5:05 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Anyone else notice this?



If you close your eyes and listen to Hans Blix, he sound just like the Burgermeister in that old kids' Christmas special. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Oh, and both Viggo Mortenson and Phil Donahue are idiots.

...silly me, you'd have to actually watch Donahue's TV show to know he's an idiot. Unless you have prior experience.
|W|P|89121078|W|P||W|P|5:00 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Hoping for Reciprocal Links, Part II



Alternate Title: I would have said this if I'd thought of it...



Blatant Link

There seems to be weird assumption about the terrorist threat. It assumes that there are only n deaths due to terror out there and if we just sit back and let it run its course, while trying via police effort to prevent, we'll get through this. They assume that any proactive fighting back will lead to X times n deaths, a multiplier. I happen to believe the deaths desired by the terrorists is limited only by how many of us remain alive.


Indeed.

(I've been saying "Indeed" alot lately because I like it when Instapundit does it)
|W|P|89120923|W|P||W|P|4:29 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Hoping for Reciprocal Links, Part I



One of my favorite blogs (for its self-deprecating humor, among other things) is Juan Gato's Bucket O' Rants.

Here's a blog I had to link (it's short, so here it is, in entirety):

When I first saw this headline:

Bush Announces New Counterterrorism Center
I read it as "Bush Announces New CounterCarter Center". Yeah. I'm kinda dumb.



And my response:


I have the same sort of thing happen to me a lot. I call 'em Brainskips.
Some of my personal favorites:
I had a paycheck with a stub that said "Detach before cashing", but I saw "Death before cashing".
I was driving and saw a sign that said "Right Lane Must Exit", but I saw it as "Right Lane Must Exist".
Ouch. Stop, my sides are in agony from laughing so hard.

|W|P|89119775|W|P||W|P|4:23 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Sexism



Is anyone else upset with the Progressive Insurance commercial I've been seeing lately on TV?

It's the one where a female is using her home computer to take a voodoo-doll-like revenge on her "cheating boyfriend".

I noticed more than 10 years ago that television commercials always show males as bumbling fools while presenting women as strong, intelligent, and always right. In fact, women are only foolish or incorrect if there is another woman present who is not foolish or incorrect. So if a commercial has a female presence, at least one woman is a positive example. Men rarely get such positive treatment.

But this one is worse. It actually endorses the idea that deliberately damaging, mischievous behavior directed at a male is acceptable and even desirable if a woman suspects he is unfaithful. This is particularly chilling when seen in the context of the recently-completed Clara Harris trial. I listened with dismay and disbelief when the defense attorney actually tried to use the 'orphan' defense (you know the old joke: "person X would kill his own parents and then ask for leniency on account of being an orphan") From the prosecuting attorney: "If the situation were reversed and he had run over and killed Clara Harris, would you be considering probation at all?" Indeed.

|W|P|89119576|W|P||W|P|4:06 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Choices



There is one thing I want to make clear. A sort of 'rules of engagement' as it were.

You are going to hear me say things about certain groups of people who hold certain beliefs or have certain associations. Since language is often incomplete in its service to communication, as terms mean different things to different people, I want to make sure that my use of terms and descriptions is received with the caveat that I do not judge or criticize people, I judge behaviors. Behaviors, for the most part, are observable. Behaviors have consequences that can be evaluated.

For instance, there's nothing wrong with being angry. You can be angry all the time, if you want. I don't care. But it is wrong for you to act on that anger by hitting someone, or otherwise deliberately harming. I would condemn your actions in hurting someone else.

Warning: The following will be controversial.

For another example, I believe homosexuality is wrong. I feel it is a sin. On the other hand, it is no better or worse than any other sin. I've talked before about my view of sin, but maybe you need a reminder. I don't simply accept moral rules from the Bible as inscrutible, immutable laws that must be adhered to without question. (In fact, I would consider that sort of behavior is also sinful). But since I do believe the Bible is correct, I try to understand why God told us not to engage in that behavior, because since my premise is that God is Perfect, Holy, and Omniscient, His rules for us always have a reason.

After much thought, it seems clear to me that homosexuality is damaging behavior. I cannot prove it, because a causal relationship between homosexuality and certain types of damaging behavior has not been established. But then, a causal relationship between tobacco use and many forms of disease has not yet been fully established, either, and most people still accept that premise without argument.

There are credible reports of homosexuals seeking to contract AIDS. There are credible studies showing homosexual employment of safe sexual practices on a wide scale was evident only for a brief time, and was largely abandoned after AIDS-delaying drug cocktails became available. There is a correlation between sexual hedonism and homosexuality as well: looking at pornography has been shown to entice men into homosexuality, and many homosexuals have stated that a substantial portion of their identity as a homosexual is related to a desire for multiple partners and extreme promiscuity (one homosexual stated that having 30 sexual partners in one week was not unusual). All this is over and above the fact that one of the most basic practices of homosexuality is unhygenic, physically damaging, and resulted in several diseases already rampant among the homosexual community long before AIDS appeared. And although it was glossed over in the news, many of the so-called pedophile priests were actually engaging in sexual acts with post-pubescent males, and as such, is certainly predatory homosexuality. It is no worse, nor more excusable, than males who prey on underage females. But since predation of the underaged by homosexuals was occurring at a significantly higher rate than among the heterosexual population, some as-yet undetermined correlation certainly exists.

The case against female homosexuality is admittedly pretty weak, at least on the basis of clear damaging consequences. In this case, I tend to look at the indications that an astoundingly large percentage (well over 50%) of female homosexuals were sexually abused, emotionally abused, or raped. Obviously, many women who are raped or abused never become even bisexual. But it is significant that such a high percentage were inflicted with such an extreme negative sexual experience by a man. If, in fact, female homosexuality is the result of damage by a man, I think it can be considered an undesirable result.

What, you may ask, about the documented physiological differences in brain chemistry between many homosexuals and many heterosexuals? What about the people who claim they were born homosexual? How can it be a sin if someone has no choice about who they are, or who they are attracted to?

I anticipate these questions because they are the ones I am usually asked when I bring up this issue. But remember, I am not judging the individual, I am judging the behavior. I have no doubt some people are more likely to be attracted to their own sex rather than the opposite gender. Just as some people are more prone to lying, some tend to cheat, others have a predeliction for violence. But in no case are we justified in engaging in behavior just because our nature tends in that direction. We are all responsible for the actions (or inactions) in which we engage. Sometime soon I will provide the thinking and logic that leads me to conclude that homosexuality is a choice.

So I condemn homosexual behavior as being damaging to both body and spirit.

But you can be and feel and think what you want. But when you engage in a damaging behavior, it becomes public business when it affects the society at large. When you try to present it as an attractive lifestyle choice, when you want other people to pay huge sums to extend a life cut short by consequences arising from selfish choices, when you claim homosexuality is not a choice while simultaneously trying to seduce heterosexuals, and when you specifically target the young and vulnerability as sexual or romantic objects, you have forced your choices on society beyond what is acceptable.

Now, let's say you have a friend or relative who does not do any of these things. The person in question has never been promiscuous, never engaged in sodomy, never tried to entice a heterosexual, and has been in a loving relationship for the last 25 years that is stronger than most heterosexual relationships. If that really is the case, cool! Great! Because acting in unselfish love certainly isn't sinful.

Killing someone is not always wrong. I'm pretty sure stealing a loaf of bread when you are starving is probably not a sin. I could go on, but what I'm trying to say is I can easily accept that there are ways of being homosexual that aren't sinful. I'm certainly not going to insist on it, but I can certainly fathom the idea that it is possible, however unlikely.

That's one of the reason I really try to focus on the behavoir rather than the person. I can't see into someone's soul and know if they are sinning, only God can. I don't even want to. If you are hurting yourself, that's between you and God. It only becomes my business when you are hurting other people but ignoring your responsibility; when you try to claim your sin is 'holiness', and try to get others to engage in the same behavior (I guess to try to legitimize your sin??).

I hope that clears things up.

|W|P|89118976|W|P||W|P|10:03 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Challenges



I have learned some things this week. Things I previously ignored or discounted. I wasn't cynical enough, perhaps. But my eyes have been opened.

What if I told you that there is a group, numbering far less than 1% of their ethnic/religious population, which nonetheless poses a grave threat to the future of our nation and our freedom? How could such a small group pose such a serious danger? It doesn't take many. They are armed, and will indubitably refuse to disarm if the LLDs have their way and pass laws against owning weapons. They hate most of the United States, and hate everything for which it stands. Their very existence is directly attributible to the freedoms they enjoy, but they resent and detest the very same freedoms. Their speech is filled with hate, and racism, and sexism. They speak of rivers of blood, butchery, death, killing, and believe it is justified to perpetrate atrocities on any who do not embrace their ideology.

They are able to spread their message because of Freedom of Speech, as well as the non-constitutional but oft-cited Separation of Church and State. Some speech is not protected by the 1st Amendment. Obviously, racial epithets and sexual harassment are not protected. But this message of hate and death is far worse, and should be banned. Children are being indoctrinated into hate before they can even speak. This is tragic and heartbreaking.

Even worse, this group (and its splinters) uses a tangential association with a religious group as camouflage. The vast majority of their professed religion live a life of peace. But the unimaginative and simple-minded cannot separate the extreme movement from the peaceful mainstream, and so racism and prejudice are increased.

Are you mad yet? Are you mad at me for slandering your purported Religion/Ethinicity of Peace, or are you mad that this organization of Hate is manipulating our system against us? For rest assured, although they make use of democracy, if they ever gain power, there will be democracy no longer. They have openly stated their intention to instill a brutal, tyrannical dictatorship.

So what group is this?: White/Aryan Supremecists. Surprised? Here's challenge #1: if what I said doesn't convince you we need to change laws (and the Constitution, if need be) to combat this ideological cancer, if it doesn't convince you we need an armed populace to keep our options open in combating their planned terrorism, go research them. Check the web, search your library. If you study their background, you will be shocked. It's chilling.

But what if I told you it is actually not just one group? Yep, there is another group that is nearly identical. They hate the Jews just a smuch, and just as fervently believe in a Jewish Conspiracy. Yes, I'm talking about Muslim extremists. In less than 30 minutes I heard enough pronouncements of hatred and planned violence on America to make my blood run cold, and these statements were all made in the United States! Will you fight to the death to preserve their right to proselytize their religion of hate? Because if you don't plan to combat it, chances are you will forfeit your life when they decide to engage in open terrorism on us. They are already engaging in small scale terrorism. So here's Challenge #2. If you are naive enough to believe all Muslims are peaceful, investigate my claims. Find out that there were more than 3000 acts of Terrorism perpetrated on US soil from 1993 to 1998 (I have no figures on how many were Middle-Eastern-based acts of terrorism, sorry). Find out what their leaders are saying. Go investigate the history of Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and particularly Algeria to see how a handful of Muslim extremists plan to (and in Algeria and Afghanistan's cases) have succeeded in replacing a government through terrorism. It's all out there. You just have to use your brain and evaluate the evidence.

What will you do to combat this?

Update:

It's also important to point out what Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Terrorists use the techniques of violent coercion to achieve a regime of violent coercion."

Indeed.
|W|P|89018114|W|P||W|P|6:09 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Ladies, You Still Like to have Men Hold the Door, Right?



Well, check this out. I am reprinting it in its entirety in case it is not available later. I don't have a point with this, because I don't agree with the conclusions of just one study. More and stronger evidence might convince me, though...


By Jacqueline Stenson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Health) - Chivalry isn't all it's cracked up to be, suggests new research showing that men who hold doors for women also tend to hold sexist views about them.
"On the surface, you would say these are really polite gentlemen," said study author William Altermatt, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan in Flint.
But women may not find their underlying beliefs about the opposite sex very considerate, he said.
At a recent meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Altermatt reported research showing that men who supported chivalry also generally believed that women are not as competent and powerful as men and that their place is in the home.
In one study, 201 college students (66% male) completed questionnaires about their beliefs on chivalry and attitudes toward women.
Responses revealed a clear association between chivalry and sexist beliefs, a link that is based on stereotypes, Altermatt and colleagues found.
The belief that women are less competent and powerful than men explained both chivalry --that women must be protected and provided for by men--and sexist beliefs that women are not qualified for high-power positions, the researchers concluded.
In a second study, they sought more information about chivalry and female stereotypes from an additional 185 college students (62% male). Participants evaluated three stereotypical subgroups of women and also completed a questionnaire about their views on chivalry.
The participants reporting high support for chivalry gave more favorable ratings to homemakers and less favorable ratings to career women and sexually permissive women than the low-chivalry participants did.
The researchers said these findings extend those of the first study by suggesting that chivalrous men not only endorse the stereotype that women are less competent and powerful than men but also disapprove of women who violate this stereotype--those who are high in competence and power or low in virtue.
While women shared some of the same views as men, there were differences. "Men were more favorable to chivalry than women and they also had more stereotypes of women," Altermatt said.
He describes chivalry as a type of "benevolent sexism." While chivalry may seem nice, he explained, the basis for it nonetheless is that women are in need of help by men.
"It makes men look great, but it's also got this baggage," Altermatt said. "It doesn't always make sense."





|W|P|88946921|W|P||W|P|5:46 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Comments



Since I changed the format, I'm having to re-figure out and re-configure my little extras, like comment functionality. It's not a deliberate omission. If you want, send me your reactions/thoughts in email, and I will put your response in an update to the post. Deal?
|W|P|88945747|W|P||W|P|5:23 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Freedom



We don't have a free country, can we all agree on that? We have more freedom, perhaps, than any nation in history has ever enjoyed, but there are still very real limits on our behavior.
And that is a good thing.
Consider the anarchists. They say they truly want absolutely no government, and absolutely no laws (anything short of that is inherently self-inconsistent). But that is essentially dishonest, because it seems clear to me that they really just want to exempt themselves from laws and government while keeping most other people restricted. I say this because I'm sure they would not approve of someone stealing everything they own, shooting their best friend and raping their children/sibling/friend/relative. Advocating anarchy is nothing more than an adolescent fantasy of hedonism in action.
Consider the Libertarians. They say the government that governs least governs best. If you take that statement seriously, then they are actually advocating anarchy. So re-interpret their manifesto for them, and say that the government that governs at its most minimal governs best. But that, too, is ridiculous. I'm happy the government sets standards on things like the environment, health and cleanliness standards, etc. If you want to see a government that ignores its responsibility in all the areas Libertarians want to eliminate, go see China and how messed up their system is in terms of medical and product fraud, the number of deaths due to contaminated food, etc. There are very real reasons to have an overall government.
But I mentioned real limits on freedom. Most of these limits are there to prevent harm to US citizens/residents. There are lots, but unless I'm missing some elements, there are only a few broad categories of limits. One limit is judgment on what is feasible or prudent or good; unfortunately, judgment is not consistent from person to person across all situations, so good judgment cannot be relied upon as a universal inhibitor. Morality also limits damaging behavior, but that is even less universal than judgment. Some people reject the very idea of morality. Even among those who recognize the value of morality, there are different sources upon which they draw.
So the two main limits I see on our behavior are: other people and the government.
Nowadays, when I look at an issue facing our society, the first thing I ask myself is, what mechanism is the best or most capable for resolving or managing the issue, government or individuals? (A mix of the two is always possible, or course) The second question I ask myself is, what is the least restrictive but most effective solution that avoids extremes? This is a sort of 'spirit of the law, not letter of the law' viewpoint. For example, take the issue of guns. I think outlawing all guns violates the constitution (not to mention being a really stupid idea), but it would also be silly to let individuals own nuclear weapons, or tanks, or probably even mortars. So if you feel the ownership of guns is evil, who is more able to control the ownership, government or individuals? Well, there's nothing you can do to take away my gun without getting shot, so the government is probably more effective. But that does not mean it is effective, since they haven't yet made any significant progress in disarming criminals. All the government can really do is keep the law-abiding from legitimate use of guns and prevent accidents (a staggeringly small percentage of gun deaths). So if you really want to effectively restrict gun ownership, the best thing to do is get enough people on your side that those who possess guns are shamed into giving them up. Don't laugh. The smoking campaign got some help from the government in the form of propaganda, but no laws against smoking were passed until after public opinion turned. And I will bet you that smoking has declined even among those who snub law.
And I put my money where my mouth is, too. I support keeping abortion basically legal. I don't agree with third-trimester partial-birth abortions, or actually any abortions after the 5th week, but I'm willing to listen to arguments to extend that. But I assert if you act and think with any reasonable level responsibility at all, five weeks should be sufficient to get it done. But along with that concession, I demand the right to full access to try and convince the female not to abort; anti-gun activists have the same right to try and convince me to not buy a gun. And doctors should have the right to not offer that service if they so choose (a right currently being eliminated by NARAL).
You see, I have faith in the intelligence and common sense of humans as a group; particularly United States citizens. I have confidence in the logic and sense behind my political and social positions that if I (or those who represent my views) have the chance to present the premise, logical steps, evidence, and conclusion, without emotionally-charged rhetoric either in support or in opposition, that the residents of the United States are intelligent enough to correctly either accept or reject my view in majority numbers.
But you know what? I don't think LLDs have the same confidence. The battle over the Supreme Court and reactions, or lack thereof from LLDS, to state Supreme Courts and federal courts that have overstepped their Constitutional bounds, show clearly that LLDs feel strongly that if they can't convince a majority of residents of the United States, they will force their views through the judicial system. This does not show a confidence in the common person. Maybe that lack of confidence is justified, maybe not. It is certainly inconsistent with democracy.
I recognize it is quite possible that some, most, or even all other CRRs are exactly the same way. I don’t scrutinize the pronouncements/techniques of my side as closely. If I appear to be in agreement with a spokesperson, I usually stop listening. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who can provide evidence (not just assertion) of CRRs disregarding a consistent majority opinion to try and circumvent the Constitution. I'm sure there's an example I haven't thought of, but I just haven't thought of it yet and could use a reminder.
I will also give more evidence/argument of the LLD attempts to circumvent the constitution if any of you really want it. I don't want to waste time on stuff that seems obvious to me if it is also obvious to everyone else.
Finally, if you agree that LLDs do want to circumvent the Constitution, but you agree with doing so, I would really like to hear your justification of how it is a good thing to circumvent the Constitution and majority opinion in order to bring about something you consider justice.
|W|P|88944637|W|P||W|P|11:35 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Guns



Okay, I've got lots I can say about guns. Much of it has been said by other people, so I'll spare you.

But I've been reading The Turner Diary recently, and I'm struck by a few things.

First, intelligence provides no immunity to stupidity. Meaning if you start with a flawed premise, your conclusion is going to be wrong no matter how clear and precise your logic is. This guy is really, really wrong. Many of the things in the book are truly sick.

But the author is truly intelligent, and intelligence bent toward a wrong goal is horrible to see.

I recommend reading the book so that you can understand your opponent, or in the way I see it, your (my) enemy. I see him as a terrorist, albeit a domestic one. This book helps me understand better how to stymie and defeat them.

But there was one interesting aspect to this book for the LLDs, who would probably ignore or discount it if they ever chanced to pick up the book: the only possible way in which white supremecists could ever hope to succeed is if the LLD dream of removing guns from the hands of the citizenry is ever accomplished. This is a variation of the "if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" argument. And there's an interesting logical corollary.

Do you really think any group of military or para-military law enforcement types could ever get militant supremecists to give up their guns? The incremental system of shaming and slippery-slope legislation will certainly force anyone who values rule of law to turn in any weapons, but most militant/militia groups recognize no law but their own law of survival. So because I am part of society, am engaged in society, fear jail time, and have friends and family I care about, you'll get my gun if you make guns illegal. I can't risk it. But if someone is living in a small town, far from the reach of the law, can depend on his society to help warn and shield and provide shelter to him, then he might risk keeping several guns. Since he fears the government will try to take his guns away from him already, he probably has a stash of rifles, stolen or otherwise untraceable, hidden somewhere only he can find it. So if he started a guerilla war (designed to be effective against Establishment law enforcement) against our military and populace, who would stop him? The last two times we tried to disarm relatively peaceful groups, we got carnage (both Branch Davidian Compound and Ruby Ridge).

Let me know if I need to flesh out that explanation a little more, okay?

Here's the logical corollary:

We don't have true freedom in this or any nation. We never have, never will. I'll go over that more in another post soon. True freedom would be anarchy. In effect, one person's freedom is always curtailed by someone else's. I have the right to say or do what I want, but only to the point that I infringe on someone else's right to be free from fear or harassment. We often police ourselves. For example, if you get in my face, I'll get in yours. Self-defense is a valid legal argument. Sometimes we need the government to police us, to restrict our freedoms somewhat. It's not legal to smoke in government buildings. We have speed limits, taxes, building codes, etc. The government has a system of checks and balances that keeps it from overstepping its bounds. If it goes too far legally, it can be stopped legally. But what if it goes too far with force? What if George Bush and John Ashcroft really did turn the United States into a fascist nation? What if they did use war with Iraq as a pretext to establish martial law and prohibit free speech? The military couldn't really do much; if we ignore the Commander-in-Chief's orders, we can be shot. There is no legal basis for disobeying a direct order from the President. So if all or most guns are confiscated, and the government does overstep its bounds, what can stop it? What limits are there to its power?

But the reverse? If everyone can have guns, what if someone oversteps his bounds and kills several people? Well, that's a situation the police, FBI, DEA, and the military are well-suited to handling. It is tragic that a few innocents die. It is no more or less tragic than if they die in a car accident, or skiing, or murdered by someone set free by a liberal judge. Taking it a step further, if more people carried guns with them as a matter of course, killing sprees would certainly be less common, and would almost certainly end much sooner with much less loss of life.

So if the liberals realize their dream, our populace if vulnerable to any President who decides to set himself up as a dictator. If the conservatives realize their dream, we have a populace in which a significant number of people are deterred from crime simplly because they don't know who has a gun. Not to mention the government knows it cannot freely become tyrranical, and any foreign invader who defeated our armies would quickly learn they hadn't even halfway completed the task of conquering America.

Final thought on guns...why is that any anti-gun liberal who is forced to work in proximity of guns becomes pro-gun? It happened to Juliette Lewis and the ballistics expert on CSI:Miami.
|W|P|88900324|W|P||W|P|4:53 PM|W|P|Nathan|W|P|

Eating Crow (sort of)



I'm back. Somewhat sheepishly, because I just couldn't stay away. Which is why I'm eating crow.

But it's good to be back. Unfortunately, I can no longer promise to post every day (which is why I shut down...I felt if I couldn't fulfill the unspoken committment to write every day, I shouldn't post at all), but I will post at least twice a week. It may end up being every day, but I cannot promise it. Please stop by at least once a day to see if I've added anything new.

Thanks for to those of you who have supported me through thick and thin.
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