Friday, May 20, 2016

The Anti-Establishment Establishment

One of the mantras of the anti-Establishment forces in the Republican Party has always been principle over politics. And the biggest criticism by it of the Establishment was that the Establishment was too willing to sell out their principles to win politically.

But ever since Trump became the Presumptive Nominee (let us capitalize this expression to underscore its official status--or at least its presumptive official status), the anti-Establishment has begun to do the very thing that they have always criticized the Establishment for doing.

Now we are told that we get over our principled objections to Trump because otherwise we will lose. 

Yo, Anti-Establishment, are you listening to yourself? Do realize you are championing precisely the position you have always criticized the Establishment for? Sean Hannity? Mr. Anti-Establishment? You there?

These people preached to us about how important it was not to sacrifice principle for politics and yet now you are  that it is imperative that we do just this.

Interesting how, when the pigs take over the barnyard, they begin acting just like the humans who they replaced.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

So WHO's politicizing the transgender issue?

The Atlantic posted an article today by Ron Fourier, a supporter of "transgender rights" about how much he laments the fact that the issue of transgender use of bathrooms has become politicized. And of course he talks as if the blame can be evenly distributed between the two sides.

Um, no. Sorry. Won't work.

He points the finger at North Carolina, saying that their law requiring people of a particular biological sex to use the bathroom appropriate for that sex politicizes the issue. Actually North Carolina passed the law in response to the politicization of the issue by the Gender Deniers.

Think about it. Why is this an issue at all? If someone is a man who identifies as a woman, why do we even have to know about it? They could go into the restroom of their choice right now and with a slight bit of discretion (and maybe not even that) no one would ever know about it. I've never seen someone who claims to be transgender with a sign saying he or she (or whatever) is transgender. 

But the movement pushing all of this doesn't want you to just acknowledge that someone you know is really a man is a woman. They want you to acknowledge that the person who now claims to be a woman was once a man and so is now, in addition to being a woman, a transgender woman.

Say it, fool: TRANS-GEN-DER. And speak up, so we can hear you (It's just no fun to be a cultural revolutionary if you can't bully other people into saying things they don't believe).

If all the so-called transgender rights movement really wanted was for transgender people to be able to use the bathroom that corresponded with whatever sex they decided to be, that's easy. Just do it. No more need be said.

But they don't just want to be left alone. And they just don't want to leave you alone. They want to force you to explicitly repudiate any moral or religious delusions you may have that interfere with legitimacy of their ideology. We are all supposed to consent to be herded into the public square to chant their slogans and participate in their Two-Minutes Hate against the evil people who believe in conventional morality, traditional religion, and, by the way, science.

Oh, and you'd better do it with a smile on your face or we'll pull your federal funding.

Instead of just going on peaceably with our lives and being polite and respectful, we all have to bow down before the cultural agenda of the LBGTQRSTUVWXYZ movement and be required to publicly pledge allegiance to their increasingly absurd view of sex and acknowledge every new gender identity they came up with last week. This is the way thoughtcrime must be dealt with.

We're not asked to live and let live: We're required to acquiesce to having our noses rubbed in it by having to offer a public confession of the bad traditional thoughts we once had about gender and to promise that we will voluntarily check in to the nearest Ministry of Love extension office so our minds can be cleansed of these impure thoughts.

You will learn to admit the gender equivalent truth that two plus two equals five. And you will learn to love it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Gender Deniers: Gender ideology and its quarrels with science

If you've ever wondered just how messed up this society is, just take a look at a video that has gone viral in which college students are asked if they think there is any difference between males and females. What the viewer is treated to is a collection of people who are incomprehensively confused about basic reality.

These are people who are in deep denial about some pretty self-evident things. In fact, I wish the interviewer had thought to ask these sadly misguided individuals if they were aware that (spoiler alert) women can give birth and men can't. Or that genitalia differs between men and women, or that women grow breasts and men don't. And then there is the basic fact, scandalous to the Gender Deniers, that men and women actually have different physical capabilities and even different emotional characteristics.

I learned about gender when I asked my mother when I was young how to tell the difference between a male hamster and a female one and she said, with wisdom born of woman, "You look between their legs." How could she have known this, my mother who only had a 10th grade education?

It seems to me a self-evident fact that if you don't know the difference between males and females, you simply don't belong in college. You need to go back to, oh, I don't know, 2nd grade and take that health unit again. In fact, a little more time in high biology wouldn't hurt.

Remember biology? I hear there are some people still practice it. Probably in secret. They taught it when I was in school. They told us (I am not making this up) that women were born with two X chromosomes and men with an X and a Y chromosomes. They said nothing about how anyone felt about the chromosomes they had. It didn't matter. And if you had maintained that it did, you be laughed out of class, and you would have deserved it.

But now, at a time when people claim to hold science in high esteem, they completely ignore it when it comes to gender. All the while, the self-styled skeptics, eager to jump on the least little deviation from scientific fact by religious people, stand on the sidelines and either say nothing or, in an amazing number of cases, cheer the nonsense on.

Monday, May 16, 2016

If gender identity is determined by your feelings, then ...

I had to pass this along for those who didn't see it. It is a comment by Hank Reynolds in the comments section of a previous post that points up how far down the rabbit hole the gender benders have gone:
If gender identity is determined by your feelings and not your chromosomal makeup, then “feeling like a woman” simply means you feel like someone who feels like a woman. If there is no objective meaning to being a woman, what can it possibly mean to feel like one?

Matt Bevin's response to the Obama Gender Dictate for schools

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's response to Obama's new dictate that the nation's schools must allow students to use the bathroom that they say corresponds with their "gender identity":

“It is difficult to imagine a more absurd federal overreach into a local issue.  Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to interfere in local school districts' bathroom policies. The President is not promoting unity. In fact, he is doing quite the opposite. He is intentionally dividing America by threatening to sue or withhold funding from our cash-strapped public schools if they do not agree with his personal opinion on policies that remain squarely in their jurisdiction. They should not feel compelled to bow to such intimidation. My administration is researching the options available for ensuring that this local issue is decided by Kentuckians, not by bureaucrats in Washington."

Read more here.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Will Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce, become Bruce again?

According to a new book, Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, is considering turning back into a man. That would make him Bruce Jenner, formerly Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner.

In case you were wondering.

According to a friend of Jenner's, says the author, "It hasn't been easy for Caitlyn. It's been very hard." Right. Just imagine what it would be like to be celebrated by the media, put on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, and given your own television show.

It's a hard life.

But just imagine what life must be like for those who celebrate Caitlyn, formerly Bruce, who, according to speculation may soon become Bruce, formerly Caitlyn, formerly Bruce. They will now have to undergo the same transformation they underwent when Bruce transformed into Caitlyn. They will have to suspend all critical judgment once again to ignore human nature and scientific reality and accept once again that a man can really become a woman (or potentially vice-versa) by the simple expedient of a few injections of hormones and breast implants along with a little determination.

On the other hand, this didn't seem to difficult even for so-called conservatives (like Megyn Kelly, who called Caitlyn "courageous") who readily accepted the idea that you can change your gender by simply announcing the fact that you feel like a sex other than the one you, in fact, are.

So get ready, just in case Caitlyn changes her (or what will then be his, formerly her, formerly his) mind, to nod obediently and approvingly like a good little postmodern person in sheepish acquiescence to the increasingly absurd vicissitudes of a clearly very confused person whose confusion is exceeded only by the confusion of his (or her, or his) cultural enablers.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What is Political Correctness?

Camille Paglia, from The Smart Set:

What is political correctness? As I see it, it is a predictable feature of the life cycle of modern revolutions, beginning with the French Revolution of 1789, which was inspired by the American Revolution of the prior decade but turned far more violent. A first generation of daring rebels overthrows a fossilized establishment and leaves the landscape littered with ruins. In the post-revolutionary era, the rebels begin to fight among themselves, which may lead to persecutions and assassinations. The victorious survivor then rules like the tyrants who were toppled in the first place. This is the phase of political correctness — when the vitality of the founding revolution is gone and when revolutionary principles have become merely slogans, verbal formulas enforced by apparatchiks, that is, party functionaries or administrators who kill great ideas by institutionalizing them.
What I have just sketched is the political psychobiography of the past 45 years of American university life.
Read the rest here.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Trump and the Establishment: A plague on both their houses

The chief problem in the discussion over Trump is that he is disliked for all the wrong reasons. This is what makes the discussion about Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party so utterly frustrating.

The question has become whether Trump is going to change the Republican Party into something other than a conservative party. But the trouble is that the national Republican Party has had a tenuous relationship with conservatism ever since Ronald Reagan left the scene.

People forget that, before Reagan came along, the Republican Party establishment was largely made up of what were then called "country club Republicans." These were people who, generally speaking, wanted a strong national defense, a balanced budget, and a highball by the pool in the afternoon. They were in favor of the military-industrial complex to fix the world, monetary policy to fix the economy, and good security guards in their gated communities to fix their neighborhoods.

Then came the social conservatives.

In the early 80s, an army of Pat Robertson supporters invaded local Republican Party organizations. Because they were uncouth, religious but unPresbyterian or unEpiscopalian, and actually believed in something, the country clubbers fought them—and lost. Reagan, who, although he was really too principled for the country-clubbers, they were willing to accept because of his celebrity background and success as a governor. But, to their shock and dismay, he ended up embracing the social conservatives. Later, he scandalized them even worse by abandoning the stilted foreign policy doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction in favor of Star Wars, and the stilted economics of monetary policy in favor of supply-side economics.
Hence was born post-Reagan Republican conservatism, characterized by the triple doctrines of strong (but not expansionist) national defense, the pragmatic spending policies of smaller government and lower taxes, and advocacy of traditional values.

Since then, although outwardly championing Reaganism, the Party establishment has been moving away from all three of these.

In foreign policy, the Party was captured by neoconservatives who wanted to spread American influence the military adventurism and the religion of democracy. While Reagan bombed Tripoli and quickly left, George W. Bush invaded Iraq and ended up trying to run the place. The first achieved its goal (a less dangerous Quaddafi), the second did not (Iraq is now a satellite state of an even more dangerous Iran).

In economic policy, the Republican brand was ruined by the establishment advocacy of international free trade agreements and the Medicare Part D drug prescription benefit that amounted to a new and costly social entitlement. And while Reagan's advocacy of the free market was a position based upon the pragmatic benefits of policies whose goal it was to get government off people's backs, the increasing influence of libertarians in the Party has resulted in what amounts to a religion of the free market that has, through ostensibly free market trade deals, caused jobs loss at home.
And where once the Republicans were the party of traditional values, their replacement of them by "market values," a phrase that exalts freedom at the expense the common good, has resulted in the abandonment of the commitment to integrity of marriage as the central social institution in particular, and jettisoning of defense of the moral order of the Judeo-Christian ethos in general. And then there is the increasing acceptance among the Party elite of more virulent forms of gender ideology that threaten to displace the common sense categories which are the only basis for even believing in marriage. Ronald Reagan was not a libertarian, he was a conservative, and he knew the difference.

In short, the Republican Party had already experienced a hostile takeover before Trump ever started running for president.

But since everyone seems to have forgotten this, they talk about Trump's policies as if they were somehow opposed to conservatism, when, in fact, many of them are perfectly conservative.

His opposition to foreign military adventurism is perfectly in line with Reaganite restraint. And those people who keep characterizing Trump's foreign policy and economic views (as he has stated them) to the "American First" movement need to go back and listen to Alexander Haig's remarks as he articulated Reagan's foreign policy as his Secretary of State. He talked about "American national interest" and criticized the Soviet Union for its expansionist foreign policy. And they need to go back and take note that it was only with the George W. Bush administration that the United States began signing wide-ranging trade deals that ignored the consequences on jobs at home.

Far from being at odds with conservatism, Trump's views on foreign policy and economics are actually closer to conservatism than the views of the Republican establishment which appears to have forgotten what conservatism actually consists of, at least in its Reaganite form.
The worst criticism that could be leveled against Trump is on social issues, an area of Trump's stated agenda on which the paint has barely dried. It is on social policy that authentic conservatives have the most cause to be worried. 

And it is on all these views that conservatives need to ask themselves whether Trump really believes the positions he has taken or whether they are the product of pure political expediency. 

It is not Trump's stated positions that are the problem. The problem is whether he has any principles underlying these positions which we can have any confidence will cause him to keep them. Already he is abandoning his positions on his tax plan and the minimum wage are devolving into something different from what he ran on. How do we know his other position won't undergo the same devolution?

Trump is a creature of opportunity, and such creatures don't stay in one political position for long. But let's be clear on the fact that the establishment of the Party left conservatism before Trump ever came along.

The Republican choice this year was between someone who doesn't seem to have any principles and a Party establishment that has the wrong ones.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Atheists to gather in Washington to pretend they're rational

One way to convince yourself that you are rational is to simply repeat words like "reason" and "rational" over and over again as a sort of mantra. The other way is to actually be rational by engaging in rational thought processes, such as observing the proper definitions of words, understanding what you are actually saying when you make statements, and observing the simple rules of logical validity.

The first way makes you a poser. The second way means you are the real deal.

As they did in 2012, the nation's atheists are getting together in public to repeat the appropriate catchphrases and to strike the appropriate rational poses so they can all pretend that they are logical. It's called the "Reason Rally," being held on the mall in Washington, DC on June 4. 

In 2012, I openly wondered if something called a "Reason Rally" would involve taking part in logical exercises like formulating valid syllogisms, identifying fallacies, and engaging in contests to see who can reduce syllogisms of the second, third, and fourth figure into first figure syllogisms, like we do in my logic classes. But, alas, all it really amounted to was a bunch of intellectually arrogant people with little to be arrogant about chanting slogans on the lawn.

This year, I was hoping to be available to travel to DC to stand on the lawn and lead them all in a chant of William of Sherwood's medieval mnemonic verse that includes all 19 valid syllogism forms to see if it would do any good.

In reality, these are people most of whom just simply have to scratch their heads when you ask them why secularism is somehow more inherently rational that religious belief. This idea is the unarticulated assumption behind all modern atheist thought. They will employ it in their argumentation, but if you ask them to justify it, they will descend into incoherence (if they haven't already).

For a fun exercise, recite to them various arguments from St. Thomas' Summa Theologica and ask them to identify which argument forms they exemplify.

These are also people who have made science into a religion and worship at the feet of the scientific method, which they seem to think is the only avenue to truth, a belief which itself cannot be proved on scientific grounds. In other words, their central belief is itself entirely irrational.

One of the themes at this year's rally is "LGBTQ Equality." It will be interesting to hear how reason and science support the whole concept of "gender identity," which basically consists of the belief that your gender is determined by your feelings and not your chromosomal makeup, like they teach in, well, science.

What IS the Christian Worldview?: An Introductory Book List

An excerpt from my post on "What is the Christian Worldview?" at Exordium, the blog of the Classsical Latin School Association:
There is something deeper than just our surface beliefs that partly dictates what those beliefs will be. I think this is more reflective of what we mean by a worldview.
If you really want to get a grasp on what a Christian worldview is, you’re going to have to devote yourself to reading a little philosophy and literature, with an emphasis on the history of ideas. I will say, however, that there are some great writers and great resources out there to get you started on this endeavor. What follows are the books I have recommended to my youngest son, who is now a philosophy major at the University of Kentucky. I think he would tell you that they have benefited him a great deal. For the most part they are books that simplify a lot of the main issues involved in the question of why we think what we think. But, also for the most part, they avoid oversimplification.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Devil Escapes from Hell, Set to Become Republican Nominee for President

The Republican presidential candidate who yesterday floated a story from the National Enquirer claiming that Ted Cruz's father was somehow involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination is now the obvious Republican nominee for president.


So the Republicans are set to put up against the corporatist, corrupt, and dishonest Hillary Clinton a billionaire reality TV star who quotes tabloids to bolster his beliefs and boasts about the size of his junk on national TV.

Go Team!

How did this happen? There are several reasons:

1. Most Americans have had the practical equivalent of a lobotomy from getting our education in public schools;

2. No one took on Trump early enough. This is what happens when you self-professed conservative leaders out there stay silent in the face of evil (or, in this case, idiocy) hoping for the bad thing to go away. This is what conservatives do on a whole host of issues. They are doing it now on the gender absurdity that is now making the rounds. They're doing it on religious freedom. They do it, although less often, on life issues. The Republicans have a large and unvocal Surrender Caucus. If someone as devoid of intelligence as Trump can hang tough on what some of the preposterous positions he takes, why can't much smarter, supposedly conservative Republicans do it?

3. The leadership of the national Republican Party made Trump possible, and when he became possible, he became necessary. Pat Buchanan pointed out that, of the three greatest issues in the presidential race, Trump is right on two and wrong on one. He's right on the exportation of jobs overseas. He's right on the stupidity of an expansionist foreign policy. But he's a liberal (despite his more recent opportunistic proclamations) on social issues. The national Republican Party has, like much of modern conservatism, bought in to the Religion of the Free Market. It's one thing to believe in the Free Market; it's another to think that "free market principles" should dictate everything, and be adhered to even when it is clearly to our country's disadvantage to do so. The Republican establishment is also deep into the neoconservative foreign policy idea that, rather than a republic, the United States should be an empire, ready and willing to force democracy on the world. Hand it to Trump, he has completely turned the table on the establishment on economics and foreign policy, and he beat other candidates like Cruz because they are still wrong on the first two of these issues.

I agree with Trump on the economic and foreign policy issues and I'm still not going to vote for him. The Republican Establishment, however, ever opportunistic and unprincipled, is going to support him despite the fact that he violates their most deeply held beliefs. This is what politic prostitutes do.

Just watch, even Lindsey Graham, who has warned that Trump will destroy the Republican Party, will surrender his principles and report to the nearest Trump reservation.

Even now, the conservative faithful are being told that their only two options are Trump and Hillary.

I guess if my only choice was between the Son of Sam and the Devil himself, I'm supposed to go with the Son of Sam. But the fact is those are not my two options. There is a third: Don't vote for either.

The short term argument is correct: Hillary will get to pack the Supreme Court. But maybe that's the best thing. Maybe we should let the liberals have the Court so it can be seen by everyone for what it already was before Scalia's death: A rogue group of unelected judges who think they can rewrite the Constitution in accordance with their liberal political beliefs.

But no one it talking about the long-term consequences of Trump. If you thought George W. Bush destroyed the Republican brand, wait till you see what Trump does.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Donald Trump Gives Birth to Alien Spider from Hell

A new report has revealed that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has secretly given birth to an alien spider from Hell that could threaten life on this planet. According to the report, immediately after birth, the creature ate the doctors alive and demanded free college tuition before leading police on a three state chase. 

The revelation could affect the real estate mogul's chances of gaining his party's presidential nomination.

The report was published by ...

Oh, wait a minute. It was tabloid. And tabloids print ridiculous stuff that no one with half a brain would believe. I must not have checked carefully enough.

Never mind.

Monday, May 02, 2016

James Ramsey and Greg Fischer begin KY effort to remove historical monuments from public view

The Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by
the Taliban.
It used to be that colleges and universities were in the business of studying history. Now they're doing their best to erase it.

The scandal-plagued president of the University of Louisville, James Ramsey (we're just going to start calling him James Ramsey of Bamiyan), has teamed with Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher to kick-off the Kentucky effort to remove historical monuments.

It's inaugural effort at historical cleansing involves removing a historical monument erected in 1895 by a women's group to honor the Confederate war dead. There were  apparently (unlike in Memphis) no Confederate graves to dig up, so Ramsey had to settle for moving a monument in the vicinity of its Belknap campus on city property.

It's got to be hard to be a liberal Democrat knowing that your party was the pro-slavery—and later pro-segregation—party, the party of George Wallace, and the party of West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd (a former KKK "Exalted Cyclops"), and the party which brought up the rear in the support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Or that your party still conspires to create gerrymandered congressional and state legislative districts that minimize minority representation and maximize representation of White liberals who need these political platforms to engage in politically correct posturing while doing little to really help those they claim to represent.

The chief question about the liberals' effort to efface history is how far we are going to let them go. Will we take down other statues, such as those portraying those who owned slaves? Goodbye George Washington. Goodbye Thomas Jefferson.

Are we going to shut down parties with a racist past? Goodbye Democrats. Newspapers with a racist past? Goodbye Courier-Journal.

No wonder these people want to erase history.