Discussed in this video is how Republicans are screwing the pooch with thier focus on social issues at the Federal level. Anybody remember the Terri Schiavo case?
First a preface. Over at Talk Polywell we are discussing the rise of libertarianism in America. Actually more of a rebirth. In that context a discussion of a certain commenter on the board, Diogenes, came up. I refer to him as “D”. He is an atheist who tries to sell Christianity to the benighted masses. Commenter Betruger opens a section of the discussion with.
How do you explain how childishly easy it is to get to as respectable a moral livelihood as your pet fav Christianity, without as you put it being infected or otherwise fait-accompli’d into said fair livelihood by Christianity’s influence? A large part of it requires only to know oneself, as put by some guy from round where the original Diogenes made a name for himself, and recognizing that there is just no actual gain in others’ suffering and much gain in helping them be Good. Because, at this point in human evolution at least, we humans have the same Goodness at the heart of us all; even when it’s buried so deep under trauma, delusion, etc, as to be out of reach for today’s various methods of “therapy”.
And how is it impossible to be fair without religion if those monkeys do it? Would you say they are necessarily religious somehow, in their little monkey brains? If I wasn’t sitting next to the same kinda 21st century hardware as you are, to have this conversation, I swear I might wink my eyes and suspect I was arguing with some doctor of phrenology.
You can do anything you want with laws except make Americans obey them.
My reply was:
I swear I might wink my eyes and suspect I was arguing with some doctor of phrenology.
Well in fact you are. If you have been following D as closely as I have you would know that he is not a believer (he has mentioned it around here). His premise is that it would be better for society (him obviously) if you were. And since he knows the tropes by heart he tries to convince you. In a word the man is a sham.
His theory is that without that vengeful god in your head you would be raping, robbing, murdering, and slamming smack. So he attempts to put it in your head even though it is absent from his.
Because of his strange belief he never examines how moral codes arose before Christianity (the Jews actually). As a student of Jewish history I can tell you that the Jews of antiquity borrowed heavily from the cultures they were immersed in with a few ideas of their own. They were particularly fond of Zoroastrian culture and adopted some religious memes from them.
From this one might deduce that certain features of morality are innate and require nothing to enforce them other than being human. The Founding of the US was in its own imperfect way an attempt to find that minimum set of laws everyone could adhere to – thus allowing people of a multitude of cultures to live together. In fact the Jews had come up with a similar idea milena ago with their concept of the Noahide laws. The Jews themselves were burdened with 613 laws (about which a body of common law developed). Non-Jews only had seven. I wrote some on Noahide laws here.
D is in fact more Islamic than American. i.e. without one culture we are doomed. This is in fact a prescription for conflict.
The libertarians are trying to get back to the original concept. “What minimum set of laws can a diversity of cultures operate under.” Jefferson got it:
But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. -Thomas Jefferson
Reading a recent column by Peggy Noonan, I had a feeling of suffocating familiarity:
For four years I have been told, by those who’ve worked in the administration and those who’ve visited it as volunteers or contractors, that the Obama White House isn’t organized. It’s just full of chatter. Meetings don’t begin on time, there’s no agenda, the list of those invited seems to expand and contract at somebody’s whim. There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it. People speak airily, without point. They scroll down, see a call that has to be returned, pop out and then in again.
It does not sound like a professional operation…
It sounds like the bureaucrats here in Ann Arbor for God’s sake!
Or in any large university. Or any city that has been taken over by THEM. They love to hold meetings. They love to hear themselves talk. They love to chatter and pontificate endlessly about Things They Consider Important. More than anything, they care deeply about How Things Look. Public Perceptions.
And if you’re someone who wants to get things done but you have to go to their endless meetings, may God help you, because they won’t. In the past, the Republicans have been the ones who Made Things Work, but hopefully that is changing.
NOT ONE REPUBLICAN — no, not even a hate “RINO” — voted for Obamacare.
I hate to belabor the point, but I think that is an important fact, all the more so because not much attention has been paid to it.
A good argument can be made that the right should focus on what it has, but which most of them are too blind to know they have. Right now, a majority of the country see what is happening, and are incredibly pissed off. They despise Obamacare, and Obama and his minions know it. The right is too shell shocked to do anything except fight each other, and argue over secondary issues like gay marriage, call each other RINOs to the point of war, etc.
What is being missed by the circular firing squad is that “RINO” Romney would win election today. What is forgotten is that NOT ONE Republican — no, not even a RINO — voted for Obamacare. That ought to matter. There is unity on the big issues, not just among Republicans, but among the majority of Americans. It’s a golden opportunity, but few seem to care.
Republicans don’t seem to know it, but the issues position them as being solidly in the catbird’s seat. They could win were they to focus on the obvious issues with which the majority agree, rather than nurse petty grudges and trying to score meaningless points.
The majority of the country can’t stand Obamacare, OK?
The Republicans are beyond reproach on that issue, OK? The Republicans are also saying no to the endless blank check, OK?
Which means that if they could manage to shut up about secondary issues, they could win.
Unfortunately, the secondary issues are the primary issues.
The Republicans have made a budget deal. Some Republicans are not happy.
A number of well-funded outside groups, notably the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and FreedomWorks, have blasted the plan as insufficiently conservative and vowed to punish Republican lawmakers who support it.
These Republican groups have their donors to think about of course. But making a budget deal is a smart move. Tactically.
The government shutdown, as many Republicans will attest now, was a flop that failed to achieve the stated goal of defunding or delaying President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. Because the new budget deal sets spending levels until 2015, it eliminates the possibility of shutdown battles over the next few years, which serves as a welcomed relief to Democrats and Republicans alike.
And why is it smart? Because it gives Republicans the chance to focus on a winning election strategy. Opposing ∅bamaCare(less). As even some Democrats are doing.
And her previous position?
With Democrats running against themselves it is no wonder Republicans want the focus on ∅bamaCare(less). Here is a nice opposition ad:
Expect to see a lot more like it come election season.
This is rich. Sebelius asks for investigation of flawed website
Recognizing that deeper problems may lurk behind the botched rollout of the health care website, President Barack Obama’s top health official Wednesday called for an investigation into management and contracting decisions.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a blog post early Wednesday that she is asking the department’s inspector general to investigate the contracting process, management, performance and payment issues that may have contributed to the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.
Wasn’t she supposed to be managing the rollout of ∅bamaCare(less)? Yes she was.
So is she calling for an investigation of herself? Not if she can help it. And how about the pResident whose wife’s crony was involved in the design of said software.
Something is rotten. And it don’t smell good either.
One million applicants for 62,000 jobs? It happened to McDonalds in 2011.
After sifting through about one million applications, McDonald’s hired more than 60,000 workers nationwide, and over 1,000 in Chicagoland, in conjunction with its National Hiring Day earlier this month.
That is about 16 applications for each job.
Which makes the next story very ironic.
Fast-food workers in Oakland and throughout the East Bay walked off the job Thursday to participate in protests as part of a nationwide movement aimed at boosting their pay and benefits, an organizer said.
Beth Trimarco, of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, said protests are taking place at fast-food restaurants in about 100 cities across the country today.
Trimarco said about 200 people participated in what she called “a very spirited demonstration” at the McDonald’s restaurant at 14th and Jackson streets in Oakland during the lunch hour today.
If the rate of application for each of those jobs holds up to what was seen in 2011 there should be 3,200 applicants available to replace the striking workers.
Ya know. It doesn’t seem like a wise move to me to do a job action in the middle of a depression. Especially given that there is no way Congress will enact a $15 minimum wage. And they have not factored in technology. At what price point does it become cost effective to replace those workers with robots? McDonalds knows. Do the workers?
Drug Prohibition is now officially a joke.
State Rep. Diane Russell, who supports legalizing marijuana, said city voters approved the ordinance for the same reason Prohibition was ultimately overturned. Outlawing alcohol and marijuana didn’t stop consumption or substance abuse, she said; instead, it led to a black market with criminals profiting while small-time users were punished.
With 58% of the public favoring legalization I think they are a little late to the party – besides being a joke.
That last post (about what to call the government-created health care fiasco) made me realize the genuinely difficult nature of the rhetorical problem the left faces right now. The country is stuck with a hugely unpopular program, and naturally, the left would like to deny or minimize it, and their natural response would be to come up with the right label, preferably a slick, reassuring euphemism. Unfortunately for them, they are stuck with two less than perfect choices — “Obamacare,” or the crassly Orwellian “Affordable Care Act.” (Granted, “Affordable Care Act” may have been intended as a euphemism, but it fails big time because rather than reassure, it insults the intelligence of a growing number of American voters.)
With good reason, Obama’s defenders don’t want his name tarnished by being chained to an unpopular program, yet the alternative — demanding that it be called the Affordable Care Act — is worse, because under the current circumstances that word — AFFORDABLE — is a cruel joke and a rhetorical disaster. As more and more people are discovering, health insurance has been rendered anything but affordable, so using that word has a much greater sting with voters than does Obamacare. They can’t change the name of the program, because it is the title of the law. Maybe they should have thought of a better name, but it’s too late now.
If they have any sense (and there’s no guarantee of that), they’ll stick with Obamacare.
Frankly, I hope they insist on calling it “affordable” and demand that everyone else do the same.
I had put up some Dire Straits in my post Money For Nothing (about the Federal Reserve) and commenter Kathy brought up the subject of anti-war songs. I brought up the fact that you want as high a proportion of psychopaths as you can get in front line troops because they will be less affected by the stress of modern warfare. It is VERY stressful.
Well that made me go looking for more information on the subject. I came across this post. The Psychology Of Killing. It is a doozy.
Distance from the other human directly affects how easy it is to kill him. Bomber pilots don’t have trouble laying waste to kilometers of land and killing hundreds or thousands because they don’t see or hear the dead or dying. For infantry units, this takes on a different aspect, they see the fear in the other person’s eyes, the sweat on his brow, the pain in his face, the blood spurting from the wound, the desperate cries for help or mercy. The enemy becomes very real and vivid, the enemy becomes someone with hopes, dreams, fears, a mother, a father, maybe a wife, just like the shooter. In a way the shooter can see the enemy as little different than himself and killing that enemy soldier is like killing oneself. This is why infantrymen are more traumatized by war than any other field.
Wars are about humans fighting each other, it is horror and chaos, fear and trauma. This is why the shooting rate among troops is lower than most people would think. People will be willing to face death and dismemberment more willingly if they didn’t have to kill anyone. Medics for instance are notorious for risking life and limb to save someone while a regular trooper may stand by doing nothing but fire impotently at the enemy.
And it gets worse.
…units are rotated back from the front to a relatively secure area. If the enemy has penetrated friendly lines and there is no ‘secure’ area then it is little different than being on the front. This might be another reason so many people suffered in Vietnam because there were no ‘front lines’ and no ‘safe’ areas.
Units are frequently rotated into the reserves to allow them time to ‘recover’.
To understand the ‘sixty day’ concept lets look at what happens when a unit goes into combat.
Within the first ten days a unit becomes ‘battlewise’, they become used to the demands of watching from every direction, they learn to deal with the enemy threat and they become more ‘undisturbed’ by what goes on around them. Between ten and thirty days, they reach maximum efficiency. The fall into the pattern of combat.
After about thirty days they may become over confidant and believe their efficiency is not decreasing when it is. Their bodies are running out of stored energy and the battle field environment is beginning to take its toll on more than just their mind. Combat exhaustion begins to set in. Combat exhaustion is the effect of the elements, poor food, and physical exhaustion. It also includes what happens to the body. When a human experiences an adrenaline rush there is a price to pay afterwards. Combat is like a roller coaster in this way with high’s being the adrenaline rush and lows coming after the rush. This ‘roller coaster’ affects a human body dramatically because of the highs and lows, and can be severely draining physically and emotionally.
After about forty-five days Emotional Exhaustion may set in and the unit’s efficiency decreases dramatically. Troops aren’t willing to attack, they are unwilling to dig fighting positions or run patrols. They lack the will they had before
That is more than enough to give you a taste. You should read it all.
I suppose I should say something about the author, William S. Frisbee Jr. His own words are best.
I was US Marine Non-Commisioned Officer and a squad leader. I served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield. While I was in the Marines my hobby was small unit tactics. I enjoyed learning about all manner of small unit fighting from guerrilla wars to large scale conflicts. I was an NCO, not an officer so my viewpoints are that of a small unit leader who loved his job and strove for excellence.
This may be why I like Military Science Fiction so much. I despise writers who are too lazy to do their research and that may be why I shy away from most modern fiction. Movies are a sore point with me especailly because most producers are stupid and believe their audience is stupid too. The Rambo series is an excellent example of a producer’s stupidity and ignorance. Ask any combat veteran.
He suggests this book on the subject. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.
I think Yoda had a very good point when he said, “Wars not make one great”.
I liked a review of “On Killing…” by Andrew McCaffrey which I will quote in part:
Grossman spends a great deal of time discussing the trauma that the solder who kills faces when he returns to civilian life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in those veterans who returned from Vietnam. Those soldiers had been psychologically trained to kill in a way that no previous army had gone through, and there was no counteragent working to heal their psychological wounds. Grossman takes great pains to discuss how horrifying the act of killing is, and points out how detrimental it is to one’s mental health. When the Vietnam veterans returned home to no counseling and the spit and bile of anti-war protestors, the emotional effect was astounding. Most of Grossman’s thesis is supported by in-depth interviews and psychological profiles, but it is the story of the Vietnam veterans that comes across as the most disturbing.
I served in ‘Nam but aboard ship (DLGN-25). I was in the “combat zone” for about 3 or 4 months. Our ship never fired a shot in anger nor was it fired on. I did get to watch the planes take off from the Enterprise (CVAN-65) which was the center of the task force our ship was part of. When I got back to civilian life I was accorded “band of brothers” status from those more directly involved in combat. That peaked for me in Chicago in 1986 the year when Veterans put on their own parades to welcome themselves home. I bought some Navy fatigues and marched at the end of the parade for about a mile or two. I did pass General Westmoreland on the reviewing stand.
BTW contra the Tribune article – the soldiers won the war in 1973 or so. It was the Democrats in Congress in 1975 who refused material support to South Vietnam so they could defend themselves against communists attacking in force. Bastards. It only gets worse. There were the boat people. About half a million. About a quarter million died at sea. And now some 35 years later the Vietnamese government wants to join the Western System as China has done. There is resistance to that which will probably not effectively end for another ten or fifteen years.
And just to ride my hobby horse:
General use of cannabis for PTSD Symptoms
Maine October 2013 –> Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers qualify for medical marijuana – well that is a little late for the ‘Nam boys who have been persecuted almost every step of their way back home.
Money for Nothing is screening in select theaters or you can buy a DVD.
Reason Magazine did an interview. Video below.
At the Washington Post: Filmmaker bet on financial crisis, used profit to make documentary about Federal Reserve.
And what would a Money for Nothing post be without a little Dire Straits?
And a political parody: Mark Knockoffler sings the ObamaCare blues with his band Dem Strait. Turn the collar up on your iZod and rock out like it’s 1985.
Has the term Obamacare suddenly become the racist equivalent of the N-word?
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry suggested the term “Obamacare” and the N-word are interchangeable, claiming both were “conceived by a group of wealthy white men who needed to . . . render [a black man] inferior and unequal and diminish his accomplishments.”
Is that just the opinion of one commentator, or does the president no longer want his name attached to Obamacare? (If you think about it, the latter may be a good sign.)
“When you hear about the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare… And I don’t mind the name because I really do care. That’s why we passed it.”
Here in Ann Arbor, so many smug liberals sport “I ♥ OBAMACARE” bumperstickers that I couldn’t hope to count them. There’s an industry devoted to cranking out buttons and stickers, which are an official Democratic Party product, are sold at Amazon, and have been promoted at countless liberal websites like DailyKos. Are these all now destined to be
blacklisted banned as “racist” products by the forces of PC?
That strikes me as pretty harsh, especially at this time of the year. I would really hate to have to be out there in the freezing temperatures scraping a bumper sticker off my car in this weather, and it makes me feel sorry for the poor dupes.
I guess I’m just a bleeding ♥.
From ex-SKF blog.
Team Obama Changes Course, Appears to Accept China Air Defense Zone, Says Foreign Policy Magazine
Japan looks so solidly under the bus now, even as the ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party and Komei Party (plus Your Party and probably Japan Restoration Party) pushes the passage of the State Secrecy Protection Law in the Upper House of the Japanese national Diet, trying to do the bidding – supposedly – of the US Obama administration.
In that post there is a link to Foreign Policy Magazine.
Top Obama administration and Pentagon officials signaled a willingness to temporarily accept China’s new, controversial air defense identification zone on Wednesday. Those officials expressed disapproval for the way in which the Asian power has flexed its muscles, and cautioned China not to implement the zone. But they also carved out wiggle room in which the United States and China ultimately could find common ground on the issue, indicating that they may be willing to live with the zone for now — as long as China backs off its demand that all aircraft traveling through it check in first.
“It wasn’t the declaration of the ADIZ that actually was destabilizing,” said Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, America’s highest-ranking military officer. “It was their assertion that they would cause all aircraft entering the ADIZ to report regardless of whether they were intending to enter into the sovereign airspace of China. And that is destabilizing.”
That’s a change from just a few days ago, when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden demanded that China take back its declaration of the zone. And it’s another demonstration that China’s recent decisions have forced the United States to tread carefully. On Wednesday, Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing for more than five hours, according to a senior administration official. In brief public remarks midway through the marathon session, Biden didn’t mention the air defense zone at all.
Japan has the capability to make nuclear weapons in short order.
So let us see. The Middle East is nuking up. And the Western Pacific seems to be doing the same. So far only South American and African countries seem exempt.
Once again armed hate is loose in the world. I don’t think this will end well.
Update: 9 December 2013 1308z
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed on a cooperation pact with Iran on Sunday, an Afghan official said, while continuing to resist signing a long-term security agreement with the United States.
Add in Congress fuming over U.S. purchase of Russian helicopters for Afghanistan. And then there is the Russia – Iran alliance.
I predict a world war. It might take a few years (maybe as long as ten) to develop but ∅bama’s efforts are certainly speeding things along.
“I” war is information warfare. Propaganda. According to this video by Russia Today (RT), the US is losing. Well it is not just information warfare that the US is losing. Our pResident is losing allies. But that is another story.
I’d say that on the home front this is very good news. In terms of international relations not so much. A short list:
And NSA spying has annoyed even Germany.
And this is just too weird to believe. Not Safe For Work Except as commenter Frank reported a friend saying “The difficulty with the current President is that he makes conspiracy nuttery a rational option.”
The National Security Agency announced today that a pornographic website featuring hundreds of private videos of German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be shut down in the near future.
The site, MerkeLoveXXX.com, offers visitors access to exclusive X-rated content of Merkel taken with NSA cameras from inside her private home, offices and bathrooms, and was discovered last week after receiving over 25 million hits since being launched in 2005.
President Obama, who has denied previous knowledge of the site, assured Merkel that he has never seen any of the videos – which reportedly include such titles as “Chancellor Takes Husband’s Giant Frankfurter” and “Menkel Farts in Leather Chair”.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. – Hunter S. Thompson