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Understanding Everything, Knowing Nothing

The current President seems to have a flexible relationship with truth. And in that statement, I display a kinship with his philosophy.

The word at the crux is “seem”. I have made it a habit to qualify many of my perceptions with words like “seem” or “appear”. This habit was cultivated, in part, to recognize that as only one mind, I cannot embrace all that is true. I can only know what I know, which is not necessarily all that exists.

But I diverge from the President in my conclusion that there is an absolute truth. What seems true to me, or to him, or to anyone, is rooted in fixed concepts. Barry denies (appears to deny?) there is any fixed truth underlying each person’s perception. Everything is relative.

And nothing is real without someone to perceive it, and put that perception into linguistic terms. There are no absolutes. This is what is called “post-modernism”:


How Rockwell Reduced Sinusoidal Repleneration

Here’s a fellow from Rockwell Industries who probably went on to join the Car Talk staff:

According to the folks at Maggie’s Farm, this was an off-the-cuff bit to test the sound levels before they shot the real video.

Pharaoh -> Caesar -> Obama -> Pawlenty -> Rybak

Arnold Kling goes Old Testament:

Pharoah created jobs for us. Moses led us away from those jobs. Even though those jobs helped to complete public infrastructure. Even though they were green jobs, where we used our muscles and our backs instead of fossil fuels.

Moses could have been part of the ruling class in Egypt. He chose freedom instead. Those of us who followed Moses also chose freedom. Freedom brings risks. But we preferred the risks of freedom to the security of bondage.

Do not confuse government with G-d. Government cannot miraculously provide us with manna--or health care. When we look at government, we should not see G-d. We should see Pharoah. Government-worship is Pharoah-worship.


Sin and Yang

From a Good Friday reflection by a committed Catholic:

The question has come my way several times in the past week: "How do you maintain your faith in light of news stories that bring light to the dark places that exist within your church?"

When have darkness and light been anything but co-existent? How do we recognize either without the other?

The darkness within my church is real, and it has too often gone unaddressed. The light within my church is also real, and has too often gone unappreciated. A small minority has sinned, gravely, against too many. Another minority has assisted or saved the lives of millions.


An Unfriending

A Facebook friend, KL, posted the following status update:

KL is so tired of hearing about atheists molesting children, blowing people up, forming malitias in order to kill cops attending a funeral, etc. Er wait...

I commented:

The atheists spent most of the previous century murdering millions of peasants and eradicating Jews. It’s about time the religious types got in on the evil.


Stalin took the place of the deity and Hitler was a Catholic.


Don’t forget Mao and Pol Pot. Atheists win the body count by tens of millions.


Post Style: 

Week-end Getaway

You meet the silent type
On a windy trail
With a shiny cloak and an unseen silver dagger
You can talk ’til you ache
Give yourself one more break
You can tell by the look on his face that it just doesn’t matter

This is the naked truth
This is the light
There’s only one place left to go

Where Interest Lies Honor Dies

I have engaged in several conversations with opponents who are not yet my enemies. They deserve the honor of being heard before commencing battle. And I am within my integrity to listen for my own arrogance.

These conversations, of course about Unicorn Care, begin with some statement of support for the ideal. “Getting sick should not lead to bankruptcy.” “Freedom is not having to worry about affording health care.”

I join not with my best argument, but with the economics. It is Unicorn Care because the numbers cannot work. Nothing is free. Hiding the cost of care does not remove the cost of care.

Here some opponents first show their selfishness. They do not care that someone else must pay. They want to be free from worry, but shirk the responsibility that is inseparable from such a liberty.


War is Hell

As I contemplate my response to the final straw being broken (Unicorn Care), I realize that whatever I choose, somebody I care about will get hurt. Even if I choose to do nothing, the execution of the law will hurt people close to me.

And choosing no action violates my own integrity. So, to be my own whole self, I may have to confront loved ones and hurt them to keep them from hurting others.

We’re not at the point of brothers on opposite sides of a skirmish line. I am not talking about muskets and swords. But the harm is just as real, if not so immediately brutal.


Dogs Returning to Their Own Vomit

The Senate has taken up debate of changes to Unicorn Care. The righties may have an ability to stop some of it through the filibuster. But, since the bill law is so defective, they’re in a tough spot. Nearly any change is a genuine improvement for the people.

If, for example, the Republicans block actually including full coverage for sick kids—lefties forgot to put it in the bill—the righties look real bad in the minds of the non-critical-thinking majority of voters. People are mad now, but in November, the vast middle will have accepted this puke sandwich as the new normal. And they’ll want their slice.


The Enemy Within

The greatest threat to any living organism or nation is not to recognize danger in time.

Quoted from: Benjamin Netanyahu

via Dr. Sanity

Post Style: 

Between Pyschopaths and Sheep

Rebellion, like childbirth, must take the time it takes. There must be a conception, gestation and labor before it emerges. No steps may be omitted. Everyone has their own breaking point. People who break too soon are called psychopaths. People who break too late are called sheep. Somewhere in the middle is a small group of people that history will remember.

Quoted from: Professor Hale, in a comment at Vox Popoli. Another commentor, Don Reynolds, adds:

I like to point out that the American Revolution that began in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord, fought pitched battles with the British for OVER A YEAR until (damn) reluctant delegates finally agreed to draft the declaration of independence in July 1776.


Empty Promises

I don’t think I am psychic, but sometimes I wonder. Last night, in thinking over the implications of Unicorn Care, the problem of Federal Debt arose. Despite the wailings of the leftoids and their rigged CBO scores, economics cannot be fooled.

The U.S. economy probably cannot support another massive program of waste. We ar still in the early stages of a depression, somewhat masked by financial shenanigans between Washington and Wall Street. Not only the costs of TARP and Spendulus; we suffer from the uncertainty as all the rules of business are in flux. There simply will not be enough production to keep up our lifestyles and make payments on the Federal debt. Even if lifestyles are made to suffer, Congress can’t tax what is not produced.


Do Not Be Under Him

In reaction to yesterday’s Congressional declaration of war, the righties appear to be rallying around the idea of repeal. They’re fools.

They also hold out hope for a Constitutional challenge. The legislation is so bad, there might be some success. But in the larger view, it is little more than wishful thinking.

Repeal requires not only a Republican Congress, but one sufficiently “conservative” to scrap the whole deal and start over. And these “conservatives” must be elected in sufficient number to override Barry’s veto. There are too many handouts, fiefdoms and legitimate local issues to expect Congress to go two-thirds conservative.

When certain provisions are tested by Supreme Court, the people are already fighting a rear-guard action. And remember, the majority of the Court is comfortable with the idea of a “Living Constitution”, which means whatever they want it to mean.


A Statute Declaring the Existence of Unicorns

It’s easy to reduce the deficit, drop tax rates, and provide better services to more people. I could do all three at once.

Just mandate that people buy that better service and tax any non-government providers of it.

Et, voila!

Economically, we’re worse off. But financially, the government looks like gold.

Imagine the only kind of car legal to be owned and sold was a Cadillac. And that every adult had to buy one.

General Motors would be immensely profitable. And all that profit could be spent paying down GM’s debt. Or the government could take it to pay for other services, leaving GM at break-even (although with enough for lavish executive lifestyles, luxurious labor contracts and robust lobbying endowments).

Meanwhile, taxes could be reduced, as there would be no need for communal transport. And sales tax collection would be up with all those people buying expensive cars.


The Eve of Civil War?

Tomorrow Congress is expected to use its own rules to pass a health care bill that has not yet been written. If this happens, we are no longer a nation of laws.

A nation where law is subordinate to government is tyranny. And windows will be broken:

When the Sons of Liberty wanted to express their opposition to the actions of the King's ministers, they would gather in front of the homes and offices of his tax-collectors and government officials in Boston or New York and break their windows.


Rhetorical Theater

Remember, when you're debating with someone, always keep in mind that what you're really trying to do is teach the audience.

Quoted from: Difster (in a comment at Vox Popoli)

Post Style: 

Landfill for Gaian Prayers

Recycling is one of the sacraments of the lefty/greenie religion. Sometimes, it is actually a good idea, too. Sippican offers an experiment to determine whether all that washing and sorting of your garbage is an act of faith or an exercise in reasoned stewardship of nature’s bounty:

I'll give you an experiment you can try at home, whether you're a raccoon or not. Strip the aluminum siding off your house, or the copper wiring, or steal a few manhole covers, or rip out all your copper plumbing, or cut all the steel fenders off your Prius. Go to the Yellow Pages and find a scrapyard and go there. They will weigh those items on a big scale for you. You don't even have to get out of your now fenderless vehicle. They'll weigh your vehicle coming in and out and calculate the difference. They will count money in your hand, because that stuff is worth money.

To Injure No Man, But Bless the Left

I was a subscriber to the daily Christian Science Monitor. After a couple of trials, I judged their reporting to be from a neutral viewpoint. Religion appeared in every issue, but did not color the news. The coverage, although U.S.-centered was truly global. And the lighter features were usually interesting (they had great, brief film reviews).

My full-time subscription began around the time the world was preparing to invade Iraq in 2003. I let it lapse after a couple of years because I wasn’t finding the time to read all the coverage they packed into a daily paper. I still followed the website regularly (it’s offered in NRR’s news rack).


Best of Luck, Chester

Minnesota Vikings running back Chester Taylor has signed a four-year deal with the Chicago Bears. Taylor struck me as an ideal all-around back. He may not have any single superstar skill, but he can run, catch and block effectively in any situation. As I’ve said hundreds of times as everyone else seemed obsessed with Adrian Peterson, there’s nothing wrong with Chester Taylor.

I wish him the best, and hope he earns the starting job with the Bears. From the StarTribune story, the Vikings wanted to keep him, but the Bears were willing to pay millions more. There is apparently no ill will on either side.


Atheist Morality

I was curious how atheists determine right and wrong. Without a command from G-d, isn’t good and evil just a matter of taste?

The google led me to a wealth of argument and testimony. Although they seem to spend far too much time berating non-atheists (mostly Christians), I saw an essential similarity in all the discussion.

Good, or right conduct, works out to be the same as what the faithful subscribe to. By culture and tradition, or for species survival, atheist morality seems to be rooted in the Golden Rule: Do on to others as you would have them do on to you.

The atheists seem very proud that they can reason their way to this shared conception without invoking a deity. They assure the audience that rape and murder are still wrong, and atheism is not (necessarily) just nihilistic hedonism. There are problems in the arguments I saw, but I expect those are issues of logical formality that somebody from Team Atheist has worked out.



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