Saturday, November 28, 2015
The first book I read involving a black hole was Fred Saberhagen's Berserker. He called it a hypermass. I wondered way back then how we could ever see them if they allowed no light to escape. Well, now I know.
This is a Hubble photograph of a dwarf galaxy (a very compact galaxy in which the night sky on any planet would show a million stars (we see about 4,000 on a very clear night)).
Labels: Black Hole; Dwarf Galaxy
Thursday, November 26, 2015
The Berkeley Anti-Free Speach Movement
There is no doubt that minute for minute, Second City TV was a better show than Saturday Night Live even at its height (that is, back when I watched it). I remember members of SCTV's cast discussing their parodies of TV shows and the fact that one in particular was impossible to parody. They tried and tried to parody Laverne & Shirley but all they got was a rather unfunny but accurate version of Laverne & Shirley. Which brings me to George Will. He sees it. To parody what is going on in various college campi around the nation all it takes is accurate description.
Give thanks this day for some indirect blessings of liberty, including the behavior-beyond-satire of what are generously called institutions of higher education. People who are imprecisely called educators have taught, by their negative examples, what intelligence is not.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Thought of the Day
Labels: Irving Kristol quote
Friday, November 20, 2015
ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (PhD, Islamic Theology, Islamic U of Baghdad) says ISIS is pro-Muslim. Your credentials?Man, I wish I had his talent for the Parthian Shot.
Labels: David Burge; Parthian Shot
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
I Believe Him
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Thought of the Day
Labels: Thomas Sowell quote
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Update on the Movie Truth
It's a bomb, a dud, a failure at the box office. We only get weekend estimates (nothing from the distributor during the week). Last weekend, Truth slipped to 22nd place on the box office chart. It was moved out of more than 50% of the theaters showing it (down from over a thousand to 554 now). It lost more than half its weekend revenue (down to just over $370,000 take this past one). It has a really pitiful screen average of $669; and in the four weeks of distribution (first two weeks were limited) it's only taken in about $2 Million. That's really pathetic.
Couldn't have happened to more deserving movie makers.
If your movie is called Truth, you might consider actually telling it therein.
Sunday, November 08, 2015
Democrats Defend the Race Card
Let me start out with two confessions: 1) I don't care what your race is, in fact, it's difficult for me to imagine caring less about an individual's skin color; and, 2) I don't have any white guilt. I'm a Republican, the son of a Republican and the grandson of a Republican. We Republicans have no history regarding black Americans to be guilty about. We are the good guys on race.
OK, let's get to Wilson's super deep thoughts on the subject.
Oh, one more thing; if I did care about such a superficial thing as skin color, I'd be pretty proud of my party's gaggle of candidates, which includes a black man, two Hispanics and an Indian. Where's the superficial diversity of skin color in the Democrat candidates?
While conservatives have long accused their political counterparts of white liberal guilt, those on the right are showing their own brand of it. The modern day Republican Party has always had a strained relationship with people of color, but the election of President Obama has deepened the rift.
I think the conservatives' main criticism of the left regarding this subject is that they have been and are still racist. They have a terrible history of racial hatred of blacks and they still think blacks are less capable than whites. The most recent example is the Democrat talking point that blacks are too inept to be able to obtain a photo ID. I don't believe that's true. Republicans don't believe that's true.
Notice that he has to add the words "modern day" to describe the Republicans he's accusing of racism. That's because he apparently is a firm believer in the switch of invidious racial animus from the segregationist Democrats to the civil rights supporting Republicans that took place in the 60s. This is one of the Great Lies of our generation and Wilson seems to have swallowed it hook, line and sinker.
Finally, Wilson seems to believe that Republicans think President Obama is an inept narcissist because he is mixed race. I can assure Mr. Wilson that most Republicans would think the President is an inept narcissist if he had plaid skin. Skin color, for most Republicans, just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter for most young white people of any political stripe either, which is proof of a bettering of racial relations over the past decades after the Democrat century of Jim Crow, KKK rule, particularly in the South, ended. But let's get back to what Mr. Wilson thinks.
However, Carson is their latest "magic negro;" he is someone who makes them feel good about themselves and their beliefs. The divine intervention that transformed him from being a violent, quick-tempered black boy in an impoverished Detroit to a celebrated Yale-educated brain surgeon is what evangelicals' dreams are made of. He presents himself as an example of how minorities can lift themselves up from poverty through God and with little government intervention.
Wait, the "magic negro" is not a Republican idea. It was made popular in America by Democrat David Ehrenstein talking about then Senator Obama. Ehrenstein pointed out in that article the memorable description of Obama by Joe Biden as "clean" and "articulate" as proof of deeply held invidious stereotypes but, of course, Biden is a Democrat not a Republican. Democrats have centuries of invidious racial animus against blacks to be guilty about and apparently they do.
And the idea that Republicans are drawn to Dr. Carson because of his achievements and his character and they care not a whit about his skin color never appears to enter Wilson's mind. There is none so blind...
[Carson's] harsh criticism of Obama, the Black Lives Matter movement, Muslims, and Mexican immigrants provides the political right with racial cover. Their logic is that if a black man says it, then it can't be racist. Their support of him is proof to progressives that they too are willing to vote for a black man. If you're trying to boast your racial tolerance credibility these days, "I'm voting for Ben Carson" sounds a lot more convincing than "some of my best friends are black."
Wait, we Republicans know that anyone of any skin color can be a racist about another race. Democrats deny that and think that only whites can be racist about blacks. Blacks cannot be racists against whites because of power or privilege or something. But isn't it logical to think that you can't be racist about your own race? Wouldn't the accurate term for that sort of feeling be "self-loathing"?
But for many African-Americans, Thomas, Steele, Cain and now Carson's popularity with the right is reminiscent of an old racial dynamic. During and post slavery, white slave owners and employers would often provide special treatment to select blacks, who in turn would help assuage their white guilt. It became the role of these black servants -- who were often deemed a "credit to their race" -- to heap praise on the "good" and "God-fearing" white boss, often at the expense of their own people.
The white slave owners he's talking about here were all Democrats. Apparently they needed their guilt assuaged. But to think automatically that Republican support of Justice Thomas, Dr. Carson, Mr. Cain and Mr. Steele was for anything other than recognition of those men's abilities and character is to betray an underlying belief that all Republicans actually hate blacks and don't accept their ability and character but only pretend to in order to assuage guilt for what the Democrats did, and continue to do, to blacks in America. That's some high quality projection, that is. It get's worse.
To be clear, the Republican Party should be encouraged to search for African-American candidates and political stars. What's offensive is that they are propping up inept and inexperienced blacks to run for the highest office in the land.
Now many Republicans with a sip of morning coffee in their mouths reading that last sentence might spew it all over the computer screen. The irony of Wilson's projection here is off the charts. The major Republican complaint about Obama was that he was inept and inexperienced and he was being propped up to run for the highest office in the land by Democrats merely because of his skin color. So Wilson' stupid criticism of the Republicans here is precious. It's offensive to Wilson and his ilk that Republicans are doing the same thing the Democrats did just over 7 years ago. The difference here is that Dr. Carson has some real achievements and a non-narcissist character and he's worthy of support in a way the President never could be. The idea of outsiders with no political experience being the Republican's preferred candidates this round is very interesting but outside the scope of what Wilson's writing about and what I'm commenting on. There are a couple of more snort-worthy sentences from Wilson.
His skin color and his willingness to criticize other black and brown people is at the heart of his appeal to the right. The Republican Party is now engaging in political affirmative action of the worst kind and in the most visible way.
No, Mr. Wilson, the Republicans support Dr. Carson generally because he is a great guy with whom they agree on a lot of issues. His skin color has nothing to do with it. Democrats support judging people by the color of their skin, which is why they and not the Republicans support affirmative action. We Republicans choose the people we support on the content of their character, as a great Republican once wished would become the American way. Also we Republicans support Carson's criticism of Democrats and racially neutral subjects like terrorism and illegal immigration not for anything to do with skin color but because the last two are problems which the Democrats are only making worse. Apparently everything Mr. Wilson sees is somehow a reflection of the superficial, of skin color. It really doesn't matter to us. Really. That's entirely your gig.
The last quote from Wilson below is also rich in irony.
Carson has excelled at telling the far right precisely what they like to hear and think. He doesn't challenge their beliefs, he confirms them.
Right. Which is why, regarding their decision to support a political candidate, Republicans support someone running for political office who is revealing his belief in Republican ideas and principles. Mirabile dictu.
The sad fact for Wilson and the Democrats is that Republican support of Ben Carson and other black candidates runs completely counter to the Big Lie (that Republicans became the racist party in the 60s when the racist, slave owning, Jim Crow writing, KKK member Democrats magically purged that history and put it on the Republicans). The Democrats can't have the facts of such Republican support get in the way of the Big Lie. So they put out these easily debunked sub-memes that the Republicans aren't really supporting black candidates but are merely assuaging the guilt they supposedly feel for the racist Democrat history.
Yeah, Mr. Wilson, that's it exactly--we're pretending to support the good doctor because we feel guilt over what the Democrats did. Perfectly logical, that.
I'll end quoting Jonah Goldman on the subject. Again.
How strange it must be for people who comfort themselves with the slander that the GOP is a cult of organized racial hatred that the most popular politician among conservatives is a black man. Better to ignore the elephant in the room than account for such an inconvenient fact. The race card is just too valuable politically and psychologically for liberals who need to believe that their political opponents are evil.
Carson’s popularity isn’t solely derived from his race, but it is a factor. The vast majority of conservatives resent the fact that Democrats glibly and shamelessly accuse Republicans of bigotry — against blacks, Hispanics, and women — simply because they disagree with liberal policies (which most conservatives believe hurt minorities).
Friday, November 06, 2015
Analysis of Two Data Points
That's it, two data points were examined to identify a trend or reality or something. Let's look at the stats. That is, let's look at a few years' worth of murder statistics in America to see how many murders are by knife and how many by firearm. Let's pay special attention to the use of rifles. Liberal gun haters (but I repeat myself) want to take away your right to choose which rifle you can keep and bear (and they did just that for 10 years with no beneficial results) and they want to limit your magazine size down from standard size because they are pro-reloading*.
In 2013, there were 12,253 murders in America of which 8,454 were by firearms of all types. That's way down since the peak in 1993 thanks largely to the spread of armed good citizens as unconstitutional restraints on bearing firearms in public were done away with across our great country. Of the murders weapon firearms used by 2013, only 285 were rifles for sure. 5,782 were murders by hand gun, just about 20 times more likely to be used to murder than rifles were used. In 1,956 of the murders, the type of firearm was unknown or not stated but the 20 to 1 ratio almost certainly applied so the probable number of rifles in that number is also very small.
So, how many murders in America were committed with knives (actually cutting instruments of any type, so hatchets and axes and I guess chain saws counted in that total)? 1,490. Oh, well that's a lot more than rifles, at least three times as many. So indeed let's leave knives alone and ban the carrying of cosmetically military (thus scary) rifles.
Here's WaPo's big finish.
Many factors contribute to violence. Investigations into these incidents will provide more information about the men who went on the attack in Colorado (a 33-year-old ) and California (an 18-year-old ) and specifically whether — as has been the case in so many tragedies — mental illness played a role. What should not get lost in that examination is the difference in damage that was done with a knife. That underscores once again the need for this country to follow the lead of other countries in limiting guns and controlling who has access to them.
But, as always, there is a problem with this so called solution. If the murder statute won't stop murderers, why would anyone believe a law about gun ownership would stop them? Gun regulations only disarm the law abiding to the detriment of everyone.
I'm all for not allowing dangerous crazy people to have either knives or guns, but the only way to enforce such a rational program is to lock up the dangerous crazy people in a mental institution where they can receive beneficial medical care and be looked after. We used to do that but short sighted liberals emptied out most of the looney bins in the 70s so there are plenty of non dangerous crazy people out on the streets now suffering lives no one would wish on a dog; and fewer, but still too many, dangerous crazy people walking around with guns or knives. Helping the crazy is not an actual priority with those in favor of banning gun ownership. Their priority seems to be disarming the law abiding.
Sounds pretty crazy to me.
* I mean changing out an empty magazine for a full one, not creating new cartridges from component parts. The liberals don't like people making their own bullets. We're recycling the empty cases. I though recycling was a good thing.
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
A Losing Proposition
That was then, this is now. The left is attempting to rewrite history in the Orwellian titled movie Truth. It makes the perpetrators of the fraud into heroes and sidesteps the fact that everything they asserted was a lie and the documents they relied on completely fraudulent.
So, now that Truth is in over a thousand theaters since Friday, how's it doing in the box office? Horribly is the short answer. Although it is 16th for the weekend take, it only averaged a pitiful $781 per screen. In the top 29 only Rock the Kasbah and Jem and the Holograms are doing worse. Rotten Tomatoes rates it bad 57 and 59 scores for reviews and movie goer satisfaction.
Another lefty propaganda movie going down in flames.
You can't fool all the people all the time.
Labels: Truth; Lies; Box Office Poison