Obviously there are some girls who throw very well, and some boys who don’t, but generally speaking, boys are more likely to throw well. That’s simply the way it is.
I know this is going to be hard to believe, but some women take offense at the saying.
I don’t think it’s insulting at all. Stereotypes are just generalities, and there’s nothing insulting about recognizing them. Women who find such a saying insulting are being petty and thin-skinned, IMO. But I am a proud Neanderthal about such things. What do you homo sapiens think?]]>
Whether you’re sane and believe Hillary is a power-hungry crook, or delusional and think she’s being hounded unfairly by a right-wing conspiracy, you have to marvel at her determination to keep going. The woman has drive.]]>
But all he shows is that we’re not going to Hell in a handbasket quite as fast as some people want. Which is really the essence of the modern “conservative” movement. “Yeah, okay, but less and slower.”]]>
I was wrong on both counts for the same basic reason. The system is rigged. Laws are only for the little people, and the Clintons have done such a good job laying the groundwork for her run this time that nobody else had a chance. That despite the fact that Hillary Clinton is an extremely unlikeable person.
But there is still a ways to go, and a lot can happen before election day to spoil her coronation. I think the most likely thing is a health issue, but there are other events / revelations that could get in her way.
I don’t say these things in support of Trump. While I reject the ridiculous anti-Trump rhetoric of the left, I don’t like the guy and I don’t want him to be president. If I didn’t live where I do I might agonize over who I will vote for. But in reliably blue Maryland it hardly makes a difference.]]>
I watched Clinton surrogates on CNN criticize Trump’s speech, and their criticisms were mostly these two:
1. All of Trump’s foreign policy ideas are crazy and uninformed.
2. Obama is already wisely doing all of those same things.
That would seem absurd in any other context. But keep in mind that we voters believe we can assess foreign policy ideas by listening to biased liars talk on television. So the entire situation is ridiculous, but we play along.
Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech]]>
The panelists said these claims are based on income studies where people on public assistance report how much money they have received over a certain period of time. According to the guys from Heritage, the data from these studies is pretty much useless because when you compare people’s reported income with their reported spending, there’s a huge discrepancy. E.g., people are spending $5 for every $1 they allegedly get as income, and a relatively large number of people report no income at all. So how are they buying these things?
People underreport their income, these guys claim, and fail to report as income many of the benefits they receive, like food stamps and such.
After one of the presentations, somebody asked if the people promoting the $2/day story are lying or stupid — which seemed like an apt question.
I don’t know who has their facts right and who doesn’t, but I know with dead certainty that people twist and bend and spin the facts to promote their agenda. It’s usually a question of who is twisting the most.
This thing about welfare reform is just one example of a trend we see all the time — that both sides can present seemingly compelling cases and claim that their position is “fact-based.” That’s always in the back of my mind when I read political memes, or when I hear politicians talk about how their programs did such and so, or how housing or jobs or crime or whatever went from X to Y.
I don’t believe most of it, and I think the public is starting to tune it out as well. It’s not the boy who cried wolf, it’s the expert who cried yes, followed by the expert who yelled no, followed by ….
The public’s refusal to get on board with “fact-based” policies frustrates the heck out of the media because they are living under the delusion that there are accessible facts that resolve these questions one way or another. No, Trump can’t possibly build the wall and make Mexico pay for it (or yes, he actually can). Yes, Hillary can pay for free college (or no, she really can’t). “Experts” have resolved the issue and enlightened people will follow the “fact-based” policies!!
And those rubes — those idiots — that is, the general public — they can’t understand the plain facts, even when the media darlings patiently explain them using small words.
What the media doesn’t realize is that the public is smarter than the media gives them credit for, just not in a way the media credits. The elite find it hilarioius that so many people can’t name the country that borders us to the south, or whether it was Hillary or Trump who said X or Y, and in their mind that proves the people are idiots. And … of course it does with respect to general knowledge.
Just remember, as my son reminded me last night, when you think about how stupid the average person is, fully half of them are stupider than that.
But facts and policy details aren’t the whole story, and they really can’t be. It would take a lot of work to dig through all the he said / she said on any given policy question to have any decent assurance you knew the truth of the matter, and most people don’t have time to do that for even one issue, let alone the dozens of issues that we (allegedly) vote on.
I’m a decently well-informed guy, but I don’t know and really can’t know whether policy A will yield result 1 or 2, and people who think they do know those things are almost always kidding themselves.
This is why things like “morning in America” or “keep hope alive” are so powerful. They get past the arguments about facts and speak to vision.
Being a leader isn’t a matter of explaining all the details of your campaign. It’s about giving a vision of the task ahead, and how great it will be to achieve it.]]>
To illustrate how crazy things have become, imagine there were only two countries in the world: Democracyland and Islamoland.
Democracyland has a system of government that’s based on clearly delineated powers that are limited, dispersed broadly among groups with different interests, with a series of checks and balances. Government power is generally distrusted, and is considered to derive its authority from the consent of the governed, who have the right to change it when it no longer suits them. The people in Democracyland believe in this form of government.
Islamoland is ruled by religious fanatics who take their marching orders from the Koran, which they believe is the ultimate source of law because it flows straight from the mouth of God. As a secondary authority they rely on the hadith because it recounts the words and actions of Muhammad, who was a violent, crazy person. The people in Islamoland respect power and believe in it, and they don’t believe in voting except as a means to impose sharia law. But voting is kinda tame stuff for them and they usually take over new areas through violence.
Why would the people in Democracyland allow anyone from Islamoland to even enter their country without first renouncing the insane stuff the people in Islamoland believe?
Obviously I have exaggerated the situation. Not everyone in America believes in our form of government, and not everyone in Islamic countries believes in their system. But a lot do, and in a system where people have the ability to change the government, why would you import people who don’t share your values? A few, maybe. But certainly not very many of them.]]>
A friend recently gave me a paperback copy, so I read it some Sunday afternoon. It still has lame arguments about free will, and a few other things, but these days I’m a little more tolerant of weird ideas, so I persevered.
It’s an interesting read, although more than a little silly at times.
The underlying mythology of the book is that God blew himself up and is slowly reassembling himself through the agency of chance.
The main point of the book is that our brains are delusion generators. We create stories for ourselves to get through life, but most of those stories are bunk. Much of that is true.
The secret to life is to come to terms with this, see through our delusions and conform our lives to where probability wants us to go. I.e., be sensible and do things that trend in a positive direction.
It seems like an odd setup for telling people to be sensible, but … whatever.
If you find yourself with nothing to do on a lazy Sunday, give it a read. Despite the overall weirdness of it, there are soime interesting parts that you may profit from. Mostly, it will strengthen your belief in the adage that when men cease to believe in God, they don’t believe nothing, they believe anything.]]>
In reality, disproportionate representation is not evidence of bias, but … an enterprising conservative administration might be able to stop this madness by giving liberals a dose of their own medicine.
I would be willing to bet that people of faith are under-represented in Hollywood, in the news media, in law and in education. So why not start an investigation and poke these bastions of liberalism in the eyes?]]>
[T]he whole notion of a supernatural influence doesn’t quite make sense, at least from a scientific perspective. After all, an “influence” denotes a physical occurrence or an event. And an occurrence is something that happens in the physical world through some kind of energy exchange. Any kind of energy exchange or force is very natural and requires a very natural cause. In other words, as soon as the supernatural becomes physical enough to be noticed or detected in some way, it can’t remain supernatural anymore. A “supernatural influence” is an oxymoron. At most, it could mean something currently beyond our scientific understanding. (Italics in original, bold is added.)
This is a rather typical attempt to explain away the supernatural by just playing with words, but what popped in my head as I read it was the idea that we’re all living in a computer program. I don’t mean that we are all living in a computer program, I mean that if we were it would put questions of supernatural interventions in a completely different context.
Imagine you’re inside a computer simulation. Everything that you see follows logical, “natural” rules. For every effect there is a discernible cause, etc. Scientists inside the simulation are busily cataloging them. Then the programmer pokes his finger in and makes something weird happen. The scientists see it and insist that it has to have a “natural” cause, by which they mean something inside the program.
All the same sort of sophomoric babbling can take place in this scenario exactly as it does in the real world. E.g., we don’t need to postulate a programmer because everything follows natural causes, and those weird things that don’t seem to follow natural causes are just things we haven’t figured out yet, and besides, if the programmer is able to poke his finger in and change things then he’s just a natural cause like everything else, etc.]]>
The writer of this letter to the editor is offended that the Chicago Tribune mentioned that Olympic medalist Corey Cogdell is the wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein.
Corey Cogdell-Unrein’s accomplishments are her own
Please read the letter. (It’s short.)
Do you think that maybe people in Chicago would be interested in the ties to the Bears? Just maybe?
If I can take the liberty of using this letter as an illustration of feminist thinking, consider all the things this letter confirms about feminist attitudes.
First, they’re so sensitive that they’re hair-triggered to take offense at anything. Being around a feminist is like walking on egg shells.
Second, the offense is taken without any connection to reality or justice. Only so much can be said in a headline, and nobody implied that the woman’s accomplishments were her husbands.
Third, it follows the “feminine imperative” — that the woman’s perspective always has to be first.
Feminism is its own worst enemy.]]>
On the drive to the train I listened to various political garbage on the radio, and then I faced the prospect of reading the next chapter of a recent book of the political / social commentary / the world is so screwed up variety.
Sudden inspiration caused me to wonder why the heck I was torturing myself worrying about things that just make me grumpy, so I googled “best comedy books” and decided to download Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog) to the kindle app on my phone.
It’s not (so far) as funny as I had hoped, but it was certainly better than continuing to drown my brain in reasons to hate the world.
Vacation is coming, and with it a collection of Wodehouse material to read at the beach / pool.]]>
It seems strange to be annoyed at a statement that all lives matter, but here’s the general reason. If I go to the doctor and complain about my broken toe, and the doctor says, “all toes matter,” then I would say, “yes, but right now I’d like you to focus on this one.”
In other words, the whole logic behind BLM is an assertion that there is a problem with the way black lives are valued in our culture, so saying “all lives matter” seems like a rejection of that assertion — that there isn’t a particular problem with the way we value black lives.
I do think there is a problem with the way we value black lives in this country, but I think BLM is focusing on the wrong thing. Nobody was saying “black lives matter” when black people were (and continue to be) killed in Chicago, and those deaths far outnumber the people who have been shot by police.
So the assertion behind BLM is not about the value of black lives in general, but rather about the value of black lives when they are killed in specific circumstances (by police) — which is just plain odd and wrong-headed, in my opinion.
People say “all lives matter” because they don’t want to sign on to that weird view of things.
Perhaps the better reply to “black lives matter” is “yes, and especially on the streets of Chicago.”]]>
This kind of research obviously raises some interesting ethical questions. In a world where people are already trying to get human rights for apes, what’s going to happen if we have an ape with some human DNA? And where do we draw the line? Are stem cells out of bounds, but experimenting with portions of human DNA alright?
I have never spent much time on bioethics so I may be speaking out of turn, but this kind of thing makes me uneasy. On the one hand, our technological advances are creating incredibly complicated ethical questions, and on the other hand, I think our ability to reason on moral issues is at a particularly low ebb.
(When people think that a man is a woman because he feels that way, we’re pretty doggone far off track.)
In this case I believe we are likely to fulfill one of Mark Shea’s stock reviews on the progression of new ideas.
1. “What could it hurt?”
2. “How could we have known?”
I’m not in any way against research and medical advances, but I do wish it was possible to have a grown-up at the tiller. Unfortunately, even if we had a modern-day Thomas Aquinas ruling on the morality of each medical advance, there’s probably no way to control what rogue scientists do in North Korean labs.]]>