Thursday, August 19, 2021

Land Of The Locked Down, Shelter In Place

Can we change the "Star Spangled Banner" wording to "Land of the locked down, and the home of shelter in place" yet? 

Seems more appropriate these days. 

Or perhaps we just scrap the old "white" anthem and replace it with the black national anthem?

The flag seems jingoistic now, and with Democrat total control. DC and Puerto Rican statehood soon at hand, it seems time for "progress" there too. 

Perhaps rainbow flag?  I understand it has fallen in Afghanistan for some reason. The link explains how important it was to fly it.


Afghanistan, Another Step Down

I happened to run into this article on a day that Wokistan is ignominiously attempting to slink out of Afghanistan in defeat as the Taliban is taking Kabul

"Biden also told reporters that the world would not see a situation similar to the chaos that was seen in Vietnam, saying "there's going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy."

Saigon 1975.

Kabul 2021.

Biden's grasp of reality is a bit shaky. 

The Treason Of The Intellectuals

The linked is well worth the read, there is no need to understand the relationship of the classical personnages referenced to get the point. 

In its crassest but perhaps also most powerful form, this desire led to that familiar phenomenon Benda dubbed “the cult of success.” It is summed up, he writes, in “the teaching that says that when a will is successful that fact alone gives it a moral value, whereas the will which fails is for that reason alone deserving of contempt.” In itself, this idea is hardly novel, as history from the Greek sophists on down reminds us. In Plato’s Gorgias, for instance, the sophist Callicles expresses his contempt for Socrates’ devotion to philosophy: “I feel toward philosophers very much as I do toward those who lisp and play the child.” Callicles taunts Socrates with the idea that “the more powerful, the better, and the stronger” are simply different words for the same thing. Successfully pursued, he insists, “luxury and intemperance … are virtue and happiness, and all the rest is tinsel.” How contemporary Callicles sounds!

Or to put it simply, "might is right!". 

To succinctly explain "why the the title"?  

This is not simply to say that there are many anti-intellectual elements in society: that has always been the case. “Non-thought,” in Finkielkraut’s phrase, has always co-existed with the life of the mind. The innovation of contemporary culture is to have obliterated the distinction between the two. “It is,” he writes, “the first time in European history that non-thought has donned the same label and enjoyed the same status as thought itself, and the first time that those who, in the name of ‘high culture,’ dare to call this non-thought by its name, are dismissed as racists and reactionaries.” The attack is perpetrated not from outside, by uncomprehending barbarians, but chiefly from inside, by a new class of barbarians, the self-made barbarians of the intelligentsia. This is the undoing of thought. This is the new “treason of the intellectuals.”

Again, well worth reading the linked ... it gets a little esoteric in spots, but the key points are easy to pick out.  

Why Things Bite Back, Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences

This is a good book for people who believe "technology will solve everything". 

For people with a shred of common sense, it is a bunch of examples of what everyone knows. There are always side effects, trade offs, collateral damage, etc.  

Antibiotics create resistant strains. So do flu vaccines. The "experts" tell us that they will be weaker, but they used to tell us we can get Covid behind us. Perhaps the CDC should read this book and have a little humility -- when you take MASSIVE action with no longitudinal studies, we often find out that the "cure" is worse than the disease. 

Of course we have gotten to the point where considering potential unforeseen problems is a "conspiracy theory". 

On page 71, "A certain sense of well being was required before people could advance to a new level of worrying". 

We live in the age of anxiety. We stack "safety" on top of "safety" until life gets so "safe" and boring, that the suicide rate goes up. 

Page 28, "When the percentage of GNP devoted to medical care began it's sharp ascent in the late '50s, 92% of the decline in mortality in this century had already been achieved". 

The old Pareto principle (80/20) has become the 90/10 principle. Now 10% of the improvement takes 90% of the effort. And the idea of more people shuffling around with painful physical ailments or Alzheimer's really an "improvement"? Do you want to end up vacantly staring like Joe Biden?

"Experts" have severely wounded "common sense". It is so obvious it is amazing they may need a book like this, but it is highly unlikely they will even consider it. 

The human choice some ration of sknowin "Nothing about everything, or everything about nothing". We have a finite brain to deal with an effectively infinite universe. We have much to be humble about, but typically are not. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Deep Rig

The Powerline "pre-review" is short and accurate. 

Vote fraud is a Democrat tradition going back to reconstruction. As Stalin said, "It doesn't matter who votes, it is who counts that matters". 

Americans who cared have known about vote fraud forever -- the only question was if they supported it, or in most cases, felt that it was just a fact of life in the big cities that had to be dealt with. The "popular vote" (largely fraud) was the domain of Democrats -- Republicans were forced to piece together Electoral College wins. 

As the book points out, fraud was a big deal in 2016, and the Deep State/Democrats were "highly concerned" about it happening prior to the fall of 2020, when they became completely unconcerned and demanded all the mail in "voting" they could get. 

Mail in voting is an invitation to vote fraud -- don't believe me, believe Jimmy Carter.

‘Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” That quote isn’t from President Trump, who criticized mail-in voting this week after Wisconsin Democrats tried and failed to change an election at the last minute into an exclusively mail-in affair. It’s the conclusion of the bipartisan 2005 report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III.

Democrats require voter fraud to win, that is why they fight tooth and nail to prevent measures like voter ID, and push bills like HR1 to mandate voter fraud in all states.  

The book gives a ton of links to supporting (mostly video) supporting information, it is an easy read, and any moderately unbiased person would at least be concerned that at least six key states ought to have been, and still should be closely scrutinized. 

Crazy? Consider that the results of the 2001 election were still being scrutinized in the MSM in 2015. Was that an unpatriotic "big lie"? Not according to the MSM for sure -- but then they are just an arm of the Democrat party.

My notes and highlights from Goodreads

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

"Dinger", A Dangerous Name!

It seems rather niggardly to jump to the conclusion that a racial slur was yelled at a game in which the team mascot of the home team is"Dinger". 

Just because something sounds like something else, doesn't mean it IS something else! 

Must we jump to the most negative conclusion we can relative to race? 

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say, the demand for racism greatly exceeds the supply. This explains why we get one false alarm–or, often, outright hoax–after another. What is interesting, I think, is how unembarrassed the people who falsely accuse others of racism generally are.

Indeed ... when there is a shortage of actual racism, it behooves the "Race Hustler Industrial Complex" to hurry up and manufacture some! 

No matter how much the left denies it, when the demand for something exceeds the supply, someone is going to try to produce it ... even if the replacement is counterfeit, poor quality. etc

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Murder Of America

This "America" was America Thayer, beheaded at a busy intersection in Shakopee MN by an illegal alien.

There are a lot more details about the long sad history of why her murderer was even in the country here.  

I date the end of America the nation to January 22nd, 1973 (Roe V Wade). 

As Gandhi said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” Once a society decides that killing them is fine, and even needs to be celebrated, a society has no moral standing. Since National Socialist Germany killed a "mere" 6 million Jews, and the territory formerly known as America has killed over 60 million of its most vulnerable, that is a good way to understand where that godless territory stands 

Why do I consider that territory no longer "America"? Because America was founded on ideas, not territory ... "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ..."

Those rights were protected by a written Constitution, Roe proved that Constitution now have  the value of used toilet paper

Gamma Variant Immunity

Looks like the "COTD" (Covid Of The Day) is soon to be Gamma rather than Delta. 

Thus even as vaccine breakthrough infections multiply around the world, natural immunity is robust to the Delta and other variants. With respect to the Gamma variant, a recent analysis of an outbreak among a small group of mine workers in French Guiana found that 60% of fully vaccinated miners suffered breakthrough infections compared with zero among those with natural immunity.

Much like what the experts / media tell us, one wonders they just failed to look up the ordering of the Greek alphabet (as I had to), or they are developing their own idea of reality as with Covid (Covid is not serious - Trump is racist for restricting travel from Wuhan, Trump restricted travel too late, masks don't work, you are killing people if you are unmasked ...).

As a Covid "survivor" (I've "survived" other versions of flu over the years as well), it is gratifying to see evidence that natural immunity is better than vaccinated immunity. Seeing 60% infected after vaccination vs 0% after having it seems worth of reporting -- if course it won't be. 

Do I believe this ? Only to the degree it fits with common sense. The experts told us that carbs ought to be the base of the food pyramid when I was a kid, they said we were out of oil in the 1970's, Obama said there was no way fracking would get us energy independence, etc 

Another look at the immunity provided by surviving

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Gas Surges To 7 Year High

Surprise surprise ... things we all know about, but because the media gives them very little attention, we tend to hardly notice. 

Hey! Look at that Delta Variant! 

Why is it that magicians have such pretty assistants? 

Manipulation of human awareness is possible ... 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Overcoming The Will To Power

The last line of linked is the title of this post, and the reason for it. 

I think these pieces provide an antidote to stupidity. Overcoming the will to power remains the ineradicable problem.

The bolded is the story of human life since the fall. Satan's will to power ejected him from Heaven. Adam and Eve's will to power ejected them from the Garden of Eden. The will to power is rooted in pride. My ideas are so good that everyone ought to agree with them and respect/worship me because of the brilliance of my thought. 

PL has fallen into name calling ... "stupidity" etc. I wish they had not, however there is no such thing as human perfection, they eschew profanity, which makes me happy.

The linked post is a worthy read.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Belief In The Ignorance Of Experts

Whenever I see the term "expert", I think of Richard Feynman's (Feynman is a brilliant Nobel Prize winner in Physics) National Science Teachers speech in 1966: 

We have many studies in teaching, for example, in which people make observations, make lists, do statistics, and so on, but these do not thereby become established science, established knowledge. They are merely an imitative form of science analogous to the South Sea Islanders’ airfields–radio towers, etc., made out of wood. The islanders expect a great airplane to arrive. They even build wooden airplanes of the same shape as they see in the foreigners’ airfields around them, but strangely enough, their wood planes do not fly. The result of this pseudoscientific imitation is to produce experts, which many of you are. [But] you teachers, who are really teaching children at the bottom of the heap, can maybe doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

The linked talks about a tweet by Paul Graham which states: 

If you think you don't trust scientists, you're mistaken. You trust scientists in a million different ways every time you step on a plane, or for that matter turn on your tap or open a can of beans. The fact that you're unaware of this doesn't mean it's not so.

Well, no. You "trust" engineers, and all the people in the chain that built and tested the many thousands if the components in the aircraft, the mental health and competence of the pilots, ATC, other pilots,  the people that produced the fuel ... a nearly infinite chain of trust. Or, basically you are taking a "leap", that isn't really "faith", because most have not thought about any of this. Nor should you really, because a life that can actually be lived is based on all sorts of unconscious assumptions. 

It would be very good however if many more people were aware that we ALL live by faith, all the time. If more people realized that, we would likely be somewhat kinder to others. 

"Science" is a method. a tool - it makes hypotheses and tests them. Very few of the people in that long chain were "scientists", they were "experts" in some sort of discipline generally blindly following the "rules" (standard procedures") of that discipline.  

In this world, the "experts" are imperfect and often fail. The passengers on the 737 Max trusted the chain of "experts", and the chain failed. The list of "expert failures" is endless ... in these times it often starts with the Titanic. My favorite example is Trofim Lysenko whose "expertise" combined with political ideology resulted in millions of deaths. 

Do the "experts" creating and pushing the new mRNA vaccine know what they are doing? We certainly hope and pray that they do. We DO know that pushing a new technology to millions of people has significant risk. In software, we say "never take the first release". Even in cars, many people want to wait a bit on a new model, because there is a good deal of evidence there will be one or more "recalls", some of which may be significantly dangerous. 

The real world is often harsher to the new technology than the theories, early testing, and politics hoped it would be. 

So before you "trust the science", be aware that what you are trusting is the bureaucratic system that decided on operation "Warp Speed", and decided that they HAD to roll out the vaccine quickly. Fortunately there were only 7 people on the Challenger when it "had to launch" on the cold morning of January 28, 1986.  

Interestingly, Feynman was the person that discovered the technical cause of the Challenger Disaster. 

The root cause was believing in "experts" (rather than understanding their ignorance), and the application of those beliefs by a bureaucracy to the launch decision. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Death By Democrat Deep State?

Three suicides due to mostly peaceful demonstration.

Many have observed in the past that a fairly large number of people with some association with the Clintons die "by their own hand". I've heard there are actually some people that believe that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in a maximum security federal pen on suicide watch. If you believe that, then the level of incompetence in the federal government is maybe even more scary than their malfeasance. 

Not a surprising level of belief though,  when 6-20% of Americans (including Steph Curry)) don't believe we landed on the moon.  

Has the "Clinton Hex" expanded to the Deep State? It is documented our "Justice" department ran an official op called "Crossfire Hurricane" to attempt to overturn the 2016 election. 

As the DOJ Inspector General reported: 

Well, DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz recently told the Senate that those FISA warrants used to spy on the Trump campaign were “entirely” predicated on information from that dossier. And we now know that virtually every one of those applications to spy on American citizens was rife with errors, misleading information, and “fraudulent” evidence. You know, just some endemic, comprehensive, and highly targeted “sloppiness.”

The Deep State doesn't really need to be that "deep" anymore -- lots of their corruption is openly divulged, not covered by the MSM, and nobody cares. 

So does anyone find it odd that 3 officers that responded to a mostly peaceful demonstration at the capitol have killed themselves?  How many officers killed themselves after responding to BLM riots with massive looting, burning, and violence that resulted in at least 25 people being killed?
Hashida worked for the agency’s Emergency Response Team, an outfit in its Special Operations Division. He’s the third law enforcement officer who responded to the Jan. 6 incident to take his own life.

Washington police officer Jeffrey Smith committed suicide in the aftermath of the breach, officials disclosed later in January. And U.S. Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood killed himself on Jan. 10.

Of course hardly anybody knows that the one white, female, military veteran with no criminal record that was killed during the mostly peaceful demonstration (Ashli Babbitt) was  murdered by an assailant that is still not named. 

Nearly nobody knows of the three officer "suicides" related to the capital demonstration. We only know what we are told, and increasingly, we are cancelled or worse if we deviate from the approved narrative. 

You believe that "murdered" is too strong? The officer who restrained George Floyd, a physically imposing multiple time felon high to the point of a lethal dose of fentanyl was convicted of MURDER

Labels matter. Just try saying "N word".  BLM demonstrations were labeled "mostly peaceful" no matter how much violence and property damage occurred. The Jan 6 demonstration was labeled an "insurrection" ... with no real notice that nobody brought a gun to this "insurrection".

Delta, Epsilon, ...

We seem to be introducing some more Greek into this world that is "Greek to me".  (Epsilon is after Delta)

Naturally, as with all things Covid, it is complicated ... there appear to be a plethora of variants. 

"Gamma" may be the next bogeyman. 

Kimbal starts out with a great Covid "fact". 

The great thing about COVID, I like to quip, is that has abolished death from old age. Also the flu. That malady typically claims 30,000 to 40,000 scalps per annum in the US, many more in a bad year. How many flu deaths were there last season? According to the Scientific American, 700.

Seven HUNDRED? Naturally we don't KNOW that, have you ever been tested for a flu other than Covid?  

Here is a little indication from CDC on how accurate old flu death estimates likely are: 

Why doesn’t CDC base its seasonal flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that specifically list influenza?

Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates. There may be several reasons for underreporting, including that patients aren’t always tested for seasonal influenza virus infection, particularly older adults who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Even if a patient is tested for influenza, influenza virus infection may not be identified because the influenza virus is only detectable for a limited number of days after infection and many people don’t seek medical care in this interval. Additionally, some deaths – particularly among those 65 years and older – are associated with secondary complications of influenza (including bacterial pneumonias). For these and other reasons, modeling strategies are commonly used to estimate flu-associated deaths. Only counting deaths where influenza was recorded on a death certificate would be a gross underestimation of influenza’s true impact.

In other words, flu is always around, nobody until Covid really tried to figure out how many deaths it "caused", because there was really no reason to. Old age, other underlying conditions, etc. were almost always involved (as they are with Covid). Old people die of SOMETHING, is it that important to identify the specific straw that "broke the camel's back"?

Not unless your purpose is to create a "crisis". 

It’s Rahm Emanuel time now and forever: never let a good crisis go waste, he advised, and rest assured, they — the alphabet-soup pod-people who we put in charge of our lives — they have run with it big time. A couple of days ago, the White House (how long before they change the insulting name of that edifice) announced that because of the ‘Delta variant’ they would not be lifting travel restrictions ‘at this point’. They hope, of course, that they can maintain, and perhaps stiffen, the restriction indefinitely, maybe forever. After all, as the White House press secretary demanded a week or two back, ‘Why do you need to have that information?’

From Fire By Water, Ahmari

The review is excellent. I made the mistake of reading "The Unbroken Thread" first, and my comments on the "Catholic specific" nature of the final conversion apply here. I recommend that book as superior to this, though both are worthy of attention and enjoyable reads. 

A quote from the book that hit me ... 

"My native land [Iran] smelled of dust mingled with stale rosewater. There was enjoyment in Iran and grandeur of a kind to be sure. But when it wasn't burning with ideological rage, it mainly offered mournful nostalgia. Those were its default modes, rage and nostalgia. I deserved something more."

I'm reminded of the divisions in Wokeistan that used to be America.  Iran remained Iran even though the culture shifted, because Iran is primarily a piece of land. The ideology can change, but the borders remain. Not so America. It was an idea ... that "all men are created equal, endowed by their creator ...", allegiance to a written constitution, etc. For at least half the country, neither the endowing God, nor the rights protected by the Constitution are seen to be truth at all ... let alone "self evident". 

So Wokeistan is much like Ahmari's Iran ... the "red" are filled with "mournful nostalgia", the woke are filled with ideological rage. 

From the review: 

Readers who are historically attuned may recall with a laugh another Iranian who was educated in the West and radicalized by the experience, though in a different direction:

If one allows the infidels to continue playing their role of corrupters on Earth, their eventual moral punishment will be all the stronger. Thus, if we kill the infidels in order to put a stop to their [corrupting] activities, we have indeed done them a service. For their eventual punishment will be less. To allow the infidels to stay alive means to let them do more corrupting. [To kill them] is a surgical operation commanded by Allah the Creator.

Those are the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Although, in a sense, Ahmari’s teenager infatuation with Nietzsche and later Marx are not so far apart from the Ayatollah’s reaction. Each disdains bourgeois life in the West. I myself have been accused of the same disdain. But whereas I would seek to re-enchant life in the West — adding something that has been lately subtracted — a nihilist and revolutionary Islamist would seek to negate the modern world which is marked by phoniness, and compromise.

Ah yes, "re enchantment" of the disenchanted West - it pulls at the strings of my heart. "A Secular Age" by Charles Taylor gives a glimpse into what the "subtraction story" of the secularists took from us. Our souls for some cell phones and other entertaining baubles. 

Thankfully, as Ahmari discovers, enchantment still exists in the confessional liturgical church of Christ. Is that Church the Catholic Church? Prior to Luther, there was really no other option, Post Luther, I'd argue the LCMS is for the present a more Biblically grounded option.