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Is Rand Paul this stupid?

by Greg Krehbiel on 28 April 2015

According to The perilous new push to excuse lawlessness, Rand Paul said he wants to repeal …

“any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color.”

This is precisely what’s wrong with the way we deal with race in this country. Disproportionate impact is not evidence of bias, and Rand Paul is stupid to support a policy that endorses that assumption.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-28  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“The civil rights issue of our day”

by Greg Krehbiel on 28 April 2015

In a discussion about same-sex marriage on the radio, one person said that same-sex marriage was “the civil rights issue of our day.”

That conjured in my mind an image of a group of people who — looking longingly back on the real Civil Rights movement — are grasping about, searching for some contemporary analogy they can latch on to. So they can be civil rights heroes too. Dear things.

This sort of “me too” attitude seems to be a common issue in movements that are based on protest. Modern Protestants are always looking for new ways that Romanism is sneaking into the church. Modern feminists are always looking for new ways that men are oppressing them. Sometimes people get very creative in finding the bogeyman.

The attitude shows a very pessimistic view of human nature, as if there is some permanent threat, latent in humans (or in society), that has to be watched like a hawk. E.g., “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Things are naturally going to slide towards tyranny (or tribalism, or patriarchy, or …), so you have to be on your guard.

What strikes me as slightly odd about this is that people used to say that conservatives held this view of human nature, but that liberals believe man is basically good.

I don’t think so. Both sides see these latent threats. Liberals are always looking for the latest trampling of civil rights, or the latest example of human greed and rapacity devouring the planet and ruining the economy. Conservatives are always on the lookout for various kinds of tyranny, and for Oppressive Government forcing them to worship Caesar.

There is a sense in which liberals tend to fall for naivete about the evil in the world. The guy who thinks he can go live with the bears and hug out all his problems, or the young woman who thinks she can hitchhike across the country without being raped on some lonely road, is pretty likely to be a liberal. Sorry, that’s just the truth. As the saying goes, “a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged.”

But liberals and conservatives both have a negative view of human nature and see bogeymen hiding in the shadows. At least so far as their political and social principles are concerned.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-04-28  ::  Greg Krehbiel

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.

-- 2 comments  ::  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

2015-04-24 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Is a head transplant immoral?
2015-04-24 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
You know, it was an Adam Sandler film
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