Wednesday, February 26, 2014

racist hypocritical Hollywood

Hollywood. The land where in the year that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won best actor and actress Oscars, We The People were scolded by Hollywood that it had never happened before as if it was somehow the fault of the movie going public that the closed shop, exclusive club the is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences never saw fit to confer that honor. Suddenly the racist, sexist, misogynistic cesspool that is the movie industry was lecturing us on our racism. 

Read more:

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Sandra Fluke costs

Since Sandra Fluke is apparently known as a "Contraceptive advocate" or something similar and the recent rumor (now quashed) was that she she filed for a Congressional run, the price of contraception was compared to a Congressional filing fee.

R.C. Sproul on the age of the universe

William Lane Craig versus Alex Rosenberg

Roughly two hours and fifty minutes long this debate should have an effect on whether you believe faith in God is reasonable.

This could possibly be more useful than the Bill Nye Ken Ham debate.

For more resources visit:

On February 1st, 2013 at Purdue University, Dr William Lane Craig participated in a debate with Dr Alex Rosenberg on the topic, "Is Faith In God Reasonable?" Over 5,000 people watched the event on the Purdue University campus along with tens of thousands streaming it live online from around the world.

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:

Mike Rogers om Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare

From Congressman Mike Rogers (R, CD-8):
Yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report confirming that Obamacare is not only damaging the ability for Americans to access affordable healthcare, but continues to be harmful to job growth and the economy. According to CBO, Obamacare will cause the American workforce to shrink by 2 million jobs by 2017 with that number only increasing by 2024. This latest report is further evidence that Obamacare is bad for the economy and bad for America and I am working every day to replace this law with sensible health care reforms that promote job growth and ensure health care access to hard working American families.
Read full report here:

What Does the Fox Say?

No. Really, what does the fox actually?  Go watch the song again, and then learn the real answer.

I imagined that, as a canid, a fox would sound like a dog but I did not actually know what sounds it made.

Sandra Fluke is Running for Office

Two things first (1) Sandra Fluke never filed to run for Congress, so she never paid a $1740 filing fee.  (2) Sandra Fluke's Congressional campaign died before it was ever born.

Now to sketch out the career, roughly, of Sandra Fluke, and what this means.

I've never talked about Sandra Fluke here because aside from the media kerfuffle about Rush Limbaugh not necessarily know what is funny and the effects that can have she has never risen to importance.  Here is what I wrote somewhere else:
Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, thinking it would be funny and he misread his entire audience. Which is fine. His premise that was she was having a lot of sex and wanted her Christian university to pay for the enabling.
He jokingly referred to her as a "slut", implying that she wanted taxpayers to provide her aides for sex, and that her massive amount of sex fueled the need for such massive amounts of contraceptives she needed aide.

The joke was not funny and it elevated the profile of Sandra Fluke to such that she actually became a mild celebrity, bringing attention to her cause; Rush Limbaugh looked like a bully.  Sandra became of a public champion of leftwing sexual politics and political icon, as well as a victim of the so-called "Republican war on women", which saw an actual battle on tape!
Fluke stirred controversy by fighting to force Georgetown Law School to offer free contraception as part of its insurance coverage for students and faculty, despite the institution's Catholic principles. She was scheduled to be a witness called by Democrats at a congressional hearing in 2012, but was blocked by Republicans. When conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut"--a remark for which he later apologized--a star was born.
Immediately, Fluke became a national symbol of the Republicans' so-called "war on women," and campaigned for President Barack Obama. When pressed, however, she admitted knowing little about the actual low cost of birth control, and eventually enthusiasm faded to the point where she had trouble drawing crowds for rallies. 
Her testimony put her on Mr Limbaugh's radar.  His radio show put her on the national scene but without his help she lacked the innate knowledge to main the public profile.

But recently, as noted,
The birth control advocate who shook up the 2012 presidential campaign does not live in the 33rd district, but is eligible to run for the seat. She will be facing off against local Democratic stalwart Wendy Greuel, who narrowly missed winning the Los Angeles mayor's race last year, among others.
According to Aaron Blake of the Washington Post, Fluke has not yet filed papers with the Federal Election Commission or made a public announcement, but has filed with the state Democratic Party to seek its endorsement for the seat.
It is always telling when politicians run in Districts they don't live in.  It turns out, however, that Sandra Fluke will not run for Congress after all.  As I found in the LA Times:
I am extremely moved by the outpouring of local and national support I have received since I announced that I was considering running for office. My entire career has been devoted to the public interest, whether representing victims of human trafficking or advocating for working families,” Fluke said late Tuesday night. “I am committed to continuing that fight in Sacramento, working to protect our environment, ensure our access to health care, and create the jobs that are desperately needed. While I strongly considered offering my candidacy for Congress, I feel there is a better way for me to advance the causes that are important to our community.”
The Daily Caller reveals that she is running for another office, referring to this act as Plan B, in reference to the contraceptive.
the Democratic attorney who made a name for herself advocating for federal contraception coverage will be running for California State Senate.
“It is official! Thanks so much to everyone who encouraged me to #runsandrarun, your support means the world to me. Today I have announced that I am running for California State Senate,” Fluke wrote on Facebook Wednesday morning. “I hope you will continue to stand with me and fight!”
This is actually a good idea, as she has exhausted a good deal of her Rush-grown martyrdom and an organic growth from a state legislature is better for a career politician.

Glenn Beck on #AmericaIsBeautiful the Coca-Cola Super Bowl 48 ad

For the obligatory annual Super Bowl ad this year, Coca-Cola showed this with the hashtag/theme #AmericaIsBeautiful.

I hope I can gather the concentration long enough to go over the broader implications and impact. I knew Michigan's Dave Agema would be deeply offended. For my part I think it's just a pretty commercial. The commercial managed to serve as an unintentional Rorschach. Glenn Beck looked at and saw a cause for sociopolitical division and a self-righteous rant.

The Raw Story covers Beck's quiet tantrum.
Glenn Beck: Coca-Cola trying to ‘divide people’ with inclusive Super Bowl ad (via Raw Story )
Conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Monday reacted to a Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial that included people of different cultures singing “America the Beautiful” by insisting that it was a cynical plot to “divide people.” After Coca-Cola’…

Jonah Goldberg on the heart of liberalism

Jonah Goldberg, of National Review, discusses his view of the "heart of liberalism", specifically on removing instinctive notions of libertarianism from the leftist ideology.
I guess where I’d disagree with Siegel’s formulation (and Vin’s) is the idea that liberalism is necessarily “radically civil-libertarian” about much of anything. Of course, individual liberals may be civil-libertarians. I can certainly think of plenty who are. But as an intellectual, cultural and political project, I think liberalism is better understood as a competing value system. Think of it this way. Social conservatism is very libertarian about all sorts of things, and not libertarian about other things. Constitutional considerations aside, where it believes the State shouldn’t interfere it is because non-interference advances a cultural agenda of traditional conservatism.
The same goes for liberalism. It celebrates certain lifestyles or cultural choices because it likes the content or fruits of those choices. It is a mistake, it seems to me, to say liberals are libertarian about much of anything. They are outraged about alleged intrusions into our privacy when it comes to the NSA, but utterly dismissive of potentially far greater intrusions into our private lives via things like Obamacare. 
Consider gun rights. Yes, conservatives believe in second amendment rights because they are in the Constitution. But they also value a culture of self-sufficiency, self-defense and a traditional understanding of individual sovereignty. (Relatedly, I think it’s fair to say that hunting culture is inherently conservative and, very broadly speaking, anathema to much of liberal culture). Liberals dislike gun rights, because they detest gun culture (their Constitutional arguments in this regard have always struck me as nearest-weapon-to-hand debating points and rationalizations given their general disdain for Constitutional literalism in nearly every other regard) and see gun violence as a kind of public health issue, which means the State should have an unlimited license to deal with it. The right of armed self-defense also offends the State’s monopoly on violence, and liberalism is a jealous guardian of State power. Liberals talk a great game about being libertarian when it comes to sexual politics, but have no problem politicizing other, equally personal, choices: like what you can eat, or what you can say (I’m thinking of things like campus speech codes). Moreover, the recent push to socialize the provision of birth control (and abortion) is hardly a libertarian enterprise.
Margaret Sanger seems like a good illustration of this point. Sanger was vocal proponent of sexual rebellion. As the founding mother of reproductive rights, she argued vociferously for the de-coupling of sex from procreation. But she was no libertarian. Aside from advocating sterilization of the unfit, she also believed that women should be required to obtain a license from the state before they could have a baby. Anyone who reads her “Code for American Babies” (which she pitched as an add-on to the New Deal codes) who still thinks there’s anything libertarian about her doesn’t know what a libertarian is:
Article 3. A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.
Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.
Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued upon application by city, county, or state authorities to married couples, providing they are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and, on the woman’s part, no medical indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.
Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.
This is a cultural and statist agenda. That she often sold it in the language of liberation speaks to the fact that she understood that the American people are receptive to offers of expanded liberty (even, alas, when it comes in the form of a subsidy). Once you keep in mind that the “civil libertarian” aspects of progressivism-liberalism have more to do with marketing a cultural agenda than actually expanded the sphere of freedom, the contradictions Cannato and Siegel write about largely (though obviously not entirely) melt away. 
Oh, a quick addendum, lest I be greeted with the usual scoffing at the suggestion that social conservatism is more libertarian than liberalism.
I would argue — and have argued for years — that mainstream conservatism is vastly more libertarian than liberalism for a number of reasons. I’ll list four. Law, Metaphysics, Economics and the Family.
1) Mainstream conservatism actually takes the Constitution seriously, which means that written into conservatism is a very real limit on what the State can do to advance a cultural agenda.
2) Metaphysically, conservatism draws heavily on Judeo-Christian values, and therefore has a constrained vision about the limits of social and individual perfectibility and the power of the State to achieve such things.   Liberalism, as Bill Voegeli, Thomas Sowell and others have argued, has no such limiting principles because at its core it is an unconstrained vision.
3) Economically, conservatism and libertarianism while not entirely identical overlap considerably. This means we actually believe that there’s a very limited positive role for the State to second guess the allocation of resources in the market place or to spend money better than the people who earn it.
4) Conservatism, unlike liberalism, considers the family a near-sacrosanct institution that should be an oasis from government meddling (barring instances of abuse and the like). The family, for liberals is the last nut to crack. Which is why people like Melissa Harris Perry can talk about “public ownership” of children or in the words of  Hillary Clinton talk about how we need to move away from the idea there is any such thing as somebody else’s child.
I could go on, but I think those four should do for now.
The ideology of the leftist leans towards empowering the State, not removing power from the State. While on a cultural level a leftist certainly wants libertarian results on certain things, by and large they would not apply that attitude on wide level.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Ylvis - The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)

Commonly known in the United States by its chorus "What Does the Fox Say?" I was introduced to this song by my then-nine-year-old niece who showed the video on their television through their AppleTV.  She was quite taken by it; I assumed it was just a kids' thing of some sort.  Imagine my surprise to hear this on the radio on a Top 40 station.

A better explanation of just what this is can be found written by Paul over at House To Astonish:
 This has been floating around on YouTube for a month now, going viral in other countries and waiting to do something in the UK. I’ve seen people comparing this to “Gangnam Style”, which misses the point, really.  ”Gangnam Style” was a proper record which went viral in large part because the added dimension of incomprehensibility provided by a language barrier and a very specific set of cultural references.  ”The Fox”, on the other hand, is a perfectly intelligible comedy sketch which wasn’t even intended for release – it’s a trailer for a Norwegian TV show (hence the time and date at the end of the video).  Ylvis are brothers, and are apparently pretty well established in their home country.  If this track sounds surprisingly professional for a novelty song, that’s because it’s produced by Stargate, which itself is meant to be part of the joke.  Ylvis do a lot of parody songs on their shows
That very much explains everything.  So in the United States this duo has likely been seen as something quite different than the intention for their original audience.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Groundhog Day quote

Punxatony Phil... I swear it is like a creepy groundhog cult. Grown men in fancy hats and suits ask a marmot what the weather's going to be like. And actual news agencies report it as news. And people share it on Facebook.

Groundhog Day

On 2 Feb 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, was first celebrated at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring. Punxsutawney Phil services Americans north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Beauregard Lee handles the south.

David Cross on James Lipton