Saturday, February 27, 2021

Bully Pulpit, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism 

The link will give you an idea of what is covered in the book ... often with much more detail of the political nuts and bolts, how the wives impacted their husbands (pretty natural for many women, it goes back to Eve) and most of all, the worship of "progressivism". 

The assumption is "progressivism is good" of course. We are "progressing", but towards what exactly? In many ways, we have never moved from the age of the "Bully Pulpit", except the press has become even more biased, and of course we have a lot more technology than was present then. 

While the book really never mentions the vast influx of immigrants (legal then), but only the result - exploitation, low wages, slums, crime, unionization, etc. Why did they come and stay? Obviously because the conditions they found here were much better than the conditions they had in Europe, in which opportunity was very limited,  and in some cases (Irish) so bad that starvation was an issue. 

As is always the case when there is a massive influx of poor, there was exploitation by business and moderately wealthy, through low wages, poor living conditions, and the exploitation of their vulnerability by political machines. 

Today, we have massive illegal immigration, and the results are the same -- low wages, poor living conditions, and limited opportunity (they are illegal after all). However, business and the moderately wealthy (remember "Nannygate" in the Clinton years). Why do they come? Because as bad as we see conditions for them here, they are way better than where they come from. 

Today, press bias is even more celebrated than it was then. However at the turn of the centruy, the bias was declared, as it is often denied today. Income disparity today is greater than it was then, and the Davos elite, Google, Amazon, WalMart and the massive Deep State keep the "deplorables" in relatively hopeless conditions -- albeit with more entertainment in their increasingly isolated masked homes. Back then at least they mostly had church, family, and ethnic unity/traditions. Today, isolation and increasing government dependence make their lives more meaningless, often with the result being lonely addiction and suicide. 

On page 445, Teddy is quoted as saying " see the nation divided into two parties, one containing the bulk of the property owners and conservative people, the other the bulk of the wageworkers and the less prosperous people generally; each party insisting upon demanding much that was wrong, and each party sullen and angered by real and fancied grievances". 

We have "progressed" so far in 100 years! 

In 1906, power and fame had not fully corrupted Teddy and he still had some grasp of reality: 

"I must represent not the excited opinion of the West but the real interests of the whole people". Those interests would be ill served he curtly rejoined by turning the operation of the railroads over to government employees for "he knew better than anyone else could how inefficient and undependable they were". 

One might think that Amtrak would  have finally proven that point, but in 100 years, half the country still thinks more government, and even socialism is a "bully idea". 

I much enjoyed learning a lot more about Taft. The saddest part of the book is how Teddy's lust for power and narcissism destroyed their friendship, although somewhat like Jefferson and Adams, they did reconcile before death. 

As always,  unforeseen events affect history. On April 10, 1912, Major Archie Butt, a friend and go-between between Teddy and Taft was killed when the Titanic sank. He was a great support to Taft, and his loss during the incredibly rancorous election of 1912 added to Taft's pain. 

There are good many parallels between Teddy and Trump -- both upper class, willful, often nasty, extremely popular with the "masses", and quite shallow and unrealistic about what they could accomplish against "the system". 

Kearns Goodwin is a leftist "progressive" ideologue and the book is absolutely written from that perspective. What is left out (massive immigration at the time being a major example), and near total blindness to the downsides of mob rule, need to be considered if one chooses to dive in. It is overly long for what it covers, but decently written, and gives a good one sided view of the turbulent turn of the 19th to 20th century time.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Settled Science of Climate Change Marches On

 In real science, it is a THEORY of climate change ... since every prediction is only a theory until it is tested, and even then, it is only as good as the next test. If it is science, it MUST be falsifiable -- otherwise it is not science, but dogma. We still speak of Einstein's theory of relativity, because that is what it is, and parts of it have been shown to be wrong, or at least not universally accurate. 

In the case of Climate Change, which was formerly Global Warming -- but was rebranded to be more marketable, the prediction that the climate will change is like "you will surely die" ... the climate WILL change, but so what? Specific, accurate, testable theories are valuable. We often learn much more from finding out our theories are significantly or even totally wrong - that is actual scientific progress. 

The "certain prediction" (until the next ice age) is that the earth is warming in the big picture, as it has been for 10K years. We are admonished by the man behind the curtain to pay no attention to record low temps, they are "weather". OTOH record high temps are not weather, but proof of warming. In a world of Davos elite globalism, coupled with media and government being joined at the hip, the narrative requires that you believe, not that you think. 

Back in 2014, I blogged on a great example of how the media and global government runs this scam

In 2010, Scientific American let us know that Lake Superior reaching record high surface temps was evidence that even deniers could really not deny. The record was 68 degrees F, and it was breached: 

"The Great Lakes in a lot of ways have always been a canary in the coal mine," Cameron Davis, the senior adviser to the U.S. EPA on the Great Lakes, said last week. "Not just for the region or this country, but for the rest of the world."

Given the record cold temps in TX, I decided to look at how much increase in the maximum temp for the big lake there has been since my blog entry. The peak for 2020 was 65 degrees F ... so the lake COOLED 3 degrees. In 2014, the max was 58.3 F. It appears that like many things in this world, "it varies" ... and quite quickly.

I'm certain that given the right selection of starting dates, statistical massaging, etc, it can be shown that the lake is still warming. Like much in today's world, are you going to believe "the experts", "the science", or your own lying eyes? Increasingly, you may well be Cancelled, fired, etc for choosing the latter. It is "deplorable" (even painful) to think in today's world. 

In actual science, if your theoretical predictions turn out to be wrong, that means your theory is wrong. Sadly, as with our response to Covid, we no longer admit to the experts/theories/projections/models being wrong, so we get dumber rather than smarter

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

They Came For Kermit, But I Was Not A Muppet

As I read the linked, the Marxist / Progressive / Whiggish idea of "the right side of history" kept flitting through my brain.

This article does a reasonable job of debunking the idea of history having "sides". 

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it imputes an agency to history that doesn’t exist. Worse, it assumes that progress is unidirectional. But history is not a moral force in and of itself, and it has no set course. Presuming otherwise embraces the dangerous tendency that the great English historian Herbert Butterfield dissected in his 1931 essay, The Whig Interpretation of History. Butterfield was writing about the inclination among certain historians to see the Reformation as a unalloyedly positive force—a secularizing, liberalizing movement that led inexorably to liberal democracy in the 20th century. Butterfield objected that this wasn’t at all how things worked. It was just a retrospective reading.

The philosophical term for  this thought is eschatology, thus giving rise to a somewhat common intellectual conservative criticism of liberalism/progressivism as "immanentizing the eschaton". Marxism, Christianity and Progressivism often assume an inevitable "arc of history" to a wonderful final end. With Marxism and Progressivism, "the end/goal" is some sort of hazy  "utopia", with Christianity it is the return of Christ.

Wokeism and Cancel Culture believe that they are part of this inevitable march. 

Last Friday, [February 5, 2021] Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science reporter for The New York Times since 1976, and one of the mainstays of the paper’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic—a matter of life and death for millions of people around the planet—was forced to leave the paper. “Dean and Joe” (Dean Baquet, the paper’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, managing editor) announced to Times staffers that McNeil had cited a racial slur in a conversation with two high school students, and therefore had to go, since “We do not tolerate racist language regardless of intent” (italics mine; I will come back to those words later).

McNiel ran afoul of the "Woke/Cancel" culture, because he had used "the N-word" in reference to someone else being suspended for using "the N-word". It offended people, so he had to go -- offence is in the mind of the offended, that is the only "standard" in exactly the same way as "sexual harassment" is proven if the "victim" feels "harassed/offended", the "perpetrator" has to go. 

The top link goes into more specific depth of the parallels of "Wokeism" to Stalinism. 

This all seems so bizarre that it is hard to take is seriously, but they came for Kermit! If you are not a Muppet, you may feel secure, but if they can get Kermit, is anyone really safe? 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Whiteness Whale

We hear a lot about the evils of "whiteness" in these days of "wokeness". It is human nature to prefer "like" -- we are social beings with our natural urge being to prefer those most like us (our family), our community (the country mouse and the city mouse), our profession, and on and on. We by nature prefer our "group/identity". Historically, "Americans", or "Christians" were large groupings that superseded most other "identities". In the Civil War, "Northerner" and "Southerner" became identities that superseded being "American", with the results being less than optimal. 

 Identity politics seeks to divide on many factors -- race, sex, wealth, etc. The "old ideas" of things like Western civilization, the Constitution, the two parent family, Christianity are "white, racist, sexist, etc" ... BAD! The goal of identity politics is to divide and conquer. 

In the view of the left, this human "preference for same" is a beautiful thing when it used by people "people of color" or other approved "identities" ( women, gays, trans, etc ). Increasingly since the late 1980's, the concept of "whiteness" is a new branding of old terms like "conservative, Christian, or Republican". (for the left, all synonyms for "bad") 

Here is a discussion from the linked. 

The notion of whiteness emerged from debates among academic leftists near the end of the Reagan/Bush era. They were wrestling with the old American political anomaly: why working-class whites supposedly voted against their own interests by failing to embrace socialism. The recent appearance of Reagan Democrats and growing working-class support for the Republican Party had been a particularly galling development. Alexander Saxton’s The Rise and Fall of the White Republic: Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (1990), followed closely by David R. Roediger’s The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (1991), attempted to tackle this “problem” with a new perspective. “Whiteness,” each book claimed in its own way, explained all.

I like the idea of "Whiteness" as a "white whale" (and I hope it is as unsuccessful as Ahab) . I see Whiteness as an obsessive desire to destroy the foundations of Western civilization. 

Whiteness, according to this pervasive left-wing narrative, inspires and shapes all problems in the United States, which therefore must be relentlessly racialized in order to root whiteness out. As one critic who accuses Greek and Roman classical texts of undergirding a Western civilization of racial repression recently put it, “Classics and whiteness are the bone and sinew of the same body; they grew strong together and they may have to die together.” To such ends a flotilla of progressive Ahabs grimly pursues the whale of whiteness into every inlet and channel of American life with political harpoons poised and ready to strike.

"Whiteness" is more or less a new version of the old cry of "racism" -- it is another all purpose smear that can be thrown at anyone at any time, and if they complain it is not a valid charge, that is tacit admission that the charge is valid!  

"Dog Whistle Politics" gives a good description of the "White privilege / racist" attack. Whiteness is just newer and more generic. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

No Vaccine When Biden Took Office

There was no vaccine when Biden took office (January 20, 2021). This MUST be true, because the MSM assures us that Joe is a capable and honest man! This is the time for us to trust the president, the media, and all government institutions! It is a time for unity! 

Here we have a video from December 21, 2020 that purports to be Biden getting vaccinated. Fake news? It seems impossible that a competent person would forget having been vaccinated when we are assured that it is an IMPORTANT matter. So we are left to choose from the following: 

  • Biden is correct, he is competent, truthful, and there was no vaccine when he took office. 
  • The MSM and much of the US health system is lying to us, and has been  about the status of the vaccine since mid December (the alleged video was faked)
  • Biden is not competent, truthful, or both. 
Which one seems most likely? 

I'm personally going with trusting our highly capable and truthful president! 

When he recommends the Nth dose, I'm going to rush on down! 

Goldilocks has always given me confidence. So how many tests do we need before we run for the woods

"You need to cast a wide net to find Goldilocks," said John Grabenstein, a former executive director of medical affairs for vaccines at Merck and a former Defense Department immunologist. "You want to look at shorter intervals, you want to look at longer intervals, to determine when is the best time, if needed, to re-vaccinate."


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Remembering Rush

The linked PL post brought me back to this post from 2018 celebrating 30 years of Rush.

I didn't listen to Rush very much ... too much entertainment vs information for my taste, but I did appreciate that for a whole lot of "salt of the earth" Americans, he validated what they knew in their hearts and the MSM disparaged. 

Reagan got rid of the "fairness doctrine" which was really the doctrine that made American media the equivalent of "Pravda". If you put on a show that presented a view different from the media deep state complex, it required you to provide "equal time" to the opposing view -- which nobody would listen to, since they already had CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, etc. Cancelling the "fairness" doctrine made Rush possible. 

It will be a pleasant surprise if the left doesn't bring back that doctrine -- it is essentially what we see on the internet now with "de-platforming" and "canceling". 

I'd put Reagan and William F Buckley in the same class as the excellent Boswell quote from the PL link. 

“He has made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. Johnson is dead. Let us go to the next best. There is nobody. No man can be said to put you in the mind of Johnson.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cuomo, Covid, One Party Rule


Why can't you trust Covid "death tolls"? A quote from the linked: 

"DeRosa admitted that ‘basically, we froze’ out of fear of a US Justice Department investigation into how thousands of nursing home patients had died. A ProPublica investigation had found that Cuomo’s March 25 mandate that state nursing homes admit coronavirus patients was akin to ‘introducing fire to dry grass’. An investigation by the state’s Democratic attorney general found that the real numbers boosted the official nursing-home death toll by more than 50 percent, to what is now a total of 13,432. New York State only has some 100,000 patients in nursing homes."

There is no "trust in government" for sane people, especially when there is one party rule as there is in New York. Sadly, as we saw clearly under Trump, the vast federal and state bureaucracies are where the real power is. Thankfully there are still a few who will stand up as this courageous attorney general did, but it is now quite late, and we will likely never know at what cost. The Cuomo family is powerful -- our nation is massively corrupt at all levels, the New York AG had best be very cautious. 

If a state is significantly in Democrat control, you can't put much stock in any number coming out of it -- more government power is the only goal of the Democrat party, and since they support the killing of babies, we know they have no limit to what they will do to maintain and increase that power. Manipulating any sort of number -- especially vote counts, is standard operating procedure. 

Are Republicans not the same? Certainly there are some that are the same, however the overall goal of the Republican party is LESS government, not more. In general, Republicans at least claim to care for the unborn and recently born. Naturally, as humans, they are FAR from "perfect", however there is a reason that over 90% of media, academia,  legal, and government employees vote Democrat. 


You can trust government to nearly always do whatever it takes to expand their power. As in the case of this brave AG, it is the rare exception that really proves the rule! 

How many people died OF Covid vs WITH Covid? We have no idea -- nor do we have any idea about any government number reported, except they are all (including vote counts) reported with a heavy pro government bias! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Cold Californiacation Of Texas

The problem with California crazy is that it spreads. 

As usual, the Bee has the jist of it ..."People who moved to Texas from California are finally feeling at home now".

When the government gets in your market, bad things happen -- like you start to rely too much on less reliable energy sources like natural gas, wind, and solar vs coal and nuclear, and then when it gets really cold and calm with your solar panels covered with ice, well then the lights go out! 

How could this possibly be? We were once assured that WARMING was "settled science". Now we are assured of "Climate Change", which is indeed a very certain prediction like "markets will fluctuate", and "people will be taxed during their lives, and even after death" (estate taxes). 

Bill Gates is still certain that warming is the change that is happening and it is critical -- he wants to cover the sun! If we do that, at least little things like the lights and heat going out will seem minor in comparison. It will be REALLY "cool"!

The linked is worth the read, but the crux is: 

Federal subsidies for wind pay wind-turbine owners $24 per megawatt-hour for electricity regardless of whether the electricity is needed or not. These subsidies allow wind operators to make money even if electricity prices turn negative. This means some power plant operators need to pay customers money if they continue to supply electricity to the grid when the prices are negative, while wind generators will make money courtesy of our tax dollars.

We have a thousand gallon propane tank that we refill if it goes below half, and a gasoline powered generator that will run the place in total comfort (no AC) for a couple hours. We generally keep about 12 gallons of gas on hand which we rotate to keep fresh. 

Is this "perfect"? Certainly not ... it is a "hedge" that lets us have  enough reserve to "tough it out" in cold temps without power for "24 hours" keeping the place from freezing, and us somewhat "comfortable". Then we start draining the pipes and looking for "other means" . 

Events like current Texas lead me to think that being able to operate our generator on propane may be really nice

You can be smarter than a nation that allows elections to be stolen so they get a guy like Biden who is certain to work hard to move the nation to 100% unreliable (but environmentally sound!) energy sources! 

Hey, frozen masked people will be HAPPY to get on heated boxcars!  Who says that Biden doesn't have a plan! -- and it isn't a "conspiracy", because we are watching it happen in front of our lying eyes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Moral Believing Animals, Pass 2

This is my 2nd pass through this important work. I now have the hardcover to lend out to "locals". 

I'd make the title "Moral, Believing Beings", but I'm not the author ... 

My blog on the first pass is here.

A link to a more detailed review here

The SHORT summary:

  1. The book makes an excellent case that we ALL live by faith in mental models/narratives -- we have no choice as "moral, believing, animals" since those models are as necessary as "air" for us.  Wittgenstein seems to agree.
  2. Given that, our situation requires we "choose" the model/narrative that seems best to apply to our shared condition, and/or is more effective for a meaningful life, and potentially eternal life. 
  3. If we can come to terms with these assertions (hard task, given our propensity to believe that our current model is THE TRUTH), we might all be able to understand that all our models are really floating in the same boat of unprovable faith! Perhaps, even if we are not able to make that leap, we can at least have less malice toward our fellow believers
Like all believers (which this book strongly asserts we all are), I would love to "convince" you that Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life. I understand that is not very likely, though I believe that with the power of the Holy Spirit, ALL things are possible! 

In any case, perhaps we can understand why we have our differences. 


A name I have trouble remembering the proper pronunciation of  though it is really easy if one remembers that "witt" is VIT!

The linked is probably all one really needs to know about Wittgenstein ... as the linked says: 

In other words, in Wittgenstein’s view, philosophy—and by extension rational discourse generally—is helpless when confronted with anything that really matters.

So Wittgenstein claims to have shown definitely that philosophy is only really useful for showing what can NOT be shown by philosophy! 

far from being a positivist, . . . Wittgenstein had meant the Tractatus to be interpreted in exactly the opposite sense. Where the Vienna positivists had equated the “important” with the “Verifiable” and dismissed all unverifiable propositions as “unimportant because unsayable,” the concluding section of the Tractatus had insisted—though to deaf ears—that the unpayable alone has genuine value. . . . Wittgenstein’s silence in the face of the ‘unutterable’ was not a mocking silence like that of the positivists, but rather a respectful one. Having decided that “Value-neutral” facts alone can be expressed in regular proposition form, he exhorted his readers to turn their eyes away from factual propositions to the things of true value—which cannot be gesagt [stated] but only gezeigt [shown].

The positivists/materialists believe that all that matters is "particles and progress", Wittgenstein believes that it is the inverse -- it is what you CAN'T say that really ultimately matters!

Therefore in this crazy thought world, demanding vorcifiserly that there is no God, one of their main philosophers says that you can't know anything about that philosophically. 

My inclination though is not really "practical" ... that is what I tried to focus on (sometimes successfully) at IBM for 34 years ... so I may well try to understand Wittgenstein in more detail at some point. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Sacrificing Children 

In the old testament, when the people turn from God to Baal, the sacrifice of children is a common result. In the US, this became official policy with Roe ... children, like souls, can be "inconvenient". They are a burden rather than a gift to be cherished -- why would you do much "for the kids" when you see another option that you see as making you "happier"? 

If the children have to be sacrificed at the altar of increased government control (a basic "good" in the increasingly fascist nation), why not? If they go to school, possibly bringing home Corona, it may even endanger YOUR life (or so we are told) -- and when this world and you being "happy", entertained, anesthetized, comfortable,etc, maximizing your time in this vale of tears is the prime objective, 

Reality seems to be sinking in for some:

I believed them. They were measuring their situation against people with less. With nothing.
Still. What surprised me is how money didn’t make this OK. These parents looked terrified. Two of the fathers cried; one turned off his video because he could not keep it together. Two of the mom had outbursts, and I couldn’t blame them. Everything they said was true.

Even relatively conservative people like Hinderaker are losing the fact that money doesn't make much at all "ok". The link is worth a sad read. 

So what is a Minnesotan to do? LEAVE!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Do Lockdowns Encourage Greater Virus Lethality?

Interesting article about a possibility why Covid evolved may be more lethal. 

The 1918 lethal flu started out mild like typical flu. The common flu (and colds) spread easily and don't kill their hosts ... or often don't even make them ill enough to stay home. All the better to let their hosts get out and spread better. The strains that are LESS lethal are naturally selected. 

In 1918 europe however, the sick soldier was often sicker (cold, nasty trenches, etc) and was therefore transported to hospitals by healthcare workers. The sicker you were, the more likely you were to get transported and spread the flu. The MORE severe (and thus more likely to be lethal) strains were naturally selected. 

Ridley (the author of the column) is smart and quite humble (I've read books and other articles by him) -- he admits to making mistakes, unlike our "experts" and mass media. 

There is some evidence that the response to Covid may be causing selection of more severe (and thus more likely to be lethal) strains with the health system as a vector. 

**IF** this is a factor, encouraging people to go and get tested (not a problem if you believe masks are very effective), and making them afraid enough that they are driven to seek hospitals for treatment. 

If we allowed the general population to get out, the less severe strains would win the selection race. 

As Ridley points out, we don't KNOW that ... it is a possibility

If we were a free society with lots people thinking and discussing their thoughts,  very little censorship (either overt or through shaming) of possibly "crazy" ideas, past experience would suggest that better ideas being "naturally selected" would win out. 

In our current culture, the expression of thoughts like this article is likely to get you labeled as a "dangerous crank" and possibly "cancelled", or at least shamed. 

Respect for actual free speech and diviersity of thought/discussion as a prime cultural value once "naturally selected" the old territory between Mexico and Canada as "exceptional". 

What is cancel culture and shaming selecting? 

Fundamentals, Ten Keys To Reality 

The book would be better titled "10 Keys to Physics and Physicalist Reality", although the real purpose appears to be "how to convince those inconvenienced by souls that they don't have one". 

Frank is a pure materialist -- it is all "space, time, and matter". He likes to borrow phrases from Christianity, eg "born again", and apply them to materialism. One must be "born again" -- to a "complimentary" reality. Bohr first introduced complementarity --  "it is BOTH a wave and a particle", which always reminds me of the "New Shimmer", which is BOTH a dessert topping and a floor wax! 

Complementarity can be understood as the physics version of dialectics -- the ability to view issues from multiple perspectives and to arrive at the most economical and reasonable understanding of seemingly contradictory information and views. You dialectically can have your cake and eat it too!

Arnold Sommerfeld claimed (p 206); "It is clear that complementarity overthrows the scholastic ontology. What is truth? We pose Pilates question not in a  skeptical, non-scientific sense, but rather in the confidence that further work on this new situation will lead to a deeper understanding of the physical and mental world". 

If you want to understand "scholastic ontology", which is supposedly "overthrown", this would be a start. Ontology is about "what is" ... what "actually exists", what it means to exist, what category it is, the subject of universals, etc. --like quantum physics,  it is hard to pin down -- it is metaphysics. To attempt to simplify. it is pretty much a "world view" that has roughly three model/ontological positions: 

  1. Realism says there is an external reality independent of human perception. ie. if a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, it still makes a sound. 
  2. Idealism says that reality can only be understood via the human mind and socially constructed meanings -- the unheard tree does not make a sound, and thinking it does shows you are corrupted by the patriarchy. 
  3. Materialism says there is ONLY the material world! Spirit and consciousness are illusions. Reality is all just meaningless random "stuff", including YOU! 
The scholastics were Christian thinkers who sought to understand general philosophical problems like faith, reason, will, intellect, realism, nominalism,  etc, and what could be "known" (epistemology). 

The book seems to present a fairly reachable high level understanding of the current "Standard Model" of physics -- Big Bang, Quantum Physics, quarks,  uncertainty principle, etc -- "reality" is just a complex arrangement of "mass, charge, spin" in Frank's mind. (assuming he has a mind -- true materialism calls the existence of "mind" into question!)

Where the book fails is that it is really just description of "stuff" ("matter", particles, forces, etc) that tries to lure one into thinking that if you explain the things we can observe and measure, that is all there is -- ie, placing  your faith in materialism is "being born again". We "know" there isn't anything beyond the observed because we have not observed it -- we "know" there are no black swans because we have not seen one! (there are, there is a book by that title that I read prior to blogging everything)

Of course we really don't know that, anymore than we can know if we have a wave or particle prior to observation. Honest faith in godless materialism philosophically "resolves" to determinism -- human choice - "Free Will" is collateral damage. Frank isn't comfortable with that, so on page 218 he declares that materialistic determinism and free will both exist through the principle of complementarity.  

However, on page 225, he decides that since you have read this book, the evidence for scientific fundamentalism is overwhelming and indisputable. "To deny it is dishonest. To ignore it is foolish." He goes on to deny that there is such a thing as a soul, but then at the bottom of page 227 he asserts that; "When we see ourselves as patterns in matter, it is natural to draw our circle of kinship very far and wide indeed". 

"Natural"? Frank has just provided a view of the MECHANISM of the universe -- he did not say WHY. The answer to why is a matter of faith, no different from the faith of materialism. I believe heaven and hell both exist, and our faith resolves our destination. I can believe that material exists and with the addition of the secret sauce of consciousness/will, it can build cool stuff and blow it up -- scientific materialism will never tell us whether to build a bomb or an MRI.

If you want to understand the current state of physics a bit better, this book is fine, just ignore the metaphysics, Frank didn't get a Nobel there. I'd recommend "The Fabric Of the Cosmos" as a better choice. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Biden, Barrett - Good Faith, Bad Faith

Documenting the fact that if the left didn't have double standards, they would have no standards at all is a thankless, tiresome task. It mostly makes people of actual Christian faith exasperated to the point of anger, and for the left, it is merely documenting that they have "truth", and anyone that disagrees is a hateful heretic. The religion of Wokeism believes that those who disagree are irredeemable deplorable. 

The completely opposite treatment of Biden and Barrett, two supposed Catholics is clear -- but to half the country, completely meaningless. For the woke, Biden's form of "Catholicism" that denies major teachings of the supposed church is "the real faith".  Barrett's actual Catholic faith is deplorable. 

Just three months ago, the same media praising Biden for his “devout” faith was working feverishly to convince anyone who would listen that Amy Coney Barrett’s strict adherence to Catholic teachings made her a “radical.”

Hate Versus Disagreement

Being able to civilly discuss and disagree is critical to human relations. We are all unique, and being comfortable in discussing our unique perspectives with others is as important part of faith, family and community -- the things that make life worth living. 

The left in Wokeistan HATES those that have significant disagreement with them. BLM states it plainly -- "Silence Is Violence", and voiced disagreement is even worse. 

The problem is not that we disagree. We are not suffering as a nation from healthy disagreement. We are suffering from a Tsunami of Hate emanating from the Democrat Party that seeks to demonize, criminalize and extinguish dissent from the 75 million supporters of Donald Trump. It is now official Washington dogma that to question an election result – something the congressional Democrats have done in the face of every Republican presidential victory since 2000 – is now “insurrection” and “domestic terrorism,” or the incitement thereto, and needs to be prosecuted and suppressed.

The whole linked article is well worth the read. 

In order for people to continue to live with each other, there must be a decent level of "cultural memory". It isn't just "Democrats" that declared W Bush and Trump to not be valid presidents -- and thus worthy of being constantly attacked and threatened with or actually impeached, it was nearly the entire MSM, the "professional class" (especially legal), and the entire "educational" (indoctrination) system. 

If something can't go on forever, it won't. A house divided against itself cannot stand. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Davos Reset, Leveraging Covid

As Rahm Emanuel famously said;

"You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."

I believe that the RESPONSE to Covid was engineered on a global basis. The virus may well have been engineered as well, there are a lot of pieces of evidence that point that way. Naturally, that evidence is largely suppressed, however the fact that viruses are being modified to do good things means they can be modified for bad things. Any powerful technology can be used as a weapon -- think nuclear power. "Coincidences" of the magnitude of Covid at the time it happened largely aren't coincidences. 

Abortion convinces me that the general population has no respect for life. If you have no respect for life, and you have the means, doesn't getting rid of a bunch of old people, small businesses, and Trump, while padding your pockets and prepping for a "reset" to give you even more power seem like a "no brainer"?

When you see the worlds "elite" meeting annually under the cover of "we are doing a lot of good things", I think we have PLENTY of evidence that what they are doing is increasing their own wealth and screwing the middle and lower classes. 

Witness this chart from  National Review  

In 2016 the people woke up a bit and realized they were getting screwed by the "elite". In 2020, 10 million more of them woke up -- and the elite decided that enough was enough, so they cheated -- they doubled down on the "Covid Crisis", and made "elections" a thing of the past. 

The link at the top is worth following and crying a bit -- when you have a bunch of billionaires marketing their "good deeds", the pitch is pretty slick. What you really need to know is this ... it is time for the elite to do a "reset": 

Inevitably, the event for the 1,200-plus delegates from 60 countries aims to respond to the apocalyptic events of the past 12 months. “A crucial year to rebuild trust” is the theme, built around the “great reset” that World Economic Forum (WEF) founder Klaus Schwab and Prince Charles launched last year.

Remember "Hope and Change"? It's accelerating to a new global level.  

Damn The Environment, Invest In Lithium 

The world is filled with winners and losers. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

The world is on a "clean energy" binge -- so what is the equal and opposite reaction? Lithium, cobalt, manganese and other things have to be mined, processed, transported, etc. So there is collateral damage to the environment. Who cares? The "right" people get rich and the oil and gas workers get the shaft.  

My current (small) investment in lithium is LIT ... based on my investment expertise, I'd recommend selling that puppy short! (NO! I'm kidding! Unless you are a Davos elite insider, short selling is RISKY). 

Much like the Covid panic, where the elite made LOTS of money (Amazon, Google, WalMart, people that were in the know that after the crash, governments would go on a printing binge, etc). 

Who makes lots of money from Biden being "elected"? Wind / solar companies, rail companies like BNSF because pipelines are being cancelled, so more has to move by rail (Warren Buffet owns BNSF) ... 

Short Squeeze For Dummies

I've always been a dummy investor, so the whole Gamestop deal was a mystery -- especially since I no longer follow the MSM, it had to show up on Power Line before I cared enough to look. 

The Spectator has a somewhat interesting column on more of the psychology and real world human effects. 

There is a lot of sadness about our tragic money obsessed culture in the link -- the profanity is just the beginning: 

And boy has it worked. The user who first pitched GameStop on Reddit is called DeepFuckingValue. His original investment of $50,000 is now worth $50 million. This weekend he celebrated his gains in a video by dipping chicken tenderloins in a glass of Champagne. He still hasn’t sold.

For the congenitally stupid like me, the Kiplinger link covers it well -- I DID know "selling short" is betting the stock goes down, I just had a VERY foggy idea of what the mechanism was. 

Short selling – or shorting – is placing a bet that a stock declines in value. To do this, you borrow shares from another investor and then sell them. (Your broker does this for you behind the scenes.)

But remember: Those shares aren't yours to sell. You borrowed them. This means you are obligated to buy the shares back so you can to return them to the original owner.

There is an old saying attributed to Daniel Drew, a legendary speculator of the late 1800s:

"He who sells what isn't his'n, must buy it back or go to pris'n."

They don't send bankrupt short sellers to prison anymore, but the obligation to buy the shares back is very real. And this is where short squeezes come into play.

In the physical world, it would be like you borrowed 100 rounds of ammo from your friend when you went to the range, because you thought you were a little "short". Assume ammo was going for .10 a round  (so $10 for the 100). A guy at the range was buying ammo at .10 a round (he didn't bring enough) and you decided you were done shooting, and sold him what you borrowed ... so now you have $10, and no ammo. 

Unfortunately, you forgot to get more ammo, and now you are out. So when your friend asks for the ammo back, you find that ammo has gone up to $10 a round (where it is today BTW if you can get it) ... so you have to pay $100 for it, and therefore lost $90. 

The market (broker) doesn't trust you like your friend, so you have to "cover" as the price of the stock rises ... and keep covering as the price goes up -- and it can go up A LOT, theoretically infinitely. If you can't cover, you MUST actually buy the stock and give it back, thus making the stock rise in "value".  (the scare quotes are because the underlying real world value of the stock (the earnings of the company and sale price of its assets) are often way less than the stock price. In markets, "value" is whatever people are either willing -- or forced to pay if they can't cover the margin call. 

So short selling is very risky ... your potential gain is limited, your potential loss is unlimited. 

Naturally, on the chance you buy the actual stock at $10 (ammo at .10 a round) and it gets into a "squeeze" (like say Biden gets elected and he bans ammo sales), and stock (ammo) goes up to $1,000, AND YOU SELL IT, you made $990. (often, the other problem is that you are greedy, don't sell in time, so just lose your $10) 

... and now you know why I have a stockpile of ammo.  

Things like the Gamestop squeeze add to to the uncertainty of markets -- people have to sell assets they otherwise would like to keep in order to cover the margin -- other stocks, or maybe gold, thus causing their values to drop -- at least temporarily. 

So I think I understand it now -- always dangerous! 

Aussies Curious What Has Happened To Wokeistan Under Biden

This video is stolen from the Power Line blog. It is well worth watching. 

The points? 

-- Washington was a ghost town for the Biden "inauguration" except for thousands of National Guard troops ... who are still there, and will be until "March". Very little reporting in the MSM, and no "concern". Can anyone even imagine the outcry if Trump taken similar action in the face of the massive riots and marches as he took office? 

-- Biden issued more executive orders in his first week than any previous president. Even left leaning PolitiLie agrees -- although they put as good a spin on it as they weakly can. Every executive order Trump issued was "tyranny" by comparison -- although the left has now outlawed such comparisons as "WhatAboutism". 

-- Insiders in the WH are already leaking about Biden's mental health. Naturally, the MSM is not generally reporting it -- really. why should they? Anyone with eyes knows it already.