Monday, July 30, 2012

How to defend traditional marriage,

....and how not to.  As far as I can tell, the way NOT to defend traditional marriage--one man and one woman since Adam and Eve--is to point to the tradition.  The other side of the debate is right to point out that numerous exceptions to the Adam/Eve model exist, from various forms of polygamy, the harem, and who knows what else. 

Rather, the proper way to defend the legal interpretation of marriage is to recognize that family law does not exist, per se, because government is terribly interested in authenticating relationships and conferring benefits (and penalties) based on fact of the relationship existing.  If that were true, we would have Congress issuing certificates to little Billy for his stellar care of the family dog Barfy. 

Why, then, do we have family law?  It is because the process of growing a family involves the wonderful, messy, and often dangerous process of motherhood, and the law recognizes that the normal processes of heterosexual love tend to produce the two vulnerable classes of mothers and children.

Note here that this explanation of the government's role in family law covers the range of definitions the world has given to marriage.  For those using the Adam and Eve model, it ensures that both spouses have the right to communal property--and a host of other provisions.  For those desiring to use the Adam and Eve and Eve and Eve model, it tells them that as polygamy is inherently destabilizing to a country and risks the vulnerable parties being abandoned by their father--and therefore bans the practice.

For those practicing the "Adam not making it legal with Eve" model, the law notes that absent a legal commitment from Adam to Eve, Adam will be required to make child support payments to Eve (or vice versa), among other arrangements.  Another host of regulations covers those who adopt, or who use "scientific measures" to bear children.

And for those advocating the legal recognition of same-sex relationships as marriage?  Well, do such relationships tend to create these vulnerable classes in a way the law does not already address?

There is much to be improved with family and marriage law in general, but as far as I can tell, redefining marriage itself is not a good start.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This is not an endorsement.....

....but having used them in Malaysia,  I can say that the  "Asian-style" squatting toilets that this company is trying to help us emulate do in fact result in an amazing amount of waste being deposited into the porcelain god idol.

The downside is that when you use one, you're always afraid that your car keys or wallet will fall in, and it's probably not the best thing if your knees aren't working so well.  Plus, one can get similar results with an amazing substance called "dietary fiber."  But if you must fill your stomach with meat, cheese, and Wonder (if it's) Bread, you can certainly do worse than to purchase the "Squatty Potty" stool.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's got to be a better way

Apparently, in Florida, judges can award lifetime alimony to a woman, and even adjust it upwards if her ex-husband remarries and the new wife earns a good income.  So a woman literally gets to help pay for the upkeep of her husband's ex.  Maybe, just maybe, it's time to decide that alimony ought to be awarded only when one spouse gives Biblical reason for divorce, and not just because someone got tired of their spouse and decided to go?

And in honor of these judges:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Condolences and prayers..... those shot in yesterday's atrocity in Aurora, Colorado.

And to those who think that gun control is the answer; consider that in a nation with no civilian ownership of firearms, a prospective mass murderer such as the accused could have simply joined the police or military, gotten far better training in marksmanship and tactics, and showed up with fully automatic weapons, a much better bulletproof vest, and a badge to make it look like he's supposed to be doing what he's doing.

Update: like other sites of such atrocities, it appears that the theater in question did not allow carry permit holders to carry in their theaters.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to get that Vikings Stadium Subsidy back

Brad comments that apparently the ViQueens lead the NFL in arrests per team, and that suggests a great way of getting all of that stadium subsidy money back.  Every dollar spent arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating ViQueens players should be deducted, dollar for dollar, from the stadium subsidy.

Either we'd get the subsidy back, or the crime rate in Minnesota could drop precipitously.

Never thought I'd tell this joke this way!

What's the difference between a Honda and a Jehovah's Witness?

You can shut the door on a Jehovah's Witness.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chaucer speaks to modern feminism

Dear sister Elspeth writes:

The law, education system, and anti-family court system in this country have removed every incentive for men to assume their God-ordained roles as leaders and protectors, while rewarding and protecting irresponsible female behavior. 

Now I hope that our dear sister is suffering a little bit of hyperbole, but I suspect that instead of moderating the comment, I ought to add "church" at times to law, education system, and court system therein.  So what hope does a man have who wants to live Biblically, or for that matter, what incentive can a Godly woman provide for her husband to lead as he ought?

Let us encounter the Wife of Bath's Tale from the Canterbury Tales.  I am going to suggest here that a traditional understanding of her--as a loose woman--is less true than that she, more than most of those around her, understands the Biblical significance of marriage and the one flesh union.  And what is her possibly Biblically feminine response to her husband's (or husbands') Biblical masculinity?

In wifehood wol I use mine instrument
As freely as my Maker hath it sent;

President Obama can make you a millionaire!

.....if you start out with at least ten million dollars, that is.  What am I getting at?

The splendid record of the Obama administration's green energy investments, of course.  According to Michelle Malkin's sources, 19 recipients of renewable energy loans and grants--with loans and grants totaling at least 5.5 billion dollars--are now in bankruptcy court.  Given that the original source reports that the total of funding is about 9 billion dollars, that would indicate that Obama's "stock picks" (or "bond picks" in this case) are junk or worse about 60% of the time.

Many people are worried that Mitt Romney's Bain Capital eliminated perhaps a few thousand jobs through outsourcing.  Maybe we should be worried instead about the guys--Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc..--whose policies have eliminated millions of jobs through a bad and uncertain business environment instead.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How to spot an ideologue

This column in today's paper is a great illustration, really.  If you're all worked up about how the Koch Brothers may spend hundreds of millions on the election with the possible result of Mitt Romney rewarding his benefactors, but not concerned that George Soros and Hollywood will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the election with the possible result of Barack Hussein Blagojevich Khalidi Jackson Soetoro Ayers Rezko Wright Pfleger Obama rewarding his benefactors, or vice versa, you may be an unthinking ideologue.

Reality is, of course, that the reason campaign spending is so high is because government spending and regulatory activity is so high--there is simply too much to gain from well deployed bribes electoral activity for the system to be clean.  But I don't know that we'll see either side moving strongly to a strong platform of cutting everything that is not per Adam Smith a central responsibility of government, sad to say.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Why the County Fair is dying

Our county's fair closed yesterday, and our family had the task of taking our projects--about a dozen of them--back home along with the kids' ribbons and medals.  Having received the.....not completely ribbon for my bread, I was interested to see what kind of feedback I, my wife, and my kids would get on their projects.  After all, there were point schemes listed on the advertisement for projects, and one of the reasons I submitted a project was I thought it would be a decent way of getting some expert feedback.

Here's the sum total of the feedback our family received:

No point scores, no comments, zero zip zilch.  "Here's your ribbon."  In short, if you wanted to design a judging system to lead people to suggest that it was all a popularity contest, it's exactly what you would do. 

(I'm not accusing; the grand champions were in general worthy--selected because even a haphazard judging system couldn't ignore that there was something special about those projects.  On the flip side, my wife noticed that all the blue ribbons for baking went to sweet breads....suggesting that the judges didn't appreciate or understand yeast breads)
Along the same lines, after working a few hours in the 4-H food stand making hot dogs and hamburgers, and doing my best to make sure the three day old black hot dogs did not get served, I got to chat with a friend who remembered that they used to serve a decent "hot beef commercial".   And at that point, I understood exactly why the gyros and lemonade trailers were doing excellent business, but the 2000 square foot, air conditioned 4-H food shack was getting only intermittent customers.  As those wiser than I have noted,

your process is perfectly designed to give you exactly the results you have obtained.

And does it surprise anyone, having read this, that 4-H is a government-led program?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

La vie, c'est une boulangerie

Being the Gluten Addiction Czar of the MOB, I figure that renaming this blog as a bakery might be appropriate.  My apologies to speakers of la lingua franca for my abuse of that fine language, and if anyone wants to correct me and help me out, that would be great.

(grateful thanks to Ben for the help/correction here)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Welcome back, King David!

And in honor of your return, I'm submitting a poolish batard for judging in the local county fair.  Not coincidentally, those same words--Poolish Batard!!!!--were the precise response of the cruise ship industry, Rosie O'Donnell, and the Animal Kingdom Jihad to the new site. 

(for the uninitiated, "poolish" is a pre-ferment similar to sourdough used for making breads but literally means "Polish", and a "batard" is this style of bread.....or if you add an "s" before the t, you have the English meaning of the word)

And of course, there was great rejoicing here.

Quick quiz for supporters of Obama's tax hikes

Will the peoples' money do more good in the hands of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, or will it do more good in the hands of the series of solar energy companies like Solyndra which have gone bankrupt?

OK, now that we've got that figured out, can we please, please, please put Obama's tax hike proposals in the circular file where they belong?

If not, consider that since tax cuts have generally resulted in higher tax revenues after a year or so, we appear to be clearly on the wrong side of the Laffer curve.  So it's not even clear that Obama's proposal to "soak the rich" would even generate more revenue for him to put into the next Solyndra or Volt.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Not exactly

Detroit police are reporting that a tragedy was caused by a woman's hug of an off-duty police officer.  Having actually carried a pistol in public, I'm skeptical; would any reputable holster maker manufacture a holster that left the trigger of a pistol exposed to be pulled?  For explanation, here is a link to Galco's array of shoulder holsters.  Look through them a while and see if you can spot an exposed trigger.
Correction: the DetNews reports today that it was a hip holster.  You won't find exposed triggers there, either--at least if the holster is designed for the gun being holstered.      

Hint; you won't have an exposed trigger in a shoulder holster of the kind that the off-duty officer ought to have been using if he needed to carry his weapon at this party.  Nor will you see many holsters, especially those designed for police work, which would allow a weapon to unintentionally move, even in "energetic" dancing.  Think about the legal liability to Galco and other manufacturers if they did, not to mention the police department liability.

So what really happened?  I don't know, but the top possibilities are that (a) the officer was using a holster that did not fit his gun or (b) the gun wasn't in the holster after all.   I hope that someday journalists start to ask the relevant questions in as obvious a "hush-up" as this.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Time for some gauge studies on employment statistics....

Today, I've seen numbers as low as 80,000 and as high as 176,000 for new jobs created.  Now granted it's hard to measure these things with so many peoples' jobs in small business, but I'm thinking a gauge R&R would be appropriate for some of the pollsters out there generating these numbers. 

And it also ought to be noted that if this is at all representative of the current status of economic measurement, it tells us what the Austrian school of economics has been telling us for nearly a century; mathematical economic models are a fool's errand because, as von Mises noted, man acts.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Let's see if I can annoy Rev. W. B. Picklesworth

I hear that many from the Missouri Synod, having seen with disdain some of the decisions coming from the august sessions of ELCA leadership, are coming to the conclusion that that body may have decided to enforce the Edict of Worms after all!

(just kidding, Ben.....both of us hope!)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Why it works, and why it doesn't

Due to the candidacy of Mitt Romney, former executive with Bain Capital, the subject of holding companies and how they work is in the papers.  Unfortunately, it seems that too many people have an axe to grind, so here's my humble (and y'all know my axe, which I'll keep at my side if I can) contribution--I worked for a business unit of a holding company for a few years, so I've seen the inside of what can go on.

Holding companies can work wonders because they have a set of accounting metrics that, all too often, the original owners of the company didn't pay attention to.  Hence, decisions are made without a good accounting of ROI, and when these companies finally get someone to look closely at the accounting, a lot of foolish decisions are prevented.

They can also run into disaster if they don't ferret out upper managers who know nothing but the accounting metrics--the guys that know how to "juice up" the metrics by shipping products that shouldn't be shipped, holding up incoming shipments to keep inventory down, and so on.   In doing this, management enshrines Deming's "Seven Deadly Diseases" and side-steps their central role; setting up the systems with which their subordinates make their products.

In short, holding companies can work when they remember what their accounting metrics are used for, and can fall into disastrous outcomes when they don't.  Just like the rest of us.