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These chicks are hilarious

by Greg Krehbiel on 10 August 2015

So, will The Donald capture the black vote?

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-10  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Last night’s debate — transcript of my running commentary

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 August 2015

Last night I did my version of “live tweeting,” but I did it here. (I don’t like Twitter.) I posted about every 15 minutes. Here it all is in one post.


From the very start (at 8:50, as the candidates came on stage) the tone seemed wrong to me. Megyn Kelly is a goof. It was like a High School pep rally or something.

It took Chris Wallace to try to introduce a little gravitas.

Too much talk about process, and too much time talking about the event, and the hosts, and Fox News. It sounded amateurish.

Trump asserted his alpha maleness from his first words. “I fully understand.” He won’t be cowed or bullied.

America didn’t become a great nation because it was flooded with politicians, Carson said. Amen.

Rubio is very sharp.

Bush looked awful, but spoke decently well.

Trump again asserts his alphatude. “I don’t have time for political correctness.”

“What I say is what I say.”

Cruz makes a strong case for his trustworthiness as a man of conviction.

Christie sounds decent. But it’s all spin-meistering.

This was the first time I saw Walker. Not sure what I think of him.

Huckaboom took a very strong position on abortion. Not sure how well that will play.

Paul may be right on some points (not sending arms to lunatics), but he sounds too much like a fringe person, I think.

Kasich has some weird ticks he needs to get rid of. He’s a very experienced and accomplished guy, but I don’t think he’s going anywhere.


I think Bush comes to the stage with a cloud over his head that says “compromising weenie.” Because he’s a Bush. He needs to find a way to shed that.

Trump is not going to be cowed. He says what he wants to say.

Kasich strikes me as a very kind and decent person. But we need somebody who can attack.

Rubio (as usual) shows a very good command of the facts. “People feel like we’re being taken advantage of.” Exactly.

(Nobody is taking Wallace’s bait to attack Trump.)

Cruz is right that our leaders don’t want to enforce the law. How is that supposed to be solved?

Terror and National Security

Christie doesn’t back down, which is good. He comes across as on the side of law enforcement.

Christie and Paul went at it, and I think Christie got the better of it. “When you’re responsible for the lives of people ….” vs. “you misunderstand the Bill of Rights.” People are more concerned about the former and less about the latter.

Cruz came across very strong against ISIS with some hard words. He also said the Egyptian president shows more courage than Obama. Good point.

Bush sounded incoherent at this point.

Walker made a good point — that America is disengaged under Obama.

Carson made an interesting point about waterboarding. “There is no such thing as a politically correct war.” “We need to use the intellect we have in the military to win our wars … if we don’t tie their hands behind their back.”


Trump makes a good point that there needs to be more competition — no artificial lines.

(He again asserts his alphatude against Paul.)

Walker intervened with a very good jab against Hillary. “Every place she touched is worse than it was.”

Shrinking government

Huckaboom says “we have a Wall Street to Washington axis of power.” Right. Power should be shifted back to the states.

Carson wants to base taxes on something like a tithe. I’m not sure that would raise enough money.

Bush was accused of being in favor of Common Core as if he’s in favor of federal government power. He answered it very well.

Rubio is right. Government agencies are not content with suggestions — they will make it a requirement.

Kasich wants to fight against Hillary by emphasizing economic growth. Okay, but Clinton has an attack machine, which needs somebody who will fight back, and I don’t think Kasich has it in him. We need a fighter.

Carson says Hillary takes the Allinsky model and relies on useful idiots. I can’t summarize his response quickly, but it was actually pretty good.

Bush seems to have a good command of the facts, and he has some decent ideas. But he just seems like a decently smart guy who might not make it as a political commentator.

Walker sounds okay.

Christie seems straight-forward and honest without being mean. I think that’s important for him.

Huckaboom is big on rhetoric and rah rah points, but he doesn’t make any real substantive points.

Trump is a blowhard, but he is very formidable in a way the elite aren’t going to understand.

Rubio puts a big emphasis on “the world is different now,” which I think is good for him as one of the younger candidates. This is an opportunity for him, but also makes him seem like the know-it-all wonder kid that nobody really wants to trust.

Paul finally looked good in his comment about the Iran agreement. He said we should see something serious before we stopped the sanctions.

Huckaboom also finally sounded decent on this point. I think it’s because of his Evangelical (“I care about Israel”) background.

Bush says he defunded Planned Parenthood in Florida. Sounds good.

Rubio is very impressive. I’m not sure how far he will go, but he’s very talented.

I’ve known some New Yorkers in my time, and a lot of Trump’s mannerisms are vintage NY business.

“We’re not going to win by doing what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton do every day, which is dividing people.” Bush said. Excellent. Most of the people on the stage have not taken the bait of attacking other candidates. That is good.

Trump is right that “we don’t have time for tone. We need to go out and get the job done.”

Paul is a consistent libertarian. “I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington.”

Walker strikes me as a competent, decent guy, but not a superstar.

“We have people in Washington who don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump says. True.

Carson made an excellent point about how our military has been degraded and that severely limits what we can do.

“The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things,” Huckaboom said. This was his best response of the night.

“We cannot give away money we do not have. You do not project power from bankruptcy court,” Paul says. His best remark of the night.

Christie agrees with Carson that we need to invest in the military.

Kelly decided to try to trip people up with a weird question about “getting a word from God.” The candidates who responded did a decent job. Cruz and Rubio did very well. Carson made a very good comment about race.

“We need to stop worrying about being loved and start worrying about being respected,” Christie said. Good point.

Paul says he’s a different kind of Republican. He sure is. I don’t think he has a chance.

Rubio is very polished and very impressive. VP?

Carson had a good closing statement that almost redeemed his mediocre performance.

Huckaboom is clever as a speaker and hits all the right buttons, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of substance there.

Walker did okay.

Bush’s closing statement seemed too scripted.

Trump focused on winning, which is his strong suit. We need to win and be great. He projects that well.

At the end, once again Kelly was a weird goof.

Here’s my judgment on whether people helped themselves or not.

Christie, +
Carson, – (except for his closing remarks)
Walker, –
Trump, +
Bush, +
Huckabee, –
Rubio, +
Paul, –
Cruz, –
Kasich, +

My overall impression after this debate is that it will all come down to how bad people think things are. If Republicans think the world is falling apart, they’re going to go for Trump, because he seems like the biggest fighter. If they think we need a scholar, they’re going to go for Rubio. If they think we need a revival (unlikely), they’ll go for Carson or Huckaboom.

Best line of the night: “We don’t have time for ‘tone.'”

In the post-debate analysis, the experts are all saying Trump hurt himself. I don’t think so. I think they’ve misunderstood him from the beginning. But we’ll see.

-- 14 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Do white lives matter?

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 August 2015

In this post, David French argues that “white suspects may face slightly greater danger than black suspects.”

Why would this be the case? Verbruggen has a theory — white males have higher rates of mental illness than black or Hispanic males and commit suicide at higher rates. His theory is thus that whites are thus more likely to pursue “suicide by cop” or to engage in violent mentally ill behavior — like the hatchet-wielding man police killed yesterday in Nashville.

I don’t know the stats and I haven’t read the studies, but what jumps out at me about his analysis is the folly of using proportional representation as a proxy for bias. There are always lots of other factors that come into play.

If it’s true that white men are trying to commit “suicide by cop,” then in order to find some normalized value — for guys who are shot for other reasons — you’d have to factor that out. But how would you do that?

Trying to get an honest statistic that would actually tell you something of value seems like a very difficult thing. Rolled up, average numbers, sorted by race, don’t help much.

Still, we clearly need to keep a close eye on cops. As I’ve said before, my central political conviction is that power corrupts, and when you give someone power it has to come with strings. You have to have other powers holding people in check. If you don’t do that, you’re just inviting corruption and abuse.

Having said that, it seems that in most of the recent high-visibility cases where somebody has been shot by a cop, the person was resisting the cop or otherwise causing trouble. If we’re going to have a “conversation about race,” we need to be honest about that, too.

We also need to recognize that some people make a living demagoguing this stuff.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

An overdue good-bye to a silly font

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 August 2015

You may have noticed that the Comic Sans MS font is now gone. I’ve replaced it with Century Gothic.

-- 5 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

When we’re all eating soylent, what will happen to the animals?

by Greg Krehbiel on 6 August 2015

Becoming food for humans was a tremendous boon for the sheep and the chicken. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but think of the benefit to their species. How many sheep would there be in the world today if we didn’t use them for meat and wool, and how many chickens would there be if we didn’t use them for meat and eggs?

A sensible article about the Cecil the lion freak out makes an interesting prediction about vegetarianism.

Many vegetarians are opposed to killing animals for food. Even though I am a meat eater, I have little doubt that very few humans will be killing animals to eat a few decades from now. The reason is based in economics rather than a great moral awakening about eating animals.

Food scientists are rapidly increasing their ability to produce (or grow) artificial meat — with all the texture, appearance and nutrition of meat from animals. At some point, this will become more efficient than raising cattle and chickens, and the switch will take place.

Soylent is an early example. (No, it’s not “Soylent Green.”)

Once we move to eating this weird stuff out of food replicators (or designed in labs by the Bene Tleilax), what will happen to the animals?

If there is no commercial market for cattle — given that artificial meat and milk will become less expensive and more nutritious and tasty — few will go to the trouble, cost and time of raising cattle, and the number will plummet from hundreds of millions to a few thousand in zoo-like settings. Dairy cows and beef cattle are no longer capable of happily romping around fields, taking care of themselves without the helping hand of man.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-06  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Conservative girly magazines to win the culture?

by Greg Krehbiel on 5 August 2015

A post on Instapundit imagines that a new movie about how the hook-up culture doesn’t end well shows some sort of pro-conservative movement in the arts.

This is silly.

Remember that Philip Bailey / Phil Collins song, “She’s an easy lover”? Philip Bailey was a Gospel singer, and a lot of people were wondering what he was doing singing a song like that. Others defended him, saying that the message of the song (she’s not worth it, you’ll regret it) is just like Proverbs 9.

I thought then, and I think now, that it’s wrong to assume that people are listening to lyrics and taking moral instruction from songs. They’re humming the tune about an “easy lover” and thinking, “Right on. I hope I meet her tonight.”

You can’t determine the “message” of a song solely by its lyrics. The music itself has a message, which is why movies have soundtracks!

When you mix these things up — conservative words in a less than conservative setting — the message can come out as, “Sure, it doesn’t end well, but it’s nice while it lasts.”

Conservatives aren’t going to win the culture by displaying the appeal of our current, sick culture and then throwing in a little sermon in the end.

-- 7 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-05  ::  Greg Krehbiel

From the Ministry of True-Think

by Greg Krehbiel on 4 August 2015

If the government had a head propagandist, or an office of propaganda, what would it look like? How would it get its message out to the public?

“Oh, that’s the job of the press secretary,” you may think.

That’s certainly what we’re supposed to think. But if the government really wanted to influence the public, how would they do it? For real?

I wondered about that as I read this story: Jon Stewart Is Anything But An ‘Honest Newsman’.

I haven’t watched much of Stewart, but what very little I have seen makes him seem like the perfect propagandist. Clever. Talented. Seems to be independent. He makes people feel like they’re in on the joke, and everybody who’s not (that is, whoever is the target of his snark) is made to seem ridiculous.

It’s not a matter of persuading. It’s a matter of making the contrary seem absurd.

No, I’m not accusing Stewart of anything. But I think it would be foolish to deny the possibility that the White House uses such means to influence the electorate.

-- 7 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-04  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What Trump will do on Thursday

by Greg Krehbiel on 4 August 2015

How has Trump had such a turnaround in his favorability numbers? They’re nothing short of shocking. (See Boy, was I wrong about Donald Trump. Here’s why.)

Trump has become such a sensation because although people don’t necessarily like or trust him, we hate the elite media and establishment politicians more, and he’s been very effectively sticking his fingers in their eyes.

We’re sick to death of biased, lying media pretending they are arbiters of truth; of politicians who only reluctantly say the right thing, and then don’t do much about it; and of rampant political correctness.

Trump has managed to convince a lot of people that he’s different.

In some ways he clearly is. He says whatever he wants to say, and he doesn’t apologize about it when somebody in the media cries. When he’s attacked, he hits back twice as hard. That alone distinguishes him from the entire Republican Party, which is incredibly cowardly.

The other major thing we’re sick of is incompetence. Republicans aren’t able to get anything done. Trump projects the image of a man who can get things done, but sooner or later people are going to start to wondering about that. Can he do what he says, or is he just bluster like the rest of them?

So my prediction for Thursday is that Trump is going to focus on a record of keeping his word and getting things done. (I’m not saying he actually has such a record — I simply don’t know either way — but that’s what he’s going to focus on.)

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-04  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The multiple universe theory eats its own?

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 August 2015

Here’s a fun article on a topic that’s been explored here before: Is Our Universe a Fake? (Along these lines, The Head Game, which is free today on kindle, explores similar concepts in a short story.)

Physicist Paul Davies makes an interesting point about this. If our understanding of physics leads to multiple universe theories, and multiple universe theories lead to the likelihood that we’re living in a computer simulation, then the theory eats itself.

“We cannot use the argument that the physics in our universe leads to multiple universes, because it also leads to a fake universe with fake physics.” [That is, the physics in our universe was simply invented for the simulation and might not correspond to actual physics.] That undermines the whole argument that fundamental physics generates multiple universes, because the reasoning collapses in circularity.

The “we’re living in a simulation” theory assumes that first-person experience — such as my feeling of being hungry — can be felt by a simulated being. That’s a big assumption, IMO.

The Is Our Universe a Fake? article takes a soft approach to the question of our universe being a simulation. There are others who claim they have found actual evidence of it — in a lack of resolution at the quantum level, or something like that. I don’t recall the details, and the link I have to the story now requires that you log in to read it.

I’m afraid you have to login to see this story, but here’s the link. Our world may be a giant hologram.

In any event, I like Davies’ twist on the argument, although it doesn’t eliminate the question. There don’t have to be multiple universes to make a persuasive case that we are in a simulation. All you have to do is assume that at some time in this universe’s history there are intelligent beings with the capacity to create such simulations. Once you assume that, it’s very hard to argue that you are in the real universe and not in one of those simulations.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What’s the truth about selling baby parts?

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 August 2015

I’m trying to understand the liberal “debunking” of the Planned Parenthood videos.

A few points seem to be uncontested, namely …

  • Planned Parenthood provides the remains of aborted babies to medical researchers.
  • That’s legal, so long as there’s no profit involved.
  • Planned Parenthood claims that they are only being recompensed for their cost.

So the “debunking” comes down to this. Sure, PP provides baby parts, and sure, PP gets money for them, but PP doesn’t earn a profit. (And we’re just supposed to believe them about that.)

That’s pretty lame debunking, and even if it’s true — and it’s probably not, given the contents of the 4th video — the “debunking” simply means they’re selling baby parts without earning a profit, which is still ghoulish even if it is legal.

But of course that’s not all that the videos tell. They also show that doctors change their procedures to try to save valuable parts, and even worse, that they sometimes end up with “born alive” babies, which they leave to die and then sell the organs.

These people are inhuman monsters.

It seems to me the conservative freak-out about these videos is entirely justified, and that the “debunking” fails.

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2015-08-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

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