Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hoist by Their Own Petards

I used to hear the phrase "hoist by their own petard" and imagine someone dangling from the end of a rope attached to a particularly sensitive appendage. The phrase with that thought in mind is particularly poetic these days, if not entirely accurate. Actually a "petard" is a bomb of the sort that sappers (military engineers) used to set under under walls to attack fortifications (from which we derive the term "undermine"). To be "hoist by one's own petard" is literally to have the bomb or mine, with which you are attempting to attack your enemy, blow up in your face and send you flying. Thus you are "hoist" by your own petard.

The Democrats have long been using undermining as a way to attack their enemies. One of the favorite weapons has been to attack sexist pigs (pretty much all Republicans) by finding people who have been sexually abused. Hillary Clinton famously argued that all such accusations must be given credibility as no one would ever make such an accusation falsely. She said this after destroying the multiple women who accused her hubbie of groping, fondling, raping, or propositioning them for sex. Even after he got caught getting serviced under the Presidential desk during a conversation with a cabinet official and lied bald-faced to the American people about it, Democrats lined up to defend him saying, "It was only sex!"

Of late, the Democrats are discovering how dangerous it is to attack your enemy with sexual petards while smoking long cigars yourself. The carnage has been spectacular taking down Senators, Congressmen, movie moguls, actors and journalists right and left. Women, apparently tired of being groped in the name of sexual liberation, have come out of the woodwork to accuse dozens of famous men (even one notable gay man) of everything from butt-grabbing and casting couch misbehavior to pedophilia and saying naughty words.

The Democrats should check the quality and stability of the sorts of explosives they are using to build their petards. While they've successfully damaged such notables as Roy Moore and Bill O'Reilly, they've also blown up long-time supporter Harvey Weinstein who has a whole bunch of embarrassing photos of himself with his arms around Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and other Democrat women who all seem to be smiling and enjoying the embrace of the old Hollywood lech.

The list is getting embarrassingly long including such notables as Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, and Louis C.K.* The latest "shocking" accusation has been a complaint filed with Minnesota Public Radio against lovable 75 year-old liberal curmudgeon and humorist Garrison Keillor, who was terminated immediately by MPR. Kellor, ironically, recently defended Democrat Senator and professional comedian (ah, but I repeat myself) Al Franken over his sexual indiscretions saying that the accusations against Franken were "low comedy" and should be forgiven. Keillor went on to say, "A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation."

It is the irony of progressive liberalism that the so-called "party of the people" claims that it will usher in an age of liberation in which a utopia of sex, drugs, and rock n' roll will surely follow the worldwide adoption of the principles of socialism. Yet in every case, almost the first thing the new socialist dear leaders do is ban rock n' roll, make drugs unobtainable (even the pharmaceutical ones) and make sex a dangerous proposition. There have never been more grim societies than the ones that first promised to create a worker's paradise. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and all the rest of them created grim societies based on repression and shared misery. The sex, drugs, and rock n' roll crowd were inevitably the first ones up against the wall.

Newsweek attempted to blame it all on Republicans claiming the Democrats had borrowed the technique of claiming sexual misconduct against political opponents from Republicans. "They did it first," is the liberal journalist's talking point, as though Bill Clinton boning the interns was the first time any politician was ever called out on sexual misconduct. Even Bill Clinton isn't safe now as both sides have opened fire with all their guns. Clinton, himself, the poster boy for "it's only sex", is currently being fed to the journalistic wood-chipper by fellow Democrats who, as Winston Churchill famously described it, "...are feeding the crocodile hoping it will eat them last."

CS Lewis more than a half century ago pointed out the danger of allowing ourselves to be governed by "omnipotent moral busybodies". The great danger in seizing for yourself the unearned moral high ground is that the morally superior almost inevitably morph into grim, judgmental, iron-pantsed hypocrites and if you've given them any power over you, they will be determined to exercise that power over you. Robber Barons, as Lewis pointed out, may eventually be satisfied and stop robbing you, but those who boss and bully you with the approval of their own conscience never get tired of it and always become progressively more oppressive.

Just sayin'.

© 2017 by Tom King

 * I've begun to think it's all part of a feminist plot to take over the world. Men are getting scarce anymore on news programs and the ones that are left have been very polite to their female colleagues lately. I'm noticing male journalists wear a kind of hunted look lately, sitting there alone, the only source of testosterone on a long talk show couch that reeks of estrogen and anger from one end to the other.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Which is the Greatest Nation in the World?

This question gets posed all the time by angry millenials and Democrats, armed with talking points hoping you'll say "America" so they can bury you in misinformation to prove how bad the USA is.  Usually, they can't give you a very satisfactory answer when you ask them which one is the greatest if not the United States. You'll likely get some mumbles about Sweden or Denmark, both of which are crumbling socialist economies - something progressives don't like to talk about. 

If by greatest, our questioner means “The nation that best suits my political opinions” then he has given us an impossible task because he demands an answer based on a private definition of greatness largely based on the worthless standard of his own feelings. If I base my answer on my feelings, my interloculator doubtless would take exception to my use of my own feelings as a measure of what he calls “greatness”. If, however, we are talking about objective statistical measures, then we need to specify the statistical measure by which we are to judge America’s greatness.

For instance:

GREATEST POPULATION - Not us, probably China

GREATEST ECONOMY - Neck and Neck with China with the U.S. probably the most flexible and resilient of the two. If China's economy collapsed, we'd be alright, but if the U.S. goes down, China goes down with us.

GREATEST MILITARY STRENGTH - U.S.A. without doubt. Nobody really wants to take us on head to head except the truly suicidal.

GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT - In science, technology, medicine, invention, industry and innovation, the USA holds the high ground. The US leads in the aviation, medicine, space exploration, entertainment and communication technology, military power and economic dynamism. Everyone else is pretty much playing catch up because we either led the way or passed them up.
GREATEST CULTURE - I would say USA given we’ve pretty much appropriated the best bits of every culture in the world and melded them into a richly varied crazy quilt of traditions, beliefs, art, music, food and religion.

MOST ORGANIZED GOVERNMENT - Not us! The US Constitution deliberately created a system of checks and balances that prevents the government from being too organized or powerful. Organized government requires socialism, communism or an outright dictatorship.

BEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM - While certainly not free, if you are talking quality, it’s the USA. Leaders of world governments leave their own countries and come here to have work done on their hearts or brains. The best and brightest young people come here from all over the world to study medicine and stay here to work. That’s why there’s likely a 60% chance your doctor has a foreign accent if you live in the USA.

GREATEST FREEDOM - USA hands down. Our constitution is the model for every truly democratic nation in the world. We are the original. Pretty much everyone else is a copy.

GREATEST FREEDOM OF SPEECH - USA bar none. Yakov Smirnoff once said, "In Russia we have freedom of speech. In America you have freedom AFTER speech."

GREATEST FREEDOM OF RELIGION - USA without question. Even people from oppressive religious countries come to the United States to practice their religion - even religions whose practitioners in their home countries chant "Death to America" have members of their faith freely practicing their religion here in America.

GREATEST OPPORTUNITY - In the USA, the rags to riches story is standard because it happens so often. The majority of our millionaires are first generation wealthy. You can start out in abject poverty and become a multi-millionaire or even a billionaire.

EQUALITY - Depends what you mean by equality. If you mean equality of opportunity, the U.S. wins hands down. If you mean equality or sameness of outcomes, you need to go to a nice communist country or one of those dictatorships with the two class system - the rich and the poor. Sharing of misery is the closest anyone gets to sameness of outcomes.

SAFETY - It’s been a long time in the USA since a marauding army has overrun a town or village, much less a fair-sized state and slaughtered people willy-nilly. If you check the actual murder rates (note that gun violence and actual murder rates are two different things), we're pretty safe in that way. Death by being murdered by your own government doesn't get counted as "murder".  Some nations with low rates of “gun deaths” have commensurately higher rates of death by bludgeoning, strangulation, arson, poisoning, rape, drowning, electrocution and stabbing. Killers will kill. They don’t stop simply because they don’t have guns and people without guns can’t defend themselves so the innocent tend to die more often because they can’t defend themselves.

Ask yourself which country you feel safest wandering around in? Me? I do my touristing in the USA. I’ve been out of the States twice and both times found myself in places where I felt threatened. Doesn’t happen much here in the USA except in cities run by Democrats.

The question that makes up the title of this blog entry is one of those that the self-flagellating precious snowflake generation likes to throw up in order to set you up. They have a cut and paste snowstorm of carefully manipulated facts and figures prepared, designed to make you look stupid for claiming the USA is the greatest nation in the world.

Well they’re wrong and I’m right. The United States is the greatest country in the world.

Just so you know.

© 2017
by Tom King

Friday, November 17, 2017

Oh Goody - Net Neutrality is Back

Here we go again. Just got a petition supporting a new iteration of the old net neutrality. This legislation they are pushing (now with bipartisan support they say), is supposed to give everyone equal access to the Internet by prohibiting those nasty big corporate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from giving preferential treatment, special rates or reserved high bandwidth access to big websites that use a lot of bandwidth like Netflix, Hulu, or Facebook.

Sounds great. Equality for all, right?

Well, the problem is that if ISPs have to provide the same speeds for everyone and the same access, the websites we all use and love are likely to wind up running slower. So even if you get access to all that mythical super high speed Internet the evil corporations won't let you have, the sites you are trying to get faster access to, might very well run slower because the nasty evil corporations have to share resources, not fairly, but the same for all. 

It's no way to run Internet services effectively. Imagine freeways without HOV lanes during the morning and afternoon rush hours. It's the same thing.

The poison pill in all of this (if a more inefficient Internet isn't toxic enough) is that little bit of lagniappe that gets stuck into every new law that Democrats and politicians want to pass. The new law would make the Internet a "public utility" regulated by the FCC. 

Remember federally regulated public utilities? Remember the phone company back when a long distance call could cost you a dollar a minute and it took you two years, a trunk full of expensive equipment and an expensive car phone monthly payment? You know when there was only one choice for phone service - Ma Bell or in rare cases some podunk phone company if you happened to live in an area Bell wasn't interested in.

When are we going to learn our lesson?  Making the Internet a public utility on the heels of Barak Obama's turning over significant control of the Internet over to an international organization, is really a bad idea. Here's why:
  1. Net Neutrality is a one-size-fits-all solution. It's like mandating that only one flavor of ice cream be sold. There's no room for people to pay for extra premium flavors or for ice cream parlors to develop ice cream sundaes or banana splits or anything new or better. Forcing a one-size-fits-all solution on the Internet and giving control to the federal government, keeps companies from testing new ideas or developing new business models and products that people want. It stifles innovation.
  2. Net neutrality is all about the government picking winners and losers while pretending to be just “leveling the playing field.” The government is notoriously poor at planning economies and making decisions about what works best for business. 
  3. The technology behind the Internet moves to fast. The biggest trouble with the government regulating the Internet is one of speed. A contractor friend used to say that the government "...measures it with a micrometer, marks it with a piece of chalk and cuts it with an axe!"  I would add that they have to do a multi-million dollar feasibility study first. By the time the government figures out how it all ought to be done, what it will take to do it, the solution is outdated and the technology the feds based their decision on is obsolete.
  4. The government can't write regulations that anticipate the way technology will change. Given it can take a bill three years to go through congress, it will likely be aimed in the wrong direction. It's take the FCC more than a decade and they still haven't passed net neutrality. Who believes the government can regulate the Wild West show that is the Internet with any success.  
  5. Putting the government in charge of the web stifles competition. Since deregulation of the telephone business and electricity utilities created competition. When people could pay for cut-rate or premium services and choose from several different companies, the quality of service improved dramatically. Net Neutrality is going the opposite direction.
  6. Net Neutrality is being sold as a way to protect free speech. How is giving the government the power to control what is being said on the Internet going to protect free speech. It's from the government that we have to protect free speech.
There are already anti-trust laws. If the government would just enforce them and make sure consumers can choose among methods of service and ISPs, then customers are put in charge of who provides their Internet service. Instead of the government, consumers get to pick winners and losers among ISPs and websites. They do so with their dollars and spending time on the net.

We don't need the the government to meddle in something that is already working better than virtually any other sector of the economy. Even Barak Obama and the Democrats couldn't kill the Internet during our extended recession.

How about let's keep the revenuers from meddling with our very successful business tool. Vote no on Net Neutrality. It's a trap!

© 2017 by Tom King

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homosexuality: A Christian Perspective

Guest blogger: CS Lewis

First, to map out the boundaries within which all discussion must go on, I take it for certain that the physical satisfaction of homosexual desires is sin. This leaves the homosexual no worse off that any normal person who is, for whatever reason, prevented from marrying. Second our speculations on the cause of the abnormality are not what matters and we must be content with ignorance. The disciples were not told why (in terms of efficient cause) the man was born blind (John 9:1-3): only the final cause, that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

This suggests that in homosexuality, as in every other tribulation, those works can be made manifest: i.e. that every disability conceals a vocation, if only we find it, which would "turn the necessity to glorious gain." Of course, the first step must be to accept any privations which, if so disabled, we can't lawfully get. The homosexual has to accept sexual abstinence just as the poor man has to forgo otherwise lawful pleasures because he would be unjust to his wife and children if he took them. That is merely a negative condition.

What should the positive life of the homosexual be? I wish I had a letter which a pious male homosexual, now dead, once wrote to me - but of course it was the sort of letter one takes care to destroy. He believed that his necessity could be turned to spiritual gain: that there were certain kinds of sympathy and understanding, a certain social role which mere men and mere women could not give. But it is all horribly vague - too long ago. Perhaps any homosexual who humbly accepts his cross and puts himself under Divine guidance will, however, be shown the way. I am sure that any attempt to evade it (e.g., by mock- or quasi-marriage with a member of one's own sex even if this does not led to any carnal act) is the wrong way."

- C.S. Lewis

© 2017 by Tom King

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Get Out the Guys in White Coats - Antifa's Baaack!

Socialist Brownshirts, only without the work ethic or organizational skills.*
Today was supposed to be the big Antifa protest. I do not understand these guys. Haven't checked the news yet, but I suspect we will have some nice gratuitous violence before it's over. Are these folk insane? You decide.

These are, after all, people who hate big government and big corporations. They believe that the only way to fix the evil big government is to make it bigger and stronger and more intrusive and turn all the evil corporations over to government control.

These are people who hate the police. So they want to disarm all Americans except criminals so we won't shoot ourselves accidentally so that only the police have guns and can shoot us intentionally.

These are people who believe that it's better for people to serve the state than for the state to serve the people. When the do get their way and establish a collectivist state, then they inevitably call that system of government "The People's Republic".

The ANTIFA flag has recently been modified
to include some green. That should help, huh?
These are people who divide the nation into minority victim groups by ethnicity, sex and religion.  Then they complain that there is a racial, gender and religious divide in America.

These are people who want to disband our military so the world will be at peace. Then they demand we import as many undocumented aliens as possible from countries that export terrorism and chant "Death to America" at government sponsored rallies. Then they are shocked and surprised when some refugee in a rented truck runs over a gaggle of liberal bicyclists (who are riding bicycles in New York trying to save the planet from pollution) while shouting "Allahu akbar!"

These are people with PhDs who preach peace and nonviolence from university pulpits. Then they demonstrate their pacifism by beating up people going to a free speech event with their bicycle locks, clubs, bats and other miscellaneous implements of destruction. 

 Now these guys could march in straight lines.
These are people who claim to be anti-fascist. You can tell they are by their name.  Yet they carry a flag that has the same colors and design of a Nazi flag. They dress up like Brownshirts only in black (which color was favored by the Nazi/fascist German SS by the way). Then they take a page from the Nazis and burn the cars of working immigrants, shout down Jewish speakers and beat up anyone who listens to anyone who disagrees with them. And what's up with the red and black flags? Though I did notice that they have changed it somewhat and added some green to their Antifa flags (available on - $23.99 double-sided). The green is, I suppose, to promote their morally superior environmentalism. (The fact that Hitler was pro nature and a big time environmentalist should in no way be considered sinister or even important so far as parallel imagery goes.)

Except, oh wait, green was the color of the SS flag! Can't seem to escape the comparisons somehow.

I guess we learn from history that insanity is not a barrier to people allowing you to run the government of a nation. How many times have sadistic lunatics risen to ultimate power in Earth's history? Power doesn't just corrupt. It attracts the corruptible like a flame attracts moths. And often the moths get burned once their purpose is accomplished. Being a follower of the winning crowd and being devoted to the crowd's powerful leaders doesn't make you safer. Remember what happened to Hitler's Brownshirts? Google "Night of the Long Knives", when Stormtroopers broke up several gay orgies that Brownshirt leaders were notorious for and then.....
Well there's a reason it was called "Night of the Long Knives!"
Waffen SS flag.

Perhaps we should call today Krystallenacht II. Perhaps they'll break some windows or loot some Jewish shops, who knows? I hear JC Penny's security is kind of lax these days.

© 2017 by Tom King

Note to Antifa members: You know black is not all that slimming when you're that overweight.