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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Self-contradictory Evolutionists

"One of the best-known segregation distorters is the so-called t gene in mice. When a mouse has two t genes it either dies young or is sterile, t is therefore said to be 'lethal' in the homozygous state. If a male mouse has only one t gene it will be a normal, healthy mouse except in one remarkable respect. If you examine such a male's sperms you will find that up to 95 per cent of them contain the t gene, only 5 per cent the normal allele. This is obviously a gross distortion of the 50 per cent ratio that we expect. Whenever, in a wild population, a t allele happens to arise by mutation, it immediately spreads like a brash fire. How could it not, when it has such a huge unfair - advantage in the meiotic lottery? It spreads so fast that, pretty soon, large numbers of individuals in the population inherit the t gene in double dose (that is, from both their - parents). These individuals die or are sterile, and before long the whole local population is likely to be driven extinct. There is some evidence that wild populations of mice have, in the past, gone extinct through epidemics of t genes."
The quote above, taken from Richard Dawkin's book, The Selfish Gene (p. 236), should be combined with Dawkin's theory of memes, described on p. 192:
Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain. As my colleague N. K. Humphrey neatly summed up an earlier draft of this chapter:’. .. memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically.* When you plant a fertile meme in my mind you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn't just a way of talking — the meme for, say, "belief in life after death" is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of individual men the world over.' 
When these two ideas are combined, we see the idea that contraception is a "good" thing is simply a meme which burns through the human population in much the same way that a t gene burns through a mouse population. Both the meme and the gene drive the afflicted population towards extinction.

Thus, it is a commonplace that evolutionists who claim to promote evolution, show by their lack of child-rearing that they don't actually believe in evolution:


This is the great lesson of the movie Idiocracy.
The idiots portrayed in the movie weren't the ones who had children.
The biggest idiots in the movie were the ones who did not.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why Corporations Back Wealth Redistribution

This lament about Obamacare from a website that celebrates the free market is deeply ironic. No one on the website realizes that government does not distort the free market, rather, government is a legitimate market actor whose purpose is to enforce the wishes of the corporations that engage in free market activity. The sentence above summarizes why corporations write laws requiring wealth redistribution AND why corporations pay legislators to pass and enforce legislation that redistributes wealth. 
When it comes to the health care industry, the principle is quite, quite simple:
Sick people spend health care dollars on themselves.
Healthy people do not.
If medical corporations want to tap into the wealth healthy people have, that wealth must first be redistributed to the only people who would spend it on health products, i.e., sick people.
But what is true for medical corporations is true for EVERY corporation. Corporations need to get at hidden wealth in order to keep growing. So, it is in every corporation's interest to encourage wealth redistribution from the rich to the poor. Warren Buffett is unlikely to spend $2 billion dollars in 24 hours. But, take that $2 billion, divvy it up among a half million relatively poor people, and all that money will be spent on corporate products in a single day with hours to spare.
Corporate owners want to grow their stash of cash. The corporations they run need to tap all locked up cash stashes. So, the corporate owners want laws that touch other people's stash, but not their own. And this is the kind of law they direct their lobbyists to write, get passed and have enforced. That means the wealth redistribution will always happen among the 99%.
This is the purpose of government in a free market: to grow corporate owners' cash piles while stripping money from everyone else. Welcome to the free market.

Real free market capitalists point out that natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, seem to increase GDP, but actually don't. The money that goes into rebuilding is, in a sense, wasted. Instead of using that money on new ideas, new products, new processes, it has to be plowed into rebuilding existing infrastructure. That's why most economists consider natural disasters a drain on the economy, and not a boon: we have to pay for the same window twice, once when we put it in, and again when the storm breaks it.

From the corporate point of view, ending subsidies is identical to enduring a hurricane. The end of subsidies for insurance companies is good for you and me, the little guys who get paid to replace the broken window, but it's bad business for the businesses that were getting the subsidies. They just lost revenue stream.
Now they will have to buy a whole new raft of legislators to get that revenue back. The hurricane has struck their coast. The money the corporations have to spend on re-buying all those legislators and all that legislation is, from their point of view, wasted. It is money that could have been spent elsewhere. Now the corps are going to have to re-buy what had once been a settled stream of revenue. This is very destructive, from the corporate point of view.

We cry for them. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why College Students Hate America

Elite colleges train their students to be corporate and government executives. Corporations write the laws and pay the legislators to pass and enforce the laws. Government is an extension of business.

International corporations cannot afford nationalism.
It cuts into their profits.

So, colleges, which are bought and paid for by corporate America, train the future leaders of business and government to deprecate nationalism and patriotism. Corporate capitalism can't afford those value sets.

Plato and Aristotle taught the importance of ethics for the sustenance of the city-state, developing one's personal virtues in order to support the state.

Christianity taught the importance of morality for the Kingdom of God, developing one's personal virtues in order to better reflect the image of God in one's own person.

Today, corporations teach corporate values. This includes being "open-minded", being tolerant, being ignorant of history, culture and art. Cultural diversity is prized because it decreases solidarity and reduces political involvement while increasing spending. Hedonism is encouraged, responsibility discouraged. Our colleges teach this because they, like government, are a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America.

Just follow the money, folks.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On the Error of John Cardinal Newman

Blessed John Cardinal Newman outlined his belief in an active laity as follows:
“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well, that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.”
Given that literally half (50%) of the population has an IQ below 100, it is also literally impossible for the laity to ever achieve such a lofty vision. Newman, of all people, should have understood that to different people are given different gifts, and that not all gifts are intellectual.

The beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith does not lie in how intelligent it is (though it is intelligent), nor how defensible it is (though it is eminently defensible).

Rather, the beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith rests only and completely in the fact that through it, any man breathing can be saved.

The rest is, as they say, gravy.

Cardinal Newman cannot want what cannot be. What he describes cannot be, for not all have the particular gifts that he holds up for admiration in the passage above. Rather, as Aquinas points out, the greatest grace lies in the uneducated peasant who can do none of the things Newman outlines, yet remains in the Faith because he cannot, in his bones, do anything but cling to the Truth which shines forth in his very being. It is not only the heavens that tell the glory of God. His glory shines forth in the simple and achingly beautiful existence of every human being. Human existence alone gives an account of the Faith, perhaps incomplete, certainly somewhat inchoate, but ultimately compelling nonetheless.

And that is the only laity Cardinal Newman, or any other ordained man, will ever truly have.
It is enough.

Why Same-Sex Marriage is Nonsense

What is the etymology of the word marriage?

Marriage, and the related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine, which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium, which combines two concepts: mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition".

In ancient Rome, a man who entered into this state with a woman was, by that act, promising to confer upon her the title of "mater" or mother, especially a mother who bears children who can inherit. Children who can inherit property are said to have "legitimate" rights to property, in contrast to "bastards", who are defined as children without even theoretical rights to inherit property. If a legitimate heir died, the family property would go to a cousin or other near relative, but could not be given to a bastard child, if only because the man had not conferred legal status to inherit upon the mother he conceived with or her children conceived by her.

The state of matrimony was a legal state that concerned children's rights of inheritance. Love had no necessary standing in that legal relationship. While many other meanings have been added to the word "matrimony" over the millennia, this basic meaning is still retained, and is still foundational.

So, to put it simply, matrimony/marriage is the gift of legitimate children bestowed by a man upon a woman. By impregnating her within a legally binding agreement, the man confers upon the woman the title "mother" and confers upon their children the right to property.

Once this is understood, it is easy to see why "same-sex marriage" is a nonsense phrase.

Friday, October 06, 2017

A Second Amendment Problem

As regular readers of this blog know, I have no issue with private citizens owning weapons. Both the Second Amendment and the body of the Constitution itself, by dint of the Letters of Marque, arguably allow private citizens to own any weapon they can lay their hands on, up to and including nuclear weapons.

So, if you want to carry guns to go hunting, for self defense, or just because you really, really like guns, I have no issue with that. The problem arises with the people who insist that they have the right to own guns in order to protect themselves from the government. That particular reading of the Constitution is essentially impossible to make.

The first problem in such a reading resides in the Constitutional text itself: both the "Letters of Marque" in Article 1, and the "well-ordered militia" of the Second Amendment imply that citizens may own weapons in order to defend their local group/community or the country at large. There is no hint in the Constitution that widespread gun ownership by citizens should be allowed in order to facilitate the government's overthrow.

The reason is quite obvious: if that meaning were contained within the Constitution, then every patriotic American should always be fully prepared to shoot Americans in the head. Specifically, we have the right to shoot American politicians, American soldiers and American police officers in the head. But the Constitution says no such thing: indeed, Article I, Section 8 specifically says the militia exists to put down insurrection, not to start one. Now, you might argue that any government official who violates the letter or the spirit of the Constitution is himself engaged in insurrection. But who gets to determine how that works?

If this reading were accurate, then we should see quite a bit of commentary from the Founding Fathers encouraging the killing of American politicians, law officers and soldiers. And, while we see lovely sentiments about the Tree of Liberty being refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, the Founding Fathers were silent about the specifics of when and how that was supposed to happen.

In fact, George Washington himself seems to have been something of a hypocrite on the point. After all, when private citizens treated American whiskey taxation as an illegal government intrusion into their lives, President Washington refused to advocate that these poor, overtaxed Americans go out and kill American government forces and officials. Instead, Washington personally led an army of American soldiers into the hill country to put down the "Whiskey Rebellion". This was the first (and last) time an American President led American troops into battle, and he did it against American citizens, no less.

Now, notice what Washington did not do. He did not, he never, argued that American citizens should be disarmed. But, neither did he expect American citizens to shoot him out of his saddle for trampling their rights. Nor did they. They melted away before Washington and his army ever encountered the armed opposition.

But therein lies the nub of the real problem with the popular revolutionary reading of the Second Amendment. Many today argue: "If government officials are violating their own oaths to uphold the Constitution, then shoot them. They won't be 'American soldiers' then, they will be just another gang of thugs. The first and foremost duty both of American government and American military is to uphold, preserve and protect the Constitution of the U.S. Consequently, an American soldier who refuses to do so or who accepts orders contrary to the Constitution ceases being an American soldier at that point and becomes a war criminal."

If that theory is correct, if the armed Americans opposing Washington's whiskey tax were correct, then those American citizens had a Constitutional right, nay, a Constitutional duty, to shoot Washington out of his saddle and kill every man-jack he led into battle along with him. Now, anyone who insists the Constitution implies an American right to engage in armed conflict against America's government officials can have no serious problem with the Battle of Athens. The tale of young American soldiers taking up arms against a corrupt local Tennessee government after World War II is well-known, or should be. But, can they have any philosophical problem with the shooting of Gabby Gifford or Steven Scalise? For, if the Constitution enshrines a right to violently overthrow a rapacious government, then the Second Amendment not only gives me the right to bear arms, it also gives me the right to be judge, jury and executioner of government officials. After all, I have to have the right to determine exactly when the government has become so rapacious that I must need take up arms.

As I said, I have no problem at all with the right to own weapons. But, at what point do I have a right to open fire on American government representatives? We can invoke the problem faced by the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, but that is precisely the point. If the government is harassing a lone individual, does he have a right to open fire? How are we to distinguish such a lone individual from a lone psychopath?

He will be shooting a police officer or soldier or politician who has a family, a spouse, children, a cute little dog. Sure, the man was being harassed, but he should have gone through the proper channels. And what if he had done? Now does he have the right? Or do we have to wait until the government oppresses groups of people? How large a group must be oppressed before the individuals in that group have a right to open fire? What rights need to be trampled before we break out our private arsenals: our handguns, rifles, tanks, fighter jets, aircraft carriers and nukes? Can I start shooting if I believe the rumors of the gas chambers? Or do I have to personally see the shower rooms and the bodies? And what if there turns out to be no gas chambers at the internment camps where FDR sent the Japanese? Was I still right to start shooting?

Invoking Constitutional rights becomes even more problematic when we remember that, technically speaking, the Constitution is an illegal document. According to the Articles of Confederation, the Articles could not be replaced except by unanimous consent. So, technically, by September 13, 1788, eleven states had illegally seceded from the Articles. If North Carolina and Rhode Island had had the military capacity, they could legally have declared the Constitution a rebellion and forced the eleven ratifying states back into the Articles in exactly the same way Lincoln forced the Southern States back into the Constitution eighty years later. In fact, the states arguably had more legal support to treat the Constitution as a rebellion than Lincoln had to treat the Confederacy as one.

Legal is not the same as moral, of course. The national socialists in Germany were always very careful to pass an enabling law before they inflicted any harm on anyone. As more than one commentator pointed out, the camps and their processes were all legal. Everything was perfectly in order in that respect. But this was also true of the American interment camps. Both Hitler and FDR took care to satisfy the legal niceties, but gave little thought to the moral niceties.

There is no legal support for the idea that the Second Amendment empowers American citizens to take up arms against the government for either perceived or real grievances. While the Constitution empowers Americans to own and use weapons, it does not empower a typical American citizen to be judge, jury and executioner. There are some who would argue that we may not have the legal right, but we do have the moral right. Fine. But that is also the argument of the Unabomber, a man now considered an eco-terrorist.

Stand by your right to keep and use arms. But, if you want to base your right in full or in part on your right to overthrow the government, do not be surprised if many people on the left find it difficult to distinguish you from James T. Hodgkinson, Jared Loefler, or Ted Kaczynski. The left produced these men, so they can be forgiven for seeing echoes of their rhetoric in yours.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

We Already Have UBI

Many people say a Universal Basic Income would destroy the fabric of the nation, turn people away from jobs that increase their self-esteem, yada, yada, yada.
I have three words in reply: "Wooster and Jeeves." 
If I were the child of a wealthy man, and inherited his income, I would have my basic income supplied by my inherited wealth. No one would argue with my lack of employment.
Would I be a better or worse man for it?
Well, that's up to me, right?
Whether we like it or not, every person alive today has inherited a vast sum of wealth, the accumulated knowledge of generations, all of it employed so as to make our lives easier. I don't know how my HVAC works, how my food is grown and harvested, how antibiotics are manufactured, but I benefit from all of it. We live on this inherited largesse every day, just as Bertie Wooster survived on his inherited income and the wisdom of his gentleman's gentleman, the illustrious Jeeves.
We ALREADY HAVE UBI.
We just call it A/C, antibiotics and grocery stores.
Now, we are being told that further UBI will destroy us.
A larger non sequitor would be hard to imagine.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Schismatics Teach the Pope

Differences in admonitions 

directed towards 

Pope John XXII (1333) 

vs Pope Francis (2017)



Pope John XXII (1333)
Pope Francis (2017)
Teaching being debated
Not formally defined (a question concerning the Beatific Vision)
Formally defined (the status of married persons)
In reference to what papal statements?
A few private sermons made both before and after the papal coronation
An apostolic exhortation
Public Papal statement regarding the controversy
Pope said theologians were free to disagree with him, as the teaching was not formally defined
None
Theologians summoned to meet by?
King Philip VI of France
No one
Under whose direction did the group meet?
Dominican patriarch of Jerusalem
No one 
Who created the document?
No one of particular note or unusual standing
In whose presence did the theologians meet?
Kings, bishops and priests
No one of particular note or unusual standing
Document contained?
Profession of faith
No profession of faith
What did the theologians ask the Pope for?
Apostolic sanction to their decision
Nothing. They don’t ask for apostolic sanction of their assertions. 

In fact, quite the opposite: they claim to teach the Pope.