From the “Click at Your Own Risk” File May 31, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
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Memorial Day Link May 30, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
Though my and my wife’s families have strong traditions of military service, I never really know what to say on Memorial Day: none of our family members have died on active duty, a record which I pray holds true for my son in the Navy. Fortunately, DaveinTX always has a worthy Memorial Day post, so I recommend heading over to Ace’s and reading that.
One thing I haven’t liked about this years’ Memorial Day posts is the “don’t thank me on Memorial Day” breed of posts coming from current and former service members. The notion is that they lived, so Memorial Day isn’t for them. I say balderdash ==> remembering those who live is a complement to remembering those who died. It’s an acknowledgment that, survivor or casualty, they offered their life for their country.
There’s never a bad day to honor the contributions of those in the military, and Memorial Day is a particularly good day for it, fallen or not.
Monty Python Trailer, Updated May 29, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
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Old but kinda funny. Answers the nagging question: What would a trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail look like if given a modern treatment? I know that question has kept me up on many a night.
News You Can Use: Toilet Safety May 27, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
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You might want to click on this:
Nukes vs. Peace May 27, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
So our esteemed president recently visited Hiroshima, and had this to say:
President Barack Obama called on nations to “escape the logic of fear” and reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons as he became the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima, Japan Friday.
Now, no sensible person wants to have nuclear weapons, but since World War II there are many very sensible people who have appreciated the necessity of nuclear weapons. President Obama doesn’t seem to share that appreciation, so I was wondering: “Have the nuclear stockpile reductions over the past 30 years reduced the threat of nuclear war?”
So here’s a chart I found at The Economist, which shows the total number of nukes in the world, as well as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock. So now you can see, year by year, how the threat of nuclear war correlates with the number of nuclear weapons (US warheads are in blue, Russkies’ are in commie reddish-orange):
As you can see, since 1995 the danger of nuclear war has increased from 17 minutes to midnight to 3 minutes to midnight, even though the number of nuclear weapons has dropped by 2/3. That suggests, to me at least, that reducing our nuclear stockpiles has not made the world a safer place, and may even have made it much more dangerous.
A second point is that from 1960 to 1995, the threat level seems to closely track the number of Soviet Union/Russian nukes, and then from 1995 forward, the correlation is still strong, but negative. The number of US warheads doesn’t seem to matter much.
As you can also see, the number of US warheads was decreased during the Bush years, with very little reduction during President Obama’s terms. This, despite the fact that our current president has been much more critical of nuclear weapons, and has taken a lot of credit for significantly reducing our stockpile.
So I don’t think a state of peace and harmony is going to be achieved by following the president’s wishful thinking. It’s a policy you might encounter at a dope-addled college bull session instead of one produced by careful and informed thinking.
Like so many others in this administration.
Idleness May 27, 2016Posted by Sobek in News.
Back in 1973, Marion G. Romney gave a talk in which he warned against the consequences of people not working for a living.
Recently my secretary put on my desk an article which reported an experiment carried on by the National Institute of Mental Health. “A tiny Eden for mice” was built. In it was placed everything that could be included “in a mouse’s dream of paradise. Food, housing supplies—everything was there in abundance.” In it were placed four pair of mice. There was room for “4,000 mice. Every 55 days the population doubled. But when there were a little over 600 mice things began happening. Not only did the population fall off; but big problems arose in the mouse society. … the mice were becoming lazy. Many appeared greatly distressed, some utterly frustrated. Their behavior became quite unpredictable. The making of nests dropped off. Some of the mice began to eat each other!
“The planned mouse population never did climb to 4,000. They had reached slightly more than half that figure when reproduction came to a complete halt. The mouse society turned into an emotional mob!
“The population in mouse-Eden has now dropped to a little more than 600. No new baby mice are being born. The mouse society is doomed. And not a mouse shows any interest in saving his dying paradise.” (Lon Woodrum, Applied Christianity, Sept. 1973, pp. 28–30.)
Idleness is just as devastating to men as it is to mice.
“Give [men] everything they ask for while making no demands on their own efforts, and they will deteriorate into an unfit mob.” (Ibid.)
When I heard that, I thought about a recent article on the tragedy of modern Venezuela. I can’t find it, which is too bad because it really captured the helplessness of watching a slow-motion destruction that no one can seem to stop, like the whole world going simultaneously mad.
So instead, here’s a guy on Liveleak arguing that Venezuela is just fine. I can’t figure out when that was first published, but it was some time before November, 2013, when the author should have known better. It’s the kind of thing you have to laugh at because otherwise you’ll cry.
About Those Lines at TSA May 26, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
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SJWs Go After Families, Cuz They’re Unfair May 26, 2016Posted by geoff in News.
Ran across this gem on the internet:
I had done some work on social mobility and the evidence is overwhelmingly that the reason why children born to different families have very different chances in life is because of what happens in those families.
One way philosophers might think about solving the social justice problem would be by simply abolishing the family. If the family is this source of unfairness in society then it looks plausible to think that if we abolished the family there would be a more level playing field.
Before you get too incensed (though you will eventually regardless, because, well, read on), I should point out that this is just his philosophical starting point – he only sort of advocates abolishing the family. That is, having a family is fine, but it shouldn’t be a traditional nuclear family consisting of your biological kin:
‘It’s true that in the societies in which we live, biological origins do tend to form an important part of people’s identities, but that is largely a social and cultural construction. So you could imagine societies in which the parent-child relationship could go really well even without there being this biological link.’
‘Politicians love to talk about family values, but meanwhile the family is in flux and so we wanted to go back to philosophical basics to work out what are families for and what’s so great about them and then we can start to figure out whether it matters whether you have two parents or three or one, or whether they’re heterosexual etcetera.’
So what’s the most important distinguishing characteristic of this new family structure (composed of people who aren’t related to you)? Seems to be strenuously avoiding giving your child any kind of competitive advantage.
‘What we realised we needed was a way of thinking about what it was we wanted to allow parents to do for their children, and what it was that we didn’t need to allow parents to do for their children, if allowing those activities would create unfairnesses for other people’s children’.
‘We could prevent elite private schooling without any real hit to healthy family relationships, whereas if we say that you can’t read bedtime stories to your kids because it’s not fair that some kids get them and others don’t, then that would be too big a hit at the core of family life.’
I.e., make all kids have an underachieving childhood just because some kids have underachieving childhoods. This is the sort of absurdity one reaches when one ranks social justice as a higher priority than a society’s advancement, stability, efficiency, and standard of living. Rather than simply admitting that other priorities outweigh social justice, SJWs contort logic to reach absurd conclusions.
Like advocating that families be restructured so as to not provide unfair advantages.