Media v. Evangelicals, 2018 part 3

Time for my third installment to report on recent mass media attacks on Evangelicals.  There is quite a lot to cover, and I probably missed a lot due to work stuff, life stuff, and a local phone service outage that still has my AT&T internet service out.  We had tons of anti-Evangelical digs from Leftist mass media that used the occasions of the Parkland shooting and the death of Billy Graham.

Several of the editorials (many masquerading as articles or obituaries) about the passing of Billy Graham brought up his renown for acceptance and support of both Democrats and Republicans, and then sprang from that into assaults on Evangelicals who voted for President Trump.  They are obviously waging a political campaign intended to separate President Trump from his base.  One example that was cited by other media several times and which was featured in the Google News Spotlight was an excerpt from “The Story with Martha McCallum,” a discussion show on Fox News Network, from Feb. 22.  There was an exchange between Juan Williams and Rev. Robert Jeffress, both of whom are regular contributors at Fox News.  The setup was Ms. McCallum quoting from a recent column by J. Williams:... [Read More]


The Surveillance Microsoft

Microsoft To Ban ‘Offensive Language’ & Monitor Your Private Account [Link contains auto-play video.]

Microsoft is cracking down on what people say while using their services online. According to a new services agreement written by the company, the tech giant is planning to ban accounts that use “offensive language” and will go through your private data to “investigate” users.... [Read More]


Kinky Boots: the film

Kinky Boots (2005) is fun! It’s an American-British comedy-drama film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth (53) and directed by Julian Jarrold (57).

Joel Edgerton (43) plays Charlie, the owner of a shoe factory in Northampton, England, who is desperate to find a new line to save his factory from closure. He meets Lola, a drag queen, played by Chiwetel Eniofor (40), and together they create kinky boots for drag queens, saving the business. Nick Frost (45) plays Don, the factory employee who originally opposes Lola, but who, in the end, works with Lola to save the day.... [Read More]


Liberty Requires Responsibility: Why Libertarianism is Out of Balance

When you talk to libertarians*, the clear message is maximum liberty. They advocate not only freedom from government, but freedom from their fellow Man. The average libertarian wants to be “left along” to live his life (and the most vocal seem to be men) without interference from others just as long as he does “no harm”. “Harm” is always defined in the narrowest way, and I have even seen it said that causing property values to decline does not count as “harm”. If being underwater on my home because of the house next door does not constitute “harm”, I imagine that noise ordinances are a step too far as well.

Libertarians wax poetic on the rights of people to become addicts, and that the government should not interfere. Marriage should be a private venture, where the state just upholds whatever contract is signed. There is no good libertarian argument made to stop brothers and sisters from marrying, because they are into it. Whatever people want to do, if it does not cause “harm” is fine and dandy.... [Read More]


TOTD 2018-03-30: The Moon, Up Close and Personal

Since 1994, Fourmilab’s Earth and Moon Viewer has provided custom views of the Earth and Moon from a variety of viewpoints, using imagery databases which have evolved over the years from primitive images to gigabyte-scale mosaics collected by spacecraft.  Views were originally restricted to the Earth, but fifteen years ago, in April 2003, the ability to view the Moon was added, using the global imagery collected by the Clementine orbiter.  These data were wonderful for the time, providing full-globe topography and albedo databases with a resolution of 1440×720 pixels.  This allowed viewing the Moon as a whole or modest zooms into localities, but when you zoomed in close the results were…disappointing.  Here is the crater Copernicus viewed from an altitude of 10 km using the Clementine data.

Moon, Copernicus crater, 10 km altitude, Clementine data... [Read More]


English as a Zeroth Language

I am tired of dealing with Americans whose English is not up to par.  Frequently, it is those brave souls who have learned English as a second language, and whose proficiency in their native language is beyond suspicion.  Of course they are fluent in their first language.  Of course they have worked hard to learn English.  Of course, I would rather work in English than in their own primary language.  I discount none of the effort or benefits which accrue to these hard-working multi-lingual colleagues.

But when I want to explain something at work, and I need it to be carried out as I indicate, I do not owe a breakdown of the grammar, or a definition of terms which are standard in our field.  I absolutely understand that one task of leadership is to communicate the requirement.  but I should not have to spend so much time remediating hard-working and good-spirited people — whom I like — in their basic English.... [Read More]


Citizens and the Census

Just when I began to think “hysteria fatigue” was finally setting in, progressives went off again – this time on the census’ proposed citizenship status question. Now these same progressives are prone to offer homilies on the sanctity of the vote. Such expressions are limited, however, to removing obstacles to voting, but only certain obstacles – like prior interment/cremation, felony conviction or present non-residency or non-citizenship. If citizenship has ever conferred any benefit, it was the right to vote as an act of self-government. It derives from parental citizenship and/or location of one’s birth. Otherwise gaining it is a privilege, contingent on factors democratically determined by existing citizens; it must be earned. It is not a right of anyone, anywhere.

The vehement progressive orthodoxy on this issue reveals coherence only for those who can see through the MSM’s disingenuous narratives.  On the one hand, liberals avow the near-holy status of voting; a sacrament of democracy. On the other hand they would have the right promiscuously available to anyone from anywhere who is able to present him/her/it-self to the voting booth (either under their own steam or by virtue of omnibus caravan), no questions asked. Photo ID – required and used by masses for all sorts of gifts from social welfare programs – is denounced as exclusionary, as is a requirement to demonstrate that one is a citizen of this nation in which one desires to vote (Democratic, of course). If the right to vote does not exclude non-citizens, then citizenship has no value.... [Read More]


New Camera – Big Fun!

Olympus OM-D, E-M10MarkII, Micro-Four Thirds.   Have 14-42 and 40-150 zoom lenses, both with circular polarizing filters.  Weighs about 1/10th of my older Olympus E-3 which used the much larger Four Thirds format lenses.  Slightly higher F #’s with the new one, but for the size, don’t care.  The new one has WiFi: Crikey!

From this am, only using AUTO; a sunny morning, finally:... [Read More]


Libertarians: A Response

After having my attention focused on Ed Ring’s “American Greatness” article titled Libertarians Will Be the Ruin of Us All, I am going to offer a defense of the Libertarianism that I have come to know and understand over the course of the past five years. To start, Libertarianism, or those who claim to fit into the libertarian mindset, does have numerous individuals within it. I have heard the notion that Noam Chomsky is a libertarian simply because he is against a U.S. Empire. Although adherence to the doctrine of nonaggression is important to libertarian philosophy, the libertarian thinkers that I follow put much more substance to the philosophy than just nonaggression. People like Prof Tom Woods, Prof Robert Murphy, and Jeff Deist (pronounced “diced”) extend the nonaggression doctrine to include protecting property from taxation, protection from coercion of private businesses to serve people that the business might not want to serve, or enforcing a one-size-fits-all national policy. Those are just to name a few. But the underlying foundation is that libertarians believe in self-governance for states, families, and individuals. We believe in decentralization and we recognize that you cannot have decentralization of government while having a global empire.

Back to Mr. Ring’s piece. He starts out his piece by lamenting the fact that the supposed party of limited government is susceptible to having voters shaved off by a Libertarian party that is even more vocal in its support of limited government. “Libertarians apparently believe their principles justify their running candidates who steal far more votes from Republicans than they ever do from Democrats. This happens for the obvious reason that people who favor limited government tend to vote Republican, but the practical effect of this activity is to dilute support for viable candidates who can actually limit government.” While it may be true that more Republicans at the grass roots level desire a limited government, it certainly is not true that the politicians they vote for want limited government. When in possession of both legislature and executive, the GOP has been some of the biggest proponents of increasing the power and size of the general government. No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, bulk collection and storage of electronic communications of U.S. citizens without warrants, all came to us by a Republican majority Congress and a Republican President. Refusal to fulfill the promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act was done during a time of GOP control of Congress and the White House. Spending? Should that even be in question after the last Omnibus bill? The Republican Party may be home to a large number of Average Americans who desire limited government, but it most certainly is not a Party run by people who actually will implement a plan to limit government. Frankly, I think the limited government types in the GOP are being played for fools and actually get more if they left the GOP and recruited legitimate libertarian thinking candidates in their states to fill some of the Congressional and Senate seats in DC. At least that way, there would be a real voice for liberty in the Federal City.... [Read More]