least that’s the story.

Some poor fellow with a serious degenerative disease wants to get his head put on the body of some more unfortunate fellow who will serve as a donor. I’m assuming the donor will be some young person who died by head trauma.

Assuming this is medically possible, is it right?

On the plus side …

  • Why is a head transplant different in principle from a liver transplant, or even getting a donor ACL from a cadaver (as I have)?
  • Nobody is being harmed to make this happen. We’re dealing with two very unfortunate people and trying to make life better for one of them at no cost to the other.

On the minus side …

  • Some scientists and philosophers believe we have too much of a brain-centric sense of self, and that the body has a lot more to do with a person’s identity than we like to think. If they’re right, is this meddling with things that shouldn’t be meddled with?
  • Does such a procedure create too much moral hazard — i.e., rich people could pay to get their hands on the recently (and conveniently) dead bodies of healthy young people.

On balance I think I’m on the plus side of this. I’m not saying I believe the current story about the Italian doctor, but I’m not against it in principle. I do think it raises some interesting questions.

We have to remember that just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.

-- 8 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-24  ::  Greg Krehbiel

You know, it was an Adam Sandler film

by Greg Krehbiel on 24 April 2015

You may have heard that some Native Americans walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s upcoming comedy/western The Ridiculous Six because it was offensive to women and Native Americans.

Well, yeah. It’s Adam Sandler. What did they expect?

When you lie down with dogs, you get fleas, and actors who make their fortune by being rude, juvenile idiots make films like that.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-24  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2015-04-23 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Are fainting couches next?
2015-04-22 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
If feminists truly cared about women …
2015-04-20 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Marriage? Who are you kidding?
2015-04-19 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Making bourbon at home, legally
2015-04-19 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
A socialist by any other name
2015-04-17 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The last white rhino
2015-04-16 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
“But he’s my jerk”