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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Health Skepticism: Part 1 - Introduction

I'm no expert about general health, including the sub-topics of diet, exercise, and medical knowledge, but I don't need to be to notice that expert advice in those areas has changed wildly over the decades of my life. Things like dietary cholesterol, low fat diets, trans-fats, the food pyramid, weight-training and muscle, supplements, screening for cancer, and on and on and on and...

While not an expert about general health, I am the world's expert regarding the care and feeding of Bret. Over the decades I've become much more knowledgeable about taking care of myself, mostly through trying to make sense of all the information out there, but also trying various approaches in the diet and exercise realm (consciously being my own lab rat), and being an unwitting lab rat due to external factors (trans-fats, for example).

What's fascinated me about the whole topic is how Americans have collectively made stunningly bad decisions about how to take care of ourselves and that will be the main focus of this series of posts - how interactions of people, groups, and scientific and medical knowledge (or distortions thereof) caused us to collectively make astoundingly stupid decisions about taking care of ourselves. How a country as rich and technologically advanced as we are ends up with a life expectancy ranked below those bastions of model societies such as Columbia and Cuba. How we managed to spend more than $1 trillion (that's $1,000,000,000,000) on our National Institute of Health over the last several decades yet aren't noticeably more healthy than Slovenia or even Mexico (in terms of life-expectancy).

The next post in this series will take a look at cholesterol and how we pretty much managed to completely confuse ourselves about cause and effect. It's a good introduction to this general topic in that it sheds light upon the problems of having large diversity in a population of very complex organisms and trying to figure out what sorts of things can help that population.

224 comments:

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erp said...

Some experts are waking up.

Peter said...

Nice to see the lowly trans-fat get a little overdue respect. I'm now old enough to recall just about every food group run the cycle between dangerous and healthy and sometimes back again. The one exception is the damn vegetables. It seem man is condemned to spend his life hearing female voices tell him to eat his vegetables.

Quantity is another matter. As perennial visitors to your fair land, we are astounded repeatedly by the amount of food Americans consume, at least in restaurants. Even seniors. It seems to defy the laws of biology or physics or whatever. How do you pack it all in?

It's very simple. Eat modest amounts of everything and be particularly judicious about anything that tastes really good.

erp said...

Peter, many fast food or even moderate priced restaurants serve large portion because diners often will take home their leftovers for another meal. We see this more and more lately. Is this not the case with our friends north of the border?

Hey Skipper said...

[OP:] How a country as rich and technologically advanced as we are ends up with a life expectancy ranked below those bastions of model societies such as Columbia and Cuba.

Here is a great example of how numbers that can be so seemingly obvious are not. Most countries are ethnically homogeneous; the US is not. So it isn't fair to compare the US against, say, Japan. Instead, compare Japanese-Americans against Japan, English-Americans against England, African-Americans against Africa, etc.

I'll bet if you do, much of the difference disappears.

Also, excluding African-Americans from US life expectancy stats (per a NIH chart I have seen, but am too lazy to find again) adds several years to US life expectancy. Doing that, and US aggregate life expectancy is something like four months less than #6 Australia.

IIRC, somewhere, Oregon perhaps?, a study that compared health outcomes for people who, thanks to the ACA, got access to Medicaid, compared to nothing before.

Difference? Too small to measure.

As Peter says, eat to much, get fat. However, do not leave out the effects of corn syrup, with is nearly omni-present in the US thanks to ... government policy.

Harry Eagar said...

'Most countries are ethnically homogeneous; the US is not'

Neither are Colombia nor, especially, Cuba.

Harry Eagar said...

A very common problem: deciding in advance of understanding.

However, I believe that if you review the consensus of medical research and advice you will find it has been restrained; even sometimes overcautious, as in accepting the cause of peptic ulcers, for example.

Also, extending life is not the right metric. That was done in the eradication of early killers. Once people stop dying at 15 of mastoiditis etc., they will live another 60-70 years, but not another 80-90 years.

The metric should be, will they be more active, alert and in less pain during the last 15 years? Gains here have been pretty impressive.

In the '70s, my employer (who enjoyed a bully pulpit) was in the forefront of the movement to control employer health expenses (and perhaps, who can say? improve the quality of employees' lives) by advocating more control over each individual's health by himself. The employer went so far as to provide a $500/year fund per worker family to be spent on health: medicine if necessary, or health-improving gym memberships if that was the choice.

I was deeply skeptical that this would work. After all, I worked for a large and prestigious newspaper, but the largest circulation paper in the country was advocating a different health program: garlic and vinegar.

It seemed obvious that the typical American did not have even a smidgen of the knowledge required to make health decisions unaided. Or as my friend Larry the Surgeon put it, 'I spent 15 years learning to do what I do. I will not attempt to explain that to you in 15 minutes.'

(Luckily for the financing of Larry's frequent ski vacations, his specialty was rebuilding the bones around eye sockets following car crashes. Bedside manner was not required.)

Then there has been the pernicious and symbiotic combined influence of a societal policy that protects both free expression and entrepreneurialism: For every dime spent trying to impart worthwhile information to the health consumer, he was provided a dollar's worth of lies and crap.

True most of this was ephemeral; how much have you been advised to eat oat bran lately? But some of this nonsense has had real staying power. The idea that each of us carries 10 pounds of impacted poisons in our digestive tracts has been around at least since the '20s, and appears to be about as well established in the American health folklore as, say, the need to drink 8 glasses of water a day.

A country that supports between 44,500 and 100,000 chiropractors (estimates vary) can hardly be said to be more advanced than a country whose main medical system relies on witch doctors casting spells in exchange for goats. (Although the chiropractors do not see it this way; they lament that a mere 7% of American have ever been to a chiropractor -- about the same proportion as have visited Hawaii.)

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Neither are Colombia nor, especially, Cuba.

True, but that doesn't change my point in the least. The life expectancy for Cuba is for all Cubans, whose ethnicity is distinctly different from the US. So don't compare Cuban LE with all of the US, but rather with Cuban-Americans.

Cuban LE is 78.05 years; Cuban-American 78.62.

Which says to me two things. We don't rank below Cuba in LE, and we are spending waaaaayyyy too much on health care.

A country that supports between 44,500 and 100,000 chiropractors (estimates vary) can hardly be said to be more advanced than a country whose main medical system relies on witch doctors casting spells in exchange for goats.

(I have no idea where you get 100,000. In two different places the BLS says 44k and 29k.)

Once again, you parade the vacuous moral preening peculiar to progressives. The US supports that because there are enough people who find that chiros relieve their symptoms. I have talked to more than a few people who make that claim.

Who the hell are you to tell them otherwise?

erp said...

Re: Chiropractors. Went once years ago and found the problem got worse, so I bagged it, but if people feel better what does it matter if it's all in their mind.

The left's maniacal mania for control has become truly terrifying.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Instead, compare Japanese-Americans against Japan, English-Americans against England, African-Americans against Africa, etc.
---

I am sorry to tell you yet again, but no, that comparison makes little sense.

Unless you make sure all of those groups keep being absolutely similar in genetics (which, by itself, may be non-sense for some of them even before you start), your comparison is meaningless.

Harry Eagar said...

As a group they are now extinct, but at one time the longest-lived American employee group was Hawaiian cane workers.

They were largely Japanese by ethnicity, chain smokers and heavy drinkers. Their diet was heavy in SPAM.

They lived so long it became a serious economic problem for the plantations after they unionized and won defined benefit pensions, because they never died and the pension costs broke the actuarial tables.

As for chiropractors, the reason people 'feel better' is easily explained but has nothing to do with health because subluxations do not exist so manipulating them cannot have any effect.

Harry Eagar said...

The Boston Globe has a long piece about food and health; it's a kind of Munchausen's Syndrome with a menu card.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2015/10/14/why-food-allergy-fakers-need-stop/PB6uN8NF3eLWFjXnKF5A9K/story.html

erp said...

Harry, re: Hawaiian cane workers.

Did it ever occur to you that since Asians and Africans all look alike to white overseers, as older pensioners died off, a younger oldster just took on their identities and their pensions and no one with white skin was ever the wiser.

Velly good joke on whip wielding management monsters.

Harry Eagar said...

your racism is tiresome

erp said...

So solly. I forgot. S/off

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I am sorry to tell you yet again, but no, that comparison makes little sense.

My comparison isn't perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better than comparing all Americans vs, say, Norwegians, or even Europeans in general.

The US is far more diverse than any of those areas, and has a far greater proportion of recent immigrants. Both of which need controlling for, to the greatest extent practical. Otherwise, the result is guaranteed to have embedded in it factors that have nothing to do with diet.

For instance, eliminating African-Americans jumps US LE substantially. Is the new number more, or less valid? I simply don't see how, if the comparison is Cuba, or Japan, neither of which have hardly any African-ancestory citizens, and the subject is diet, the answer is "less".

Don't Fall Prey to Propaganda: Life Expectancy and Infant Mortality are Unreliable Measures for Comparing the U.S. Health Care System to Others:

Any statistic that accurately measures health-care systems across nations must satisfy three criteria. First, the statistic must assume actual interaction with the health care system. Second, it must measure a phenomenon that the health care system can actually affect. Finally, the statistic must be collected consistently across nations.

...

Yet the United States has the highest GDP per capita in the world, so why does it have a life expectancy lower than most of the industrialized world? The primary reason is that the U.S. is ethnically a far more diverse nation than most other industrialized nations. Factors associated with different ethnic backgrounds - culture, diet, etc. - can have a substantial impact on life expectancy. Comparisons of distinct ethnic populations in the U.S. with their country of origin find similar rates of life expectancy. For example, Japanese-Americans have an average life expectancy similar to that of Japanese.


Asian-American LE in the US is 86.67 years, which is statistically identical to Japan's LE.

So, explain to me why comparing the aggregate US LE against Japan's LE makes more sense than comparing Asian-Americans against Japan.

Hey Skipper said...

As for chiropractors, the reason people 'feel better' is easily explained but has nothing to do with health because subluxations do not exist so manipulating them cannot have any effect.

Once again, who the hell are you to tell them there was no effect?

Yes, I know you are a large-forehead know-everything progressive, and they only have first hand experience to go on ...

erp said...

Clovis, a far better question is why do you put so much trust in studies and statistics when you must know GIGO as well as that academic departments hire people who can get grants for them, not people who may be ethical researchers?

Harry Eagar said...

'if the comparison is Cuba, or Japan, neither of which have hardly any African-ancestory citizens'

Really? Wikipedia thinks different:

'Cuba is inhabited by mostly by whites (64.1%), while minorities include mulatto and mestizo (26.6%) and black (9.3%).[1]'

'Once again, who the hell are you to tell them there was no effect?'

Uh, that would be because subluxations do not exist. I did not say there was no effect, I said there was no cure.

There would be several effects: lighter wallets, sometimes broken spines, deaths from treatable conditions (treatable by real doctors) and -- often -- a psychological lift from having someone pay attention to them.

Even chiropractic customers understand, at a deep level, that chiropractors cannot treat real disease. I was amused, when covering a hearing once, to hear a chiropractor complain that he could not be reimbursed by a government insurance program because only clinic/hospitals with ER services were qualified and 'there are not any chiropractic emergency rooms.'

Of course not. People who are really sick go to real doctors.

But if you think chiropractors stand on the same level with real physicians and surgeons because the customers are satisfied, then how about this guy?

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/fake-doctor-was-porn-actor-selling-sex-toys-and-escort-services-court-papers-show

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Really? Wikipedia thinks different:

Oh for Pete's sake Harry, try and grasp the main point: comparing Cuban-Americans vs. Cubans yields a far different result than all Americans v. Cubans.

Uh, that would be because subluxations do not exist. I did not say there was no effect, I said there was no cure.

Just as there are many other conditions for which medicine offers only alleviation of symptoms. I hope this doesn't come as news to you.

But if you think chiropractors stand on the same level with real physicians and surgeons because the customers are satisfied, then how about this guy?

You seem to have real problems with reading comprehension. Let me help you here. What I think makes no difference. Nor, for that matter (absent coercion, always a plus for progressives), does what you think.

What does make a difference is that plenty of people are certain that a trip to the chiropracter is money well spent. In the face of that, your bleating is worth about as much as subluxations. However, your arrogance on the matter speaks volumes.

... then how about this guy?

How about I think that is approximately the stupidest question I have had the misfortune of hearing in a long time.

erp said...
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erp said...
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Peter said...

As for chiropractors, the reason people 'feel better' is easily explained

Actually it's not, which is why the medical establishment fulminates sans cesse in frustration. Generally they tell one another that the reason has something to do with the putative superior bedside manner skills of chiropractors, an explanation that implies people are fools and calls into question the complementary skills of doctors. Most of the time, like Harry, they just keep repeating the no-scientific-evidence mantra over and over and become enraged when the public doesn't bow down in adoration.

Harry Eagar said...

It really is easy. I have already indicated why in the comment about ERs. Most visits to health-care providers are not motivated by any organic condition. (Some surveys say 50-60%.)

Many others are motivated by self-correcting real disease, like flu (except for the minority each year who die of that.)

So a little uplift and encouragement will send most entrants away happy.

Regrettably, some will not go away happy from either modality. To drag Larry the Surgeon in again: 'If you're sick, you die.'

Real medicine wants to operate in the middle zone where people really are sick but have a chance of recovery. Chiropractic has zero success here, because its theory of disease is as imaginary as the 'four humors.'

It cannot heal any organic disease.

There used to be a chiropractor in my neighborhood, Farris Odeh, who claimed to be able to cure cancer, AIDS, liver disease, alcoholism and just about any other malady short of fulminating infection.

I don't know how many people he killed by preventing or delaying treatment of diseases real doctors can deal with until it was too late.

Anyhow, since the standard of care being advocated here is patient satisfaction, I await with considerable interest your explanation of the validity of homeopathy. I know several people who claim it cured them.

Peter said...

If this fellow Odeh claimed to be able to cure cancer, AIDS and liver failure, I'm betting his patient satisfaction numbers were quite a bit lower than average.

Harry Eagar said...

He left town, but I don't know why. He was a tad more aggressive in his claims -- he hung them on a wall at a shopping center -- than the typical chiropractic mixer but his claims were not unusual for chiropractors. So I assume his satisfaction rate would have been typical as well.

In any event, when you cite chiropractic satisfaction rates, remember two things:

1. Dead men tell no tales

2. Dissatisfied customers who quit after 1 or 2 visits do not become chiropractic customers.

Peter said...

What's fun about arguing this issue with you, Harry, is how you drop any pretense of intellectual inquiry and evidentiary testing and just repeat the dogmas of scientism over and over and rely on cherrypicked anecdotes and arguments from authority. With respect, Old Swot, you have no idea what is usual or unusual for chiropractors or what most of them say they can and cannot treat. Do you think I can measure the authority of medical science by hauling out examples from the disciplinary proceedings of state medical bodies?

In conversations I've had with a few M.D.s on this subject, some of the more amusing moments came when they basically repeat your mantras with pained expressions and earmark chiropractors for hard time, but then allow grudgingly---very grudgingly--they can be good at treating lower back pain. Perhaps they are a little sensitive about the fact medical science hasn't moved much past the Middle Ages on that one. Anyway, the ones I've talked to seemed to be under the impression it was all about their uncanny knack for massages--somewhat like Lily San from the Tropical Delights Exotic Parlour. Of course, that's not how chiropractors treat lower back pain or anything else.

Harry Eagar said...


'any pretense of intellectual inquiry and evidentiary testing'

Not true. After a young girl died from a rampant eye tumor that could easily have been dealt with surgically, but instead was sacrificed to a chiropractor, a Yale Medical School professor was so outraged that he got a fresh spine and put it in a drill press to see if he cold observe subluxation.

He showed it cannot happen; the spine breaks first.

'that's not how chiropractors treat lower back pain or anything else.'

No, it isn't. They use witchcraft.

'you have no idea what is usual or unusual for chiropractors'

Are you sure I don't? There's this thing called the Internet.

Hey Skipper said...

Are you sure I don't? There's this thing called the Internet.

Yet somehow, despite your ridicule and the internet, there are still enough satisfied customers to keep some 45 thousand-odd chiropracters in business.

You would think that first hand experience would count for something.

Guess not.

Harry Eagar said...

Why would I think that? I tried to find out many homeopaths there are, and while I didn't find a headcount, it does appear that homeopathy is experiencing lots of growth.

Ar you going to argue that these also-satisifeid customers are evidence that homeopathy works?

wikipedia, in a suprisingly forthright article (it calls homepathy a sham) references a psychologist who specializes in magical thinking:

'Bruce Hood has argued that the increased popularity of homeopathy in recent times may be due to the comparatively long consultations practitioners are willing to give their patients, and to an irrational preference for "natural" products which people think are the basis of homeopathic preparations.'

We can say the same for people who believe that guns keep themselves safe or that there are diseases that respond to adjustments of misaligned subluxations.

Peter said...

Harry, do you have any idea what the length of the typical chiropractic appointment is? I do--a few minutes. Honestly, this meme in which doctors are a little brusque because they are so busy applying science while chiropractors spend hours emotionally tricking the lonely into believing they're feeling better when in fact they are slowly dying shows more than a little floundering on your part. And why do you keep bringing up homeopathy when the discussion is about chiropractic?

Harry Eagar said...

Because the argument for the one is the same as for the other. Let me tell you a little story.

There was a beloved old chiropractor in my village, who had been manipulated (in every sense of the word) by D.D. himself. One day at the coffee shop I listened to a middleage chiropractor giving some advice to a young one just starting out. He told him all the usual bedside manner things, and then he told a story about how privileged he felt to have been manipulated by the old guy -- it was like consecrating bishops down the centuries.

He went for a shoulder treatment. The old guy (he was probably near 80) got confused and manipulated the wrong shoulder.

"But you know what? I felt better anyway."

Another satisfied customer.

erp said...

Harry, really ... your village??? Is this story apocryphal?

Was the patient comatose and unable to let the old doc know he was working the wrong shoulder?

Here's a real story which took place in my father-in-law's village of Brooklyn, N.Y. When he went to the hospital for a minor procedure many years ago, the guy in the other bed had his surgery done on the wrong leg and was he peeved!

Peter said...

Heh. Given the history of Harry's village, I'm surprised he didn't conclude the guy was just afraid to make waves lest the Christians burn down his house.

Obviously, the rational citizen would have both a doctor and a chiropractor. The doctor would administer the latest treatments approved by evidenced-based medical science and then he could drop in to see his chiropractor so he would feel much better.

Harry Eagar said...

As I said, the old guy was reverenced by the believers. Although the middle-aged chiropractor didn't say so, I imagine he didn't want to embarrass the old boy.

Why he thought the story would be edifying, I cannot say, but he wasn't telling me. I was listening to coffee shop conversation.

Just as I cannot imagine why the chiropactor testifying about the ERs thought he was saying something positive about chiropractic.

I live in a village of about 2,000 people. Sorry if it bothers you.

erp said...

Hilarious. A small Hawaiin
Village
?

Harry Eagar said...

This has nothing to do with the efficacy of chiropractic treatments but it is sorta illuminating.

Yesterday an old lady we know at the shop -- a bent, stooped arthritic old lady who we have to help step down from the curb when she visits -- was showing the boss a jade bracelet she wanted to sell. Said she had paid $2,000 for it.

From across the room I could tell it was composition and worth less than $1. We have people coming in nearly every day with worthless jade bracelets they were led to believe are valuable rarities -- hey, it's a free market!

(We put them in in the gravel of our big fish tank.)

So I wasn't paying much attention as my friend Rich tried to break the bad news to her gently. But I noticed that when he asked who had sold it to her, she answered. "My chiropractor."

Another satisfied customer.

Peter said...

Hmm. In the last several years there have been two doctors disciplined around here--one for prescribing unnecessary drugs and the other for defrauding the healthcare authorities. Of course, I would never argue these had anything to do with the efficacy of medical science, but surely we can all agree they're "sorta illuminating"?

Harry Eagar said...

I agree.

Harry Eagar said...

Forgetting chiropractic for a moment but continuing on the theme of 'satisfied customer Ben Carson' it's getting so it's hard to tell the players without a scorecard. We have NRO outing Carson as a scrofulous charlatan snake oil salesman (I'd go stronger but I don't have the vocabulary for it) while Carson's enablers are the doofus liberals (by reputation, anyway) at PBS.

Harry Eagar said...


Nick Kristof has a moderately interesting column in the Times, but the comments are worth reading. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/opinion/drugs-greed-and-a-dead-boy.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region#permid=16575840

Hey Skipper said...

We have NRO outing Carson ...

Yet not a word about the Clinton foundation, and it's massive conflicts of interests. Or Hillary enabling a serial rapist and sexual harasser.

In comparison, Dr. Carson being a paid huckster seems flat beer by comparison.




erp said...

Skipper, If Westmoreland told Carson he would get a commission, why wouldn't a 17 year old kid take that to mean he would get in. Not that he'd have to apply and go through the admissions process first and the question of not having the tuition money doesn't apply either.

From what I gather the lefty sites don't understand that students are, in fact, in the army, navy, air force, etc.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry:] Forgetting chiropractic for a moment …

Why? You have insisted you know more about other people's lives than they do. I think that needs far more substantiation than you have given.

From the Kristoff column Harry to which Harry linked:

(Full disclosure: I am biased. Why Kristoff is employed in his present position is an abiding mystery to me. But not nearly so much as Thomas Friedman, or Maureen Dowd, or Timothy Egan. So there is that.)


Here’s the central issue: Children with emotional or mental disorders have become a gold mine for the drug industry.

No, you twit, all manner of physical and mental disorders are a gold mine for the drug industry. You might as well hit us with the shocker that hunger is a gold mine for McDonalds.

And now the industry is getting even greedier. It is pushing for a First Amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses, a path that would leave children like Andrew with mental health issues particularly vulnerable.

Here is an interesting moral dilemma. On the one hand, to avoid any unknown risk whatsoever, strictly prohibit manufacturers from expressing an opinion about unintended, yet potentially beneficial, uses for drugs.

What Kristoff doesn't mention, nor even cast a glance towards, is that which should be glaringly apparent: there are desperate people out there who will grasp at any straw. Andrew likely had not just "issues", but serious issues.

Now what?

If the company thinks that its medication has benefits that, for at least some people with these issues, could well outweigh the risks, now what? (E.g. Viagra and Cialis. Of course, for the particularly discerning, it is worth noting that networks and shows chasing the female demographic never carry ads for either. Speaking only personally, that is a singularly disheartening realization.) Following Kristoff, that puts companies in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't position.

But wait, there's more. It puts the Kristoffs of the world in the position of imposing their decisions upon others. Presumably Andrew's parents knew the stakes, and chose between the least unpalatable of the options on offer.

Makes sense, right? And by that I mean it does, indeed, make some sense.

What Kristoff wants, but does not say, is that companies should never, ever, consider cost-benefit wrt off-label issues.

That's a defendable position. It's a shame he didn't bother.

In the mid-1990s, pharmaceutical companies argued that doctors systematically under-treated pain, and as a solution the manufacturers aggressively marketed opioids.

… today, drug overdoses kill more Americans than guns or cars do.


I have a good friend who is an anesthesiologist. He is certain that the medical profession grotesquely under-treated chronic pain. Now, of course, the pendulum has swung the other way, aided by extremely effective drugs.

Hmmm: since drug overdoses kill more Americans than guns, and since progressives want to ban guns, then progressives want to ban prescription drugs even more.

Wait. What?

… concealing for example the fact that it can cause boys to grow large, pendulous breasts (one boy developed a 46DD bust).

A self-dating boy — guaranteed second base every time. Feminists, that is what's called an existential threat.

Hey Skipper said...

P.S.

A couple years ago, my daughter suffered debilitating anxiety and depression, to the point of suicidal ideation, which led to an emergency extraction from college.

Following that was the better part of a year that involved cutting and a head shaving incident that had me doing a pivot from Virginia to get back to Alaska.

While not yet anything like low maintenance yet, she is much better.

And that was due to an off-label use of lithium.

Hey Skipper said...

Maybe it is just me, but I think putting the poor cute kid pic -- taken when he was 8, not 15 -- amounts to pure propaganda.

Hey Skipper said...

[erp:] Skipper, If Westmoreland told Carson he would get a commission, why wouldn't a 17 year old kid take that to mean he would get in.

I'm only glancingly familiar with the controversy, but from what I understand, Dr. Carson is getting criticized for claiming he was offered an appointment to West Point (not the same as a scholarship, but the difference might be lost on most).

That apparently didn't happen. Instead, he was told, in effect, that all he had to do was fill out an app, and the appointment would be his. In as much as a 4-Star told him that, and given everything else, the supposition is sound. So, progressives are making hay out of of a virtually meaningless distinction. Mere paperwok separated Dr. Carson from the least charitable interpretation and reality. There is no doubt that Dr. Carson would have gotten the appointment.

Compare and contrast with how the pack of drooling sycophants that calls themselves journalists have grilled Hillary over her claims that she came under sniper fire in Bosnia.

A week after the campaign event, Clinton admitted she mischaracterized her trip.

“So I made a mistake. That happens. It shows I’m human, which for some people is a revelation,” Clinton said.


That's a hell of a mistake, Hillary. For most sentient beings, coming under fire is a significant, and unmistakable, emotional event. Of course, one would have to actually have come under fire to know that.

(Speaking as someone with first hand knowledge.)



Howard said...

I'm only glancingly familiar with the controversy,

This might help - media hit job.

erp said...

Skipper, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's pain and delighted you were able to find something to help her. My oldest granddaughter has been battling a similar anxiety for almost 10 years without much help and that intermittent. We would be willing to try anything -- the EPA, drug testing, etc. be d*mned. Going to jail would be a small price to pay if it would bring her back to her smiling gorgeous self.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, I am very familiar with the process of appointment to the academies, and what Carson said was bullshit. No two ways about it.

However, I do not think what he said about it is indicative of anything but a defensive vanity, which we had already discerned.

Now, his remarks about the pyramids, the second law of thermodynamics and -- very bizarre, this -- the law of conservation of angular momentum indicate a man who is not capable of processing information.

His lies abut his work for Mannatech -- which continues, although he denied it ever happened in the same paragraph he continued doing the work -- suggest a man of deep moral corruption and, perhaps, full-on psychopathic dissociation.

Several people have noticed the 'flat affect' of the psychopath in Carson. There is something very wrong with his head.

My prediliction is to attribute it first to his screwy religious beliefs, and secondarily to his disturbed psyche; and, thirdly, I suppose, to naked greed.

It is interesting to note that his expressions about Adventism are claimed by insiders to be not quite orthodox. We might say the same about Santorum but not about Romney.

There was much to dislike about Romney but no doubt he did put in the time to know the cult he espoused.

A confused Seventh-day Adventist is, on the other hand, approaching the ne plus ultra of confusion.







erp said...

Harry, aren't you the guy who defended the Adventist hospitals dotting the landscape? What happened? Have a bad experience being turned away from the ER?

erp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry Eagar said...

I don't recall defending Adventist hospitals. One of my grandaughters was born in one, and that went OK. My daughter's plan to have her second baby there was foiled by some strange beliefs they had about caesarian sections.

So far as I can recall, I have said 2 positive things about Adventists: they publish an interesting magazine that defends the 1st Amendment, and they bake wonderful bread.

erp said...

... isn't that Hillary's line?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Well, I am very familiar with the process of appointment to the academies, and what Carson said was bullshit. No two ways about it.

Harry, there are two ways about it. One way is that what Dr. Carson said is true, that a 4-Star General said he would get an appointment, and that your charge is yet another example of the progressive defamatory itch.

The other way, is that the encounter never happened, and you are right.

And your proof the encounter never happened is …?

His lies abut his work for Mannatech -- which continues, although he denied it ever happened in the same paragraph he continued doing the work -- suggest a man of deep moral corruption and, perhaps, full-on psychopathic dissociation.

Which part of this is wrong?

Interestingly, you have never mustered anything like that sort of vitriol for Hillary Clinton, who is a serial liar of the very first stripe, and richly deserves to be in prison for her email shenanigans.

With progressives, all that matters is the narrative

My daughter's plan to have her second baby there was foiled by some strange beliefs they had about caesarian sections.

Which are what, exactly?

Harry Eagar said...

'Which part of this is wrong?'

All of it, as far as I can tell.

'Which are what, exactly?'

That after a caesarean, a woman cannot safely have a vaginal delivery. I did not say it was an Adventist belief. It appears the hospital just hadn't kept up with scientific medicine, not that that would cut any ice with you.

I understand that you are on the warpath about Clinton's use of emails to transmit classified material, but since she didn't I am unable to muster any vitriol about it. Should the final report find out she did, maybe I will.

Since you brought it up (again) I will just mention: 1) the idea of retrospectively classifying information is the silliest thing I have ever heard of; 2) the intelligence community has done it for decades, even (as I think I mentioned earlier) making telephone directories "secret"; and 3) Bwwaahhaaaahaaaaa!

Hey Skipper said...

I understand that you are on the warpath about Clinton's use of emails to transmit classified material, but since she didn't I am unable to muster any vitriol about it.

Which shows that you know precisely nothing about classification rules. (Oh, and BTW, her server did contain classified information.)

If she did anything as SecState, then much of what she put in emails was classified by definition.

Of course, she may have just been a doddering figurehead.

Which is it?

erp said...

... Why not both?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
A confused Seventh-day Adventist is, on the other hand, approaching the ne plus ultra of confusion.
---

What happened to those old ideas about not judging someone by color, race or creed?

Why is it that the same people mad about Carson saying Muslims shouldn't be president tend to believe his Adventism makes him unfit too?

I try hard to see some logic here, but I fail. Please give me a hand.

erp said...

By George, I think he's got it!

Clovis, there is no logic, only the narrative.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "What happened to those old ideas about not judging someone by color, race or creed?"

(Don't forget gender).

That only applies to conservatives and libertarians. Liberals need to consider things like that in order to consider past and current oppression that occurred to those groups and to apply remedies going forward.

I'm not joking here either. The conservative/libertarian philosophy is that everyone should be exactly equal before the law while the liberal philosophy is definitely NOT that. So a conservative and liberal can say the exact same thing while only the conservative has violated his philosophy.

Thus Carson would violate conservatism by saying that Muslims shouldn't be president and liberals would be perfectly justified in pointing that out, while at the same time deciding that a male, religious conservative is part of a group that is unfit to be president.

Clear now?

Bret said...

erp,

See my comment immediately above. The logic is perfectly clear and, in fact, justifiable. We just don't happen to agree with it.

erp said...

I do understand and it's not logical.

If you're a bigot and call out those who disagree with you, that's staying within your stated philosophy, so it's okay, but if you call out those who don't believe we're all equal under the law aka bigots, doesn't that make you a bigot too?

Harry Eagar said...

Clovis, before you go all libertarian on us, as a physicist I invite you to ponder what must be going on in the mind of someone with heterodox views about conservation of angular momentum.

As for your question, I don't think 'judge' is the word. We are not to discriminate.

Unlike Carson, who discriminates against Muslims, no liberal has said Carson should not be president because he is Adventist (I have predicted the fundies will say that, but perhaps I was wrong; Carson's welcome at Liberty U, while apparently somewhat uneasy, surprised me that it happened at all).

While I consider all supernatural beliefs equally ridiculous, they are not all equally silly. The Adventist fixation on days of the week seems to me sillier than, say, a belief that prayer can prevent misfortune.

Bret said...

Before I make the following comments, let me just point out that I personally hope that Carson is neither the next president nor the next republican nominee, so the following has nothing to do with my defending him as the best or even as a good candidate...

Harry wrote: "... heterodox views about conservation of angular momentum ..."

I don't think that's quite right or at least not clear. What is clear is that he doesn't believe in the Big Bang and then misapplied scientific principles about why he thinks it couldn't've happened. Since I also don't "believe in" the Big Bang (not that I think it's for sure wrong either, it's just I personally find it utterly unconvincing) I can't fault him on that.

Harry wrote: "...no liberal has said Carson should not be president because he is Adventist..."

Unlikely that no liberal anywhere has ever said that, perhaps none have but it's besides the point since certainly many have said he should not be president because of his religious beliefs.

Harry wrote: "...equally ridiculous, they are not all equally silly ..."

Last I looked, "ridiculous" and "silly" were synonyms. And wouldn't which religious belief is sillier obviously be completely subjective in any case? Or is it somewhere in the body of atheist dogma an ordering of silliness of various religious beliefs?

Harry Eagar said...

'If she did anything as SecState, then much of what she put in emails was classified by definition'


I breathlessly await your vitriolic attack on Republican Cabinet secretaries who did the same.

I don't care. It's a phony issue. I have contempt for the intelligence community -- most of it -- so I don't care if their panties are twisted up. They really do classify Bell telephone directories.



Harry Eagar said...

It is clear, he states it flat out in his hour-long explication of creationism.

Forget the creationism for a moment. Conservation of angular momentum is (as Alex Filippenko the astronomer says) a profound characteristic of nature. I am not aware that anyone except Carson questions it.

Now, I understand why he does; it's part of the same alternative physics that (disingenuously in my opinion) misunderstands the second law of thermodynamics (also in Carson's lecture).

However, there is this distinction: there really are subtleties in the second law that give the philosophers trouble; but angular momentum is completely uncontroversial. Carson is in flat-earth territory.







Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

I don't know about you, but if I were to expect knowledge of mechanical conservation laws from candidates, I'd hardly vote.

And I do know a bit about angular momentum conservation. But do you? If not, why are you making exception for Carson, when you are only accepting that argument by appel to authority?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

----
The conservative/libertarian philosophy is that everyone should be exactly equal before the law while the liberal philosophy is definitely NOT that.
----
I disagree. Much of the Liberal preferred policies are wholly based on ideas of equality - witness the economic inequality kerfuffle of late, or gay marriage, 60's civil rights movement and so on.


---
let me just point out that I personally hope that Carson is neither the next president nor the next republican nominee [...]
---

Which leads to the question: which one have your preference up to now? I am curious.

The only ones who look like grown ups, Jeb and Kasich, are reportedly going very bad with the focus groups, which means I am quite out of touch with Republicans out there.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] What happened to those old ideas about not judging someone by color, race or creed?

What happened is that progressives know they possess truth. Any disagreement with a progressive is proof of ignorance, stupidity, or malice. Therefore, progressives are entitled to tar entire groups, imposing their presumed moral and intellectual infirmities of every member in that group.

Which makes sense, after all: to not be a progressive is to be wrong. Harry is our perfect local example. And if it turns out that some claim he has made turns out to be defamatory, that doesn't matter, because it isn't really possible to defame a non-progressive. The details might be wrong, but the narrative remains.

In fact, Harry provides another perfect example. In another thread, Harry said that Dr. Carson claimed Mannetech products cured his prostate cancer. Sounds pretty damning, right? Well, it would be if Dr. Carson had actually ever said such a thing.

He didn't. But in progressive world, the narrative makes the accusation true. See Rather, Dan; Krugman, Paul, etc.

[Bret:] Thus Carson would violate conservatism by saying that Muslims shouldn't be president …

Nonsense. Saying that a Muslim shouldn't be president is both perfectly defendable. Moreover, having that opinion is not even a glancing violation of equality before the law; even advocating a law preventing a Muslim from becoming president wouldn't count. If he was in a position to get that law passed, and did so without a Constitutional amendment, then you have a case.

Until then, you are treading the same water as Harry, who somehow thinks that Carson discriminates against Muslims.

That is pure, distilled, progressivism. In other words, an assault on analytical thought. It uses an insult in place of an actual argument, because an actual argument would quickly look very stupid.

Here is the problem: The religion and philosophy of Islam, is based upon the belief that God (Allah) transmitted knowledge to Muhammad (c. 570–632) and other prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus). The followers of Islamic religion, muslims, believe that this revelation to humanity was written down in the Quran, which is the flawless word of God.

Unfortunately, belief in the inerrancy of the Quran makes taking the oath of office for President impossible. Swearing to defend the Constitution involves signing on to a whole set of axioms and laws that are entirely antithetical to Islam. Indeed, Further, being a Muslim requires believing the absolute truth of statements that would be entirely at home in Mein Kampf.

So Dr. Carson was on very firm ground in saying that he doesn't think a Muslim should be president. I read a fair number of stories from progressive outlets on this whole schlamozzle, and not one did anything more than Harry did: hurl slime. There wasn't a single attempt to even try to understand what Dr. Carson's point was, never mind demonstrate how it was wrong.

[Harry:] While I consider all supernatural beliefs equally ridiculous, they are not all equally silly. The Adventist fixation on days of the week seems to me sillier than, say, a belief that prayer can prevent misfortune.

Aside from the notion of what is silly, and why (A good friend of mine just lost his 18 yr. old daughter to a rare blood disease. Only an ass would tell him his supernatural beliefs are silly.), I have a hard time figuring out how they could cause anything like the kind of damage that Climatism does.

Which leads to the question: which one have your preference up to now? I am curious.

For me, definitely not Trump, Carson, Bush or Kasich. I'm leaning towards Cruz, Rubio and Fiorina.



Harry, would you please provide a link referring to Carson and angular momentum?



On Saturday I leave for three weeks in Africa, so I will probably be scarce around here for awhile.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Nonsense. Saying that a Muslim shouldn't be president is both perfectly defendable. Moreover, having that opinion is not even a glancing violation of equality before the law
---
I beg to disagree.

Saying that one particular Muslim, espousing some unpalatable anti-republican views, shouldn't be President is indeed perfectly defendable.

Saying Muslisms - in that general undefined plural term - souldn't be President is just the kind of prejudice a believer in equality under the law - and non discirmination over religion - should be aware of.


---
Here is the problem: [...] The followers of Islamic religion, muslims, believe that this revelation to humanity was written down in the Quran, which is the flawless word of God.
---
I need to bring you some news. You change "muslims" for "Christians" and "Quran" for "Bible", and you'll have no end of our Western beautiful people who perfectly fits too.

But that's not the problem. You are doing a Harry, and not even aware of it. Just like him, *you* decided to be the referee of what are *other peoples* beliefs - you say and decide what they think now, right Sir?

Harry is judging up above to what extent Carson is a good Adventist or not, pronouncing him an utterly "consufed" one. And so have you, concerning every single Muslim out there, decided to arbiter how incongruent are their beliefs compared to the Constitution. How about giving a chance for each American Muslim candidade for President out there to clear that up for you? If one ever tries to run, of course.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
For me, definitely not Trump, Carson, Bush or Kasich. I'm leaning towards Cruz, Rubio and Fiorina.
---

Cruz does not impress me, but I can see presidential things about him. I did not watch Fiorina yet. But Rubio? Oh no, that one is a bit of a con man. He does resemble too much the kind of politician we have down here... the relevant parts:

-----------------
The main focus of the current controversy is Rubio's mixing of personal and business expenses when he was speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Between 2005 and 2008 Rubio had a Republican Party of Florida American Express card. Under IRS rules, donations to political parties, which are tax exempt, can only go toward influencing elections. According to former party spokesperson Katie Gordon, the card was "a corporate card and is meant to be used for business expenses." But the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2010 that much of the $100,000 Rubio put on the card counted as personal expenses, including lavish dinners, repairs to his family minivan, and purchases from a wine store near his house. There was even a $6,773 charge for a Rubio family reunion at a Georgia resort.

When the allegations first surfaced, Rubio said he reviewed the bill every month and paid for the expenses he deemed personal. "I was as diligent as possible to ensure the party did not pay for items that were unrelated to party business," he said. The Times reported that during his time as speaker, Rubio made $13,900 in payments to American Express to reimburse the party for his personal expenses. (His relatives sent checks that covered most of the reunion expenses, but the party wound up paying $714.) However, the paper found no evidence that the payments were made monthly, and there was one six-month period where Rubio made no payments.

There were various other issues with Rubio's political spending. Prior to becoming speaker, Rubio and his wife controlled two political committees that collected $600,000 altogether. The Times found that they failed to disclose $34,000 in expenses, paid family members for expenses that were incorrectly labeled, and spent little on contributions to other candidates. Later it was discovered that as speaker, Rubio double-billed the Republican Party of Florida and state taxpayers for eight flights, totaling about $2,400. He said it was a "mistake" and reimbursed the party.
---------------

I thought for a minute I was reading a Brazilian newspaper in English...

Howard said...

Clovis,

I have a mixed impression of Rubio - perhaps a little too slick. But let me caution you that the media is unreliable. The facts as depicted may or may not be accurate and the characterization of the facts may be reasonable or very misleading. The media has their own biases and agenda and they're in too much of a bubble to even know that about themselves.

erp said...

Howard, living in Florida, I had high hopes for Rubio, although I thought he'd wait for at least one or two more cycles and actually forced myself to deal with the local Republican party (almost as loathsome as the Dems) in order to work for his election for senator. However, I was disenchanted when he quickly went over to the dark side almost minutes after getting to Washington.

There's been talk of bring Romney back.

I like him and think he's probably a very decent man and would do a great job, but he's used goods since the media already gave him the "treatment" and would probably not be electable.

Cruz is very smart (remember Dershowitz said he was the smartest student he ever had - the same Dershowitz whose class Obama didn't even make the cut to get into), but he's not telegenic nor personable, so he would probably have a hard time getting elected as well.

Leaving ?

Fiorina might be good, but she also has a lot of baggage, they're just waiting to drag out -- never get elected because women wouldn't vote for her.

Scott Walker was our best bet that's why they took him out right out of the gate.

Howard said...

erp,

It's best to view Rubio realistically, but I don't rule him out (compared to Hillary he is of high integrity). There is still a long way to go in this sorting process.

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "which one have your preference up to now? I am curious."

I won't be voting. To vote is to give consent (in my opinion) and there's no way I'm giving consent to any of these clowns to rule me, republican or democrat.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I understand your position from a idealistic point of view.

Yet, they will rule you one way or another. So why not try to elect the lesser evil?

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "So why not try to elect the lesser evil?"

Because I'd simply rather be a serf (even if a materially very comfortable one) than a citizen given the range of possibilities of rulers. As a citizen, I would feel compelled to support the regime, society, and the nation. As a serf, I have absolutely no reason to support it, and absolutely no reason not to undermine it or otherwise disobey it other than to avoid having the full force and monopoly on violence of the government brought to bear on me. It's an important distinction to me: I make my choices not because I believe in or support the country, but because of threat of violence against me.

I'm simply happier as a serf than a citizen given our current ruling class.

And The Donald versus Hillary? Maybe some can choose the lesser of evils between the various matchups, but it's well beyond my capability to discern the lesser of evils.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Well, there is at least one candidate, Rand Paul, who espouses similar views to yours. Why not support him, for example?

And you talk about the "current ruling class", but was there ever any "ruling class" in your countries' history you would be supportive of? Really, the bar looks so high under your description that I hardly think so.

Bret said...

Clovis,

Perhaps true.

But a ruling class restricted by the original intent and interpretation of our constitution would have had my support. Not because of their brilliance or good intent, but simply because their power was adequately restricted.

I'm not sure what I think of Rand Paul, I haven't really thought about it. On the rare chance he's still a viable candidate in the future, I'll be forced to think about it.

In the meantime, I'll remain a serf.

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

I'd expect a position such as yours from some academic idealist, but you are a businessman, aren't you?

You are supposed to take those lemons and make some lemonade, instead of sitting out on the sides complaining those ruling classes are too mean. Go get your robots to chop them in pieces and make America great again (that Donald slogan has its charm, doesn't it?).

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

Since you entered the topic of govt overreach, Cafe Hayek recently linked to this piece .

I had the great pleasure of visiting Erp at his home in Florida, while in vacations last week. I remember she mentioned some similar case.

I mention it to make a case: how come someone like you, perfectly able to judge risks in your everyday life as businessman and innovator, gives up that judgment when the topic is your next Presidential candidate?

Even if both candidates (rep and dem) may turn out to be too cozy with govt overreach, at least you can discern which one is more likely to oblige your daughter share bathrooms with men, or am I wrong?

Clovis e Adri said...

I guess the transgender thing got me: "I had the great pleasure of visiting Erp at *her* home". I can attest she is a she, and quite a lovely one.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "...how come someone like you, perfectly able to judge risks in your everyday life as businessman and innovator..."

LOL. Perfectly? Damn! Don't I wish (and don't my investors and family wish!)! That's really, really funny.

I somehow manage to not make a complete hash evaluating risks and opportunities in a small niche of a sector I've been studying and completely immersed in for decades. That's a bit different than "perfectly."

Clovis wrote: "...gives up that judgment when the topic is your next Presidential candidate?"

If I can barely deal will that tiny niche within which I'm an expert, how can I possibly weigh the uncountable number of conflicting issues that might form a basis for analyzing the political candidates, if, perchance, their spewings were actually honest and consistent and predictable for the future.

Even if I could "discern which one is more likely to oblige [my] daughter to share bathrooms with men," what about the other 999,999 conflicting issues? Who has time for that crap?

My vote will not affect this or any other election anyway. I live in California, where the president and senate elections go to the democrat no matter what. In the district I live in, the congressional representative election goes to the republican no matter what. So there's no point in voting anyway.

Bret said...

Clovis,

Besides, you're arguing against your Feynman quote here.

erp said...

Bret, you're making a point I hadn't thought of. I'm simply happier as a serf than a citizen given our current ruling class ... and unless a miracle occurs the ruling class isn't likely to get better and likely to get a lot worse.

My husband and I were talking about not voting this time round, but I need to pass this thought by him and see how he feels about being a serf. I have no problem with it, it's a lot better than chattel, but he may object.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "I guess the transgender thing got me..."

A long, long time ago, erp and I and some others were regular commenters at another blog. From the style and substance of her comments, I always assumed she was a he. And then, one day, a flower appeared as her icon and I remember thinking, "that's different for a guy to pick a flower as his picture."

It wasn't until later that erp admitted to being a she.

erp said...

Bret, I remember commenting that I was an old woman and someone replied, ... yeah, and I'm a leprechaun.

Good times.

A week or so ago, Glenn linked to Orrin and I peeked around a bit. Most amazing 180. Johnson, Sullivan and Judd all going over to the dark at the same time? Still baffles me.

Bret said...

Ah, so I wasn't the only one.

You weren't yet old then, though. :-)

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

---
Besides, you're arguing against your Feynman quote here.
---

Not really. Are the set of skills necessary to well select your employees, managers and partners all that different from the ones necessary to choose your candidate? Not to mention you are supposed to make a call on what some new administration means to your business.



Erp,

---
A week or so ago, Glenn linked to Orrin and I peeked around a bit. Most amazing 180. Johnson, Sullivan and Judd all going over to the dark at the same time? Still baffles me.
---
What do you mean, Erp?

I've been reading Judd's blog now and then. I don't know why or how you guys have fallen apart, but he does present some interesting views and a sharp mind.

erp said...

That's true. Orrin has a sharp mind, but it veered off to the dark side by which I mean he began to veer left and got very unpleasant.

At about the same time two other bright and interesting bloggers did the same about face.

One was Charles Johnson and the other was one of the first bloggers with whom I had a correspondence, Andrew Sullivan.

Bret said...

Clovis asks: "I don't know why or how you guys have fallen apart..."

Oh, I read judd regularly. It's a great reader's digest of one point of view. Very efficient and all that.

The main reason I don't comment there is that he would edit my comments and all of the sudden there would be a comment, supposedly from me, which wasn't what I wrote, wasn't what I meant, and completely misrepresented what I was trying to say.

I don't mind if an occasional comment is lost or even purposefully deleted (he did that too). But his editing of the comments made me leave the conversation.

Bret said...

Clovis wrote: "Are the set of skills necessary to well select your employees, managers and partners all that different..."

No, but if you asked me to select the CEO of General Electric, that'd be well outside my skill set as well.

erp said...

Bret, what do you think happened to Orrin?

Bret said...

I don't think anything at all happened to him. He's always liked big, authoritarian government, hasn't he?

My observation is this: you liked (or didn't mind) Bush as president so you liked Judd's topics during Bush's presidency; you don't much like (or perhaps hate) Obama so you don't like what Judd has to say now.

When Bush was president, he was always going on about 3rd way. Now that Obama is president, he's always going on about 3rd way. I don't see a difference in Judd.

erp said...

My memory was that Orrin was staunchly conservative, not authoritarian. Maybe projection on my part?

I don't hate Obama nor do I think he calls any shots. IMO he's merely a pair of sharply creased pants who's the front man for the world socialist movement.

Bret said...

He's pretty religious, so I'd call him a authoritarian religious conservative. Maybe staunchly so. Not my favorite type of person, mostly because of the authoritarian part.

I think you were projecting.

erp said...

He brought together an interesting diverse group, so for that I thank him. Funny, I don't remember him being religious. Christian or Jewish? I'm definitely having a memory lapse.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Saying Muslisms - in that general undefined plural term - souldn't be President is just the kind of prejudice a believer in equality under the law - and non discirmination over religion - should be aware of.

No, it isn't.

I could easily say, and defend, the proposition that no communist or nazi should be President. My assertion is predicated upon the fact that, in order claim allegiance with communism or nazism requires adhering to beliefs that are completely antithetical to the precepts underlying the US Constitution.

Similarly, I could, without fear of contradiction, assert that no Christian Reconstructionist should ever be President, because to ally with Reconstructionism requires actively aiming to subvert the Constitution.

If I would get no argument from either of those propositions, why is it suddenly some reprehensible form of discrimination to make the same claim with regard to Muslims? By definition, to declare oneself a Muslim requires belief in Islam, which must, just as with my previous examples, entail aiming to destroy our constitutional form of government, and we must assume any Muslim candidate who says otherwise is lying if they say otherwise. (Islam encourages lying to khaffirs if it is helpful to the spread of Islam).

The contrast with anyone claiming to be Christian should be obvious. Christianity is the antecedent to the Enlightenment, so it is culturally consistent with the Constitution, provides for strict separation between church and state (render unto Caesar …) which is absent from Islam, and has no beliefs that require imposition upon others while on this mortal coil.

Seventh Day Adventists may have, according to Harry, silly beliefs about days of the week, but nothing about Adventism requires imposing those beliefs upon anyone else.

Islam, as last night's events in Paris prove once again, is a pathological belief system that deserves scorn, not a vote for president.

Hey Skipper said...

I need to bring you some news. You change "muslims" for "Christians" and "Quran" for "Bible", and you'll have no end of our Western beautiful people who perfectly fits too.

That is absolutely not true. Even Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible do not — cannot — see the Bible in the same way as Islam views the Quran (never mind the Haddith). The origins of the two books are so wildly different as to render a comparison in this regard a category mistake.

And even in those few instances where the Bible makes claims about actions in the here and now (against homosexuality, for instance), the New Testament provides an escape, and modernity has rendered the rest moot.

Anyway, per my previous comment, it is indeed true that some Christians believe things that make them unacceptable in high political office, just as it must be true for all Muslims.

[erp:] Fiorina might be good, but she also has a lot of baggage, they're just waiting to drag out -- never get elected because women wouldn't vote for her.

True, Fiorina record as CEO is vulnerable. However, looked at in perspective — everything else going on in the tech industry at the time — I don't think it particularly problematic (of course, the MSM will not look at it in perspective). Further, she got where she did on her own merits, as opposed to Hillary. And Hillary has way more baggage than Fiorina.

Why won't women vote for Fiorina, but will vote for Hillary?

Hey Skipper said...

[Bret:] The main reason I don't comment there is that he would edit my comments and all of the sudden there would be a comment, supposedly from me, which wasn't what I wrote, wasn't what I meant, and completely misrepresented what I was trying to say.

Same experience here. I put up with it longer then Bret, until I was banned for contradicting his insistence that only fascist countries would allow the A380 to land.

Really.

He was always authoritarian, collectivist, and very religious, to the point of viewing any atheist as irredeemably evil.

erp said...

Again, what religion did Orrin espouse? I know his wife was Jewish and they were bringing up their sons as Jews, but I don't remember his saying he converted, attended services, kept kosher ...

Women will vote for Hillary because she's marketed as a victim of big bad men while Fiorina is damned as a tough cookie. Most women will identify with the victim and resent the h*ll out of a woman who competes successfully with men without a big piece of beef like bubba to hide behind.

The phrase, "what makes you so smart?" resonates with me and even now, if I need a phone call made, I elicit the deep authoritative voice of my roomie who may or may not have a clue about the matter at hand and it works everytime.

Bret said...

Orrin is Christian of some sort. Peter, where are you? (Peter was once one of Orrin's co-bloggers along with the Jewish David Cohen).

Yeah, it is sorta funny that feminists will vote for Hillary who rode on Bill's coattails to get to where she is but wouldn't even think about voting for Fiorina who may have had substantially less male help.

Yet Fiorina, whether or not you think she did a tolerable job at HP (I think she did), is probably not the best character to lead the country at the current time. After all, she made an awful lot of money while HP's labor force shrunk by a lot. An awful lot of employed folks across the country would shudder at the prospect of a President Fiorina.

erp said...

Bret, the consensus around here is the same as your take on Fiorina. IMO Hillary is a shu-in. What a shame that the first allegedly female president is the worst example of the stereotype of the grasping, mindless, fortune hunting, mewling lying b*tch that many, if not, most men think we are.

Not to be argumentative, but can an authoritarian with strong religious convictions co-exist in a household where some of the members don't share his dogma?

Bret said...

erp asks: "...can an authoritarian with strong religious convictions co-exist in a household where some of the members don't share his dogma?"

Love conquers all? He seems supportive of all Abrahamic religions and just thinks Islam needs to go through its reformation.

What's also funny is that he used to be terribly insulting to soccer, then his sons started playing and from what I can tell, he's now an avid fan.

So, authoritarian, but not infinitely rigid, apparently.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
If I would get no argument from either of those propositions, why is it suddenly some reprehensible form of discrimination to make the same claim with regard to Muslims? By
----
Because no religion is solely what is written on its offical book. Neither are them immutable things in time and space.

Among the many sects within Islam and many of its followers, no less than 1.6 billion people to be precise, there must be a good number who do not hold the evil views you attribute to them. Human beings are admirably complex things, so you should know better before placing all that many people in such a little box.

Your own country has nearly 3 million Muslims. Are you seriously posing all of them are little Hitlers? If that were true, I guess you would have one Paris per week in your own land.


What is telling is that, out of your considerations, not a single word is devoted to the difference between your native Muslism and the ones trained to kill Westerns in Middle East camps. They happen to read the same book, don't them? Or have you ever wondered, if only for a second, if anything like geopolitical disputes would play a role beyond religion here?

erp said...

To which geopolitical dispute are you referring?

erp said...

To which geopolitical dispute are you referring?

Clovis e Adri said...

Bret,

----
No, but if you asked me to select the CEO of General Electric, that'd be well outside my skill set as well.
----
Apparently, that has been outside many people's skill sets for a long time now.


----
Oh, I read judd regularly. It's a great reader's digest of one point of view. Very efficient and all that.
----
For a foreigner like me, those blogs have been a lesson in social language too.

Judd and Reynolds (of Instapundit) look to be very good at enouncing short sentences full of content. It is almost an art the way they get their ideas through in so few words.

I see that is a feature much more valued (and used) in Blogs attending to conservatives. Liberal blogs, OTOH, are way more prolix in every possible sense.

And, more interestingly, both sides think the other is more stupid due to such. Liberals looks to see Instapundit/Judd comments as a monkey-like being speaking, while conservatives see Liberal's prolixity as compounding their vanity.

You guys may take it for granted, but for me it is a sort of cultural discovery, made only by reading US blogs. In my own culture, everyone is prolix beyond despair, by default.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Same experience here. I put up with it longer then Bret, until I was banned for contradicting his insistence that only fascist countries would allow the A380 to land.
---
Dear Lord. That must be the weirdest reason anyone got booted from a blog, ever.

But what's up with this thing of editing your comments? Some deliberate provocation, some kind of joke, or what?

I comment now and then, he didn't edit any of mine as far as I know, but sometimes his blog has the feel of an abandoned place, maybe he doesn't want to bother anymore.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
To which geopolitical dispute are you referring?
---
Maybe every single one happening over and about the Middle East right now (and in the last few hundred years)?

erp said...

Please be more specific because I sense we are on opposite sides of this issue.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I'll wait for Skipper considerations (mayb he already travelled and we won't have them though).

Bret said...

Clovis asked: "But what's up with this thing of editing your comments?"

I think he just wanted a pure, unadulterated echo-chamber; significant disagreement was not to be tolerated. Why he bothered taking the time to edit comments instead of just deleting them, I have no idea. I've never heard of the editing thing happening on any other blog anywhere, ever (other than fixing formatting errors).

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Because no religion is solely what is written on its offical book. Neither are them immutable things in time and space.

No extant religion is responsible for anywhere near the mayhem, and self centered demands in their adoptive societies, as Islam.

Further, Islam has certain strict requirements that are required of Muslims.

Given those requirements, I need to know, very useful specifically, how anyone could call themselves Muslim, and not believe in a great many things that are both morally repellant and completely antagonistic to the Constitution and all its cultural antecedents.

No doubt, there are "good" Muslims. Just like there are good communists that believe in free markets, think the labor theory of value complete rubbish, and are no more welcoming of e notion that class defines who we are.

The problem is, those people aren't communists.

Harry Eagar said...

Like Bret, I sometimes do not vote. Often in local elections, which are nonpartisan but painfully short of talent.

I did not vote for president in 2000, 2004 or 2008, because I did not consider either candidate worthy. Obama primarily because of Wright. But he came clean and I voted for him in 2012. I consider that he has been as effective a president as could have been expected given the childish obstructionism of Congress.

It is fun to watch Skipper twisting in the wind over Christian Fundamentalism. It really isn't any different than Muslim Fundamentalism.

I have no doubt that there are many nominal Muslims who could operate happily in a democracy. It is obvious that Cruz couldn't, if he believes what he days he believes. Which I don't. But he expects the Christian Right to carry him to the nomination.

Maybe it will. That's a more imminent threat to the republic than any Muslim.

------

Clovis, most of what we operate on is from argument from authority. How many of us test our water before drinking it? And I do not have a profound understanding of angular momentum. Nor do I have a profound understanding of the debates about the second law.

But I have read studies of the debates about the second law. So there's some degree of uncertainty there. If there are comparble uncertainties about angular momentum, I'd be happy to study them. Are there?

-------

And Skipper is wrong to say I claimed Carson is a heterodox Adventist. I merely noted that people who claim to be knowledgable about Adventism say that.

I am the last person in the world to go to if you want a heresy hunter.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry: And Skipper is wrong to say I claimed Carson is a heterodox Adventist.

Where did I ever suggest such a thing?


Harry: It is fun to watch Skipper twisting in the wind over Christian Fundamentalism. It really isn't any different than Muslim Fundamentalism.


Which shows how little you know of either.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

----
But I have read studies of the debates about the second law. So there's some degree of uncertainty there. If there are comparble uncertainties about angular momentum, I'd be happy to study them. Are there?
----

You miss the point. I have no idea what are Carson's claims, but assuming he is a layman in Physics, I expect none of them - be it angular momentum or the 2nd Law - to be serious.

But to the extent he is using them in relation to his religious beliefs, I couldn't care less either. I have no reason to expect that his scientific misunderstandings at such level are any impediment for the office he is looking for, nor an indictment to his character.

By the way, I have great difficulty to think of people I know in Academia that would ever be fit to be president. Really, I can think of one, maybe two. And they all know more about angular momentum than any President I've ever seen. (Except Merkel, who is indeed a Physicist).

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

--
Further, Islam has certain strict requirements that are required of Muslims.
---
Which Islam, and which Muslims?

Right there is your problem, you have no idea on how to answer that one.

---
The problem is, those people aren't communists. [Implying good Muslims aren't Muslims then]
---
And there you are, once again, posing yourself as the sole arbiter of what are other people's beliefs. Circular arguments may help you to rationalize all that anger you have concernig those terrorists, but won't cut anything solid as far as this discussion goes.

Harry Eagar said...

'his scientific misunderstandings at such level are any impediment for the office he is looking for'

My point was slightly different: What sort of mind must you have to have an opinion about angular momentum? It's like being a flat-earther.

Is a belief in a round earth a requirement to be a chief magistrate? Not directly, but I'd be reluctant to have a person with that sort of flat-earther intellect in the job.

Bret said...

Harry,

Could you provide a quote of the specific thing that Carson said about angular momentum that you're referring too? I'm really curious as I was unable to find a passage that seems to fit your criticism.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

I've found some of Carson's quotes here:

------
[31:03]. "Well, now what about the big bang theory? I find the big bang really quite fascinating. Now here you have all these highfaluting scientists, and they are saying that there was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists who go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization. So now you are going to have this big explosion, and everything becomes perfectly organized. And when you ask them about that they say, 'well, we can explain this based on probability theory. Because if there's enough big explosions, over a long enough period of time, over billions and billions of years, one of them will be the perfect explosion.' And I say, so what you're telling me is if I blow a hurricane through a junk yard enough times, over billions and billions of years, eventually after one of those hurricanes there will be a 747 fully loaded and ready to fly. [32:12] Well, but I mean it's even more ridiculous than that, because our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of that, is extraordinarily well organized to the point where we can predict 70 years away when a comet is coming. Now that type of organization, to just come out of an explosion? I mean you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing. [32:43] And then even if you want to use their own scientific theories, you know you've got this mass spinning and then it explodes. In physics we have something we call angular momentum and it is preserved, so it should be preserved in any orbit of anything that is effected by gravity around a planet, which means everything has to traverse in the same direction. Well it doesn't! There are many planets that have satellites and moons that go in the opposite directions. So that doesn't work with angular momentum. [33:19] And there are a whole series of things. What about all the debris from the billions and billions of explosions that were not perfect? Where's that? I mean we should have been bombarded constantly by all this debris coming down. We're not seeing it." [33:34]
------


He clearly did not get a clear picture of both the big bang nor second law of thermodynamics. Well, most people don't, and his misunderstandings are pretty trivial - no hinder for any presidential ambitions there.

Now on angular momentum, Harry, look at his words: "In physics we have something we call angular momentum and it is preserved". At no point I see him declaring it doesn't - or would you have another quote?

His misunderstandings following that quote are again pretty trivial and show that as far as his physics goes, he must be an excellent Surgeon.

But there is nothing there "flat-Earth style".


Bret said...

Yeah, that's exactly what I was asking Harry. That's the only passage I saw that mentioned angular momentum, and it didn't seem like Carson was redefining it in "heterodox" fashion. Misapplying it to Big Bang? Sure. But flat earth? I'm guessing Harry must be referring to something else and I'd be curious to see what it is.

Hey Skipper said...

* [Clovis:] Which Islam, and which Muslims?

Right there is your problem, you have no idea on how to answer that one. *

The answer is easy: all of them. That quote I gave above regarding the Quran? See if you can find any Islamic sect that doesn't espouse it, word for word.

Google [skeptics annotated Quran] (I'd do that, but embedding links on an iPad is a real pain.). While there is a great deal in the Quran that is vile, focus on something simple -- apostasy.

Given what a Muslim must believe in order to be a Muslim, square the Quran's diktat on apostasy with the U.S. Constitution.

I have so frequently read the phrase "nuanced interpretations of the Quran" that I am sure it must be an MSM keyboard macro. What I niece read is an explanation of exactly what these nuanced interpretations are.

Islam is a pathological death cult. The claims Islam makes render anyone who claims to believe in unfit to to be President.

Peter said...

Islam is a pathological death cult

If that's true, about 99% of them are very bad Muslims.

erp said...

One percent of 1.57 billion is 15,700,000.

Clovis e Adri said...

What's the share of murderers, criminals and other people obviously unfit for Presidency in any given population?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

How about getting out there and actually meeting some flesh and bone muslims in order to look for that nuanced view of the quran?

The ones I have met with my lying eyed must have been very good at hiding their murderous intents. I can belive you can be fooled by a few good liers, but every one of them are such good liers? Gee, I had some hope I was not so dumb..,

Clovis e Adri said...

Can I take that "liers" back and change it for "liars"? One thing I don't like about blogger.com is that you can't edit the comments afterwards.

Harry Eagar said...

That's the passage. You can take it two ways.
I took it to mean that, since reality contradicts angular momentum, then conservation is disproved. But it could be that, as he seems to say, he accepts angular momentum but believes reality is somehow distorted.

Either way, it indicates someone educated far beyond his capacity to understand.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

I offer another interpretation.

It indicates someone who tried - even if very superficialy - to square what he heard about cosmology with his religious beliefs. He was happy enough when he found any reason at all to discard the former and keep the last, but at least he tried.

If he is guilty of sloppy thinking, you can indict 99,99999% of the humam species too, including yourself.

erp said...

Clovis, my arithmetic is a bit rusty, how many of us straight thinkers does that make out of 7.2 billion? ��

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I believe I am out of that select club.

For living ones, a meager 720.

Some estimates give the number of Homo Sapiens that have ever lived near 100 Billion, which would give us 10.000.

Harry Eagar said...

OK, maybe that. But it does not make him seem any more sound.

And angular momentum isn't just one random squirrelly idea coming out of his mouth. He has lots of them.

erp said...

720 crazed lunatics can do a lot of damage.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

He may be a bit odd, but what policy ideas he is proposing that look so ugly to you? Because up to now you've been only ad hominem.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

That quote above about Islam's view of the Quran is true for every sect. I don't think that anyone who believes Jews are the sons of pigs and monkeys should be President. Or that kafirs should pay a special tax. Etc, etc, etc.

If a Muslim doesn't believe those things, despite explicit instruction in the Quran and Hadith, then that Muslim is an apostate.

Which is fine by me, but does rather raise some issues with Islam.

Also, I can't help but note the galloping irony of progressives demanding the firing of Justine Sacco, Phil Robertson, and Brandon Eich, yet calling Dr. Carson a bigot.

(Sent from Jackalberry Lodge, South Africa)

Hey Skipper said...

BTW, a lot more than 1% of Muslims believe violence against civilians is justified: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_attitudes_towards_terrorism

Harry: Clinton and Sanders both insist that women get paid 70 cents on the male dollar. That is complete bollocks, and they are attempting to enact laws based on that utterly delusional crep. Sounds like a far bigger deal than Carson's notions of angular momentum.

Yet not a peep from the MSM, or you.

Clovis -- that's Harry. Ad hominem all the way down (e.g., Ayn Rand.)

Harry Eagar said...

Flat tax, exclusion of some cults from political life.

So far he hasn't been too specific about policies, but has revealed himself as a delusional, lying, grifting kook.

I don't get the charge of ad hominem attacks. The man has spent years peddling a story which turns out to have been largely invented. Pointing that out is merely reporting; I did not make up the craziness about momentum. I couldn't have -- I'm not that crazy/don't have that much imagination.

Contrast that to Skipper's imaginary screeds about Clinton.

Harry Eagar said...

'If a Muslim doesn't believe those things, despite explicit instruction in the Quran and Hadith, then that Muslim is an apostate.'

Heresy-hunting, the rightwinger's favorite sport.

You know, despite your claim that the NT gives Christians an out on the loony commands of the god of the OT, Jesus is never quoted telling his worshippers they no longer have to pay 2 drachmas to buy a pigeon to sacrifice at the temple; or that it is now OK for them to wear fabrics of mixed fibers.

If I am incorrect, I'm sure you'll give me chapter and verse.

Smite the Amalekites!

Calling Jews monkeys is repulsive, why it's almost as bad as, oh, I don't know, calling them god-killers. You really have opened yourself up to a lot of sharp barbs, but beyond having fun mocking the sillinesses of the Christians, there are serious concerns.

There are millions and millions of American Christians who say they believe -- and I believe they believe -- that Armageddon is something they wish to happen soon and that they are working to help arrange.

Sticks and stones and all that . . .

Bret said...

Harry wrote: "I did not make up the craziness about momentum."

Yes, you did. He said nothing crazy about momentum. He's simply mistaken about it's application to celestial systems, especially regarding the evolution of the currently observable universe from its origins according to the big bang theory.

"Crazy" is ad hominem. "Mistaken" is accurate.

erp said...

Harry, I do so try to keep up, but totally missed this one.

Exactly what are millions of Christians doing to arrange that Armageddon happens soon?

I don't know what Carson believes or is saying about his religion, but whatever it is, actions speak louder than words and his life has been over-the-top exemplary in every measurable way (other than perhaps for childish outbursts when nobody, including himself, was hurt).

If I had my druthers, I would prefer a president who is less, rather than more religious, but would take a fundie before a fascist like the one in the White House any day.

Howard said...

Clovis,

I think a simplification will help clarify Harrys behavior. There are blind partisans on both sides who will only vote for their party. Very tribal but it adds some simplicity to a complex world. Partisans of the right think the opposition is generally wrong, partisans of the left know that their opponents are eeeeevil! When attacking evil any reason will do, ad hominem or other. I could be wrong on this point, but I doubt it.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, that isn't heresy hunting, that is islam, as it professes itself to be. You don't like it? Take it up with them.

Millions of Christians hoping, and arranging for Armageddon? Bollocks. Shenanigans.

As for Hillary, only the ideologically blinded would think that keeping her work products on a private, shambolic, server isn't either massively stupid, or criminal. Never mind the blind trust in what she decided to provide, printed on paper, and destroying the electronic originals.

If I had done that -- and remember, I have handled, and know far more about, classified info than you ever will -- I would still be in prison.

I get that people in high places get lenience they don't deserve -- Sandy Berger and David Petreaus are two examples. But that doesn't mean she isn't a complete idiot.

Harry Eagar said...

Next time you are in America, tune in to 'To Every Man an Answer.' Or perhaps the show has archives; I wouldn't be surprised.

It is avail almost everywhere.

Then get back to me about Armageddon.


erp said...

Harry, why not just tell us what they're doing?

Harry Eagar said...

They are proclaiming end times and working politically to see that the prophecies in Revelations come true, and soon.

But don't take my word for it. It is a simple thing to hear them say it.

'actions speak louder than words'

Indeed. Promoting quack cures and taking money to do it from a well-known con artist speaks loud and clear.

erp said...

At least that money is given voluntarily unlike the money confiscated from taxpayers by people who have the force of the "law" behind them in form of the IRS and other governmental agencies and is being sued to destroy not only our health, but our very existence.

erp said...

... err that's used, although sued works as well here.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry: "Millions and millions of Christians ... "

Bollocks.

Speaking of bollocks, you accused Carson of having said Mannatech products cured him of prostate cancer. I couldn't find any instance of him saying that. Are you making stuff up again?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
That quote above about Islam's view of the Quran is true for every sect. I don't think that anyone who believes Jews are the sons of pigs and monkeys should be President. Or that kafirs should pay a special tax.
---
You are saying those are explicit points in the Quran? Can you actually quote?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
[On Carson's ideas] Flat tax, exclusion of some cults from political life.
---

We are already arguing about the second, but I would like to understand what's so bad about the first - why a flat tax proposal is reason for someone not to be president?

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
If I had done that -- and remember, I have handled, and know far more about, classified info than you ever will -- I would still be in prison.
---

Hey, isn't that admission itself - in a public venue like this Blog - some form of unlawful disclosure?

Really, I ask honestly. Upon learning that, some Chinese or Russian could target you, for example, or something like that, right?

erp said...

Progressives don't like a flat tax because then they can't give special tax breaks to their cronies.

Harry Eagar said...

'why a flat tax proposal is reason for someone not to be president?'

Ask Steve Forbes. More seriously, Americans have always used taxes to encourage certain types of activity: building railroads, for example. It has worked very well. (About the railroads, when they began, it cost the same to move goods inland by rail or mule. The USA chose rail anyway, Mexico stuck with mules. Food for thought for libertarians, if there were any capable of thought.)

Carson's particular proposal -- that it would be good because it is sorta kinda like a biblical tithe -- is too vague to be taken seriously, too bigoted to be acceptable, too stupid to be believed. He's a joke.

As for millions working to see Armageddon soon, I have focused on Calvary Chapel because of its claim to be the fastest-growing cult in the country. I cannot confirm that they are not lying. But this is interesting:

http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_calvary.html

Wikipedia's entry is also revealing.

Millions are implicated and that is just one of many millenialist troublemakers. Before the implosion of Garner Ted Armstrong, the Worldwide Church of God maintained an agency is Israel to promote Armageddon. I don't know if it still exists, but it wasn't the only one.

erp said...

Here's another good joke for ya Harry. During the closest thing in recent times to Armageddon, Jews were turned away from our shores by Uncle Joe's favorite nephew, Frankie D. and strangely that didn't cause Jews from around the world to rise up and smite innocents in their midst.

Perhaps that was their mistake because had they done so, they too might have been welcomed with open arms and open tax payer checkbooks and given their hearts' desires to continue their terror and if any oppose the idea, they would be called out as bigots.

Harry Eagar said...

Sez the person who claims to have been a refugee from red tyranny.

Ya cannot make this stuff up.

erp said...

Your last remark is a two-fer. Ad hominem and non-sequitur. Mazel-tov.

Who here has made that claim? I hope you don't mean me. My father came here as a child in the early 20th c. with his father and older brother to escape being dragged into the Greek army fighting the Turks. They were well-to-do Albanian style and when he went back to marry the girl his mother picked out for him, they immediately returned to the US where I was born in 1934.

I said my relatives who stayed behind in Albania were victims of first the Italian fascists, then the Nazi's, the Soviets and even the Chinese. There were never any problems among the various peoples who included majority Moslems, Eastern Orthodox Christians like my folks, a very small population of Catholics and a very few Jews.

Moslems were frequent visitors to our house and they were a part of the social scene at the Albanian Orthodox church on 48th St & 7th Avenue in NYC. It was down the block from the old Madison Square Garden and as kids we saw lots of celebrities and attended many events at the garden including Knicks games when they boasted players the like of Clyde ...

and I'm proud to say that Albanians of all faiths were among those who actually protected their Jews.

When the Commies were ousted, the original owners of properties were allowed to reclaim it and I'm proud that all my cousins without hesitation signed off that the current residents be allowed to keep their homes legally.

You might occasionally find out if what you're saying has any connection to the truth before you make accusations.

Howard said...

More seriously, Americans have always used taxes to encourage certain types of activity

Of course there are many cases where entrepreneurs out-competed the heavily subsidized rent seekers. You're the guy guy who got upset at the mere mention of such history.

erp said...

I hope somebody writes about the myth of the 20th century and how the depression and rise of the unions were orchestrated.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
More seriously, Americans have always used taxes to encourage certain types of activity: building railroads, for example. It has worked very well.
----
I can believe it once "worked very well".

I wonder though if lately we have been too... conservative. Yes, that's the word, meaning "resisting changes".

The tax system was not devised taking in account our present information age. And that's also the case for some many other policies we take for granted.

Maybe we can come up with better things now, can't we?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

----
Calling Jews monkeys is repulsive, why it's almost as bad as, oh, I don't know, calling them god-killers.
----
I really don't mind any issue you may have with Christianity. You can call it names, declare its lack of logic, reason, scientific basis, the errors and problems of churchs, whatever... But please, do try to get a bit more literate while you practice your targets.

I give you John 4, 21:

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Harry Eagar said...

Howard, you might want to question a writer who thinks that Cunard was a worse entrepreneur, so far as customers go, than Ismay. (Skipper is fond of saying capitalists would not kill their customers, but Ismay proves him wrong.)

Similar points could be made about some of the others, but Cunard's record is hard to beat.

'The tax system was not devised taking in account our present information age.'

I am more concerned about the attack by the information age-ists on intellectual property, since that's where made my money. It is strange that libertarian types forget all about property rights when they are intangible.

As for Christians, are you proposing that 1) Christians do not call Jews god-killers and act accordingly; or 2) Christians are as slavishy adherent to their scripture as Skipper says Muslims are; or 3) something I cannot guess. (Your verses are a neat challenge to Skipper if he ever responds to my request that he cite the verses where Jesus said the Old Testament instructions no longer apply.)

Howard said...

Harry,

It's really quite impressive how you are able to take closed mindedness to a whole 'nother level.

Harry Eagar said...


Oh, I have lots of other examples than Ismay.

I am constrained in what propositions I can entertain by knowing the history of American entrepreurialism.

Howard said...

Is the history you know on par with current media truthiness?

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
As for Christians, are you proposing that 1) Christians do not call Jews god-killers and act accordingly; or 2) Christians are as slavishy adherent to their scripture as Skipper says Muslims are; or 3) something I cannot guess.
---

I thought I was pretty clear. I am proposing you know very little about what you are talking. You mistake whatever prejudices on Christianity you have for what it actually proposes - very simply, to follow Christ.

On your accusation, nothing like "god-killers" is written there in the scriptures. When that one is actually being killed, his actual words were "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

If in 2000 years it once happened that any self-described Christian decided to take a hit on Jews, contrary to what that Jew named Jesus himself asked when dying, hey, you should be happy: that's proof they are not the "slavishy adherent to their scripture as Skipper says Muslims are" - which for you can only be a good thing, since they would be morons if those Christians actually followed their faith, right?


---
Your verses are a neat challenge to Skipper if he ever responds to my request that he cite the verses where Jesus said the Old Testament instructions no longer apply.
---
Quite the contrary. Get back to my quote there and read again that part about "either on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.".

See that "nor in Jerusalem" part? I give you a hint: not quite what prescribed the old instructions.


Harry Eagar said...

' Is the history you know on par with current media truthiness?'

I read corporate histories. So I know what most of those guys did, in some cases from the writings of their own stooges. It is surprising the kinds of admissions against interest you find in some corporate histories.

In any case, I am constrained by knowledge as to what kinds of propositions I can entertain.

'not quite what prescribed the old instructions.'

See Matthew 5:17

Harry Eagar said...

And back to chiropractic:

Among the people who gather at the coffee shop each morning there's a chiropractor, a mixer, not a straight. On Monday, he asked if I would help him with writing an article.

With misgivings, I said yes, because it has been my practice for over 40 years always to assist people who ask for help with writing. I will have to break precedent this time, now I've seen what he's writing.

It would take too long to go into detail, but he teaches (pace some German crank) that indigenous bacteria cannot cause disease, and therefore we should be glad to find Mycobacterium tuberculosis in our lungs and cherish it.

I will leave to Peter and Skipper to tell us how pleased they will be to find satisfied customers who are helping spread TB.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
See Matthew 5:17
---
As with any other writing, Harry, to take one single phrase out of context is a fool's errand. Try and read the rest of the chapter, please.

Harry Eagar said...

Don't lecture me about it. I think the whole thing is a delusion. However, Christians for more than 1,800 years have done what you just advised me not to do. Tell them.

While you're at it, tell them not to take Matthew 27 seriously. A lot of innocent Jews -- millions -- would not have been murdered, robbed, persecuted, driven out of their homes if that one had not been taken as scripture.

The other day, a quotation showed up on my FB feed. I do not know if it is authentic or not but it was attributed to a man in your field, Steven Weinberg:

"good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion." (Wikiquote says it's authentic)

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
However, Christians for more than 1,800 years have done what you just advised me not to do. Tell them.
---
Many times I do. Maybe that's a reason often I am viewed as the outsider (I guess sometimes a few of them wonder if I am Christian at all - just like Obama :-)

---
A lot of innocent Jews -- millions -- would not have been murdered, robbed, persecuted, driven out of their homes if that one had not been taken as scripture.
---
Will you ever bother to substantiate that? If you come up with the Nazi thing again, I will refer you again to that literature you won't read - start with Nietzsche please.


---
I do not know if it is authentic or not but it was attributed to a man in your field, Steven Weinberg:
---
It may well be, Weinberg is right next to Dawkins in his atheist activism. Of course, neither him or you will bother to define "good" or "evil" in that quote.

Harry Eagar said...

'Will you ever bother to substantiate that?'

I was not speaking only of the 12 yeas of Hitlerism but of 1,80 0years of Christian persecution of Jews. Matt 25 was the justification for that.

I'll be happy to define evil: burning people alive for believing the earth revolves around the sun is evil. Or, cutting their hearts out in order to keep the sun shining.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

No, Matthew was not the justification for that. The justification for that is mostly the same for every tribe persecuting another tribe, and Christians as a particular tribe were neither better nor worse on that account.

You would richly enlarge your views if you cared to look at that history with some fresh eyes. There were periods and places where any of the big three monotheistic traditions showed the better and the worse of human nature. It is your choice to generalize only the ones you want to.

Hey Skipper said...

I'm back from Africa and the better part of a month without the intarwebz. In my absence, I see at least one thing has not changed: Harry's reliance upon fact-free innuendo.

[Harry:] You know, despite your claim that the NT gives Christians an out on the loony commands of the god of the OT, Jesus is never quoted telling his worshippers they no longer have to pay 2 drachmas to buy a pigeon to sacrifice at the temple; or that it is now OK for them to wear fabrics of mixed fibers.

If I am incorrect, I'm sure you'll give me chapter and verse.


You are, as usual, wildly incorrect.

'why a flat tax proposal is reason for someone not to be president?'

Ask Steve Forbes. More seriously, Americans have always used taxes to encourage certain types of activity: building railroads, for example ...


More seriously, the flat tax proposal refers only to a different way to collect income tax, not any of a myriad of other taxes.

Which pretty much makes your comment irrelevant.

As for millions working to see Armageddon soon ...

Still unsubstantiated; I suspect because it is a fact that exists only in the fever swamp of your progressive mind.

(Skipper is fond of saying capitalists would not kill their customers, but Ismay proves him wrong.)

Shenanigans, Harry.

I have asked you more than once to never attribute anything to me without supplying a direct quote. Once again, you have proven you really need to accede to that request.

It would take too long to go into detail, but [this chiropractor] teaches (pace some German crank) that indigenous bacteria cannot cause disease, and therefore we should be glad to find Mycobacterium tuberculosis in our lungs and cherish it.

I will leave to Peter and Skipper to tell us how pleased they will be to find satisfied customers who are helping spread TB.


Why should either Peter or I have to explain some completely oddball notion, presuming you haven't simply invented that chiropractor out of whole cloth, held by almost nobody, including chiropractors?

Far more common, and harmful, is progressives' simple minded notions, soundly trashed wherever reason and numeracy reign, about "rape culture" and the pay gap. Why don't you justify that nonsense for us?

Speaking of empty innuendo:

Besides what Clovis said, instead of just trotting out the words "Matthew 27" in the same manner as a 2-yr old stamping his feet, how about quoting directly from Matthew 27 to prove your point?

History isn't at issue here; rather, you are making assertions about the Bible that don't stand even the most superficial examination. What, exactly, are Christians being slavish too?







Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] If I had done [what Hilary has done] -- and remember, I have handled, and know far more about, classified info than you [Harry] ever will -- I would still be in prison.
---

Hey, isn't that admission itself - in a public venue like this Blog - some form of unlawful disclosure?


Short answer: no.

The fact that I had certain clearances is not classified information, nor is acknowledging the obvious: that several of my positions required high-level clearance due to the types of information involved. Interestingly, according to Hilary a mere Lt Col dealt with more sensitive information than SECSTATE.

An assertion only the ideologically blinkered are blind enough to believe.

erp said...

Skipper: I'm back from Africa and the better part of a month without the intarwebz.

What a lead-in tease. I hope an explanatory post is in the making. Glad you got back safely.

:-)

Hey Skipper said...

Skipper,

---
That quote above about Islam's view of the Quran is true for every sect. I don't think that anyone who believes Jews are the sons of pigs and monkeys should be President. Or that kafirs should pay a special tax.
---
You are saying those are explicit points in the Quran? Can you actually quote?

Take a look at the Skeptics Annotated Quran.

Or what the Religion of Peace has to say for itself.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

I did, but have you?

As for kafir paying taxes: I really have no interest in defending the Quran or Muslims - but it is a historical fact that Christians also required taxes from Jews and Muslims in places they dominated.

Jews didn't even ask for a tax, they just killed and tortured Christians whenever they would find them, during the first century.

So what is your point?

erp said...

Guys, this country was established to avoid recriminations of wrong-doing going back to the Garden of Eden. We let it all to to pot and encouraged warfare among various groups and sub-groups.

Enough. We have the blueprint in hand, so let's return to the rule of law here and now.

Other countries are free to establish their own rules.

Mass deportations may be necessary. The latest shooters in San Bernardino's family were here for at least 28 years and we're not assimilated. Mosques may need to be searched as they have been the source of weapons and training.

I'm not willing to risk the lives of innocents for some irrational moral equivalency.

It's now or never.

erp said...

... er, that's were not assimilated, not we're. I must stop using the i-Pad for typing. In fact, I still miss my IBM Selectric -- for you youngsters who never had the pleasure, it was the best typing instrument ever made and the only one that could keep up with me when my hands were still working.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] So what is your point?

My point is that Islam's predicates and the contents of the Quran and Hadith make Islam uniquely resistant to peaceful evolution, and therefore a pox everywhere it holds any substantial power. Look at the map and overlay the areas with the greatest violence, intolerance, dysfunctional societies, and moribund economies with predominantly Islamic countries.

Further, Muhammed's history (prophet, ruler, general, bigamist with children) is entirely different than Jesus's: there are no succession issues in Christianity. Islam holds the Quran to be directly and exactly revealed to Muhammed. The Bible is not unitary, it isn't the same from sect to sect, and hasn't been viewed as literally true by scarcely anyone for at least a century.

The Bible has plenty of violent passages, but the vast majority of them are either historically bound, or provided the New Testament waiver.

In contrast, many of the Quran's violent injunctions are not bound to a time and place, nor reserved to Allah. But don't take my word for it.

A great many of Islam's beliefs are, to non-Muslims, so morally repugnant as to give Mein Kampf a run for its money, and quibbling about context doesn't help matters at all. I'll take the Quran at its word: it establishes sharia, and claims authority for its imposition upon all humanity.

Unfortunately, the belief in Quranic inerrancy leaves no escape route. The Quran is quite clear on what must happen to apostates, unbelievers, etc.

Of course, most Muslims benignly neglect the abhorrent parts of their religion. But when others demand moderates repudiate Islamist claims, that in effect requires Muslims to declare Islam itself a fabrication.

But the rest, the true believers, are on very firm Islamic ground in hoping to kill unbelievers, Jews, apostates, and spread Sharia, by violence if necessary, throughout the world.

So saying the ISISholes are perverting Islam requires a willful disregard for what Islam itself demands.

Belief matters (Sam Harris nailed it in End of Faith). The only way to get at the roots of Islamic violence is to destroy faith in Islam itself.

Hand waving in the direction of moral equivalency, or that Christians have done extremely bad things, misses the point entirely. The former requires effects without causes, and the latter, while true, only highlights how much Christianity has evolved over the last four hundred years, while Islam is still stuck at 1400 AD.

Hey Skipper said...

In fact, I still miss my IBM Selectric -- for you youngsters who never had the pleasure ...

I had one for many years.

Can't say that I miss it, though. While it had great typing feel, it weighed a ton, and was almost completely stupid.

While I use Apple's chiclet bluetooth keyboard -- it came with the computer -- there are tactile keyboards out there that have the same feel as the Selectric.

erp said...

Skipper, Yes, and operative word is the Selectric was "completely" stupid. It did what it was told unlike the "smart" word processing programs which assume it knows better than you do and changes things to suit its will and whimsy... although to be fair failing fingers and senior synapses are more to blame than the tools, proving the old adage a "poor mechanic blames his tools."

Portable? Never gave that a thought. Work stayed in one's office and you didn't drag your office around with you everywhere you went -- ditto your telephone.

We didn't appreciate what a great system that was.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
Look at the map and overlay the areas with the greatest violence, intolerance, dysfunctional societies, and moribund economies [...]
---
Gosh, for a second I thought you were talking about Brazil. I am relieved you only notice dysfunctionality in Muslim countries - I get your trip to South Africa must have been like you were in a very functional country, right? After all, they are not Muslims...


---
The Bible has plenty of violent passages, but the vast majority of them are either historically bound, or provided the New Testament waiver.
---
I see. And now I wonder what you think about orthodox Jews, for example. You know, they do not buy that News Testament thing. Why is it that their bloody Torah passages get exemption from you here?

Or to even make that question is to incur in that false moral equivalence again? I lately see too many people getting away with that accusation, so they don't need to actually argue their point.

---
I'll take the Quran at its word: it establishes sharia, and claims authority for its imposition upon all humanity.
---
And back to that old testament thing, or the Torah if you wish... are you taking them at their word too?

---
The former requires effects without causes, and the latter, while true, only highlights how much Christianity has evolved over the last four hundred years, while Islam is still stuck at 1400 AD.
---
Christianity has not "evolved", dear friend. The book is just the same. Their practitioners though have repeatedly redefined what they understood it to be - even when they were stuck to particulars voted in some council so far away in time and space that its reasoning got lost and turned to a canonical creed devoid of present sense. Ask any faithful Christian why he belives in The Trinity and very rarely he will have a meaningful answer.


You decided to strip Muslims of their faith if they don't take as literal whatever you want of their text. But you can only hold that position if you do the same for most Christians and Jews too. Are you really prepared, and feel yourself entitled to be the arbiter of anyone else's faith?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Gosh, for a second I thought you were talking about Brazil. I am relieved you only notice dysfunctionality in Muslim countries - I get your trip to South Africa must have been like you were in a very functional country, right? After all, they are not Muslims...

Greatest violence AND intolerance AND dysfunctional societies AND moribund economies (etc).

Africa has a lot of problems, no doubt, but Islam has made them all worse. (And South Africa is pretty well off compared to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.)

Brazil has problems too, but is leagues ahead of almost, if not all, all Islamic countries.

I see. And now I wonder what you think about orthodox Jews, for example. You know, they do not buy that News Testament thing. Why is it that their bloody Torah passages get exemption from you here?

How about some specifics? Almost all the bloody passages in the Old Testament are historically bound: i.e., the groups that they are aimed at no longer exist. Their religious commandments are almost always internally directed — Orthodox Jews make no claims, because the OT doesn't — to impose their religious diktats upon others. Their are exceptions in Israel and heavily Orthodox areas in the US, but none of them approach nearly the violence that is so typical of, say, Iran.

Why is that?

Hey Skipper said...

[Hey Skipper:] I'll take the Quran at its word: it establishes sharia, and claims authority for its imposition upon all humanity.
---
And back to that old testament thing, or the Torah if you wish... are you taking them at their word too?


Where, precisely, does the OT impose upon Jews the obligation to impose Judaism upon others? So far as I know, Judaism isn't even a proselytizing religion.

Christianity has not "evolved", dear friend. The book is just the same. Their practitioners though have repeatedly redefined what they understood it to be - even when they were stuck to particulars voted in some council so far away in time and space that its reasoning got lost and turned to a canonical creed devoid of present sense. Ask any faithful Christian why he believes in The Trinity and very rarely he will have a meaningful answer.

Exactly. The Bible is so fragmented and metaphorical that there is no possibility of suggesting, never mind demanding, that the faithful view it as God's word given directly and perfectly to man. And that is even before the opt-out that the NT provides.

So Christianity has had the flexibility to evolve, because it has been easy for the faithful to shade their beliefs without rejecting Christianity in toto.

The consequences are obvious. Christianity of the 21st century would be almost unrecognizable to Christians of even 100 years ago, never mind 500. And all that change has gone (since the treaty of Westphalia) virtually without violent conflict. In contrast to Christian countries, Islamic countries are intellectually ossified. Spain translates more books from English to its language than the entire Arab world has in 1000 years.

These are not affects without causes.

You decided to strip Muslims of their faith if they don't take as literal whatever you want of their text. But you can only hold that position if you do the same for most Christians and Jews too.

That conclusion does not follow. The two religions are wildly different, particularly in the way they respectively view their founding books. There is nothing even remotely like Islam's fundamental insistence that the Quran is completely and literally the perfect word of God. There is nothing like Christianity's new covenant with the Bible. There is nothing like shariah law in Christianity, never mind any scriptural demand to impose it upon the rest of the world. Unlike the Bible, roughly 61% of Quranic verses are violent.

I am not the arbiter of someone else's faith, the faith itself is. It is a fundamental tenet of Islam that the Quran is absolutely correct.

But don't take my word for it.

US Federal law permits excluding people, and members of groups, advocating the violent overthrow of the US government. Take a look at Pew research results for middle Eastern Muslim beliefs. Is it such a travesty to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Islam isn't consistent with Western civilization, and that it isn't beyond the pale to suggest that maybe, just maybe, refugees from Islamic mayhem should go to other Islamic countries, instead of the West?

erp said...

Skipper, lefty governments weren't always so tolerant of or made excuses for religious diversity.

You may remember the Davidians who were murdered by the order of the Attorney General of the United States under Hillary's husband, Bubba Clinton.

I watched horrified on live TV when a U.S. army tank ran over the wire fencing and fired. At the time, I thought that was the end of our Republic. Little did I know that was very small potatoes.

The article in the link, written 20 years later, has this to say:
The cause of the fire is still disputed. In 1999, then-Attorney General Janet Reno appointed U.S. Sen. John Danforth to investigate the events of 1993. His investigation lasted 14 months and cost about $17 million. In his report, Danforth wrote that the government “did not cause the fire” and “did not direct gunfire at the Branch Davidian complex.” Responsibility for the tragedy, he wrote, “rests with certain of the Branch Davidians and their leader, Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh.” But he did note that “certain FBI and Department of Justice officials failed to disclose … evidence and information about the use of pyrotechnic tear gas rounds until August 1999. This failure resulted from a combination of the inappropriate handling of evidence and the dereliction of duty.”

Koresh, while of questionable sanity, looks pretty benign when compared to Mohammed whose maniacal rantings have led millions to kill and maim in his name while earning the respect of our current fascist elites.

PS: I almost forgot. The word was at the time, that they killed them all to save the children.

Peter said...

Almost all the bloody passages in the Old Testament are historically bound: i.e., the groups that they are aimed at no longer exist.

That's quite funny. I'm not sure it makes the point you are trying to make, Skipper, but it is funny.

I'll take the Quran at its word

Big mistake, that. If the majority of Muslims don't, why would you? One of the most bizarre experiences I've encountered in a decade of blogging is watching so many non-believing rationalists deconstruct ancient sacred texts as if they were a combination of natural history and divine how-to guides and proclaim the "real" essence of a religion, never in a complimentary way. The conclusion is generally that the overwhelming majority of their adherents don't understand their faith and are practicing some kind of milquetoast, hypocritical variation. In essence, a bunch of religious weenies. That's the road to HarryLand, Skipper, where nice elderly Jewish ladies at the synagogue need to be told they are bad Jews unless they get out there and slay some Canaanites. It also puts you pretty much in agreement with ISIS and Wahhabis. Obviously Islam has some real problems dividing the religious from the political, but I'm enough of a secularist to understand Koranic literalism is pretty far down the list of causes.

Imagine if America's high-tech billionaires and Wall Street plutocrats began to adhere to and massively fund some fundamentalist sect out of Appalachia that was big on the Book of Revelations and final battles. It established schools everywhere and became heavily and violently involved in politics, presenting itself as God's answer to the Sodom that is America. Would you, like Harry, be pouring over the Old Testament, cherry-picking atrocities and saying the only solution to get at the "roots" of Christian violence by destroying the Christian faith everywhere? We know Harry would, but you?

Harry Eagar said...

Would I?

Skipper sez: 'there is no possibility of suggesting, never mind demanding, that the faithful view it as God's word given directly and perfectly to man,' but I grew up among Christians who did -- and do -- make exactly that claim and, necessarily, intend to impose their interpretation of its requirements on everybody.tt

They don't get to because secularists prevent them. But the only reason the secularists prevail is that the Christian sects hate each other even more than they hate secularism.

The oath against modernity required of Catholic priests is not meant to be a joke even if it is ridiculous. And, yes, I too thought Skipper's claim about extinct enemies was funny.

Islam is going through one of its many purification crises. Just as Christianity used to do before it was tamed by liberalism.

Don't believe me? Ask a Cathar.

erp said...

Too funny Harry. Secularism/liberalism/progressivism ... myriad names for the same religion that has, and is as we speak, foisting its vile ways everywhere. Our seats of higher learning have become laughing stocks peopled by out-of-control children trying to adhere to its tenets.
Your projection is perfect. What you accuse others whom you hate of doing, is in fact, what you and your cohort are doing in spades and no that is not a racial slur, but pertains to the card game bridge which, by the way, I am something of an expert at.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

----
Their are exceptions in Israel and heavily Orthodox areas in the US, but none of them approach nearly the violence that is so typical of, say, Iran. Why is that?
----
I have a hard time to understand what you mean here.

I take the last 60 years of History in regard to Israel and Iran, and somehow I can't get to the conclusion that Iran is the violent one in comparison. Can you give me a hand here?


----
Where, precisely, does the OT impose upon Jews the obligation to impose Judaism upon others? So far as I know, Judaism isn't even a proselytizing religion.
----
I didn't imply so. You are right, Judaism shows no interest on extending their purported salvation to other people. Which does not mean they didn't had some bloody disputes, or that the OT/Torah gives no hint of a conquer-and-conquest frame.

----
So Christianity has had the flexibility to evolve, because it has been easy for the faithful to shade their beliefs without rejecting Christianity in toto. [...] The consequences are obvious. Christianity of the 21st century would be almost unrecognizable to Christians of even 100 years ago, never mind 500.
----
That's a very common mistake, and somehow an unquestioned myth among self-professed knowledgeable non-believers - actually you make a point literally identical to one Harry made recently here on the 100 or 500 years comparison.

I think Christianity - of the sincere kind - is very much alike what it was 100, 500 or 1500 years ago. It touches so many points of the human heart that are ageless, and more important than any particular secular fashion, that its essence survived almost untouched.



---
Is it such a travesty to suggest that maybe, just maybe, Islam isn't consistent with Western civilization, and that it isn't beyond the pale to suggest that maybe, just maybe, refugees from Islamic mayhem should go to other Islamic countries, instead of the West?
---
Well, even though I look to be the youngest person in this forum, I happen to be so old fashioned that I sill believe we should not discriminate people according to their faith.

See, I am not saying you *can not* do so. You are free to invite or reject anyone you want, in what refers to migration policy. You are free to individually advocate for the end of Islam in the USA altogether - although I am afraid you can not actually take action to enforce so, if I understand anything about your Constitution.

But while you are at that, please refrain from trying to tell them what their belief is or should be. Really, just keep to "I don't like the end results of many Muslim terrorists I see around, nor the caricature of their societies I have in my mind, so I don't trust you Muhammad lovers at all!". I think that's accurate enough and won't turn you into a wanna be policeman of what's the Right and Allowed Theological Thinking.

Can we get to that compromise?

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] Skipper sez: 'there is no possibility of suggesting, never mind demanding, that the faithful view it as God's word given directly and perfectly to man,' but I grew up among Christians who did -- and do -- make exactly that claim and, necessarily, intend to impose their interpretation of its requirements on everybody.

They don't get to because secularists prevent them. But the only reason the secularists prevail is that the Christian sects hate each other even more than they hate secularism.


Harry, as usual, you spew pronunciamentos without substantiation. So how about giving us some examples of Christians claiming the Bible as God's word given directly and perfectly to man. While you are at it, find some examples showing Christian sects hate each other even more than they hate secularism.

Emphasis added, Harry, because you have a tendency to be unclear on concepts and tense.

And, BTW, how about helping us out with millions of Christians working for Armageddon, what a flat income tax has to do with other taxes, and the relationship of the NT to the OT, or Dr. Carson's claim that Mannatech products cured his prostate cancer?

[erp:] I watched horrified on live TV when a U.S. army tank ran over the wire fencing and fired. At the time, I thought that was the end of our Republic. Little did I know that was very small potatoes.

As bad as Ruby Ridge and Waco were, it is worth noting that we haven't seen anything remotely like that since.

[Hey Skipper:] Almost all the bloody passages in the Old Testament are historically bound: i.e., the groups that they are aimed at no longer exist.

[Peter:] That's quite funny. I'm not sure it makes the point you are trying to make, Skipper, but it is funny.


It makes exactly the point I have in mind: the contemporary consequences of violent passages bound to ancient history cannot possibly be the same as violent passages unlimited in time or space. So far as I know, the OT, unlike the Quran, has many of the former and none of the latter.

Of course, my knowledge of the Bible is not encyclopedic, so perhaps you can correct me on that score.

[Hey Skipper:] I'll take the Quran at its word

Big mistake, that. If the majority of Muslims don't, why would you? One of the most bizarre experiences I've encountered in a decade of blogging is watching so many non-believing rationalists deconstruct ancient sacred texts …


You'd have a point if that is what I have been doing.

But it isn't.

I have offered historical observations about Islam (Mohammed compared to Jesus) and links to what the Quran says, and what Muslims themselves assert. I am taking what they say at their word. That is in stark contrast to people who insist that what many Muslims say and do about Islam isn't true Islam. If those Muslims say it is, it is. To insist otherwise is to wallow in the No True Scotsman fallacy.

I have tried to demonstrate that the nature of Islamic belief makes it uniquely prone to sectarian violence and resistant to accommodating changing knowledge outside the scope of religion.

In what way am I wrong?

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] I have a hard time to understand what you mean here.

I take the last 60 years of History in regard to Israel and Iran, and somehow I can't get to the conclusion that Iran is the violent one in comparison. Can you give me a hand here?


Israel is surrounded by countries and groups whose explicit goal, backed up by as many actions as they can muster, to wipe Israel off the map.

Iran is not. Yet Iran has been behind many sectarian attacks on Sunnis, murders gays, stones presumed adulterers, and puts out contracts on apostates.

All in the name of Islam.

Well, even though I look to be the youngest person in this forum, I happen to be so old fashioned that I still believe we should not discriminate people according to their faith.

It depends on what their faith entails, doesn't it? A substantial number of Syrian Muslims have beliefs that are at odds with American society. I have a hard time thinking it is OK to exclude Nazis and communists, but not OK to at least query Muslim immigrants about how their personal beliefs about Islam square with living in a pluralistic society.

Of course, the crux of the matter is how many Muslim immigrants are sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam, compared to the number that view their religion as a voluntary profession of faith to be shared with other similarly minded people.

I think it likely that the latter far outnumber the former, to the extent that on purely utilitarian grounds, we should admit Muslim refugees despite knowing in advance that among them must be a few who we wouldn't want precisely because of their faith.

You are free to individually advocate for the end of Islam in the USA altogether - although I am afraid you can not actually take action to enforce so, if I understand anything about your Constitution.

To be clear I am not advocating any such thing. And you are right.

But while you are at that, please refrain from trying to tell them what their belief is or should be.

If you could find an instance of where I have done that, then I need correcting.

I have related what the Quran says, and what Muslims themselves say about what their beliefs are. That's a different matter, altogether.

erp said...

Skipper, yes thank whomever that we haven't seen a Waco or Ruby Ridge recently, but that wasn't my point which is that our super intelligent, well educated and exquisitely sensitive betters can not see that David Koresh and Mohammed are exactly the same.
They each dreamt up their ideal religion and started rounding up followers. Only difference is Mohammed was wildly more successful at it and our leaders had to problem killing the former and his followers while rationalizing and excusing the latter's followers for carrying out his instructions and berating us stupid knuckle-scraping bigots for objecting to it.

Bret said...

Hey Skipper wrote: "Of course, the crux of the matter is how many Muslim immigrants are sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam, compared to the number that view their religion as a voluntary profession of faith to be shared with other similarly minded people."

In the past, I'm certain that only an insignificant fraction of Muslim immigrants were "sympathetic to fundamentalist Islam." After all, why would you come to an infidel country?

Now, the argument seems to be that ISIS and other fanatic organizations are going to utilize the Muslim immigration wave to infiltrate our country and that by limiting immigration of Muslims we'll reduce an oncoming wave of terrorism.

I don't buy it.

Living in San Diego, I see hundreds of school children illegally cross the border from Mexico every day to go to our schools (then they go back home to Mexico at night). Our borders are stunningly porous. ISIS could easily get thousands of terrorists into the country every single day even if legal Muslim immigration was completely eliminated.

What we need is for our existing Muslim population to prove Hey Skipper wrong; to vocally enlighten us as to their actual beliefs and to show us how those beliefs aren't antithetical to being an american; to loudly and consistently condemn Islamic terrorism; and to work against such terrorists by not providing a safe haven and by working with police to thwart such activities.

That's quite a tall order. No other group has to do that. Unfortunately, Trump and Hey Skipper show the writing on the wall; Muslims are gonna hafta show that they're "with us" or too many of us are gonna conclude that they're "against us." And that will rip the country (further) apart.

-----

P.S. Watching Hey Skipper defend Christianity is really funny. Perhaps my memory is bad, but my recollection is that his views of religion more aligned with Harry a decade or two ago.

erp said...

... Bret, maybe re: religion, in Skipper's case, it's question of the "devil you know ...".

Bret said...

erp,

That's my view as well. :-)

erp said...

Bret, good analogy. Can it be 10 years since we started entertaining each other here? BTW - I miss aog. Anyone know why he's been AWOL?

Bret said...

erp,

Yup, we hit 10 years a while back.

Yeah, I've been wondering about aog too. At first, I just assumed he was busy. Now, I'm hoping he's ok.

Harry Eagar said...

'Perhaps my memory is bad, but my recollection is that his views of religion more aligned with Harry a decade or two ago.'

My memory also. Skipper seems to have made a U-turn, or nearly, on several fronts.

I was thinking about late turnabouts a lot over the past couple days, as a woman that I have known -- or at least I thought I knew her -- for nearly 25 years has turned into a raging antisemite, 9/11 truther. I didn't see that coming.

I don't want to ask her, but I get the sense that she is now propagating the views of a new boyfriend. I'm pretty sure she was not a hidden Jew-hater all those years.

I'd sure like to know her conversion story, only not if I have to cross-examine her about it.

I have been assured by many many Christians that I, too, will embrace a late conversion to the Lord. I've seen it happen to other people but I will be very, very surprised if it happens to me.

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