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A wake-up call for the Catholic Church

by Greg Krehbiel on 23 May 2015

Catholic Ireland just became the first country to approve of same-sex marriage by a popular vote (as opposed to other jurisdictions where our robed masters in the judiciary imposed it on people who don’t want it).

This should be a clear wake-up call to the Catholic Church. The message is quite simple.

Nobody cares about your social views anymore.

As far as the culture wars go, the Catholic Church has become irrelevant. And it was fairly predictable, if you were paying attention.

People say, “your sermons are useless.” Catholics reply, “but we have Jesus in the Eucharist.”

They complain, “your Sunday School is awful.” Catholics reply, “but we have Jesus in the Eucharist.”

“Your priests are ignorant and untalented.” Catholics reply, “but we have Jesus in the Eucharist.”

“Your liturgy is shallow and your songs are atrocious.” Catholics reply, “but we have Jesus in the Eucharist.”

If you say so. And Ireland had Jesus in the Eucharist too. Look how successful that was in making any practical difference.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-23  ::  Greg Krehbiel

How does “minimum wage” work in a Fiverr world?

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 May 2015

This morning on NPR I heard a segment on Amazon’s mechanical turk program, where people are paid pennies to do little jobs that a human can do better than a machine. It takes its name from a “mechanical” chess game that actually had a person hiding inside the box. IOW, something that seems like it’s automated but actually relies on humans.

The list of tasks that a human can do but a machine can’t is getting smaller all the time, which makes me wonder about the future of work. But no matter how things eventually pan out, it seems that more and more people are doing small, odd jobs online. is a good example, and there are other sites like it.

In a way it’s a very good development. People can choose their hours and create their own business — offering services straight to the people who need them. But I think it’s not the greatest for Americans, who would be competing against cheap labor overseas.

The idea of “everybody as an independent contractor” is a theme of Atlas Shagged, which is a fun book by a friend of mine.

How does this sort of thing fit in with the concept of a minimum wage? If jobs move towards small, task-oriented gigs, the idea of a “wage” won’t make any sense.

-- 4 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Start with the author”?

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 May 2015

I read a blurb on Vook, a new publishing platform, so I looked it up. They say, “How to fix book publishing: Start with the author, and build from there.”


What would you think if GM said, “How to fix cars: Start with the manufacturer and build from there”?

You have to start with the consumer, or in this case the reader.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Boy genius for president?

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 May 2015

An 11-year old who graduated from college with a 4.0 and three degrees says he wants to be president of the United States.

I figure by the time he’s old enough he’ll be all washed out and cynical about life. Perhaps in this respect life is like a political campaign. You don’t want to peak too early.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Will Frank the hippie pope change marriage?

by Greg Krehbiel on 22 May 2015

Conservatives are nervous that the hippie pope, who is sometimes less than careful in what he says, might change church teachings on marriage in the upcoming synod on the family.

Hundreds of US priests ask Synod to stand firm on Church teaching

(I’m using “change church teachings” loosely here. I know the distinctions between official and unofficial teachings, okay, so don’t get all technical on me.)

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-22  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Next time somebody criticizes Fox News …

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 May 2015

… show them this.

48 Reasons to Distrust the Media

Is Fox News biased? Of course it is. But it’s one of the very few conservative voices in a sea of liberal bias.

Other media outlets regularly lie and twist stories. But that doesn’t matter, I guess, because they’re criticizing conservatives.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Freedom and orange buttons

by Greg Krehbiel on 20 May 2015

We all like to believe that we’re free, independent agents who make up our own minds about things, based on our own thoughts and preferences.

Then we read about studies showing that changing an “order now” button from blue to orange changes response rate by 10 percent.

I do that sort of testing myself, and it’s absolutely freaky the weird things that change response. It makes you wonder about your own choices, and whether you’re actually thinking about things or just responding to some subconscious urge.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-20  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Lapdog” is not the right word

by Greg Krehbiel on 19 May 2015

I just realized that calling the mainstream media “lapdog” doesn’t do the situation justice, because “dog” still conveys strength and vigor and … teeth. Or at least a bark!

The media is Obama’s drugged, toothless, clawless, adoring kitten.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-19  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The 14 midgets

by Greg Krehbiel on 19 May 2015

Back in 1988 we had the “Seven Dwarfs” on the Democratic side. Now we have a pretty big field of potential Republican candidates.

Even if you pull out the “no chance” candidates, you still end up with a pretty large list of quasi-serious contenders. I would put the list as follows. Entries in bold are the ones I think have the best chance. (I’m not saying I like them.)

  • Jeb Bush — money and organization
  • Ben Carson
  • Chris Christie
  • Ted Cruz — good speaker, fairly clear agenda
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huchabee — good speaker, likable guy
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Rand Paul — brings in new people, clear agenda
  • Rick Perry
  • Marco Rubio — good speaker, knowledgeable
  • Rick Santorum
  • Donald Trump
  • Scott Walker — easily underestimated

None of them thrill me, although I was fairly impressed with Rubio’s performance on foreign policy this weekend.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-19  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Unintended consequences of progressive ideas

by Greg Krehbiel on 18 May 2015

Feminist obsession with rape culture and sexual harassment limits options for young women.

Some female staffers on the Hill have been complaining that they don’t have the same chances for advancement because they can’t spend the same sort of one-on-one time with their congresscritter as the men. The congresscritters are reluctant to spend time alone with women — particularly young women — for fear they’ll be accused of sexual harassment.

This shows uncommon good sense on the part of the congresscritters, but it shows that despite all its attempts to do so, feminism can’t change reality and it ends up creating internal contradictions.

Identity politics doesn’t allow us to take minority candidates seriously.

When Barack Obama responded to Elizabeth Warren’s criticism of his position on trade, Obama was accused of being a sexist. Twitter humorist David Burge joked …

NAACP president: NOW president’s critique of Obama’s critique of Elizabeth Warren is racist.

You can’t criticize women without being a sexist, and you can’t criticize blacks without being a racist. It’s over-the-top stupid.

Remember that this is all in the name of trying to get more women and blacks in office, but it creates an incentive to only elect white males — because they’re the only ones you can criticize.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-05-18  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2015-05-17 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
I like Bernie Sanders
+ 1 comment
2015-05-15 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
“Lean in” is bad advice
2015-05-14 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Mayor Nutter is a nutter
2015-05-14 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The problem is political parties
+ 1 comment
2015-05-13 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Because Cardinals know *everything*
2015-05-13 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The encryption battle