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Wow. NPR hates progressives

by Crowhill on 23 July 2016

Just looked at 4 Reasons Why Progressives Aren’t Thrilled With Clinton’s Pick Of Kaine.

Here are the four reasons.

He’s too nice. So progressives want mean people.

He’s too white. So progressives judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. Or by their policies.

He’s too moderate. So progressives want people who are going to continue the divisiveness that most people deplore.

He’s too “safe.” So progressives want dangerous people.

This is an amazing indictment of progressives, IMO.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-23  ::  Crowhill

Musings on the words “racist” and “sexist”

by Crowhill on 22 July 2016

I’m going to say things in this post that some people might find offensive. If you can reason through it and keep your emotions at bay for a minute, please read on. If you’re not able to do that, I recommend you go watch this video instead.

Okay, if you’re still with me, please try to read this as objectively as possible and realize that nothing here is meant to be taken as a factual claim unless explicitly stated as such. I’m mostly saying things as illustrations or examples.

To lower the temperature a little, I’m going to pretend that Vulcan is a race of human.

So then … If someone were to say that Vulcans in America are disproportionately poor, few people would consider that a racist comment. It’s just a statistic, and it doesn’t address cause. Vulcans could be disproportionately poor for many different reasons, including oppression by a racist society.

However, if someone were to say that Vulcans are disproportionately poor because they’re lazy, most people would consider that a racist comment, although IMO it would be smart to dig a little to be sure. Saying all Vulcans are lazy would clearly be racist, because it’s assigning a negative quality as a characteristic of a race. (Unless the person simply believed that everyone was lazy.)

Would it be racist to say that Vulcans are disproportionately lazy? It would depend on the reasoning behind the statement. If someone said that Vulcans are disproportionately lazy as a social legacy of the way they’ve been treated, for example, that is not necessarily racist because it isn’t something that stems from the fact that they’re Vulcan, but from another cause. It’s externally imposed on them. They learn it, and could just as well learn differently.

You should be able to tell by now that I’m using “racist” to designate an opinion that a race is better or worse than other races because that’s the nature of that race. Saying that a race is better or worse than other races for some other reason is not necessarily racist, in my opinion. It’s like a nature / nurture distinction.

If Vulcans are disproportionately better at math than other races, then (conceptually) that could be because it’s in their nature to do better at math, or it could be because it’s more emphasized at home.

So now let’s make it a little more real.

Blacks commit a disproportionate amount of many crimes. That’s simply what the data says. And — as I have defined it — that’s not a racist statement because it says nothing about why. (Sargon of Akkad has a thought-provoking video on the subject.)

Someone could try to use those stats to support a racist conclusion — that blacks commit more crimes because that’s just the way black people are. (Nature.) Or someone could conclude that there’s another cause — nurture.

I believe it’s nurture. (Not simply how they’re raised, but their circumstances and such.)

There clearly are some distinctions among human populations. For example, I’ve read that people of Northern European ancestry are usually better able to process both lactose and alcohol than people of Asian ancestry. And if you watch the Olympics, it’s quite clear that people from different areas of the world do better in different sports. A lot of that may be nurture, but IMO there’s no good reason to deny the possibility that some of it is nature.

But that’s not the sort of stuff we worry about with “racism.” If Europeans are better marksmen and Africans are better distance runners, no sensible person is going to get all worried and offended about that.

What bothers us about “racism” is when somebody attributes a socially negative characteristic to a race. But we’re not very precise or careful about it. We don’t usually make the sorts of distinctions I’m making here — over the cause of the alleged characteristic, and whether it’s universal or just a matter of statistics.

If I could convince the world to be more careful when they speak of racism, I would want them to make those distinctions.

But … then it all falls on its face when you switch over to sexism.

If I say “blacks commit disproportionately more of some crimes than other races,” some people will be offended and say that’s a racist comment — whether it’s true or not. And … it could be a racist comment, depending on what the underlying cause is thought to be.

But if I say “men commit disproportionately more violent crimes than women,” that is not considered sexist, even if I say that it’s not a matter of nurture but flows from the nature of men and women. It’s not “sexist” simply because we’re okay with it.

In other words, there’s no consistency. There’s no logic to this. There are no rules.

When you get down to it, all that “racism” and “sexism” mean, practically speaking, is that a position is outside the range of what we’re comfortable with saying.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-22  ::  Crowhill

Who do you trust with the nuke codes?

by Crowhill on 21 July 2016

Aside from all the other frightening things about the next president, either Donald or Hillary is going to be able to launch nuclear weapons.

In public, Hillary certain seems to be the more stable of the two. But in private, there are stories of lamps being thrown, temper tantrums and vindictive nastiness.

I wonder if we should change the rules and let the Vice President control the launch codes.

10 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-21  ::  Crowhill

Have we reached peak anti-Trump whining yet?

by Crowhill on 20 July 2016

I, for one, am sick of it.

There are a lot of things about Trump that rub me the wrong way, and I wish we had a better candidate, but … IMO, it’s gone too far.

Complaint: Trump is not careful with his words. He brags and boasts and exaggerates. Analysis: True. So do most politicians, they just do it in a style we’re more used to. Trump’s offense on this point, ISTM, is not that he’s loose with the truth, but that he doesn’t sound like a politician while doing it. (Remember “if you like your health insurance ….”)

Complaint: Trump endorses (and seems to believe) crazy conspiracy theories, which makes us wonder how sensible he is. Analysis: True. But Obama, Clinton and their fellow travelers on the left are continually endorsing crazy conspiracy theories, and they get a pass. (E.g., the nonsense about women’s wages, conspiracy theories about racism, etc.)

Complaint: Trump doesn’t seem to have any fixed moral or political positions. Analysis: True. But weren’t Obama and Hillary against gay marriage until they were for it? Wasn’t Bill Clinton against gays in the military until he was for it? Didn’t Obama campaign against the Bush tax cuts, then extend them?

Complaint: Trump is a racist because he says some Mexicans are murderers and rapists. Analysis: False. This is standard fare for the left — to misrepresent what someone says and try to blow it into a big race issue. It’s quite clear that Trump said some illegal immigrants are murderers and rapists, which is true. The left’s demagoguery and deceit on this is disgusting.

Complaint: Trump pretends to be all “family values” but is on his third wife. Analysis: Mixed. I haven’t heard Trump use the term “family values” or pretend that he is some sort of righteous, moral dude, so to some extent this is a guilt by association thing. It’s true that he’s on his third wife, and that is a little disturbing, but it’s also true that he’s raised some pretty incredible kids. So I think the “family values” scorecard is not clear cut.

Trump is not my guy, but when I sit back and try to evaluate the criticisms, my reaction is …. Yeah, so what?

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-20  ::  Crowhill

In today’s news, Trump fires Melania’s speech writer

by Crowhill on 19 July 2016

I heard a clip highlighting the similarities between Melania’s speech last night and Michelle Obama’s speech at a previous convention. They’re way too close for coincidence.

But … let’s be real … Melania probably didn’t write it.

10 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-19  ::  Crowhill

Why don’t Catholics like Trump?

by Crowhill on 18 July 2016

This is interesting: Donald Trump’s Catholic Problem

Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton by a whopping 19 points among weekly Mass attendees.

I suspect it’s mostly due to his positions and comments on immigration.

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-18  ::  Crowhill

“He doesn’t even look like change”

by Crowhill on 18 July 2016

While driving around on Sunday I heard a replay of the panel on ABC’s “This Week.” They were talking about the GOP convention, and Trump.

One of them was a Trump supporter and said Trump represents change, while Hillary represents the status quo.

Donna Brazile replied, “He doesn’t even look like change.”

Now why didn’t the conservative accuse her of racism for that comment?

6 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-18  ::  Crowhill

GOP decides not to destroy their party outright

by Crowhill on 15 July 2016

The #Nevertrump movement lost its bid to unbind delegates and allow them to vote their own preference.

If they had succeeded, and if the delegates did not vote for Trump — who, no matter what you think of the guy, won the primary fair and square — there would have been a mass exodus from the party, and next time around people just wouldn’t bother voting.

Why bother voting if the dorks from high school government can meet and change the rules and do as they please?

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-15  ::  Crowhill

GUEST POST – Railing Against the Trump Menace

by admin on 13 July 2016

An anonymous Crowhill reader submitted the following.

Today, we are confronted with a grave menace to the Republican Party. He is not an external threat like Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. No, he is traitor rising up from within our own ranks, an “Anti-Gipper” working to roll back the Reagan Revolution and lead astray the Republican flock.

I’m speaking of none other than Donald Trump.

Like the great Ronald Reagan, affectionately known as The Gipper, The Donald is a gifted entertainer, quick on the uptake with snappy one-liners and homey anecdotes. But The Donald lacks the courage, integrity and intellectual brilliance that were hallmarks of The Gipper. Beneath his elegantly coiffed exterior there lurks a womanizing, casino-crazed, Putin-praising, Brexit-loving misogynist. Trump has abandoned the sacred traditions of the Republican elders to become not just a rogue elephant but — far worse — a rogue RINO. He has strayed irretrievably from the Republican fold, never to return.

The Donald may have accumulated the magic 1237 delegates, but that doesn’t automatically guarantee his nomination. To defeat him we need an individual of unquestioned Party allegiance, a bought-and-paid-for, politically-correct “yes-man”. Such a man is Paul Ryan. Ryan has spent his whole life running for office, practically from the day he graduated from Kindergarten. He has risen steadily through the Republican ranks to attain the second highest office in the land, the House Speakership.

You may ask, “How can we nominate Paul Ryan, when he didn’t even run?” Good question. According to Republican Convention Rule 40, a candidate must win at least eight primaries to be eligible for nomination. Recall that in 2012, Libertarian upstart Ron Paul was running as a Republican. He hadn’t won a single primary, and had no chance of getting nominated, but he threatened to contaminate the Republican platform with Libertarian principles. He had to be made an example of — and Rule 40 was drafted up to silence him. Of course, the so-called “Ron Paul Rule” is no longer valid. It is an obsolete piece of gerrymandering designed for Ron Paul in 2012. It was never intended to deny the nomination to a blue-blooded Party loyalist like Paul Ryan.

When a couple of Irishmen start a fight, the spectators invoke the “Marquess of Queensberry Rules”, hoping for a long and bloody, but mostly fair contest. When Republicans get into a convention-floor donnybrook, the last thing they want is a fair fight. Instead, they call for Republican Convention Rule 32, otherwise known as “The Outback Steakhouse Rule”. It conveniently allows the RNC to throw out the playbook and nominate whoever they want, eligible or not. The Party bosses need to dust off that rule to bypass Trump in favor of Paul Ryan.

Be not deceived, my friends. We are up against no ordinary politician, but the dread “Anti-Gipper”. Trump is a devious demagogue who’ll stop at nothing to lead astray the Republican delegates. He will sweet talk them, he will bully them, he will offer them sinecures in his future administration. Many delegates will sell their soul to the Donald for a red baseball cap. Trump may somehow manage to weasel his way to the nomination, despite all efforts to stop him. We must be prepared for that contingency.

In Star Trek there is something called the “auto-destruct” sequence. The Captain initiates it as a last resort, when all hope is lost and the Romulans are about to take over the Enterprise. If Trump wins the nomination, we will be in the same predicament. Trump must be denied the Presidency — even if it means taking the whole Republican Party down with him. Anyone would be preferable to Trump: El Chapo, David Duke, Jabba the Hutt, anybody. If Trump wins the nomination, we have only one option left:

Vote for Hillary!

10 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-13  ::  admin

Should we treat drug addiction as a health issue?

by Crowhill on 13 July 2016

I don’t know how much the federal government should be involved in this (see Opioid Bill Reframes Addiction As A Health Problem, Not A Crime), but something should be changed about the way prescription meds are being handled.

From what I understand, we are having an explosion of addicts who get started on prescription pain killers. They get injured, or have surgery, and are prescribed extremely powerful and addictive medicines. By the time the prescription runs out they’re hooked, but the doctor won’t prescribe any more meds so they turn to heroine.

People who get caught in drugs like that aren’t criminals.

After my knee surgery, I was prescribed oxycontin and oxycodone. The pain wasn’t that bad, but I got in the habit of taking the pills before physical therapy, because it helped me to work harder on the exercises.

Fortunately, my doctors were very strict and didn’t renew my prescription, and fortunately I wasn’t addicted. The meds never made me feel high, they just made me feel good. Pain meds don’t have the same effect on me as they do on other people, and I’ve heard that’s common among redheads. Anyway, even with my limited experience I can easily imagine how somebody could become addicted.

Having said all that, I’m not convinced the long-term solution is to change the way we treat addicts. We should certainly have some mercy on people who have been caught this way, but the solution might be on the other end — i.e., training doctors to be more careful in what they prescribe, or perhaps having better follow up.

I’m no expert, so I don’t pretend to be able to fashion the perfect solution, but I don’t like it when there’s a popular, simplistic explanation for a problem and Congress rushes in with some new law to fix it.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-07-13  ::  Crowhill

2016-07-08 :: Crowhill // General
Interesting comments on creationists
2016-07-07 :: Crowhill // General
Ever had Switchel?
2016-07-05 :: Crowhill // General
The rule of law is dead