February 2nd, 2016  Posted at   Uncategorized
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Mia Love has introduced this, and I would like to see more bloggers get the word out.

H. R. 4335

To end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill by requiring that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject, and for other purposes.

Its current status:

01/06/2016 Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

Here’s a link to their membership – look for names to urge to get this legislation OUT!  If you click on the link of their names it will take you to their page, where you can send a quick email.

 

February 2nd, 2016  Posted at   Uncategorized
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It’s an idea whose time has come.

Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit, first suggested it, but the concept has been picked up by many, including Bookwormroom.

That idea?

That Conservatives should buy one or more women’s magazines, and run right-leaning articles, in among the tips on weight loss, hair, etc.

I’m actually agnostic on whether they should buy an existing magazine.

  • Pros
    • Ready-made structure
    • Existing audience
    • Can be implemented without huge expenditure – hey, the magazine field is under financial pressure, as is all the dead-tree media.
  • Cons
    • More difficult to get existing staff to buy into the change – MANY are die-hard Leftists
    • A writers’ boycott is a serious possibility – that could lead to advertiser flight
    • Uprooting the Leftist holdouts might be a long, draining process

Either way, I would be on board with this.

Most important part of this?

NOT making this a quasi-campaign vehicle.  The magazine would have to have independence from parties and pressure groups.

January 24th, 2016  Posted at   Uncategorized
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What I’ve been saying for YEARS about the culture being the important thing to change, not the politicians, is bearing fruit in the form on an explosion of fiction that takes the Conservative or Libertarian point of view.  Here are some examples:

Fiction

What I Saw at the Coup.

Alas, Brave New Babylon

The Alienork Way – VERY powerful, very prescient.

Liberty Island (serialized novels and short stories)

NOT Fiction

When the Music Stops

January 16th, 2016  Posted at   Uncategorized
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I started to post on Facebook about one of these links, then realized that I had a LOT of other links that I wanted to spotlight.  So, in no particular order:

 

January 10th, 2016  Posted at   Uncategorized
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That is, from the outside, where does your sense of personal boundaries begin?  For many people, it is at least in the immediate perimeter around their person – their body.  As long as you can keep your personal space from being violated, you are secure.  With family, that is generally at the level of the body exterior.  With less close relatives/friends, that may include an invisible, but real zone around your body.  Inside that zone, only invited people may enter.  Hence, the personal outrage of the children who find that “Great-Aunt Whoever” ignores that zone, and insists on hugging and kissing.  Their outrage is that she ignored the boundary, on the pretense that she is a close relative.

But, that personal zone is NOT the ideal, when it comes to strangers – those who have not established trust with you.  For them, they need to stand further away – the less trusted, the further away they need to be for you to feel safe.  The size of the zone varies among cultures – Mediterrean cultures generally have smaller zones.  In Muslim cultures, the interrelatedness of the kinship group (coursing marriage being common in such cultures), means that they are more comfortable with a smaller personal zone.

How does that relate to the Migrant Crisis of Europe?

But consider personal safety. I have good locks on the doors of my house, so I don’t need to lock the doors of my individual rooms, the way I would have if I couldn’t secure my front door, or if members of my family found it fashionable to invite drifters in to spend the night with us.

If I lived in a gated community, I wouldn’t need to lock my front door at all, but I don’t, so I do.

In other words, I can have liberty of movement at some geographic scales, as long as I have security at some other level.

Merkel is trying to shrink the personal zone to a space that the Native Germans are NOT comfortable with.  She did this unilaterally, based on her political philosophy.  She triggered the “unsafe” feeling in the Germans, and they are pushing back.

This is beside the fact that the New Europeans are, in too many cases, acting boorishly and with complete disregard for the cultural and social norms of their host countries.  Some of the migrants expect that an unaccompanied woman, as well as one with a Euro man, has no expectation of boundaries.  They feel justified in ignoring ANY boundary, including the exterior of that woman’s body.  It is such an expectation that permits them to touch, grab, and rape with no expectation that there will be consequences.

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One major aspect that is wrong with American Life is that minority viewpoints use our basic desire to compromise as a way of “pushing the camel’s nose into the tent”.  What is that?  Here is one example of the story:

One day an Arab and his camel were crossing the desert. Night came and the temperature became colder. The Arab put up his tent and tied the camel to it. The Arab went to sleep.

The temperature became slightly colder and the camel asked the Arab if he (camel) could just put his nose in the tent to warm up. The Arab agreed that the camel could just put his nose in, because the tent was small and there was no room for 2. So the camel’s nose became warm and after a while the temperature went down even more.

The camel asked the Arab again, if he (camel) could just put his fore legs in because they were very cold. The Arab reluctantly agreed that the camel could only put his fore legs in and no more. So the camel moved in his fore legs and they became warm. After sometime the camel asked the Arab again that he had to put in his hind legs or else he won’t be able to make the journey the next morning with frozen legs. So the Arab agreed and once the camel moved his hind legs in, there was no more room in the tent for the Arab and the Arab was kicked out.

The concept of conventional wisdom is always defeated by an entity determined to get its way, first asking for a “harmless” concession of a tired opponent, then, incrementally, continuing to push to achieve its long-term goal.  Just keep that in mind next time you’re asked to make ONE TINY compromise.

Hold firm.

In other news:

P. J. O’Rourke has gone out of his mind.

He is foaming at the mouth about Ted Cruz.  Yes, TED – Blanking – CRUZ.  According to P. J., having Cruz as the Republican candidate would be THE Ultimate Worst Thing (I assume that he is patenting the phrase).

Why?

Because Ted is not fervently in favor of SSM (Same Sex Marriage) and legalized marijuana.

Really.

That’s it?  One of the most qualified Republicans – one that ACTUALLY held the line when the Dems tried to push their agenda on the Senate – and the problem he has with Ted is that he thinks we ought to not upset a socially-recognized marriage tradition that has lasted for all of recorded history.  Oh, and, that, absent GOOD – not anecdotal – scientific evidence that pot is worth legalizing, we shouldn’t change its status.

Really.

Now, many disagree about the SSM thing.  I do understand that.  From my perspective, I’d rather the government get the Blank out of the marriage endorsement altogether, and just institute Civil Unions.  Those who WANT to get married, can – assuming that they can find a minister, Internet-ordained person, Cultic Leader, or other person that can persuade a religious/spiritual/frankly-nutty-offbeat-organization to handle the ceremony.

No – absolutely NO – pressure on churches/temples/mosques to marry people against their principles.

Got few problems with that.

Oh, and, if someone has a preferred title – Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms., Supreme Leader, whatever – let’s accept that addressing them by that title is optional, not mandatory.  Most people will go along.  Some will have objections.

Let’s just decide that “Citizen” is the acceptable alternative for those with philosophical objections.  As in, Citizen Cruz.  Citizen Clinton (either).  And, Citizen O’Rourke.

And, the pot thing?

Listen, I’ve taught for many years.  Before that, I often encountered people under the influence of Wacky Weed.  Including one of my roommates, and her friends.

I can assure you, with absolute confidence, NOT ONE of those so impaired was in any way smarter, more rational, or having razor-sharp reflexes.

In fact, there was little to distinguish them from someone born Lazy, Mentally Slow-Processing, and, to be honest, Dumb as Dirt.

NOT what I want to see as the norm for American Citizens.  Nor, for that matter, those under the age of 18.

Oh, but, legalization will only affect those OVER 18.

Right.

Sure.

Of course, the fact that buying or using pot by a minor will be against the law will TOTALLY stop them from doing it.

Just like the fact that it’s illegal now stops them.

/sarc

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She has the neatest blog – politics, culture, and, of course, fantasy and sci-fy (she is an author, having been published both IRL by Baen and in digital form).

One of the best things is the way she analyzes America from the standpoint of an outsider, which she was, initially.  Sarah was born and raised in Portugal, and retains the ability to see us at a distance.

“The Long March” is 2 days old, but worth the time reading it.

Probably  the most crucial part?

There is strife.  Strife means the old blood and the new don’t agree.  Another way to look at it is renewal.

Problem is advocates of liberty are about as good at coordinated action as a bunch of cats

It’s true, the Left outflanks us at unified action.  Gone are the days when Democrats proudly proclaimed, “I’m not a member of a political organization – we’re not organized at all”.

Mao and his ilk would be bursting his jacket-buttons at the way modern American Leftists have managed to corral ordinary American citizens into lockstep.  They’ve done it by the time-honored manner used by so many Leftists – enforcement of cultural norms and social shaming, pressure on their peers to banishment the non-conformers, and threats – threatened and actual – against employment.

Who could have predicted that the Woodstock Generation would turn to methods they ridiculed when they were the outsiders?

December 22nd, 2015  Posted at   Conservative Self-Education, Islamicist, Leftists, Progressive
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Never Fear – Kathy Shaidle is here!

One of the neat things about occasional bouts of insomnia is that. when carousing around the web (my most common go-to for those times), you sometimes run into Fun Facts!

Such as this:

More Catholics were killed by left-wing atheists—like my typical sparring partner—during the Spanish Civil War than “heretics” were killed during the 350-year Spanish Inquisition.

The “Crusades were SO Terrible” meme that the Progressives/Leftists want to beat any opposition over the head with is another of those accusations that is best combated with a Fun Fact!

Such as this map showing that the Jihadi invasion of the Middle East – at that time, almost exclusively Christian – and Europe was FAR more extensive than the defensive Crusader wars.

December 21st, 2015  Posted at   Election, Politics
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Look, I’m a big fan of the online world.  It speeds up the collaborative process when at least a portion of it can take place online.  This semester, the teacher I’m mentoring and I have been doing at least part of our interactions online.

However –

At least 2-3 times a week, we find that it’s necessary to get up, walk the relatively short distance to the other’s room in the pod, and quickly confer.

Apparently, humans are just hard-wired to prefer at least SOME IRL contact.  I have people with whom I have only online interactions, and I find that I wish we were able to at least occasionally met in the physical world.

So, Rubio’s decision to keep Iowa almost completely non-physical is probably a HUGE mistake.  More than the coastal people recognize, those living in the interior are accustomed to “pressing the flesh”, and those politicians who haven’t been face-to-face may not realize that they will likely be perceived of as “cold” – and, therefore, likely to stumble in the first hurdle.

A huge amount of human decision is Gut Feeling – basing our choices on how someone handles personal interaction.  If you think about it, we’ve evolved in our hardware, but our software (brain) still works hard to make sense of those tiny indicators that let us know that a stranger:

  • Likes us – can be welcomed into our trusted circle
  • Is telling the truth
  • Will be loyal
  • Responds to the same stimuli as us – shows disgust for what appalls us, feels his heart beat faster for what energizes/excites us, is suspicious of the same people that we mistrust, etc.
  • Is a leader that would inspire us to follow him

Rubio may not realize the extent to which we depend on getting those cues – and how much better we are in person at putting those indicators into context.

I’ve often said that intuition is not what people think it is – rather than a mysteriously-based hunch, it’s the accumulated judgement of minor observations – mostly conducted without being consciously aware of the process –  that allows us to handle interactions with strangers.  I suspect that it’s handled by more primitive parts of the brain, and therefore less liable to be overridden.

Virtual is fine within your already-established trust circles.  It doesn’t work with strangers.

December 20th, 2015  Posted at   Uncategorized
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I’m on the road again.

Heading to Cleveland for the holidays.  This will be a short, visit-packed trip, with us heading back again no later than the 27th.

Good news – I passed the General test for Ham Radio, which makes me eligible to work the HF bands – those are the ones that are generally used for DX – long distance contacts.  Can’t do that without an HF rig, however, and those are QUITE expensive.  Minimal – about $600.  Maximal – my dear, if you have to ask…but, can be $12k – 15k.

For a RADIO?

Well, yes, but they also do so much more:

  • Slow-scan television/video can be received/sent, making it the choice for getting REAL news from far, and not-so far away.
  • Outer space communications – bouncing a signal off one of the many satellites, communicating with the space station, controlling a satellite.
  • Emergency communications – when the cell towers are not functional, radio can be.  Providing both emergency assistance to disaster agencies and helping those affected assure family that they are OK.  And, in case of the Zombie Apocalypse….
  • Locating rogue transmitters, chatting with another amateur with your special interests (other than radio – Black, disabled, women, chess players, English or other language learners in other countries) running an underground movement to free your country from an oppressive government – anywhere the “outs” need a way to communicate outside of the regular media channels – Ham is there.
  • Connecting with the Internet where access is weak or nonexistent.
  • And, yes, old-fashioned, but very effective – Morse Code.  Which I’m planning to take up now that I’ve passed the test.  Have to buy/make a CW oscillator first to learn with.

My other big plan is to get into shape – a shape other than round.  Fitness is my primary goal, but it wouldn’t kill me to hear that I also look good.  I should have the time this Christmas break to set up a workable plan for weekdays and weekends, as well as begin tracking my food intake.

Merry Christmas to all!  And if you are feeling STRESSED by the holidays, think of THESE PEOPLE – they live in the Mideast, and risk SERIOUS punishment for celebrating.