Greg Krehbiel's Crowhill Weblog - Content

Thoughts on life — News, culture, politics, beer, art, science, education, religion and ethics

Other Crowhill sites:
Crowhill PublishingGreg's Book Publishing blog
Greg's Marketing blogHome Brewing blog

“The soft bigotry of low expectations” about Muslims

by Greg Krehbiel on 11 September 2014

Bill Maher is a jerk, but he has some sense. He rejects the ridiculous view that all religions have the same problem with extremism and is willing to say that Muslims have a unique problem in that regard.

Here’s a transcript of a conversation with Charlie Rose. (HT Dave.)

-- 9 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-11  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Isaac and the garden fairy

by Greg Krehbiel on 9 September 2014

If you have a young reader in your house, give this a try.

Isaac and the garden fairy

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-09  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Changed” reality?

by Greg Krehbiel on 9 September 2014

The New York Times says Obama’s Assurances Have Come Back to Haunt Him. From where I sit, almost everything he’s said about war, the Middle East and the need for American involvement has turned out to be wrong.

Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.

It’s not a “changed” reality. It’s reality — which his previous policies tried to ignore.

To Mr. Obama’s critics, the disparity between the president’s previous statements and today’s reality reflects not simply poorly chosen words but a fundamentally misguided view of the world.

Yep. Fundamentally.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-09  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Questions about the Ray Rice case

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 September 2014

You’ve probably seen the video where Ray Rice knocks out his fiance, Janay Palmer. She attacked him in an elevator and he responded with excessive force. It was resolved in court and they later married. I guess they worked it out. But after a video surfaced that shows him hitting her, the Ravens fired him.

The whole incident raises some questions in my mind.

Early in the story, the NFL was criticized for suspending Rice for two games. People said the NFL wasn’t taking domestic abuse seriously. But (correct me if I’m wrong) there had been no trial, no evidence, no discovery, no cross-examination … in short, there was a rush to judgment based on a one-sided story. We hadn’t been through any of the things we expect when we’re trying to establish facts.

We learn over and over again that the initial take on a story is often wrong.

Are those accused of domestic violence guilty until proven innocent? Do we judge them and try their careers on first impressions?

The NFL is a private club and can do what it wants, but should it be taking actions against players without any kind of due process? We’re seeing that more and more these days — like in campus rape accusations.

I also wonder what a man is supposed to do (legally speaking) when a woman starts hitting him. Is he obligated to just stand there and take it?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending Rice. He had at least 100 pounds on that woman, and is probably three times as strong, so he could easily have handled her with less force. And he should have. But what is the legal standard?

What if a small man had attacked Ray Rice in an elevator and Rice had knocked him out? Would the reaction be different? Would charges have been filed? Would the Ravens have sacked him for it?

Is there one standard for men and another for women? And if there is a different standard, is that a good or a bad thing?

We also learn …

The couple held a joint news conference in May, where Rice apologized and Palmer said the incident was partly her fault, to the alarm of domestic abuse counselors. (Emphasis supplied.)

Yes, we can never have domestic assault victims ever admit they bear any responsibility for an attack. That’s “blaming the victim” — like blaming a rape victim when she dresses like a slut and drinks too much at a college party. It’s “not her fault!”

I think the problem with these sorts of things is that we don’t have a convenient way to distinguish sins against justice and sins against prudence. It is incredibly imprudent to dress like a slut, go to a frat party and drink too much. But as a matter of justice, the man has no right to take advantage of a woman in that state, or to rape her.

In the same way, it is incredibly imprudent to hit a professional athlete who is twice your size and three times your strength, but that doesn’t justify any and every physical response he might make. As a matter of justice his response should be more proportionate.

This confusion between justice and prudence leads to an environment where women are told that they can do anything they want with no consequences. It’s a very dangerous and stupid thing to tell people.

If you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. But it seems some people want women to believe that it’s the dogs’ fault.

Again, please don’t interpret any of this as a defense of Ray Rice. I am not defending him in any way. He should never have hit a woman that hard, and certainly not his fiance.

But the more I read about this story, and the more I listen to the things people say about it, the more it troubles me because I think we’ve infested women with a very pernicious idea about responsibility.

-- 21 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Why “breach of promise” is a serious thing

by Greg Krehbiel on 8 September 2014

I was reading a Wodehouse story a little while ago where the female character sued the male character for breach of promise — that is, he said that he would marry her and then didn’t. In those days that kind of behavior was serious business and a man could be fined for failing to keep his word.

Back when society had some amount of sense about sex and marriage we collectively realized that a woman has a relatively narrow window in which to secure a good husband and start a family. As King Brian told Katy O’Gill, “You know, when a girl is 20, her boy will marry her up in a minute, but when she’s 30, doesn’t she have a time trying to make him say the hard word?”

If a young woman wants to marry, she has to be careful not to waste her time on men who aren’t going to follow through. She has to keep her options open, and she has to be able to trust that when a man says he’s going to marry her that he means it. A man who dangles a woman along — saying “I love you, I’m going to marry you” — and then backs out is a scoundrel.

-- 10 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-08  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Interesting take-down of modern atheism

by Greg Krehbiel on 7 September 2014

I think her definition of atheism is wrong, but Karen Straughan makes a very interesting argument about modern atheism in this video.

Her basic point is that when atheism adopted an approach that argues from the consequences (e.g., religion has caused so many wars, religion causes oppression of women, etc.) they invited the kind of problems they’re currently having with feminists.

-- 14 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-07  ::  Greg Krehbiel

What happened with the OBL documents?

by Greg Krehbiel on 5 September 2014

According to this story, not much. Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run’: Why haven’t we seen the documents retrieved in the bin Laden raid?

A comprehensive and systematic examination of those documents [collected in the OBL raid] could give U.S. intelligence officials … a better understanding of al Qaeda’s leadership, its affiliates, its recruitment efforts, its methods of communication …. Incredibly, such a comprehensive study … never took place.

Apparently the documents didn’t align with the administration story, so they kinda got swept under the carpet.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-05  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Looks like NATO just schooled Obama

by Greg Krehbiel on 5 September 2014

Obama Just Completely Changed His Tune On ISIS

The world is a safer place when the U.S. leads. I sincerely hope our next president understands that.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-05  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Why I cook

by Greg Krehbiel on 5 September 2014

Instapundit links to this silly post by Megan McArdle, “Feminism Starts in the Kitchen.”

She refers to her “admirably feminist husband” who does the dishes. Whatever she intends by the phrase “admirably feminist,” it makes its way through my brain about the same way as “admirably stupid” would. Aside from that, she offers some interesting comments on home-cooked meals.

There’s an assumption that lies in the back of her post. Somewhere along the line our culture was infested with a mental virus that makes us all think that different roles for the sexes are a bad thing. Men and women should share the laundry and the cooking and so on. (For some reason this “share the chores” thing rarely harangues women about mowing the lawn, fixing the fence, painting, or changing the oil, but I digress.)

Traditionally, the husband would work outside the home and the wife would work inside the home, which included cooking. With more women in the workforce, that trade-off didn’t make quite as much sense — although it’s often the case that if the husband and wife both work, the husband is actually away from home more, because men tend to work more hours. (I suspect they also tend to have longer commutes, but I’m not sure about that.)

In any event, in a situation where the man and the woman are both away from the home for work, it makes sense to share some of the housekeeping duties — not because there’s something wrong with separate male and female roles, and certainly not because of feminism, but simply because married couples should care about each other.

When we were homeschooling, I decided the home would run better if I took care of breakfast. That freed up my wife to think about the school day in the morning and not worry about eggs and French toast and oatmeal. I would also cook some of the meals on the weekend.

I like cooking, and I still cook now, even though it’s been years since any of our kids were homeschooled.

The kitchen is an important place for the death of the silly lies we’ve been told by our culture. Yes, men should help out in some circumstances, but it is perfectly legitimate for a working man to expect his wife to keep house, and as a general rule — other things being equal (which they rarely are) — the man’s domain is outside and the woman’s domain is inside. And, as a dearly departed friend of mine once suggested, there is a time for the man to sit and read the paper while his wife does the dishes.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-05  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Can the internet be trusted?

by Greg Krehbiel on 5 September 2014

The news today is that has been hacked. Yesterday we learned that Home Depot has been hacked. Before that it was Target. And we all know that the NSA is keeping records on all of us.

I think it’s time for a serious re-examination of what should and should not be on the internet. In a lot of ways it’s a silly tech toy that has gotten ahead of itself, and I’m not sure it can or should be trusted with some of the things we use it for.

Tweets and facebook posts and blogs and comments and all that social blather seems fine, and I don’t get worked up about “privacy” regarding those things. There are some issues to be considered, but they’re not that big of a deal.

Financial and medical information is another thing entirely. Online banking and e-commerce might simply be wrong for the internet. It’s very unlikely that the people running your average e-commerce site have half the technical proficiency of the hackers who are trying to steal from them (and us).

It’s become part of daily life to type your credit card into some site or other — not because it’s safe, but because it’s incredibly convenient. This whole “buy on the web” thing just kinda happened — without any careful thought and without any rigorous standards.

We’re past the point where the experts need to sit down and think about rules for all this.

-- 6 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-09-05  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2014-09-03 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Dave suggested research like this
2014-09-02 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
One step closer to cultural annihilation
2014-09-01 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Heeding Cardinal Wuerl
+ 1 comment
2014-08-29 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Those Puritanical Lefties
2014-08-28 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The Evils of Facebook