Category Archive: These Are The Crazy Years

You want more Trump? Part I dunno what.

So, this happened.

New GOP Star Born When California Dems Forcibly Remove Vietnamese Senator for Criticizing Tom Hayden

Sen. Janet Nguyen (R) was the star of last weekend’s California GOP convention because she was forcibly removed from the floor of the Senate on Feb. 23 for criticizing the late Sen. Tom Hayden (D), who was honored by his former colleagues two days before.

I’m going to make it plain that I am lukewarm as hell about Trump, even if I think most of the things he is pledging to do need to be done (and wouldn’t get done with a more “conventional” GOP president, and may still not if the “conventional” GOP Congress doesn’t start playing ball).  And I hope people understand that when I repeatedly say, “if you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump”, I mean, stupid moves like the one linked above are how the Dems unintentionally solidify GOP support, i.e., “more Trump”.

All the protests and the heckling and the sit-ins and the crocodile tears from the press and the unfunny assassination jokes — that’s how you get more Trump.  And you’d think the Dems would be able to wrap their minds around that and find a different, more adult way of dealing with their loss.  You know — like the right did when Obama was elected.  We weren’t happy about it, and we snarked about it, and certain idiots came up with conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory about him, but in the main, the right does things differently from the left — primarily, it doesn’t act like a spoiled baby with a poopy diaper when it doesn’t get its way.

At this point, the left is just damaging itself to no good purpose.  If you think this hasn’t resulted in the creation of a ton of closet Trump Democrats, kind of like there used to be Reagan Democrats, you haven’t been paying attention.  And the last thing I’m going to say about that is that the American Republic is not a healthy place if the balance of power swings too far either direction.  I can get along with a Kennedy Democrat, or a Scoop Jackson Democrat, or even a Zell Miller Democrat.  It’s these far-left socialist redistributionist anti-capitalist Democrats that I have a problem with.  This country was designed to be run from the center, and we’ve almost completely lost track of that.

It’s time for compromise, and neither side will ever have a better chance to do that than right now.  That’s what Trump is all about:  The Deal, which by definition requires compromise.  If you don’t want to compromise, don’t expect to get more than short shrift from him.

Children should not be allowed to vote.

This kind of thing makes me more and more convinced that Robert Heinlein was right and we need to require intelligence tests with a reasonably high passing grade to qualify to vote.  He suggested the solution of a quadratic equation which would be randomly generated and shown on a screen before you got to the ballot.  He also suggested that there should be no minimum voting age; if a 13-year-old girl could solve the quadratic, she should be allowed to vote.

Heinlein also suggested that voters should be military veterans with an honorable discharge in order to vote.  Which would disqualify me since I never served, but that’s on me, not anyone else.  (Besides, Heinlein left open the possibility that anyone could serve a term, discharge honorably, and obtain the franchise.)  For some reason this position got Heinlein labeled as a Nazi — or worse — by the soi-disant cognoscenti, few of whom ever actually read Starship Troopers and didn’t understand the logic behind it.

The childish minds at work in this video cannot possibly encompass the intelligence or the moral discipline to evaluate properly the issues of the day and cast a ballot accordingly.  Want to secure the ballot?  Start ensuring that the people who cast them can actually articulate their personal political and moral philosophy.  Mooning the Trump Tower in Chicago doesn’t rise to that level.  Kids and drunks do that kind of thing, not intelligent adults.

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Sic transit gloria baden-powell

I’ve been a Scout and Scouter most of my life.  39 years this year, in fact.

I’ve watched Scouting evolve from an organization that was about making boys into moral, competent men, into an organization that seemingly will stop at nothing to chase numbers.

From the abortive attempt to take the movement co-ed in my teen years — when the uniforms suddenly started sporting “Scouting USA” emblems rather than the familiar “Boy Scouts of America” tags (which came back pretty fast when it became apparent that the Girl Scouts took a dim view of the BSA poaching their gender) — to the varied crises of dealing with urban Scouting, youth protection, loss of interest when boys reached the “girls and gasoline” age, and a general societal shunning based on the fact that Scouting actually expected its adherents to cling to what was considered an outdated moral code — yeah, I’ve seen it all.

And now, the smart boys and girls in Irving have determined that it’s OK for transgender children to join packs and troops.

Leaving aside the question, “WTF is a transgender child, and how in hell does a child decide what gender it’s going to be,” this is absolute and utter insanity.

I have held my peace and gone along with changes that included allowing female leaders (in Boy Scouts; women have long been Den Mothers, or now, I suppose “Leaders”, in Cubs), gay Scouts, and finally gay leaders — the latter two regardless of the dictates of the Scout Oath and Law.  I have watched religious organizations, formerly the backbone of the BSA’s chartered partners, walk away from the program because it no longer reflected their principles.  I have watched troops that were formerly powerhouses become ghosts of their former selves.

And I have watched the general public, which used to approve heartily of the Boy Scouts, turn on it like a ravening pack of wolves, snarling that the movement is bigoted and outdated and shouldn’t be allowed to corrupt our youth.

This new wrinkle, though — I can’t go on pretending that these continued surrenders to public opinion on the part of the National Council don’t do violence to my concept of what Scouting is supposed to be about.  If you’re going to let everyone in, fine, let everyone in, quit pretending that the organization is any more than an activity like after-school sports, and just drop the whole moral and ethical framework that underpins the whole thing.

And be prepared, as it were, to lose people like me, who have made Scouting a part of their lives.  Because it won’t be Scouting anymore.

I have not been an active Scouter in a long time, but I’ve remained registered against the time that I might decide to become active again.  I’ve actually been working with a group that’s trying to start a STEM-oriented Venture crew (with little or no help from the local council, I might add, but in my long experience with the council, that’s not really much of a surprise).  But I’ve really stayed registered to keep my OA registration current, since I’m a Vigil member, and if I drop my BSA membership, that’s it for OA.  Doesn’t really matter, I guess, in the grand scheme of things.

All that goes down the hole at the end of the year.  If I’d known about this idiot move by National a few days earlier, I wouldn’t have bothered to re-up for 2017.  I already stopped giving money to the annual fundraisers several years ago when they decided it was OK to let gay leaders in.  And you can say what you like about that, but I’ll just refer you to the Oath and Law as I did above.  Either we have standards or we don’t.  And either we live up to those standards, or there’s no sense in pretending that we have them.

To paraphrase a certain former Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America:  I didn’t leave Scouting.  Scouting left me.

I guess I’ll be sitting on this log over here talking to Baden-Powell about the good old days.

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Another meme, another blind misunderstanding

My niece posted this on Facebook:

Uh-huh.  Let’s see about that.

Actually, the “wall” between church and state is not what people think it is.  It’s based on a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a church, and the text of that letter is usually misinterpreted to mean religion and the state should be completely separate and have no influence on each other.  Which is impossible in real life.  Anyway, see Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists.  Read it carefully.  It doesn’t mean what most people think it does.

Same-sex marriage is the law of the land now, so that’s over with — not that it’s that big of a deal since the population affected is tiny; they simply scream and holler well over their weight class until people get tired of listening and another barrier is lowered.  However, the backlash is starting to cause something I have wanted to see for years — several states writing legislation to significantly reduce state control of marriage, which would in effect nullify the Supreme Court ruling regarding same sex marriage without outlawing it.  Indiana has a bill before the legislature right now to that effect.  So I’m all for anything that does that.  Why should anyone have to buy a license from the state in order to get married?*

Stem cell research goes on regardless of whether it’s funded federally or not.  The key is not the research itself, it’s whether federal money should be spent to further it.  And there have been compromises over the years to allow some federal funding.  I’m all for stem cell research as long as it’s done properly — there are some major breakthroughs coming in therapy because of stem cells.  But the original argument over the use of stem cells was that only embryonic stem cells would work, because only they are “pluripotent”, which goes back to the abortion argument.  After a lot of smoke and fire, it was discovered that adult stem cells can also be induced to be pluripotent.**  So there’s likely no pressing need to use embryonic stem cells in any case, which should mean properly-done stem cell research should bother exactly no one other than extreme Luddites.

Abortion, on the other hand, is murder in a lot of peoples’ opinion — and that’s hardly a religious question, unless you think you can only be moral if you are religious. And a “safe abortion” is a contradiction in terms anyway.  But it’s ALSO the law of the land, regardless of how you feel about the outcome of Roe v Wade.  My argument has long been that abortion needs to be removed from politics, because eventually the “Roe Effect” will take hold and it won’t be an issue anymore.***

TL;DR version:  I wish people would think about these things before they just generalize about them.  I’ve been thinking about them for over forty years, and a Facebook meme isn’t going to change my mind about any of them.

______________________

* Of course, if people don’t vaccinate their kids, rubella is going to come back, and then the state will once again have a pressing interest in whether or not the potential mother is rubella-free.  But I’m sure that can be handled some other way.  Like by a family doctor testing her before or right after she gets pregnant.  (Before 1987, women had to have proof that they were rubella free before they could get married in Indiana.  In point of fact, even though this portion of the code was repealed in 1987, my wife still had to have a rubella test in 2000 before our county would give us the license.  Interesting.)

Also interesting is the fact that the bill in question in Indiana still prohibits polygamy.  Which is fine with me.

** I’m not going to go into this in depth, but the NIH says, “Human embryonic stem cells are thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells. This means that embryonic stem cells may be pluripotent—that is, able to give rise to cells found in all tissues of the embryo except for germ cells rather than being merely multipotent—restricted to specific subpopulations of cell types, as adult stem cells are thought to be. However, a newer type of reprogrammed adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, has proven to be pluripotent.”  NIH FAQ regarding stem cells, research question #2, accessed 1/24/2017; bold emphasis mine.

*** For those who can’t reach the linked 2005 WSJ article by James Taranto,

The Roe effect, however, refers specifically to the nexus between the practice of abortion and the politics of abortion. It seems self-evident that pro-choice women are more likely to have abortions than pro-life ones, and common sense suggests that children tend to gravitate toward their parents’ values. This would seem to ensure that Americans born after Roe v. Wade have a greater propensity to vote for the pro-life party–that is, Republican–than they otherwise would have.

In my opinion, there’s more to the Roe Effect than whether or not a child is aborted or allowed to come to term and be born; it also depends on the consequences of education for that child.  A child can be born into a family that considers abortion to be murder, and through indoctrination in our public schools, come to the conclusion that a fetus isn’t human and can therefore be safely disposed of.  Such families also generally believe that sex should be confined to marriage and that it is a sin to have intimate relations before marriage.  Young girls from such families who find themselves fallen pregnant (a interesting term) typically believe that their best option to avoid punishment or disapprobation from their parents is to get an abortion, even though abortion is far worse than simply accepting fate and keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption — which have more consequences in and of themselves.  Perhaps the true solution is to stop telling children that premarital sex is a sin and will be punished by $DEITY, and tell them instead that sex is indeed a wonderful thing, a sacred mystery if you will, but it can lead to bad consequences for young girls who engage in it — and make it clear that even if a daughter finds herself pregnant, she’ll still be loved and accepted and everything that can be done to support her will be done.  Because I’ll bet you more girls run away from home to find an abortion when they find out they’re pregnant whose parents go all fire and brimstone on them about premarital sex than those whose parents are proactive and supportive even if the worst happens.

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*#&^*(*)!

I’m retaking Boy Scout and Venture leader Youth Protection Training.  My Boy Scout training expired last August, and I’m tired of having one expire one year and the other the next, so I’m retaking the Venture training, too.

I fucking hate this.

First of all, the Boy Scout side of the training just makes me squirm.  Adults who pull the kind of shit that gets talked about ought to be taken out and shot, not just reported and kicked off the premises.  But at least it only takes 20 minutes and it’s mostly a video training with a few “stop and answer these questions” sections, then voila, you’re done.

Second, the fucking Venture side is more like a child psychology course, because Venturing goes from age 14 to 21, and we all know that 14 year olds are not the same either body-wise or mind-wise as 21 year olds.  So they break that into “young teens” and “older teens” and spend most of the training explaining the difference, which should be obvious to anyone who lived through their teen years and/or brought up teenage children.  And, bonus, it’s all “animated”, and you have to click to go from slide to slide — sometimes multiple times when the damn thing ought to just advance on its own.  It’s obvious that the Boy Scout training was made by professionals back when I was still actively involved (it could be used either as a group training or a single-user training), whereas the Venture one was put together by introverted millenials who thought millions of clicks were a good thing.  Oh, and also?  The Venture training was clearly made for leaders in their 20’s or 30’s.  The fucking fonts are so goddamn small I can barely read them.  But don’t take my word for it:

(If you right-click that and use the “View Image” or equivalent in your browser controls, you’ll get the full size version.  Not that it’s much bigger.)

But besides all that, the Venture version is kind of a waste, because it spends the bulk of its time talking about developmental issues rather than actual youth protection issues.  The set of scenarios where you’re supposed to identify the appropriate YPT action seems like it was added on as an afterthought to a training that was originally just about how to deal with teenage youth.  I would have liked to have seen something a little more in depth like the scenarios found in the Boy Scout YPT.

Bottom line, because of these shortcomings, I think it’s probably necessary to have both certifications if you want to be a Venture leader.  The Boy Scout YPT talks a lot more about what to actually do in situations a leader may encounter.  But I’m told that if you only do Venture, you need only take the Venture training (which is completely different from what I was originally told, that we had to take ALL FOUR YPT trainings — Cub, Boy, Venture, and Explorer — because our crew was going to interface with all four types of units).

But the whole thing is just annoying.  It’s as bad as taking “diversity” training and sexual harassment training at work every time we turn around.  When that shit started back in the late ’80s, we used to ask why we needed to take it every year when we had already taken it before.  Never got a good answer, but I think I know what the answer is:  Gotta keep that phoney-baloney parasite industry funded somehow.

Maybe under Trump, this PC culture will go to hell where it belongs, and we can stop wasting time and treasure on shit that ought to be common sense and bloody obvious.

(This isn’t going to Facebook because I’m just ranting.)

 

Karma, she’s a raging bitch.

Hillary Fixer Breaks Ranks: I Arranged Sex Trysts For Her – With Men & WOMEN

BAHAHAHAHA

Yeah, right, it’s just the National Enquirer, you say.  But they were right about John Edwards, remember?

Get the popcorn, folks.  This one is going to be fun to watch play out.

This is an ex-parrot.

I didn’t bother to watch the debates last night, and unless you were simply looking for laughs or for masochistic jollies, I have no idea why you would have watched, either.

The choices are so bad (including the third parties) that, if you haven’t already made up your mind, you’re too stupid to live.  And you certainly shouldn’t be allowed into a voting booth.

At this point I don’t even care for whom you vote.  All choices are equally bad.  Just do me a favor:  When you step up to cast your ballot, at least pretend to believe that you’re making the best possible decision.

Because there may not be a next time.

“Hillary is not even trying anymore.”

Kurt Schlichter is on fire.

Hillary is not even a competent liar

You know, the Hillary Body Double theory is pretty hilarious, but admit it – who would actually be surprised if it turns out she has a body double? Secretly, even the liberals are thinking to themselves, “You know, I can totally see that.”

Read, as they say, the whole thing.

Fucking stupid OS assumptions

and poorly-thought-out control interfaces.

Yes, I could be talking about just about any piece of computing equipment and its operating system, but today I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  A very nice phone, by the way, but still a phone with quirks.

My wife upgraded to one some months back.  By all accounts she likes it very much.  Except that it would randomly buzz or ring on a fairly regular basis for what appeared to be absolutely no reason at all.  She’d look at the notifications bar after it did so and there’d be nothing there waiting for attention.  And this went on all the damn time.  All day and all night long.  So I’d be lying awake for whatever reason at 2 or 3 AM, and I’d hear “bzzzzt” from her nightstand as the phone vibrated for no discernible reason.

This past Sunday morning, I had finally had enough.  I googled “samsung s7 edge beeps no notification”.  Now, mind you, we’d googled this like mad, taken the phone back to the store, talked to young friends who know more about these pocket computers that we do, and EVERYONE has been stumped.

So then I found this blog post.  Which was really for the Galaxy S6 Edge, but the same fix worked for the S7.

Turns out it’s a notification reminder.  It goes off to remind you that you have unread notifications (which is a lie, because THERE WERE NO FUCKING UNREAD NOTIFICATIONS).  And it is set BY DEFAULT to go off EVERY FIFTEEN FUCKING MINUTES, DAY AND NIGHT.

WHY?  Samsung, spare us the goddamn nannying.  We don’t need it.  What do you think we are, millenials still living in our parents’ basement?  Geez.

And what’s worse, the setting for this isn’t in the normal place in the settings where you deal with turning notifications on and off, it’s hidden away in the fucking Personal/Accessibility section — where NOBODY WHO ISN’T HANDICAPPED IS GOING TO LOOK.  Because, believe me, we LOOKED.  And we never in a million years would have figured out that the setting was in an accessibility area.  Because it makes NO FUCKING SENSE TO HAVE IT THERE.

But, like I said:  Nice phone.  And at least it doesn’t blow up like the S7 Note.  And I am a godlike hero to my wife, because I finally made her phone stop blowing her shit.

The Internet is forever

Yesterday, a fucking idiot claiming to be a journalist posted this on Twitter:

David Shuster Irony

He has since deleted it, because he was getting clobbered by people who know better.  This will stay here as a reminder of his idiocy.

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