Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Mid-week Post

Will wonders never cease? A new study suggests Facebook junkies are narcissistic and have low self-esteem:

Participants who were deemed narcissistic, and others shown to have low self-esteem, spent more time on the massively popular social-networking website, the York University research found.

Researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh also found that these people use Facebook as a means of self-promotion.

Mehdizadeh admits the sample group of just 100 participants from such a specific demographic doesn't necessarily reflect everybody who uses Facebook.

But she expects the findings to prompt the site's users, who number roughly 16 million in Canada, to take a closer look at themselves — and their Facebook "friends."

I'm sure that's not the case for everyone but some of the things people post on Facebook (bad spelling and all) and even the idea of putting your whole life for an entire globe to see just strikes me as odd.

(NOTE: Please don't point out that I have a blog on which I shoot my mouth off. Not the same, really.)

To clarify things:

What does "leftist," for example, mean? Nothing, really. If there were an ideological spectrum (there is not), then "leftist" and "rightist" would be opposites, and moving toward the left would mean embracing more the ideas of Marx, while moving toward the right would mean moving toward Hitler. But this is historical nonsense. Hitler and all the leading Nazis passionately embraced socialism and loathed "capitalism." All those murderous and hateful cliques -- Bolsheviks, Fascists, and Nazis -- loathed the God of Jews and Christians. All despised liberty, including economic liberty. Why, then, do we think in terms of an ideological spectrum? Our enemies -- the "left," for want of a better term -- invented the ideological spectrum. Why use the language of our enemies? We should not.

The terms used to describe gradations of the ideological spectrum are all Alice in Wonderland words: "reactionaries," "conservatives," "liberals," "progressives," and "radicals." These words describe reality only if the flawed, silly theory of Marx, written over 150 years ago and disproved by history in every test since then, is true. Marxism is less evil than farce.The "Marx" involved is less Karl and more Groucho. Socialists have the intellectual seriousness of the Flat Earth Society. The sad part is that people who oppose this quackery believe that socialists are sincere disciples of a respected faith; we treat these enemies as if they believed in something.

Make no mistake: Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al. believe in nothing but power. They are not "socialists." There are no socialists in the world except those in mental institutions or very young children who have never seen modern political debate in action. The fa├žade of socialism has always been the same -- a phony banner for the acquisition of power. Every brutal thug, every Hitler or Stalin wannabe, first champions the masses against the despised few who exploit them. It is almost impossible, in a free society, for anyone to exploit anyone else for very long. But the lust for power must be sated, and the fruits of freedom must be slandered and spat upon with invented words.

From "community organiser" to hypocrite:

Hey, Barack, first of all-that Affordable Housing mania that you and your fellow left-wing Democrats pushed was a primary factor behind the collapse of the economy. Bush and the Republicans tried and failed to get a handle on what Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were doing and you and Democrats (such as Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd) put a roadblock up to stop those efforts (there is a road analogy for you).

Secondly, America doesn't see you sweating much-unless those muggy Washington days are getting to you out on the links or you have a tough game on the court. How much sweating have you done during your numerous vacations and musical soirees in the East Room of the White House? But I guess if you do sweat you can always chalk that up to global warming!

Who is sweating, Barack? I will tell you : the unemployed millions your policies have harmed, the seniors who are relying on a strong economy and the free enterprise system to cover their retirements that are damaging; the people who fear layoffs because your wealth redistribution schemes and profit killing plans are killing the job market.

From the beginning:

James Madison elaborated on the importance of the population count as a governing function restraining abuses of taxation at the end of Federalist number 54:

"In one respect, the establishment of a common measure for representation and taxation, will have a very salutary effect. As the accuracy of the census to be obtained by congress, will necessarily depend, in a considerable degree, on the disposition, if not the co-operation of the states, it is of great importance that the states should feel as little bias as possible, to swell or reduce the amount of their numbers. Were their share of representation alone to be governed by this rule, they would have an interest in exaggerating their inhabitants. Were the rule to decide their share of taxation alone, a contrary temptation would prevail. By extending the rule to both objects, the states will have opposite interests, which will control and balance each other, and produce the requisite impartiality."

The genius of the original form of the Constitution is plain to see here. The government of the United States now spends an obscene amount of money. Exactly what Madison predicted has come to pass: the states now have an incentive to exaggerate their population numbers in order to gain transfer payments to their citizens from the welfare state which is in turn dependent on the income tax as opposed to the direct "head tax" which the Founders established. This is in turn affects all manner of domestic and national security politics: e.g. education, immigration, border security.

Ever since the birth of the income tax on Christmas eve 1913, the growth, corruption and power of government has continued unabated. While marginal income tax rates have varied dramatically over the years, revenues have, on average, consistently expanded through the decades. Correspondingly, the burden and oppression of government has magnified to the point that it has become a yoke on the citizenry.

Think ahead to 12/24/2013, the centennial of the income tax. Reflect upon where this country was 200 and 100 years ago. Imagine what it will be like on Christmas eve 2013 (the eve of Obamacare). Finally, envision the condition in which you hope to leave this great nation for your children and grandchildren on Christmas eve 2113. It is self-evident to me that we are not on the right track to sustain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the long term and that we as a country need to move back toward the Founders' vision of how we should fund the government of the United States

Imagine someone sticking you with taxes on Christmas Eve.

(lousy government)

Good point (s):

So, yes, I wish Pastor Jones would cancel his stunt, but mostly because it is a silly, juvenile thing to do.

Yet who are we kidding? In the absence of the Koran-burning, the Taliban and other assorted Muslim extremists will find other insults -- real or imagined -- to fan their propaganda flames and fuel their anti-Western hatred. It is foolhardy to think we are dealing with a rational foe who, in the absence of any direct provocation by us, would leave us alone in peace...

According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, on Aug. 25, a cartoon on Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza and the West Bank aired cartoons showing Jews transforming into apes (who are seen as vile and unclean), and claiming that the transformation was sanctioned by the Koran.

This past Sunday, the Times of London carried a story about the Iranian government paying a bounty of $1,000 a head for U.S. soldiers killed by the Taliban. And along the Persian Gulf last month, there were reports of prosecutors urging foreigners on trial to convert to Islam so the courts would show them leniency.

Where are the Western apologists of radical Islam when these outrages against the West are being perpetrated? Why is it only Western slights to Islam that trouble them?

I maintain it doesn't matter if the Koran is burned or not. A fanatic needs little provocation to commit acts of violence. If the burning of the Koran is so offensive that it needs defense from both Muslims and non-Muslims (note the Christians who come to their defense and are still spat on), then do make sure that when Muslim fanatics (or any leftists, really) insult Christians or desecrate religious symbols that the same outrage is applied. Fair is fair, right?

Or not:

The delicate question is the critical one: What kind of mosque and community centre will Cordoba House be? The sad reality is that throughout the Islamic world, especially in the Arab nations, Christian churches, schools and orphanages — where they are allowed to be built at all — often find mosques built next door, from which hostility and harassment issues forth. Even churches deliberately built away from busy parts of the city sometimes find mosques quickly built next door, with the amplified muezzin a regular disruption.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It certainly cannot be considered the desire of all Muslims. But this is a reality, and it would be foolish to ignore all this in view of the Cordoba House proposal.

Oh, gee, that was nice of them:

Iranian authorities have suspended the execution by stoning of a woman convicted of adultery, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday, after weeks of condemnation from around the world.

The fact that people are stoned to death at all must faze very few these days.


More developments in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman set to be stoned to death for the crime of “adultery” (even though her husband already had died at the time of her allegedly “illicit” relationship): This week, it was revealed that, even as she awaits on death row, Ashtiani got 99 lashes for the further crime of appearing in a Times of London photo without a headscarf. (The Times now concedes that the photo actually was of another woman — adding an additional level of surreal horror to what already was a singularly pitiful case.)

The only possible good news to be wrung from this horror is the fact that the case has united the whole of the civilized world — including Europe’s otherwise morally relativistic intellectuals — in unanimous condemnation of Iran’s Medieval theocracy. Even the most devout Euro-pacifist can only be horrified at the prospect of this regime possessing a nuclear weapon.

And yet Ashtiani is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to “honour killings” in Muslim societies. An astonishing investigative report in Britain’s Independent by celebrity left-wing journalist Robert Fisk (who has taken a laudable break from his America-bashing beat) concludes that the usual UN figure of 5,000 honour killings per year worldwide is off by a factor of at least four — and that the real number is about 20,000.

As Fisk correctly notes, this view of women is not confined to Islam — it typifies all backwards, heavily tribalized societies from Africa to Central Asia. But it is a particular problem in the Muslim world because the religion’s foundational text, the Koran, is essentially a crystallization of the tribal practices and myths of militarily successful 7th-century Bedouin Arab tribes — and so, as in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, it offers a veneer of religious legitimacy to misogynistic bloodletting.

I am hardly the first pundit to bemoan the lack of Western feminists who’ve shown any interest in this gendered genocide. Most are too busy denouncing the phallocentricity of free trade and unregistered guns to mourn the killing of 20,000 women every year for the crime of falling in love, having boyfriends, bearing children — which is to say, being human.

That 20,000 figure, by the way, exceeds the total number of Palestinians killed in both Intifadas and the 2008 Gaza conflict combined — a useful factoid to keep in your holster the next time Judy Rebick or Diana Ralph garbs their anti-Israeli bigotry in feminist pink.

Only Western white feminists have rights.

I don't even know how this could happen but it did:

New polling results released by Nanos Research this morning finds Stephen Harper’s Tories are now locked in a tight battle with Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals for voter support.

Did we all forget that the Liberals are weasels?

Must laugh:

Mayoralty candidate George Smitherman’s truck-driving older brother Arthur is making a run at a city council seat, and backing estranged brother George’s frontrunning rival Rob Ford for mayor.

Ezra Levant refuses a bowl of schadenfreude:

Could it be true? That a human rights complaint has been filed against none other than Richard Moon, law professor at the University of Windsor and hired gun for the Canadian Human Rights Commission?

Could it really be that the good professor is accused of both racism and sexism, based on his campaign to scupper the career of a woman of colour -- a campaign spurred on by Moon's wife?

What a nightmare for him. Even if he wins, he loses. Mind you, unlike me, I'm sure his (and his wife's) legal bills will be paid for by the university. Still, he's about to learn, first-hand, what a show trial is like from the inside.

Gentle reader, do not gloat. It might be tempting to smile at the fact that Moon, who has tried so hard to defend the legitimacy of human rights commissions, is now getting the kangaroo treatment himself, and at the hands of Barbara Hall, no less. But schadenfreude is unbecoming. Just because Moon believes politically correct hunter-killer bureaucrats should be sicced on you and me, doesn't mean we should descend to that level and cheer that they are now being sicced on him.

Read this, foes of free speech. One of your greatest targets beseeches on your behalf. Would that you would be so magnanimous.

What would Jack Bauer do? Whatever he wants.

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