Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"The media" is a myth

Why do conservatives think there is a liberal media when most of their information about the news comes from sources with a conservative point of view? Doesn't it make more sense to say that there are liberal media sources and conservative ones? Many years ago, at least all television news came from three networks, and so if you thought all the broadcasters there were conservative, you still got your news from there and had to work to find a conservative perspective. (Except in Phoenix, where the newspaper was known for its right-wing stance). But now? To say that "the media" is liberal is to deny that Fox, Drudge, and Breitbart are part of the media. But they are part of the media. The fact is that today people can choose the political perspective from which their news comes. Which, I think, explains the polarized nature of the political arena today.

"The media" is a myth. No one political perspective controls all the sources of news and information.

Hey, whatever happened to the falsification challenge

Peter Atkins' atheism certainly fails it.

Could Trump end up signing a single payer bill?

Nunes seems to think it essential that Republicans be re-elected to majorities in both houses of Congress, because Mueller won't exonerate the President, so we have to. Nunes has done everything possible to limit inquiry into the President's conduct with Russia and to attack the propriety of the Mueller investigation with questions about FISA warrants, etc. If the Dems win the majority in the House, then he loses the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee falls to the aggressive Democrat Adam Schiff, who wants to do a thorough investigation of the Russia scandal along the lines of the Senate Watergate Hearings under Sam Ervin in the 1970s, which revealed the White House Tapes, included John Dean's harmful testimony against Nixon, and eventually resulted in the Nixon's resignation to prevent inevitable impeachment and removal. If that happens, Nunes says on the tape that everything will be lost. I take it this means impeachment, or if not, maybe Nunes fears that Trump, facing a Democratic Congress, instead of just vetoing everything they put through, decides that he is the ultimate dealmaker, and so to prevent impeachment, maybe he will sign some things the Democrats want on immigration or health care. Who knows, maybe even single payer. After all, Trump's conservative convictions are questionable, even if the actions of his administration are conservative. Maybe he thinks the Democrats won't impeach him if he makes a deal with them, because they know that Pence is a much more principled conservative and would never sign Democratic bills.

Nixon went to China. Clinton signed welfare reform. Trump.....

I mean it would repeal and replace Obamacare, now wouldn't it. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

What the laws say

This is what our laws say about foreign influence in elections. It says that foreign governments and foreign nationals cannot provide anything of value to American election campaigns, and campaigns cannot solicit or receive anything of value from foreign nationals and foreign governments. It doesn't matter whether it swung the election or not. Trump's tweet that people do this all the time and it's perfectly legal either shows massive legal ignorance, or is a bald-faced lie.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea is still in print

C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea is going into its 11th printing, nearly 15 years after its original publication in September of 2003. IV Press has told me that this brings the number of copies in print to 10.882. But I'm still a one-hit wonder as far s monographs are concerned, and am of course no match for Patterson and Clinton.


Who ought to hold claim to the more dangerous idea--Charles Darwin or C. S. Lewis? Daniel Dennett argued for Darwin in Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Touchstone Books, 1996). In this book Victor Reppert champions C. S. Lewis. Darwinists attempt to use science to show that our world and its inhabitants can...

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Trump's choice

Does he really think that the evidence doesn’t support ongoing Russian interference (ongoing is the key word)?  If yes, he should commit to combatting it, if no, he should say that the while intelligence community is full of baloney instead of pretend to respect it. He can't have it both ways. 

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

A redated post.

This post is dedicated to the memory of David Baur, a friend of mine whom I recently discovered died of a heart attack last August. He sent me this during the 2004 election campaign.


Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

* written by Donna L. Lavins and Sheldon Cotler.

Is this a pro-life alternative to eliminating choice?


Friday, July 27, 2018

What is the great bias of the mainstream news media? Patriotism?

The  textbook I use for critical thinking (I didn't pick it) thinks that the most significant way in which the media is biased is not its partisan bias, which, of course differs from outlet to outlet, but rather its nationalistic bias. Our press is biased in favor of America and its allies, and not fair to opponents of America, like Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. In other words, mainstream news outlets in America, liberal or conservative, suffer from a patriotic bias. 

What do you think?

This kind of reminds me of the Outsider Test for Faith applied to whether America is a good nation or not. According to this line of reasoning, whether you think America, or Saudi Arabia, or Germany, or North Korea is a great nation depends on accident of birth. Therefore, in dealing with this question you must abandon any prior convictions and accept only those beliefs in this area supported by hard, scientific evidence. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Debates about socialism vs. capitalism

It seems most of these, so far as I can see, founder on definition. If, in order to have socialism, you have to have state control of all the means of production, the case for it gets difficult. If on the other hand, you think that any increase in government involvement in the economic system is "socialism," then such "socialism" is far easier to defend. What we now call Medicare was attacked by Ronald Reagan in the ads he did for the American Medical Association as socialized medicine. I am sure Social Security was called Socialist Security by its foes. Obamacare regulated the insurance industry more it had been regulated before and is often called socialistic. But I have an Obamacare-based health plan, and every month I make a premium payment to one of those money-grubbing, capitalist, profit-making corporations, corporations whose very existence would be illegal in countries that have truly socialized medicine.

What was the death toll of the Spanish Inquisition?

Apparently, if you do the math, about 1250.