Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Protesting the obvious....

...are a group of vocal parents in Fort Mill, South Carolina, who are apparently unaware that it is generally the young ladies who bare large portions of their torsos during school dances and at other functions.  Perhaps they've never gone to the mall, or church, or a school function, or elsewhere where teens are to be found?

No, folks, it's not sexism, but rather reality.  Young ladies know that putting themselves on display will get attention from young men; young men know that doing the same know that they will tend to get the disdain of both sexes. 

Maybe that will change over time, but I've got the crazy idea that we ought to design our policies around reality.

Brilliant example of appeal to authority fallacy... this brilliant bit of cross examination by Senator Ted Cruz of Aaron Mair, the head of the Sierra Club, who repeatedly responds to questions of whether the Sierra Club would retract his testimony upon presentation of contrary evidence (like satellite temperature measurements of the last 18 years) by noting that he "agrees with 97% of scientists."

Sorry, Sierra Club, and sorry, Mr. Mair, but we have a phrase in my profession:  "In God we Trust; all others must provide data."  If you appeal to authority, you are ipso facto not appealing to science.  The weakness of climatology research is demonstrated in tactics like this.

Please, please, please don't do this

It appears that a growing number of marriage therapists are bent on introducing one of Deming's seven deadly diseases of management--number three to be specific--to the marriage relationship.  Yes, they are really advocating that couples have an annual performance review.

One would think that they were paid off by divorce lawyers to recommend this, as in work life, the performance review is at best a nonissue--the manager has communicated his views and feedback to the employee already, so it introduces no new information besides the size of the raise, if that.

At worst, the manager does introduce new information to the employee, and since the manager has waited an average of nine months to give this feedback, it is outdated and invariably negative.  Who waits to give positive feedback, after all?  Attaboys and Attagirls do not cause confrontations.  And in many cases, since the manager has waited a long time to give feedback, the information is false--there have been a couple of cases where I felt downright slanderous.

It also strikes me that, while I do hold to the Biblical doctrine of headship, even the most submissive wives are going to get a touch grouchy (to put it mildly) at being treated as an employee. 

So if you want to have a better marriage, don't do this, but rather simply make a practice of routine self-evaluation and asking your spouse how things are going.  Waiting months to give negative feedback is simply a great way of getting divorce papers served.

But on the bright side, the psychologists are choosing only one deadly disease, which is better than the city of New York can say.  They're encouraging promiscuous Gothamites to get IUDs, which of course exposes them to far more than seven deadly diseases.  #50 Shades of Stupid.

Monday, October 05, 2015


Apparently, Doug Wilson has gotten himself into (yet another) kerfuffle by making the horrible observation that Christian women are prettier, and then defending that wild claim.  Because, of course, it must be a sin to notice that a woman (or man) is attractive, which is why Christ explicitly condemns the Holy Spirit for noticing that Rachel and David (and a bunch of others) were attractive.

Um, wait, not in my Bible.  No, our Lord does not do this.  So wait a minute on this one; if God Himself can notice that a person is attractive without sinning (and of course that's the case), exactly why would we say that a person cannot do the same?  It is as if we've forgotten the difference between a smile and a leer. 

Now there may be great reason not to verbalize the fact that many of our sisters in church are very pretty in some cases--our current culture being about 100 of those reasons--but if we outright say there's something wrong with noticing, we're really coming close to saying something about our Counselor that we really ought not say.  And the Bible does say something about that.

And what's even more humiliating?

Easy.  The debate team from Harvard, a fine private university, were caught off guard by the argument that private schools might do a better job than public schools in educating students.  Um, and you were going to Harvard and not the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople exactly why?  Because you wanted to throw away enough to buy a nice new SUV each year?

Apparently they did, for all the good paying all that tuition appears to be doing them.

Friday, October 02, 2015

What's more humiliating....

....than finding out your nation's national women's soccer team is half men, as Iranian fans appear to be learning now?

Finding out your nation's women's soccer team is half men, and still couldn't  get any medals at the Olympics or even get into the women's World Cup.  But who can blame them?  They really wanted to be....lumberjacks, of course.

What happens when you intimidate the police?

Just ask the residents of St. Louis, which this year overtook Detroit as the nation's murder capital. 

Yes, let's change the gun laws....

Predictably, President Obama has responded to the atrocity in Oregon by asking for a change in gun laws.  Now this may come as a surprise to readers here, but I'm all for it.  Let's change the gun laws.

We can start by requiring public colleges to allow carry permit holders to carry on campus, so that there is at least a chance of someone shooting back.  This is yet another atrocity that has occurred in a so-called "gun free zone". 

(probably not what the President was thinking of, but it would be a great start)

Along these lines, when I was in carry permit class, I wondered whether a victim of such a crime (or his estate) might someday sue because he was compelled to be unarmed in such a situation.  Now for the private sector, this kind of lawsuit probably won't fly because it can be assumed that the person has consented to that arrangement and has other reasonable options.

For colleges, however, public colleges are more or less the main gateway to a better life for a majority of the middle class and poor, and one can argue that one is more or less compelled to either take the deal or work retail or basic labor for all of one's life.  Hence I think that in the right setting, a good lawyer might be able to make that case.

And I hope one does.  Too many people have died because they and their neighbors were denied the right to self-defense.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Georgia and Denmark

Update; the 103 year old woman who was forced out of the church her family helped to found is now going back, as the "Holiness" pastor with whom she disagreed has left.  Regrettably, he's leaving to found a new church and does not appear to have even seriously discussed the issue of whether holiness methods are appropriate in a Baptist church.  My take--as a person who is convinced of Baptist distinctives but who shudders at a lot of the externally imposed rules we like (a trait shared with many holiness churches)--is that while I and my Baptist brethren often could use a shock from the cattle prod to get our hands out of our pockets and our feet un-nailed to the floor, there is yet another way to get there besides the holiness movement.

I've been, and remain, interested in the pietist movement and is founder, Philip Jakob Spener (and even own the Torah and History of the Berlenburger Bibel), but I think that things have gone to a point that neither Spener nor Scripture recommend.  And I grieve for the situation this woman finds herself in.  All too often, we seem to think that an acrimonious church split is our signal that we have the character and wisdom it takes to found a new church.  (Hello?  Is anyone in there?)

In other news, a Danish travel agency is offering would-be grandmothers the chance to buy a vacation for their childless children on the idea that if they can only get them on a beach with their loved one, that nature will take its course and grandchildren will result--making grandmothers joyful and Denmark prosperous.

But yes, party-pooper that I am, I have to be reminded that I seem to remember that Scandinavians seem to have had higher birth rates prior to the time they really started infesting Mediterranean beaches en masse,  so it does not seem that sun and sand and a bikini (bottom at least, they're European of course) is truly a recipe for making babies.  Rather, I'd have to suggest that when we live for our own pleasures--something that is at least compatible with the notion of spending a month on the beach in France or Greece every year--then sharing that pleasure with a demanding infant isn't going to be high on the "to do" list.

Never mind the absurdity of thinking that sand you-know-where, sunburn, and the general tiredness of travel are going to help a couple that's open to God's command to "be fruitful and multiply", if you catch my drift.  I like vacations and the beach, but let's be serious here.

Update on tiny houses/RVs

Yes, it's time to promote the Airstream company again at the expense of Tumbleweed.  Why so?

Well, one of the Tumblewood company's "poster couples" for their product has learned that after towing their RV or "tiny home" less than 20,000 miles, the tow vehicle is on its last legs and needs serious repair or replacement.

I don't think it's the vehicle's fault; it's an F250 Powerstroke 4x4 is said to have been capable of towing 12,500 lbs, and the "tiny home" only weighs in at 10,100 lbs.  My aunt, who works at renaissance festivals, puts tens of thousands of miles on her Chevy one ton each year and has few problems.   The neat thing, for comparison's sake, is that my aunt's home is much larger (it's a25' or so with slide outs and all) and nicer, and she's getting better mileage even with the gasoline engine.  So what gives?

Well, the Tumbleweed is close to the weight limit and has all the aerodynamics of a cardboard box.  Hence a truck that should be getting about 12mpg or more with a 150 square foot camper is getting about eight, and the transmission, engine, and suspension are begging for mercy. 

Lesson learned, again; if you really value the environment, skip the Tumbleweed and look at a well designed trailer like the Airstream.  Depending on the model, you can tow it with a half ton pickup or even an SUV like the GMC Acadia, and it will cost less, have more room for living, and you won't have that wonderful composting toilet smell all the time.  Wins all around.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

As bizarre as tax law... a recent move by the NHTSA that accuses Fiat-Chrysler of failing to report fatal accidents to the government.  Why so?

Because in any sane world, and I believe even in the world we inhabit, cities, counties, and states would be required to report the vehicle make, year, and model (among other information) about each motor vehicle accident that comes to their attention to the NHTSA and the manufacturer.  Hence there would be (is) no more need for automakers to report fatal accident data than for me to report my income to the IRS.  It's data they already have.

Congratulations, U.S. government, for once again changing what ought to be an opportunity for peaceful collaboration into an occasion for conflict, lawsuits, evasion, and more.

How to prevent drunkenness and alcoholism

According to a recent study, kids from intact families (raised by married biological mother and father) who learn to drink at home have the lowest rates of alcohol-related problems versus those who are not allowed to drink at home at all, and versus those who are allowed to drink at home, but are not from intact families (single parents or parent married to stepparent). 

It is as if parents don't have any wish to see their kids passed out on the couch (or vice versa), and as if kids won't be so enamored of Falstaff and Boone's Farm after they've had something drinkable. I know that Bugweiser had no appeal for me when I returned from Germany, for obvious reasons.

Maybe instead of fighting to keep the drinking age at 21, end the drinking age altogether and stop government policies that effectively promote single parenting and divorce.  Might do us some good.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Another reason to defund Planned Parenthood,

...and believe it or not, it's not related to abortion.  Now we can go back and forth all day about the fungibility of money and how it's improbable that federal funding for contraception and women's health services doesn't end up benefiting the abortion side of the business--through referrals, buildings, and the like--but in reality, there is a much more important reason to stop this kind of aid to Planned Parenthood.

Specifically, when a woman (or occasionally a man) goes to Planned Parenthood for contraception, a referral to a mammogram, an STD test, or a pregnancy test, they are simultaneously....not going to see a doctor of even a physician's assistant for a regular checkup. 

Now certainly STDs kill (starting with about 13000 deaths annually from AIDS), and certainly breast and cervical cancers kill, but these pale before the realities of things like heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases--diseases that are likely to be detected if a person gets their contraception, STD test, or early pregnancy examination through a doctor, but not at Planned Parenthood.

So do you really value access to health care for women?  Great.  You'll be in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, no matter what your stance on abortion.

Unless, of course, you know that the Planned Parenthood subsidy actually is in large part a subsidy for their abortion business, in which case I challenge you with another moral precept; why is it right for you to pick the pockets of the 50% or more of Americans who object to abortion to pay for it?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Repeat after me....

....regarding Donald Trump:  Four bankruptcies, three wives, two political parties, one big problem.  Do we really need a guy who has thrown his colleagues under the bus in four bankruptcies, thrown his family members under the bus in two divorces, cast his lot in with both major political parties in the past decade, and the like in the White House?

Don't we know what it's like to have an egomaniac President who throws long-term friends, colleagues, and even family members under the bus already?

H/T Powerline.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Levity

...straight from the Scottish version of "Deliverance", I guess.  Enjoy!

And what shopping trip would be complete without a flash mob in the food court?