Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quote of the week

“Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well then the terrorists have won" — Rand Paul

Saturday, November 26, 2011

New and Improved Chess: Meet the new pieces.

The Pope moves like the Bishop, except that when moving the Pope, you get to change the rules as you go along.

The Evangelical Pastor moves like the Pope, except that the rules of New and Improved Chess strictly forbid you to admit that you have changed the rules. Therefore, you change the rules retroactively to the beginning of the game and pretend not to have done so at all.

The Politician can be moved to any space where your opponent can immediately capture it. When your opponent moves to capture your Politician, you select a Pawn to be captured in the Politician's place.

The Journalist does not actually move at all. Instead, when you wish to play the Journalist, you simply lecture your opponent on what has happened in the game so far, while seriously misrepresenting most of it. Your opponent can then either use his own Journalist or, more likely, simply ignore you.

The Crony Capitalist can engage in castling with the Politician, like the King and the Rook. Another way to use your Crony Capitalist is to wait until your opponent has gotten up to get a beer and then rearrange the pieces so that your Crony Capitalist can easily checkmate your opponent. Another new piece, the Lobbyist, helps here. If your opponent questions you on this, you should use either your Journalist or your Evangelical Pastor.

You can move the Route 1 Driver whenever you please, regardless of whether it's your turn. The Route 1 Driver occupies between two and four spaces on the board. You got a problem with that?

Everyone knows what a vitally important piece the Famous-for-Being-Famous is, although no one can remember the last time the Famous-for-Being-Famous was even placed on the board.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quote of the week

Ron Paul on profiling: "What if they look like Timothy McVeigh? * * * So I would be very cautious about protecting the rule of law. It will be a sacrifice that you'll be sorry for."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Religious right or P.C. left? Quotes 32 and 33

In this series of blog posts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read each quote and guess, before doing a Web search, whether someone in the religious right or the politically correct left said it.

This ethic [referring to the Mill harm principle], increasingly pervasive in culture and popular with Libertarians in particular (the intellectual children of Mill) has well documented flaws. Essentially utilitarian as opposed to deontological, it thus has strong appeal from those who do not wish to be "burdened" with "restrictions." An unfortunate result is that it is an ethic does not call us to higher personal or communal goods or goals.... It also levels all human relationships to that of human contracts mutually entered into by participating parties, leaving little in the way of thought of community good and charity for the poor and disabled.
[In response to someone bringing up the Mill harm principle] jonathanan, what a lovely explanation of the beginner’s understanding of human rights: everything you want to do is fine as long as you’re not “hurting” anyone. Perhaps when you grow up a bit you’ll realize how shallow and insipid that idea is. Until then, do consider from time to time that there are people who know far, far more about how the world works and that if you spend some time reading and thinking, rather than displaying your ignorance for all to see, you might be further along in your understanding some day.

Or stay shallow and ignorant, that’s an option too.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The bipartisan war on liberty, and why it matters to us

Today's Richmond Times-Dispatch has an op-ed column by A. Barton Hinkle, titled "Elites agree: Americans are too darn free." The following are the thesis sentence and the concluding paragraph:
The nation's high and mighty may be divided about many things, but on one point they often agree: Americans are still too darn free.

* * *

This is what power fetishists always do: assume the power will be used in ways they like. (And since the ends are noble, they surely must justify the means, right?) Sometimes it is. But power changes hands, and the inheritors may be a rather different sort. The people pushing for more government power never seem to think of that — until it's too late.
I have long tried to make the same point to the politically correct government-worshipers in the LGBT community. To show one of the reasons (but not the only one) not to increase government power, I have tried to explain to them that when a government (federal, state, or local) gains vast new powers while progressive Democrats run that government, those powers will not magically dissipate by the time power switches to Republicans or to socially conservative Democrats. Regarding some proposals for broadened government power, I have even said point blank, "Is that a power that you want (insert name of current Republican baddie) to have over your life?" For example, a government powerful enough to control whether businesses grant domestic-partner benefits can forbid them to do so, as Virginia did for a time.

In response, politically correct statists may try to argue that no matter who wins the next election, the government will for some reason observe the difference between government coercion against them (oh, the humanity!) and government coercion against someone else (shout glory!). More often, however, they use that all-purpose scathing rebuttal known as "La la la, I can't hear you."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Are rules meant to be broken?

Someone has asked whether rules are meant to be broken, in the context of inconsistent enforcement of rules, so here's my response:
The meta-rule states that the rules are written and enforced so that whatever you do, you are wrong. The meta-rule is never broken.
I could give examples. I'm sure we all could.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The wonders of Holy Mother Rome

The New York Times gives us back-to-back articles on the Catholic Church as the guardian of sexual morality and as a nest of pedophiles and their enablers. Didn't someone once say something about knowing every tree by its fruit or about casting the beam out of your own eye before casting the mote out of your brother's?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We've made a slight change to tonight's Two Minutes Hate.

Remember when radical feminists seemed to spend every waking moment scrutinizing gay men's lives to find new things of which to disapprove? In particular, they regarded both gay men's supposed bigotry in choosing partners and gay male sexual liberation as moral enormities on the scale of the Inquisition.

But that was then, and this is now. Since the radfems have shifted the object of their hatred from gay men to transgendered people, at least one radfem blog now takes a slightly different approach to gay male sexuality in a post that mocks transgendered people:
First we have the big upset “Is gay male GPS site for casual hook-ups Grindr banning FTM profiles???” FTM accounts for casual sex hook-ups with gay men ... are being flagged by the gay men as spam! Well what a surprise there. How transphobic for gay males ....

* * *

Second we have the pressing issue (lol see what I did there) about whether a female who not-so-coincidentally-appears-female was discriminated against by being ejected from a windy city (that’s Chicago, yo) gay male bar’s “basement party space” because the gay men didn’t realize the female woman “felt like a male” on the inside and was there to have some hot gay male action with her inner self .... Haaaaaattttte Crimmmmeeee!!!!
I've edited out some of the saltier bits (do they worship their goddess using language like that?), but my point remains: Now that they've found a new group of people to hate, they've had to do a 180 on their previous set of eternal verities to accommodate that hatred.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quote of the week

"Things somehow seem more real and vivid when one can apply somebody
else's ready-made phrase about them." — Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow

Friday, November 11, 2011

Things I wish I could tell my 18-year-old self

Don't listen to Bible-bangers. They do not have all the answers, nor do they even follow their own rules, and they will not be there to pick up the pieces.

Do not be afraid to reevaluate even your most cherished beliefs. A belief that requires willful ignorance to survive deserves to die. If you grew up with a belief, ask yourself whether it would make as much sense if you came across it for the first time in adulthood. Also, if "error" has all of the best arguments against "truth," you need to reevaluate which is which.

So what if other people have skills that you don't? You have skills that they don't.

Don't listen to the politically correct crowd. They do not have all the answers, nor do they even follow their own rules, and they will not be there to pick up the pieces.

True love at first sight doesn't happen. What simply looks like it is called obsessive love; when you see someone exhibiting obsessive love, run for your life.

Be in no particular hurry to find a long-term relationship. You do not yet know what's out there. You do not yet even fully know what you want, and there's nothing wrong with that. In that regard, if a potential relationship isn't working out, don't be afraid to call it quits. When you first meet someone, you need to take the time to find out whether you and he are compatible; that's what dating is for.

There is nothing shameful or otherwise wrong about being a bottom or a sub.

Different gay men are attracted to different things. Not everyone is into gympansies* (or whatever the media tell us this week we all like). Some gay men do like your particular look; even better, there are far more of them than of you. After having done your hitch as Daria, you will get to find out what it is like to be Quinn.

Of course, part of being Quinn is having to associate with Sandi. Your particular cross to bear is that there will always be someone trying to prove that he is smarter or otherwise better than you are. Just don't let those people get to you.

*Word stolen from the Redneck Fag.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The New Gay calls it quits.

The web site The New Gay has announced that it is shutting down. I saw its demise coming a while back, as articles other than "Song of the Day" slacked off. While I am sad to see TNG go, I believe that it did not live up to its original promise.

TNG's stated purpose was as follows:
While we have our differences, our common bond is that we choose to define ourselves instead of letting a narrowly defined mainstream gay culture do it for us. That is what’s new about what we’re doing here.
So far, so good, since someone needs to question the assumptions of the queer orthodoxy, but then we come to this:
We* all agree that the mainstream definition of “gay” isn’t just a sexual orientation, it’s a white male culture defined by consumerism, superficiality and anti-intellectualism.

* We = the handful of people who write for this site.
I am glad that they qualify "we" as the writers, since we as the potential audience all agree to no such thing. Mainstream queer culture shifted to politically correct puritanism, dogmatic leftism, and anti-rationalism before some of TNG's writers were born.

As a result, the site missed a ship that had sailed long before and, instead of genuinely challenging mainstream LGBT culture, challenged a small subset that no one was seriously defending anyway. Indeed, some of the authors seemed to accept without question the prevailing politically correct mindset. Challenging a mainstream is a worthy goal, but it is hard to do if you remain willfully ignorant of what that mainstream even is.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quote of the week

Paula Poundstone on the Kardashians: "Why don't they buy Greece?"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another one bites the dust.

Cuba is about to allow the buying and selling of real property:
MEXICO CITY — Cuba announced a new property law Thursday that promises to allow citizens and permanent residents to buy and sell real estate — the most significant market-oriented change yet approved by the government of Raúl Castro, and one that will probably reshape Cuba’s cities and conceptions of class.
There will soon be one fewer country to which the true believers would gladly emigrate, but for that mysterious, never-named thing that keeps them from doing so. They still have that beacon of liberty and prosperity known as North Korea.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Theocrats to the left of me, theocrats to the right

President Obama, reacting to Republicans who had played the God card, proved that he could play it just as well:
Delivering yet another speech in front of a bridge in need of repair, Obama said House Republicans should work to put people back to work, instead of focusing on other measures that don’t create jobs, such as debating a commemorative baseball coin or legislation reaffirming the “In God We Trust” motto.

“That’s not putting people back to work,” Obama said as he stood before the Key Bridge that connects Washington, D.C., to Northern Virginia. “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.”
It's funny how God always agrees perfectly with what the person invoking His name wanted to believe anyway. And no, you may not ask how that person knows what God wants.

By the way, "God helps those who help themselves" is not in the Bible.