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

Anyone who cites the 77 cent figure …

by Greg Krehbiel on 4 August 2014

… is ignorant or a liar or both.

See Cut the crap about the gender pay gap.

Still, despite tons of evidence that the whole pay gap thing is nonsense, people (including the president) get away with citing that silly 77 cent stat.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-04  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Obama on implementing the law as signed

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 August 2014

What a candidate says while campaigning has little or nothing to do with what he does in office.

-- 3 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Solve unemployment, fix campaign finance, and create a better government

by Greg Krehbiel on 3 August 2014

(This is not a serious proposal.)

There’s a glut of labor, which has created high unemployment. People who would like to work and start a family can’t.

One way to solve that is to create more jobs, but that doesn’t seem to be working. Another way to solve it would be to take some some laborers out of the workforce.

We do that by making it illegal to work past 55. That will flood the market with new jobs for younger people.

One consequence would be that we’d we have lots of unemployed older people on our hands. What would we do with them?

First, we’d raise the age for elected office to 55, and we’d make everybody over 55 — every single one of them — run for elected office. They would all be on a permanent political campaign until they die. And that campaign would be government financed. Private funding of campaigns would be illegal.

I know what you’re thinking. This would essentially just create a new welfare program like Social Security — paying non-working older people on the taxes collected from working younger people. And it would kick in sooner than Social Security, so the whole thing would go bankrupt very quickly.

Ah, but you’re forgetting about all the benefits.

  • Younger, more energetic people would be doing the nation’s work, which would be a boon to productivity.
  • There would be no more career politicians. Every politician would have worked some job in the real world until the age of 55. This would eliminate a lot of the foolishness we get from our current politicians.
  • All politicians would be older, and hopefully a little wiser.
  • We would be closer to full employment, which would be a boost to the economy.

And if all that fails, we can just print more money to pay these people.

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-03  ::  Greg Krehbiel

“Crazies on the right”

by Greg Krehbiel on 2 August 2014

You’ve probably heard by now that Lois Lerner referred to “crazies on the right,” and what happened next was … crickets. There’s very little outrage. Very few comments. Nobody cares.

You also know perfectly well that if the situation was reversed — if Democrats were after an IRS official for going after liberals — there would be demands for an explanation.

Exactly who is crazy and by what standard? Where did you get the right to brand these people as crazy? Who else thinks they’re crazy? Is this an administration talking point?

There would be demands of every public official to explicitly repudiate those remarks and deny that the people are crazy.

There would probably be Facebook memes of cute crazy people holding up signs saying, “Don’t call me crazy.”

Of course it’s impossible to prove any of this because there’s never a precisely analogous situation. E.g., a Republican makes some idiotic statement that’s ruthlessly pilloried in the media for days, and then a Democrat makes an idiotic statement that goes without notice. But there’s so much subjectivity in deciding just how idiotic each statement was, whether it was representative of the party as a whole, whether it creates a “climate of hate,” etc.

Still, it is unmistakably clear to me that there is a double standard. I wish there was a way to measure it objectively.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-02  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Should churches give up tax-exempt status so they can speak freely?

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 August 2014

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Sermons And Homilies

The FFRF has temporarily withdrawn its suit in return for the IRS’s agreement to monitor sermons and homilies for proscribed speech that the foundation believes includes things like condemnation of gay marriage and criticism of ObamaCare for its contraceptive mandate.

“Proscribed speech”?

Under the current regime the government gets to tell the churches what they can or can’t say, and the churches meekly submit. They can’t tell the government what it can or can’t do — without losing their tax-exempt status.

Churches need to tell the government where to stick its proscriptions, even if that means losing their tax-exempt status.

But beware, government. If churches start paying taxes, then the gloves come off. There would be no restrictions on what churches could say or do. They could politic and campaign without limit.

-- 5 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

The next step in curbside recycling?

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 August 2014

Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

Remember, they’re not trying to save the planet or make anything better. They’re just trying to mind your business.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Put Brennan and Clapper in Guantanamo

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 August 2014

Yet another security director has been found out telling lies to Congress. First it was Clapper of the NSA (see Why isn’t this man in jail), now it’s Brennan of the CIA.

The only way this is going to stop is if we start punishing the miscreants.

--  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Oh no! Women aren’t exactly like men! Quick, let’s fix that

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 August 2014

According to this article, women are “underrepresented” in politics because they’re less confident.

“Women are very likely to believe that when they run for office, they don’t do as well as men. There’s no empirical evidence to support that,” said Lawless. “When women run, they actually perform just as well on Election Day, they’re able to raise just as much money, and generally speaking, their media coverage looks very much the same. But what we found was that women who are well-situated to run for office don’t know that and don’t think that. So they believe they’re not qualified because they think women have to be twice as good to get half as far.”

According to the modern catechism, if — in any area of life — we discover that women are not like men, the only rational response is to start an expensive re-education campaign to make them more like men. Because men are the standard against which everything is measured. Especially women.

So, if women don’t run for office because they don’t think they’ll do well, we have to cure them of that disease. I.e., the disease of not being just like men.

(HT: Dr. Helen.)

-- 1 comment  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-08-01  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Ginsburg is a sexist. Good for her.

by Greg Krehbiel on 31 July 2014

According to Justice Ginsburg, the male justices have a blind spot.

The first thing to say about this is to congratulate Justice Ginsburg for escaping from the stupid feminist dogma that men and women are the same in all respects except plumbing. Whether or not she’s right about this particular issue, it’s clear she denies the feminist doctrine that men and women are the same.

Hurrah for small advances.

The second thing to note is the volume of the outrage. If a male justice were to say that the female justices had a blind spot, we wouldn’t hear the end of it until he was forced to resign. But a woman can say such a thing without consequences.

-- 7 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-07-31  ::  Greg Krehbiel

Watergate, tapes, reporting and truth

by Greg Krehbiel on 31 July 2014

Last night I went to the Washington Post offices to hear a retrospective on Watergate — what we’ve learned, how it applies today, etc. It was moderately interesting.

The biggest message was the need for serious reporting, and how the modern media isn’t doing its job. It was unclear to me whether the speakers thought that was more the fault of the editors or the readers. They mostly exonerated the reporters.

They blamed editors for not quizzing their reporters and requiring them to dig and dig some more to ensure the story was fair and accurate, but they also blamed the readers, who they said were too interested in trite stuff to confirm their political biases rather than serious material that would help them discover the truth. In their minds, at least, back in the 70s people still read the newspaper because they were interested in knowing the truth.

Perhaps that was the central message — the loss of an interest in the truth. And I think there’s some justice in that charge. Everything is so partisan these days.

Journalists work for profit-making entities that have to worry about the bottom line, but journalism is a calling that requires a commitment to truth, fairness and accuracy. Unfortunately, the business side of journalism is driving the enterprise towards glib trash that attracts and keeps eyeballs. This is partly because we have too many newspapers and partly because unscrupulous media sources are tearing up the airwaves with garbage.

Perhaps it’s analogous to the stories on the web. It’s very hard to read a serious story on a web page when the entire right side of the page is blaring boobs and bare legs and bikinis at you. I’m a pretty straight-laced old guy who has decades of practice conditioning himself to keep his eyes where they belong, but … it’s a challenge on some of these sites.

How is a serious story supposed to compete with that?

And then there’s people like Jon Stewart. Most people would rather watch a funny, snide, sarcastic guy poke fun at all the idiots in the world than actually try to understand what’s going on.

This is not just a problem with journalism or newspapers or the internet. It’s not just a problem of partisan politics. It’s a cultural rot. We simply aren’t serious people any more.

I once heard a military historian talk about the difference between WWI and WWII soldiers. According to that guy, the WWI soldiers would go into battle singing. They believed in glory and honor and valor. The WWII guys were overly casual, disrespectful and cynical.

WWI apparently cured most of the world of its belief in the old order of things. (That’s a major theme in Downton Abbey, by the way.)

Something similar is happening in our culture. People don’t believe anything. Some people say it’s a result of post-modernism — that people don’t search for truth because there is no truth to be found. I don’t think that’s the case for most people. I think they have adopted a very practical, cynical view that says, “sure, there may be a truth out there, but it would be really hard to find it and what difference would it make to know ‘the truth’ anyway? I’d rather watch this funny cat video.”

Another factor is that the “us vs. them” divide is no longer about who is correct. It’s about who is evil. This is why people are willing to say the most outrageous nonsense in defense of “their cause” without taking a minute to find out if it’s true or false. It’s not important if it’s “true” in some egg-headed way, it’s “on my side” so therefore it’s good.

There are some business solutions to the problem of journalism today. The most important one is that at least 2/3 of the national newspapers need to fold. We needed a bunch of newspapers back when the stories were delivered on paper by trucks. That’s simply not true any more and the market is adjusting.

The larger problem is cultural. We don’t read serious journalism because we’re not serious people. We need a revival in interest in the truth, and a willingness to seek it out and bend ourselves to it.

-- 2 comments  ::  What do you think?  ::  2014-07-31  ::  Greg Krehbiel

2014-07-31 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
If not a lawsuit, what?
2014-07-30 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Thoughts on internet comments
2014-07-30 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Impeachment and gamesmanship
2014-07-30 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
An end to crony capitalism?
2014-07-28 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
Recycling and those stupid brown bags
2014-07-28 :: Greg Krehbiel // General
The argument from lack of imagination