Monday, September 12, 2011

From RR
  • 10 years later we still haven’t learned a damn thing.
  • So the ragheads hate our freedoms and the government’s defending them, say the right-wing screaming Mimis. ‘Which freedoms?’ asks Anthony Gregory. A rhetorical list of rights rolled back ‘for our own good’.
  • Brain rot. A culture in regression or mid-century really was better. Obviously I believe in the mighty Internet, cheaply and efficiently replacing tons of books, magazines and records/tape/CDs, and even threatening TV, but of course fallen human nature being what it is, most people underuse it as they’re either lazy or unteachable. (60 years ago experts thought TV would bring high culture to the masses but the masses want game shows.) It has changed my career: this morning I’m working about 20 miles away from the office and its annoyances in a library in a beautiful little town via netbook, proofing stories, shooting a video at a Catholic school round the corner (Marine Corps Leaguers doing a 9/11 flag-raising) and then mixing, uploading and publishing it to the Web from here. Soon, I think, no more newspaper (10 years ago I knew this would happen) or office. Great! In some ways I live about 50 years in the past (ironically when many thought change itself was good) – the religion, the architecture, the clothes (they’re not an ironic hipster smartass thing), the music, the films and some of the gadgets – but some change is good.
  • Subsidies encourage bad investment behavior. BTW Jerry Brown is not an idiot or flake. He can be very wrong but that’s not the same. The putdown ‘Governor Moonbeam’ came from his idea, in the ’70s, that California should have a communications satellite. Arguably not the state’s job but hardly stupid.
  • Depression, war and recovery.
  • The biggest misconception about immigration is that it is a zero-sum game – that there is a finite number of jobs which immigrants ‘take’ from the native-born and that immigrants consume social services without paying anything in. Several state governments – including Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and others – have bought into this myth, enacting measures to address what they perceive as problems arising from undocumented immigration. Yet anti-immigration laws hurt not only immigrants, but native-born Americans as well.
  • Ron Paul’s position on what I’ll call unauthorized immigration – or immigration sans government permission – is indeed strange. He calls for ‘secure borders’ but opposes employer sanctions, Real ID, and a border wall (which he says could be used to keep people in as well as out). He also minimizes the importance of unauthorized immigration by saying it wouldn’t be such an issue if the economy were healthy (people are worried about jobs now) and the welfare state didn’t exist. That odd mix leads me to wonder if Ron Paul is actually for open borders but doesn’t want to say it. He was for open borders when he was the Libertarian Party nominee for president in 1988. Nobody’s perfect and we’re not a leader cult even though everybody really wants a good king. One of Paul’s few compromises, a bone to the right?
  • To change the beliefs of an entire community, only 10 percent of the population needs to become convinced of a new or different opinion, suggests a new study. At that tipping point, the idea can spread through social networks and alter behaviors on a large scale. That’s scary stuff.” BTW Catholicism has nothing to fear from theistic evolution, which I believe in. Like geo- vs heliocentrism, it doesn’t affect doctrine. So no, Modernists, Christianity won’t change or else it will die. Whose denominations are dying? Among the churchgoing minority, this Pope has lots of 30-year-old fans. BTW some gays try to recruit (or at least indoctrinate, violating conservative parents’ rights and pushing something that’s against nature, that early-’60s California police film people make fun of is true; the only thing wrong is blaming the victim) but most of the time it’s not a choice based on those I’ve talked to about it. They’re wrong but usually no threat to me.
  • Most American laws unnecessary.
  • Free-speech watch: public schools and online writing etc. More from Anthony Gregory.

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