Friday, October 29, 2010

Firewall 4: Natural Law

Bill's at it again with the fourth in his series "What We Believe", this time explaining the idea of natural law:
If you haven't seen the others yet, get caught up here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Time For Choosing

46 years ago today, and what the Gipper says is still true, except even more so.
H/T Sarah Palin


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lunching with Leftists

The Bride of Monster suggested we eat at a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch today. We settled into our booth, perused the menu, and each ordered chicken phở. Directly behind me were a couple of leftists reassuring each other how smart they are and how stupid the TEA Party types are. TBoM could see I wasn't taking this well, and via various gestures and code words dissuaded me from responding to them directly. She wisely suggested that I could "blog about it" (she knows I have one of these blog thingies but probably doesn't even know the URL).

I was a good boy while listening to one of them talking about how bad standardized testing for school teachers is. I just smiled and thought about how standardized testing for drivers, florists, hair braiders, and countless other occupations is exactly the sort of regulation they elect people to impose on the market to protect consumers against shady operators. Why should school teachers be exempt from the apparatchiks?

They dismissed the fact that "the words 'separation of church and state' do not appear in the First Amendment" by also saying "neither do 'assault weapons' appear in the Second". Well, that's a fascinating observation there, but the language is hardly similar:

  1. In the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" is very specific, and the Supreme Court first used the '' wording in 1947's Everson v. Board of Education. Somehow, the First Amendment was on the books a century and a half before this phrase was found written in invisible ink between its lines.
  2. By contrast "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" is very broadly worded. It doesn't have to say "assault weapons", because they are a subset of "Arms". The Supreme Court has ruled that certain arms are not protected by the Second Amendment because they are not "ordinary military equipment" (United States v. Miller). So-called "assault weapons" are demonized precisely because they are (or at least appear to be) "military".

They continued by discussing how the Constitution provided for slavery (although the word itself didn't appear in the text until the 13th Amendment abolishing it) and that it counted slaves as "40%" (corrected by the other one to 3/5ths) of a person as evidence of how racist the Framers must have been. I bit my tongue and didn't say anything to them about how the 3/5 compromise was cleverly designed by the anti-slavery side to reduce the power of the slave states in the House and Presidential elections, and to keep them inside the union rather than split into two, three, or even more separate confederations of states that would have easily been reconquered by Great Britain. The abolitionists were playing the long game; they knew that slavery was an economic dead end, and the free North would build a powerful industrial base with free men while the South stagnated. Time was on their side.

After a while, their conversation turned to non-political matters, and my blood pressure settled down. Then the one closest to me stated as if it were an established fact that the TEA Party is motivated by racism. I turned around and said "I consider myself part of the TEA Party movement, and I am not motivated by racism." He tried to play it off like I was the @$$#013 by pointing out that he was talking to his friend, not to me, but I wasn't having any of it. Imagine Mel Gibson "talking to a friend" spouting negative stereotypes about Jews, with a Jew sitting back to back with him. Would anyone excuse such speech simply because Gibson wasn't talking to the Jew directly? I sure hope not.

Then he played the canard about how we didn't complain when Bush was POTUS, and since we were complaining now with a black POTUS... Raaacism! I told him that the people I know in the TEA Party movement did indeed complain when we felt Bush was betraying the principles he campaigned on. We opposed national health care when Hillary Clinton was pushing it.

That set off his friend, who said that ObamaCare isn't national health care, but a corporatist's dream. I tried to explain that the TP'ers I know don't really care that much for the big corporations buying favors from the government to shut down their competitors, and that ObamaCare would eventually lead to the nationalized health care he wants as it destroys the private health care industry, but he was too busy spitting out his hatred for me and anyone else who wants him or his sick relatives to die Die DIE! because we oppose national health care. And then he stormed out.

I didn't get to ask the guy who called us racists what he thought of the fact that most of us have spent the last few days defending a black liberal, that we're looking forward to seeing several new black faces in Congress next year.

At least TBoM didn't get upset that I reacted to that provocation. It's one thing to disagree on issues, but the charge of racism is so powerful that it must be confronted whenever it is raised. I won't sit idly by and let that charge be casually tossed out as if it were a proven fact. To let the charge go unanswered is to assent to its truth.[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Threely for this post

Friday, October 22, 2010

Taiwanese Animators on "Waiting for Superman"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pseudonymity: Mr. Beck, Meet Ms. Frisch

Yesterday, on his Fox News Network program, Glenn Beck talked about how people are turning into monsters. He thinks that the level of discourse on "blogs", driven by the anonymity that many such sites offer, is part of the problem. He called on those of us who operate on the Internet under pseudonyms to stop doing it. He wants us to write under our real names. I realized then that I had never dealt with the issue here.

When I first became connected to the Internet, I had two daughters still young enough to live at home, each of whom walked a few blocks to grade school, and later a few more blocks to middle school. The thought that some barking moonbat leftist might be sufficiently angered by my position on an issue to lash out against either of them, or to The Bride of Monster, chilled me to the bone.

So I decided that the best way to protect all three of them was to use the pseudonym "Monster", or some form of it. I soon found that username was taken on many sites, but "The Monster" generally was not. On Twitter, even that was taken, and I used a Latin expression that helps explain one reason I embrace this name: "Sum, ergo monstro.". (The English word "Monster" ultimately derives from the Latin verb "monstro", which means "show, point out, nominate, or appoint".)

My current employer is large enough to be politically correct. Since anyone who disagrees with Leftists is branded "racist", I fear that if someone knew my real name, they might try to get me fired for "hate speech". I'm sure I'm not the Lone Ranger here; not many of us in the Dextrosphere are tenured professors like Glenn Reynolds, who can't be fired for straying off the leftist plantation. I don't see why we should hand our enemies such a gift on a silver platter.

The wisdom of this policy has been demonstrated in the behavior of the infamous Deb Frisch, who was enjoined from having any contact with Protein Wisdom's Jeff Goldstein after she repeatedly made über-creepy sexual comments about his then-infant son. By the strangest coincidence, right before Beck called for us all to use real names, she resumed her activities against Goldstein's family, making a profanity-laced call to his elderly mother.

Incredibly, the Maryland authorities (where Jeff's mom lives) won't take any action based on a single phone call, despite the existing restraining order, and the train of abuses that led to it. It looks like the only thing Jeff can do is hire a private attorney to pursue a civil action. He hasn't slept more than a couple of hours the last three days, and needs our help. If you can spare a few shekels, pop over there and hit the tip jar.

[Click on the title above, or date stamp below, to see the full article.]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Liberal Headplosion System Test

This is a test of the Liberal Headplosion System. It is only a test: This is a test of the Liberal Headplosion System.  It is only a test.

If this had been an actual Liberal Headplosion, you would have been directed to your nearest MainScream Media outlet for specific information. Expecting actual headplosions on November 2, we are performing this test as a public service to assure that you are ready to observe them in their full glory.

[H/T Tammy Bruce]

Friday, October 1, 2010

Extremist Rhetoric

Remember how we've been told that the Tea Party is inciting violence against our enemies? Anyone who says that and doesn't denounce this crap has no room to talk.