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Should I should have scared her?

by Crowhill on 22 October 2016

Greenbelt Park is one of my favorite places. I spent a lot of time there as a lad, and these days I run the perimeter trail when I can make the time. I love it.

When I run the trail I usually take someone with me for a long chat. The “someone” is, of course, one of my inner interlocutors. The chat might be between the believer and the skeptic, or the conservative and the liberal, or just my mental reconstruction of a particular person that I know.

This morning on part of my jog I was joined by an old professional colleague (a liberal woman I’ve known for years) and we were discussing this and that. During out chat a young woman came running by in the other direction, and I smiled as nicely as I could and said hello. She beamed at me with a smile that would melt an igloo, and my jogging partner said, “Despite being a complete Neanderthal, you are a nice guy.”

I thought, “Really? If I was a nice guy I would have tried to scare her so she wouldn’t go jogging alone in the park.”

Of course I want to live in a world where everyone is perfectly safe no matter where they are. Children should be able to play with cobras and I should be able to leave my wallet in my unlocked car.

And some people — like perhaps this woman running alone in the woods — seem to believe that wishing the world is like that, and behaving as if the world is like that, will make it like that.

To some extent that’s true. Kindness breeds kindness — among normal, decent people.

Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are neither normal nor decent, which is why women should not be running alone in the woods. And no, I don’t believe I should have scared her, but if I had the opportunity to chat with her I would have tried to convince her to get a running companion. And not just an inner interlocutor. Maybe a dog.

6 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-22  ::  Crowhill

Rigged elections, and pre-accepting them

by Crowhill on 21 October 2016

In politics, it’s all about whose ox is being gored.

It’s not about issues or high-minded principles. It’s about power. Each sides flips and flops depending on whether it will help them at the moment.

For much of this year, Democrats have been warning that Russians hackers might be compromising the integrity of the election. (They probably hyped the story because they wanted a federal takeover of state and local control of the elections.) But when Trump says the election is rigged, somehow that’s going too far.

There is a distinction, of course. The complaint about Russian hackers has to do with outside interference, while Trump’s complaint implies corruption on the inside. But they are similar complaints in that they will cast doubt on the validity of the results. But somehow when Trump raises that doubt, it’s an emergency and a betrayal, but not when Clinton and her cronies do.

The other interesting contrast is all this business about pledging to accept the outcome of the election. As I recall, many prominent Democrats didn’t want Al Gore to accept his defeat in 2000. And many still don’t.

I, for one, have already accepted the outcome of this election. We will get an awful president.

4 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-21  ::  Crowhill

Nothing you say or do is private ever again

by Crowhill on 19 October 2016

Marco Rubio is warning Republicans not to use the Wikileaks material because “tomorrow it could be us.”

Oh. So if Republicans don’t use it today, Democrats won’t use it tomorrow?

Yes, that is how stupid the Stupid Party is. It’s unbelievable.

We’re learning a lot from the Wikileaks material. First, how corrupt our government is, and second, how the lapdog media has snuggled in the White Witch’s sleigh and eaten her food.

But most importantly, we’re learning that you can’t consider any email to be private. Ever.

The same is probably also true with phone calls, your internet search history, … everything.

6 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-19  ::  Crowhill

European socialism and the crappy stone work in the District of Columbia

by Crowhill on 18 October 2016

The sidewalks within a few blocks of my office in the District of Columbia are a disgrace. The stones are broken, uneven, and they wobble when you step on them. It’s very easy to trip on them, and when it rains the water pools up in the cavities underneath so that when you step on the wrong spot they send a little eruption of water up your pants leg.

The DC government clearly did not hire the right people to do this work, and it’s been like this for years. It’s ridiculous.

I just had coffee with a friend who is an advocate of European socialism. We discussed the messy sidewalks and she said this sort of thing would not happen in Europe. The government would hire competent stone workers and get the job done right.

4 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-18  ::  Crowhill

Taking catastrophes seriously for a moment

by Crowhill on 17 October 2016

While I think Obama has done a lot of damage to U.S. power, and as a general rule I believe weakness invites attack, I still think no rational nation would be stupid enough to go to war with us. We’re still the big kid on the block.

Having said that, if we had to lose, who would you rather lose to?

  • Russia
  • China
  • Islam
  • Right-wing nationalists
  • One-world government bland secularism
  • ???

18 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-17  ::  Crowhill

The media will try their best to bury and discredit any Clinton scandal

by Crowhill on 17 October 2016

Most of the media is so in the tank for Hillary — or, rather, so in the tank for “not Donald Trump” — that they will hype any Trump scandals and try to bury and discredit any October Surprise scandals that could discredit Hillary.

It’s already happening with the Wikileaks stories, which the mainstream press is largely ignoring. And I’m sure there will be some other revelations before the next debate.

I predict that after this election there will be no point in referring to the “mainstream” media. It’s already somewhat of a dated concept, but their blatant partisanship is going to destroy what little credibility they have left. And they are rapidly losing their market share.

I’m worried that most of the media will become radical right or radical left, and the few surviving outlets that pretend to be objective won’t be taken very seriously.

9 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-17  ::  Crowhill

“Respect us because we’re people” is actually a step in the wrong direction

by Crowhill on 12 October 2016

I saw a Facebook meme that said this.

Destroy the idea that men should respect women because they are our daughters, mothers and sisters. Reinforce the idea that men should respect women because they are people.

This is wrong-headed for a few reasons.

First, it’s natural to have fonder feelings for your relatives than for strangers. Parents spend a lot more on their own kids than they do on someone else’s kids. Steven Pinker wrestles with this problem in one of his books. He wonders if it’s right for him to be giving his own children more than they need when other kids around the world have far less than they need.

From a “purely logical” perspective (if there ever really is such a thing), perhaps not. But that’s a short-sighted way to look at things. It’s good and necessary for children to have parents who look out for them more intensely and more carefully than anybody else does.

So changing women into just “people” from “mothers, sisters,” etc., serves to weaken rather than strengthen the bond we feel.

When groups want close bonds between their members they reinforce the idea that they are all family. The meme is doing the exact opposite.

Second, while it’s certainly true that we should respect all people, there is a special respect that we give to women. In a civilized society people treat women differently than they treat the general population.

So in both ways, calling women “people” actually hurts rather than helps women.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-12  ::  Crowhill

Don’t leftists hate “blaming the victim”?

by Crowhill on 12 October 2016

Aren’t our moral betters on the left always sniffing around for anything that even resembles “blaming the victim”? E.g., if you suggest that women shouldn’t jog alone in the woods to avoid being assaulted, the feminist hoarde will have a collective snit. “I should be able to jog wherever I want,” etc.

But isn’t “blaming the victim” precisely what Hillary Clinton did in her defense of that child rapist? She accused the child of fantasizing about being with an older man, among other things.

If any Republican had done that, his political career would be over. No question. Dead and done.

But in politics, principle doesn’t matter. All that matters is whose ox is being gored.

11 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-12  ::  Crowhill

“Marriage equality” label shows media bias

by Crowhill on 11 October 2016

One of the ways the media twists the news is by choosing how issues are presented. “Marriage equality” is one of those ways.

Why not “marriage transformation,” or “expanded marriage,” or simply “same-sex marriage”?

Calling it “marriage equality” is an editorialization that doesn’t belong in news coverage.

20 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-11  ::  Crowhill

Guest Post — Why Hillary will Beat Trump

by Scott Wicker on 10 October 2016

In spite of Trump’s many flaws, I still prefer him to Hillary. However, I don’t think he has much chance of winning. Here’s why

8. Hillary Proved Herself in the First Two Debates

Many Trump supporters looked forward to the debates, hoping that Hillary would suffer some sort of medical breakdown. Unfortunately, they were disappointed: Hillary experienced no coughing fits or fainting spells, nothing. I’m not sure who won, but Hillary at least held her own during both debates.

7. The Media Hates Trump

Major media outlets like PBS, CNN, WaPo and the LA Times – not to mention the Google and Facebook cartels and the Universities – strongly oppose Trump. And he’s an easy target. Every stupid, off-color remark he makes supports some conspiracy theory in which he is portrayed as a Mussolini – or even a full-blown Hitler. On the other hand, the media treats Hillary like a queen and provides cover for her every foible. Their objective is to gently guide her to her coronation, not to expose her true nature. Of course, the gullible American public obediently swallows all the pro-Hillary pablum and anti-Trump propaganda that is fed to them.

6. Hillary will Play the “Woman Card”

Hillary wants to make history as the first “woman” president of the United States. So people treat her with unusual deference, and when Trump or anyone else criticizes her, it comes across as anti-woman bigotry. On election day many people will feel obligated to vote for Hillary the woman – regardless of her qualifications. We just elected the first “black” president. Now it’s time for the first “woman” president.

5. Trump is a Weak Candidate

Trump may be a natural-born businessmen, but he’s not a good politician or campaigner. He is a rude, brash bully who brags about his female conquests. Such tactics may serve well for “The Wolf of Wall Street”, but they scare off potential voters. In some ways Trump’s down-to-earth style is reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. But Trump comes across as a mean-spirited egoist, and he lacks the lighthearted “there you go again” humor that drew people to Reagan. Trump is working to improve his image, but with only a month till the election, it’s too late for this wolf to change into sheep’s clothing.

4. Trump’s Campaign is not Well Organized

Despite his business acumen, Trump never managed to put together a world-class campaign team. He started late and fumbled forward, enduring the successive resignations of Corey Lewandowski and Paul Manafort. Instead of those bunglers, Trump should have enlisted former adviser to Bill Clinton, Dick Morris. Morris hates Hillary and would have taken the job in a heartbeat. He’d probably even have done it for free. Morris is a shrewd strategist who understands the psychology of the voting public. The gal Trump has now, Kellyanne Conway, may be a fine person, but she can’t compare with Morris.

3. Hillary has a “Get Out of Jail Free Card”

In the America of old, Mrs. Clinton and her husband would probably be behind bars where they belong. Today things are different: The Clintons’ wealth, influence and position shield them from the hand of justice, enabling them to pull off just about any caper they can think of. To quote Lady Macbeth, “What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?” Or in Hillary’s words, “What difference does it make?” Hillary has survived this far, enduring the Benghazi Hearings, the Email Investigation and a swirl of allegations involving the Clinton Foundation, so she’ll probably make it through the election without any major scandal taking her down.

2. Trump’s Own Party Doesn’t Support Him

The most pathetic obstacle to Trump’s success is his own party. Republicans pols have big egos and they don’t take kindly to an outsider muscling in on their turf. Ted Cruz finally endorsed him – yet only grudgingly. Kasich and many others have refused to support Trump at all, and some, like George Bush Sr., are even planning to vote for Hillary. Despite some notable exceptions like Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, the Republican Party has shown little passion for their own candidate. That makes a sorry impression upon voters and will ensure the election of Hillary Clinton.

1. The Demographics Favor Hillary

America has become more and more liberal since the 1960’s and is now majority democratic. Recent polls that show Trump gaining are probably just a temporary aberration. In reality, Trump must win a slew of closely-contested “battleground” states (Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, etc.) to have a shot at the Presidency. Hillary just needs to win one or two and it’s all over.

So, like it or not, it appears that Hillary Clinton will be the next U.S president. Of course, even at this late stage in the game, some unexpected event could derail her ascent to the White House: health issues, an economic meltdown, WikiLeaks, who knows? Perhaps my analysis is off the mark. Maybe come election day, folks simply won’t have the stomach to vote for a second Clinton presidency.

10 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-10-10  ::  Scott Wicker

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A quick Obama scorecard
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That Hideous Education