Sunday, May 31, 2020

Access Hollywood and the Smoking Gun: Why is it different today?

 Historically, ordinary Democrats and ordinary Republicans thought of themselves as engaged in an in-house quarrel amongst people who agree on certain basics, such as the rule of law, freedom of speech and the press, etc. Thus, Republicans would prefer to be ruled by Democrats than by Fascists, and Democrats would prefer to be ruled by Republicans than by Fascists. Further, it was thought better to have someone win of decent character who is from the other party than have someone of bad character from one's own party win. Now, I think, a lot of people are in doubt about this. Republicans and Democrats see the elections in apocalyptic terms--the other party threatens civilization as we know it, so we have to win, no matter who we have on our side and who they have on theirs. I have been struggling to figure out why, for example, the Access Hollywood tape was no absolutely curtains for Trump, the way the Smoking Gun Tape was curtains for Richard Nixon. And the only thing that comes to my mind is that in Nixon's time politics was an in-house quarrel between people who thought they believed the same things and differ about how we go about getting those things done, while now, for many, politics is, like Star Wars, a simple tale of good and evil, and losing to the other side the worst that could possibly happen.

The George Floyd Defense

Has anyone been actually suggesting a "George Floyd defense" (a descendant of the Twinkie Defense) for people who commit property crimes in the wake of the George Floyd incident? Who actually has said this? I don't mean a generalized "people on the left," I mean real statements by real people.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Is this conservatism?

Trying to get a fix on what exactly constitutes a genuine conservative position seems to be getting harder and harder these days. The "compassionate conservatism" of George W. Bush is an interesting idea--the idea that the government should encourage private agencies to help the poor rather than do it themselves. But what about this, from conservative Christian activist Rebecca Friedrichs.

We should look to the past. So, let’s just take the free lunch program that we have in our schools. It started out being pushed by the unions and their friends for poor children. Well, 28 years ago, I had two students in my class on free lunch. Today almost every single child is on free breakfast and free lunch. So what the unions are trying to do, they’re pushing something called community schools. And in these community schools, we’re giving children free health care, we’re giving them free food, free emotional support, and by the way free political indoctrination for their parents. And so, if these unions and their friends, their politicians, get their way, they would like our schools to be open 24/7. They want to replace the family and families raising their children with our own virtues, they want to replace that with the state. With union-controlled government-run schools. That’s dangerous. That’s communism when you think about it.

This is discussed here on an atheist website.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Is there a charitable interpretation for this?


This is my translation.

"If we test fewer people for coronavirus, fewer people will be diagnosed with it, and if they die, fewer of their death will be attributed to the coronavirus. They'll be just as dead, but at least the coronavirus numbers won't get higher, and it won't hurt my re-election prospects."

Uncharitable? Sure. TDS? Maybe,  But how do you interpret it?

An officially pro-choice church: The United Church of Christ


Other churches, surely, do not agree with them.

Why Pluto lost it planet status

Why Pluto lost its planethood.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The age of the earth

Here is some discussion on Christianity and the age of the earth. But there are those who think that the Bible requires you to believe that the earth is only about 6000 years old. What that means is that light from stars more than 6000 light years away must have been created by God in mid-flight. 
This is a defense of the young earth position.