Thursday, June 22, 2017

Campaigning to be disbarred?

I'm not a lawyer by trade, but it strikes me that when a judge in quite liberal San Francisco throws out 14 of 15 charges made in an indictment, one must consider the possibility that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is not about justice, but about political retribution, and that maybe, just maybe, he ought to be removed not only from office, but also from the trade of law.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"Man Acts"

Interestingly, Ludwig von Mises has a concise response to the claim that we can obtain 100% of our electricity needs from renewable, non-biofuel sources; man acts. That is, human action can be independent of solar and wind patterns, and hence no matter how good solar, wind, and hydro power work, we can pull a trick and load down the system beyond what it is supplying.  Hence we need some "on demand" systems and/or storage.

One would figure a guy smart enough to get a professorship at Stanford would figure this out, but apparently there's a lot of politics involved in getting an office in Palo Alto where ability in logic is not necessarily a requirement.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Onset of dementia, I think

It's pretty obvious that Senator Bernie Sanders (CCCP-Vermont) doesn't remember the events for the few months prior to March 23, 2010 very well. If he did, he'd know full well about an important law about this very subject that was passed without a single vote from the minority party, and without their input, via the Constitutionally dubious tactic of reconciliation, and starting in the Senate despite imposing taxes/fees in clear violation of the 10th Amendment.

Alzheimer's is always so sad.  Or maybe it's simply "politically expedient selective memory".   You be the judge.

Monday, June 19, 2017

More difficulties...

...for young people who are of the belief that they are "transgender"; here's the case of a young man who has run with the ladies despite having neither hormone therapy nor surgery.  In other words, physically, if not mentally, he's all boy.  And I've got to admit, I'm torn.  On one hand, I don't want this young man's body chemistry to be ruined, or worse yet for his "factory parts" to be mutilated, and on the other hand, I don't want deserving girls to lose out because they have to run against the boys.  I would have hoped that the prospect of being mutilated--forever, um, "cut off" from the possibilities of natural parenthood and such--would curb the possibility of this being done, but right now, I'm not so sure.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Your government at work

H/T Michelle Malkin.  Apparently President Trump has just signed an executive order stopping federal work on resolving the issues with Y2K transition for computers.  There are many things I do not like about Donald Trump, but let's give him credit when he gets it right.

Truer than it ought to be

A study commissioned by the Babylon Bee (Christian satire) "finds" that AC/DC's Highway to Hell is more sound, theologically speaking, than 96% of 800 Christian worship songs on the CCLI playlist typically performed on Sundays.

Now of course this is satire, but there is a grain of truth here; too many CCM songs are simply genre like "Jesus is my boyfriend", whereby the lyrics of modern love lust ** songs are slightly modified to speak of Christ, and sung as if they were Biblical.  At least Bon Scott (who soon after he wrote that sing does appear to have gone to Hell, by the way) was honest enough to note that his life of rebellion to God would lead to eternity in Hell with those who partied with him. 

So while I'm not ready to emulate Perry Noble and have my church play Scott's minimum nadir on Resurrection Day, I am ready to remind my "vast readership" that Christian music ought to have a distinctly Biblical message by which the Word of God may be conveyed to the people of God.  Many thanks to the heavy metal bands of the world who, by using metaphors from Scripture, remind us of that.

** One side note here is that when I thought back about most of the "love songs" I've heard since childhood, they are overwhelmingly "lust songs" with lines that make clear that the song is, shall we say, about a relationship consummated prior to or outside of marriage.  As such, they will tend to, shall we say, have lyrical and stylistic hints about that sort of relationship--hints not appropriate to Christian music, either before or after the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, to put it mildly.

On the tragedy in England

There will of course be plenty of blame to go around for the fire which has taken at least 17 30 (sigh)lives in a high rise apartment building in London, but it strikes me that there is a more basic problem.  High rise buildings simply do not make sense except as a statement of vanity.  

To draw a picture, in London, you've got a population of about eight million in 1600 square kilometers--about 2000 square feet per person.  Build four stories tall and have 90% of the land not covered by a building, and you've got 800 square feet per person--my share of both my home and office space.  You would also have more green space than does a typical neighborhood in small town Minnesota.

In other words, while I think the private sector should be allowed to build that high if they like, there's simply no need for a building so tall that the fire department can't readily help.  Central planners need to clue in to the fact that skyscrapers are monuments to vanity, not common sense.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fun thoughts

Now I could be ticked about the recent (criminal) leaks that Robert Mueller's office is starting an investigation of obstruction of justice due to alleged interference with an investigation of non-crimes by the White House, and to a degree I am, but on the flip side, I know from 1998 that Democrats do NOT consider things like perjury and obstruction of justice to be crimes that rise to the level of impeachment and removal from office.  Obviously, Mueller and his colleagues need to simply shut the investigation down, because no matter what, Donald Trump has not done nearly as much as his old friend Bill Clinton did.

(#dream_on)

Or if he continues, the case for draining the swamp in DC becomes ever stronger, which is I think closer to reality.

Intersection of the law and Title IX?

It's not been fun being a fan of Michigan State lately with the arrest of gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, as well as the arrests and indictments of at least three football players for some degree of sexual assault as well.  Obviously there have been some abominable problems there that need to be fixed.

That said, one interesting thing about this is that apparently, one coach was arrested for "interfering with investigations" when his apparent crime was....talking to the indicted players about the circumstances of that night.  Also noted was the coach's failure to follow university policy led to his arrest.

In other words, it suggests that one thing in play may be that Title IX regulations requiring aggressive prosecution of sexual assault cases--to the point of abrogating Constitutional protections by using "preponderance of evidence" as a standard for guilt--may be affecting how local police prosecute obstruction of justice and interfering with investigations.

And writing as someone who has personally counseled victims of assault to talk to the police, I'm troubled.  The ugly fact of the matter is that victims don't always know that what they've experienced is a criminal matter, and it takes a little bit of learning to get to the point where you are ready to tell them "you really ought to take this to the police--I'll go with you if you like."

So while it's entirely possible that this article understates what the gentleman is accused of doing, those who have the chance to help victims get to law enforcement ought to take note.  It could be just at MSU, just at colleges, or it could be nationwide, but something very interesting is going on.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The state of "fact-checking"

The Washington Post "fact-checks" President Trump's claim that "we built the Golden Gate Bridge in four years and the Hoover Dam in five" by admitting that yes, these projects were indeed built in that time frame, but because people had been planning it for years before, that the claim was false.  In other words, they redefined President Trump's claim to declare the redefined claim false.

I award the Post seventeen Pinocchios for that one.  Nice try.

To put things in perspective, the current World Trade Center started construction in 2006,  and Tower 1 was completed in 2014.  The original World Trade Center buildings had groundbreaking in 1966, started construction in 1968, and was finished in 1970 and 1971.  The tallest building in the country (sorry, radio spires and such don't count) was started in 1970 and completed in 1973.  The Empire State Building was started in 1930 and opened in 1931. 

Based on these data, Trump's implicit claim that it's getting harder to do big projects can only be rated as "true."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great Moments in Self-Awareness

Senator Elizabeth "Fauxcohontas" Warren, famous for lying about native American ancestry to get a plush position at Harvard and then the Senate, says that Attorney General Jeff Sessions ought to be fired because he didn't fully explain every contact he had with Russians in confirmation hearings.

Tell ya what, Fauxcohontas; when you give up YOUR ill-gotten gains, including your Senate seat and million dollar home in Cambridge, then we can discuss whether the Attorney General's statements in confirmation hearings were in fact lies, or whether Sessions was simply noting that in his position with Trump's campaign, he didn't have contacts with Russians.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Helpful note for Bill Maher and Bill DiBlasio

There are certain phrases that will always get you into trouble if you're caucasian, even if you happen to be romantically involved with someone who is not.  Most of us learn this by the time we graduate from high school, but apparently being liberal and rich makes one a bit slower on the uptake.

Speaking of slow on the uptake, notice how a lot of these sterling examples of class and decorum are linked to Al Franken.  Somehow I'm not surprised 'ol Al has had to back away from his buddies.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A fun nuance of Bible translation

Spend any significant amount of time around fundamentalists, especially of the Baptist variety, and you will hear quite a bit about the problems of "sensuality."  More or less, as dear sister Elspeth notes in the comments of this post, anything that is particularly enjoyable to the human senses is described as "sensual" in the context of verses like Romans 13:13, 2 Corinthians 12:21, and the like.

Well, just for giggles (and perhaps edification), I went and took a look at the original Greek, and it turns out that Strong's #766 has its closest parallel in a Greek word meaning "brutal."  A very interesting portion from Thayer's lexicon is there as well, indicating it may be a simple negative of the perceived character traits of a certain city in Pisidia, where citizens were renowned for strictness of morals.

Now in its context, and in its usage, it does tend to be used in the context of sexual immorality, but it appears, in my view, to denote specifically such cases where ordinary restraint is not practiced; that the behavior is no more human, but perhaps might be better described as "brutal". 

In other words, it doesn't mean that anything that appeals to the senses is wrong. One can drink the wine Jesus made, eat wonderful foods from a Michelin-starred restaurant, take your wife dancing, make exuberant love to her as Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 7, and not fall afoul of Paul's command to avoid "sensuality."  The problem comes, rather, when there is a lack of restraint that drinks to drunkenness, eats in gluttony, and exchanges pure marital love for fornication and adultery. 

It strikes me that the word "sensuality" in the NASB is somewhat unfortunate, as it can, in our "low study" culture, give us the wrong idea of what is being described.  Thankfully, God gave us experts in Greek, not to mention John 2:1-11, the Song of Songs, 1 Cor. 7, and the like to set us straight if we will listen.

Friday, June 02, 2017

The response to the Paris Treaty Withdrawal

In 3 minutes and 37 seconds.


Professor Logic, please call your office

The study described in this article purports to answer the question of whether red wine helps heart health by controlling for heart health.  So apparently when we control for whether or not our control sample has arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, myocardial infarction and the like, we find that both moderate drinkers and teetotalers have about the same rates of arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, myocardial infarction, and the like.

Well, yes, and I could have told you that before you ever selected a sample or hired any statisticians.  Scary thing is that this study made it past peer review, and even more scary, it's probably someone's Ph.D. dissertation that may land them in a professor's office.