America is an Idea

The absurdity of this is that conservatives couldn’t even conserve that.

If America is an idea, then socialists are not American.

If America is an idea, that Antifa are not American.

If America is an idea, then the Public School system is thoroughly unAmerican.

But they are Americans. And the ideas in their heads that run contrary to our founders’ ideas need to be dealt with and not ignored.

We need to stop pretending that they aren’t a threat here. We need to stop pretending that importing thousands from socialist countries is going to keep us free.


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Take Me To Your Leader

So, Trump outed himself as a Nationalist recently. I’m tickled pink about it, but others seem to take issue.

Lately, with all the catholic church shenanigans, marriage and celibate priest doctrine is being questioned

We are reading 1 Corinthians in Biblw Study, and I am oddly looking forward to the chapter on women in the church – don’t speak, cover your head…

Sometimes, when I look at these things, I wonder if we have a good idea of what leadership is?

I’ve imagined leadership, of late, as a series if concentric circles. Think Anthony Hopkins’ Zorro medallion in Mask of Zorro – except at the center is you, not your adversary…

I think of these as spheres of influence. Ultimately, I’m responsible for myself. However, as I invite (or create) others around me and accept responsibility inerrant to that, my circles grow. As a mother, my children are the next circle outside of myself. Really, those are my ONLY circles. Some of you may have more.

Since I am responsible for this circle that includes my kids, I am their leader – I have responsibility for and over them. When they screw up, the onus is on me. In exchange for my covering their butts, though, they get the onerous duty of obeying me. It’s our give and take, so to speak. My responsibility is to seek their best interests and theirs is to respect me.

Let’s look at the husband – Corinthians, Colossians, and Ephesians all put the husband as leader of his household. As such, his choices need to consider the best interests of his whole household – not just his own, and not Mr. Smith’s family. If helping Mr. Smith does not interfere with that primary responsibility, then helping Mr. Smith is totally a great idea. But if it harms the husband’s family, helping Mr. Smith is not borne from an honorable place because he is not responsible for Mr. Smith (Mr. Smith is), but for his own family.

Well, what if Mr. Darling is also Rev. Darling? Well, that’s a toughy…  responsible to family, and congregation. And the demands on a priest are not light… and sometimes, it requires self-sacrifice. Paul totally gets this problem area and it’s why he said it’s better not to marry when taking on Paul’s brand of God’s work. Self-sacrifice does not equal sacrificing your wife and children who you have already brought into your sphere. It means forsaking wife and children before ever creating them to begin with. So, for the married priest, leadership, properly ordered, may mean not taking on certain mission fields or building boundaries that a single priest may not need to have around workspace, time commitment, and risk.

And last, but not least, the leader of a country. Who is he responsible to on that outermost circle? His countrymen. Not neighboring country’s countrymen, not southernmost country’s countrymen. HIS countrymen.

For all Trump’s foibles, he is a good leader who recognizes who it is he has responsibility over.

When we anoint a World Leader (heaven forbid anyone but Jesus), they can worry about the interests of Canadians, Hondurans, Africans, and Americans equally.


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Panicking…

I am not worried about national elections. I think we will win them…

But Gillum in the FL Governor race has me panicking.

DeSantis recently fired his campaign manager, but after 6 weeks with the new one, he is nowhere to be seen.

Gillum, the socialist, considering increasing state corporate tax rates and possibly introducing an income tax?

He can not win. I’d donate to desantis, but I don’t think he’s actually doing anything. It’s like he turned S Walker or Rand Paul and disappeared.


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Free Trade – More than one kind?

It is a new week, so time for me to write about more things I know nothing about.

I want to talk about trade. Trade is about a lot of things. Sometimes it’s getting things we can’t get where we are and trading something we do have for it. The guy with chickens is trading eggs for milk with they guy who has a cow. It’s easier this way. They are both far more productive if they specialize and invest in technologies that improve their own market, expanding to trade for cloth, paper, hardware…

This works quite well at the individual level. Possibly at even a local level, but I suspect specialization has a cap on its usefulness…

What about trading for things you can’t get anywhere locally? Citrus vs apples? Cilantro vs Saffron? Silk vs Cotton? Iron vs Plutonium? There are regional differences in resources. Some countries have many regional resources, others have less. Some are more useful, others are luxuries. Should trade for such goods be different than trade for goods a region DOES possess?

Is it better to be a producer or a consumer? If you are capable of producing, why consume another’s unless you truly can’t produce enough for your population’s needs? I suppose it would then make sense to specialize, ala Ricardo’s model of Free Trade, but that may fall apart upon further scrutiny – after all, specializing at the individual level is vastly different than specializing at the national level. Individuals have differing strengths and weaknesses, and it’s best to play up strengths and minimize weaknesses, resulting in specialization. Nations are full of such individuals and not all individuals are capable of morphing from one industry into another. Specializing at a national level may leave you with a larger populace who can’t produce… and without production, their ability to consume diminishes.

So shouldn’t we consider handling trade of things we can produce differently than we handle goods we can’t?

Free Trade for the latter and light protection on the former?

One last thought – Can Consuming be decoupled from Producing? God’s directive to Adam in Gen 3-4 suggests no. At the most micro level, no. In order to consume, you must be able to produce. Are current economic politics attempting to de-couple this primary relationship?


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Weird thoughts on human reproduction

I have no citations for anything about to be written here. I’m not feeling particularly well, so extra lazy is order of the day.

This is just a thought… I could flesh it out, but I like discussion more than research these days :p Did I mention I’m lazy?

Anyway, I read a while back two articles on recent discoveries in genetic science – the first was that we get more DNA from our fathers than our mothers. The second was that environmental factors can actually alter our genetic markers. Fascinating stuff.

I actually really liked these two studies because of the connections – maybe we get more dna from our fathers because their genetic material is more “up-to-date” due to the constant death and creation of male sperm? Ergo, it is more environmentally sound for current living conditions than the maternal genetic material that was produced some 20-40 years ago (eggs are created in utero, hence why maternal age is a big deal in having babies).

So, what if some of the weird “genetic” “born this way” things in current populations might be affected by growing in vitro or sperm bank popularity? These would be preserved, aged genetic material that has not been affected by current environmental factors.

Thoughts?


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Victim Culture vs Alt-Right

A post over at The Other Place by A. C. Gleason had a comment in it that I thoroughly disagreed with. Since I do my best work responding to what others have written and the subject is still provocative enough to those here to stir up conversation, I thought I’d throw my thoughts out to you wonderful and erudite people.

He said the white identity movements of the alt-right and European identitarian parties are extensions of victim culture.

First, my thoughts on what (I think) victim culture is – it organized society into victims and oppressors. The victims then seek special privileges and demand certain recompense from the oppressed. You see this with whites tiptoeing around minorities and the white guilt lamentations of gates community white liberals. You also see this among male feminists in how they genuflect to women (in all it’s fakery).

The white identity and national movements that characterize the Right-leaning segment of the alt-right (at least) (may be referring to themselves as dissident right these days, i.e. The Z-Man at Zblog) organize society into something a bit more natural – aggressors and defenders. Of course, they see themselves as defending their right to exist, their culture, and a right to organize politically for their advantage.

They are not seeking special privileges as an oppressed group. Even if they see themselves oppressed, their response isn’t to have their oppressors make recompense. For better or worse, they’d rather all the other ethnicities basically settling and colonizing their countries to leave them the hell alone. They would rather fight to not be victims than be catered to as the perpetually victimized. Recompense still implies you are a weakened victim dependent on the good will of the oppressor.

In a kind of way, it is more reminiscent of libertarian ideas on a national (rather than individual) level.

Basically every war ever fought was to gain access to resources that one people had that another wanted. Right now, we have multiple groups fighting through our political system to gain access to limited resources. Many of those groups have used victim culture to do so. Other groups are playing defense with the system we have in place. It might mimic victim culture, but it is not.


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Never Saw It Coming

No. Seriously, I totally did not think that banning extremists from sites would not result in only people that extreme being banned.

I totally did not actually foresee that once one extreme is beaten in the public square, a new extreme is then targeted.

I totally did not point out that when all the people more extreme than you are taken out that you become the new extreme.

@Censorship: Twitter Bans 10 Conservatives Accounts; Won’t Give Reason Why

Like 14+

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For the People, By the People

If we are the government, doesn’t that mean such things as the right to bear arms, free speech, and presumption of innocence should be cultural and not just legal?

Meaning that private citizens violating these should be just as big a deal as the government doing it.

After all, politics is downstream of culture.

I think Drew had been trying to hammer this in to our favorite place.


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Dancing with Conspiracy

Conspiracies are weird. They can also be a bit fun. Christianity believes in the ultimate conspiracy theory of the enemies of God being manipulated and made complicit in evil by unseen forces the comprise spiritual warfare. To really get a good 90s dose of the nuttier version of this, the Christian music artist Carman has a fascinating take aimed at kids (for unrelated entertainment). My preference of presentation is closer to The Veritas Conflict or Frank Paretti options. I did listen to Carman’s a great many times.

People mock conspiracy. I get it, I guess. I’ve never been much on accepting at face value what is presented to the public. I also don’t accept at face value what is dished out by strange people on the internet. However, I suspect the gut reaction to conspiracy theories that they are all nuts is embedded in an unwillingness to believe governing forces are capable of it or that the genius can’t exist. It’s too far outside lived experience for us to fully be on board with that central theory, no matter how popular Frank Underwood is in American household tv culture.

Some people are just more capable of imagining it, though. And such imaginings make for great fiction that tantalizes and tempts us to question this seemingly immovable assumption.

I’m not one to think that there can’t exist the pieces central to a conspiracy theory – secrecy, organization, planning, genius – though I do not go as far as conspiracy theorists do. The news media and investigations (do those exist anymore? News investigators?) seem to keep things surface level and disconnected. Sometimes it can be shocking to discover something seemingly unrelated may actually have a connection to a major event, if not purposely, but still potentially causal (as one of a great many factors) – such as Britain’s and Germany’s trade policies in the 1850s leading up to WWI and WWII.

The entirety of a conspiracy theory need not be accepted in order to let one question the public story. It should not be shocking or incredulous to us that governments can use propaganda against their own people to accomplish furtherance of their own goals. You do not need to agree with Alex Jones that Sandy Hook was staged and no one died to wonder if what is surface level accepted is true – could the unstable shooter be manipulated? Sure he could. Was he? I don’t know.

In Parkland, we don’t have to go very far to doubt. A teacher’s publicized testimony of an armored shooter and video of catching a boy in jeans and t-shirt with no weapon or armor can still let us question the media’s presentation without being full on conspiracy nutcases.

How far is too far, though? Scripture says to test everything for truth. Refusing to blindly accept the presented story should not necessarily make one a conspiracy theorist or nutjob.

Or maybe I am crazy and I should not be taken seriously. 😉


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Someone to Stand in the Way

When I was young, I wished I had a big brother.

I was the oldest of five, lanky and awkward, braces (and head gear!), acne, and very little fashion sense with very… odd… hobbies. If you think D&D and MTG are alienating hobbies, try sewing and tatting at 13. Add in being very rule bound, I had a hard time making friends.

I didn’t have a hard time finding people to mock me. I was never outright bullied. Middle class white girls generally don’t hit middle class white girls. Mean Girls is accurate.

A part of me believed a big brother would stand in the way of the bullies and mockers. Maybe he’d be cooler than me and his peers would respect him. Don’t pick on his little sister! Alas, all the cool kids were younger than me (all 4, really, lol). I imagined he’d put others in their place, not with my customary exhortation to “Be Nice”, but with well placed barbs and wit that our peers would be cowed by. No Jane Austen, but definitely some Conan!

There’s some talk at The Other Place about how you don’t stand up to bullies by becoming a bully yourself. This is correct. But how often has Trump punched back against someone that didn’t start it?

“Well, two wrongs don’t make a right.” While this is a great philosophy for teaching your childten how to treat siblings, you absolutely can’t expect everyone outside your influence to behave thusly. Sometimes, the only way to stop the bully is giving them a bit of what they dish out. This doesn’t make you a bully until you start targeting those weaker than yourself.

“Well, he’s president -that makes him stronger!” Not in a constitutionally bound government, it doesn’t. He can not muzzle his criticizers or the critics of his base. To do so would result in expulsion. That does not give him power. It limits it (rightly). If anything, the press and politicians are his equals. Financiers and big-tech are his equals. In a land of equals, there are no bullies. Its when hollywood, the press, the politicians humiliate, mock, disparage, and lie about the average American that it becomes bullying. I have taught my son that the measure of a man is how you treat those weaker than you. While Trump has his errors in this regard, his dealings with the press and “the resistance” have not been that.

I welcome the man who chose to stand in the way.


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Academic Brain Washing

When I was in college, I loved studying the humanities. I almost abandoned my major in order to pursue a humanities degree. Correction: I did. I was undeclared for the last quarter of my Freshman year.

One of the things I observed as very different between humanities and mathematics is that the humanities never has a right answer – it is argumentative in nature (which is what makes it so much fun to converse over!). Present an argument and draw on known facts and logic to support your position. Correct is not the same as Right – if you cogently support your claim and it stands up to counter argument, it is sound.

This is why I like math – math always has a right answer. In fact, when stressed, math homework was a relief. Stress was usually driven by a feeling of frustration in not knowing the right course in life. Math gave comfort in its exacting correctness. Follow the methods, work it out, puzzle over it, and the right answer reveals itself.

The humanities used to be the building ground of critical thinking skills and why a humanities education was so vaunted. However, among an easily influenced youth, it can easily become ground zero for propaganda and, for lack of a better word, brainwashing (not to be hyperbolic) (clearly my humanities education failed me). All you have to do is claim that there is a right answer and push your preferred conclusion on those entrusted to your care.

Under this paradigm, marxist propogandists have been able to influence 2-3 generations of young people and potentially more. Not content to leave it at just this, but add in a new qualification that in order to posit your own claim and support it academically, you must be studying for your doctorate. Elsewise, you are expected to regurgitate an expert’s argument and defend it through other sources. This is convenient to the propagandists when the experts studied are in accord with the professors.

So far untainted by this argumentative weakness, engineering and mathematics have been somewhat sheltered from the pushing of unsupported as true. If lies are relied upon as truth, bridges collapse, building crumble, and mars landers don’t stick the landing (oops).

Well, not for much longer!

http://thefederalist.com/2018/08/30/professor-worked-common-core-tests-math-needs-downplay-objects-truth-knowledge/

A U.S. professor who teaches future public school teachers will “argue for a movement against objects, truths, and knowledge” in a keynote to the Mathematics Education and Society conference this coming January, says her talk description.


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The Right Thing for the Right or Wrong Reason

I recently changed churches. Not in a small way, but a huge way. As a cradle Episcopalian, liturgy has become very important to me. I see the value and purpose in it. I’m very protestant when it comes to not trusting the Pope, but in some ways I might be less enthusiastic about the authority of apostolic succession given the tendency for these hierarchical churches to promote less than qualified priests.

I’m now attending a Baptist church. To call it a culture shock would be an understatement, but the teaching is sound, draws from our current culture and philosophies without politicization, and the fellowship is strong and in the neighborhood. Three things that had been lacking in the other Episcopal options.

I’m sure many of you would think there’s plenty of good reason to leave the Episcopal church, but my reasons were far more localized.

My original church (of 8 years, 2 of my kids baptized there) had issues as a priest dealt with a sick wife and his associate went off the deep end over Trump, BLM, and Social Justice in the church. The lack of supervision over a brand new priest who was not dealing with things in a theologically sound manner sent me elsewhere.

I was happy at a new church (far away) until the priest left and the new rector has the same emotional propensity for going half-cocked on political issues in response to tragic events around him that drove me away from my previous home.

And then, I needed fellowship that wasn’t 40 minutes away, where the kids might be in our neighborhood and school, where my kids could form lifelong friendships to carry them through the school years (And to be honest, I needed mom friends in similar life-stages or older to fellowship with and be mentored by, something I haven’t had in my 9 years of parenting).

Some might agree with all these reasons for leaving. Some might disagree with on or two of them. They might think those are the wrong reasons for leaving while one decision seems like a good one.

So would they say I made the right decision for the wrong reasons? Only if they thought I was incapable of making decisions based on many factors and only capable of holding one reason in mind.

So why is it that when Trump fires Comey (the right decision) or revokes Muslim terrorist-apologizer, CIA ex-director Brennan’s security clearance (the right decision), it is then assumed that the only reasons Trump acted were the wrong reasons?

Is it not possible that Trump could have good and bad reasons for acting? Is it not possible that he acted for good reason, but the bad reasons were what kept him from staying his hand and offering mercy and another chance? Why is it that every pundit has assumed the absolute worst motives?

Some might say he has a history. A history that is based upon the same assumptions as this one. Trump talks garbage. Does that mean his garbage talk is the only reason he has?

I don’t think so. Perhaps, in assuming Trump as a one-dimensional actor, they out themselves as one-dimensional and incapable of complexity in choices, feelings, and reasoning.


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The Limits of Individualism (probably)

It’s been a while since I have written anything at Ricochet, but a couple days ago, I finally did it.

It was suggested I post it here. So consider this my first post among friends!


Are hardcore individualists aware that in a democracy, the individual is only as free as everyone else wants to be?

This has been a long-running frustration for me with principles of libertarianism. I do not see conservatism as being so radically individualistic.

To me, Conservatism prizes the individual, but seeks to maximize freedom and stability – adopt the measures that will promote the most freedom as long as possible. In some specific places, that might mean less freedom, but overall more freedom.

Libertarianism promotes the most freedom for as long as it takes someone stronger than you to exert his will on you.

It is not my observation that most people prize freedom above all else, especially when freedom means responsibility. So at what point do you start to care that everyone around you thinks socialism is better than your freedom?


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