Thursday, December 18, 2014

Open Letter to Sony: Letting the bad guys win

Sent to: press@spe.sony.com

Letting the bad guys win

Way to show your cowardice, Sony. Pulling The Interview tells North Korea and the other murderous thugs of the world that threats and DDoS attacks are an effective tactic to shut up voices they don't want heard. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

You should have opened that picture even if you were left with just one screen in the country. You should have rented the biggest stadium you could afford, and had the CEO make a speech about freedom before the showing.

But no, you rolled over like kicked dogs. I'm ashamed on your behalf.

Monday, November 24, 2014

No Mao Stalin, Obama

From the history books: "Then, for his next executive order, then-President Obama used his pardon power and prosecutorial discretion to refrain from arresting people who murdered legislators, judges and journalists who stood in the way of his agenda. This came to be known, in a termed coined by President Obama's long-time ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, as 'The Flexibility Period.' Research estimates the death toll during this period, to violence and starvation, at 20-30 million...."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Banned from NR

Well, this is a sad turn of events. I have been a paying subscriber to National Review Digital for many years.

Today, it appears I have been banned from commenting at NRO.

I can only assume it was because of a recent comment thread where I defended a poster whose opinions on eugenics were unpopular. I didn't even agree with the fellows arguments, but I felt that he was presenting his case rationally and respectfully, and deserved more thoughtful reasoned response than all the emotionalistic outcries of "Nazi" and "Eugenics is evil," because he clearly raised some uncomfortable, factual points, that people were not effectively addressing.

I've gone through my Disqus feed and looked over the banned posts, and I cannot find anything that I would be embarrassed to repeat to my mother or children. This is a very disappointing turn of events.

Buckley's NR was supposed to uphold the conservative ideals as espoused by our nations founders, including the ideal that opposing voices have a right to be heard.

Here are some of the banned posts, in reverse chronological order:


"The public is smarter than he and other Obamacare supporters give it credit for."

I don't know if I believe that. The public is pretty dumb. But that should be beside the point. The fact that individuals make poor choices is not sufficient justification to take those choices away from them. People have a right be autonomous, to direct their own lives. Implicitly, that includes the right to direct their own lives badly.

I think this is important to confront, because if your only justification for self-determination is that people are smart enough to make the decisions, then every occasion when they choose wrongly, as people inevitably will (in someone's opinion), is a justification to to take self-determination away.

The founders did not write "...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, but only unalienable as long as they make good choices when they're exercising those rights."

...

I don't include crimes against others, like murder, and I think abortion is murder. Criminal and civil justice is one of the legitimate spheres of government, in my opinion

...

So if it were possible through genetic testing and manipulation to identify and prevent or cure a serious genetic disease such as hemophilia en utero or at time of conception, you'd be opposed to using it? "Not being hemophiliac" is definitely a trait parents find desirable in their children.

...

Eugenics is also already happening quietly, steadily, on an individual level, and it's going to happen more and more as technology becomes more advanced. In the U.S., mothers regularly abort babies that test positive for Downs Syndrome. That's eugenics. In many countries, sex-selective abortions are common. As there are tests for more and more fetal traits, there will be parents who take advantage of that knowledge. It will be primarily the parents who are affluent enough to afford and care about such testing, at first. Gattica come to life. Or Brave New World, with the classes further self-segregating, as Murray has documented in Coming Apart.

Government policy will play catch-up to the realities on the ground, as it almost always does.

...

I'm willing to bet there are plenty of fans of Idiocracy among your detractors. But perhaps they've never really thought through how they'd avoid it becoming prophetic.

Someone said something along the lines that smart, educated women producing one designer baby at age 40, while the unemployed single mom in the Section 8 housing a couple neighborhoods over has eight kids by eight different fathers, is a recipe for societal disaster.

...

I'm honestly a little boggled that your point is so hard for them to understand. The almost willful barriers to comprehension surpass even my expectations of unwillingness to touch the third rail.

...

We didn’t know that he was a terrorist. This image is in popular use in Turkish memes on the Internet,

One of the most infamous Muslim terrorists in the world, the image is popular with Turks on the internet ... and nobody knew who he was. Riiiiiight.

Kid, I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.

...

Mr. "Thrill Up My Leg" should just quietly resign and consign himself to a hermitage for his massive failure as a journalist. If I was a less charitable person, I'd suggest he literally fall on his sword.

...

Pretty much only the lawyers who have to appear in front of the regularly. So I generally refrain from voting unless I have some clue (like an endorsement from Buckeye Fireams Association, for example).

...

“I wore fishnets and a little black dress to vote, then walked around with a spring in my slinky step. It lasted for days. I can summon it when I’m blue. It’s more effective than exercise or ecstasy or cheesecake . . . ”

Ugh. Dunham is about as slinky as Play-Doh.

...

I must be the only one in the word that finds 2001 tedious and overrated.

...

The headline of this NYT article from September is looking mighty prophetic now:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09...

"Lena Dunham Is Not Done Confessing"

...

I have. And worse.

But it seems to me that's a cop-out, along the lines of women who say you can't discuss abortion if you're not a woman.

I reserve the right to comment regardless of my personal history. Your tone was flippant, and, having extensive experience with the gruesome realities of death, I think a lot more people could do with having to participate and experience the necessary ugliness and finality of death.

...

I think it's a mistake to treat all suicides as if they are the same. Brittany Maynard's case -- facing an unavoidable death -- is dramatically different than an otherwise healthy teen committing suicide due to depression, or a father killing himself and leaving his children fatherless because he lost his job.

...

Indeed. I switched primary care physicians recently, and when I called up the office of the new physician to enquire about them taking me on, nearly the very first thing out of their mouths was "We don't write prescriptions for painkillers." I hadn't asked.

The problem with government is that it becomes such a busybody in one area that it feels like it needs rules for every area.

If you could just buy pentobarbitol over the counter or behind the counter, as I do with many drugs for use on my ranch, then the government wouldn't have to have rules about what I used it for (apart from murder, of course). I don't do drugs, but that's why I'm one of those wretched drug-legalization libertarians. Not because I want a license to smoke pot, but because I think people deserve to be the ones to make their own decisions about their own lives without nanny government questioning their decisions all the time. Even if that means people make horrible decisions.

...

"...leaving a mess for my friend and others to clean up. I even got to
help. Needless to say, they diminished the value of their home."

How awful. Not a diminished home value?! And someone had to get their hands dirty? Unforgivable!

...

Ain't that the truth. I've got Section 8 tenants in my rental properties and guys who do labor for me driving around in better cars/trucks than me, but living hand to mouth. Who am I to question their priorities, though.

...

Why shouldn't the shoe shiner make $100k? Who decided that a librarian is more valuable than a shoe shiner? The correct answer should be "the market," but if there's a shoe shiner out there pulling down $100k, more power to him. Your labor's worth what you can get for it.

...

Classic confusion of correlation with causation.

...

Of course, they don't care whether the kids are capable of understanding. In fact, it's a lot easier to indoctrinate them when they can't fully cognitively process the information, It just becomes the kids' baseline for "how things are."

Their tactics make perfect sense when you understand their goals.

...

"Do they punish two kids for an entirely legal photograph that they took
in their home, and that caused no trouble to anybody? Or do they stay
the hell away from the issue?"

That's easy. They punish. Because their goal is to terrorize those who hold incorrect thoughts.

...

Well, they're white, anyway. I wonder when Jews are finally going to wake up and realize that the Democratic Party is not their friend in the long run.

...

Public institutions today are so soaked in relativism, they don't believe there is such a thing as an unreasonable criticism -- all cultures and viewpoints are equally valuable, of course. Unless, oddly, your viewpoint is Christian, conservative and/or pro-life. Then you're a right-wing nut-job and your opinions are out-of-bounds, if not hate speech.

...

You just want to cry that we've come to this. There are banana republics that would be too embarrassed to have such an obviously insecure, fraud-friendly voting system. And, since you can't vote them out, what alternative are you left with, besides violence?

...

I'm going to stop now. It just keeps going back. There are some odd incidents of posts fro about a week ago that haven't been removed, but I'm assuming that there's some little bot working away, scrubbing everything I've ever posted at National Review, making it like I never existed and that I was some out-of-bounds raging troll. The posts above aren't exceptions, there's no hidden posts where I rant outrageously and incoherently or call people names.

It's despicable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fun Fact: According To OSU, It Is Illegal To Have Sex With A Physically Disabled Person

I swear I'm not making this up. From OSU's own student conduct web site:
By law, a person cannot give consent, even when he or she might verbally say so, when:
  • The person is so intoxicated or unconscious due to alcohol or drugs
  • The person is physically or mentally disabled
  • The person was coerced due to force, threat of force, or deception or when the person was beaten, threatened, isolated, or intimidated.
To emphasize: "By law, a person cannot give consent, even when he or she might verbally say so, when the person is physically or mentally disabled."

So, Ohio State is purporting that, by law, if you are physically disabled -- in a wheel chair, blind, missing a limb, have cerebral palsy or MS, or any other physical condition that qualifies you as physically disabled -- you are unable to consent to sex, even if you verbally say so.

Man, it must really suck being a disabled person at OSU. No sex for you!

Or, you have a free license to accuse anyone who has sex with you of sexual assault. Even if you enthusiastically said yes, in front of witnesses, because, hey, you're physically disabled and thus not responsible for your own decisions.

I dunno, if I were a physically disabled person, I might find that a wee bit insulting. Unless I was evil.

In saner times, Occam's Razor would lead me to believe that OSU's interpretation of the law is incorrect, but we live in times when schoolchildren are suspended for chewing their poptarts into pistol shapes and 5-year-old girls who point crayons and say "pew, pew" are forced to sign contracts promising not to kill themselves or anyone else, so sane thought processes can't really be applied to official policy anymore.

Thus, the only safe advice: OSU students, do not get it on with that hot physically disabled guy/girl in your Intro to Communications class!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mainstream Islam Is Violent Islam

A reminder from Andrew McCarthy.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.
All Islam is the enemy of freedom and civilization.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Charity For The Elite

New York Times columnist is David Brooks is astoundingly out-of-touch with the real world. In his New York Times column, Startling Adult Friendships, Brooks fantasizes on the theme of "What if you had $500 million to give away?"

Sadly, the best thing Brooks can come up with is "friendship retreats."
So I envision a string of adult camps or retreat centers (my oldest friendships were formed at summer camp, so I think in those terms). Groups of 20 or 30 would be brought together from all social and demographic groups, and secluded for two weeks. They’d prepare and clean up all their meals together, and eating the meals would go on for a while. In the morning, they would read about and discuss big topics. In the afternoons, they’d play sports, take hikes and build something complicated together. At night, there’d be a bar and music.
I think you have to be an academic or elite New Yorker not to realize that the only type of people who are interested in, or who have time to attend two-week "friendship retreats" are people who already have a lot of free time and who are already inclined to be interested in that sort of touchy-feely endeavor. Who has time to spend two weeks away from their regular life, even all-expenses paid? In other words, this will attract elites, the wealthy, or the Occupy Wall Street types (over-educated, under-employed).

So, basically, Brooks thinks the best way to change the world with a big bag of money is touchy-feely vacations for people just like him. Yeah, sounds like something a New York Times writer would come up with.

Or, you could look at it from the darker side, "groups of 20 or 30 would be brought together from all social and demographic groups." I love the term "would be brought together." People use the passive voice in writing when they are trying to avoid naming the actor, or the method of the action. How would people of "all social and demographic groups" be brought together? Because, let me tell you, my social and demographic group would rather gnaw its own leg off than have to spend two weeks at a David Brooks-sponsored friendship camp.

Of course, there are precedents. Socialists and Communists around the world have been very consistent in finding means of shipping people off to camps "for their own good," whether they want to go or not. Now, I'm not suggesting that Brooks wants to ship us all away to re-education camps against our will, I'm just using hyperbole to suggest that Brooks, like those totalitarians, thinks he knows what's best for us, and hasn't really thought it through far enough to realize that the very people he probably thinks need the camps most want nothing to do with him.

This is the sort of fuzzy-headed thinking the left is famous for. Yes, I know Brooks is ostensibly a "conservative" or "moderate" columnist at the New York Times, but, seriously, that's like being the biggest Libertarian on the Politburo.

Inevitably, such an idea would be an utter failure. In a free country, it just dies away and becomes joke fodder, like Air America. In a communist country, it becomes official government policy and turns into the Gulag.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These Sorts Of Conversatons Are Fine Until Someone Disagrees With You

Over on the blog where a fellow has decided I'm the worst person in the world, my condemner has been flirting with a discussion of Islam and ISIS because one of the cartoonists who frequents that site indicated on his Facebook page (sorry, no link, I don't do Facebook), that Islam is not a religion of peace.

Political discussions are against the site's rules, but my accuser apparently really wants to have the discussion. He says: "Listen, as Laura said, if it even qualifies as political (which I don’t think it does, since we are not talking about political policy here but rather one person’s perception of other people for reasons which I, personally, think are stupid–and calling comic strip creators stupid for stuff they’ve said on the internet is absolutely not against the rules here, considering we do it to guys like Batiuk and McEldowney all the time) it’s still far, far from the most politically-charged issue that’s been discussed here. It isn’t even the first time ISIS has been brought up. World events do not necessarily equal politics."

I think we can all infer, based on my accuser's past statements, that if I did participate and mount a formidable defense of the cartoonist's statement, which would be easy, it would immediately, in his opinion, cease to be a worthwhile conversation.

In any case, the violent nature of Islam has to be one of the top five most loaded political topics on the planet right now, so I'm going to do all the other readers a favor and not participate there.

My accuser is the kind of person who can watch the literal daily reports of Muslim atrocities over decades; see that every Muslim-dominated nation on earth is one that denies basic rights and freedoms -- even the best of them (Malaysia) are incredibly restrictive of religious freedom, but most are violent, misogynist hellholes; read Islam's scriptural exhortations to military domination, subjugation and murder of non-believers; see its blessings on violence against women and children by mainstream Islamic clerics and governments, and still say "Islam is a religion of peace, and, oh, Crusades, and some crazy Christians bombed abortion clinics back in the day, so Christianity is just as bad." It's like comparing a lone gnat on your apple to a plague of locusts.

But, religion of peace aside, what really annoys me is that I know the guy would just go nuts if I said what I think on the site, and I, the horrible, bad person, am the one who has to be the adult and not take his bait, for the sake of the innocent readers of the site.