stat counnnter

Friday, November 17, 2017

Democracy vs constitutional republic and gun control

The Sunday 11/12/17 Detroit Free Press editorial by staff writer Nancy Kaffer "Dueling views on gun control" is an example of trying to solve a problem in the context of a democracy instead of a constitutional republic. A democracy always becomes tyranny of the majority where it can vote away the rights of minorities. In a constitutional republic the rights of minorities are protected by constitutional law and may not be voted away.

Ms Kaffer champions the democracy context when she cites several polls that claim most citizens don't want more guns in schools, bars and churches but that Michigan's legislature is promoting laws to expand gun carry in those places. She is saying that the majority should rule the minority. That's democracy.

A constitutional republic requires the government to protect everyone's right to self defense. Whether we should have that right can never be put up to a vote. The proper context is how do we go about properly exercising our right of self defense while protecting the rights of other citizens? This can be put up to a vote but only within the context of protecting rights. For example:

Waving a gun around in public is an objective threat. Our laws call it 'brandishing.' The government can forbid this not because it has any power to restrict rights, but because it is protecting the rights of other citizens. Carrying a gun on your person or even open carrying is not brandishing and should not be outlawed. On the other hand, property rights provides citizens the right to forbid guns on their own property.

How best to exercise our rights to keep and bear arms should always be debated in the context of how to protect rights instead of restricting them. The reason this context must be maintained is based on the logical fact that the right to violate or threaten to violate other's rights with a gun is a right that does not exist. Therefore government cannot restrict something that doesn't exist. So what does exist? The rights of other citizens. Protecting them is the right context.

 I think banning guns in schools, bars and churches makes those people sitting ducks for any murderous psychopath. But that has to be left up to the decisions of the property owners and patrons. Unfortunately, if government owns the schools then it can turn all those students into defenseless victims, a power it should not have. The purpose of government is to protect rights, not ignore them.

Lastly, Most politicians want to get reelected and will be cognizant  of voters' wants. If those polls are right about "most people" not wanting more guns, why didn't they tell their politicians about what they wanted? Politicians watch polls like a hawk. So I view those polls with a lot of suspicion.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

More racist Trump bashing.

Tuesday's 10/24 Macomb Daily carries an oped by Leonard Pitts, a writer for the Miami Herald. (Click on 'opinion'). It's an anti-Trump screed titled "Donald Trump, poster boy for white privilege." Here we go with the white privilege meme so popular in progressive circles today.

First Mr Pitts sets up the target he wants to attack, the lack or patriotism allleged of former president Barack Obama.
"It was that some people said he didn't have any. The claim was based on the flimsiest of evidence: his failure to wear an American flag pin on his lapel and a picture, widely circulated online, that purported to show him with hands clasped instead of over his heart, refusing to cite the Pledge of Allegiance."
Then here comes the excuse making:
"Of course, most men don't wear flag pins. And the picture was taken during the singing of the national anthem, not the Pledge of Allegiance."
Well, let me say that most men are not president of the USA and sworn to uphold it's Constitution. The leader of any nation is always supposed to advance some positive aspects of the nation he represents. A pin or badge or banner or garment or salute or some such is usually in order. Evidently, not for Obama. As for the picture? Come on! So Obama's target of disrespect was the Anthem and not the Pledge? Talk about flimsy!

Pitts then quotes several prominent people who questioned Obama's patriotism and then followed it up with:
"Donald Trump has faced no sustained questions about his patriotism, though the evidence of his lack thereof is far more substantial than an empty lapel and a photograph. Indeed, in just the last few days, we've learned that he failed for almost two weeks to contact the families of four America soldiers killed in Niger. He did, however, manage to squeeze in multiple Twitter feuds and lots of golf in that time."
The reason Trump 'faced no sustained questions about his patriotism' is because the evidence for that patriotism is overwhelming. As for not calling the families for almost two weeks, I can't see how that has anything to do with lack of patriotism. Waiting a short while for the families to do initial grieving seems very respectful and, I must add, presidential of Mr Trump.

But most disappointing for me is Mr Pitts willingness to play the race card for the political purpose of bashing Trump by claiming 'double standards imposed by race':
"The black guy fails to wear a lapel pin and endures months of questions about whether he belongs. The white guy canoodles with Russia, insults the intelligence community, undermines the judiciary and makes a Gold Star widow cry, dismissing her husband's sacrifice as, apparently, just one of those things."

That, my readers, is a completely racist paragraph. President Obama did not refuse to wear a lapel pin or endure months of questions about his patriotism because he was black. He did it because of his ideas, his obvious contempt for America and its founding principles, his stated desire to 'fundamentally transform the United States of America" and prancing around the world apologizing to tyrants, dictators and assorted butchers of human life for America's existence.

I don't have to defend Trump here but I will say some in the intelligence community needed insulting for doing nothing about Hillary's 'canoodling' with the Russians and our uranium supply. Whatever Trump did he didn't do it because he was white. He did it because of his ideas, his stated desire to make America great again.

Mr Pitts is not alone. Because they have not defined precisely what racism is and are thus unable to mount an attack on it, lots of black and white intellectuals are left to fight white racism against blacks with black racism against whites, an exercise in futility.

In closing I will say that the only way to defeat racism is to stop focusing on all our differences like skin color and nationalities through policies like multiculturalism, egalitarianism, diversity etc. and start focusing on the things we do have in common like equal individual rights, and how to adjudicate them.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Europe's Next World War Begins in France

 Here is an excellent article on the suicidal nature of clinging to a moral principle while ignoring the purpose of a moral principle, to show men how to live a life proper to a reasoning animal.

Europe's Next World War Begins in France

Friday, October 20, 2017

The missing cause of poor academic results

The Thursday Oct 20 Detroit News has a series of editorials on why Michigan students in particular and U.S. students in general are falling behind other nations in educational achievement.

I have been reading such editorials on public education's failures for many decades. Such attempts at solving the problem range from 1.lack of money (this is a perennial), 2. no supplies, 3. lack of access to this or that or some other thing. Even circular arguments like 'poor academic results are due to lack of access to a quality education' have been used!!!  I can't count the times I've seen articles claiming we need better standards, new standards, a stronger or newer commitment to better results and so on.

But if one wants to really make progress in finding a cure for the never ending poor academic results, one needs to examine the one concept almost never mentioned, curriculum. The questions that need to be asked are what is the reading curriculum, the math curriculum and the history and science curricula?

But first in my view we must ask what is a curriculum? According to this blog:

"In the most general sense, curriculum is a course of study. But as Great Schools Partnership notes, in practice it typically refers to objectives, lessons and assessments:
“...curriculum typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet; the units and lessons that teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning. An individual teacher’s curriculum, for example, would be the specific learning standards, lessons, assignments, and materials used to organize and teach a particular course.”"
I agree with this description. So a curriculum is a method of teaching a given subject, a lesson plan so to speak which would include all relevant materials. For example, Spanish and English just to name two, are phonetic languages thus the most efficient way to teach them would be phonetically. Sounding out vowels and consonants into syllables followed with rules of grammar and so on. That would be a reading method or curriculum.

Chinese however, employs a pictorial method usually called sight recognition where the phonetic method could not work. There are of course other attributes of these two methods of learning. But I think that if an elementary school system is turning out students that can't read at the end of grade three then it should compel us to examine with a fine toothed comb the reading curriculum, the lesson plans and even teacher's aides used in class. The same approach should be taken to all other subjects.

Nowhere in the above linked-to editorials is there a demand to examine the curricula of our elementary and secondary schools. We need to make that demand now. Since most of our schools are run by the government I will further recommend looking for political candidates that will demand a microscopic look at curriculum, lesson plans and the like. Next year is an election year so now is a good time to let candidates know your vote depends on their stand on this issue.

Monday, October 09, 2017

About gun control

Since the Las Vegas shooting the Democrat Party, media and academia have been barn-storming for more government restrictions on guns. Yet we already have laws against fully automatic rifles, against killing other humans and the hotel I'm told, was a gun free zone. None of these laws prevented the shooter from murdering 59 people.

Criminals by definition don't obey laws. The notion expressed by Senator Charles Schumer and the power lusting Democrats that more laws will magically result in criminals obeying them which will then make us safer is beyond the pall of sloppy thinking or any other seemingly innocent rush to judgement. There is nothing innocent about it.

The leftists (progressives) that now dominate the Democrat Party care only about power, the power of force over the masses. You can't reason with them. If you try to talk to them in terms of principles like for example you point out that the method of killing-guns-is not the problem but rather the act of killing is the crime, you may as well talk to a wall. They are not open to reason.

A truck was used in Paris to kill 85 people. Should we call for a ban on "assault trucks"? The notion that a weapon can have a designation of 'assault' is to impart free will to inanimate matter, it is to believe  that guns run around jumping into the hands of people compelling them to pull the trigger. To designate assault as the only purpose is to deny its ability to be used in self defense, a major but required evasion for progressives.

But, you might ask, Democrats don't really believe that do they? Yes they do. Democrats have a long history defending robbers, murderers, rapists, (Hillary defended successfully the raper of a 12 year old girl) various psychopaths and other maniacs claiming "It's not your fault. Society made you this way."

And so it is with Mr Paddock. The availability of guns made him do it. He is only partially responsible I presume, for not understanding the evil intent of the guns. You see, he is the victim of an irrational society flooding him with these evil guns. But I say to put any blame on the guns at all is to remove some blame from the shooter and there is nothing morally good about that though it is standard MO for progressives.

Many Democrats are claiming that guns are out of control. But the question to be asked is "Whose control?" Every gun owner I know is in control of his guns. Mr Paddock was in control of his guns. They weren't out of control. Obviously the only control acceptable to Democrats is governmental control and that--a disarmed citizenry, is the real goal of the Democrats.

The claim that Democrats are only concerned about public safety is a real stretch. All statistics show that where guns are plentiful, murders by guns are way down and where guns are heavily restricted murder rates skyrocket. Yet you can't even communicate these facts to them. Whatever their motives, a concern for public safety is not one of them.

More articles on gun control can be found here.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Intellectual self defense on climate change

In my previous post "Slanted News" I mentioned that we need to be aware of the techniques used to move us into a certain desired mindset. I mentioned the use of adjectives, verbs and adverbs that are designed to imply something nasty with the goal of smearing someone or some position. Like for example "The dirty, rotten Republicans met with the noble and virtuous Democrats today." Well you get the idea.

My next example is provided by Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson whose article titled "Climate-change denial is a cruel insult to storm victims" which appeared in the editorial page of the Macomb Daily of 9/10/17. Admittedly this is an opinion piece and opinions often have little relation to facts. But it is an example of several slanting techniques.

Take this sentence:
"No rational U.S. administration would look at the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and seek to deny climate change. At present, however, there is no rational U.S. administration."
This is a form of the argument from intimidation. Its most popular form is on the order of "Only an idiot (or moron or irrational fool) could believe that X is true." It is meant to appeal to a person's feelings in the hope it will result in something like "Well I certainly don't want to be an idiot or irrational fool, so I won't support the idea that X is true."

Here, the phrase "No rational administration ...would deny climate change" is designed to evoke something like "I will not support this administration because it is irrational" ignoring the fact that the administration's irrationality has not been proven yet just asserted.

But Mr Robinson goes on to provide what he thinks is evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) i.e. man made climate change. He asks among other things:
"Why did Harvey dump unprecedented, almost biblical, amounts of rainfall on Houston and its environs? Why did Irma spend longer as a Category 5 storm than any other storm on record?"
These and other questions were answered by real scientists I saw on TV. Harvey stalled over the Houston area because of two high-pressure centers, one just northeast and one just northwest  of Harvey preventing it from moving so it just kept dumping on the City. Irma stayed a Category 5 for a long time because of its huge size. Neither these nor other events have any relation to man made causes. There is just no evidence for it.

But the real deception foisted on his readers is his use of the term denier. It is an anti-concept. Anti-concepts are designed to destroy a valid concept by replacing its original meaning with a new meaning.

In this case the warmers want to obliterate the concept 'critic' in the public mind. A 'critic' is one who criticizes a proposition, like global warming, because he has either evidence contrary to the proposition or he knows the evidence supporting the proposition is flawed. Either way a critic has reasons for his criticism.

And that fact is what the warming mongers and their acolytes in the media are out to destroy. A denier is one who has no reasons. He just denies for the hell of it. So if they can replace 'critic' with 'denier' then the existence of contrary evidence is hidden from the public. Gone. Oh happy day for the saviors of the planet! (And the destroyers of modern civilization.)

Next time you read an article pushing man made climate change just substitute the word critic for denier and the meaning should become clearer. Take the above headline "Climate-change denier criticism is a cruel insult to storm victims." How can criticism be an insult to victims? It can't. That's why 'critic' has to go. If there are no critics, there is no contrary evidence.

Mr Robinson goes on with the standard global warming talking points [my comments in brackets] like humans have increased "...the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 40% [not a problem because our atmosphere is actually CO2 deficient] or that carbon dioxide traps heat [nope, it just slows down the escape of heat to space but cannot trap it] or that global land and ocean temperatures have shot up [another nope, temps have increased as the always do in an inter-glacial but have not 'shot" up] or that Arctic ice is melting [such melting always happens in cycles due to the two main oceans' conveyor belts] or that sea levels are rising [ see this and this from CO2 Science showing no increase in accelerating rising]. Actually, the evidence against man made climate change is overwhelming.

To further provide you with sources of intellectual self defense on climate change and CO2, I want to highly recommend the web site of CO2 Science, a weekly roundup of studies showing the benefits of increased CO2 in the atmosphere for all living things. I eagerly recommend the following additional sources:

SEPP the Science Environmental Policy Project
Watts up with that?
Climate Depot 
And if you want to get into the heavy science see
Climate Audit 

Please visit these sites and check out their blogrolls. They contain links to many other sites reporting on the real science of climate change.

But you won't find this knowledge on the MSM. They routinely deal in anti-concepts and arguments from intimidation. You know, knowledge is like food. We can't sit at the kitchen table and wait for someone to plop it down in front of us. We have to actively go get it. Same with the truth. We cannot expect the MSM to plop the truth into our heads while sitting on the couch. We must go get that too. I've listed some top quality sites with scientific truths for your cognitive self defense. Hope that helps.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Is the media unfit to be objective and fair?

The Sunday 8/27/17 Detroit Free Press oped page carried a rant by former Free Press editor Paul Anger who asked "Can we all agree now that Trump is unfit to lead?"

Well, no, I don't agree.

There are a number of things Mr Anger said with which I disagree--like his notion that Trump is un-American. Though I reject that viewpoint, I will support his right to have it and express it publicly.

I want to focus on a more serious injustice, his claim that Trump legitimized the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va. I want Mr Anger to understand that the Nazi rally was legitimized by our Constitution which guarantees everyone the right of free speech regardless of how obnoxious or even evil their ideas may be like those of the Nazis.

This a good test of one's loyalty to a principle like that of free speech. Most people don't have a problem agreeing with each other. It's when we disagree that problems arise. But even if someone's ideas are wholly evil, a loyalty to free speech requires we defend their right to voice them. Defending someone's right to speak evil ideas is not the same as defending those ideas.

Mr Anger properly gives a list of the evils of slavery and Jim Crow laws for which the KKK and neo Nazis were demonstrating. His complaints about Trump are that he spoke " erratically about what happened in Virginia" and that Trump's response was 'belated and tepid' and "There were "many sides" to blame?" and there were "fine people" on both sides. This last was indeed wrong. There were no fine people on either side as far as I could see. He deserves criticism for it. But 'belated' and 'tepid' and 'erratic'? We should execute him immediately?

But Trump's claim that there were "many sides" to blame for the violence is spot on. You could see that on the media's videos where Antifa (anti fascist fascists) were wearing helmets and body armor vests. One does not wear these these things if one intends a peaceful protest. No, they intended to be violent.

Mr. Anger states: "And as someone who spent almost five decades in journalism, I am beyond fed up with Trump's attempts to demonize the media. Members of the media are not perfect. We're human. We're your neighbors, friends, family member. But the media's first responsibility is to be objective yet relentless in reporting and fair yet fearless in commentary."

Objective? Fair? Let's take a closer look at this.

 There was a rally designed by neo Nazis and some KKK members to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E Lee, a civil war general for the Confederacy which wanted to keep slavery and Jim Crow. The Nazis applied for a permit to peacefully protest. I say peacefully because when you sign such a permit you agree to the terms and conditions therein one of which is always that your rally remain peaceful. Did Mr Anger mention that? Nope.

Nor did he mention that the so-called counter protesters consisting of Antifa and Black Lives Matter did not get a permit. Obviously neither group planned on being peaceful especially since one group wore body armor. Clearly both groups think they are above the law. Did Mr Anger mention that? No.

Most of the time when there are protests and counter protests the local police keep both sides separate precisely to avoid violence. That did not happen in Charlottesville. Why not? There was a police presence yet they did nothing to maintain the peace. Did Mr Anger report this? No again.

 It certainly looked like the powers that be-the mayor and/or governor-wanted the violence to happen. Why that? I say in order to tie it to the Trump administration. Of course this is speculation but not without some warrant.

For example, the neoNazis hold a rally every year and the only media coverage they get if any, is local. The national media routinely ignores them and properly so. Routinely ignores that is , until Trump was elected. I fully expect more media to look the other way as BLM and Antifa hold more violent rallies somewhere and to search the land for more evil and try to tie it to Trump.

Can the media actually be 'objective' and 'fair'? Sure, when it comes to things like "local PTA holds bake sale" or "Dog bites man." But when it comes to politics? Forget it. A nonobjective and unfair media has been around for a long time. Back in 1971 Edith Efron published her book "The News Twisters" on the 1968 election between Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. One of the things she shows is how the 3 major networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) gave much more air time to Humphrey than Nixon.

Here is a quote from page 50 on the media's general opinion.
"The opinion-selectivity of all three networks resulted in:
   !)A portrayal of Mr Humphrey as a quasi-saint.
   2) A portrayal of Mr Nixon as corruption incarnate"

As for Trump being un-American, well I find it a stretch to believe a man who was awarded the Ellis Island Award by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations for immigration and ethnic philanthropy, with co-Award winners Mohammed Ali and Rosa Parks, could somehow support Nazis and KKK types. I don't buy it.

 I've always believed that one should look at the essence of opposing sides. To me the Democrat Party has been for a totally controlled society since FDR at least. Trump in his bumbling, stumbling way claims to be for America and more economic freedom. I'll take the latter any day.

Mr Anger says he's always been an independent voter until two years ago when he decided to become a Democrat. For a man who says he condemns the KKK, slavery and Jim Crow, it's sad to see him join the party that promoted all three.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

What was the Obamacare folly designed to accomplish?

Sunday 8/6 Detroit Free Press's Brian Dickerson is at his fact altering editorializing again. He claims that:
"Donald Trump has been predicting Obamacare's collapse since he began his presidential campaign more than two years ago — and certainly, no one has done more than he has to make that prophecy come true."

Donald Trump was elected precisely to get rid of Obamacare. Most American voters knew it was a disaster. Trump in fact said many times that the newly elected GOP must save America from the utter catastrophe of Obamacare, that the GOP could let it implode because the Democrats will own those results but moral concerns dictate the GOP not let that happen.

Mr Dickerson talks approvingly of various subsidies the ACA (Affordable Care Act) provides for some people who are hit with higher costs. But he ignores the fact that those subsidies are paid for by higher taxes on the very people the ACA claims it wants to help.

Donald Trump has done nothing to make that above mentioned prophecy of collapse happen. It was written into the ACA. It was designed to fail so that the next Democrat president, Hillary, would declare that freedom has failed so it is now time for government to take totalitarian control of health care.

The details of the ACA were not important. That is why many Democrats-like Nancy Pelosi-and some Republicans, saw no need to read it. What was important was the ultimate goal, government control of every individual's health.

The ACA is not about helping anyone. Insurance is about money. If you control a man's money you control him. That is what the ACA is designed to accomplish, with Mr Dickerson's eager approval.